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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 54, No. 335, September 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 54, No. 335, September 1843" ***

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BLACKWOOD'S

EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.



No. CCCXXXV. SEPTEMBER, 1843.   VOL. LIV.

       *       *       *       *       *


"WE ARE ALL LOW PEOPLE THERE."

A TALE OF THE ASSIZES.

IN TWO CHAPTERS.

CHAPTER THE FIRST.


Some time ago, business of an important character carried me to the
beautiful and populous city of ----. I remember to have visited it when I
was a child, in the company of a doating mother, who breathed her last
there; and the place, associated with that circumstance, had ever
afterwards been the gloomiest spot in the county of my birth. A calamity
such as that to which I have alluded leaves no _half_ impressions. It
stamps itself deep, deep in the human heart; and a change, scarcely less
than organic, for good or ill, is wrought there. Agreeably with this
fact, the scene itself of the event becomes at once, to the survivor,
either hallowed and beloved, or hated and avoided. Not that natural
beauty or deformity has any thing to do in the production of such
feelings. They have a mysterious origin, and are, in truth, not to be
accounted for or explained. A father sees the hope and joy of his manhood
deposited amongst the gardens of the soil, and from that moment the
fruitful fields and unobstructed sky are things he cannot gaze upon;
whilst the brother, who has lived in the court or alley of a crowded city
with the sister of his infancy, and has buried her, with his burning
tears, in the dense churchyard of the denser street, clings to the
neighbourhood, close and unhealthy though it be, with a love that renders
it for him the brightest and the dearest nook of earth. He cannot quit
it, and be at peace. Causes that seem alike, are not always so in their
effects. For my own part, for years after the first bitter lesson of my
life became connected with that city, I could not think of it without
pain, or hear its name spoken without suffering a depression of spirits,
as difficult to throw off as are the heavy clouds that follow in the
track, and hide the little light of a December sun. At school, I remember
well how grievously I wept upon the map on which I first saw the word
written, and how completely I expunged the characters from the paper,
forbidding my eyes to glance even to the county from which I had erased
them. Time passes, hardening the heart as it rolls over it, and we afford
to laugh at the strong feelings and extravagant views of our youth. It is
well, perhaps, that we do so; and yet on that subject a word or two of
profitable matter might be offered, which shall be withholden now. For
many years I have battled through the world, an orphan, on my own
account; and it is not surprising that the vehemence of my early days
should have gradually sobered down before the stern realities that have
at every step encountered me. Long before I received the unwelcome
intelligence, that it was literally incumbent upon me to revisit the spot
of my beloved mother's dissolution, the mention of its name had ceased to
evoke any violent emotion, or to affect me as of old. I say _unwelcome_,
because, notwithstanding the stoicism of which I boast, I felt quite
uncomfortable enough to write to my correspondent by the return of post,
urging him to make one more endeavour to complete my business without my
aid, and to spare, if possible, my personal attendance. I gave no reason
for this wish. I did not choose to tell a falsehood, and I had hardly
honesty to acknowledge, even to myself--the truth. I failed, however, in
my application, and with any but a cheerful mind, I quitted London on my
journey. Thirty years before I had travelled to ---- in a stupendous
machine, of which now I recollect only that it seemed to take years out
of my little life in arriving at its destination, and that, on its broad,
substantial rear, it bore the effigy of "_an ancient Briton_." Locomotion
then, like me, was in a state of infancy. On the occasion of my second
visit to the city, I had hardly time to wonder at the velocity with which
I was borne along. Distance was annihilated. The two hundred miles over
which _the ancient Briton_ had wearisomely laboured, were reduced to
twenty, and before I could satisfy myself that our journey was more than
begun, my horseless coach, and fifty more besides, had actually gone over
them. I experienced a nervous palpitation at the heart as I proceeded
from the outskirts of the city, and grew more and more fidgety the nearer
I approached the din and noise of the prosperous seat of business. I
could not account for the feeling, until I detected myself walking as
briskly as I could, with my eyes fixed hard upon the ground, as though
afraid to glance upon a street, a house, an object which could recall the
past, or carry me back to the first dark days of life. Then it was that I
summoned courage, and, with a desperate effort to crush the morbid
sensibility, raised myself to my full height, gazed around me, and awoke,
effectually and for ever, from my dream. The city was not the same. The
well-remembered thoroughfares were gone; their names extinct, and
superseded by others more euphonic; the buildings, which I had carried in
my mind as in a book--the thought of meeting which had given me so much
pain, had been removed--destroyed, and not a brick remained which I could
call a friend, or offer one warm tear, in testimony of old acquaintance.
A noble street, a line of palaces--merchants' palaces--had taken to
itself the room of twenty narrow ways, that, in the good old times, had
met and crossed in close, but questionable, friendship. Bright stone,
that in the sunlight shone brighter than itself, flanked every broad and
stately avenue, denoting wealth and high commercial dignity. Every
venerable association was swept away, and nothing remained of the
long-cherished and always unsightly picture, but the faint shadow in my
own brain--growing fainter now with every moment, and which the
unexpected scene and new excitement were not slow to obliterate
altogether. I breathed more freely as I went my way, and reached my
agent's house at length, lighter of heart than I had been for hours
before. Mr Treherne was a man of business, and a prosperous one too, or
surely he had no right to place before the dozen corpulent gentlemen whom
I met on my arrival--a dinner, towards which the viscera of princes might
have turned without ruffling a fold of their intestinal dignity. I
partook of the feast--that is to say, I sat at the groaning table, and,
like a cautious and dyspeptic man, I eat roast beef--_toujours_ roast
beef, and nothing else--appeased my thirst with grateful claret, and
retired at last to wholesome sleep and quiet dreams. Not so the corpulent
guests. It may be to my dyspeptic habit, which enables me to be virtuous
at a trifling cost, and to nothing loftier, that I am bound to attribute
the feeling with which I invariably sit down to feasting; be this the
fact or not, I confess that a sense of shame, uneasiness, and dislike,
renders an affair of this kind to me the most irksome and unpleasant of
enjoyments. The eagerness of appetite that one can fairly see in the
watery and sensual eyes of men to whom _eating_ has become the aim and
joy of their existence--the absorption of every faculty in the gluttonous
pursuit--the animal indulgence and delight--these are sickening; then the
deliberate and cold-blooded torture of the creatures whose marrowy bones
are _crunched_ by the epicure, without a thought of the suffering that
preceded his intensely pleasurable emotions, and the bare mention of
which, in this narrative, is almost more than sufficient, then, worst of
all, the wilful prodigality and waste--the wickedness of casting to the
dogs the healthy food for which whole families, widows, and beggared
orphans are pining in the neighbouring street--the guilty indifference of
him who finds the wealth for the profusion, and the impudent recklessness
of the underling who abuses it. Such are a few of the causes which concur
in giving to the finest banquet I have seen an aspect not more odious
than humiliating; and here I dwell upon the fact, because the incident
which I shall shortly bring before the reader's eye, served to confirm
the feelings which I entertain on this subject, and presented an
instructive contrast to the splendid entertainment which greeted my
immediate arrival.

I slept at the house of Mr Treherne, and, on the following morning, was an
early riser. I strolled through the city, and, returning home, found my
active friend seated at his breakfast-table, with a host of papers, and a
packet of newly-arrived letters before him. The dinner was no more like
the breakfast, than was my friend in the midst of his guests like my
friend alone with his papers. His meal consisted of one slice of dry
toast, and one cup of tea, already cold. The face that was all smile and
relaxation of muscle on the preceding evening, was solemn and composed.
You might have ventured to assert that tea and toast were that man's most
stimulating diet, and that the pleasures of the counting-house were the
highest this world could afford him. I, however, had passed the evening
with him, and was better informed. Mr Treherne requested me to ring the
bell. I did so, and his servant speedily appeared with a tray of garnished
dainties, of which I was invited to partake, with many expressions of
kindness uttered by my man-of-business, without a look at me, or a
movement of his mind and eye from the pile of paper with which he was
busy. In the course of half an hour, I had brought my repast to a close,
and Mr Treherne was primed for the conflict of the day. His engagements
did not permit him to give me his assistance in my own matters until the
following morning. He begged me to excuse him until dinner-time--to make
myself perfectly at home--to wile away an hour or so in his library--and,
when I got tired of that, to take what amusement I could amongst the lions
of the town--offering which advice, he quitted me and his house with a
head much more heavily laden, I am sure, than any that ever groaned
beneath the hard and aching knot. Would that the labourer could be taught
to think so!

After having passed an unsatisfactory hour in Mr Treherne's library, in
which the only books which I cared to look at were very wisely locked up,
on account of their rich binding, too beautiful to be touched, I sauntered
once more through the broad streets of the city, and, in my solitary walk,
philosophized upon the busy spirit of trade which pervaded them. It is at
such a time and place that the quiet and observant mind is startled by the
stern and settled appearance of reality and continuance which all things
take. If the world were the abiding-place of man, and life eternity, such
earnestness, such vigour, such intensity of purpose and of action as I saw
stamped upon the harassed brows of men, would be in harmony with such a
scene and destination. HERE such concentration of the glorious energies of
man is mockery, delusion, and robs the human soul of--who shall say how
much? Look at the stream of life pouring through the streets of commerce,
from morn till night, and mark the young and old--yes, the youngest and
the oldest--and discover, if you can, the expression of any thought but
that of traffic and of gain, as if the aim and end of living were summed
up in these. And are they? Yes, if we may trust the evidence of age, of
him who creeps and totters on his way, who has told his threescore years
and ten, and on the threshold of eternity has found the vanity of all
things. Oh, look at him, and learn how hard it is, even at the door of
death, to FEEL the mutability and nothingness of earth! Palsied he is, yet
to the Exchange he daily hies, and his dull eye glistens on the mart--his
ear is greedy for the sounds that come too tardily--his quick and treble
voice is loud amongst the loudest. He is as quick to apprehend, as eager
now to learn, as ravenous for gain, as when he trusted first an untried
world. If life be truly but a shadow, and mortals but the actors in the
vision, is it not marvellous that age, and wisdom, and experience build
and fasten there as on a rock? Such thoughts as these engaged my mind, as
I pursued my way alone, unoccupied, amongst the labouring multitude, and
cast a melancholy hue on things that, to the eye external, looked bright,
beautiful, and enduring. I was arrested in my meditations at length by a
crowd of persons--men, women, and children--who thronged about the
entrance of a spacious, well-built edifice. They were for the most part in
rags, and their looks betrayed them for poor and reckless creatures all.
They presented so singular a feature of the scene, contrasted so
disagreeably with the solid richness and perfect finish of the building,
that I stopped involuntarily, and enquired into the cause of their
attendance. Before I could obtain an answer, a well-dressed and better-fed
official came suddenly to the door, and bawled the name of one poor
wretch, who answered it immediately, stepped from the crowd, and followed
the appellant, as the latter vanished quickly from the door again. A
remark which, at the same moment, escaped another of the group, told me
that I stood before the sessions'-house, and that a man, well known to
most of them, was now upon trial for his life. He was a murderer--and the
questionable-looking gentleman who had been invited to appear in court,
had travelled many miles on foot, to give the criminal the benefit of his
good word. He was the witness for the defence, and came to speak to
_character_! My curiosity was excited, and I was determined to see the end
of the proceeding. It is the custom to pay for every thing in happy
England. I was charged _box-price_ for my admittance, and was provided
with as good a seat as I could wish, amongst the _élite_ of the assembly.
Quick as I had been, I was already too late. There was a bustle and buzz
in the court, that denoted the trial to be at an end. Indeed, it had been
so previously to the appearance of the devoted witness, whose presence had
served only to confirm the evidence, which had been most damnatory and
conclusive. The judge still sat upon the bench, and, having once perceived
him, it was not easy to withdraw my gaze again. "The man is surely
guilty," said I to myself, "who is pronounced so, when that judge has
summed up the evidence against him." I had never in my life beheld so much
benignity and gentleness--so much of truth, ingenuousness, and pure
humanity, stamped on a face before. There was the fascination of the
serpent there; and the longer I looked, the more pleasing became the
countenance, and the longer I wished to protract my observation and
delight. He was a middle-aged man--for a judge, he might be called young.
His form was manly--his head massive--his forehead glorious and
intellectual. His features were finely formed; but it was not these that
seized my admiration, and, if I dare so express myself, my actual love,
with the first brief glance. The EXPRESSION of the face, which I have
already attempted faintly to describe, was its charm. Such an utter, such
a refreshing absence of all earthiness--such purity and calmness of
soul--such mental sweetness as it bespoke! When I first directed my eye
to him, it seemed as if his thoughts were abstracted from the
comparatively noisy scene over which he presided--busy it might be, in
reviewing the charge which he had delivered to the jury, and upon the
credit of which the miserable culprit had been doomed to die. I do not
exaggerate when I assert, that at this moment--during this short
reverie--his face, which I had never seen before, seemed, by a miracle,
as familiar to me as my own--a fact which I afterwards explained, by
discovering the closest resemblance between it and a painting of our
Saviour, one of the finest works of art, the production of the greatest
genius of his time, and a portrait which is imprinted on my memory and
heart by its beauty, and by repeated and repeated examination. The
touching expressiveness of the countenance would not have accorded with
the stern office of the judge, had not its softness been relieved by a
bold outline of feature, and exalted by the massy formation of the head
itself. These were sufficient to command respect--_that_ made its way
quickly to the heart. An opportunity was soon afforded me to obtain some
information in respect of him. I was not surprised to hear that his name
and blood were closely connected with those of a brilliant poet and
philosopher, and that his own genius and attainments were of the highest
character. I was hardly prepared to find that his knowledge as a lawyer
was profound, and that he was esteemed erudite amongst the most learned
of his order. My attention was called reluctantly from the judge to the
second case of the day, which now came for adjudication. The court was
hushed as a ruffian and monster walked sullenly into the dock, charged
with the perpetration of the most horrible offences. I turned
instinctively from the prisoner to the judge again. The latter sat with
his attention fixed, his elbow resting on a desk, his head supported by
his hand. Nothing could be finer than the sight. Oh! I would have given
much for the ability to convey to paper a lasting copy of that
countenance--a memorial for my life, to cling to in my hours of weakness
and despondency, and to take strength and consolation from the spectacle
of that intelligence, that meekness and chastity of soul, thus allied and
linked to our humanity.

It was instructive to look alternately at the criminal and at him who
must award his punishment. There they were, both men--both the children
of a universal Father--both sons of immortality. Yet one so unlike his
species, so deeply sunken in his state, so hideous and hateful as to be
disowned by man, and ranked with fiercest brutes; the other, as far
removed, by excellence, from the majority of mankind, and as near the
angels and their ineffable joy as the dull earth will let him. Say what
we will, the gifts of Heaven are inscrutable as mysterious, and education
gives no clue to them. The business of the hour went on, and my attention
was soon wholly taken up in the development of the gigantic guilt of the
wretched culprit before me. I could not have conceived of such atrocity
as I heard brought home to him, and to which, miserable man! he listened,
now with a smile, now with perfect unconcern, as crime after crime was
exhibited and proved. His history was a fearful one even from his
boyhood; but of many offences of which he was publicly known to be
guilty, one of the latest and most shocking was selected, and on this he
was arraigned. It appeared that for the last few years he had cohabited
with a female of the most disreputable character. The issue of this
connexion was a weakly child, who, at the age of two years, was removed
from her dissolute parents through the kindness of a benevolent lady in
the neighbourhood, and placed in the care of humble but honest villagers
at some distance from them. The child improved in health and, it is
unnecessary to add, in morals. No enquiry or application was made for her
by the pair until she had entered her fifth year, and then suddenly the
prisoner demanded her instant restoration. The charitable lady was
alarmed for the safety of her _protegée_, and, with a liberal price,
bought off the father's natural desire. He duly gave a receipt for the
sum thus paid him, and engaged to see the child no more. The next morning
he stole the girl from the labourer's cottage. He was seen loitering
about the hut before day-break, and the shrieks of the victim were heard
plainly at a considerable distance from the spot where he had first
seized her. Constables were dispatched to his den. It was shut up, and,
being forced open, was found deserted, and stripped of every thing. He
was hunted over the county, but not discovered. He had retired to haunts
which baffled the detective skill of the most experienced and alert. This
is the first act of the tragedy. It will be necessary to stain these
pages by a description of the last. The child became more and more
unhappy under the roof of her persecutors, as they soon proved themselves
to be. She was taught to beg and to steal, and was taken into the
highways by her mother, who watched near her, whilst, with streaming
eyes, the unhappy creature now lied for alms, now pilfered from the
village. Constant tramping, ill treatment, and the wear and tear of
spirit which the new mode of existence effected, soon reduced the child
to its former state of ill health and helplessness. She pined, and with
her sickness came want and hunger to the hut. The father, affecting to
disbelieve, and not listening to the sad creature's complaint, still
dismissed her abroad, and when she could not walk, compelled the mother
to carry her to the public road, and there to leave her in her agony, the
more effectually to secure the sympathy of passengers. Even this
opportunity was not long afforded him. The child grew weaker, and was at
length unable to move. He plied her with menaces and oaths, and, last of
all, deliberately threatened to murder her, if she did not rise and
procure bread for all of them. She had, alas! no longer power to comply
with his request, and--merciful Heaven!--the fiend, in a moment of
unbridled passion, made good his fearful promise. With one blow of a
hatchet--alas! it needed not a hard one--_he destroyed her_. I caught the
judge's eye as this announcement was made. It quivered, and his
countenance was pale. I wished to see the monster _too_, but my heart
failed me, and my blood boiled with indignation, and I could not turn to
him. The short account which I have given here does bare justice to the
evidence which came thick and full against the prisoner, leaving upon the
minds of none the remotest doubt of his fearful criminality. The mother,
and a beggar who had passed the night in the hut when the murder was
perpetrated, were the principal witnesses against the infanticide, and
their depositions could not be shaken. I waited with anxiety and great
irritability for the sentence which should remove the prisoner from the
bar. The earth seemed polluted as long as he breathed upon it; he could
not be too quickly withdrawn, and hidden for ever in the grave. The case
for the prosecution being closed, a young barrister arose, and there was
a perfect stillness in the court. My curiosity to know what this
gentleman could possibly urge on behalf of his client was extreme. To me
"the probation bore no hinge, nor loop to ban a doubt on." But the
smoothfaced counsellor, whose modesty had no reference to his years,
seemed in no way burdened by the weight of his responsibility, nor to
view his position as one of difficulty and risk. He stood, cool and
erect, in the silence of the assembly, and with a self-satisfied _smile_
he proceeded to address the judge. Yes, he laughed, and he had heard that
heart-breaking recital; and the life of the man for whom he pleaded was
hardly worth a pin's fee. The words of the poet rushed involuntarily to
my mind. "Heaven!" I mentally exclaimed, "_Has this fellow no feeling of
his business--he sings at grave-making_!" He made no allusion to the
evidence which had been adduced, but he spoke of INFORMALITY. I trembled
with alarm and anger. I had often heard and read of justice defeated
by such a trick of trade; but I prayed that such dishonour and public
shame might not await her now. Informality! Surely we had heard of the
cold-blooded cruelty, the slow and exquisite torture, the final
deathblow; there was no informality in these; the man had not denied his
guilt, his defender did not seek to palliate it. Away with the juggle, it
cannot avail you here! But in spite of my feverish security, the shrewd
lawyer--well might he smile and chuckle at his skill--proceeded calmly to
assert the prisoner's right to his immediate _discharge! There was a flaw
in the declaration, and the indictment was invalid_. And thus he proved
it. The man was charged with murdering his child--described as his, and
bearing his own name. Now, the deceased was illegitimate, and should have
borne its mother's name. He appealed to his lordship on the bench, and
demanded for his client the benefit which law allowed him. You might have
heard the faintest whisper in the court, so suspended and so kept back
was every drop of human breath, whilst every eye was fixed upon the
judge. The latter spoke. "_The exception was conclusive; the prisoner
must be discharged_." I could not conceive it possible. What were truth,
equity, morality--Nothing? And was murder _innocence_, if a quibble made
it so? The jailer approached the monster, and whispered into his ear that
he was now at liberty. He held down his head stupidly to receive the
words, and he drew it back again, incredulous and astounded. Oh, what a
secret he had learned for future government and conduct! What a friend
and abettor, in his fight against mankind, had he found in the law of his
land! I was maddened when I saw him depart from the well-secured bar in
which he had been placed for trial. There he had looked the thing he
was--a tiger caught, and fastened in his den. Could it do less than chill
the blood, and make the heart grow sick and faint, to see the bolts drawn
back--the monster loosed again, and turned unchained, untamed, fiercer
than ever, into life again? Legislators, be merciful to humanity, and
cease to embolden and incite these beasts of prey! Melancholy as the
above recital is, it is to be considered rather as an episode in this
narration, than as the proper subject of it. Had my morning's adventure
finished with this disgraceful acquittal, the reader would not have been
troubled with the perusal of these pages. My vexation would have been
confined to my own breast, and I should have nourished my discontent in
silence. The scene which immediately followed the dismissal of the
murderer, is that to which I have chiefly to beg attention. It led to an
acquaintance, for which I was unprepared--enabled me to do an act of
charity, for which I shall ever thank God who gave me the power--and
disclosed a character and a history to which the intelligent and
kind-hearted may well afford the tribute of their sympathy. It was by way
of contrast and relief, I presume, that the authorities had contrived
that the next trial should hardly call upon the time and trouble of the
court. It was a case, in fact, which ought to have been months before
summarily disposed of by the committing magistrate, and one of those too
frequently visited with undue severity, whilst offences of a deeper dye
escape unpunished, or, worse still, are washed away in _gold_. A poor man
had stolen from a baker's shop a loaf of bread. _The clerk of the
arraigns_, as I believe he is called, involved this simple charge in many
words, and took much time to state it but when he had finished his
oration, I could discover nothing more or less than the bare fact. A few
minutes before the appearance of the delinquent, I remarked a great
bustle in the neighbourhood of the young barrister already spoken of. A
stout fresh-coloured man had taken a seat behind him with two thinner
men, his companions, and they were all in earnest conversation. The stout
man was the prosecutor--his companions were his witnesses--and the
youthful counsellor was, on this occasion, retained _against_ the
prisoner. I must confess that, for the moment, I had a fiendish delight
in finding the legal gentleman in his present position. "It well becomes
the man," thought I, "through whose instrumentality that monster has been
set free, to fall with all his weight of eloquence and legal subtlety
upon this poor criminal." If he smiled before, he was in earnest now. He
frowned, and closed his lips with much solemnity, and every look bespoke
the importance of the interests committed to his charge.--A beggar!--and
to steal a loaf of bread! Ay, ay! society must be protected--our houses
and our homes must be defended. Anarchy must be strangled in its birth.
Such thoughts as these I read upon the brow of youthful wisdom. Ever and
anon, a good point in the case struck forcibly the lusty prosecutor, who
communicated it forthwith to his adviser. _He_ listened most attentively,
and shook his head, as who should say "Leave that to me--we have him on
the hip." The witnesses grew busy in comparing notes, and nothing now was
wanting but the great offender--the fly who must be crushed upon the
wheel--and he appeared. Reader, you have seen many such. You have not
lived in the crowded thoroughfares of an overgrown city, where every
grade of poverty and wealth, of vice and virtue, meet the eye, mingling
as they pass along--where splendid royalty is carried quicker than the
clouds adown the road which palsied hunger scarce can cross for lack of
strength--where lovely forms, and faces pure as angels' in their innocent
expression, are met and tainted on the path by unwomanly immodesty and
bare licentiousness--amongst such common sights you have not dwelt, and
not observed some face pale and wasted from disease, and want, and
sorrow, not one, but all, and all uniting to assail the weakly citadel of
flesh, and to reduce it to the earth from which it sprung. Such a
countenance was here--forlorn--emaciated--careworn--every vestige of
human joy long since removed from it, and every indication of real misery
too deeply marked to admit a thought of simulation or pretence. The eye
of the man was vacant. He obeyed the turnkey listlessly, when that
functionary, with a patronizing air, directed him to the situation in the
dock in which he was required to stand, and did not raise his head to
look around him. A sadder picture of the subdued, crushed heart, had
never been. Punishment! alack, what punishment could be inflicted now on
him, who, in the school of suffering, had grown insensible to torture?
Notwithstanding his rags, and the prejudice arising from his degraded
condition, there was something in his look and movements which struck me,
and secured my pity. He was very ill, and had not been placed many
minutes before the judge, when he tottered and grew faint. The turnkey
assisted the poor fellow to a chair, and placed in his hands, with a
rough but natural kindness, which I shall not easily forget, a bunch of
sweet-smelling marjoram. The acknowledgement which the miserable creature
attempted to make for the seasonable aid, convinced me that he was
something better than he seemed. A shy and half-formed bow--the impulse
of a heart and mind once cultivated, though covered now with weeds and
noxious growths--redeemed him from the common herd of thieves. In the
calendar his age was stated to be thirty-five. Double it, and that face
will warrant you in your belief. Desirous as I was to know the
circumstances which had led the man to the commission of his offence, it
was not without intense satisfaction that I heard him, at the
commencement of the proceedings, in his thin tremulous voice, plead
_guilty_ to the charge. There was such rage painted on the broad face of
the prosecutor, such disappointment written in the thinner visage of the
counsellor, such indignation and astonishment in those of the witnesses,
that you might have supposed those gentlemen were interested only in the
establishment of the prisoner's innocence, and were anxious only for his
acquittal. For their sakes was gratified at what I hoped would prove the
abrupt conclusion of the case. The prisoner had spoken; his head again
hung down despondingly--his eyes, gazing at nothing, were fixed upon the
ground; the turnkey whispered to him that it was time to retire--he was
about to obey, when the judge's voice was heard, and it detained him.

"Is the prisoner known?" enquired his lordship.

The counsellor rose _instanter_.

"Oh, very well, my lud--an old hand, my lud--one of the pests of his
parish."

"Is this his first offence?"

The barrister poked his ear close to the mouth of the prosecutor before he
answered.

"By no means, my lud--he has been frequently convicted."

"For the like offence?" enquired the Judge.

Again the ear and mouth were in juxtaposition.

"We believe so, my lud--we believe so," replied the smart barrister; "but
we cannot speak positively."

The culprit raised his leaden eye, and turned his sad look towards the
judge, his best friend there.

"For BEGGARY, my lord," he uttered, almost solemnly.

"Does any body know you, prisoner?" asked my lord. "Can any one speak to
your previous character?"

The deserted one looked around the court languidly enough, and shook his
head, but, at the same instant there was a rustling amongst the crowd of
auditors, and a general movement, such as follows the breaking up of a
compact mass of men when one is striving to pass through it.

"Si-_lence_!" exclaimed a sonorous voice, belonging to a punchy body, a
tall wand, and a black bombasin gown; and immediately afterwards, "a
friend of the prisoner's, my lord. Get into that box--speak loud--look at
his lordship. Si-_lence_!"

The individual who caused this little excitement, and who now ascended the
witness's tribune, was a labouring man. He held a paper cap in his hand,
and wore a jacket of flannel. The prisoner glanced at him without seeming
to recognize his friend, whilst the eyes of the young lawyer actually
glistened at the opportunity which had come at last for the display of his
skill.

"What are you, my man?" said the judge in a tone of kindness.

"A journeyman carpenter, please your worship."

"You must say _my lord_--say _my lord_," interposed the bombasin gown.
"Speak out. Si-_lence_!"

"Where do you live?"

"Friar's Place--please you, my lord." The bombasin smiled pitifully at the
ignorance of the witness, and said no more.

"Do you know the prisoner at the bar?"

"About ten weeks ago--please you, my lord, I was hired by the landlord--"

"Answer his lordship, sir," exclaimed the counsel for the prosecution in a
tone of thunder. "Never mind the landlord. Do you know the prisoner?"

"Why, I was a saying, please you, my lord, about ten weeks ago I was hired
by the landlord--"

"Answer directly, sir," continued the animated barrister--"or take the
consequences. Do you know the prisoner?"

"Let him tell his story his own way, Mr Nailhim," interposed his lordship
blandly. "We shall sooner get to the end of it."

Mr Nailhim bowed to the opinion of the court, and sat down.

"Now, my man," said his lordship, "as quickly as you can, tell me whatever
you know of the prisoner."

"About ten weeks ago--please you, my lord," began the journey-man _de
novo_, "I was hired by the landlord of them houses as is sitiwated where
Mr Warton lives--" (The bombasin looked at the witness with profound
contempt, and well he might! The idea of calling a prisoner at the bar
_Mr_--stupendous ignorance!) "and I see'd him day arter day, and nobody
was put to it as bad as he was. He has got a wife and three children, and
I know he worked as hard as he could whilst he was able; but when he got
ill he couldn't, and he was druv to it. I have often taken a loaf of bread
to him, and all I wish is, he had stolen one of mine behind my back
instead of the baker's. I shouldn't have come agin him, poor fellow! and I
am sure he wouldn't have done it if his young uns hadn't been starving. I
never see'd him before that time, but I could take my affidavy he's an
industrious and honest man, and as sober, please you, my lord, as a
judge."

At this last piece of irreverence, the man with the staff stood perfectly
still, lost as it seemed, in wonder at the hardihood of him who could so
speak.

"Have you any thing more to say?" asked his lordship.

The carpenter hesitated for a second or two, and then acknowledged that he
had not; and, such being the case, it seemed hardly necessary for Mr
Nailhim to prolong his examination. But that gentleman thought otherwise.
He rose, adjusted his gown, and looked not only _at_ the witness, but
through and through him.

"Now, young man," said he, "what is your name?"

"John Mallett, sir," replied the carpenter.

"John Mallett. Very well. Now, John Mallett, who advised you to come here
to-day? Take care what you are about, John Mallett."

The carpenter, without a moment's hesitation, answered that his "old woman
had advised him; and very good advice it was, he thought."

"Never mind your thoughts, sir. You don't come here to think. Where do you
live?"

The witness answered.

"You have not lived long there, I believe?"

"Not quite a fortnight, sir."

"You left your last lodging in a hurry too, I think, John Mallett?"

"Rather so, sir," answered Innocence itself, little dreaming of effects
and consequences.

"A little trouble, eh, John Mallett?"

"Mighty deal your lordship, ah, ah, ah!" replied the witness quite
jocosely, and beginning to enjoy the sport.

"Don't laugh here, sir, but can you tell us what you were doing, sir, last
Christmas four years?"

Of course he could not--and Mr Nailhim knew it, or he never would have put
the question; and the unlucky witness grew so confused in his attempt to
find the matter out, and, in his guesses, so confounded one Christmas with
another, that first he blushed, and then he spoke, and then he checked
himself, and spoke again, just contradicting what he said before, and
looked at length as like a guilty man as any in the jail. Lest the effect
upon the court might still be incomplete, the wily Nailhim, in the height
of Mallett's trouble, threw, furtively and knowingly, a glance towards the
jury, and smiled upon them so familiarly, that any lingering doubt must
instantly have given way. They agreed unanimously with Nailhim. A greater
scoundrel never lived than this John Mallett. The counsellor perceived his
victory, and spoke.

"Go down, sir, instantly," said he, "and take care how you show your face
up there again. I have nothing more to say, my lud."

And down John Mallett went, his friend and he much worse for his
intentions.

"And now this mighty case is closed!" thought I. "What will they do to
such a wretch!" I was disappointed. The good judge was determined not to
forsake the man, and he once more addressed him.

"Prisoner," said he, "what induced you to commit this act?"

The prisoner again turned his desponding eye upwards, and answered, as
before--

"Beggary, my lord."

"What are you?"

"Nothing, my lord--any thing."

"Have you no trade?"

"No, my lord."

"What do your wife and children do?"

"They are helpless, my lord, and they starve with me."

"Does no one know you in your neighbourhood?"

"No one, my lord. I am a stranger there. _We are all low people there_, my
lord."

There was something so truly humble and plaintive in the tone with which
these words were spoken, and the eyes of the afflicted man filled so
suddenly with tears as he uttered them, that I became affected in a manner
which I now find it difficult to describe. My blood seemed to chill, and
my heart to rush into my throat. I am ashamed to say that my own eyes were
as moist as the prisoner's. I resolved from that moment to become his
friend, and to enquire into his circumstances and character, as soon as
the present proceedings were at an end.

"How long has the prisoner been confined already?"

"Something like three months, my lud," answered the barrister cavalierly
as if months were minutes.

"It is punishment enough," said the judge--"let him be discharged now.
Prisoner, you are discharged--you must endeavour to get employment. If you
are ill, apply to your parish; there is no excuse for stealing--none
whatever. You are at liberty now."

The information did not seem to carry much delight to the heart of him
whom it was intended to benefit. He rose from his chair, bowed to his
lordship, and then followed the turnkey, in whose expression of
countenance and attentions there was certainly a marked alteration since
the wind had set in favourably from the bench. The man departed. Moved by
a natural impulse, I likewise quitted the court the instant afterwards,
enquired of one of the officials the way of egress for discharged
prisoners, and betook myself there without delay. What my object was I
cannot now, as I could not then, define. I certainly did not intend to
accost the poor fellow, or to commit myself in any way with him, for the
present, at all events. Yet there I was, and I could not move from the
spot, however useless or absurd my presence there might be. It was a small
low door, with broad nails beaten into it, through which the liberated
passed, as they stepped from gloom and despair, into freedom and the
unshackled light of heaven. I was not then in a mood to trust myself to
the consideration of the various and mingled feelings with which men from
time to time, and after months of hopelessness and pain, must have bounded
from that barrier, into the joy of liberty and life. My feelings had
become in some way mastered by what I had seen, and all about my heart was
disturbance and unseemly effeminacy. There was only one individual,
besides myself, walking in the narrow court-yard, which, but for our
footsteps, would have been as silent as a grave. This was a woman--a
beggar--carrying, as usual, a child, that drew less sustenance than sorrow
from the mother's breast. She was in rags, but she looked clean, and she
might once have been beautiful; but settled trouble and privation had
pressed upon her hollow eye--had feasted on her bloomy skin. I could not
tell her age. With a glance I saw that she was old in suffering. And what
was her business here? For whom did _she_ wait? Was it for the father of
that child?--and was she so satisfied of her partner's innocence, and the
justice of mankind, that here she lingered to receive him, assured of
meeting him again? What was his crime?--his character?--her history? I
would have given much to know, indeed, I was about to question her, when I
was startled and detained by the drawing of a bolt--the opening of the
door--and the appearance of the very man whom I had come to see. He did
not perceive me. He perceived nothing but the mother and the child--_his_
wife and _his_ child. She ran to him, and sobbed on his bosom. He said
nothing. He was calm--composed; but he took the child gently from her
arms, carried the little thing himself to give her ease, and walked on.
She at his side, weeping ever; but he silent, and not suffering himself to
speak, save when a word of tenderness could lull the hungry child, who
cried for what the mother might not yield her. Still without a specific
object, I followed the pair, and passed with them into the most ancient
and least reputable quarter of the city. They trudged from street to
street, through squalid courts and lanes, until I questioned the propriety
of proceeding, and the likelihood of my ever getting home again. At
length, however, they stopped. It was a close, narrow, densely peopled
lane in which they halted. The road was thick with mud and filth; the
pavement and the doorways of the houses were filled with ill-clad sickly
children, the houses themselves looked forbidding and unclean. The
bread-stealer and his wife were recognised by half a dozen coarse women,
who, half intoxicated, thronged the entrance to the house opposite to
that in which they lodged, and a significant laugh and nod of the head
were the greetings with which they received the released one back again.
There was little heart or sympathy in the movement, and the wretched
couple understood it so. The woman had dried her tears--both held down
their heads--even there--for shame, and both crawled into the hole in
which, for their children's sake, they _lived_, and were content to find
their home. Now, then, it was time to retrace my steps. It was, but I
could not move from the spot--that is, not retreat from it, as yet. There
was something to do. My conscience cried aloud to me, and, thank God, was
clamorous till I grew human and obedient. I entered the house. A child
was sitting at the foot of the stairs, her face and arms begrimed--her
black hair hanging to her back foul with disease and dirt. She was about
nine years old; but evil knowledge, cunning duplicity, and the rest, were
glaring in her precocious face. She clasped her knees with her extended
hands, and swinging backwards and forwards, sang, in a loud and impudent
voice, the burden of an obscene song. I asked this creature if a man
named Warton dwelt there. She ceased her song, and commenced
whistling--then stared me full in the face and burst into loud laughter.

"What will you give if I tell you?" said she, with a bold grin. "Will you
stand a glass of gin?"

I shuddered. At the same moment I heard a loud coughing, and the voice of
the man himself overhead. I ascended the stairs, and, as I did so, the
girl began her song again, as if she had suffered no interruption. I
gathered from a crone whom I encountered at the top of the first flight of
steps, that the person of whom I was in quest lived with his family in the
back room of the highest floor; and thither, with unfailing courage, I
proceeded. I arrived at the door, knocked at it briskly without a moment's
hesitation, and recognized the deep and now well-known tones of Warton in
the voice desiring men to enter. The room was very small, and had no
article of furniture except a table and two chairs. Some straw was strewn
in a corner of the room, and two children were lying asleep upon it, their
only covering being a few patches of worn-out carpet. Another layer was in
the opposite corner, similarly provided with clothing. This was the
parents' bed. I was too confused, and too anxious to avoid giving offence,
to make a closer observation. The man and his wife were sitting together
when I entered. The former had still the infant in his arms, and he rose
to receive me with an air of good breeding and politeness, that staggered
me from the contrast it afforded with his miserable condition--his
frightful poverty.

"I have to ask your pardon," said I, "for this intrusion, but your name is
Warton, I believe?"

"It is, sir," he replied--and the eyes of the wife glistened again, as she
gathered hope and comfort from my unexpected visit. She trembled as she
looked at me, and the tears gushed forth again.

("These are not bad people, I will swear it," I said to myself, as I
marked her, and I took confidence from the conviction, and went on.)

"I have come to you," said I, "straight from the sessions'-house, where,
by accident, I was present during your short trial. I wish to be of a
little service to you. I am not a rich man, and my means do not enable me
to do as much as I would desire; but I can relieve your immediate want,
and perhaps do something more for you hereafter, if I find you are
deserving of assistance."

"You are very kind, sir," answered the man, "and I am very grateful to
you. We are strangers to you, sir, but I trust these (pointing to his wife
and children) _may_ deserve your bounty. For myself--"

"Hush, dear!" said his wife, with a gentleness and accent that confounded
me. _Low_ people! why, with full stomachs, decent clothing, and a few
pounds, they might with every propriety have been ushered at once into a
drawing-room.

"Poor Warton is very ill, sir," continued the wife, "and much suffering
has robbed him of his peace of mind. I am sure, sir, we shall be truly
grateful for your help. We need it, sir, Heaven knows, and he is not
undeserving--no, let them say what they will."

I believed it in my heart, but I would not say so without less partial
evidence.

"Well," I continued, "we will talk of this by and by. I am determined to
make a strict enquiry, for your own sakes as well as my own. But you are
starving now, it seems, and I sha'n't enquire whether you deserve a loaf
of bread. Here," said I, giving, them a sovereign, "get something to eat,
for God's sake, and put a little colour, if you can, into those little
faces when they wake again."

The man started suddenly from his chair, and walked quickly to the window.
His wife followed him, alarmed, and took the infant from his arms, whilst
he himself pressed his hand to his heart, as though he would prevent its
bursting. His face grew deathly pale. The female watched him earnestly,
and the hitherto silent and morose man, convulsed by excess of feeling,
quivered in every limb, whilst he said with difficulty--

"Anna, I shall die--I am suffocated--air--air--my heart beats like a
hammer."

I threw the window open, and the man drooped on the sill, and wept
fearfully.

"What does this mean?" I asked, speaking in a low tone to the wife.

"Your sudden kindness, sir. He is not able to bear it. He is proof against
cruelty and persecution--he has grown reckless to them, but constant
illness has made him so weak, that any thing unusual quite overcomes him."

"Well, there, take the money, and get some food as quickly as you can. I
will not wait to distress him now. I will call again to-morrow; he will be
quieter then, and we'll see what can be done for you. Those children must
be cold. Have you no blankets?"

"None, sir. We have nothing in the world. What, you see here, even to the
straw, belongs, to the landlord of the house, who has been charitable
enough to give us shelter."

"Well, never mind--don't despond--don't give way--keep the poor fellow's
sprits up. Here's another crown. Let him have a glass of wine, it will
strengthen him; and do you take a glass too. I shall see you again
to-morrow. There, good-by."

And, fool and woman that I was, on I went, and stood for some minutes,
ashamed of myself, in the passage below, because, forsooth, I had been
talking and exciting myself until my eyes had filled uncomfortably with
water.

It was impossible for me to go to sleep again until I had purchased
blankets for these people, and so I resolved at once to get them. I was
leaving the house for that purpose, when a porter with a bundle entered
it.

"Whom do you want, my man?" said I.

"One Warton, sir", said he.

"Top of the house," said I again--"back room--to the right. What have you
got there?"

"Some sheets and blankets, sir."

"From whom?"

"My master sir, here's his card."

It was the card of an upholsterer living within a short distance of where
I stood. I directed the porter again, and forthwith sallied to the man of
furniture. Here I learnt that I had been forestalled by an individual as
zealous in the cause of poor Warton as myself. I was glad of this, for I
knew very well, in doing any little piece of duty, how apt our dirty
vanity is to puff us up, and to make us assume so much more than we have
any title to; and it is nothing short of relief to be able to extinguish
this said vanity in the broad light of other men's benevolence. The
upholsterer, however, could not inform me who this generous man was, or
how he had been made aware of Warton's indigence. It appears that he had
called only a few minutes before I arrived, and had requested that the
articles which he purchased should be sent, without a moment's delay, to
the address which he gave. He waited in the shop until the porter quitted
it, and then departed, having, at the request of the upholsterer, who was
curious for the name of his customer, described himself in the day-book as
Mr Jones. "He was not a gentleman," said the man of business, "certainly
not, and he didn't look like a tradesman. I should say," he added, "that
he was a gentleman's butler, for he was mighty consequential, ordered
every body about, and wanted me to take off discount."

My mind being made easy in respect of the blankets, I had nothing to do
but to return, as diligently as I could, to the house of my friend, Mr
Treherne. I reached his dwelling in time to prepare for dinner, at which
repast, as on the previous evening, I encountered a few select friends and
opulent business men. These were a different set. Before joining them,
Treherne had given me to understand that they were all very wealthy, and
very liberal in their politics, and before quitting them I heartily
believed him. There was a great deal of talk during dinner, and, as the
newspapers say, after the cloth was removed, on the aspect of affairs in
general. The corn-laws were discussed, the condition of the Irish was
lamented, the landed gentry were abused, the Church was threatened, the
Tories were alluded to as the enemies of mankind and the locusts of the
earth; whilst the people, the poor, the labouring classes, the masses, and
whatever was comprised within these terms, had their warmest sympathy and
approbation. My habits are somewhat retired, and I mix now little with
men. I can conscientiously affirm, that I never in my life heard finer
sentiments or deeper philanthropy than I did on this occasion from the
guests of my friend, and with what pleasure I need not say, when it
suddenly occurred to me to call upon them for a subscription on behalf of
the starving family whom I had met that day.

"You must take care, my dear sir," said a gentleman, before I had half
finished my story, (he might be called the leader of the opposition from
the precedence which he took in the company in opposing all existing
institutions,)--"You must, indeed; you are a stranger here. You must not
believe all you hear. These fellows will trump up any tale. I know them of
old. Don't you be taken in. Take my word--it's a man's own fault if he
comes to want. Depend upon it."

"So it is--so it is; that's very true," responded half-a-dozen gentlemen
with large bellies, sipping claret as they spoke.

"I do not think, gentlemen," I answered, "that I am imposed upon in this
case."

"Ah, ah!" said many Liberals at once, shaking their heads in pity at my
simplicity.

"At all events," I added, "you'll not refuse a little aid."

"Certainly, I shall," replied the leader; "it's a rule, sir. I wouldn't
break through it. I act entirely upon principle! I can't encourage robbery
and vagrancy. It's Quixotic."

"Quite so--quite so!" murmured the bellies.

"Besides, there's the Union; we are paying for that. Why don't these
people go in? Why, they tell me they may live in luxury there!"

"He has a wife and three children--it's hard to separate, perhaps--"

"Pooh, pooh, sir!"

"Pooh, pooh!" echoed the bellies.

"And, I'll tell you what, sir," said the gentleman emphatically in
conclusion, "if you want to do good to society, you mustn't begin at the
fag end of it; leave the thieves to the jailers, and the poor to the
guardians. Repeal the corn-laws--give us free trade--universal
suffrage--and religious liberty; that's what we want. I don't ask you to
put a tax upon tallow--why do you want to put a tax upon corn? I don't
ask you to pay my minister--why do you want me to pay your parson? I
don't ask you--"

"Oh! don't let us hear all that over again, there's a good fellow," said
Treherne, imploringly. "Curse politics. Who is for whist? The tables are
ready."

The company rose to a man at the mention of whist, and took their places
at the tables. I did not plead again for poor Warton; but his wretched
apartment came often before my eyes in the glitter of the wax-lit room in
which I stood, surrounded by profusion. His unhappy but faithful wife--his
sleeping children--his own affecting expression of gratitude, occupied my
mind, and soothed it. What a blessed thing it is to minister to the
necessities of others! How happy I felt in the knowledge that they would
sleep peacefully and well that night! I had been for some time musing in a
corner of the room, when I was roused by the loud voice of the Liberal.

"Well, I tell you what, Treherne, I'll bet you five to one on the game."

"Done!" said Treherne.

"Crowns?" added the Liberal.

"Just as you like--go on--your play."

In a few minutes the game was settled. The Liberal lost his crowns, and
Treherne took them. Madmen both! Half of that sum would have given a
month's bread to the beggars. Did it enrich or serve the wealthy winner?
No. What was it these men craved? They could part with their money freely
when they chose. Was it excitement? And is none to be derived from
appeasing the hunger, and securing the heartfelt prayers of the naked and
the poor? I withdrew from the noisy party, and retired to my room,
determined to investigate the affairs of my new acquaintances at an early
hour in the morning, and effectually to help them if I could.



CHAPTER THE SECOND.


Mr Treherne readily acquiesced in my wish to delay the execution of our
business for another day, when I made the proposition to him on our
meeting the following morning at his breakfast table. He seemed so
thoroughly engrossed in his own affairs, so overwhelmed with his peculiar
labours, that he was, I believe, grateful to me for the reprieve. For my
own part, I had engaged to afford myself a week's recreation, and I had no
wish to revisit London until the last moment of my holiday had been
accomplished. It is little pastime that the employments of the present day
enable a man to take, who would fain retain his position, and not be
elbowed out of it by the ninety and nine unprovided gentlemen who are
waiting for a scramble. The race of life has grown intense--the runners
are on each other's heels. Woe be to him who rests, or stays to tie his
shoe-string! Our repast concluded, and Mr Treherne, again taking leave of
me until dinner-time, I set out at once for the attic of my unhappy
bread-stealer. What was the object of my visit? I had given him a
sovereign. What did I intend further to do for him? I had, in truth, no
clear conception of my purpose. The man was ill, friendless, without
employment, and had "_the incumbrances_," wife and children, as the sick
and unemployed invariably do have; but although these facts, coming
before a man, presented a fair claim upon his purse (if he chanced to
have one) to the extent of that purse's ability, yet the demand closed
legitimately here, and the hand of charity being neither grudgingly nor
ostentatiously proffered, the conscience of the donor and the heart of
the receiver had no reason whatever to complain. Still my conscience was
not at ease, and it _did_ complain whenever I hesitated and argued the
propriety of engaging any further in the business of a man whom I had
known only a few hours, and whose acquaintance had been made, certainly,
not under the most favourable circumstances. It is a good thing to obey
an instinct, if it be stimulated toward that which is honourable or good
for man to do; yes, though cold deliberation will not give it sanction.
It was an urging of this kind that led me on. Convinced that I had done
enough for this unhappy man, I was provoked, importuned to believe that I
ought to do still more. "It may be"--the words forced their way into my
ears--"that the interest which has been excited in me for this family, is
not the result of a mere accident. Providence may have led me to their
rescue, and confided their future welfare to my conduct. _He_ is an
outcast--isolated amongst men--may be a worthy and deserving creature,
crushed and kept down by his misfortunes. Is a trifling exertion enough
to raise him, and shall I not give it to him?" Then passed before my eyes
visions, the possibility of realizing which, made me blush with shame for
a moment's indecision or delay. First, I pictured myself applying to my
friend Pennyfeather, who lives in that dark court near the Bank of
England, and sleeps in Paradise at his charming villa in Kent, and
gaining through his powerful interest a situation--say of eighty pounds
per annum--for the father of the family; then visiting that incomparable
and gentle lady, Mrs Pennyfeather, whose woman's heart opens to a tale of
sorrow, as flowers turn their beauty to the sun, and obtaining a firm
promise touching the needle-work for Mrs Warton. And then the scene
changed altogether, and I was walking in the gayest spirits, whistling
and singing through Camden town on my way to their snug lodgings in the
vale of Hampstead heath--and the time is twilight. And first I meet the
children, neatly dressed, clean, and wholesome looking, jumping and
leaping about the heather at no particular sport, but in the very joy and
healthiness of their young blood--and they catch sight of me, and rush to
greet me, one and all. They lead me to their mother. How beautiful she
has become in the subsidence of mental tumult, in quiet, grateful labour,
and, more than all, in the sunlight of her husband's gradual restoration!
She is busy with her needle, and her chair is at the window, so that she
may watch the youngsters even whilst she works; and near her is the
table, already covered with a snow-white cloth, and ready for "dear
Warton" when he comes home, an hour hence, to supper. "Well, you are
happy, Mrs Warton, now, I think," say I. "Yes, thanks to you, kind sir,"
is the reply. "We owe it all to you;" and the children, as if they
understand my claim upon their love, hang about my chair;--one at my
knee, looking in my face; another with my hand, pressing it, with all his
little might, in his; a third inactive, but ready to urge me to prolong
my stay, as soon as I should think of quitting them. What a glow of
comfort and self-respect passed through my system, as the picture, bright
with life and colour, fixed itself upon my brain, stepping, as I was,
into the unwholesome lane, and shrinking from the foetid atmosphere. I
could hesitate no longer. I began to make my plans as I trudged up the
filthy stairs. The measured tones of a voice, engaged apparently with a
book, made me stop short at the attic floor. I recognised the sound, and
caught the words. The mendicants were at their prayers. "The benevolent
stranger" was not forgotten in the supplication, nor was he unmoved as be
listened in secret to the fervent accents of his fellow man. Whilst I
have no pretension to the character of a saint, I am free to confess,
that amongst the fairest things of earth few look so sublime as piety,
steadfast and serene, amidst the cloud and tempest of calamity. Was it so
here? I had yet to learn. A striking improvement had taken place in the
aspect of the room since the preceding evening. The straw was gone. Its
place had been supplied by the gift of the anonymous benefactor, of whom,
by the way, nothing was known, or had since been heard. The beds were
already removed to an angle of the apartment--the pieces of carpet were
converted into a rug for the fire place, and a chair or two were ready
for visitors. Warton himself looked a hundred per cent better--his wife
was all smiles, when she could refrain from tears; and the children had
been too much astonished by their sumptuous fare, to be any thing but
satiated, contented, happy. My vision was already half realized. When I
had submitted for an inconvenient space of time to their reiterated
thanks and protestations, I put an end to further expressions of
gratitude, by informing them that my stay in the city was limited--that I
had no time for any thing but business, and that we must have as few
_words_ as possible. I wished to know in what way I could effectually
serve them.

"You said, sir, yesterday," replied Warton, "that you would take no steps
in our favour, until you had satisfied yourself that we, at least,
deserved your bounty. Had you not said it, I should not have been happy
until I had afforded you all the satisfaction in my power. Heaven knows I
owe it to you! It is to you, sir--"

"Come, my good fellow, remember what I told you. No protestations. Let us
come to the point."

"Thank you, sir--I will. Are you acquainted with London?"

"Tolerably well. What then?"

"You may have heard, sir, of a merchant there of the name of ----"

"Ay have I. One of our first men. Do you know him? Will he give you a
character?"

"He is my uncle, sir--my mother's brother. Apply to him, and he will tell
you I am a plunderer and a villain."

I looked at Mr Warton, somewhat startled by his frank communication, and
waited to hear more.

"It is false--it is false!" continued the speaker emphatically. "I cannot
melt a rock. I cannot penetrate a heart of stone. If I could do so, he
would be otherwise."

"You surprise me!" I exclaimed.

"That I live, sir, is a miracle to myself. That I have not been destroyed
by the misery which I have borne, is marvellous. A giant's strength must
yield before oppression heaped upon oppression. But there, sir"--he added,
pointing to his wife, and struggling for composure--"there has been my
stay, my hope, my incitement; but for her--God bless her"--The wife
motioned him to be silent, and he paused.

"This excitement is too much for him, is it not?" I asked. "Come, Mr
Warton, you are still weak and unwell. I will not distress you now."

"I ask your pardon, sir. Three years' illness, annoyance, irritation,
poverty, have made me what you see me. It has not been so always. I was
vigorous and manly until the flesh gave way, and refused to bear me longer
up. But I will be calm. It is very strange, sir, but even now one look
from her subdues me, and restores me to myself."

"You have received a good education--have you not, Mr Warton?"

"Will you spare an hour, sir, to listen to my history?"

"I should be glad to hear it," I replied, "but it will be as well to wait,
perhaps--"

I looked enquiringly at his wife.

"No, sir," resumed the man, "I am tranquil now. It is a hard task, but I
have strength for it. You shall know every thing. Before you do a second
act of charity, you shall hear of the trials of those whom you have saved
already. You shall be satisfied."

"Well, be it so," I answered. "Proceed, and I will listen patiently."

Warton glanced at his wife, who rose immediately and quitted the room with
her three children. The latter were evidently staggered by the sudden
change in their circumstances, and they stared full in my face until the
latest moment. Being left alone with my new acquaintance, I felt, for a
short time, somewhat ill at ease; but when the poor fellow commenced his
history, my attention was excited, and I soon became wholly engrossed in
his recital, which proved far more strange and striking than I had any
reason to expect.

Mr Warton, as well as I can remember, spoke to me as follows:--

"Knowing what you do, sir," he began, "you will smile, and hardly believe
me, when I tell you that the sin of _Pride_ has been my ruin. Yes,
criminal as I was yesterday--beggar as I am to-day--surrounded by every
sign and evidence of want, I confess it to my shame--Pride, has helped to
bring me where I am--Pride, not resulting from the consciousness of blood,
or the possession of dignities and wealth--but pride, founded upon
nothing. I am one of three children. I had two sisters--both are dead. My
father was a workhouse boy, and his parentage was unknown. I told you that
I had little reason to build a self-esteem upon my family descent; yet
there was a period in my life when I would have given all I had in the
world for an honourable pedigree--to know that I had bounding in my veins
a portion of the blood that ages since had fallen to secure a nation's
liberties, or in any way had served to perpetuate its fame. Wealth, simple
wealth, I always regarded with disdain. I revered the well-born. My father
was apprenticed from the workhouse to a maker of watch-springs, living in
Clerkenwell; but after remaining with his master a few months, during
which time he was treated with great severity, he ran away. He obtained a
situation in the establishment of a silk-merchant in the city, and began
life on his own account as helper to the porter of the house. My father,
sir--we may speak well of the departed--had great abilities. He was a
wonderful man--not so much on account of what he accomplished, (and, in
his station, this was not a little,) as for what he proved himself to be,
under every disadvantage that could retard a man struggling through the
world, even from his infancy. His perseverance was remarkable, and he had
a depth of feeling which no ill treatment or vicissitude could diminish.
He must have risen amongst men; for mind is buoyant, and leaps above the
grosser element. He had resolved, in his first situation, to do his duty
strictly, rather to overdo than to fall short of it, and to make himself,
if possible, essential to his employers. He saw, likewise, the advantage
of respectful behaviour, and cheerfulness of temper. Whatever he did, he
did with a good grace, and with a willingness to oblige, that secured for
him the regard of those he served. He was not long in discovering, that it
was impossible for him to advance far with his present amount of
attainment, however sanguine he might be, and resolute in purpose. The
porter's boy might lead in time to the office of porter; but there was no
material rise from this, and the emolument was, at the best, sufficient
only for the necessities of life. He learned that the head of the firm
himself had been originally a servant in the establishment, and had been
promoted gradually from the desk, on account of his industry,
trustworthiness, and skill in figures. Now, honest and industrious my
father knew himself to be, but of skill in figures he had none. He
determined at once to make himself a good accountant, and every leisure
hour was employed thenceforward with that object. At the same time he was
diligent in improving his handwriting, in storing his mind with useful
information, and in preparing himself for any vacancy which might occur at
the desk, when his age would justify him in offering himself to fill it.
He had held his situation for three years, when an accident happened that
materially helped him on. A fire broke out in his master's warehouse. The
gentleman was from home, and nobody was on the premises at the time but
the porter and himself, who lived and slept in the house. It was in the
middle of the night. A fierce wind set in when the flames were at their
highest, and, before morning, the place was a heap of ruins. In the first
alarm, my father remembered that, in the counting-house, a tin box had
been left by his master, which previously had always been carefully locked
away in the iron chest. He was sure that it contained papers of great
value, and that its loss would be severely felt. He determined to secure
it, or, at the least, to make every endeavour. He succeeded, and gained
the treasure almost at the expense of life. He was not mistaken in his
supposition. In the box were deposited documents of the highest importance
to his master; and the latter, delighted with the boy's acuteness, and
grateful for the service, was eager to remunerate him. My father made
known his wishes, and his acquaintance with accounts, and in less than six
months as soon, indeed, as the house was rebuilt--he had his foot on the
first step of the ladder, and took his place amongst the clerks in the
counting-house. Ah, sir! there is nothing like perseverance. My father
knew his powers, and was the man to exert them. He worked at the desk from
morning till night. He gave his heart to his business, and no time was his
which could be given to that. What was the consequence? His less energetic
brethren envied and hated him, but his employer esteemed and valued him.
And he ascended rapidly. It is said that circumstances make the man. I
doubt the truth of this. The highest order of minds controls them, moulds
them to his purposes, and makes them what he will. Time and opportunity
are the crutches of the timid and the helpless. In the course of a few
years, my father became the youngest partner in the firm--the youngest,
but the most active and the most useful. He began to accumulate. He
remained in this position until he reached his thirtieth year, when he
looked abroad for a companion and a home. He proposed as a suitor to the
daughter of his senior partner--a vain and foolish, although a wealthy
man, who had made great plans for his child, and looked for an alliance
with nobility. She, a proud and handsome girl, scorned the approaches of
the silk-merchant, and wondered at his boldness. One word, sir, of her,
before I follow my father in his career. Oh, the vicissitudes of life--the
changes--the sudden rise--the violent fall of men! Well may the player
say, 'The spirits of the wise sit in the clouds and mock us.' They do,
they do, what a spectacle for gods is man! The woman, sir this arrogant,
this supercilious damsel, cradled in gold and satin, and bred in the
glossy lap of luxury--died--rotted on a dunghill. Her father gained his
nobleman--she, a paramour. She eloped with a marquis, who deserted her.
She returned to her home, and found it shut against her. She who had
feasted upon the choice morsels of abundance, must, like me, commit crime
for a loaf of bread. She is carried abroad by a new protector, and
strangers bear her to a pauper's grave. This was her fate, sir. But to
return. In consequence of the refusal, a coolness arose between the
partners. An angry word or two took place--a taunt--something too galling
for my father's pride was spoken, and there was a separation. My father
then commenced business on his own foundation--it is hardly necessary for
me to say with success. He could not but prosper. To fail whilst reason
was left him was impossibility. He soon married. His wife--my mother--was
the daughter of a rich merchant. You know the name, sir. Her brother, my
uncle, bears the same. I told it you just now. There could not have been a
more unfortunate union. My father was full of feeling and noble impulses,
intelligent, active, passionate, and required, if not his own qualities in
a partner, at least a milder reflex of himself--a woman that could
appreciate his nature, encourage, help, support him; a woman, in a word,
with a heart and mind, and both devoted. My mother, unfortunately for her,
for all, had no sympathy for her husband--had nothing to offer him but the
portion which she brought, and the hand which her father bade her give.
She was a cold--must I say it?--unfeeling woman, with little thought
beyond herself, her apparel, and her pleasures. I hope, sir, I shall make
you understand me. It is hard to speak disparagingly of her who gave me
life. Let me be careful that I do her justice. _I_ bring against her no
charge of vice. I believe her _not_ vicious. I ever considered her too
weak to be so. I would have you imagine a woman apathetic and
characterless; her mental powers just equal to providing her with a
becoming garment; her feelings capable, perhaps, of their full expansion
if a stranger moved them with some hollow compliment upon her good taste,
or, easier still, her beauty--for she was not without this dangerous
gift--a lovely image, sir. I have myself, as a boy, often seen a radiance
upon her countenance at such a season, when the pretty gambols of my
infant sister has failed to draw one smile of approbation. The little
sensibility she had waited on a paltry vanity. I may say with truth, that
her children caused her no pain. By a fortunate physical constitution, she
bore the burden of a mother without the pangs that usually attend a
mother's state. In this respect she was considered a remarkable woman by
those who deemed their judgement in such matters sound. Once in the world,
her care was at an end. I have heard, sir--I have read of mother's love. I
can feel what it should be; I can guess what wonders it may work in the
wayward spirit of man; for I longed and yearned for it, but it never came.
My elder sister died when a child of two years. My father was then in the
zenith of his prosperity, and was absorbed in his affairs; yet this
loss--this heavy blow--came upon him like a thunderstroke. Many things
occupied his time, but this alone his mind. Deep sighs would escape him
in the active prosecution of his business, and his cheeks were suffused
with tears as he sped along the city's streets, sacred only to gain and
worldly commerce. He doated on his girls, and to lose one was to lose
half the joy of his existence. The effect of this calamity was otherwise
on my mother; and I revert to the difference in order to make clear to
you their respective natures. My mother wept at the death of her
child--she would not else have been a woman; but as I have seen weak
watery clouds pass across the moon's surface, leaving the planet
untouched and tranquil in their transit, so the thin veil of her sorrows
did not disturb the palpable unconcern--the neutrality of soul that were
behind. One easy flow of tears, and the claim of the departed was
satisfied. In a day, the privation had ceased to be one. Here then, sir,
are the seeds of a wilderness of after woe: my father, overflowing with
affection, and craving, as it were, for sympathy, turning to my mother,
and finding there a blank--nothing to rest upon. 'What is fortune,' says
the poet, 'to a heart yearning for affection, and finding it not? Is it
not as a triumphal crown to the brows of one parched with fever, and
asking for one fresh, healthful draught--_the cup of cold water_?' So it
was here, and hence husband and wife became soon estranged from one
another. The former, busy from hour to hour in his counting-house, had
little time to spare upon his children; the latter, with all her time at
her disposal, took no delight in the task. My sister and I, in our
infancy, were made over to strangers; and from the hands of the nurse we
were transmitted to those of the schoolmistress. When I was old enough, I
was removed from my sister's school, and placed, with a select number of
young gentlemen, under the care of a highly respectable master. It was
here that my pride began to take root. One of my schoolfellows was the
son of a general, another the son of a large landed proprietor, a third
was heir to a peerage, a fourth traced his ancestors to a period when the
soil was yet untrodden by a Norman foot. I was chagrined at my
position--irritated--humbled, but the boys, especially those to whom I
have alluded, behaved towards me with extreme kindness, and whilst I felt
humbled, I did not envy them, because I loved them. I had one advantage,
I was the son of a rich _merchant_, as he was called in the school,
although _I_ knew that title to be one of courtesy only, and I was
ashamed of the little superiority which that advantage gave me. What
cause for pride can there be in the possession of so much dross? You will
smile, sir, when I tell you of the resolution which fixed itself in the
mind of a boy scarcely in his teens. My playfellows were respected on
account of the considerations which I have named. Why should I not be
respected? I vowed that I would become so. And how? For what? For nothing
less, sir, than _myself_; for my own high principle and integrity of
conduct. It is true, sir. There were the sons of a noble ancestry about
me who would condescend to tell a falsehood, the nephew of an officer who
was mean enough to borrow money and not repay it. There were many whose
notions of honour were lax and unbecoming. Had I entertained them, they
must have been fatal to me. Discarding them for ever, and speaking and
acting on all occasions, of trifling or of serious moment, with the most
jealous regard to truth and honesty, I relied upon securing for myself
what my predecessors had failed to leave me--the respect of my
fellow-men, and a good and honourable name. It seems a noble resolution.
I repent it to this hour. It is true that I rose rapidly in the
estimation of my master, and that I was regarded even with deference, as
I grew up, by boys of my own age, and of better standing; but it is no
less true, that, from the moment my determination was made, I became
morbidly anxious for the good opinion of men, painfully alive to
ridicule, and as fearful of the breath of slander or reproach as though
it came loaded with the plagues of Egypt. With such an idiosyncrasy, what
becomes of happiness on earth? But I tire you, sir."

"Go on, I beg of you," I answered, deeply interested in the narrative, and
no less surprised at the language and manner of the speaker, both of which
convinced me that he was a man of genius and of education. The whole thing
was a mystery, and I was impatient for the solution and the end. "Do not
fatigue yourself," I continued. "For my own part I listen with the
greatest interest."

"I remember, sir," proceeded Mr Warton, "as if it were yesterday, my first
return home. It was for the midsummer holidays, and gay enough were my
spirits then. All was sunshine and hope. I had not seen my parents for two
years. It seemed as if twenty had passed over my father's head since our
leave-taking. His hair had become blanched, and a settled frown had grown
upon his brow. His forehead was full of lines and wrinkles; his lips were
constantly pressed together; anger was the predominant expression of his
face. The openness of countenance which had so well become him, and which
inspired me even as a child with loving confidence, was chased away, and
disappointment and vexation had seated themselves in its place. He relaxed
for a moment when he saw me, and pressed me, even then, passionately to
his arms; but the clouds soon gathered again, and asserted their right of
possession. I, boylike and apprehensive, concluded that his affairs were
in a disordered state. I had but one thought at the time. I prayed that
misfortune, and not _dishonesty_, might appear to the world as the
occasion of his difficulties. My mother looked younger than ever. She was
dressed with much care, and there was a bloom upon her cheek that would
have adorned a country maiden. Not a line, not a shadow of a line, was
visible on her soft skin--not a tooth had departed from the ivory and
well-formed set. She had retained all that was valueless, and had lost
entirely and irreparably the priceless treasure of her husband's love. At
supper-time, on the very first evening of my arrival, I was made
thoroughly aware of the fearful change which, in so short a time, had come
over the spirit of our home. Joy, I knew, had long since fled from it--now
peace had been startled, and there was discord, nothing but discord, at
the hearth. My father drew his chair to the table, in the sullen and angry
temper which I have told you was visible on his countenance at our
meeting. It seemed at first as though he had received offence elsewhere,
and was resolved to remain discomforted. I could not understand it, but I
was awed by his frown, and sat in terror. In a few minutes, the flame
burst forth. My father required a silver spoon. There was one within arm's
reach of him. 'But why was it not _before_ him?' He repeated the question
again and again, until he forced an answer, which gave him no
satisfaction, but provoked fresh rage. Then came insipid remonstrances
from my mother, foolish argument--passionless, but not on that account
less irritating, allusions to the past. There was little incitement
required, and a word from her lips scarcely worth noticing was sufficient
to maintain a quarrel for an hour. To a stranger, the scene would have
been lamentable; to me, their child, it was sad and sickening indeed. I
have no terms to express to you the fierceness of my father's anger. By
degrees, he lost all mastery over himself; he used the most opprobrious
epithets, and, but for me, he would have struck her. For three hours this
state of things continued, and at midnight they withdrew, to retire to
separate beds, and separate rooms.

"'And all this,' said my mother as she closed her door--'all this for the
sake of a paltry spoon!' Ah! poor woman, could she but have understood how
guiltless of offence was that said spoon, she would have learnt the secret
of her troubles; but we are not all physicians, sir, and we do not trouble
ourselves concerning the _seat_ of our complaint, whilst its effects are
killing us with pain. It was evident that every spark of affection was
extinguished in my father's breast, that his disposition was soured, and
that, cause or no cause, misery must be our daily bread. I could not sleep
that night, and I rose from my bed in the morning, determined to speak
boldly to my father on what had taken place. I loved him--child never
loved parent better--and I knew I could speak respectfully--
affectionately--yes, and solemnly to him; for, God bless him--he was proud
of me, and he listened with regard to my words--on account of my little
education, already so superior to his own. I was better able to
remonstrate with him, because I had taken no part in the contest which I
had witnessed, further than placing myself between them when _his_ rage
seemed to have robbed him of reason.

"I stepped into his bed-room before he quitted it.

"Father"--said I.

"'What? Edgar,' he replied kindly, 'what can I do for you?'

"I had arranged in my mind the words which I proposed to utter, but they
vanished suddenly, and I could do nothing but weep.

"My father, sir, was the strangest of men. Indeed, since his alienation
from his wife, the most unaccountable. Rude and violent as he could be to
her--he was the tenderest, the most anxious of fathers. He turned pale as
death when he saw me in tears, and entreated me to tell him what I
suffered. I gained confidence from his anxiety, and spoke.

"'Father,' I said, 'you must not be angry with me for speaking boldly.
Poor mother! you will kill her--you do not treat her well. I am sure
nothing could justify all you said and did last night. You called her
cruel names. It is not right. I am certain it is not.'

"'Edgar,' said my father, frowning as he went on, 'be silent. You are a
child, and I love you. I will do any thing for your happiness. I forbid
you to speak to me of your mother.'

"'But if you love me,' I answered quickly, 'you ought to love my mother,
too. Oh! do, dear father--do be kind and loving to her.'

"'Edgar,' exclaimed my parent passionately, 'you are very young now--you
will be older if you live, and then I can speak to you as a friend. You
cannot understand me now. She has broken your father's heart--she has
rendered me the most miserable of men. I would I could speak to you, dear
Edgar but this tongue will perhaps be cold and immovable before you can
understand the tale. I am wretched, wretched, indeed!'

"My father was overcome. He could not himself refrain from tears. I felt
deeply for him, and would have given any thing to hear this secret cause
of grief. But his expressions kept me silent; and I clasped his hands in
pity.

"'Edgar,' he continued in a loud voice, and speaking through his tears,
'listen to my words. They are sacred. Receive them as you would my dying
syllables. You may be distant when the blow falls which divides us. Edgar,
I implore you, when you become a man, to let one consideration only guide
you in your selection of a partner. Mark me--only one--see that she has a
heart--a _virtuous_ heart--and that it be yours entire. Despise wealth--
beauty--family--look to nothing but that. Would to Heaven that I had!--
Edgar--your happiness--your salvation, every thing, depends upon it. I
have lost all--I am crushed and ruined; but do you, dear child, learn
wisdom from your father's wreck.'

"He said no more. I could not answer him, for my heart was choked. In a
few minutes he bade me, in a quiet tone, retire to the breakfast room; and
shortly afterwards he made his own appearance there, looking as moodily
and cross when he beheld my mother, as when he had encountered her at
supper on the night before.

"Now, sir, I am ashamed to confess to you--but I have asked you to hear my
history--and you shall hear the truth in the teeth of shame--that all my
sympathy was, from this hour, towards my father, and against my mother. It
may be wrong--wicked--but I could not control the strong feeling within
me. His words had left a powerful impression upon my mind. His tone, his
tears--his man's tears--stamped those words with truth, and I believed him
wronged. In what way I knew not--nor did I care. It was sufficient for me
to hear it, as I did, from his lips, and to be told that it was not
possible to reveal more. Besides, sir, I have already intimated to you
that there was little tenderness in my mother's heart for me. She was
cold, indifferent, and had never had part in all my little joys and
griefs. My father, even with his heavy fault--a fault almost pardoned, as
I believed; by the provocation--watched my boyish steps, and rejoiced with
me in my well-doing. Nothing had interest for me which was not important
to him. He encouraged me in learning. He grudged no money that could be
spent in my improvement--he had no joy so great as that which waited on my
desire for knowledge. He had been to me a playmate, counsellor, friend,
whenever his slender opportunities permitted him to escape to me; and
evidences of the most devoted affection had disturbed my youthful heart
with an emotion too deep for utterance in the silence and solitude of my
schoolboy hours. Yes--right or wrong--by necessity--my sympathy was all
for him. And to convince you, sir, that my feelings were enlisted in his
cause, irrespectively of self, without the most distant view to my own
interest, I have but to refer to the life which I passed under his roof,
until I left it, to return, for a second time, to the enjoyments and
consolations--as they were always--of my school. Although his affection
for me was unbounded, it was not long before I perceived, with bitterness
and trouble, that it was impossible for him to save me from the fury of a
temper which he had no longer power to govern. I could read, or I believed
I could, his inmost soul, and I could see the hourly struggle for
forbearance and self-control. It was in vain. If his passion obtained the
rein for an instant--it was wild--away--beyond his reach--and he thought
not, in the paroxysm, of the sufferer, whose smile he would not have
ruffled in the season of sobriety and quiet. I did not fail again and
again to remonstrate on behalf of my mother--for the scene which I have
described to you became an endless one; but perceiving at length that
representation added only fuel to the fire, I desisted. My lively habits
soon appeared to be unsuited to the new order of things. My father would
once have smiled with enjoyment at some piece of boyish mischief which now
roused him to anger, and before excuse could be offered, or pardon
asked--the severest chastisement--I cannot tell how severe, was inflicted
on my flesh."

"Madman!" I exclaimed involuntarily, interrupting Warton in his narrative.

"Madman do you say, sir?" he answered quickly. "Yes, I have often thought
so--and to an extent, I grant you--if it be madness to have the reason
prostrate before passion. But it is profitless to define the malady. I
would have you dwell, sir, on the _cause_--_her_ fatal apathy--her
indifference--_I know not what besides_--which made him what he was. You
may imagine, sir, that my blood has boiled beneath the punishment--that I
have burned with indignation beneath the weight of it, undeserved and
cruel as it was. Oh, sir! God has visited me these many years with sore
affliction. I am a forlorn, disabled, cast-off creature--nothing lives
viler than the thing I have become; and yet in this dark hour I thank my
Maker with an overflowing grateful heart that He tied down my hands when
they have tingled in my agony to return the father's blow. I never did--I
never did."

The speaker grew more and more excited, and his voice at last failed him.
I rose, and retired to the window, but he proceeded whilst my face was
turned away. I know not why--but my own eyes smarted.

"Yes, sir, time after time the horrible desire to be avenged, and to give
back blow for blow, has possessed me; and, as if eternal torture were to
be the immediate penalty of the unnatural act, I have thrown my arms
behind me, clasped hand in hand, and held them tiger-like together, until
the fit was passed away. And then who could be more penitent, more
sorrowful, than he! Within an hour of perpetrating this barbarity, he has
met me with a look pleading for forgiveness, which I would have given him
had he offended me, oh much--much more. What could he say to his child?
What could his child allow him to utter? Nothing. I have kissed him; he
has taken me by the hand, we have walked abroad together; and he has
loaded me with gifts for the joy of our reconciliation."

Curious as I was to hear more, I deemed it expedient, for the present, to
close the history. The man seemed carried away by the subject, and his
cheeks were scorched with this burning flush which the unusual exertion of
mind and body had summoned up. He spoke vehemently--hurriedly--at the top
of his voice, and I knew not how far his agitation might carry him. I
again proposed to him to abstain from fatigue, and to leave his history
unfinished for the present. He paused for a few minutes, wiped the heavy
perspiration from his brow, and answered me in a calm and steady voice--

"I will transgress no more, sir. I have never spoken of these things
yet--and they come before my mind too vividly--they inflame and mislead
me. I ask your pardon. But let me finish now--the tale is soon told--I
cannot for a second time revert to it."

"Go on," I answered, yielding once more to his wish, and in the same
composed and quiet voice he _began_ again.

"The first watch which I called my own, was given to me on one of these
occasions. My father had requested me to execute some small commission. I
forgot to do it. In his eyes the fault for a moment assumed the form of
wilful disobedience. That moment was enough--he was roused--the paroxysm
prevailed--and I was beaten like a dog. An hour afterwards he was
persuaded that his child was not undutiful. His reason had returned to
him, and, with it a load of miserable remorse. He offered me, with a
tremulous hand, the bauble, which I accepted; and, as I took it, I saw a
weight of sorrow tumble from his unhappy breast. This was my father, sir.
A man who would have been the best of fathers--had he been permitted, as
his heart directed him, to be the tenderest of husbands. I could see in my
boyhood that blame attached to my mother--to what extent I did not know. I
lived in the hope of hearing at some future time. That time never came. I
remained at home two months, and then went back to school. I received a
letter from one of my father's clerks, who was an especial favourite of
mine. It must have been about a week after my departure. It told me that
my father had drooped since I quitted him. On the morning that I came
away, he left his business and locked himself in my bedroom. He was shut
up at least two hours there. Fifty different matters required his presence
in the counting-house, and at length my friend, the clerk, disturbed him.
When the door was opened he found his master, his eyes streaming with
tears, intent upon a little book in which he had seen me reading many days
before. Oh, it was like him, sir! Within a few days I received another
letter from the same hand. My father was dangerously ill, and I was
summoned home. I flew, and arrived to find him delirious. He had been
seized with inflammation the day before. The fire blazed in a system that
was ripe for it. The doctors were baffled. Mortification had already
begun. He did not recognize me, but he spoke of me in his delirium in
terms of endearment, whilst curses against my mother rolled from his
unconscious lips. Three hours after my arrival he was a corpse. And such a
corpse! They told me it was my father, and I believed them.

"Are _you_, sir, fatherless?" asked Warton suddenly.

I told him, and he continued. "You have felt then the lightning shock
that has altered the very face of nature. Earth, before and after that
event, is not the same. It never was to human being yet. It cannot be.
What a secret is learnt upon that day! How tottering and insecure have
become the things of life that seemed so firm and fixed! The penalty is
heavy which we pay for the privilege to be our own master. Oh, the
desolation of a fatherless home! My father died, having made no will. So
it was said at first--but in a few days there was another version. My
mother's brother--the uncle that I spoke of--then appeared upon the
stage, and was most active for his sister's interests. He had never been
a friend of my father's. They had not spoken for years. I did not know
why. I had never enquired--for the man was a stranger to me, and since my
birth he had not crossed our threshold. My father believed that his
relative had wronged him--of this I was sure--and I hated him therefore
when he appeared. When my father was buried, this man produced a will. I
was present when it was read--bodily present; but my heart and soul were
away with him in the grave--and with him, sir, in heaven, beyond it. They
told me at the conclusion of the ceremony, that my father had died worth
fifty thousand pounds--that he had left my mother the bulk of his
property--to my sister a fortune of ten thousand pounds, and to me the
sum of a hundred and fifty pounds per annum. But they might have talked
to stone. What cared my young and inexperienced, and still bleeding
heart, for particulars and sums? A crust without him was more than
enough. It was more than I could swallow now--and what was _wealth_ to
me? My uncle, I heard afterwards, watched me as the different items were
read over, and seemed pleased to observe upon my face no sign of
disappointment. That he was pleased, I am certain, for he spoke kindly to
me when all was over, and said that I was a good boy, and should be taken
care of. "-Taken care of-!"--and so I was--and so I am--for look about
you, sir, and observe the evidences of my uncle's love. The clerk, to
whom I have alluded, took an early opportunity to remind me of the nature
of my father's will--and to hint to me suspicions of foul play. I readily
believed him. It was not that I cared for the money. At that age I was
ignorant of its value, and my little portion seemed a mine of wealth. But
I wished to dislike my uncle, because he had given pain to my dear
father. I avoided his presence as much as I could, and I made him feel
that my aversion was hearty. We never became _friends_. We seldom
spoke--and never but when obliged. He was a coarse man then--I have not
seen him for many years--ungentlemanly and unfeeling in his deportment.
It would have been as easy for him to alter the framework of his body as
to have shown regard for the sensibilities of other men. He lived to
amass. He counts his tens of thousands now--they may have been scraped
together amidst the groans and shrieks of the distressed, but there they
are--he has them, and he is happy. I asked, and obtained from my mother,
permission to return to school. I remained there without visiting my home
again for three years. My mother did not once write to me, or come to see
me. I did not write to her. My expenses were paid from my income. My
father's business was still conducted by my mother with her assistants,
and she resided in the old house. Did I tell you that my uncle was the
appointed executor of my father's will, and my guardian? He managed my
affairs, and for the present I suffered him to do as he thought proper.
In the meanwhile my happiness at school was unbounded. My existence there
was sweet and tranquil, like the flow of a small secluded stream. I loved
my master. Ill-taught and self-neglected nearly till the time that I came
under his instruction, I believed that I owed all my education to him;
and whilst I thirsted for knowledge as the means of raising myself and my
own mind, he supplied me with the healthful sustenance, and helped me
forward with his precepts. I had neither taste nor application for the
severer studies. Science was too hard and real for the warm imagination
with which Providence had liberally endowed me. It was a scarecrow in the
garden of knowledge, and I looked at it with fear from the sunny heights
of poesy on which I basked and dreamed. History--fiction--the strains of
Fletcher, Shakspeare--the lore of former worlds--these had unspeakable
charms for me; and such information as they yielded, I imbibed greedily.
Admiration of the beautiful creations of mind leads rapidly in ardent
spirits to an emulative longing; and the desire to achieve--to a firm
belief of capability. The grateful glow of love within is mistaken for
the gift divine. I burned to follow in the steps of the immortal, and
already believed myself inspired. Hours and days I passed in
compositions, which have since helped to warm our poverty-stricken room;
for they had all one destination--the fire. I shall, however, never
consider the days ill-spent which were engaged in such pursuits. The
pleasure was intense--the advantage, if unseen and indirect, was not
insignificant. Whatever _tends_ to elevate and purify, is in itself good
and noble. We cannot withdraw ourselves from the selfishness of life, and
incline our souls to the wisdom of the speaking dead, and not advance--be
it but one step--heavenward. And in my own case--the intellectual
character was associated with all that is lofty in principle, and exalted
in conduct. _Sans peur et sans reproche_ was its fit motto. Falsehood and
dishonesty must not attach to it. In my own mind I pictured a moral
excellence which it was necessary to attain; and in my strivings for
intellectual fame, _that_, as the essential accompaniment, was never once
lost sight of. Pride still clung to me--and was fed throughout. I was
eighteen years of age, and I desired to enter the university. I fixed
upon Oxford, as holding out a better prospect of success than the sister
seat of learning. I enquired what sum of money was necessary for my
education there; and received for answer, that two hundred pounds a-year
might carry me comfortably through, but that, with some economy and
self-denial, a hundred and fifty might be sufficient. It is a curious
circumstance that the very post which brought this information, brought
likewise a letter from my uncle, offering, as my guardian, and at his own
expense, to send me to the university. I was indignant at the
proposition, and vowed, before his letter was half read, that I would
rather live upon a meal a-day, than owe my bread to one whom I regarded
as my father's foe. Does it not strike you, sir, as somewhat singular,
that my father should make this man executor, trustee, and guardian? Men
do not generally appoint their enemies to such offices. I wrote to my
uncle in reply, declined coldly but respectfully his offer, and told him
my intention. Here our correspondence ended, and six months afterwards my
name was on the boards of my college. I went up knowing no one, but
carrying from my friend, the schoolmaster, a letter of introduction to a
clergyman who had been his college friend, and who (now married and the
father of one child) earned his subsistence by taking pupils. I was
received by this poor but worthy man with extreme kindness. He read the
character which I had brought with me, and bade me make his house my
home. His hospitality was at first a great advantage to me. My slender
income compelled me to exercise rigid economy--and to avoid all company.
Although very poor, I have told you that I was already very proud. I
would not receive a favour which I could not pay back--I would not permit
the breath of slander to whisper a syllable against my name. There were
hours in which no book could be read with pleasure, which no study could
make light. Such were passed in delightful converse with my friend, and
thus I was spared even the temptation to walk astray. I need not tell you
that I had no tutor. It was a luxury I could not afford. I worked the
harder, and was all the happier for the victory I had gained--such I
deemed it--over my uncle. At the end of a twelve-month, I found my
expenses were even within my income. It was a sweet discovery. I had paid
my way. I did not owe a penny. I was respected, and no one knew my mode
of life, or the amount of income that I possessed. My friend, I said, had
one child. She was a daughter. During my first year's residence I had
never seen her. She was away in Dorsetshire nursing a cousin, who died at
length in her arms. She returned home at the commencement of my second
year, and I was introduced to her. She fell upon my solitary life like
the primrose that comes alone to enliven the dull earth--a simple flower
of loveliness and promise, graceful in herself--but to the gazer's eye
more beautiful, no other flower being present to provoke comparison. We
met often. She was an artless creature sir, and gave her love to me long,
long before she knew the price of such a gift. She doated on her father,
and it was a virtue that I understood. She was very fair to look at;
timid as the fawn--as guileless; a creature of poetry, sent to be a
dream, and to shed about her a beguiling unsubstantial brightness. All
things looked practicable and easy in the light in which she moved. The
difficulties of life were softened--its rewards and joys coloured and
enhanced. I thought of her as a wife, and the tone of my existence was
from the moment changed. If you could have seen her, sir--the angel of
that quiet house--gliding about, ministering happiness--her innocent
expression--her lovely form--her golden hair falling to her swelling
bosom--her truthfulness and cultivated mind--you would, like me, have
blessed the fortune which had brought her to your side, and revealed the
treasure to your youthful heart. I told her that I loved, and her tears
and maiden blushes made her own affection manifest. Her father spoke to
me, bade me reflect, take counsel, and be cautious. He gave at last no
opposition to our wishes--but requested that time might be allowed for
trial, and my settlement in life. And so it was agreed. I prosecuted my
studies more diligently than ever, and looked with impatience for the
hour when my profession (for I had gone to the university with a view to
the church) and my little income would justify me in offering to my
darling one a home. Did I now mourn over the inequality of my fortune?
Did I upbraid the dead--accuse the living? I did not, sir. Too pleased to
labour for the girl whom I had chosen--I rejoiced to owe my bread to my
exertion. She then, as now--for it was her--my Anna, sir--the wreck whom
you have seen--cruelly misused by poverty and grief--robbed of her beauty
and her strength--the miserable outline of her former self--she then,
even as now, was in all things actuated by the highest motives--a serious
and religious maid. She cheered me with her smiles--her perfect patience
and tranquil hope. It was to her a privilege to be united to a clergyman,
and to find her earthly joy combined with usefulness and good. In our
walks, I have painted the future which was never to be--the bliss we were
never to experience. I have spoken of the parsonage, and its little lawn
and many flowers--pictured myself at work--visiting the poor--comforting
the sick--herself my dear attendant at the cottage doors, with hosts of
little ones about her, whom she might call her children, and for whom she
might exercise more than a mother's care. She could not listen to such
promises, and not grow happier in her inexperience than reality could
ever render her; and yet sighs, sighs, ominous sighs, would from the
first escape her. Still for a twelvemonth our nook of earth was Paradise,
and sorrow, the universal lot, was banished from our door. The tales
which I had been accustomed to hear of the world's deceit and falsehood
seemed groundless and cruel--the inventions of envious disappointed
minds--whose ambition had betrayed them into hopes, too preposterous for
fulfilment Happiness was on earth--did I not find her in my daily
walk?--for such as were not loth to greet her with a lowly and contented
spirit. I had no present care. The days were prosperous. I obtained a
scholarship in my college at the end of the first year, which was worth
to me at least fifty pounds per annum. This, not requiring, I saved up. I
worked hard during the day--withdrew myself from all intercourse with
men, and every evening was rewarded with the smiles of her for whose dear
sake all labour was so easy. Oh, the tranquillity and ineffable bliss of
those distant bygone days! _Bygone_, did I say? No--they exist still.
Poverty--misery--persecution--such things pass away, and are in truth a
dream. The troubles of yesterday vanish with the sun that set upon
them--but those hours, deeply impressed upon the soul, have left their
mark indelible; the intense, unspeakable joy that filled them, lingers
yet, and brightens up one spot that stands alone, distinct in life. Cast
when I will one single glance there, and I behold the stationary sun
shine. I do so now. None feel so vigorous and well as they who are on the
eve of some prostrating sickness. Dreaming of security, and as I looked
about, perceiving from no side the probability or show of evil, I was in
truth entangled in a maze of peril. My summer's day was at an end. The
cloud had gathered--was overhead, and ready to burst and overwhelm me.
For one twelvemonth, as I have said, I felt the perfect enjoyment of
life, and was blest. At the end of that period I received a letter from
my uncle. It was full of tenderness and affection. The first few lines
were taken up with enquiries--and immediately afterwards there came a
proposition. It was to this effect. "My mother wished to retire from
business; it was still a lucrative one, and she offered it to me. She
undertook to leave in the firm a capital sufficiently large to carry it
on, and receiving a moderate interest only for this sum, she would
relinquish all other profit in favour of her son." I read the letter, and
had faith in its sincerity. _As_ I read it, a devil whispered delusively
into my ear, and the sounds were music there, until my ruin was
completed. I knew the business to be affluent and thriving. The income
derived from it enabled my mother to live luxuriously. _Half the sum
would afford every wished-for comfort to my Anna, and much less would
enable us at once to marry_. Here was the rock on which I went to
pieces--here was the giddy light that blinded me to all
considerations--here was the sophistry that made all other reasoning dull
and valueless. I did not stop to enquire what movement of feeling could
operate so generously upon my uncle. If an unfavourable suggestion forced
itself upon me, it was expelled at once; and persuasion of the purity of
his motives was too easy, where my wish was father to the thought. If I
remained at college, years might elapse before our union. _Now,
immediately_, if I accepted this unlooked-for offer--she was mine, and a
home, such as in other circumstances I could never hope to give her, was
ready for her reception! I could think of nothing else, but I beheld in
the unexpected good--the outstretched hand of Providence. Full of my
delight, I communicated the intelligence to Anna; but very different was
its effect on her. She read the letter, and looked at me as if she wished
to read the most hidden of my secret wishes.

"'What have you thought of doing, then?' she asked.

"'Accepting the proposal, Anna,' I replied, 'with your consent.'

"'Never with that,' she answered almost solemnly. 'My lips shall never bid
you turn from the course which you have chosen, and to which you have been
called. You do not require wealth--you have said so many times--and I am
sure it is not necessary for your happiness.'

"'I think not of myself, dear Anna,' I replied. 'I have more than enough
for my own wants. It is for your sake that I would accept their offer, and
become richer than we can ever be if I refuse it. Our marriage now depends
upon a hundred things--is distant at the best, and may never be. The
moment that I consent to this arrangement, you are mine for ever.'

"'Warton,' she said, more seriously than ever, 'I am yours. You have my
heart, and I have engaged to give you, when you ask it, this poor hand. In
any condition of life--I am yours. But I tell you that I never can
deliberately ask you to resign the hopes which we have cherished--with, as
we have believed, the approbation and the blessing of our God. Your line
of duty is, as I conceive it--marked. Whilst you proceed, steadily and
with a simple mind--come what may, your pillow will never be moistened
with tears of remorse. If affliction and trial come--they will come as the
chastening of your Father, who will give you strength to bear the load you
have not cast upon yourself. But once diverge from the straight and narrow
path, and who can see the end of difficulty and danger? You are unused to
business, you know nothing of its forms, its ways--you are not fit for it.
Your habits--your temperament are opposed to it, and you cannot enter the
field as you should--to prosper. Think not of me. I wish--my happiness,
and joy, and pride will be to see you a respected minister of God. I am
not impatient. If we do right, our reward will come at last. Let years
intervene, and my love for you will burn as steadily as now. Do not be
tempted--and do not let us think that good can result--if, for my sake,
you are unfaithful--_there_!' She pointed upwards as she spoke, and for a
moment the sinfulness of my wishes blazed before me--startled, and
silenced me. I resolved to decline my uncle's offer; yet a week elapsed,
and the letter was not written. But another came from _him_. It was one of
tender reproach for my long silence, and it requested an immediate answer
to the munificent proposal of my mother. If I refused it, a stranger would
be called upon to enjoy my rights, and the opportunity for realizing a
handsome fortune would never occur again. Such were its exciting terms,
and once more, perplexed by desire and doubt, I appealed to the purer
judgment of my Anna.

"She wept when she came to the close of the epistle, and had not a word to
say.

"'I distress you, Anna,' said I, 'by my indecision. Dry your tears, my
beloved; I will hesitate no longer.'

"'I know not what to do,' she faltered; 'if you should act upon my advice,
and afterwards repent, you would never forgive me. Yet, I believe from my
very soul that you should flee from this temptation. But do as you
will--as seems wisest and best--and trust not to a weak woman. Do what
reason and principle direct, and happen what will--I will be satisfied.
One thing occurs to me. Can you trust your uncle?"

I hesitated.

"'I ask,' she continued, 'because you have often spoken of him as if you
could not confidently. May he not have--I judge of him only from your
report--some motive for his present conduct which we cannot penetrate? It
is an unkind world, and the innocent and guileless are not safe from the
schemes and contrivances of the wicked. I speak at random, but I am filled
with alarm for you. You are safe now--but one step may be your ruin.'

"'You are right, Anna,' I replied; 'it is too great a venture, I cannot
trust this man. I will not leave the path of duty. I will refuse his offer
this very night.'

"And I did so. In her presence I wrote an answer to his letter, and
declined respectfully the brilliant prospect which he had placed before
me. The letter was dispatched--Anna was at peace, and my own mind was
satisfied.

"It was, however, not my fate to pass safely through this fiery ordeal.
Nothing but my destruction, final and entire, would satisfy my greedy
persecutor--and artfully enough did he at length encompass it. In a few
days, there arrived a third communication on the same subject, but from
another hand. My mother became the correspondent, and she conjured me by
my filial love and duty, not to disobey her. She desired to retire into
privacy. She was growing old and it was time to make arrangements for
another world. Her son, if he would, might enable her to carry out her
pious wish--or, by his obstinate refusal, hurry her with sorrow to the
grave. There was much more to this effect. Appeal upon appeal was made
_there_, where she knew me to be most vulnerable, and the choice of
action was not left me. To deny her longer--would be to stand convicted
of disobedience, undutifulness, and all unfilial faults. From this
period, I was lost. One word before I hurry to the end. I absolve my
mother from all participation in the crimes of which boldly I accuse my
uncle. She, poor helpless woman, was but his instrument, and believed,
when she urged me, that it was with a view to my advancement and lasting
benefit. I conveyed my mother's communication immediately to Anna. She
made no observation on its contents--bade me seek counsel of her father;
and with her eyes streaming with agonizing tears, left me to pray upon my
knees for counsel and direction from on high. Her father--I could not
blame him--a man who had struggled hardly for his bread as a clergyman
and a scholar--and seen more of the dark shadows than the light of
life--received my intelligence with unmingled satisfaction. He charged
me, as I loved his child, and valued her future welfare, to accept the
princely kindness of my friends--to see them instantly, and secure my
fortune whilst time and circumstances served. And then, as if to appease
his own qualms of conscience, and to justify his counsel, he reasoned
about the usefulness which, even to a pious mind, was permitted in the
exercise of trade. Infinite was the good that I might do. Yea, more,
perhaps, than if I persisted in my first design, and remained for ever a
poor clergyman; I might relieve the poor even to my heart's content. What
privilege so great as this! What suffering so acute as the desire to help
the sick and needy with no ability to do it! 'Be sure, young man, the
hand of Providence is here; it would be sinful to deny it.' O
_interest--interest!--self--self_!--words of magic and of power; they
rendered my poor friend blind as they did me. I listened to his advice
with eagerness and delight; and though I knew that to obey it was to cast
myself from security into turmoil and danger, I laboured to persuade
myself that he was right, and that hesitation was now criminal. Again I
saw my betrothed, and I approached her--innocent and truthful as she
was--with shame and self-abasement. I repeated her father's words, and
she shook her head sadly, but made no reply. What need was there of
reply? Had she not already spoken?

"'Let me, at least, dear Anna, go to London,' I said, 'and implore my
mother to retract this wish, unsay her words. I would rather give up the
world, than take it without your cheerful acquiescence. Your happiness is
every thing to me. You shall decide for me.'

"'No, Warton,' she replied--'you and my father must decide, and may Heaven
direct you both. Go to London--do as you wish. I am resigned. I am
presumptuous, and may be wrong. All will be for the best. Go! God bless
you and support you.'

"And I went, traitor and renegade that I was, prepared to surrender to the
bitterest foe that ever hunted victim down. Believe me not, sir, when I
say that any sense of filial duty actuated me in my resolve, that any
feeling influenced this unsteady heart but one--The desire to call my Anna
mine--the pride I felt in the consciousness of wealth--and of the power
to bestow it all on her.

"My reception in London was as favourable as I could wish it. My uncle was
an altered man--at least he appeared so. He met me with smiles and honied
words, and made such promises of friendship and protection, that I stood
before him convicted of uncharitableness and gross misconduct. I
reproached myself for the old prejudices, and for the malice which I had
always borne him, and attributed them all to boyish inexperience, and
stubbornness. I was older now, and could see with the eyes of a man. Not
only did I acquit him of all intention of wrong, but I could have fallen
on my knees before him, and asked his pardon for my own offences. I wrote
a long letter to Anna, and described in lively colours my own agreeable
surprise, desired her to be of good heart, and to rely upon my prudence. I
engaged to write daily, to announce the progress of my mission--and to
advise her of the proposed arrangements. This was my first communication.
Before she could receive a second, I had put my hand to paper, and signed
my death-warrant. I had irretrievably committed myself. I was living with
my uncle. His wine was of the best. He could drink freely of it, and get
cooler and more collected at each glass, but frequent draughts animated
and inflamed my younger head. He spoke to me with kindness, and I grew
confiding and loquacious. I told him of my engagement with Anna, described
her beauty, extolled her virtues. He seized the golden opportunity, and
reproved me gently for the little consideration which I exhibited for one
so worthy of my love. It was unpardonably selfish to hesitate one instant
longer. It was due to her, and to our future offspring, to make every
provision for their maintenance and comfort. It was madness to overlook
the advantages which my mother's offer gave. She herself, the lovely Anna,
as her cares increased, would mourn over the cruel obstinacy of him who
might have placed her beyond anxiety and apprehension, but who preferred
to keep her poor, dependent, joyless. She was young, and spoke, doubtless,
as she felt--but time would dissipate romance, and bitterly would she
regret that he who professed to love her had not taken pains to prove that
love more thoughtful and sincere. So he went on--and, in the height of his
appeal, a visitor was announced--Mr Gilbert, an old friend, an intimate,
who was immediately admitted. I was requested not to mind him, for he knew
every secret of my uncle's. The latter repeated my story, and ended with
an account of my ingratitude to Anna. Mr Gilbert could scarcely speak for
his astonishment. He shook his head severely, and vowed the case was quite
unparalleled. I drank on--the thought of the immediate possession of my
Anna flashed once powerfully and effectually across my brain, and I held
out no longer. I yielded to the sweet solicitation--and was lost.

"On the following morning, Mr Gilbert arrived to breakfast. The subject
was resumed. My uncle produced a paper, which he had hastily drawn up. It
should be signed by all. Mr Gilbert, as a friend, could witness it. It was
a rough draught, but would answer every purpose for the present. The
statement was very simple. My mother left in the firm twenty thousand
pounds in stock, and cash and book debts. For this I made myself
responsible, and undertook to pay an interest of five per cent. All
profits in the business were my own. Fool that I was, I signed the
document without reflection--gave, with one movement of the pen, my
liberty, my happiness, and life, into the power of one who had for years
resolved to get them in his clutch. My uncle followed with his
signature--then Mr Gilbert. To make all sure, however, a clerk of the
former was summoned to the room, and requested to act as second witness
to the deed.

"You are perfectly satisfied with the contents?' said Mr Gilbert to my
uncle, when the clerk had finished.

"'Quite so,' was the answer.

"'And you, sir?' he continued, turning then to me.

"'I answered, '_Yes_,' whilst a sickening shudder crept through my blood,
and the remonstrance of Anna sounded in my ears like a knell.

"I remained in London, and a week after this ceremony I entered upon my
duties at the counting-house. _At the earnest recommendation of my
uncle_, I carried into the business, as additional capital, the sum of
money from which I had hitherto derived my income. This amounted to
nearly four thousand pounds. It may seem strange to you, sir, as it does
to me now, that I should so readily have adopted the statement of my
uncle, and so deeply involved myself upon the strength of his simple
_ipse dixit_. It was a mad-man's act, and yet there were many excuses for
it at the time. I was but a boy--fresh from a life of retirement and
study--unused to the ways of men--unprepared for fraud. Satisfied of my
own integrity, I believed implicitly in the ingenuousness of others. I
had no friend to act for me--to investigate and warn--my heart was
burthened with its love, and all my thoughts were far away. The business
had prospered for years, and it was conducted externally as in the days
of my poor father. All was decorous and business-like, and the reputation
of the house was high and unblemished. There was nothing in the
appearance of things to excite suspicion--and not a breath was suggested
from my own too easy and confiding nature. The father of my betrothed!
was delighted at the step which I had taken. He wrote me an impassioned
letter, full of praise and brilliant prophecies, none of which he lived
to see fulfilled. His daughter, he assured me, would yet be grateful to
me for the firmness I had evinced, and that the blessing of Heaven must
attend conduct so estimable and wise. Anna herself wrote in another
strain. The act which she had so long dreaded was accomplished--it was
useless to look back--she could only hope and pray for the future. She
entreated me to be careful of my health, and to accustom myself gradually
to my new employment. It was a consolation to behold her father so very
happy, and to find me contented in my position. Nothing would give her
now such satisfaction, as to be convinced that she had been wrong
throughout, and that I had done well in giving up my former occupations.
A month passed quickly by. The engagements of the firm were met--and its
affairs were carried on as usual. No change took place. The only
difference was my presence, and the appearance of my name in all the
transactions of the house. I saw my mother frequently--but my uncle, by
degrees, withdrew. His own affairs required his constant attention, but
he provided me with help and countenance in the person of Mr Gilbert.
This gentleman, in addition to the character of a bosom friend, sustained
another--that of _legal adviser_ to my uncle! He visited me daily, and
helped me marvellously. He procured from my uncle my patrimony of four
thousand pounds--drew up in return for it a release, which I
executed--paid the money into my banker's hands--received my mother's
dividend--inspected the accounts--advised summary proceedings against
defaulters--and settled, at a certain rate, to purchase a few outstanding
debts, which it would cost some trouble and manoeuvring to get in. I
could not choose but act upon advice that was at once so very friendly
and professional. My inexperience, for a time, gratefully reposed in Mr
Gilbert. Exactly two months after I had entered the concern, I married.
Sun never rose more promisingly upon a wedding-day--a lovelier bride had
never graced it. I pass over the few intoxicating weeks during which life
assumes a form and hue which it never wore before--never puts forth
again. The novelty of my situation--the joy I had in her possession, and
in the knowledge that she was wholly mine--lived now and breathed for
me--the pride with which I gazed upon her blooming beauty, and communed
with her, as with a new-found better self--all combined to render one
brief season a sweet delirium--an ecstatic dream. It is time to wake from
it. I return to the business. I had agreed to pay my mother's dividend
every quarter--and, as I told you, Mr Gilbert received the money for her.
She did not live to enjoy it. A short illness removed her from a world
which had never been one of sorrow to her. Her heart was adamant, and
troubled waters passed over--did not enter and disturb it. All that she
had became my uncle's, and he was now my creditor. I beg you, sir, to
mark this. Twice had he inherited the property which should have been my
own. It was about a twelvemonth after the death of my mother, that small,
dark shadows appeared in the horizon, foretelling storm and tempest. At
first they gave me no uneasiness, but they increased and gathered, and
soon compelled me to take measures for the outbreak. I continued to
discharge my uncle's claim with undeviating regularity. Mr Gilbert
sharply saw to that; but a difficulty arose at length of meeting
punctually all the demands which came upon me in the way of business.
This was overcome in the beginning, by enforcing payment from customers
who had traded previously on a liberal credit. The evil thus temporarily
repaired gave rise, however, to a greater evil. Our friends withdrew
their favours, and offered them else where. This critical state of things
did not improve, but caused me daily fresh alarm. Money became more
scarce--the difficulty of meeting payments more imminent and harassing.
It was very strange. It had not been so in my father's time; nor later,
when my mother had the management of affairs. Was it my fault? What had I
done amiss. Frightful thoughts began to haunt my bosom, and my sleep was
broken, as a criminal's might be. One day I had a heavy sum to pay. It
was on the fourth of the month--a serious day to many--and, although I
had made every exertion to meet this payment, I found myself, on the very
morning, at least two hundred pounds deficient. I have told you, that the
credit of our house was without a spot. Its reputation stood high amongst
the highest. Slander had not dared to breathe one syllable against it. To
me was entrusted this precious jewel, and I was now upon the very brink
of losing it. I rose from my pillow before daylight, and endeavoured to
contrive a plan for my relief. Fear and excitement prevented all
deliberate thought, and I walked to the counting-house confounded--almost
delirious. I had taken no food. I could not break my fast until the
exigency had passed away. I was sitting in the little room, filled with
dismal apprehensions, when Mr Gilbert was announced, and suddenly
appeared. As suddenly I resolved to tell him of my necessity, and to ask
his aid or counsel. Blushing to the forehead, I confided my situation to
him, and asked what it was possible to do. He smiled in answer produced
his pocket-book, and gave me, without a word; a draft upon his banker for
the sum required. At that moment, sir, I felt what it was to be respited
after sentence of death--to be rescued from drowning--to awaken into life
from horrible and numbing dreams. I pressed the hand of my deliverer with
the most affectionate zeal, and assured him of my everlasting gratitude.

"'No occasion, my dear sir,' answered Mr Gilbert. 'This is a very common
case in business, and will happen to the best of men. Never hesitate to
ask me when you are in need. When I have the cash, you shall command me
always. Give me your IOU--that will be quite sufficient, and pay the money
back when it is quite convenient.' Disinterested, most praiseworthy man!
He left me, impressed with his benevolence, and with my spirit at rest.
With the dismissal of my incubus, my appetite was restored. I partook of a
hearty dinner, and returned home, happy as a boy again. At the end of a
week, I was enabled to repay my benefactor; but, at the end of a
fortnight; I was again in need of his assistance. Emboldened by his offer,
I did not hesitate to apply; as freely as before he responded to my call;
and I felt that I had gained a friend indeed. Men who have committed
heinous crimes, will tell you that it is the first divergence from the
point of rectitude that gives them pain and anguish. The false direction
once obtained, and the moral sense is blunted. So in matters of this kind.
There was no blushing or palpitation when I begged a third time for a
temporary loan. The occasion soon presented itself, and I asked
deliberately for the sum I wanted. Mr Gilbert likewise had grown familiar
with these demands; and familiarity, they say, does not heighten our
politeness and respect. He had not the money by him, but he might get it,
though, from a friend, he thought, if it were absolutely necessary. But
then a friend is not like one's self. He must be paid for what he did.
Well, for once in the way, I could afford it. I must borrow as cheaply, as
I could, and give my note of hand, &c. Sir, in less than three months; I
was in a mesh of difficulties, from which it was impossible to tear
myself. Bill after bill had I accepted and given to this Gilbert--pounds
upon pounds had he sucked from me in the way of interest; He grew greedier
every hour. If I hesitated; he spoke to me of exposure--I refused, he
threatened enforcement of his previous claims. And, what was worse than
all, notwithstanding the heavy sums which he advanced, and for which he
held securities, my affairs remained disordered, and the demand for money
increased with every new supply. I could not understand it. I had not
communicated with my uncle. I was afraid to do it; but I took care to pay
his dividend the instant it was due. Had I omitted it, Mr Gilbert would
have looked to me; for he was even more anxious than myself to keep my
affairs a secret from my uncle. It was not long before I got bewildered by
the accumulated anxieties of my position. My mind was paralyzed. My days
were wretched. Home had no delight for me; and neither there nor elsewhere
could I find repose. Before daybreak, I quitted my bed, and until
midnight, I was occupied in arranging for the engagements of the coming
day. Legitimate and profitable business was neglected; lost sight of, and
all my faculties were engrossed in the one great object of obtaining
_money_ to appease the present and the pressing importunity. In the midst
of my trouble, I was thrown, for the first time, upon a bed of sickness. I
was attacked with fever, but I rallied in a day or two, and was prepared
once more to cast myself into the vortex from which I saw no hope or
possibility of escape. It was the evening before the day on which I had
determined to resume the whirl of my sickening occupation. I was in bed,
and, tired with the thought that weighed upon my brain, had fallen into a
temporary sleep, from which I woke too soon, to find my wife, now about to
become a mother, weeping as if her heart were broken, at my side. Trouble,
sir, had soured my temper, and I had ceased to be as tender as she
deserved. I was base enough to speak unkindly to her.

"'You are discontented, Anna,' I exclaimed. You are not satisfied--you
repent now that you married me'--I see you do.'

"'Warton,' she exclaimed, 'if you love me, leave this cruel business. Let
us live upon a crust. I will work for you. I will submit to any thing to
see you calm and happy. This will kill you.'

"'It will, it must!' I cried out in misery. 'I cannot help it. What is to
be done?'

"'Retire from it--resign all--every thing--but save us both. This
agitation--this ceaseless wear and tear--must eventually, and soon,
destroy you. What, then, becomes of me?'

"'Show me, Anna, how I can do what you desire with honour. Show me the
way, and I will bless you. Oh, why did I not heed your words before! Why
did I suffer myself to be entrapped'--

"She stopped me in my exclamations.

"'You have promised, dear,' said she, 'never to look upon the past. You
acted for the best. So did we all. It is our consolation and support. But
the present is sad and mournful, and, I believe, it rests with ourselves
to secure our happiness for the future. Are you content to do it?'

"'Oh, can you ask me, Anna? Tell me how I may escape without
discredit--without shame and one dishonourable taint--and you take me
from the depths of my despair. I see no end to this career. I am fixed to
the stake, and I must burn.'

"'Listen to me, dearest. You shall write to your uncle without delay, and
explain to him your wishes. You shall tell him of your difficulties
frankly and unreservedly. Make known to him your state of health, and tell
him firmly that you are unequal to the burden which is laid upon you.
Should he insist upon a recompense for your loss, you have money of your
own there--yield it to him, and these hands shall never rest until they
have earned for you every shilling of it back again. Be tranquil,
resolute, cheerful, and all will yet be well, I trust--I feel it will.'

"I had once refused to act on her advice, and the consequences had been
dire enough. When compliance was too late, I implicitly obeyed her. The
letter was written, and an answer came as speedily as we could wish it. It
was a kind reply. My uncle was sorry for my illness, and was content to
take the business off my hands, if I was ready to resign it in the
condition that I had found it. And this, I thanked my God with tears of
joy, I was prepared to do. My personal expenses had been trifling. The
amount of business done was large--my the profits had not been withdrawn.
Although my sufferings had been great, and difficulties had met me which I
could neither prevent nor comprehend, still reason told me that the
property must have increased in value. It was with alacrity that I
engaged, at my uncle's particular request, an accountant to investigate
the proceedings of the house, and to pronounce upon its present state. The
result of the examination could not but be most satisfactory. It did not
occur to me at the time, that my uncle had deemed no accountant necessary
when he heaped upon me the responsibility which I had borne so ill. It
would have been but fair, methinks. A time was fixed for a meeting with my
uncle, and for producing the result of the enquiry. The accountant had
been closely engaged at his work for many days, and had brought it to an
end only on the evening preceding the day of our appointment. He submitted
his estimate to me, and you shall judge my horror when I perused it. There
were many sheets of paper, but in one line my misery was summed up. EIGHT
THOUSAND POUNDS _were deficient and unaccounted for_. Yes, and my own
small fortune had been included in the amount of capital. The accountant
had been careful and exact--there was not a flaw in his reckoning. The
glaring discrepancy stared me in the face, and pronounced my ruin. I knew
not what to think or do. In accents of the most earnest supplication, I
entreated the accountant to pass the night in reviewing his labours, and
to afford me, if possible, the means of rescuing my name from the obloquy
which, in a few hours, must attach to it. I offered him any sum of
money--all that he could ask--for his pains, and he promised to comply
with my request. The idea that I had been the victim of a trick, a fraud,
never glanced across my mind. No, when my wretchedness permitted me to
think at all, I suspected and accused no one but myself. I could imagine
and believe that, inadvertently, I had committed some great error when my
soul had been darkened by the daily and hourly anxieties which had
followed it so long. But how to discover it? How to make my innocence
apparent to the world? How to face my uncle? How to brave the taunts of
men? How, above all, to meet the huge demands which soon would press and
fall upon me? The tortures of hell cannot exceed in acuteness all that I
suffered that long and bitter night. The accountant was waiting for me in
the parlour when I left my bed. He had spent the night as I had wished
him but had not found one error in his calculations. I tore the papers
from his hands, and strained my eyes upon the pages to extract the lie
which existed there to damn me. It would not go--it could not be removed.
I was a doomed, lost man. Whatever might be the consequence, I resolved
to see my uncle, and to speak the truth. I relied upon the sympathy which
I believed inherent in the nature of man. I relied upon my own integrity,
and the serenity which conscious innocence should give. I met my uncle. I
shall never forget that interview. He received me in his private
house--in his drawing-room. We were alone. He sat at a table: his face
was somewhat pale, but he was cool and undisturbed--ah, how much more so
than his trembling sacrifice! I placed before him the condemning paper.
It was that only that he cared to see. He looked at once to the result,
and then, without a word, he turned his withering eye upon me.

"'I know it,' I cried out, not permitting him to speak. 'I know what you
would say. It is a mystery, and I cannot solve it. There is a fearful
error somewhere--but where I know not. I am as innocent--'

"'Innocent!' exclaimed my uncle, in a tone of bitterness, 'Well, go on,
sir.'

"'Yes, innocent,' I repeated. 'Time will prove it, and make the mystery
clear. My brain is now confused; but it cannot be that this gigantic error
can escape me when I am calm--composed. Grant me but time.'

"'I grant nothing,' said my uncle, fiercely. 'Plunderer! I show no mercy.
You would have shown me none--you would have left me in the lurch, and
laughed at me as you made merry with your stolen wealth. Mark me,
sir--restore it--labour till you have made it good, or I crush you--once,
and for ever.'

"I was rendered speechless by these words. I attempted to make answer; but
my tongue clove to the roof of my mouth--my throat grew dry and hot--my
brain was dizzy, and the room swam round me. I thought of the name which I
had been striving for years to build up--the honourable name which I had
gained--the height from which I was about to fall--the yawning gulf
below--a thousand painful thoughts rushed in one instant to my mind, and
overcame me. I should have fallen to the earth, had not my heart found in
my eyes a passage for its grief, and rendered me weaker than a child
before a creature who had never felt the luxury of one human tear. I wept
aloud and fearfully.

"'Guilt, guilt, palpable guilt!' exclaimed my uncle. 'None but the guilty
weep. You do not take me by surprise, young man. I was prepared for
this--I have but a word to say. Restore this money, or undertake to pay
it back to me--to the last farthing of my lawful claim. Do this, and I
forgive you, and forget your indiscretion. Refuse, and to-morrow you are
a bankrupt and a beggar. Leave me, and take time for your decision. Come
to me again this evening. If you fail--_you_ may expect a visit in the
morning.'

"This was said deliberately, but in a tone most expressive of sincerity. I
staggered from his presence, and hurried homeward. A sickening sensation
checked me as I approached my door. I could not enter it. I rushed away;
and in the open fields, where I could weep and rave unnoticed and alone, I
cursed my fate, and entreated heaven to smite me with its thunders. My
mind was tottering. Hours passed before I reached the house again, how,
when, or by what means I arrived there, I could not tell. The servant girl
who gave me admittance looked savagely upon me, as I thought. It was
sorrow, and not anger, that was written in her face; but how could I
discriminate? Her mistress was seriously ill. She had been alarmed by the
visit of a gentleman, who waited for me in the parlour, and by my
protracted absence; and her agitation had brought on the pangs of labour.
A physician was now with her. Who was this gentleman? I entered the room,
and there the fiend sate, white with irritation and gnawing
disappointment. I started back, but he advanced to me--held my papers to
my face, and pointed to one portion of them with a finger that was alive
with rage and agitation.

"'Is it true?' asked my uncle, gnashing his teeth. 'Answer me--yes or
no?--one word, is it true?'

"'It is a lie!' I answered, ignorant of his meaning, and half crazed with
the excitement. 'I am innocent--innocent--Heaven knows I am.'

"'Have you, or have you not given to Gilbert, for these heavy sums, a
power of attorney? Has he got it? Answer me in a word.'

"'He advanced me money,' I replied, 'and I gave him such documents as he
required.'

"'Enough!' said my uncle. 'You are a beggar!'--and without another word he
left me.

"For a week my wife remained in a dangerous condition. Threatened with the
loss of her, I did not leave her side. What was the business to me at such
a time?--what was reputation--what life? Life!--sir, I carried about with
me a potent poison, and I waited only for her latest breath to drink it
off, and join her in the grave. She rallied, however, and once more I
walked abroad--to find myself a bankrupt and a castaway. The very day that
my uncle quitted me, he called my creditors together--exposed the state of
my affairs--and accused me of the vilest practices. A docket was struck
against me. Every thing that I possessed was dragged away--even to the bed
on which my Anna had been cast, and which she so much needed now. Every
thing was gone; but the blow had fallen, and I was callous to the loss. In
the midst of the desolation I struggled to preserve one trifle from the
common wreck. Do not smile, sir, when I mention _my reputation_. Yes, I
felt that if it could be rescued all might be spared, and I might yet defy
and shame my persecutors. I appealed to the commissioner who had charge of
my estate. I proclaimed aloud, and in the face of men, my innocence. I
conjured him to subject me to the severest trial--to compel the closest
examination of my affairs--my books--and every individual connected with
the house. I demanded it for the sake of justice--for my own sake, and for
the sake of the poor creatures--I was a father now--whose fortunes were
linked with mine, whose bread depended upon the verdict which should be
pronounced against me. My passionate supplication was not in vain. The
affairs of our house were looked into--the business that had been done for
years was sifted--and clerks and men were subjected to every interrogatory
that could elucidate a fact. At the end of six months it was publicly
announced that an important error had been discovered--that the estimate
given to me was incorrect, _and by many thousand pounds greater than the
true value_.

"There had been a _mistake_! The bankrupt departed from the court without
a blemish on his character. He had been indiscreet in entering heedlessly
upon so large an undertaking, and must pay dearly for that in discretion.
He was strictly liable and bound to pay what he had acknowledged with his
hand to be a lawful debt. There was no help for him. The young man was
worthy of commiseration, and his creditors should show him mercy." This
was the verdict of the commissioner, spoken in the ears of one who was a
stranger to mercy, and who had vowed to show me _none_. Guilt, however,
attached to my good name no longer, and I smiled at his malignity. It was
too soon _to smile_. The secret of all my difficulty was now explained.
Trading upon a false capital, to an extravagant extent beyond the real
one--draining my exchequer of its resources to pay an ever-recurring
interest, whilst the principal was but a fiction in the estate, it was no
wonder that I became hemmed in by claims impossible to meet, and that the
services of Mr Gilbert were so soon in requisition. In giving to Mr
Gilbert a power over the firm, I acted according to my ideas of justice.
When I was impoverished, he furnished me with the means of keeping up the
credit of the house. But for him it must have fallen. I believed that I
was solvent. Why should I hesitate to make this man secure? But it is for
this preference, which rendered my uncle's dividend comparatively nothing,
that I have been followed through my life with rancour and malevolence
unparalleled. Mark me, sir; the _mistake_, as it was called--the vital
_error_--was a deliberate fraud committed by my uncle at the outset.

He had withdrawn this heavy sum of money at the beginning--he had resolved
to keep me for my life his servant and his slave--to feast upon the
dropping sweat of my exhausted mind--to convert my heart's blood into
gold, which was his god. He hated me for my conduct towards him in my
boyhood, which he had neither forgotten nor forgiven; and his detestation
gave zest to his hellish desire of accumulating wealth at any cost. Had I
applied to _him_, had I entered into new engagements with _him_, given to
_him_ the securities which, from a notion of right, I had presented to
Gilbert--had I made over to the fiend soul as well as body, I might still
have retained his friendship, still been permitted to labour and to toil
for his aggrandizement and ease. It was Gilbert himself who revealed to me
his patron's villany. It was time for the vultures to quarrel when they
could not both fatten on my prostrate carcass; but they were bound
together by the dark doings of years, and it was only by imperfect hints
and innuendoes that I was made aware of their treachery. If proofs existed
to convict my uncle, Gilbert could not afford to produce them. The price
was life, or something short of it; but I heard enough for satisfaction.
Although I was deprived of everything that I possessed, my mind recovered
its buoyancy, and my spirit, after the first shock, grew sanguine. I had
been proclaimed an innocent and injured man, and my beloved Anna was at my
side smiling and rejoicing. In our overthrow, she beheld only the dark
storm of morning, that sometimes ushers in the glorious noon and golden
sunset. I spoke of the past with anger; she reverted to it with the
chastened sorrow of a repentant angel. I looked to the future with
distrust and apprehension, she, with a bright, abiding confidence. Never
had she appeared so happy, so contented--never had the smile remained so
constant to her cheek, so unalloyed with touch of care, as when we stood
houseless and homeless in the world, and nothing but her fortitude and
love were left me to rely upon. My first care after my dismission into
life again, was to obtain my certificate from my creditors, and with
almost all of them I was successful. The exceptions were my uncle, and
three individuals--his creatures, and willing instruments of torture. They
were sufficient to brand me with disgrace, and to affix for ever to my
name that mark of infamy which an after life of virtue shall never wash
away or hide. UNCERTIFICATED BANKRUPT was the badge I carried with me.
From this period my decline was rapid and unequivocal. A creditor, who had
not proved his debt upon the estate, hearing tell of my defenceless
situation, cast me forthwith into prison. I will not tell you of the
sufferings we endured during a two years' cruel incarceration. Starvation
and its horrors came gradually upon us. Application upon application was
made to my uncle; entreaties for nothing more than justice; and my poor
meek Anna was turned with contumely from his doors. After years of
privation, a glimmering of light stole in upon us, to be soon
extinguished. I obtained temporary employment in a school far away from
the scenes of my misery, and hither my evil fortune followed me. The
schoolmaster was an ignorant, gross man. He gained my services for a song,
and he treated me with disrespect in consequence. I had been with him
about six months when some silver spoons were stolen from his house. The
thief escaped detection; but the master received an anonymous
communication, containing a false history of my life, with a true
statement of my unfortunate position. He at once charged me with the crime
of being an uncertificated bankrupt. I confessed to it, and the very day I
was dragged before a magistrate on suspicion of felony. I was acquitted,
it is true, for want of evidence; but what could acquit me--what could
release me from the super-added stigma? _An uncertificated bankrupt, and a
suspected felon_! Alas! the charity of man will not look further than the
surface of things, and is it not secretly pleased to find there, rather an
excuse for neglect, than a reason for exertion? Excited almost to madness
by privation and want, and unable to get assistance from a human being, I
visited my uncle. I could not see my wife and children drooping and
sinking day by day, and not make one great struggle for their rescue. I
resolved to accost him with meekness and humility--yes, to fall upon my
knees and kiss the dust before him, so that he would fill their famished
mouths. He would not see me. I watched for him in the street, and there
addressed him. He reviled me--cast me off--provoked me to exasperation,
and finally gave me into custody for an attempt upon his life. Again I was
taken to the magistrate, but not again discharged so easily. My character
and previous _offences_ were exhibited. The magistrate, serious with
judicial sorrow, looked upon me as you would turn an eye towards a reptile
that defiles the earth. I appealed to him, and in a loud and animated
voice proclaimed my grievances. It was suggested that I was a lunatic, and
whilst the justice committed me to hard labour, he benevolently promised
that the prison surgeon should visit me, and pronounce upon my fitness for
Saint Luke's. It was during my temporary confinement for this offence,
that I was seized with the illness from which I have never since been
free. For three years I was unable to work for my family, and by the end
of that period we were sunk into the lowest depths. My Anna sickened
likewise; but as long as she was able she laboured for our support. We
have been hunted and driven from place to place, and the little which we
have been able to earn in our wanderings, has hardly kept us alive. Twice
have I stolen a loaf of bread to appease the children's hunger. What could
I do? I could not bear to see their languid glassy eyes, and hear their
little voices imploring for the food--God knows, I could not let them die
before my face--I could not be their murderer--I could not--"

"Stay, Mr Warton," said I, interrupting the narrator, "I have heard
enough. Spare me for the present. Your statements must be corroborated.
This is all I ask. Leave the rest to me."



If the reader has perused, with painful interest, the account that I have
laid before him, let me gratify him with the intelligence that I have
accomplished for this unfortunate family all that I could wish. Warton's
account of himself was strengthened and confirmed by the strict enquiry
which I set on foot immediately. He was, as he asserted, _an innocent and
injured man_. Satisfied of this, I transmitted to the worthy judge, who
had been moved by the man's misfortunes, a faithful history of his life. I
was not disappointed here. It was that functionary who obtained for Warton
the situation which he at present fills--and for his children the
education which they are now receiving. Nor was this his first exertion on
their behalf. It was he who furnished them with clothing on the night of
the criminal's discharge. They are restored to happiness, to comfort, and
to health. The moderate ambition of the faithful Anna is realized, and my
vision is a vision no longer.

Reader, I have nothing more to add. I have told you a simple tale and a
true one. It is for you to say whether it shall be--useless and
uninstructive.


       *       *       *       *       *



FREDERICK SCHLEGEL.[1]


[Footnote A: 1. _Geschichte der alten und neuen Literatur von_ FRIEDRICH
SCHLEGEL. _Neue auflage. Berlin_, 1842.

2. Lectures on the History of Ancient and Modern Literature, from the
German of Frederick Schlegel. New edition. Blackwood: Edinburgh and
London, 1841.

3. The Philosophy of History, translated from the German of FRIEDRICH VON
SCHLEGEL, with a Memoir of the Author, by JAMES BURTON ROBERTSON, Esq. In
two vols. London, 1835. Reprinted in America, 1841.

4. _Philosophie des Lebens_ von FRIEDRICH SCHLEGEL. Wien, 1828.]


"I would not have you pin your faith too closely to these SCHLEGELS," said
FICHTE one day at Berlin to VARNHAGEN VON ENSE, or one of his friends, in
his own peculiar, cutting, commanding style--"I would not have you pin
your faith to these Schlegels. I know them well. The elder brother wants
depth, and the younger clearness. One good thing they both have--that is,
hatred of mediocrity; but they have also both a great jealousy of the
highest excellence; and, therefore, where they can neither be great
themselves nor deny greatness in others, they, out of sheer desperation,
fall into an outrageous strain of eulogizing. Thus they have bepraised
Goethe, and thus they have bepraised me."[B]

[Footnote B: _Denkwürdigkeiten_ von K. A. VARNHAGEN VON ENSE. Mannheim,
1837. Vol. ii. p. 60.]

Some people, from pride, don't like to be praised at all; and all
sensible people, from propriety, don't like to be praised extravagantly:
whether from pride or from propriety, or from a mixture of both,
philosopher Fichte seemed to have held in very small account the
patronage with which he was favoured at the hands of the twin aesthetical
dictators, the Castor and Pollux of romantic criticism; and, strange
enough also, poet Goethe, who had worship enough in his day, and is said
to have been somewhat fond of the homage, chimes in to the same tune
thus: "the Schlegels, with all their fine natural gifts, have been
unhappy men their life long, both the one and the other; they wished both
to be and do something more than nature had given them capacity for; and
accordingly they have been the means of bringing about not a little harm
both in art and literature. From their false principles in the fine
arts--principles which, however much trumpeted and gospeled about, were
in fact egotism united with weakness--our German artists have not yet
recovered, and are filling the exhibitions, as we see, with pictures
which nobody will buy. Frederick, the younger of these Dioscouri, choked
himself at last with the eternal chewing of moral and religious
absurdities, which, in his uncomfortable passage through life, he had
collected together from all quarters, and was eager to hawk about with
the solemn air of a preacher to every body: he accordingly betook
himself, as a last refuge, to Catholicism, and drew after him, as a
companion to his own views, a man of very fair but falsely overwrought
talent--Adam Müller.

"As for their Sanscrit studies again, that was at bottom only a _pis
aller_. They were clear-sighted enough to perceive that neither Greek nor
Latin offered any thing brilliant enough for them; they accordingly threw
themselves into the far East; and in this direction, unquestionably, the
talent of Augustus William manifests itself in the most honourable way.
All that, and more, time will show. Schiller never loved them: hated them
rather; and I think it peeps out of our correspondence how I did my best,
in our Weimar circles at least, to keep this dislike from coming to an
open difference. In the great revolution which they actually effected, I
had the luck to get off with a whole skin, (_sie liessen mich noth dürftig
stehen_,) to the great annoyance of their romantic brother Novalis, who
wished to have me _simpliciter_ deleted. 'Twas a lucky thing for me, in
the midst of this critical hubbub, that I was always too busy with myself
to take much note of what others were saying about me.

"Schiller had good reason to be angry with them. With their aesthetical
denunciations and critical club-law, it was a comparatively cheap matter
for them to knock him down in a fashion; but Schiller had no weapons that
could prostrate them. He said to me on one occasion, displeased with my
universal toleration even for what I did not like. 'KOTZEBUE, with his
frivolous fertility, is more respectable in my eyes than that barren
generation, who, though always limping themselves, are never content with
bawling out to those who have legs--STOP!'"[C]

[Footnote C: Briefwechse Zwischen GOETHE und ZELTER. Berlin, 1834. Vol. vi.
p. 318.]

That there is some truth in these severe remarks, the paltry personal
squibs in the _Leipzig Almanach_ for 1832, which called them forth, with
regard to Augustus Schlegel at least, sufficiently show: but there is a
general truth involved in them also, which the worthy fraternity of us
who, in this paper age, wield the critical pen, would do well to take
seriously to heart; and it is this, that great poets and philosophers have
a natural aversion as much to be praised and patronized, as to be rated
and railed at by great critics; and very justly so. For as a priest is a
profane person, who makes use of his sacred office mainly to show his gods
about, (so to speak,) that people may stare at them, and worship him; so a
critic who forgets his inferior position in reference to creative genius,
so far as to assume the air of legislation and dictatorship, when
explanation and commentary are the utmost he can achieve, has himself only
to blame, if, after his noisy trumpet has blared itself out, he reaps only
ridicule from the really witty, and reproof from the substantially wise.
Not that a true philosopher or poet shrinks from, and does not rather
invite, true criticism. The evil is not in the deed, but in the manner of
doing it. Here, as in all moral matters, the tone of the thing is the soul
of the thing. And in this view, the blame which Fichte and Goethe attach
to the Schlegels, amounts substantially to this, not that in their
critical vocation the romantic brothers wanted either learning or judgment
generally, but that they were too ambitious, too pretenceful, too
dictatorial that they must needs talk on all subjects, and always as if
they were the masters and the lions, when they were only the servants and
the exhibitors; that they made a serious business of that which is often
best done when it is done accidentally, viz. discussing what our
neighbours are about, instead of doing something ourselves; and that they
attempted to raise up an independent literary reputation, nay, and even to
found a new poetical school, upon mere criticism--an attempt which, with
all due respect for Aristarchus and the Alexandrians, is, and remains, a
literary impossibility.

But was Frederick Schlegel merely a critic? No He was a philosopher also,
and not a vulgar one; and herein lies the foundation of his fame. His
criticism, also, was thoroughly and characteristically a philosophical
criticism; and herein mainly, along with its vastness of erudition and
comprehensiveness of view, lies the foundation of its fame. To understand
the criticism thoroughly, one must first understand the philosophy. Will
the _un_philosophical English reader have patience with us for a few
minutes while we endeavour to throw off a short sketch of the philosophy
of Frederick Schlegel? If the philosophical system of a transcendental
German and _Viennese_ Romanist, can have small intrinsic practical value
to a British Protestant, it may extrinsically be of use even to him as
putting into his hands the key to one of the most intellectual, useful, an
popular books of modern times--"The history of ancient and modern
literature, by Frederick Von Schlegel,"--a book, moreover, which is not
merely "a great national possession of the Germans," as by one of
themselves it has been proudly designated, but has also, through the
classical translation of Mr Lockhart,[D] been made the peculiar property of
English literature.

[Footnote D: Lectures on the History of Literature, Ancient and Modern.
Blackwoods, Edinburgh, 1841.]

In the first chapter of his "_Philosophie des Lebens_," the Viennese
lecturer states very clearly the catholic and comprehensive ground which
all philosophy must take that would save itself from dangerous error. The
philosopher must start from the complete living totality of man, formed as
he is, not of flesh merely, a Falstaff--or of spirit merely, a Simon
Pillarman and Total Abstinence Saint--but of both flesh and spirit, body
and soul, in his healthy and normal condition. For this reason
clearly--true philosophy is not merely sense-derived and material like
the French philosophy of Helvetius, nor altogether ideal like that of
Plotinus, and the pious old mathematical visionaries at Alexandria; but
it stands on mother earth, like old Antaeus drinking strength therefrom,
and filches fire at the same time, Prometheus-like, from heaven, feeding
men with hopes--not, as Aeschylus says, altogether "blind," ([Greek:
tuphlas d eu autois elôidas katôkioa)] but only blinking. Don't court,
therefore, if you would philosophize wisely, too intimate an acquaintance
with your brute brother, the baboon--a creature, whose nature speculative
naturalists have most cunningly set forth by the theory, that it is a
parody which the devil, in a fit of ill humour, made upon God's noblest
work, man; and don't hope, on the other hand, as many great saints and
sages have done, by prayer and fasting, or by study and meditation, to
work yourself up to a god, and jump bodily out of your human skin. Assume
as the first postulate, and lay it down as the last proposition of your
"philosophy of life," that a man is neither a brute, nor a god nor an
angel, but simply and sheerly a MAN. Furthermore, as man is not only a
very comprehensive and complex, but also, (to appearance at least,) in
many points, a very contrary and contradictory creature, see that you
take the _whole_ man along with you into your metaphysical chamber; for
if there be one paper that has a bearing in the case amissing out of your
green bag, (which has happened only too often,) the evidence will be
imperfect, and the sentence false or partial--shake your wig as you
please. Remember, that though you may be a very subtle logician, the soul
of man is not all made up of logic; remember that reason, (_Vernunft_,)
the purest that Kant ever criticized withal, is not the proper vital soul
in man; is not the creative and productive faculty in intellect at all,
but is merely the tool of that which, in philosophers no less than in
poets, is the proper inventive power, IMAGINATION, as Wordsworth phrases
it: Schlegel's word is _fantasie_. Remember that in more cases than
academic dignities may be willing to admit, the heart (where a man has
one) is the only safe guide, the only legitimate ruler of the head; and
that a mere metaphysician, and solitary speculator, however properly
trimmed,

  "One to whose smooth-rubb'd soul can cling
  Nor form nor feeling, great nor small;
  A reasoning, self-sufficing thing,
  An intellectual all-in-all,"

may write very famous books, profound even to unintelligibility, but can
never be a philosopher. Therefore reject Hegel, "that merely thinking, on
a barren heath speculating, self-sufficient, self-satisfied little EGO;"[E]
and consider Kant as weighed in the balance and found wanting on his own
showing: for if that critical portal of pure reason had indeed been
sufficient, as it gave itself out to be, for all the purposes of a human
philosophy, what need was there of the "practical back-door" which, at the
categorical command of conscience, was afterwards laid open to all men in
the "Metaphysic of Ethics?" As little will you allow your philosophical
need to be satisfied with any thing you can get from SCHELLING; for
however well it sounds to "throw yourself from the transcendental
emptiness of ideal reason into the warm embrace of living and luxuriant
nature," here also you will find yourself haunted by the intellectual
phantom of absolute identity, (say absolute inanity,) or in its best
phasis a "pantheizing deification of nature." Strange enough as it may
seem, the true philosophy is to be found any where rather than among
philosophers. Each philosopher builds up a reasoned system of a part of
existence; but life is based upon God-given instincts and emotions, with
which reason has nothing to do; and nature contains many things which it
is not given to mortal brain to comprehend, much less to systematize. True
philosophy is not to be found in any intellectual system, much less in any
of the Aristotelian quality, where the emotional element in man is
excluded or subordinated; but in a living experience. To know philosophy,
therefore, first know life. To learn to philosophize, learn to live; and
live not partially, but with the full outspread vitality of human reason.
You go to college, and, as if you were made altogether of head, expect
some Peter Abelard forthwith, by academic disputation, to _reason_ you
into manhood; but neither manhood nor any vital WHOLE ever was learned by
reasoning. Pray, therefore, to the Author of all good, in the first place,
that you may _be_ something rather than that you may _know_ something. Get
yourself planted in God's garden, and learn to GROW. Woo the sun of life,
which is love, and the breeze which is enthusiasm, an impulse from that
same creative Spirit, which, brooding upon the primeval waters, out of
void brought fulness, and out of chaos a world.

[Footnote E: This is Menzel's phrase, not Schlegel's. "Hegel's _centrum war
ein blos denkendes, auf öder Heide spekulirendes, kleines, suffisantes,
selbstgenügsames Ichlein_." The untranslatable beauty of the German is in
the diminutive with which the sentence closes. It is difficult to say
whether Menzel or Schlegel shows the greater hostility to the poor Berlin
philosopher.]

Such, shortly, so far as we can gather, is the main scope, popularly
stated, of Frederick Schlegel's philosophy, as it is delivered in his two
first lectures on the philosophy of life, the first being titled, "Of the
thinking soul, or the central point of consciousness;" and the second, "Of
the loving soul, or the central point of moral life." The healthy-toned
reader, who has been exercised in speculations of this kind, will feel at
once that there is much that is noble in all this, and much that is true;
but not a little also, when examined in detail, of that sublime-sounding
sweep of despotic generality, (so inherent a vice of German literature,)
which delights to confound the differences, rather than to discriminate
the characters, of things; much that seems only too justly to warrant that
oracular sentence of the stern Fichte with which we set out, "_The younger
brother wants clearness_;" much that, when applied to practice, and
consistently followed out in that grand style of consistency which belongs
to a real German philosopher, becomes what we in English call Puseyism and
Popery, and what Goethe in German called a "_chewing the cud of moral and
religious absurdities_." But we have neither space nor inclination, in
this place, to make an analysis of the Schlegelian philosophy, or to set
forth how much of it is true and how much of it is false. Our intention
was merely to sketch a rapid outline, in as popular phrase as philosophy
would allow itself to be clothed in; to finish which outline without
extraneous remark, with the reader's permission, we now proceed.

If man be not, according to Aristotle's phrase, a [Greek: zôon logikon] in
his highest faculty, a _ratiocinative_, but rather an emotional and
imaginative animal; and if to start from, as to end, in mere reason, be in
human psychology a gross one-sidedness, much more in theology is such a
procedure erroneous, and altogether perverse. If not the smallest poem of
a small poet ever came to him from mere reason, but from something deeper
and more vital, much less are the strong pulsations of pure emotion, the
deep-seated convictions of religious faith in the inner man, to be spoke
of as things that mere reason can either assert or deny; and in fact we
see, when we look narrowly into the great philosophical systems that have
been projected by scheming reasoners in France and Germany, each man out
of his own brain, that they all end either in materialism and atheism on
the one hand, or in idealism and pantheism on the other. All our
philosophers have stopped short of that one living, personal, moral God,
on whose existence alone humanity can confidently repose--who alone can
give to the trembling arch of human speculation that keystone which it
demands. The idea of God, in fact, is not a thing that individual reason
has first to strike out, so to speak, by the collision or combination of
ideas, the collocation of proofs, and the concatenation of arguments. It
is a living growth rather of our whole nature, a primary instinct of all
moral beings, a necessary postulate of healthy humanity, which is given
and received as our life and our breath is, and admits not of being
reasoned into any soul that has it not already from other sources. And as
no philosopher of Greek or German times that history tells of, ever
succeeded yet in inventing a satisfactory theology, or establishing a
religion in which men could find solace to their souls, therefore it is
clear that that satisfactory Christian theology and Christian religion
which we have, and not only that, but all the glimpses of great
theological truth that are found twinkling through the darkness of a
widespread superstition, came originally from God by common revelation,
and not from man by private reasoning. The knowledge of God and a living
theology is, in fact, a simple science of experience like any other, only
of a peculiar quality and higher in degree. All true human knowledge in
moral matters rests on experience, internal or external, higher or lower,
on tradition, on language as the bearer of tradition, on revelation;
while that false, monstrous, and unconditioned science to which the pride
of human reason has always aspired, which would grasp at every thing at
once by one despotic clutch, and by a violent bound of logic bestride and
beride the ALL, is, and remains, an oscillating abortion that always
would be something, and always can be nothing. A living, personal, moral
God, the faith of nations, the watch-word of tradition, the cry of
nature, the demand of mind, received not invented, existing in the soul
not reasoned into it--this is the gravitating point of the moral world,
the only intelligible centre of any world; from which whatsoever is
centrifugal errs, and to which whatsoever is opposed is the devil.

Not private speculation, therefore, or famous philosophies of any kind,
but the living spiritual man, and the totality of the living flow of
sacred tradition on which he is borne, and with which he is encompassed,
are the two grand sources of "the philosophy of life." Let us follow these
principles, now, into a few of their wide-spread streams and multiform
historical branchings. First, the Bible clearly indicates what the
profoundest study of the earliest and most venerable literatures confirms,
that man was not created at first in a brutish state, crawling with a slow
and painful progress out of the dull slime of a half organic state into
apehood, and from apehood painfully into manhood; but he was created
perfect in the image of God, and has fallen from his primeval glory. This
is to be understood not only of the state of man before the Fall as
recorded in the two first chapters of Genesis; but every thing in the
Bible, and the early traditions of famous peoples, warrants us to believe,
that the first ages of men before the Flood, were spiritually enlightened
from one great common source of extraordinary aboriginal revelation; so
that the earliest ages of the world were not the most infantine and
ignorant to a comprehensive survey, as modern conceit so fondly imagines,
but the most gigantic and the most enlightened. That beautiful but
material and debasing heathenism, with which our Greek and Latin education
has made us so familiar, is only a defaced fragment of the venerable whole
which preceded it, that old and true heathenism of the holy aboriginal
fathers of our race. "There were GIANTS on the earth in those days." We
read this; but who believes it? We ought seriously to consider what it
means, and adopt it _bona fide_ into our living faith of man, and man's
history. Like the landscape of some Alpine country, where the primeval
granite Titans, protruding their huge shoulders every where above us and
around, make us feel how petty and how weak a thing is man; so ought our
imagination to picture the inhabitants of the world before the Flood.
Nobility precedes baseness always, and truth is more ancient than error.
Antediluvian man--antediluvian nature, is to be imaged as nobler in every
respect, more sublime and more pure than postdiluvian man, and
postdiluvian nature. But mighty energies, when abused, produce mighty
corruptions; hence the gigantic scale of the sins into which the
antediluvian men fell; and the terrible precipitation of humanity which
followed. This is a point of primary importance, in every attempt to
understand how to estimate the value of that world-famous Greek
philosophy, which is commonly represented as the crown and the glory of
the ancient world. All that Pythagoras and Plato ever wrote of noble and
elevating truths, are merely flashes of that primeval light, in the full
flood of which, man, in his more perfect antediluvian state, delighted to
dwell; and it is remarkable in the case of Pythagoras, Anaxagoras, Thales,
and so many other of the Greek philosophers, that the further we trace
them back, we come nearer to the divine truth, which, in the systems of
Epicurus, Aristippus, Zeno, or the shallow or cold philosophers of later
origin, altogether disappears. Pythagoras and Plato were indeed divinely
gifted with a scientific presentiment of the great truths of Christianity
soon to be revealed, or say rather restored to the world; while Aristotle,
on the other hand, is to be regarded as the father of those unhappy
academical schismatics from the Great Church of living humanity, who
allowed the ministrant faculty of reason to assume an unlawful supremacy
over the higher powers of intellect, and gave birth to that voracious
despotism of barren dialectics, in the middle ages commonly called the
scholastic philosophy. The Greek philosophy, however, even its noblest
Avatar, Plato, much less in the case of a Zeno or an Aristotle, was never
able to achieve that which must be the practically proposed end of all
higher philosophy that is in earnest; viz. the coming out of the narrow
sphere of the school and the palaestra, uniting itself with actual life,
and embodying itself completely in the shape of that which we call a
CHURCH. This Platonism could not do. Christianity did it. Revelation did
it. God Incarnate did it. Now once again came humanity forth, fresh from
the bosom of the divine creativeness, conquering and to conquer. There was
no Aristotle and Plato--no Abelard and Bernard here--reason carping at
imagination, and imagination despising reason. But once, if but once in
four thousand years, man appeared in all the might of his living
completeness. Love walked hand in hand with knowledge, and both were
identified in life. The spirit of divine peace brooded in the inner
sanctuary of the heart, while the outer man was mailed for the sternest
warfare. Such was pure Christianity, so long as it lasted--for the
celestial plant was condemned to grow in a terrestrial atmosphere; and
there, alas! it could only grow with a stunted likeness of itself. It
was more than stunted also--it was tainted; for are not all things tainted
here? Do we not live in a tainted atmosphere? do we not live in a time out
of joint? Does not the whole creation literally groan? Too manifestly it
does, however natural philosophers may affect to speak of the book of
nature, as if it were the clear and uncorrupted text of the living book of
God. Not only man, but the whole environment of external nature, which
belongs to him, has been deranged by the Fall. In such a world as this,
wherein whoso will not believe a devil cannot believe a God, it was
impossible for Christianity to remain in that state of blissful vital
harmony with itself with which it set out. It became divided. Extravagant
developments of ambitious, monopolizing faculties became manifest on every
side. Self-sufficing Pelagianisn and Arianism, here; self-confounding
Gnosticism and Manichaeism there. Then came those two great strifes and
divisions of the middle ages--the one, that old dualism of the inner man,
the ever-repeated strife between reason and imagination, to which we have
so often alluded--the other, a no less serious strife of the outward
machinery of life, the strife between the spiritual and the temporal
powers, between the Pope and the Emperor. This was bad enough; that the
two vicars of God on earth should not know to keep the peace among
themselves, when the keeping of the peace among others was the very end
and aim of the appointment. But worse times were coming. For in the
middle ages, notwithstanding the rank evils of barren scholasticism,
secular-minded popes, and intrusive emperors, there was still a church, a
common Christian religion, a common faith of all Christians; but now,
since that anarchical and rebellious movement, commonly called the
Reformation, but more fitly termed the revolution, the overturning and
overthrowing of the religion of Christendom, we have no more a mere
internal strife and division to vex us, but there is an entire separation
and divorce of one part of the Christian church (so called) from the main
mother institution. The abode of peace has become the camp of war and the
arena of battles; that dogmatical theology of the Christian church,
which, if it be not the infallible pure mathematics of the moral world,
has been deceiving men for 1800 years, and is a liar--that theology is
now publicly discussed and denied, scorned and scouted by men who do not
blush to call themselves Christians; there is no universal peace any
longer to be found in that region where it is the instinct of humanity,
before all things, to seek repose; the only religious peace which the
present age recognises, is that of which the Indian talks, when he says
of certain epochs of the world's history, _Brahma sleeps_! Those who
sleep and are indifferent in spiritual matters find peace; but those who
are alive and awake must beat the wind, and battle, belike, with much
useless loss of strength, before they can arrive even at that first
postulate of all healthy thinking--there is a God. "_Ueber Gott werd ich
nie streiten_," said Herder. "About God I will never dispute." Yet look
at German rationalism, look at Protestant theology--what do you see
there? Reason usurping the mastery in each individual, without control of
the higher faculties of the soul, and of those institutions in life by
which those faculties are represented; and as one man's reason is as good
as another's, thence arises war of each self-asserted despotism against
that which happens to be next it, and of all against all--a spiritual
anarchy, which threatens the entire dissolution of the moral world, and
from which there is no refuge but in recurring to the old traditionary
faith of a revolted humanity, no redemption but in the venerable
repository of those traditions--the one and indivisible holy Catholic
church of Christ, of whom, as the inner and eternal keystone is God, so
the outer and temporal is the Pope.

Such is a general outline of the philosophy of Frederick Schlegel--a
philosophy belonging to the class theological and supernatural, to the
genus Christian, to the species sacerdotal and Popish. Now, without
stopping here to blame its sublime generalities and beautiful confusions,
on the one hand, or to praise its elevated tendency, its catholic and
reconciling tone on the other, we shall merely call attention, in a single
sentence, physiologically, to its main and distinguishing character. It
was, in fact, (in spirit and tendency, though not in outward
accomplishment,) to German literature twenty years ago what Puseyism is
now to the English church--it was a bold and grand attempt to get rid of
those vexing doubts and disputes on the most important subjects that will
ever disquiet minds of a certain constitution, so long as they have
nothing to lean on but their own judgment; and as Protestantism, when
consistently carried out, summarily throws a man back on his individual
opinion, and subjects the vastest and most momentous questions to the
scrutiny of reason and the torture of doubt, therefore Schlegel in
literary Germany, and Pusey in ecclesiastical England, were equally
forced, if they would not lose Christianity altogether, to renounce
Protestantism, and to base their philosophy upon sacerdotal authority and
ecclesiastical tradition. That Schlegel became a Romanist at Cologne, and
Dr Pusey an Anglo-Catholic at Oxford, does not affect the kinship. Both,
to escape from the anarchy of Protestant individualism, (as it was felt by
them,) were obliged to assert not merely Christianity, but a
hierarchy--not merely the Bible, but an authoritative interpretation of
the Bible; and both found, or seemed to find, that authoritative
interpretation and exorcism of doubt there, where alone in their
circumstances, and intellectually constituted as they were, it was to be
found. Dr Pusey did not become a Papist like Frederick Schlegel, for two
plain reasons--first, because he was an Englishman, second, because he
was an English churchman. The authority which he sought for lay at his
door; why should he travel to Rome for it? Archbishop Laud had taught
apostolical succession before--Dr Pusey might teach it again. But this
convenient prop of Popery without the Pope was not prepared for Frederick
Schlegel. There was no Episcopal church, no Oxford in Germany, into whose
bosom he could throw himself, and find relief from the agony of religious
doubt. He was a German, moreover, and a philosopher. To his searching eye
and circumspective wariness, the general basis of tradition which might
satisfy a Pusey, though sufficiently broad, did not appear sure enough.
To his lofty architectural imagination a hierarchical aristocracy,
untopped by a hierarchical monarch, did not appear sufficiently sublime.
To his all-comprehending and all-combining historical sympathies, a
Christian priesthood, with Cyprian, Augustine, and Jerome, but without
Hildebrand, Innocent, and Boniface, would have presented the appearance
of a fair landscape, with a black yawning chasm in the middle, into which
whoever looked shuddered. Therefore Frederick Schlegel, spurning all half
measures, inglorious compromises, and vain attempts to reconcile the
irreconcilable, vaulted himself at once, with a bold leap, into the
central point of sacerdotal Christianity. The obstacles that would have
deterred ordinary minds had no effect on him. All points of detail were
sunk in the over-whelming importance of the general question.
Transubstantiation or consubstantiation, conception, maculate or
immaculate, were a matter of small moment with him. What he wanted was a
divinely commissioned church with sacred mysteries--a spiritual house of
refuge from the weary battle of intellectual east winds, blasting and
barren, with which he saw Protestant Germany desolated. This house of
refuge he found in Cologne, in Vienna; and having once made up his mind
that spiritual unity and peace were to be found only in the one mother
church of Christendom, not being one of those half characters who,
"making _I dare not_ wait upon _I would_," are continually weaving a net
of paltry external _no's_ to entangle the progress of every grand decided
_yes_ of the inner man, Schlegel did not for a moment hesitate to make
his thought a deed, and publicly profess his return to Romanism in the
face of enlightened and "ultra-Protestant" Germany. To do this certainly
required some moral courage; and no just judge of human actions will
refuse to sympathize with the motive of this one, however little he may
feel himself at liberty to agree with the result.

But Frederick Schlegel, a well informed writer has said,[F] "became
Romanist in a way peculiar to himself, and had in no sense given up his
right of private judgment." We have not been able to see, from a careful
perusal of his works, (in all of which there is more or less of
theology,) that there is any foundation for this assertion of Varnhagen.
Frederick Schlegel, the German, was as honest and stout a Romanist in
this nineteenth century as any Spanish Ferdinand Catholicus in the
fifteenth. Freedom of speculation indeed, within certain known limits,
and spirituality of creed above what the meagre charity of some
Protestants may conceive possible in a Papist, we do find in this man;
but these good qualities a St Bernard, a Dante, a Savonarola, a Fénélon,
had exhibited in the Romish Church before Schlegel, and others as great
may exhibit them again. Freedom of thought, however, in the sense in
which it is understood by Protestants, was the very thing which Schlegel,
Göres, Adam Müller, and so many others, did give up when they entered the
Catholic Church. They felt as Wordsworth did when he wrote his beautiful
ode to "Duty;" they had more liberty than they knew how to use--

    "Me this uncharter'd freedom tires;
    I feel the weight of chance desires;
    My hopes no more must change their name--
    I long for a repose that ever is the same."

And if it seem strange to any one that Frederick Schlegel, the learned,
the profound, the comprehensive, should believe in Transubstantiation,[G]
let him look at a broader aspect of history than that of German books,
and ask himself--Did Isabella of Castile--the gentle, the noble, the
generous--establish the Inquisition, or allow Ximenes to establish it? In
a world which surrounds us on all sides with apparent contradictions, he
who admits a real one now and then into his faith, or into his practice,
is neither a fool nor a monster.

[Footnote F: Varnhagen Von Ense, Rahel's Umgang, i. p. 227. "Er war
auf besondere Weise Katholisch, und hatte seine Geistesfreiheit dabei
gar nicht aufgegeben."]

[Footnote G: The following is Schlegel's philosophy of
transubstantiation--"Though it be true, that in the Holy Scriptures, in
accordance with the symbolical nature of man, there is much that is
generally symbolical, and symbolically to be understood; yet when a
symbol proceeds immediately from God, it can in this case be nothing less
than substantial; it cannot be a mere sign, it must also be something
actual; otherwise it would be as if one would palm on the eternal LOGOS,
who is the ground of all existence and all knowledge, words without
meaning and without power. Quite natural, therefore, it must be regarded,
i.e. quite suitable to the nature of the thing, although _per se_
certainly supernatural, and surpassing all comprehension, when that
highest symbol which forms the proper principle of unity, and the living
central point of Christianity, is perceived to possess this character,
that it is at once the sign and the thing signified. For now, that on the
high altar of divine love the one great sacrifice has been accomplished
for ever, and no flame more can rise from it save the inspiration of a
pure God-united will, that solemn act by which the bond formed between
the soul and God is from time to time revealed, can consist in nothing
else than this--that here the essential substance of the divine power and
the divine love is in all its lively fullness communicated to, and
received by man, as the miraculous sign of his union with
God."--_Philosophie des Lebene_, p. 376. On the logic of this remarkable
passage, those who are strong in Mill and Whately may decide; its
orthodoxy belongs to the consideration of the Tridentine doctors.]

In his political opinions, Schlegel maintained the same grand consistency
that characterizes his religious philosophy. He had more sense, however,
and more of the spirit of Christian fraternity in him than, for the sake
of absolutism, to become a Turk or a Russian; nay, from some passages in
the _Concordia_--a political journal, published by him and his friend
Adam Müller, in 1820, and quoted by Mr Robertson--it would almost appear
that he would have preferred a monarchy limited by states, conceived in
the spirit of the middle ages, to the almost absolute form of monarchical
government, under whose protection he lived and lectured at Vienna. To
some such constitution as that which now exists in Sweden, for instance,
we think he would have had no objections. At the same time, it is certain
he gave great offence to the constitutional party in Germany, by the
anti-popular tone of his writings generally, more perhaps than by any
special absolutist abuses which he had publicly patronized. He was,
indeed, a decided enemy to the modern system of representative
constitutions, and popular checks; a king by divine right according to
the idea of our English nonjurors, was as necessary a corner-stone to his
political, as a pope by apostolical succession to his ecclesiastical
edifice. And as no confessed corruption of the church, represented as it
might be by the monstrous brutality of a Borgia, or the military madness
of a Julius, was, in his view, sufficient to authorize any hasty Luther
to make a profane bonfire of a papal bull; any hot Henry to usurp the
trade of manufacturing creeds; so no "sacred right of insurrection," no
unflinching patriotic opposition, no claim of rights, (by petitioners
having _swords_ in their hands,) are admissible in his system of a
Christian state. And as for the British constitution, and "the glorious
Revolution of 1688," this latter, indeed, is one of the best of a bad
kind, and that boasted constitution as an example of a house divided
against itself, and yet _not_ falling, is a perfect miracle of dynamical
art, a lucky accident of politics, scarcely to be looked for again in the
history of social development, much less to be eagerly sought after and
ignorantly imitated. Nay, rather, if we look at this boasted constitution
a little more narrowly, and instruct ourselves as to its practical
working, what do we see? "Historical experience, the great teacher of
political science, manifestly shows that in these dynamical states, which
exist by the cunningly devised balance and counter-balance of different
powers, what is called governing is, in truth, a continual strife and
contention between the Ministry and the Opposition, who seem to delight
in nothing so much as in tugging and tearing the state and its resources
to pieces between them, while the hallowed freedom of the hereditary
monarch seems to serve only as an old tree, under whose shades the
contending parties may the more comfortably choose their ground, and
fight out their battles."[H] It is but too manifest, indeed, according to
Schlegel's projection of the universe, that all constitutionalism is,
properly speaking, a sort of political Protestantism, a fretful fever of
the social body, having its origin (like the religious epidemic of the
sixteenth century) in the private conceit of the individual, growing by
violence and strife, and ending in dissolution. This is the ever-repeated
refrain of his political discourses, puerile enough, it may be, to our
rude hearing in Britain, but very grateful to polite and patriotic ears
at Vienna, when the cannon of Wagram was yet sounding in audible echo
beneath their towers. The propounder of such philosophy had not only the
common necessity of all philosophers to pile up his political in majestic
consistency with his ecclesiastical creed, but he had also to pay back
the mad French liberalism with something more mad if possible, and more
despotic. And if also Danton, and Mirabeau, and Robespierre, and other
terrible Avatars of the destroying Siva in Paris, had raised his
naturally romantic temperament a little into the febrile and delirious
now and then, what wonder? Shall the devil walk the public streets at
noon day, and men not be afraid?

[Footnote H: _Philosophie des Lebens_, p.407.]

We said that Frederick Schlegel's philosophy, political and religious, but
chiefly religious, was the grand key to his popular work on the history of
literature. We may illustrate this now by a few instances. In the first
place, the "many-sided" Goethe seems to be as little profound as he is
charitable, when he sees nothing in the Sanscrit studies of the romantic
brothers but a _pis aller_, and a vulgar ambition to bring forward
something new, and make German men stare. We do not answer for the elder
brother; but Frederick certainly made the cruise to the east, as Columbus
did to the west, from a romantic spirit of adventure. He was not pleased
with the old world--he wished to find a new world more to his mind, and,
beyond the Indus, he found it. The Hindoos to him were the Greeks of the
aboriginal world--"_diese Griechen der Urwelt_"--and so much better and
more divine than the western Greeks, as the aboriginal world was better
and more divine than that which came after it. If imagination was the
prime, the creative faculty in man, here, in the holy Eddas, it had sat
throned for thousands of years as high as the Himalayas. If repose was
sought for, and rest to the soul from the toil and turmoil of religious
wars in Europe, here, in the secret meditations of pious Yooges, waiting
to be absorbed into the bosom of Brahma, surely peace was to be found.
Take another matter. Why did Frederick Schlegel make so much talk of the
middle ages? Why were the times, so dark to others, instinct to him with a
steady solar effluence, in comparison of which the boasted enlightenment
of these latter days was but as the busy exhibition of squibs by
impertinent boys, the uncertain trembling of fire-flies in a dusky
twilight? The middle ages were historically the glory of Germany; and
those who had lived to see and to feel the Confederation of the Rhine, and
the Protectorate of Napoleon, did not require the particular predilections
of a Schlegel to carry them back with eager reaction to the days of the
Henries, the Othos, and the Fredericks, when to be the German emperor was
to be the greatest man in Europe, after the Pope. But to Schlegel the
middle ages were something more. The glory of Germany to the patriot, they
were the glory of Europe to the thinker. Modern wits have laughed at the
enthusiasm of the Crusades. Did they weep over the perfidy of the
partition of Poland? Do they really trust themselves to persuade a
generous mind that the principle of mutual jealousy and mere selfishness,
the meagre inspiration of the so called balance of power in modern
politics, is, according to any norm of nobility in action, a more laudable
motive for a public war, than a holy zeal against those who were at once
the enemies of Christ, and (as future events but too clearly showed) the
enemies of Europe? Modern wits sneer at the scholastic drivelling or the
cloudy mistiness of the writers of the middle ages. Did they ever blush
for the impious baseness of Helvetius, for the portentous scaffolding of
notional skeletons in Hegel? But, alas! we talk of we know not what. What
spectacle does modern life present equal to that of St Bernard, the pious
monk of Clairvaux, the feeble, emaciated thinker, brooding, with his
dove-like eyes, ("_oculos columbinos_,") over the wild motions of the
twelfth century, and by the calm might of divine love, guiding the
sceptre of the secular king, and the crosier of the spiritual pontiff
alike? Was that a weak or a dark age, when the strength of mind and the
light of love could triumph so signally over brute force, and that
natural selfishness of public motive which has achieved its cold,
glittering triumphs in the lives of so many modern heroes and heroines--a
Louis, a Frederick, a Catharine, a Napoleon? But indeed here, as
elsewhere, we see that the modern world has fallen altogether into a
practical atheism by the idolatry of mere reason; whereas all true
greatness comes not down from the head, but up from the heart of man. In
which greatness of the heart, the Bernards and the Barbarossas of the
middle ages excelled; and therefore they were better than we.

It is by no means necessary for the admirer of Schlegel to maintain that
all this eulogium of the twelfth century, or this depreciation of the
times we live in, is just and well-merited. Nothing is more cheap than to
praise a pretty village perched far away amid the blue skies, and to rail
at the sharp edges and corners of things that fret against our ribs. Let
it be admitted that there is not a little of artistical decoration, and a
great deal of optical illusion, in the matter; still there is some truth,
some great truth, that lay in comparative neglect till Schlegel brought it
into prominency. This is genuine literary merit; it is that sort of
discovery, so to speak, which makes criticism original. And it was not
merely with the bringing forward of new materials, but by throwing new
lights on the old, that Frederick Schlegel enriched aesthetical science.
If the criticism of the nineteenth century may justly boast of a more
catholic sympathy, of a wider flight, of a more comprehensive view, and
more various feast than that which it superseded, it owes this, with
something that belongs to the spirit of the age generally, chiefly to the
special captainship of Frederick Schlegel. If the grand spirit of
combination and comprehension which distinguishes the "Lectures on Ancient
and Modern Literature," be that quality which mainly distinguishes the so
called Romantic from the Classical school of aesthetics, then let us
profess ourselves Romanticists by all means immediately; for the one seems
to include the other as the genus does the species. The beauty of
Frederick Schlegel is, that his romance arches over every thing like a
sky, and excludes nothing; he delights indeed to override every thing
despotically, with one dominant theological and ecclesiastical idea, and
now and then, of course, gives rather a rough jog to whatever thing may
stand in his way; but generally he seeks about with cautious,
conscientious care to find room for every thing; and for a wholesale
dealer in denunciation (as in some views we cannot choose but call him) is
really the most kind, considerate, and charitable Aristarchus that ever
wielded a pen. Hear what Varnhagen Von Ense says on this point--"The
inward character of this man, the fundamental impulses of his nature, the
merit or the results of his intellectual activity, have as yet found none
to describe them in such a manner as he has often succeeded in describing
others. It is not every body's business to attempt an anatomy and
re-combination of this kind. One must have courage, coolness, profound
study, wide sympathies, and a free comprehensiveness, to keep a steady
footing and a clear eye in the midst of this gigantic, rolling
conglomeration of contradictions, eccentricities, and singularities of
all kinds. Here every sort of demon and devil, genius and ghost, Lucinde
and Charlemagne, Alarcos, Maria, Plato, Spinoza and Bonald, Goethe
consecrated and Goethe condemned, revolution and hierarchy, reel about
restlessly, come together, and, what is the strangest thing of all, do
_not_ clash. For Schlegel, however many Protean shapes he might assume,
never cast away any thing that had ever formed a substantial element in
his intellectual existence, but found an _advocatus Dei_ to plead always
with a certain reputable eloquence even for the most unmannerly of them;
and with good reason too, for in his all-appropriating and curiously
combining soul, there did exist a living connexion between the most
apparently contradictory of his ideas. To point out this connexion, to
trace the secret thread of unity through the most distant extremes, to
mark the delicate shade of transition from one phasis of intellectual
development to another, to remove, at every doubtful point, the veil and
to expose the substance, that were a problem for the sagacity of no
common critic."[I] We take the hint. It is not every Byron that finds a
Goethe to take him to pieces and build him up again, and peruse him and
admire him, as Cuvier did the Mammoth. Those who feel an inward vocation
to do so by Schlegel may yet do so in Germany; if there be any in these
busy times, even there, who may have leisure to applaud such a work. To
us in Britain it may suffice to have essayed to exhibit the fruit and the
final results, without attempting curiously to dissect the growth of
Schlegel's criticism.

[Footnote I: RAHEL'S _Umgang_. FRIEDRICH VON SCHLEGEL, vol. i. p. 325.]

The outward fates of this great critic's life may be found, like every
thing else, in the famous "Conversations Lexicon;" but as very few
readers of these remarks, or students of the history of ancient and
modern literature, may be in a condition to refer to that most useful
Cyclopaedia of literary reference, we may here sketch the main lines of
Schlegel's biography from the sources supplied by Mr Robertson,[J] in the
preface to his excellent translation of the "Lectures on the philosophy
of history." Whatever we take from a different source will be distinctly
noted.

[Footnote J: The authorities given by Mr Robertson are, (1.) _La
Biographie des Vivans, Paris_. (2.) An article for July 1829, in the
French _Globe_, apparently an abridgement of the account of Schlegel in
the Conversations Lexicon. (3.) A fuller and truer account of the author,
in a French work published several years ago at Paris, entitled "Memoirs
of distinguished Converts." (4.) Some facts in _Le Catholique_, a
journal, edited at Paris from 1826 to 1829, by Schlegel's friend, the
Baron d'Echstein.]

The brothers Schlegel belonged to what Frederick in his lectures calls the
third generation of modern German literature. The whole period from 1750
to 1800, being divided into three generations, the first comprehends all
those whose period of greatest activity falls into the first decade, from
1750 to 1760, and thereabout. Its chief heroes are Wieland, Klopstock, and
Lessing. These men of course were all born before the year 1730. The
second generation extends from 1770 to 1790, and thereabouts, and presents
a development, which stands to the first in the relation of summer to
spring--Goethe and Schiller are the two names by which it will be sent
down to posterity. Of these the one was born in 1749, and the other in
1759. Then follows that third generation to which Schlegel himself
belongs, and which is more generally known in literary history as the era
of the Romantic school--a school answering both in chronology, and in many
points of character also, to what we call the Lake school in England.
Coleridge, Wordsworth, and Southey, are contemporaries of Tieck, Novalis,
and the Schlegels. Their political contemporaries are Napoleon and
Wellington. The event which gave a direction to their literary
development, no less decidedly than it did to the political history of
Europe, was the French Revolution. Accordingly, we find that all these
great European characters--for so they all are more or less--made the
all-important passage from youth into manhood during the ferment of the
years that followed that ominous date, 1789. This coincidence explains the
celebrity of the famous biographical year 1769--Walter Scott was born in
that year, Wellington and Napoleon, as every body knows--and the elder
Aristarchus of the Romantic school, _the_ translator of Shakspeare,
Augustus William Von Schlegel was born in 1767. At Hanover, five years
later, was born his brother Frederick, that is to say, in May 1772, and
our Coleridge in the same year--and to carry on the parallel for another
year, Ludwig Tieck, Henry Steffens, and Novalis, were all born in 1773.
These dates are curious; when taken along with the great fact of the
age--the French Revolution--they may serve to that family likeness which
we have noted in characterizing the Romanticists in Germany and the Lake
school in England. When Coleridge here was dreaming of America and
Pantisocracy, Frederick Schlegel was studying Plato, and scheming
republics there.[K] In the first years of his literary career Schlegel
devoted himself chiefly to classical literature; and between 1794 and
1797 published several works on Greek and Roman poetry and philosophy,
the substance of which was afterwards concentrated into the four first
lectures on the history of literature. About this time he appears to have
lived chiefly by his literary exertions--a method of obtaining a
livelihood very precarious, (as those know best who have tried it,) and
to men of a turn of mind more philosophical than popular, even in
philosophical Germany, exceedingly irksome. Schlegel felt this as deeply
as poor Coleridge--"to live by literature," says he, in one of those
letters to Rahel from which we have just quoted--"is to me _je länger je
unerträglicher_--the longer I try it the more intolerable." Happily, to
keep him from absolute starvation, he married the daughter of Moses
Mendelsohn, the Jewish philosopher, who, it appears, had a few pence in
her pocket, but not many;[L] and between these, and the produce of his
own pen, which could move with equal facility in French as in German, he
managed not merely to keep himself and his wife alive, but to transport
himself to Paris in the year 1802, and remain there for a year or two,
laying the foundation for that oriental evangel which, in 1808, he
proclaimed to his countrymen in the little book, _Ueber die Sprache und
Weisheit der Indier_. Meanwhile, in the year 1805, he had returned from
France to his own Germany--alas, then about to be _one_ Germany no more!
And while the sun of Austerlitz was rising brightly on the then Emperor
of France, and soon to be protector of the Rhine, the future secretary of
the Archduke Charles, and literary evangelist of Prince Metternich, was
prostrating himself before the three holy kings, and swearing fealty to
the shade of Charlemagne in Catholic Cologne. There were some men in
those days base enough to impeach the purity of Schlegel's motives in the
public profession thus made of the old Romish faith. Such men wherever
they are to be found now or then, ought to be whipped out of the world.
If mere worldly motives could have had any influence on such a mind, the
gates of Berlin were as open to him as the gates of Vienna. As it was,
not wishing to expatriate himself, like Winkelmann, he had nowhere to go
to but Vienna; in those days, indeed, mere patriotism and Teutonic
feeling, (in which the Romantic school was never deficient,)
independently altogether of Popery, could lead him nowhere else. To
Vienna, accordingly, he went; and Vienna is not a place--whatever
Napoleon, after Mack's affair, might say of the "stupid Austrians"--where
a man like Schlegel will ever be neglected. Prince Metternich and the
Archduke Charles had eyes in their head; and with the latter, therefore,
we find the great Sanscrit scholar marching to share the glory of Aspern
and the honour of Wagram; while the former afterwards decorated him with
what of courtly remuneration, in the shape of titles and pensions, it is
the policy alike and the privilege of politicians to bestow on poets and
philosophers who can do them service. Nay, with some diplomatic missions
and messages to Frankfurt also, we find the Romantic philosopher
entrusted and even in the great European Congress of Vienna in 1815, he
appears exhibiting himself, in no undignified position, alongside of
Gentz, Cardinal Gonsalvi, and the Prince of Benevento.[M] We are not to
imagine, however, from this, either that the comprehensive philosopher of
history had any peculiar talent for practical diplomacy, or that he is to
be regarded as a thorough Austrian in politics. For the nice practical
problems of diplomacy, he was perhaps the very worst man in the world;
and what Varnhagen states in the place just referred to, that Schlegel
was, what we should call in England, far too much of a high churchman for
Prince Metternich, is only too manifest from the well-known
ecclesiastical policy of the Austrian government, contrasted as it is
with the ultramontane and Guelphic views propounded by the Viennese
lecturer in his philosophy of the eleventh and twelfth centuries.
Frederick Schlegel wished to see the state, with relation to the church,
in the attitude that Frederick Barbarossa assumed before Alexander III.
at Venice--kneeling, and holding the stirrup.

    "An emperor tramples where an emperor knelt."

Joseph II., in his estimation, had inverted the poles of the moral world,
making the state supreme, and the church subordinate--that degrading
position, which the Non-intrusionsts picture to themselves when they talk
of ERASTIANISM, and which Schlegel would have denominated
simply--PROTESTANTISM.

[Footnote K: "_Das republikanishe Werk erscheint gewiss nicht vor Zwei
Jahren_."--Letters to Rahel--1802. Varnhagen, as above. Vol. I. p. 234.]

[Footnote L: "_Das kleine Vermogen meiner Frau_."--Letters to Rahel.
Paris: 1803.]

[Footnote M: _Das Wiener Congress_ in 1814-15, by VARNHAGEN VON ENSE, in
the fifth volume of his _Denkwürdigkeiten_, p. 51. By the way here, Mr
Robertson in his list of famous Catholics in Germany, (p. 19,) includes
Gentz. Now, Varnhagen, who knew well, says that Gentz was only
politically an Austrian, and always remained Protestant in his religious
opinions; which is doubtless the fact.]

During his long residence at Vienna, from 1806 to 1828, Schlegel
delivered four courses of public lectures in the following
order:--One-and-twenty lectures on Modern History,[N] delivered in the
year 1810; sixteen lectures on Ancient and Modern Literature, delivered
in the spring of 1812, fifteen lectures on the Philosophy of Life,
delivered in 1827; and lastly, eighteen lectures on the Philosophy of
History, delivered in 1828. Of these, the Philosophy of life contains the
theory, as the lectures on literature and on history do the application,
of Schlegel's catholic and combining system of human intellect, and,
altogether, they form a complete and consistent body of Schlegelism.
Three works more speculatively complete, and more practically useful in
their way, the production of one consistent architectural mind, are, in
the history of literature, not easily to be found.

[Footnote N: _Ueber die neuere Geschichte Vorlesungen gehalten zu Wien im
Jahre 1810; Wien, 1811_.]

Towards the close of the year 1828, Schlegel repaired to Dresden, a city
endeared to him by the recollections of enthusiastic juvenile studies.
Here he delivered nine lectures _Ueber die Philosophie der Sprache, und
des Worts_, on the Philosophy of Language, a work which the present writer
laments much that he has not seen; as it is manifest that the prominency
given in Schlegel's Philosophy of Life above sketched to living experience
and primeval tradition, must, along with his various accomplishments as a
linguist, have eminently fitted him for developing systematically the high
significance of human speech. On Sunday the 11th January 1829, he was
engaged in composing a lecture which was to be delivered on the following
Wednesday, and had just come to the significant words--"_Das ganz
vollendete und voll-kommene Verstehen selbst, aber_"--"The perfect and
complete understanding of things, however"--when the mortal palsy suddenly
seized his hand, and before one o'clock on the same night he had ceased to
philosophize. The words with which his pen ended its long and laborious
career, are characteristic enough, both of the general imperfection of
human knowledge, and of the particular quality of Schlegel's mind. The
Germans have a proverb:--"_Alles wäre gut wäre kein ABER dabei_"--"every
thing would be good were it not for an ABER--for a HOWEVER--for a BUT."
This is the general human vice that lies in that significant ABER. But
Schlegel's part in it is a virtue--one of his greatest virtues--a
conscientious anxiety never to state a general proposition in philosophy,
without, at the same time, stating in what various ways the eternal truth
comes to be limited and modified in practice. Great, indeed, is the virtue
of a Schlegelian ABER. Had it not been for that, he would have had his
place long ago among the vulgar herds of erudite and intellectual
dogmatists.

Heinrich Steffens, a well-known literary and scientific character in
Germany, in his personal memoirs recently published,[O] describes
Frederick Schlegel, at Jena in 1798, as "a remarkable man, slenderly
built, but with beautiful regular features, and a very intellectual
expression"--(_im höchsten Grade gisntreich_.) In his manner there was
something remarkably calm and cool, almost phlegmatic. He spoke with
great slowness and deliberation, but often with much point, and a great
deal of reflective wit. He was thus a thorough German in his temperament;
so at least as Englishmen and Frenchmen, of a more nimble blood, delight
to picture the Rhenish Teut, not always in the most complimentary
contrast with themselves. As it is, his merit shines forth only so much
the more, that being a German of the Germans, he should by one small
work, more of a combining than of a creative character, have achieved an
European reputation and popularity with a certain sphere, that bids fair
to last for a generation or two, at least, even in this book-making age.
Such an earnest devotedness of research; such a gigantic capacity of
appropriation, such a kingly faculty of comprehension, will rarely be
found united in one individual. The multifarious truths which the noble
industry of such a spirit either evolved wisely or happily disposed, will
long continue to be received as a welcome legacy by our studious youth;
and as for his errors in a literary point of view, and with reference to
British use, practically considered they are the mere breadth of
fantastic colouring, which, being removed, does not destroy the drawing.

[Footnote O: _Was Ich Erlebte_, von HEINRICH STEFFENS. Breslau, 1840-2.
Vol. iv. p. 303.]


       *       *       *       *       *



MARSTON; OR THE MEMOIRS OF A STATESMAN.


PART IV.

  "Have I not in my time hear lions roar?
   Have I not heard the sea, puft up with wind,
   Rage like an angry boar chafed with sweat?
   Have I not heard great ordnance in the field,
   And heaven's artillery thunder in the skies?
   Have I not in the pitched battle heard
   Loud 'larums, neighing steeds, and trumpets clang?"

                                      SHAKSPEARE.


What that residence and Brighton have since become, is familiar to the
world--the one an oriental palace, and the other an English city. But at
this time all that men saw in the surrounding landscape was almost as it
had been seen by our forefathers the Picts and Saxons. I found the prince
standing, with four or five gentlemen of distinguished appearance, under
the veranda which shaded the front of the cottage from the evening sun.
The day had been one of that sultry atmosphere in which autumn sometimes
takes its leave of us, and the air from the sea was now delightfully
refreshing. The flowers, clustered in thick knots over the little lawn,
were raising their languid heads, and breathing their renewed fragrance.
All was sweetness and calmness. The sunlight, falling on the amphitheatre
of hills, and touching them with diversities of colour as it fell on their
various heights and hollows, gave the whole a glittering and fantastic
aspect; while the total silence, and absence of all look of life, except
an occasional curl of smoke from some of the scattered cottages along the
beach; with the magnificent expanse of the ocean bounding all, smooth and
blue as a floor of lapis-lazuli, completed the character of a scene which
might have been in fairyland.

The prince, whose politeness was undeviating to all, came forward to meet
me at once, introduced me to his circle, and entered into conversation;
the topic was his beautiful little dwelling.

"You see, Mr Marston," said he, "we live here like hermits, and in not
much more space. I give myself credit for having made the discovery of
this spot. I dare say, the name of Brighthelmstone may have been in the
journal of some voyager to unknown lands, but I believe I have the honour
of being the first who ever made it known in London."

I fully acknowledged the taste of his discovery.

"Why," said he, "it certainly is not the taste of Kew, whose chief
prospect is the ugliest town on the face of the earth, and whose chief
zephyrs are the breath of its brew houses and lime-kilns. Hampton Court
has always reminded me of a monastery, which I should never dream of
inhabiting unless I put on the gown of a monk. St James's still looks the
hospital that it once was. Windsor is certainly a noble
structure--Edward's mile of palaces--but that residence is better
tenanted than by a subject. While, here I have found a desert, it is
true; but as the poet says or sings--

'I am monarch of all I survey.'"

"Yes," I observed. "But still a desert highly picturesque, and capable of
cultivation."

"Oh! I hope not," he answered laughingly. "The first appearance of
cultivation would put me to flight at once. Fortunately, cultivation is
almost impossible. The soil almost totally prohibits tillage, the sea air
prohibits trees, the shore prohibits trade, nothing can live here but a
fisherman or a shrimp, and thus I am secure against the invasion of all
_improvers_. W----, come here, and assist me to cure Mr Marston of his
skepticism on the absolute impossibility of our ever being surrounded by
London brick and mortar."

A man of a remarkably graceful air bowed to the call, and came towards us.

"W----," said the prince, "comfort me, by saying that no man can be
citizenized in this corner of the world."

"It is certainly highly improbable," was the answer. "And yet, when we
know John Bull's variety of tastes, and heroic contempt of money in
indulging them, such things may be. I lately found one of my country
constituents the inhabitant of a very pretty villa--which he had built,
too, for himself--in Sicily; and of all places, in the Val di Noto, the
most notorious spot in the island, or perhaps on the earth, for all kinds
of desperadoes--the very haunt of Italian smugglers, refugee Catalonians,
expert beyond all living knaves in piracy, and African renegades. Yet
there sat my honest and fat-cheeked friend, with Aetna roaring above him;
declaiming on liberty and property, as comfortably as if he could not be
shot for the tenth of a sixpence, or swept off, chattels and all, at the
nod of an Algerine. No, sir. If the whim takes the Londoner, you will have
him down here without mercy. To the three per cents nothing is
impossible."

"Well, well," said the good-humoured prince, "that cannot happen for
another hundred years; and in the mean time my prospect will never be shut
out. Let them build, or pull down the pyramids, if they will. The tide of
city wealth will never roll through this valley; the noise of city life
will never fill those quiet fields; the smoke of an insurrection of city
hovels will never mingle with the freshness of such an evening as this.
Here, at all events, I have spent half a dozen of the pleasantest years of
my existence, and here, if I should live so long, I might spend the next
fifty, notwithstanding your prophecies, W----, as far from London, except
in the mere matter of miles, as if I had fixed myself in a valley of the
Crimea."

His royal highness was clever, but he was no prophet, more than other men.
Need I say that London found him out within the tenth part of his fifty
years; instead of suffering him to escape, compelled him to build: and,
after the outlay of a quarter of a million, shut him up within his own
walls, like the giant of the Arabian tales in a bottle--His village a huge
suburb of the huge metropolis; his lawn surrounded by a circumvallation of
taverns and toyshops; the sea invisible; and the landscape scattered over
with prettinesses of architecture created by the wealth of Cheapside, and
worthy of all the caprices of all the tourists of this much travelled
world.

But simple as was the exterior of the cottage, all within was costliness,
so far as it can be united with elegance. Later days somewhat impaired the
taste of this accomplished man, and he sought in splendour what was only
to be found in grace. But here, every decoration, from the ceiling to the
floor, exhibited the simplicity of refinement. A few busts of his public
friends, a few statues of the patriots of antiquity, and a few pictures of
the great political geniuses of Europe--among which the broad forehead and
powerful eye of Machiavel were conspicuous--showed at a glance that we
were under the roof of a political personage. Even the figures in chased
silver on the table were characteristic of this taste. A Timoleon, a
Brutus, and a Themistocles, incomparably classic, stood on the plateau;
and a rapier which had belonged to Doria, and a sabre which had been worn
by Castruccio, hung on either side of the mantelpiece. The whole had a
republican tendency, but it was republicanism in gold and
silver--mother-of-pearl republicanism--the Whig principle embalmed in
Cellini chalices and porcelain of Frederic le Grand. Fortunately the
conversation did not turn upon home politics. It wandered lightly through
all the pleasanter topics of the day; slight ventilations of public
character, dexterous allusions to anecdotes which none but the initiated
could understand; and the general easy intercourse of well-bred men who
met under the roof of another well-bred man to spend a few hours as
agreeably as they could. The prince took his full share in the gaiety of
the evening; and I was surprised to find at once so remarkable a
familiarity with the classics, whose sound was scarcely out of my college
ears; and with those habits of the humbler ranks, which could have so
seldom come to his personal knowledge. To his exterior, nature had been
singularly favourable. His figure, though full, still retained all the
activity and grace of youth; his features, though by no means regular,
had a general look of manly beauty, and his smile was cordiality itself.
I have often since heard him praised for supreme elegance; but his manner
was rather that of a man of great natural good-humour, who yet felt his
own place in society, and of that degree of intelligence which qualified
him to enjoy the wit and talents of others, without suffering a sense of
inferiority. Among those at table were C---- and H----, names well known
in the circles of Devonshire House; Sir P---- F----, who struck me at
first sight by his penetrating physiognomy, and who was even then
suspected of being the author of that most brilliant of all libels,
Junius; W----, then in the flower of life, and whose subtilty and whim
might be seen in his fine forehead and volatile eyes; some others, whose
names I did not know, and among them one of low stature, but of
singularly animated features. He was evidently a military man, and of the
Sister Isle, a prime favourite with the prince and every body; and I
think a secretary in the prince's household. He had just returned from
Paris; and as French news was then the universal topic, he took an ample
share in the conversation. The name of La Fayette happening to be
mentioned, as then carrying every thing before him in France--

"I doubt his talents," said the prince.

"I more doubt his sincerity," said W----.

"I still more doubt whether this day three months he will have his head on
his shoulders," said Sir P----.

"None can doubt his present popularity," said the secretary.

"At all events," said his highness, "I cannot doubt that he has wit, which
in France was always something, and now, in the general crash of pedigree,
is the only thing. Any man who could furnish the Parsans with a _bon-mot_
a-day, would have a strong chance of succeeding to the throne in the
probable vacancy."

"A case has just occurred in point," said the secretary. "Last week La
Fayette had a quarrel with a battalion of the National Guard on the
subject of drill; they considering the manual exercise as an infringement
of the Rights of Man. The general being of the contrary opinion, a
deputation of corporals, for any thing higher would have looked too
aristocratic, waited on him at the quarters of his staff in the Place
Vendôme, to demand--his immediate resignation. On further enquiry, he
ascertained that all the battalions, amounting to thirty thousand men,
were precisely of the same sentiments. Next morning happened to have been
appointed for a general review of the National Guard. La Fayette appeared
on the ground as commandant at the head of his staff, and after a gallop
along the line, suddenly alighted from his horse, and taking a musket on
his shoulder, to the utter astonishment of every body walked direct into
the centre of the line, and took post in the ranks. Of course all the
field-officers flew up to learn the reason. 'Gentlemen,' said he, 'I am
tired of receiving orders as commander-in-chief, and that I may _give_
them, I have become a _private_, as you see.' The announcement was
received with a shout of merriment; and, as in France a pleasantry would
privilege a man to set fire to a church, the general was cheered on all
sides, was remounted and the citizen army, suspending the 'Rights of Man'
for the day, proceeded to march and manoeuvre according to the drill
framed by despots and kings."

"Well done, La Fayette," said the prince, "I did not think that there was
so much in him. To be sure, to have one's neck in danger--for the next
step to deposing would probably be to hang him--might sharpen a man's wits
a good deal."

"Yes," said Sir P----, "so many live by their wits in Paris, that even the
marquis of the mob might have his chance; but a bon-mot actually saved,
within these few days, one even so obnoxious as a bishop from being _sus.
per coll_. In the general system of purifying the church by hanging the
priests, the rabble of the Palais Royal seized the Bishop of Autun, and
were proceeding to treat him 'à la lanterne' as an aristocrat. It must be
owned that the lamps in Paris, swinging by ropes across the streets, offer
really a very striking suggestion for giving a final lesson in politics.
It was night, and the lamp was trimmed. They were already letting it down
for the bishop to be its successor; when he observed, with the coolness of
a spectator--'Gentlemen, if I am to take the place of that lamp, it does
not strike me that the street will be better lighted.' The whimsicality of
the idea caught them at once; a bishop for a _reverbère_ was a new idea;
they roared with laughter at the conception, and bid him go home for a
'_bon enfant_!'"

"I cannot equal the La Fayette story," said C----, "but I remember one not
unlike it, when the Duke of Rutland was Irish viceroy. Charlemont was
reviewing a brigade of his volunteers when he found a sudden stop in one
of the movements, a troop of cavalry on a flank: choosing to exhibit a
will of their own in an extraordinary way. If the brigade advanced, they
halted; if it halted, they advanced. The captain bawled in vain.
Aide-de-camp after aide-de-camp was sent to enquire the cause; they all
came back roaring with laughter. At length Charlemont, rather irritated
by the ridicule of the display, rode down the line and desired the
captain to order them to move; not a man stirred; they were as immovable
as a wall of brass. He then took the affair upon himself; and angrily
asked, 'if they meant to insult him.' 'Not a bit of it, my lord,' cried
out all the Paddies together. 'But we are not on _speaking terms_ with
the captain.'"

"How perfectly I can see Charlemont's countenance at that capital answer:
his fastidious look turning into a laugh, and the real dignity of the man
forced to give way to his national sense of ridicule. Is there any hope of
his coming over this season, C----?" asked the prince.

"Not much. He talks in his letters of England, as a man married to a
termagant might talk of his first love--hopeless regrets, inevitable
destiny, and so forth. He is bound to Ireland, and she treats him as
Catharine treated Petruchio before marriage. But he has not the whip of
Petruchio, nor perhaps the will, since the knot has been tied. He is only
one of the many elegant and accomplished Irishmen who have done just the
same--who find some strange spell in the confusions of a country full of
calamities; prefer clouds to sunshine, and complain of their choice all
their lives."

"Yes," said W----. "It is like the attempt to put a coat and trousers on
the American Indian. The hero flings them off on the first opportunity,
takes to his plumes and painted skin, and prefers being tomahawked in a
swamp to dying in a feather-bed like a gentleman!"

"Or," said the prince, "as Goldsmith so charmingly expresses it of the
Swiss--to whom, however, it is much less applicable than his own
countrymen--

    'For as the babe, whom rising storms molest,
    Clings but the closer to his mother's breast,
    So the rude whirlwind and the tempest's roar
    But bind him to his native mountains more.'"

My story next came upon the _tapis_; and the sketch of my capture by the
free-traders was listened to with polite interest.

"Very possibly I may have some irregular neighbours," was the prince's
remark. "But, it must be confessed, that I am the intruder on their
domain, not they on mine; and, if I were plundered, perhaps I should have
not much more right to complain, than a whale-catcher has of being swamped
by a blow of the tail, or a man fond of law being forced to pay a bill of
costs."

"On the contrary," said the secretary, "I give them no slight credit for
their forbearance; for the sacking of this cottage would, probably, be an
easier exploit than beating off a revenue cruiser, and the value of their
prize would be worth many a successful run. I make it a point never to go
to war with the multitude. I had a little lesson on the subject myself,
within the week, in Paris"--

An attendant here brought in a letter for the prince, which stopped the
narrative. The prince honoured the letter with a smile.

"It is from Devonshire House," said he--"a very charming woman the
Duchess; just enough of the woman to reconcile us to the wit, and just
enough of the wit to give poignancy to the woman. She laughingly says she
is growing 'heartless, harmless, and old.' What a pity that so fine a
creature should grow any of the three!"

"There is no great fear of that," observed Sir P----, "if it is to be left
to her Grace's own decision. There is no question in the world on which a
fine woman is more deliberate in coming to a conclusion."

"Well, well," said the prince; "_she_, at least, is privileged. Diamonds
never grow old."

"They may require a little resetting now and then, however," said I.

"Yes, perhaps; but it is only once in a hundred years. If they sparkle
during one generation, what can _we_ ask more? Her Grace tells me an
excellent hit--the last flash of my old friend Selwyn. It happens that
Lady ----"--another fine woman was mentioned--"has looked rather distantly
upon her former associates since her husband was created a marquis. 'I
enquired the other day,' says the duchess, 'for a particular friend of
hers, the wife of an earl.' 'I have not seen her for a long time,' was the
answer. Selwyn whispered at the moment, I dare say, long enough--she has
not seen her since the _creation_.'"

"If Selwyn," said Sir P----, "had not made such a trade of wit; if he had
not been such a palpable machine for grinding every thing into _bons-mots_;
if his distillation of the dross of common talk into the spirit of
pleasantry were less tardy and less palpable; I should have allowed him to
be"--

"What?" asked some one from the end of the table.

"Less a _bore than he was_," was the succinct answer.

"For my part," said the prince, "I think that old George was amusing to
the last. He had great observation of oddity, and, you will admit, that he
had no slight opportunities; for he was a member of, I believe, every club
for five miles round St James's. But he _was_ slow. Wit should be like a
pistol-shot; a flash and a hit, and both best when they come closest
together. Still, he was a fragment of an age gone by, and I prize him as I
should a piece of pottery from Herculaneum; its use past away, but its
colours not extinguished, and, though altogether valueless at the time,
curious as the _beau reste_ of a pipkin of antiquity."

"Sheridan," observed C----, "amounts, in my idea, to a perfect wit, at
once keen and polished; nothing of either violence or virulence--nothing
of the sabre or the saw; his weapon is the stiletto, fine as a needle, yet
it strikes home."

"_Apropos_," said the prince, "does any one know whether there is to be a
debate this evening? He was to have dined here. What can have happened to
him?"

"What always happens to him," said one of the party; "he has postponed
it. Ask Sheridan for Monday at seven, and you will have him next week on
Tuesday at eight. 'Procrastination is the thief of time,' to him more
than, I suppose, any other man living."

"At all events," said H----, "it is the only thief that Sheridan has to
fear. His present condition defies all the skill of larceny. He is
completely in the position of Horace's traveller--he might sing in a
forest of felons."

At this moment the sound of a post-chaise was heard rushing up the avenue,
and Sheridan soon made his appearance. He was received by the prince with
evident gladness, and by all the table with congratulations on his having
arrived at all. He was abundant in apologies; among the rest "his carriage
had broken down halfway--he had been compelled to spend the morning with
Charles Fox--he had been subpoenaed on the trial of one of the Scottish
conspirators--he had been summoned on a committee of a contested
election." The prince smiled sceptically enough at this succession of
causes to produce the single effect of being an hour behind-hand.

"The prince bows at every new excuse," said H---- at my side, "as Boileau
took off his hat at every plagiarism in his friend's comedy--on the score
of old acquaintance. If one word of all this is true, it may be the
breaking down of his post-chaise, and even that he probably broke down for
the sake of the excuse. Sheridan could not walk from the door to the
dinner-table without a stratagem."

I had now, for the first time, an opportunity of seeing this remarkable
man. He was then in the prime of life, his fame, and of his powers. His
countenance struck me at a glance, as the most characteristic that I had
ever seen. Fancy may do much, but I thought that I could discover in his
physiognomy every quality for which he was distinguished: the pleasantry
of the man of the world, the keen observation of the great dramatist, and
the vividness and daring of the first-rate orator. His features were fine,
but their combination was so powerfully intellectual, that, at the moment
when he turned his face to you, you felt that you were looking on a man of
the highest order of faculties. None of the leading men of his day had a
physiognomy so palpably mental. Burke's spectacled eyes told but little;
Fox, with the grand outlines of a Greek sage, had no mobility of feature;
Pitt was evidently no favourite of whatever goddess presides over beauty
at our birth. But Sheridan's countenance was the actual mirror of one of
the most glowing, versatile, and vivid minds in the world. His eyes alone
would have given expression to a face of clay. I never saw in human head
orbs so large, of so intense a black, and of such sparkling lustre. His
manners, too, were then admirable; easy without negligence, and
respectful, as the guest at a royal table, without a shadow of servility.
He also was wholly free from that affectation of epigram, which tempts a
man who cannot help knowing that his good things are recorded. He laughed,
and listened, and rambled through the common topics of the day, with all
the evidence of one enjoying the moment, and glad to contribute to its
enjoyment; and yet, in all this ease, I could see that remoter thoughts,
from time to time, passed through his mind. In the midst of our gaiety,
the contraction of his deep and noble brows showed that he was wandering
far away from the slight topics of the table; and I could imagine what he
might be, when struggling against the gigantic strength of Pitt, or
thundering against Indian tyranny before the Peerage in Westminster Hall.

I saw him long afterwards, when the promise of his day was overcast; when
the flashes of his genius were like guns of distress; and his character,
talents, and frame were alike sinking. But, ruined as he was, and
humiliated by folly as much as by misfortune, I have never been able to
regard Sheridan but as a fallen star--a star, too, of the first magnitude;
without a superior in the whole galaxy from which he fell, and with an
original brilliancy perhaps more lustrous than them all.

"Well, Sheridan, what news have you brought with you?" asked the prince.

The answer was a laugh. "Nothing, but that Downing Street has turned into
Parnassus. The astounding fact is, that Grenville has teemed, and, as the
fruits of the long vacation, has produced a Latin epigram.

  'Veris risit Amor roses caducas:
   Cui Ver--"Vane puer, tuine flores,
   Quaeso, perpetuum manent in aevum?'"

The prince laughed. "He writes on the principle, of course, that in one's
dotage we are privileged to return to the triflings of our infancy, and
that Downing Street cannot be better employed in these days than as a
chapel of ease to Eton."

"Yet, even there, he is but a translator," said Sir P----.

"'The tenth transmitter of an idler's line,'

It is merely a _rechauffé_ of the old Italian.

  'Amor volea schernir la primavera
   Sulla breve durata e passegiera
   Dei vaghi fiori suoi.
   Ma la belle stagione a lui rispose
   Forse i piacere tuoi
   Vita piu lunga avran delle mie rose.'"

The prince, who, under Cyril Jackson, had acquired no trivial scholarship,
now alluded to a singular poetic production, _printed_ in 1618, which
seemed distinctly to announce the French Revolution.

'Festinat propere cursu jam temporis ordo,
Quo locus, et Franci majestas prisca, senatus,
Papa, sacerdotes, missae, simulacra, Deique
Fictitii, atque omnis superos exosa potestas,
Judicio Domini justo sublata peribunt.[A]

[Footnote A:

    The time is rushing on
    When France shall be undone;
    And like a dream shall pass,
    Pope, monarch, priest, and mass;
    And vengeance shall be just,
    And all her shrines be dust,
    And thunder dig the grave
    Of sovereign and of slave.]

"The production is certainly curious," remarked W----; "but poets always
had something of the fortune-teller; and it is striking, that in many of
the modern Italian Latinists you will find more instances of strong
declamation against Rome, and against France as its chief supporter, than
perhaps in any other authorship of Europe. Audacity was the result of
terror. All Italy reminds one of the papal palace at Avignon--the
banqueting-rooms above, the dungeons of the Inquisition below; popes and
princes feasting within sound of the rack and the scourge. The Revolution
is but the ripening of the disease; the hydrophobia which has been lurking
in the system for centuries."

"Why, then," said Sheridan, "shall we all wonder at what all expected?
France may be running mad without waiting for the moon; mad in broad day;
absolutely stripping off, not merely the royal livery, which she wore for
the last five hundred years with so much the look of a well-bred footman;
but tearing away the last coverture of the national nakedness. Well; in a
week or two of this process, she will have got rid not only of church and
king, but of laws, property, and personal freedom. But, I ask, what
business have we to interfere? If she is madder than the maddest of March
hares, she is only the less dangerous; she will probably dash out her
brains against the first wall that she cannot spring over."

"But, at least, we know that mischief is already done among ourselves.
Those French affairs are dividing our strength in the House," remarked
C----.

"What then?" quickly demanded Sheridan. "What is it to me if others have
the nightmare, while I feel my eyes open? Burke, in his dreams, may dread
the example of France; but I as little dread it as I should a fire at the
Pole. He thinks that Englishmen have such a passion for foreign
importations, that if the pestilence were raging on the other side of the
Channel, we should send for specimens. My proposition is, that the example
of France is more likely to make slaves of us than republicans."

"Is it," asked W----, "to make us

    'Fly from minor tyrants to the throne?'"

"I laugh at the whole," replied Sheridan, "as a bugbear. I have no fear of
France as either a schoolmaster, or a seducer, of England. France is
lunatic, and who dreads a lunatic after his first paroxysm? Exhaustion,
disgust, decay, perhaps death, are the natural results. If there is any
peril to us, it is only from our meddling. The lunatic never revenges
himself but on his keeper. I should leave the patient to the native
doctors, or to those best of all doctors for mad nations, suffering,
shame, and time. Chain, taunt, or torment the lunatic, and he rewards you
by knocking out your brains."

"Those are not exactly the opinions of our friend Charles," observed the
prince with peculiar emphasis.

"No," was the reply. "I think for myself. Some would take the madman by
the hand, and treat him as if in possession of his senses. Burke would
gather all the dignitaries of Church and State, and treat him as a
demoniac; attempt to exorcise the evil spirit, and if it continued
intractable, solemnly excommunicate the possessed by bell, book, and
candle. But, as I do not like throwing away my trouble, I should let him
alone."

"The doctrine of confiscation is startling to all property," remarked the
prince. "I wish Charles would remember, that his strength lies in the
aristocracy."

"No man knows it better," observed W----. "But I strongly doubt whether
his consciousness of his own extraordinary talents is not at this moment
tempting him to try a new source of hazard. The people, nay, the populace,
are a new element to him, and to all. I can conceive a man of pre-eminent
ability, as much delighted with difficulty as inferior men are delighted
with ease. Fox has managed the aristocracy so long, and has bridled them
with so much the hand of a master, that what he might have once considered
as an achievement, he now regards as child's play. If Alexander's taming
Bucephalus was a triumph for a noble boy, I scarcely think that, after
passing the Granicus, he would have been proud of his fame as a
horse-breaker. Fox sees, as all men see, that great changes, for either
good or ill, are coming on the world. Next to that of a great king,
perhaps the most tempting rank to ambition would be that of a great
demagogue."

The glitter of Sheridan's eye, and the glow which passed across his cheek,
as he looked at the speaker, showed how fully he agreed with the
sentiment; and I expected some bold burst of eloquence. But, with that
sudden change of tone and temper which was among the most curious
characteristics of the man, he laughingly said, "At all events, whatever
the Revolution may do to our neighbours, it will do a vast deal of good to
ourselves. The clubs were growing so dull, that I began to think of
withdrawing my name from them all. Their principal supporters were daily
yawning themselves to death. The wiser part were flying into the country,
where, at least, their yawning would not be visible; and the rest remained
enveloped in dry and dreary newspapers, like the herbs of a 'Hortus
siccus.' White's was an hospital of the deaf and dumb; and Brookes's
strongly resembled Westminster Hall in the long vacation. It was in the
midst of this general doze that the news from Paris came. I assure you the
effects were miraculous--the universal spasm of lock-jaw was no more. Men
no longer regarded each other with a despairing glance in St James's
Street, and passed on. All was sudden sociability. Even in the city people
grew communicative, and puns were committed that would have struck their
forefathers with amazement. As Burke said, in one of his sybilline
speeches the other night: 'The tempest had come, at once bending down the
summits of the forest and stirring up the depths of the pool.' One of the
aldermen, on being told that the French were preparing to pass the Waal,
said, that if the Dutch would take _his_ advice, and if iron spikes were
not enough, they should _glass_ their _wall_."

The newspapers now arrived, and France for a while engrossed the
conversation. The famous Mirabeau had just made an oration with which all
France was ringing.

"That man's character," said the prince, after reading some vehement
portions of his speech, "perplexes me more and more. An aristocrat by
birth, he is a democrat by passion; but he has palpably come into the
world too early, or too late, for power. Under Louis XIV., he would have
made a magnificent minister; under his successor, a splendid courtier; but
under the present unfortunate king, he must be either the brawler or the
buffoon, the incendiary, or the sport, of the people. Yet he is evidently
a man of singular ability, and if he knows how to manage his popularity,
he may yet do great things."

"I always," said Sheridan, "am inclined to predict well of the man who
takes advantage of his time. That is the true faculty for public life; the
true test of commanding capacity. There are thousands who have ability,
for one who knows how to make use of it; as we are told that there are
monsters in the depths of the ocean which never come up to the light. But
I prefer your leviathan, which, whether he slumbers in the calm or rushes
through the storm, shows all his magnitude to the eye."

"And gets himself harpooned for his pains," observed W----.

"Well, then, at least he dies the death of a hero," was the
reply--"tempesting the brine, and perhaps even sinking the harpooner." He
uttered this sentiment with such sudden ardour, that all listened while he
declaimed--"I can imagine no worse fate for a man of true talent than to
linger down into the grave; to find the world disappearing from him while
he remains in it; his political vision growing indistinct, his political
ear losing the voice of man, his passions growing stagnant, all his
sensibilities palpably paralyzing, while the world is as loud, busy, and
brilliant round him as ever--with but one sense remaining, the unhappy
consciousness that, though not _yet_ dead, he is buried; a figure, if not
of scorn, of pity, entombed under the compassionate gaze of mankind, and
forgotten before he has mouldered. Who that could die in the vigour of his
life, would wish to drag on existence like _Somers_, coming to the Council
day after day without comprehending a word? or Marlborough, babbling out
his own imbecility? If I am to die, let me die in hot blood, let me die
like the lion biting the spear that has entered his heart, or springing
upon the hunter who has struck him--not like the crushed snake, miserable
and mutilated, hiding itself in its hole, and torpid before it is turned
into clay!"

"Will Mirabeau redeem France?" asked the prince; "or will he overwhelm the
throne?"

"I never heard of any one but Saint Christopher," said Sheridan,
sportively, "who could walk through the ocean, and yet keep his head above
water. Mirabeau is out of soundings already."

"Burke," said F----, "predicts that he must perish; that the Revolution
will go on, increasing in terrors; and that it would be as easy to stop a
planet launched through space, as the progress of France to ruin."

"So be it," said Sheridan with sudden animation. "There have been
revolutions in every age of the world, but the world has outlived them
all. Like tempests, they may wreck a royal fleet now and then, but they
prevent the ocean from being a pond, and the air from being a pestilence.
I am content if the world is the better for all this, though France may be
the worse. I am a political optimist, in spite of Voltaire; or, I agree
with a better man and a greater poet--'All's well that ends well.'"

The prince looked grave; and significantly asked, "Whether too high a
present price might not be paid for prospective good?"

Sheridan turned off the question with a smile. "The man who has as little
to pay as I have," said he, "seldom thinks of price one way or the other.
Possibly, if I were his Grace of Bedford, or my Lord Fitzwilliam, I might
begin to balance my rent-roll against my raptures. Or, if I were higher
still, I might be only more prudent. But," said he, with a bow, "if what
was fit for Parmenio was not fit for Alexander, neither would what was fit
for Alexander be fit for Parmenio."

The prince soon after rose from table, and led the way into the library,
where we spent some time in looking over an exquisite collection of
drawings of Greece and Albania, a present from the French king to his
royal highness. The windows were thrown open, and the fresh scents of the
flower garden were delicious; the night was calm, and the moon gleamed far
over the quiet ocean.

At this moment a soft sound of music arose at a distance. I looked in vain
for the musicians--none were visible. The strain, incomparably managed,
now approached, now receded, now seemed to ascend from the sea, now to
stoop from the sky. All crowded to the casement--to me, a stranger and
unexpecting, all was surprise and spell. I, almost unconsciously, repeated
the fine lines in the Tempest:--

  "Where should this music be? I' the air, or the earth?
  It sounds no more: and sure, it waits upon
  Some god of the island--
  This music crept by me upon the waters,
  Allaying both their fury and my passion
  With its sweet air--But 'tis gone!
  No, it begins again."

The prince returned my quotation with a gracious smile, and the words of
the great poet,

"This is no mortal business, nor no sound
This the earth owns."

The private band, stationed in one of the thickets, had been the
magicians. Supper was laid in this handsome apartment, not precisely

  "The spare Sabine feast,
  A radish and an egg,"

but perfectly simple, and perfectly elegant. The service was Sevre, and I
observed on it the arms of the Duke of Orleans, combined with those of the
Prince. It had been a present from the most luxurious, and most
unfortunate, man on earth. And thus closed my first day in the exclusive
world.


On the next evening, I had exchanged fresh breezes and bright skies for
the sullen atmosphere and perpetual smoke of the great city; stars for
lamps, and the gentle murmurs of the tide, for the turbid rush and heavy
roar of the million of London. During the day, I had been abandoned
sufficiently to my own meditations. For though we did not leave Brighton
till noon, Marianne remained steadily, and I feared angrily, invisible.
Mordecai, during the journey, consulted nothing but his tablets, and was
evidently plunged in some huge financial speculation; and when he dropped
me at a hotel in St James's, and hurried towards his den in the depths of
the city, like a bat to its cave, I felt as solitary as if I had dropped
from the moon.

But an English hotel is a cure for most of the sorrows of English life.
The well-served table--the excellent sherry--a blazing fire, not at all
unrequired in the first sharp evenings of our autumn--and the newspaper
"just come in," are capital "medicines for the mind diseased." And like
old Maréchal Louvois, who recommended roast pigeons as a cure for
grief--observing that, "whenever he heard of the loss of any of his
friends, he ordered a pair, and found himself always much comforted after
eating them"--I was beginning to sink into that easy oblivion of the
rules of life, which, without actual sleep, has all the placid enjoyment
of slumber; when a voice pronounced my name, and I was startled and half
suffocated by the embrace of a figure who rushed from an opposite box,
and in a torrent of French poured out a torrent of raptures on my
arriving in London.

When I contrived at last to disengage myself, I saw Lafontaine; but so
hollow-cheeked and pale-visaged, that I could scarcely recognize my showy
friend in the skeleton knight who stood gesticulating his ultra-happiness
before me.

At length he drew, with a trembling touch and a glistening eye, from his
bosom a letter, which he placed in my hand with a squeeze of eternal
friendship. "Read," said he, "read, and then wonder, if you can, at my
misery and my gratitude." The letter was from Mariamne, and certainly a
very pretty one--gay and tender at once; gracefully alluding to some
little fretfulness on her part, or his, I could scarcely tell which; but
assuring him that all this was at an end--that she foreswore the world
henceforth, and was quite his own. All this was expressed with an elegance
which I was not quite prepared to find in the fair one, and with a tone of
sincerity for which I was still less prepared; yet with the coquette in
every line.

I should have been glad to see him at any time, but now I received him as
a resource from solitude, or rather from those restless thoughts which
made solitude so painful to me. Another bottle, perhaps, made me more
sensitive, and him more willing to communicate; and before it was
finished, he had opened his whole heart and emptied his letter-case, and I
had consulted him on the _im_probabilities of my ever being able to
succeed in the object which had so strangely, yet so totally, occupied all
my feelings.

It was clear, from her correspondence, that his pretty Jewess had played
him much as the angler plays the trout which he has secured on his hook.
She evidently enjoyed the display of her skill in tormenting: every second
letter was almost a declaration of breaking off the correspondence
altogether; or, what was even worse, mingled with those menaces, there
were from time to time allusions to my opinions, and quotations of my
chance remarks, which, rather to my surprise, showed me that the proverb,
"_Les absens ont toujours tort_," was true in more senses than one, and
that the Frenchman occasionally lost ground by being fifty miles off. Once
or twice it seemed to me that the little "betrothed" was evidently
thinking of the error of precipitate vows, and was beginning to change her
mind. But her last letter was a complete extinguisher of all my vanity, if
it had ever been awakened. It was a curious mingling of poignancy and
penitence; an acknowledgment of the pain which she felt in ever having
given pain, and almost an entreaty that he would hasten his affairs in
London, and return to Brighton, to "guard her against herself, once and
for ever."

All this was quite as it should be; but the envelope contained an enormous
postscript, of which I happened to be the theme. It was evidently written
in another mood of mind; and except that passion is blind, and even
refuses to see, when it might, I should probably have had another
rencontre with the best swordsman in the _Chevaux Legers_. After speaking
of me and my prospects in life, with an interest which reached at least to
the full amount of friendship, the subject of my reveries came on the
tapis. "My father and Mr Marston are on the point of going to town," said
the postscript; "the latter to dream of Mademoiselle De Tourville, without
the smallest hope of ever obtaining her hand. But I scarcely know what to
think of him and his feelings--if feelings they can be called--which
change like the fashions of the day, and at the mercy of all the triflers
of the day; or like the butterfly fluttering round the garden, as if
merely to show that it can flutter. This habit must make him for ever
incapable of the generous devotedness of heart and truth of affection
which I so much value in my '_friend_.'" But here Lafontaine interfered,
obviously through fear of my plunging into some discovery of my own
demerits, which had not struck him on his first perusal; and I surrendered
the letter, postscript and all, having first ascertained by a glance, that
the former was dated at the very hour of the discovery of my unlucky
stanzas to Clotilde, and the latter probably after the "fair penitent" had
time to reflect on the matter, and let compassion make its way. Woman is a
brilliant problem--but a problem after all.

A sudden trampling of cavalry and loud rush of carriages prevented my
attempting the solution--at least for that sitting. All the guests crowded
to the door. "His Majesty was going to Drury-Lane!" It was a performance
"by command." The never-failing pulse in the foreign heart was touched.
Lafontaine crushed his correspondence into his bosom, sprang on his feet,
wiped his eyes of all their sorrows, and proposed that we should see the
display. I was rejoiced to escape a topic too delicate for my handling. A
carriage was called, and by a double fee we contrived, through many a
hazard, in the narrowest and most dangerous defiles of any Christian city,
to reach the stately entrance, just as the troopers were brushing away the
mob from the steps, and the trumpets were outringing the cries of the
orangewomen.

By another bribe we contrived to make our way into a box, whose doors were
more unrelenting than brass or marble to the crowd in the lobby, less
acquainted with the mode of getting through the English world; and I had
my first view of national loyalty, in the handsomest theatre which I have
ever seen. How often it has been burnt down and built since, is beyond my
calculation. It was then perfection.

We had galloped to some purpose; for we had distanced the monarch and his
eight carriages. The royal party had not yet entered the house; and I
enjoyed, for a few minutes, one of the most striking displays that the
opulence and animation of a great country can possibly produce--the
_coup-d'oeil_ of a well-dressed audience in a fine and spacious theatre.
Multitudes spread over hill and dale may be picturesque; the aspect of
great public meetings may be startling, stern, or powerfully impressive;
the British House of Lords, on the opening of the session, exhibits a
majestic spectacle; but for a concentration of all the effects of art,
beauty, and magnificence, I have yet seen nothing like one of the English
theatres in their better days. To compare it in point of importance with
any other great assemblage, would in general be idle. But at this time,
even the assemblage before me, collected as it was for indulgence, had a
character of remarkable interest. The times were anxious. The nation was
avowedly on the eve of a struggle of which no human foresight could
discover the termination. The presence of the king was the presence of the
monarchy; the presence of the assemblage was the presence of the nation.
The house was only a levee on a large scale, and the crowd, composed as it
was of the most distinguished individuals of the country--the ministers,
the peerage, the heads of legislature--and the whole completed by an
immense mass of the middle order, gave a strong and admirable
representation of the power and feelings of the empire.

At length the sound of the trumpets was heard, the door of the royal box
was thrown open, and "God save the King" began. Noble as this noblest of
national songs is, it had, at that period, a higher meaning. It is
impossible to describe the spirit and ardour in which it was received;
nay, the almost sacred enthusiasm in which it was joined by all, and in
which every sentiment was followed with boundless acclamation. It was more
than an honourable and pleased welcome of a popular king. It was a
national pledge to the throne--a proud declaration of public principle--a
triumphant defiance of the enemy and the Earth to strike the stability of
a British throne, or subdue the hearts of a British people.

The king advanced to the front of the box, and bowed in return to the
general plaudits. It was the first time that I had seen George the Third,
and I was struck at once with the stateliness of his figure and the
kindliness of his countenance. Combined, they perfectly realized all that
I had conceived of a monarch, to whose steadiness of determination, and
sincerity of good-will, the empire had been already indebted in periods of
faction and foreign hostility; and to whom it was to be indebted still
more in coming periods of still wilder faction, and of hostility which
brought the world in arms against his crown.

As I glanced around for a moment, to see the effect on the house, which
was then thundering with applause, I observed a slight confusion, like a
personal quarrel, in the pit; and in the next instant saw a hand raised
above the crowd, and a pistol fired full in the direction of the royal
box. The King started back a pace or two, and the general apprehension
that he had been struck, produced a loud cry of horror. He evidently
understood the public feeling, and instantly came forward, and by a bow,
with his hand on his heart, at once assured them of his gratitude and his
safety. This was acknowledged by a shout of universal congratulation; and
many a bright eye, and many a manly one, too, streamed with tears. In the
midst of all, the Queen and the royal family rushed into the box, flung
themselves round the king, and all was embracing, fainting, and terror.
Cries for the seizure of the assassin now resounded on every side. He was
grasped by a hundred hands, and torn out of the house. Then the universal
voice demanded "God save the King" once more: the performers came forward
and the national chant, now almost elevated to a hymn, was sung by the
audience with a solemnity scarcely less than an act of devotion. All the
powers of the stage never furnished a more touching, perhaps a more
sublime scene, than the simple reality of the whole occurrence before my
eyes.

But at length the tumult sank; the order of the theatre was resumed; and
the curtain rose, displaying a remarkably fine view of Roman architecture,
a vista of temples and palaces, the opening scene of Coriolanus.

The fame of the admirable actor who played the leading character was then
at its height; and John Kemble shared with his splendid sister the honour
of being the twin leaders of the theatrical galaxy. I am not about to
dwell on Shakspeare's conception of the magnificent republican, nor on the
scarcely less magnificent representative which it found in the actor of
the night. But I speak to a generation which have never seen either
Siddons or Kemble, and will probably never see their equals. I may be
suffered, too, to indulge my own admiration of forms and faculties which
once gave me a higher sense of the beauty and the powers of which our
being is capable. Is this a dream? or, if so, is it not a dream that tends
to ennoble the spirit of man? The dimness and dulness of the passing world
require relief, and I look for it in the world of recollections.

Kemble was, at that time, in the prime of his powers; his features
strongly resembling those of Siddons; and his form the perfection of manly
grace and heroic beauty. His voice was his failing part; for it was hollow
and interrupted; yet its tone was naturally sweet, and it could, at times,
swell to the highest storm of passion. In later days he seemed to take a
strange pride in feebleness, and, in his voice and his person, affected
old age. But when I saw him first, he was all force, one of the handsomest
of human beings, and, beyond all comparison, the most accomplished classic
actor that ever realized the form and feelings of the classic age. His
manners in private life completed his public charm; and, in seeing Kemble
on the stage, we saw the grace and refinement acquired by the
companionship of princes and nobles, the accomplished, the high-born, and
the high-bred of the land.

From the mingled tenderness and loftiness of Kemble's playing, a new idea
of Coriolanus struck me. I had hitherto imagined him simply a bold
patrician, aristocratically contemptuous of the multitude, indignant at
public ingratitude, and taking a ruthless revenge. But the performance of
the great actor on this night opened another and a finer view to me. Till
now, I had seen the hero, a Roman, merely a gallant chieftain of the most
unromantic of all commonwealths, the land of inflexibility, remorseless
daring, and fierce devotement to public duty. But, by throwing the softer
feelings of the character into light, Kemble made him less a Roman than a
Greek--a loftier and purer Alcibiades, or a republican Alexander, or, most
and truest of all, a Roman Achilles--the same dazzling valour, the same
sudden affections, the same deep conviction of wrong, and the same
generous, but unyielding, sense of superiority. Say what we will of the
subordination of the actor to the author, the great actor shares his
laurels. He, too, is a creator.

But while I followed, with eye and mind, the movements of the stage,
Lafontaine was otherwise employed. His opera-glass was roving the boxes;
and he continually poured into my most ungrateful ear remarks on the
diplomatic body, and recognitions of the _merveilleux_ glittering round
the circle. At last, growing petulant at being thus disturbed, I turned to
beg of him to be silent, when he simply said--"La Voilà!" and pointed to a
group which had just taken their seats in one of the private boxes. From
that moment I saw no more of the tragedy. The party consisted of Clotilde,
Madame la Maréchal, and a stern but stately-looking man, in a rich
uniform, who paid them the most marked attention.

"There is the Marquis," said my companion; "he has never smiled probably,
since he was born, or, I suppose, he would smile to-night; for the
secretary to the embassy told me, not half an hour ago, that his
marriage-contract had just come over, with the king's signature."

My heart sank within me at the sound. Still my gay informant went on,
without much concerning himself about feelings which I felt alternately
flushing and chilling me. "The match will be a capital one, if matters
hold out for us. For Montrecour is one of the largest proprietors in
France; but, as he is rather of the new noblesse, the blood of the De
Tourvilles will be of considerable service to his pedigree. His new
uniform shows me that he has got the colonelcy of my regiment, and, of
course, I must attend his levee tomorrow. Will you come?"

My look was a sufficient answer.

"Ah!" said he, "you will not. Ah! there is exactly the national
difference. Marriage opens the world to a French _belle_, as much as it
shuts the world to an English one. Mademoiselle is certainly very
handsome," said he, pausing, and fixing his opera-glass on her. "The
contour of her countenance is positively fine; it reminds me of a picture
of Clairon in Medea, in the King's private apartments--her smile charming,
her eyes brilliant, and her diamonds perfect."

I listened, without daring to lift my eyes; he rambled on--"Fortunate
fellow, the Marquis--fortunate in every thing but that intolerable
physiognomy of his--Grand Ecuyer, Gold Key, Cross of Saint Louis, and on
the point of being the husband of the finest woman between Calais and
Constantinople. Of course, you intend to leave your card on the marriage?"

"No," was my answer. I suppose that there was something in the sound which
struck him. He stared with palpable wonder.

"What! are you not an old acquaintance? Have you not known her this month?
Have you not walked, and talked, and waltzed, with her?"

"Never spoke a word to her in my life."

"Well, then, you shall not be left in such a forlorn condition long. I
must pay my respects to my colonel. I dare say you may do the same to the
_fiancée_. Mademoiselle will be charmed to have some interruption to his
dreary attentions."

I again refused, but the gay Frenchman was not to be repulsed. He made a
prodigious bow to the box, which was acknowledged by both the ladies.
"There," said he, "the affair is settled. You cannot possibly hesitate
now; that bow is a summons to their box. I can tell you also that you are
highly honoured; for, if it had been in Paris, you could not have got a
sight of the bride except under the surveillance of a pair of chaperons as
grey and watchful as cats, or a couple of provincial uncles as stiff as
their own forefathers armed cap-a-pie."

I could resist no longer; but with sensations perhaps not unlike those of
one ascending the scaffold, I mounted the stairs. As the door opened, and
Lafontaine, tripping forward, announced my name, Clotilde's cheek suffused
with a burning blush, which in the next instant passed away, and left her
pale as marble. The few words of introduction over, she sank into total
silence; and though she made an effort, from time to time, to smile at
Lafontaine's frivolities, it was but a feeble one, and she sat, with
pallid lips and a hectic spot on her statue-like cheek, gazing on the
carpet. I attempted to take some share in the conversation; but all my
powers of speech were gone, my tongue refused to utter, and I remained the
most complete and unfortunate contrast to my lively friend, who was now
engaged in detailing the attempt on the royal life to Madame la Maréchal,
whose later arrival had prevented their witnessing it in person. My nearer
view of the Marquis did not improve the sketch which Lafontaine had given
of his commanding-officer. He was a tall, stiff, but soldierly-looking
person, with an expression, which, as we are disposed to approve or the
reverse, might be called strong sense or sullen temper. But he had some
reputation in the service as a bold, if not an able officer. He had saved
the French troops in America by his daring, from the effects of some
blunders committed by the giddiness of their commander-in-chief; and as
his loyalty was not merely known but violent, and his hatred of the new
faction in France not merely determined but furious, he was regarded as
one of the pillars of the royal cause. The Marquis was evidently in
ill-humour, whether with our introduction or with his bride; yet it was
too early for a matrimonial quarrel, and too late for a lover's one.
Clotilde was evidently unhappy, and after a few common-places we took our
leave; the Marquis himself condescending to start from his seat, and shut
the door upon our parting bow. The stage had now lost all interest for
me, and I prevailed on Lafontaine, much against his will, to leave the
house. The lobby was crowded, the rush was tremendous, and after
struggling our way, with some hazard of our limbs, we reached the door
only just in time to see Montrecour escorting the ladies to their
carriage.

All was over for the night; and my companion, who now began to think that
he had tormented me too far, was drawing me slowly, and almost
unconsciously, through the multitude, when a flourish of trumpets and
drums announced that their Majesties were leaving the theatre. The life
guards rode up; and the rushing of the crowd, the crash of the carriages,
the prancing and restiveness of the startled horses, and the quarrelling
of the coachmen and the Bow Street officers, produced a scene of uproar.
My first thought was the hazard of Clotilde, and I hastened to the spot
where I had seen her last, but she was gone.

"All's safe, you see," said Lafontaine, trying to compose his ruffled
costume; "your John Bulls are dangerous, in their loyalty, to coats and
carriages." I agreed with him, and we sprang into one of the wretched
vehicles that held its ground, with English tenacity, in the midst of a
war of coronets. But our adventures were not to close so simply. Our
driver had not remained in the rain for hours, without applying to the
national remedy against all inclemencies of weather. He had no sooner
mounted the box than I found that we were running a race with every
carriage which we approached, sometimes tilting against them, and
sometimes narrowly escaping from being overturned. At last we met with an
antagonist worthy of our prowess. All my efforts to stop our charioteer
had been useless, for he was evidently beyond any kind of appeal but that
of flinging him from his seat; and Lafontaine, with the genuine fondness
of a Gaul for excitement of all kinds, seemed wonderfully amused as we
swept along. But our new rival was evidently in the same condition with
our own Jehu, and after a smart horsewhipping of each other, they rushed
forward at full speed. A sudden scream from within the other carriage
showed the terror of its inmates, as it dashed along; an old woman in full
dress, however, was all that I could discover; for we were fairly
distanced in the race, though it was still kept up, with all the
perseverance of a fool thoroughly intoxicated. In a few minutes more we
heard a tremendous collision in front, and saw by the blaze of half a
hundred flambeaux brandished in all directions, our rival a complete
wreck, plunged into the midst of a crowd of equipages, waiting for their
lordly owners in front of Devonshire house. It had been one of the weekly
balls given by the Duchess, and the fallen vehicle had damaged panels
covered with heraldry as old as the Plantagenets.

Arriving with almost equal rapidity, but with better fortune, I had but
just time to spring into the street, at the instant when the old lady,
writhing herself out of the window, which was now uppermost, was about to
trust her portly person to chance. I caught her as she clung to the
carriage with her many-braceleted arms, and was almost strangled by the
vigour of her involuntary embrace as she rolled down upon me.

There was nothing in the world less romantic than my position in the midst
of a circle of sneering footmen; and, as if to put romance for ever out of
the question, I was relieved from my plumed and mantled encumbrance only
by the assistance of Townshend, then the prince of Bow Street officers;
who, knowing every thing and every body, informed me that the lady was a
person of prodigious rank, and that he should 'feel it his duty,' before
he parted with me, to ascertain whether her ladyship's purse had not
suffered defalcation by my volunteering.

I was indignant, as might be supposed; and my indignation was not at all
decreased by the coming up of half a dozen Bow Street officers, every one
of whom either "believed," or "suspected," or "knew," me to be "an old
offender." But I was relieved from the laughter of the liveried mob round
me, and probably from figuring in the police histories of the morning, by
the extreme terrors of the lady for the fate of her daughter. The carriage
had by this time been raised up, but its other inmate was not to be found.
She now produced the purse, which had been so impudently the cause of
impeaching my honour; "and offered its contents to all who should bring
any tidings of her daughter, her lost child, her Clotilde!" The name
thrilled on my ear. I flew off to renew the search, followed by the
crowd--was unsuccessful, and returned, only to see my _protégé_ in strong
hysterics. My situation now became embarrassing; when a way was made
through the crowd by a highly-powdered personage, the chamberlain of the
mansion, who announced himself as sent by "her Grace," to say that the
Countess de Tourville was safe, having been taken into the house; and,
further, conveying "her Grace's compliments to Madame la Maréchal de
Tourville, to entreat that she would do her the honour to join her
daughter." This message, delivered with all the pomp of a "gentleman of
the bedchamber," produced its immediate effect upon the circle of cocked
hats and worsted epaulettes. They grew grave at once; and guided by
Townshend, who moved on, hat in hand, and bowing with the obsequiousness
of one escorting a prince of the blood, we reached the door of the
mansion.

But here a new difficulty arose. The duchess was known to La Maréchal, for
to whom in misfortune was not that most generous and kind-hearted duchess
known? But _I_ was still a stranger. However, with my old Frenchwoman,
ceremony was not then the prevailing point. _I_ had been her "preserver,"
as she was pleased to term me. _I_ had been "introduced," which was quite
sufficient for knowledge; above all other merits, "I spoke French like a
Parisian;" in short, it was wholly impossible for her to ascend the
crowded staircase, with her numberless dislocations, by the help of any
other arm on earth. The slightest hope of seeing Clotilde would have made
me confront all the etiquette of Spain; and I bore the contrast of my
undress costume with the feathered and silken multitude which filled the
stairs, in the spirit of a philosopher, until, by "many a step and slow,"
we reached the private wing of the mansion.

There, in an apartment fitted up with all the luxury of a boudoir, yet
looking melancholy from the dim lights and the silent attendants, lay
Clotilde on a sofa. But how changed from the being whom I had just seen at
the theatre! She had been in imminent danger, and was literally dragged
from under the horses' feet. A slight wound in her temple was still
bleeding, and her livid lips and half-closed eyes gave me the image of
death. As for Madame, she was in distraction; the volubility of her
sorrows made the well-trained domestics shrink, as from a display at which
they ought not to be present; and at length the only recipients of her
woes were myself and the physician, who, with ominous visage, and drops in
hand, was administering his aid to the passive patient. As Madame's
despair rendered her wholly useless, the doctor called on me to assist him
in raising her from the floor, on which she had flung herself like a
heroine in a tragedy.

While I was engaged in this most reluctant performance, the accents of a
sweet voice, and the rustling of silk, made me raise my eyes, and a vision
floated across the apartment; it was the duchess herself, glittering in
gold and jewels, turbaned and embroidered, as a Semiramis or a queen of
Sheba; she was brilliant enough for either. She had just left the fancy
ball behind, and was come "to make her personal enquiries for the health
of her young friend."

My office was rather startling, even to the habitual presence of mind of
the leader of fashion. I might have figured in her eyes, as the husband,
or the lover, or the doctor's apprentice; she almost uttered a scream. But
the sound, slight as it was, recalled the Maréchal to her senses. The
explanation was given with promptitude, and received with politeness. My
family, in all its branches, came into her Grace's quick recollection; and
I was thus indebted to my adventure, not only for an introduction to one
of the most elegant women of her time--to the goddess of fashion in her
temple, the Circe of high life, at the "witching hour," but of being most
"graciously" received; and even hearing a panegyric on my chivalry, from
the Maréchal, smilingly echoed by lips which seemed made only for smiles.

A summons from the ball-room soon withdrew the captivating mistress of the
mansion, who retired with the step and glance of the very queen of
courtesy; and I was about to take my leave, when a ceremonial of still
higher interest awaited me. Clotilde, feebly rising from her sofa, and
sustaining herself on the neck of her kneeling mother, murmured her thanks
to me "for the preservation of her dear parent." The sound of her voice,
feeble as it was, fell on my ear like music. I advanced towards her. The
Maréchal stood with her handkerchief to her eyes, and venting her
sensibilities in sobs. The fairer object before me shed no tears, but,
with her eyes half-closed, and looking the marble model of paleness and
beauty, she held out her hand. She was, perhaps, unconscious of offering
more than a simple testimony of her gratitude for the services which her
mother had described with such needless eloquence. But in that delicious,
yet unaccountable feeling--that superstition of the heart, which makes
every thing eventful--even that simple pressure of her hand created a
long and living future in my mind.

Yet let me do myself justice; whether wise or weak in the presence of the
only being who had ever mastered my mind, I was determined not "to point a
moral and adorn a tale." I had other duties and other purposes before me
than to degenerate into a slave of sighs. I was to be no Romeo, bathing my
soul in the luxuries of Italian palace-chambers, moonlight speeches, and
the song of nightingales. I felt that I was an Englishman, and had the
rugged steep of fortune to climb, and climb alone. The time, too, in which
I was to begin my struggle for distinction, aroused me to shake off the
spirit of dreams which threatened to steal over my nature. The spot in
which I lived was the metropolis of mankind. I was in the centre of the
machinery which moved the living world. The wheels of the globe were
rushing, rolling, and resounding in my ears. Every interest, necessity,
stimulant, and passion of mankind, came in an incessant current to London,
as to the universal heart, and flowed back, refreshed and invigorated, to
the extremities of civilization. I saw the hourly operations of that
mighty furnace in which the fortunes of all nations were mingled, and
poured forth remolded. And London itself was never more alive. Every
journal which I took up was filled with the signs of this extraordinary
energy; the projects and meetings, the harangues and political
experiments, of bold men, some rising from the mire into notoriety, if not
into fame; some plunging from the highest rank of public life into the
mire, in the hope of rising, if with darkened, yet a freshened wing. The
debates in parliament, never more vivid than at this crisis, with the two
great parties in full force, and throwing out flashes in every movement,
like the collision of two vast thunder clouds, were a perpetual summons to
action in every breast which felt itself above the dust it trod. But the
French journals were the true excitements to political ardour. They were
more than lamps, guiding mankind along the dusky paths of public
regeneration--they were torches, dazzling the multitude who attempted to
profit by their light; and, while they threw a glare round the head of the
march, blinding all who followed. To one born, like myself, in the most
aristocratic system of society on earth, yet excluded from its advantages
by the mere chance of birth, it was new, and undoubtedly not displeasing,
to see the pride of nobility tamed by the new rush of talent and ambition
which had started up from obscurity in France; village attorneys and
physicians, clerks in offices, journalists, men from the plough and the
pen, supplying the places of the noblesse of Clovis and Capet, possessing
themselves of the highest power while their predecessors were flying
through Europe; conducting negotiations, commanding armies, ruling
assemblies, holding the helm of government in the storm which had
scattered the great names of France upon the waters. I anticipated all the
triumph of the "younger sons."

Even the brief interval of my Brighton visit had curiously changed the
aspect of the metropolis. The emigration was in full force, and every spot
was crowded with foreign visages. Sallow cheeks and starting eyes,
scowling brows and fierce mustaches, were the order of the day; the monks
and the military had run off together. The English language was almost
overwhelmed by the perpetual jargon of all the loud-tongued
provincialities of France. But the most singular portion was the
ecclesiastical. The streets and parks were filled with the unlucky sheep
of the Gallican church, scattered before the teeth and howl of the
republican wolf; and England saw, for the first time, the secrets of the
monastery poured out before the light of day. The appearance of some among
this sable multitude, though venerable and dignified, could not prevent
the infinite grotesque of the others from having its effect on the
spectator. The monks and priesthood of France amounted to little less than
a hundred and fifty thousand. All were now thrown up from the darkness of
centuries before a wondering world. I had Milton's vision of Limbo before
my eyes.

    "Embryos and idiots, eremites and friars,
    A violent cross wind from either coast
    Blew them transverse. Then might ye see
    Cowls, hoods, and habits, with their wearers, tost,
    And flutter'd into rags; their reliques, beads,
    Indulgences, dispenses, pardons, bulls,
    The sport of winds."

The mire was fully stirred up in which the hierarchy had enjoyed its sleep
and sunshine for a thousand years. The weeds and worms had been fairly
scraped off, which for a thousand years had grown upon the keel of the
national vessel, and of which the true wonder was, that the vessel had
been able to make sail with them clinging to her so long. In fact, I was
thus present at one of the most remarkable phenomena of the whole
Revolution. The flight of a noblesse was nothing to this change. The
glittering peerage of France, created by a court, and living in perpetual
connexion with the court, as naturally followed its fate as a lapdog
follows the fortunes of its mistress; but here was a digging up of the
moles, an extermination of the bats, a general extrusion of the subversive
principle, to a race of existence which, whether above or below ground,
seemed almost to form a part of the soil. Monkery was broken up, like a
ship dashed against the shores of the bay of Biscay. The ship was not only
wrecked, but all its fragments continued to be tossed on the ceaseless
surge. The Gallican church was flung loose over Europe, at a time when all
Europe itself was in commotion. I own, to the discredit of my political
foresight, that I thought its forms and follies extinguished for ever. The
snake was more tenacious of life than I had dreamed. But if I erred, I did
not err alone.

Mordecai, whom I found immersed deeper and deeper in continental politics,
and who scarcely denied his being the accredited agent of the emigrant
princes, gave his opinion of this strange portion of French society with
much more promptitude than he probably would of the probable fall or rise
of stocks.

"Of all the gamblers at the great gambling-table of France," said he, "the
clergy have played their game the worst. By leaving their defence to the
throne, they have only dragged down the throne. By relying on the good
sense of the National Assembly, they have left themselves without a
syllable to say. Like men pleading by counsel, they have been at the mercy
of their counsel, and been ruined at once by their weakness and their
treachery."

On my observing to him that the church of France was necessarily feebler
than either the throne or the nobles, and that, therefore, its natural
course was to depend on both--

"Rely upon it," said the keen Jew "that any one great institution of the
state which suffers itself, in the day of danger, to depend on any other
for existence, will be ruined. When all are pressed, each will be glad to
get rid of the pressure, by sacrificing the most dependent. The church
should have stood on its own defence. The Gallican hierarchy was, beyond
all question, the most powerful in Europe. Rome and her cardinals were
tinsel and toys to the solid strength of the great provincial clergy of
France. They had numbers, wealth, and station. Those things could give
influence among a population of Hottentots. Let other hierarchies take
example. They threw them all away, at the first move of a bloody
handkerchief on the top of a Parisian pike. They had vast power with the
throne; but what had once been energy they turned into encumbrance, and if
the throne is pulled down, it will be by their weight. They had a third of
the land in actual possession, and they allowed themselves to be stripped
of it by a midnight vote of a drunken assembly. If they were caricatured
in Paris, they had three-fourths of the population as fast bound to them
as bigotry and their daily bread could bind. Three months ago, they might
have marched to Paris with their crucifixes in front, and three millions
of stout peasantry in their rear, have captured the capital, and fricaseed
the foolish legislature. And now, they have archbishops learning to live
on a shilling a-day."

From the Horse guards I had yet obtained nothing, but promises of "being
remembered on the first vacancy;" Clotilde was still a sufferer, and my
time, like that of every man without an object, began to be a deplorable
encumbrance. In short, my vision of high life and its happiness was fairly
vanishing hour by hour. I occasionally met Lafontaine; but, congenial as
our tempers might be, our natures had all the national difference, and I
sometimes envied, and as often disdained, his buoyancy. Even he, too, had
his fluctuations; and a letter from Mariamne, a little more or less
petulant, raised and sank him like the spirits in a thermometer.

But one day he rushed into my apartment with a look of that despair which
only foreigners can assume, and which actually gave me the idea that he
was about to commit suicide. Flinging himself into a chair, and plunging
his hand deep into his bosom, from which I almost expected to see him draw
the fatal weapon, he extracted a paper, and held it forth to me. "Read!"
he exclaimed, with the most pathetic tones of Talma in tragedy--"read my
ruin!" I read, and found that it was a letter from his domineering little
Jewess, commanding him to throw up his commission on the spot, and
especially not to go to France, on penalty of her eternal displeasure. My
looks asked an explanation. "There!" cried the hero of the romance,
"there!--see the caprice, the cruelty, the intolerable tyranny of that most
uncertain, intractable, and imperious of all human beings!" I had neither
consolation nor contradiction to offer.

He then let me into his own secret, with an occasional episode of the
secrets of others--the substance of the whole being, that a counter
revolution was preparing in France; that, after conducting the
correspondence in London for some time, he had been ordered to carry a
despatch, of the highest importance, to the secret agency in Paris; and
that the question was now between love and honour--Mariamne having, by
some unlucky hint dropped from her father, received intimation of the
design, and putting her _veto_ on his bearing any part in it in the most
peremptory manner. What was to be done? The unfortunate youth was fairly
on the horns of the dilemma, and he obviously saw no ray of extrication
but the usual Parisian expedient of the pistol.

While he alternately raved and wept, the thought struck me--"Why might I
not go in his place?" I was growing weary of the world, however little I
knew of it. I had no Mariamne either to prohibit or to weep for me. The
only being for whom I wished to live was lost to me already. I offered
myself as the carrier of the despatch without delay.

I never saw ecstasy so visible in a human being; his eloquence exhausted
the whole vocabulary of national rapture. "I was his friend, his brother,
his preserver. I was the best, the ablest, the noblest of men." But when I
attempted to escape from this overflow of gratitude, by observing on the
very simple nature of the service, his recollection returned, and he
generously endeavoured, with equal zeal, to dissuade me from an enterprise
of which the perils were certainly neither few nor trifling. He was now in
despair at my obstinacy. The emigration of the French princes had not
merely weakened their cause in France, but had sharpened the malice of
their enemies. Their agents had been arrested in all quarters, and any man
who ventured to carry on a correspondence with them, was now alike in
danger of assassination and of the law. After debating the matter long,
without producing conviction on either side, it was at length agreed to
refer the question to Mordecai, whom Lafontaine now formally acknowledged
to be master of the secret on both sides of the Channel.


       *       *       *       *       *



A VISION OF THE WORLD.

BY DELTA.


  A blossom on a laurel tree--a cloudlet on the sky
  Borne by the breeze--a panorama shifting on the eye;
  A zig-zag lightning-flash amid the elemental strife--
  Yea! each and all are emblems of man's transitory life!
  Brightness dawns on us at our birth--the dear small world of home,
  A tiny paradise from which our wishes never roam,
  Till boyhood's widening circle brings its myriad hopes and fears,
  The guileless faith that never doubts--the friendship that endears.

  Each house and tree--each form and face, upon the ready mind
  Their impress leave; and, in old age, that impress fresh we find,
  Even though long intermediate years, by joy and sorrow sway'd,
  Should there no mirror find, and in oblivion have decay'd.
  How fearful first the shock of death! to think that even one
  Whose step we knew, whose voice we heard, should see no more the sun;
  That though a thousand years were ours, that form should never more
  Revisit, with its welcome smiles, earth's once-deserted shore!

  Look round the dwellings of the street--and tell, where now are they
  Whose tongues made glad each separate hearth, in childhood's early day;
  Now strangers, or another generation, there abide,
  And the churchyard owns their lowly graves, green-mouldering side by side!
  Spring! Summer! Autumn! Winter! then how vividly each came!
  The moonlight pure, the starlight soft, and the noontide sheath'd in flame;
  The dewy morning with her birds, and evening's gorgeous dyes,
  As if the mantles of the blest were floating through the skies.

  I laid me down, but not in sleep--and Memory flew away
  To mingle with the sounds and scenes the world had shown by day;
  Now listening to the lark, she stray'd across the flowery hill,
  Where trickles down from bowering groves the brook that turns the mill;
  And now she roam'd the city lanes, where human tongues are loud,
  And mix the lofty and the low amid the motley crowd,
  Where subtle-eyed philosophy oft heaves a sigh, to scan
  The aspiring grasp, and paltry insignificance of man!

  'Mid floods of light in festal halls, with jewels rare bedight,
  To music's soft and syren sounds, paced damosel with knight;
  It seem'd as if the fiend of grief from earthly bounds was driven,
  For there were smiles on every cheek that spake of nought but heaven;
  But, from that gilded scene, I traced the revellers one by one,
  With sad and sunken features each, unto their chambers lone;
  And of that gay and smiling crowd whose bosoms leapt to joy,
  How many might there be, I ween'd, whom care did not annoy?

  Some folded up their wearied eyes to dark unhallow'd dreams--
  The soldier to his scenes of blood, the merchant to his schemes:
  Pride, jealousy, and slighted love, robb'd woman of her rest;
  Revenge, deceit, and selfishness, sway'd man's unquiet breast.
  Some, turning to the days of youth, sigh'd o'er the sinless time
  Ere passion led the heart astray to folly, care, and crime;
  And of that dizzy multitude, from found or fancied woes,
  Was scarcely one whose slumbers fell like dew upon the rose!

  Then turn'd I to the lowly hearth, where scarcely labour brought
  The simplest and the coarsest meal that craving nature sought;
  Above, outspread a slender roof, to shield them from the rain,
  And their carpet was the verdure with which nature clothes the plain;
  Yet there the grateful housewife sat, her infant on her knee,
  Its small palms clasp'd within her own, as if likewise pray'd he;
  For ere their fingers brake the bread, from toil incessant riven,
  Son, sire, and matron bow'd their heads, and pour'd their thanks to Heaven.

  What, then, I thought, is human life, if all that thus we see
  Of pageantry and of parade devoid of pleasure be!
  If only in the conscious heart true happiness abide,
  How oft, alas! has wretchedness but grandeur's cloak to hide?
  And when upon the outward cheek a transient smile appears,
  We little reck how lately hath its bloom been damp'd by tears,
  And how the voice, whose thrillings from a light heart seem'd to rise,
  Throughout each sleepless watch of night gave utterance but to sighs.

  This was the moral, calm and deep, which to my musing thought,
  From all the varying views of man and life, reflection brought--
  That most things are not what they seem, and that the outward shows
  Of grade and rank are only masks that hide our joys and woes;
  That with the soul, the soul alone, resides the awful power,
  To light with sunshine or o'ergloom the solitary hour;
  And that the human heart is but a riddle to be read,
  When all the darkness round it now in other worlds hath fled.

  Why, then, should sorrow cloud the brow, should misery crush the heart,
  Since all life's varied changes "come like shadows, so depart?"
  There is one sun, there is one shower, to evil and to just,
  And health, and strength, and length of days, and to all the common dust:
  But as the snake throws off its skin, the soul throws off its clay,
  And soars, till purpled are its wings with everlasting day;
  God, having winnow'd with his flail the chaff from out the wheat,
  When those, who seem'd alike when here, approach'd his judgment-seat.


       *       *       *       *       *



THE BANKRUPTCY OF THE GREEK KINGDOM.


  Come let us drink their memory,
    Those glorious Greeks of old--
  On shore and sea the Famed, the Free,
    The Beautiful--the Bold!
  The mind or mirth that lights each page,
    Or bowl by which we sit
  Is sunfire pilfer'd from their age--
    Gems splinter'd from their wit.
          Then, drink and swear by Greece, that there
            Though Rhenish Huns may hive
          In Britain we the liberty
           She loved will keep alive.

             _Philhellenic Drinking Song._  By B. Simmons.

In our July No. CCCXXXIII.


Sir Robert Peel, Monsieur Guizot, and Count Nesselrode, Great Britain,
France, and All the Russias, have announced to the world that the kingdom
of Greece is bankrupt. The _Morning Chronicle_, at a time when it was
regarded as a semi-official authority on foreign affairs, declared and
certified that the king of Greece was an idiot. Verily! the battle of
Navarino has proved a most "untoward event."

In these degenerate days, a revolution is by no means so serious a matter
as a bankruptcy, and kings require rather more than the ordinary
proportion of wit to keep their feet steady in their slippery elevation.
Greece is therefore clearly in a most lamentable condition, and the
British public who adopted her, and fed her for a while on every luxury,
now cares very little about her misfortunes. Sir Francis Burdett, Sir John
Hobhouse, and the Right Honourable Edward Ellice, who once acted as her
trustees, and Joseph Hume--the immaculate and invulnerable Joseph himself,
who once stood forward as her champion--have forgotten her existence.

There can be no permanent sympathy where truth is wanting, but the public
does not attend to the correct translation of _Graecia mendax_; it ought
to convey the fact, that foreigners tell more lies about Greece than the
natives themselves. Old Juvenal calls the Greeks a mendacious set of
fabulists, for recording that Xerxes made a canal through the isthmus to
the north of Mount Athos. Colonel Leake declares that the traces of the
canal are visible to all men at this day, who ride across that desert
plain. The moral we wish to inculcate is, that modern politicians should
learn, from the error of the old Roman satirist, to look before they leap.
We shall now endeavour to supply our readers with an impartial account of
the present condition of the Greeks, without meddling with politics or
political speculation. Our opinion is, that the country ought not to be
put in the _Gazette_,--nor ought the king to be sent to the hospital.
Greece is not quite bankrupt, and King Otho is not quite an idiot. Funds
are scarce every where with borrowers in this unlucky year 1843, and wit
scarcer still with most men.

Our readers are aware, that Great Britain, France, and Russia, having
constituted themselves into an alliance for protecting Greece, concocted
together a long series of protocols, and selected Prince Otho of Bavaria
to be King of Greece.[A] The prince was then a promising youth of
seventeen years of age, destined by his royal father to be a priest,
and--his holiness the Pope willing--in due time a cardinal. At the time
of King Otho's election, a national assembly was sitting in Greece, and a
military revolution was raging in the country, in consequence of the
assassination of Capo d'Istria. The recognition of King Otho was obtained
from this national assembly by the ministers of the three protecting
powers, amidst scenes of promising, threatening, and stabbing, which will
long form a deep stain on the Greek revolution, and on European
diplomacy. Mr Parish, who was subsequently secretary of the British
Legation in Greece, has described the drama, and the share which the
ministers of the allied powers took in arranging its acts.

[Footnote A: Three large volumes of papers relative to the affairs of
Greece have been laid before Parliament in 1830, 1832, 1833, and 1836.]

It was well known that King Otho and his regency could not arrive for
several months; and it appeared to be the duty of the protecting powers,
who had selected a sovereign for Greece, to maintain tranquillity in the
country until the arrival of the new government. The representatives of
the allied powers shrank from this responsibility. The national assembly
seemed determined to vote two addresses--one congratulating King Otho on
his selection to the throne, assuring him of the submission of the nation,
but stating to him the laws and usages of Greece, and informing him that
his new dignity imposed on him the duty of rendering justice to all men
according to the laws and institutions of Greece. This address might have
failed to interest the foreign ministers, but it became known that another
was to follow--thanking the protecting powers for the selection they had
made of a monarch, but calling upon them to maintain order in the country
until the arrival of the young king, or of a legally appointed regency.

The representatives of the European powers knew that Greece was in a state
of anarchy, and that the irregular troops scattered over the country, were
destroying the resources of the new monarchy; yet to escape the
responsibility of advising their courts to act, they thought fit to
persuade a few of the political leaders of different parties to unite in
silencing the observations of the representatives of the Greek nation, and
looked on while a military insurrection compelled the assembly to adopt a
decree in the following words--

    "The representatives of the Greek
    nation recognise and confirm the selection
    of H.R.H. Prince Otho of Bavaria as
    King of Greece.

    "The present decree shall be inserted
    in the acts of the assembly, and published
    by the press."

The military rabble outside then rushed in and dispersed the
representatives of the Greek nation. No rhetorical Greek ever prepared
this precious decree. It tells its own tale; it is too diplomatically
laconic. It served its purpose in Europe: it looked so well suited to act
as an annex to a protocol. Here, however, we have the source of half the
evils of the Greek monarchy. King Otho's reign commenced with a violation
of law, order, and common sense; and as this violation of every principle
of justice had been openly countenanced by the political agents of the
protecting powers, King Otho was misled into a belief that Great Britain,
France, and Russia, wished to deliver Greece, bound hand and foot, and
despoiled of every right, into his hands.

Various reasons, at the time, induced the Greeks to submit to these
proceedings without a murmur, and even to turn away from those who
endeavoured to raise a warning voice. The truth is, no sacrifice was too
great, which held out a hope of putting an end to the existing anarchy.
About thirteen thousand irregular troops were occupying the richest part
of Greece, and destroying or consuming every thing that had escaped the
Turks. The cattle and sheep of the peasantry were seized, the olive trees
cut down for fuel; and while the people were dying of hunger, literally
perishing for want of food, these banditti were feasting in abundance. The
political Greeks, the jackals of diplomacy, cajolled the people and the
soldiers, by declaring that the allied powers had furnished the king with
money to pay the troops, and to indemnify every man for the losses
sustained during the revolution.

King Otho and his regency did at last arrive, and they brought with them
an army of Bavarians. The king was received with a degree of enthusiasm,
and with proofs of devotion which would have touched any hearts not
protected by an impenetrable padding of beer and sour crout. But it was,
unfortunately for the young king, the fashion at the new court to despise
and distrust the Greeks, to underrate their exploits, and to declaim
against their honesty. The revolution was treated as a war of words, the
defence of Missolonghi as a trifle, and the naval warfare as a farce. The
Greeks have since, on the mountains of Maina, and on the plain of
Phthiotis, shown themselves so far superior to the Bavarians when engaged
in the field, that we shall say nothing on that subject. Their honesty has
been generally considered more questionable than their courage; for though
the names of Miaulis, Kanaris, Marco Botzaris, Niketas, Kolocotroni and
Karaiskaki are known to all Europe, the only spotless statesman, in the
opinion of the Greeks themselves, is the unknown Kanakaris. The arrival of
the king, however, afforded singular proof of the strong feeling of
patriotism and honesty which prevailed among the people.

The Bavarians arrived in Greece early in 1833, and the revenues for that
year were estimated, by competent persons, at four millions of drachmas;
but it was thought that the regency would not succeed in collecting more
than three millions, as their recent arrival prevented their enforcing a
strict system of control. It was necessary, therefore, to trust much to
the honesty of the people, usually a poor guarantee for large payments
into the exchequer of any country. But the Greeks felt that their national
independence was connected with the stability of the new government, and
they acted with true nobility of feeling on the occasion. The revenues
received by the king's government in 1833, amounted to upwards of seven
millions of drachmas, although two months elapsed before some of the
provinces were relieved from the burden of maintaining the irregular
soldiery at free quarters. We believe that there never was a government in
the world which received the amount of the taxes imposed on the people
with such perfect good faith, as the Greek government in 1833. The
expenditure of the government for that year, amounted to something more
than thirteen millions and a half, and if Greece had been governed with
the honesty shown by the Greek people, the expenditure of future years
would never have exceeded that sum.

[We subjoin a statement of the revenues and expenditure of Greece, for
those in which the Greek government have condescended to publish their
accounts.

       REVENUE.                     EXPENDITURE.
               Drachmas.                    Drachmas.
1833, . . . .  7,042,653     1833, . . . . 13,630,467
1834, . . . .  9,455,410     1834, . . . . 20,150,657
1835, . . . . 10,737,011     1835, . . . . 16,851,070
1836, . . . . 12,381,000     1836, . . . . 16,447,126
1837, . . . . 13,313,393     1837, . . . . 16,190,527

After the king took the entire direction of public business into his own
hands, he gave up publishing any accounts, and accordingly none have
appeared in the Greek Gazette for the years 1838, 1839, 1840, and 1841.
Financial difficulties pressing hard in 1842, his Majesty resumed the
practice to a certain degree, by publishing a budget:--

       REVENUE.                           EXPENDITURE.
                     Drachmas.                    Drachmas.
1842,  estimated at 17,834,000     1842, . . . . 19,395,022
1843, . . . .       14,407,795     1843, . . . . 18,666,482

We may remark, that not the smallest reliance can be placed on these
budgets for the years 1842 and 1843. We are informed that 1,000,000
drachmas of the revenue of 1842 were still unpaid in the month of May
1843.]


We shall now endeavour to explain why the king's government has proved so
inefficient in improving the country, and afterwards examine the various
causes of its extreme unpopularity. To do this, it is necessary to state
what the government has really done; and also, what it was expected to do.
We shall try as we go along, to explain the part the protecting powers
have acted in thwarting the progress of improvement, and in encouraging
the court in its lavish expenditure and anti-national policy. It must,
indeed, constantly be borne in mind by the reader, that the three
protecting powers in their collective capacity have all along supported
the government of King Otho--and that even when the _Morning Chronicle_
called King Otho an idiot, and Lord Palmerston quarrelled with him and
scolded him, still England joined the other powers in continuing to supply
him with money to continue his immense palace, and pay his Bavarian
aides-de-camp. We may add, too, that if it had been otherwise, had either
Great Britain, France, or Russia, deliberately abandoned the alliance,
King Otho would immediately have ceased to be King of Greece, unless
supported on his throne by the direct interference of the other two. Had
the Greeks not looked upon him as the pledge that the protecting powers
would maintain order in the country, they would have sent him back to his
royal father, as ornamental at Munich, where an additional king would
make the town look gayer, but as utterly useless in Greece. Though,
England, France, and Russia, have therefore each in their turn acted in
opposition to King Otho, still they have always as a body supported his
doings, right or wrong.

Let us now see what the government of King Otho has done for Greece. From
1833 until 1837, Greece was governed by Bavarian ministers, and
accordingly the king was not considered directly responsible for the
conduct of the administration. These ministers were Mr Maurer, who, during
1833 and part of 1834, directed the government. He was supported with
great eagerness by France, and opposed with more energy by England. The
liberal and anti-Russian tendency of his measures, alarmed Russia, but
she showed her opposition with considerable moderation. Count Armansperg
succeeded Mr Maurer, and he ruled Greece with almost absolute power for
two years. He was supported by Lord Palmerston with the energy of the most
determined partizanship. The institutions of Greece, liberal policy, and
sound principles of commercial legislation, were all forgotten, because
Count Armansperg was anti-Russian. The opposition of France and Russia was
strongly announced, but restrained within reasonable bounds. Mr Rudhart
succeeded Count Armansperg. He, poor man! was assailed by England with all
the artillery of Palmerston; and as neither France nor Russia would
undertake to support so unfit a person, he was driven from his post.

The Greek government enjoyed every possible advantage during the
administration of these Bavarians. A loan of £.2,400,000, contracted under
the guarantee of the three protecting powers, kept the treasury full; so
that no plan for the improvement of Greece, or for enriching the
Bavarians, was arrested for want of funds. We shall now pass in review
what was done.

1. A good monetary system was established. The allies, it is true,
supplied the metal, but the Bavarians deserve the merit of transferring as
much of it as they could into their own pockets, in a very respectable
coinage.

2. The irregular troops were disbanded, and many of them driven over the
frontier into Turkey. The thing was very clumsily done; but, thank Heaven!
it was done, and Greece was delivered from this horde of banditti.

3. Every Bavarian officer or cadet was promoted, and every Greek officer
was reduced to a lower rank. We cannot venture to describe the rage of the
Greeks, nor the presumption of the Bavarians.

4. An order of knighthood was created, of which the decorations were
distributed in the following manner: One hundred and twenty-five grand
crosses, and crosses of grand commanders, were divided as follows: The
protecting powers received ninety-one, that is thirty a-piece if they
agreed to divide fairly. The odd one was really given to Baron Rothschild,
as contractor of the loan. The Bavarians took twenty-three. The Greeks
received ten for services during the war of the revolution, and during the
national assembly which accepted King Otho, and one was bestowed among the
foreigners who had served Greece during the war with Turkey. Six hundred
and fourteen crosses of inferior rank were distributed, and of these the
Greeks received only one hundred and forty-five; so that really the
protecting powers and the Bavarians reserved for themselves rather more
than a fair proportion of this portion of the loan, especially if they
expected the Greeks not to become bankrupt.

5. All the Greek civil servants of King Otho were put into light blue
uniforms, covered with silver lace, at one hundred pounds sterling a-head.
And, O Gemini! such uniforms! Those who have seen the ambassador of his
Hellenic majesty at the court of St James's, at a levee or a drawing-room,
will not soon forget the merits of his tailor.

6. Ambassadors were sent to Paris, London, St. Petersburg, Munich, Madrid,
Berlin, Vienna, and Constantinople, and Consuls-general to all the ends of
the earth.

7. A council of state was formed.

8. The civil government was organized, and royal governors appointed in
all the provinces, who maintain a direct correspondence with the minister
of the interior.

9. A very respectable judicial administration was formed, and codes of
civil and criminal procedure published.

10. The Greek Church was organized on a footing which rendered it
independent of the patriarch at Constantinople without causing a schism.
This is unquestionably the ablest act of Mr Maurer's administration, and
it drew on him the whole hatred of Russia.

11. The communal and municipal system of Greece, the seat of the vitality
of the Greek nation, was adopted as the foundation of the social edifice
in the monarchy. It is true some injudicious Bavarian modifications were
made; but time will soon consign to oblivion these delusions of Teutonic
intellect.

12. The liberty of the press was admitted to be an inherent right of Greek
citizens.

The five last-mentioned measures are entirely due to the liberal spirit
and sound legal knowledge of Mr Maurer, who, if he had been restrained
from meddling with diplomacy, and quarreling with the English and Russian
ministers at Nauplia, would have been universally regarded as a most
useful minister. But all the practical good Greece has derived from the
Bavarians, is confined to a few of his acts.

The accession of Count Armansperg to power, opened a new scene. A certain
number of Greeks were then admitted to high and lucrative employments, on
condition that they would support the Bavarian system, and declare that
their country was not yet fit for the enjoyment of constitutional liberty.
The partizans of Mr Maurer were dismissed and sent back to Bavaria: a few
good bribes were given to newspaper editors and noisy democrats; but the
Bavarians were kept in the possession of the richest part of the spoil.
Accordingly, the cry of the Greeks against Bavarian influence and Bavarian
rapacity never ceased. Rudhart's government was a continuation of that of
Armansperg, only with the difference that he leaned on a different foreign
power for support. Neither Armansperg nor Rudhart conferred any benefit on
Greece. They formed a phalanx or corps of veterans; but as they laid down
no invariable rules for admission, but kept the door open as a means of
creating a party among the military, this institution has become a scene
of jobbing and abuse.

A law conferring a portion of land on every Greek family was passed; but
as it was intended to serve political purposes, it was never put into
general execution. A number of sales of national lands has been made under
it, in direct violation of every principle of law and justice; and as
detached pieces of the richest plains in Greece have been alienated in
this way, the resources of the country will be found to have been very
seriously diminished by this singular species of wholesale corruption.

Rudhart was compelled from his weakness to make one or two steps in the
national path. He assembled the council of state, and called the
provincial councils and the university into activity.

We have now arrived at the period when King Otho assumed the reins of
government. From the year 1838 to the present day, he has been his own
irresponsible prime minister; for the apparent ministers Zographos,
Païkos, Maurocordatos and Rizos, have never enjoyed his unlimited
confidence, nor have they been viewed with much favour by the people.
Indeed, with the exception of Maurocordatos, they are men of inferior
ability, and of no character or standing in the country. Any one who will
take the trouble to read those portions of their diplomatic correspondence
with the ministers of the allied powers at Athens, which have been
published, will be convinced of their utter unfitness for the offices they
have held. Let the reader contrast these precious specimens of inaccuracy
and rigmarole, with the come-to-the-truth style of our own minister, or
the sarcastic, let-us-go-quietly-over-your-reasoning style, in which the
Russian minister answers them.

In order that our readers may form some idea of the manner in which King
Otho has carried on the government for five years, we shall describe the
political machine he has framed--name it we cannot; for it resembles
nothing the world has yet seen amidst all the multifarious combinations of
cabinet-making, which kings, sultans, krals, emperors, czars, or khans,
have yet presented to the envious contemplation of aspiring statesmen. The
king of Greece, it must be observed, is a monarch whose ministers are held
by a fiction of law to be responsible; and the editor of an Athenian
newspaper has been fined and imprisoned for declaring that this fiction is
not a fact. These ministers are not permitted by King Otho to assemble
together in council, unless he himself be present. The assembly would be
too democratic for Otho's nerves. In short, the king has a ministry, but
his ministers do not form a cabinet; his cabinet is a separate concern.
Each minister waits on his majesty with his portfolio under his arm, and
receives the royal commands. To simplify business, however, and make the
ministers fully sensible of their real insignificancy, King Otho
frequently orders the clerks in the public offices to come to his royal
presence, with the papers on which they have been engaged; and by this
means he shows the ministers, that though they are necessary in
consequence of the fiction of law, they may be rendered very secondary
personages in their own departments. If it were not a useless waste of
time, we could lay before our readers instances of this singularly easy
mode of doing business--instances too, which have been officially
communicated to the allied powers. His majesty carried his love of
performing ministerial duties so far, that for more than a year he
dispensed entirely with a minister of finance, and divided the functions
of that office among three of the clerks: no bad preparation for a
national bankruptcy, we must allow--yet the protecting powers viewed this
political vagary of his majesty with perfect indifference.

The most singular feature of King Otho's government is his cabinet, or, as
the Greek newspapers call it, "the Camarilla." This cabinet has no
official constitution; yet its members put their titles on the visiting
cards which they leave, as advertisements of the existence of this
irresponsible body, at the houses of the foreign ministers. It consists,
or until the late financial difficulties deranged all the royal plans, it
consisted, of four Bavarians and two Greeks. Its duty is to prepare
projects of laws to be adopted by the different ministers, and to assist
the king in selecting individuals appointed to public offices. This is the
feature which excites the greatest indignation at Athens; the minister of
war does not dare to promote a corporal; the minister of public
instruction would tremble to send a village schoolmaster to a country
_demos_, even at the expense of the citizens; and the minister of finance
would not risk the responsibility of conferring the office of porter of
the customhouse at Parras, before receiving the royal instructions how to
act on such emergencies, and ascertaining what creature of the camarilla
it was necessary to provide for.

We have already mentioned the council of state; it consists of about
twenty individuals chosen by his majesty, a motley congregation--some
cannot read--others cannot write--some came to Greece after the revolution
was over--some, long after the king himself. This council is, by one of
the fictions of law so common in the Hellenic kingdom, supposed to form a
legislative council, and it is implied that it ought to be considered as
tantamount to a representative assembly. Some of its members are most
brave and respectable men, who have rendered Greece good service; but
since they were decked out in silver uniforms, and received large salaries
to form a portion of the court pageant, they have lost much of their
influence in the country, either for good or evil. The king looks upon
these patriotic members as an insignificant minority, or an ignorant
majority, as the case may be, and he has more than once set aside the
opposition of this council, by publishing laws rejected by a majority of
its members. To speak a plain truth in rude phrase--the council of state
is a farce.

King Otho, with his Greek ministers, his Bavarian cabinet, and his motley
council of state, is therefore, to all appearance, a more absolute
sovereign than his neighbour, Abdul Meschid. But we must now leave the
royal authority, and turn our attention to an important chapter in the
Greek question; one which nevertheless has not hitherto met with proper
study either from the king, his allies, or the public in Western
Europe--we mean the institutions of the Greek people.

The inhabitants of Greece consist of two classes, who, from having been
placed for many ages in totally different circumstances, are extremely
different in manners and in civilization. These are the population of the
towns or the commercial class, and the inhabitants of the country or the
agricultural class. The traders have usually been considered by strangers
as affording the true type of the Greek character; but a very little
reflection ought to have convinced any one, that the insecurity of the
Turkish government, and the constant change in the channels of trade in
the East, had given this class of the population a most Hebraical
indifference to "the dear name of country." To the Fanariote and the
Sciote, Wallachia or Trieste were delightful homes, if dollars were
plentiful. But the agricultural population of Greece was composed of very
different materials. We are inclined to consider them as the most
obstinately patriotic race on which the sun shines; their patriotism is a
passion and an instinct, and, from being restricted to their village or
their district, often looks quite as like a vice as a virtue. This class
is altogether so unlike any portion of the population of Western Europe,
that we should be more likely to mislead than to enlighten our readers by
attempting to describe it. The peasants are themselves inclined to
distrust the population of the towns, and look on Bavarians, Fanariotes,
and government officers, as a tribe of enemies embodying different degrees
of rapacity under various names. They have as yet derived little benefit
from the government of King Otho, for their taxes are greater now than
they were under the Turks, and they very sagaciously attribute the
existence of order in Greece to the alliance of the kings of the Franks,
not to the military prowess of the Bavarians.

There is a third class of men in Greece who hold in some degree the
position of an aristocracy. This class is composed of all those
individuals who from education are entitled to hold government
appointments; and at the head of this class figure the Fanariotes or Greek
families who were in the habit of serving under the Turkish government.
Many of the Fanariotes move about seeking their fortunes, from Greece to
Turkey, Wallachia, and Moldavia, and _vice versa_. One brother will be
found holding an office in the suite of the Prince of Moldavia, and
another in the court of King Otho. This class is more attached to foreign
influence than to Greek independence, and is almost as generally unpopular
in the country as the Bavarians; and perhaps not without reason, as it
supplies the court with abler and more active instruments than could be
found among the dull Germans.

We must now notice the great peculiarity of the national constitution of
the Greeks as a distinct people. There is indeed a singular difference in
the organization of the European nations, which does not always meet with
due attention from historians. The various governments of Europe are
divided into absolute and constitutional; but it is seldom considered
necessary to explain whether the people are ruled by officers appointed by
the central authority of the state, or by magistrates elected by local
assemblies of the people. Yet, as the character of a nation is more
important in history than the form of its government, it is as much the
duty of the historian to examine the institutions of the people, as it is
the business of the politician to be acquainted with the action of the
government. To illustrate this, we shall describe in general terms the
political constitution of the Greeks, and leave our readers to compare it
with the share enjoyed by the French, and some other of the constitutional
nations, in their own local government. After all the boasted liberty and
equality of the subjects of the Citizen King, we own that we consider that
the Greeks possess national institutions resting on a surer and more solid
basis.

All Greece is, and always has been, divided into communities enjoying the
right of choosing their own magistrates, and these magistrates decide a
number of police and administrative questions not affecting crimes and
rights of property. The most populous town, and the smallest hamlet,
equally exercise this privilege, and it is to its existence that the
Greeks owe the power of resistance they were enabled to exert against
their Roman and Turkish masters. We shall not enter into the history of
this institution, under the Turks, at present; as it is sufficient for our
purpose to give our readers a correct idea of the existing state of
things. A local elective magistracy is formed, which prevents the central
government from goading the people to insurrection by the insolence of
office which the inferior agents of an ill-organized administration
constantly display. Fortunately for the tranquillity of the country, the
local administration works its way onward through the daily difficulties
which present themselves, independent of king, ministers, councillors of
state, or royal governors.

In order to make our description as exact as possible, without presenting
a vague statistical view of the whole kingdom, for the accuracy of which
we would not pretend to answer, we confine our observations to the
province of Attica, concerning which we have been able to obtain official
information from all the communes.

There is, of course, a royal governor in Attica, who resides at Athens; he
is named on the responsibility of the minister of the interior, with whom
he is in daily correspondence, and is the organ of communication between
the royal government and the popular magistracy. Of course, in the present
state of things, the officer is appointed by King Otho himself, who has
made it a point of statesmanship to keep a person in the place quite as
much disposed to serve as a spy on all the ministers, as inclined to
execute with zeal the orders of his immediate superior.

The population of Attica is divided into seven communes or demarchies.[B]

[Footnote B: To this population of 33,909, must be added the troops and
strangers in Athens, and at the Piraeus, who are not citizens. They
generally exceed three thousand.]

1. Athens, containing  .  22,309 inhabitants.
2. Piraeus,  .    .    .    2099    ...
3. Kekropia, .    .    .    2158    ...
4. Marathon, .    .    .    1214    ...
5. Phyle,    .    .    .    2659    ...
6. Laurion,  .    .    .    1470    ...
7. Kalamos,  .    .    .    2000    ...
                          ------
                          33,909

It will be enough for our purpose to describe the local constitution of
the city of Athens, and then point out the slight variations which
circumstances render necessary in the secluded agricultural communes of
the province.

The magistrates of Athens consist of a demarch (provost), six paredhroi
(bailies), and a town council composed of eighteen members. The
town-council is selected by all the citizens, who vote by signed lists,
containing the names of thirty-six individuals. The eighteen who have a
majority of votes become members of the town-council, and the remaining
eighteen who have the greatest number form a list of supplementary
members to supply vacancies, and prevent any election being necessary
except at the stated periods provided by law. The election of the demarch
and paredhroi is a more complicated affair. The eighteen members chosen
to form the town-council, and eighteen citizens who are the highest
tax-payers in the community, then meet together under the presidency of
the royal governor of the province. This meeting first proceeds to elect
two of its number to open the ballot-box, and assist and control the
conduct of the royal governor, as vice-presidents of the assembly. The
election proceeds, the persons present voting by ballot. The names of
candidates for the office of demarch must be returned, from which the
king selects one, and six paredhroi chosen, who must all have an absolute
majority of votes. The indirect election of the demarch is extremely
unpopular, as it has no effect except to enable the king to exclude two
popular but uncourtly citizens from every municipal office.

The plan of election in the country districts is precisely similar, but
the town-council is less numerous, and each village has its own resident
paredhros. The election of the demarch and of the paredhroi is conducted
as at Athens, and the royal governor of the province is compelled to visit
each commune in turn, in order to preside at the election. The whole
system rests on a popular basis. Every citizen possessing property, or
enrolled in the list of citizens from paying taxes, enjoys a vote in the
election of the magistrates of his demos. The royal authority only concurs
in so far as is required to preserve order, and give an official
certificate of the legality of the proceedings.

We come now to another popular institution, which gives a great degree of
political strength to the municipal organization of Greece, and protects
its liberties in a manner unknown in most other countries. Each province
possesses a provincial council, the members of which are elected by the
citizens of the different demoi into which the province is divided--a
demos containing 2000 inhabitants, sends one representative; a demos with
10,000 but exceeding 2000, sends two representatives; and a demos having
more than 10,000 inhabitants, sends three. Here, however, the electors are
required to pay fifty drachmas of direct taxes to the general government
in order to be entitled to vote.[C]

[Footnote C: Twenty-eight drachmas make a pound sterling.]

It will be seen, on referring to the population of the Attic demoi, that
the provincial council of Attica consists of twelve members, and these
members are elected for six years. The restriction on the electors is not
unpopular in Greece, as it is connected with an extended suffrage in the
municipal elections. Upwards of 500 citizens voted in Athens at the last
elections of provincial councillors. The provincial councils meet every
year in the months of February or March, as that is the season when the
landed proprietors in the country can most conveniently absent themselves
from their farms. The council chooses its own president and secretary, but
the royal governor of the province has the right to attend its meeting.
The budget of each demos must be presented to the council and approved by
it, and it has the power of rejecting any item of expenditure; but it can
only recommend, not enforce, any additional expense. It is likewise the
business of the provincial council to examine the grounds on which any
demos solicits the power of imposing local taxes: it proposes also general
improvements for the whole province, and has the power of assessing the
taxes necessary for carrying them into effect. Roads, barracks for
_gendarmes_, prisons, hospitals, and schools, are objects of its
attention. Its acts must all be presented to the minister of the interior
at the conclusion of the session, and they acquire validity only from the
time the minister communicates the royal assent to the proceedings.

This system of popular government, in all matters directly connected with
the daily business of the citizens, is a wise arrangement, and it has
proved a powerful engine for the preservation of order amidst a population
accustomed to anarchy, revolution, and despotism; and it has also formed a
firm barrier against the tyrannical aspirations of the Bavarians. Indeed,
had King Otho's government not been prevented, by this municipal system,
from coming into daily contact with the people, we are persuaded that it
would long ago have thrown Greece into convulsions, and caused the
massacre of every Bavarian in the country.

From the account we have given of the royal central government on the one
hand, and of the local magistracy on the other, it will be evident to our
readers that there are two powers at work in Greece, which, unless they
are united in the pursuit of some common objects, must at last engage in a
contest for the mastery.

We shall now notice the newspaper allegation, that the Greek court is
composed entirely of Bavarians. This was once the case, but it ceased to
be strictly true from the moment Armansperg introduced the system of
bribing the Greeks to join the Bavarian party; and at present the
government is supported almost entirely by Greek deserters from the
national cause. There is now no Bavarian in the ministry, and there are
Greeks in the cabinet. Many of the Greeks who affect with foreigners to be
loud in their complaints against the Bavarians, are, in the
administration, the most strenuous supporters of King Otho's system, and,
like Maurocordatos, the declared opponents of a national assembly and of a
representative form of government. They declare to the king that it is
necessary to retain some Bavarians in Greece, and they really wish it done
in order to exclude their Greek rivals from office. A revolution, followed
by a foreign government, and a lavish expenditure, has demoralized sterner
stuff than Greek politicians are made of, so that it is more to be
regretted than wondered at, when it appears that the Greek court has an
unusually large supply of venal political adventurers always ready to
enter its service.

This band consists of the Fanariotes, who were trained to official
aptitude and immorality under the Turks--of the politicians of the
revolution who deserted the cause of their country for the service of the
protecting powers at the last national assembly--and of a large class of
educated men not bred to commerce, who have resorted to Greece to make
their fortunes, and are now ready to accept places under any government.
The court, in its ignorance of Greece, has often purchased the services of
these men at their own valuation; and from this cause originates the crowd
of incapable councillors of state, useless ambassadors and consuls,
ignorant ministerial councillors and royal governors, and dishonest
commissaries, who assemble round King Otho in his palace. But time is
rolling on--ten years have elapsed since King Otho first stepped on the
Hellenic soil--the heroes of the war are sinking into the grave--Miaulis,
the best of the brave--Zaimi, the sagacious timid Moreote
noble--Kolocotroni, the sturdy strewd old klephtic chieftain;--these
three representatives and leaders of numerous classes of their
countrymen, now sleep in an honoured grave, and their followers no longer
form a majority in the land. A new race has arisen, a race equal in
education to the Maurocordatos, Rizos, Souizos, Karadjas, Tricoupis, and
Kolettis, and possessing the immense advantage over these men of
occupying a social position of greater independence. The fiery vehemence
of youth placed most of these new men in the opposition when they entered
on life. A political career being closed, they were, fortunately for
their country, obliged to devote all their attention to the cultivation
of their estates, and content themselves with improving their vineyards
and olive plantations instead of governing their country. Years have now
brought an increase of wealth, habits of moderation, steadiness of
purpose, and feelings of independence.

In a country such as we have described Greece, and we flatter ourselves
our description will bear examination on the part of travellers and
diplomatic gentlemen, we ask if there can be any doubt of the ultimate
success of popular institutions? For our own part, we feel persuaded that
Greece can only escape from a fierce civil war by the convocation of a
national representative assembly.--We adopted this opinion from the moment
that the Bavarian government was unable to destroy the liberty of the
press, after plunging into the contest and awakening the political
passions of the people. When a sovereign attacks a popular institution
without provocation, and fails in his attack, and when the people show
that concentrated energy which inspires the prudence necessary to use
victory with a moderation which produces no reaction against their cause,
their victory is sure. Under such circumstances a nation can patiently
wait the current of events. If Greece exist as a monarchy, we believe it
will soon have a national assembly; and if King Otho remain its sovereign,
we have a fancy that he will not long delay convoking one. Nothing,
indeed, can long prevent some representative body from meeting together,
unless it be the interference, direct or indirect, of the three protecting
powers. They, indeed, have strength sufficient to become the Three
Protecting Tyrants.

We hope that we have now given a tolerably intelligible account of King
Otho's government, and how it stands. We shall, therefore, proceed to the
second division of our enquiry, and strive to explain the actual state of
public feeling in Greece; what the king's government was expected to do,
and what it has left undone. We may be compelled here to glance at a few
delicate and contested questions in Greek politics, on which, however, we
shall not pretend to offer any opinion of our own, but merely collect the
facts; and we advise all men who wish to form a decided opinion on such a
question, to wait patiently until they have been discussed in a national
assembly of Greeks.

The first great question on which the government of King Otho was expected
to decide, was the means necessary to be adopted for discharging the
internal debt contracted for carrying on the war against the Turks. This
debt resolved itself into two heads: payment for services, and repayment
of money advanced. The national assemblies which had met during the
revolution, had decreed that every man who served in the army should, at
the conclusion of the war, receive a grant of land. It was proposed that
King Otho should carry these decrees into execution, by framing lists of
all those who had served either in the army, the navy, or in civil
employments. The same registers which contain the lists of the citizens of
the various communes, could have been rendered available for the purpose
of verifying the services of each individual. A fixed number of acres
might then have been destined to each man, according to his rank and time
of service. This measure would have enabled the Greek government to say,
that it had kept faith with the people. It would have induced many of the
military to settle as landed proprietors when the first current of
enthusiasm in favour of peaceful occupations set in, and it would have
been the means of silencing many pretensions of powerful military chiefs,
whose silence has since been dearly purchased.

The royal government always resisted these demands of the Greeks, and the
consequence was, that when it was necessary to yield from fear, Count
Armansperg adopted a law of dotation, which, under the appearance of being
a general measure, was only carried into application in cases where
partisanship was established; and yet national lands have been alienated
to a far greater extent than would have satisfied every claim arising out
of the revolutionary war. The king, it is true, has in late years made
donations of national land to favoured individuals, to maids of honour,
Turkish neophytes, and Bavarian brides; and he has rewarded several
political renegades with currant lands, and held out hopes of conferring
villages on councillors of state who have been eager defenders of the
court; but all this has been openly done as a matter of royal favour.

With regard to the second class of claimants. Common honesty, if royal
gratitude go for nothing in Greece, required that those who advanced money
to their country in her day of need, should be repaid their capital. All
interest might have been refused--the glory of their disinterested conduct
was all the reward they wanted; for few of them would have demanded
repayment of the sums due had they been rich enough to offer them as a
gift. The refusal of King Otho to repay these sums when he lavished money
on his Bavarian favourites and Greek partizans, has probably lowered his
character more, both in the East and in Europe, than any of those errors
in diplomacy which induced the _Morning Chronicle_ to publish, that
several Bavarians of rank had written a certificate of his being an idiot,
and forwarded it to his royal father. The sum required to pay up all the
claims of this class, would not have exceeded the agency paid by King Otho
to his Bavarian banker for remitting the loan contracted at Paris to
Greece, by the rather circuitous route of Munich.

It was also expected by the Greeks that one of the first acts of the royal
government would have been to abolish the duty on all articles carried by
sea from one part of the kingdom to another; this duty amounted to six per
cent, and was not abolished until the late demands of the three protecting
powers for prompt payment of the money due to them by his Hellenic
majesty, rendered King Otho rather more amenable to public opinion than he
had been previously. A decree was accordingly published a few months ago,
abolishing this most injurious tax, the preamble of which declares, with
innocent _naïveté_, that the duty thus levied is not based on principles
of equal taxation, but bears oppressively on particular classes.[D]
Alas! poor King Otho! he begins to abolish unjust taxation when his
exchequer is empty, and when his creditors are threatening him with the
Gazette; and yet he delays calling together a national assembly. It is
possible that, little by little, King Otho may be persuaded by
circumstances to become a tolerable constitutional sovereign at last; but
we fear our old friend Hadgi Ismael Bey--may his master never diminish the
length of his shadow!--will say on this occasion, as we have heard him say
on some others, "Machallah! Truly, the sense of the ghiaour doth arrive
after the mischief!" But we hold no opinions in common with Hadgi Ismael
Bey, who drinketh water, despiseth the Greek, and hateth the Frank. Our
own conjecture is, that King Otho has been studying the history of
Theopompus, one of his Spartan predecessors who, like himself, occupied
barely half a throne. Colleagues and ephori were in times past as
unpleasant associates in the duties of government as protecting powers now
are. Now Theopompus looked not lovingly on those who shared his royalty,
but as he understood the signs of the times, he sought to make friends at
Sparta by establishing a popular council, that is to say, he convoked a
national assembly. Thus, by diminishing the pretensions of royalty, he
increased its power. Let King Otho do the same, and if some luckless
Bavarian statesmen upbraid him with having thrown away his power, let him
reply--"No, my friend, I have only rendered the Bavarian dynasty more
durable in Greece." [Greek: Oi deta, paraoioômi gar ten basileian
poluchroniôteran.] If King Otho would once a day recall to his mind the
defence of Missolonghi, if he would reflect on the devotion shown to the
cause of their country by the whole population of Greece, he would surely
feel prouder of identifying his name and fortunes with a country so
honoured and adored, than of figuring in Bavarian history as the protector
of the artists who has reared the enormous palace he has raised at Athens.

[Footnote D: This decree was published in the _Athena_ newspaper, and is
dated the 20th of April 1843. It does not appear to have been published
until some weeks later.]

The Greeks expected that a civilized government would have taken measures
for improving the internal communications of the country, and exerted
itself to open new channels of commercial enterprise. They had hoped to
see some part of the loan expended in the formation of roads, and in
establishing regular packets to communicate with the islands. The best
road the loan ever made, was one to the marble quarries of Pentelicus in
order to build the new palace, and the only packets in Greece were
converted by his majesty into royal yachts.[E] The regency, it is true,
made a decree announcing their determination to make about 250 miles of
road. But their performances were confined to repairing the road from
Nauplia to Argos, which had been made by Capo d'Istria. The Greek
government, however, has now completed the famous road to the marble
quarries, a road of six miles in length to the Piraeus, and another of
five miles across the isthmus of Corinth. The King of Bavaria very nearly
had his neck broken on a road said to have been then practicable between
Argos and Corinth. We can answer for its being now perfectly impassable
for a carriage. Two considerable military roads are, however, now in
progress, one from Athens to Thebes, and another from Argos to
Tripolitza. But these roads have been made without any reference to
public utility, merely to serve for marching troops and moving artillery,
and consequently the old roads over the mountains, as they require less
time, are alone used for commercial transport.

[Footnote E: This is no exaggeration. We once visited the island of
Santorin, which has a population of 9000 souls, who own 46 vessels of 200
tons and upwards, besides many smaller craft. King Otho was sailing about
in one steamer at the time, and another was acting the man-of-war amidst
a fleet of English, French, Prussian, and Austrian frigates in the front
of the Piraeus; yet no post had been forwarded to Santorin for a
fortnight. Santorin is about 90 miles from Athens, and yields a very
considerable revenue to the Greek monarchy.]

It is evident that a poor peasantry, possessing no other means of
transport than their mules and pack-horses, must reckon distance entirely
by time, and the only way to make them perceive the advantages to be
derived from roads, is forming such bridle-paths as will enable them to
arrive at their journey's end a few hours sooner. The Greek government
never though of doing this, and every traveller who has performed the
journey from Patras to Athens, must have seen fearful proofs of this
neglect in the danger he ran of breaking his neck at the Kaka-scala or
cursed stairs of Megara.

Nay, King Otho's government has employed its _vis inertiae_ in preventing
the peasantry, even when so inclined, from forming roads at their own
expense; for the peasantry of Greece are far more enlightened than the
Bavarians. In the year 1841, the provincial council of Attica voted that
the road from Kephisia--the marble-quarry road--should be continued
through the province of Attica as far as Oropos. Provision was made for
its immediate commencement by the labour of the communes through which it
was to pass. Every farmer possessing a yoke of oxen was to give three
days' labour during the year, and every proprietor of a larger estate was
to supply a proportional amount of labour, or commute it for a fixed rate
of payment in money. This arrangement gave universal satisfaction.
Government was solicited to trace the line of road; but a year passed--one
pretext for delay succeeding another, and nothing was done. The provincial
council of 1842 renewed the vote, and government again prevented its being
carried into execution. It is said that his Majesty is strongly opposed to
the system of allowing the Greeks to get the direction of any public
business into their own hands; and that he would rather see his kingdom
without roads than see the municipal authorities boasting of performing
that which the central government was unable to accomplish.

We shall only trouble our readers with a single instance of the manner in
which commercial legislation has been treated in Greece. We could with
great ease furnish a dozen examples. Austrian timber pays an import duty
of six per cent, in virtue of a commercial treaty between Royal Greece and
Imperial Austria. Greek timber cut on the mountains round Athens pays an
excise duty of ten per cent; and the value of the Greek timber on the
mountains is fixed according to the sales made at Athens of Austrian
timber, on which the freight and duty have been paid. The effect can be
imagined. In our visit to Greece we spent a few days shooting woodcocks
with a fellow-countryman, who possesses an Attic farm in the mountains,
near Deceleia. His house was situated amidst fine woods of oak and pine;
yet he informed us that the floors, doors, and windows, were all made of
timber from Trieste, conveyed from Athens on the backs of mules. The house
had been built by contract; and though our friend gave the contractor
permission to cut the wood he required within five hundred yards of the
house, he found that, what with the high duty demanded by the government,
and with the delays and difficulties raised by the officers charged with
the valuation, who were Bavarian forest inspectors, the most economical
plan was to purchase foreign timber. The consequence of this is, the
Greeks burn down timber as unprofitable, and convert the land into
pasturage. We have seen many square miles of wood burning on Mount
Pentelicus; and on expressing our regret to a Greek minister, he shrugged
up his shoulders and said: "That, sir, is the way in which the Bavarian
foresters take care of the forests." Yet this Greek, who could sneakingly
ridicule the folly of the Bavarians, was too mean to recommend the king to
change the law.

Let us now turn to a more enlivening subject of contemplation, and see
what the Greeks have done towards improving their own condition. We shall
pass without notice all their exertions to lodge and feed themselves, or
fill their purses. We can trust any people on those points; our
observations shall be confined to the moral culture. We say that the
Greeks deserve some credit for turning their attention towards their own
improvement, instead of adopting the Gallican system of reform, and
raising a revolution against King Otho. They seem to have set themselves
seriously to work to render themselves worthy of that liberty, the
restoration of which they have so long required in vain from the allied
powers. There is, perhaps, no feature in the Greek revolution more
remarkable than the eager desire for education manifested by all classes.
The central government threw so many impediments in the way of the
establishment of a university, that the Greeks perceived that no buildings
would be erected either as lecture-rooms for the professors, or to contain
the extensive collections of books which had been sent to Greece by
various patriotic Greeks in Europe. Men of all parties were indignant at
the neglect, and at last a public meeting was held, and it was resolved to
raise a subscription for building the university. The government did not
dare to oppose the measure; fortunately, there was one liberal-minded man
connected with the court at the time, Professor Brandis of Bonn, and his
influence silenced the grumbling of the Bavarians; the subscription
proceeded with unrivalled activity, and upwards of £.4000 was raised in a
town of little more than twenty thousand inhabitants--half the inhabitants
of which had not yet been able to rebuild their own houses. Many
travellers have seen the new university at Athens, and visited its
respectable library, and they can bear testimony to the simplicity and
good sense displayed in the building.

One of the most remarkable features of the great moral improvement which
has taken place in the population, is the eagerness displayed for the
introduction of a good system of female education. The first female school
established in Greece was founded at Syra, in the time of Capo d'Istria,
by that excellent missionary the late Rev. Dr Korck, who was sent to
Greece by the Church Missionary Society. An excellent female school still
exists in this island, under the auspices of the Rev. Mr Hilner, a German
missionary ordained in England, and also in connexion with the Church
Missionary Society. The first female school at Athens, after the
termination of the Revolution, was established by Mrs Hill, an American
lady, whose exertions have been above all praise. A large female school
was subsequently formed by a society of Greeks, and liberally supported by
the Rev. Mr Leeves, and many other strangers, for the purpose of educating
female teachers. This society raises about £.800 per annum in
subscriptions among the Greeks. We cannot close the subject of female
education without adding a tribute of praise to the exertions of Mrs
Korck, a Greek lady, widow of the excellent missionary whom we have
mentioned as having founded the first female school at Syra; and of Mr
George Constantinidhes, a Greek teacher, who commenced his studies under
the auspices of the British and Foreign School Society, and who has
devoted all his energy to the cause of the education of his countrymen,
and has always inculcated the great importance of a good system of female
education. We insist particularly on the merits of those who devoted their
attention to this subject, as indicating a deep conviction of the
importance of moral and religious instruction. Male education leads to
wealth and honours. Boys gain a livelihood by their learning, but girls
are educated that they may form better mothers.

Other public institutions have not been neglected. The citizens of Athens
have built a very respectable civil hospital, and we mention this as it is
one of the public buildings which excites the attention of strangers, and
which is often supposed to have been erected by the government, though
entirely built from the funds raised by local taxes. The amount of
municipal taxes which the Greeks pay, is another subject which deserves
attention. The general taxes in Greece are very heavy. Every individual
pays, on an average, twelve shillings, which makes the payment of a family
of five persons amount to £.3 sterling annually. This is a very large sum,
when the poverty and destitution of the people is taken into
consideration, and is greater than is paid by any other European nation
where the population is so thinly scattered over the surface of the
country. Yet as soon as the Greeks became convinced that the general
government would contribute nothing towards improving the country, they
determined to impose on themselves additional burdens rather than submit
to wait. Hospitals, schools, churches, and bridges, built by several
municipalities, attest the energy of the determination of the people to
make every sacrifice to improve their condition. We offer our readers a
statement of the amount of the taxes imposed by the municipalities of
Attica on themselves for local improvements. The town communes of Athens
and the Piraeus find less difficulty in collecting the large revenues they
possess, than the country districts their comparatively trifling
resources.

                                                   Drachmas
Athens, with a population of   22,309   collects   159,000
Piraeus,          ...           2,099      ...      27,300
Kekropia,         ...           2,158      ...       3,759
Marathon,         ...           1,214      ...       1,708
Phyle,            ...           2,659      ...       7,000
Laurion,          ...           1,470      ...       2,356
Kalamos,          ...           2,000      ...       2,747
                              -------              -------
                               33,909      ...     203,870

From this statement we find that each family of five persons pays, on an
average, thirty drachmas of self-imposed taxes, or about twenty-two
shillings annually, in addition to the £.3 sterling paid to the general
government.

We think we may now ask: Are the Greeks fit for a representative system of
government? We should like to hear the reasons of those who hold the
opinion, that they are not yet able to give an opinion on the best means
of improving their own country, and the most advantageous mode of raising
the necessary revenue.

We must now conclude with a few remarks on the line of conduct towards the
Greeks which has been pursued by the three protecting powers. We do not,
however, propose entering at any length on the subject, as we have no
other object than that of rendering our preceding observations more clear
to our readers. We are persuaded that the policy of interfering as little
as possible in the affairs of Greece, which has been adopted, and
impartially acted on by Lord Aberdeen, is the true policy of Great
Britain.

But in reviewing the general position of the Greek state, it must not be
forgotten that the Greek people have had communications with the great
powers of Europe of a nature very different from those which existed
between the protecting powers and King Otho. As soon as it became evident
that Turkey could not suppress the Greek revolution without suffering most
seriously from the diminution of her resources, Russia and England began
to perceive that it would be a matter of some importance to secure the
good-will of the Greek population. The Greeks scattered over the
countries in the Levant, amount to about five millions, and they are the
most active and intelligent portion of the population of the greater part
of the provinces in which they dwell. The declining state of the Ottoman
empire, and the warlike spirit of the Greek mountaineers and sailors,
induced both Russia and England to commence bidding for the favour of the
insurgents. In 1822 the deputy sent by the Greeks to solicit the
_compassion_ of the European ministers assembled at Verona, was not
allowed to approach the Congress. But the successful resistance of the
Greeks to the whole strength of the Ottoman empire for two years, induced
Russia to communicate a memoir to the European cabinets in 1824, proposing
that the Greek population then in arms should receive a separate, though
independent, political existence. This indiscreet proposition awakened the
jealousy of England, as indicating the immense importance attached by
Russia to securing the good-will of the Greeks. England immediately outbid
the Czar for their favour, by recognising the validity of their blockades
of the Turkish fortresses, thus virtually acknowledging the existence of
the Greek state. The other European powers were compelled most unwillingly
to follow the example of Great Britain. Mr Canning, however, in order to
place the question on some public footing, laid down the principles on
which the British cabinet was determined to act, in a communication to the
Greek government, dated in the month of December 1824. This document
declares that the British government will observe the strictest neutrality
with reference to the war; while with regard to the intermediate state of
independence and subjection proposed in the Russian memorial, it adds
that, as it has been rejected by both parties, it is needless to discuss
its advantages or defects. It also assured the Greeks that Great Britain
would take no part in any attempt to compel them by force to adopt a plan
of pacification contrary to their wishes.

France now thought fit to enter on the field. According to the invariable
principle of modern French diplomacy, she made no definite proposition
either to the Greeks or the European powers; but she sent semi-official
agents into the country, who made great promises to the Greeks if they
would choose the Duke de Nemours, the second son of the Duke d'Orleans,
now King Louis Philippe, to be sovereign of Greece. The Greeks had seen
something too substantial on the part of Russia and England to follow this
Gallic will-o'-the-wisp. But England and Russia, in order to brush all the
cobwebs of French intrigue from a question which appeared to them too
important to be dealt with any longer by unauthorized agents, signed a
protocol at St Petersburg on the 4th April 1826, engaging to use their
good offices with the Sultan to put an end to the war. The Duke of
Wellington himself negotiated the signature of this protocol, and it is
one of the numerous services he has rendered to his country and to Europe,
as the Greek question threatened to disturb the peace of the East. France,
as well as Austria, refused to join, until it became evident that the two
powers were taking active measures to carry their decisions into effect,
when France gave in her adhesion, and the treaty of the 6th of July 1827,
was signed at London by France, Great Britain, and Russia.

Events soon ran away with calculations. The Turkish fleet was destroyed
at Navarino on the 20th October 1827, the anniversary (if we may trust
Mitford's _History of Greece_) of the battle of Salamis. France now
embarked in the cause, determined to outbid her allies, and sent an
expedition to the Morea, under Marshal Maison, to drive out the troops of
Ibrahim Pasha. Capo d'Istria assumed the absolute direction of political
affairs, and by his Russian partizanship and anti-Anglican prejudices,
plunged Greece in a new revolution, when his personal oppression of the
family of Mauromichalis caused his assassination. King Otho was then
selected as king of Greece, and the consent of the Greeks was obtained to
his appointment by a loan to the new monarch of £.2,400,000 sterling, and
by a good deal of intrigue and intimidation at the assembly of Pronia.[F]
The Greeks, however, had already solemnly informed the allied powers,
that the acts of their national assemblies, consolidating the
institutions of the Greek state, and by securing the liberties of the
Greek people, "were as precious to Greece as her existence itself;" and
the protecting powers had consecrated their engagement to support these
institutions, by annexing this declaration to their protocol of the 22d
March 1830.[G]

[Footnote F: Several national assemblies have been held in Greece. The
acts of the following have been printed in a collection composed of
several volumes. The first was held at Pidhavro, near Epidaurus, of which
its name is a corruption, in 1822; the others at Astros in 1823, at
Epidaurus in 1826, at Troezene in 1827, at Argos in 1830 and the last at
Pronia, near Nauplia, in 1832.]

[Footnote G: Annex A, No. 9.]

The three allied powers have not displayed more union in their councils,
since the selection of King Otho, than they did before his appointment. In
one thing alone they have been unanimous; but unfortunately this has been
to forget their engagements to the Greek people, to see that the
institutions and liberties of Greece were to be respected. England and
France have, however, displayed at times some compunction on the subject;
but, unluckily for the Greeks, their consciences did not prick them at the
same moment. At one time the Duke de Broglie proposed that Greece should
be reinstated in the enjoyment of her free institutions, but Lord
Palmerston declared, that, her government being very anti-Russian at the
time, institutions and liberty were a mere secondary matter, and he did
not think the Greeks required such luxuries. Times, however, changed, and
King Otho, displaying considerably more affection for Russia than for
England--England conceived it necessary to propose, at one of the
conferences in London on the affairs of Greece, that the Greeks should be
called, in virtue of their national institutions, to exercise a control
over the lavish and injudicious expenditure of the revenues of the kingdom
by the royal government. But Russia and France, though admitting the
incapacity of the king's government, declared that they considered it
better to send commissioners named by the protecting powers, to control
his Hellenic majesty's expenses. Russia, indeed, distinctly declared she
would not allow the constitutional question to be discussed in the
conferences at the Foreign Office, and Lord Palmerston, with unusual
meekness, submitted. France, every ready to play a great game in small
matters, really sent a commissioner to Greece, to control King Otho's
expenses; but his Hellenic majesty soon gave proofs of how grievously the
_Morning Chronicle_ had mistaken his abilities. He gave the French
commissioner a few dinners, a large star, and a good place at all court
pageants in which he could display the uniform of Louis Philippe to
advantage, and thereby made the commissioner the same as one of his own
ministers. England and Russia kept aloof in stern disapprobation of this
paltry comedy.

The last farthing of the loan has now been expended, and the protecting
powers have intimated to King Otho, in very strong terns, that he must
immediately commence paying the interest and sinking fund, due in terms of
the treaty which placed the crown of Greece on his head. The whole burden
of this payment, of course, falls on the Greek people, who, we have
already shown, have suffered enough from the government of King Otho,
without this aggravation of their misery. Is it, we ask, just that the
Greeks should be compelled to pay sums expended on decorations to European
statesmen, pensions to Bavarian ministers, staff appointments to French
engineer officers, and ambassadors at foreign courts, when they never were
allowed even to express their conviction of the folly of these measures,
except by the public press? The truth is, that the loan was wasted, and
the amount now to be repaid by Greece was very considerably increased by
the allied powers themselves, who neglected to enforce the provisions of
the very treaty they now call upon the Greeks to execute, though not a
party to it. King Otho borrowed largely from Bavaria, as well as from the
protecting powers--he was at liberty to do so without the allies
attempting to interfere. But he was not entitled to repay any part of this
loan from the revenues of Greece, until the claims of the protecting
powers were satisfied. So says the treaty.

The allies were bound, also, to restrict the auxiliary corps of Bavarians
to 3000 men; yet they allowed King Otho to assemble round his person, at
one time, upwards of 6000 Bavarian troops, and a very great number of
civil officers and forest guards. The King of Bavaria, when he was anxious
to secure the throne for his son, promised "that limited furloughs should
be granted to Bavarian officers, and their pay continued to them. This,"
says his Majesty, "will greatly relieve the Greek treasury, by providing
for the service of the state officers of experience, possessing their own
means of subsistence without any charge upon the country." Now, the allies
knew that every Bavarian officer who put his foot in Greece, received the
pay of a higher rank than he previously held in Bavaria from the Greek
treasury. Is it, then, an equal application of the principles of justice
to king and people, to compel the Greeks to pay for the violation of the
King of Bavaria's engagement?[H]

[Footnote H: The paper from which we have quoted the above passage, is
printed as an annex to the protocol appointing King Otho, in the
Parliamentary papers.]

We believe that there now remains only one assertion which we have
ventured to make, which we have not yet proved. We repeat it, and shall
proceed to state our proofs. We say that Greece, if equitably treated, is
not bankrupt, but on the contrary she possesses resources amply sufficient
to discharge all just claims on her revenues, to maintain order in the
country, and to defend her institutions. We shall draw our proof from the
budget of King Otho for the present year, as this statement was laid
before the allied powers to excite their compassion, and show them the
absolute impossibility of King Otho paying his debts.

The revenues of Greece are stated at 14,407,795 drachmas: and we may here
remark, that last year, when his Hellenic majesty expected to persuade the
allies to desist from pressing their claims, he stated the revenues of his

kingdom at ...                           17,834,000
The national expenses only amount to ... 11,735,546

Under the following heads:--

                                                 Drachmas.
Foreign Affairs,                                  394,712
Justice,                                          904,902
Interior,                                       1,073,182
Religion and Education,                           651,658
War Department,                                 5,255,804
Navy,                                           1,404,465
Finances,                                         486,600
Expenses of managing the Revenue, which, in
  all preceding years, has been a part of the
  expenses of the Finance Department,           1,564,222
Another section of Finance Department,             60,000
                                               ----------
                            Making a total of             11,735,546

The expenses of the Greek government which have been imposed on the
country by the protecting powers, but never yet approved of by the Greek
nation, are as follows:--

                                                       Drachmas.
Interest and sinking fund of debt due to the three
  protecting powers, debt to Bavaria, and pensions,   4,703,232
Civil list of King Otho,                              1,209,064
                                                     ----------
                                                      5,912,296

It seems that the allies have made a very liberal allowance to King Otho.
The monarch and his council of state cost more than the whole civil
administration of the country, and almost as much as the Greek navy.

We humbly conceive that a court of equity would strike out the Bavarian
loan as illegally contracted, and forming a private debt between the two
monarchs of Bavaria and Greece--that it would diminish the claim of the
protecting powers, by expunging all those sums which have been spent among
themselves or on strangers, with their consent--that it would reduce the
civil list of the king and the council of state to 500,000 drachmas--and
that it would order the immediate convocation of a national assembly, in
order to take measures for improving the revenues of the country.

If the allied powers will form themselves into this court of equity, and
follow the course we have suggested, we have no doubt that in a very short
period no kingdom in Europe will have its finances in a more flourishing
condition than Greece.


       *       *       *       *       *



A SKETCH IN THE TROPICS.

FROM A SUPERCARGO'S LOG.


It was on a November morning of the year 1816, and about half an hour
before daybreak, that the door of an obscure house in the Calle St
Agostino, at the Havannah, was cautiously opened, and a man put out his
head, and gazed up and down the street as if to assure himself that no one
was near. All was silence and solitude at that early hour, and presently
the door opening wider gave egress to a young man muffled in a shabby
cloak, who, with hurried but stealthy step, took the direction of the
port. Hastening noiselessly through the deserted streets and lanes, he
soon reached the quay, upon which were numerous storehouses of sugar and
other merchandize, and piles of dye-woods, placed there in readiness for
shipment. Upon approaching one of the latter, the young man gave a low
whistle, and the next instant a figure glided from between two huge heaps
of logwood, and seizing his hand, drew him into the hiding-place from
which it had just emerged.

A quarter of an hour elapsed, and the first faint tinge of day just began
to appear, when the noise of oars was heard, and presently in the grey
light a boat was seen darting out of the mist that hung over the water. As
it neared the quay, the two men left their place of concealment, and one
of them, pointing to the person who sat in the stern of the boat, pressed
his companion's hand, and hurrying away, soon disappeared amid the
labyrinth of goods and warehouses.

The boat came up to the stairs. Of the three persons it contained, two
sailors, who had been rowing, remained in it; the third, whose dress and
appearance were those of the master of a merchant vessel, sprang on shore,
and walked in the direction of the town. As he passed before the logwood,
the stranger stepped out and accosted him.

The seaman's first movement, and not an unnatural one, considering he was
at the Havannah and the day not yet broken, was to half draw his cutlass
from its scabbard, but the next moment he let it drop back again. The
appearance of the person who addressed him was, if not very prepossessing,
at least not much calculated to inspire alarm. He was a young man of
handsome and even noble countenance, but pale and sickly-looking, and
having the appearance of one bowed down by sorrow and illness.

"Are you the captain of the Philadelphia schooner that is on the point of
sailing?" enquired he in a trembling, anxious voice.

The seaman looked hard in the young man's face, and answered in the
affirmative. The stranger's eye sparkled.

"Can I have a passage for myself, a friend, and two children?" demanded
he.

The sailor hesitated before he replied, and again scanned his interlocutor
from head to foot with his keen grey eyes. There was something
inconsistent, not to say suspicious, in the whole appearance of the
stranger. His cloak was stained and shabby, and his words humble; but
there was a fire in his eye that flashed forth seemingly in spite of
himself, and his voice had that particular tone which the habit of command
alone gives. The result of the sailor's scrutiny was apparently
unfavourable, and he shook his head negatively. The young man gasped for
breath, and drew a well-filled purse from his bosom.

"I will pay beforehand," said he, "I will pay whatever you ask."

The American started; the contrast was too great between the heavy purse
and large offers and the beggarly exterior of the applicant. He shook his
head more decidedly than before. The stranger bit his lip till the blood
came, his breast heaved, his whole manner was that of one who abandons
himself to despair. The sailor felt a touch of compassion.

"Young man," said he in Spanish, "you are no merchant. What do you want at
Philadelphia?"

"I want to go to Philadelphia. Here is my passage money, here my pass. You
are captain of the schooner. What do you require more?"

There was a wild vehemence in the tone and manner in which these words
were spoken, that indisposed the seaman still more against his would-be
passenger. Again he shook his head, and was about to pass on. The young
man seized his arm.

"_Por el amor de Dios, Capitan_, take me with you. Take my unhappy wife
and my poor children."

"Wife and children!" repeated the captain. "Have you a wife and children?"

The stranger groaned.

"You have committed no crime? you are not flying from the arm of justice?"
asked the American sharply.

"So may God help me, no crime whatever have I committed," replied the
young man, raising his hand towards heaven.

"In that case I will take you. Keep your money till you are on board. In
an hour at furthest I weigh anchor."

The stranger answered nothing, but as if relieved from some dreadful
anxiety, drew a deep breath, and with a grateful look to heaven, hurried
from the spot.

When Captain Ready, of the smart-sailing Baltimore-built schooner, "The
Speedy Tom," returned on board his vessel, and descended into the cabin,
he was met by his new passenger, on whose arm was hanging a lady of
dazzling beauty and grace. She was very plainly dressed, as were also two
beautiful children who accompanied her; but their clothes were of the
finest materials, and the elegance of their appearance contrasted
strangely with the rags and wretchedness of their husband and father.
Lying on a chest, however, Captain Ready saw a pelisse and two children's
cloaks of the shabbiest description, and which the new-comers had
evidently just taken off.

The seaman's suspicions returned at all this disguise and mystery, and a
doubt again arose in his mind as to the propriety of taking passengers who
came on board under such equivocal circumstances. A feeling of compassion,
however, added to the graceful manners and sweet voice of the lady,
decided him to persevere in his original intention; and politely
requesting her to make herself at home in the cabin, he returned on deck.
Ten minutes later the anchor was weighed, and the schooner in motion.

The sun had risen and dissipated the morning mist. Some distance astern of
the now fast-advancing schooner rose the streets and houses of the
Havannah, and the forest of masts occupying its port; to the right frowned
the castle of the Molo, whose threatening embrasures the vessel was
rapidly approaching. The husband and wife stood upon the cabin stairs,
gazing, with breathless anxiety, at the fortress.

As the schooner arrived opposite the castle, a small postern leading out
upon the jetty was opened, and an officer and six soldiers issued forth.
Four men, who had been lying on their oars in a boat at the jetty stairs,
sprang up.

The soldiers jumped in, and the rowers pulled in the direction of the
schooner.

"_Jesus Maria y José!_" exclaimed the lady.

"_Madre de Dios!_" groaned her husband.

At this moment the fort made a signal.

"Up with the helm!" shouted Captain Ready.

The schooner rounded to; the boat came flying over the water, and in a few
moments was alongside. The soldiers and their commander stepped on board.

The latter was a very young man, possessed of a true Spanish
countenance--grave and stern. In few words he desired the captain to
produce his ship's papers, and parade his seamen and passengers. The
papers were handed to him without an observation; he glanced his eye over
them, inspected the sailors one after the other, and then looked in the
direction of the passengers, who at length came on deck, the stranger
carrying one of the children and his wife the other. The Spanish officer
started.

"Do you know that you have a state-criminal on board?" thundered he to the
captain. "What is the meaning of this?"

"_Santa Virgen!_" exclaimed the lady, and fell fainting into her husband's
arms. There was a moment's deep silence. All present seemed touched by the
misfortunes of this youthful pair. The young officer sprang to the
assistance of the husband, and relieving him of the child, enabled him to
give his attention to his wife, whom he laid gently down upon the deck.

"I am grieved at the necessity," said the officer, "but you must return
with me."

The American captain, who had been contemplating this scene apparently
quite unmoved, now ejected from his mouth a huge quid of tobacco, replaced
it by another, and then stepping up to the officer, touched him on the
arm, and offered him the pass he had received from his passengers. The
Spaniard waved him back almost with disgust. There was, in fact, something
very unpleasant in the apathy and indifference with which the Yankee
contemplated the scene of despair and misery before him. Such
cold-bloodedness appeared premature and unnatural in a man who could not
yet have seen more than five-and-twenty summers. A close observer,
however, would have remarked that the muscles of his face were beginning
to be agitated by a slight convulsive twitching, when, at that moment,
his mate stepped up to him and whispered something. Approaching the
Spaniard for the second time, Ready invited him to partake of a slight
refreshment in his cabin, a courtesy which it is usual for the captains
of merchant vessels to pay to the visiting officer. The Spaniard
accepted, and they went below.

The steward was busy covering the cabin table with plates of Boston
crackers, olives, and almonds, and he then uncorked a bottle of fine old
Madeira that looked like liquid gold as it gurgled into the glasses.
Captain Ready seemed quite a different person in the cabin and on deck.
Throwing aside his dry say-little manner, he was good-humour and civility
personified, as he lavished on his guest all those obliging attentions
which no one better knows the use of than a Yankee when he wishes to
administer a dose of what he would call "soft sawder." Ready soon
persuaded the officer of his entire guiltlessness in the unpleasant affair
that had just occurred, and the Spaniard told him by no means to make
himself uneasy, that the pass had been given for another person, and that
the prisoner was a man of great importance, whom he considered himself
excessively lucky to have been able to recapture.

Most Spaniards like a glass of Madeira, particularly when olives serve as
the whet. The American's wine was first-rate, and the other seemed to find
himself particularly comfortable in the cabin. He did not forget, however,
to desire that the prisoner's baggage might be placed in the boat, and,
with a courteous apology for leaving him a moment, Captain Ready hastened
to give the necessary orders.

When the captain reached the deck, a heart-rending scene presented itself
to him. His unfortunate passenger was seated on one of the hatchways,
despair legibly written on his pale features. The eldest child had climbed
up on his knee, and looked wistfully into its father's face, and his wife
hung round his neck sobbing audibly. A young negress, who had come on
board with them, held the other child, an infant a few months old, in her
arms. Ready took the prisoner's hand.

"I hate tyranny," said he, "as every American must. Had you confided your
position to me a few hours sooner, I would have got you safe off. But now
I see nothing to be done. We are under the cannon of the fort, that could
sink us in ten seconds. Who and what are you? Say quickly, for time is
precious."

"I am a Columbian by birth," replied the young man, "an officer in the
patriot army. I was taken prisoner at the battle of Cachiri, and brought
to the Havannah with several companions in misfortune. My wife and
children were allowed to follow me, for the Spaniards were not sorry to
have one of the first families of Columbia entirely in their power. Four
months I lay in a frightful dungeon, with rats and venomous reptiles for
my only companions. It is a miracle that I am still alive. Out of seven
hundred prisoners, but a handful of emaciated objects remain to testify to
the barbarous cruelty of our captors. A fortnight back they took me out of
my prison, a mere skeleton, in order to preserve my life, and quartered me
in a house in the city. Two days ago, however, I heard that I was to
return to the dungeon. It was my death-warrant, for I was convinced I
could not live another week in that frightful cell. A true friend, in
spite of the danger, and by dint of gold, procured me a pass that had
belonged to a Spaniard dead of the yellow fever. By means of that paper,
and by your assistance, we trusted to escape. _Capitan!_" said the young
man, starting to his feet, and clasping Ready's hand, his hollow sunken
eye gleaming wildly as he spoke, "my only hope is in you. If you give me
up I am a dead man, for I have sworn to perish rather than return to the
miseries of my prison. I fear not death--I am a soldier; but alas for my
poor wife, my helpless, deserted children!"

The Yankee captain passed his hand across his forehead with the air of a
man who is puzzled, then turned away without a word, and walked to the
other end of the vessel. Giving a glance upwards and around him that
seemed to take in the appearance of the sky, and the probabilities of good
or bad weather, he ordered some of the sailors to bring the luggage of the
passenger upon deck, but not to put it into the boat. He told the steward
to give the soldiers and boatmen a couple of bottles of rum, and then,
after whispering for a few seconds in the ear of his mate, he approached
the cabin stairs. As he passed the Columbian family, he said in a low
voice, and without looking at them,

    "Trust in him who helps when need is at the greatest."

Scarcely had he uttered the words, when the Spanish officer sprang up the
cabin stairs, and as soon as he saw the prisoners, ordered them into the
boat. Ready, however, interfered, and begged him to allow his unfortunate
passenger to take a farewell glass before he left the vessel. To this
young officer good naturedly consented, and himself led the way into the
cabin.

They took their places at the table, and the captain opened a fresh
bottle, at the very first glass of which the Spaniard's eye glistened, his
lips smacked. The conversation became more and more lively; Ready spoke
Spanish fluently, and gave proof of a jovialty which no one would have
suspected to form a part of his character, dry and saturnine as his manner
usually was. A quarter of an hour or more had passed in this way, when the
schooner gave a sudden lurch, and the glasses and bottles jingled and
clattered together on the table. The Spaniard started up.

"Captain!" cried he furiously, "the schooner is sailing!"

"Certainly," replied the captain, very coolly. "You surely did not expect,
Señor, that we were going to miss the finest breeze that ever filled a
sail."

Without answering, the officer rushed upon deck, and looked in the
direction of the Molo. They had left the fort full two miles behind them.
The Spaniard literally foamed at the mouth.

"Soldiers!" vociferated he, "seize the captain and the prisoners. We are
betrayed. And you, steersman, put about."

And betrayed they assuredly were; for while the officer had been quaffing
his Madeira, and the soldiers and boatmen regaling themselves with the
steward's rum, sail had been made on the vessel without noise or bustle,
and, favoured by the breeze, she was rapidly increasing her distance from
land. Meantime Ready preserved the utmost composure.

"Betrayed!" repeated he, replying to the vehement ejaculation of the
Spaniard. "Thank God we are Americans, and have no trust to break, nothing
to betray. As to this prisoner of yours, however, he must remain here."

"Here!" sneered the Spaniard--"We'll soon see about that you
treacherous"--

"Here," quietly interrupted the captain. "Do not give yourself needless
trouble, Señor; your soldiers' guns are, as you perceive, in our hands,
and my six sailors well provided with pistols and cutlasses. We are more
than a match for your ten, and at the first suspicious movement you make,
we fire on you."

The officer looked around, and became speechless when he beheld the
soldiers' muskets piled upon the deck, and guarded by two well armed and
determined-looking sailors.

"You would not dare"--exclaimed he.

"Indeed would I," replied Ready; "but I hope you will not force me to it.
You must remain a few hours longer my guest, and then you can return to
port in your boat. You will get off with a month's arrest, and as
compensation, you will have the satisfaction of having delivered a brave
enemy from despair and death."

The officer ground his teeth together, but even yet he did not give up all
hopes of getting out of the scrape. Resistance was evidently out of the
question, his men's muskets being in the power of the Americans who, with
cocked pistols and naked cutlasses, stood on guard over them. The soldiers
themselves did not seem very full of fight, and the boatmen were negroes,
and consequently non-combatants. But there were several trincadores and
armed cutters cruising about, and if he could manage to hail or make a
signal to one of them, the schooner would be brought to, and the tables
turned. He gazed earnestly at a sloop that just then crossed them at no
great distance, staggering in towards the harbour under press of sail. The
American seemed to read his thoughts.

"Do me the honour, Señor," said be, "to partake of a slight _dejeuner-à-la
fourchette_ in the cabin. We will also hope for the pleasure of your
company at dinner. Supper you will probably eat at home."

And so saying, he motioned courteously towards the cabin stairs. The
Spaniard looked in the seaman's face, and read in its decided expression,
and in the slight smile of intelligence that played upon it, that he must
not hope either to resist or outwit his polite but peremptory entertainer.
So, making a virtue of necessity, he descended into the cabin.

The joy of the refugees at finding themselves thus unexpectedly rescued
from the captivity they so much dreaded, may be more easily imagined than
described. They remained for some time without uttering a word; but the
tears of the lady, and the looks of heartfelt gratitude of her husband
were the best thanks they could offer their deliverer.

On went the schooner; fainter and fainter grew the outline of the land,
till at length it sank under the horizon, and nothing was visible but the
castle of the Molo and the topmasts of the vessels riding at anchor off
the Havannah. They were twenty miles from land, far enough for the safety
of the fugitive, and as far as it was prudent for those to come who had to
return to port in an open boat. Ready's good-humour and hearty hospitality
had reconciled him with the Spaniard, who seemed to have forgotten the
trick that had been played him, and the punishment he would incur for
having allowed himself to be entrapped. He shook the captain's hand as he
stepped over the side, the negroes dipped their oars into the water, and
in a short time the boat was seen from the schooner as a mere speck upon
the vast expanse of ocean.

The voyage was prosperous, and in eleven days the vessel reached its
destination. The Columbian officer, his wife and children, were received
with the utmost kindness and hospitality by the young and handsome wife of
Captain Ready, in whose house they took up their quarters. They remained
there two months, living in the most retired manner, with the double
object of economizing their scanty resources, and of avoiding the notice
of the Philadelphians, who at that time viewed the patriots of Southern
America with no very favourable eye. The insurrection against the
Spaniards had injured the commerce between the United States and the
Spanish colonies, and the purely mercantile and lucre-loving spirit of the
Philadelphians made them look with dislike on any persons or circumstances
who caused a diminution of their trade and profits.

At the expiration of the above-mentioned time, an opportunity offered of a
vessel going to Marguerite, then the headquarters of the patriots, and the
place where the first expeditions were formed under Bolivar against the
Spaniards. Estoval (that was the name by which the Columbian officer was
designated in his passport) gladly seized the opportunity, and taking a
grateful and affectionate leave of his deliverer, embarked with his wife
and children. They had been several days at sea before they remembered
that they had forgotten to tell their American friends their real name.
The latter had never enquired it, and the Estovals being accustomed to
address one another by their Christian names, it had never been mentioned.

Meantime, the good seed Captain Ready had sown, brought the honest Yankee
but a sorry harvest. His employers had small sympathy with the feelings of
humanity that had induced him to run the risk of carrying off a Spanish
state-prisoner from under the guns of a Spanish battery. Their
correspondents at the Havannah had had some trouble and difficulty on
account of the affair, and had written to Philadelphia to complain of it.
Ready lost his ship, and could only obtain from his employers certificates
of character of so ambiguous and unsatisfactory a nature, that for a long
time he found it impossible to get the command of another vessel.


In the autumn of 1824, I left Baltimore as supercargo of the brig
Perverance, Captain Ready. Proceeding to the Havannah, we discharged our
cargo, took in another, partly on our own account, partly on that of the
Spanish government, and sailed for Callao on the 1st December, exactly
eight days before the celebrated battle of Ayacucho dealt the finishing
blow to Spanish rule on the southern continent of America, and established
the independence of Peru. The Spaniards, however, still held the fortress
of Callao, which, after having been taken by Martin and Cochrane four
years previously, had again been treacherously delivered up, and was now
blockaded by sea and land by the patriots, under the command of General
Hualero, who had marched an army from Columbia to assist the cause of
liberty in Peru.

Of all these circumstances we were ignorant, until we arrived within a few
leagues of the port of Callao. Then we learned them from a vessel that
spoke us, but we still advanced, hoping to find an opportunity to slip in.
In attempting to do so, we were seized by one of the blockading vessels,
and the captain and myself taken out and sent to Lima. We were allowed to
take our personal property with us, but of brig or cargo we heard nothing
for some time. I was not a little uneasy; for the whole of my savings
during ten years' clerkship in the house of a Baltimore merchant were
embarked in the form of a venture on board the Perseverance.

The captain, who had a fifth of the cargo, and was half owner of the brig,
took things very philosophically, and passed his days with a penknife and
stick in his hand, whittling away, Yankee fashion; and when he had chapped
up his stick, he would set to work notching and hacking the first chair,
bench, or table that came under his hand. If any one spoke to him of the
brig, he would grind his teeth a little, but said nothing, and whittled
away harder than ever. This was his character, however. I had known him
for five years that he had been in the employ of the same house as myself,
and he had always passed for a singularly reserved and taciturn man.
During our voyage, whole weeks had sometimes elapsed without his uttering
a word except to give the necessary orders.

In spite of his peculiarities, Captain Ready was generally liked by his
brother captains, and by all who knew him. When he did speak, his words
(perhaps the more prized on account of their rarity) were always listened
to with attention. There was a benevolence and mildness in the tones of
his voice that rendered it quite musical, and never failed to prepossess
in his favour all those who heard him, and to make them forget the usual
sullenness of his manner. During the whole time he had sailed for the
Baltimore house, he had shown himself a model of trustworthiness and
seamanship, and enjoyed the full confidence of his employers. It was said,
however, that his early life had not been irreproachable; that when he
first, and as a very young man, had command of a Philadelphian ship,
something had occurred which had thrown a stain upon his character. What
this was, I had never heard very distinctly stated. He had favoured the
escape of a malefactor, ensnared some officers who were sent on board his
vessel to seize him. All this was very vague, but what was positive was
the fact, that the owners of the ship he then commanded, had had much
trouble about the matter, and Ready himself remained long unemployed,
until the rapid increase of trade between the United States and the infant
republics of South America had caused seamen of ability to be in much
request, and he had again obtained command of a vessel.

We were seated one afternoon outside the French coffeehouse at Lima. The
party consisted of seven or eight captains of merchant vessels that had
been seized, and they were doing their best to kill the time, some
smoking, others chewing, but nearly all with penknife and stick in hand,
whittling as for a wager. On their first arrival at Lima, and adoption of
this coffeehouse as a place of resort, the tables and chairs belonging to
it seemed in a fair way to be cut to pieces by these indefatigable
whittlers; but the coffeehouse keeper had hit upon a plan to avoid such
deterioration of his chattels, and had placed in every corner of the rooms
bundles of sticks, at which his Yankee customers cut and notched, till the
coffeehouse assumed the appearance of a carpenter's shop.

The costume and airs of the patriots, as they called themselves, were no
small source of amusement to us. They strutted about in all the pride of
their fire-new freedom, regular caricatures of soldiers. One would have on
a Spanish jacket, part of the spoils of Ayacucho--another, an American
one, which he had bought from some sailor--a third a monk's robe, cut
short, and fashioned into a sort of doublet. Here was a shako wanting a
brim, in company with a gold-laced velvet coat of the time of Philip V.;
there, a hussar jacket and an old-fashioned cocked hat. The volunteers
were the best clothed, also in great part from the plunder of the battle
of Ayacucho. Their uniforms were laden with gold and silver lace, and some
of the officers, not satisfied with two epaulettes, had half-a-dozen
hanging before and behind, as well as on their shoulders.

As we sat smoking, whittling, and quizzing the patriots, a side-door of
the coffeehouse was suddenly opened, and an officer came out whose
appearance was calculated to give us a far more favourable opinion of
South American _militaires_. He was a man about thirty years of age,
plainly but tastefully dressed, and of that unassuming, engaging demeanour
which is so often found the companion of the greatest decision of
character, and which contrasted with the martial deportment of a young man
who followed him, and who, although in much more showy uniform, was
evidently his inferior in rank. We bowed as he passed before us, and he
acknowledged the salutation by raising his cocked hat slightly but
courteously from his head. He was passing on when his eyes suddenly fell
upon Captain Ready, who was standing a little on one side, notching away
at his tenth or twelfth stick, and at that moment happened to look up. The
officer started, gazed earnestly at Ready for the space of a moment, and
then, with delight expressed on his countenance, sprang forward, and
clasped him in his arms.

"Captain Ready!"

"That is my name," quietly replied the captain.

"Is it possible you do not know me?" exclaimed the officer.

Ready looked hard at him, and seemed a little in doubt. At last he shook
his head.

"You do not know me?" repeated the other, almost reproachfully, and then
whispered something in his ear.

It was now Ready's turn to start and look surprised. A smile of pleasure
lit up his countenance as he grasped the hand of the officer, who took his
arm and dragged him away into the house.

A quarter of an hour elapsed, during which we lost ourselves in
conjectures as to who this acquaintance of Ready's could be. At the end of
that time the captain and his new (or old) friend re-appeared. The latter
walked away, and we saw him enter the government house, while Ready joined
us, as silent and phlegmatic as ever, and resumed his stick and penknife.
In reply to our enquiries as to who the officer was, he only said that he
belonged to the army besieging Callao, and that he had once made a voyage
as his passenger. This was all the information we could extract from our
taciturn friend; but we saw plainly that the officer was somebody of
importance, from the respect paid him by the soldiers and others whom he
met.

The morning following this incident we were sitting over our chocolate,
when an orderly dragoon came to ask for Captain Ready. The captain went
out to speak to him, and presently returning, went on with his breakfast
very deliberately.

When he had done, he asked me if I were inclined for a little excursion
out of the town, which would, perhaps, keep us a couple of days away. I
willingly accepted, heartily sick as I was of the monotonous life we were
leading. We packed up our valises, took our pistols and cutlasses, and
went out.

To my astonishment the orderly was waiting at the door with two
magnificent Spanish chargers, splendidly accoutred. They were the finest
horses I had seen in Peru, and my curiosity was strongly excited to know
who had sent them, and whither we were going. To my questions, Ready
replied that we were going to visit the officer whom he had spoken to on
the preceding day, and who was with the besieging army, and had once been
his passenger, but he declared he did not know his name or rank.

We had left the town about a mile behind us, when we heard the sound of
cannon in the direction we were approaching; it increased as we went on,
and about a mile further we met a string of carts, full of wounded, going
in to Lima. Here and there we caught sight of parties of marauders, who
disappeared as soon as they saw our orderly. I felt a great longing and
curiosity to witness the fight that was evidently going on--not, however,
that I was particularly desirous of taking share in it, or putting myself
in the way of the bullets. My friend the captain jogged on by my side,
taking little heed of the roar of the cannon, which to him was no novelty;
for having passed his life at sea, he had had more than one encounter with
pirates and other rough customers, and been many times under the fire of
batteries, running in and out of blockaded American ports. His whole
attention was now engrossed by the management of his horse, which was
somewhat restive, and he, like most sailors, was a very indifferent rider.

On reaching the top of a small rising ground, we beheld to the left the
dark frowning bastions of the fort, and to the right the village of Bella
Vista, which, although commanded by the guns of Callao, had been chosen as
the headquarters of the besieging army--the houses being, for the most
part, built of huge blocks of stone, and offering sufficient resistance to
the balls. The orderly pointed out to us the various batteries, and
especially one which was just completed, and was situated about three
hundred yards from the fortress. It had not yet been used, and was still
masked from the enemy by some houses which stood just in its front.

While we were looking about us, Ready's horse, irritated by the noise of
the firing, the flashes of the guns, and perhaps more than any thing by
the captain's bad riding, became more and more unmanageable, and at last
taking the bit between his teeth started off at a mad gallop, closely
followed by myself and the orderly, to whose horses the panic seemed to
have communicated itself. The clouds of dust raised by the animals' feet,
prevented us from seeing whither we were going. Suddenly there was an
explosion that seemed to shake the very earth under us, and Ready, the
orderly, and myself, lay sprawling with our horses on the ground. Before
we could collect our senses and get up, we were nearly deafened by a
tremendous roar of artillery close to us, and at the same moment a shower
of stones and fragments of brick and mortar clattered about our ears.

The orderly was stunned by his fall; I was bruised and bewildered. Ready
was the only one who seemed in no ways put out, and with his usual phlegm,
extricating himself from under his horse, he came to our assistance. I was
soon on my legs, and endeavouring to discover the cause of all this
uproar.

Our unruly steeds had brought us close to the new battery, at the very
moment that the train of a mine under the houses in front of it had been
fired. The instant the obstacle was removed, the artillerymen had opened a
tremendous fire on the fort. The Spaniards were not slow to return the
compliment, and fortunate it was that a solid fragment of wall intervened
between us and their fire, or all our troubles about the brig, and every
thing else, would have been at an end. Already upwards of twenty balls had
struck the old broken wall. Shot and shell were flying in every direction,
the smoke was stifling, the uproar indescribable. It was so dark with the
smoke and dust from the fallen houses, that we could not see an arm's
length before us. The captain asked two or three soldiers who were
hurrying by, where the battery was; but they were in too great haste to
answer, and it was only when the smoke cleared away a little, that we
discovered we were not twenty paces from it. Ready seized my arm, and
pulling me with him, I the next moment found myself standing beside a gun,
under cover of the breastworks.

The battery consisted of thirty, twenty-four, and thirty-six pounders,
served with a zeal and courage which far exceeded any thing I had expected
to find in the patriot army. The fellows were really more than brave, they
were foolhardy. They danced rather than walked round the guns, and
exhibited a contempt of death that could not well be surpassed. As to
drawing the guns back from the embrasures while they loaded them, they
never dreamed of such a thing. They stood jeering and scoffing the
Spaniards, and bidding them take better aim.

It must be remembered, that this was only three months after the battle of
Ayacucho, the greatest feat of arms which the South American patriots had
achieved during the whole of their protracted struggle with Spain. That
victory had literally electrified the troops, and inspired them with a
courage and contempt of their enemy, that frequently showed itself, as on
this occasion, in acts of the greatest daring and temerity.

At the gun by which Ready and myself took our stand, half the artillerymen
were already killed, and we had scarcely come there, when a cannon shot
took the head off a man standing close to me. The wind of the ball was so
great that I believe it would have suffocated me, had I not fortunately
been standing sideways in the battery. At the same moment, something hot
splashed over my neck and face, and nearly blinded me. I looked, and saw
the man lying without his head before me. I cannot describe the sickening
feeling that came over me. It was not the first man I had seen killed in
my life, but it was the first whose blood and brains had spurted into my
face. My knees shook and my head swam; I was obliged to lean against the
wall, or I should have fallen.

Another ball fell close beside me, and strange to say, it brought me
partly to myself again; and by the time a third and fourth had bounced
into the battery, I began to take things pretty coolly--my heart beating
rather quicker than usual, I acknowledge; but, nevertheless, I began to
find an indescribable sort of pleasure, a mischievous joy, if I may so
call it, in the peril and excitement of the scene.

Whilst I was getting over my terrors, my companion was moving about the
battery with his usual _sang-froid_, reconnoitring the enemy. He ran no
useless risk, kept himself well behind the breastworks, stooping down when
necessary, and taking all proper care of himself. When he had completed
his reconnoissance, he, to my no small astonishment, took off his coat and
neck-handkerchief, the latter of which he tied tight round his waist, then
taking a rammer from the hand of a soldier who had just fallen, he
ordered, or rather signed to the artilleryman to draw the gun back.

There was something so cool and decided in his manner, that they obeyed
without testifying any surprise at his interference, and as though he had
been one of their own officers. He loaded the piece, had it drawn forward
again, pointed and fired it. He then went to the next gun and did the same
thing there. He seemed so perfectly at home in the battery, that nobody
ever dreamed of disputing his authority, and the two guns were entirely
under his direction. I had now got used to the thing myself, so I went
forward and offered my services, which, in the scarcity of men, (so many
having been killed,) were not to be refused, and I helped to draw the guns
backwards and forward, and load them. The captain kept running from one to
the other, pointing them, and admirably well too; for every shot took
effect within a circumference of a few feet on the bastion in front of us.

This lasted nearly an hour, at the end of which time the fire was
considerably slackened, for the greater part of our guns had become
unserviceable. Only about a dozen kept up the fire, (the ball, I was going
to say,) and amongst them were the two that Ready commanded. He had given
them time to cool after firing, whereas most of the others, in their
desperate haste and eagerness, had neglected that precaution. Although the
patriots had now been fifteen years at war with the Spaniards, they were
still very indifferent artillerymen--for artillery had little to do in
most of their fights, which were generally decided by cavalry and
infantry, and even in that of Ayacucho there were only a few small
field-pieces in use on either side. The mountainous nature of the
country, intersected, too, by mighty rivers, and the want of good roads,
were the reasons of the insignificant part played by the artillery in
these wars.

Whilst we were thus hard at work, who should enter the battery but the
very officer we had left Lima to visit? He was attended by a numerous
staff, and was evidently of very high rank. He stood a little back,
watching every movement of Captain Ready, and rubbing his hands with
visible satisfaction. Just at that moment the captain fired one of the
guns, and, as the smoke cleared away a little, we saw the opposite bastion
rock, and then sink down into the moat. A joyous hurra greeted its fall,
and the general and his staff sprang forward.

It would be necessary to have witnessed the scene that followed in order
to form any adequate idea of the mad joy and enthusiasm of its actors. The
general seized Ready in his arms, and eagerly embraced him, then almost
threw him to one of his officers, who performed the like ceremony, and, in
his turn, passed him to a third. The imperturbable captain flew, or was
tossed, like a ball, from one to the other. I also came in for my share of
the embraces.

I thought them all stark-staring mad; and, indeed, I do not believe they
were far from it. The balls were still hailing into the battery; one of
them cut a poor devil of an orderly nearly in two, but no notice was taken
of such trifles. It was a curious scene enough; the cannon-balls bouncing
about our ears--the ground under our feet slippery with blood--wounded and
dying lying on all sides--and we ourselves pushed and passed about from
the arms of one black-bearded fellow into those of another. There was
something thoroughly exotic, completely South American and tropical, in
this impromptu.

Strange to say, now that the breach was made, and a breach such that a
determined regiment, assisted by well-directed fire of artillery, could
have had no difficulty in storming the town, there was no appearance of
any disposition to profit by it. The patriots seemed quite contented with
what had been done; most of the officers left the batteries, and the thing
was evidently over for the day. I knew little of Spanish Americans then,
or I should have felt less surprised than I did at their not following up
their advantage. It was not from want of courage; for it was impossible to
have exhibited more than they had done that morning. But they had had
their moment of fury, of wild energy and exertion, and the other side of
the national character, indolence, now showed itself. After fighting like
devils, at the very moment when activity was of most importance, they lay
down and took the _sièsta_.

We were about leaving the battery, with the intention of visiting some of
the others, when our orderly came up in all haste, with orders to conduct
us to the general's quarters. We followed him, and soon reached a noble
villa, at the door of which a guard was stationed. Here we were given over
to a sort of major-domo, who led us through a crowd of aides-de-camp,
staff-officers, and orderlies, to a chamber, whither our valises had
preceded us. We were desired to make haste with our toilet, as dinner
would be served so soon as his Excellency returned from the batteries;
and, indeed, we had scarcely changed our dress, and washed the blood and
smoke from our persons, when the major-domo re-appeared, and announced the
general's return.

Dinner was laid out in a large saloon, in which some sixty officers were
assembled when we entered it. With small regard to etiquette, and not
waiting for the general to welcome us, they all sprang to meet us with a
"_Buen venidos, capitanes!_"

The dinner was such as might be expected at the table of a general
commanded at the same time an army and the blockade of a much-frequented
port. The most delicious French and Spanish wines were there in the
greatest profusion; the conviviality of the guests was unbounded, but
although they drank their champagne out of tumblers, no one showed the
smallest symptom of inebriety.

The first toast given, was--Bolivar.

The second--Sucre.

The third--The Battle of Ayacucho.

The fourth--Union between Columbia and Peru.

The fifth--Hualero.

The general rose to return thanks, and we now, for the first time, knew
his name. He raised his glass, and spoke, evidently with much emotion.

"Senores! Amigos!" said he, "that I am this day amongst you, and able to
thank you for your kindly sentiments towards your general and brother in
arms, is owing, under Providence, to the good and brave stranger whose
acquaintance you have only this day made, but who is one of my oldest and
best friends." And so saying he left his place, and approaching Captain
Ready, affectionately embraced him. The seaman's iron features lost their
usual imperturbability, and his lips quivered as he stammered out the two
words--

"Amigo siempre."

The following day we passed in the camp, and the one after returned to
Lima, the general insisting on our taking up our quarters in his house.

From Hualero and his lady I learned the origin of the friendship existing
between the distinguished Columbian general and my taciturn Yankee
captain. It was the honourable explanation of the mysterious stain upon
Ready's character.

Our difficulties regarding the brig were now soon at an end. The vessel
and cargo were returned to us, with the exception of a large quantity of
cigars belonging to the Spanish government. These were, of course,
confiscated, but the general bought them, and made them a present to
Captain Ready, who sold them by auction; and cigars being in no small
demand amongst that tobacco-loving population, they fetched immense
prices, and put thirty thousand dollars into my friend's pocket.

To be brief, at the end of three weeks we sailed from Lima, and in a
vastly better humour than when we arrived there.


       *       *       *       *       *



WOMAN'S RIGHTS AND DUTIES.

BY A WOMAN.


  "Chose étrange d'aimer, et que pour ces maitresses,
   Les hommes soient sujets à de telles foiblesses--
   Tout le monde connoit leur imperfection,
   Ce n'est qu'extravagance et qu'indiscrétion.
   Leur esprit est méchant, et leur âme fragile,
   Il n'est rien de plus foible et de plus imbécille,
   Rien de plus infidèle--et malgrè tout cela,
   Dans le monde on fait tout pour ces animaux-là."

                               _Ecole des Femmes._

Such is the language of disappointment--but although a careful examination
of ancient and modern manners might lead to a different conclusion, (for
as the corruption of excessive refinement ends by placing her in the first
condition, so does the brutal assertion of physical superiority begin by
degrading her to the last,) woman is, we firmly believe, neither intended
for a tyrant nor a slave--Not a slave, for till she is raised above the
condition of a beast of burden, man, her companion, must continue
barbarous--Not a tyrant, for terrible as are the evils of irresponsible
authority, with whomsoever it may be vested, in her hands it becomes the
most tremendous instrument that Providence in its indignation can employ
to crush, degrade, and utterly to paralyze the nations within its reach.
The former position will readily be conceded; and the history of Rome
under the Emperors, or of France during the last century, affords but too
striking an exemplification of the second. It is, then, of the last
importance to society, that clear and accurate notions should prevail
among us concerning the education of a being on whom all its refinement,
and much of its prosperity, must depend. It is of the last importance, not
only that the absurd notions which half-a-century ago deprived English
ladies of education altogether, should be consigned to everlasting
oblivion and contempt--not only that the system to which France is
indebted for its Du Deffauds, Pompadours, and Du Barrys should be
extinguished, but that principles well adapted to the habits and
intelligence of man, in the most civilized state in which he has ever yet
existed, should prevail among us, should float upon the very atmosphere we
breathe, and be circulated in every vein that traverses the mighty fabric
of society. Therefore it is, because we are deeply impressed with this
conviction, that we hail with delight the appearance of a work so
profound, eloquent, and judicious; combining in so rare an union so many
kinds of excellence, as that which we now propose to the consideration of
our readers. Since the days of Smith and Montesquieu, no more valuable
addition has been made to moral science; and though the good taste and
modesty of its author, has induced her to put, in the least obtrusive
form, the wisdom and erudition--the least fragment of which would have
furnished forth a host of modern Sciolists with the most ostentatious
paragraphs--the deep thought and nervous eloquence by which almost every
page of the volume before us is illustrated, sufficiently establish her
title to rank among the most distinguished writers of this age and
country. If, indeed, we were ungrateful enough to quarrel with any part of
a work, the perusal of which has afforded us so much gratification, we
should be disposed (in deference, however, rather to the opinions of
others than our own) to alter the title that is prefixed to it. Many a
grave and pompous gentleman, who is "free to confess," and "does not
hesitate to utter" the dullest and most obvious commonplaces, would sit
down to the perusal of a work entitled, "On the Government of
Dependencies," or "Sermons on the Functions of Archdeacons and Rural
Deans," though never so deficient in learning, vigour, and originality,
who will reject with the supercilious ignorance of incurable stupidity,
these volumes, in which the habits, the interests, the inalienable rights,
the sacred duties of one half of the species, (and of that half to which,
at the most pliant and critical period of life, the health, the
disposition, the qualities, moral and intellectual, of the other half must
of necessity be confided,) are discussed with exemplary fairness, and
placed in the most luminous point of view. But we have detained our
readers too long from the admirable work which it is our object to make
known to them. It opens in the following manner:--

   "It was once suggested by an eminent physiologist, that the
    greatest enjoyments of our animal nature might be those which,
    from their constancy, escape our notice altogether.

    "His investigations had led him to think, that even the
    involuntary motions carried on in our system, were productive of
    pleasure; and that the act of respiration was probably attended
    by a sensation as delightful as the gratifications of the palate.
    It is certain that every sense is a source of unnoticed
    pleasures. Sound and light are agreeable in themselves, before
    their varied combinations have produced music to our ear, or
    conveyed the perceptions of form to our mind. Innumerable are the
    emotions of pleasure conveyed to the imagination and the senses,
    by the endless diversities of form, colour, and sound; and the
    unbought riches poured upon us from these sources, are more
    prolific of enjoyment, than any of the far-sought distinctions
    which stir the hopes and rivalries of men. Yet, on these and
    other spontaneous blessings, no one reflects, or even enumerates
    them among the sources of happiness, till some casual suspension
    of them revives sensibility to the delight they afford.

    "Such are the lamentations, though rarely so eloquently uttered,
    which we daily hear on the loss of some possession, which, while
    held, was scarcely noticed; and could preserve its owner, neither
    from the gloom of apathy, nor the irritation of discontent.

    "Were it not for this, the necessary effect of habit both in the
    physical and moral world, women might be expected to live in
    daily and hourly exultation, who have been born in a Christian
    and civilized country. Whatever theorists may have thought
    occasionally of the happiness of men in barbarous or savage
    conditions, no doubt at all can be entertained as to that of
    women. It is civilization which has taken the yoke from their
    neck, the scourge from their back, and the burden from their
    shoulders. It is Christianity chiefly which has raised them from
    the state of slaves or menials to that of citizens, and compelled
    their rough and unresisted tyrants to call up law in their
    defence; that potent spirit which they, who have evoked it, must
    ever after themselves submit to. Religion, which extends the
    sanctity of the marriage vow to the husband as well as to the
    wife, has rescued her from a condition in which her best and most
    tender affections were the source of her bitterest misery; a
    condition in which her only escape from a sense of suffering too
    unremitting for nature to endure, was in that mental degradation
    which produces insensibility to wrong. The instances of primitive
    communities, in which such injustice has not prevailed, are too
    few and far between, to form any solid objection to the truth of
    this general picture. The mere increase of numbers infallibly
    obliterates the fair but feeble virtues that originate in nothing
    but ignorance of ill; and the first inroads of want or discord,
    usually settle the doom of the weak and defenceless. In restoring
    to women their domestic dignity, religion has done more than
    every other cause towards shielding them from the consequences of
    weakness and dependence. From the dignified affections of the
    other sex, they have gradually acquired some social rights, and
    some share of that freedom, without which virtue itself can
    scarcely exist. Opinion, the offspring, not of resplendent
    genius, whose earliest fires burned indignantly against the
    tyrant and oppressor, but of a religion which preached the
    equality of all before God, has given them a share of those
    blessings, without which life is not worth possession. At length
    it has opened to them the portals of knowledge and wisdom, the
    gradual, but effective supports against degradation; and has
    sanctified its gifts by withholding from them every license that
    leads to vice, every knowledge that detracts from their purity,
    and every profession that would expose them to insult."

Then follows a masterly sketch of the condition of woman in uncivilized
life, in which the subject is illustrated by the most apposite quotations
from the works of different travellers and historians. It is the writer's
opinion that in uncivilized life, the degradation of woman, though common,
is not universal. The celebrated passage in Tacitus is quoted in support
of this position; and among other less interesting extracts, is the
following account of Galway by Hardiman, a country which, so great is the
blessing of a paternal and judicious government, may furnish, in the
nineteenth century, illustrations of uncivilized life, equally picturesque
and striking with those which Tacitus has recorded in his day as familiar
among the inhabitants of Pagan Germany.

    "This colony, from time immemorial, has been ruled by one of
    their own body, periodically elected, who somewhat resembled the
    Brughaid or head village of ancient times, when every clan
    resided in its hereditary canton. This individual, who is
    decorated with the title of mayor, in imitation of the city,
    regulates the community according to their own peculiar customs
    and laws, and settles all fishery disputes. His decisions are so
    decisive, and so much respected, that the parties are seldom
    known to carry their differences before a legal tribunal, or to
    trouble the civil magistrate. They neither understand nor trouble
    themselves about politics, consequently, in the most turbulent
    times, their loyalty has never been questioned. Their mayor is no
    way distinguished from other villagers, except that his boat is
    decorated with a white sail, and may be seen when at sea, at
    which time he acts as admiral, with colours flying at the
    masthead, gliding through their fleet with some appearance of
    authority.... When on shore, they employ themselves in repairing
    their boats, sails, rigging, and cordage, in making, drying, and
    repairing their nets and spillets, in which latter part they are
    assisted by the women, who spin the hemp and yarn for their nets.
    In consequence of their strict attention to these particulars,
    very few accidents happen at sea, and lives are seldom lost.
    Whatever time remains after these avocations, they spend in
    regaling with whisky, and assembling in groups to discuss their
    maritime affairs, on which occasions they arrange their fishing
    excursions. When preparing for sea, hundreds of their women and
    children for days before crowd the strand, seeking for worms to
    bait the hooks. The men carry in their boats, potatoes, oaten
    cakes, fuel, and water, but never admit any spirituous liquors.
    Thus equipped, they depart for their fishing ground, and
    sometimes remain away several days. Their return is joyfully
    hailed by their wives and children, who meet them on the shore.
    The fish instantly becomes the property of the women, (the men,
    after landing, never troubling themselves further about it,) and
    they dispose of it to a poorer class of fishwomen, who retail it
    at market.

    "The inhabitants of the Cloddagh are an unlettered race. They
    rarely speak English, and even their Irish they pronounce in a
    harsh, discordant tone, sometimes not intelligible to the
    townspeople. They are a contented, happy race, satisfied with
    their own society, and seldom ambitious of that of others.
    Strangers (for whom they have an utter aversion) are never
    suffered to reside among them. The women possess an unlimited
    control over their husbands, the produce of whose labour they
    exclusively manage, allowing the men little more money than
    suffices to keep the boat and tackle in repair; but they keep
    them plentifully supplied with whisky, brandy, and tobacco. The
    women seldom speak English, but appear more shrewd and
    intelligent in their dealings than the men; in their domestic
    concerns the general appearance of cleanliness is deserving of
    particular praise. The wooden ware, with which every dwelling is
    well stored, rivals in colour the whitest delft.

    "At an early age they generally marry amongst their own clan. A
    marriage is commonly preceded by an elopement, but no
    disappointment or disadvantage from that circumstance has ever
    been known among them. The reconciliation with the friends
    usually takes place the next morning, the clergyman is sent for,
    and the marriage celebrated. The parents generally contrive to
    supply the price of a boat, or a share in one, as a beginning."

The writer then proceeds, in a strain of generous yet chastened energy, to
comment on the false measure which people apply to the sufferings of
others. Insensibility to wretchedness, or, as in the vocabulary of
oppression it is called, content, is often a proof of nothing but that
stupefaction of the faculties which is the natural result of long and
blighting misery. A contented slave is a degraded man. His sorrow may be
gone, but so is his understanding.

In the course of her enquiries into the condition of women under the
Mahometan law, the author is led to make some reflections upon one by whom
Mahometan manners were first presented in an attractive shape to the
English public--a person celebrated for her friends, but still more
celebrated for her enemies--known for her love, but famous for her hate--a
girl without feeling, a woman without tenderness--a banished wife, a
careless mother--on whom extraordinary wit, masculine sense, a clear
judgment, and an ardent love of letters seem to have been lavished for no
other purpose than to show that, without a good heart, they serve only to
make their possessor the most contemptible of mankind. Lady Mary Wortley's
heart was the receptacle of all meanness and sensuality--the prey of a
selfishness as intense as rank, riches, a bad education, natural
malignity, and the extremes of good and bad fortune, ever engendered in
the breast of woman. The remarks on her character, in the volume before
us, are, as might be expected, excellent.

The condition of women among the more polished nations of antiquity, is a
subject which, if fully examined, would more than exhaust our narrow
limits. It does not appear from Homer, says our author, that the condition
of women was depressed. Achilles, in a very striking passage, declares
that every wise and good man loves and is careful for his wife, and
Hector, in the passage which Cicero is so fond of quoting, urges the
opinion of

    "Troy's proud dames, whose garments sweep the ground,"

as a motive for his conduct. However this may be, certain it is, that the
feelings and affections of domestic life are portrayed by Homer with a
degree of purity, truth, and pathos, that casts every other writer, Virgil
not excepted, into the shade; and which, to carry the panegyric of human
composition as far as it will go, he himself, in his most glorious
passages, has never been able to surpass. It has been so long the fashion
to represent Virgil as the sole master of the pathetic, that this
assertion may appear to many paradoxical; and it is undoubtedly true, that
the fourth book of the Aeneid cannot he read by any one of common
sensibility without strong emotion; but how different is the lamentation
of Andromache over her living husband, uttered in all the glow and
consciousness of returned and "twice blest" love, from the raving of the
slighted woman, abandoned by the lover whom she has too rashly trusted,
and to whom she has too plainly become indifferent! How different is the
character of the patriot warrior, the prop and bulwark of his country,
sacrificing his life to delay that ruin which he knew it was beyond his
power to avert--snatching, amid the bloody scenes around him, a moment for
the indulgence of a father's pride and a husband's tenderness, from the
perfidious paramour flying from the vengeance of the woman he had wronged!

And how noble is the simplicity of Andromache, how affecting the appeal in
which, after reminding her husband that all else to which she was bound
had been swept away, she tells him that, while he remains, her other
losses are unfelt! Let us trace the episode. "She had not gone," the poet
tells us, "to the mansions of her brothers or of her sisters, with their
floating veils; neither had she gone to the shrine of Minerva, where the
Trojan women strove to appease the terrible wrath of the fair-haired
goddess. No. She had gone to the lofty tower of Ilium, for she had heard
that the Trojans were sore harassed, and that the force of the Greeks was
mighty; thither, like one bereft of reason, had she precipitated her
steps, and the nurse followed with her child." Then follows that
interview, which no one can read without passion, or think of without
delight--that exquisite scene, in which the wife and mother pours out all
her tenderness, her joy, her sadness, her pride, her terror, the memory of
the past, and the presage of future sorrow, in an irresistible torrent of
confiding love. Not less affecting is her husband's answer. Conscious of
his impending doom, he replies, that "not the future misery of his
countrymen, not that of Hecuba herself, and the royal Priam--not that of
all his valiant brethren slain by their enemies, and trampled in the dust,
give him such a pang as the thought of her distress." Then, as if to
relieve his thoughts, he stretches out his hand towards his child, but the
child shrinks backwards, scared at the brazen helm and waving crest--the
father and the mother exchange a smile--Hector lays aside the blazing
helmet, and, clasping his child in his arms, utters the noble prayer which
Dryden has rendered with uncommon spirit and fidelity:--

    "Parent of gods and men, propitious Jove,
    And you, bright synod of the powers above,
    On this my son your precious gifts bestow;
    Grant him to love, and great in arms to grow,
    To reign in Troy, to govern with renown,
    To shield the people, and assert the crown:
    That when hereafter he from war shall come,
    And bring his Trojans peace and triumph home,
    Some aged man, who lives this act to see,
    And who in former times remember'd me,
    May say, 'The son in fortitude and fame,
    Outgoes the mark, and drowns his father's name;'
    That at these words his mother may rejoice,
    And add her suffrage to the public voice."

"Thus having said, he placed the boy in the arms of his beloved wife, and
she received him on her fragrant breast, sailing amid her tears;" her
husband uttered a few words of melancholy consolation, "and Andromache
went homewards, weeping, and often turning as she went." There is but one
passage in any work, ancient or modern, which can bear comparison with
this, and that is one in the Odyssey, in which is described the meeting of
Ulysses and Penelope; and yet some unfortunate people, who write
commentaries on the classics, only to show how completely nature has
denied them the faculty of taste, affirm that these passages were written
by different people. It is curious to what a pitch pedantry and dulness
may be brought by diligent cultivation.

As the fanatics of the East, to prove their continence, frequented the
society of women under the most trying circumstances, so these gentlemen
seem to study the writers of antiquity with the view of showing that their
understandings are equally inaccessible. In one respect the analogy does
not hold good. History tells us that the fanatics sometimes sunk under the
temptations to which they exposed themselves; but these gentlemen have
never, in any one instance, yielded to the influence of taste or genius.
Zenophon, in a beautiful treatise, has given an account of the manner in
which an Athenian endeavoured to mould the character of his wife, and to
this we would refer such of our readers as wish for more ample knowledge
on the subject. There is one circumstance, however, which we the rather
mention, as it has not found its way into the work before us, and as it
furnishes the most conclusive and irresistible evidence of the value set
upon matrimonial happiness at Athens, and of the servile vassalage to
which women, in that most polished of all cities, were reduced. By the law
of Athens, a father without sons might bequeath his property away from his
daughter, but the person to whom the property was bequeathed was obliged
to marry her. This was reasonable enough; but the same principle, that of
keeping the inheritance in the stock to which it belonged, occasioned
another law--if the father left his estate to his daughter, and if the
daughter inherited his property after the father's death, her nearest male
relation in the descending line, the [Greek: agchioteus], might, though
she was married to a living husband, lay claim to her, institute a suit
for her recovery, force her from her husband's arms, and make her his
wife.

Such a law must, alone, have been fatal to that domestic purity which we
justly consider the basis of social happiness--the very word, [Greek:
hetairai], which the Athenians enjoyed to denote the most degraded of all
women, if it proves the exquisite refinement of that wonderful people,
serves also to show how different were the associations with which, among
them, that class was connected. Can we wonder at this? Under that glorious
heaven, such women might, when they chose, behold the statues of Phidias
and the pictures of Zeuxis; they could listen to the wisdom of Socrates,
or they might form part of the crowd, hushed in raptured silence, round
the rhapsodist, as he recited the immortal lines of Homer--or round
Demosthenes, as he poured upon a rival, worthy of himself, the burning
torrent of his more than human eloquence.

In their hearing the mightiest interests were discussed--the subtle
questions of the Academy propounded--the snares of the sophist
exposed--the sublime thoughts and actions of heroes and demigods,
embodied in the most glorious poetry, were daily exhibited to their view;
while the wife, occupied solely with petty cares and trifling objects,
without charms to win the love, or dignity to command the esteem, of her
husband, was condemned, within the narrow walls of the Gynaeceum, (of
which the drawings of Herculaneum and Pompeii may enable us to form some
notion,) to drag out the insipid round of her monotonous existence.

True the Hetairai were stigmatized by law--but, as opinion was on their
side, they might well submit to legal condemnation and formal censure,
when they saw every day the youth, the intellect, the eloquence, the
philosophy, and the dignity of Athens crowding round their feet. At Rome,
the wife was not subject to the same rigorous seclusion, she was not cut
off from all possibility of improvement; her influence was gradually felt,
her rights were tacitly extended, and long after the letter of the law
reduced her to the condition of a slave, she held and exercised the
privileges of a citizen. At Rome, domestic virtues were more considered,
domestic ties were held in great esteem. The family was the basis of the
state. The existence of the Roman was not altogether public, it was not
merely intellectual; in what Grecian poet after Homer shall we find lines
that convey such an idea of domestic happiness as these?--

    "Præterea neque jam domus accipiet te læta, neque uxor
    Optima, nec dulces occurrent oscula nati
    Præripere--et tacitâ pectus dulcedinet tangent."

There is no event to which women are more indebted for the improved
situation they hold among us than the propagation of Christianity. It was
reserved for religion to urge the weakness of woman as a reason for
treating her, not with tenderness only, but with respect; it was reserved
for religion to bring the charities that are lovely in private life into
public service; to break down the barriers which had so long separated the
husband from the citizen, and to pour around the private hearth the light
which, up to the time of its revelation, had been reflected almost
exclusively from the school of the philosopher or the forum of the
republic, unless in a few rare and favoured instances when it had shed its
radiance over the cell of the captive and the deathbed of the patriot. It
was for religion to inculcate that purity of heart, without which mere
forbearance from sensuality is a virtue which may be prized in the
precincts of the seraglio, but to which true honour is almost indifferent.
Nothing less powerful than such an influence prescribing a new life, and
commanding its votaries to be new creatures, could have wrenched from
their holdings prejudices as old as the society in which they flourished.
Our limits will not allow us to descant at any length on the condition of
women during the early ages of Christianity; but we transcribe on this
subject, from a recent work, a passage which we are sure our readers will
peruse with pleasure.

    "Ce qui rendit les moeurs des familles Chrétiennes si graves, ce
    qui les conserva si chastes, c'est ce qui a toujours exercé sur
    les moeurs en général l'influence la plus profonde, l'exemple des
    femmes. Douées d'une delicatesse d'organes, qui rend, pour ainsi
    dire, leur intelligence plus accessible à la voix d'un monde
    supérieur, leur coeur plus sensible à toutes ces émotions qui
    enfantent les vertus, et qui élèvent l'homme terrestre au-dessus
    de la sphère étroite de la vie présente, les femmes, étrangères à
    l'histoire des travaux speculatifs du genre humain, sont
    toujours, dans les révolutions morales et religieuses, les
    premières à saisir, et à propager ce qui est grand, beau, et
    céleste. Avec une chaleur entrainante elles embrassèrent la cause
    Chrétienne, et s'y dévouèrent en héroines, depuis l'annonciation
    du Sauveur jusqu'à sa mort; en effet, elles furent les premières
    aux pieds de sa croix, les premières à son sépulcre. Présentant
    avec leur tact si prompt et si fin, tout ce que cette cause leur
    déferait d'élévation morale et d'avantages sociaux, elles s'y
    attachèrent avec un intérêt toujours croissant. Depuis les
    saintes femmes de l'évangile et la marchande de pourpre de
    Thyatire jusqu'à l'impératrice Hélène, elles furent les
    protectrices les plus zélées des idées Chrétiennes. Leur zèle ne
    fut point sans sacrifices, mais avec empressement elles
    renoncèrent à leurs goûts les plus chers, à la parure et aux
    élégances du luxe, pour rivaliser avec les hommes les plus sages
    de la société Chrétienne. Quelques rares exceptions ne se font
    remarquer que pour relever tant de mérite."--Matter, _Hist. du
    Christianime_, Vol. I.

    "The tendency of this creed," to use the words of our author, "is
    to direct the aim and purposes of mankind to whatever can exalt
    human nature and improve human happiness. It represents us as
    gardeners in a vineyard, or servants entrusted with a variety of
    means, who are not 'to keep their talent in a napkin,' but to
    exert their skill and ingenuity to employ it to the best
    advantage. The moral principles themselves are fixed and
    unchangeable; but their application to the circumstances by which
    we are surrounded, must depend very much on the degree in which
    reason has been exercised. By no imaginable instruction could the
    mind be so tutored, as to see through all the errors and
    prejudices of its times at once, but the principles possess in
    themselves a power of progression. The generosity of one time
    will be but justice in another; the temperance that brings
    respect and distinction in one age, will be but decorum in one
    more civilized, yet the principles are at all times the same."

It is difficult to read without a smile some of the passages in which the
dress and manners of the first ages are described by the Fathers of the
Church; the fair hair, (our classical readers will recollect the

    "Nigrum flavo crinem abscondente galero"

of the Roman satirist,) which the daughters of the South borrowed from
their Celtic and German neighbours, seems especially to have excited their
indignation. Tertullian, in his treatise "De Cultu Foeminarum," declaims
with his usual fiery rhetoric against this habit. "I see some women," says
the African, "who dye their hair with yellow; they are ashamed of their
very nation, that they are not the natives of Gaul or Germany. Evil and
most disastrous to them is the omen which their fiery head portends, while
they consider such abomination graceful." This charitable hint of future
reprobation, savage as it appears, seems to have been much admired by the
Fathers; it is repeated by St Jerome and St Cyprian with equal triumph.
Well, indeed, might Theophilus of Antioch, in his letter to Autolycus,
place the Christian opinions concerning women in startling contrast with
the revolting scheme proposed in relation to them by the most refined
philosopher of antiquity. Well might the matrons of Antioch refuse to
gratify Julian by a sacrifice to gods whose votaries had steeped their sex
in impurity and degradation. The death of Hypatia is indeed a blot in
Christian annals, but she fell the victim of an infuriated multitude; and
how often had the Proconsul and the Emperor beheld, unmoved, the arena wet
with the blood of Christian virgins, and the earth blackened with their
ashes! Indeed, the deference paid to weakness is the grand maxim, the
practical application of which, in spite of some fantastic notions, and
some most pernicious errors that accompanied it, entitles chivalry to our
veneration, and prevented the dark ages from being one scene of unmixed
violence and oppression. The flashes of generosity that gild with a
momentary splendour the dreadful scenes of feudal tyranny, were struck out
by the force of this principle acting upon the most rugged nature in the
most superstitious ages. While the fire that had consumed the surprised
city was slaked in the blood of its miserable inhabitants, the distress of
high-born beauty, or the remonstrances of the defenceless priest, often
arrested the career of the warrior, who viewed the slaughter of
unoffending peasants and of simple burghers with as much indifference as
that of the wild-boar or the red-deer which it was his pastime and his
privilege to destroy. Who does not remember the beautiful passage in
Tasso, where the crusaders burst into tears at the sight of the holy
sepulchre?--

    "Nudo ciascuno il pie calca il sentiero,
     Ch'l'esempio de duci ogn' altromuove
     Serico fregio d'or, piuma e criniero
     Superbo dal suo capo ognon rimuove,
     _E d'insieme del cor l'abito altero
     Depone, e calde e pie lagrime piove_."

We now enter into the main object of the work, the condition of women in
modern times; and the passage which introduces the subject is so luminous
and eloquent, that we cannot resist the pleasure of laying it before our
readers without mutilation.

    "To pursue the history of woman through the ages of misrule and
    violence that corrupted the spirit of chivalry, would be useless.
    It is sufficiently evident, that in proportion as the vices of
    barbarism renewed their dominion, the condition of women would be
    more or less affected by their evils. But, on the whole, society
    was improving: two great events were preparing to engage the
    attention of Europe--the struggles for religious freedom and the
    revival of learning. These produced effects on the human mind
    very different from those of any revolutions that had taken place
    during the age of barbarism.

    "While the opinion reigned absolute, that war was the most
    important affair of life and the most honourable pursuit, the
    tendency of society was towards destruction. All the virtue
    consistent with so false a principle was, perhaps, brought forth
    by chivalry; but in the long run, the false principle overruled
    the force of the generous spirit, and chivalry sank like a meteor
    that owed its splendour to surrounding darkness. Its spirit gave
    an impulse to opinion and sentiment, but its errors and ignorance
    disabled it from supplying any corrective to the bad institutions
    and mistaken policy which fostered barbarism. It was not every
    mind that was capable of imbibing the generous sentiments of
    chivalry, but ferocious passions could rarely fail to be
    stimulated by the idolatry of war, and the contempt for civil
    employments it produced. Among men, poor, restless, and to a
    great degree irresponsible, the craving for distinction excited
    by chivalry was a dangerous passion. No very general change over
    the face of society could be reasonably expected, from the
    attempts to engraft a spirit of gentleness and beneficence upon a
    principle of war and destruction. The spirit was right, but the
    principle was wrong. It was just the reverse in the next
    enthusiasm which seized the minds of mankind. In the struggles
    for religious freedom which followed, the principle was right,
    but it was pursued in the horrible spirit of persecution. Men,
    ready to die for the right of professing the truth, could not
    divest themselves of that persecuting spirit towards others,
    which was leading themselves to the stake. But there is a vigour
    in a right principle which gradually clears men's eyes of their
    prejudices. The dire and mistaken means by which successive
    reformers defended each his own opinion, were abandoned, and men
    began to perceive that civil and religious liberty were of more
    use to society than martial feats or extended conquests; and that
    it is still more important to learn how to reason than how to fight.

    "The tendency of this principle was towards social improvement,
    and civilization began to make progress.

    "Before the extinction of chivalry, the airy throne on which
    women had been raised was broken down; but the effects of her
    elevation were never obliterated. There remained on the surface
    of society a tone of gallantry which tended to preserve some
    recollection of the station she had once held. As civilization
    advanced, the idea that women might be disposed of like property,
    seemed to be nearly abandoned all over Europe; but their
    subsequent condition partook (as might be expected in the case of
    dependent beings) of the character prevailing in each country.
    The grave temper and morbid jealousy of the Spaniards, reduced
    them almost to Eastern seclusion."

We entreat the attention of our readers to the following remark, which
explains, in some degree, the mediocrity that characterizes the present
day:--

   "In the first ages after the rise of literature, the very want of
    that multitude of second-rate books we now possess, had the
    effect of compelling those who learned any thing to betake
    themselves to studies of a solid nature; and there was
    consequently less difference then, between the education of the
    two sexes, than now. The reader will immediately recollect the
    instances of Lady Jane Grey, Mrs Hutchinson, and others of the
    same class, and will feel that it is quite fair to assume, that
    many such existed when a few came to be known."

It was during the reign of the last princes of the House of Valois, that
the women of the French court began to exercise that malignant and almost
universal influence, which, for a while, poisoned the well-springs of
refinement and civility. Eclipsed for a while by the mighty luminaries
which, during the life of Louis XIII., and the early part of Louis
XIV.th's reign, were lords of the ascendant when they had sunk beneath
the horizon, their constellation again blazed forth with greater force
and more disastrous splendour. Hence the Dragonnades, the destruction of
Port-Royal, the persecution of the Jansenists, the death of Racine, the
disgrace of Fénélon. Hence, in the reign of Louis XV., orgies that
Messalina would have blushed to share; while cruelties[A] of which
Suwarrow would hardly have been the instrument, were employed to lash
into a momentary paroxysm nerves withered by debauchery. Here let us
pause for a moment, to remark upon the effect which false opinions may
produce upon the happiness and well-being of distant generations. Nothing
is so common as for trivial superficial men--the class to which the
management of empires is for the most part entrusted--to ridicule
theories, and, by a mode reasoning which would place any cabin boy far
above Sir Isaac Newton, to insist upon the mechanical parts of
government, and the routine of ordinary business, as the sole objects
entitled to notice and consideration--

    "O curvæ in terris animæ, et coelestium inanes!"

[Footnote A: This does not apply to Louis XV. personally.]

We would fain ask these practical people--for such is the eminently
inappropriate metaphor by which they rejoice to be distinguished--we would
fain ask them (if it be consistent with their profound respect for
practice to pay some attention to experience) to cast their eyes upon the
proceedings and manners of the French court (wild and chimerical as such
an appeal will no doubt appear to them) during the dominion of Catharine
of Medicis and her offspring, those execrable deceivers, corrupters, and
executioners of their people. To what are the almost incredible
abominations, familiar as household words to the French court of that day,
to be ascribed? To what are the persecutions, perjuries, the massacres
that pollute the annals of France during that period, to be attributed? To
a false theory. Catharine of Medicis brought into France the practical
atheism of Machiavelli's prince--the Bible, as she blasphemously called
it, of her class. The maxims which, when confined to the petty courts of
Italy, did not undermine the prosperity of any considerable portion of the
human race, when disseminated among a valiant, politic, and powerful
nation, brought Iliads of desolation in their train. We subjoin Jeanne
d'Allrep's account of the private manners of the court of Charles IX:--

    "J'ai trouvé votre lettre fort à mon gré--je la montrerai à
    madame, si je puis; quant à la peinture, je l'enverrai querir à
    Paris; elle est belle et bien avisée, et de bonne grâce, mais
    nourrie en la plus maudite et corrompue compagnie qui fut jamais,
    car je n'en vois point qui ne s'en sente. Votre cousine la
    marquise (l'épouse du jeune Prince de Condé) en est tellement
    changée qu'il n'y a apparence de religion en elle; si non
    d'autant qu'elle ne va point à la messe; car au reste de sa façon
    de vivre, hormis l'idolâtrie, elle fait comme les Papistes; et ma
    soeur la Princesse (de Condé) encore pis. Je vous l'écris
    privément, le porteur vous dira comme le roi s'émancipe--c'est
    pitié; je ne voudrois pour chose du monde que vous y fussiez pour
    y demeurer. Voilà pourquoi je désire vous marier, et que vous et
    votre femme vous vous retiriez de cette corruption; car encore
    que je la croyois bien grande, je la trouve encore davantage. Ce
    ne sont pas les hommes ici qui prient les femmes--ce sont les
    femmes qui prient les hommes; si vous y étiez, vous n'en
    échapperiez jamais sans une grande grâce de Dieu."

Thus women were alternately tools and plotters, idols and slaves. The
ornaments of a court became the scourges of a nation; their influence was
an influence made up of falsehood, made up of cruelty, made up of
intrigue, of passions the most unbridled, and of vices the most
detestable, and it seems to the student of history, in this wild and
dreadful era as if all that was generous, upright, noble, and
benevolent--as if faith and honour, and humanity and justice, were
foreign and unnatural to the heart of man. But let us turn to our author.

    "But the times were about to change. The great and stirring
    contests in religion and politics, which had given such scope to
    the deep fervour of the British character, subsided, as if the
    actors were breathless from their past exertions. The struggle
    for freedom sank into acquiescence in the dominion of the most
    worthless of mankind; and zeal for religion fled before the
    spirit of banter and sneer. The enthusiasm of 'fierce wars and
    faithful loves,' of piety and of freedom, were succeeded by the
    reign of profligacy and levity.

    "During that disastrous period, the sordid and servile vices seem
    to have kept pace with the wildest licentiousness; and the dark
    and stern persecutions in Scotland form a fearful contrast with
    the bacchanalian revels of the court. The effects on the
    character and estimation of the female sex, sustain all that has
    been said upon the connexion of their interests with the
    elevation of morals. It became the habit to satirize and despise
    them, and on this they have never entirely recovered. The
    demoralization which led to it was, indeed, too much opposed to
    the temper of the English to be permanent; but women, for a long
    time after, ceased to keep pace with their age. Notwithstanding
    the numerous exceptions which must always have existed in a free
    and populous country like England, where literature had made
    progress, it is certain, that in the days of Pope and Addison, the
    women, in general, were grossly ignorant.

    "The tone of gallantry and deference which had arisen from
    chivalry, still remained on the surface, but its language was
    that of cold, unmeaning flattery; and, from being the arbiters of
    honour, they became the mere ministers of amusement. They were
    again consigned to that frivolity, into which they _relapse as
    easily as men_ do into ferocity. The respect they inspired, was
    felt individually or occasionally, but not for their sex. Any
    thing serious addressed to them, was introduced with an apology,
    or in the manner we now address children whom we desire to
    flatter. They were treated and considered as grown children. In
    the writings addressed to them expressly for their instruction in
    morals, or the conduct of life, though with the sincerest desire
    for their welfare, nothing is proposed to them that can either
    exalt their sentiments, invigorate their judgment, or give them
    any desire to leave the world better than they found it. They
    inculcated little beyond the views and the duties of a decent
    servant. Views and duties, indeed, very commendable as far as
    they go, but lamentable when offered as the standard of morals
    and thought for half the human species; that half too, on whom
    chiefly depends the first, the often unalterable, bent given to
    the character of the whole."

The dignity of character which rivets our attention on the "high dames and
gartered knights" of the days of Elizabeth, the simplicity and earnestness
and lofty feeling, which lent grace to prejudice and chastened error into
virtue, were exchanged, in the days of Charles II., for undisguised
corruption and insatiable venality, for license without generosity,
persecution without faith, and luxury without refinement. Grammont's
animated _Mémoires_ are a complete, and, from the happy unconsciousness of
the writer to the vices he portrays, a faithful picture of the court, to
which the description Polydore Virgil gives of a particular family, "nec
vir fortis nec foemina casta," was almost literally applicable.

Various as are the beauties of style with which this work
abounds--beauties which, to borrow the phrase of Cicero, rise as
naturally from the subject as a flower from its stem--we doubt whether it
contains a more felicitous illustration than that which we are about to
quote. The reader must bear in mind that the object of the writer is to
establish the proposition, that there is an average inferiority of women
to men in certain qualities, which, slight as it may appear, or
altogether as it may vanish, in particular instances, is, on the whole,
incontestable, and according to which the transactions of daily life are
distributed.

    "All inconvenience is avoided by a slight inferiority of strength
    and abilities in one of the sexes. This gradually develops a
    particular turn of character, a new class of affections and
    sentiments that humanize and embellish the species more than any
    others. These lead at once, without art or hesitation, to a
    division of duties, needed alike in all situations, and produce
    that order without which there can be no social progression. In
    the treatise of _The Hand_, by Sir Charles Bell, we learn that
    the left hand and foot are naturally a little weaker than the
    right; the effect of this is, to make us more prompt and
    dexterous than we should otherwise be. If there were no
    difference at all between the right and left limbs, the slight
    degree of hesitation which hand to use or which foot to put
    forward, would create an awkwardness that would operate more or
    less every moment of our lives, and the provision to prevent it
    seems analogous to the difference nature has made between the
    strength of the sexes."

The domain of woman is the horizon where heaven and earth meet--a sort of
land debatable between the confines where positive institutions end and
intellectual supremacy begins. It includes the whole region over which
politeness should extend, as well as a large portion of the territories
over which the fine arts hold their sway.

Those lighter and more shifting features which elude the grasp of the
moralist, and escape the pencil of the historian, though they impress upon
every age a countenance and expression of its own, it is her undoubted
province to survey. Consequently, if not for the

            "Troublous storms that toss
    The private state, and render life unsweet,"

yet for whatever of elegance or simplicity is wanting in the intercourse
of society, for all that is cumbrous in its proceedings, for any bad
taste, and much for any coarseness that it tolerates, woman, as European
manners are constituted, is exclusively responsible. The habits of daily
intercourse represent her faults and virtues as naturally as a shadow is
cast by the sun, or the image of the tree that overhangs the lake is
reflected from its undisturbed and silent waters. Where the desire of
wealth and respect for rank engross an excessive share of her thoughts,
conversation will be insipid; and instead of that, "nature _ondoyante_,"
that disposition to please and be pleased, which is the essence of good
nature and the foundation of good taste--instead of frankness and
urbanity, youth will engraft on its real ignorance the dulness of affected
stupidity--will assume an air of selfish calculation--of arrogance at one
time and servility at another--debased itself, and debasing all around it.
When, on the contrary, whatever may be their real sentiments, the external
demeanour of men to each other is such as benevolence, gratitude, and
equity would dictate--and we do mean this phrase to include Russian
manners--where, whatever may be the principles that ferment within, the
surface of society is brilliant and harmonious--where, if the better
politeness which dwells in the heart be wanting, the imitation of it which
springs from the head is habitual--women are entitled to the praise of
exact taste and skilful discrimination. There are women whom the world
elevates, only afterwards the more effectually to humble. For a time the
best and wisest submit to their caprices, study their humour, are governed
by their wishes--every one avoids as a crime the slightest appearance of
collision with any motive that, for the moment, it may suit their purpose
to entertain--a smile upon their face is hailed with rapture, any faint
proof that humanity is not dead within their breasts draws down the most
enthusiastic applause. During their hour of empire, people are grateful to
them for not being absolutely intolerable--when they deviate into the
least appearance of courtesy or good nature, they are angels. Their sun
sets, and they soon learn what it is to be a fallen tyrant. The woman who
pleases at first, and as your acquaintance advances gains the more in your
esteem, is the most charming of all companions; the countenance of such a
person is the most agreeable of all sights, and her voice the most
musical of all sounds. "Une belle femme qui a les qualités d'un honnête
homme est-ce qu'il y a au monde d'un commerce plus delicieux; l'on trouve
en elle tout le mérite des deux sexes."

"In the heart of the best woman," says a German writer, "there glows a
shovelful, at least, of infernal embers; in that of the worst, there is a
little corner of Paradise."

The real benefits which depend on the influence of the softer sex are thus
described:--

    "One of the peculiar offices of women is to refine society. They
    are very much shielded by their sex from the stern duties of men,
    and from that intercourse with the basest part of mankind which
    is opposed to the humanizing influence of mental cultivation. On
    them, the improvement of society in these respects chiefly
    depends; and they who consider the subject with the views here
    offered, will become more and more convinced of the service they
    might render. Manners are, in truth, of great importance. If real
    refinement be a merit, it is surely desirable that it should show
    itself in the general deportment. Real vulgarity is the
    expression of something mean or coarse in sentiments or habits.
    It betrays the want of fine moral perceptions. The peculiarities
    in manner and deportment, which proceed from the selfishness of
    the great world, when stripped of the illusory influence of their
    apparent refinement, become grossly offensive. A cold repulsive
    manner, such as is commonly assumed by persons in high life, is
    sometimes a necessary shield against the pushing familiarity of
    underbred persons. Their tasteless imitations of habits and
    manners which do not belong to their station or character,
    deserve the ridicule they meet with. The most offensive form
    vulgarity can take, is an affectation of the follies and vices of
    high life. It is true that the notion of vulgarity is affixed, in
    the fine world, to many trifling modes of dress and deportment,
    which in themselves have no demerit whatever, except that
    something opposed to them has acquired an ephemeral propriety
    from the fancy of the great. But in real good breeding there is
    always a reason. It is far too little attended to in England in
    any class, though, from acting as a continual corrective to
    selfish and unsocial affections, it is peculiarly requisite in
    all. Good manners consist in a constant maintenance of
    self-respect, accompanied by attention and deference to others;
    in correct language, gentle tones of voice, ease, and quietness
    in movements and action. They repress no gaiety or animation
    which keeps free of offence; they divest seriousness of an air of
    severity or pride. In conversation, good manners restrain the
    vehemence of personal or party feelings, and promote that
    versatility which enables people to converse readily with
    strangers, and take a passing interest in any subject that may be
    addressed to them."

The writer takes occasion to regret the narrow spirit which prevents our
nobility, or, to speak more properly, our fashionable coteries, from
acquiring a healthier tone, by mixing with societies in which habits of
more vigorous thought predominate. In France, to whatever degree frivolity
may be carried, a French lady would be ashamed not to affect an interest
in the great writers by whom her country has been ennobled; and to betray
an ignorance of their works, or an indifference to their renown, would be
considered a proof not only of the greatest stupidity, but of bad taste
and unrefined habits. Here we are distinguished unfavourably from our
neighbours--exceptions, of course, there must always be--but in general to
betray an acquaintance with any literature beyond the last novel, or the
current trash and gossip of the day, might provoke the charge of pedantry,
but at any rate would fail in exciting the slightest sympathy. Hence men
of letters, and women of letters, form a caste by themselves much to their
own disadvantage, and still more to the injury of those to the improvement
of whom they might imperceptibly contribute; hence the statesman, or the
lawyer, or the writer, generally keeps aloof from the great world, which
he leaves to idle young men and aged coxcombs; or, if he enters it, takes
care to abstain from those topics on which his conversation would be most
natural, instructing, and entertaining. Instances, indeed, may be found,
where men, eminent for science and literature, or of high professional
reputation, inflamed with a distempered appetite for fashionable society,
"drag their slow lengths along" among the guardsmen and dowagers who
frequent such scenes; but they are rather tolerated than encouraged, and
the sacrifices by which they purchase their admission into the dullest
society of Europe are so numerous, their appearance is so mortifying, and
the effect produced upon themselves so pernicious, that hitherto such
instances have served not as models to imitate, but as bywords to deter.
Instead of improving others, they degrade themselves; instead of inspiring
the frivolous with nobler aims and better principles, they condescend to
be the echoes of imbecility; instead of raising the standard of
conversation, they yield implicitly to any signal, however corrupt,
worthless, or utterly unreasonable may be the quarter from which it
proceeds, that the most submissive votaries of fashion watch for and obey.
The system is denounced by our author in the following vigorous and
eloquent passage:--

    "The assembly-room or dinner-table _is the very focus of care and
    anxiety_, so that a funereal dulness often overhangs it; and
    there, where there is the greatest amount of money, time, and
    contrivance expended on pleasure--there is least animation of
    spirits. For one who is pleased, a dozen are chewing the cud of
    some petty annoyance, and _the flow of spirits excited and
    animated by rapid interchange of ideas is scarcely known._ When
    it occurs, it is seldom owing to those who live for dissipation,
    but to men whom the duties of office compel to work very hard.
    Notwithstanding their wealth, the pursuits of ambition compel
    them to become men of business, and the elasticity of their minds
    is preserved. That languid and depressed condition which cankers
    the very heart of social enjoyment, loses its solemn character on
    occasions of disappointment and vexation. Its pleasures are not
    cheerful, but its distresses are ludicrous, and are felt to be
    so. Each laughs at his neighbour's mortifications, and the
    consciousness he is supplying the same malicious amusement in his
    turn, does not take the sting from his own griefs when they
    arise.

    "Nor is it merely as destructive of social enjoyment, that the
    habits of the great world are unfriendly to happiness. It is not
    the place for those who have warm imaginations and tender hearts.
    There is scarcely any circumstance in which that sphere differs
    more from others, than in the deficiency of strong affections.
    The chances are many against their existence; and if a woman be
    born to move in the haunts of the worldly, it were almost cruel
    to snatch her from that immersion in their follies which may
    serve to stifle the pangs of disappointed affection. For after
    all that can be said of the misery of its empty pursuits and
    corrupted tastes, the disappointments that end its petty
    passions, and the mortifications that cling to its apparent
    splendours, sorrows like those bear no comparison with tears of
    anguish shed by the grave of love. Surrounding pleasures, even
    the tranquil and elevating beauty of external nature, seem but a
    mockery when offered in place of the one thing needful--perfect
    and overflowing affection. The exterior decorum and attention on
    the part of an altered husband, which betrays to the world no
    dereliction of morals but what its easy code passes over as a
    right, is no substitute for love. Not unfrequently there is
    something almost appalling in the sense of solitude, which on
    occasions of sickness or retirement oppresses a young woman, who
    to all appearance is overwhelmed with attendance. The hand is not
    there that would render every other superfluous. A voice is
    wanting, whose absence leaves the silence and horror of death.
    The eyes are missed, whose glances first called forth the fervour
    of her affections from their peaceful sleep; or, if looking on
    her for a moment, they express nothing but indifference. These
    are the occasions that dispel the laboured illusion, wherewith,
    under the garb of business, or cares, or natural manner, she had
    sought to disguise from herself the marks of an estranged heart.
    In these sad and desolate hours her memory retraces her early
    years, her mother's tender watchfulness, and the soft voices of
    sisters contending for their place by her bedside. The contrast
    with her present stately solitude bursts resistless through every
    effort to repel it; and life and youth, with their long futurity,
    present her with nothing but a frightful chasm."

       "Alas! alas my song is sad;
          How should it not be so,
        When he, who used to make me glad,
           Now leaves me in my woe?
        With him my love, my graciousness,
          My beauty, all are vain;
        I feel as if some guiltiness
          Had mark'd me with its stain.

        "One sweet thought still has power o'er me,
          In this my heart's great need;
        'Tis, that I ne'er was false to thee,
          Dear friend, in word or deed:
         I own that nobler virtues fill
          Thy heart, love only mine;
        Yet why are all thy looks so chill
          Till they on others shine?

        "Oh! long-loved friend, I marvel much
          Thy heart is so severe,
        That it will yield not to the touch
          Of love and sorrow's tear.
        No, no! it cannot be, that thou
          Should seek another's love;
        Oh! think upon our early vow,
          And thou wilt faithful prove.

        "Thy virtues--pride, thy lofty fame,
          Assures me thou art true,
        Though fairer ones than I may claim
          Thy hand, and deign to sue.
        But think, beloved one, that, to bless
          With perfect blessing, thou
        Must seek for trusting tenderness:
          Remember then our vow!"

    "Collectively," says our author, "women might do much to remove
    the national stigma of leaving men of science and letters
    neglected. But their education is seldom such as enables them to
    know the great importance of science and literature to human
    improvement; and they are rarely brought up to regard it as any
    part of their duty to promote the interests of society. They
    would not, indeed, be able directly to reward men of talent by
    employment or honours, but they might make them acquainted with
    those who could; at all events, mere social distinction, the
    attention and approbation of our fellow creatures, is in itself
    an advantage to men who seldom possess that passport to English
    respect--wealth. Though learning is tacitly discouraged in women,
    yet the access to every species of knowledge requisite to direct
    their efforts wisely and well, is as open to them as to men. With
    this power of forming the mind of the rising generation, this
    influence over the opinions, the morals, and the tastes of
    society, this direct power in promoting objects both of private
    benevolence and national importance--with so many advantages, how
    is it that women are still exposed to so many sufferings, from
    dependence, oppression, mortification, and contempt? why are
    their opinions yet sneered at? why is their influence rather
    deprecated than sought? Is it not that they have never learnt
    even the selfish policy of connecting themselves with the spirit
    of moral and intellectual advancement? Is it not because their
    liberty, their privileges, their power, have proceeded in many
    respects, less from a spirit of justice in the other sex, or a
    sense of moral fitness, than from the love of pleasure and
    luxury, of which women are the best promoters?"

In England, these evils are peculiarly great; for in England they are
without compensation. It is possible to imagine such brilliant
conversation, such varied wit, such graceful manners, such apparent
gentleness, that would stifle the complaints of the moralist, and cause
the half-uttered expostulation to die away upon his lips. So we can
conceive that Arnaud and Nicole may have listened to the enchanting
discourse of Madame de Sevigne, and under an influence so irresistible,
have forborne to scan with severity the faults, glaring as they were, of
the system to which she belonged. But with us the case is
different--compare the English lady in her country-house, hospitable to
her guests, benevolent to her dependents, as a wife spotless, as a mother
most devoted, caring for all around her, dispensing education, relieving
distress, encouraging merit, the guard of innocence, the shame of guilt,
active, contented, gracious, exemplary: and see the same person in
London--her frame worn out with fatigue, her mind ulcerated with petty
mortifications, her brow clouded, her look hardened, her eye averted from
unprofitable friends, her tone harsh, her demeanour restless, her whole
being changed: and were there no higher motive, were it a question of
advantage and convenience only, were dignity, and the good opinion of
others, and consideration in the world, alone at stake, can any one
hesitate as to which situation a wife or daughter should prefer? We
should, indeed, be sorry if our demeanour in those vast crowds where
English people flock together, rather, as it would seem, to assert a
right than to gratify an inclination, were to be taken as an index of our
national character--the want of all ease and simplicity, those essential
ingredients of agreeable society, which distinguish these dreary
meetings, have been long unfortunately notorious. No nation is so careful
of the great, or so indifferent to the lesser, moralities of life as the
English; and in no country is society, indebted, perhaps, to polished
idleness for its greatest charms, more completely misunderstood. Too busy
to watch the feelings of others, and too earnest to moderate our own,
that true politeness which pays respect to age, which strives to put the
most insignificant person in company on a level with the most
considerable--virtues which our neighbours possess in an eminent
degree,--are, except in a few favoured instances, unknown among us; while
affectation, in other countries the badge of ignorance and vulgarity, is
in ours, even in its worst shape, when it borrows the mien of rudeness,
and impertinence, and effrontery, the appanage of those whose station is
most conspicuous, and whose dignity is best ascertained. There is more
good breeding in the cottage of a French peasant than in all the boudoirs
of Grosvenor Square.

But God forbid that a word should escape from us which should
seem to place the amusements of society, or the charms of
conversation, in competition with those stern virtues which
are the guardians of an English hearth! The austere fanaticism of the
Puritans, tainted with hypocrisy as it was, was preferable a thousand
times to the orgies of the Regent and the _Parc-aux-Cerfs_. If purity and
refined society be, indeed, incompatible--if the love of freedom and
active enterprise necessarily exclude the grace and softness which lessen,
or at least teach us to forget, the burden of existence, let us be what we
are; and, indeed, it is the opinion of many, that the rant of social
pleasure is the price we pay for the excellence of our political
institutions. It is because before the law all men are equal, that in the
world so much care is taken to show that they are different. If to this we
add the mercantile habits of our countrymen, the enormous wealth which
their pursuits enable them to accumulate--the great honours which are the
reward of successful industry and ambition--the absurd value annexed to
technical distinctions--the manner in which, in our as in all free
countries, those distinctions are conferred--and a certain disposition to
sneer at any chivalrous, or elevated feeling, from which few of our ladies
are exempt--we shall find it easy to account for the cold, stiff,
ungraceful, harsh, and mercenary habits which disfigure, to the
astonishment of all foreigners, the patrician class of English society.
Nothing, indeed, can be less graceful than the frivolity of an Englishman.
Naturally grave, serious, contemplative, if his angry stars have endowed
him with enormous wealth, he carries into the pursuit of trifles the same
solemnity and perseverance which, had he been more fortunately situated,
would have been employed in a professional career--he carries a certain
degree of gravity into his follies and his vices; as Pope, no less keen an
observer than finished a poet, observed, he

    "Judicious sups, and greatly daring dines"--

devotes himself to an eternal round of puerile follies, with a pompous
self-importance that would be ludicrous were it exhibited in the discharge
of the noblest and most sacred duties. Plate and wine seem his religion,
and a well-furnished room his morality--his dinners engross his
thoughts--his field sports are a nation's care. He writes books on
arm-chairs, hunts with the most ineffable self-sufficiency, and talks of
his dogs and horses as Howard or Clarkson might speak of the jails they
had visited, and the mourners they had set free. He commits errors with a
stolid air of deliberation, which the reckless passions of boiling youth
could hardly palliate, but which, when perpetrated as a title to fashion,
and as a passport to society, no epithets that contempt can suggest are
vehement enough to stigmatize. The Englishman's vice has a business-like
air with it that is intolerable--there is no illusion, no refinement--it
is coarse, direct, groveling brutality--it wears its own hideous aspect
with no garnish or disguise; and how seldom, even among that sex which
these volumes are intended to instruct, does the brow wreathed with
roses, amid the haunts of dissipation, wear a gay, a serene, or even a
contented aspect! Where all the treasures that inanimate nature can
furnish are scattered in profusion--where the air is fragrant with
perfume, and vocal with melody, how vainly do we look for the freshness
and animation, and the simplicity and single-mindedness of buoyant and
delighted youth! We feel inclined, amid this gloomy dissipation and
depressing pleasure, to reverse the most beautiful passage in Euripides,
and to say, that the banquet and the festival do require all the
heightening of art, all the embellishments of luxury, all the illusions
of song, to conceal the struggles of corroding interest, and the pangs of
constant mortification.

    "There" (but we quote one of the most remarkable passages in the
    book) "is a general aversion from the labour of thought, in all
    who have not had the faculties exercised while they were pliant,
    nor been supplied with a certain stock of elementary knowledge,
    essential alike to any subject of science that may be presented
    to their maturer years. By means of the press, many broken and
    ill-sustained rays pierce across the neglect or indifference of
    parents, to the minds of the young. Gleams of a rational spirit
    and enlarged feeling may often be found among the daughters of
    country gentlemen, whose sons are still solely devoted to
    sporting and party politics.

    "When we think of those mighty resources we have just been
    adverting to, the strength all such tastes acquire by sympathy,
    and the observation of nature and of human life they tend to
    excite, we might expect they would furnish society with
    everlasting sources of excitement and mutual interest, that they
    would create a universal sympathy with genius and ability
    wherever it was found, and soften the repulsive austerity with
    which it is the nature of rank and wealth to look on humble
    fortunes.

    "Little or nothing of all this takes place. Frivolity and
    insipidity are the prevailing characters of conversation; and
    nowhere in Europe, perhaps, does difference of fortune or station
    produce more unsocial and illiberal separation. Very few of those
    whom fortune has released from the necessity of following some
    laborious profession, are capable of passing their time agreeably
    without the assistance of company; not from a spirit of gaiety
    which calls on society for indulgence--not from any pleasure they
    take in conversation, where they are frequently languid and
    taciturn, but to rival each other in the luxury of the table, or,
    by a great _variety of indescribable airs_, to make others _feel
    the pain of mortification_. They meet as if _'to fight the
    boundaries' of their rank and fashion_, and the less definite and
    perceptible is the line which divides them, the more punctilious
    is their pride. It is a great mistake to suppose that this
    low-minded folly is peculiar to people of rank: it is an English
    disease. But the higher we go in society, the wider the circle of
    the excluded becomes, consequently, the greater the range of
    human beings cast forth from the pale of sympathy; and the more
    contracted do the judgment, experience, and feelings of its
    inmates become. The lofty walls, the iron spikes that surround
    our villas, and the notices every where affixed 'that trespassers
    will be prosecuted with the utmost rigour of the law,' are meet
    emblems of the social spirit that connects the different orders
    of society in England. The effect of this is to produce narrow
    minds, or, what is worse, narrow hearts on one side, and a host
    of dissocial, irritable passions on the other. In each step of
    the scale, those beneath see chiefly the unamiable qualities of
    their superiors."

The disproportion of the happiness of society with its means, is a subject
which calls forth all the eloquence and sagacity of this writer. Nor is
this surprising; for it might startle the most sluggish indifference--the
most incurious stupidity. How does it come to pass, that with us misery is
the fruit of successful labour, that with us experience does not teach
caution, that with us the most munificent charity is unable to check the
accumulation of evil, moral and physical, with which it vainly endeavours
to contend? How is it, that while the wealth of England is a proverb among
nations, the distress of her labourers is a byword no less universal; that
while her commerce encircles the globe, while her colonies are spread
through both hemispheres, while regions hitherto unknown are but the
resting-place of her never-ceasing enterprise, the producers of all this
wealth, the causes of all this luxury, the instruments of all this
civilization, lie down in despair to perish by hundreds, amid the miracles
of triumphant industry by which they are surrounded? How happens it, that
as our empire extends abroad, security diminishes at home? that as our
reputation becomes more splendid, and our attitude more commanding, the
fabric of our strength decays, and our social bulwarks rock from their
foundations? Who can say that the skill and valour of the general who has
added a province to our Indian empire--who, triumphing over obstacles
hitherto insurmountable, has caused the tide of victory to flow from East
to West, and make the Sepoy invincible--may not erelong be called upon to
fulfil the thankless task of suppressing insurrection, and to control the
kindling fury of a mistaken, it is true, but of a kindred population?
Shall the day indeed come when in our streets there shall be solitude, and
in our harbours be heard no sound of oars, neither shall gallant ship pass
thereby? Is the vaunted splendour of this country to furnish a melancholy
lesson of the instability of earthly power, and its fate to conclude a
tale more glorious, to point a moral more affecting, than any which Tyre,
or Sidon, or Carthage have furnished, to curb the insolence of prosperity,
and to show the insignificance of man?

    "Quamvis Pontica pinus,
    Sylvae filia nobilis,
      Jactes et genus et nomen inutile."

After dwelling on the supply of information which the present age enjoys,
and which is quite without parallel in any former period, and pointing out
the inconsistencies among us, of which, nevertheless, every day affords
perpetual examples, the writer asks--

    "Do these evils proceed from some moral perversity in the people?
    Is there some natural barrier in England against the effects of
    capital, industry, science, and religion; or is it not that
    ignorance of the laws that regulate and harmonize social
    existence, and of those that govern the human mind, has hitherto
    been extensively prevalent, and is still resisting the remedies
    of riper experience?

    "But the poor and ignorant cannot educate themselves; it must be
    the upper classes who give them the means of improvement. In the
    natural laws of society, the use of a class who are independent
    of labour for subsistence, is, that a certain part of the
    community should have leisure to acquire that general knowledge
    which is the parent of wise institutions and pure morals. That
    they should have such affluence as to give weight to their
    example and authority, is also desirable. Government, as has
    already been observed, cannot act effectively against a very
    great preponderance of error and prejudice, but must legislate in
    the spirit of truths that are generally known, and in the service
    of interests that excite general sympathy.

    "The object of this work is not to advocate particular measures,
    nor even to assume that every thing that is wrong is so through
    culpable neglect; but it is to call attention to the grievous
    evils, that neither legislation nor zeal and charity can
    counteract with effect, till the increased education of all
    classes assists their efforts. Something must be wanting, when
    such unrivalled knowledge and wealth are accompanied by such
    various and wide-spread evils. It is not benevolence that is
    deficient, for nowhere can we turn without meeting it in private,
    struggling against miseries too great for its power, and in
    public devoting abilities of the first order to the cause of
    humanity.

    "It is the wider diffusion of knowledge we require: more heads
    and hands still are wanted, qualified for acting in concert, or
    at least acting generally on right principles. Too many persons
    capable of generous feeling are absorbed and corrupted by luxury
    and frivolity; too many waste their efforts from shallow,
    mistaken, and contradictory views."

Then follows a splendid description of scientific energy, the
gratification which it affords, and the noble objects to which it points
the way.

    "In examining the prodigious resources at the command of the
    upper classes of English society, it is finely remarked, that
    'the fine arts are the materials by which our physical and animal
    sensations are converted into moral perceptions.'

    "Every thing in the form of matter, however coarse--the refuse
    and dross of more valuable materials--is resolvable, by science,
    into elements too subtle for our vision, and yet possessed of
    such potency that they effect transmutations more surprising than
    the fables of magic. The points that spangle the still blue
    vault, and make night lovely to the untaught peasant, interpreted
    by science, expand into worlds and systems of worlds: some so
    remote, that even the character of light, in which their
    existence is declared to us, can scarcely give full assurance of
    their reality--some, kindred planets which science has measured,
    and has told their movements, their seasons, and the length of
    their days. Such resemblances to our own globe are ascertained in
    their general laws, and such diversity in their peculiar ones,
    that we are led irresistibly to believe they all teem with
    beings, sentient and intelligent as we are, yet whose senses, and
    powers, and modes of existence, must be very dissimilar, and
    indefinitely varied. The regions of space, within the field of
    our vision, present us with phenomena the most incomprehensibly
    mysterious, and with knowledge the most accurate and
    demonstrable. Light, motion, form, and magnitude--the animal,
    vegetable, and mineral kingdoms--have their several sciences, and
    each would exhaust a life to master it completely. No uneasy
    passion follows him who engages in such speculations, where
    continual pursuit is made happy by the sense of continual
    progress. He leaves his cares at the threshold; for when his
    attention is fixed, so great is the pleasure of contemplation,
    that it seems good to have been born for this alone.

    "If we turn to the moral world, where, strange as it seems, we
    meet with less clearness and grandeur, yet there our deep
    interest in its truths supplies a different, perhaps a more
    powerful attraction. While we wonder and hope, the general laws
    of sentient existence give us glimpses of their harmony with
    those of inanimate nature. The latter seems assuredly made for
    the use of the former. The identity of benevolence with wisdom
    presents itself to our minds as a necessary truth, and,
    notwithstanding our perplexities, brings peace to our hearts.
    Social distinctions sink to insignificance when contemplating our
    place in existence, and the privilege of reading the book of
    nature, and sharing the thoughts and the sentiments of the
    distinguished among men, atones for obscurity and neglect;
    neither would the troubled power of a throne nor the flushing of
    victory repay us for the sacrifice of those pleasures."

The second volume opens with a dissertation on luxury, in which the
subject is treated with the depth and perspicuity that the extracts we
have already made will have prepared our readers to anticipate. Luxury is
a word of relative, and therefore of ambiguous signification; it may be
the test of prosperity--it may be the harbinger of decay: according to the
state of society in which it prevails, its signification will, of course,
be different. The effect of civilization is to increase the number of our
wants. The same degree of education which, during the last century, was
considered, even by the upper classes, a superfluity, is now a necessary
for the middling class, and will soon become a necessary for the lowest,
or all but the lowest, members of society. Most of our readers are
acquainted with the story of the Highland chief who rebuked his son
indignantly for making a pillow of a snowball. Sumptuary laws have always
been inefficient, or efficient only for the purposes of oppression. Public
morality has been their pretext--the private gratification of jealousy
their aim. In republics they were intended to allay the envy of the
poor--in monarchies to flatter the arrogance of the great. The first of
these motives produced, as Say observes, the law Orchia at Rome, which
prohibited the invitation of more than a certain number of guests. The
second was the cause of an edict passed in the reign of Henry II. of
France, by which the use of silken shoes and garments was confined to
princes and bishops. States are ruined by the extravagance, not of their
subjects, but of their rulers.

Luxury is pernicious when it is purchased at an excessive price, or when
it stands in the way of advantages greater and more attainable. The worse
a government is, the more effect does it produce upon the manners and
habits of its subjects. The influence of a government of favourites and
minions over the community, is as prodigious as it is baneful. Every
innocent pleasure is a blessing. Luxury is innocent, nay, it is desirable,
as far as it can contribute to health and cleanliness--to rational
enjoyment; as far as it serves to prevent gross debauchery; and, as one of
our poets has expressed it,

  "When sensual pleasures cloy,
  To fill the languid pause with finer joy,"

it should be encouraged. It does not follow, because the materials for
luxury are wanted, that the bad passions and selfishness, which are its
usual companions, will be wanted also. A Greenlander may display as much
gluttony over his train oil and whale blubber as the most refined epicure
can exhibit with the _Physiologie du Goût_ in his hand, and with all
Monsieur Ude's science at his disposal. When the gratification of our
taste and senses interferes with our duty to our country, or our
neighbours, or our friends--when, for the sake of their indulgence, we
sacrifice our independence--or when, rather than abandon it, we neglect
our duties sacred and imperative as they may be--the most favourable
casuists on the side of luxury allow that it is criminal. But even when it
stops far short of this scandalous excess, the habit of immoderate
self-indulgence can hardly long associate in the same breast with
generous, manly, and enlightened sentiments: its inevitable effect is to
stifle all vigorous energy, as well as to eradicate every softer virtue.
It is the parent of that satiety which is the most unspeakable of all
miseries--a short satisfaction is purchased by long suffering, and the
result is an addition to our stock, not of pleasure, but of pain.

The next topic to which our attention is directed is the influence of
habit. Habit is thus defined:--

    "Habit is the aptitude for any actions or impressions produced by
    frequent repetition of them."

The word impressions is used to designate affections of mind and body that
are involuntary, in contradistinction to those which we can originate and
control. For instance, we may choose whether or not we will enter into any
particular enquiry; but when we have entered upon it, we cannot prevent
the result that the evidence concerning it will produce upon our minds. A
person conversant with mathematical studies can no more help believing
that the diagonal of a square is incommensurable with its side, than, if
his hand had been thrust in the fire, he could help feeling heat. The
remarks which follow are ingenious and profound:--

    "The more amusements," continues the writer, "partake of an useful
    character, the more lasting they are. This is never the case with
    trifles; when the enjoyment is over, they leave little or nothing
    in the mind. They are not steps to something else, they have no
    connexion with other and further _results, to be brought out by
    further endeavours. The attempt to make life a series of quickly
    succeeding emotions, will ever prove a miserable failure;_
    whereas, when the chief part of our time is spent in labour,
    active power increases--the exertion of it becomes habit--the
    mind gathers strength; and emotion being husbanded, retains its
    freshness, and the spirits preserve their alacrity through life.
    It follows that the most agreeable labours are those which
    superadd to an object of important and lasting interest a due
    mixture of intermediate and somewhat diversified results. To a
    mechanic, making a set of chairs and tables, for example, is more
    agreeable than working daily at a sawpit. But nothing can deprive
    the industrious man (however undiversified his employment) of the
    advantage of having a constant and important pursuit--viz.
    earning the necessaries and comforts of life; and when we
    consider the uneasiness of a life without any steady pursuit, and
    how slight is the influence that such as one merely voluntary has
    over most men, it seems certain that, as a general rule, we do
    not err in representing the necessity of labour as a safeguard of
    happiness."

Active habits are such as action gives: passive habits are such as our
condition qualifies us to receive. In emotion, however violent, we may be
passive, the forgiving and the vindictive man are for a time equally
passive in their emotions. It is when the vindictive man proceeds to
retaliation upon an adversary that he becomes a voluntary agent. It is
often difficult to analyse the ingredients of our thought, and to
determine how far they are involuntary and how far they are spontaneous.
Nor is this an enquiry the solution of which can ever affect the majority
of mankind: it is not with such subtleties that the practice of the
moralist is concerned. It is a psychological fact, which never can be
repeated too often, that habit deadens impression and fortifies activity.
It gives energy to that power which depends on the sanction of the
will--it renders the sensations which are nearly passive every day more
languid and insignificant.

"Mon sachet de fleurs," says Montaigne, "sert d'abord à mon nez; mais,
après que je m'en suis servi huit jours, il ne sert plus qu'au nez des
assistants." So the taste becomes accustomed to the most irritating
stimulants, and is finally palsied by their continued application, yet
the necessity of having recourse to these provocatives becomes daily more
imperious.

        "Crescit indulgens sibi dirus hydrops
    Nec sitim pellit."

The tanner who lives among his hides till he is insensible to their
exhalations--the surgeon who has conquered the disgust with which the
objects around him must fill an ordinary individual--the sensualist, on
whose jaded appetite all the resources of art and all the loveliness of
nature are employed in vain--may serve as common instances of the first
part of the proposition; and the astonishing facility acquired by
particular men in the business with which they are conversant, are proofs
no less irrefragable of the second. Can any argument be conceived which is
more decisive in favour of the moral economy to which even this lower
world is subject, than the undeniable fact, that virtue is fortified by
exercise, and pain conquered by endurance; while vice, like the bearer of
the sibyl's books, extorts every hour a greater sacrifice for less
enjoyment? The passage in Mammon's speech is no less philosophically
accurate than it is poetically beautiful--

    "Out torments also may in length of time
    Become our elements, these piercing fires
    As soft as now severe, our temper changed
    Into their temper, which must needs remove
    The sensible of pain."

So does man pass on his way, from youth to manhood, from manhood till the
shadow of death falls upon him; and while his moral and physical structure
adapts itself to the incessant vicissitudes of his being, he imagines
himself the same. The same in sunshine and in tempest--in the temperate
and the torrid zone--in sickness and in health--in joy and sorrow--at
school and in the camp or senate--still, still he is the same. His
passions change, his pleasures alter; what once filled him with rapture,
is now indifferent, it may be loathsome. The friends of his youth are his
friends no longer--other faces are around him--other voices echo in his
ears. Still he is the same--the same, when chilling experience has taught
him its bitter lesson, and when life in all its glowing freshness first
dawned upon his view. The same, when "vanity of vanities" is graven upon
his heart--as when his youthful fancy revelled in scenes of love, of
friendship, and of renown. The same, when cold, cautious, interested,
suspicious, guilty--as when daring, reckless, frank, confiding, innocent.
Still the dream continues, still the vision lasts, until some warning yet
unknown--the tortures of disease, or the loss of the very object round
which his heartstrings were entwined, anguish within, and desolation
without--stir him into consciousness, and remind him of that fast
approaching change which no illusion can conceal. Such is the pliability
of our nature, so varied are the modes of our being; and thus, through the
benevolence of Him who made us, the cause which renders our keenest
pleasures transient, makes pain less acute, and death less terrible.

It follows from this, that in youth positive attainment is a matter of
little moment, compared with the habits which our instructors encourage us
to acquire. The fatal error which is casting a blight over our plans of
education, is to look merely to the immediate result, totally disregarding
the motive which has led to it, and the qualities of which it is the
indication; yet, would those to whom the delicate and most responsible
task of education is confided, but consider that habits of mind are formed
by inward principle, and not external action, they would adopt a more
rational system than that to which mediocrity owes its present triumph
over us; and which bids fair to wither up, during another generation, the
youth and hopes of England. Such infatuation is equal to that of the
husbandman who should wish to deprive the year of its spring, and the
plants of their blossoms, in hopes of a more nutritious and abundant
harvest.

    "The inward principle required to give habits of industry,
    temperance, good temper, and so forth, is the express intention
    of being industrious, temperate, and gentle, and regulating one's
    actions accordingly. But the inward principle exercised by a
    routine of irksome restraints, submitted to passively on no other
    grounds but the laws of authority, or the influence of fashion,
    or imposed merely as the necessary condition of childhood, may be
    only that of yielding to present impression. He who, in youth,
    yields passively to fear or force, in after life may be found to
    yield equally to pleasure or temper; the habit of yielding to
    present impressions, in the first case, prepares the mind for
    yielding to them in the second, without any attempt at
    self-control.

    "The necessity of reducing the young, in the first instance, to
    implicit obedience, and the utility of a strict routine of
    duties, is not hereby disputed. The impressions arising from
    every species of restraint and coercion, whether from the command
    of another or our own reason, being almost invariably unpleasant
    at first, it is necessary (on the theory of habit) to weaken
    their force by repetition, before the principle of
    self-government can be expected to act. But the point insisted on
    is, that weakening the pain of restraint and of submission to
    rules, will not necessarily create an intention of adhering to
    the rules, when coercion ceases. An intention is a mental action,
    and even when excited, it is neither impossible nor uncommon that
    the practice of forming intentions may be accompanied by the
    practice of breaking them; and as the shame and remorse of so
    doing wear out through frequency, a character of weakness is
    formed."

Although we regret the omission of some observations on waste and
prodigality--remarks in which the most profound knowledge of the best
authorities on this subject is tempered with a strict attention to
practical interest, and a minute acquaintance with the affairs of ordinary
life--we proceed to the chapters on "Frivolity and Ignorance," with which,
and an admirable dissertation on the authority of reason, the volume
terminates. These chapters yield to none in this admirable work for
utility and importance; there are three subjects on which the influence of
frivolity, baneful as it always is, is most peculiarly dangerous and
destructive--education, politics, and religion. On all these great points,
inseparably connected as they are with human happiness and virtue, the
frivolity of women may give a bias to the character of the individual,
which will be traced in his career to the last moment of his existence.
The author well observes that frivolity and ignorance, rather than
deliberate guilt, are the causes of political error and tergiversation. If
there are few persons ready to devote themselves to the good of their
species, and carrying their attention beyond kindred and acquaintance, to
comprise the most distant posterity and regions the most remote within the
scope of their benevolence; so there are few of those monsters in
selfishness, who would pursue their own petty interests when the happiness
of millions is an obstacle to its gratification; but as a leaf before the
eye will hide a universe, self-love limits the intellectual horizon to a
compass inconceivably narrow; and the prosperity of nations, when placed
in the balance with a riband or a pension, has too often kicked the beam.
Professional business, and the love of detail, which is so deeply rooted
in most English natures, tends also to contract the thoughts, to erect a
false standard of merit, and to fill the mind with petty objects. As an
instance of this, it may be remarked that Lord Somers is the only great
man who, in England, has ever filled a judicial situation. So wide is the
difference between present success and future reputation--so weak on all
sides but one, are those who have limited themselves to one side only--so
technical and engrossing are the avocations of an English lawyer. The
best, if not the only remedy for this evil, is, in the words of our
author, the "study of well-chosen books."

    "Life must often consist of acts or concerns which, taken
    individually, are trivial; but the speculations of great minds
    relate to important objects. By their eloquence they draw forth
    the best emotions of which we are capable, they fill our minds
    with the knowledge of great and general truths, which, if they
    relate to the works of creation, exalt our nature and almost give
    us a new existence; or if they unfold the conditions and duties
    of human life, they kindle our desire for worthy ends, and teach
    us how to promote them. We learn to consider ourselves not as
    single and detached beings, with separate interests from others,
    but as parts of that great class who are the support of society--
    that is, the upright, the intelligent, and the industrious. Hence
    we cease to be absorbed by one set of narrow ideas; and the least
    duties are dignified by being viewed as parts of a general
    system. The bulk of mankind must and ought to confine their
    attention principally to their own immediate business. But if
    they who belong to the higher orders, do not avail themselves of
    their command of time, to enlarge their minds and acquire
    knowledge, one of the great uses of an upper class will be lost."

The trite and ridiculous axiom, the common refuge of imbecility, that
women should take no interest in politics, is then sifted and exposed; it
would be as wise to say, that women should take no interest in the blood
that circulates through their bodies because they are not physicians, or
in the air they breathe because they are not chemists. The people who are
most fond of repeating this absurdity, are, it may be observed, the very
people who are most furious with women for not acquiescing at once in any
absurdity which they may think proper to promulgate as an incontrovertible
truth. Ill temper, and rash opinions, and crude notions, are always
mischievous; but it is not in politics alone that they are exhibited, and
the women most applauded for not _meddling_ with politics, (an expression
which, as our author properly observes, assumes the whole matter in
dispute,) are generally those who adhere to the most obsolete doctrines
with the greatest tenacity, and pursue those who differ with them in
opinion with the most unmitigated rancour. In short, it is not till
enquiry supersedes implicit belief, till violence gives place to
reflection, till the study of sound and useful writers takes the place of
sweeping and indiscriminate condemnation, that this aphorism is brought
forward by those who would have listened with delight to the wildest
effusions of bigotry and ignorance. But in the work before us, the author
(convincing as her reasons are) has furnished the most complete practical
refutation of this ridiculous error.

Infinitely worse, however, than any evil which can arise from this or any
other source, is that which the opinions and ideas of a frivolous woman
must entail upon those unhappy beings of whom she superintends the
education.

    "Turpe est difficiles habere nugas
     Et stultus labor est ineptiarum,"

is a text on which, even in this great and free country, many comments may
be found.

The pursuit of eminence in trifles, the common sign of a bad heart, is an
infallible proof of a feeble understanding. A man may dishonour his birth,
ruin his estate, lose his reputation, and destroy his health, for the sake
of being the first jockey or the favourite courtier of his day. And how
should it be otherwise, when from the lips whence other lessons should
have proceeded, selfishness has been inculcated as a duty, a desire for
vain distinctions and the love of pelf encouraged as virtues, and a
splendid equipage, or it may be some bodily advantage, pointed out as the
highest object of human ambition? To set the just value on every
enjoyment, to choose noble and becoming objects of pursuit, are the first
lessons a child should learn; and if he does not learn their rudiments on
his mother's knees, he will hardly acquire the knowledge of them
elsewhere. The least disparagement of virtue, the slightest admiration for
trifling and merely extrinsic objects, may produce an indelible effect on
the tender mind of youth; and the mother who has taught her son to bow
down to success, to pay homage to wealth and station, which virtue and
genius should alone appropriate, is the person to whom the meanness of the
crouching sycophant, the treachery of the trading politician, the
brutality of the selfish tyrant, and the avarice of the sordid miser, in
after life must be attributed.

This argument is closed by some very judicious remarks on the degree in
which the perusal of works of imagination is beneficial.

    "It is not easy to explain to a person whose mind is trifling,
    the consequences of the over-indulgence in passive impressions
    produced by light reading, or to make them understand the
    different effect produced by the highest order of works of
    imagination, and the trivial compositions which inundate the
    press, with no merit but some commonplace moral. Both are classed
    together as works of amusement; but the first enrich the mind
    with great and beautiful ideas, and, provided they be not
    indulged in to an extravagant excess, refine the feelings to
    generosity and tenderness. They counteract the sordid or the
    petty turn, which we are liable to contract from being wholly
    immersed in mere worldly business, or given up to the follies of
    the great world; in either case confined too much to intercourse
    with barren hearts and narrow minds. It is of great use to the
    'dull, sullen prisoner in the body's cage' sometimes 'to peep
    out,' and be made to feel that it has aspirations for somewhat
    more excellent than it has ever known; and that its own ideas can
    stretch forth into a grandeur beyond what this real existence
    provides for it. It is good for us to feel that the vices into
    which we are beguiled are hateful to our own minds in
    contemplation, and that it is our unconquerable nature to love
    and adore that virtue we do not, or cannot, attain to."

The remarks on the influence of frivolity on religion, on the mistaken
name and worldly spirit introduced amongst its most solemn ordinances, are
no less excellent. After pointing out the danger of mistaking excitement
for devotion, and of separating the duties of man from the will of God,
the sanctions of religion from the lessons of morality, the writer
observes--

    "The weak and ignorant are peculiarly liable to be infected with
    these doctrines, and to them they are peculiarly hurtful. Unable
    to take a just view of their particular duties, or of the uses
    and purposes of our natural faculties, creatures of impulse,
    slaves of circumstances, the pleasures of this hour fill them
    with vanity, the devotion of the next with enthusiasm, or perhaps
    terror. Charmed by worldly follies because they are ignorant or
    idle, and without resistance to vice because they have never
    learned self-command, they seek to extirpate all the natural
    emotions and desires which they do not know how to regulate, and
    so give up the world. But they deceive themselves; their moral
    defects are not lessened; they have only changed their objects.
    The frivolity which formerly made trifles absorb them, now spends
    itself on religion, which it degrades. Whatever the former
    defects of their character, whether selfishness, vanity, pride,
    ill-temper, indolence, or any other, it remains unconquered,
    though the manner in which it exhibits itself is different. In
    one respect they are much worse; formerly they were less blind to
    their own imperfections; they sometimes suspected they were
    wrong; now they are quite satisfied they are right; nor can they
    easily be undeceived, because, when about to examine their hearts
    and their conduct, the error in their views directs their efforts
    to a false standard."

We think we cannot more appropriately close the faint outline, in which
we have endeavoured, however feebly, to shadow forth the merit of these
volumes, than by placing before our readers the tribute to departed
excellence, which this touching and finished picture is intended to
convey.

    "Leaving the contemplation of feverish excitement, fantastic and
    complicated subtleties, angry zeal, and dissocial passions, I
    turn to the records of memory, where are graven for ever the
    lineaments of one who was indeed a disciple of Christ, and whose
    character seemed the earthly reflection of his. Wherever there
    was existence her benevolence flowed forth, never enfeebled by
    the distance of its object, yet flushing the least of daily
    pleasures with its warmth. Her views rose to the most
    comprehensive moral grandeur, while her calm, uncompromising
    energy against sin, was combined with an ever-flowing sympathy
    for weakness and woe. She spent her life in one continued system
    of active beneficence, in which her business, her projects, her
    pleasures, were but so many varied forms of serving her
    fellow-creatures. Never for a moment did a reflection for herself
    cross the current of her purposes for them. Her whole heart so
    went with their distresses and their joys, that she scarcely
    seemed to have an interest apart from theirs. The simplicity of
    her character was peculiarly striking, in the unhesitating
    readiness with which she received--I might even say, with which
    she grasped at--the correction of her errors, and listened to the
    suggestions of other persons. One undivided desire possessed her
    mind--it was not to seem right, but to do right.

    "What heightened the resemblance between her and the model she
    followed, was, that her counsels came not from a bosom that had
    never been shaken with the passions she admonished, or the
    sorrows she endeavoured to soothe. Her character was one of deep
    sensibility and passions strong even to violence; but they were
    controlled and directed by such vivid faith as has never been
    surpassed. Her long life had tried her with almost every pang
    that attends the attachment of such beings to the mortal and the
    suffering, the erring and perverse; and when those sorrows came,
    that reached her heart through its deepest and most sacred
    affections, the passion burst forth, that showed what the energy
    of that principle must have been, that could have brought such a
    mind to a tenor of habitual calmness and serenity. When every
    element of anguish had been mingled together in one dreadful cup,
    and reason for a week or two was tottering in its seat, she was
    seen to resume the struggle against the passions that for a
    moment had conquered. The bonds that attached her to life were
    indeed broken for ever, but she recovered her heart-felt
    submission to God, and she learned by degrees again to be happy
    in the happiness she gave.

    "It was this depth and strength of feeling that gave her a power
    over others, seldom surpassed, I believe, by any other mortal. In
    her the erring and the wretched found a sure refuge from
    themselves. The weakness that shrunk from the censure or the
    scorn of others, could be poured out to her as to one whose
    mission upon earth was to pity and to heal; for she knew the
    whole range of human infirmity, and that the wisest have the
    roots of those frailties that conquer the weak. But in restoring
    the fallen to their connexion with the honoured, she never held
    out a hope that they might parley with their temptations, or
    lower their standard of virtue: a confession to her cut off all
    self-delusion as to culpable conduct or passions. While she
    inspired the most uncompromising condemnation of the thing that
    was wrong, she never advised what was too hard for the "bruised
    reed;" she chose not the moment of excitement to rebuke the
    misguidings of passion, nor of weakness to point out the rigour
    of duty. But strength came in her presence: she seemed to bring
    with her irresistible evidence that any thing could be done which
    she said ought to be done. The truths of religion, stripped of
    fantastic disguises, appeared at her call with a living reality,
    and for a time, at least, the troubles of life sank down to their
    just level. When our sorrows are too big for our own bosoms, if
    others receive then with stoicism, it repels all desire to seek
    relief at their hands; but the calmness with which she attended
    to the effusions and perturbations of grief, seemed the earnest
    of safety from one who had passed through the storm. The deep and
    tender expression of her noble countenance suggested that feeling
    with which a superior being might be supposed to look down from
    heaven on the anguish of those who are still in the toils, but
    know not the reward that awaits them.

    "Every thing petty seemed to drop off from her mind, but she
    imbibed the spirit of essentials so perfectly, she followed it
    throughout with such singleness of heart, that its influence
    affected her minutest actions, not by an effort of studied
    attention, but with the steadiness of a natural law. Nature and
    revelation she regarded as the two parts of one great connected
    system; she always contemplated the one with reference to the
    other; her views were therefore all practical and free from
    confusion, and nothing that promoted the welfare of this world
    could cease to be a part of her duty to God. It was her maxim
    that the motive dignified the action, however trivial in itself;
    and all the actions of her life were ennobled by the motive of
    obedience to an all-powerful Being, because he is the pure
    essence of wisdom and goodness. In the virtue of those who had
    not the consoling belief of the Christian, she still saw the
    handwriting of God, that cannot be effaced from a generous mind;
    and she used to dwell with delight on the idea that the good man,
    from whose eyes the light of faith was withheld in this life,
    would arise with rapture in the next, to the knowledge that a
    happiness was in store for him which he had not dared to believe.

    "It was not the extent of her intellectual endowments that made
    her the object of veneration to all who knew her; it was her
    extraordinary moral energy. The clear and vigorous view she took
    of every subject arose chiefly from her habit of looking directly
    for its bearing on virtue or happiness; she saw the essential at
    a glance, or could not be diverted from the truth by a passion or
    a prejudice. Hence, also, her lofty undeviating justice; her
    regard to the rights of others was so scrupulous, that every one
    within reach of her influence reposed on her decisions with
    unhesitating trust; nor would the certainty that the interests of
    those she loved best were involved, have cast a shadow of doubt
    over her stainless impartiality.

    "She could be deceived, for she was too simple and lofty always
    to conceive the objects of base minds:--

    "'And oft, though wisdom wake, suspicion sleeps
    At wisdom's gate, and to simplicity
    Resigns her charge, while goodness thinks no ill,
    Where no ill seems.'
                                      _Paradise Lost._

    "Nevertheless, she generally read the characters of artifice and
    insincerity with intuitive quickness, though it was often
    believed she was duped by those whom she saw through completely.
    Of this she was aware, but she was so exempt from all desire to
    prove her sagacity, that she never cared to correct the
    misconception; and she held that it was neither useful nor quite
    justifiable to expose all the pretences we may discover, till it
    became necessary to set the unwary on their guard.

    "She never renounced the innocent pleasures or pursuits of life,
    nor the proprieties of a distinguished station, though she
    partook so little of its luxuries, that she could pass from the
    splendour of her own establishment to one the most confined,
    apparently without sensibility to the change. Wherever she moved,
    she inspired joy and cheerfulness; yet she was by no means
    unreserved, except to those she tenderly loved, and it was
    surprising how any manner so gentle, could at the same time
    oppose a barrier so impassable to the advances of the unworthy.
    She enjoyed the beauty of nature with passion. Her mind, at an
    advanced age, had all the elasticity and animation of the prime
    of life, and she could be led to forget half the night in the
    excitement of conversation. Happy were the hours spent with her
    in the discussion of every subject that could call forth her
    opinions, and her wide knowledge of the eventful times in which
    she had lived!--hours that exalted the feelings, informed the
    understandings, and animated the playfulness of younger minds,
    who found that forty years of difference between their age and
    hers, took nothing from their sympathies, but added a new and
    rare delight to their intercourse.

    "But she is gone! To those who knew her, her counsels are silent
    and her place void; but there remains the distinct consciousness,
    that to them had been given a living evidence of the true
    Christian spirit, for if hers were not true, than many errors be
    more excellent than truth! Far distant, and with unequal steps,
    they endeavour to follow her course and perhaps the distaste with
    which they turn from the defective and ill-proportioned models
    that are forced on their admiration, is scarcely consistent with
    the charity she always taught."

Great, indeed, is the task assigned to woman. Who can elevate its dignity?
who can exaggerate its importance? Not to make laws, not to lead armies,
not to govern empires, but to form those by whom laws are made, and armies
led, and empires governed; to guard from the slightest taint of possible
infirmity the frail, and as yet spotless creature whose moral, no less
than his physical, being must be derived from her; to inspire those
principles, to inculcate those doctrines, to animate those sentiments,
which generations yet unborn, and nations yet uncivilized, shall learn to
bless; to soften firmness into mercy, to chasten honour into refinement,
to exalt generosity into virtue; by her soothing cares to allay the
anguish of the body, and the far worse anguish of the mind; by her
tenderness to disarm passion; by her purity to triumph over sense; to
cheer the scholar sinking under his toil; to console the statesman for the
ingratitude of a mistaken people; to be the compensation for hopes that
are blighted, for friends that are perfidious, for happiness that has
passed away. Such is her vocation--the couch of the tortured sufferer, the
prison of the deserted friend, the scaffold of the godlike patriot, the
cross of a rejected Saviour; these are the scenes of woman's excellence,
these are the theatres on which her greatest triumphs have been achieved.
Such is her destiny--to visit the forsaken, to attend to the neglected;
amid the forgetfulness of myriads to remember--amid the execrations of
multitudes to bless; when monarchs abandon, when counsellors betray, when
justice persecutes, when brethren and disciples fly, to remain unshaken
and unchanged; and to exhibit, on this lower world, a type of that
love--pure, constant, and ineffable--which in another world we are taught
to believe the best reward of virtue.


       *       *       *       *       *



A PLEA FOR ANCIENT TOWNS AGAINST RAILWAYS.


It is impossible to look, without surprise, to the progress of the railway
system since the first experiment in 1830. The Liverpool and Manchester
line was opened in the September of that year, at an expense of
£.1,200,000; and in the thirteen years since that period, line after line
has been laid down and opened for traffic, till the completed railways
amount to many hundred miles in length, and the expenditure of capital has
been many millions of money.

The advantages of a line between Manchester and Liverpool were obvious. It
connected the two towns--the importing and the manufacturing--which needed
connexion the most; and, in fact, the harbour gained an enormous
manufacturing population, and the population gained a harbour. The outlay,
prodigious as it was, was found a profitable investment; but the benefits
of the improvement were so great that the mere profits on the undertaking,
as a pecuniary speculation, were lost sight of, in the higher view of the
impetus given to the trade of these two main seats of our commercial
enterprize. It became a national undertaking; Birmingham and the other
wealthy towns were determined to have the same advantage; London became,
of course, the great centre to which every new line tended; and in an
incredibly short space of time, at an incredible expenditure of money, the
iron and cotton emporiums of the north, the packet stations of the south
and south-west, the agricultural and manufacturing districts of the
north-east, all were moved into the actual neighbourhood of the capital.
The beautiful Southampton water flowed within three hours of the Bank.
Ipswich was not much further off than Hammersmith; and Bath and Bristol
were but a morning's drive from Buckingham palace or Windsor.

What has been the effect of all these improvements, and to what do they
all tend?

If the whole prosperity of a nation depended on rapidity of conveyance,
there could be but one answer to the enquiry--but even in that case the
prosperity must depend on rapidity of conveyance between the particular
places which the railway unites--Manchester and Liverpool, Birmingham and
London, and generally the great towns at the _termini_, and some
throughout all of the intermediate stations, have cause to rejoice in the
improvement. And land and houses in the neighbourhood have increased in
value, their correspondence is conducted in half the time, and money is of
course distributed in fertilizing rills by the crowds of travellers who
pass through them on their way to join the train. But these advantages are
local, and an opinion is now gaining ground that they are obtained at the
expense of other places. What possible benefit can accrue to a town or
neighbourhood near which the railway passes, but where there is no
station? Can it encourage the trade of such a town as Dangley or Standon
to know, that the five or six thousand beings who are whirled past them,
with almost invisible rapidity, every day, arrive in Liverpool in ten
hours after leaving London? On the contrary, is it not found to be
directly injurious to them by the encouragement it gives to towns and
villages more favourably situated; while their inns become deserted, their
tradespeople are drifted out of the great stream of business, their
turn-pikes are ruined, and grass grows in their streets. Let us take any
one of the great lines, and see the number of towns whose ancient
prosperity it has destroyed. From London to York a few years ago, ten or
twelve coaches gave life and animation to all the places they passed
through. Their hotels and commercial rooms were filled at every blowing
of the guard's horn; tradespeople looked out from behind their counters
with a smile, as, with a dart and rattle, the four thoroughbred greys
pulled the well-known fast coach up the street, loaded inside and out.
They became proud of their Tally-ho, or Phenomenon; they got their
newspapers and parcels "with accuracy and despatch," and enjoyed the
natural advantages of their situation. Now the case is altered; a
two-horse coach, or perhaps an omnibus, jumbles occasionally to the
railway station, and the traveller complains that it takes him longer
time to go the ten or twelve miles across the country than all the rest
of the journey. Then he grumbles at the inconvenience of changing his
mode of conveyance, and only revisits the out-of-the-way place when he
cannot avoid it.

A person settling in one of these towns twenty years ago, establishing
trade, buying or building premises, in the belief that, however business
may alter from other causes, his geographical position must, at all
events, continue unchanged, must be as much astonished as was Macbeth at
the migratory propensities of Birnam forest, when he perceives that towns
a hundred miles down the road have actually walked between him and London;
get their town parcels much earlier, and have digested and nearly
forgotten their newspaper, while he is waiting in a fever of expectation
to know whether rums is much riz or sugars is greatly fell. He calls for a
branch railway to put him on equal terms; but a vast hill, perhaps, rises
between him and the main line--it would cost forty thousands pounds a
mile--he must bore an enormous tunnel, and fill up a prodigious valley,
and the united wealth of all the shopkeepers in the town would fall far
short of the required half million. He sinks down in sheer despair, or
takes to drinking with the innkeeper, who has already had an attack of
_delirium tremens_, gives up the _Times_ newspaper for the _Weekly
Despatch_, and thinks Mr Frost a much injured character, and Rebecca a
Welsh Hampden. The railway has touched his pocket, and the iron has
entered into his soul. He feels as if he lived at the Land's-End, or had
emigrated to the back woods of America. All the world goes at a gallop,
and he creeps. Finally, he is removed to Hanwell, and endeavours to
persuade Dr Conolly that he is one of Stephenson's engines, and goes
hissing and spurting in fierce imitation of Rapid or Infernal. And all
this is the natural consequence of having settled in an ancient city
inaccessible to rails. A list could easily be made out that would astonish
any one who had not reflected on the subject before, of cities and towns
which must yield up their relative rank to more aspiring neighbourhoods on
whom the gods of steam and iron have smiled. It will be sufficient to
point out a few instances in some of the main lines of mail-coach
travelling, and see what their position is now.

Let us go to Lincoln, region of fens and enterprize, of fat land and jolly
yeomen. The mail is just ready to start; we pay our fare, and, after
seeing our luggage carefully deposited in the recesses of the boot, we
mount beside the red-faced, much-becoated individual who is flickering his
whip in idle listlessness on the box; the guard gives a triumphal shout on
his short tin horn, the flickering of the whip ceases, the horses snort
and paw, and finally, in a tempest of sound and a whirlwind of dust, we
career onward from the Saracen's head, and watch the stepping of the
stately team with pride and exultation--a hundred and forty miles before
us, and thirteen hours on the road.

In fifty-five minutes we are at Barnet--pick up a stout gentleman and
plethoric portmanteau in the green shades of Little Heath lane; and
dashing through Hatfield, as if we were announcing Waterloo, change horses
again at Stanborough. Away, away, the coach and we, with two very jolly
fellows on the roof, and cross in due time the beautiful river Lea,
scattering letter-bags at every gentleman's lodge as we pass, with a due
proportion of fish-baskets and other diminutive parcels. Hedges, row
after row, dance past us with all their leaves and blossoms--milestone
after milestone is merrily left behind--we have crossed the Maran, the
Joel; the sluggish Ouse, trotted gaily on under the shadow of the
episcopal towers of Buckden, and perform wonders with a knife and fork, in
the short space of twenty minutes, in the comfortable hotel at Stamford.
Refreshed and invigorated with a couple of ducks and a vast goblet of
home-brewed--for it is well known we and all other good subjects are rigid
anti-Mathewsians--we continue our course through unnumbered villages and
market towns, Coltersworth, Spittlegate, Ponton, Grantham, till Newark
opens her hospitable gates; and finally, as "the shades of eve begin to
fall," we descend from our proud eminence and commit ourselves to the
tender attentions of a civil landlord, two waiters, and a stout
chambermaid, in the chief inn of the good town of Lincoln.

Many coaches followed our track. Like the waves of the summer, as one
rolled away, another as bright and as shining, came on. Every lane formed
a "terminus," where a motion of the hand gave notice to the coachman that
a passenger wished to get in; and it is impossible to doubt that the
traffic along that smooth and wide highway was a source of prosperity to
the whole neighbourhood.

The coaches are now off the road--the letters are carried by a mail train,
and forwarded across in a high gig with red wheels, and the liveliness and
bustle of all the villages and country towns are gone--a few more years,
and the ruin of every turnpike trust in England will be another proof of
the irresistible power of steam.

It is not contended that rapid intercommunication is an evil; or even that
the towns we have mentioned, and hundreds of others, in all parts of the
country, do not participate in the advantage, to the extent of being
within a shorter distance of London than they were before; for it is
evident, that to go to Lincoln would occupy less time if you went to
Leicester by the railroad, and travelled the remaining miles by coach. But
this is what we maintain--that towns or lines of road through which the
railway runs, have an undue advantage--and that the prosperity so
acquired, is at the expense of the towns which are not only at a distance
from the new mode of communication, but are deprived of the old. Twelve
years ago, upwards of a hundred coaches passed through Oxford in the
four-and-twenty hours. We will be bound to say, not half a dozen pass
through it now; and whatever the _University_ may think upon the subject,
it is certain that the alteration is of great detriment to the _town_,
and makes little less difference to the Corn-market and High Street, than
the turning the course of the Thames would do to Westminster and Wapping.
Who is to keep the beautiful roads by Henley and High Wickham in repair?
And who is to restore a value to the inns at the tidy comfortable towns
along the line? Will the prosperity of Steveton bring back the gaieties
of Tetsworth or Beaconsfield, and the numerous villages within an easy
distance of the road? We repeat it--the towns which formerly enjoyed the
natural advantages of their geographical position, are now deprived of
them; they become subordinates instead of principals, and will sink more
and more, as new competitors arise in the towns which will infallibly
gather round every railway station.

In every county there are numbers of towns whose fate is sealed, unless
some great effort is made to preserve their existence: Marlborough,
Devizes, Hindon, Guildford, Farnham, Petersfield, the whole counties of
Rutland and Dorset, and the greater part of Lincoln, besides hundreds, or
probably thousands, of other places of inferior note.

But what is the effort that should be made, and how are the parties
interested to bring their powers to bear in staving off the destruction
that threatens them? It is to these points we are now about to address
ourselves; and we trust, in spite of the lightness of some parts of this
paper; the real weight of the subject will command the notice of all who
feel anxious to benefit any neighbourhood in the position of some of those
we have mentioned. And the attention of the trustees of high-roads
throughout the kingdom is solicited to the following suggestions.

It is conceded on all hands, that where speed is required in draught, the
horse cannot compete with mechanical power. At three miles an hour, the
horse is the most perfect locomotive machine; but if his velocity be
increased to ten, most of his power is consumed in moving himself. The
average exertion in each horse in a four-horse heavy coach, is calculated
by the author of the excellent Treatise on Draught, appended to the work
published on the Horse by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful
Knowledge, not to be equal to a strain of more than 62-1/2 lbs., and at
twelve miles an hour to be barely 40 lbs. It is therefore useless to rely
oh horse-power to enable a neighbourhood to retain its advantages in
competition with a railway. To meet this difficulty many ingenious men
turned their attention to the possibility of inventing a steam-engine
applicable to common roads; and although, in several instances, their
experiments succeeded, and many of the difficulties were overcome, still
it is not to be denied that, on the whole, macadamized roads are not
adapted to locomotive machines. Even when the road is in the best possible
condition, the concussion is found so great as materially to interfere
with the action of the machinery; and if the road be slightly muddy, or
sandy, or newly gravelled, the draught will be double, or even treble what
it is on the same road when free from dirt or dust. The author of the
_Treatise on Draught_, accordingly, concludes against the use of
steam-carriages on common roads, chiefly on account of their want of
uniform hardness and smoothness, and the consequent wear and tear of the
coach. "Perfection in a road," he says, "would be a plain, level, hard
surface;" and in another passage--"Hardness, therefore, and consequently
the absence of dust and dirt, which is easily crushed or displaced, is
the grand desideratum in roads."

These opinions were published in 1831, and since that period the
desideratum has been supplied. A method of preparing a road has been
discovered, uniting all the qualities required for the perfection of a
highway. We allude to the system recently introduced of paving a road with
wood. On this smooth and hard surface a steam coach goes more easily than
on iron rails, and the expense of laying it down is trifling in
comparison.

At a meeting of the South-eastern Railway Company in July 1843, a branch
line to Maidstone, ten miles in length, was proposed; and as the directors
were satisfied it would be beneficial to the parent line, they determined
to raise £.149,300, on loan notes or mortgage, to complete it. This gives
an expenditure of £.15,000 a mile, and, judging from the estimate of other
lines, the estimate is exceedingly low. For less than a third of the sum,
the distance could have been laid down in wood without interfering with
the traffic of the present road; for one great advantage of the proposed
method consists in this, that by setting aside a portion of the present
highway, where it is wide enough, or widening it a few feet where it is
too narrow, the turnpike would derive a considerable income from the
steam-coaches, and the traffic would continue in its accustomed channels.
Where a portion of the road was set apart for the sole use of the
steam-coaches, they could travel at a very considerable rate, and at a
third of the expense of horse-power. And even if the wooden lines were
laid down on the common road, with no exclusive barriers between them and
other vehicles, a speed of fifteen or sixteen miles an hour could be
maintained with perfect safety to themselves and the public. On the 27th
of April last year, Mr Squire tried his steam-carriage in the streets of
London, and ran along the macadamized part, then in fine condition, at
the rate of fifteen miles an hour. On coming to the wooden pavement the
difference was at once perceptible; and he pronounced that on such roads
he should have no difficulty in keeping up a velocity of thirty miles an
hour. In other respects, his carriage appeared to be perfect, and was
guided with much greater facility than an ordinary coach.

This gentleman had run his carriage on common roads with great success;
and the experiments made in 1831 had attracted so much notice, that a
Parliamentary Committee was appointed in that year; and another in 1834,
to examine into the subject. As the decision of these committees was
eminently favourable, in spite of the difficulties, at that time generally
thought insurmountable, arising from the nature of the highways to be
travelled on, we shall quote some portion of their reports, from which it
will be seen that all other difficulties were overcome.

Mr Goldsworthy Gurney, the first inventor of steam-coaches adapted for
common roads, says in his evidence--

"I have always found the most perfect command in guiding these carriages.
Suppose we were going at the rate of eight miles an hour, we could stop
immediately. In case of emergency, we could instantly throw the steam on
the reverse side of the piston, and stop within a few yards. The stop of
the carriage is singular; it would be supposed that the momentum would
carry it far forward, but it is not so; the steam brings it up gradually
and safely, though rather suddenly--I would say within six or seven yards.
On a declivity, we are well stored with apparatus: we have three different
modes of dragging the carriage."

"You stated in your former evidence, that you anticipated that passengers
would be carried at one-half the rate by your steam-carriages that they
are by the common carriages; what difference in the ordinary expences of
carriage would it make, if you had a paved road for this purpose?

"I think it would reduce the expense to one-half again."

"To what velocity could you increase your present rate of travelling with
your engine?"

"I have stated that the velocity is limited by practical experience only;
theoretically it is limited only by quantity of steam. Twelve miles, I
think, we could keep up steadily, and run with great safety. The extreme
rate that we have run, is between twenty and thirty miles an hour."

"What is the greatest number of passengers you have taken on that
carriage?"

"Thirty-six passengers and their luggage. The greatest weight we could
draw by that carriage, at the rate of ten miles an hour, is from forty to
fifty hundred-weight. The greatest weight we ever drew on the common road,
at a rate of from five to six miles an hour, was eleven tons. We made the
experiment on the Bristol road. The weight of the drawing carriage was
upwards of two tons; it drew five times its own weight. The eleven tons
included the weight of the drawing carriage, and I did not consider that
its maximum power."

In a very scientific and interesting Treatise on Locomotion, by Mr
Alexander Gordon, a civil engineer of eminence, we find an account given
of the trial of power alluded to by Mr Gurney. A pair of three feet wheels
were used on the hind axle, and the engine drew with ease a large waggon
loaded with cast-iron. After going about a mile and a quarter, a cart also
loaded with cast-iron was attached to the waggon. The engine started with
these loaded carriages, and returned to Gloucester. The additional weight
made so little apparent difference to the engine, that on the way back
several persons among the spectators got up and rode; the number
altogether amounted to twenty-six. The united weight amounted to ten tons.
Going into Gloucester, there is a rise of one foot in twenty, or
twenty-five.

Two great objections were advanced by the opponents of the proposed
innovation, which are most emphatically answered by the Report of the
Committee of 1834. Even in 1831, the Committee reported as follows:--

"It has frequently been urged against these carriages, that wherever they
may be introduced, they must effectually prevent all other travelling on
the road, as no horse will bear the noise and smoke of the engine. The
Committee believe that these statements are unfounded. Whatever noise may
be complained of, arises from the present defective construction of the
machinery, and will be corrected as the makers of such carriages gain
greater experience. Admitting even that the present engines do work with
some degree of noise, the effect on horses has been greatly exaggerated.
All the witnesses accustomed to travel in these carriages, even in the
crowded roads adjacent to the metropolis, have stated, that horses are
very seldom frightened in passing."

But in 1834, the report is still more conclusive on this point. Mr
Macneil, a distinguished civil engineer, gives the following evidence:--

"At the time the Committee sat in 1831, I could speak as to having seen
only one steam-carriage on a turnpike road, and as to the effect on horses
that passed it on the road. From considerable experience since that time,
_I am quite certain, that in a very short period there will be no
complaint of horses being frightened by steam-carriages._ I do not know
that I have seen more than two or three horses in all my experience, that
were at all frightened by any of the carriages. I travelled with, and I
have passed many times through some of the most crowded streets in London
and in Birmingham, in steam-carriages. I have also seen horses out in the
morning, led by grooms, which would in all probability be startled by any
object at all likely to frighten a horse, and they did not take the least
notice of the engine. At another time, several ladies passed on horseback
without the least alarm, and some of them rode close after the carriage,
and alongside of it, as long as they could keep up with it."

This evidence is corroborated by all the other witnesses; and great as the
noise, and fearful as the horrid gasping of the engine may be, we are not
prepared to say that terror may not as naturally be excited in the heart
of the most gallant of Houyeneans by the thunder and glitter of a fast
coach, rushing downhill at the rate of sixteen miles an hour. In fact, the
horse that has ceased--like a young lady after her second season--to be
shy, will care no more for a steam-engine than a tilted waggon. And it is
decidedly our private and confidential opinion, from a long experience of
vivacious roadsters, that a quadruped which maintains its equanimity on
encountering a baker's cart with an awning, will face the noisiest and
most vociferous of boilers. But granting that the committee is right in
coming to this conclusion as far as regards the danger arising to horses,
the other objection we alluded to was a poser, from which we shall be glad
to see how they extricate themselves--we mean the injury done to the
turnpike road. Why, it turns out that a steam-coach does no injury at all;
but, from the necessity it is under to sport the widest and strongest of
wheels, it acts as a sort of roller, and might pass for a deputy Macadam.
Mr Macneil, who has had great experience in road surveying, says that,
even in 1831, he had stated that, from the examination he had made as to
the wear of iron in the shoes of horses, compared with the wear on the
tire of the wheels of carriages, the injury done to the turnpike roads
would be much less by steam-carriages than that done by mail and stage
coaches drawn by horses. Since then, "I have had practical experience on
this point, and have carefully examined the roads in different parts of
the country where steam-carriages have been running, and I have every
reason to believe the opinion I then gave was correct; indeed, I have not
the least doubt in my mind, that if steam-carriages ran generally on the
turnpike roads of the kingdom, _one-half of the annual expense of the
repairs of these roads would be saved_."

It is supposed that the tolls throughout England are let for more than a
million and a half a-year! A saving of one half in this enormous amount
would fructify in the pockets (now remarkably in need of some process of
the kind) of the public, to the entire satisfaction of Rebecca and all her
daughters. And yet with this evidence, of perhaps the best practical
authority on the subject, before their eyes, let us see what the wiseacres
of certain rural districts did to encourage economy and inland transit. By
means of a tremendous instrument of tyranny called a local act, (for which
the Grand Sultan would be very glad to exchange his firman,) the road
trustees of various neighbourhoods have laid an embargo on all steam
carriages, by enacting _intolerable_ payments. Thus on the Liverpool and
Prescot road, a steam-carriage would be charged £.2, 8s.; while a loaded
stage-coach would pay only four shillings! On the Bathgate road the same
carriage would be charged £.1, 7s. 1d.; while a coach drawn by four horses
would pay five shillings. On the Ashburnham and Totness road, steam would
pay £.2; and a four-horse coach three shillings. And how did these sages
settle the rates of payment? The reader would never guess, so we will tell
him at once-they charged for each horse power as if the boiler contained a
whole stud, all trampling the road to atoms with iron shoes; whereas they
ought have let the broad-wheeled carriage go free, if, indeed, they were
not called on to pay it a certain sum each journey for the benefit it did
the highway.

Such was the evidence that led the committee to decide, in 1834, on the
practicability, the safety, and economy of running steam-carriages on
common roads. It will be sufficient to give a list of the witnesses
examined, to show that the highest authorities were consulted before the
report was framed. They were--

   Mr Goldsworthy Gurney.
      Walter Hancock.
      John Farey, civil engineer.
      Richard Trevethick.
      Davies Gilbert, M.P., president of the Royal Society.
      Nathanael Ogle.
      Alexander Gordon, civil engineer.
      Joseph Gibbs.
      Thomas Telford, president of the Institution of Civil Engineers.
      William A. Summers.
      James Stone.
      James Macadam, road surveyor.
      John Macneil, civil engineer, and
      Colonel Torrens, M.P.

Since the date of the last Report railways have run their titanic course;
and whether from the opposition of wise road trustees, or a want of
enterprise in steam-carriage proprietors, or from some other cause, steam
locomotion on common roads has not made any progress. But, in spite of the
powerful evidence we have quoted, we cannot conceal from ourselves that
there was always an _if_ or a _but_ attached to the complete triumph of
the new system. The _if_ and the _but_, it will be seen, had reference to
the nature of the road. Mr Macneil and the other able and scientific
gentlemen examined, all concurred in calling for a vast improvement on the
highways to be travelled on--"a smooth and well-dressed pavement"--"a hard
pavement"--"a smooth pavement on a solid foundation"--they all agree in
thinking indispensable to the complete triumph of steam. "If on the road,"
says Mr Macneil, "from London to Birmingham, there were a portion laid off
on the side of the road for steam carriages, and if it be made in a solid
manner, with pitching and well-broken granite, it would fall very little
short of a railroad. It would be easy to fence it off from fifteen to
twenty feet without injury to property." And a statement to the same
effect was made in November 1833, to which the following names are
appended:--

  Thomas Telford, P.I.C.E.
  John Rickman, commissioner for Highland roads and bridges.
  C.W. Pasley, colonel royal engineers.
  Bryan Donkin, manufacturing engineer.
  T. Bramah, civil engineer.
  James Simpson, manufacturing engineer.
  John Thomas, civil engineer.
  Joshua Field, manufacturing engineer.
  John Macneil, civil engineer.
  Alexander Gordon, civil engineer.
  William Carpmael, civil engineer.

"There can be no doubt," say they, "that a well-constructed engine, a
steam-carriage conveyance between London and Birmingham, at a velocity
unattainable by horses, and limited only by safety, may be maintained; and
it is our conviction that such a project might be undertaken with great
advantage to the public, more particularly if, as might obviously be the
case, without interfering with the general use of the road, a portion of
it were to be prepared and kept in a state most suitable for travelling in
locomotive steam-carriages."

But in this is the whole difficulty as far as regards the best granite
road; for, supposing for a moment that all the other conditions were
fulfilled--that it was hard and smooth--one great element is to be taken
into consideration, from which no skill and science can exempt the best
and firmest Macadam; and that is the effect of atmospheric changes on the
surface of the road. The difference of tractive power in summer and winter
must be immense, and the great disadvantage of mechanical, as compared
with animal draught, is its want of adaptability to the exigencies of an
ordinary road. A steam-carriage of ten horse power cannot under any
circumstances, when it encounters a newly mended part of the road, or a
softer soil, put forth an additional power for a minute or two, as a team
of horses can do; so that equality of exertion is nearly indispensable for
the full advantage of an engine. We accordingly find that the opponents of
steam-travelling on common roads, gained their object by covering the
highway with a coating of broken stones fourteen inches deep. Through this
it was impossible to force the coach without such a strain as to displace
or otherwise injure the machinery. But when a system of locomotion,
containing so many advantages, has so nearly been brought to perfection,
in spite of the many difficulties presented by the common modes of making
a road, it would be inconceivable blindness in the parties interested in
the subject to overlook the certain mode of success offered to them, by
merely laying down a portion of the road in wood. Who those parties are we
have already pointed out. They are the inhabitants and owners of property
in towns and neighbourhoods at some distance from railway traffic; and if
the proprietors of great lines of railway saw their own interest, they
would be foremost in adopting the new method as an auxiliary, and not view
it as a rival or an enemy. For it is very evident that nothing can be so
beneficial to a railway already in operation as a branch line, by which a
hitherto unopened district can be united to their stations. And the
difference of expense between the two systems--namely, between an iron
railway and a wooden pavement--is so great, that the latter is scarcely
beyond the power of the poorest neighbourhood. An iron branch was at one
time proposed between Steventon and Oxford. The same sum which would have
been required for this purpose, according to the estimates, would have
laid down an excellent road in wood from Steventon through Oxford to
Rugby; thus connecting the three great arteries of the country--the Great
Western, the Birmingham, and the Midland Counties Railways. It will be
found that the great lines of railway have been forced, at an unavoidable
and foreseen loss, to spread out minor or tributary lines, which, if the
system of wood-paving had been in existence, might have been laid down at
less than a third of the expense, and producing a proportionate profit.
This view of the case has not been altogether neglected, for it has been
dwelt on at some length in an able pamphlet on "the Use of Mechanical
Power in Draught on Turnpike Roads, with reference to the new system of
Wood Paving." It is evidently the work of a practical man, who has deeply
studied the subject. "No part of the community," he says, "are likely to
benefit so largely by the introduction of the new system as the holders of
railway shares. For though, in all probability, the railroads would not
have been constructed to their present extent had the virtues of wood
paving been earlier known, yet it would be absurd to contend that the
wooden road will ever be able to compete with the existing iron lines. The
new principle, however, may be most usefully adopted by the railway
companies themselves, in the formation of branches or tributary roads, the
completion of which has hitherto entailed on them enormous expense
unattended by corresponding benefits. The proposed system, at all events,
is worth a trial by many other towns besides the one chosen for
illustration by the author of the pamphlet. He fixes on Shrewsbury, a
place already on the decline, and not likely to recover its former
prosperity, unless it can establish steam communication with the great
lines of railway at Wolverhampton. "But capitalists," he adds, "who see
the small amount of dividend paid to their shareholders by the minor
railways, can no longer be induced to embark their money in similar
undertakings. Let a portion, however, of the noble, but now
half-deserted, Holyhead road be paved with wood, and for a comparatively
trifling cost of less than £.50,000, in six months from the present time
steamers could be enabled to run along the entire line with safety,
infinitely greater than, and speed almost equal to, that on the
Birmingham Railway."

We feel sure that these considerations need only to be stated to have
their due weight, and we shall be greatly surprised if an effort is not
soon made to avoid the ruin impending over so many towns. Among others,
the beautiful town of Salisbury should take an interest in this matter;
for what can be more evident that she will fall rapidly to decay, if she
cannot establish a steam communication with Southampton on one side, and
Bath and Bristol on the other. Salisbury, above all other places, ought to
know the value of a good road; for she has the fate of her elder sister
Sarum before her eyes. Decay--disfranchisement--contempt will assuredly be
her lot, if she allows herself to be treated in the same way as the
venerable Sarum was in the days of her youth--for do not the antiquaries
tell us what was the cause of Sarum's fall? It has, in fact, become so
notorious, that it has even got into Topographical Dictionaries. "About
this time," the reign of Edward the First, "Bishop Bridport built a bridge
at Harnham, and thus changing the direction of the Great Western Road,
which formerly passed through Old Sarum, that place was completely
deserted, and Salisbury became one of the most flourishing cities of the
kingdom."

The same will be recorded of her by future chroniclers, if she do not
seize this opportunity of retrieving her possession of "the Great Western
Road." "In the reign of Queen Victoria, a railroad being established at
some distance from Salisbury, and the traffic being thus diverted from it,
which once formed the great source of its prosperity, it became completely
deserted; Shaftesbury, Sturminster, and Sherborne, shared in her ruin; and
Swindon became one of the most flourishing places in the kingdom." We
cannot think so meanly of our countrymen, as to suppose that they will
yield like white-livered cravens, and die without a struggle; and in thus
raising the voice of Maga to warn them of their danger, and instruct them
how to avoid it, we consider that we are doing the state some service, and
pointing out new means profitable employment for the capital of the rich,
and the labour of the poor.


       *       *       *       *       *



COMMERCIAL POLICY--SHIPS, COLONIES, AND COMMERCE.


Who, standing on the shore, has not seen, as the gale freshened into storm
and swelled into the hurricane, the waves of the clear green sea gradually
lose their brightness, until raking up from the lowest depths, convulsed
with the mighty strife of the elements, the very obscene dregs and refuse
of all matter terreous, or instinct of life, the mounting billows become
one thick and unsightly mass of turbid waters, chafing with all the foam
and froth of the unclean scourings of the deep, rioting in the ascendant?
As in the world physical, so is it with the order of nature in the world
moral and political. As the social horizon becomes troubled, as reform
careers on to revolution, the empire of mind is overwhelmed--the brute
matter and fiercer spirits of the masses ascend, and ride the tempest
political more triumphantly as incipient confusion thickens into confirmed
chaos.

The bad eminence popularly of men so devoid of all principle and
integrity, so strangely uncouth and assorted, as the Daniel O'Connells,
the John M'Hales, and the Feargus O'Connors; of men so unlearned in all
principle, political and economical--so wanting, moreover, in the presence
of the higher order of moral sentiments, as the Cobdens, the Brights, the
Rory O'Mores, the Aucklands, and Sydney (he of the League) Smiths, is
among the worst symptoms of the diseased times upon which the country has
fallen. It recalls forcibly to mind, it reproduces the opening scenes and
the progress, the men and the machinery, of the first French Revolution,
the precursor of so many more, upon the last act of the last fashioned
melodrama of which the curtain has not yet probably descended. How then
the meaner spirits succeeded in the whirlwind of change, to the mightier
minds which first conjured and hoped to control it; how the Mirabeaux, the
Lally Tollendals, the Mouniers of the Assembly, were replaced and
popularly displaced by the sophists and intriguers of the Gironde and the
Constituent; how, in the Convention and the hall of the Jacobins, the
coarser men of the whole movement--the Dantons, the Robespierres, the
Marats, the facetious as ferocious Bareres, the stupid Anacharsis
Clootzes--trampled under foot, or finished with the guillotine, the
_phraseurs_ and _meneurs_ of the Gironde, your orators of set speech,
glittering abstractions, and hair-splitting definitions; the Brissots,
Vergniauds, Condorcets, and Rolands, who could degrade, dethrone, and
condemn a king to perpetual imprisonment, but were just too dainty of
conscience to go the whole hog of murder. As history, like an old
almanack, does but repeat itself within a given cycle of years, so the
same round, cast, and change of characters and characteristics, with all
the other paraphernalia of the great drama, Reform and Revolution, as
performed in France, have been, and are in due order enacting and
exhibiting in this country. We have already seen, however, the Greys,
Hollands, and Broughams, the fathers and most eloquent apostles of Reform,
dethroned by a clique of large talkers about great principles, with a
comparatively small stock of ideas to do business on, such as Mr
appropriation Ward, the Tom Duncombes, Villierses, &c., men vastly
inferior in talents and attainments, after all, to the Gironde, of whom
they are the _imitatores servum pecus_; whilst these again "give place" on
the pressure from without of the one-idea endowed tribe of Repealers of
Unions and Corn-Laws--the practical men of the Mountain genus--the
O'Connells, Cobdens, and Brights, who, not yet so fierce as their
predecessors of the Robespierre and Clootz dynasty, are so far content
with patronising the "strap and billy roller" in factories, instead of
carting aristocrats to the guillotine, which may come hereafter, if, as
they say, appetites grow with what they feed on. For it is a fact recorded
in history, that Robespierre himself was naturally a man of mild
temperament and humane disposition, converted into a sanguinary monster,
as some wild beasts are, with the first taste of human blood. Anacharsis
Clootz, his coadjutor, the celebrated "orator of the human race," in his
day, was at least a free trader as thorough-going, as eminently eloquent
and popular a leader, as Mr Cobden himself.

On the present occasion, our business chiefly lies with the gentleman
known as Mr Alderman Richard Cobden, M.P. for the borough of Stockport,
one of the first samples sent up of municipal and representative reform
achievement. Mr Cobden is an example of successful industry when
translated to a proper sphere of action. Fortunate in the maternal
relationship of a Manchester warehouseman, domiciliated in the classic
regions of cotton and Cheapside, he was taken as an "odd lad" into the
establishment. In process of time he was advanced to the more honourable
grade of traveller, in days of yore styled "bagman," to the concern.
Somewhere about 1825 or 1826, we find him transplanted to Manchester, in
partnership with two other persons of the same craft and trading position,
where they enjoyed the patronage of the late Mr Richard Fort, an extensive
calico-printer, at, and in his latter years member for, the borough of
Clitheroe in the north of Lancashire. He leased to them one of his
print-works near Chorley, and such, it is understood, was the success of
the trio, that when, after a partnership of some thirteen or fourteen
years, they separated, the division of fairly won spoil accruing to each
was not less than £.30,000. Within the space of fourteen years say,
industry had created out of nothing the incredible sum of £.90,000.
During his travels, like Jemmy the sandman, for orders, Mr Cobden became
initiated into the science of "spouting;" he became the oracle and orator
of bars and travellers' rooms; the observed of all observers, from the
gentlemen of the road down to waiters, barmaids, and boots. The roadsters
of his, as of these days, were no longer, however, of the same high-toned
class as that of the "bagmen" in times gone by. Tradition tells now only
of the splendid turns-out, the dinner-table luxury, the educated
commercial polish, the "feast of reason and the flow of soul" enjoyment,
of a race defunct; the degenerate crew of Cobden's association, with
wages cut down to short common commissions, dined not at home; tea and
turn-in, with a sleeping draught of whisky toddy, were the staples of
mine host's bill. Such is briefly the report of the rise and progress of
Mr Cobden in the world, as we have it from quarters entitled to regard;
various exaggerated statements about his hundreds of thousands acquired,
are afloat as usual in cases where men spring from nothing; his trading
career has been sufficiently prosperous and extraordinary, not to be
rendered incredible by ridiculous inventions of friends or foes. About
the locale of his birth and residence, of his origin and antecedents, Mr
Cobden himself ever maintains a guarded silence, as if, with
aristocratical airs growing with his fortunes, he were ashamed, and would
cast the slough of family poverty and plebeianship; or perhaps he
calculates on leaving the world, Sussex at least, hereafter to dispute
the honours of his paternity like another Homer.

Mr Cobden is but a type, not of the highest cast either, of the
manufacturing operatives of Lancashire. You will find his equal in one at
least out of every ten of the adult factory workmen of Lancashire, whose
wits are sharpened by everyday conflict and debate in clubs and publics;
you will often meet his superior in those self-educated classes. We have
not unfrequently read speeches at public meetings by intelligent
operatives in Lancashire, which showed a more profound acquaintance with,
and greater powers of development of the _rationale_ of political and
economical philosophy, in single instances, than can be discovered in the
mass of harangues poured forth by Mr Cobden, were the flowers ever so
carefully culled and separated from the loads of trashy weed. His forte
consists in a coarse but dauntless intrepidity, with which respectability
and intellect shrink from encounter. The country squire, educated and
intelligent, but retiring and truth-loving, retreats naturally from
contest with a bold, abusive, and unscrupulous demagogue; even the party
he serves, holds off from contact and communion with him. He never quails,
therefore, because never matched, unless before Mr Ferrand, the fearless
member for Knaresborough--a man most ill-used, even abandoned by the very
party he so signally serves; yet who is never slow, as occasion offers, to
chastise the cur which snarls whilst it crouches before him. The eloquence
of Mr Cobden is of that vulgarly-exciting sort, well adapted to the level
of the audiences, the scum of town populations, to which it is habitually
addressed. Without the education of the late Henry Hunt, he has quite as
much capacity and more tact, with the single exception, that when
attempting to soar to the metaphorical he is apt to enact the ludicrous
blunders of Astley's clown aping the affected pomposity of the master; as
_v.g._ in the "demon rising from the Thames with an Act of Parliament in
his hands." Mr Alderman Cobden is, withal, a very ostentatious declaimer
about "great first principles;" but into the nature and the definition of
those principles he is the most abstemious of all men from entering. The
subtlety of a principle escapes the grasp of his intellect; he can deal
with it only as a material substance clear to sight and to touch, like a
common calico. Hence he talks about principles and cotton prints as if
they were convertible terms.

Such as he is, Mr Cobden, it cannot be denied, fills for the present a
large space in the public eye; and so he will continue to fill until
occult party supports are withdrawn, and, having served the turn, he is
left to the natural operation of the principles of gravitation, and to
sink to the nothingness from which he has been forced up by the political
accidents and agitation of the day. Lamentably astern in economical lore
and political knowledge as he is, and as the want of that educational
preparation upon which alone the foundation of knowledge and of principles
can be raised, has left him, Mr Cobden, it must be conceded, turns the old
rags, the cast-off clothes, of other people's crotchets to good account
popularly; he succeeds where others fail, not because he is less ignorant
but because he is more fearless. But newly come into the world, as it may
be said, with little learning from books, with understanding little
enlarged by study, and furnished only with those clap-trap generalities,
that declamatory trash, which may be gleaned from reading diligently the
Radical weekly papers, Mr Cobden boldly takes for granted that all which
is new to himself must be unknown to the older world about him. Thus he
appropriates, without scruple, because in sheer ignorance, the ideas and
discoveries, such as they are and as they seem to him, of others, his more
experienced Radical contemporaries. He plunders Daniel Hardcastle, in open
day, of his banking and currency dogmas; he fleeces Bowring before his
eyes of his one-sided Free Trade and Anti-corn-Law stock in business; nay,
he mounts Joseph Hume's well-known stalking-horse against "ships,
colonies, and commerce," (colonial,) and forthwith on to the foray. Yet he
alone remains unconscious of the spoliations patent to all the world
besides--

    "Where ignorance is bliss 'tis folly to be wise."

He retails the worn-out conceits of others as new and wondrous discoveries
of his own genius and profound meditation; and all with such a simplicity
and complacency of self-satisfied conviction, that you never dream or
impugning the good faith with which

    ----"His undoubting mind
    Believed the magic wonders which he sung."

Thus has it been with him specially in the last new case of poaching on
the manor of Mr Joseph Hume, whose game he unhesitatingly appropriates,
disguising it only in a sauce of his own flavouring. After sundry mystical
heraldings forth, at various public meetings, of a mighty state secret for
the cure of all state ills, which was labouring for vent in the swelling
breast of Mr Alderman Cobden, M.P., the hour of parturition at length
arrived; he was--after the one or two hours' agonies of a speech delivered
in the for ever memorable day of June 22, 1843--delivered of the mare's
nest so miraculously conceived. Here is the bantling bodily, stripped of
all the swaddling-clothes of surplus verbiage in which it was enveloped on
entering the world of Westminster--resolved, "That, in the opinion of this
house, it is not expedient that, in addition to the great expense to which
the people of this country are subject for the civil, military, and naval
establishments of the colonies, they should be compelled to pay a higher
price for the productions of those colonies than that at which similar
commodities could be procured from other countries, and that therefore all
protective duties in favour of colonial produce ought to be abolished."
Our "colonial system" was denounced by this colonial Draco as "one of
unmixed evil; ... there was no subject upon which there was greater
misapprehension than this ... the _new_ facts he should lay before the
house would, no doubt, prove his position." Happy the legislature
illumined with the infusion of Cobden's Bude light; thrice blest the
people, both inside and outside of the house, amongst whom, all alike, "a
great deal of misapprehension upon this point prevailed," whose darkness
was about to be discharged by the same master mind which was, and anon is,
busied in the discharge of Turkey reds from cotton chintzes at Chorley
print-works.

We need not remind the public, that the peculiar phrases of that disease
with which the mind of Cobden is so profoundly impregnated, essentially
resolve themselves into the _moneymania;_ the leading characteristic of
the mental hallucinations with which the patient is tormented, consists in
the inveterate habit of reducing all argument into arithmetical
quantities; of calculating the value of all truth at some standard rate
per pound sterling, of what it might possibly produce as a matter of
trade; of confounding syllogisms with ciphers, and lumbering all logic
into pounds, shillings, and pence. With diagnostics of disease so
unmistakably developed, it would only be exasperation of the symptoms to
exhibit remedially in other than the peculiar form which the patient
fancies for the kill-or-cure-all draught; and since he has raised the
suit, of which he is the self-constituted judge, in which Cocker is pitted
against the colonies, we shall even humour the conceit, and try the
question with him according to the principles of law and logic, as laid
down and reduced by himself into the substantial shape of a _Dr._ and
_Cr._ account, balances struck in hard cash, and no mistake.

Firstly, to begin with the beginning, which Mr Cobden, with customary
confusion of intellect and arrangement, shoots into the midst of his
arithmetic. The worthlessness of the colonies is argued upon the figures,
which show that, of the total exports of the United Kingdom, but one-third
is absorbed by them, whilst two-thirds are taken by foreign markets;
therefore it follows, not that the colonial trade is by 50 per cent less
important than foreign, but that, relatively, it is not only of no
importance at all, but, by all the amount, an absolute prejudice: such, at
least, is the rule-of-three logic of the Cobden school, as, viz.:--

    "They should, however, consider what the extent of their trade
    with the colonies was. The whole amount of their trade in 1840
    was, exports £.51,000,000; out of that £.16,000,000 was exported
    to the colonies, including the East Indies; but not one-third of
    their export trade went to the colonies. Take away £.6,000,000 of
    this export trade that went to the East Indies, and they had
    £.10,000,000 of exports to set against the £.5,000,000 or
    £.6,000,000 annually which was voted from the pockets of the
    people of this country to support these colonies."

We shall come in season meet to the five or six millions sterling said to
be voted annually "to support the colonies." Now, admitting that the
sixteen millions, as stated, of exports colonial do contrast unfavourably
with the thirty-five millions of foreign, and that by all the difference,
by more than the difference, colonial trade is disparaged in its
importance, what becomes of this arithmetical illustration of the
superiority of foreign trade, when by the same standard we come to measure
it against the home trade, scarcely less a subject of depreciation and
vituperation than the colonial, with thinkers of the same impenetrable, if
not profound class as the member for Stockport? Here, for his edification,
we consign the resulting figures from the standard set up by himself, as
they may be found calculated and resolved from minute detail into grand
totals in the "General Statistics of the British Empire," by Mr James
Macqueen, an authority, perhaps, who will not be questioned by competent
judges any where without the pale of the Draconian legislators of the
Anti-corn-Law League.

"The yearly consumption of the population of Great Britain and Ireland for
food, clothing, and lodging, (we give the round numbers only):--

Agricultural produce for food,                   £.295,479,000
Produce of manufactures,                           262,085,000
Imports, (raw produce, &c.) value as landed,        55,000,000
                                                 -------------
                                                   612,564,000
Deduct exports,                                     51,000,000
                                                 -------------
                                                 £.561,564,000"

It follows, then, that whilst foreign trade simply consumes something more
than double that of colonial trade, the home trade alone amounts to eleven
times over both foreign and colonial together, and by sixteen times as
much the amount of foreign trade alone. Upon the hypothesis of Mr Cobden,
therefore, foreign trade should be treated as of no value at all in the
national sense.

Having disposed of Mr Cobden according to Cocker, in reference to his
arithmetical demonstrations of the superiority in point of pounds,
shillings, and pence value of one sort of trade over another, we may
notice some petty trickery, cunningly intended on his part, consisting in
the suppression of figures and facts on the one side, and their
aggregation on the other, &c., by way of bolstering up unfairly a rotten
case. He states the whole colonial trade at £.16,000,000 only, inclusive
of British India, whereas Porter's Tables, which he must have consulted,
give the _total_ exports of Great Britain to all the world for 1840,

at                               £.51,406,430
Of which colonial,                 17,378,550
                                -------------
Remaining for foreign trade,     £.34,027,880

Mr Cobden knew well, however, that Gibraltar, Malta, and the Ionian Isles
are not, and cannot be considered as, colonies. They are in fact military
stations held for political and commercial objects. It would be ridiculous
to suppose that the rock of Gibraltar, with a population of 15,000 souls,
should consume of British imports alone £.1,111,176, the value actually
entered for that port in 1840. That amount should be accounted as to the
credit of foreign export trade, and so Mr Cobden reckoned it, without,
however, drawing the distinction, as he should have done. But that would
have exposed the miserable chicanery of the double dealing he had in hand;
for whilst taking credit for the exports to Gibraltar as part and parcel
of foreign trade, he proceeded, by way of doubly weighing the balance, to
charge all the civil and military expenditure of the garrison and fortress
against colonial trade, so that he treated Gibraltar as a colony in
respect of its cost, and as a foreign country in respect of its trade.
Cunning Isaac! here we have his military arithmetic:--"Upon the 1st of
January in this year, their army numbered 88,000 rank and file. They had
abroad, exclusive of India, 44,589. So that more than one half of that
army was stationed in their colonies; and as it was stated by the noble
lord the member for Tiverton in his evidence, for every 10,000 of these
soldiers that they had in the colonies, 5000 were wanted in England for
the purpose of exchange and recruiting. So that not only one-half, but
actually three-fourths of the army were devoted to the colonies. The army
estimates this year amounted to £.6,225,000, the portion of which sum for
the colonies amounted to £.4,500,000." Now, as the garrison of Gibraltar
alone consists of about 4000 men, to which add 2000 as the proportion for
the reserve in England for recruiting and exchanges, it follows that of
the 44,500 men on colonial duty, to which add the reserve in England,
22,250, one-eleventh are stationed in and wanted for Gibraltar alone, the
charge of which to be rateably deducted from the whole sum of £.4,500,000,
falsely set down as incurred for the colonies, would be about £.410,000.
If to this sum be added £.275,000 for "new works in Gibraltar," as stated
by Mr Cobden himself from the estimates--ordnance expenditure, (1000
guns,) £.25,000 only--share of navy estimates, £.50,000 only--we have a
gross sum of above three quarters of a million sterling as the cost of a
fortress whose sole utility, in peace or in war, is the favour and
protection of foreign trade--of the trade of the Mediterranean, of which
it is the key; and the nation is saddled with this cost for, among others,
the special behoof of that economical and disinterested patriot Mr Cobden
himself, who trades to the shores laved by the waters of that sea, the
Levant and the Dardanelles, if not the Black Sea. Why, Gibraltar alone,
with its 15,000 of population, is more than double the charge of Canada
with its million of people, one-half just emerged out of a state of
rebellion, if not _quasi_ rebellious yet. So with Malta, its garrison of
about 3000 men; and, besides, a naval squadron for protection, that island
being the headquarters of the Mediterranean fleet--a fleet and a station
exclusively kept up for the protection of foreign trade, if for any
purpose at all. And so also with the Ionian Islands, garrisoned with 3300
troops. Taking the garrison forces of Malta and these islands at 6000 men
only, with the reserve in England of 3000 more, making altogether 9000,
the rateable share of expense, according to the calculation of Mr Cobden,
for the whole army, would be about £640,000. Add to this sum the estimate
of £410,000 for the garrison alone of Gibraltar, and we have the gross sum
of £1,050,000 for the three dependencies of Gibraltar, Malta, and the
Ionian Islands, under the head of those army estimates, amounting to
£4,500,000, which Mr Cobden veraciously charges to the account of the
colonies. We purposely leave out of question for the present the
consideration of the other heavy charges in naval armaments, ordnance,
&c., to which this country is subjected for the same possessions, because
we have still to deduct other portions of the army expenditure set down as
for colonial account--that is, as the penalty paid for keeping colonies;
whereas a foreign trade of thirty-four or thirty-five millions, costs the
country nothing at all, according to the numeration tables of Mr Cobden,
and therefore should be all profit.

Passing from Europe, we come to Austral-Asia, where Great Britain, among
others, possesses no less than three penal colonies. It will not be
contended that New South Wales, Van Diemen's Land, and Norfolk Island,
were established either with economically trading or political objects;
that, in point of fact, they were established in any other sense than as
metropolitan prisons, for the safe keeping, punishment, and moral
reclamation and reform of those _quasi_ incorrigible offenders, those
criminal pests, by which the health of society was distempered, and its
safety endangered in the parent state. Therefore, whatever the military or
other expenditure incurred, it must be as much an obligation in its
supreme or corporate capacities upon the state benefited, as the support
of the criminal jurisdiction at home in all its ramifications, from the
chief judges of the land down to the lowest turnkey at Newgate. We need
not stop to enquire in what proportion the manufacturing system, with the
immoral schools of radicalism, irreligionism, and Anti-corn-Law Cobdenism,
have contributed to people the penal settlements, and, _pro tanto_, to
aggrieve the national treasury. Certain it is, and a truth which will not
be questioned, that by far the largest share of that criminal refuse has
been cast off by and from the manufacturing districts; and of which,
therefore, the colonial trade portion indirectly contributed should be
rateably the minimum, as compared with foreign trade. In his _Statistics
of the Colonies of the British Empire_, Mr Montgomery Martin remarks of
New South Wales, that "it should be observed that a large part of the
military force is required to guard the prisoners." Let us take the number
of troops so employed at 2600, which will not be far from the mark, the
corresponding home reserve of which will be 1300 more, and we then arrive,
with the help of Mr Cobden's arithmetic, and starting from his own fixed
datum of total charge, at a sum, in round numbers, of £265,000 army
expenditure for the three penal colonies; the more considerable proportion
of which must at least be set down as arising indirectly from foreign
trade, and certainly far the least from colonial, so far as chargeable
upon either.

We have next, taking Mr Cobden's rule of practice, about £.50,000 actual
military expenditure in St Helena, to which add reserve in England, and a
total of about £.70,000 is arrived at; which cannot be placed to colonial
account as for colonial purposes, since the island is purely a military
and refreshment station for vessels _en route_ for China, India, and the
seas circumflowing; and foreign trade, therefore, as much concerned in the
guilt of its expense as colonial traffic. The amount of charge, therefore,
although remaining to be deducted from the colonial head, may be left as a
neutral indeterminate item. But the military expenses for Singapore,
Penang, and Malacca, about £.80,000, cannot be for colonial account at
all, because stations merely for carrying on foreign trade, against which
chargeable, with the civil establishments as well, whether in whole or in
part, paid by the East India Company or not.

Returning westward, we have the Bay of Honduras with a military
establishment, including reserve as _per_ Cobden, expending about
£.50,000, which ranges for the far greater part within the category of the
cost attending foreign trade. Then, on the West African slave-trading
coast, we have Sierra Leone, with a military expenditure, actual and
contingent, of about £.25,000. There are the Cape Coast Castle, Acera,
Fernando Po, and other small African settlements besides, which cannot
cost less, in military occupation, than some few thousands a-year, say
only £.10,000, all for foreign trade, since colonization and production
are _nil_; and with Sierra Leone, they are only kept, or were established,
for the purpose of suppressing the trade in slaves, and promoting a
foreign trade in that quarter of Africa. Coming to Europe we have
Heligoland, a rock in the North Sea, which, as only costing something more
than £.1000 per annum on foreign trade account, we may leave out of
question. Now, without pretending on the present occasion to make up and
offer an approximate estimate of the proportion of army expenditure
charged against the colonies by Mr Cobden, which should be set down either
to political account, as arising from the possession and maintenance of
outposts necessary for defensive or defensively aggressive purposes, in
case of, or for the prevention of foreign war, or for the protection and
encouragement of foreign trade, in which a right large portion of the
military expenditure for Jamaica, Nova Scotia, the Bahamas, Bermuda, &c.,
may be regarded, we shall content ourselves with reducing his wholesale
estimate of colonial army charge by the materials antecedently furnished.
The reductions will stand thus, premising that in respect of Singapore,
Penang, and Malacca, we have not the means of ascertaining what proportion
of the charge falls upon the national treasury, as part is borne by the
East India Company. Of one fact there can, however, be no doubt; namely,
that nearly the whole of that charge is incurred for the support and
maintenance of foreign trade, just in or about the same degree as the
charges for Gibraltar.

Gibraltar, army estimate,                             £.410,000
Malta, Ionian Islands,                                  640,000
New South Wales, Van Dieman's Land, Norfolk Island,     265,000
St Helena,                                               70,000
Singapore, Penang, &c.,                                  80,000
Honduras,                                                50,000
Sierra Leone, Cape Coast, &c.,                           35,000
                                                     ----------
                                                     £1,550,000
                                                     ----------
Deducting this amount from Mr Cobden's colonial
  estimates of                                        4,500,000
                                                     ----------
                                                     £2,950,000

This discount of about 35 per cent at one "fell swoop" from an audaciously
mendacious account-current, would be deemed sufficiently liberal if
dealing with other than the "measureless liars" of the League; it is far,
however, from the whole sum which will be charged upon, and proved against
them, on occasion hereafter when the general question shall be progressed
with. The rogues that fleeced the simple stripling, Lord Huntingtower, out
of 95 per cent for his bills, were not, as shall be proved, more
unscrupulous cheats and abusers of individual, than the League are of
public faith.

But the discount of Cobden's Cocker veracity here established, with which
for the present we shall conclude, is far (enormous, almost incredible
though it be) from the full measure of his intrepidity in the "art of
misrepresentation;" crediting him, as upon fair consideration we are
bound, with misrepresenting to some extent from sheer ignorance, from want
of that early mental training, or maturer discipline, which alone can
qualify for the severe labour of researches into, and the analysation of
truth. For, unfortunately for the question he has raised, although not so
far entertained by the legislature, the very figures discounted from his
colonial fictions tell against, and must be carried over to the debit of,
his highly cherished foreign trade account, the cost of which to the
country will be approximately verified on another occasion in Blackwood.
It is the distinctive mishap of the family of the Wrongheads, the
illiterate, one-idea'd class of which he is a member, that they never can
contemplate a friendly act without perpetrating mischief, nor intend
mischief without unconsciously achieving discomfiture and disgrace. For of
the £.1,550,000 colonial overcharge in military expenditure _alone_ of
this shallow, unreflecting, and superficial person, not less certainly
than £1,200,000 must be charged to the account of foreign trade, the
special trade he delights to honour. It will constitute, as he will find,
a material item in the general balance-sheet which we purpose to draw
hereafter between the advantages of foreign and colonial trade.

Sir Robert Peel is not more correct in his so bitterly reproached
"do-nothing" policy about Irish repeal, than in his "do-nothing" emphatic
policy about Corn-law repeal. No man better knows how, left to
themselves, the Brights and Cobdens will turn out to be Marplots. The
dolts cannot see, that however hard the Villierses, and such as them, bid
for popularity against them, in apparently the same cause--they have an
interest diametrically adverse in the general sense, and on the fitting
opportunity will throw them overboard. The most influential part of the
liberal press, both metropolitan and provincial, it is well understood,
concur with the League to some extent in its avowed objects, without at
all liking its leaders, or the means pursued for the end sought, and wait
only for the occasion, which will come, for damaging and finally
overthrowing them in popular estimation. In Manchester, Leeds, and
Birmingham, that is, in the privately known sentiments of the leading
press and other liberal leaders of opinion in each, it is notorious that
this feeling and occult determination prevails. Mr Cobden himself, and
some of his colleagues, are not unaware of the fact, and have, in the
factious and political sense, latterly trimmed their course accordingly.
But, notwithstanding, confidence they have recovered not--never will,
because apostacy or trimming cannot inspire confidence; they are
endured--to be used, and to be laid aside, "steeped in Lethe" and
forgotten, as in time they will be.

In this brief article we have treated only of the salient points of the
colonial slanders of Mr Cobden and the League. We have challenged them
only with carrying to colonial account above one million and a half
sterling, with which the colonies, so understood in the true sense, have
nothing to do; and we have shown that one million and a quarter nearly of
the charge made against colonial trade, legitimately appertains to foreign
trade. Hereafter we purpose to investigate the respective charges entailed
upon the country by foreign and colonial trade, to apportion to each its
share, and to strike the balance of profit and loss relatively upon each.
Let it suffice for the present that we have shown Mr Cobden and his
figures to be utterly undeserving of credit in a partial point of view
only; we could, as we shall, prove them to be, either through idiotical
ignorance or stupidly malicious intent, more worthless of credit still in
the general and rational sense--in the relative proportions of the
totality of national expenditure. The blunderer, ignorant or malignant,
classed the expenditure for Guernsey and Jersey, and the Channel islands,
under the head of colonial military expenditure, as well as a considerable
portion of the cost of the Chinese war, partly repaid or in course of
being repaid. He took the exports to the colonies for 1840, when the
Chinese war was only in its origin, and expense scarcely incurred; and he
adopted the estimates for 1843, when the expenses of the Chinese war had
to be provided for, a portion of which was charged under colonial heads.
He omitted, as we have said, any account of permanent charge for
conducting and protecting the trade with China, amounting to a
considerable sum yearly under the old system, and which hereafter will be
more--all to the account of "foreign trade." He omitted besides, at the
least, half a million for the war with China--all for "foreign trade." We
shall have other occasions, however, for exposing his dishonesty, and
vindicating the colonies from his calumnies. The only words of something
like truth he spoke, were against that bastard and discreditable system,
purporting to be a "self-supporting system," concocted by adventurers and
land-jobbers for achieving fortunes at the cost, and to the ruin, of the
unsuspecting emigrating public, and to the signal detriment and dishonour
of the state.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 54, No. 335, September 1843" ***

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