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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXXVI. October, 1843. Vol. LIV.
Author: Various
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXXVI. October, 1843. Vol. LIV." ***

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    [1] A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive;
    being a connected view of the Principles of Evidence,
    and the Methods of Scientific Investigation. By John
    Stuart Mill. In two volumes. London: Parker.

These are _not_ degenerate days. We have still strong thinkers amongst
us; men of untiring perseverance, who flinch before no difficulties,
who never hide the knot which their readers are only too willing that
they should let alone; men who dare write what the ninety-nine out of
every hundred will pronounce a _dry_ book; who pledge themselves, not
to the public, but to their subject, and will not desert it till their
task is completed. One of this order is Mr John Stuart Mill. The work
he has now presented to the public, we deem to be, after its kind, of
the very highest character, every where displaying powers of clear,
patient, indefatigable thinking. Abstract enough it must be allowed to
be, calling for an unremitted attention, and yielding but little, even
in the shape of illustration, of lighter and more amusing matter; he
has taken no pains to bestow upon it any other interest than what
searching thought and lucid views, aptly expressed, ought of
themselves to create. His subject, indeed--the laws by which human
belief and the inquisition of truth are to be governed and
directed--is both of that extensive and fundamental character, that it
would be treated with success only by one who knew how to resist the
temptations to digress, as well as how to apply himself with vigour to
the solution of the various questions that must rise before him.

    "This book," the author says in his preface, "makes no
    pretence of giving to the world a new theory of our
    intellectual operations. Its claim to attention, if it
    possess any, is grounded on the fact, that it is an
    attempt not to supersede, but to embody and systematize,
    the best ideas which have been either promulgated on its
    subject by speculative writers, or conformed to by
    accurate thinkers in their scientific enquiries.

    "To cement together the detached fragments of a subject,
    never yet treated as a whole; to harmonize the true
    portions of discordant theories, by supplying the links
    of thought necessary to connect them, and by
    disentangling them from the errors with which they are
    always more or less interwoven--must necessarily require
    a considerable amount of original speculation. To other
    originality than this, the present work lays no claim.
    In the existing state of the cultivation of the
    sciences, there would be a very strong presumption
    against any one who should imagine that he had effected
    a revolution in the theory of the investigation of
    truth, or added any fundamentally new process to the
    practice of it. The improvement which remains to be
    effected in the methods of philosophizing, [and the
    author believes that they have much need of
    improvement,] can only consist in performing, more
    systematically and accurately, operations with which, at
    least in their elementary form, the human intellect, in
    some one or other of its employments, is already

Such is the manly and modest estimate which the author makes of his
own labours, and the work fully bears out the character here given of
it. No one capable of receiving pleasure from the disentanglement of
intricacies, or the clear exposition of an abstruse subject; no one
seeking assistance in the acquisition of distinct and accurate views
on the various and difficult topics which these volumes embrace--can
fail to read them with satisfaction and with benefit.

To give a full account--to give any account--of a work which traverses
so wide a field of subject, would be here a futile attempt; we should,
after all our efforts, merely produce a laboured and imperfect
synopsis, which would in vain solicit the perusal of our readers. What
we purpose doing, is to take up, in the order in which they occur,
some of the topics on which Mr Mill has thrown a new light, or which
he has at least invested with a novel interest by the view he has
given of them. And as, in this selection of topics, we are not bound
to choose those which are most austere and repulsive, we hope that
such of our readers as are not deterred by the very name of logic,
will follow us with some interest through the several points of view,
and the various extracts we shall present to them.

_The Syllogism._--The logic of _Induction_, as that to which attention
has been least devoted, which has been least reduced to systematic
form, and which lies at the basis of all other modes of reasoning,
constitutes the prominent subject of these volumes. Nevertheless, the
old topic of logic proper, or deductive reasoning, is not omitted, and
the first passage to which we feel bound, on many accounts, to give
our attention, is the disquisition on the syllogism.

Fortunately for us it is not necessary, in order to convey the point
of our author's observations upon this head, to afflict our readers
with any dissertation upon _mode_ or _figure_, or other logical
technicalities. The first form or _figure_ of the syllogism (to which
those who have not utterly forgotten their scholastic discipline will
remember that all others may be reduced) is familiar to every one, and
to this alone we shall have occasion to refer.

    "All men are mortal.
    A king is a man;
    Therefore a king is mortal."

Who has not met--what young lady even, though but in her teens, has
not encountered some such charming triplet as this, which looks so
like verse at a distance, but, like some other compositions,
approximates nothing the more on this account to poetry? Who has not
learnt from such examples what is a _major_, what a _middle term_, and
what the _minor_ or conclusion?

As no one, in the present day, advises the adoption, in our
controversies, of the syllogistic forms of reasoning, it is evident
that the value of the syllogism must consist, not in its practical
use, but in the accurate type which it affords of the process of
reasoning, and in the analysis of that process which a full
understanding of it renders necessary. Such an analysis supplies, it
is said, an excellent discipline to the mind, whilst an occasional
reference to the form of the syllogism, as a type or model of
reasoning, insures a steadiness and pertinency of argument. But is the
syllogism, it has been asked, this veritable type of our reasoning?
Has the analysis which would explain it to be such, been accurately

Several of our northern metaphysicians, it is well known--as, for
example, Dr Campbell and Dugald Stewart--have laid rude hands upon the
syllogism. They have pronounced it to be a vain invention. They have
argued that no addition of knowledge, no advancement in the
acquisition of truth, no new conviction, can possibly be obtained
through its means, inasmuch as no syllogism can contain any thing in
the conclusion which was not admitted, at the outset, in the first or
major proposition. The syllogism always, say they, involves a _petitio
principii_. Admit the major, and the business is palpably at an end;
the rest is a mere circle, in which one cannot advance, but may get
giddy by the revolution. According to the exposition of logicians
themselves, we simply obtain by our syllogism, the privilege of saying
that, in the _minor_, of some individual of a class, which we had
said, in the _major_, already of the whole class.

Archbishop Whately, our most distinguished expositor and defender of
the Aristotelian logic, meets these antagonists with the resolute
assertion, that their objection to the syllogism is equally valid
against _all reasoning whatever_. He does not deny, but, on the
contrary, in common with every logician, distinctly states, that
whatever is concluded in the minor, must have been previously admitted
in the major, for in this lies the very force and compulsion of the
argument; but he maintains that the syllogism is the true type of all
our reasoning, and that therefore to all our reasoning, the very same
vice, the very same _petitio principii_, may be imputed. The
syllogism, he contends, (and apparently with complete success,) is but
a statement in full of what takes place mentally even in the most
rapid acts of reasoning. We often suppress the major for the sake of
brevity, but it is understood though not expressed; just as in the
same manner as we sometimes content ourselves with merely implying the
conclusion itself, because it is sufficiently evident without further
words. If any one should so far depart from common sense as to
question the mortality of some great king, we should think it
sufficient to say for all argument--the king is a man!--virtually
implying the whole triplet above mentioned:--

    "All men are mortal.
    The king is a man;
    Therefore the king is mortal."

"In pursuing the supposed investigation, (into the operation of
reasoning,)" says Archbishop Whately, "it will be found that every
conclusion is deduced, in reality, from two other propositions,
(thence called _Premisses_;) for though one of these may be and
commonly is suppressed, it must nevertheless be understood as
admitted, as may easily be made evident by supposing the _denial_ of
the suppressed premiss, which will at once invalidate the argument;
_e.g._ if any one, from perceiving that 'the world exhibits marks of
design,' infers that 'it must have had an intelligent author,' though
he may not be aware in his own mind of the existence of any other
premiss, he will readily understand, if it be _denied_ that 'whatever
exhibits marks of design must have had an intelligent author,' that
the affirmative of that proposition is necessary to the solidity of
the argument. An argument thus stated regularly and at full length, is
called a syllogism; which, therefore, is evidently not a peculiar
_kind of argument_, but only a peculiar _form_ of expression, in which
every argument may be stated."--_Whately's Logic_, p. 27.

"It will be found," he continues, "that all valid arguments whatever
may be easily reduced to such a form as that of the foregoing
syllogisms; and that consequently the principle on which they are
constructed is the UNIVERSAL PRINCIPLE of reasoning. So elliptical,
indeed, is the ordinary mode of expression, even of those who are
considered as prolix writers,--_i.e._ so much is implied and left to
be understood in the course of argument, in comparison of what is
actually stated, (most men being impatient, even to excess, of any
appearance of unnecessary and tedious formality of statement,) that a
single sentence will often be found, though perhaps considered as a
single argument, to contain, compressed into a short compass, a chain
of several distinct arguments. But if each of these be fully
developed, and the whole of what the author intended to imply be
stated expressly, it will be found that all the steps, even of the
longest and most complex train of reasoning, may be reduced into the
above form."--P. 32.

That it is not the office of the syllogism to discover _new_ truths,
our logician fully admits, and takes some pains to establish. This is
the office of "other operations of mind," not unaccompanied, however,
with acts of reasoning. Reasoning, argument, inference, (words which
he uses as synonymous,) have not for their object our advancement in
knowledge, or the acquisition of new truths.

"Much has been said," says Archbishop Whately, in another portion of
his work, "by some writers, of the superiority of the inductive to the
syllogistic methods of seeking truth, as if the two stood opposed to
each other; and of the advantage of substituting the _Organon_ of
Bacon for that of Aristotle, &c. &c., which indicates a total
misconception of the nature of both. There is, however, the more
excuse for the confusion of thought which prevails on this subject,
because eminent logical writers have treated, or at least have
appeared to treat, of induction as a kind of argument distinct from
the syllogism; which, if it were, it certainly might be contrasted
with the syllogism: or rather the whole syllogistic theory would fall
to the ground, since one of the very first principles it establishes,
is that _all_ reasoning, on whatever subject, is one and the same
process, which may be clearly exhibited in the form of syllogisms.

"This inaccuracy seems chiefly to have arisen from a vagueness in the
use of the word induction; which is sometimes employed to designate
the process of _investigation_ and of collecting facts, sometimes the
deducing an inference _from_ those facts. The former of these
processes (_viz._ that of observation and experiment) is undoubtedly
_distinct_ from that which takes place in the syllogism; but then it
is not a process of _argumentation_: the latter again _is_ an
argumentative process; but then it is, like all other arguments,
capable of being syllogistically expressed."--P. 263.

"To prove, then, this point demonstratively, (namely, that it is not
by a process of reasoning that new truths are brought to light,)
becomes on these data perfectly easy; for since all reasoning (in the
sense above defined) may be resolved into syllogisms; and since even
the objectors to logic make it a subject of complaint, that in a
syllogism the premises do virtually assert the conclusion, it follows
at once that no new truth (as above defined) can be elicited by any
process of reasoning.

"It is on this ground, indeed, that the justly celebrated author of
the _Philosophy of Rhetoric_ objects to the syllogism altogether, as
necessarily involving a _petitio principii_; an objection which, of
course, he would not have been disposed to bring forward, had he
perceived that, whether well or ill founded, _it lies against all
arguments whatever_. Had he been aware that the syllogism is no
distinct kind of argument otherwise than in form, but is, in fact,
_any_ argument whatever stated regularly and at full length, he would
have obtained a more correct view of the object of all reasoning;
_which is merely to expand and unfold the assertions wrapt up, as it
were, and implied in those with which we set out_, and to bring a
person to perceive and acknowledge the full force of that which he has
admitted; to contemplate it in various points of view; _to admit in
one shape what he has already admitted in another_, and to give up and
disallow whatever is inconsistent with it."--P. 273.

Now, what the Archbishop here advances appears convincing; his
position looks impregnable. The syllogism is not a peculiar mode of
reasoning, (how could it be?)--if any thing at all, it must be a
general formula for expressing the ordinary act of reasoning--and he
shows that the objections made by those who would impugn it, may be
levelled with equal justice against all ratiocination whatever. But
then this method of defending the syllogism, (to those of us who have
stood beside, in the character of modest enquirers, watching the
encounter of keen wits,) does but aggravate the difficulty. Is it
true, then, that in every act of reasoning, we do but conclude in one
form, what, the moment before, we had stated in another? Are we to
understand that such is the final result of the debate? If so, this
act of reasoning appears very little deserving of that estimation in
which it has been generally held. The great prerogative of intelligent
beings (as it has been deemed,) grants them this only--to "admit in
one shape what they had already admitted in another."

From the dilemma in which we are here placed, the Archbishop by no
means releases, or attempts to release us: he seems (something too
much after the manner and disposition generally attributed to masters
in logic-fence,) to have rested satisfied with foiling his opponents
in their attack upon the exact position he had bound himself to
defend. He saves the syllogism; what becomes, in the controversy, of
poor human reason itself, is not his especial concern--it is as much
their business as his. You do not, more than I, he virtually says to
his opponents, intend to resign all reasoning whatever as a mere
inanity; I prove, for my part, that all reasoning is capable of being
put into a syllogistic form, and that your objection, if valid against
the syllogism, is equally valid against all ratiocination. You must
therefore either withdraw your objection altogether, or advance it at
your peril; the difficulty is of your making, you must solve it as you
can. Gentlemen, you must muzzle your own dog.

In this posture of affairs the author of the present work comes to the
rescue. He shall speak in his own words. But we must premise, that
although we do not intend to stint him in our quotation--though we
wish to give him all the sea-room possible; yet, for a _full_
development of his views, we must refer the reader to his volumes
themselves. There are some disquisitions which precede the part we are
about to quote from, which, in order to do complete justice to the
subject, ought to find a place here, as well as in the author's
work--but it is impossible.

    "It is universally allowed, that a syllogism is vicious,
    if there be any thing more in the conclusion than was
    assumed in the premisses. But this is, in fact, to say,
    that nothing ever was, or can be, proved by syllogism,
    which was not known, or assumed to be known, before. Is
    ratiocination, then, not a process of inference? And is
    the syllogism, to which the word reasoning has so often
    been represented to be exclusively appropriate, not
    really entitled to be called reasoning at all? This
    seems an inevitable consequence of the doctrine,
    admitted by all writers on the subject, that a syllogism
    can prove no more than is involved in the premisses. Yet
    the acknowledgment so explicitly made, has not prevented
    one set of writers from continuing to represent the
    syllogism as the correct analysis of what the mind
    actually performs in discovering and proving the larger
    half of the truths, whether of science or of daily life,
    which we believe; while those who have avoided this
    inconsistency, and followed out the general theorem
    respecting the logical value of the syllogism to its
    legitimate corollary, have been led to impute
    uselessness and frivolity to the syllogistic theory
    itself, on the ground of the _petitio principii_ which
    they allege to be inherent in every syllogism. As I
    believe both these opinions to be fundamentally
    erroneous, I must request the attention of the reader to
    certain considerations, without which any just
    appreciation of the true character of the syllogism, and
    the functions it performs in philosophy, appears to me
    impossible; but which seem to me to have been overlooked
    or insufficiently adverted to, both by the defenders of
    the syllogistic theory, and by its assailants.

    "It must be granted, that in every syllogism, considered
    as an argument to prove the conclusion, there is a
    _petitio principii_. When we say--

        'All men are mortal.
        Socrates is a man;
        Socrates is mortal'--

    it is unanswerably urged by the adversaries of the
    syllogistic theory, that the proposition, Socrates is
    mortal, is presupposed in the more general assumption,
    All men are mortal; that we cannot be assured of the
    mortality of all men, unless we were previously certain
    of the mortality of every individual man; that if it be
    still doubtful whether Socrates, or any other individual
    you choose to name, be mortal or not, the same degree of
    uncertainty must hang over the assertion, All men are
    mortal; that the general principle, instead of being
    given as evidence of the particular case, cannot itself
    be taken for true without exception, until every shadow
    of doubt which could affect any case comprised with it,
    is dispelled by evidence _aliundè_, and then what
    remains for the syllogism to prove? that, in short, no
    reasoning from generals to particulars can, as such,
    prove any thing; since from a general principle you
    cannot infer any particulars, but those which the
    principle itself assumes as foreknown.

    "This doctrine is irrefragable; and if logicians, though
    unable to dispute it, have usually exhibited a strong
    disposition to explain it away, this was not because
    they could discover any flaw in the argument itself, but
    because the contrary opinion seemed to rest upon
    arguments equally indisputable. In the syllogism last
    referred to, for example, or in any of those which we
    previously constructed, is it not evident that the
    conclusion may, to the person to whom the syllogism is
    presented, be actually and _bona fide_ a new truth? Is
    it not matter of daily experience that truth previously
    undreamt of, facts which have not been, and cannot be,
    directly observed, are arrived at by way of general
    reasoning? We believe that the Duke of Wellington is
    mortal. We do not know this by direct observation, since
    he is not yet dead. If we were asked how, this being the
    case, we know the Duke to be mortal, we should probably
    answer, because all men are so. Here, therefore, we
    arrive at the knowledge of a truth not (as yet)
    susceptible of observation, by a reasoning which admits
    of being exhibited in the following syllogism--

            'All men are mortal.
        The Duke of Wellington is a man;
        The Duke of Wellington is mortal.'

    "And since a large portion of our knowledge is thus
    acquired, logicians have persisted in representing the
    syllogism as a process of inference or proof; although
    none of them has cleared up the difficulty which arises
    from the inconsistency between that assertion and the
    principle, that if there be any thing in the conclusion
    which was not already asserted in the premisses, the
    argument is vicious. For it is impossible to attach any
    serious scientific value to such a mere salvo, as the
    distinction drawn between being involved _by
    implication_ in the premisses, and being directly
    asserted in them. When Archbishop Whately, for example,
    says that the object of reasoning is 'merely to expand
    and unfold the assertions wrapt up, as it were, and
    implied in those with which we set out, and to bring a
    person to perceive and acknowledge the full force of
    that which he has admitted,' he does not, I think, meet
    the real difficulty requiring to be explained; namely,
    how it happens that a science like geometry _can_ be all
    'wrapt up' in a few definitions and axioms. Nor does
    this defence of the syllogism differ much from what its
    assailants urge against it as an accusation, when they
    charge it with being of no use except to those who seek
    to press the consequence of an admission into which a
    man has been entrapped, without having considered and
    understood its full force. When you admitted the major
    premiss, you asserted the conclusion, 'but,' says
    Archbishop Whately, 'you asserted it by implication
    merely; this, however, can here only mean that you
    asserted it unconsciously--that you did not know you
    were asserting it; but if so, the difficulty revives in
    this shape. Ought you not to have known? Were you
    warranted in asserting the general proposition without
    having satisfied yourself of the truth of every thing
    which it fairly includes? And if not, what, then, is the
    syllogistic art but a contrivance for catching you in a
    trap, and holding you fast in it?'

    "From this difficulty there appears to be but one issue.
    The proposition, that the Duke of Wellington is mortal,
    is evidently an inference, it is got at as a conclusion
    from something else; but do we, in reality, conclude it
    from the proposition--All men are mortal? I answer, No.

    "The error committed is, I conceive, that of overlooking
    the distinction between the two parts of the process of
    philosophizing--the inferring part and the registering
    part; and ascribing to the latter the functions of the
    former. The mistake is that of referring a man to his
    own notes for the _origin_ of his knowledge. If a man is
    asked a question, and is at the moment unable to answer
    it, he may refresh his memory by turning to a memorandum
    which he carries about with him. But if he were asked
    how the fact came to his knowledge, he would scarcely
    answer, because it was set down in his note-book.

    "Assuming that the proposition, The Duke of Wellington
    is mortal, is immediately an inference from the
    proposition, All men are mortal, whence do we derive our
    knowledge of that general truth? No supernatural aid
    being supposed, the answer must be, from observation.
    Now, all which men can observe are individual cases.
    From these all general truths must be drawn, and into
    these they may be again resolved; for a general truth is
    but an aggregate of particular truths--a comprehensive
    expression, by which an indefinite number of individual
    facts are affirmed or denied at once. But a general
    proposition is not merely a compendious form for
    recording and preserving in the memory a number of
    particular facts, all of which have been observed.
    Generalization is not a process of mere naming, it is
    also a process of inference. From instances which we
    have observed, we feel warranted in concluding, that
    what we found true in those instances holds in all
    similar ones--past, present, and future, however
    numerous they may be. We, then, by that valuable
    contrivance of language, which enables us to speak of
    many as if they were one, record all that we have
    observed, together with all that we infer from our
    observations, in one concise expression; and have thus
    only one proposition, instead of an endless number, to
    remember or to communicate. The results of many
    observations and inferences, and instructions for making
    innumerable inferences in unforeseen cases, are
    compressed into one short sentence.

    "When, therefore, we conclude, from the death of John
    and Thomas, and every other person we ever heard of in
    whose case the experiment had been fairly tried, that
    the Duke of Wellington is mortal like the rest, we may,
    indeed, pass through the generalization, All men are
    mortal, as an intermediate stage; but it is not in the
    latter half of the process--the descent from all men to
    the Duke of Wellington--that the _inference_ resides.
    The inference is finished when we have asserted that all
    men are mortal. What remains to be performed afterwards
    is merely deciphering our own notes.

    "Archbishop Whately has contended, that syllogizing, or
    reasoning from generals to particulars, is not,
    agreeably to the vulgar idea, a peculiar mode of
    reasoning, but the philosophical analysis of the mode in
    which all men reason, and must do so if they reason at
    all. With the deference due to so high an authority, I
    cannot help thinking that the vulgar notion is, in this
    case, the more correct. If, from our experience of John,
    Thomas, &c. who once were living, but are now dead, we
    are entitled to conclude that all human beings are
    mortal, we might surely, without any logical
    inconsequence, have concluded at once, from those
    instances, that the Duke Wellington is mortal. The
    mortality of John, Thomas, and Company, is, after all,
    the whole evidence we have for the mortality of the Duke
    of Wellington. Not one iota is added to the proof by
    interpolating a general proposition. Since the
    individual cases are all the evidence we can possess;
    evidence which no logical form into which we choose to
    throw it can make greater than it is; and since that
    evidence is either sufficient in itself, or, if
    insufficient for one purpose, cannot be sufficient for
    the other; I am unable to see why we should be forbidden
    to take the shortest cut from these sufficient premisses
    to the conclusion, and constrained to travel the 'high
    _priori_ road' by the arbitrary fiat of logicians. I
    cannot perceive why it should be impossible to journey
    from one place to another, unless 'we march up a hill
    and then march down again.' It may be the safest road,
    and there may be a resting-place at the top of the hill,
    affording a commanding view of the surrounding country;
    but for the mere purpose of arriving at our journey's
    end, our taking that road is perfectly optional: it is a
    question of time, trouble, and danger.

    "Not only _may_ we reason from particulars to
    particulars, without passing through generals, but we
    perpetually do so reason. All our earliest inferences
    are of this nature. From the first dawn of intelligence
    we draw inferences; but years elapse before we learn the
    use of general language. The child who, having burnt his
    fingers, avoids to thrust them again into the fire, has
    reasoned or inferred, though he has never thought of the
    general maxim--fire burns. He knows from memory that he
    has been burnt, and on this evidence believes, when he
    sees a candle, that if he puts his finger into the flame
    of it, he will be burnt again. He believes this in every
    case which happens to arise; but without looking, in
    each instance, beyond the present case. He is not
    generalizing; he is inferring a particular from
    particulars.--Vol. I. p. 244.

    "From the considerations now adduced, the following
    conclusions seem to be established:--All inference is
    from particulars to particulars: General propositions
    are merely registers of such inferences already made,
    and short formulæ for making more: The major premiss of
    a syllogism, consequently, is a formula of this
    description; and the conclusion is not an inference
    drawn _from_ the formula, but an inference drawn
    _according to_ the formula: the real logical antecedent,
    or premisses being _the particular facts from which the
    general proposition was collected by induction_. * * *

    "In the above observations, it has, I think, been
    clearly shown, that although there is always a process
    of reasoning or inference where a syllogism is used, the
    syllogism is not a correct analysis of that process of
    reasoning or inference; which is, on the contrary, (when
    not a mere inference from testimony,) an inference from
    particulars to particulars; authorized by a previous
    inference from particulars to generals, and
    substantially the same with it: of the nature,
    therefore, of Induction. But while these conclusions
    appear to me undeniable, I must yet enter a protest, as
    strong as that of Archbishop Whately himself, against
    the doctrine that the syllogistic art is useless for the
    purposes of reasoning. The reasoning lies in the act of
    generalisation, not in interpreting the record of that
    act; but the syllogistic form is all indispensable
    collateral security for the correctness of the
    generalisation itself."--P. 259.

By this explanation we are released from the dilemma into which the
syllogistic and non-syllogistic party had together thrown us. We can
acknowledge that the process of reason can be always exhibited in the
form of a syllogism, and yet not be driven to the strange and
perplexing conclusion that our reasoning can never conduct us to a new
truth, never lead us further than to admit in one shape what we had
already admitted in another. We have, or may have, it is true, a
_major_ in all our ratiocination, implied, if not expressed, and are
so far syllogistic; but then the real premiss from which we reason is
the amount of experience on which that major was founded, to which
amount of experience we, in fact, made an addition in our _minor_, or

But while we accept this explanation, and are grateful for the
deliverance it works for us, we must also admit, (and we are not aware
that Mr Mill would controvert this admission,) that there is a large
class of cases in which our reasoning betrays no reference to this
anterior experience, and where the usual explanation given by teachers
of logic is perfectly applicable; cases where our object is, not the
discovery of truth for ourselves, but to convince another of his
error, by showing him that the proposition, which in his blindness or
prejudice he has chosen to contradict, is part and parcel of some
other proposition to which he has given, and is at all times ready to
give, his acquiescence. In such cases, we frequently content ourselves
with throwing before him this alternative--refuse your _major_, to
which you have again and again assented, or accept, as involved in it,
our _minor_ proposition, which you have persisted in controverting.

It will have been gathered from the foregoing train of observation,
that, in direct contradistinction to Archbishop Whately, who had
represented induction (so far as it consisted of an act of
ratiocination) as resolvable into deductive and syllogistic reasoning,
our author has resolved the syllogism, and indeed all deductive
reasoning whatever, ultimately into examples of induction. In doing
this, he is encountered by a metaphysical notion very prevalent in the
present day, which lies across his path, and which he has to remove.
We allude to the distinction between contingent and necessary truths;
it being held by many philosophical writers that all necessary and
universal truths owe their origin, not to experience (except as
_occasion_ of their development,) and not, consequently, to the
ordinary process of induction, but flow from higher sources--flow
immediately from some supreme faculty to which the name of reason has
by some been exclusively appropriated, in order to distinguish it from
the understanding, the faculty judging according to sense. We will
pause a while upon this topic.

_Contingent and Necessary Truths._--Those who have read Mr Whewell's
treatise on the _Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences_, will remember
that there is no topic which that author labours more sedulously to
inculcate than this same distinction between contingent and necessary
truths; and it is against his statement of the doctrine in question,
that Mr Mill directs his observations. Perhaps the controverted tenets
would have sustained a more equal combat under the auspices of a more
practised and more complete metaphysician than Mr Whewell; but a
difficulty was probably experienced in finding a statement in any
other well-known English author full and explicit. Referring ourselves
to Mr Whewell's volumes for an extract, in order to give the
distinction here contended against the advantage of an exposition in
the words of one who upholds it, we are embarrassed by the number
which offer themselves. From many we select the following statement:--

"Experience," says Mr Whewell, "must always consist of a limited
number of observations. And, however numerous these may be, they can
show nothing with regard to the infinite number of cases in which the
experiment has not been made. Experience, being thus unable to prove a
fact to be universal, is, as will readily be seen, still more
incapable of proving a fact to be necessary. Experience cannot,
indeed, offer the smallest ground for the necessity of a proposition.
She can observe and record what has happened; but she cannot find, in
any case, or in any accumulation of cases, any reason for what _must_
happen. She may see objects side by side, but she cannot see a reason
why they must be ever side by side. She finds certain events to occur
in succession; but the succession supplies, in its occurrence, no
reason for its recurrence. She contemplates external objects; but she
cannot detect any internal bond which indissolubly connects the future
with the past, the possible with the real. To learn a proposition by
experience, and to see it to be necessarily true, are two altogether
different processes of thought.

"But it may be said, that we do learn, by means of observation and
experience, many universal truths; indeed, all the general truths of
which science consists. Is not the doctrine of universal gravitation
learned by experience? Are not the laws of motion, the properties of
light, the general properties of chemistry, so learned? How, with
these examples before us, can we say that experience teaches no
universal truths?

"To this we reply, that these truths can only be known to be
_general_, not universal, if they depend upon experience alone.
Experience cannot bestow that universality which she herself cannot
have, and that necessity of which she has no comprehension. If these
doctrines are universally true, this universality flows from the
_ideas_ which we apply to our experience, and which are, as we have
seen, the real sources of necessary truth. How far these ideas can
communicate their universality and necessity to the results of
experience, it will hereafter be our business to consider. It will
then appear, that when the mind collects from observation truths of a
wide and comprehensive kind, which approach to the simplicity and
universality of the truths of pure science; she gives them this
character by throwing upon them the light of her own fundamental
ideas."--_Whewell_, Vol. I. p. 60.

Accordingly, Mr Whewell no sooner arrives at any truth which admits of
an unconditional positive statement--a statement defying all rational
contradiction--than he abstracts it from amongst the acquisitions of
experience, and throwing over it, we suppose, the light of these
fundamental ideas, pronounces it enrolled in the higher class of
universal and necessary truths. The first laws of motion, though
established through great difficulties against the most obstinate
preconceptions, and by the aid of repeated experiments, are, when
surveyed in their present perfect form, proclaimed to be, not
acquisitions of experience, but truths emanating from a higher and
more mysterious origin.[2]

    [2] Necessary truths multiply on us very fast. "We
    maintain," says Mr Whewell, "that this equality of
    _mechanical action and reaction_ is one of the
    principles which do not flow from, but regulate, our
    experience. A mechanical pressure, not accompanied by an
    equal and opposite pressure, can no more be given by
    experience than two unequal right angles. With the
    supposition of such inequalities, space ceases to be
    space, form ceases to be form, matter ceases to be
    matter." And again he says, "_That the parallelogram of
    forces is a necessary truth_;" a law of motion of which
    we surely can _conceive_ its opposite to be true. In
    some of these instances Mr Whewell appears, by a
    confusion of thought, to have given to the _physical
    fact_ the character of necessity which resides in the
    mathematical formula employed for its expression.
    Whether a moving body would communicate motion to
    another body--whether it would lose its own motion by so
    doing--or what would be the result if a body were struck
    by two other bodies moving in different directions--are
    questions which, if they could be asked us prior to
    experience, we could give no answer whatever to--which
    we can easily conceive to admit of a quite different
    answer to that which experience has taught us to give.

This distinction, which assigns a different mental origin to truths,
simply because (from the nature of the subject-matter, as it seems to
us) there is a difference with regard to the sort of certainty we feel
of them, has always appeared to us most unphilosophical. It is
admitted that we arrive at a general proposition through experience;
there is no room, therefore, for quibbling as to the meaning of the
term experience--it is understood that when we speak of a truth being
derived from experience, we imply the usual exercise of our mental
faculties; it is the step from a general to a universal proposition
which alone occasions this perplexing distinction. The dogma is
this--that experience can only teach us by a limited number of
examples, and therefore can never establish a universal proposition.
But if _all_ experience is in favour of a proposition--if no
experience has occurred even to enable the imagination to conceive its
opposite, what more can be required to convert the general into a
universal proposition?

Strange to say, the attribution of these characteristics of
universality and necessity, becomes, amongst those who loudly insist
upon the palpable nature of the distinction we are now examining, a
matter of controversy; and there are a class of scientific truths, of
which it is debated whether they are contingent or necessary. The
only test that they belong to the latter order is, the impossibility
of conceiving their opposites to be the truth; and it seems that men
find a great difference in their powers of conception, and that what
is impossible with one is possible with another. But (wisely, too)
passing this over, and admitting that there is a distinction (though
a very ill-defined one) between the several truths we entertain of
this nature; namely, that some we find it impossible, even in
imagination, to contradict, whilst of others we can suppose it
possible that they should cease to be truths--does it follow that
different faculties of the mind are engaged in the acquisition of
them? Does nothing depend on the nature of the subject itself? "That
two sides of a triangle," says Mr Whewell, "are greater than the
third, is a universal and necessary geometrical truth; it is true of
all triangles; it is true in such a way that the contrary cannot be
conceived. _Experience could not prove such a proposition._"
Experience is allowed to prove it of this or that triangle, but not
as an inseparable property of a triangle. We are at a loss to
perceive why the same faculties of the mind that can judge, say of
the properties of animal life, of organized beings, cannot judge of
the properties of a figure--properties which must immediately be
conceived to exist the moment the figure is presented to the
imagination. We say, for instance, of any animal, not because it is
this or that animal, a sheep or an ox, but simply _as_ animal, that
it must sustain itself by food, by the process of assimilation. This,
however, is merely a contingent truth, because it is in our power to
conceive of organized beings whose substance shall not wear away, and
consequently shall not need perpetual restoration. But what faculty
of the mind is unemployed here that is engaged in perceiving the
property of a triangle, that _as_ triangle, it must have two sides
greater than the third? The truths elicited in the two cases have a
difference, inasmuch as a triangle differs from an animal in this,
that it is impossible to conceive other triangles than those to which
your truth is applicable, and therefore the proposition relating to
the triangle is called a necessary truth. But surely this difference
lies in the subject-matter, not in the nature of our mental

But we had not intended to interpose our own lucubrations in the place
of those of Mr Mill.

    "Although Mr Whewell," says our author, "has naturally
    and properly employed a variety of phrases to bring his
    meaning more forcibly home, he will, I presume, allow
    that they are all equivalent; and that what he means by
    a necessary truth, would be sufficiently defined, a
    proposition the negation of which is not only false, but
    inconceivable. I am unable to find in any of Mr
    Whewell's expressions, turn them what way you will, a
    meaning beyond this, and I do not believe he would
    contend that they mean any thing more.

    "This, therefore, is the principle asserted: that
    propositions, the negation of which is inconceivable, or
    in other words, which we cannot figure to ourselves as
    being false, must rest upon evidence of higher and more
    cogent description than any which experience can afford.
    And we have next to consider whether there is any ground
    for this assertion.

    "Now, I cannot but wonder that so much stress should be
    laid upon the circumstance of inconceivableness, when
    there is such ample experience to show that our capacity
    or incapacity for conceiving a thing has very little to
    do with the possibility of the thing in itself; but is
    in truth very much an affair of accident, and depends
    upon the past habits and history of our own minds. There
    is no more generally acknowledged fact in human nature,
    than the extreme difficulty at first felt in conceiving
    any thing as possible, which is in contradiction to
    long-established and familiar experience, or even to old
    and familiar habits of thought. And this difficulty is a
    necessary result of the fundamental laws of the human
    mind. When we have often seen and thought of two things
    together, and have never, in any one instance, either
    seen or thought of them separately, there is by the
    primary law of association an increasing difficulty,
    which in the end becomes insuperable, of conceiving the
    two things apart. This is most of all conspicuous in
    uneducated persons, who are, in general, utterly unable
    to separate any two ideas which have once become firmly
    associated in their minds, and, if persons of cultivated
    intellect have any advantage on the point, it is only
    because, having seen and heard and read more, and being
    more accustomed to exercise their imagination, they
    have experienced their sensations and thoughts in more
    varied combinations, and have been prevented from
    forming many of these inseparable associations. But this
    advantage has necessarily its limits. The man of the
    most practised intellect is not exempt from the
    universal laws of our conceptive faculty. If daily habit
    presents to him for a long period two facts in
    combination, and if he is not led, during that period,
    either by accident or intention, to think of them apart,
    he will in time become incapable of doing so, even by
    the strongest effort; and the supposition, that the two
    facts can be separated in nature, will at last present
    itself to his mind with all the characters of an
    inconceivable phenomenon. There are remarkable instances
    of this in the history of science; instances in which
    the wisest men rejected as impossible, because
    inconceivable, things which their posterity, by earlier
    practice, and longer perseverance in the attempt, found
    it quite easy to conceive, and which every body now
    knows to be true. There was a time when men of the most
    cultivated intellects, and the most emancipated from the
    dominion of early prejudice, could not credit the
    existence of antipodes; were unable to conceive, in
    opposition to old association, the force of gravity
    acting upwards instead of downwards. The Cartesians long
    rejected the Newtonian doctrine of the gravitation of
    all bodies towards one another, on the faith of a
    general proposition, the reverse of which seemed to them
    to be inconceivable--the proposition, that a body cannot
    act where it is not. All the cumbrous machinery of
    imaginary vortices, assumed without the smallest
    particle of evidence, appeared to these philosophers a
    more rational mode of explaining the heavenly motions,
    than one which involved what appeared to them so great
    an absurdity. And they, no doubt, found it as impossible
    to conceive that a body should act upon the earth at the
    distance of the sun or moon, as we find it to conceive
    an end to space or time, or two straight lines inclosing
    a space. Newton himself had not been able to realize the
    conception, or we should not have had his hypothesis of
    a subtle ether, the occult cause of gravitation; and his
    writings prove, that although he deemed the particular
    nature of the intermediate agency a matter of
    conjecture, the necessity of _some_ such agency appeared
    to him indubitable. It would seem that, even now, the
    majority of scientific men have not completely got over
    this very difficulty; for though they have at last
    learned to conceive the sun _attracting_ the earth
    without any intervening fluid, they cannot yet conceive
    the sun _illuminating_ the earth without some such

    "If, then, it be so natural to the human mind, even in
    its highest state of culture, to be incapable of
    conceiving, and on that ground to believe impossible,
    what is afterwards not only found to be conceivable, but
    proved to be true; what wonder if, in cases where the
    association is still older, more confirmed, and more
    familiar, and in which nothing even occurs to shake our
    conviction, or even to suggest to us any conception at
    variance with the association, the acquired incapacity
    should continue, and be mistaken for a natural
    incapacity? It is true our experience of the varieties
    in nature enables us, within certain limits, to conceive
    other varieties analogous to them. We can conceive the
    sun or moon falling, for although we never saw them
    fall, nor ever perhaps imagined them falling, we have
    seen so many other things fall, that we have innumerable
    familiar analogies to assist the conception; which,
    after all, we should probably have some difficulty in
    framing, were we not well accustomed to see the sun and
    moon move, (or appear to move,) so that we are only
    called upon to conceive a slight change in the direction
    of motion, a circumstance familiar to our experience.
    But when experience affords no model on which to shape
    the new conception, how is it possible for us to form
    it? How, for example, can we imagine an end to space and
    time? We never saw any object without something beyond
    it, nor experienced any feeling without something
    following it. When, therefore, we attempt to conceive
    the last point of space, we have the idea irresistibly
    raised of other points beyond it. When we try to imagine
    the last instant of time, we cannot help conceiving
    another instant after it. Nor is there any necessity to
    assume, as is done by the school to which Mr Whewell
    belongs, a peculiar fundamental law of the mind to
    account for the feeling of infinity inherent in our
    conception of space and time; that apparent infinity is
    sufficiently accounted for by simple and universally
    acknowledged laws."--Vol. I. p. 313.

Mr Mill does not deny that there exists a distinction, as regards
ourselves, between certain truths (namely, that of some, we cannot
conceive them to be other than truths,) but he sets no value on this
distinction, inasmuch as there is no proof that it has its counterpart
in things themselves; the impossibility of a thing being by no means
measured by our inability to conceive it. And we may observe, that Mr
Whewell, in consistency with the metaphysical doctrine upon space and
time which he has borrowed from Kant, ought, under another shape, to
entertain a similar doubt as to whether this distinction represent any
real distinction in the nature of things. He considers, with Kant,
that space is only that _form_ with which the human mind invests
things--that it has no other than this merely mental existence--is
purely subjective. Presuming, therefore, that the mind is, from its
constitution, utterly and for ever unable to conceive the opposite of
certain truths, (those, for instance, of geometry;) yet as the
existence of space itself is but a subjective truth, it must follow
that all other truths relating to it are subjective also. The mind is
not conversant with things in themselves, in the truths even of
geometry; nor is there any positive objective truth in one department
of science more than another. Mr Whewell, therefore, though he
advocates this distinction between necessary and contingent truth with
a zeal which would seem to imply that something momentous, or of
peculiar interest, was connected with it, can advocate it only as a
matter of abstract metaphysical science. He cannot participate in that
feeling of exaltation and mystery which has led many to expatiate upon
a necessary and absolute truth which the Divine Power itself cannot
alter, which is equally irresistible, equally binding and compulsory,
with God as with man. Of this spirit of philosophical enthusiasm Mr
Whewell cannot partake. Space and Time, with all their properties and
phenomena, are but recognized as the modes of thought of a human

We have marked a number of passages for annotation and extract--a far
greater number than we can possibly find place for alluding to. One
subject, however, which lies at the very basis of all our science, and
which has received a proportionate attention from Mr Mill, must not be
amongst those which are passed over. We mean the law of _Causation_.
What should be described as the complete and adequate notion of a
cause, we need not say is one of the moot points of philosophy.
According to one school of metaphysicians, there is in our notion of
cause an element not derived from experience, which, it is confessed
on all hands, can teach us only the _succession_ of events. Cause,
with them, is that invisible power, that mysterious bond, which this
succession does but signify: with other philosophers this succession
constitutes the whole of any intelligible notion we have of cause. The
latter opinion is that of Mr Mill; at the same time the question is
one which lies beyond or beside the scope of his volumes. He is
concerned only with phenomena, not with the knowledge (if such there
be) of "things in themselves;" that part, therefore, of our idea of
cause which, according to all systems of philosophy, is won from
experience, and concerns phenomena alone, is sufficient for his
purpose. That every event has a cause, that is, a previous and
uniformly previous event, and that whatever has happened will, in the
like circumstances, happen again--these are the assumptions necessary
to science, and these no one will dispute.

Mr Mill has made a happy addition to the usual definition of cause
given by that class of metaphysicians to which he himself belongs, and
which obviates a plausible objection urged against it by Dr Reid and
others. These have argued, that if cause be nothing more than
invariable antecedence, then night may be said to be the cause of day,
for the one invariably precedes the other. Day does succeed to night,
but only on certain conditions--namely, that the sun rise. "The
succession," observes Mr Mill, "which is equivalent and synonymous to
cause, must be not only invariable but unconditional. We may define,
therefore," says our author, "the cause of a phenomenon to be the
antecedent, or the concurrence of antecedents, upon which it is
invariably and _unconditionally_ consequent."--Vol. I. p. 411.

A dilemma may be raised of this kind. The universality of the law of
causation--in other words, the uniform course of nature--is the
fundamental principle on which all induction proceeds, the great
premise on which all our science is founded. But if this law itself be
the result only of experience, itself only a great instance of
induction, so long as nature presents cases requiring investigation,
where the causes are unknown to us, so long the law itself is
imperfectly established. How, then, can this law be a guide and a
premiss in the investigations of science, when those investigations
are necessary to complete the proof of the law itself? How can this
principle accompany and authorise every step we take in science, which
itself needs confirmation so long as a process of induction remains to
be performed? Or how can this law be established by a series of
inductions, in making which it has been taken for granted?

Objections which wear the air of a quibble have often this
advantage--they put our knowledge to the test. The obligation to find
a complete answer clears up our own conceptions. The observations
which Mr Mill makes on this point, we shall quote at length. They are
taken from his chapter on the _Evidence of the Law of Universal
Causation_; the views in which are as much distinguished for boldness
as for precision.

After having said, that in all the several methods of induction the
universality of the law of causation is assumed, he continues:--

    "But is this assumption warranted? Doubtless (it may be
    said) _most_ phenomena are connected as effects with
    some antecedent or cause--that is, are never produced
    unless some assignable fact has preceded them; but the
    very circumstance, that complicated processes of
    induction are sometimes necessary, shows that cases
    exist in which this regular order of succession is not
    apparent to our first and simplest apprehension. If,
    then, the processes which bring these cases within the
    same category with the rest, require that we should
    assume the universality of the very law which they do
    not at first sight appear to exemplify, is not this a
    real _petitio principii_? Can we prove a proposition by
    an argument which takes it for granted? And, if not so
    proved, on what evidence does it rest?

    "For this difficulty, which I have purposely stated in
    the strongest terms it would admit of, the school of
    metaphysicians, who have long predominated in this
    country, find a ready salvo. They affirm that the
    universality of causation is a truth which we cannot
    help believing; that the belief in it is an instinct,
    one of the laws of our believing faculty. As the proof
    of this they say, and they have nothing else to say,
    that every body _does_ believe it; and they number it
    among the propositions, rather numerous in their
    catalogue, which may be logically argued against, and
    perhaps cannot be logically proved, but which are of
    higher authority than logic, and which even he who
    denies in speculation, shows by his habitual practice
    that his arguments make no impression on himself.

    "I have no intention of entering into the merits of this
    question, as a problem of transcendental metaphysics.
    But I must renew my protest against adducing, as
    evidence of the truth of a fact in external nature, any
    necessity which the human mind may be conceived to be
    under of believing it. It is the business of human
    intellect to adapt itself to the realities of things,
    and not to measure those realities by its own capacities
    of comprehension. The same quality which fits mankind
    for the offices and purposes of their own little life,
    the tendency of their belief to follow their experience,
    incapacitates them for judging of what lies beyond. Not
    only what man can know, but what he can conceive,
    depends upon what he has experienced. Whatever forms a
    part of all his experience, forms a part also of all his
    conceptions, and appears to him universal and necessary,
    though really, for aught he knows, having no existence
    beyond certain narrow limits. The habit, however, of
    philosophical analysis, of which it is the surest effect
    to enable the mind to command, instead of being
    commanded by, the laws of the merely passive part of its
    own nature, and which, by showing to us that things are
    not necessarily connected in fact because their ideas
    are connected in our minds, is able to loosen
    innumerable associations which reign despotically over
    the undisciplined mind; this habit is not without power
    even over those associations which the philosophical
    school, of which I have been speaking, regard as connate
    and instinctive. I am convinced that any one accustomed
    to abstraction and analysis, who will fairly exert his
    faculties for the purpose, will, when his imagination
    has once learned to entertain the notion, find no
    difficulty in conceiving that in some one, for instance,
    of the many firmaments into which sidereal astronomy now
    divides the universe, events may succeed one another at
    random, without any fixed law; nor can any thing in our
    experience, or in our mental nature, constitute a
    sufficient, or indeed any, reason for believing that
    this is nowhere the case. The grounds, therefore, which
    warrant us in rejecting such a supposition with respect
    to any of the phenomena of which we have experience,
    must be sought elsewhere than in any supposed necessity
    of our intellectual faculties.

    "As was observed in a former place, the belief we
    entertain in the universality, throughout nature, of the
    law of cause and effect, is itself an instance of
    induction; and by no means one of the earliest which any
    of us, or which mankind in general, can have made. We
    arrive at this universal law by generalisation from many
    laws of inferior generality. The generalising propensity
    which, instinctive or not, is one of the most powerful
    principles of our nature, does not indeed wait for the
    period when such a generalisation becomes strictly
    legitimate. The mere unreasoning propensity to expect
    what has been often experienced, doubtless led men to
    believe that every thing had a cause, before they could
    have conclusive evidence of that truth. But even this
    cannot be supposed to have happened until many cases of
    causation, or, in other words, many partial uniformities
    of sequence, had become familiar. The more obvious of
    the particular uniformities suggest and prove the
    general uniformity; and that general uniformity, once
    established, enables us to prove the remainder of the
    particular uniformities of which it is made up. * * *

    "With respect to the general law of causation, it does
    appear that there must have been a time when the
    universal prevalence of that law throughout nature could
    not have been affirmed in the same confident and
    unqualified manner as at present. There was a time when
    many of the phenomena of nature must have appeared
    altogether capricious and irregular, not governed by any
    laws, nor steadily consequent upon any causes. Such
    phenomena, indeed, were commonly, in that early stage of
    human knowledge, ascribed to the direct intervention of
    the will of some supernatural being, and therefore still
    to a cause. This shows the strong tendency of the human
    mind to ascribe every phenomenon to some cause or other;
    but it shows also that experience had not, at that time,
    pointed out any regular order in the occurrence of those
    particular phenomena, nor proved them to be, as we now
    know that they are, dependent upon prior phenomena as
    their proximate causes. There have been sects of
    philosophers who have admitted what they termed Chance
    as one of the agents in the order of nature by which
    certain classes of events were entirely regulated; which
    could only mean that those events did not occur in any
    fixed order, or depend upon uniform laws of causation.
    * * *

    "The progress of experience, therefore, has dissipated
    the doubt which must have rested upon the universality
    of the law of causation, while there were phenomena
    which seemed to be _sui generis_; not subject to the
    same laws with any other class of phenomena, and not as
    yet ascertained to have peculiar laws of their own. This
    great generalisation, however, might reasonably have
    been, as it in fact was by all great thinkers, acted
    upon as a probability of the highest order, before there
    were sufficient grounds for receiving it as a certainty.
    For, whatever has been found true in innumerable
    instances, and never found to be false after due
    examination in any, we are safe in acting upon as
    universal provisionally, until an undoubted exception
    appears; provided the nature of the case be such that a
    real exception could scarcely have escaped our notice.
    When every phenomenon that we ever knew sufficiently
    well to be able to answer the question, had a cause on
    which it was invariably consequent, it was more rational
    to suppose that our inability to assign the causes of
    other phenomena arose from our ignorance, than that
    there were phenomena which were uncaused, and which
    happened accidentally to be exactly those which we had
    hitherto had no sufficient opportunity of
    studying."--Vol. II. p. 108.

_Hypotheses._--Mr Mill's observations on the use of hypotheses in
scientific investigation, except that they are characterized by his
peculiar distinctness and accuracy of thought, do not differ from the
views generally entertained by writers on the subject. We are induced
to refer to the topic, to point out what seems to us a harsh measure
dealt out to the undulatory theory of light--harsh when compared with
the reception given to a theory of Laplace, having for its object to
account for the origin of the planetary system.

We had occasion to quote a passage from Mr Mill, in which he remarks
that the majority of scientific men seem not yet to have completely
got over the difficulty of conceiving matter to act (contrary to the
old maxim) where it is not; "for though," he says, "they have at last
learned to conceive the sun _attracting_ the earth without any
intervening fluid, they cannot yet conceive the sun _illuminating_ the
earth without some such medium." But it is not only this difficulty
(which doubtless, however, is felt) of conceiving the sun illuminating
the earth without any medium by which to communicate its influence,
which leads to the construction of the hypothesis, either of an
undulating ether, or of emitted particles. The analogy of the other
senses conducts us almost irresistibly to the imagination of some such
medium. The nerves of sense are, apparently, in all cases that we can
satisfactorily investigate, affected by contact, by impulse. The nerve
of sight itself, we know, when touched or pressed upon, gives out the
sensation of light. These reasons, in the first place, conduct us to
the supposition of some medium, having immediate communication with
the eye; which medium, though we are far from saying that its
existence is established, is rendered probable by the explanation it
affords of optical phenomena. At the same time it is evident that the
hypothesis of an undulating ether, assumes a fluid or some medium, the
existence of which cannot be directly ascertained. Thus stands the
hypothesis of a luminiferous ether--in what must be allowed to be a
very unsatisfactory condition. But a condition, we think, very
superior to the astronomical speculation of Laplace, which Mr Mill,
after scrutinizing the preceding hypothesis with the utmost
strictness, is disposed to treat with singular indulgence.

    "The speculation is," we may as well quote throughout Mr
    Mill's words, "that the atmosphere of the sun originally
    extended to the present limits of the solar system: from
    which, by the process of cooling, it has contracted to
    its present dimensions; and since, by the general
    principles of mechanics, the rotation of the sun and its
    accompanying atmosphere must increase as rapidly as its
    volume diminishes, the increased centrifugal force
    generated by the more rapid rotation, overbalancing the
    action of gravitation, would cause the sun to abandon
    successive rings of vaporous matter, which are supposed
    to have condensed by cooling, and to have become our

    "There is in this theory," Mr Mill proceeds, "no unknown
    substance introduced upon supposition, nor any unknown
    property or law ascribed to a known substance. The known
    laws of matter authorize us to suppose, that a body
    which is constantly giving out so large an amount of
    heat as the sun is, must be progressively cooling, and
    that by the process of cooling it must contract; if,
    therefore, we endeavour, from the present state of that
    luminary, to infer its state in a time long past, we
    must necessarily suppose that its atmosphere extended
    much further than at present, and we are entitled to
    suppose that it extended as far as we can trace those
    effects which it would naturally leave behind it on
    retiring; and such the planets are. These suppositions
    being made, it follows from known laws that successive
    zones of the solar atmosphere would be abandoned; that
    these would continue to revolve round the sun with the
    same velocity as when they formed part of his substance,
    and that they would cool down, long before the sun
    himself, to any given temperature, and consequently to
    that at which the greater part of the vaporous matter of
    which they consisted would become liquid or solid. The
    known law of gravitation would then cause them to
    agglomerate in masses, which would assume the shape our
    planets actually exhibit; would acquire, each round its
    own axis, a rotatory movement; and would in that state
    revolve, as the planets actually do, about the sun, in
    the same direction with the sun's rotation, but with
    less velocity, and each of them in the same periodic
    time which the sun's rotation occupied when his
    atmosphere extended to that point; and this also M.
    Comte has, by the necessary calculations, ascertained to
    be true, within certain small limits of error. There is
    thus in Laplace's theory nothing hypothetical; it is an
    example of legitimate reasoning from a present effect to
    its past cause, according to the known laws of that
    case; it assumes nothing more than that objects which
    really exist, obey the laws which are known to be obeyed
    by all terrestrial objects resembling them."--Vol. II.
    p. 27.

Now, it seems to us that there is quite as much of hypothesis in this
speculation of Laplace as in the undulatory theory of light. This
atmosphere of the sun extending to the utmost limits of our planetary
system! What proof have we that it ever existed? what possible
grounds have we for believing, what motive even for imagining such a
thing, but the very same description of proof given and rejected for
the existence of a luminiferous ether--namely, that it enables us to
explain certain events supposed to result from it? Nor is the thing
here imagined any the less a novelty, because it bears the old name of
an atmosphere. An atmosphere containing in itself all the various
materials which compose our earth, and whatever else may enter into
the composition of the other planets, is as violent a supposition as
an ether, not perceptible to the senses except by its influence on the
nerves of sight. And this cooling down of the sun! What fact in our
experience enables us to advance such a supposition? We might as well
say that the sun was getting hotter every year, or harder or softer,
or larger or smaller. Surely Mr Mill could not have been serious when
he says, that "the known laws of matter authorize us to suppose, that
a body which is constantly _giving out so large an amount of heat_ as
the sun is, must be progressively cooling"--knowing, as we do, as
little how the sun occasions heat as how it produces light. Neither
can it be contended that because no absolutely new substance, or new
property of matter, is introduced, but a fantastic conception is
framed out of known substances and known properties, that therefore
there is less of rash conjecture in the supposition. In fine, it must
be felt by every one who reads the account of this speculation of
Laplace, that the only evidence which produces the least effect upon
his mind, is the corroboration which it receives from the calculations
of the mathematician--a species of proof which Mr Mill himself would
not estimate very highly.

Many are the topics which are made to reflect a new light as Mr Mill
passes along his lengthened course; we might quote as instances, his
chapters on _Analogy_ and the _Calculation of Chances_: and many are
the grave and severe discussions that would await us were we to
proceed to the close of his volumes, especially to that portion of his
work where he applies the canons of science to investigations which
relate to human nature and the characters of men. But enough for the
present. We repeat, in concluding, the same sentiment that we
expressed at the commencement, that such a work as this goes far to
redeem the literature of our age from the charge of frivolity and
superficiality. Those who have been trained in a different school of
thinking, those who have adopted the metaphysics of the transcendental
philosophy, will find much in these volumes to dissent from; but no
man, be his pretensions or his tenets what they may, who has been
accustomed to the study of philosophy, can fail to recognize and
admire in this author that acute, patient, enlarged, and persevering
thought, which gives to him who possesses it the claim and right to
the title of philosopher. There are few men who--applying it to his
own species of excellence--might more safely repeat the _Io sono
anche!_ of the celebrated Florentine.


People are fond of talking of the hereditary feuds of Italy--the
factions of the Capulets and Montagues, the Orsini and Colonne--and,
more especially, of the memorable _Vendette_ of Corsica--as if hatred
and revenge were solely endemic in the regions of

    "The Pyrenean and the river Po!"

Mere prejudice! There is as good hating going on in England as
elsewhere. Independent of the personal antipathies generated by
politics, the envy, hatred, and malice arising out of every election
contest, not a country neighbourhood but has its raging factions; and
Browns and Smiths often cherish and maintain an antagonism every whit
as bitter as that of the sanguinary progenitors of Romeo and Juliet.

I, for instance, who am but a country gentleman in a small way--an
obscure bachelor, abiding from year's end to year's end on my
insignificant farm--have witnessed things in my time, which, had they
been said and done nearer the tropics, would have been cited far and
near in evidence of the turbulence of human passions, and that "the
heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked." Seeing
that they chanced in a homely parish in Cheshire, no one has been at
the trouble to note their strangeness; though, to own the truth, none
but the actors in the drama (besides myself, a solitary spectator) are
cognizant of its incidents and catastrophe. I might boast, indeed,
that I alone am thoroughly in the secret; for it is the spectator only
who competently judges the effects of a scene; and merely changing the
names, for reasons easily conceivable, I ask leave to relate in the
simplest manner a few facts in evidence of my assertion, that England
has its Capuletti e Montecchi as well as Verona.

In the first place, let me premise that I am neither of a condition of
life, nor condition of mind, to mingle as a friend with those of whose
affairs I am about to treat so familiarly, being far too crotchety a
fellow not to prefer a saunter with my fishing-tackle on my back, or
an evening tête-à-tête with my library of quaint old books, to all the
good men's feasts ever eaten at the cost of a formal country visit.
Nevertheless, I am not so cold of heart as to be utterly devoid of
interest in the destinies of those whose turrets I see peering over
the woods that encircle my corn-fields; and as the good old
housekeeper, who for these thirty years past has presided over my
household, happens to have grandchildren high in service in what are
called the two great families in the neighbourhood, scarcely an event
or incident passes within their walls that does not find an echo in
mine. So much in attestation of my authority. But for such an
introduction behind the scenes, much of the stage business of this
curious drama would have escaped my notice, or remained

I am wrong to say the two great "families;" I should have said the two
great "houses." At the close of the last century, indeed, our parish
of Lexley contained but one; one which had stood there since the days
of the first James, nay, even earlier--a fine old manorial hall of
grand dimensions and stately architecture, of the species of mixed
Gothic so false in taste, but so ornamental in effect, which is
considered as betraying the first symptoms of Italian innovation.

The gardens extending in the rear of the house were still more
decidedly in the Italian taste, having clipped evergreens and avenues
of pyramidal yews, which, combined with the intervening statues,
imparted to them something of the air of a cemetery. There were
fountains, too, which, in the memory of man, had been never known to
play, the marble basins being, if possible, still greener than the
grim visages of the fauns and dryads standing forlorn on their
dilapidated pedestals amid the neglected alleys.

The first thing I can remember of Lexley Hall, was peeping as a child
through the stately iron gratings of the garden, that skirted a
by-road leading from my grandfather's farm. The desolateness of the
place overawed my young heart. In summer time the parterres were
overgrown into a wilderness. The plants threw up their straggling arms
so high, that the sunshine could hardly find its way to the quaint old
dial that stood there telling its tale of time, though no man
regarded; and the cordial fragrance of the strawberry-beds, mingling
with entangled masses of honeysuckle in their exuberance of midsummer
blossom, seemed to mock me, as I loitered in the dusk near the old
gateway, with the tantalizing illusions of a fairy-tale--the
Barmecide's feast, or Prince Desire surveying his princess through the
impermeable walls of her crystal palace.

But if the enjoyment of the melancholy old gardens of Lexley Hall were
withheld from _me_, no one else seemed to find pleasure or profit
therein. Sir Laurence Altham, the lord of the manor and manor-house,
was seldom resident in the country. Though a man of mature years, (I
speak of the close of the last century,) he was still a man of
pleasure--the ruined hulk of the gallant vessel which, early in the
reign of George III., had launched itself with unequalled brilliancy
on the sparkling current of London life.

At that time, I have heard my grandfather say there was not a mortgage
on the Lexley estate! The timber was notoriously the finest in the
county. A whole navy was comprised in one of its coppices; and the
arching avenues were imposing as the aisles of our Gothic minsters.
Alas! it needed the lapse of only half a dozen years to lay bare to
the eye of every casual traveller the ancient mansion, so long

    "Bosom'd high in tufted trees,"

and only guessed at till you approached the confines of the

It was hazard that effected this. The dice-box swept those noble
avenues from the face of the estate. Soon after Sir Laurence's coming
of age, almost before the church-bells had ceased to announce the
joyous event of the attainment of his majority, he was off to the
Continent--Paris--Italy--I know not where, and was thenceforward only
occasionally heard of in Cheshire as the ornament of the Sardinian or
Austrian courts. But these tidings were usually accompanied by a
shaking of the head from the old family steward. The timber was to be
thinned anew--the tenants to be again amerced. Sir Laurence evidently
looked upon the Lexley property as a mere hotbed for his vices. At
last the old steward turned surly to our enquiries, and would answer
no further questions concerning his master. My grandfather's small
farm was the only plot of ground in the parish that did not belong to
the estate; and from him the faithful old servant was as careful to
conceal the family disgraces, as to maintain the honour of Sir
Laurence's name in the ears of his grumbling tenants.

The truth, however, could not long be withheld. Chaisefuls of
suspicious-looking men in black arrived at the hall; loungers,
surveyors, auctioneers--I know not what. There was talk in the parish
about foreclosing a mortgage, no one exactly understood why, or by
whom. But it was soon clear that Wightman, the old steward, was no
longer the great man at Lexley. These strangers bade him come here and
go there exactly as they chose, and, unhappily, they saw fit to make
his comings and goings so frequent and so humiliating, that before the
close of the summer the old servitor betook himself to his rest in a
spot where all men cease from troubling. The leaves that dreary autumn
fell upon his grave.

According to my grandfather's account, however, few even of his
village contemporaries grieved for old Wightman. They felt that
Providence knew best; that the old man was happily spared the
mortification of all that was likely to ensue. For before another year
was out the ring fence, which had hitherto encircled the Lexley
property, was divided within itself; a paltry distribution of about a
hundred acres alone remaining attached to the old hall. The rest was
gone! The rest was the property of the foreclosee of that hateful

Within view of the battlements of the old manor-house, nearly a
hundred workmen were soon employed in digging the foundations of a
modern mansion of the noblest proportions. The new owner of the
estate, though only a manufacturer from Congleton, chose to dwell in a
palace; and by the time his splendid Doric temple was complete, under
the name of Lexley Park, the vain-glorious proprietor, Mr Sparks, had
taken his seat in Parliament for a neighbouring borough.

Little was known of him in the neighbourhood beyond his name and
calling; yet already his new tenants were prepared to oppose and
dislike him. Though they knew quite as little personally of the young
baronet by whom they had been sold into bondage to the unpopular
clothier--him, with the caprice of ignorance, they chose to prefer.
They were proud of the old family--proud of the hereditary lords of
the soil--proud of a name connecting itself with the glories of the
reign of Elizabeth, and the loyalty shining, like a sepulchral lamp,
through the gloomy records of the House of Stuart. The banners and
escutcheons of the Althams were appended in their parish church. The
family vault sounded hollow under their head whenever they approached
its altar. Where was the burial-place of the manufacturer? In what
obscure churchyard existed the mouldering heap that covered the
remains of the sires of Mr Jonas Sparks? Certainly not at Lexley!
Lexley knew not, and cared not to know, either him or his. It was no
fault of the parish that its young baronet had proved a spendthrift
and alienated the inheritance of his fathers; and, but that he had
preserved the manor-house from desecration, they would perhaps have
ostracized him altogether, as having lent his aid to disgrace their
manor with so noble a structure as the porticoed façade of Lexley

Meanwhile the shrewd Jonas was fully aware of his unpopularity and its
origin; and, during a period of three years, he allowed his
ill-advised subjects to chew, unmolested, the cud of their discontent.
Having a comfortable residence at the further extremity of the county,
he visited Lexley only to overlook the works, or notice the placing of
the costly new furniture; and the grumblers began to fancy they were
to profit as little by their new masters as by their old. The steward
who replaced the trusty Wightman, and had been instructed to legislate
among the cottages with a lighter hand, and distribute Christmas
benefaction in a double proportion, was careful to circulate in the
parish an impression that Mr Sparks and his family did not care to
inhabit the new house till the gardens were in perfect order, the
succession houses in full bearing, and the mansion thoroughly
seasoned. But the Lexleyans guessed the truth, that he had no mind to
confront the first outbreak of their ill-will.

Nearly four years elapsed before he took possession of the place; four
years, during which Sir Laurence Altham had never set foot in the
hall, and was heard of only through his follies and excesses; and when
Mr Sparks at length made his appearance, with his handsome train of
equipages, and surrounded by his still handsomer family, so far from
meeting him with sullen silence, the tenantry began to regret that
they had not erected a triumphal arch of evergreens for his entrance
into the park, as had been proposed by the less eager of the

After all, their former prejudice in favour of the young baronet was
based on very shallow foundations. What had he ever done for them
except raise their rents, and prosecute their trespasses? It was
nothing that his forefathers had endowed almshouses for their support,
or served up banquets for their delectation--Sir Laurence was an
absentee--Sir Laurence was as the son of the stranger. The fine old
kennel stood cold and empty, reminding them that to preserve their
foxes was no longer an article of Lexley religion; and if any of the
old October, brewed at the birth of the present baronet, still filled
the oaken hogsheads in the cellars of the hall, what mattered it to
them? No chance of their being broached, unless to grace the funeral
feast of the lord of the manor.

To Jonas Sparks, Esq. M.P., accordingly, they dedicated their
allegiance. A few additional chaldrons of coals and pairs of blankets,
the first frosty winter, bound them his slaves for ever. Food, physic,
and wine, were liberally distributed to the sick and aged whenever
they repaired for relief to the Doric portico; and, with the usual
convenient memory of the vulgar, the Lexleyans soon began to remember
of the Altham family only their recent backslidings and ancient feudal
oppressions: while of the Sparkses they chose to know only what was
evident to all eyes--viz., that their hands were open and faces

Into their hearts--more especially into that of Jonas, the head of the
house--they examined not at all; and were ill-qualified to surmise the
intensity of bitterness with which, while contemplating the beauty and
richness of his new domain, he beheld the turrets of the old hall
rising like a statue of scorn above the intervening woods. There stood
the everlasting monument of the ancient family--there the emblem of
their pride, throwing its shadow, as it were, over his dawning
prosperity! But for that force of contrast thus afforded, he would
scarcely have perceived the newness of all the objects around him--the
glare of the fresh freestone--the nakedness of the whited walls. A few
stately old oaks and elms, apparently coeval with the ancient
structure, which a sort of religious feeling had preserved from the
axe, that they might afford congenial shade to the successor of its
founder, seemed to impart meanness and vulgarity to the tapering
verdure of _his_ plantations, his modern trees--his pert poplars and
mean larches--his sycamores and planes. Even the incongruity between
his solid new paling and the decayed and sun-bleached wood of the
venerable fence to which it adjoined, with its hoary beard of silvery
lichen, was an eyesore to him. Every passer-by might note the limit
and circumscription dividing the new place from the ancient seat of
the lords of the manor.

Yet was the landscape of Lexley Park one of almost unequalled beauty.
The Dee formed noble ornament to its sweeping valleys; while the noble
acclivities were clothed with promising woods, opening by rich vistas
to a wide extent of champaign country. A fine bridge of granite,
erected by the late Sir Windsor Altham, formed a noble object from the
windows of the new mansion; and but for the evidence of the venerable
pile, that stood like an abdicated monarch surveying its lost
dominions, there existed no external demonstration that Lexley Park
had not from the beginning of time formed the estated seat of the

The neighbouring families, if "neighbouring" could be called certain
of the nobility and gentry who resided at ten miles' distance, were
courteously careful to inspire the new settler with a belief that they
at least had forgotten any antecedent state of things at Lexley; for
they had even reason to congratulate themselves on the change. Jonas
had long been strenuously active in the House of Commons in promoting
county improvements. Jonas was useful as a magistrate, and invaluable
as a liberal contributor to the local charities. During the first five
years of his occupancy, he did more for Lexley and its inhabitants
than the half-dozen previous baronets of the House of Altham.

Of the man he had superseded, meanwhile, it was observed that Mr
Sparks was judiciously careful to forbear all mention. It might have
been supposed that he had purchased the estate of the Crown or the
Court of Chancery, so utterly ignorant did he appear of the age,
habits, and whereabout of his predecessor; and when informed by Sir
John Wargrane, one of his wealthy neighbours, that young Altham was
disgracing himself again--that at the public gaming-tables at Toplitz
he had been a loser of thirty thousand pounds--the cunning _parvenu_
listened with an air of as vague indifference as if he were not
waiting with breathless anxiety the gradual dissipation of the funds,
secured to the young spendthrift by the transfer of his estate, to
grasp at the small remaining portion of his property. Unconsciously,
when the tale of Sir Laurence's profligacy met his ear, he clenched
his griping hand, as though it already recognized its hold upon the
destined spoil, but not a word did he utter.

Meanwhile, the family of the new squire of Lexley were winning golden
opinions on all sides. "The boys were brave--the girls were fair," the
mother virtuous, pious, and unpretending. It would have been
scandalous, indeed, to sneer to shame the modest cheerfulness of such
people, because their ancestors had not fought at the Crusades. By
degrees, they assumed an honourable and even eminent position in the
county; and the first time Sir Laurence Altham condescended to visit
the county-palatine, he heard nothing but commendations and admiration
of the charming family at Lexley Park.

"Charming family!--a Jonas Sparks, and charming!" was his
supercilious reply. "I rejoice to find that the _fumier_ I have been
forced to fling on my worn-out ancestral estate is fertilizing its
barrenness. The village is probably the better for the change. But, as
regards the society, I must be permitted to mistrust the attractions
of the brood of a Congleton manufacturer."

The young baronet, who now, though still entitled to be called young,
was disfigured by the premature defeatures of a vicious life,
mistrusted it all the more, when, on visiting the old hall, he was
forced to recognize the improvements effected in the neighbouring
property (that he should be forced to call it "_neighbouring_!") by
the judicious administration of the new owner. It was impossible to
deny that Mr Sparks had doubled its value, while enhancing its
beauties. The low grounds were drained, the high lands planted, the
river widened, the forestry systematically organized. The estate
appeared to have attained new strength and vigour when dissevered from
the old manor-house; whose shadow might be supposed to have exercised
a baleful influence on the lands wherever it presided.

But it was not his recognition of this that was likely to animate the
esteem of Sir Laurence Altham for Mr Jonas Sparks. On the contrary, he
felt every accession of value to the Lexley property as so much
subtracted from his belongings; and his detestation of the upstarts,
whose fine mansion was perceptible from his lordly towers--like a blot
upon the fairness of the landscape--increased with the increase of
their prosperity.

Without having expected to take delight in a sojourn at Lexley Hall--a
spot where he had only resided for a few weeks now and then, from the
period of his early boyhood--he was not prepared for the excess of
irritation that arose in his heart on witnessing the total
estrangement of the retainers of his family. For the mortification of
seeing a fine new house, with gorgeous furniture, and a pompous
establishment, he came armed to the teeth. But no presentiments had
forewarned him, that at Lexley the living Althams were already as much
forgotten as those who were sleeping in the family vault. The sudden
glow that pervaded his whole frame when he chanced to encounter on the
highroad the rich equipage of the Sparkses; or the imprecation that
burst from his lips, when, on going to the window of a morning to
examine the state of the weather for the day, the first objects that
struck him was the fair mansion in the plain below, laughing as it
were in the sunshine, the deer grouped under its fine old trees, and
the river rippling past its lawns as if delighting in their
verdure----Yes! there was decided animosity betwixt the hill and the

Every successive season served to quicken the pulses of this growing
hatred. Whether on the spot or at a distance, a thousand aggravations
sprang up betwixt the parties: disputes between gamekeepers, quarrels
between labourers, encroachments by tenants. Every thing and nothing
was made the groundwork of ill-will. To Sir Laurence Altham's
embittered feelings, the very rooks of Lexley Park seemed evermore to
infringe upon the privileges of the rookery at Lexley Hall; and when,
in the parish church, the new squire (or rather his workmen, for he
was absent at the time attending his duties in Parliament)
inadvertently broke off the foot of a marble cherub, weeping its
alabaster tears, at the angle of a monument to the memory of a certain
Sir Wilfred Altham, of the time of James II., in raising the woodwork
of a pew occupied by Mr Sparks's family, the rage of Sir Laurence was
so excessive as to be almost deserving of a strait-waistcoat.

The enmity of the baronet was all the more painful to himself that he
felt it to be harmless against its object. In every way, Lexley Park
had the best of it. Jonas Sparks was not only rich in a noble income,
but in a charming wife and promising family. Every thing prospered
with him; and, as to mere inferiority of precedence, it was well known
that he had refused a baronetcy; and many people even surmised that,
so soon as he was able to purchase another borough, and give a seat in
Parliament to his second son, as well as resign his own to the eldest,
he would be promoted to the Upper House.

The only means of vengeance, therefore, possessed by the vindictive
man whose follies and vices had been the means of creating this
perpetual scourge to his pride, was withholding from him the purchase
of the remaining lands indispensable to the completion of his estate,
more especially as regarded the water-courses, which, at Lexley Park,
were commanded by the sluices of the higher grounds of the Hall; and
mighty was the oath sworn by Sir Laurence, that come what might,
however great his exigencies or threatening his poverty, nothing
should induce him to dispose of another acre to Jonas Sparks. He was
even at the trouble of executing a will, in order to introduce a
clause imposing the same reservation upon the man to whom he devised
his small remaining property--the heir-at-law, to whom, had he died
intestate, it would have descended without conditions.

"The Congleton shopkeepers," muttered he, (whenever, in his solitary
evening rides, he caught sight of the rich plate-glass windows of the
new mansion, burnished by the setting sun,) "shall never, never lord
it under the roof of my forefathers! Wherever else he may set his
plebeian foot, Lexley Hall shall be sacred. Rather see the old place
burned to the ground--rather set fire to it with my own hands--than
conceive that, when I am in my grave, it could possibly be subjected
to the rule of such a barbarian!"

For it had reached the ears of Sir Laurence--of course, with all the
exaggeration derived from passing through the medium of village
gossip--that a thousand local legends concerning the venerable
mansion, sanctified by their antiquity in the ears of the family,
afforded a fertile source of jesting to Jonas Sparks. The Hall
abounded in concealed staircases and iron hiding-places, connected
with a variety of marvellous traditions of the civil wars; besides a
walled-up suite of chambers, haunted, as becomes a walled-up suite of
chambers; and justice-rooms and tapestried-rooms, to which the long
abandonment of the house, and the heated imaginations of the few
menials left in charge of its desolate vastness, attributed romances
likely enough to have provoked the laughter of a matter-of-fact man
like the owner of Lexley Park. But neither Sir Laurence nor his old
servants were likely to forgive this insult offered to the family
legends of a house which had little else left to boast of. Even the
neighbouring families were displeased to hear them derided; and my
grandfather never liked to hear a joke on the subject of the
coach-and-four which was said to have driven into the court-yard of
the Hall on the eve of the execution of the rebel lords in 1745,
having four headless inmates, who were duly welcomed as guests by old
Sir Robert Altham. Nay, as a child, I had so often thrilled on my
nurse's knees during the relation of this spectral visitation, that I
own I felt indignant if any one presumed to laugh at a tale which had
made me quake for fear.

Among those who were known to resent the familiar tone in which Mr
Sparks had been heard to criticise the pomps and vanities exhibited at
Lexley Hall by the Althams of the olden time, was a certain General
Stanley, who, inhabiting a fine seat of his own at about ten miles'
distance, was fond of bringing over his visitors to visit the old
Hall, as an interesting specimen of county antiquity. _He_ knew the
peculiarities of the place, and could repeat the traditions connected
with the hiding-places better than the housekeeper herself; and I have
heard her say it was a pleasure to hear him relating these historical
anecdotes with all the fire of an old soldier, and see his venerable
grey hair blown about as he stood with his party on the battlements,
pointing out to the ladies the fine range of territory formerly
belonging to the Althams. The old lady protested that the general was
nearly as much grieved as herself to behold the old mansion so shorn
of its beams; and certain it is, that once when, on visiting the hall
after Sir Laurence had been some years an absentee, he found the grass
growing among the disjointed stones of the cloisters and justice-hall,
he made a handsome present to one of the housekeeper's nephews, on
condition of his keeping the purlieus of the venerable mansion free
from such disgraceful evidences of neglect.

All this eventually reached the ears of the baronet; but instead of
making him angry, as might have been expected, from one so tetchy and
susceptible, he never encountered General Stanley, either in town or
country, without demonstrations of respect. Though too reserved and
morose for conversation, Sir Laurence was observed to take off his hat
to him with a respect he was never seen to show towards the king or

About this time I began to take personal interest in the affairs of
the neighbourhood, though my own were now of a nature to engross my
attention. By my grandfather's death, I had recently come into the
enjoyment of the small inheritance which has sufficed to the happiness
of my life; and, renouncing the profession for which I was educated,
settled myself permanently at Lexley.

Well do I remember the melancholy face with which the good old rector,
the very first evening we spent together, related to me in confidence
that he had three years' dues in arrear to him from Lexley Hall; but
that so wretched was said to be the state of Sir Laurence's
embarrassments, that, for more than a year, his dread of arrest had
kept him a close prisoner in his house in London.

"We have not seen him here these six years!" observed Dr Whittingham;
"and I doubt whether he will ever again set foot in the county. Since
an execution was put into the Hall, he has never crossed the
threshold, and I suspect never will. Far better were he to dispose of
the property at once! Dismembered as it is, what pleasure can it
afford him? And, since he is unlikely to marry and have heirs, there
is less call upon him to retain this remaining relic of family pride;
yet I am assured--nay, have good reason to know, that he has refused a
very liberal offer on the part of Mr Sparks. Malicious people do say,
by the way, that it was by the advice of Sparks's favourite attorneys
the execution was enforced, and that no means have been left
unattempted to disgust him with the place. Yet he is firm, you see,
and persists in disappointing his creditors, and depriving himself of
the comforts of life, merely in order that he may die, as his fathers
did before him--the lord of Lexley Hall!"

"I don't wonder!" said I, with the dawning sentiments of a landed
proprietor--"'Tis a splendid old house, even in its present state of
degradation; and, by Jove! I honour his pertinacity."

Thus put upon the scent, I sometimes fancied I could detect wistful
looks on the part of my prosperous neighbour of the Park, when, in the
course of Dr Whittingham's somewhat lengthy sermons, he directed his
eyes towards the carved old Gothic tribune, containing the family-pew
of the Althams, in the parish church; and, whenever I happened to
encounter him in the neighbourhood of the Hall, his face was so
pointedly averted from the house, as if the mere object were an
offence. I could not but wonder at his vexation; being satisfied in my
own mind, that sooner or later the remaining heritage of the
spendthrift must fall to his share.

Judge, therefore, of my surprise, when one fine morning, as I
sauntered into the village, I found the whole population gathered in
groups on the little market-place, and discovered from the incoherent
exclamations of the crowd, that "the new proprietor of the Hall had
just driven through in a chaise-and-four!"

Yes--"the new proprietor!" The place was sold! The good doctor's
prediction was verified. Sir Laurence was never more to return to
Lexley Hall!

The satisfaction of the villagers almost equalled their surprise on
finding that General Stanley was their new landlord. It suited them
much better that there should be two families settled on the property
than one; and as it was pretty generally reported, that, in the event
of Sparks becoming the purchaser, he intended to demolish the old
house, and reconsolidate the estate around his own more commodious
mansion, they were right glad to find it rescued from such a
sentence--General Stanley, who was the father of a family, would
probably settle the hall on one of his daughters, after placing it in
the state of repair so much needed.

When the chaise-and-four returned, therefore, a few hours afterwards,
through the village, the General was loudly cheered by his subjects.
His partiality for the place was so well known at Lexley, that already
these people seemed to behold in him the guardian of a monument so
long the object of their pride.

For my own part, nothing surprised me so much in the business as that
Sparks should have allowed the purchase to slip through his fingers.
It was worth thrice as much to _him_ as to any body else. It was the
keystone of his property. It was the one thing needful to render
Lexley Park the most perfect seat in the county. But I was not slow in
learning (for every thing transpires in a small country neighbourhood)
that whatever _my_ surprise on finding that the old Hall had changed
its master, that of Sparks was far more overwhelming; that he was
literally frantic on finding himself frustrated in expectations which
formed the leading interest of his declining years. For the progress
of time which had made _me_ a man and a landed proprietor, had
converted the stout active squire into an infirm old man; and it was
his absorbing wish to die sole owner of the whole property to which
the baronets of the Altham family were born.

He even indulged in expressions of irritation, which nearly proved the
means of commencing this new neighbourship by a duel; accusing General
Stanley of having possessed himself by unfair means of Sir Laurence's
confidence, and employed agents, underhand, to effect the purchase. In
consequence of these groundless representations, it transpired in the
country that the decayed baronet had actually volunteered the offer of
the estate to the veteran proprietor of Stanley Manor; that he had
_solicited_ him to become the proprietor, and even accommodated him
with peculiar facilities of payment, on condition of his inserting in
the title-deeds an express undertaking, never to dispose of the old
Hall, or any portion of the property, to Jonas Sparks of Lexley Park,
or his heirs for ever. The solicitor by whom, under Sir Laurence's
direction, the deeds had been prepared, saw fit to divulge this
singular specification, rather than that a hostile encounter should
run the risk of embruing in blood the hands of two grey haired men.

Excepting as regarded the disappointment of our wealthy neighbour, all
was now established on the happiest footing at Lexley. The reparation
instantly commenced by the General, gave employment throughout the
winter to our workmen; and the evils arising from an absentee landlord
began gradually to disappear. It was a great joy to me to perceive
that the new proprietor of the Hall had the good taste to preserve the
antique character of the place in the minutest portion of his
alterations; and though the old gardens were no longer a wilderness,
not a shrub was displaced--not a mutilated statue removed. The
furniture had been sold off at the time of the execution; and that
which came down in cart-loads from town to replace it, was rigidly in
accordance with the semi-Gothic architecture of the lofty chambers.
Poor Sparks must have been doubly mortified; for not only did he find
his old eyesore converted into an irremediable evil by the restoration
of the Hall, but the supremacy hitherto maintained in the
neighbourhood by the modern elegance of his house and establishment,
was thrown into the shade by the rich and tasteful arrangements of the

From the contracted look of his forehead, and sudden alteration of his
appearance, I have reason to think he was beginning to undergo all the
moral martyrdom sustained for thirty years past by the unfortunate Sir
Laurence Altham; and were I not by nature the most contented of men,
it would have sufficiently reconciled me to the mediocrity of my
fortunes, to see that these two great people of my neighbourhood--the
nobly-descended baronet and rich _parvenu_--were miserable men; that,
so long as I could remember, one or other of them had been given over
to surliness and discontent.

Before the close of the year the grand old Hall had become one of the
noblest seats in the county. There was talk about it in all the
country round, and even the newspapers took notice of its renovation,
and of General Stanley's removal thither from Stanley Manor. Many
people, of the species who love to detect spots in the sun, were
careful to point out the insufficiency of the estate, as at present
constituted, to maintain so fine a house. But, after all, what
mattered this to General Stanley, who had a fine rent-roll elsewhere?

The first thing he did, on taking possession, was to give a grand ball
to the neighbourhood; nor was it till the whole house was lighted up
for this festive occasion, that people were fully aware of the
grandeur of its proportions. He was good enough to send me an
invitation on so especial an occasion. But already I had imbibed the
distaste which has pursued me through life for what is called society;
and I accordingly contented myself with surveying from a distance the
fine effect produced by the light streaming from the multitude of
windows, and exhibiting to the whole country round the gorgeous nature
of the decorations within. To own the truth, I could scarcely forbear
regretting, as I surveyed them, the gloomy dilapidation of the
venerable mansion. This modernized antiquity was a very different
thing from the massy grandeur of its neglected years; and I am afraid
I loved the old house better with the weeds springing from its
crevices, than with all this carving and gilding, this ebony, and
iron, and light.

The people of Lexley imagined that nothing would induce the Sparks's
family to be seen under General Stanley's roof. But we were mistaken.
So much the contrary, that the squire of Lexley Park made a particular
point of being the first and latest of the guests--not only because
his reconciliation with his new neighbour was so recent, but from not
choosing to authenticate, by his absence, the rumours of his grievous

For all the good he was likely to derive from his visit, the poor man
had better have stayed away; for that unlucky night laid foundations
of evil for him and his, far greater than any he had incurred from the
animosity of Sir Laurence. Nay, when in the sequel these results
became matter of public commentation, superstitious people were not
wanting to hint that the evil spirit, traditionally said to haunt one
of the wings of the old manor, and to have manifested itself on more
than one occasion to members of the Altham family, (and more
especially to the late worthless proprietor of the Hall,) had acquired
a fatal power over the two supplanters of the ruined family the moment
they crossed the threshold.

General Stanley, after marrying late in life, had been some years a
widower--a widower with two daughters, his co-heiresses. The elder of
these young ladies was a hopeless invalid, slightly deformed, and so
little attractive in person, or desirous to attract, that there was
every prospect of the noble fortunes of the General centring in her
sister. Yet this sister, this girl, had little need of such an
accession to her charms; for she was one of those fortunate beings
endowed not only with beauty and excellence, but with a power of
pleasing not always united with even a combination of merit and

Every body agreed that Mary Stanley was charming. Old and young, rich
and poor, all loved her, all delighted in her. It is true, the good
rector's maiden sisters privately hinted to me their horror of the
recklessness with which--sometimes with her sister, oftener without,
but wholly unattended--she drove her little pony-chaise through the
village, laughing like a madcap at pranks of a huge Newfoundland dog
named Sergeant, the favourite of General Stanley, which, while
escorting the young ladies, used to gambol into the cottages, overset
furniture and children, and scamper out again amid a general uproar.
For though Miss Mary was but sixteen, the starched spinsters decided
that she was much too old for such folly; and that, if the General
intended to present her at court, it was high time for her to lay
aside the hoyden manners of childhood.

But, as every one argued against them, why should this joyous, bright,
and beautiful creature lay aside what became her so strangely? Mary
Stanley was not made for the formalities of what is called
high-breeding. Her light, easy, sinuous figure, did not lend itself to
the rigid deportment of a prude; and her gay laughing eyes, and
dimpled mouth, were ill calculated to grace a dignified position. The
long ringlets of her profuse auburn hair were always out of
order--either streaming in the wind, or straying over her white
shoulders--her long lashes and beautifully defined eyebrows of the
same rich tint, alone preserving any thing like uniformity--a
uniformity which, combined with her almost Grecian regularity of
features, gave her, on the rare occasions when her countenance and
figure were at rest, the air of some nymph or dryad of ancient
sculpture. But to compare Mary Stanley to any thing of marble is
strangely out of place; for her real beauty consisted in the
ever-varying play of her features, and a certain impetuosity of
movement, that would have been a little characteristic of the romp,
but that it was restrained by the spell of feminine sensibility. Heart
was evidently the impulse of every look and every gesture.

For a man of my years, methinks I am writing like a lover. And so I
was! From the first moment I saw that girl, at an humble and
unaspiring distance, I could dream of nothing else. Every thing and
every body seemed fascinated by Mary Stanley. When she walked out into
the fields with the General, her two hands clasping, like those of a
child, her father's arm, his favourite colts used to come neighing
playfully towards them; and not the fiercest dog of his extensive
kennel but, even when unmanageable by the keeper, would creep fawning
to her feet.

It was strange enough, but still more fortunate, that all the
adoration lavished upon this lovely creature by gentle and simple,
Christian and brute, provoked no apparent jealousy on the part of her
elder sister. Selina Stanley was afflicted with a cold, reserved,
unhappy countenance, only too completely in unison with her
disastrous position. But her heart was perhaps as genuine as her face
was forbidding; for she loved the merry, laughing, handsome Mary,
more as a mother her child, than as a sister nearly of her own
years--that is, exultingly, but anxiously. Every one else foresaw
nothing but prosperity, and joy, and love, in store for Mary. Selina
prayed that it might prove so;--but she prayed with tears in her
eyes, and trembling in her soul! For where are the destinies of
persons thus exquisitely organized--thus full of love and
loveliness--thus readily swayed to joy or sorrow, by the trivial
incidents of life--characterised by what the world calls
happiness--such happiness, I mean, as is enjoyed by the serene and
the prudent, the unexcitable, the unaspiring! Miss Stanley foresaw
only too truly, that the best days likely to be enjoyed by her
sister, were those she was spending under her father's roof--a
general idol--an object of deference and delight to all around.

At the General's housewarming, though not previously introduced into
society, Mary was the queen of the ball; and all present agreed, that
one of the most pleasing circumstances of the evening was to watch the
animated cordiality with which she flew from one to the other of those
old neighbours of Stanley Manor, (whom she alone had managed to
persuade that a dozen miles was no distance to prevent their accepting
her father's invitation;) and not the most brilliant of her young
friends received a more eager welcome, or more sustained attention
throughout the evening, than the few homely elderly people, (such as
my friends the Whittinghams,) who happened to share the hospitality of
General Stanley. I daresay that even _I_, had I found courage to
accept his invitation, should have received from the young beauty some
gentle word, in addition to the kindly smiles with which she was sure
to return my respectful obeisance whenever we met accidentally in the

Mary was dressed in white, with a few natural flowers in her hair,
which, owing to the impetuosity of her movements, soon fell out,
leaving only a stray leaf or two, that would have looked ridiculous
any where but among her rich, but dishevelled locks; and the pleasant
anxieties of the evening imparted such a glow to her usually somewhat
pale complexion, that her beauty is said to have been, that night,
almost supernatural. She was more like the creature of a dream than
one of those wooden puppets, who move mechanically through the world
under the name of well brought-up young ladies.

It will easily be conceived how much this ball, so rare an event in
our quiet neighbourhood, was discussed, not only the following day,
but for days and weeks to come. Even at the rectory I heard of nothing
else; while by my good old housekeeper, who had a son in service at
General Stanley's, and a daughter waiting-maid to Miss Sparks, I was
let in to secrets concerning it of which even the rectory knew

In the first place, though Mr Sparks had peremptorily signified from
the first to his family, his desire that all should accompany him to
Lexley Hall on this trying occasion, (and it was only natural he
should wish to solace his wounded pride, by appearing before his noble
neighbour surrounded by his handsome progeny,) two of his children
had risen up in rebellion against the decree--and for the first
time--for Sparks was happy in a dutiful and well-ordered family. But
the youngest daughter, Kezia, a girl of high spirits and intelligence,
who fancied she had been pointedly slighted by the Misses Stanley,
when, in one of Mary's harum-scarum expeditions on her Shetland pony,
she had passed without recognition the better-mounted young lady of
Lexley Park; and the eldest son, who so positively refused to
accompany his father to the house of a man by whom Mr Sparks had
inconsiderately represented himself as aggrieved, that, for once, the
kind parent was forced to play the tyrant, and insist on his

It was, accordingly, with a very ill grace that these two, the
prettiest of the daughters, and by far the handsomest of his three
handsome sons, made their appearance at the _fête_. But no sooner were
they welcomed by General Stanley and his daughters, than the brother
and sister, who had mutually encouraged each other's disputes,
hastened to recant their opinions.

"How could you, dearest father, describe this courteous, high-bred old
gentleman, as insolent and overbearing?"--whispered Kezia.

"How could you possibly suppose that yonder lovely, gracious creature,
intended to treat you with impertinence?"--was the rejoinder of her
brother; and already the Stanleys had two enemies the less among their
neighbours at Lexley Park.

On the other hand, the General had been forced to have recourse to
severe schooling to bring his daughters to a sense of what was due to
_his guests_, as regarded the family of a man who was known to have
spoken disparagingly of them all. Moreover, if the truth must be
owned, Mary was not altogether free from the prejudices of her caste;
and, proud of her father's noble extraction, was apt to pout her
pretty lip on mention of "the people at Lexley Park;" for the General,
who had no secrets from his girls, had foolishly permitted them to see
certain letters addressed to him by the eccentric Sir Laurence Altham,
justifying himself concerning the peculiar clause introduced into his
deeds of conveyance of his Hall estate, on the grounds of the degraded
origin of "the upstart" he was so malignantly intent on discomposing.

"They will spoil our ball, dear papa--I _know_ these vulgar people
will completely spoil our ball!" said she. "I think I hear them
announced:--'Mr Jonas Sparks, Miss Basiliza and Miss Kezia
Sparks!'--What names?"

"The parents of Mr Sparks were dissenters," observed the General,
trying to look severe. "Dissenters are apt to hold to scriptural
names. But _name_ is not _nature_, Mary; and, to judge by appearances,
this man's--this gentleman's--this Mr Sparks's daughters, have every
qualification to be an ornament to society."

"With all my heart, papa, but I wish it were not ours!" cried the
wayward girl. "On the present occasion, especially, I could spare such
an accession to our circle; for I know that Mr Sparks has presumed to
speak of----"

She was interrupted by a sterner reproof on the part of the General
than he had ever before administered to his favourite daughter; and
the consequence of this unusual severity was the distinguished
reception bestowed, both by Selina and her sister, on the family from
Lexley Park.

Next day, however, General Stanley found a totally different cause for
rebuke in the conduct of his dear Mary.

"You talked to nobody last night, but those Sparks's!" said he. "Lord
Dudley informed me he had asked you to dance three times in vain; and
Lord Robert Stanley assured me _he_ could scarcely get a civil answer
from you!--Yet you found time, Mary, to dance twice in the course of
the evening with that son of Sparks's!"

"That son of Sparks's, as you so despisingly call him, dearest papa,
is a most charming partner; while Lord Dudley, and my cousin Robert,
are little better than boors. Everard Sparks can talk and dance, as
well as they ride across a country. Not but what he, too, passes for a
tolerable sportsman; and do you know, papa, Mr Sparks is thinking
seriously of setting up a pack of harriers at Lexley?"

"At Lexley Park!" insisted her father, who chose to enforce the
distinction instituted by Sir Laurence Altham. "I fancy he will have
to ask my permission first. My land lies somewhat inconveniently, in
case I choose to oppose his intentions."

"But you won't oppose them!--No, no, dear papa, you sha'n't oppose
them!"--cried Mary Stanley, throwing her arms coaxingly round her
father's neck, and imprinting a kiss on his venerable forehead. "_Why_
should we go on opposing and opposing, when it would be so much
happier for all of us to live together as friends and neighbours?"

The General surveyed her in silence for some moments as she looked up
lovingly into his face; then gravely, and in silence, unclasped her
arms from his neck. For the first time, he had gazed upon his
favourite child without discerning beauty in her countenance, or
finding favour for her supplications.

"_My_ opinion of Mr Sparks and his family is not altered since
yesterday," said he coldly, perceiving that she was about to renew her
overtures for a pacification. "Your father's prejudices, Mary, are
seldom so slightly grounded, that the adulation of a few gross
compliments, such as were paid you last night by Mr Everard Sparks,
may suffice for their obliteration. For the future, remember the less
I hear of Lexley Park the better. In a few weeks we shall be in
London, where our sphere is sufficiently removed, I am happy to say,
from that of Mr Jonas Sparks, to secure me against the annoyance of
familiarity with him or his."

The partiality of his darling Mary for the handsomest and most
agreeable young man who had ever sought to make himself agreeable to
her, had sufficed to turn the arguments of General Stanley as
decidedly _against_ his _parvenu_ neighbours, as, two days before, his
eloquence had been exercised in their defence.

And now commenced between the young people and their parents, one of
those covert warfares certain to arise from similar interdictions. Mr
Sparks--satisfied that he should have further insults to endure on the
part of General Stanley, in the event of his son pretending to the
hand of the proud old man's daughter--sought a serious explanation
with Everard, on finding that he neglected no opportunity of meeting
Mary Stanley in her drives, and walks, and errands of village
benevolence; and by the remonstrances of one father, and
peremptoriness of the other, the young couple were soon tempted to
seek comforts in mutual confidences. Residing almost within view of
each other, there was no great difficulty in finding occasion for an
interview. They met, moreover, naturally, and without effort, in all
the country houses in the neighbourhood; and so frequently, that I
often wondered they should consider it worth while to hazard the
General's displeasure by partaking a few moments' conversation, every
now and then, among the old thorns by the water-side, just where the
bend of the river secured them from observation; or in the green lane
leading from Lexley Park to my farm, while Miss Stanley took charge of
the pony-chaise during the hasty explanations of the imprudent couple.
Having little to occupy my leisure during the intervals of my
agricultural pursuits, I was constantly running against them, with my
gun on my shoulder or my fishing-rod in my hand. I almost feared young
Sparks might imagine that I was employed by the General as a spy upon
their movements, so fierce a glance did he direct towards me one day
when I was unlucky enough to vault over a hedge within a few yards of
the spot where they were standing together--Miss Mary sobbing like a
child. But, God knows! he was mistaken if he thought I was taking
unfair heed of their proceedings, or likely to gossip indiscreetly
concerning what fell accidentally under my notice.

Not that a single soul in the neighbourhood approved General Stanley's
opposition to the attachment. On the contrary, from the moment of the
liking between the young people becoming apparent, the whole country
decided that there could not be a more propitious mode of reuniting
the dismembered Lexley estates; for though the General was expressly
debarred from selling Lexley Hall to Sparks or his heirs, he could not
be prevented bequeathing it to his daughters--the heirs of Jonas
Sparks being the children of her body. And thus all objections would
have been remedied.

But such was not the proud old man's view of the case. He had set his
heart on perpetuating his own name in his family. He had set his
heart on the union of his dear Mary with her cousin Lord Robert
Stanley; and Everard Sparks might have been twice the handsome, manly
young fellow he was--twice the gentleman, and twice the scholar--it
would have pleaded little in his favour against the predetermined
projects of the positive General. There was certainly some excuse for
his ambition on Miss Mary's account. Beauty, merit, fortune,
connexion, every advantage was hers calculated to do honour to a noble
alliance; and as her father often exclaimed, with a bitter sneer, in
answer to the mild pleadings of Selina--"Such a girl as that--a girl
born to be a duchess--to sacrifice herself to the son of a Congleton

Two years did the struggle continue--during the greater part of which
I was a constant eyewitness of the sorrows which so sobered the
impetuous deportment of the light-hearted Mary Stanley. Her father
took her to London, with the project of separation he had haughtily
announced; but only to find, to his amazement, that Eton and Oxford
had placed the son of Mr Sparks of Lexley Park, a member of
Parliament, on as good a footing as himself in nearly all the circles
he frequented. Even when, in the desperation of his fears, he removed
his family to the Continent, the young lover (as became the lover of
so endearing and attractive a creature) followed her, at a distance,
from place to place. At length, one angry day, the General provoked
him to a duel. But Everard would not lift his hand against the father
of his beloved Mary. An insult from General Stanley was not as an
offence from any other man. The only revenge taken by the
high-spirited young man, was to urge the ungenerous conduct of the
father as an argument with the daughter to put an end, by an
elopement, to a state of things too painful to be borne. After much
hesitation, it seems, she most unhappily complied. They were
married--at Naples I think, or Turin, or some other city of Italy,
where we have a diplomatic resident; and after their marriage--poor,
foolish young people!--they went touring it about gaily in the
Archipelago and Levant, waiting a favourable moment to propose a
reconciliation with their respective fathers--as if the wrath and
malediction of parents was so mere a trifle to deal with.

The first step taken by General Stanley, on learning the ungrateful
rebellion of his favourite child, was to return to England. He seemed
to want to be at home again, the better to enjoy and cultivate his
abhorrence of every thing bearing the despised name of Sparks; for now
began the genuine hatred between the families. Nothing would satisfy
the obstinate old soldier, but that the elder Sparks had, from the
first, secretly encouraged the views of his son upon the heiress of
Lexley Hall; while Mr Sparks naturally resented with enraged spirit
the overbearing tone assumed by his aristocratic neighbour towards
those so nearly his equals. Every day produced some new grounds for
offence; and never had Sir Laurence Altham, in the extremity of his
poverty, regarded the thriving mansion in the valley with half the
loathing which the view of Lexley Park produced in the mind of General
Stanley. He was even at the trouble of trenching a plantation on the
brow of the hill, with the intention of shutting out the detested
object. But trees do not grow so hastily as antipathies; and the
General had to endure the certainty, that, for the remainder of _his_
life at least, that beautiful domain must be unrolled, map-like, at
his feet. Nor is it to be supposed that the battlements of the old
hall found greater favour in the sight of the _parvenu_ squire, than
when in Sir Laurence's time the very sight of them was wormwood to his

Unhappily, while the Congleton manufacturer contented himself with
angry words, the gentleman of thirty descents betook himself to
action. General Stanley swore to be mightily revenged--and he was so.

On the very day following his return to England, before he even
visited his desolate country-house, he sent for Lord Robert Stanley,
and made him the confidant of his indignation--avowed his former good
intentions in his favour--betrayed all Mary's--all _Mr Everard
Sparks's_ disparaging opposition; and ended by enquiring whether,
since whichever of his daughters became Lady Robert Stanley would
become sole heiress to his property, his lordship could make up his
mind to accept Selina as a wife? Proud as he was, the General almost
condescended to plead the cause of his deformed daughter: enlarging
upon her excellences of character, and, still more, upon her aversion
to society, which would secure the self-love of her husband against
any public remarks on her want of personal attractions.

Alas! all these arguments were thoroughly thrown away. Lord Robert
was, as his cousin Mary had truly described him, little better than a
boor. But he was also a spendthrift and a libertine; and had Miss
Stanley been as deformed in mind as she was in person, he would have
joyfully taken to wife the heiress of ten thousand a-year, and two of
the finest seats in the county of Chester.

To herself, meanwhile, no hint of these family negotiations was
vouchsafed; and Selina Stanley had every reason to suppose--when her
cousin became on a sudden an assiduous visitor at the house, and very
shortly a declared lover--that their intimacy from childhood had
accustomed his eye to her want of personal charms--she had become
endeared to him by her mild and submissive temper. So little was she
aware of her father's testamentary dispositions in her favour, that
the interested nature of Lord Robert's views did not occur to her
mind; and, little accustomed to protestations of attachment, Selina's
heart was not _very_ difficult to soften towards the only man who had
ever pretended to love her, and whose apparent attachment promised
some consolation for the loss of her sister's society, as well as the
chance of reunion with one whom her father had sworn should never,
under any possible circumstances, again cross his threshold.

Six months after General Stanley's pride had been wounded to the quick
by the newspaper account of a marriage between his favourite child and
"a man of the name of Sparks," balm was poured into the wound by
another and more pompous paragraph, announcing the union, by special
license, of the Right Hon. Lord Robert Stanley and the eldest daughter
and heiress of Lieut.-Gen. Stanley, of Stanley Manor, only son of the
late Lord Henry Stanley, followed by the usual list of noble relatives
gracing the ceremony with their presence, and a flourishing account of
the departure of the happy couple, in a travelling carriage and four,
for their seat in Cheshire.

This announcement, by the way, probably served to convey the
intelligence to Mr and Mrs Everard Sparks; for the General having
carefully intercepted every letter addressed by Mary to her sister,
Lady Robert had not the slightest idea in what direction to
communicate with one who possessed an undiminished share in her

On General Stanley's arrival in Cheshire, at the close of the
honeymoon, the most casual observer might have noticed the alteration
which had taken place in his appearance. Instead of the sadness I had
expected to find in his countenance after so severe a stroke as the
disobedience of his darling girl, I never saw him so exulting. Yet his
smiles were not smiles of good-humour. There was bitterness at the
bottom of every word he uttered; and a terrible sound of menace rung
in his unnatural laughter. Consciousness never seemed a moment absent
from his mind, that he had defeated the calculations of the designing
family; that he had distanced them; that he was triumphing over them.
Alas! none at present entertained the smallest suspicion to what

Preparatory to the settlements made by the General on Lord and Lady
Robert Stanley, it had been found necessary to place in the hands of
his lordship's solicitors the deeds of the Lexley Hall estate; when,
lo! to the consternation of all parties, it appeared that the
General's title was an unsound one; that by the general terms of this
ancient property, rights of heirship could only be evaded by the
payment of a certain fine, after intimation of sale in a certain form
to the nearest-of-kin of the heir in possession, which form had been
overlooked or wantonly neglected by Sir Laurence Altham!

The discovery was indeed embarrassing. Fortunately, however, the sum
of ten thousand pounds only had been paid by the General to satisfy
the immediate funds of the unthrifty baronet; the remainder of the
purchase-money having been left in the form of mortgage on the
property. There was consequently the less difficulty, though
considerable expense, in cancelling the existing deeds, going through
the necessary forms, and, after paying the forfeiture to the heir, (to
whom the very existence of his claims was unknown,) renewing the
contract with Sir Laurence; to whom, so considerable a sum being still
owing, it was as essential as to General Stanley that the covenant
should be completed without delay. But all this occurred at so
critical a moment, that the General had ample cause to be thankful for
the promptitude with which he decided Selina's marriage; for only four
days after the signature of the new deeds, Sir Laurence concluded his
ill-spent life--his death being, it was thought, accelerated by the
excitement consequent on this strange discovery, and the
investigations on the part of the heir to which it was giving rise.

For the clause in the original grant of the Lexley estate (which dated
from the Reformation) affected the property purchased by Jonas Sparks
as fully as that which had been assigned to the General; and the
baronet being now deceased, there was no possibility of co-operation
in rectifying the fatal error. It was more than probable, therefore,
that Lexley Park, with all its improvements, was now the property of
John Julius Altham, Esq.!--the only dilemma still to be decided by the
law, being the extent to which, his kinsman having died insolvent and
intestate, he was liable to the suit of Jonas Sparks for the return of
the purchase money, amounting to L.145,000.

Already the fatal intelligence had been communicated by the attorneys
of John Julius Altham to those of the astonished man, who, though
still convinced of the goodness of his cause, (which, on the strength
of certain various statutes affecting such a case, he was advised to
contest to the utmost,) foresaw a long, vexatious, and expensive
lawsuit, that would certainly last his life, and prevent the
possibility of one moment's enjoyment of the estate, from which he had
received the usual notice of ejection. Fortunately for him, the
present Mr Altham was not only a gentleman, and disposed to exercise
his rights in the most decorous manner; but, of course, unbiassed by
the personal prejudices so strongly felt by Sir Laurence, and so
unfairly communicated by him to the General. Still, the question was
proceeding at the snail's pace rate of Chancery suits at the
commencement of the present century, and the unfortunate Congleton
manufacturer had every reason to curse the day when he had become
enamoured of the grassy glades and rich woodlands of Lexley; seeing
that, at the close of an honourable and well-spent life, he was
uncertain whether the sons and daughters to whom he had laboured to
bequeath a handsome independence, might not be reduced to utter

Such was the intelligence that saluted the ill-starred Mary and her
husband on their return to England! Instead of the brilliant prospects
in which she had been nurtured--disinheritance met her on the one
side, and ruin on the other!

Her vindictive father had even made it a condition of his bounties to
Lord and Lady Robert, that all intercourse should cease between them
and their sister; a condition which the former, in revenge for the
early slights of his fairer cousin, took care should be punctually
obeyed by his wife.

Till the event of the trial, Mr Sparks retained, of course, possession
of the Park; but so bitter was the mortification of the family, on
discovering in the village precisely the same ungrateful feeling which
had so embittered the soul of Sir Laurence, that they preferred
remaining in London--where no one has leisure to dwell upon the
mischances of his neighbours, and where sympathy is as little expected
as conceded. But when Mary arrived--_poor_ Mary! who had now the
prospect of becoming a mother--and who, though affectionately beloved
by her husband's family, saw they regarded her as the innocent origin
of their present reverses--she soon persuaded her husband to accompany
her to her old haunts.

"Do not imagine, dearest," said she, "that I have any project of
debasing you and myself, by intruding into my father's presence. Had
we been still prosperous, Everard, I would have gone to him--knelt to
him--prayed to him--wept to him--_so_ earnestly, that his forgiveness
could not have been long withheld from the child he loved so dearly. I
would have described to him all you are to me--all your
indulgences--all your devotion--and _you_, too, my own husband, would
have been forgiven. But as it is, believe me, I have too proud a sense
of what is due to ourselves, to combat the unnatural hostility in
which my sister and her husband appear to take their share. O Everard!
to think of Selina becoming the wife of that coarse and heartless man,
of whom, in former times, she thought even more contemptuously than I;
and who, with his dissolute habits, can only have made my poor
afflicted sister his wife from the most mercenary motives! I dread to
think of what may be her fate hereafter, when, having obtained at my
father's death all the advantages to which he looks forward, he will
show himself in his true colours."

Thus, even with such terrible prospects awaiting herself, the good,
generous Mary trembled only to contemplate those of her regardless
sister; and it was chiefly for the delight of revisiting the spots
where they had played together in childhood--the fondly-remembered
environs of Stanley Manor--that she persuaded her husband to take up
his abode in the deserted mansion at the Park, where, from prudential
motives, Mr Sparks had broken up his establishment, and sold off his

Attended by a single servant, in addition to the old porter and his
wife who were in charge of the house, Mary trusted that their arrival
at Lexley would be unnoticed in the neighbourhood. Confining herself
strictly within the boundaries of the Park, which neither her father
nor the bride and bridegroom were likely to enter, she conceived that
she might enjoy, on her husband's arm, those solitary rambles of which
every day circumscribed the extent; without affording reason to the
General to suppose, when, discerning every morning from his lofty
terraces the mansion of his falling enemy, that, in place of the man
he loathed, it contained his discarded child.

The dispirited young woman, on the other hand, delighted in
contemplating from the windows of her dressing-room the towers
beneath, whose shelter she had abided in such perfect happiness with
her doating father and apparently attached sister. They loved her no
longer, it is true. Perhaps it was her fault--(she would not allow
herself to conceive it could be a fault of _theirs_)--but at all
events she loved _them_ dearly as ever; and it was comforting to her
poor heart to catch a glimpse of their habitation, and know herself
within reach, should sickness or evil betide.

"If I should not survive my approaching time," thought Mary, often
surveying for hours, through her tears, the heights of Lexley Hall,
and fancying she could discern human figures moving from window to
window, or from terrace to terrace; "if I should be fated never to
behold this child, already loved--this child which is to be so dear a
blessing to us both--in my last hours my father would not surely
refuse to give me his blessing; nor would Selina persist in her
present cruel alienation. It is, indeed, a comfort to be here."

Her husband thought otherwise. To him nothing was more trying than
this compulsory sojourn at Lexley; not that he required other society
than that of his engaging and attached wife. At any other moment it
would have been delightful to him to enjoy the country pleasures
around them, with no officious intrusive world to interpose between
their affection. But in his present uncertainty as to his future
prospects, to be mocked by this empty show of proprietorship, and have
constantly before his eyes the residence of the man who had heaped
such contumely on his head, and inflicted such pain on the gentlest
and sweetest of human hearts, was a state of moral torment.

In the course of my fishing excursions--(for, thanks to Mr Sparks's
neighbourly liberality, I had a card of general access to his
parks)--I frequently met the young couple; and having no clue to their
secret sentiments, noticed, with deep regret, the sadness of Mary's
countenance and sinister looks of her husband. I feared--I greatly
feared--that they were not happy together. The General's daughter
repined, perhaps, after her former fortunes. The young husband sighed,
doubtless, over the liberty he had renounced.

It was spring time, and Lord Robert having satisfied his cravings
after the pleasures of London, by occasional bachelor visits on
pretence of business, the family were to remain at the Hall till after
the Easter holidays, so that Mary had every expectation of the
accomplishment of her hopes previous to their departure. Perhaps, in
the bottom of her heart, she flattered herself that, on hearing of her
safety, her obdurate relations might be moved, by a sudden burst of
pity and kindliness, to make overtures of reconciliation--at all
events to dispatch words of courteous enquiry; for she was ever
dwelling on her good fortune that her father should, on this
particular year, have so retarded the usual period of his departure.
Yet when the report of these exulting exclamations on her part reached
my ear, I was ungenerous enough to attribute them to a very different
origin, fancying that the poor submissive creature was thankful for
being within reach of protection from conjugal misusage.

Meanwhile, she was so far justified in one portion of her premises,
that no tidings of her residence at Lexley Park had as yet reached the
ear of her father. The fact was, that not a soul had courage to do so
much as mention, in his presence, the name of his once idolized child;
and Lord Robert, having been apprized of the circumstance, instantly
exacted a promise from his wife, that nothing should induce her to
hazard her father's displeasure by communication with her sister, or
by acquainting the General of the arrival of the offending pair. The
consequence was, that in the dread of encountering her sister, (whom
she felt ashamed to meet as the wife of the man they had so often
decried together,) Lady Robert rarely quitted the house; and these two
sisters, so long the affectionate inmates of the same chamber--the
sisters who had wept together over their mother's deathbed--abided
within sight of each other's windows, yet estranged as with the
estrangement of strangers.

And then, we pretend to talk with horror of the family feuds of
southern nations; and, priding ourselves on our calm and passionless
nature, feel convinced that all the domestic virtues extant on earth,
have taken refuge in the British empire!

Every day, meanwhile, I noticed that the handsome countenance of
Everard Sparks grew gloomier and gloomier; and how was I to know that
every day he received letters from his father, announcing the
unfavourable aspect of their suit; and that (owing, as was supposed,
to the suggestions of General Stanley's solicitors) even the conduct
of the adverse party was becoming offensive. The elder Sparks wrote
like a man overwhelmed with mortification, and stung by a sense of
undeserved injury; and his appeals to the sympathy and support of his
son, were such as to place the spirited young man in a most painful
predicament as regarded the family of his wife.

Unwilling to utter in her presence an injurious word concerning those
who, persecute her as they might, were still her nearest and dearest
by the indissoluble ties of nature, all he could do, in relief to his
overcharged feelings, was to rush forth into the Park, and curse the
day that he was born to behold all he loved in the world overwhelmed
in one common ruin.

On such occasions, while pretending to fix my attention on my float
upon the river, I often watched him from afar, till I was terrified by
the frantic vehemence of his gestures. There was almost reason to
fancy that the evil influences of the old Hall were extending their
power over the valley; and that this distracted young man was falling
into the eccentricities of Sir Laurence Altham.

After viewing with anxiety the wild deportment of poor Mary's husband,
I happened one day to pass along the lane I have described as skirting
the garden of the manor-house, on my way homewards to my farm; and on
plunging my eyes, as usual, into the verdant depths of the clipped
yew-walks, visible through the iron-palisades, was struck by the
contrast afforded to the scene I had just witnessed, not only by its
aristocratic tranquillity, but by the grave and subdued deportment of
Lady Robert Stanley, who was sauntering in one of the alleys,
accompanied by a favourite dog I had often seen following her sister
in former days, and looking the very picture of contented egotism.

I almost longed to call aloud to her, and confide all I knew and all
that I supposed. But what right had I to create alarms in her sister's
behalf? What right had I to incite her to disobedience against the
father on whom she and her husband were dependent? Better leave things
as they were--the common philosophy of selfish, timid people, afraid
of exposing their own heads to a portion of the storm their
interference may chance to bring down, while assisting the cause of
the weak against the strong.

I used often to go home and think of poor Mary till my heart ached.
That young and beautiful creature--that creature till lately so
beloved--to be thus cruelly abandoned, thus helpless, thus unhappy!
Perhaps not a soul sympathizing with her but myself--an obscure,
low-born, uninfluential man, of no more value as a protector than a
willow-wand shivered from the Lexley plantations! Not so much as the
merest trifle in which I could demonstrate my good-will. I thought and
thought it over, and there was nothing I could do--nothing I could
offer. When I _did_ hit upon some pretext of kindness, I only did
amiss. The fruit season was not begun--nay, the orchards were only in
blossom--and times were over for forcing-houses at Lexley Park!
Thinking, therefore, that the invalid might be pleased with a basket
of Jersey pears, of which a very fine kind grew in my orchard, I
ventured to send some to her address. But the very next time I
encountered Everard in the village, he cast a look at me as if he
would have killed me for my officiousness, or, perhaps, for taking the
liberty to suppose that Lexley Park was less luxuriously provisioned
than in former years. Nor was it till long afterwards I discovered
that my old housekeeper (who had taken upon herself to carry my humble
offering to the park) had not only seen the poor young lady, but been
foolish enough to talk of Lady Robert in a tone which appears to have
exercised a cruel influence over her gentle heart; so that, when her
husband returned home from rabbit-shooting, an hour afterwards, he
found her recovering from a fainting fit, he visited upon _me_ the
folly of my servant; and such was the cause of his angry looks.

A few days afterwards, however, he had far more to reproach his
conscience withal than poor Barbara. Having no concealments from his
wife, to whom he was in the habit of avowing every emotion of his
heart, he was rash enough to mention of having met the travelling
carriage of Lord and Lady Robert on the London road. They had quitted
the Hall ten days previous to the epoch originally fixed for their

"Gone--exactly gone!--already at two hundred miles' distance from me!"
cried poor Mary, nothing doubting that her father had, as usual,
accompanied them, and feeling herself now, for the first time, alone
in the dreary seclusion to which she had condemned herself, only that
she might breathe the same atmosphere with those she loved. "Yet they
had certainly decided to remain at the Hall till after Easter! Perhaps
they discovered my being here, and the discovery hastened their
journey. Unhappy creature that I am, to have become thus hateful to
those in whose veins my blood is flowing! Everard, Everard! O, what
have I done that God should thus abandon me?"

The soothing and affectionate remonstrances now addressed to her by
her husband, had so far a good effect, that they softened her despair
to tears. Long and unrestrainedly did she weep upon his shoulder;
tried to comfort him by the assurance that _she_ was comforted, or at
least that she would endeavour to _seek_ comfort from the protection
and goodness whence it had been so often derived.

A few minutes afterwards, having been persuaded by Everard to rest
herself on the sofa, to recover the effects of the agitation his
indiscreet communication had excited, she suddenly complained of cold,
and begged him to close the windows. It was a balmy April day, with a
genial sun shining fresh into the room. The air was as the air of
midsummer--one of those days on which you almost see the small green
leaves of spring bursting from their shelly covering, and the resinous
buds of the chestnut-trees expanding into maturity. Poor Everard saw
at once that the chilliness of which his wife complained must be the
effect of illness. More cautious, however, on this occasion than
before, he enquired, as her shivering increased, what preparations she
had made for the events which still left her some weeks for execution.
"None. His sisters had kindly undertaken to supply her with all she
might require; and the services of the nurse accustomed to attend his
married sister, were engaged on her behalf. At the end of the month
this woman was to arrive at Lexley, bringing with her the wardrobe of
the little treasure who was to accord renewed peace and happiness to
its mother."

Though careful to conceal his anxiety from his wife, Everard Sparks,
disappointed and distressed, quitted the room in haste to send for the
medical man who had long been the attendant of his family. But before
he arrived, the shivering fit of the poor sufferer had increased to an
alarming degree. A calming potion was administered, and orders issued
that she was to be kept quiet; but in the consternation created in the
little household by the communication Dr R. thought it necessary to
make of the possibility of a premature confinement, poor Mrs Sparks's
maid, a young inexperienced woman, dispatched a messenger to my house
for her old kinswoman, and it was through Barbara I became acquainted
with the melancholy incidents I am about to relate.

The sedatives administered failed in their effect. A fatal shock had
been already given; and while struggling through that direful night
with the increasing pangs that verified the doctor's prognostications,
the sympathizing women around the sufferer could scarcely restrain
their tears at the courage with which she supported her anguish,
rejoicing in it, as it were, in the prospect of embracing her
child--when all present were aware that the compensation was about to
be denied her, that the child was already dead. Just as the day
dawned, her anxious husband was congratulated on her safety, and then
the truth could no longer be concealed from Mary. She asked to see her
babe. Her husband was employed to persuade her to defer seeing it for
an hour or two, "till it was dressed--till she was more composed." But
the truth rushed into her mind, and she uttered not another word, in
the apprehension of increasing his disappointment and mortification.

So long did her silence continue, that, trusting she had fallen
asleep, old Barbara's granddaughter entreated poor Everard to withdraw
and leave her to her rest. But the moment he quitted the room, she
spoke, spoke resolutely, and in a firmer voice than her previous
sufferings had given them reason to suppose possible.

"Now, then, let me see my boy," said she. "I know that he is dead. But
do not be afraid of shocking or distressing me. I have courage to look
upon the poor little creature for whom I have suffered so much, and
who, I trusted, would reward me for all."

The women remonstrated, as it was their duty to remonstrate. But when
they saw that opposition on this point only excited her, dreading an
accession of fever, they brought the poor babe and laid it on the
pillow beside its mother. That first embrace, to which she had looked
forward with such intensity of delight, folded to her burning bosom
only a clay-cold child!

Even thus it was fair to look on--every promise in its little form,
that its beauty would have equalled that of its handsome parents; and
Mary, as she pressed her lips to its icy forehead, fancied she could
trace on those tiny features a resemblance to its father. Old Barbara,
perceiving how bitterly the tears of the sufferer were falling on the
cheeks of her lost treasure, now interfered. But the mother had still
a last request to make. A few downy curls were perceptible on the
temples--in colour and fineness resembling her own. She wished to
rescue from the grave this slight remembrance of her poor nameless
offspring; and her wish having been complied with, she suffered the
babe to be taken from her relaxed and moveless grasp.

"Leave me the hair," said she, in a faint voice. "Thanks--thanks! I am
happy now--I will try to sleep--I am happy--happy now!"

She slept--and never woke again. At the close of an hour or two, her
anxious husband, finding she had not stirred, gently and silently
approached the bedside, and took into his own the fair hand lying on
the coverlid, to ascertain whether fever had ensued. _Fever?_ It was
already cold with the damps of death!

Imagine, if you can, the agony and self-reproach of that bereaved man!
Again and again did he revile himself as her murderer; accusing
_himself_--her father--her _sister_--the whole world. At one moment,
he fancied that her condition had not been properly treated by her
attendants; at another, that the medical man ought not to have left
the house. Nay, hours and hours after she was gone for ever--after
the undertakers had commenced their hideous preparations--even while
she lay stretched before him, white and cold as marble, he persisted
that life might be still recalled; and, but for the better
discrimination of those around him, would have insisted on attempts at
resuscitation, calculated only to disturb, almost sacrilegiously, the
sound peace of the dead!

I was one of the first to learn the heart-rending news of this beloved
being's untimely end; for my old woman having asked permission to
remain with her through the night, (explaining the exigency of the
case,) I could not forbear hurrying to the house as soon as it was
day, in the hope of hearing she was a happy mother. Somehow or other,
I had never contemplated an unfavourable result. The idea of death
never presented itself to me in common with any thing so young and
fair; and as I walked through the park, and crossed the bridge, with
the white cheerful mansion before me, and the morning sun shining full
upon its windows, I thought how gladsome it looked, but could not
forbear feeling that, even with the prospect of losing it--even with
the certainty of beggary, Everard, as a husband and father, was the
fellow most to be envied upon earth!

I reached the house, and the old man who answered my ring at the
office entrance, was speechless from tears. Though usually hard as
iron, he sobbed as if his heart would break. I asked to speak with
Barbara--with my housekeeper. He told me I could not--that she was
"busy laying out the body." I was answered. That dreadful word told me
all--I had no more questions to ask. I cared not _who_ survived, or
what became of the survivors. And as I turned sickening away, to bend
my steps homewards, I remember wondering how that fair spring morning
could shine so bright and auspiciously, when _she_ was gone from us.
It seemed to triumph in our loss! Alas! it shone to welcome a new
angel to the kingdom of our Father who is in heaven!

Suddenly it struck me, that I, too, had a duty to perform. In that
scanty household there was no one to take thought of the common forms
of life; so I hastened to the rectory, to suggest to our good pastor a
visit of consolation to the house of mourning, and acquaint his
sisters with its forlorn condition. Like myself, they began
exclaiming, "Alas! alas! It was but the other day that"----reverting
to all the acts of charity and girlish graces of that dear departed
Mary Stanley, who had been among us as the shadow of a dream.

Before I left the rectory, Dr Whittingham had issued his orders; and
lo! as I proceeded homewards, with a heavy step and a heavier heart,
the sound of the passing bell from Lexley church pursued me with its
measured toll, till I could scarcely refrain from sitting me down by
the wayside, and weeping my very soul away.

On reaching the lane I have so often described as skirting the gardens
of the old Hall, I noticed, through the palisades, a person, probably
one of the gardeners, sauntering along Lady Robert's favourite
yew-walk. No! on a nearer approach, I saw, and almost shuddered to
see, that it was General Stanley himself (who, I fancied, had
accompanied his son-in-law to town) taking an early walk, to enjoy the
sweetness of that delicious morning.

As I drew nearer, I averted my head. At that moment I had not courage
to look him in the face. I could scarcely suppose him ignorant of what
had occurred; and, if aware of the sad event, his obduracy was unmanly
to a degree that filled me with disgust. But just as I came opposite
the iron gates, he hailed me by name--more familiarly and courteously
than he was wont--to ask whether I came from the village, and for
_whose_ death they were tolling?

If worlds had depended on my answer, I could not have uttered a word!
But I conclude that, catching sight of my troubled face and swollen
eyelids, the General supposed I had lost some near and dear friend;
for, instead of renewing his question, he merely touched his hat, and
passed on, leaving me to proceed in my turn. But the spectacle of my
profound affliction probably excited his curiosity; for I found
afterwards, that, instead of pursuing his walk, he returned straight
to the house, and addressed the enquiry which had so distressed _me_,
to others having more courage to reveal the fatal truth. I believe it
was the old family butler, who abruptly answered--"For my poor young
lady, General--for the sweetest angel that ever trod the earth!"

For my part, I wonder the announcement did not strike him to the
earth! But he heard it without apparent emotion; like a man who,
having already sustained the worst affliction this world can afford,
has no sensibility for further trials. Still the intelligence was not
ineffective. Without pausing an instant for reflection, or the
indulgence of his feelings, he set forth on foot to Lexley Park. With
his hat pulled over his eyes, and a determined air, rather as if about
to execute an act of vengeance than offer a tardy tribute of
tenderness to his victim, he hurried to the house--commanded the
startled old servant to show him the way to _her_ room--entered
it--and knelt down beside the bed on which she lay, with her dead
infant on her arm, asking her forgiveness, and the forgiveness of God,
as humbly as though he were not the General Stanley proverbial for
implacability and pride.

Old Barbara, who had not quitted the room, assured me it was a
heart-breaking sight to behold that white head bowed down in agony
upon the cold feet of his child. For he felt himself unworthy to press
her helpless hand to his lips, or remove the cambric from her face,
but called, in broken accents, upon the name of Mary! his child! his
darling! addressing her rather with the fondling terms bestowed upon
girlhood than as a woman--a wife--a mother!

"But a more affecting story still," said the old woman, "was to see
that Mr Everard took no more heed of the General's sudden entrance
than though it were a thing to be looked for. He seemed neither to
hear his exclamations nor perceive his distress." Poor gentleman! His
haggard eyes were fixed, his mind bewildered, his hopes blasted for
ever, his life a blank. He neither answered when spoken to, nor even
spoke, when the good rector, according to his promise, came to
announce that he had dispatched the fatal intelligence by express to
his family, beseeching his instructions concerning the steps to be
taken for the burial of the dead.

But why afflict you and myself by recurring to these melancholy
details! Suffice it, that this dreadful blow effected what nothing
else on earth could have effected in the mind of General Stanley.
Humbled to the dust, even the arrival of the once despised owner of
Lexley Park did not drive him from the house. He asked his pity--he
asked his pardon. Beside the coffin of his daughter he expressed all
the compunction a generous-hearted and broken-hearted man could
express; and all he asked in return, was leave to lay her poor head in
the grave of her ancestors.

No one opposed his desire. The young widower had not as much
consciousness left as would have enabled him to utter the negative
General Stanley seemed prepared to expect; and as to his father, about
to abandon Lexley for ever, to what purpose erect a family vault in a
church which neither he nor his were ever likely to see again?

To the chapel at Stanley Manor, accordingly, were the mother and child
removed. The General wrote expressly to forbid his son-in-law and
Selina returning to the Hall, on pretence of sustaining him in his
affliction. He _chose_ to give way to it; he _chose_ to be alone with
his despair.

Never shall I forget the day that mournful funeral procession passed
through the village! Young and old came forth weeping to their doors
to bid her a last farewell; even as they used to come and exchange
smiles with her, in those happy days when life lay before her,
bright--hopeful--without a care--without a responsibility. I had
intended to pay him the same respect. I meant, indeed, to have
followed the hearse, at an humble distance, to its final destination.
But when I rose that morning a sudden weakness came upon me, and I was
unable to quit my room. I, so strong, so hardy, who have passed
through life without sickness or doctor, was as powerless that day as
an infant.

It was from the good rector, therefore, I heard how the General (on
whom, in consequence of the precarious condition of the afflicted
husband, devolved the task of chief mourner) sustained his carriage to
perform with dignity and propriety his duty to the dead. As he
followed the coffin through the churchyard, crowded by his old
pensioners--many of them praying on their knees as it passed--his
step was as firm and his brow as erect as though at the head of his
regiment. It was not till all was over--the mournful ceremony done,
the crowd dispersed, the funeral array departed--that having descended
into the vault, ere the stone was rolled to the door of the sepulchre,
in order to point out the exact spot where he wished her remains to be
deposited, so that hereafter his own might rest by her side, he
renounced all self-restraint, and throwing himself upon the ground,
gave himself up to his anguish, and refused to be comforted!

That summer was as dreary a season at Lexley as the dreariest winter!
Both the Park and the Hall were shut up; nor did General Stanley ever
again resume his tenancy of the old manor. When the result of the
Chancery suit left Mr Altham in possession of the former estate, the
General literally preferred forfeiting the moiety of the
purchase-money he had paid, and giving up the place to be re-united
with the property, which the rigour of the law thus singularly
restored to the last heirs of the Althams; and such was the cause of
my neighbour, the present Sir Julius Altham, regaining possession of
the Hall.

It was not for many years, however, that the cause was ultimately
decided. There was an appeal against the Chancellor's decree; and even
after the decree was confirmed, came an endless number of legal forms,
which so procrastinated the settlement, that not only the original
unfortunate purchaser, but poor Everard himself, was in his grave when
the mansion, in which they had so prided themselves, was pulled down,
and all trace of their occupancy effaced.

I sometimes ask myself, indeed, whether the whole of this "strange
eventful history," with which the earliest feelings of my heart were
painfully interwoven, really occurred? whether the manor ever passed
for a time out of the possession of the ancient house of Altham?
whether the domain, now one and indivisible, were literally
partitioned off--a park paling interposing only between the patrician
and plebeian. Often, after spending hour after hour by the river side,
when the fly is on the water and the old thorns in bloom, I recur to
the first day I came back into Lexley Park after the funeral had
passed through, and recollect the soreness of heart with which I
lifted my eyes towards the house, of which every trace has since
disappeared. At that moment there seemed to rise before me, sporting
among the gnarled branches of the old thorn-trees, the graceful form
of Mary Stanley, followed by old Sergeant, bounding and barking
through the fern; and the General looking on from a distance,
pretending to be angry, and desiring her to come out of the covert and
not disturb the game. Exactly thus, and there, I beheld them for the
first time. What would I not give to realize once more, if only for a
day, that happy, happy vision!

Stanley Manor is let to strangers during the minority of Lord Robert's
sickly son; the father being an absentee, the mother in an early
grave. She lived long enough, however, to be a repining wife; and my
neighbour, Sir Julius Altham, has more than once hinted to me, that,
of the whole family, the portion of Selina most deserved compassion.

To me, however, her callous conduct towards that gentle sister, always
rendered her the least interesting of my COUNTRY NEIGHBOURS.


    [3] Travels of Kerim Khan; being a narrative of his
    Journey from Delhi to Calcutta, and thence by Sea to
    England: containing his remarks upon the manners,
    customs, laws, constitutions, literature, arts,
    manufactures, &c., of the people of the British Isles.
    Translated from the original Oordu--(MS.)

Among the various signs of the times which mark the changes of manners
in these latter days of the world, not the least remarkable is the
increasing frequency of the visits paid by the natives of the East to
the regions of Europe. Time was, within the memory of most of the
present generation, when the sight of a genuine Oriental in a London
drawing-room, except in the angel visits, "few and far between," of a
Persian or Moorish ambassador, was a rarity beyond the reach of even
the most determined lion-hunters; and if by any fortunate chance a
stray Persian khan, or a "very magnificent three-tailed bashaw," was
brought within the circle of the quidnuncs of the day, the sayings and
doings of the illustrious stranger were chronicled with as much
minuteness as if he had been the denizen of another planet. Every hair
of his beard, every jewel in the hilt of his khanjar, was enumerated
and criticised; while all oriental etiquette was violated by the
constant enquiries addressed to him relative to the number of his
wives, and the economy of his domestic arrangements. "_Mais à present
on a changé tout cela._" The reforms of Sultan Mahmood, the invention
of steam, and the re-opening of the overland route to India, have
combined to effect a mighty revolution in all these points. Osmanlis,
with shaven chins and tight trousers,[4] have long been as plenty as
blackberries in the saloons of the West, eating the flesh of the
unclean beast, quaffing champagne, and even (if we have been rightly
informed) figuring in quadrilles with the moon-faced daughters of the
Franks; and though the natives of the more distant regions of the East
have not yet appeared among us in such number, yet the lamb-skin cap
of the Persian, the _pugree_, or small Indian turban, and even the
queer head-dress of the Parsee, is far from being a stranger in our
assemblies. We doubt whether the name of Akhbar Khan himself,
proclaimed at the foot of a staircase, would excite the same
_sensation_ in the present day, as the announcement of the most
undistinguished wearer of the turban some ten or twenty years ago; but
of the "Tours" and "Narratives" which are usually the inevitable
result of such an influx of pilgrims, our Oriental visitors have as
yet produced hardly their due proportion. For many years, the travels
of Mirza Abu-Talib Khan, a Hindustani[5] Moslem of rank and education,
who visited Europe in the concluding years of the last century, stood
alone as an example of the effect produced on an Asiatic by his
observation of the manners and customs of the West; and even of late
our stock has not been much increased. The journal of the Persian
princes (a translation of which, by their Syrian mehmandar, Assaad
Yakoob Khayat, has been printed in England for private circulation) is
curious, as giving a picture of European ways and manners when viewed
through a purely Asiatic medium; while the remarkably sensible and
well-written narrative of the two Parsees who lately visited this
country for the purpose of instruction in naval architecture,[6]
differs little from the description of the same objects which would be
given by an intelligent and well-educated European, if they could be
presented to him in the aspect of utter novelty. The latest of these
Oriental wanderers in the ungenial climes of Franguestan, is the one
whose name appears at the head of this article, and who, with a rare
and commendable modesty, has preferred introducing himself to the
public under the protecting guidance of Maga, to venturing, alone and
without a pilot, among the perilous rocks and shoals of the critics of
_the Row_; him therefore we shall now introduce, without further
comment, to the favourable notice of our readers.

    [4] _Shalwarlek_--"tight trousers"--was a phrase used,
    under the old Turkish régime, as equivalent to a

    [5] The Moslems, and other natives of India descended
    from foreign races, are properly called _Hindustanis_,
    while the aborigines are the _Hindus_--a distinction not
    well understood in Europe. The former take their name
    from the country, as _natives of Hindustan_, which has
    derived its own name from the latter, as being the
    _country of the Hindus_.

    [6] Journal of a Residence of Two Years and a Half in
    Great Britain, by Jehangeer Nowrojee and Hirjeebhoy
    Merwanjee of Bombay, Naval Architects. London: 1841.

Of Kerim Khan himself, the writer of his narrative, and of his motives
for daring the perils of the _kala-pani_, (or black water, the Hindi
name for the ocean,) on a visit to Franguestan, we have little
information beyond what can be gathered from the MS. itself. There can
be no doubt, however, that he was a Mussulman gentleman of rank and
consideration, and of information far superior to that of his
countrymen in general; nor does it appear that he was driven, like
Mirza Abu-Talib, by political misfortune, to seek in strange climes
the security which his native land denied him. His narrative commences
abruptly:--"On the 21st of Ramazan, in the year of the Hejra 1255,"
(Dec. 1, A.D. 1839,) "between four and five in the afternoon, I took
leave of the imperial city of Delhi, and proceeded to our boat, which
was at anchor near the Derya Ganj." The voyage down the Jumna, to its
junction with the Ganges at Allahabad, a distance of not more than 550
miles by land, but which the endless windings of the stream increase
to 2010 by water, presents few incidents worthy of notice: but our
traveller observes _par parenthèse_, that "though it is said that the
sources of this river have not been discovered, I have heard from
those who have crossed the Himalaya from China, that it rises in that
country on the other side of the mountains, and, forcing its way
through them, arrives at Bighamber. They say that gold is found there
in large quantities, and the reason they assign is this--the
philosopher's stone is found in that country, and whatever touches it
becomes gold, but the stone itself can never be found!" Near Muttra he
encountered the splendid cortège of Lord Auckland, then returning to
Calcutta after his famous interview with Runjeet Singh at Lahore, with
such a _suwarree_ as must have recalled the pomp and _sultanut_ for
which the memory of Warren Hastings is even yet celebrated among the
natives of India: "his staff and escort, with the civil and military
officers of government in attendance on him, amounted to about 4000
persons, besides 300 elephants and 800 camels." The noble buildings of
Akbarabad or Agra, the capital and residence of Akbar and Shalijehan,
the mightiest and most magnificent of the Mogul emperors, detained the
traveller for a day; and he notices with deserved eulogium the
splendid mausoleum of Shalijehan and his queen, known as the
Taj-Mahal. There is nothing that can be compared with it, and those
who have visited the farthest parts of the globe, have seen nothing
like it.[7] At Allahabad he launched on the broad stream of the
Ganges; and after passing through part of the territory of _Awadh_ or
Oude, the insecurity of life and property in which is strongly
contrasted with the rigid police in the Company's dominions, arrived
in due time at the holy city of Benares, the centre of Hindoo and
Brahminical sanctity.

    [7] Many of our readers must have seen the beautiful
    ivory model of this far-famed edifice, lately exhibited
    in Regent Street, and now, we believe, in the Cambridge
    University museum. It is fortunate that so faithful a
    miniature transcript of the beauties of the Taj is in
    existence, since the original is doomed, as we are
    informed, to inevitable ruin at no distant period, from
    the ravages of the white ants on the woodwork.

The shrines of Benares, with their swarms of sacred monkeys and
Brahminy bulls, were objects of little interest to our Moslem
wayfarer, who on the contrary recounts with visible satisfaction the
destruction of several of these _But Khanas_, or idol-temples, by the
intolerable bigotry of Aurungzib, and the erection of mosques on their
sites. Among the objects of attraction in the environs of the city, he
particularly notices a famous footprint[8] upon stone, called the
_Kadmsherif_, or holy mark, deposited in a mosque near the serai of
Aurungabad, and said to have been brought from Mekka by Sheik Mohammed
Ali Hazin, whom the translator of his interesting autobiography
(published in 1830 by the Oriental Society) has made known to the
British public, up to the period when the tyranny of Nadir Shah drove
him from Persia. "Here, during his lifetime, he used to go sometimes
on a Thursday, and give alms to the poor in the name of God. He was a
very learned and accomplished man; and his writings, both in prose and
verse, were equal to those of Zahiri and Naziri. When he first came to
India, he resided for some years at Delhi; but having had some dispute
with the poet-laureate of the Emperor Mohammed Shah, he found himself
under the necessity of retiring to Benares, where he lived in great
privacy. As he was a stranger in the country, was engaged in no
calling or profession, and received no allowance from the Emperor, it
was never known whence, or how, he was supplied with the means of
keeping up the establishment he did, which consisted of some hundred
servants, palanquins, horses, &c. It is said that when the Nawab
Shujah-ed-dowlah projected his attack on the English in Bengal, he
consulted the Sheik on the subject, who strongly dissuaded him from
the undertaking. He died shortly after the battle of Buxar in 1180,"
(A.D. 1766.) The battle of Buxar was fought Oct. 23, 1764; but that
Sheik Ali Hazin died somewhere about this time, seems more probable
than that his life was extended (as stated by Sir Gore Ouseley) till
1779; since he describes himself at the conclusion of his memoirs in
1742, when only in his 53d year, as "leading the dullest course of
existence in the dullest of all dull countries, and disabled by his
increasing infirmities from any active exertion of either body or
mind"--a state of things scarcely promising a prolongation of life to
the age of ninety.

    [8] These sacred footmarks are more numerous among the
    Buddhists than the Moslems--the most celebrated is that
    on the summit of Adam's Peak, in Ceylon.

Resuming his voyage from Benares, the Khan notices with wonder the
apparition of the steamers plying between Calcutta and Allahabad,
several of which he met on his course, and regarded with the
astonishment natural in one who had never before seen a ship impelled,
apparently by smoke, against wind and tide:--"I need hardly say how
intensely I watched every movement of this extraordinary, and to me
incomprehensible machine, which in its passage created such a vast
commotion in the waters, that my poor little _budjrow_ (pinnace) felt
its effects for the space of full two _hos_," (nearly four miles.) The
picturesque situation of the city of Azimabad or Patna,[9] extending
for several miles along the right bank of the Ganges, with the villas
and beautiful gardens of the resident English interspersed among the
houses, is described in terms of high admiration; and the mosques,
some of which were as old as the time of the Patan emperors, are not
forgotten by our Moslem traveller in his enumeration of the marvels of
the city. A few days' more boating brought him to Rajmahal; "on one
side of which," says he, "the country is called Bengal, and on the
other _Poorb_, or the East"--a name from which the independent dynasty
of Moslem kings, who once ruled in Bengal, assumed the appellation of
_Poorby-Shaby_. He was now among the rice-fields, the extent and
luxuriance of which surprised him: "There are a great variety of
sorts, and if a man were to take a grain of each sort he might soon
fill a _lota_ (water-pot) with them--so innumerable are the different
kinds. The cultivators who have measured the largest species, have
declared them to exceed the length of fifty cubits; but I have never
seen any of this length, though others may have." He now entered the
Bhagirutti, or branch of the Ganges leading to Calcutta, and which
bears in the lower part of its course the better known name of the
Hoogly--while the main stream to the left is again subdivided into
innumerable ramifications, the greater part of which lose themselves
among the vast marshes of the Sunderbunds; but he complains, that
"though by this branch large vessels and steamers pass up and down to
and from the Presidency, the route is very bad, from the extensive
jungles on both banks, which are haunted by Thugs and _Decoits_,
(river pirates:)--indeed I have heard and read, that the shores of the
Ganges have been infested by freebooters, pirates, and thieves of all
sorts, from time immemorial." He escaped unharmed, however, through
these manifold perils; and passing Murshidabad, the ancient capital of
Bengal, and other places of less note, his remarks upon which we shall
not stay to quote, reached the ghauts of Calcutta in safety.

    [9] Most of the principal cities of India, in addition
    to the ancient name by which they are popularly known,
    have another imposed by the Moslems:--thus Agra is
    Akbarabad, _the residence of Akbar_--Delhi,
    Shahjehanabad; and Patna, Azimabad. In some instances,
    as Dowlutabad in the Dekkan, the Hindu name of which is
    Deogiri, the Mohammedan appellation has superseded the
    ancient name; but, generally speaking, the latter is
    that in common use.

A place so often described as the "City of Palaces," presents little
that is novel in the narrative of the khan; but he does full justice
to the splendour of the architecture, which he says "exceeds that of
_China or Ispahan_--a superiority which arises from the immense sums
which every governor-general has laid out upon public works, and in
improving and adorning the city: the Marquis Wellesley, in particular,
expended lakhs of rupees in this way." The account which he gives,
however, from a Mahommedan writer, of the disputes with the Mogul
government which led to the transference of the British factory and
commerce from its original seat at Hoogly to _Kali-kata_,[10] or
Calcutta, differs considerably from that given by the British
historians, if we are to suppose the events here alluded to (the date
of which the khan does not mention) to be those which occurred in 1686
and 1687, when Charnock defended the factory at Hoogly against the
Imperial deputy, Shaista Khan. Our traveller's version of these
occurrences is, that the factories of the English, which were then
established on the Ghol Ghaut at Hoogly, having been overthrown by an
earthquake, "Mr Charnock, the head officer of the factory, purchasing
a garden called Banarasi, had the trees cut down, and commenced a new
building. But while it was in progress, the principal Mogul merchants
and inhabitants laid a complaint before Meer Nasir, the _foujdar_,
(chief of police,) that their houses and harems would be overlooked,
and great scandal occasioned, if the strangers should be allowed to
erect such lofty buildings in the midst of the city.[11] The complaint
was referred by the foujdar to the nawab, who forthwith issued orders
for the discontinuance of the works, which were accordingly abandoned.
The Company's agent, though highly offended at this arbitrary
proceeding, was unable to resist it, having only one ship and a few
sepoys; and, in spite of the efforts of the foujdar to dissuade him,
he embarked with all his goods, and set sail for the peninsula," (qu.
Indjeli?) "having first set fire to such houses as were near the
river. At this time, however, the Emperor Aurungzib was in the
Carnatic, beleaguered by the Mahrattas, who had cut off all supplies
from his camp; and the Company's agent in that country, hearing of
this, sent a large quantity of grain, which had been recently imported
for their own use, for the relief of the army. Having thus gained the
favour and protection of the Asylum of the World, the English were not
only permitted to build factories in various parts of the country, but
were exempted from the duties formerly laid on their goods. Charnock
returned to Bengal with the emperor's firman; and the nawab, seeing
how matters stood, withdrew his opposition to the erection of the
factory at Hoogly. The English, however, preferred another situation,
and chose Calcutta, where a building was soon erected, the same which
is now called the old fort." This account, which is in fact more
favourable to the English than that given by their own writers, is the
only notice of these transactions we have ever found from a Mahommedan
author; for so small was the importance attached by the Moguls to
these obscure squabbles with a few Frank merchants, that even the
historian Khafi-Khan, who acted as the emperor's representative for
settling the differences which broke out about the same time in
Bombay, makes no allusion to the simultaneous rupture in Bengal.

    [10] "So called from _Kali_, the Hindu goddess, and
    _kata_, laughter; because human victims were formerly
    here sacrificed to her."

    [11] From the sanctity attached by Oriental ideas to the
    privacy of the harem, it is a high crime and
    misdemeanour, punishable by law in all Moslem countries,
    to erect buildings overlooking the residence of a
    neighbour. At Constantinople, there is an officer called
    the Minar Aga, or superintendent of edifices, whose
    especial duty it is to prevent this.

Our author, like Bishop Heber,[12] and other travellers on the same
route, is struck by the contrast between the robust and well-fed
peasantry of Hindustan Proper, and the puny rice-eaters of Bengal;
"who eat fish, boiled rice, bitter oil; and an infinite variety of
vegetables; but of wheaten or barley bread, and of pulse, they know
not the taste, nor of mutton, fowl, or _ghee_, (clarified butter.) The
author of the _Riaz-es-Selatin_, is indeed of opinion that such food
does not suit their constitutions, and would make them ill if they
were to eat it"--an invaluable doctrine to establish in dieting a
pauper population! "As to their dress, they have barely enough to
cover them--only a piece of cloth, called a _dhoti_, wrapped round
their loins, while their head-dress consists of a dirty rag rolled two
or three times round the temples, and leaving the crown bare. But the
natives of Hindustan, and even their descendants to the second and
third generation, always wear the _jamah_, or long muslin robe, out of
doors, though in the house they adopt the Bengali custom. The author
of the _Kholasat-al Towārikh_, (an historical work,) says that both
men and women formerly went naked; and no doubt he is right, for they
can hardly be said to do otherwise now." Such are the peasants of
Bengal--a race differing from the natives of Hindustan in language,
manners, food, dress, and personal appearance; but who, from their
vicinity to the seat of the English Supreme Government, have served as
models for the descriptions given by many superficial travellers, as
applying to all the natives of British India, without distinction! The
horrible Hindu custom of immersing the sick, when considered past
recovery, in the Ganges, and holding their lower limbs under water
till they expire,[13] excites, as may be expected, the disgust of the
khan; but the reason which he assigns for it, "the belief of these
people, that if a man die in his own house, he would cause the death
of every member of the family by assuming the form of a _bhut_ or evil
spirit," is new to us, and appears to be analogous to the
superstitious dread entertained by the Greeks and Sclavonians, of a
corpse reanimated into a _Vroucolochas_, or vampire. "But if a man
escapes from their hands, and recovers after this treatment, he is
shunned by every one; and there are many villages in Bengal, called
_villages of the dead_, inhabited by men who have thus escaped death;
they are considered dead to society, and no other persons will dwell
in the same villages."

    [12] "Almost immediately on leaving Allahabad," (on his
    way from Calcutta to the Upper Provinces,) "I was struck
    with the appearance of the men, as tall and muscular as
    the largest stature of Europeans; and with the fields of
    _wheat_, almost the only cultivation."--Heber's Journal,
    vol. iii. "Some of our boatmen passing through a field
    of Indian corn, plucked two or three ears, certainly not
    enough to constitute a theft, or even a trespass. Two of
    the men, however, who were watching, ran after them, not
    as the Bengalis would have done, to complain with joined
    hands, but with stout bamboos, prepared to do themselves
    justice _par voye de faict_. The men saved themselves by
    swimming off to the boat; but my servants called out to
    them--'Ah! dandee folk, beware, you are now in
    Hindustan; the people here know well how to fight, and
    are not afraid.'"

    [13] "I told his (Pertab Chund's) father, that it was
    wrong to keep him where he then was, and he told me to
    take him down to the river. He was lifted up on his
    bedding; his speech was not very distinct at that time,
    but sufficiently so to call on the name of his T'hakoor,
    (spiritual guide,) which he did as desired; he then
    began to shiver, and complained of being very cold. I
    was one of those who went with the rajah to the river
    side. Jago Mohun Dobee pressed his legs under the water,
    and kept them so; and about 10 p.m. his soul quitted the
    body. When he died, his knees were under water, but the
    rest of his body above." Evidence of Radha Sircar and
    Sham Chum Baboo, before the Mofussil Court of Hoogly,
    September 1838, in the enquiry on the impostor
    Kistololl, who personated the deceased Pertab.

The stay of the khan in Calcutta was prolonged for more than a month,
during which time he rented a house from a native proprietor in the
quarter of Kolitolla. While removing his effects from his boat to
this residence, he became involved in a dispute with the police, in
consequence of the violation by his servants, through ignorance, of
the regulation which forbids persons from the Upper Provinces to enter
the city armed; but this unintentional infringement of orders was
easily explained and arranged by the intervention of an European
friend, and the arms, of which the police had taken possession, were
restored. While engaged in preparing for his voyage, the khan made the
best use of his time in visiting the public buildings, and other
objects of interest, among which he particularly notices the _minar_
or column erected in the _maidan_, (square,) near the viceregal palace
of the Nawab Governor-General Bahadur, by a subscription among the
officers of the army, native as well as English, to the memory of the
late Sir David Ochterlony; but rates it, with truth, as greatly
inferior, both in dimensions and beauty, to the famous pillar of the
Kootb-Minar near Delhi. The colossal fortifications of Fort-William
are also duly commemorated; "they resemble an embankment externally,
but when viewed from within are exceedingly high--no foe could
penetrate within them, much less reach the treasures and magazines in
the interior." Our traveller also visited the English courts of
justice, in the proceedings of which he seems to have taken great
interest, and was apparently treated with much hospitality by many of
the European functionaries and other residents, by whom he was
furnished with numerous letters of introduction, as well as receiving
much information respecting the manners and customs of _Ingilistan_,
or England. The choice of a ship, and the selection of sea-stock, were
of course matters of grave consideration, and the more so from the
peculiar unfitness of the habits and religious scruples of an Indian
Moslem for the privations unavoidable at sea; but a passage was at
last taken for the khan and his two servants on board the Edinburgh of
1400 tons, and it being agreed that he should find his own provisions,
to obviate all mistakes on the score of forbidden food, and the
captain promising moreover that his comforts should be carefully
attended to, this weighty negotiation was at length concluded. It is
due to the khan to say, that whether from being better equipped, or
from being endued with more philosophy and forbearance than his
compatriot, Mirza Abu-Talib Khan, (to whom we have above referred,) he
seems to have reconciled himself to the hardships of the _kala-pani_,
or ocean, with an exceedingly good grace; and we find none of the
complaints which fill the pages of the Mirza against the impurity of
his food, the impossibility of performing his ablutions in appointed
time and manner, and sundry other abominations by which he was so
grievously afflicted, that at a time of danger to the vessel, "though
many of the passengers were much alarmed, I, for my own part, was so
weary of life that I was perfectly indifferent to my fate." Abu-Talib,
however, sailed in an ill-regulated Danish ship; and in summing up the
horrors of the sea, he strongly recommends his countrymen, if
compelled to brave its miseries, to embark in none but an English

During the last days of the khan's sojourn in Calcutta, he witnessed
the splendid celebration of the rites of the Mohurrum, when the
slaughter of the brother Imams, Hassan and Hussein, the martyred
grandsons of the Prophet, is lamented by all sects of the faithful,
but more especially by the _Rafedhis_ or Sheahs, the followers of Ali,
"of whom there are many in Calcutta, though they are less numerous
than the orthodox sect or Sunnis, from whom they are distinguished, at
this season, by wearing black as mourning. At the _Baitak-Khana_ (a
quarter of Calcutta) we witnessed the splendid procession of the
_Tazîya_,[14] with the banners and flags flying, and the wailers
beating their breasts."... "It is the custom here, at this season, for
all the natch-girls (dancers) to sit in the streets of the
Chandnibazar, under canopies decorated with wreaths and flowers in
the most fantastic manner, and sell sweetmeats, cardamums, betelnuts,
&c., upon stalls, displaying their charms to the passers-by. I took a
turn here one evening with five others, and found crowds of people
collected, both strangers and residents: nor do they ordinarily
disperse till long after midnight." On the second day after his visit
to this scene of gaiety, he received notice that the ship was ready
for sea; and on the 8th of Mohurrum 1256, (March 13, 1840,) he
accordingly embarked with his baggage and servants on board the
Edinburgh, which was towed in seven days, by a steamer, down the river
to Saugor; and the pilot quitting her the next day at the floating
light. "I now found myself," (says the khan,) "for the first time in
my life, in the great ocean, where nothing was to be seen around but
sky and water."

    [14] _Tazîya_, literally _grief_, is an ornamental
    shrine erected in Moslem houses during the Mohurrum, and
    intended to represent the mausoleum of Hassan and
    Hussein, at Kerbelah in Persia. On the 10th and last day
    of the mourning, the tazîyas are carried in procession
    to the outside of the city, and finally deposited with
    funeral rites in the burying-grounds.--See _Mrs Meer
    Hassan Ali's_ Observations on the Mussulmans of India.
    Letter I.

The account of a voyage at sea, as given by an Oriental, is usually
the most deplorable of narratives--filled with exaggerated fears, the
horrors of sea-sickness, and endless lamentations of the evil fate of
the writer, in being exposed to such a complication of miseries. Of
the wailing of Mirza Abu-Talib we have already given a specimen: and
the Persian princes, even in the luxurious comfort of an English
Mediterranean steamer, seem to have fared but little better, in their
own estimation at least, than the Mirza in his dirty and disorderly
Danish merchantman. "Our bones cried, 'Alas! for this evil there is no
remedy.' We were vomiting all the time, and thus afflicted with
incurable evils, in the midst of a sea which appears without end, the
state of my health bad, the sufferings of my brothers very great, and
no hope of being saved, we became most miserable." Such is the naïve
exposition of his woes, by H. R. H. Najaf Kooli Mirza; but Kerim Khan
appears, both physically and morally, to have been made of different
metal. Ere he had been two days on board we find him remarking--"I had
by this time made some acquaintance among the passengers, and began to
find my situation less irksome and lonely;" shortly afterwards
adding--"The annoyances inseparable from this situation were relieved,
in some measure, by the music and dancing going on every day except
Sundays, owing to the numerous party of passengers, both gentlemen and
ladies, whom we had on board--seeing which, a man forgets his griefs
and troubles in the general mirth around him." So popular, indeed,
does the khan appear already to have become, that the captain, finding
that he had hitherto abstained from the use of his pipe, that great
ingredient in Oriental comfort, from an idea that smoking was
prohibited on board, "instantly sent for my hookah, had it properly
prepared for me, and insisted on my not relinquishing this luxury, the
privation of which he knew would occasion me considerable
inconvenience." In other respects, also, he seems to have been not
less happily constituted; for though he says that "the rolling and
rocking of the ship, when it entered the _dark waters_ or open sea,
completely upset my two companions, who became extremely sick"--his
remarks on the incidents of the voyage, and the novel phenomena which
presented themselves to his view, are never interrupted by any of
those pathetic lamentations on the instability of the human stomach,
which form so important and doleful an episode in the relations of
most landsmen, of whatever creed or nation.

The commencement of the voyage was prosperous; and the ship ran to the
south before a fair wind, interrupted only by a few days of partial
calm, till it reached the latitude of Ceylon, where the appearance of
the flying fish excited the special wonder of the khan, who was by
this time beginning, under the tuition of his fellow passengers, to
make some progress in the English language, and had even attempted to
fathom some of the mysteries of the science of navigation; "but though
I took the sextant which the captain handed me, and held it precisely
as he had done, I could make nothing of it." The regular performance
of the Church service on Sundays, and the cessation on that day from
the ordinary amusements, is specially noticed on several occasions,
and probably made a deeper impression on the mind of our Moslem
friend, from the popular belief current in India that the _Feringhis_
are men _of no caste_, without religious faith or ceremonies--a belief
which the conduct and demeanour of the Anglo-Indians in past times
tended, in too many instances, to confirm. Off the southern extremity
of Ceylon, the ship was again becalmed for several days; but the
tedium of this interval was relieved, not only by the ordinary sea
incidents of the capture of a shark and the appearance of a whale,
(the zoological distinctions between which and the true fishes are
stated by the khan with great correctness,) but by the occurrence of a
mutiny on board an English vessel in company, which was fortunately
quelled by the exertions of the captain of the Edinburgh.

"The spicy gales of Ceylon," blowing off the coast to the distance, as
stated, of fifty miles, (an extremely moderate range when compared
with the accounts of some other travellers,) at last brought on their
wings the grateful announcement of the termination of the calm; but
before quitting the vicinity of this famous island, (more celebrated
in eastern story under the name of Serendib,) the khan gives some
notices of the legends connected with its history, which show a more
extended acquaintance with Hindu literature than the Moslems in India
in general take the trouble of acquiring. Among the rest he alludes to
the epic of the Ramayuna, and the bridge built by Rama (or as he calls
him, Rajah Ram Chunder) for the passage of the monkey army and their
redoubled general, Huniman, from the Indian continent into the island,
in order to deliver from captivity Seeta, the wife of the hero. The
wind still continuing favourable, the ship quickly passed the equator,
and the pole-star was no longer visible--"a proof of the earth's
sphericity which I was glad to have had an opportunity of seeing;" and
they left, at a short distance to the right, the islands of Mauritius
and Bourbon, "which are not far from the great island of Madagascar,
where the faithful turn their faces to the north when they pray, as
they turn them to the west in India," the _kiblah_, or point of
direction, being in both cases the kaaba, or temple of Mekka. They
were now approaching the latitude of the Cape; and our voyager was
astonished by the countless multitudes of sea-birds which surrounded
the ship, and particularly by the giant bulk of the albatrosses,
"which I was told remained day and night on the ocean, repairing to
the coast of Africa only at the period of incubation." The Cape of
Storms, however, as it was originally named by Vasco de Gama, did not
fail on this occasion to keep up its established character for bad
weather. A severe gale set in from the east, which speedily increased
to a storm. A sailor fell from "the third stage of the mainmast," (the
main topgallant yard,) and was killed on the deck; and as the
inhospitable shores of Africa were close under their lee, the ship
appears for some time to have been in considerable danger. But in this
(to him) novel scene of peril, the khan manifests a degree of
self-possession, strongly contrasting with the timidity of the royal
grandsons of Futteh Ali Shah, the expression of whose fears during a
gale is absolutely ludicrous. "We were so miserable that we gave up
all hope; we gave up our souls, and began to beseech God for
forgiveness; while the wind continued increasing, and all the waves of
the western sea rose up in mountains, with never-ceasing noise, till
they reached the planets." Even after the violence of the hurricane
had in some measure abated, the sea continued to run so high that the
ports were kept closed for several days. "At last, however, they were
opened for the purpose of ventilating the interior; and the band,
which had been silent for some days, began to play again." The
appearance of a water-spout on the same afternoon is thus
described:--"An object became visible in the distance, in the form of
a minaret, and every one on board crowded on deck to look at it. On
asking what it was, I was told that what appeared to be a minaret was
only water, which was drawn up towards the heavens by the force of the
wind, and when this ceased would fall again into the sea, and was what
we should call a whirlwind. This is sometimes extremely dangerous to
vessels, since, if it reaches them, it is so powerful as to draw them
out of the sea in the same manner as it draws up the water; in
consequence of which many ships have been lost when they have been
overtaken by this wonderful phenomenon."

The storm was succeeded by a calm, which detained the ship for two
days within sight of the lofty mountains near the Cape. "It was
bitterly cold, for the seasons are here reversed, and instead of
summer, as we should have expected, it was now the depth of winter.
At length, however, (on the 69th day after our leaving Calcutta,) a
strong breeze sprung up, which enabled us to set all sail, and carried
us away from this table-land." The run from the Cape to St Helena
seems to have been barren of incident, except an accidental encounter
with a vessel in distress, which proved to be a slaver which had been
captured by an English cruiser, and had sustained serious damage in
the late storm while proceeding to the Cape with a prize crew. On
approaching St Helena, the captain "gave orders for the ship to be
painted, both inside and out, that the people of the island might not
say we came in a dirty ship; and as we neared the land, a white flag
was hoisted to apprise those on shore that there was no one ill on
board. In cases of sickness a yellow flag is displayed, and then no
one is permitted to land from the ship for fear of contagion. The
island is about twenty-six miles in circuit, and is constantly
enveloped in fog and mist. It is said to have been formerly a volcano,
but has now ceased to smoke. The vegetation is luxuriant, but few of
the flowers are fragrant. I recognised some, however, both flowers and
fruits, which seemed similar to those of India. I took the opportunity
of landing with the captain to see the town, which is small, but
extremely well fortified, the cannon being so numerous that one might
suppose the whole island one immense iron-foundery. It is populous,
the inhabitants being chiefly Jews and English; but as it was Sunday,
and all the shops were shut, it had a dull appearance. After surveying
the town, I ascended a hill in the country, leading to the tomb of
Napoleon Bonaparte, which is on an elevated spot, four miles from the

"This celebrated personage was a native of Corsica; and enjoying a
fortunate horoscope, he entered the French army, and speedily rose to
the rank of general; and afterwards, with the consent of the people
and the soldiery, made himself emperor. After this he conquered
several kingdoms, and the fame of his prowess and his victories filled
all the European world. When he invaded Russia, he defeated the
Muscovites in several great battles, and took their capital; but, in
consequence of the intensity of the cold, several thousands of his
army both men and horses, perished miserably. This catastrophe obliged
him to return to France, where he undertook the conquest of another
country. At this time George III. reigned in England; and having
collected all the disposable forces of his kingdom, appointed Lord
Wellington (the same general who was employed in the war against
Tippoo Sultan in Mysore) to command them, and sent him to combat the
French Emperor. He entered Spain, and forced the Emperor's brother,
Yusuf, (Joseph,) who was king of that country, to fly--till after a
variety of battles and incidents, too numerous to particularize, the
two hostile armies met at a place called by the English Waterloo,
where a bloody battle was fought, as famous as that of Pāshān,
between Sohrab and the hero Rustan: and Napoleon was overthrown and
made prisoner. He was then sent, though in a manner suitable to his
rank, to this island of St Helena, where, after a few years, he
finished his earthly career. His tomb is much visited by all who touch
at the island, and has become a _durgah_ (shrine) for innumerable
visitors from Europe. There are persons appointed to take care of it,
who give to strangers, in consideration of a small present, the leaves
and flowers of the trees which grow round the tomb. No other Emperor
of the Europeans was ever so honoured as to have had his tomb made a
shrine and place of pilgrimage: nor was ever one so great a conqueror,
or so renowned for his valour and victories."

The remainder of the voyage from St Helena to England was apparently
marked by no incident worthy of mention, as the khan notices only the
reappearance of the pole-star on their crossing the line, and
re-entering the northern hemisphere, and their reaching once more the
latitude of Delhi, "which we now passed many thousand miles to our
right; after which nothing of importance occurred till we reached the
British Channel, when we saw the Scilly Isles in the distance, and
about noon caught a glimpse of the Lizard Point, and the south coast
of England, together with the lighthouse: the country of the French
lay on our right at the distance of about eighty miles. I was given
to understand that the whole distance from St Helena to London, by the
ship's reckoning, was 6328 miles, and 16,528 from Calcutta." In the
Downs the pilot came on board, from whom they received the news of the
attempt recently made by Oxford on the life of the Queen; and here the
captain, anxious to lose no time in reaching London, quitted the
vessel as it entered the Thames, "the sources of which famous river, I
was informed, were near a place called Cirencester, eighty-eight miles
from London, in the _zillah_ (county) of Gloucester." The ship was now
taken in tow by a couple of steam-tugs, and passing Woolwich, "where
are the war-ships and _top-khana_ (arsenal) of the English Padishah,
at length reached Blackwall, where we anchored."

"I now (continues the khan) returned thanks to God for having
brought me safe through the wide ocean to this extraordinary
country--bethinking myself of the answer once made by a man who had
undertaken a voyage, on being asked by his friends what he had seen
most wonderful--'The greatest wonder I have seen is seeing myself
alive on land!'" The troubles of the khan, however, were far from
being ended by his arrival on _terra firma_: for apparently from
some mistake or inadvertence, (the cause of which does not very
clearly appear,) on the part of the friends whom he had expected to
meet him, he found himself, on landing at Blackwall and proceeding
by the railway to London, left alone by the person who had thus far
been his guide, in apartments near Cornhill, almost wholly
unacquainted with the English language, separated from his baggage
and servants, who were still on board the Edinburgh, and with no one
in his company but another Hindustani, as little versed as himself
in the ways and speech of Franguestan. In this "considerable
unhandsome fix," as it would be called on the other side of the
Atlantic, the perplexities of the khan are related with such
inimitable naïveté and good-humour, that we cannot do better than
give the account of them in his own words. "As I could neither ask
for any thing, nor answer any question put to me, I passed the whole
night without a morsel of food or a drop of water: till in the
morning, feeling hungry, I requested my companion to go to some
bazar and buy some fruit. He replied that it would be impossible for
him either to find his way to a bazar through the crowds of people,
or to find his way back again--as all the houses were so much alike.
I then told him to go straight on in the street we were in, turning
neither to the right nor the left till he met with some shop where
we might get what we wanted: and, in order to direct him to the
place on his return, I agreed to lean half out of the window, so
that he could not fail to see me. No sooner, however, did he sally
forth, than the people, men, women, and children, began to stare at
him on all sides, as if he had dropped from the moon; some stopped
and gazed, and numbers followed him as if he had been a criminal
about being led to execution. Nor was I in a more enviable position:
the people soon caught sight of me with my head and shoulders out of
the window; and in a few minutes a mob had collected opposite the
door. What was I to do? If I withdrew myself, my friend on returning
would have no mark to find the house, while, if I remained where I
was, the curiosity of the crowd would certainly increase. I kept my
post, however, while every one that passed stopped and gazed like
the rest, till there was actually no room for vehicles to pass; and
in this unpleasant situation I remained fully an hour, when seeing
my friend returning, I went down and opened the door for him. He
told me he had gone straight on, till he came to a fruit-shop, at
the corner of another street, when he went in, and laying two
shillings on the counter, said in Oordu, (the polished dialect of
Hindustani,) 'Give me some fruit.' The shopman, not understanding
him, spoke to him in English; to which he replied again in Oordu, 'I
want some fruit!' pointing at the same time to the money, to signify
that he wanted two shillings' worth of fruit. The man, however,
continued confounded; and my friend at last, not knowing of what
sort the fruits were, whether sour or sweet, bitter or otherwise,
ventured, after much hesitation and fruitless attempts to
communicate with the shopman by signs and gestures, to take up four
apples, and then made his retreat in the best manner he could,
followed, as here, by the rabble. I at last caught a glimpse of him,
as I have mentioned, and let him in; and we sat down together, and
breakfasted on these four apples, my friend taking two of them, and
I the others."

It must be admitted that our khan's first meal in England, and the
concomitant circumstances, were not calculated to impress him with a
very high idea, either of the comforts of the country or the
politeness of the inhabitants; but the unruffled philosophy with which
he submitted to these untoward privations was, ere-long, rewarded by
the arrival of the East India agent to whose care he had been
recommended, and who, after putting him in the way of getting his
servants and luggage on shore from the vessel, took him out in a
carriage to show him the metropolis. "It was, indeed, wonderful in
every point of view, whether I regarded the immense population, the
dresses and faces of the men and women, the multitudes of houses,
churches, &c., and the innumerable carriages running in streets paved
with stone and wood, (the width and openness of which seem to expand
the heart,) and confining themselves to the middle of the road,
without overturning any of the foot-passengers." The cathedral of St
Paul's is described with great minuteness of detail, and the expense
of its erection stated at seventy-three lakhs of rupees, (about
L.750,000;) "but I have heard that if a similar edifice were erected
in the present day, it would cost four times as much, as the cost of
every thing has increased in at least that proportion."

The difficulties of the khan, from his ignorance of the language, and
Moslem scruples at partaking of food not dressed by his own people,
were not yet, however, at an end. For though, on returning to his
lodging in the evening, he found that his friend had succeeded in
procuring from the ship a dish of _kichiri_, (an Indian mess, composed
of rice and _ghee_, or clarified butter,) his inability to communicate
with his landlady still occasioned him considerable perplexity.
"Having ventured to take some pickles, which I saw on the sideboard,
and finding them palatable, I sent for the landlady, and tried to
explain to her by signs, pointing to the bottles, that I wanted
something like what they contained. Alas, for my ignorance! She
thought I wished them taken out of the room, and so walked off with
them, leaving me in the utmost astonishment. How was I to get it back
again? it was the only thing I had to relish my _kichiri_. I had,
therefore, recourse to this expedient--I got an apple and pared it,
putting the parings in a bottle with water; and showing this to the
landlady, intimated, by signs, that I wanted something like it to eat
with my rice. She asked many questions in English, and talked a great
deal, from which I inferred that she had at last discovered my
meaning, but five minutes had hardly elapsed when she re-appeared,
bearing in her hand a bottle of water, filled with apple-parings cut
in the nicest manner imaginable! This she placed on the table in the
most respectful manner, and then retired!"

The good lady, however, conceiving that her guest was in danger of
perishing with hunger, was benevolently importunate with him to
partake of some nourishment, or at least of some tea and toast, "since
it is the custom in this country for every one to eat five times
a-day, and some among the wealthy are not satisfied even with this!"
The arrival of an English acquaintance, who explained to the landlady
the religious prejudices of her lodger, in some measure relieved him
from his embarrassment; but he was again totally disconcerted, by
finding it impossible, after a long search, to procure any _ghee_--an
ingredient indispensable in the composition of every national dish of
India, whether Moslem or Hindu. "How shall I express my astonishment
at this extraordinary ignorance? What! do they not know what _ghee_
is? Wonderful! This was a piece of news I never expected--that what
abounds in every little wretched village in India, could not be
purchased in this great city!" How this unforeseen deficiency was
supplied does not appear; but probably the khan's never-failing
philosophy enabled him to bear even this unparalleled privation with
equanimity, as we hear no further complaints on the subject. He did
not remain, however, many days in those quarters, finding that the
incessant noise of the vehicles passing day and night deprived him of
sleep; and, by the advice of his friends, he took a small house in St
John's Wood, where he was at once at a distance from the intolerable
clamour of the streets, and at liberty to live after the fashion of
his own country.

The first place of public resort to which he directed his steps,
appears to have been the Pantheon bazar in Oxford Street, whither the
familiar name perhaps attracted him--"for the term _bazar_ is in use
also among the people of this country;" but he does not appear to have
been particularly struck by any thing he saw there, except the
richness and variety of the wares. On the contrary, he complains of
the want of fragrance in the flowers in the conservatory, particularly
the roses, as compared with those of his native land--"there was _one_
plantain-tree which seemed to be regarded as a sort of wonder, though
thousands grow in our gardens without any sort of culture." The
presence of the female attendants at the stalls, a sight completely at
variance with Asiatic ideas, is also noticed with marked
disapprobation--"Most of them were young and handsome, and seemed
perfect adepts in the art of selling their various wares; but I could
not help reflecting, on seeing so many fine young women engaged in
this degrading occupation, on the ease and comfort enjoyed by our
females, compared to the drudgery and servile employment to which the
sex are subjected in this country. Notwithstanding all the English say
of the superior condition of their women, it is quite evident, from
all I have seen since my arrival, that their social state is far below
that of our females." This sentiment is often repeated in the course
of the narrative, and any one who has read, in the curious work of Mrs
Meer Hassan Ali, quoted above, an account of the strict domestic
seclusion in which Moslem females having any pretensions to rank, or
even respectability, are constantly retained in India, will not be
surprised at the frequent expression of repugnance, whenever the
writer sees women engaged in any public or out-of-doors occupation--a
custom so abhorrent to Oriental, and, above all, to Indian ideas.

We next find the khan in the Zoological Gardens, his matter-of-fact
description of which affords an amusing contrast with that of those
veracious scions of Persian royalty, who luxuriate in "elephant birds
just like an elephant, but without the proboscis, and with wings
fifteen yards long"--"an elephant twenty-four feet high, with a trunk
forty feet long;" and who assure us that "the monkeys act like human
beings, and play at chess with those who visit the gardens. On this
day a Jew happened to be at this place, and went to play a game with
the monkey. The monkey beat, and began to laugh loudly, all the people
standing round him; and the Jew, exceedingly abashed, was obliged to
leave the place." The khan, in common with ourselves, and the
generality of visitors to the Regent's Park, was not fortunate enough
to witness any of the wondrous feats which gladdened the royal eyes of
the Shahzadehs--though he saw some of the apes, meaning the
orang-outan, "drink tea and coffee, sit on chairs, and eat their food
like human beings." * * *

"There is no island or kingdom," (he continues,) "which has not
contributed its specimens of the animal kingdom to these gardens: from
the elephant and rhinoceros, to the fly and the mosquito, all are to
be seen here"--but not even the giraffes, strange as their appearance
must have been to him, attract any particular notice; though the sight
of the exotics in the garden draws from him a repetition of his old
complaint, relative to the want of fragrance in the flowers as
compared with those produced under the genial sun of India. The
ceremony of the prorogation of Parliament by the Queen in person was
now at hand, and the khan determined to be present at this imposing
scene. But as he takes this opportunity to introduce his observations
and opinions on the laws and customs of this country, we shall
postpone to our next Number the discussion of these weighty subjects.



It was on a sultry July evening that a joyous party of young men were
assembled in the principal room of a wine house, outside the Potsdam
gate of Berlin. One of their number, a Saxon painter, by name Carl
Solling, was about to take his departure for Italy. His place was
taken in the Halle mail, his luggage sent to the office, and the coach
was to call for him at midnight at the tavern, whither a number of his
most intimate friends had accompanied him, to drink a parting glass of
Rhenish wine to his prosperous journey.

Supper was over, and some magnificent melons, and peaches, and plates
of caviare, and other incentives to drinking, placed upon the table; a
row of empty bottles already graced the sideboard, while full ones of
that venerable cobweb-mantle appearance, so dear to the toper, were
forthcoming as rapidly as the thirstiest throats could desire. The
conviviality was at its height, and numerous toasts had been given,
among which the health of the traveller, the prosperity of the art
which he cultivated, and of the land of poetry and song to which he
was proceeding, had not been forgotten. Indeed, it was becoming
difficult to find any thing to toast, but the thirst of the party was
still unquenched, and apparently unquenchable.

Suddenly a young man started up, in dress and appearance the very
model of a German student--in short frock coat and loose sacklike
trousers, long curling hair hanging over his shoulders, pointed beard
and mustache, and the scars of one or two sabre cuts on his handsome
animated countenance.

"You want a toast, my friends!" cried he. "An excuse to drink, as
though drinking needed an excuse when the wine is good. I will give
you one, and a right worthy one too. Our noble selves here assembled;
all, so many as we are!" And he glanced round the table, counting the
number of the guests. "One, two, three, four--thirteen. We are
Thirteen. _Es lebe die Dreizehn!_"

He raised his glass, in which the golden liquor flashed and sparkled,
and set it down, drained to the last drop.

"_Thirteen!_" exclaimed a pale-faced, dark-eyed youth named Raphael,
starting from his seat, and in his turn counting the company. "'Tis
true. My friends, ill luck will attend us. We are Thirteen, seated at
a round table."

There was evidently an unpleasant impression made upon the guests by
this announcement. The toast-giver threw a scornful glance around

"What!" cried he, "are we believers in such nursery tales and old
wives' superstitions? Pshaw! The charm shall soon be broken. Halls!
Franz! Winebutt! Thieving innkeeper! Rascally corkdrawer! where are
you hidden? Come forth! Appear!"

Thus invoked, there toddled into the room the master of the tavern--a
round-bellied, short-legged individual, whose rosy gills and
Bacchus-like appearance proved his devotion to the jolly god whose
high-priest he was.

"Sit down here!" cried the mad student, forcing him into a chair; "and
now, Raphael and gentlemen all, be pleased to shorten your faces
again, and drink your wine as if one with a three after it were an
unknown combination of numerals."

The conversation now took a direction naturally given to it by what
had just occurred, and the origin and causes of the popular prejudice
against the number Thirteen were discussed.

"It cannot be denied that there is something mysterious in the
connection and combination of numbers," observed a student in
philosophy; "and Pythagoras was right enough when he sought the
foundation of all human knowledge in the even and uneven. All over the
world the idea of something complete and perfect is associated with
even numbers, and of something imperfect and defective with uneven
ones. The ancients, too, considered even numbers of good omen, and
uneven ones as unpropitious."

"It is really a pity," cried the mad student, "that you philosophers
should not be allowed to invert and re-arrange history in the manner
you deem fitting. You would soon torture the crooked stream of time
into a straight line. I should like to know from what authors you
derive your very original ideas in favour of even numbers. As far as
my reading goes, I find that number three was considered a sacred and
a fortunate number by nearly all the sects of antiquity, not excepting
the Pythagoreans. And the early Romans had such a respect for the
uneven numbers, that they never allowed a flock of sheep to be of any
number divisible by two."

The philosopher did not seem immediately prepared with a reply to this

"You are all of you looking too far back for the origin of the curse
that attends the number Thirteen," interposed Raphael. "Think only of
the Lord's Supper, which is rather nearer to our time than Pythagoras
and the Roman shepherds. It is since then that Thirteen has been a
stigmatized and fatal number. Judas Iscariot was the Thirteenth at
that sacred table and believe me it is no childish superstition that
makes men shun so unblest a number."

"Here is Solling, who has not given his opinion yet," cried another of
the party, "and yet I am sure he has something to say on the subject.
How now, Carl, what ails thee, man? Why so sad and silent?"

The painter who, at the commencement of the evening, had entered
frankly and willingly into the joyous humour of his friends, had
become totally changed since the commencement of this discussion on
the number _Thirteen_. He sat silent and thoughtful in his chair, and
left his glass untasted before him, while his thoughts were evidently
occupied by some unpleasant subject. His companions pressed him for
the cause of this change, and after for some time evading their
questions, he at last confessed that the turn the conversation had
taken had brought painful recollections to his mind.

"It is a matter I love not to speak about," said he; "but it is no
secret, and least of all could I have any wish to conceal it from you,
my good and kind friends. We have yet an hour before the arrival of
the mail, and if you are disposed to listen, I will relate to you the
strange incidents, the recollection of which has saddened me."

The painter's offer was eagerly accepted; the young men drew their
chairs round the table, and Solling commenced as follows:--

"I am a native of the small town of Geyer, in Saxony, of the tin mines
of which place my father was inspector. I was the twelfth child of my
parents and half an hour after I saw the light my mother give birth to
a Thirteenth, also a boy. Death, however, was busy in this numerous
family. Several had died while yet infants, and there now survive only
three besides myself, and perhaps my twin brother.

"The latter, who was christened Bernard, gave indications at a very
early age of an eccentric and violent disposition. Precocious in
growth and strength, wild as a young foal, headstrong and passionate,
full of spiteful tricks and breakneck pranks, he was the terror of the
family and the neighbours. In spite of his unamiable qualities, he was
the pet of his father, who pardoned or laughed at all his mischief,
and the consequence was, that he became an object of fear and hatred
to his brothers and sisters. Our hatred, however, was unjust; for
Bernard's heart was good, and he would have gone through fire and
water for any of us. But he was rough and violent in whatever he did,
and we dreaded the fits of affection he sometimes took for us, almost
as much as his less amiable humours.

"As far back as I can remember, Bernard received not only from his
brothers, but also from all our playfellows, the nickname of the
Thirteenth, in allusion, of course, to his being my mother's
thirteenth child. At first this offended him grievously, and many were
the sound thrashings he inflicted in his endeavours to get rid of the
obnoxious title. Finally he succeeded, but scarcely had he done so
when, from some strange perversity of character, he adopted as an
honourable distinction the very name he had taken such pains to

"We were playing one Sunday afternoon in the large court of our house;
several of the neighbours' children were there, and it chanced that we
were exactly twelve in number. We had wooden swords, and were having
a sort of tournament, from which, however, we had managed to exclude
Bernard, who, in such games, was accustomed to hit rather too hard.
Suddenly he bounded over a wall, and fell amongst us like a
thunderbolt. He had painted his face in red and black stripes, and
made himself a pair of wings out of an old leathern apron; and thus
equipped and armed with the largest broomstick he had been able to
find, he showered his blows around him, driving us right and left, and
shouting out, 'Room, room for the mad Thirteenth!'

"Soon after this incident my father died. Bernard, who had been his
favourite, was as violent in his grief as he had already shown himself
to be in every thing else. He wept and screamed like a mad creature,
tore his hair, bit his hands till they bled, and struck his head
against the wall; raved and flew at every body who came near him, and
was obliged to be shut up when his father's coffin was carried out of
the house, or he would inevitably have done himself or somebody else a

"My mother had an unmarried brother in the town of Marienberg, a
wealthy man, and who was Bernard's godfather. On learning my father's
death he came to Geyer, and invited his sister and her children to go
and take up their abode with him. But the worthy man little knew the
plague he was receiving into his house in the person of his godson.
Himself of a mild, quiet disposition, he was greatly scandalized by
the wild pranks of his nephew, and made vain attempts to restrain him
within some bounds; but by so doing he became the aversion of my
brother, who showed his dislike in every possible way. He gave him
nicknames, broke his china cups and saucers, by which the old
gentleman set great store, splashed his white silk stockings with mud
as he went to church, put the house clock an hour forward or back, and
tormented his kind godfather in every way he could devise.

"Bernard had not forgotten his title of the Thirteenth; but it was
probable he would soon have got tired of it, for it was not his custom
to adhere long to any thing, had not my uncle, who was a little
superstitious, strictly forbidden him to adopt it. This opposition was
all that was wanting to make my brother bring forward the unlucky
number upon every possible occasion. When any body mentioned the
number twelve before him, or called any thing the twelfth, Bernard
would immediately cry out, 'And I am the Thirteenth!'

"No matter when it was, or before whom; time, place, and persons were
to him alike indifferent. For instance, one Sunday in church, when the
clergyman in the course of the service said, 'Let us sing a portion of
such a psalm, beginning at the twelfth verse,' Bernard immediately
screamed out, 'And I am the Thirteenth!'

"This was a grievous scandal to my uncle, and Bernard was called that
evening before a tribunal, composed of his godfather, my mother, and
the old clergyman whom he had so gracelessly interrupted, and who was
also teacher of Latin and theology at the school to which Bernard and
I went. But all their reproaches and remonstrances were lost upon my
brother, who had evidently much difficulty to keep himself from
laughing in their faces. My mother wept, my uncle paced the room in
great perplexity, and the worthy old dominie clasped his hands
together, and exclaimed, 'My child! I fear me, God's chastisement will
be needed to amend you.' The event proved that he was right.

"It was on the Friday before Christmas-day, and we were assembled in
school. The near approach of the holidays had made the boys somewhat
turbulent, and the poor old dominie had had much to suffer during the
whole day from their tricks and unruliness. My brother, of course, had
contributed largely to the disorder, much to the delight of his bosom
friend and companion, the only son of the master. This boy, whose name
was Albert, was a blue-eyed, fair haired lad, gentle as a girl.
Bernard had conceived a violent friendship for him, and had taken him
under his protection. Albert's father, as may be supposed, was little
pleased at this intimacy, but yet, out of consideration for my uncle,
he did not entirely forbid it; and the more so as he perceived that
his son in no respect imitated his wild playmate, but contented
himself with admiring him beyond all created beings, and repaying with
the warmest affection Bernard's watchful and jealous guardianship.

"On the afternoon in question, my brother surpassed himself in wayward
conceits and mischievous tricks, to the infinite delight of Albert,
who rocked with laughter at each new prank. The good dominie, who was
indulgence itself, was instructing us in Bible history, and had to
interrupt himself every moment to repress the unruliness of his
pupils, and especially of Bernard.

"It seemed pre-ordained that the lesson should be an unlucky one.
Every thing concurred to make it so. Our instructor had occasion to
speak of the twelve tribes of Israel, of the twelve patriarchs, of the
twelve gates of the holy city. Each of these served as a cue to my
brother, who immediately shouted out, 'And I am the Thirteenth!' and
each time Albert threw himself back shrieking with laughter, thus
encouraging Bernard to give full scope to his mad humour. The poor
dominie remonstrated, menaced, supplicated, but all in vain. I saw the
blood rising into his pale face, and at last his bald head, in spite
of the powder which sprinkled it, became red all over. He contained
himself, however, and proceeded to the account of the Lord's Supper.
He began, 'And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve
apostles with him.'

"'And I am the Thirteenth!' yelled Bernard.

"Scarcely were the words uttered, when a Bible flew across the school,
the noise of a blow, and a cry of anguish followed, and the old man
fell senseless to the ground. The heavy Bible, the corners of which
were bound with silver, and that he had hurled in a moment of
uncontrollable passion at my brother, had missed its mark, and struck
his own son on the head. Albert lay bleeding on the floor, while
Bernard hung over him like one beside himself, weeping, and kissing
his wounds.

"The boys ran, one and all, out of the school-room, shrieking for
assistance. Our cries soon brought the servants to the spot, who, on
learning what had happened, hastened with us back to the school, and
lifted up the old master, who was still lying on the ground near his
desk. He had been struck with apoplexy, and survived but a few hours.
Albert was wounded in two places, one of the sharp corners of the
Bible having cut open his forehead, while another had injured his left
eye. After much suffering he recovered, but the sight of the eye was

"Bernard, however, had disappeared. When we re-entered the
school-room, a window which looked into the playground was open, and
there were marks of footsteps on the snow without. A short distance
further were traces of blood, where the fugitive had apparently washed
his face and hands in the snow. We have never seen him since that

The painter paused, and his friends remained some moments silent,
musing on the tragical history they had heard.

"And do you know nothing whatever of your brother's fate?" enquired
Raphael at last.

"Next to nothing. My uncle caused enquiries to be made in every
direction, but without success. Once only a neighbour at Marienberg,
who had been travelling on the Bohemian frontier, told us that he had
met at a village inn a wandering clarinet-player, who bore so strong a
resemblance to my brother that he accosted him by his name. The
musician seemed confused, and muttering some unintelligible reply,
left the house in haste. What renders it probable that this was
Bernard is, that he had a great natural talent for music, and at the
time he left home, had already attained considerable proficiency on
the clarinet."

"How old was your brother when he so strangely disappeared?" asked one
of the party.

"Fifteen, but he looked at least two years older, for he was stout and
manly in person beyond his age."

At this moment the rattling of wheels, and sound of a postilion's
horn, was heard. The Halle mail drove up to the door, the guard
bawling out for his passenger. The young painter took a hasty leave of
his friends, and sprang into the vehicle, which the next instant
disappeared in the darkness.

There was an overplus of travellers by the mail that night, and the
carriage in which Solling had got, was not the mail itself, but a
calèche, holding four persons, which was used as a sort of
supplement, and followed close to the other carriage. Two of the
places were occupied by a Jew horse-dealer and a sergeant of hussars,
who were engaged in an animated, and to them most interesting
conversation, on the subject of horse-flesh, to which the painter paid
little attention; but leaning back in his corner, remained absorbed in
the painful reflections which the incidents he had been narrating had
called up in his mind. In spite of his brother's eccentricities, he
was truly attached to him; and although eight years had elapsed since
his disappearance, he had not yet given up hopes of finding him, if
still alive. The enquiries that he and his uncle had unceasingly made
after their lost relative, had put them, about three years previous to
this time, upon the trace of a clarinet-player who had been seen at
Venice and Trieste, and went by the name of Voltojo. This might have
been a name adopted by Bernard, as being nearly the Italian equivalent
of Geyer, or hawk, the name of his native town; and Solling was not
without a faint hope, that in the course of his journey to Rome he
might obtain some tidings of his brother.

He was roused from his reverie by the postilion shouting out to the
guard of the mail, which was just before them on the road, to know
when they were to take up the passenger who was to occupy the
remaining seat in the calèche.

"Where will the Thirteenth meet us?" asked the man.

"At the inn at Schoneber," replied the guard.

_The Thirteenth!_ The word made the painter's blood run cold. The
horse-dealer and the sergeant, who had begun to doze in their
respective corners, were also disturbed by the ill-omened sound.

"The Thirteenth! The Thirteenth!" muttered the Jew in his beard, still
half asleep. "God forbid! Let's have no thirteenth!"

A company of travelling comedians, who occupied the mail, took up the
word. "The Thirteenth is coming," said one.

"Somebody will die," cried another.

"Or we shall be upset and break our necks," exclaimed a third.

"No Thirteenth!" cried they all in chorus. "Drive on! drive on! he
sha'n't get in!"

This was addressed to the postilion, who just then pulled up at the
door of a village inn, and giving a blast with his horn, shouted
loudly for his remaining passenger to appear.

The door of the public-house opened, and a tall figure, with a small
knap-sack on his shoulder and a knotty stick in his hand, stepped out
and approached the mail. But when he heard the cries of the comedians,
who were still protesting against the admission of a Thirteenth
traveller, he started suddenly back, swinging his cudgel in the air.

"To the devil with you all, vagabonds that ye are!" vociferated he.
"Drive on, postilion, with your cage of monkeys. I shall walk."

At the sound of the stranger's voice, Solling sprang up in the
carriage and seized the handle of the door. But as he did so, a strong
arm grasped him by the collar, and pulled him back into his seat. At
the same moment the carriage drove on.

"The man is drunk," said the sergeant, who had misinterpreted his
fellow-passenger's intentions. "It is not worth while dirtying your
hands, and perhaps getting an ugly blow, in a scuffle with such a

"Stop, postilion, stop!" shouted Solling. But the postilion either did
not or would not hear, and some time elapsed before the painter could
persuade his well-meaning companion of his peaceable intentions. At
length he did so, and the carriage, which had meanwhile been going at
full speed, was stopped.

"You will leave my luggage at the first post-house," said Solling,
jumping out and beginning to retrace his steps to the village, which
they had now left some distance behind them.

The night was pitch-dark, so dark that the painter was compelled to
feel his way, and guide himself by the line of trees that bordered the
road. He reached the village without meeting a living creature, and
strode down the narrow street amid the baying of the dogs, disturbed
by his footfall at that silent hour of the night. The inn door was
shut, but there was a light glimmering in one of the casements. He
knocked several times without any body answering. At length a woman's
head was put out of an upper window.

"Go your ways," cried a shrill voice, "and don't come disturbing
honest folk at this time o' night. Do you think we have nought to do
but to open the door for such raff as you? Be off with you, you
vagabond, and blow your clarinet elsewhere."

"You are mistaken, madam," said Solling; "I am no vagabond, but a
passenger by the Halle mail, and"--

"What brings you here, then?" interrupted the virago; "the Halle mail
is far enough off by this."

"My good madam," replied the painter in his softest tone, "for God's
sake tell me who and where is the person who was waiting for the mail
at your hotel."

"Ha! ha!" laughed the hostess, considerably mollified by the _madam_
and the _hotel_. "The mad Italian musician, the clarinet fellow? Why,
I took you for him at first, and wondered what brought him back, for
he started as soon as the mail left the door. He'd have done better to
have got into it, with a dark night and a long road before him. Ha!
ha! He's mad, to be sure."

"His name! His name!" cried Solling, impatiently.

"His name? How can I recollect his outlandish name? Fol--Vol----"

"Voltojo!" cried the painter.

"Voltojo! yes, that's it. Ha! ha! What a name!"

"It is he!" cried Solling, and without another word dashed off full
speed along the road he had just come. He kept in the middle of the
causeway, straining his eyes to see into the darkness on either side
of him, and wondering how it was he had not met the object of his
search as he came to the village. He ran on, occasionally taking trees
and fingerposts for men, and cursing his ill luck when he saw his
mistake. The sweat poured down his face in streams, and his knees
began to knock together with fatigue. Suddenly he struck his foot
against a stone lying in the road, and fell, cutting his forehead
severely upon some pebbles. The sharp pain drew a cry from him, and a
man who had been lying on the grass at the roadside, sprang up and
hastened to his assistance. At that moment a flash of summer lightning
lit up the road.

"Bernard! Bernard!" cried the painter, throwing his arms round the
stranger's neck. It was his brother.

Bernard started back with a cry of horror.

"Albert!" he exclaimed in a hollow voice, "Cannot your spirit rest? Do
you rise from the grave to persecute me?"

"In God's name, my dear brother, what mean you? I am Carl--Carl, your
twin brother."

"Carl? No! Albert! I see that horrid wound on your brow. It still

The painter grasped his brother's hand.

"I am flesh and blood," said he, "and no spirit. Albert still lives."

"He lives!" exclaimed Bernard, and clasped his brother in his arms.

Explanations followed, and the brothers took the road to Berlin. When
the painter had replied to Bernard's questions concerning their
family, he in his turn begged his brother to relate his adventures
since they parted, and above all to give his reasons for remaining so
long severed from his friends and home.

"Although I fully believed Albert killed by the blow he received,"
replied Bernard, "it was no fear of punishment for my indirect share
in his death, that induced me to fly. But when I saw the father
senseless on the ground, and the son expiring before my eyes, I felt
as if I was accursed, as if the brand of Cain were on my brow, and
that it was my fate to roam through the world an isolated and
wretched being. When you all ran out of the school to fetch
assistance, it seemed to me as though each chair and bench and table
in the room received the power of speech, and yelled and bellowed in
my ears the fatal number which has been the cause of all my
misfortunes--'Thirteen! Thirteen! Thou art the Thirteenth, the
Accursed One!'

"I fled, and since that day no rest or peace has been mine. Like my
shadow has this unholy number clung to me. Wherever I went, in all the
many lands I have wandered through, I carried with me the curse of my
birth. At every turn it met me, aggravating my numerous hardships,
embittering my rare moments of joy. If I entered a room where a
cheerful party was assembled, all rose and shrunk from me as from one
plague-tainted. They were twelve--I was the Thirteenth. If I sat down
at a dinner-table, my neighbour left his chair, and the others would
say, 'He fears to sit by you. You are the Thirteenth.' If I slept at
an inn--there were sure to be twelve persons sleeping there; my bed
was the Thirteenth, or my room would be number Thirteen, and I was
told that the former landlord had shot or hung himself in it.

"At length I left Germany, in the vain hope that the spell would not
extend beyond the land of my birth. I took ship at Trieste for Venice.
Scarcely were we out of port when a violent storm arose, and we were
driven rapidly towards a rocky and dangerous coast. The steersman
counted the seamen and passengers, and crossed himself. We were

"Lots were drawn who should be sacrificed for the salvation of the
others. I drew number thirteen, and they put me ashore on a barren
rock, where I passed a day and night half dead with cold and drenched
with sea water. At length an Illyrian fisherman espied me, and took me
off in his boat.

"It is unnecessary to relate to you in detail my wanderings during the
last eight years, or if I do, it shall be at some future time. My
clarinet enables me to live in the humble manner I have always done.
You remember, probably, that I had some skill in it, which I have
since much improved. When travelling, my music was generally taken as
payment for my bed and supper at the petty hostelries at which I put
up; and when I came to a large town, I remained a few days, and
usually gained more than my expenses.

"About a year since, I made some stay at Copenhagen, and at last,
getting wearied of that city, I put myself on board a ship, without
enquiring whither it was bound. It took me to Stralsund.

"The day of my arrival, there was a shooting-match in the suburb
beyond the Knieper, and I hastened thither with my clarinet. It was a
sort of fair, and I wandered from one booth to the other, playing the
joyous mountain melodies which I had not once played since my
departure from Marienberg. God knows what brought them into my head
again; but it did my heart good to play them, and a feeling came over
me, that I should like once more to have a home, and to leave the
weary rambling life I had so long led.

"I had great success that day, and the people thronged to hear the
wandering Italian musician. Many were the jugs of beer and glasses of
wine offered to me, and my plate was soon full of shillings. As I left
off playing, an old greyheaded man pressed through the crowd, and
gazed earnestly at me. His eyes filled with tears, and he was
evidently much moved.

"'What a likeness!' he exclaimed. 'He is the very picture of my
Amadeus. I could fancy he had risen out of the sea. The same features,
the sane voice and manner.'

"He came up to me and took my hand. 'If you do not fear a high
staircase,' said he with a kindly smile, 'come and visit me. I live on
the tower of St Nicholas's Church. Your clarinet will sound well in
the free fresh air, and you will find those there who will gladly
listen.' So saying, he left me.

"The old man's name was Elias Kranhelm, better known in Stralsund as
the old Swede; he was the town musician, and had the care of the bells
of St Nicholas. The next day was Sunday, and I hastened to visit him.
His kind manner had touched me, unaccustomed as I was to kindness or
sympathy from the strangers amongst whom I always lived. When I was
halfway up the stairs leading to the tower, the organ began to play
below me, and I recognised a psalm tune which we used often to sing
for our old schoolmaster at Marienberg. I stopped a moment to listen,
and thoughts of rest and home again came over me.

"I was met at the tower door by old Kranhelm, in his Sunday suit of
black; large silver buckles at his knees and shoes, and a round black
velvet cap over his long white hair. His clear grey eyes smiled so
kindly upon me, his voice was so mild, and his greeting so cordial,
that I thought I had never seen a more pleasing old man. He welcomed
me as though I had been an old friend, and without further preface,
asked me if I should like to become his substitute, and perform the
duties for which his great age had begun to unfit him. His only son,
on whom he had reckoned to take his place, had left him some time
previously, to become a sailor on board a Norwegian ship, and had been
drowned in his very first voyage. It was my extraordinary likeness to
this son that had made him notice me; and the good, simple-hearted old
man seemed to think that resemblance a sufficient guarantee against
any risk in admitting a perfect stranger into his house and intimacy.

"'My post is a profitable one,' said he; 'and, in consideration of my
long services, the worshipful burgomaster has given me leave to seek
an assistant, now that I am getting too old for my office. Consider
then, my son, if the offer suits you. You please me, and I mean you
well. But here comes my Elizabeth, who will soon learn to like you if
you are a good lad.'

"As he spoke, a young girl entered the room, with a psalm-book in her
hand, and attired in an old-fashioned dress, which was not able,
however, to conceal the elegance of her figure, and the charms of her
blooming countenance.

"'How think you, Elizabeth?' said her father. 'Is he not as like our
poor Amadeus as one egg is to another?'

"'I do not see the likeness, my dear father,' replied Elizabeth,
looking timidly at me, and then casting down her eyes, and blushing.

"I accepted the old man's offer with joy, and took up my dwelling in
the other turret of the church tower. My occupation was to keep the
clock wound up, to play the evening hymn on the balcony of the tower,
and to strike the hours upon the great bell with a heavy hammer.

"I soon felt the good effect of repose, and of the happy, tranquil
life I now led; my spirits improved, and I began to forget the curse
which hung over me--to forget, in short, that I was the unlucky
Thirteenth. Old Kranhelm's liking for me increased rapidly, and, in
less than three months, I was Elizabeth's accepted lover. Time flew
on; the wedding-day was fixed, and the bridal-chamber prepared.

"It was on Friday evening, exactly eight days ago, that I went out
with Elizabeth, and walked down to the port to look at a large Swedish
ship that had just arrived. The passengers were landing, and one
amongst them immediately attracted our attention.

"This was a tall, lean, raw-boned woman, apparently about forty years
of age, who held in her hand a long, smooth staff, which she waved
about her, nodding her head, and muttering, as she went, in some
strange, unintelligible dialect. Her dress consisted of a huge black
fur cloak, and a cape of the same colour fringed with red. Her whole
manner and appearance were so strange, that a crowd assembled round
her as soon as she set foot on shore.

"'Hallo! comrade,' cried one of the sailors of the vessel that had
brought her, to a boatman who was passing. 'Hallo! comrade, do you
want a job? Here's a witch to take to Hiddensee.'

"We asked the sailor what he meant; and he told us that this strange
woman was a Lapland witch, who every year, in the dog-days, made a
journey to the island of Hiddensee, to gather an herb which only grew
there, and was essential in her incantations.

"Meantime, the witch was calling for a boat, but no one understood her
language, or else they did not choose to come. My unfortunate
propensity to all that is supernatural or fantastic impelled me, with
irresistible force, towards her. In vain Elizabeth held me back. I
pushed my way through the crowd, until we found ourselves close to the
Lapland woman, who measured us from head to foot with her bright and
glittering eyes. Slipping a florin into her hand, I gave her to
understand, as well as I could, that we wished to have our fortunes
told. She took my hand, and, after examining it, made a sign that she
either could or would tell me nothing. She then took the hand of
Elizabeth, who hung upon my arm, trembling like an aspen leaf, and
gazing intently upon it, muttered a few words in broken Swedish. I did
not understand them, but Elizabeth did, and, starting back, drew me
hastily out of the crowd.

"'What did she say?' enquired I, as soon as we were clear of the

"Elizabeth seemed much agitated, and had evidently to make a strong
effort before she could reply.

"'Nothing,' answered she, at last; 'nothing, at least, worth
repeating. And yet 'tis strange; it tallies exactly with a prediction
made to my mother when I was an infant, that I should one day be in
peril from the number Thirteen. This strange woman cautioned me
against the same number, and bade me beware of you, for that you were
the Thirteenth!'

"Had the earth opened under my feet, or the lightning from heaven
fallen on my head, I could not have felt a greater shock than was
communicated to me by these words. I know not what I said in reply, or
how I got home. Elizabeth, doubtless, observed my agitation, but she
made no remark on it. I felt her arm tremble upon mine as we walked
along, and by a furtive glance at her face saw that she was pale as
death. Not a word passed between us during our walk back to the tower,
on reaching which she shut herself up in her room. I pleaded a severe
headach and wish to lie down; and, begging the old man to strike the
hours for me, retired to my chamber.

"It would be impossible to give an idea of the agony of mind I
suffered during that evening. I thought at times I was going mad, and
there were moments when I felt disposed to put an end to my existence
by a leap from the tower window. Again, then, this curse that hung
over me was in full force. Again had that fatal number raised itself
before me like an iron wall, interposed between me and all earthly
happiness. Wearied out at length by the storm within me, I fell

"As may be supposed, I was followed in my troubled slumbers by the
recollection of my misery. Each hour that struck awoke me out of the
most hideous dreams to a scarce less hideous reality. When midnight
came, and the hammer clanged upon the great bell, a strange fancy took
possession of my mind that it would this night strike Thirteen, and
that at the thirteenth stroke the clock, the tower, the city, and the
whole world, would crumble into atoms. Again I fell asleep and dreamt.
I thought that my head was changed into a mighty bronze bell, and that
I hung in the tower and heard the clock beside me strike Thirteen.
Then came the old schoolmaster, who yet, at the same time, had the
features of Elizabeth's father; and, as he drew near me, I saw that
the hammer he held in his hand was no hammer, but a large silver-bound
Bible. In my despair I made frightful efforts to cry out and to tell
him that I was no bell, but a man, and that he should not strike me;
but my voice refused its service and my tongue clove to my palate. The
greyhaired old man came up to me, and struck thirteen times on my
forehead, till my brains gushed out at my eyes.

"By daybreak the next morning I was two leagues from Stralsund, having
left a few hurried ill-written lines in my room, pleading I know not
what urgent family affairs, and a dislike to leave-taking, as excuses
for my sudden departure. Over field and meadow, through rivers and
forests, on I went, as though hell were at my heels, flying from my
destiny. But the further I got from Stralsund the more did I regret
all I left there--my beautiful and affectionate mistress, her
kind-hearted father, the peaceful happy life I led on the top of the
old tower. The vow I had made to fly from the haunts of men, and seek
in some desert the repose which my evil fate denied me among my
fellows, that vow became daily more difficult to keep. And yet I went
on, dreading to depart from my determination, lest I should encounter
some of those bitter deceptions and cruel disappointments that had
hitherto been my lot in life. Shame, too, at the manner in which I had
left the tower, withheld me, or else I think I should already be on my
road back to Stralsund. But now I have met you, brother, and that my
mind is relieved by the knowledge that I have not, even indirectly,
Albert's death to reproach myself with, I must hasten to my Elizabeth
to relieve her anxiety, and dry the tears which I am well assured each
moment of my absence causes her to shed. Come with me, dearest Carl,
and you shall see her, my beautiful Elizabeth, and her good old
father, and the tower and the bell. Ho! the bell, the jolly old bell!"

The painter looked kindly but anxiously in his brother's face. There
was a mildness in his manner that startled him, accustomed as he had
been to his eccentricities when a boy.

"You are tired, brother," said he. "You need repose after the emotions
and fatigues of the last week. I, too, shall not be sorry to sleep.
Let us to bed for a few hours, and then we will have post-horses and
be off to Stralsund."

"I have no need of rest," replied Bernard, "and each moment seems to
me an eternity till I can again clasp my Elizabeth to my heart. Let us
delay, then, as little as may be."

As he spoke they entered the gates of Berlin. The sun was risen, and
the hotels and taverns were beginning to open their doors. Seeing
Bernard's anxiety to depart, the painter abandoned his intention of
taking some repose, and after hasty breakfast, a post-chaise was
brought to the door, and the brothers stepping in, were whirled off on
their road northwards.

The sun was about to set when the travellers came in sight of the
spires of Stralsund, among which the church of St Nicholas reared its
double-headed tower. Bernard had enlivened the journey by his wild
sallies, and merry but extravagant humour. Now, however, that the goal
was almost reached, he became silent and anxious. The hours appeared
to go too slowly for him, and his restlessness was extreme.

"Faster! postilion," cried Carl, observing his brother's impatience.
"Faster! You shall be paid double."

The man flogged his horses till they flew rather than galloped over
the broad level road. Suddenly, however, a strap broke, and the
postilion got off his seat to tie it up. Through the stillness of the
evening, no longer broken by the rattle of the wheels and clatter of
the horses' feet, a clock was heard striking the hour. Another
repeated it, and a third, of deeper tone than the two preceding ones,
took up the chime. Bernard started to his feet, and leaned so far out
of the carriage that his brother seized hold of him, expecting him to
lose his balance and fall out.

"It is she!" exclaimed Bernard. "'Tis the bell of St Nicholas. Listen,
Carl--my Elizabeth calls me. She strikes the bell. I come, dearest, I

And with these words he sprang out of the carriage, and set off at
full speed towards the town, leaving his brother thunderstruck at his
mad impatience and vehemence.

Running at the top of his speed, Bernard soon reached the city gate,
and proceeded rapidly through the streets in the direction of St
Nicholas's church. It seemed to him as though he had been absent for
years instead of a few days, and he felt quite surprised at finding no
change in the city since his departure. All was as he had left it; all
conspired to lull him into security. An old fruitwoman, of whom he had
bought cherries the very day of his last walk with Elizabeth, was in
her usual place, and, as he passed, extolled the beauty of her fruit,
and asked him to buy. A large rose-tree, at the door of a
silversmith's shop, which Elizabeth had often admired, was still in
full bloom; through the window of a house in the market-place, he saw
a young girl, Elizabeth's dearest friend, dressing her hair at a
looking-glass, and as he passed the churchyard, the old dumb sexton,
who appeared to be hunting about for a place for a grave, nodded his
head in mute recognition.

Bernard opened the tower door, and darted up the staircase. He was not
far from the top when he heard the voices of two men above him. They
were resting on one of the landing-places of the ladderlike stairs.

"It is a singular case, doctor," said one; "a strange and
incomprehensible case. It is evidently a disease more of the mind than
the body."

"Yes," replied the other, by his voice apparently an old man. "If we
could only get a clue to the cause, any thing to go upon, something
might be done, but at present it is a perfect riddle."

Bernard heard no more, for the men continued their ascent.

"The old father must be ill," said he to himself; but as he said it a
feeling of dread and anxiety, a presentiment of evil, came over him,
and he stood for a few moments unable to proceed. The door at the top
of the stairs was now opened, and shut with evident care to avoid
noise. "The old man must be very ill," said Bernard, as if trying to
persuade himself of it. He reached the door, and his hand shook as he
laid it upon the latch. At length he lifted it, and entered the room.
It was empty; but, just then, the door of Elizabeth's chamber opened,
and old Kranhelm stepped out. On beholding Bernard, he started back as
though he had seen a ghost. He said a word or two in a low voice to
somebody in the inner room, and then shutting the door, bolted it,
and placed his back against it, as if to prevent Bernard from going

"Begone!" cried he in a tremulous voice; "in the name of God, begone!
thou evil spirit of my house;" and he stretched out his arms towards
Bernard as though to prohibit his approach. No longer master of
himself, the young man sprang towards him, and, grasping his arm,
thundered in his ear the question--

"Where is my Elizabeth?"

The words rang through the old tower, and the confused murmuring of
voices in the inner room was heard. Bernard listened, and thought he
distinguished the voice of Elizabeth repeating, in tones of agony, the
fatal number.

One of the physicians knocked, and begged to be let out. The old
tower-keeper opened the door cautiously, and, when the doctor had
passed through, carefully shut and barred it. But during the moment
that it had remained open, Bernard heard too plainly what his ears had
at first been unwilling to believe.

"Is that the man?" demanded the physician hastily. "In God's name, be
silent. You will kill the patient. She recognized your voice, and fell
immediately into the most fearful paroxysm. She has got back again to
the infernal number with which her delirium began, and she shrieks it
out perpetually. It is a frightful relapse. Begone! young man; yet
stay--I will go with you. You can, doubtless, give us a key to this

The old physician took Bernard's arm to lead him away; but at that
very moment there was a shrill scream from the next room, and
Elizabeth's voice was heard calling upon Bernard by name. The
unfortunate young man could not restrain himself. Shaking off the
grasp of the physician, he pushed old Kranhelm aside, tore back the
bolts, and flung open the door. There lay Elizabeth on her deathbed,
her arms stretched out towards him, her mild countenance ashy pale and
frightfully distorted, her soft blue eyes straining from their orbits.
She made a violent effort to speak, but death was too near at hand;
the sound died away upon her lips, and her uplifted arms dropped
powerless upon the bed; her head fell back--a convulsive shudder came
over her: she was dead. Her unhappy lover fell senseless to the

When Bernard awoke out of a long and deathlike swoon, it was night,
and all around him was still and dark. He was lying on the stone floor
outside Kranhelm's dwelling. The physicians had removed him thither;
and, being occupied with the old tower-keeper and his daughter, they
had thought no more about him. On first recovering sensation, he had
but an indistinct idea of where he was, or what had happened. By
degrees his senses returned to a certain extent--he knew that
something horrible had occurred, but without remembering exactly what
it was.

He felt about him, and touched a railing. It was the balustrade round
the open turret where hung the great bell. He was lying under the bell
itself, and, as he gazed up into its brazen throat, the recollection
of the frightful dream which had persecuted him the night before his
flight from Stralsund came vividly to his mind; he appeared to himself
to be still dreaming, and yet his visions were mixed up with the
realities of his everyday occupations.

He had just stepped out, he thought, to strike the hour on the bell,
and rising with some difficulty from the hard couch which had
stiffened his limbs, he sought about for the hammer. He made no effort
to shake off the sort of dreaming semi-consciousness which seemed to
prevent him from feeling the horror and anguish of reality.

"Thirteen strokes," thought he; "thirteen strokes, and at the
Thirteenth the tower will fall, the city crumble to dust, the world be
at an end." Such had been his dream, and the moment of its
accomplishment was come.

He found the hammer, and struck with all his force upon the bell. He
repeated the blow; twelve times he struck, and each stroke rang with
deafening violence through his brain; but at the Thirteenth, as he
raised his arms high above his head, and leaning back against the
railing, threw his whole strength and energy into the blow, the frail
balustrade gave way under his weight, and he fell headlong from the
tower. The last stroke tolled out, sad and hollow as a funereal knell,
and the sound mingled with the death-cry of the luckless Thirteenth!


    [15] Reminiscences of Syria. By Colonel E. Napier.

Galloping, gossiping, flirting and fighting, feasting and starving,
but always in high spirits and the best possible humour, Colonel
Napier might answer an advertisement for "A Pleasant Companion in a
Post-chaise," without the slightest chance of rejection. But it is
difficult to imagine so dashing a traveller, boxed up in a civilized
conveyance, rolling quietly along a macadamized road, with a diversity
of milestones and an occasional turnpike gate, the only incidents by
the way--no wild Maronite glimpsing at him over the hedge; no
black-eyed houri peeping over the balustrades of the caravanserai,
(called by vulgar men the Bricklayers' Arms)--no Saïces to help John
Hostler to change horses; but dulness, uniformity, and most tiresome
and unromantic safety. England, we are sorry to confess it, is not the
land of stirring adventures or hair-breadth 'scapes--a railway coach
occasionally blows up; a blind leader occasionally bolts into a ditch;
a wheel comes occasionally into dangerous collision with one of
Pickford's vans; but these are the utmost that can be hoped for in the
way of peril, and other excitement there is positively none. We have
treated life as the mathematician did Paradise Lost--we have struck
out all its similes--obliterated its flights--expunged its glorious
visions--we have made it prose. But fortunately for us--for Colonel
Napier--for the reading public--there is a land where mathematicians
are unknown, and where poetry continues to flourish in the full vigour
of cimeters and turbans--the region of the sun--

    "The first of Eastern lands he shines upon."

It was in this very beautiful, but rather overdone portion of earth's
surface, that the adventures occurred of which we are now to give some
account; and as probably most of our readers have heard the name of
Syria pretty often of late, we need not display much geographical
erudition in pointing out where it lies. It would be pleasant to us if
we could atone for brevity in this respect, by illuminating the reader
on the causes that have brought Syria so prominently forward; but on
this point we confess, with shame and confusion of face, that we know
no more than Lord Ponsonby or M. Thiers. The truth seems to be, that
some time, about two or three years ago, five or six people in
influential stations went mad, and our Secretary for Foreign Affairs
took the infection. He showed his teeth and raised his "birse," and
barked in a most audacious manner, till the French kennel answered the
challenge; an old dog in Egypt cocked his tail at the same time, and
the world began to be afraid that hydrophobia would be universal. All
parties were delighted to let the rival yelpers fight it out on so
distant a field as Syria; and in that country of heat and dryness, of
poverty, anarchy, cruelty, and superstition, there was a skrimmage
that kept all Christendom on the tenter-hooks for half-a-year; and
this we believe to be the policy of the Syrian campaign. Better for
all parties concerned, that a few thousand turbaned and malignant
Turks or Egyptians should bite the dust, than that there should be
another Austerlitz or Waterloo. So the signal was accordingly given,
and the work began.

Wherever there is any fighting it is not to be doubted that the
English hurra will be heard--and an apparition had been seen in the
smoke of battle, which had sorely puzzled the wisest of the
soothsayers of Egypt to explain. It was of a being apparently human,
but dressed as if to represent Mars and Neptune at the same time,
charging along the tops of houses, with the jolly cocked-hat of a
captain of a British man-of-war on the point of his sword, and a
variety of exclamations in his mouth, more complimentary to the
enemy's speed than his courage. The muftis, we have said, were sorely
puzzled, and at last set it down as an infallible truth that he must
be none other than Old Harry, whereas there was not a sailor in the
fleet that did not know that it was none other than Old Charley. And
this identical Old Charley, in a style of communication almost as
rapid as his military evolutions, had indited the following epistle to
the author of the volumes before us:--

    "Headquarters of the Army of Lebanon.--Djouni,
        Sept. 1840.

    "My dear Edward--I have hoisted my broad pendant on
    Mount Lebanon, and mean to advance against the Egyptians
    with a considerable force under my command; you may be
    of use here; therefore go to Sir John M'Donald, and ask
    him to get leave for you to join me without delay.

        "Your affectionate father,
            CHARLES NAPIER."

And the dutiful son, who seems to have no inconsiderable portion of
the paternal penchant for broken heads and other similar
divertisements, in three weeks from the receipt of the letter found
himself on board the Hydra, and rapidly approaching the classic shores
of Sidon, Tyre, Ptolemais; the scenes of scriptural records and deeds
of chivalry--Palestine--the Holy Land. But the broad pendant in the
mean time had been pulled down on Mount Lebanon, and once more
fluttered to the sea breezes on board the Powerful. Sir Charles Smith
had assumed the command of the land forces, and whether from
ill-humour at finding half the work done during his absence by the
amphibious commodore, or from some other cause, his reception of the
author was, at first, far from cordial. Instead of being useful, as he
had hoped, he found the sturdy old general blind to the value of his
accession; and when the Powerful sailed he found himself without
quarters appointed him, or even an invitation to join the officers'
mess. But with the usual good-luck of people who bear disappointments
well, all turned out for the best, as will be seen by the following

    "I had, on board the Powerful, a few days before, formed
    the acquaintance of a young Syrian of the name of
    Assaade el Khyat, who, brought up at one of our
    universities, was at heart a true Englishman, spoke
    fluently our own and several other European and Eastern
    languages, and whom I found, on the whole, a sensible,
    well-informed young man, and a most agreeable companion.
    As I was sitting alone, after a solitary dinner, (in the
    miserable hotel at Beyrout,) musing in a brown study
    over a bottle of red Cyprus wine, my new acquaintance
    was ushered into the apartment; I made no secret to him
    of my extremely uncomfortable position, when he, with
    great kindness and liberality, overcoming the usual
    prejudices of his country, offered me an asylum in his
    own family, which offer I most gladly accepted, and was
    accordingly the next morning comfortably installed in my
    new quarters, whereof I will endeavour to give the
    reader a slight description.

    "The house of which I had just so unexpectedly become an
    inmate, was situated in one of the most retired and out
    of the way parts of the town, (and it was not before
    considerable time had elapsed, and then with difficulty,
    that I became acquainted with the labyrinth of narrow
    lanes, alleys, and dark passages which it was requisite
    to thread in order to arrive at this desired haven,) the
    property of a young man of the name of Giorgio Habbit
    Jummal--brother-in-law of my friend Assaade, to whom one
    of his sisters was married, and whom, as he spoke
    Italian with fluency and ease, I at once engaged as my
    dragoman or interpreter.

    "By a strange coincidence, I, under the roof of Giorgio,
    for the first time became acquainted with Mr Hunter, the
    author of the _Expedition to Syria_, who, placed in
    similar circumstances with myself, was likewise an
    inmate of the same house, and of whom, as we were
    subsequently much known together during our residence in
    this country, I shall after have occasion to mention: at
    present I will take the liberty of borrowing from his
    amusing narrative the following account of the inmates
    of our new domicile. 'We lived in the house of a
    respectable Syrian family, that of Habbit Jummal, or
    interpreted, the esteemed camel-driver. Our landlord,
    Giorgius, the head of this family, was a young man
    hardly out of his teens; and having some competency, and
    being moreover _un beau garçon_, did not follow either
    his ancestral, or any other avocation. The harem, or
    woman's portion of the house, was composed of his
    mother, a fair widow of forty, and her two daughters,
    both Eastern beauties of their kind, Sarah and Nasarah
    (meaning Victory or Victoria;) the first, a laughing
    black eyed houri, with mischief in every dimple in her
    pretty face; the other, a more portly damsel, of a
    melancholy but not less pleasing expression. There were
    besides these, three younger children with equally
    poetic names, (Nassif, Iskunder, and Furkha,) and
    included in the _coterie_ was a good-humoured negress,
    the general handmaid, whose original cognomen of Saade,
    was lost in the apposite soubriquet of
    Snowball.'--Although the greater part of the
    inhabitants of Beyrout are Christians, generally
    speaking, of the Greek Church, to which persuasion
    likewise belonged the family of our host Giorgio; still
    in this land of bigotry and oppression--to such an
    extent is carried suspicion and jealousy, and so far
    have Mahommedan prejudices in this respect been adopted,
    that all the women (those of the peasantry alone
    excepted) lead nearly as secluded a life as the Osmanli
    ladies of Constantinople or Smyrna. On venturing abroad,
    which they seldom do, unless when the knessi or humaum
    (church or bath) are the limits of their excursions,
    they are so closely shrouded in the izar, or long white
    garment, which, coming over the head and hiding the
    face, falls in numerous folds to the ground, as to be
    scarcely recognizable by their nearest friends or
    relations. To allow, therefore, two unknown and
    friendless strangers to become familiar inmates of an
    Eastern family, exposing wives, daughters, and sisters,
    to their unhallowed gaze, was a favour and mark of
    confidence on the part of Assaade which we duly
    appreciated, nor ever abused; it was, however, a
    privilege to which no other stranger in the place was
    admitted, and affording, as it did, such opportunities
    of acquiring the Arabic language, I eagerly embraced it
    without any feeling of regret at the inhospitality to
    which I was originally indebted for my admission behind
    the scenes of Oriental life.

    "The bare, gloomy, and massive stone walls of the
    exterior of our habitation had not prepared us for the
    comforts we found inside; and as for the first time we
    followed Giorgio and his brother-in-law up the rude and
    narrow stone staircase, which appeared to be scarped out
    of the very thickness of the wall--an open sesame from
    the former causing a strong iron studded door to fly
    back on its hinges, disclosed a handsome patis or court
    paved with black and white marble, along the sides of
    which were luxuriantly growing, and imparting a cooling
    freshness to the scene, the perfumed orange-tree,
    bearing at the same time both fruit and blossoms, and
    flanked by green myrtles and flowering geraniums; whilst
    an apartment opening on this garden terrace, and which
    appeared from the carpets and cushions scattered around
    the still smoking narghilis, (or water-pipe, in which is
    smoked the tumbic or Persian tobacco,) and other sundry
    traces of female industry, to be appropriated as the
    common sitting-room of the family, was on our entrance
    precipitately deserted by all its occupants, save one
    fine-looking matronly lady, whom Giorgio introduced as
    his mother; and while she was welcoming us with many
    'Fāddālls,' and politely repeating, _Anna mugsond
    shoufuk_, (be seated, I am delighted to see you,) with
    innumerable other euphonious phrases, as we afterwards
    found high-flown Eastern compliments, but which at the
    time were sadly wasted on our Frankish ignorance, he,
    following the fair fugitives, soon brought back in each
    hand the blushing deserters, who have already been
    introduced to the reader as Mesdemoiselles Sarah and
    Nasarah. Pipes, narghilis, sherbet, and coffee followed
    in quick succession; the young negress, Saade, acting as
    Hebe on the occasion; and the ladies, at first timid as
    gazelles of the desert, soon, like those pretty
    creatures when reclaimed from the wilderness, became
    quite domesticated, acquired confidence, and freely
    joined in the conversation, which was with volubility
    carried on through the medium of Giorgio and Assaade;
    and ere an hour had elapsed, we were all on the friendly
    and easy footing of old acquaintances; when, taking
    leave for the time, we hastened to make the necessary
    arrangements for the conveyance of our goods and
    chattels to the capital billets we had had the good
    fortune to stumble on."

The colonel made good use of his opportunity, and, by a diligent
perusal of Miss Sarah's eyes, and an attentive study of Miss Nasarah's
dimple, managed to acquire a smattering of Arabic in a far shorter
time than would have been required in the most assiduous turning over
of dictionaries and grammars. But our school-boy days can't last for
ever--and, ere a fortnight elapsed, an order arrived from England for
the hopeful scholar to be placed on the returns of the Syrian army,
and to draw his field allowance, rations, and forage, as assistant
adjutant-general of the British force. Dictionaries and eyes, grammars
and dimples, were now exchanged for less pleasing pursuits. Fifteen
thousand troops were by this time assembled at Beyrout, and rumour
kept perpetually blowing the charge against Ibrahim Pasha, who was
still encamped at Zachli, with an army much superior to that of the
allies. Booted and spurred--with a long sword, saddle, bridle, and all
the other paraphernalia so captivating to an ancient fair, as recorded
in one of the lays of Old England by some forgotten Macaulay of former
times--the colonel is intent on some doughty deed, and already in
imagination sees captive Egyptians following his triumphal car. When
all of a sudden, the sad news gets spread abroad that the old
commodore has concluded a convention with Mehemet Ali, and that all
the pomp and circumstance of glorious war is at an end. One only
chance remained, and that was, that as all the big-wigs protested with
all their might against the convention; and the fleet, in the midst of
protestation and repudiations of all sorts and kinds, was forced by a
severe gale to up anchor and run for Marmorice Bay, Ibrahim Pasha
might perhaps be tempted to protest also in a still more unpleasant
manner, and pay a visit to Beyrout in the absence of the navy. The
very thoughts of it, however the English auxiliaries may have felt on
the subject, gave an attack of fever to the unfortunate inhabitants,
who devoutly prayed for a speedy fall of _tubbish_, (or snow,) by
which his dreaded approach might be impeded. "Had such a movement on
his part taken place at this critical moment, it is not improbable
that it might have proved successful; as amid the variety of religious
and conflicting interests, by which the people of Beyrout were
influenced, Ibrahim had no doubt many friends in the town; and it is
certain that he was moreover regularly made acquainted with every
occurrence which took place, through the medium, as was supposed, of
French agency and espionage."

Ibrahim, however, had had enough of red coats and blue jackets, and
left the people of Beyrout to themselves--an example which was
followed by the author, who, being foiled in his expectations of
riding down the Egyptians on the noble Arab left to him by the
commodore, determined to put that fiery animal (the Arab) to its paces
in scouring the country in all directions. It is not often that an
assistant adjutant-general sets out on a tour in search of the
picturesque; but in this instance the search was completely
successful. Rock, ravine, precipice, and dell--running waters and
waving woods, come as naturally to his pen as returns of effective
force and other professional details; and, whatever the writing of
them may be, we are prepared to contend that the reading of them is
infinitely pleasanter. But as travellers and poets have of late left
few mountains or molehills unsung in Palestine, we prefer extracting a
picturesque account of a venerable abbess, who threw the light of
Christian goodness over that benighted land about a century ago, and
must have impressed the heathens in the neighbourhood with an exalted
notion of the virtues of a nunnery:--

    "Héndia was a Maronite girl, possessing extraordinary
    personal charms, who, in 1755, first brought herself
    into notice by her pretended piety and attention to her
    religious duties, till at last she was by this simple
    and credulous people considered almost in the light of a
    saint or prophetess. When she had thus established a
    reputation for sanctity, she next thought of becoming
    the head and chief of an extensive establishment of
    monks and nuns, to receive whom, with the aid of large
    contributions raised among her credulous admirers and
    followers, she erected two spacious stone buildings,
    which soon became filled with proselytes of both sexes.
    The patriarch of Lebanon was named the director of this
    establishment, and for twenty years Héndia reigned with
    unbounded sway over the little community--performing
    miracles, uttering prophecies, and giving other tokens
    of being in the performance of a divine mission; and
    though it was remarked that many deaths yearly occurred
    among the nuns, the circumstance was generally
    attributed to disease incident to the insalubrity of the
    situation. At last, chance brought to light the cause of
    this very great mortality, and disclosed all the secret
    horrors which had so long remained covered by the veil
    of mystery in this abode of monastic abominations. A
    traveller, on his way from Damascus to the coast,
    happened to arrive one fine summer night at a late hour
    before the convent gates, which he found closed, and not
    wishing to disturb its inmates, who had apparently
    retired to rest, he spread his travelling rug under some
    neighbouring trees, and laid himself down to sleep. His
    slumbers were, however, shortly disturbed by a number of
    persons, who, issuing from the convent, appeared to be
    clandestinely bearing away what seemed to be a heavy
    bundle. Prompted by curiosity, he cautiously followed
    the party, who, after going a short distance, deposited
    their burden, and commenced digging a deep hole, into
    which having placed and covered with earth what was
    evidently a dead body, they immediately took their
    departure. Astonished, and rather dismayed, at an
    occurrence of so mysterious a nature, the traveller lost
    no time in mounting his mule, and on arriving at Beyrout
    made known the extraordinary occurrence to which he had
    been witness the night before. This account reached the
    ears of a merchant who happened to have two daughters
    undergoing their noviciate at El Kourket, and reports
    had lately reached him of the illness of one of his
    children; this, together with the numerous deaths which
    had lately taken place at the convent, coupled with the
    traveller's narrative, excited in his mind the most
    serious apprehensions. He gave information on the
    subject, and laid a complaint before the Grand Prince at
    Dahr-el-Kamar, and, accompanied by his informant and a
    troop of horsemen furnished by the Emir, hastened to the
    spot of the alleged mysterious burial, when to his
    horror, on opening the newly made grave, he discovered
    it to contain the corpse of his youngest daughter!
    Frantic at this sight, he desired instant admission, in
    order to ascertain the safety of her sister. On this
    being refused, the gates were forced open, and the
    unfortunate girl was found closely confined in a
    dungeon, on the point of death, but retaining still
    strength enough to disclose horrors which led to an
    investigation, implicating the patriarch, the abbess,
    and several priests. This transaction, which happened in
    1776, was submitted for the decision of the Papal See;
    when it appeared that the pretended prophetess had, by
    means of many ingenious mechanical devices, thus long
    imposed on public credulity, whilst in the retirement of
    the cloister the most licentious and profligate
    occurrences nightly took place; and that when any
    unfortunate nun gave offence, either by refusing to be
    sacrificed at the shrine of infamy, or that it became
    desirable to get rid of her, in order to appropriate for
    the convent the amount of her property, she was immured
    in a dungeon, left to perish by a lingering and
    miserable death, and then privately buried in the night.
    In consequence of these shocking discoveries, the
    patriarch was deposed--the priests, his accomplices,
    were severely punished, and the high priestess of this
    temple of cruelty and debauchery was immured in
    confinement, and survived for many years to repent of
    all the atrocities she had previously committed."

We should like to know the colonel's authority for this circumstantial
account. It bears at present a startling resemblance to the confession
of Maria Monk, and the villanies recorded of the nunnery at Montreal;
and we will hope in the mean time, that the devil, even in the shape
of a lady abbess, is not quite so black as he is painted. The present
abbess of El Kourket is already as black as need be, for we are told
she is an Ethiopian negress.

The war carried on in Syria after the decisive battle of Boharsef,
seems to have been on the model of those recorded by Major Sturgeon,
and to have consisted of marching and counter-marching, without any
definite object, except, perhaps, the somewhat Universal-Peace-Society
one of getting out of the enemy's way. General Jochmus, we guess from
his name, was a Scotch schoolmaster, with a Latin termination--there
being no mistaking the Jock--and in his religious tenets we feel sure
he was a Quaker. The English officers attached to the staff had
immense difficulty in bringing the troops (if they deserve to be
called so) to the scratch; and we trust that, in all future
commentaries on the Art of War, the method adopted by Commodore
Napier, of throwing stones at his gallant army to force them forward,
will not be forgotten. The author before us had no sinecure, and after
the news of Ibrahim's retreat, galloped hither and thither, like the
wild huntsman of a German story, to discover by what route the
vanquished lion was growling his way to his den. With a hundred
irregular horse, furnished him by Osman Aga, he set out on a foray
beyond Jordan; and we do not wonder his two friends, Captain Lane, a
Prussian edition of Don Quixote, and Mr Hunter, who has written an
excellent account of his expedition to Syria, besides his old Beyrout
friend Giorgio, volunteered to accompany him.

    "My motley troop, apparently composed of every tribe
    from the Caspian to the Red Sea, displayed no less
    variety in arms and accoutrements than in their personal
    appearance, varying from the sturdy-looking Kourd,
    mounted on his strong powerful steed, to the swarthy,
    spare, and sinewy Arab, with his long reed-like spear,
    his head encircled with the Kéfiah, or thick rope of
    twisted camels' hair; whilst the flowing 'abbage' waved
    gracefully down the shining flanks of the high-mettled
    steed of the desert. In short, such an assemblage of
    cut-throat looking ruffians was probably never before
    seen; and whilst the Prussian military eye of old Lane
    glanced down our wide-spread and irregular line, I could
    see a curl of contempt on his grey mustaches, though his
    weather-beaten countenance maintained all the gravity of
    Frederick the Great. The troop appeared to be divided
    into two distinct parties--one Arab, the other Turkish;
    and, on directing the two chiefs to call the 'roll' of
    their respective forces, I found that many were absent
    without leave, and the party which should have amounted
    to a hundred cavaliers only mustered between seventy and
    eighty. However, on the assurance that the rest would
    speedily follow--as there was no time to spare, after
    making them a short harangue, in which I promised
    abundance of _nehub_ (plunder) whenever we came across
    the enemy, to which they responded by a wild yell of
    approbation--I gave the signal to move off, which was
    instantly obeyed, amidst joyous shouts, the brandishing
    of spears, and promiscuous discharge of fire-arms.
    Having thus got them under weigh, the next difficulty I
    experienced was to keep them together. I tried to form a
    rearguard to bring up the stragglers, but the guard
    would not remain behind, nor the stragglers keep up with
    the main body; and I soon, finding that something more
    persuasive than mere words was requisite to maintain
    them in order, took the first opportunity of getting a
    stout cudgel, with which I soundly belaboured all those
    whom I found guilty of thus disobeying my commands. The
    Eastern does not understand the _suaviter in
    modo_;--behave to him like a human being, he fancies you
    fear him, and he sets you at defiance--kick him and cuff
    him, treat him like a dog, and he crouches at your feet,
    the humble slave of your slightest wishes."

Discipline of so perfect a nature must have inspired the gallant
colonel with the strongest hopes of success in case of an onslaught on
the forces of Ibrahim Pasha, and in all probability his efforts, with
those of Captain Lane, Hunter, and Giorgio, might have produced
something like a skrimmage when they came near the tents of the
Egyptians; but it would seem that the cudgels wielded by the Musree
commanders were either not so strong or not so well applied, for on
the first appearance of the hostile squadron, the heroes of Nezib
evaporated as if by magic, but not before a similar feat of
legerdemain had been performed by the rabble rout of Turks and Arabs;
and on looking round, to inspire his followers with a speech after the
manner of Thucydides, the colonel discovered the last of his escort
disappearing at full speed on the other side of the plain, and the
Europeans were left alone in their glory. As they had nobody to
attack, (the enemy continuing still in a state of evaporation,) every
thing ended well; and, if the trumpeter had not been among the
fugitives, there might have been a triumphal blow performed although
no blow had been struck. We do not believe in the courage of the
Arabs. No amount of kicking and cuffing could cow a nation's spirit
that had once been brave; and we therefore consider it the greatest
marvel in history how the Arabians managed at one time to conquer half
the world. They must have been very different fellows from the
chicken-hearted children of the desert recorded in these volumes. One
thing only is certain, that they have left their anti-fighting
propensities to their mongrel descendants in Spain; for a series of
_actions_--that is, jinking and skulking, and running up and down,
hiding themselves as if they were the personages of a writ--more
distinctly Arabian than the late campaign which ended in the overthrow
of Espartero, could not have been performed under the shadows of Mount
Ebal. All the nobility that we are so fond of picturing to ourselves
in the deeds and thoughts of Saladin, has gone over to the horse. The
wild steed retains its fire, though the miserable horseman would do
for a Madrileno _aide-de-camp_. And yet this is the way they are

    "It was a matter of surprise to us, how our horses stood
    without injury all the exposure, severe work, and often
    short commons, to which they were constantly subjected.
    When we came to a place where barley was to be procured,
    the grooms carried away as much as they could; when none
    was to be had, we gave our nags peas and _tibbin_,
    (chopped straw, the only forage used in the East,) or
    any thing we could lay hands on; they had little or no
    grooming, and frequently the saddles were not even
    removed from their backs. But I believe that nothing
    save the high mettle of the desert blood would carry an
    animal through all this toil and privation; and as to
    the much-extolled kindness of the Arab towards his
    horse, although it may be the case in the far deserts of
    the Hedged and Hedjar, I can avow that I never saw these
    noble animals treated with more inhuman neglect than I
    witnessed in the whole of my wanderings through Syria."

The dreariness of a ride through the desolate plains and rugged rocks
of Palestine, was diversified with startling adventures; and the fact
of several of the powers of Europe and many of the tribes of Asia
having chosen that sterile region for their battle-place, gave rise to
some very odd coincidences. People from all the ends of the earth, who
were lounging away their existence some three or four months before,
without any anticipation of treading in the footsteps of the
crusaders--some smoking strong tobacco in the coffeehouses of Berlin,
or leaning gracefully (like the Chinese Admiral Kwang) against the
pillars of the Junior United Service Club in London--or driving a
heavy curricle in the Prado at Vienna--or reading powerfully for
honours at the Great Go at Oxford--or climbing Albanian hills--or
reclining in the silken recesses of a harem at Constantinople--all
were thrown together in such unexpected groups, and found themselves
so curiously banded together, that the tame realities of an ordinary
campaign were thrown completely into the shade. The following
introduces us to another member of the foray, whose character seems to
have been such a combination of the gallant soldier and light-hearted
troubadour, that we read of his after fate, in dying of the plague at
Damascus, with great regret:--

    "My troop had not yet cleared a difficult pass close to
    the khan, running between an abrupt face of the hill and
    the river, when the advanced guard came back at full
    speed with the announcement that a body of the enemy's
    infantry was near at hand. Closely jammed in a narrow
    defile, between inaccessible cliffs and the precipitous
    banks of the Jordan, with nothing but cavalry at my
    disposal, I was placed in rather a disagreeable
    position. There remained, however, no alternative but to
    put spurs to our horses, push forward through the pass,
    deploy on the level ground beyond it, and then trust to
    the chances of war. Having explained these intentions to
    the Sheikh and Aga, we lost no time in carrying them
    into effect; and on taking extended order after clearing
    the pass, saw immediately in front of us what we took to
    be an advanced guard of the enemy, consisting of some
    twenty or thirty soldiers, whom their white
    foustanellis" (the foustanellis is that part of the
    Albanian costume corresponding with the highland kilt)
    "and tall active forms immediately marked as Arnouts, or
    Albanians. Seeing, probably, that we had now the
    advantage of the ground, they hastily retired,
    recrossing a ravine which intersected the path, and
    extending in capital light infantry style, were soon
    sheltered behind the stones and rocks on the opposite
    bank, over the brow of which nought was to be seen but
    the protruding muzzles and long shining barrels of their
    firelocks. All this was the work of a few seconds, and
    passed in a much briefer space of time than it has taken
    to relate. I had now the greatest difficulty in keeping
    Mahommed Aga and his men from charging up to enemies
    who, from their present position, could have picked them
    easily off with perfect safety to themselves; and riding
    rapidly forward with Captain Lane, to see if we could by
    some means turn their flank, a few horsemen at this
    moment suddenly appeared over the swell on the opposite
    side of the ravine, the foremost of whom, whilst making
    many friendly signals, galloped across the intervening
    space, hailing us a friend, and at the same time waving
    his hand, to prevent his own people from opening their
    fire. Lane and myself were not backward in returning
    this greeting; and on approaching we beheld a handsome
    young man, dressed in the showy Austrian uniform, with a
    black Tartar sheepskin cap on his head, who, coming up,
    accosted us in French, and with all the frankness of a
    soldier, introduced himself as Count Szechinge, a
    captain of Austrian dragoons, then on his way from
    Tiberias with a party composed of one or two Turkish
    lancers, about twenty-five Albanian deserters, his
    German servant, dragoman, and suite, to raise troops in
    the Adjelloun hills--a mission very similar to the one I
    was myself employed on at Naplouse."

An acquaintance begun under such circumstances grows into friendship
with amazing rapidity; and many are the joyous hours the foragers
spend together, in spite of intolerable weather and storms of sleet
and snow, which bear a far greater resemblance to the climate of
Lochaber than to that of Syria, "land of roses." Reinforced with the
count and his companions, Colonel Napier pushes on--gets into the
vicinity of Ibrahim--his rabble rout turn tail, in case of being
swallowed alive by the ferocious pasha, whose reputation for cruelty
and all manner of iniquities seems well deserved, and having
ascertained the movements of that formidable ruffian, he returned to
Naplouse to take the command of 1500 half-tamed, undisciplined
savages, with whom to oppose his retreat. Luckily, the ratification of
the convention come in the nick of time; for it is very evident that
the best cudgels that were ever cut in "the classic woods of
Hawthornden," could not have awakened a spark of military ardour in
the wretched riff-raff assemblage appointed for this service--and of
all the abortive efforts at generalship we have ever read of, the
attempt of the Turkish commanders was infinitely the worse--no
foresight in providing for difficulties--no valour in fighting their
way out of them; but, to compensate for these trifling deficiencies, a
plentiful supply of pride and cruelty, with a due admixture of
dishonesty. We heartily join, with Colonel Napier, in wondering where
the deuce the "integrity of the Ottoman empire" is to be found, as,
beyond all doubt, not a particle of it exists in any of its subjects.
The pashas of Egypt, bad as they undoubtedly are, have redeeming
points about them, which the Hassans, and Izzets, and Reschids of the
Turks have no conception of; and, lively and sparkling as the gallant
colonel's narrative is, we confess it leaves a sadder impression on
our minds of the hopelessness and the degeneracy of the Moslems, than
any book we have met with. Turk and Egyptian should equally be whipped
back into the desert, and the fairest portions of the world be won
over to civilization, wealth, and happiness. The present volumes close
at the end of January 1841, and perhaps they are among the best
results of the campaign. We shall be glad to see the proceedings at
Alexandria sketched off in the same pleasant style.

THE FATE OF POLYCRATES.--_Herod._ iii. 124-126.

    "Oh! go not forth, my father dear--oh! I go not forth to-day,
    And trust not thou that Satrap dark, for he fawns but to betray;
    His courteous smiles are treacherous wiles, his foul designs to hide;
    Then go not forth, my father dear--in thy own fair towers abide."

    "Now, say not so, dear daughter mine--I pray thee, say not so!
    Where glory calls, a monarch's feet should never fear to go;
    And safe to-day will be my way through proud Magnesia's halls,
    As if I stood 'mid my bowmen good beneath my Samian walls.

    "The Satrap is my friend, sweet child--my trusty friend is he--
    The ruddy gold his coffers hold he shares it all with me;
    No more amid these clustering isles alone shall be my sway,
    But Hellas wide, from side to side, thy empire shall obey!

    "And of all the maids of Hellas, though they be rich and fair,
    With the daughter of Polycrates, oh! who shall then compare?
    Then dry thy tears--no idle fears should damp our joy to-day--
    And let me see thee smile once more before I haste away!"

    "Oh! false would be the smile, my sire, that I should wear this morn,
    For of all my country's daughters I shall soon be most forlorn;
    I know, I know,--ah, thought of woe!--I ne'er shall see again
    My father's ship come sailing home across the Icarian main.

    "Each gifted seer, with words of fear, forbids thee to depart,
    And their warning strains an echo find in every faithful heart;
    A maiden weak, e'en I must speak--ye gods, assist me now!
    The characters of doom and death are graven on thy brow!

    "Last night, my sire, a vision dire thy daughter's eyes did see,
    Suspended in mid air there hung a form resembling thee;
    Nay, frown not thus, my father dear; my tale will soon be done--
    Methought that form was bathed by Jove, and anointed by the sun!"

    "My child, my child, thy fancies wild I may not stay to hear.
    A friend goes forth to meet a friend--then wherefore should'st
        thou fear?
    Though moonstruck seers with idle fears beguile a maiden weak,
    They cannot stay thy father's hand, or blanch thy father's cheek.

    "Let cowards keep within their holds, and on peril fear to run!
    Such shame," quoth he, "is not for me, fair Fortune's favourite son!"
    Yet still the maiden did repeat her melancholy strain--
    "I ne'er shall see my father's fleet come sailing home again!"

    The monarch call'd his seamen good, they muster'd on the shore,
    Waved in the gale the snow-white sail, and dash'd the sparkling oar;
    But by the flood that maiden stood--loud rose her piteous cry--
    "Oh! go not forth, my dear, dear sire--oh, go not forth to die!"

    A frown was on that monarch's brow, and he said as he turn'd away,
    "Full soon shall Samos' lord return to Samos' lovely bay;
    But thou shalt aye a maiden lone within my courts abide--
    No chief of fame shall ever claim my daughter for his bride!

    "A long, long maidenhood to thee thy prophet tongue hath given--"
    "Oh would, my sire," that maid replied, "such were the will of Heaven!
    Though I a loveless maiden lone must evermore remain,
    Still let me hear that voice so dear in my native isle again!"

    'Twas all in vain that warning strain--the king has crost the tide--
    But never more off Samos shore his bark was seen to ride!
    The Satrap false his life has ta'en, that monarch bold and free,
    And his limbs are black'ning in the blast, nail'd to the gallows-tree!

    That night the rain came down apace, and wash'd each gory stain,
    But the sun's bright ray, the next noonday, glared fiercely on the
    And the oozing gore began once more from his wounded sides to run;
    Good-sooth, that form was bathed by Jove, and anointed by the Sun!


    [16] Modern Painters--their Superiority in the Art of
    Landscape Painting to all the Ancient Masters, &c. &c.
    By a Graduate of Oxford.

We read this title with some pain, not doubting but that our modern
landscape painters were severely handled in an ironical satire; and we
determined to defend them. "Their superiority to _all_ the ancient
masters"--that was too hard a hit to come from any but an enemy! We
must measure our man--a graduate of Oxford! The "scholar armed,"
without doubt. He comes, too, vauntingly up to us, with his contempt
for us and all critics that ever were, or will be; we are all little
Davids in the eye of this Goliath. Nevertheless, we will put a pebble
in our sling. We saw this contempt of us, in dipping at hap-hazard
into the volume. But what was our astonishment to find, upon looking
further, that we had altogether mistaken the intent of the author, and
that we should probably have not one Goliath, but many, to encounter;
while our own particular friends, to whom we might look for help,
were, alas! all dead men. We found that there were not "giants" in
those days, but in these days--that the author, in his most
superlative praise, is not ironical at all, but a most serious
panegyrist, who never laughs, but does sometimes make his readers
laugh, when they see his very unbecoming, mocking grimaces against the
"old masters"--not that it can be fairly asserted that it is a
laughable book. It has much conceit, and but little merriment; there
is nothing really funny after you have got over, (vide page 6,) that
he "looks with contempt on Claude, Salvator, and Gaspar Poussin." This
contempt, however, being too limited for the "graduate of Oxford," in
the next page he enlarges the scope of his enmity; "speaking generally
of the old masters, I refer only to Claude, Gaspar Poussin, Salvator
Rosa, Cuyp, Berghem, Both, Ruysdael, Hobbima, Teniers (in his
landscapes,) P. Potter, Canaletti, and the various Van Somethings and
Back Somethings, more especially and malignantly those who have
libelled the sea." Self-convicted of malice, he has not the slightest
suspicion of his ignorance; whereas he _knows_ nothing of these
masters whom he maligns. Still is he ready to be their general
accuser--has not the slightest respect for the accumulated opinions of
the best judges for these two or three hundred years--he puts them by
with the wave of his hand, very like the unfortunate gentleman in an
establishment of "unsound opinions," who gravely said--"The world and
I differed in opinion--I was right, the world wrong; but they were too
many for me, and put me here." We daresay that, in such establishments
may be found many similar opinions to those our author promulgates,
though, as yet, none of our respectable publishers have been convicted
of a congenial folly. We said, that he suspects not his ignorance of
the masters he maligns. Let it not hence be inferred that it is the
work of an ignorant man. He is only ignorant with a prejudice. We will
not say that it is not the work of a man who thinks, who has been
habituated to a sort of scholastic reasoning, which he brings to bear,
with no little parade and display, upon technicalities and
distinctions. He can tutor _secundum artem_, lacking only, in the
first point, that he has not tutored himself. With all his
arrangements and distinctions laid down, as the very grammar of art,
he confuses himself with his "truths," forgetting that, in matters of
art, truths of fact must be referable to truths of mind. It is not
what things in all respects really are, but what they appear, and how
they are convertible by the mind into what they are not in many ways,
respects, and degrees, that we have to consider, before we can venture
to draw rules from any truths whatever. For art is something besides
nature; and taste and feeling are first--precede practical art; and
though greatly enhanced by that practical cultivation, might exist
without it--nay, often do; and true taste always walks a step in
advance of what has been done, and ever desires to do, and from
itself, more than it sees. We discover, therefore, a fallacy in the
very proposal of his undertaking, when he says that he is prepared "to
advance nothing which does not, at least in his own conviction, _rest
on surer ground than mere feeling or taste_." Notwithstanding,
however, that our graduate of Oxford puts his "demonstrations" upon an
equality with "the demonstrations of Euclid," and "thinks it proper
for the public to know, that the writer is no mere theorist, but has
been devoted from his youth to the laborious study of practical art,"
and that he is "a graduate of Oxford;" we do not look upon him as a
bit the better judge for all that, seeing that many have practised it
too fondly and too ignorantly all their lives, and that Claude, and
Salvator, and Gaspar Poussin must, according to him, have been in this
predicament, and more especially do we decline from bowing down at his
dictation, when we find him advocating _any_ "_surer ground than
feeling or taste_." Now, considering that thus, _in initio_, he sets
aside feeling and taste, the reader will not be astonished to find a
very substantial reason given for his contempt of the afore-mentioned
old masters; it is, he says, "because I look with the most devoted
veneration upon Michael Angelo, Raffaelle, and Da Vinci, that I do not
distrust the principles which induce me to look with contempt," &c. We
do not exactly see how these great men, who were not landscape
painters, can very well be compared with those who were, but from some
general principles of art, in which the world have not as yet found
any very extraordinary difference. But we do humbly suggest, that
Michael Angelo, Raffaelle, and Da Vinci, are in their practice, and
principles, if you please, quite as unlike Messrs David Cox, Copley
Fielding, J. D. Harding, Clarkson Stanfield, and Turner--the very men
whom our author brings forward as the excellent of the earth, in
opposition _to all_ old masters whatever, excepting only Michael
Angelo, Raffaelle, and Da Vinci, to whom nevertheless, by a perverse
pertinacity of their respective geniuses, they bear no resemblance
whatever--as they are to Claude, Salvator, and Gaspar Poussin. We do
not by any means intend to speak disrespectfully of these our English
artists, but we must either mistrust those principles which cause them
to stand in opposition to the great Italians, or to conceive that our
author has really discovered no such differing principles, and which
possibly may not exist at all. Nor will we think so meanly of the
taste, the good feeling, and the good sense of these men, as to
believe that they think themselves at all flattered by any admiration
founded on such an irrational contempt. They well know that Michael
Angelo, Raffaelle, and Da Vinci, have been admired, together with
Claude, Salvator, and Gaspar Poussin, and they do not themselves
desire to be put upon a separate list. The author concludes his
introduction with a very bad reason for his partiality to modern
masters, and it is put in most ambitious language, very readily
learned in the "Fudge School,"--a style of language with which our
author is very apt to indulge himself; but the argument it so
ostentatiously clothes, and which we hesitate not to call a bad one,
is nothing more than this, (if we understand it,)--that the dead are
dead, and cannot hear our praise; that the living are living, and
therefore our love is not lost; in short, as a _non-sequitur_, "that
if honour be for the dead, gratitude can only be for the living." This
might have been simply said; but we are taken to the grave--with "He
who has once stood beside the grave," &c. &c.; we have "wild
love--keen sorrow--pleasure to pulseless hearts--debt to the heart--to
be discharged to the dust--the garland--the tombstone--the crowned
brow--the ashes and the spirit--heaven-toned voices and heaven-lighted
lamps--the learning--sweetness by silence--and light by decay;" all
which, we conceive, might have been very excusable in a young curate's
sermon during his first year of probation, and might have won for him
more nosegays and favours than golden opinions, but which we here feel
inclined to put our pen across, as so we remember many similarly
ambitious passages to have been served, before we were graduate of
Oxford, with the insignificant signification from the pen of our
informator of _nihil ad rem_. As the author threatens the public with
another, or more volumes, we venture to throw out a recommendation,
that at least one volume may serve the purpose and do the real work of
two, if he will check this propensity to unnecessary redundancy. His
numerous passages of this kind are for the most part extremely
unintelligible; and when we have unraveled the several coatings, we
too often find the ribs of the mummy are not human. We think it right
to object, in this place, to an affectation in phraseology offensive
to those who think seriously of breaking the third commandment--he
scarcely speaks of mountains without taking the sacred name in vain;
there is likewise a constant repetition of expressions of very
doubtful meaning in the first use, for the most part quite devoid of
meaning in their application. One of these is "palpitating." Light is
"palpitating," darkness is "palpitating"--every conceivable thing is
"palpitating." We must, however, in justice say, that by far the best
part of the book, the laying down rules and the elucidating
principles, is clearly and expressively written. In this part of the
work there is greater expansion than the student will generally find
in books on art. Not that we are aware of the advancement of any thing
new; but the admitted maxims of art are, as it were, grammatically
analysed, and in a manner to assist the beginner in thinking upon art.
To those who have already _thought_, this very studied analysis and
arrangement will be tedious enough.

In the "Definition of Greatness in Art," we find--"If I say that the
greatest picture is that which conveys to the mind of the spectator
the greatest number of the greatest ideas, I have a definition which
will include as subjects of comparison every pleasure which art is
capable of conveying." Now, there are great ideas which are so
conflicting as to annul the force of each other. This is not enough;
there must be a congruity of great ideas--nay, in some instances, we
can conceive one idea to be so great, as in a work of art not to admit
of the juxtaposition of others. This is the principle upon which the
sonnet is built, and the sonnet illustrates the picture not unaptly.
"Ideas of Power" are great ideas--not always are ideas of beauty
great; yet is there a tempering the one with the other, which it is
the special province of art to attain, and that for its highest and
most moral purposes. In his "Ideas of Power," he distinguishes the
term "excellent" from the terms "beautiful," "useful," "good," &c.;
thus--"And we shall always, in future, use the word excellent, as
signifying that the thing to which it is applied required a great
power for its production." Is not this doubtful? Does it not limit the
perception of excellence to artists who can alone from their practice,
and, as it were, measurement of powers with their difficulties, learn
and feel its existence in the sense to which it is limited. The
inference would be, that none but artists can be critics, as none but
artists can perceive excellence, and we think in more than one place
some such assertion is made. This is startling--"Power is never
wasted; whatever power has been employed, produces excellence in
proportion to its own dignity and exertion; and the faculty of
perceiving this exertion, and approaching this dignity, is the faculty
of perceiving excellence." "It is this faculty in which men, even of
the most cultivated taste, must always be wanting, unless they have
added practice to reflection; because none can estimate the power
manifested in victory, unless they have personally measured the
strength to be overcome." For the word strength use difficulty, and we
should say that, to the unpractised, the difficulties must always
appear greatest. He gives, as illustration, "Titian's flesh tint;" it
may be possible that, by some felicitous invention, some new
technicality of his art, Titian might have produced this excellence,
and to him there would have been no such great measurement of the
difficulty or strength to be overcome; while the admirer of the work,
ignorant of the happy means, fancies the exertion of powers which were
not exerted. In his chapter on "Ideas of Imitation," he imagines that
Fuseli and Coleridge falsely apply the term imitation, making "a
distinction between imitation and copying, representing the first as
the legitimate function of art--the latter as its corruption." Yet we
think he comes pretty much to the same conclusion. In like manner, he
seems to disagree with Burke in a passage which he quotes, but in
reality he agrees with him; for surely the "power of the imitation" is
but a power of the "jugglery," to be sensible of which, if we
understand him, is necessary to our sense of imitation. "When the
object," says Burke, "represented in poetry or painting is such as we
could have no desire of seeing in the reality, then we may be sure
that its power in poetry or painting is owing to the power of
_imitation_." "We may," says our author, "be sure of the contrary; for
if the object be undesirable in itself, the closer the imitation the
less will be the pleasure." Certainly not; for Burke of course
implied, and included in his sense of imitation, that it should be
consistent with a knowledge in the spectator, that a certain trick of
art was put upon him. And our author says the same--"Whenever the work
is seen to resemble something which we know it is not, we receive what
I call an idea of imitation." Again--"Now, two things are requisite to
our complete and most pleasurable perception of this: first, that the
resemblance be so perfect as to amount to deception; secondly, that
there be some means of proving at the same moment that it _is_ a
deception." He justly considers "the pleasures resulting from
imitation the most contemptible that can be received from art." He
thus happily illustrates his meaning--"We may consider tears as a
result of agony or of art, whichever we please, but not of both at the
same moment. If we are surprised by them as an attainment of the one,
it is impossible we can be moved by them as a sign of the other." This
will explain why we are pleased with the exact imitation of the
dewdrop on the peach, and why we are disgusted with the Magdalen's
tears by Vanderwerf; and we further draw this inevitable conclusion,
of very important consequence to artists, who have very erroneous
notions upon the subject, that this sort of imitation, which, by the
deception of its name, should be most like, is actually less like
nature, because it takes from nature its impression by substituting a
sense of the jugglery. This chapter on ideas of imitation is good and
useful. We think, in the after part of his work, wherein is much
criticism on pictures by the old masters and by moderns, our author
must have lost the remembrance of what he has so well said on his
ideas of imitation; and in the following chapter on "Ideas of Truth."
"The word truth, as applied to art, signifies the faithful statement,
either to the mind or senses, of any fact of nature." The reader will
readily see how "ideas of truth" differ from "ideas of imitation." The
latter relating only to material objects, the former taking in the
conceptions of the mind--may be conveyed by signs or symbols,
"themselves no image nor likeness of any thing." "An idea of truth
exists in the statement of _one_ attribute of any thing; but an idea
of imitation only in the resemblance of as many attributes as we are
usually cognizant of in its real presence." Hence it follows that
ideas of truth are inconsistent with ideas of imitation; for, as we
before said, ideas of imitation remove the impression by an
ever-present sense of the deception or falsehood. This is put very
conclusively--"so that the moment ideas of truth are grouped together,
so as to give rise to an idea of imitation, they change their very
nature--lose their essence as ideas of truth--and are corrupted and
degraded, so as to share in the treachery of what they have produced.
Hence, finally, ideas of truth are the foundation, and ideas of
imitation the distinction, of all art. We shall be better able to
appreciate their relative dignity after the investigation which we
propose of functions of the former; but we may as well now express the
conclusion to which we shall then be led--that no picture can be good
which deceives by its imitation; for the very reason that nothing can
be beautiful which is not true." This is perhaps rather too
indiscriminate. It has been shown that ideas of imitation do give
pleasure; by them, too, objects of beauty may be represented. We
should not say that a picture by Gerard Dow or Van Eyck; even with the
down on the peach and the dew on the leaf, were not good pictures.
They are good if they please. It is true, they ought to do more, and
even that in a higher degree; they cannot be works of greatness--and
greatness was probably meant in the word good. In his chapter on
"Ideas of Beauty," he considers that we derive, naturally and
instinctively, pleasure from the contemplation of certain material
objects; for which no other reason can be given than that it is our
instinct--the will of our Maker--we enjoy them "instinctively and
necessarily, as we derive sensual pleasure from the scent of a rose."
But we have instinctively aversion as well as desire; though he admits
this, he seems to lose sight of it in the following--"And it would
appear that we are intended by the Deity to be constantly under their
influence, (ideas of beauty;) because there is not one single object
in nature which is not capable of conveying them," &c. We are not
satisfied; if the instinctive desire be the index to what is
beautiful, so must the instinctive aversion be the index to its
opposite. We have an instinctive dislike to many reptiles, to many
beasts--as apes. These _may_ have in them some beauty; we only object
to the author's want of clearness. If there be no ugliness there is no
beauty, for every thing has its opposite; so that we think he has not
yet discovered and clearly put before us what beauty consists in. He
shows how it happens that we do admire it instinctively; but that does
not tell us what it is, and possibly, after all that has been said
about it, it yet remains to be told. Nor are we satisfied with his
definition of taste--"Perfect taste is the faculty of receiving the
greatest possible pleasure from those material sources which are
attractive to our moral nature in its purity and perfection." This
will not do; for taste will take material sources, unattractive in
themselves, and by combination, or for their contrast, receive
pleasure from them. All literature and all art show this. That taste,
like life itself, is instinctive in its origin and first motion, we
doubt not; but what it is by and in its cultivation, and in its
application to art, is a thing not to be altogether so cursorily
discussed and dismissed. The distinction is laid down between taste
and judgment--judgment being the action of the intellect; taste "the
instinctive and instant preferring of one material object to another
without any obvious reason," except that it is proper to human nature
in its perfection so to do. But leaving this discussion of this
original taste, taste in art is surely, as it is a thing cultivated,
that for which a reason can be given, and in some measure, therefore,
the result of judgment. For by the cultivation of taste we are
actually led to love, admire, and desire many things of which we have
no instinctive love at all; so that the taste for them arises from the
intellect and the moral sense--our judgment. He proceeds to "Ideas of
Relation," by which he means "to express all those sources of
pleasure, which involve and require at the instant of their
perception, active exertion of the intellectual powers." As this is to
be more easily comprehended by an illustration, we have one in an
incident of one of Turner's pictures, and, considering the object, it
is surprising the author did not find one more important; but he
herein shows that, in his eyes, every stroke of the brush by Mr Turner
is important--indeed, is a considerable addition to our national
wealth. In the picture of the "Building of Carthage," the foreground
is occupied by a group of children sailing toy-boats, which he thinks
to be an "exquisite choice of incident expressive of the ruling
passion." He, with a whimsical extravagance in praise of Turner,
which, commencing here, runs throughout all the rest of the volume,
says--"Such a thought as this is something far above all art; it is
epic poetry of the highest order." Epic poetry of the highest order!
Ungrateful will be our future epic poets if they do not learn from
this--if such is done by boys sailing toy-boats, surely boys flying a
kite will illustrate far better the great astronomical knowledge of
our days. But he is rather unfortunate in this bit of criticism; for
he compares this incident with one of Claude's, which we, however,
think a far better and more poetical incident. "Claude, in subjects of
_the same kind_," (not, by the by, a very fair statement,) "commonly
introduces people carrying red trunks with iron locks about, and
dwells, with infantine delight, on the lustre of the leather and the
ornaments of the iron. The intellect can have no occupation here, we
must look to the imitation or to nothing." As to the "_infantine
delight_," we presume it is rather with the boys and their toy-boats;
but let us look a little into these trunks--no, we may not--there is
something more in them than our graduate imagines--the very iron
locks and precious leather mean to tell you there is something still
more precious within, worth all the cost of freightage; and you see, a
little off, the great argosie that has brought the riches; and we
humbly think that the ruling passion of a people whose "princes were
merchants, and whose merchants princes," as happily expressed by the
said "red trunks" as the rise of Carthage by the boys and boats; and
in the fervour of this bit of "exquisite" epic choice, probably Claude
did look with delight on the locks and the leather; and, whenever we
look upon that picture again, we shall be ready to join in the
delight, and say, in spite of our graduate's "contempt," there is
nothing like leather. If the boys and boats express the beginning, the
red trunks express the thing done--merchandise "brought home to every
man's door;" so that the one serves for an "idea of relation," quite
as well as the other. And here ends section the first.

The study of ideas of imitation are thrown out of the consideration of
ideas of power, as unworthy the pursuit of an artist, whose purpose is
not to deceive, and because they are only the result of a particular
association of ideas of truth. "There are two modes in which we receive
the conception of power; one, the most just, when by a perfect
knowledge of the difficulty to be overcome, and the means employed, we
form a right estimate of the faculties exerted; the other, when without
possessing such intimate and accurate knowledge, we are impressed by a
sensation of power in visible action. If these two modes of receiving
the impression agree in the result, and if the sensation be equal to
the estimate, we receive the utmost possible idea of power. But this is
the case perhaps with the works of only one man out of the whole circle
of the fathers of art, of him to whom we have just referred--Michael
Angelo. In others the estimate and the sensation are constantly
unequal, and often contradictory." There is a distinction between the
sensation of power and the intellectual perception of it. A slight
sketch will give the sensation; the greater power is in the completion,
not so manifest, but of which there is a more intellectual cognizance.
He instances the drawings of Frederick Tayler for sensations of power,
considering the apparent means; and those of John Lewis for more
complete ideas of power, in reference to the greater difficulties
overcome, and the more complicated means employed. We think him
unfortunate in his selection, as the subjects of these artists are not
such as, of themselves, justly to receive ideas of power, therefore not
the best to illustrate them. He proceeds to "ideas of power, as they
are dependent on execution." There are six legitimate sources of
pleasure in execution--truth, simplicity, mystery, inadequacy,
decision, velocity. "Decision" we should think involved in "truth;" as
so involved, not necessarily different from velocity. Mystery and
inadequacy require explanation. "Nature is always mysterious and secret
in her use of means; and art is always likest her when it is most
inexplicable." Execution, therefore, should be "incomprehensible."
"Inadequacy" can hardly, we think, be said to be a quality of
execution, as it has only reference to means employed. Insufficient
means, according to him, give ideas of power. We otherwise
conclude--namely, that if the inadequacy of the means is shown, we
receive ideas of weakness. "Ars est celare artem"--so is it to conceal
the means. Strangeness in execution, not a legitimate source of
pleasure, is illustrated by the execution of a bull's head by Rubens,
and of the same by Berghem. Of the six qualities of execution, the
three first are the greatest, the three last the most attractive. He
considers Berghem and Salvator to have carried their fondness for these
lowest qualities to a vice. We can scarcely agree with him, as their
execution seems most appropriate to the character of their subjects--to
arise, in fact, out of their "ideas of truth." There is appended a good
note on the execution of the "drawing-master," that, under the title of
boldness, will admit of no touch less than the tenth of an inch broad,
and on the tricks of engravers' handling.

Our graduate dismisses the "sublime" in about two pages; in fact, he
considers sublimity not to be a specific term, nor "descriptive of the
effect of a particular class of ideas;" but as he immediately asserts
that it is "greatness of any kind," and "the effect of greatness upon
the feelings," we should have expected to have heard a little more
about what constitutes this "greatness," this "sublime," which
"elevates the mind," something more than that "Burke's theory of the
nature of the sublime is incorrect." The sublime not being "distinct
from what is beautiful," he confines his subject to "ideas of truth,
beauty, and relation," and by these he proposes to test all artists.
Truth of facts and truth of thoughts are here considered; the first
necessary, but the latter the highest: we should say that it is the
latter which alone constitutes art, and that here art begins where
nature ends. Facts are the foundation necessary to the superstructure;
the foundation of which must be there, though unseen, unnoticed in
contemplation of the noble edifice. Very great stress is laid upon
"the exceeding importance of truth;" which none will question,
reminding us of the commencement of Bacon's essay, "What is truth?
said laughing Pilate, and would not wait for an answer." "Nothing,"
says our author, "can atone for the want of truth, not the most
brilliant imagination, the most playful fancy, the most pure feeling
(supposing that feeling _could_ be pure and false at the same time,)
not the most exalted conception, nor the most comprehensive grasp of
intellect, can make amends for the want of truth." Now, there is much
parade in all this, surely truth, as such in reference to art, is _in_
the brilliancy of imagination, _in_ the playfulness, without which is
no fancy, _in_ the feeling, and _in_ the very exaltation of a
conception; and intellect has no _grasp_ that does not grasp a truth.
When he speaks of nature as "immeasurably superior to all that the
human mind can conceive," and professes to "pay no regard whatsoever
to what may be thought beautiful, or sublime, or imaginative," and to
"look only for truth, bare, clear downright statement of facts," he
seems to forget what nature is, as adopted by, as taken into art; it
is not only external nature, but external nature in conjunction with
the human mind. Nor does he, in fact, adhere in the subsequent part of
his work to this his declaration; for he loses it in his "fervour of
imagination," when he actually examines the works of "the great living
painter, who is, I believe, imagined by the majority of the public to
paint more falsehood and less fact than any other known master." Here
our author jumps at once into his monomania--his adoration of the
works of Turner, which he examines largely and microscopically, as it
suits his whim, and imagines all the while he is describing and
examining nature; and not unfrequently he tells you, that nature and
Turner are the same, and that he "invites the same ceaseless study as
the works of nature herself." This is "coming it pretty strong." We
confess we are with the majority--not that we wish to depreciate
Turner. He is, or has been, unquestionably, a man of genius, and that
is a great admission. He has, perhaps, done in art what never has been
done before. He has illuminated "Views," if not with local, with a
splendid truth. His views of towns are the finest; he led the way to
this walk of art, and is far superior to all in it. We speak of his
works collectively. Some of his earlier, more imaginative, were
unquestionably poetical, though not, perhaps, of a very high
character. We believe he has been better acquainted with many of the
truths of nature, particularly those which came within the compass of
his line of views, than any other artist, ancient or modern; but we
believe he has neglected others, and some important ones too, and to
which the old masters paid the greatest attention, and devoted the
utmost study. We have spoken frequently, unhesitatingly, of the late
extraordinary productions of his pencil, as altogether unworthy his
real genius; it is in these we see, with the majority of the public,
"more falsehood and less fact" than in any other known master--a
defiance of the "known truths" in drawing, colour, and composition,
for which we can only account upon the supposition, that his eye
misrepresents to him the work of his hands. We see, in the almost
adoration of his few admirers, that if it be difficult, and not always
dependent, on merit to attain to eminence in the world's estimation,
it is nearly as difficult altogether to fall from it; and that nothing
the artist can do, though they be the veriest "ægri somnia," will
separate from him habitual followers, who, with a zeal in proportion
to the extravagances he may perpetrate, will lose their relish for,
and depreciate the great masters, whose very principles he seems
capriciously in his age to set aside, and they will from followers
become his worshippers, and in pertinacity exact entire compliance,
and assent to every, the silliest, dictation of their monomania. We
subjoin a specimen of this kind of worship, which will be found fully
to justify our observations, and which, considering it speaks of
mortal man, is somewhat blaspheming Divine attributes; we know not
really whether we should pity the condition of the author, or
reprehend the passage. After speaking of other modern painters, who
are so superior to the old, he says: "and Turner--glorious in
conception--unfathomable in knowledge--solitary in power--with the
elements waiting upon his will, and the night and the morning obedient
to his call, sent as a prophet of God to reveal to men the mysteries
of his universe, standing, like the great angel of the Apocalypse,
clothed with a cloud, and with a rainbow upon his head, and with the
sun and stars given into his hand." Little as we are disposed to laugh
at any such aberrations, we must, to remove from our minds the
greater, the more serious offence, indulge in a small degree of
justifiable ridicule; and ask what will sculptor or painter make of
this description, should the reluctant public be convinced by the
"graduate," and in their penitential reverence order statue or
painting of Mr Turner for the Temple of Fame, which it is presumed
Parliament, in their artistic zeal, mean to erect? How will they
venture to represent Mr Turner looking like an angel--in that dress
which would make any man look like a fool--his cloud nightcap tied
with rainbow riband round his head, calling to night and morning, and
little caring which comes, making "ducks and drakes" of the sun and
the stars, put into his hand for that purpose? We will only suggest
one addition, as it completes the grand idea, and is in some degree
characteristic of Mr Turner's peculiar execution, that, with the sun
and stars, there should be delivered into his hand a comet, whose tail
should serve him for a brush, and supply itself with colour. We do not
see, however, why the moon should have been omitted; sun, moon, and
stars, generally go together. Is the author as jealous as the
"majority of the public" may be suspicious of her influence? And let
not the reader believe that Mr Turner is thus called a prophet in mere
joke, or a fashion of words--his prophetic power is advanced in
another passage, wherein it is asserted that Mr Turner not only tells
us in his works what nature has done in hers, but what she will do.
"In fact," says our author, "the great quality about Mr Turner's
drawings, which more especially proves their transcendant truth, is
the capability they afford us of reasoning on past and future
phenomena." The book teems with extravagant bombastic praise like
this. Mr Turner is more than the Magnus Apollo. Yet other English
artists are brought forward, immediately preceding the above
panegyric; we know not if we do them justice, by noticing what is said
of them. There is a curious description of David Cos lying on the
ground "to possess his spirit in humility and peace," of Copley
Fielding, as an aeronaut, "casting his whole soul into space." We
really cannot follow him, "exulting like the wild deer in the motion
of the swift mists," and "flying with the wild wind and sifted spray
along the white driving desolate sea, with the passion for nature's
freedom burning in his heart;" for such a chase and such a heart-burn
must have a frightful termination, unless it be mere nightmare. We see
"J. D. Harding, brilliant and vigorous," &c., "following with his
quick, keen dash the sunlight into the crannies of the rocks, and the
wind into the tangling of the grass, and the bright colour into the
fall of the sea-foam--various, universal in his aim;" after which very
fatiguing pursuit, we are happy to find him "under the shade of some
spreading elm;" yet his heart is oak--and he is "English, all English
at his heart." But Mr Clarkson Stanfield is a man of men--"firm, and
fearless, and unerring in his knowledge--stern and decisive in his
truth--perfect and certain in composition--shunning nothing,
concealing nothing, and falsifying nothing--never affected, never
morbid, never failing--conscious of his strength, but never
ostentatious of it--acquainted with every line and hue of the deep
sea--chiseling his waves with unhesitating knowledge of every curve of
their anatomy, and every moment of their motion--building his
mountains rock by rock, with wind in every fissure, and weight in
every stone--and modeling the masses of his sky with the strength of
tempest in their every fold." It is curious--yet a searcher after
nature's truths ought to know, as he is here told, that waves may be
anatomized, and must be _chiseled_, and that mountains are and ought
to be _built_ up rock by rock, as a wall brick by brick; no easy task
considering that there is a disagreeable "wind in every fissure, and
weight in every stone"--and that the aerial sky, incapable to touch,
must be "modeled in masses." All this is given after an equally
extravagant abuse of Claude, of Salvator Rosa, and Poussin. He finds
fault with Claude, because his sea does not "upset the flower-pots on
the wall," forgetting that they are put there because the sea could
not--with Salvator, for his "contemptible fragment of splintery crag,
which an Alpine snow-wreath" (which would have no business there)
"would smother in its first swell, with a stunted bush or two growing
out of it, and a Dudley or Halifax-like volume of smoke for a
sky"--with Poussin, for that he treats foliage (whereof "every bough
is a revelation!") as "a black round mass of impenetrable paint,
diverging into feathers instead of leaves, and supported on a stick
instead of a trunk." A page or two from this, our author sadly abuses
poor Canaletti, as far as we can see, for not painting a tumbled-down
wall, which perhaps, in his day, was not in a ruinous state at all; it
is a curious passage--and shows how much may be made out of a wall.
Pyramus's chink was nothing to this--behold a specimen of "fine
writing!" "Well: take the next house. We remember that too; it was
mouldering inch by inch into the canal, and the bricks had fallen away
from its shattered marble shafts, and left them white and
skeleton-like, yet with their fretwork of cold flowers wreathed about
them still, untouched by time; and through the rents of the wall
behind them there used to come long sunbeams gleamed by the weeds
through which they pierced, which flitted, and fell one by one round
those grey and quiet shafts, catching here a leaf and there a leaf,
and gliding over the illumined edges and delicate fissures until they
sank into the deep dark hollow between the marble blocks of the sunk
foundation, lighting every other moment one isolated emerald lamp on
the crest of the intermittent waves, when the wild sea-weeds and
crimson lichens drifted and crawled with their thousand colours and
fine branches over its decay, and the black, clogging, accumulated
limpets hung in ropy clusters from the dripping and tinkling stone.
What has Canaletti given us for this?" Alas, neither a _crawling_
lichen, nor _clogging_ limpets, nor a _tinkling_ stone, but "one
square, red mass, composed of--let me count--five-and-fifty--no,
six-and-fifty--no, I was right at first, five-and-fifty bricks," &c.
The picture, if it be painted by the graduate, must be a curiosity--we
can make neither head nor tail of his words. But let us find another
strange specimen--where he compares his own observations of nature
with Poussin and Turner. Every one must remember a very pretty little
picture of no great consequence by Gaspar Poussin--a view of some
buildings of a town said to be Aricia, the modern La Riccia--just take
it for what it is intended to be, a quiet, modest, agreeable
scene--very true and sweetly painted. How unfit to be compared with an
ambitious description of a combination of views from Rome to the Alban
Mount, for that is the range of the description, though, perhaps, the
description is taken from a poetical view of one of Turner's
incomprehensibles, which may account for the conclusion, "Tell me who
is likest this, Poussin or Turner?" Now, though Poussin never intended
to be like this, let us see the graduate's description of it. We know
the little town; it received us as well as our author, having left
Rome to visit it.

    "Egressum magnâ me accepit Aricia Roma."

Our author, however, doubts if it be the place, though he
unhesitatingly abuses Poussin, as if he had fully intended to have
painted nothing else than what was seen by the travelling graduate.
"At any rate, it is a town on a hill, wooded with two-and-thirty
bushes, of very uniform size, and possessing about the same number of
leaves each. These bushes are all painted in with one dull opaque
brown, becoming very slightly greenish towards the lights, and
discover in one place a bit of rock, which of course would in nature
have been cool and grey beside the lustrous hues of foliage, and
which, therefore, being moreover completely in shade, is consistently
and scientifically painted of a very clear, pretty, and positive brick
red, the only thing like colour in the picture. The foreground is a
piece of road, which, in order to make allowance for its greater
nearness, for its being completely in light, and, it may be presumed,
for the quantity of vegetation usually present on carriage roads, is
given in a very cool green-grey, and the truthful colouring of the
picture is completed by a number of dots in the sky on the right, with
a stalk to them, of a sober and similar brown." We need not say how
unlike is this description of the picture. We pass on to--"Not long
ago, I was slowly _descending_ this very bit of carriage road, the
first turn after you leave Albano;--it had been wild weather when I
left Rome, and all across the Campagna the clouds were sweeping in
sulphurous blue, with a clap of thunder or two, and breaking gleams of
sun along the Claudian aqueduct, lighting up the infinity of its
arches like the bridge of Chaos. But as I _climbed_ the long slope of
the Alban mount, the storm swept finally to the north, and the noble
outline of the domes of Albano, and graceful darkness of its ilex
grove rose against pure streaks of alternate blue and amber, the upper
sky gradually flushing through the last fragments of rain-cloud in
deep, palpitating azure, half æther half dew. The noonday sun came
slanting down the rocky slopes of La Riccia, and its masses of
entangled and tall foliage, whose autumnal tints were mixed with the
wet verdure of a thousand evergreens, were penetrated with it as with
rain. I cannot call it colour, it was conflagration. Purple, and
crimson, and scarlet, like the curtains of God's tabernacle, the
rejoicing trees sank into the valley in showers of light, every
separate leaf quivering with buoyant and burning life; each, as it
turned to reflect or to transmit the sunbeam, first a torch and then
an emerald. Far up into the recesses of the valley, the green vistas
arched like the hollows of mighty waves of some crystalline sea, with
the arbutus flowers dashed along their flanks for foam, and _silver_
flakes of _orange_ spray tossed into the air around them, breaking
over the grey walls of rock into a thousand separate stars, fading and
kindling alternately as the weak wind lifted and let them fall. Every
glade of grass burned like the golden floor of heaven, opening in
sudden gleams as the foliage broke and closed above it, as sheet
lightning opens in a cloud at sunset; the motionless masses of dark
rock--dark though flushed with scarlet lichen--casting their quiet
shadows across its restless radiance, the fountain underneath them
filling its marble hollow with blue mist and fitful sound, and over
all--the multitudinous bars of amber and rose, the _sacred_ clouds
that have no _darkness_, and only exist to illumine, were seen in
fathomless intervals between the solemn and _orbed_ repose of the
stone pines, passing to lose themselves in the last, white, blinding
lustre of the measureless line where the Campagna melted into the
blaze of the sea." In verity, this is no "Campana Supellex." It is a
riddle! Is he going up or down hill--or both at once? No human being
can tell. He did not like the "sulphur and treacle" of "our Scotch
connoisseurs;" but what colours has he not added here to his
sulphur--colours, too, that we fear for the "idea of truth" cannot
coexist! And how, in the name of optics, could it be possible for any
painter to take in all this, with the "_fathomless intervals_," into
an angle of vision of forty-five degrees? It is quite superfluous to
ask "who is likest this, Turner or Poussin?" There immediately follows
a remark upon another picture in the National Gallery, the "Mercury
and Woodman," by Salvator Rosa, than which nothing can be more untrue
to the original. He asserts that Salvator painted the distant
mountains, "throughout, without one instant of variation. But what is
its colour? _Pure_ sky-blue, without one grain of grey, or any
modifying hue whatsoever;--the same brush which had just given the
bluest parts of the sky, has been more loaded at the same part of the
pallette, and the whole mountain throw in with unmitigated
ultramarine." Now the fact is, that the picture has, in this part,
been so injured, that it is hard to say what colour is under the dirty
brown-asphaltum hue and texture that covers it. It is certainly not
blue now, not "pure blue"--unless pictures change like the cameleon.
We know the picture well, and have seen another of the same subject,
where the mountains have variety, and yet are blue. We believe a great
sum was given for this picture--far more than its condition justifies.
We must return--we left the graduate discussing ideas of truth. There
is a chapter to show that the truth of nature is not to be discerned
by the uneducated senses. As we do not perceive all sounds that enter
the ear, so do we not perceive all that is cognizable by the eye--we
have, that is, a power of nullifying an impression; that this habit is
so common, that from the abstraction of their minds to other subjects,
there are probably persons who never saw any thing beautiful.
Sensibility to the power of beauty is required--and to see rightly,
there should be a perfect state of moral feeling. Even when we think
we see with our eyes, our perception is often the result of memory, of
previous knowledge; and it is in this way he accounts for the mistake
painters and others make with respect to Italian skies. What will Mr
Uwin and his followers in blue say to this, alas--Italian skies are
not blue? "How many people are misled by what has been said and sung
of the serenity of Italian skies, to suppose they must be more blue
than the skies of the north, and think that they see them so; whereas
the sky of Italy is far more dull and grey in colour than the skies of
the north, and is distinguished only by its intense repose of light."
Benevenuto Cellini speaks of the mist of Italy. "Repose of light" is
rather a novelty--he is fond of it. But then Turner paints with pure
white--for ourselves we are with the generality of mankind who prefer
the "repose" of shade. "Ask a connoisseur, who has scampered over all
Europe, the shape of the leaf of an elm, and the chances are ninety to
one that he cannot tell you; and yet he will be voluble of criticism
on every painted landscape from Dresden to Madrid"--and why not? The
chances are ninety to one that the merits of not a single picture
shall depend upon this knowledge, and yet the pictures shall be good
and the connoisseur right. One man sees what another does not see in
portraits. Undoubtedly; but how any one is to find in a portrait the
following, we are at a loss to conceive. "The third has caught the
trace of all that was most hidden and most mighty, when all hypocrisy
and all habit, and all petty and passing emotion--the _ice, and the
bank, and the foam of the immortal river--were shivered and broken,
and swallowed up in the awakening of its inward strength_," _&c._ How
can a man with a pen in his hand let such stuff as this drop from his
fingers' ends?

In the chapter "on the relative importance of truths," there is a
little needless display of logic--needless, for we find, after all, he
does not dispute "the kind of truths proper to be represented by the
painter or sculptor," though he combats the maxim that general truths
are preferable to particular. His examples are quite out of art,
whether one be spoken of as a man or as Sir Isaac Newton. Even
logically speaking, Sir Isaac Newton may be the _whole_ of the
subject, and as such a whole might require a generality. There may be
many particulars that are best sunk. So, in a picture made up of many
parts, it should have a generality totally independent of the
particularities of the parts, which must be so represented as not to
interfere with that general idea, and which may be altogether in the
mind of the artist. This little discussion seems to arise from a sort
of quibble on the word important. Sir Joshua and others, who abet the
generality maxim, mean no more than that it is of importance to a
picture that it contain, fully expressed, one general idea, with which
no parts are to interfere, but that the parts will interfere if each
part be represented with its most particular truth--and that,
therefore, drapery should be drapery merely, not silk or satin, where
high truths of the subject are to be impressed.

"Colour is a secondary truth, therefore less important than form."
"He, therefore, who has neglected a truth of form for a truth of
colour, has neglected a greater truth for a less one." It is true
with regard to any individual object--but we doubt if it be always so
in picture. The character of the picture may not at all depend upon
form--nay, it is possible that the painter may wish to draw away the
mind altogether from the beauty, and even correctness of form, his
subject being effect and colour, that shall be predominant, and to
which form shall be quite subservient, and little more of it than
such as chiaro-scuro shall give; and in such a case colour is the
more important truth, because in it lies the sentiment of the
picture. The mystery of Rembrandt would vanish were beauty of form
introduced in many of his pictures. We remember a picture, the most
impressive picture perhaps ever painted, and that by a modern too,
Danby's "Opening of the Sixth Seal." Now, though there are fine parts
in this picture, the real power of the picture is in its colour--it
is awful. We are no enemy to modern painters; we think this a work of
the highest genius--and as such, should be most proud to see it
deposited in our National Gallery. We further say, that in some
respects it carries the art beyond the old practice. But, then, we
may say it is a new subject. "It is not certain whether any two
people see the same colours in things." Though that does not affect
the question of the importance of colour, for it must imply a defect
in the individuals, for undoubtedly there is such a thing as nature's
harmony of colour; yet it may be admitted, that things are not always
known by their colour; nay, that the actual local colour of objects
is mainly altered by effects of light, and we are accustomed to see
the same things, _quoad_ colour, variously presented to us--and the
inference that we think artists may draw from this fact is, that
there will be allowed them a great licence in all cases of colour,
and that naturalness may be preserved without exactness--and here
will lie the value of a true theory of the harmony of colours, and
the application of colouring to pictures, most suitable to the
intended impression, not the most appropriate to the objects. We have
often laid some stress upon this in the pages of _Maga_--and we think
it has been too much omitted in the consideration of artists. Every
one knows what is called a Claude glass. We see nature through a
coloured medium--yet we do not doubt that we are looking at
nature--at trees, at water, at skies--nay, we admire the colour--see
its harmony and many beauties--yet we know them to be, if we may use
the term, misrepresented. While speaking of the Claude glass, it will
not be amiss to notice a peculiarity. It shows a picture--when the
unaided eye will not; it heightens illumination--brings out the most
delicate lights, scarcely perceptible to the naked eye, and gives
greater power to the shades, yet preserves their delicacy. It seems
to annihilate all those rays of light, which, as it were, intercept
the picture--that come between the eye and the object. But to return
to colour--we say that it must, in the midst of its license, preserve
its naturalness--which it will do if it have a meaning in itself. But
when we are called upon to question what is the meaning of this or
that colour, how does its effect agree with the subject? why is it
outrageously yellow or white, or blue or red, or a jumble of all
these?--which are questions, we confess, that we and the public have
often asked, with regard to Turner's late pictures--we do not
acknowledge a naturalness--the license has been abused--not "sumpta
pudenter." It is not because the vividness of "a blade of grass or a
scarlet flower" shall be beyond the power of pigment, that a general
glare and obtrusion of such colours throughout a picture can be
justified. We are astonished that any man with eyes should see the
unnaturalness in colour of Salvator and Titian, and not see it in
Turner's recent pictures, where it is offensive because more glaring.
Those masters sacrificed, if it be a sacrifice, something to
repose--repose is _the_ thing to be sacrificed according to the
notions of too many of our modern schools. It is likewise singular,
after all the falsehoods which he asserts the old masters to have
painted, that he should speak of "imitation"--as their whole aim,
their sole intention to deceive; and yet he describes their pictures
as unlike nature in the detail and in the general as can be,
strangely missing their object--deception. We fear the truths,
particulars of which occupy the remainder of the volume--of earth,
water, skies, &c.--are very minute truths, which, whether true or
false, are of very little importance to art, unless it be to those
branches of art which may treat the whole of each particular truth
as the whole of a subject, a line of art that may produce a multitude
of works, like certain scenes of dramatic effect, surprising to see
once, but are soon powerless--can we hope to say of such, "decies
repetita placebunt?" They will be the fascinations of the view
schools, nay, may even delight the geologist and the herbalist, but
utterly disgust the imaginative. This kind of "knowledge" is not
"power" in art. We want not to see water anatomized; the Alps may be
tomahawked and scalped by geologists, yet may they be sorry painters.
And we can point to the general admiration of the world, learned and
unlearned, that a "contemptible fragment of a splintery crag" has
been found to answer all the purposes of an impression of the
greatness of nature, her free, great, and awful forms, and that
depth, shades, power of chiaro-scuro, are found in nature to be
strongest in objects of no very great magnitude; for our vision
requires nearness, and we want not the knowledge that a mountain is
20,000 feet high, to be convinced that it is quite large enough to
crush man and all his works; and that they, who, in their terror of a
greater pressure, would call upon the mountains to cover them, and
the holes of rocks to hide them, would think very little of the
measurement of the mountains, or how the caverns of the earth are
made. Greatness and sublimity are quite other things.

We shall not very systematically carry our views, therefore, into the
detail of these truths, but shall just pick here and there a passage
or so, that may strike us either for its utility or its absurdity.

With regard to truth of tone, he observes--that "the finely-toned
pictures of the old masters are some of the notes of nature played two
or three octaves below her key, the dark objects in the middle
distance having precisely the same relation to the light of the sky
which they have in nature, but the light being necessarily infinitely
lowered, and the mass of the shadow deepened in the same degree. I
have often been struck, when looking at a camera-obscura on a dark
day, with the exact resemblance the image bore to one of the finest
pictures of the old masters." We only ask if, when looking at the
picture in the camera, he did not still recognize nature--and then, if
it was beautiful, we might ask him if it was not _true_; and then when
he asserts our highest light being white paper, and that not white
enough for the light of nature--we would ask if, in the camera, he did
not see the picture on white paper--and if the whiteness of paper be
not the exact whiteness of nature, or white as ordinary nature? But
there is a quality in the light of nature that mere whiteness will not
give, and which, in fact, is scarcely ever seen in nature merely in
what is quite white; we mean brilliancy--that glaze, as it were,
between the object and the eye which makes it not so much light as
bright. Now this quality of light was thought by the old masters to be
the most important one of light, extending to the half tones and even
in the shadows, where there is still light; and this by art and
lowering the tone they were able to give, so that we see not the value
of the praise when he says--

"Turner starts from the beginning with a totally different principle.
He boldly takes pure white--and justly, for it is the sign of the most
intense sunbeams--for his highest light, and lamp-black for his
deepest shade," &c. Now, if white be the sign of the most intense
sunbeams, it is as we never wish to see them; what under a tropical
sun may be white is not quite white with us; and we always find it
disagreeable in proportion as it approaches to pure white. We never
saw yet in nature a sky or a cloud pure white; so that here certainly
is one of the "fallacies," we will not call them falsehoods. But as
far as we can judge of nature's ideas of light and colour, it is her
object to tone them down, and to give us very little, if any, of this
raw white, and we would not say that the old masters did not follow
her method of doing it. But we will say, that the object of art, at
any rate, is to make all things look agreeable; and that human eyes
cannot bear without pain those raw whites and too searching lights;
and that nature has given to them an ever present power of glazing
down and reducing them, when she added to the eye the sieve, our
eyelashes, through which we look, which we employ for this purpose,
and desire not to be dragged at any time--"Sub curru nimium propinqui

After this praise of white, one does not expect--"I think nature
mixes yellow with almost every one of her hues;" but this is said
merely in aversion to purple. "I think the first approach to
viciousness of colour in any master, is commonly indicated chiefly by
a prevalence of purple and an absence of yellow." "I am equally
certain that Turner is distinguished from all the vicious colourists
of the present day, by the foundation of all his tones being black,
yellow, and intermediate greys, while the tendency of our common
glare-seekers is invariably to pure, cold, impossible purples."

    "Silent nymph, with curious eye,
    Who the _purple_ evening lie,"

saith Dyer, in his landscape of "Grongar Hill." The "glare-seekers" is
curious enough, when we remember the graduate's description of
landscapes, (of course Turner's,) and his excursions; but we think we
have seen many purples in Turner, and that opposed to his flaming red
in sunsets. He prefers warmth where most people feel cold--this is not
surprising; but as to picture "is it true?" "My own feelings would
guide me rather to the warm greys of such pictures as the
'Snow-Storm,' or the glowing scarlet and gold of the 'Napoleon' and
the 'Slave Ship.'" The two latter must be well remembered by all
Exhibition visitors; they were the strangest things imaginable in
colour as in every particle that should be art or nature. There is a
whimsical quotation from Wordsworth, the "keenest-eyed," page 145. His
object is to show the strength of shadow--how "the shadows on the
trunk of the tree become darker and more conspicuous than any part of
the boughs or limbs;" so, for this strength and blackness, we have--

                      "At the root
    Of that tall pine, the shadow of whose bare
    And slender stem, while here I sit at eve,
    Oft stretches tow'rds me, like a long straight path,
    Traced _faintly_ in the greensward."

"Of the truth of space," he says that "in a real landscape, we can see
the whole of what would be called the middle distance and distance
together, with facility and clearness; but while we do so, we can see
nothing in the foreground beyond a vague and indistinct arrangement of
lines and colours; and that if, on the contrary, we look at any
foreground object, so as to receive a distinct impression of it, the
distance and middle distance become all disorder and mystery. And
therefore, if in a painting our foreground is any thing, our distance
must be nothing, and _vice versa_." "Now, to this fact and principle,
no landscape painter of the old school, as far as I remember, ever
paid the slightest attention. Finishing their foregrounds clearly and
sharply, and with vigorous impression on the eye, giving even the
leaves of their bushes and grass with perfect edge and shape, they
proceeded into the distance with equal attention to what they could
see of its details," &c. But he had blamed Claude for not having given
the exactness and distinct shape and colour of leaves in foreground.
The fact is, the picture should be as a piece of nature framed in.
Within that frame, we should not see distinctly the foreground and
distance at the same instant: but, as we have stated, the eye and mind
are rapid, the one to see, the other to combine; and as a horse let
loose into a field, runs to the extremity of it and around it, the
first thing he does--so do we range over every part of the picture,
but with wondrous rapidity, before our impression of the whole is
perfect. We must not, therefore, slur over any thing; the difficulty
in art is to give the necessary, and so made necessary, detail of
foreground unostentatiously--to paint nothing, that which is to tell
as nothing, but so as it shall satisfy upon examination; and we think
so the old masters did paint the foregrounds, particularly Gaspar
Poussin--so Titian, so Domenichino, and all of any merit. But this is
merely an introduction, not to a palliation of, but the approbation
and praise of a glaring defect in Turner. "Turner introduced a new era
in landscape art, by showing that the foreground might be sunk for the
distance, and that it was possible to express immediate proximity to
the spectator, without giving any thing like completeness to the forms
of the near objects." We are now, therefore, prepared for an absurd
"justification of the want of drawing in Turner's figures," thus
contemptuously, with regard to all but himself, accounted for. "And
now we see the reason for the singular, and, to the ignorant in art,
the offensive execution of Turner's figures. I do not mean to assert
that there is any reason whatsoever for _bad_ drawing, (though in
landscape it matters exceedingly little;) but there is both reason and
necessity for that want of drawing which gives even the nearest
figures round balls with four pink spots in them instead of faces, and
four dashes of the brush instead of hands and feet; for it is totally
impossible that if the eye be adapted to receive the rays proceeding
from the utmost distance, and some partial impression from all the
distances, it should be capable of perceiving more of the forms and
features of near figures than Turner gives." Yet what wonderful detail
has he required from Canaletti and others?--But is there any reason
why we should have "_pink_ spots?"--is there any reason why Turner's
foreground figures should resemble penny German dolls?--and for the
reason we have above given, there ought to be reason why the figures
should be made out, at least as they are in a camera-obscura. We here
speak of nature, of "truth," and with him ask, it may be all very
well--but "is it true?" But we have another fault to find with
Turner's figures; they are often bad in intention. What can be more
absurd and incongruous, for instance, than in a picture of "elemental
war"--a sea-coast--than to put a child and its nurse in foreground,
the child crying because it has lost its hoop, or some such thing? It
is according to his truth of space, that distances should have every
"hair's-breadth" filled up, all its "infinity," with infinities of
objects, but that whatever is near, if figures, may be "pink spots,"
and "four dashes of the brush." While with Poussin--"masses which
result from the eclipse of details are contemptible and painful;" and
he thinks Poussin has but "meaningless tricks of clever
execution"--forgetting that all art is but a trick--yet one of those
tricks worth knowing, and yet which how few have acquired! Surely our
author is not well acquainted with Hobbima's works; that painter had
not a niggling execution. "A single dusty roll of Turner's brush is
more truly expressive of the infinity of foliage, than the niggling of
Hobbima could have rendered his canvass, if he had worked on it till
doomsday." Our author seems to have studied skies, such as they are in
Turner or in nature. He talks of them with no inconsiderable swagger
of observation, while the old masters had no observation at
all;--"their blunt and feelingless eyes never perceived it in nature;
and their untaught imaginations were not likely to originate it in
study." What is the _it_, will be asked--we believe it to be a
"cirrus," and that a cirrus is the subject of a chapter to itself.
This beard of the sky, however, instead of growing below, is quite
above, "never formed below an elevation of at least 15,000 feet, are
motionless, multitudinous lines of delicate vapour, with which the
blue of the open sky is commonly streaked or speckled after several
days of fine weather. They are more commonly known as 'mare's tails.'"
Having found this "mare's nest," he delights in it. It is the glory of
modern masters. He becomes inflated, and lifts himself 15,000 feet
above the level of the understanding of all old masters, and, as we
think, of most modern readers, as thus:--"One alone has taken notice
of the neglected upper sky; it is his peculiar and favourite field; he
has watched its every modification, and given its every phase and
feature; at all hours, in all seasons, he has followed its passions
and its changes, and has brought down and laid open to the world
another apocalypse of heaven." Very well, considering that the cirrus
never touches even the highest mountains of Europe, to follow its
phase (query faces) and feature 15,000 feet high, and given pink dots,
four pink dots for the faces and features of human beings within
fifteen feet of his brush. We will not say whether the old masters
painted this cirrus or not. We believe they painted what they and we
see, at least so much as suited their pictures--but as they were not,
generally speaking, exclusively sky-painters, but painters of subjects
to which the skies were subordinate, they may be fairly held excused
for this their lack of ballooning after the "cirrus;" and we thank
them that they were not "glare-seekers," "threading" their way, with
it before them, "among the then transparent clouds, while all around
the sun is unshadowed fire." We lose him altogether in the "central
cloud region," where he helps nature pretty considerably as she "melts
even the unoccupied azure into palpitating shades," and hopelessly
turns the corner of common observation, and escapes among the "fifty
aisles penetrating through angelic chapels to the shechinah of the
blue." We must expect him to descend a little vain of his exploit, and
so he does--and wonders not that the form and colour of Turner should
be misunderstood, for "they require for the full perception of their
meaning and truth, such knowledge and such time as not one in a
thousand possesses, or can bestow." The inference is, that the
graduate has graduated a successful phæton, driving Mr Turner's
chariot through all the signs of the zodiac. So he sends all artists,
ancient and modern, to Mr Turner's country, as "a magnificent
statement, all truth"--that is, "impetuous clouds, twisted rain,
flickering sunshine, fleeting shadow, gushing water, and oppressed
cattle"--yes, more, it wants repose, and there it is--"High and far
above the dark volumes of the swift rain-cloud, are seen on the left,
through their opening, the quiet, horizontal, silent flakes of the
highest cirrus, resting in the repose of the deep sky;" and there they
are, "delicate, soft, passing vapours," and there is "the exquisite
depth and _palpitating_ tenderness of the blue with which they are
islanded." Thus _islanded in tenderness_, what wonder is it if Ixion
embraced a cloud? Let not the modern lover of nature entertain such a
thought; "Bright Phœbus" is no minor canon to smile complacently on
the matter; he has a jealousy in him, and won't let any be in a
melting mood with the clouds but himself; he tears aside your
curtains, and steam-like rags of capricious vapour--"the mouldering
sun, seeming not far away, but burning like a red-hot ball beside you,
and as if you could reach it, plunges through the rushing wind and
rolling cloud with headlong fall, as if it meant to rise no more,
dyeing all the air about it with blood." This is no fanciful
description, but among the comparative views of nature's and of
Turner's skies, as seen, and verified upon his affidavit, by a
graduate of Oxford; who may have an indisposition to boast of his
exclusive privilege.

    "Ἀεροβατῶ και περιφρονῶ τὸν ἥλιον."

Accordingly, in "the effects of light rendered by modern art," our
author is very particular indeed. His extraordinary knowledge of the
sun's position, to a hair's-breadth in Mr Turner's pictures, and
minute of the day, is quite surprising. He gives a table of two pages
and a-half, of position and moment, "morning, noon, and afternoon,"
"evening and night." In more than one instance, he is so close, as
"five minutes before sunset."

Having settled the matter of the sky, our author takes the earth in
hand, and tosses it about like a Titan. "The spirit of the hills is
action, that of the lowlands, repose; and between these there is to be
found every variety of motion and of rest, from the inactive plain,
sleeping like the firmament, with cities for stars, to the fiery peaks
which, with heaving bosoms and exulting limbs, with clouds drifting
like hair from their bright foreheads, lift up their Titan hands to
heaven saying, 'I live for ever.'" We learn, too, a wonderful power in
the excited earth, far beyond that which other "naturalists" describe
of the lobster, who only, _ad libitum_, casts off a claw or so. "But
there is this difference between the action of the earth and that of a
living creature, that while the exerted limb marks its bones and
tendons through the flesh, the excited earth casts off the flesh
altogether, and its bones come out from beneath. Mountains are the
bones of the earth, their highest peaks are invariably those parts of
its anatomy, which in the plains lie buried under five-and-twenty
thousand feet of solid thickness of superincumbent soil, and which
spring up in the mountain ranges in vast pyramids or wedges, flinging
their garment of earth away from them on each side." If the gentle
sketcher should happily escape a cuff from these cast-off clothes
flung by excited earth from her extremities, he may be satisfied with
repose in the lap of mother earth, who must be considerably fat and
cushioned, though some may entertain a fear of being overlaid. What is
the artist to do with an earth like this, body and bones? When he sits
down to sketch some placid landscape, is he to think of poor nature
with her bones sticking out from twenty-five thousand feet of her
solid flesh! Mother of Gargantia--thou wert but a dwarf! Salvator Rosa
could not paint rock; Gaspar Poussin could not paint rock. A rock, in
short, is such a thing as nobody ought to paint, or can paint but
Turner; and all that, after his description of rock, we believe; but
were not prepared to learn that "the foreground of the 'Napoleon' in
last year's Academy," is "one of the most exquisite pieces of rock
truth ever put on canvass." In fact, we really, in ignorance to be
ashamed of, did not know there was any rock there at all. We only
remember Napoleon and his cocked-hat--now, this is extraordinary; for
as _we_ only or chiefly remember the cocked-hat, so he sees the said
cocked-hat in Salvator's rocks, where we never saw such a thing,
though "he has succeeded in covering his foregrounds with forms which
approximate to those of drapery, of ribands, of _crushed cocked-hats_,
of locks of hair, of waves, of leaves, or any thing, in short,
flexible or tough, but which, of course, are not only unlike, but
directly contrary to the forms which nature has impressed on rocks."
And the nature of rocks he must know, having the "Napoleon" before
him. "In the 'Napoleon' I can illustrate by no better example, for I
can reason as well from this as I could with my foot on the native
rock." What rocks of Salvator's, besides the No. 220 of the Dulwich
gallery, he has seen, we cannot pretend to say; we have, within these
few days, seen one, and could not discover the "commas," the "Chinese
for rocks," nor Sanscrit for rocks, but did read the language of
nature, without the necessity of any writing under--"This is a rock."
Poor Claude, he knew nothing of perspective, and his efforts
"invariably ended in reducing his pond to the form of a round O, and
making it look perpendicular;" but in one instance Claude luckily hits
upon "a little bit of accidental truth;" he is circumstantial in its
locality--"the little piece of ground above the cattle, between the
head of the brown cow and the tail of the white one, is well
articulated, just where it turns into shade."

After the entire failure of all artists that ever lived before Turner
in land and skies, we are prepared to find that they had not the least
idea of water. When they thought they painted water, in fact, they
were like "those happier children, sliding on dry ground," and had not
the chance of wetting a foot. Water, too, is a thing to be anatomized,
a sort of rib-fluidity. The moving, transparent water, in shallow and
in depth, of Vandervelde and Backhuysen, is not the least like water;
they are men who "libelled the sea." Many of our moderns--Stanfield in
particular--seem naturally web-footed; but the real Triton of the sea,
as he was Titan of the earth, is Turner. To our own eyes, in this
respect, he stands indebted to the engraver; for we do not remember a
single sea-piece by Turner, in water-colour or oil, in which the water
is _liquid_. What it is like, in the picture of the Slave-ship, which
is considered one of his very finest productions, we defy any one to
tell. We are led to guess it is meant for water, by the strange fish
that take their pastime. A year or two ago were exhibited two
sea-pieces, of nearly equal size, at the British Institution, by
Vandervelde and Turner. It was certainly one of Turner's best; but how
inferior was the water and the sky to the water and sky in
Vandervelde! In Turner they were both rocky. We say not this to the
disparagement of Turner's genius. He had not studied these elements as
did Vandervelde. The two painters ought not to be compared together;
and we humbly think that any man who should pronounce of Vandervelde
and Backhuysen, that they "libelled the sea," convicts himself of a
wondrous lack of taste and feeling. Of their works he thus speaks--"As
it is, I believe there is scarcely such another instance to be found
in the history of man, of the epidemic aberration of mind into which
multitudes fall by infection, as is furnished by the value set upon
the works of these men." Of water, he says--"Nothing can hinder water
from being a reflecting medium but dry dust or filth of some kind on
its surface. Dirty water, if the foul matter be dissolved or suspended
in the liquid, reflects just as clearly and sharply as pure water,
only the image is coloured by the hue of the mixed matter, and becomes
comparatively brown or dark." We entirely deny this, from constant
observation. Within this week we have been studying a stream, which
has alternated in its clearness and muddiness. We found the
reflection not only less clear in the latter case, but instead of
brown and dark, to have lost its brownness, and to have become
lighter. To understand the "curves" of water being beyond the reach of
most who are not graduates of Oxford; and painters and admirers of old
masters being people without sense, at least in comparison with the
graduate, he thus disposes of his learned difficulty:--"This is a
point, however, on which it is impossible to argue without going into
high mathematics, and even then the nature of particular curves, as
given by the brush, would be scarcely demonstrable; and I am the less
disposed to take much trouble about it, because I think that the
persons who are really fond of these works are almost beyond the reach
of argument." The celebrated Mrs Partington once endeavoured, at
Sidmouth, to dispose of these "curves," and failed; and we suspect a
stronger reason than the incapacity of his readers for our author's
thus disposing of the subject. We believe the world would not give a
pin's head for all the seas that ever might be painted upon these
mathematical curves; and that, in painting, even a graduate's "high
mathematics" are but a very low affair. But let us enliven the reader
with something really high--and here is, in very high-flown prose,
part of a description of a waterfall; and it will tell him a secret,
that in the midst of these fine falls, nature keeps a furnace and
steam-engine continually at work, and having the fire at hand, sends
up rockets--if you doubt--read:--"And how all the hollows of that foam
burn with green fire, like so much _shattering chrysoprase_; and how,
ever and anon, startling you with its white flash, a jet of spray
leaps hissing out of the fall, like a rocket, bursting in the wind,
and driven away in dust, filling the air with light; and how, through
the curdling wreaths of the restless, crashing abyss below, the blue
of the water, paled by the foam in its body, shows purer than the sky
through white rain-cloud, while the shuddering iris stoops in
tremulous stillness over all, fading and flashing alternately through
the choking spray and shattered sunshine, hiding itself at last among
the thick golden leaves, which toss to and fro in sympathy with the
wild water, their dripping masses lifted at intervals, like sheaves of
loaded corn, by some stronger gush from the cataract, and bowed again
upon the mossy rocks as its roar dies away." "Satque superque
satis"--we cannot go on. There is nothing like calling things by their
contraries--it is truly startling. Whenever you speak of water, treat
it as fire--of fire, _vice versa_, as water; and be sure to send them
all shattering out of reach and discrimination of all sense; and look
into a dictionary for some such word as "chrysoprase," which we find
to come from χρυσος gold, and πρασον a leek, and means a precious
stone; it is capable of being shattered, together with "sunshine"--the
reader will think the whole passage a "flash" of moonshine. But there
is a discovery--"I believe, when you have stood by this for half an
hour, you will have discovered that there is something more in nature
than has been given by Ruysdaël." You will indeed--if this be nature!
But, alas, what have we not to undergo--to discover what water is, and
to become capable of judging of Turner! It is a comfort, however, that
he is likely to have but few judges. Graduate has courage to undergo
any thing. Ariel was nothing in his ubiquity to him, though he put a
span about the world in forty minutes; "but there was some apology for
the public's not understanding this, for few people have had the
opportunity of seeing the sea at such a time, and when they have,
cannot face it. To hold by a mast or rock, and watch it, is a
prolonged endurance of drowning, which few people have courage to go
through. To those who have, it is one of the noblest lessons in
nature." Very few people, indeed, and those few "involuntary

We are glad to get on dry land again, "brown furze or any thing"--and
here we must question one of his truths of vegetation: he asserts,
that the stems of all trees, the "ordinary trees of Europe, do not
taper, but grow up or out, in undiminished thickness, till they throw
out branch and bud, and then go off again to the next of equal
thickness." We have carefully examined many trees this last week, and
find it is not the case; in almost all, the bulging at the bottom,
nearest the root, is manifest. There is an early association in our
minds, that the birch for instance is remarkably tapering in its
twigs. We would rather refer our "sworn measurer" to the factor than
the painter, and we very much question whether his "top and top" will
meet the market. We are satisfied the fact is not as he states it, and
surely nature works not by such measure rule. We suspect, for nature
we should here read Turner, for his trees, certainly, are strange
things; it is true, he generally shirks them. We do not remember one
picture that has a good, true, _bona fide_, conspicuous tree in it.
The reader will not be surprised to learn that the worst painter of
trees was Gaspar Poussin! and that the perfection of trees is to be
found in Turner's "Marley," where most people will think the trees
look more like brooms than trees. The chapter on "the Truth of Turner"
concludes with a quotation--we presume the extract from a letter from
Mr Turner to the author. If so, Mr Turner has somewhat caught the
author's style, and tells very simple truths in a very fine manner,
thus:--"I cannot gather the sunbeams out of the east, or I would make
_them_ tell you what I have seen; but read this, and interpret this,
and let us remember together. I cannot gather the gloom out of the
night-sky, or I would make that teach you what I have seen; but read
this, and interpret this, and let us feel together." We must pause.
Really we do not see the slightest necessity of an interpretation
here. It is a simple fact. He cannot extract "sunbeams" from
cucumbers--from the east, we should say. The only riddle seems to be,
that they should, in one instance, remember together, and in the
other, feel together; only we guess that, being night-gloom, people
naturally feel about them in the dark. But he proceeds--"And if you
have not that within you which I can summon to my aid, if you have not
the sun in your spirit, and the passion in your heart, which my words
may awaken, though they be indistinct and swift, leave me." We must
pause again; here _is_ a riddle: what can be the meaning of having the
sun in one's spirit?--is it any thing like having the moon in one's
head? We give it up. The passion in the heart we suppose to be dead
asleep, and the words and voice harsh and grating, and so it is
awakened. But what that if, or if not, has to do with "leave me," we
cannot conjecture; but this we do venture to conjecture, that to
expect our graduate ever to _leave_ Mr Turner is one of the most
hopeless of all Mr Turner's "Fallacies of Hope." But the writer
proceeds with a _for_--that appears, nevertheless, a pretty
considerable _non-sequitur_. "For I will give you no patient mockery,
no laborious insult of that glorious nature, whose I am and whom I
serve." Here the graduate is treated as a servant, and the writer of
the letter assumes the Pythian, the truly oracular vein. "Let other
servants imitate the voice and the gesture of their master while they
forget his message. Hear that message from me, but remember that the
teaching of Divine Truth must still be a mystery." "Like master like
man." Both are in the "Cambyses' vein."

We do not think that landscape painters will either gain or lose much
by the publication of this volume, unless it be some mortification to
be so sillily lauded as some of our very respectable painters are. We
do not think that the pictorial world, either in taste or practice,
will be Turnerized by this palpably fulsome, nonsensical praise. In
this our graduate is _semper idem_, and to keep up his idolatry to the
sticking-point, terminates the volume with a prayer, and begs all the
people of England to join in it--a prayer to Mr Turner!


"Should you like to be a queen, Christina?"

This question was addressed by an old man, whose head was bent
carefully over a chess-board, to a young lady who was apparently
rather tired of the lesson she had taken in that interesting game.

"Queen of hearts, do you mean?" answered the girl, patting with the
greatest appearance of fondness a dreadfully ugly little dog that lay
in her lap.

"Queen of hearts," replied the minister, with a smile; "you are that
already, my dear. But have you no other ambition?" he added, tapping
sagaciously the lid of a magnificently ornamented snuff-box, on which
was depicted one of the ugliest monarchs that ever puzzled a
court-painter to make him human.

"Why should my ambition go further?" said Christina. "I have more
subjects already than I know how to govern."

"No doubt--no doubt--I knew very well that you could not avoid having
subjects; but I hope and trust you have had too much sense to receive
their allegiance."

The old man was proud of carrying on the metaphor so well, and of
asking the question so delicately. It was quite evident he had been in
the diplomatic line.

"How can I help it?" enquired the young beauty, passing her hand over
the back of the disgusting little pet, which showed its teeth in a
very uncouth fashion whenever the paternal voice was raised a little
too high. "But, I assure you, I pay no attention to allegiance, which
I consider my right. There is but one person's homage I care for"----

The brow of the Prime Minister of Sweden grew very black, and his face
had something of the benign expression of the growling pug on his
daughter's knee.

"Who is that person, Christina?"

But Christina looked at her father with an alarmed glance, which she
shortly after converted into a smile, and went on in her pleasing
occupation of smoothing the raven down of her favourite, but did not
say a word.

The father, who seemed to be no great judge of pantomime, repeated his

"Who is that person, Christina?"

Christina disdained hypocrisy, and, moreover, was immensely spoiled.

"Who _should_ it be, but your gallant nephew, Adolphus Hesse, dear

"You haven't had the impudence, I hope, to engage yourself to that

"Boy--why he is twenty-one! He is my oldest friend--we learned all our
lessons together. I can't recollect the time we were not engaged, it
is so long since we loved each other!"

"Nonsense! You were brought up together by his mother; it is nothing
but sisterly affection."

"Not at all--not at all!" cried Christina; "it would make me quite
miserable if Adolphus were my brother."

"It is all you must think him, nevertheless. He has no fortune; he has
nothing but his commission; and my generosity is"----

"Immense, my dear father; inexhaustible! And then Adolphus is so
brave--so magnanimous; and, upon my word, when I saw how much he liked
me, and heard him speak so much more delightfully than any body else,
I never thought of asking if he was rich; and you know you love him
yourself, dear father."

Christina neglected the pug in her lap for a moment, and laid her hand
coaxingly on the old man's shoulder.

"But not enough to make him my heir," said the Count, gruffly.
Christina renewed her attentions to the dog.

"He would be your heir notwithstanding," she said, "if I were to die."

There was something in the tone of her voice, or the idea suggested of
her death, that softened the old man. He looked for a long time at the
young and beautiful face of his child; and the shade of uneasiness her
words had raised, disappeared from his brow.

"There is nothing but life there," he said, gently tapping her on the
forehead; "and therefore I must marry you, my girl!"

"And you will make us the happiest couple in the world. Adolphus will
be so grateful," said Christina, her bright eyes sparkling through

"Who the devil said a word about Adolphus?" said the father, looking
angrily at Christina; but he added immediately in a softer tone, when
he saw the real emotion of his daughter--"Poor girl, you have been
sadly spoiled! You have had too much of your own way, and now you ask
me to do what is impossible. Be a reasonable girl, there's a darling!
and your aunt will present you at court. You will see such grand
things--you will know our gallant young King--only be reasonable!"

"The rude monster!" cried Christina, starting up as if tired of the
conversation. "I have no wish to know him. They say he hates women."

"A calumny, my dear girl; he is very fond of _one_ at all events."

"Is she pretty?"

"And mischievous as yourself."

"As I?" enquired Christina, and fell into a long reverie, while the
Count smiled as if he had made an excellent hit.

"But I have never seen him, papa," she said, awakening all of a

"He may have seen you though; and he says"----

"Oh, what does he say? Do tell me what the King says?"

"Poh! What do you want to know about what a rude monster says--that
hates women?" answered the father with another smile of satisfaction.

"But he is a king, papa! What does he say? I am quite anxious to

But the minister of state had gained his object; he had excited
curiosity, and determined not to gratify it. At last he said, as he
rose to quit the apartment--"Let us turn the conversation, Christina;
we have nothing to do with kings, and must content ourselves with
humbler subjects. An officer will sup with us to-night, whom I wish
you very much to please. He has influence with the King; and if you
have any regard for my interest you will receive him well. I intend
him for your husband."

"I won't have him!" cried Christina, running after her father as he
left the room. "I won't have him! If I don't marry Adolphus, I won't
marry at all!"

"Heaven grant it, sweet cousin!" said Adolphus Hesse in _propria
persona_, emerging from behind the window-curtains, where, by some
miraculous concatenation of events, he had found himself ensconced for
the last hour. "'Tis delightful to act the spy, and hear an advocate
so persuasive as you have been, Christina--but the cause is

"Who told you, sir, the cause was desperate?" said Christina,
pretending to look offended. "The battle is half gained--my father's
anger disappears in a moment. Now, dear Adolphus, don't sigh--don't
cross your arms--don't look up to the sky with that heroic frown--I
can't bear to groan and be dismal--I want to be gay--to have a
ball--to----We shall have _such_ a ball the day of our wedding,

"Your hopes deceive you, dearest Christina. I know your father better
than you do. Ah!" he added, gazing sadly on the beautiful features of
the young girl who looked on him so brightly, "you will never be able
to resist the brilliant offer that will be made you in exchange for
one faithful, loving heart."

"Indeed!" replied Christina, feeling her eyes filling with tears, but
endeavouring at the same time to conceal her emotion under an
affectation of anger, "your opinion of me is not very flattering; and
it is not in very good taste, methinks, to play the despairing lover,
especially after the conversation you so honourably overheard."

"Dry that tear, dear girl!" said Adolphus, "I will believe any thing
you like."

"Why do you make me cry then? Is it only to have the pleasure of
telling me to dry my tears? Or did you think you had some rival; some
splendid cavalier that it was impossible to resist--Count Ericson, for

"Oh! as to Ericson I am not at all uneasy. I know you hate him; and
besides he is not much richer than myself; but, dear Christina"----

"Well--go on," said the girl, mocking the lugubrious tone of her
cousin--"what are you sighing again for?"

"Your father is going to bring you a new lover this evening, and poor
Adolphus will be forgotten."

"You deserve it for all your ridiculous suspicions: but you are my
cousin, and I forgive you this once." She looked at him with so sunny
a smile, and so clear and open-hearted a countenance, that it was
impossible to entertain a doubt.

"You love me really, then?" he said--"truly--faithfully?"

"I have told you so a hundred times," replied his cousin. "I am
astonished you are not tired of hearing the same thing over and over

"'Tis so sweet, so new a thing for me," said Adolphus, "and I could
listen to it for ever."

"Well, then, we love each other--that's very clear," said Christina,
with the solemnity of the foreman of a jury delivering a verdict on
the clearest evidence; "but since my father won't let us marry, we
must wait--that is almost as clear as the other."

"And if he never consents?" enquired Adolphus.

"Never!" exclaimed Christina, to whom such an idea seemed never to
have occurred, "can it be possible he will _never_ consent?"

"I fear it is too possible," replied Adolphus, and the shadow fell on
his face again.

"Well," said Christina, after a minute's pause, as if she had come to
a resolution, "we must always stay as we are. Happiness is never
increased by an act of disobedience."

"I think as you do," said the young soldier, admiring her all the more
for the death-blow to his hopes; "and are you happy, quite happy,

"What a question! Don't I see you every day? Isn't every body kind to
me? Is there any thing I want?"

A different answer would have pleased the lover more. He looked at her
for some time in silence--at last, in an altered tone, he said--

"I congratulate you on your prudence, Christina."

"I cannot break my father's heart."

"No, but mine, Christina!"

"Adolphus," said the young beauty solemnly, "if I cannot be your wife
with the consent of my father, I never will marry another. This is all
you can ask; all I can promise."

Filial affection was not quite so strong in Adolphus as in his cousin,
and his face was by no means brightened on hearing this declaration.
It was so uncommonly proper that it seemed nearly bordering on the
cold and heartless. He tried to hate her; he walked up and down the
room at a tremendous pace, stopping every now and then to take another
glance at the tyrant who had pronounced his doom, and looked as
beautiful as ever. He found it impossible to hate _her_, though we
shall not enquire what were his sentiments towards her worthy
progenitor, Count Ericson, the unknown lover, and even the young
heroic King; for the sagacious reader must now be informed that this
wonderful lovers' quarrel took place in the reign of Charles XII. Our
fear is that he disliked all four. Christina found it very difficult
to preserve the gravity essential to a heroine's appearance when she
saw the long strides and bent brows of her lover. A smile was ready,
on the slightest provocation, to make a dimple in her beautiful cheek,
and all the biting she bestowed on her lips only made them redder and
rosier. Adolphus had no inclination to smile, and could not believe
that any body could see the least temptation to indulge in such a
ridiculous occupation on such a momentous occasion. He was a regular
lover, as Mr Weller would say, and no mistake. He saw in his fair
cousin only a treasure of inestimable price, guarded by two monsters
that made his approaches hopeless--avarice and ambition. How
differently those two young people viewed the same event! Christina,
knowing her power over her father, and unluckily not knowing that
fathers (even though they are prime ministers, and are as
courtier-like as Polonius) have flinty hearts when their interests are
concerned, saw nothing in the present state of affairs to despair
about; and in fact, as we have said already, was nearly committing the
unpardonable crime of laughing at the grimaces of her cousin. He, poor
fellow, knew the world a little better, and perceived in a moment that
the new lover whom the ambitious father was going to present to his
daughter, was some favourite of the king; and he was well aware, that
any one backed by that impetuous monarch, was in a fair way to
success. The king had seen Christina too--and though despising love
himself, was in the habit of rewarding his favourite officers with the
hand of the beauties or heiresses of his court; and when, as in this
instance, the lady chosen was both--how could he doubt that the king
had already resolved that she should be the bride of some lucky rival,
against whose claims it would be impossible to contend? And Christina
standing all the while before him, scarcely able to restrain a laugh!
He was only twenty-one--and not half so steady as his grandfather
would probably have shown himself in the same circumstances, and being
unable to vent his rage on any body else, he poured it all forth upon

"What a fool I have been!--an ass--a dolt--to have been so blinded!
But I see now--I deserve all I have got! To have been so deceived by
an absurd fit of love--that has lasted all my life, too! But no!--I
shall not repay my uncle's kindness to me by robbing him of his only
child. I shall go at once to my regiment--I may be lucky enough to get
into the way of a cannon--you will think kindly of me when I am gone,
though you are so unk"----

The word died away upon his lips. Large tears filled Christina's eyes,
and all her inclination to smile had disappeared. There was something
either in his looks or the tone of his voice, or the thought of his
being killed, that banished all her gaiety; and in a few minutes the
quarrel was made up--the tears dried in the usual manner--vows
made--hands joined--and resolutions passed and carried with the utmost
unanimity, that no power on earth should keep them from being married.
And a very good resolution it was. The only pity was, that it was not
very likely to be carried into effect. A father, an unknown lover, and
a king, all joined against a poor boy and girl. The odds are very much
against Adolphus and Christina.

Now let us examine the real state of affairs as dispassionately as we
can. The Count Gyllenborg was ambitious, as became a courtier with an
only daughter who was acknowledged on all sides to be the most
beautiful girl in Sweden; and as he was aware of the full value of red
lips and sparkling eyes in the commerce of life, he was determined to
make the most of these perishable commodities while they were at their
best, and the particular make and colour of them were in fashion. The
Count was rich--and with amply sufficient brains, according to the
dictum of one of his predecessors, to govern a kingdom; but he was not
warlike; and Charles, who had lately taken the power into his own
hands, knew nothing of mankind further than that they were made to be
drawn up in opposite lines, and make holes in each other as
scientifically as they could. Count Gyllenborg had a decided objection
to being made a receptacle for lead bullets or steel swords; and was
by no means anxious to murder a single Russian or German, for the sake
of the honour of the thing, or for the good of his country. His power
resting only on his adroitness in civil affairs, was therefore not on
the surest foundation; and a prop to it was accordingly wanted. Such a
prop had never been seen before, with such sunny looks, and such a
happy musical laugh. The looks and the laugh between them, converted
the atmosphere of Stockholm into the climate of Italy; and the
politician, almost without knowing it, began to be thawed into a
father. But the fear of a rival in the King's favour--some gallant
soldier--and dozens of them were reported every week--made him resolve
once more to bring his daughter's beauties into play. The king had
seen her, and, in his boorish way, had expressed his admiration; and
Gyllenborg felt assured, that if he should marry his daughter
according to the King's wishes, his influence would be greater than
ever; and, in fact, that the premiership would be his for life.

Great preparations accordingly were made for the reception of the
powerful stranger, the announcement of whose appearance at supper had
spread such dismay in the hearts of the two lovers. Christina knew
almost instinctively her father's plan, and determined to counteract
it. She felt sure that the officer for whom she was destined, and whom
she had been ordered to receive so particularly, was one of the new
favourites of the warlike king; some leader of a forlorn-hope, created
colonel on the field of battle; some young general fresh from some
heroic achievement, that had endeared him to his chief; but whoever it
was, she was resolved to show him that the crown of Sweden was a very
limited monarchy in regard to its female subjects, and that she would
have nobody for her husband--neither count, nor colonel, nor
general--but only her cousin Adolphus, lieutenant in the Dalecarlian
hussars. Notwithstanding this resolution, it is astonishing what a
time she stayed before the glass--how often she tried different
coloured roses in her hair--how carefully she fitted on her new
Parisian robes, and, in short, did every thing in her power to look
her very best. What did all this arise from? She wished to show this
young favourite, whoever he might be, that she was really as beautiful
as people had told him; she wished to convince him that her smile was
as sweet, her teeth as white, her eyes as captivating, her figure as
superb, as he had heard them described--and then she wished to show
him that all these--smiles--eyes--teeth--figure, were given, along
with the heart that made them truly valuable, to another! and that
other no favourite of a king--nor even of a minister, but only of a
young girl of eighteen.

Radiant with beauty, and conscious of the sensation she was certain to
create, she entered the magnificent apartment where supper was
prepared--a supper splendid and costly enough to have satisfied a
whole army of epicures, though only intended for her father, the
stranger, and herself; and if you, oh reader! had been there, you
would have thought Christina lovely enough to have excited the
admiration of a whole court instead of an old man--and that, too, her
father--and a young one, and that none other, to Christina's infinite
disgust, than the very Count Ericson whose acquaintance she had
already made, and whom she infinitely and unappeasably disliked. He
was the most awkward, stupid-looking young man she ever saw, and had
furnished her with a butt for her malicious pleasantries ever since
she had known him. He rose to lead her to her seat. "How different
from Adolphus! If he is no better performer in the battle-field than
at the supper-table, the King must be very ill off for soldiers. What
can papa mean by asking such a horrid being to his house? I am certain
I shall laugh outright if I look again at his silly grey eyes and long
yellow hair, as ragged as a pony's mane."

Such were Christina's thoughts, while she bit her lips to hide if
possible her inclination to be angry, and to laugh at the same time. And
in truth her dislike of the Count did not exaggerate the ridiculousness
of the appearance of the tall ungainly figure--large-boned and
stiff-backed--that now stood before her--with a nose so absurdly
aquiline that it would have done for a caricature--coarse-skinned
cheeks, and a stare of military impudence that shocked and nearly
frightened the high-bred, elegant-looking beauty on whom it was fixed.
And yet this individual, such as we have described, had been fixed on by
the higher powers for her husband--was this night to be treated as her
accepted lover, and, in short, had been closeted for hours every day
with her father--settling all the preliminaries of course--for the last
six weeks. Christina looked once more at the insolent stare of the
triumphant soldier, and made a vow to die rather than speak to him--that
is, in the affirmative.

But thoughts of affirmatives and negatives did not seem to enter
Count Ericson's head--his grammatical education having probably been
neglected. He stood gaping at his prey as a tiger may be supposed to
cast insinuating looks upon a lamb, and made every now and then an
attempt to conceal either his awkwardness, or satisfaction, or both,
in immense fits of laughter, which formed the accompaniment of all
the remarks--and they were nearly as heavy as himself--with which he
favoured the company. Christina, on her part, if she had given way
to the dictates of her indignation, would have also favoured the
company with a few remarks, that in all probability would have put a
stop to the laughter of the lover, and choked her old father by
making a fish-bone stick in his throat. She was angry for twenty
reasons, one of them was having wasted a moment over her toilette to
receive such a visitor as Count Ericson; another was her father
having dared to offer her hand to such an uncouth wooer and
intolerable bore; and the principal one of all, was his having
rejected his own nephew--undoubtedly the handsomest of Dalecarlian
hussars--in favour of such a vulgar, ugly individual. The subject of
these flattering considerations seemed to feel at last that he ought
to say something to the young beauty, on whose pouting lip had
gathered something which was very different indeed from a smile, and
yet nearly as captivating. He accordingly turned his large light
eyes from his plate for a moment, and with a mouth still filled with
a leg and wing of a capercailzie, enquired--

"What do you think of Alexander the Great, madam?"

This was too much. Even her rage disappeared, and she burst into a
loud laugh at the serious face of the querist.

"I never think of Alexander the Great at all," she said. "I only
recollect, that when I was reading his history, I could hardly make
out whether he was most of a fool or a madman."

Ericson swallowed the leg and the wing of the capercailzie without any
further mastication, and launched out in a torrent of admiration of
the most prodigious courage the world had ever seen.

"If he had been as prodigiously wise," replied Christina, "as he was
prodigiously courageous, he would have learned to govern himself
before he attempted to govern the world."

Ericson blushed from chin to forehead with vexation, and answered in
an offended tone--

"How can a woman enter into the fever of noble thoughts that impels a
brave man to rush into the midst of dangers, and leads him to despise
life and all its petty enjoyments to gain undying fame?"

"No, indeed," she replied, "I have no fever, and have no sympathy with
destroyers. Oh, if I wished for fame, I should try to gain it by
gathering round me the blessings of all who saw me! Yes, father," she
went on, paying no regard to the signs and winks of the agonized Count
Gyllenborg, "I would rather that countless thousands should live to
bless me, than that they should die in heaping curses on my name!
Men-killers--though you dignify them with the name of heroes--are
atrocious. Let us speak of them, my lord, no more, unless to pray
heaven to rid the earth of such monsters."

A feather of the smallest of birds would have knocked down the Prime
Minister of Sweden; and Count Ericson appeared, from his stupefied
look, to have gone through the process already--the difficulty was to
lift him up again.

"Come, Count," cried the Minister, filling up Ericson's glass with
champagne, "to Alexander's glory!"

"With all my heart," cried Ericson, moistening his rage with the
delicious sparkler. "Come, fair savage," he added, addressing
Christina, and touching her glass with such force that it fell in a
thousand pieces on the table--"to Alexander's glory!"

"I have no wish to drink to such a toast," replied Christina, more
offended than ever; "I can't endure those scourges of human kind who
hide the skin of the tiger beneath the royal robe."

"The girl is mad!" exclaimed the astonished father, who seemed to
begin to be slightly alarmed at the flashes of indignation that burst
from Count Ericson's wild-looking eyes. "Don't mind what such a silly
thing says; she does it only to show her cleverness. What does she
know of war or warriors? She cares for nothing yet but her puppy-dog.
She pats it all day, and lets it bite her pretty little hand. Such a
hand it is to refuse a pledge to Alexander!"

The politician was on the right track; for such a pretty hand was not
in Sweden--nor probably in Denmark either--and the cunning old
minister took it between his finger and thumb, and placed it almost on
the lip of the irate young worshipper of glory; if it did not actually
touch the lip it went very near it, and distinctly moved one or two of
the most prominent tufts of the stout yellow mustache. "The little
goose," pursued the respectable sire, "to pretend to have an opinion
on any subject except the colour of a riband. Upon my honour, I
believe she presumes to be a critic of warriors, because she plays a
good game of chess. It is one of her accomplishments, Count; and if
you will take a little of the conceit out of her, you will confer an
infinite obligation on both of us."

Saying this, he lifted with his own ministerial fingers a small table
from a corner of the room, and placed it in front of the youthful
couple, with the men all ready laid out. Ericson's eyes sparkled at
the sight of his favourite game; and he determined to display his
utmost skill, and teach his antagonist a few secrets of the art of
(mimic) war. But determinations, as has been remarked by several
sages, past and present, are sometimes vain. Nothing, one would think,
could be so likely to restore a man's self-possession as a quiet game
of chess--an occupation as efficacious in soothing the savage breast
as music itself. But Ericson seemed still agitated from the
contradictions he had encountered from the free-spoken Christina, and
threw a little more politeness into his manner than he had hitherto
vouchsafed to show, when he invited her to be his adversary in a game.

"But, if I beat you?" she said ominously, holding up one of the fair
fingers to which his attention had been so particularly called, and
implying by the question, if you get angry when I only refuse your
toast, won't you eat me if I am the winner at chess? "But, if I beat
you?" she said.

"That will not be the only occasion on which you will have triumphed
over me, you--you"----He seemed greatly at a loss for a word, and
concluded his speech with--"beauty!" This expression, which was, no
doubt, intended for the most complimentary he could find, was
accompanied with a look of admiration so long, so broad, and so
impudent, that she blushed, and a squeeze of her hand so hard, so
rough, and so continued, that she screamed. She threw a glance of
inexpressible disdain on the insolent wooer, and looked for protection
to her father; but that venerable individual was at that moment so
sound asleep on one of the sofas at the other end of the room, that no
noise whatever could have awakened him. Ericson seemed totally unmoved
by all the contempt she could express in her looks, and probably
thought he was in a thriving condition, from the fact (somewhat
unusual) of his being looked at at all. She lost her temper
altogether. She covered her cheek, which was flushed with anger, with
the little hand that was reddened with pain, and resolved to play her
worst to spite her ill-mannered antagonist. But all her attempts at
bad play were useless. The board shook beneath the immense hands of
Ericson, who was in a tremendous state of agitation, and hardly knew
the pieces. He pushed then hither and thither--made his knights slide
along with the episcopal propriety of bishops, and made his bishops
caracole across the squares with the unseemly elasticity of knights.
His game got into such confusion, that Christina could not avoid
winning, and at last--enjoying the victory she had determined not to
win--she cried out, with a voice of triumph, "Check to the king by the

"Cruel girl!" exclaimed the Count, dashing his hand among the pieces
with an energy that scattered them all upon the floor. "Haven't you
been anxious to make the king your prisoner?"

"But there is nothing to hinder him from saving himself," answered
Christina, looking round once more to her father, who, however,
pursued his slumber with the utmost assiduity and had apparently a
very agreeable dream, for a smile was evident at the corners of his
mouth. "It is impossible to place the board as it was," she continued,
trying to gather up the pieces, and place castles, knights, and pawns
in their proper position again.

"Don't try it--don't try it," cried Ericson, losing all command of
himself, and pushing the board away from him, till it spun over with
all its men on the carpet. "The game is over--you have given me check,
and mated me!" And in a moment, as if ashamed of the influence
exercised over him by so very unwarlike an individual as a little girl
of eighteen, he hurried from the room, stumbling over his enormous
sword, which got, somehow or other, between his legs, and cursing his
awkwardness and the absurd excess of admiration which caused it.

"That man will surely never come here again," said Christina to her
father, as he entered the room an hour after the incidents of the
chess-board; for the obsequious minister had followed Ericson in his
rapid retreat, and now returned radiant with joy, as if his guest had
been the most fascinating of men.

"Not come here again!" chuckled the father. "That's all you know about
it. He is dying with impatience to return, and is angry with himself
for having wasted the two precious hours of your society in the way he
did. He never had two such happy hours in his life."

"Happy! is that what he calls happiness?" answered Christina, opening
her eyes in amazement. "I don't know what his notions may be--but
mine----oh, father!" she cried, emboldened by the smile she saw on the
old man's countenance, "you are only trying me; say you are only
proving my constancy, by persuading me that such a being as that has
any wish to please me. He is more in love with Alexander the Great
than with me; and he is quite right, for he has a far better chance of
a return."

"An enthusiasm excusable, my dear, in a young warrior of twenty years
of age, whose savage ambition it will be your delightful task to tame.
He is in a terrible state of agitation--a most flattering thing, let
me tell you, to a young gipsy like you--and you must humour him a
little, and not break out quite so fiercely, you minx; and yet you
managed very well, too. A fine fellow, Ericson, though a little wild;
rich, powerful, nobly born--what can you wish for better?"

"My cousin," answered Christina, with a bluntness that astonished the
advocate of Ericson's claims; "my cousin Adolphus, and no other. He is
braver than this savage; and as to nobility, he is as nobly born as my
own right honourable papa, and that is high enough for me."

"Go, go," said the courtier, a little puzzled by the openness of his
daughter's confession, and kissing her forehead at the same time; "go
to bed, my girl, and pray for your father's advancement."

Christina, like a dutiful child, prayed as she was told for her
father's success and happiness, and then added a petition of her own,
shorter, perhaps, but quite as sincere, for her cousin Adolphus. If
she added one for herself, it was a work of supererogation, for she
felt that in praying for the happiness of her lover, she was not
unmindful of her own.

For some days after the supper recorded above, she was too happy
tormenting the very object of all these aspirations, to trouble her
head about the awkward and ill-mannered protégé of her father, whom
she hated with as much cordiality as the most jealous of rivals could
desire. But of course she was extremely careful to let no glimpse of
this unchristian feeling towards Count Ericson be perceptible to the
person who would have rejoiced in it so much. In fact, she carried her
philanthropy to such a pitch, that she never mentioned any of the bad
qualities of her new admirer, and Adolphus very naturally concluded
that she felt as she spoke on the interesting subject. So, all of a
sudden, Adolphus, who was prouder than Christina, perhaps because he
was poorer, would not condescend to be made a fool of, as he
magnanimously thought it, any longer. He had the immense satisfaction
of staying away from the house for nearly half a week, and then, when
he did pay a visit, he was almost as cold as the formal piece of
diplomacy in the bag-wig and ruffles whom he called his uncle; and a
great deal stiffer than the beautiful piece of pique, in silk gown and
white satin corset, whom he called his cousin. Christina was dismayed
at the sudden change--Adolphus never spoke to her, seldom looked at
her, and evidently left the coast clear--so she thought--for the rich
and powerful rival her father had so strongly supported. After much
thinking, some sulkiness, and a good many fits of crying, Christina
resolved, as the best way of recovering her own peace of mind, and the
love of her cousin Adolphus, to put an end in a very decided manner to
the pretensions of the Count. One day, accordingly, she watched her
opportunity, and followed with anxious eyes her father's retreat from
the room, under pretence of some important despatches to be sent off.
She found herself alone with the object of her dislike--and only
waited for a beginning to the conversation, that she might astonish
his weak mind with the severity of her invectives. In fact, she had
determined, according to the vulgar phrase, to tell him a bit of her
mind--and a very small bit of it, she was well aware, would be
sufficient to satisfy Count Ericson of the condition of all the rest.
But the lover was in a contemplative mood, and stood as silent as a
milestone, and looking almost as animated and profound. She sighed,
she coughed, she drops her handkerchief. All wouldn't do--the
milestone took no notice--Christina at last grew angry, and could
contain herself no longer.

"I dreamt of you last night," she said by way of a beginning. "I hope
in future you will leave my sleep undisturbed by your presumptuous
presence. It is bad enough to be forced to see you when one is awake."

"And I, also, had a dream," replied Ericson, starting from his
reverie, confused and only having heard the first part of the somewhat
fierce attack. "I dreamt that you looked at me with a smile, a long,
long look, so sweet, so winning. It was a happy dream!"

"It was a false one," she said, with tremendous bitterness. "I know
better where to direct my smiles, whether I am awake or asleep."

"And how did I appear to you?" asked the Count, presenting a splendid
specimen in his astonished look of the state of mind called "the
dumfoundered" by some learned philosophers, and by others "the

"You appeared to me like the nightmare! frightful and unsupportable as
you do to me now," was the answer, accompanied with the look and
manner that showed she was a judge of nightmares, and thought him a
very unfavourable specimen of the animal.

"Ill-natured little tyrant!" cried Ericson, rushing to her, "teach me
how you would have me love you, and I will do everything you ask!" In
a moment he had seized her in his arms, and imprinted a kiss of
prodigious violence on her cheek, which was redder than fire with rage
and surprise!

But the assault did not go unpunished. The might of Samson woke in
that insulted bosom, and lent such incredible weight to the blow that
fell on the aggressor's ear, that it took him a long time to believe
that the thump proceeded from the beautiful little hand he had so
often admired; or, in short, from any thing but a twenty-four pounder.
He rubbed the wounded organ with astonishing assiduity for some time.
At last he said, in a very calm and measured voice,

"Your father has deceived me, young lady. He led me to believe you did
not receive my visits with indifference."

"My father knows nothing about things of that kind," replied
Christina, still flaming with indignation, "or he never would have let
such an ill-mannered monster into his house. But he was right in
saying I did not receive your visits with indifference; your visits,
Count Ericson, can never be indifferent to me, and"----

What more she would have said, it is impossible to discover, for she
was interrupted by the sudden entrance of her cousin, who only heard
her last words, and started back at what he considered so open a
declaration of her attachment.

"Who are you, sir?" asked Ericson in an angry tone, and with such an
assumption of superiority, that Christina's hand tingled to give him a
mark of regard on his other ear.

"A soldier," answered Adolphus, drawing his sword from its sheath and
instead of directing it against his rival, laying it haughtily on the
table. "A soldier who has bled for his country, and would be happy,"
he added, "to die for it."

"Say you so?" said Ericson, "then we are friends." He held out his

"We are rivals," replied Adolphus, drawing back.

"Christina loves you, then?" enquired the Count.

"She has told me so; and I was foolish enough to believe her. It is
now your turn to trust to the truth of a heartless woman.--She has
told you you are not an object of indifference to her, and I resign my
pretensions in your favour."

"In whose favour?" cried Christina, trembling; while tears sprang to
her eyes.

"The King's!" replied Adolphus, retiring sorrowfully.

Christina sank on a seat, and covered her face with her hands.

"Stay," cried Charles the Twelfth in a voice of thunder; "stay, I
command you."

The young man obeyed; biting his lip to conceal his emotion, till the
blood came.

"I have seen you," said the King, "but not in this house."

"It was shut against me by my uncle when you were expected," said

"And yet I have seen you somewhere. What is your name?"

"Adolphus Hesse; the son of a brave officer who died fighting for you,
and leaving me his misfortunes and the tears of his widow."

"Who told you I was not Count Ericson?"

"My eyes. I know you well."

"And I recollect you also," said Charles, advancing to the young man
with a manner very different from that which characterized him in his
intercourse with the softer sex. "Where did you get that scar on the
left temple?"

"At Nerva, sire, where we tamed the pride of the Russians."

"True, true!" cried Charles, his nostrils dilated as if he snuffed up
the carnage of the battle. "You need but this as your passport," he
continued, placing his finger on the wound, "to ask me any favour, ay,
even to measure swords with you, as I daresay you would be delighted
to do in so noble a quarrel as the present; for on the day of that
glorious fight, I learned, like you, the duty of a soldier, and the
true dignity of a brave man. By the balls that rattled about our heads
so playfully, give me your hand, brother, for we were baptized
together in fire!"

Charles appeared to Christina, at this time, quite a different man
addressing his fellow soldier, from what he had done upsetting the
chess-board. Curiosity had dried her eyes, and she lost not a word of
the conversation. The King turned to her with a smile.

"By my sword, Christina! I am but a poor wooer; one movement of your
hand," and he touched his ear playfully as he spoke, "has banished all
the silly thoughts that in a most traitorous manner had taken my heart
prisoner. Speak, then, as forcibly as you act. Do you love this brave

"Yes, sire."

"Who hinders the marriage?"

"The courtship of Count Ericson, with which my father perpetually
threatens me."

"O ho!" thought Charles, "I see how it is. The King must console
himself with the kiss, and pass the blow on the ear to the minister.
Christina," he added aloud, "your father refuses to give you to the
man you love; but he'll do it now, for _it is my will_. You'll
confess, I am sure that if I was your nightmare as a lover, I am not
your enemy as king."

"I confess it on my knees;" replied the humble beauty, taking her
place beside her cousin, who knelt to his sovereign. While Charles
joined the hands of the youthful pair, he imprinted a kiss on the fair
brow of Christina; the last he ever bestowed on woman.

"Your Majesty pardons me then?" enquired the trembling girl. "If I had
known it was the King, I would not have hit so hard."

That same evening Count Gyllenborg signed a contract of marriage, to
which the name of Count Ericson was not appended, though it was
witnessed by Charles the Twelfth; and in a few days afterwards, the
old politician presided at the wedding dinner, and, by royal command,
did the honours so nobly, and appeared so well pleased on the
occasion, that nobody suspected that he had ever had higher dreams of
ambition than to see his daughter happy; and if such had been his
object, all Sweden knew that in bestowing her on her cousin he was
eminently successful.


If Alexander and Archimedes, evoked from their long sleep, were to
contemplate, with minds calmed by removal from contemporaneous
interests, the state of mankind in the present year, with what
different feelings would they regard the influence of their respective
lives upon the existing human world of 1843! The Macedonian would find
the empire which it was the labour of his life to aggrandize,
frittered into parcels, modeled, remodeled, subjected to various
dynasties; Turks, Greeks, Russians, still contending for portions of
the territory which he had conjoined only to be dismembered; he would
find in these little or no trace of his ever having existed; he would
find that the unity of his vast political power had been severed
before his body was yet entombed, and his prediction, that his funeral
obsequies would be performed with bloody hands, verily fulfilled. In
parts of the world which his living grasp had not seized, he would
also see little to remind him of his past existence. Would not
mortification darken the brow of the resuscitated conqueror on
discovering, that when his name was mentioned in historic annals, it
was less as a polar star to guide, than as a beacon to be avoided?

What would the Syracusan see in this present epoch to remind him of
himself? Would he see the man of 212 B.C., at all connected with the
men of 1843 A.D.? Yes. In Prussia, Austria, France, England, America,
in every city of every civilized nation, he would find the lever, the
pulley, the mirror, the specific gravimeter, the geometric
demonstration; he would trace the influence of his mind in the
power-loom, the steam-engine, in the building of the Royal Exchange,
in the Great Britain steam-ship; he would find an application of his
well-known invention, the subject of a patent, an important auxiliary
to navigation. Alexander _was_ a hero; Archimedes _is_ one.

Are we guilty of exaggeration in this contrast of the hero of War with
him of Science? We think not. It may undoubtedly be argued that
Alexander's life was productive of ultimate good, that he did much to
open Asia to European civilization; but would that consideration serve
to soothe the gloomy Shade? To what does it amount but to the
assertion that out of evil cometh good? It was through no aim of his
mind that this resulted, nor are mankind indebted to him personally
for a collateral effect of his existence.

As an instance of men of a more modern era, let us take Napoleon
Buonaparte, Emperor of France, and James Watt of Greenock, civil

The former applied the energies of a sagacious and comprehensive
intellect to his own political aggrandizement; the latter devoted his
more modest talents to the improvement of a mechanical engine. The
former was and is, _par excellence_, a hero of history--we should
scarcely find in the works of the most voluminous annalists the name
of the latter. What has Napoleon done to entitle his name to occupy so
prominent a position? He has been the cause, mediate or immediate, of
sacrificing the lives of two millions of men.[17]

    [17] From a rough calculation taken from the returns of
    those left dead on the fields of battle in which
    Napoleon commanded, from Montenotte to Waterloo, we make
    the amount 1,811,500; and if we add those who died
    subsequently of their wounds in the petty skirmishes,
    the losses in which are not reported, and in the naval
    fights, of which, though Napoleon was not present, he
    was the cause, the number given in the text will be far
    under the mark. A picture of the fathers, mothers,
    wives, children, and relatives of these victims,
    receiving the news of their death, would give a lively
    idea of the benefits conferred upon the world by

Has the obscure Watt done nothing to merit a page in the records of
mankind? Walk ten miles in any manufacturing district, enter any
coal-mine, examine the bank of England, travel by the Great Western
railway, or navigate the Danube, the Mediterranean, the Indian or the
Atlantic Ocean--in each and all of these, that giant slave, the
steam-engine, will be seen, an ever-living testimony to the services
rendered to mankind by its subjugator.

Attachment to a favourite pursuit is undoubtedly calculated to bias
the judgment; but, however liable may be the obscure votary of science
to override his hobby, Francis Bacon, Lord High Chancellor of England,
in ascribing to scientific discoverers a higher merit than to
legislators, emperors, or patriots, cannot be open to the charge of
egoistic partiality. What, then, says this illustrious witness?--"The
introduction of noble inventions seems to hold by far the most
excellent place among all human actions. And this was the judgment of
antiquity, which attributed divine honours to inventors, but conferred
only heroical honours upon those who deserve well in civil affairs,
such as the founders of empires, legislators, and deliverers of their
country. And whoever rightly considers it, will find this a judicious
custom in former ages, since the benefits of inventors may extend to
all mankind, but civil benefits only to particular countries or seats
of men; and these civil benefits seldom descend to more than a few
ages, whereas inventions are perpetuated through the course of time.
Besides, a state is seldom amended in its civil affairs without force
and perturbation; whilst inventions spread their advantage without
doing injury or causing disturbance."[18]

    [18] Nov. Org. Aph. 29.

The opinion of a man who had reached the highest point to which a
civilian could aspire, cannot, when he estimates the honours of the
Chancellor as inferior to those of the natural philosopher, be
ascribed to misjudging enthusiasm or personal disappointment. Without,
however, seeking, for the sake of antithetic contrast, to underrate
the importance of political services, civil or military, or to
exaggerate those of the man of science, few, we think, will be
disposed to deny that, although the one may be temporarily more urgent
and necessary to the well-being of an existing race, yet that the
benefits of the other are more lasting and universal. If, then, the
influence on mankind of the secluded inventor be more extensive and
durable than that of the active politician--if there be any truth in
the opinion of Bacon, that the greatest political changes are wrought
by the peaceful under-current of science; why is it that those who
occupy the highest place as permanent benefactors of mankind, are,
during their lifetime, neglected and comparatively unknown;--that they
obtain neither the tangible advantages of pecuniary emolument, nor the
more suitable, but less lucrative, honours of grateful homage? It is
the common cry to exclaim against the neglect of science in the
present day. Alas! history does not show us that our predecessors were
more just to their scientific contemporaries. The evil is to a great
extent remediless, the complaint to some extent irrational, and
unworthy the dignity of the cause. The labourer in the field of
science works not for the present, but for succeeding generations; he
plants oaks for posterity, and must not look for the gratitude of
contemporaries. Men will remunerate less, and be less grateful for,
prospective than for present good--for benefits secured to their
posterity than to themselves; the realization of the advantages is so
distant, that the amount of discount is coextensive with the debt: it
is only as the applications of science become more immediate, that the
cultivators of science can reasonably expect an adequate reward or

Even when practically applied, we too frequently see that the original
discoveries of the physical philosopher are but little valued by those
who make a daily, a most extensive, and a most lucrative use of their
results. Men _talk_ of "a million;" how few have ever _counted_ one!
Men walk along the Strand, Fleet Street, Ludgate Hill; how few think
of the multiplied passions and powers which flit by them on their
way--of the separate world which surrounds each passer-by--of the
separate history, external and internal, of each--each possessing
feelings, motives of action, characters, differing from the others, as
the stamp of nature on his brow differs from his fellows! Thus, also,
men's ears ring with the advancement of science, men's beards wag
with repetition of the novel powers which have been educed from
material nature; and if, in our daily traffic, we traverse without
attention countless sands of thought, how much more, in our hackneyed
talk of science, do we neglect the debt we owe to thought--thought,
not the mere normal impulse of humanity, but the carefully elaborated
lucubration of minds, of which the term _thinking_ is emphatically
predicable! Names which are met with but once in the annals of
science, and there, dimly seen as a star of the least magnitude, have
perhaps earned that remote and obscure corner by painful self-denial,
by unwearied toil! And yet not only these, but others who have added
to diligence high mental acumen or profundity, whose wells of thought
are, compared with those of the general mass, unfathomable, earn but a
careless, occasional notice--are known but to few of those who daily
reap the harvest which they have sown, and who even boast of seeing
further than they did, as the dwarf on the shoulders of a giant can
see further than the giant. The first step of the unthinking is to
deny the possibility of a given discovery, the next is to assert that
any one could have foreseen such discovery.

There are, however, points of higher import than gain or glory to
which the philosopher must ever look, and the absence of which must be
a source of bitter disappointment and ground of just complaint. The
most important of these is, that, by national neglect, the _cause_ of
science is injured, her progress retarded. Not only is she not
honoured, she is dishonoured; and in no civilized nation is this
contempt of physical science carried to a greater extent than in
England, the country of commerce and of manufactures.

In this country, should a father observe in his gifted son a tendency
to physical philosophy, he anxiously endeavours to dissuade him from
this career, knowing that not only will it tend to no worldly
aggrandizement, but that it will have the inevitable effect of
lowering his position in what is called, and justly called, good
society--the society of the most highly educated classes. At one of
our universities, physical science is utterly neglected; at the other,
only certain branches of it are cultivated. There are, it is true,
university professors of each branch of physics, some of whom are able
to collect a moderate number of pupils; others are obliged to carry
with them an assistant, to whom alone they lecture, as Dean Swift
preached to his clerk. But what part of the regular academic education
does the study of Natural Philosophy occupy? It forms no necessary
part of the examinations for degrees; no credit is attached to those
who excel in its pursuit; no prizes, no fellowships, no university
distinction, conferred upon its most successful votaries. On the
contrary, physical, or at all events experimental, science is tabooed;
it is written down "snobbish," and its being so considered has much
influence in making it so: the necessity of manipulation is a sad
drawback to the gentlemanliness of a pursuit. Bacon rebuked this
fastidiousness, but in vain. "We will, moreover, show those who, in
love with contemplation, regard our frequent mention of experiments as
something harsh, unworthy, and mechanical, how they oppose the
attainment of their own wishes, since abstract contemplation, and the
construction and invention of experiments, rest upon the same
principles, and are brought to perfection in a similar manner."[19]

    [19] Impetus Philosophici, p. 681.

Unfortunately, the fact of experimental science being rejected by the
educated classes and thrown in a great measure upon the artizans of a
country, has conducted, among other evils, to one of a most
detrimental character; viz. the want of accuracy in scientific
language, and consequently the want of accuracy in ideas. Perfection
in language, as in every thing else, is not to be attained, and
doubtless there are few of the most highly educated who would not, in
many cases, assign different meanings to the same word; but if some
confusion on this subject is unavoidable, how much is that confusion
increased, as regards scientific subjects, by the mass of memoirs
written by parties, who, however acute their mental perceptions may
be, yet, from want of early education, do not assign to words that
accuracy of signification, and do not possess that perspicuity of
style, which is absolutely necessary for the communication of ideas!
Those, therefore, who, with different notions of language, read the
writings of such as we are alluding to, either fail to attach to them
any definite meaning, or attach one different from that which the
authors intended to convey; whence arises a want of reciprocal
intelligence, a want of unity of thought and purpose. Another defect
arising from the circumstance that persons of a high order of
education have not been generally the cultivators of experimental
science in this country, is, that the path is thereby rendered more
accessible to empiricism. Science, beautiful in herself, has thence a
class of deformed disciples, who succeed in entangling their false
pretensions with the claims of true merit. So much dust is puffed into
the eyes of the public, that it can hardly distinguish between works
of durable importance and the ephemeral productions of empirics; and
those who would otherwise disdain the notoriety acquired by
advertisement, end in adopting the system as the only means to avoid
the mortification of seeing their own ideas appropriated and uttered
in another form and in another's name.[20]

    [20] In any thing we have above said, we trust it is
    unnecessary to disclaim the slightest intention of
    discouraging those whose want of conventional advantages
    only renders their merit more conspicuous; we find fault
    not with the uneducated for cultivating science, but
    with the educated for neglecting it.

While the evils to which science is exposed by the necessarily
unfashionable character of experimental manipulation are neither few
nor trivial, there are still evils which arise from the directly
opposite cause--from excess of intellectual cultivation; as is shown
in the exclusive love of mathematics by a great number of
philosophers. Minds which, left to themselves, might have eliminated
the most valuable results, have, dazzled by the lustre cast by fashion
upon abstract mathematical speculations, lost themselves in a mazy
labyrinth of transcendentals. The fashion of mathematics has ruined
many who might be most useful experimentalists; but who, wishing to
take a higher flight, seek to attain distinction in mathematical
analysis, and having acquired a certain celebrity for experimental
research, dissipate, in simple equations, the fame they had acquired
in a field equally productive, but not so select. Like Claude, who in
his later years said, "Buy my figures, and I will give you my
landscapes for nothing;" they fall in love with their own weakness,
and estimate their merit by the labour they have undergone, not by the
results they have deduced. M. Comte expresses himself well on this
subject. "Mathematicians, too frequently taking the means for the end,
have embarrassed Natural Philosophy with a crowd of analytical
labours, founded upon hypotheses extremely hazardous, or even upon
conceptions purely visionary; and consequently sober-minded people can
see in them really nothing more than simple mathematical exercises, of
which the abstract value is sometimes very striking, without their
influence, in the slightest degree, accelerating the natural progress
of Physics."[21]

    [21] Cours de Philosophie Positive, vol. ii. p. 409.

The cultivators of science, despite the want of encouragement, have,
like every other branch of the population, increased rapidly in
number, and, being thrown upon their own resources, have organized
SOCIETIES, the number of which is daily increasing, which do much
good, which do much harm. They do good, in so far as they carry out
their professed objects of facilitating intercourse between votaries
of similar branches of study--they do good by the more attainable
communication of the researches of those who cannot afford, or will
not dare, the ordinary channels of publication; but who, sanctioned by
the judgment of a select tribunal, are glad to work and to impart to
the public the fruits of their labour--they give an _esprit de corps_,
which forms a bond of union to each section, and induces a moral
discipline in its ranks. The investment of their funds in the
collection of libraries or of apparatus, the use of which becomes thus
accessible to individuals, to whom otherwise such acquisitions would
have been hopeless, is another meritorious object of their
institution; an object in many cases successfully carried out. On the
other hand, they do harm, by becoming the channels of selfish
speculation, their honorary offices being used as stepping-stones to
lucrative ones, thereby causing their influential members to please
the givers of "situations," and to publish the trash of the
impertinently ambitious, the _Titmice of the Credulous Societies_! The
ultra-ridiculous parade with which they have decked fair science,
giving her a vest of unmeaning hieroglyphics, and thereby exposing her
to the finger of scorn, is another prominent and unsightly feature of
such societies; they do harm by the cliquerie which they generate,
collecting little knots of little men, no individual of whom can stand
his own ground, but a group of whom, by leaning hard together, can,
and do, exercise a most pernicious influence; seeking petty gain and
class celebrity, they exert their joint-stock brains to convert
science into pounds, shillings, and pence; and, when they have managed
to poke one foot upon the ladder of notoriety, use the other to kick
furiously at the poor aspirants who attempt to follow them.

It has been frequently and strenuously urged, that these societies, or
some of them, should be supported by government, and not dependent
upon the subscriptions of their members. The arguments in favour of
such a measure are, that by thus being accessible only to merit, and
not depending upon money, their position would be more honourable and
advantageous to the progress of science. With regard to such societies
generally, this proposition is incapable of realization; every year
sees a new society of this description; to annex many of these to
government, would involve difficulties which, in the present state of
politics, would be insurmountable. Who, for instance, would pay taxes
for them? Another, and more reasonable, proposition is, that the
government should establish and support one academy as a head and
front of the others, accessible only to men of high distinction, who
would be thus constituted the oligarchs of science. Of the advantage
of this we have some doubts. Politics are already too much mixed up
with all government appointments in England: their influence is at
present scarcely felt in science, and we would not willingly risk an
introduction so fraught with danger. The want of such an academy
certainly lessens the English in the eyes of the continental _savans_;
but could not such a one be organized, and perhaps endowed, by
government, without any permanent connexion with it?

If we compare the proceedings, undoubtedly dignified and decorous, of
our Royal Society with those of the French Academy, we fear the
balance will be found to be in favour of the latter. At Somerset
House, after the list of donations and abstract of former proceedings,
a paper, or a portion of a paper, is read upon some abstruse
scientific subject, and the meeting is adjourned in solemn silence, no
observation can be made upon it, no question asked, or explanation
given. The public is excluded,[22] and the greater part of the members
generally exclude themselves, very few having resolution enough to
leave a comfortable dinner-table to bear the solemn formalities of
such an evening. The paper is next committed, it is not known to whom,
reported on in private, and either published, or deposited in the
_archives of the Society_, according to the judgment of the unknown
irresponsible parties to whom it is committed. Let us now look at the
proceedings of the French Academy; it is open to the public, and the
public take so great an interest in it, that to secure a seat an early
attendance is always requisite. Every scientific point of daily and
passing interest is brought before it--comments, such as occur at the
time, are made upon various points by the secretary, or any other
member who likes to make an observation--the more elaborate memoirs
are read by the authors themselves, and if any _quære_ or suggestion
occurs to a member present, he has an opportunity of being answered.
The memoir is then committed to parties whose names are publicly
mentioned, who bring out their report in public, which report is read
in public, and may be answered by the author if he object to it.
Lastly, the whole proceedings are printed and published verbatim, and
circulated at the next weekly meeting, while, in the mean time, the
public press notices them freely. That, with all these advantages, the
French Academy is not free from faults, we are far from asserting;
that there is as much unseen manœuvring and petty tyranny in this
as in most other institutions, is far from improbable;[23] but the
effect upon the public, and the zest and vitality which its
proceedings give to science, are undeniable, and it is also undeniable
that we have no scientific institution approaching to it in interest
or value.

    [22] Each Fellow can, indeed, by express permission of
    the Society, take with him two friends.

    [23] An anonymous author, who has attracted some
    attention in France, in commenting on the rejection of
    Victor Hugo, and the election of a physician, says--that
    nothing could be more natural or proper, as the senility
    and feebleness of the Académie made it more in want of a
    physician than a poet.

The present perpetual secretary of the Academy, Arago, with much of
prejudice, much of egotism, has talents most plastic, an energy of
character, an indomitable will, a force and perspicuity of expression,
which alone give to the sittings of the French Academy a peculiar and
surpassing interest, but which, in the English Society, would be
entirely lost.

In quitting, for the present, the subject of scientific societies, we
must advert to a consequence of the increased number of candidates for
scientific distinction of late years; of which increase the number of
these societies may be regarded as an exponent. This increase,
although on the whole both a cause and a consequence of the
advancement of science, yet has in some respects lowered the high
character of her cultivators by the competition it has necessarily
engendered. Books tell us that the cultivation of science must elevate
and expand the mind, by keeping it apart from the jangling of worldly
interests. This dogma has its false as well as its true side, more
especially when in this, as in every other field of human activity,
the number of competitors is rapidly increasing; great watchfulness is
requisite to resist temptations which beset the aspirant to success on
this arena, more perhaps than in any other. The difficulty which the
most honest find to avoid treading in the footsteps of others--the
different aspect in which the same phenomena present themselves to
different minds--the unwillingness which the mind experiences in
renouncing published but erroneous opinions--are points of human
weakness which, not to mislead, must be watched with assiduous care.
Again, the ease with which plagiarism is committed from the number of
roads by which the same point may be reached, is a great temptation to
the waverer, and a great trial of temper to the victim. The disputants
on the arenæ of law, politics, or other pursuits, the ostensible aim
of which is worldly aggrandizement, however animated in debate,
unsparing in satire, reckless in their invective and recrimination,
seldom fail in their private intercourse to throw off the armour of
professional antagonism, and to extend to each other the ungloved hand
of social cordiality. On the other hand, it is too frequent a
spectacle in scientific circles to behold a careful wording of public
controversy, a gentle, apologetic phraseology, a correspondence never
going beyond the "retort courteous," or "quip modest," while there
exists an under-current of the bitterest personal jealousy, the
outward philosopher being strangely at variance with the inward man.

Among the various circumstances which influence the progress of
physical science in this country, one of the most prominent is the
_Patent_ law--a law in its intention beneficent; but whether the
practical working of it be useful, either to science or its
cultivators, is a matter of grave doubt. Of the greater number of
patents enrolled in that depot of practical science, Chancery Lane, by
far the majority are beneficial only to the revenue; and on the
question of public economy, whether or not the price paid by
miscalculating ingenuity is a fair and politic source of revenue, we
shall not enter; but on the reasons which lead so many to be dupes of
their own self-esteem, a few words may not be misspent. The chief
reason why a vast number of patents are unsuccessful, is, that it
takes a long time (longer generally than fourteen years, the
statutable limit of patent grants) to make the workmen of a country
familiar with a new manufacture. A party, therefore, who proposes
patenting an invention, and who sits down and calculates the value of
the material, the time necessary for its manufacture, and other
essential data; comparing these with the price at which it can be sold
to obtain a remunerative profit, seldom takes into consideration the
time necessary, first, to accustom the journeymen workers to its
construction, and secondly, to make known to the public its real
value. In the present universal competition, puffing is carried on to
such an extent, that, to give a fair chance of success, not only must
the first expense of a patent be incurred--no inconsiderable one
either, even supposing the patentee fortunate enough to escape
litigation--but a large sum of money must be invested in
advertisements, with little immediate return; hence it is that the
most valuable patents, viewed in relation to their scientific
importance, their ultimate public benefit, and the merits of their
inventors, are seldom the most lucrative, while a patent inkstand, a
boot-heel, a shaving case, or a button, become rapidly a source of no
inconsiderable profit. Is this beneficial to inventors? Is it an
encouragement of science, or a proper object of legislative provision,
that the improver of the most trivial mechanical application should be
carefully protected, while those who open the hidden sources of
myriads of patents, are unrewarded, and incapable of remunerating
themselves? We seriously incline to think that, as the matter at
present stands, an entire erasure from the statute-books of patent
provision would be of service to science, and perhaps to the
community; each tradesman would depend for success upon his own
activity, and the perfection he could give his manufacture, and the
scientific searcher after experimental truths would not find his path
barred by prohibitions from speculative empirics.

According to the present patent laws, it is more than questionable
whether the discoverer of a great scientific principle could pursue
his own discovery, or whether he would not be arrested on the
threshold by a subsequent patentee; if Jacobi lived in constitutional
England instead of despotic Russia, it is doubtful if he could work
out his discovery of the electrotype--we say _doubtful_; for, as far
as we can learn, it seems hitherto judicially undecided whether the
mere use of a patent, not for sale or a lucrative object, is such a
use within the statute of James as would be an infringement of a
patentee's rights. It appears to be settled, that a previous
experimental and unpublished use by one party, does not prevent
another subsequent inventor of the same process from patenting it;
and, by parity of reasoning, we should say, that if a party have the
advantage of patenting an invention which can be found to have been
previously used, but not for sale, he should not have the additional
privilege of prohibiting the same party, or others, from proceeding
with their experiments. There are, however, not wanting arguments for
the other view. The practice of a patented invention, for one's own
benefit or pleasure, deprives the patentee of a possible source of
profit; for it cannot be said that the party experimenting, if
prohibited, might not apply for a license to the patentee. Take, for
instance, the notorious and justly censured patent of Daguerre.
Supposing, for argument's sake, this patent to be valid, can a private
individual, under the existing patent laws, take photographic views or
portraits for his own amusement, or in pursuance of scientific
investigations? If he cannot, then is an exquisitely beautiful path of
physics to be shut up for fourteen years; or if he can, then is the
licensee, a purchaser for value, to be excluded from very many sources
of pecuniary emolument? To us, the injury to the public, in this and
similar cases, appears of incomparably greater consequence than that
to the individual; but what the authorities at Westminster Hall may
say is another question. Even could the patent laws be so modified,
that the benefits derived from them could fall upon those scientific
discoverers most justly entitled, we are still doubtful as to their
utility, or whether they would contribute to the advancement of
science, which is the point of view in which we here principally
regard them. It would scarcely add to the dignity of philosophy, or
to the reverence due to its votaries, to see them running with their
various inventions to the patent office, and afterwards spending their
time in the courts of law, defending their several claims. They would
thus entirely lose the respect due to them from their contemporaries
and posterity, and waste, in pecuniary speculation, time which might
be more advantageously, and without doubt more agreeably, employed. If
parties look to money as their reward, they have no right to look for
fame; to those who sell the produce of their brains, the public owes
no debt.

We have observed recently a strong tendency in men of no mean
scientific pretensions to patent the results of their labours. We
blame them not: it is a matter of free election on their part, but we
cannot praise them. A writer in a recent number of the _Edinburgh
Review_, has the following remarks on the subject of Mr Talbot's
patented invention of the Calotype. "Nor does the fate of the Calotype
redeem the treatment of her sister art, (the Daguerreotype.) The Royal
Society, the philosophical organ of the nation, has refused to publish
its processes in her transactions. * * * No representatives of the
people unanimously recommended a national reward. * * * It gives us
great pleasure to learn, that though none of his (Mr Talbot's)
photographical discoveries adorn the transactions of the Royal
Society, yet the president and the council have adjudged him the
Rumford medals for the last biennial period."[24]

    [24] _Edin. Rev._ No. 159.

The notion of a "national reward" for the Calotype scarcely requires a
remark. If, after a discovery is once made and published, every
subsequent new process in the same art is to be nationally rewarded,
the income-tax must be at least quadrupled. The complaint, however,
against the Royal Society, is not altogether groundless. True it is
that the first paper of Mr Talbot did not contain an account of the
processes employed by him, and therefore should not have been even
read to the Society; but the paper on the Calotype did contain such
description, and we see no reason why a society for the advancement of
knowledge should not give publicity to a valuable process, though made
the subject of a patent--but it certainly should not bestow an
honorary reward upon an inventor who has withheld from the Royal
Society and the public the practice of the invention whose processes
he communicates. Mr Talbot had a perfect right to patent his
invention, but has on that account no claim in respect of the same
invention to an honorary reward. The Royal Society did not publish his
paper, but awarded him a medal. In our opinion, they should have
published his paper and not awarded him a medal.

Regarded as to her national encouragement of science, there are some
features in which England differs not from other countries; there are
others in which she may be strikingly contrasted with them; and, with
all our love for her, we fear she will suffer by the contrast. A
learned writer of the present day, has the following passage in
reference to the state of science in England as contrasted with other
countries:--"When the proud science of England pines in obscurity,
blighted by the absence of the royal favour and the nation's sympathy;
when her chivalry fall unwept and unhonoured, how can it sustain the
conflict against the honoured and marshalled genius of foreign

    [25] Brewster's Life of Newton, p. 35.

This, to be sure, is somewhat "_tumultuous_." We do not, however, cite
it as a specimen of composition, but as an expression of a very
prevalent feeling; the opinion involved in the concluding _quære_ is
open to doubt--England does sustain the conflict, if any conflict
there be to sustain; but we are bound to admit, that in no country are
the soldiers of _science militant_ less honoured or rewarded. It is no
uncommon remark, that despotic governments are the most favourable to
the cultivation of the arts and sciences. There is, perhaps, a general
truth in this, and the causes are not difficult of recognition. In a
republican or constitutional government, politics are the
all-engrossing topics of a people's thought, the never-ending theme
of conversation;--in purely despotic states, such discussions are
prohibited, and the contemplation of such subjects confined to a few
restless or patriotic spirits. It must also be ever the policy of
absolute monarchs to open channels for the public mind, which may
divert it from political considerations. Take America and Austria as
existing instances of this contrast: in the former, the universality
of political conversation is an object of remark to all travellers; in
the latter, even books which touch at all on political matters are
rigidly excluded. These are among the causes which strike us as most
prominent, but whose effects obtain only when despotism is not so
gross as to be an incubus upon the whole moral and intellectual
energies of a people.

We should lose sight of the objects proposed in these pages, and also
transgress our assigned limits, were we to enter into detail upon the
present state of science in Europe, or trace the causes which have
influenced her progress in each state. This would form a sufficient
thesis for a separate essay; but we will not pass over this branch of
our subject, without venturing to express an opinion on the delicate
and embarrassing question as to what rank each nation holds as a
promoter of physical science.

In experimental and theoretical Physics, we should be inclined to
place the German nations in the first rank; in pure and applied
mathematics, France. The former nations far excel all others in the
independence and impartiality with which they view scientific results;
researches of any value, from whatever part of the world they emanate,
instantly find a place in their periodicals; and they generally
estimate more justly the relative value of different discoveries than
any other European nation; the æsthetical power which enables them to
seize and appreciate what is beautiful in art, gives them perception
and discrimination in science; but they are not great as originators.
The French, notwithstanding the high pitch at which they have
undoubtedly arrived in mathematical investigation, not withstanding
the general accuracy of their experimental researches, have more of
the pedantry of science; their papers are too professional--too much
_selon les règles_; there are too many minutiæ; the reader is tempted
to exclaim with Jacques--"I think of as many matters as he; but I give
Heaven thanks, and make no boast of them." Their accuracy frequently
degenerates into affectation and parade. We have now before us a paper
in the _Annales de Chimie_, containing some chemical researches, in
which, though the difference of each experiment in a small number, put
together for average, amounts to several units, the weights are given
to the fifth place of decimals. England, which we should place next,
is by no means exempt from these trappings of science. Many English
scientific papers seem written as if with the resolute purpose of
filling a certain number of pages, and many of their writers seem to
think a _paper per annum_, good or bad, necessary to indicate their
philosophical existence. They write, not because they have made a
discovery, but because their period of hybernation has expired. Still,
in England, there is a strong vein of original thought. Competition,
if it lead to puffing and quackery, yet stimulates the perceptions;
and, in England, competition has done its worst and its best; in
original chemical discovery, England has latterly been unrivalled.

Next to England we should place Sweden and Denmark--for their
population they have done much, and done it well; then Italy--in Italy
science is well organized, and the rulers of her petty states seem to
feel a proper emulation in promoting scientific merit--in which
laudable rivalry the Archduke of Tuscany deserves honourable mention;
America and Russia come next--the former state is zealous, ready at
practical application, and promises much for the future, but as yet
has not done enough in original research to entitle her to be placed
in the van. Russia at present possesses few, if any, native
philosophers--her discoverers and discoveries are all imported; but
the emperor's zeal and _patronage_ (a word which we scarcely like to
apply to science) is doing much to organize her forces, and the
mercenary troops may impart vigour, and induce discipline into the
national body. In this short enumeration, we have considered each
country, not according to the number of its very eminent men; for
though far from denying the right which each undoubtedly possesses to
shine by the reflected lustre of her stars, yet in looking, as it
were, from an external point, it is more just to regard the general
character of each people than to classify them according as they may
happen to be the birthplace of those

    "To whom all scenes of Europe homage owe."

A misunderstanding of the proper use of theory is among the prevalent
scientific errors of the present day. Among one set of men of
considerable intelligence, but who are not habitually conversant with
physical science, there is a general tendency to despise theory. This
contempt appears to rest on somewhat plausible grounds; as an instance
of it, we may take the following passage from the fitful writings of
Mr Carlyle:--"Hardened round us, encasing wholly every notion we form,
is a wrappage of traditions, hearsays, mere words: we call that fire
of the black thunder-cloud electricity, and lecture learnedly about
it, and grind the like of it out of glass and silk, but what is it?
Whence comes it? Where goes it?"[26]

    [26] Carlyle on Hero Worship.

However the experienced philosopher may be convinced that _in
themselves_ theories are nothing--that they are but collations of
phenomena under a generic formula, which is useful only inasmuch as it
groups these phenomena; yet it is difficult to see how, without these
imperfect generalizations, any mind can retain the endless variety of
facts and relations which every branch of science presents; still
less, how these can be taught, learned, reasoned upon, or used. How
could the facts of geology be recollected, or how, indeed, could they
constitute a science without reference to some real or supposed bond
of union, some aqueous or igneous theory? How could two chemists
converse on chemistry without the use of the term affinity, and the
theoretical conception it involves? How could a name be applied, or a
nomenclature adopted, without that imperfect, or more or less perfect
grouping of facts, which involves theory? As far as we can recollect,
all the alterations of nomenclature which have been introduced, or
attempted, proceed upon some alteration of theory.

If not theory but hypothesis be objected to--not the imperfect
generalization of phenomena, but a gratuitous assumption for the sake
of collating them, this, although ground which should be trodden more
cautiously, appears in certain cases unavoidable; in fact, is scarcely
separable from theory. Had men not "lectured learnedly" about the two
_fluids_ of electricity, we should not now possess many of the
discoveries with which this science is enriched, although we do not,
and probably never shall, know what electricity is.

On the other hand, among professed physical philosophers, the great
abuse of theories and hypotheses is, that their promulgators soon
regard them, not as aids to science, to be changed if occasion should
require, but as absolute natural truths; they look to that as an end,
which is in fact but a means; their theories become part of their
mental constitution, idiosyncrasies; and they themselves become
partizans of a faction, and cease to be inductive philosophers.

Another injury to science, in a great measure peculiar to the present
day, arises from the number of speculations which are ushered into the
world to account for the same phenomena; every one, like Sir Andrew
Aguecheek, when he wished to cudgel a Puritan, has for his opinion "no
exquisite reasons, but reasons good enough." In the periods of science
immediately subsequent to the time of Bacon, men commenced their
career by successful experiment; and having convinced the world of
their aptitude for perceiving the relations of natural phenomena,
enounced theories which they believed the most efficient to give a
comprehensive generality to the whole. Men now, however, commence with
theories, though, alas! the converse does not hold good--they do not
always end with experiment.

As, in the promulgation of theories, every aspirant is anxious to
propound different news, so, in nomenclature, there is a strong
tendency to promiscuous coining. The great commentator on the laws of
England, Sir William Blackstone, observes, "As to the impression, the
stamping of coin is the unquestionable prerogative of the crown, * * *
the king may also, by his proclamation, legitimate foreign coin, and
make it current here."[27]

    [27] Commentaries, vol. i. p. 277.

As coinage of money is the undoubted prerogative of the crown; so
generally coinage of words has been the undoubted prerogative of the
kings of science--those to whom mankind have bent as to unquestionable
authority. But even these royal dignitaries have generally been
sparing in the exercise of this prerogative, and used it only on rare
occasions and when absolutely necessary, either from the discovery of
new things requiring new names, or upon entire revolutions of theory.

                        "Si forte necesse est
    Indiciis monstrare recentibus abdita rerum,
    Fingere cinctutis non exaudita cethegis
    Continget, labiturque licentia sumpta pudenter."

But now there is no "pudor" in the matter. Every man has his own mint;
and although their several coins do not pass current very generally,
yet they are taken here and there by a few disciples, and throw some
standard money out of the market. The want of consideration evinced in
these novel vocabularies is remarkable. Whewell, whose scientific
position and dialectic turn of mind may fairly qualify him to be a
word-maker, seems peculiarly deficient in ear. Take, as an instance,
"_idiopts_," an uncomfortable word, barely necessary, as the persons
to whom it applies are comparatively rare, and will scarcely thank the
Master of Trinity College for approximating them in name to a more
numerous and more unfortunate class--the word _physicists_, where four
sibilant consonants fizz like a squib. In these, and we might add many
from other sources, euphony is wantonly disregarded; by other authors
of smaller calibre, classical associations are curiously violated. We
may take, as an instance, _platinode_, Spanish-American joined to
ancient Greek. In chemistry there is a profusion of new coin. Sulphate
of ammonia--oxi-sulphion of ammonium--sulphat-oxide of ammonium--three
names for one substance. This mania is by no means common to England.
In Liebig's Chemistry, Vol. ii. p. 313, we have the following
passage:--"It should be remarked that some chemists designate
artificial camphor by the name of hydrochlorate of camphor. Deville
calls it bihydrochlorate of térèbène, and Souberaine and Capelaine
call it hydrochlorate of pencylène."

So generally does this prevail, that in chemical treatises the names
of substances are frequently given with a tail of synonymes. Numerous
words might be cited which are names for non-existences--mere
hypothetic groupings; and yet so rapidly are these increasing, that it
seems not impossible, in process of time, there will be more names for
things that are not than for things that are. If this work go on, the
scientific public must elect a censor whose fiat shall be final;
otherwise, as every small philosopher is encouraged or tolerated in
framing _ad libitum_ a nomenclature of his own, the inevitable effect
will be, that no man will be able to understand his brother, and a
confusion of tongues will ensue, to be likened only to that which
occasioned the memorable dispersion at Babel.

Many of the defects to which we have alluded in the course of this
paper, time alone can remedy. In spite of all drawbacks, the progress
of science has been vast and rapidly increasing; the very rapidity of
its progress brings with it difficulties. So many points, once
considered impossible, have been proved possible, that to some minds
the suggestion of impossibility seems an argument in favour of
possibility. Because steam-travelling was once laughed at as visionary,
aerial navigation is to be regarded as practicable--perhaps, indeed, it
_will_ be so, give but the time _proportionably_ requisite to master
its difficulties, as there was given to steam. What proportion this
should be we will not venture to predict. There can be little doubt
that the most effectual way to induce a more accurate public
discrimination of scientific efforts is to turn somewhat more in that
direction the current of national education. Prizes at the universities
for efficiency in the physics of light, heat, electricity, magnetism,
or chemistry, could, we conceive, do no harm. Why should not similar
honours be conferred on those students who advance the progress of an
infant science, as on those who work out with facility the formulæ of
an exact one; and why should not acquirements in either, rank equally
high with the critical knowledge of the _digamma_ or the _à priori_
philosophy of Aristotle? Is not Bacon's Novum Organon as much entitled
to be made a standard book for the schools as Aldrich's logic?
Venerating English universities, we approve not the inconsiderate
outcries against systematic and time-honoured educational discipline;
but it would increase our love for these seminaries of sound learning,
could we more frequently see such men as Davy emanate from Oxford,
instead of from the pneumatic institution of Bristol.

Provided science be kept separate from political excitement, we should
like to see an English Academy, constituted of men having fair claims
to scientific distinction, and not "deserving of that honour because
they are attached to science."

It is unnecessary here to touch upon the details of such an Academy.
The proposition is by no means new. On the contrary, we believe a wish
for some such change pretty generally exists. Iteration is sometimes
more useful than originality. The more frequently the point is brought
before the public, the more probable is it that steps will be taken by
those who are qualified to move in such a matter. The more the present
defective state of our scientific organization is commented on, the
more likely is it to be remedied; for the patency of error is ever a
sure prelude to its extirpation.



One of the longest, the narrowest, the highest, the darkest, and the
dirtiest streets of Paris, was, and is, and probably will long be, the
Rue St Denis. Beginning at the bank of the Seine, and running due north,
it spins out its length like a tape-worm, with every now and then a
gentle wriggle, right across the capital, till it reaches the furthest
barrier, and thence has a kind of suburban tail prolonged into the wide,
straight road, a league in length, that stretches to the town of
Sainct-Denys-en-France. This was, from time immemorial, the state-road
for the monarchs of France to make their formal entries into, and exits
from, their capital--whether they came from their coronation at Rheims,
or went to their last resting-place beneath the tall spire of St Denis.
This has always been the line by which travellers from the northern
provinces have entered the good city of Paris; and for many a long year
its echoes have never had rest from the cracking of the postilion's
whip, the roll of the heavy diligence, and the perpetual jumbling of
carts and waggons. It is, as it has ever been, one of the main arteries
of the capital; and nowhere does the restless tide of Parisian life run
more rapidly or more constantly than over its well-worn stones. In the
pages of the venerable historians of the French capital, and in ancient
maps, it is always called "_La Grande Rue de Sainct Denys_," being, no
doubt, at one time the _ne plus ultra_ of all that was considered wide
and commodious. Now its appellation is curtailed into the _Rue St
D'nis_, and it is avoided by the polite inhabitants of Paris as
containing nothing but the _bourgeoisie_ and the _canaille_. Once it was
the Regent Street of Paris--a sort of Rue de la Paix--lounged along by
the gallants of the days of Henri IV., and not unvisited by the
red-heeled marquises of the Regent d'Orleans's time; now it sees nothing
more _recherché_ than the cap of the grisette or the poissarde, as the
case may be, nor any thing more august than the casquette of the
_commis-voyageur_, or the indescribable shako and equipments of the
National Guard. As its frequenters have been changed in character, so
have its houses and public buildings; they have lost much of the
picturesque appearance they possessed a hundred years ago--they are
forced every year more and more into line, like a regiment of stone and
mortar. Instead of showing their projecting, high-peaked gables to the
street, they have now turned their fronts, as more polite; the roofs are
accommodated with the luxury of pipes, and the midnight sound of "_Gare
l'eau!_" which used to make the late-returning passenger start with all
agility from beneath the opened window to avoid the odoriferous shower,
is now but seldom heard. A Liliputian footway, some two feet wide, is
laid down in flags at either side; the oscillating lamp, that used to
hang on a rotten cord thrown across the roadway from house to house, and
made darkness visible, has given place to the genius of gas--_enfin, la
Révolution a passé par là_; and the Rue de St Denis is now a ghost only
of what it was. Still it retains sufficient peculiarities of dimensions
and outline to show that it is a child of the middle ages; and, like so
many other children of the same kind, it contributes to make its mother
Paris, as compared with the modern-built capitals of Europe, a town of
former days. Long may it retain these oddities of appearance--long may
it remain narrow, dark, and dirty; we rejoice that such streets still
exist--they do one's eye good, if not one's nose. There is more of
colour, of light and shade, of picturesque, fantastic outline, in a
hundred yards of the Rue St Denis, than in all the line from Piccadilly
to Whitechapel; a painter can pick up more food for his easel in this
queer, old street--an antiquarian can find there more tales and crusts
for his noddle, than in all Regent Street and Portland Place. We love a
ramshackle place like this; it does one good to get out of the
associations of the present century, and to retrograde a bit; it is
pleasant to see how people used to pig together in ancient days, without
any of the mathematical formalities of the present day; it keeps one's
eye in tone to look back at works of the middle ages; and we may learn
the more justly to criticize what we see arising about us, by refreshing
our recollections of the mouldering past. Paris is a glorious place for
things of this kind. Thank the stars, it never got burned out of its old
clothes, as London did. Newfangled streets and quarters of every age
have been added to it, but there still remains a mediæval nucleus--there
is still an "old Paris"--a gloomy, filthy, old town, irregular and
inconvenient as any town ever was yet; and a walk of twenty minutes will
take you from the elegant uniformity of the Rue de Rivoli into the
original chaos of buildings--into the Quartier des Halles and into the
Rue St Denis. How often have we hurried down them on a cold winter's
day--say the 31st of December--to buy bons-bons in the Rue des Lombards,
once the abode of bankers, now the paradise of _confiseurs_, against the
coming morrow--the grand day of visits and cadeaux--braving the snow
some three feet deep in the midst of the street--or, if there happened
to be no snow, the mud a foot and a half, splashing through it with our
last new pair of boots from Legrand's, and the last _pantalon_ from
Blondel's--for cabriolet or omnibus, none might pass that way; and
there, amid onion-smelling crowds, in a long, low shop, with lamps
lighted at two o'clock, have consummated our purchase, and floundered
back triumphant! Away, ye gay, seducing vanities of the Palais Royal or
the Boulevards; your light is too garish for our sober eyes--the sugar
of your comfitures is too chalky for our discriminating tooth! Our
appropriate latitude is that of the Quartier St Denis! One thing,
however, we must confess, we never did in the Rue St Denis--we never
dined there! _Oh non! il ne faut pas faire ça!_ 'Tis the headquarters of
all the sausage-dealers, the _charcutiers_, and the _rotisseurs_ of
Paris. Genuine meat and drink there is none; cats hold the murderous
neighbourhood in traditional abhorrence, and the ruddiest wine of
Burgundy would turn pale were the aqueous reputation of the street
whispered near its cellar-door. Thank Heaven, we have a gastronomic
instinct that saved us from acts of suicidal rashness! When in Paris,
gentle reader, we always dine at the Trois Frères Provençaux; the little
room in blue, remember--time, six P.M.; potage à la Julienne--bifteck au
vin de Champagne--poulet à la Marengo--Chambertin, and St Péray rosé.
The next time you visit the Palais-Royal, turn in there, and dine with
us--we shall be delighted to see you!

There are few gaping Englishmen who have been on the other side of the
Channel but have found their way along the Boulevards to the Porte St
Denis, and have stared first of all at that dingy monument of
Ludovican pride, and then have stared down the Rue St Denis, and then
have stared up the Rue du Faubourg St Denis; but very few are ever
tempted to turn either to the right hand or to the left, and so they
generally poke on to the Porte St Martin, or stroll back to the
Madeleine, and rarely make acquaintance with the Dionysian mysteries
of Paris. For the benefit, therefore, of such travellers as go to the
French capital with their eyes in their pockets, and of such as stay
at home and travel by their fireside, but still can relish the
recollections and associations of olden times, we are going to rake
together some of the many odd notes that pertain to the history of
this street and its immediate vicinity.

The readiest way into the Rue St Denis from the Isle de la Cité, the
centre of Paris, has always been over the Pont-au-Change. This bridge,
now the widest over the Seine, was once a narrow, ill-contrived
structure of wood, covered with a row of houses on either side, that
formed a dark and dirty street, so that you might pass through it a
hundred times without once suspecting that you were crossing a river.
These houses, built of stone and wood, overhung the edges of the
bridge, and afforded their inhabitants an unsafe abode between the sky
and the water. At times the river would rise in one of its periodical
furies, and sweep away a pier or two with the superincumbent houses;
at others the wooden supporters of the structure would catch fire by
some untoward event, and the inhabitants had the choice of being fried
or drowned, along with their penates and their supellectile property.
Such a catastrophe happened in the reign of Louis XIII., when this and
another wooden bridge, situated, oddly enough, close by its side, were
set on fire by a squib, which some _gamins de Paris_ were letting off
on his Majesty's highway; and in less than three hours 140 houses had
disappeared. It was Louis VII., in the twelfth century, who gave it
the name it has since borne; for he ordered all the money-changers of
Paris to come and live on this bridge--no very secure place for
keeping the precious metals; and about two hundred years ago the
money-changers, fifty-four in number, occupied the houses on one side,
while fifty goldsmiths lived in those on the other. In the open
roadway between, was held a kind of market or fair for bird-sellers,
who were allowed to keep their standings on the curious tenure of
letting off two hundred dozens of small birds whenever a new king
should pass over this bridge, on his solemn entry into the capital.
The birds fluttered and whistled on these occasions, the _gamins_
clapped their hands and shouted, the good citizens cried "Noel!" and
"Vive le Roy!" and the courtiers were delighted at the joyous
spectacle. Whether the birds flew away ready roasted to the royal
table, history is silent; but it would have been a sensible
improvement of this part of the triumphal ceremony, and we recommend
it to the serious notice of all occupiers of the French throne.

On arriving at the northern end of the bridge, the passenger had on
his right a covered gallery of shops, stretching up the river side to
the Pont Notre Dame, and called the Quai de Gesvres; here was a
fashionable promenade for the beaux of Paris, for it was filled with
the stalls of pretty milliners, like one of our bazars, and boasted of
an occasional bookseller's shop or two, where the tender ballads of
Ronsard, or the broad jokes of Rabelais, might be purchased and read
for a few livres. To the left was a narrow street, known by the
curious appellation of _Trop-va-qui-dure_, the etymology of which has
puzzled the brains of all Parisian antiquaries; while just beyond it,
and still by the river side, was the _Vieille Vallée de Misère_--words
indicative of the opinion entertained of so _ineligible_ a residence.
In front frowned, in all the grim stiffness of a feudal fortress, the
_Grand Chastelet_, once the northern defence of Paris against the
Normans and the English, but at last changed into the headquarters of
the police--the Bow Street of the French capital. Two large towers,
with conical tops over a portcullised gateway, admitted the prisoners
into a small square court, round which were ranged the offices of the
lieutenant of police, and the chambers of the law-officers of the
crown. Part of the building served as a prison for the vulgar crew of
offenders--a kind of Newgate, or Tolbooth; another was used as, and
was called, the Morgue, where the dead bodies found in the Seine were
often carried; there was a room in it called Cæsar's chamber, where
the good citizens of Paris firmly believed that the great Julius once
sat as provost of Paris, in a red robe and flowing wig; and there was
many an out-of-the-way nook and corner full of dust and parchments,
and rats and spiders. The lawyers of the Chastelet thought no small
beer of themselves, it seems; for they claimed the right of walking in
processions before the members of the Parliament, and immediately
after the corporation of the capital. The unlucky wight who might
chance to be put in durance vile within these walls, was commonly well
trounced and fined ere he was allowed to depart; and next to the
dreaded Bastile, the Grand Chastelet used to be looked on with
peculiar horror. At the Revolution it was one of the first feudal
buildings demolished--not a stone of the old pile remains; the
Pont-au-Change had long before had its wooden piers changed for noble
stone ones, and on the site where this fortress stood is now the Place
de Chatelet, with a Napoleonic monument in the midst--a column
inscribed with names of bloody battle-fields, on its summit a golden
wing-expanding Victory, and at its base four little impudent dolphins,
snorting out water into the buckets of the Porteurs d'Eau.

Behind the Chastelet stood the _Grande Boucherie_--the Leadenhall
market of Paris an hundred years ago; and near it, up a dirty street
or two, was one of the finest churches of the capital, dedicated to St
Jacques. The lofty tower of this latter edifice (its body perished
when the Boucherie and the Chastelet disappeared) still rises in
gloomy majesty above all the surrounding buildings. It is as high as
those of Notre Dame; and from its upper corners, enormous
_gargouilles_--those fantastic water-spouts of the middle ages--gape
with wide-stretched jaws, but no longer send down the washings of the
roof on the innocent passengers. Hereabouts lived Nicholas Flamel, the
old usurer, who made money so fast that it was said he used to sup
nightly with his Satanic majesty, and who thereupon built part of the
church to save his bacon. He was of opinion that it was well to have
the "_mens sana in corpore sano_"--that it was no joke to be burnt;
and so he stuck close to the church, taking care that himself and his
wife, Pernelle, should have a comfortable resting-place for their
bones within the walls of St Jacques. When this was a fashionable
quarter of Paris, the court doctor and accoucheur did not disdain to
reside in it; for Jean Fernel, the medical attendant of Catharine de
Medicis, lived and died within the shade of this old tower. He was a
fortunate fellow, a sort of Astley Cooper or Clarke in his way, and
Catharine used to give him 10,000 crowns, or something like L.6000,
every time she favoured France with an addition to the royal family.
He and numerous other worthies mouldered into dust within the
precincts of St Jacques; but their remains have long since been
scattered to the winds; and where the church once stood is now an
ignoble market for old clothes; the abode of Jews and thieves.

After passing round the Grand Chastelet, and crossing the
market-place, you might enter the Rue St Denis, the great street of
Paris in the time of the good King Henry, and you might walk along
under shelter of its houses, projecting story above story, till they
nearly met at top, for more than a mile. Before it was paved, the
roadway was an intolerable quagmire, winter and summer; and, after
stones had been put down, there murmured along the middle a black
gurgling stream, charged with all the outpourings and filth of
unnumbered houses. Over, or through this, according as the fluid was
low or high, you had to make your way, if you wanted to cross the
street and greet a friend; if you lived in the street and wished to
converse with your opposite neighbour, you had only to mount to the
garret story, open the lattice window, and literally shake hands with
him, so near did the gables approach. The fronts of the houses were
ornamented with every device which the skilful carpenters of former
times could invent: the beam-ends were sculptured into queer little
crouching figures of monkeys or angels, and all sorts of _diableries_
decorated the cornices that ran beneath the windows; there were no
panes of glass, such as we boast of in these degenerate times, but
narrow latticed lights to let in the day, and the wind, and the cold;
while the roofs were covered commonly with shingles, or, in the houses
of the wealthy, with sheets of lead. Between each gable came forth a
long water-spout, and poured down a deluge into the gutter beneath;
each gable-top was peaked into a fantastic spiry point or flower, and
the chimneys congregated into goodly companies amidst the roofs,
removed from the vulgar gaze or fastidious jests of the people below.
So large were the fireplaces in those rooms that could own them, and
so ample were the chimney flues, that smoky houses were unheard of:
the staircases, it is true, enjoyed only a dubious ray, that served to
prevent you from breaking your neck in a rapid descent; but the
apartments were generally of commodious dimensions, and the tenements
possessed many substantial comforts.

Once out of doors, you might proceed in all weather fearless of rain;
the projecting upper stories sheltered completely the sides of the
street, and a stout cloth cloak was all that was needed to save either
sex from the inclemency of the seasons. At frequent intervals there
opened into the main street, side streets, and _ruelles_ or alleys,
which showed in comparison like Gulliver in Brobdignag: up some of
these ways a single horseman might be able to go; but along
others--and some of them remain to the present day--two stout citizens
could never have walked arm-in-arm. They looked like enormous cracks
between a couple of buildings, rather than as ways made for the
convenience of locomotion: they were pervious, perhaps, to donkeys,
but not to the loaded packhorse--the great street was intended for
that animal--coaches did not exist, and the long narrow carts of the
French peasantry, whenever they came into the city, did not occupy
much more space than the bags or packs of the universal carrier. To
many of these streets the most eccentric appellations were given;
there was the _Rue des Mauvaises Paroles_--people of ears polite had
no business to go near it; the _Rue Tire Chappe_--a spot where those
who objected to be plucked by the vests, or to have their clothes
pulled off their backs by importunate accosters, need not present
themselves; another in this quarter was called the _Rue Tire-boudin_.
Marie Stuart, when Queen of France, was riding, it is said, through it
one day, and struck, perhaps, by the looks of its inhabitants, asked
what the street was called. The original appellation was so indecent
that an officer of her guards, with courtly presence of mind, veiled
it under its present title. One was known as the _Rue Brise-miche_,
and the cleanliness of its inhabitants might instantly be judged of: a
fifth was the _Rue Trousse-vache_, and one of the shops in it was
adorned with an enormous sign of a red cow, with her tail sticking up
in the air and her head reared in rampant sauciness. A notorious
gambler, Thibault-au-dé, well known for his skill in loading dice,
gave his name to one of these narrow veins of the town: Aubry, a
wealthy butcher, is still immortalized in another: and the _Rue du
Petit Hurleur_ probably commemorated some wicked youngster, whose
shouts were a greater nuisance to the neighbours than those of any of
his companions.

A wider kind of street was the _Rue de la Ferronerie_, opening into
the Rue St Denis, below the Church of the Innocents: it was the abode
of all the tinkers and smiths of Paris, and had not Henri IV. been in
a particular hurry that day, when he was posting off to old Sully in
the Rue St Antoine, he had never gone this way, and Ravaillac,
probably, had never been able to lean into the carriage and stab the
king. Just over the spot where the murder was committed, the placid
bust of the king still gazes on the busy scene beneath. The _Rue de la
Grande Truanderie_, which was above the Innocents, must have been the
rendez-vous of all the thieves and beggars of Paris, if there be any
thing in a name: the old chronicles of the city relate, indeed, that
it took a long time to respectabilize its neighbourhood; and they add
that the herds of rogues and impostors who once lived in it took
refuge, after their ejection, in the famous _Cour des Miracles_, a
little higher up the Rue St Denis. We must not venture into this, the
choicest preserve of Victor Hugo, whose graphic description of its
wonders in his _Notre Dame_ needs hardly to be alluded to; but we may
add, that there were several abodes of the same kind, all
communicating with the Rue St Denis, and all equally infamous in their
day, though now tenanted only by quiet button-makers and
furniture-dealers. The real _Puits d'Amour_ stood at the corner of the
Rue de la Grande Truanderie, and took its name in sad truth from a
crossing of true love. In the days of Philip Augustus, more than six
hundred years ago, a beautiful young lady of the court, Agnes
Hellebik, whose father held an important post under the king, was
inveigled into the toils of love. The object of her affections,
whether of noble birth or not, made her but a sorry return for her
confidence: he loved her a while, and her dreams of happiness were
realized; but by degrees his passion cooled, and at length he
abandoned her. Stung with indignation, and broken-hearted at this
thwarting of her soul's desire, the unfortunate young creature fled
from her father's house, and betaking herself on a dark and stormy
night to the brink of the well, commended her spirit to her Maker, and
ended her troubles beneath its waters. The name of the _Puits d'Amour_
was then given to the well; and no young maiden ever dared to draw
water from it after sunset, for fear of the spirit that dwelt
unquietly within. The tradition was always current in people's mouths;
and three centuries after, a young man of the neighbourhood, who had
been jilted and mocked by an inconstant mistress, determined to bear
his ills no longer, so he rushed to the _Puits_, and took the fatal
leap. The result was not what he anticipated: he did not, it is true,
jump into a courtly assembly of knights and gallants, but he could not
find water enough in it to drown him; while his mistress, on hearing
of the mishap, hastened to the well with a cord, and promising to
compensate him for his former woes, drew him with her fair hands
safely into the upper regions. An inscription, in Gothic letters, was
then placed over the well:--

    "L'amour m'a refaict
    En 1525 tout-à-faict."

The fate of Agnes Hellebik was far preferable to that of another young
girl who lived in this quarter, indeed in the Rue Thibault-au-dé.
Agnes du Rochier was the only daughter of one of the wealthiest
merchants of Paris, and was admired by all the neighbourhood for her
beauty and virtue. In 1403 her father died, leaving her the sole
possessor of his wealth, and rumour immediately disposed of her hand
to all the young gallants of the quarter; but whether it was that
grief for the loss of her parent had turned her head, or that the
gloomy fanaticism of that time had worked with too fatal effect on her
pure and inexperienced imagination, she took not only marriage and the
male sex into utter abomination, but resolved to quit the world for
ever, and to make herself a perpetual prisoner for religion's sake.
She determined, in short, to become what was then called a recluse,
and as such to pass the remainder of her days in a narrow cell built
within the wall of a church. On the 5th of October, accordingly, when
the cell, only a few feet square, was finished in the wall of the
church of St Opportune, Agnes entered her final abode, and the
ceremony of her reclusion began. The walls and pillars of the sacred
edifice had been hung with tapestry and costly cloths, tapers burned
on every altar, the clergy of the capital and the several religious
communities thronged the church. The Bishop of Paris, attended by his
chaplains and the canons of Notre Dame, entered the choir, and
celebrated a pontifical mass: he then approached the opening of the
cell, sprinkled it with holy water, and after the poor young thing had
bidden adieu to her friends and relations, ordered the masons to fill
up the aperture. This was done as strongly as stone and mortar could
make it; nor was any opening left, save only a small loophole through
which Agnes might hear the offices of the church, and receive the
aliments given her by the charitable. She was eighteen years old when
she entered this living tomb, and she continued within it _eighty_
years, till death terminated her sufferings! Alas, for mistaken piety!
Her wealth, which she gave to the church, and her own personal
exertions during so long a life, might have made her a blessing to all
that quarter of the city, instead of remaining an useless object of
compassion to the few, and of idle wonder to the many.

Another entombment, almost as bad, occurred in the Rue St Denis, only
five or six years ago. The cess-pools of modern Parisian houses are
generally deep chambers, and sometimes wells, cut in the limestone
rock on which the city stands: and in the absence of a good method of
drainage, are cleaned out only once in every two or three years,
according to their size. Meanwhile, they continue to receive all the
filth of the building. One night, a large cess-pool had been emptied,
and the aperture, which was in the common passage of the house on the
ground floor, had been left open till the inspector appointed by the
police should come round and see that the work had been properly
executed. He came early in the morning, enquired carelessly of the
porter if all was right, and ordered the stone covering to be fastened
down. This was done amid the usual noise and talking of the workmen;
and they went their way. That same afternoon, one of the lodgers in
the house, a young man, was missed: days after days elapsed, and
nothing was heard of him: his friends conjectured that he had drowned
himself, but the tables of the Morgue never bore his body: and their
despair was only equalled by their astonishment at the absence of
every clue to his fate. On a particular evening, however, about three
weeks after his disappearance, the porter was sitting at the door of
his lodge, and the house as well as the street was unusually quiet,
when he heard a faint groan somewhere beneath his feet. After a short
interval he heard another; and being superstitious, got up, put his
chair within the lodge, shut the door, and set about his work. At
night he mentioned the circumstance to his wife, and going out with
her into the passage, they had not stood there long before again a
groan was heard. The good woman crossed herself and fell on her knees;
but her husband, suspecting now that all was not right, and thinking
that an attempt at infanticide had been made, by throwing a child's
body down one of the passages leading to the cess-pool, (no uncommon
occurrence in Paris,) resolved to call in the police. He did so
without loss of time, the heavy stone covering was removed, and one of
the attendants stooping down and lowering a lantern, as long as the
stench would permit him, saw at the bottom, and at a considerable
depth, something like a human form leaning against the side of the
receptacle. Ropes and ladders were now immediately procured; two men
went down, and in a few minutes brought up a body--it was that of the
unfortunate young man who had been so long missing! Life was not quite
extinct, for some motion of the limbs was perceptible, there was even
one last low groan, but then all animation ceased for ever. The
appearance of the body was most dreadful; the face was a livid green
colour, the trunk looked like that of a man drowned, and kept long
beneath the water, all brown and green--one of the feet had completely
disappeared--the other was nearly half decomposed and gone; the hands
were dreadfully lacerated, and told of a desperate struggle to escape:
worms were crawling about; all was putrid and loathsome. How did this
unfortunate young man come into so dreadful a position? was the
question that immediately occurred; and the only answer that could be
given was, that on the night of the cess-pool being emptied, the
porter remembered this young man coming home very late, or rather
early in the morning. He himself had forgotten to warn him of the
aperture being uncovered, indeed he supposed that it would have been
sufficiently seen by the lights left burning at its edge;--these had
probably been blown out by the wind, and the young man had thus fallen
in. That life should have been supported so long under such
circumstances, seems almost incredible: but it is no less curious than
true; for the porter was tried before the Correctional Tribunal for
inadvertent homicide, the facts were adduced in evidence, and
carelessness having been proved, he was sentenced to imprisonment for
several weeks, and to a heavy fine.

Of churches and religious establishments, there were plenty in and
about the Rue St Denis. Besides the great church of St Jacques,
mentioned before, there were in the street itself the churches of the
Holy Sepulchre, of St Leu, and St Gilles; of the Innocents; of the
Saviour; and of St Jacques de l'Hôpital: while of conventual
institutions, there were the Hospitals of St Catharine; of the Holy
Trinity; of the Filles de St Magloire; of the Filles Dieu; of the
Community of St Chaumont; of the Sœurs de Charité; and of the great
monastery of St Lazare. The fronts, or other considerable portions of
those buildings, were all visible in the street, and added greatly to
its antiquated appearance. The long irregular lines of gable roofs on
either side, converging from points high above the spectator's head,
until they met or crossed in a dim perspective, near the horizon, were
broken here and there by the pointed front, or the tapering spire of a
church or convent. A solemn gateway protruded itself at intervals into
the street, and, with its flanking turrets and buttresses, gave broad
masses of shade in perpendicular lines, strongly contrasted with the
horizontal or diagonal patches of dark colour caused by the houses. At
early morn and eve, a shrill tinkling of bells warned the neighbours
of the sacred duties of many a secluded penitent, or admonished them
that it was time to send up their own orisons to God. Before mid-day
had arrived, and soon after it had passed, the deeper tones of a
_bourdon_, from some of the parochial churches, invited the citizens
to the sacrifice of the mass or the canticles of vespers. Not seldom
the throngs of busy wordlings were forced to separate and give room to
some holy procession, which, with glittering cross at the head, with
often tossed and sweetly smelling censers at the side, with
white-robed chanting acolyths, and reverend priests, in long line
behind, came forth to take its way to some holy edifice. The zealous
citizens would suspend their avocations for a while, would repeat a
reverential prayer as the holy men went by, and then return to the
absorbing calls of business, not unbenefited by the recollections just
awakened in their minds. On the eves and on the mornings of holy
festivals, business was totally suspended; the bells, great and small,
rang forth their silvery sounds; the churches were crowded, the
chapels glittered with blazing lights; the prayers of the priests and
people rose with the incense before the high altar; the solemn organ
swelled its full tones responsive to the loud-voiced choir; the
curates thundered from the pulpits, to the edification of charitable
congregations; and after all had been prostrated in solemn adoration
of the Divine presence, the citizens would pour out into the street,
and repair, some to their homes, some to the Palace of the Tournelles,
with its towers and gardens guarded by the Bastille; others to the
Louvre or to the Pré-aux-clercs, and the fields by the river side;
others would stroll up the hill of Montmartre; and some in boats would
brave the dangers of the Seine! On other and sadder occasions, the
inhabitants of the Rue St Denis would quit their houses in earnestly
talking groups, and would adjourn to the open space in front of the
Halles. Here, on the top of an octagonal tower, some twenty feet high,
and covered with a conical spire, between the openings of pointed
arches, might be seen criminals with their heads and hands protruding
through the wooden collar of the pillory. The guard of the provost, or
the lieutenant of police, would keep off the noisy throng below, and
the goodwives would discuss among themselves the enormities of the
coin-clipper, the cut-purse, the incendiary, or the unjust dealer, who
were exposed on those occasions for their delinquencies; while the
offenders themselves, would--a few of them--hang down their heads, and
close their eyes in the unsufferable agony of shame; but by far the
greater number would shout forth words of bold defiance or indecent
ribaldry, would protrude the mocking tongue, or spit forth curses with
dire volubility. Then would rise the shouts of _gamins_, then would
come the thick volley of eggs, fish-heads, butcher's-offal, and all
the garbage of the market, aimed unerringly by many a strenuous arm at
the heads of the culprits; and then the soldiers with their
pertuisanes would make quick work among the legs of the retreating
crowd, and the jailers would apply the ready lash to the backs of the
hardened criminals aloft; and thus, the hour's exhibition ended, and
the "king's justice" satisfied, away would the criminals be led, some
on a hurdle to Montfauçon, and there hung on its ample gibbet, amid
the rattling bones of other wretches; some would be hurried back to
the Chastelet, or other prisons; and others would be sent off to work,
chained to the oars of the royal galleys.

This was a common amusement of the idlers of this quarter: but the
passions of the mob, if they needed stronger excitement, had to find a
scene of horrid gratification on the Place de Grève, opposite the
Hotel de Ville, where at rare intervals a heretic would be burnt, a
murderer hung, or a traitor quartered; but this spot of bloody memory
lies far from the Rue St Denis, and we are not now called upon to
reveal its terrible recollections: let us turn back to our good old

One of the most curious objects in it was the Church of the Innocents,
with its adjoining cemetery, once the main place of interment for all
the capital. The church lay at the north-eastern end of what is now
the Marché des Innocents, and against it was erected the fountain
which now adorns the middle of the market, and which was the work of
the celebrated sculptor, Jean Goujon, and his colleague, the
architect, Pierre Lescot. The former is said to have been seated at
it, giving some last touches to one of the tall and graceful nymphs
that adorn its high arched sides, on the day of the Massacre of St
Bartholomew, when he was killed by a random shot from a Catholic
zealot. The simple inscription which it still bears, FONTIUM NYMPHIS,
is in better taste than that of any other among the numerous fountains
of the French capital. The church itself (of which not the slightest
vestige now remains) was not a good specimen of mediæval architecture,
although it was large and richly endowed. It was founded by Philip
Augustus, when he ordered the Jews to be expelled from his dominions,
and seized on their estates--one of the most nefarious actions
committed by a monarch of France. The absurd accusation, that the Jews
used periodically to crucify and torture Christian children, was one
of the most plausible pretexts employed by the rapacious king on this
occasion; and, as a kind of testimonial that such had been his excuse,
he founded this church; dedicated it to the Holy Innocents; and
transferred hither the remains of a boy, named Richard, said to have
been sacrificed at Pontoise by some unfortunate Jews, who expiated the
pretended crime by the most horrible torments. St Richard's remains,
(for he was canonized,) worked numerous miracles in the Church of the
Innocents, or rather in the churchyard, where a tomb was erected over
them; and so great was their reputation, that tradition says, the
English, on evacuating Paris in the 15th century, carried off with
them all but the little saint's head. Certain it is, that nothing but
the head remained amongst the relics of this parish; and equally
certain is it, that no Christian innocents have been sacrificed by
those "circumcised dogs" either before or since, whether in France or
England, or any other part of the world. It remained for the dishonest
credulity of the present century, to witness the disgraceful spectacle
of a French consul at Damascus, assisting at the torturing of some
Jewish merchants under a similar accusation, and assuring his
government of his belief in the confessions extorted by these inhuman
means; and of many a party journal in Paris accrediting and re-echoing
the tale. Had not British humanity intervened in aid of British
policy, France had made this visionary accusation the ground of an
armed intervention in Syria. The false accusers of the Jews of
Damascus have indeed been punished; but the French consul, the Count
de Ratti-Menton, has since been rewarded by his government with a high
promotion in the diplomatic department!

Once more, "a truce to digression," let us see what the ancient
cemetery of the Innocents was like. Round an irregular four-sided
space, about five hundred feet by two, ran a low cloister-like
building, called Les Charniers, or the Charnel Houses. It had
originally been a cloister surrounding the churchyard; but, so
convenient had this place of sepulture been found, from its situation
in the heart of Paris, that the remains of mortality increased in most
rapid proportion within its precincts, and it was continually found
necessary to transfer the bones of long-interred, and long-forgotten
bodies, to the shelter of the cloisters. Here, then, they were piled
up in close order--the bones below and the skulls above; they reached
in later times to the very rafters of these spacious cloisters all
round, and heaps of skulls and bones lay in unseemly groups on the
grass in the midst of the graveyard. At one corner of the church was a
small grated window, where a recluse, like her of St Opportune, had
worn away forty-six years of her life, after one year's confinement as
a preparatory experiment; and within the church was a splendid brass
tomb, commemorating this refinement of the monastic virtues. At
various spots about the cemetery, were erected obelisks and crosses of
different dates, while against the walls of the church and cloister
were affixed, in motley and untidy confusion, unnumbered tablets and
other memorials of the dead. The suppression of this cemetery, just at
the commencement of the Revolution, was a real benefit to the capital;
and when the contents of the yard and its charnel-houses were removed
to the catacombs south of the city, it was calculated that the remains
of two millions of human beings rattled down the deep shafts of the
stone pits to their second interment. In place of the cemetery, we now
find the wooden stalls of the Covent Garden of Paris; low, dirty,
unpainted, ill-built, badly-drained, stinking, and noisy; and their
tenants are not better than themselves. Like their neighbours, the
famous Poissardes, the Dames de la Halle as they are styled, are the
quintessence of all that is disgusting in Paris. Covent Garden is
worth a thousand of such markets, and Père la Chaise is an admirable
substitute for the Cemetery of the Innocents.

High up in the Rue de Faubourg St Denis, which is only a continuation
of the main street, just as Knightsbridge is of Piccadilly, stand the
remains of the great convent and _maladrerie_ of St Lazarus. In this
religious house, all persons attacked with leprosy were received in
former days, and either kept for life, if incurable, or else
maintained until they were freed from that loathsome disease. From
what cause we know not, (except that the House of St Lazarus was the
nearest of any religious establishment to the walls of the capital,)
the kings of France always made a stay of three days within its walls
on their solemn inauguratory entrance into Paris, and their bodies
always lay in state here before they were conveyed to the Abbey Church
of St Denis. There was no lack of stiff ceremonial on these occasions;
and, doubtless, the good fathers of the convent did not receive all
the court within their walls without rubbing a little gold off the
rich habits of the nobles. The king, on arriving at the Convent of St
Lazare, proceeded to a part of the house allotted for this purpose,
and called _Le Logis du Roy_, where, in a chamber of state, he took
his seat beneath a canopy, surrounded by the princes of the
blood-royal. The chancellor of France stood behind his majesty, to
furnish him with replies to the different deputations that used to
come with congratulatory addresses, and the receptions then commenced.
They used to last from seven in the morning, without intermission,
till four or five in the afternoon; there were the lawyers of the
Chastelet, the Court of Aids, the Court of Accounts, and the
Parliament, to say nothing of the city authorities and other
constituted bodies. The addresses were no short unmeaning things, like
those uttered in our poor cold times, but good long-winded harangues,
some in French, some in Latin, and they went on, one after the other,
for three days consecutively. On the third day, when the royal
patience must have been wellnigh exhausted, and the chancellor's
talents at reply worn tolerably threadbare, the king would rise, and
mounting on horseback, would proceed to the cathedral church of Notre
Dame, down the Rue St Denis. One of the best recorded of these royal
entries is that of Louis XI. On this occasion, the king, setting out
from a suburban residence in the Faubourg St Honoré, got along the
northern side of Paris to the Convent of St Lazare; and thence, after
the delay and the harangues of the three days--the real original
glorious three days of the French monarchy--proceeded to the Porte St
Denis. Here a herald met the monarch, and after the keys of the city
had been presented by the provost, with long speeches and replies, the
former officer introduced to his majesty five young ladies, all richly
clad, and mounted on horses richly caparisoned, their housings bearing
the arms of the city of Paris. Each young damsel represented an
allegorical personage, and the initials of the names of their
characters made up the word _Paris_. They each harangued the king, and
their speeches, says an old chronicle, seemed "very agreeable" to the
royal ears. Around the king, as he rode through the gateway, were the
princes and highest nobles of the land--the Dukes of Orleans,
Burgundy, Bourbon, and Cleves: the Count of Charolois, eldest son of
the Duke of Burgundy; the Counts of Angoulesme, St Paul, Dunois, and
others; with, as a chronicle of the time relates, "autres comtes,
barons, chevaliers, capitaines, et force noblesse, en très bel ordre
et posture." All of these were mounted on horses of price, richly
caparisoned, and covered with the finest housings; some were of cloth
of gold furred with sable, others were of velvet or damask furred with
ermine; all were enriched with precious stones, and to many were
attached bells of silver gilt, with other "enjolivements." Over the
gateway was a large ship, the armorial bearing of the city, and within
it were a number of allegorical personages, with one who represented
Louis XI. himself; in the street immediately within the gate was a
party of savages and satyrs, who executed a mock-fight in honour of
the approach of royalty. A little lower down came forth a troop of
young women representing syrens; an old chronicle calls them,
"Plusieurs belles filles accoustrées en syrenes, nues, lesquelles, en
faisant voir leur beau sein, chantoient de petits motets de bergères
fort doux et charmans." Near where these damsels stood was a fountain
which had pipes running with milk, wine, and hypocras; at the side of
the Church of the Holy Trinity was a _tableau-vivant_ of the Passion
of our Saviour, including a crucified Christ and two thieves,
represented, as the chronicle states, "par personnages sans parler." A
little further on was a hunting party, with dogs and a hind, making a
tremendous noise with hautboys and _cors-de-chasse_. The butchers on
the open place near the Chastelet, had raised some lofty scaffolds,
and on them had erected a representation of the Bastille or Chateau of
Dieppe. Just as the king passed by, a desperate combat was going on
between the French besieging this chateau and the English holding
garrison within; "the latter," adds the chronicle, "having been taken
prisoners, had all their throats cut." Before the gate of the
Chastelet, there were the personifications of several illustrious
heroes; and on the Pont-au-Change, which was carpeted below, hung with
arms at the sides, and canopied above for the occasion, stood the
fowlers with their two hundred dozens of birds, ready to fly them as
soon as the royal charger should stamp on the first stone. Such was a
royal entry in those days of iron rule.

Before Louis XI.'s father, Charles VII., had any reasonable prospect
of reigning in Paris as king, the English troops had to be driven out
of the capital; and when the French forces had scaled the walls, and
entered the city, A.D. 1436, the 1500 Englishmen who defended the
place, had but little mercy shown them. Seeing that the game was lost,
Sir H. Willoughby, captain of Paris, shut himself up with a part of
the troops in the Bastille, accompanied by the Bishop of Therouenne,
and Morhier, the provost of the city. The people rose to the cry of
"Sainct Denys, Vive le noble Roy de France!" The constable of France,
the Duke de Richemont, and the Bastard of Orleans, led them on; those
troops that had been shut out of the Bastille, tried to make their way
up the Rue St Denis, to the northern gateway, and so to escape on the
road to Beauvais and England but the inhabitants stretched chains
across the street, and men, women, and children, showered down upon
them from the windows, chairs, tables, logs of wood, stones, and even
boiling water; while others rushed in from behind and from the side
streets, with arms in their hands, and the massacre of all the English
fugitives ensued. A short time after, Sir H. Willoughby, and the
garrison of the Bastille, not receiving succours from the commanders
of the English forces, surrendered the fortress, and were allowed to
retire to Rouen. As they marched out of Paris, the Bishop of
Therouenne accompanied them, and the populace followed the troops,
shouting out at the Bishop--"The fox! the fox!"--and at the English,
"The tail! the tail!"

Another departure of a foreign garrison from Paris, took place in
1594, and this time in peaceable array, by the Rue St Denis. When
Henry IV. had obtained possession of his capital, there remained in it
a considerable body of Spanish troops, who had been sent into France
to aid the chiefs of the League, and they were under the command of
the Duke de Feria. The reaction in the minds of the Parisians, after
the misery of their siege, had been too sudden and too complete, to
give the Spaniards any hope of holding out against the king; a
capitulation was therefore agreed upon, the foreign forces were
allowed to march out with the honours of war, and they were escorted
with their baggage as far as the frontier. The king and his principal
officers took post within the rooms over the Porte St Denis--then a
square turreted building, with a pointed and portcullised gate and
drawbridge beneath--to see the troops march out, and he stationed
himself at the window looking down the street. First came some
companies of Neapolitan infantry, with drums beating, standards
flying, arms on their shoulders, but without having their matches
lighted. Then came the Spanish Guards, in the midst of whom were the
Duke de Feria, Don Diego d'Ibara, and Don Juan Baptista Taxis, all
mounted on spirited Spanish chargers; while behind them marched the
battalions of the Lansquenets, and the Walloons. As each company came
up to the gateway, the soldiers, marching by fours, raised their eyes
to the king, took off their headpieces, and bowed; the officers did
the same, and Henry returned the salutation with the greatest
courtesy. He was particular in showing this politeness, in the most
marked manner, to the Duke de Feria and his noble companions, and when
they were within hearing, cried out aloud, "Recommend me to your
master, but never show your faces here again!" Some of the more
obnoxious members of the League were allowed to retire with the
Spaniards; and in the evening, bonfires were lighted in all the
streets, and the _Te Deum_ was sung on all the public places. The
mediæval glory of the Porte St Denis vanished in the time of Louis
XIV., where he unfortified the city, which one of his successors has
taken such pains again to imprison within stone walls, and the present
triumphal arch was erected upon its site. This modern edifice, it is
well known, served for the entrance of Charles X. from Rheims, and,
shortly after, for a post whence the trumpery patriots of 1830
contrived to annoy some of the cavalry who were fighting in the cause
of the legitimacy and the true liberties of France. Many a barricade
and many a skirmish has the Rue St Denis since witnessed!

All the churches have disappeared from the Rue St Denis except that of
St Leu and St Gilles, a small building of the thirteenth and
fourteenth centuries: all the convents have been rased to the ground
except that of St Lazare. To this a far different destination has been
given from what it formerly enjoyed: it is now the great female prison
of the capital; and within its walls all the bread required for the
prisons of Paris is baked, all the linen is made and mended. The
prison consists of three distinct portions: one allotted for carrying
on the bread and linen departments: a second for the detention of
female criminals before conviction, or for short terms of
imprisonment; and in this various light manufactures, such as the
making of baskets, straw-plait, and the red phosphorus-match boxes,
are carried on: the third is an hospital and house of detention for
the prostitutes of the capital. We were once taken all through this
immense establishment by the governor, who had the kindness to
accompany us, and to explain every thing in person--a favour not often
granted to foreigners--and a strong impression did the scenes we then
saw leave. In the first two departments every thing was gloomy,
orderly, and quiet: the prisoners were much fewer than we had
expected--not above two hundred--many of them, however, were mere
children; but the matrons were good kind of women and the work of
reformation was going on rapidly to counteract the effects of early
crime. In the third, though equal strictness of conduct on the part of
the superiors prevailed, the behaviour of the inmates subjected to
control was far different. The great majority had been confined there
as hospital patients, not as offenders against the law, and they were
divided into wards, according to their sanatory condition. Here they
were very numerous; and a melancholy thing it was to see hundreds of
wretched creatures wandering about their spacious rooms, or sitting up
in their beds, with haggard looks, dishevelled hair, hardly any
clothing, and a sort of reckless gaiety in their manner that spoke
volumes as to their real condition. The _régime_ of this
prison-hospital is found, however, to be on the whole most salutary:
the seeds of good are sown with a few; the public health, as well as
the public morals, has been notably improved; and from the time when a
young painter employed in the prison was decoyed into this portion of
it and killed within a few hours, the occurrence of deeds of violence
within its walls has been very rare.

From the top of the Faubourg St Denis, all through the suburb of La
Chapelle, the long line of modern habitations extends, without
offering any points of historical interest. It is, indeed, a very
commonplace, everyday kind of road, which hardly any Englishman that
has jumbled along in the Messageries Royales can fail of recollecting.
Nothing poetical, nothing romantic, was ever known to take place
between the Barrière de St Denis and the town where the abbey stands.
We know, however, of an odd occurrence upon this ground, towards the
end of the thirteenth century, (we were not alive then, gentle
reader,) strikingly illustrative of the superstition of the times. In
1274, the church of St Gervais, in Paris, was broken into one night by
some sacrilegious dog, who ran off with the golden pix, containing the
consecrated wafer or host. Not thinking himself safe within the city,
away he went for St Denis--got without the city walls in safety, and
made off as fast as he could for the abbatial town. Before arriving
there, he thought he would have a look at the contents of the precious
vessel, when, on his opening the lid, out jumped the holy wafer, up it
flew into the air over his head, and there it kept dodging about, and
bobbing up and down, behind the affrightened thief, and following him
wherever he went. He rushed into the town of St Denis, but there was
the wafer coming after him, and just above his head; whichever way he
turned, there was the flying wafer. It was now broad daylight, and
some of the inhabitants perceived the miracle. This was immediately
reported by them to the abbot of the monastery. The holy father and
his monks sallied forth; all saw the wafer as plain as they saw each
others' shaven crowns. The man was immediately arrested; the pix was
found on him, and the abbot, as a feudal seigneur, having the right of
life and death within his own fief, had him hung up to the nearest
tree within five minutes. The abbot then sent word to the Bishop of
Paris of what had occurred; and the prelate, attended by the curates
and clergy of the capital, went to St Denis to witness the miracle.
But wonders were not to cease; there they found the abbot and monks
looking up into the air; there was the wafer sticking up somewhere
under the sun, and none of them could devise how they were to get it
down again. The monks began singing canticles and litanies; the
Parisian clergy did the same; still the wafer would not move a hair's
breadth. At last they resolved to adjourn to the Abbey Church; and so
they formed themselves into procession, and stepped forwards. The
monks had reached the abbey door, the bishop and his clergy were
following behind, and the clergy of St Gervais were just under the
spot where the wafer was suspended, when, _presto_, down it popped
into the hands of the little red-nosed curate. "Its mine!" cried the
curate: "I'll have it!" shouted the bishop: "I wish you may get it,"
roared the abbot--and a regular scramble took place. But the little
curate held his prize fast; his vicars stuck to him like good men and
true; and they carried off their prize triumphant. The bishop and the
abbot drew up a solemn memorial and covenant on the spot, whereby the
wafer was legally consigned to its original consecrator and owner, the
curate of St Gervais; and it was agreed that every 1st of September,
the day of the miracle, a solemn office and procession of the Holy
Sacrament should be celebrated within his church. The reverend father
Du Breul, the grave historian of Paris, adds: "L'histoire du dit
miracle est naifvement depeinte en une vitre de la chapelle Sainct
Pierre d'icelle église, où sont aussi quelques vers François,
contenans partie d'icelle histoire."


In days of old it was the remark of more than one philosopher, that,
if it were possible to exhibit virtue in a personal form, and clothed
with attributes of sense, all men would unite in homage to her
supremacy. The same thing is true of other abstractions, and
especially of the powers which work by social change. Could these
powers be revealed to us in any symbolic incarnation--were it possible
that, but for one hour, the steadfast march of their tendencies, their
promises, and their shadowy menaces, could be made apprehensible to
the bodily eye--we should be startled, and oftentimes appalled, at the
grandeur of the apparition. In particular, we may say that the advance
of civilization, as it is carried forward for ever on the movement
continually accelerated of England and France, were it less stealthy
and inaudible than it is, would fix, in every stage, the attention of
the inattentive and the anxieties of the careless. Like the fabulous
music of the spheres, once allowed to break sonorously upon the human
ear, it would render us deaf to all other sounds. Heard or not heard,
however, marked or not marked, the rate of our advance is more and
more portentous. Old things are passing away. Every year carries us
round some obstructing angle, laying open suddenly before us vast
reaches of fresh prospect, and bringing within our horizon new
agencies by which civilization is henceforth to work, and new
difficulties against which it is to work; other forces for
co-operation, other resistances for trial. Meantime the velocity of
these silent changes is incredibly aided by the revolutions, both
moral and scientific, in the machinery of nations; revolutions by
which knowledge is interchanged, power propagated, and the methods of
communication multiplied. And the vast aerial arches by which these
revolutions mount continually to the common zenith of Christendom, so
as to force themselves equally upon the greatest of nations and the
humblest, express the aspiring destiny by which, already and
irresistibly, they are coming round upon all other tribes and families
of men, however distant in position, or alien by system and
organization. The nations of the planet, like ships of war
manœuvring prelusively to some great engagement, are silently
taking up their positions, as it were, for future action and reaction,
reciprocally for doing and suffering. And, in this ceaseless work of
preparation or of noiseless combination, France and England are seen
for ever in the van. Whether for evil or for good, they _must_ be in
advance. And if it were possible to see the relative positions of all
Christendom, its several divisions, expressed as if on the monuments
of Persepolis by endless evolutions of cities in procession or of
armies advancing, we should be awakened to the full solemnity of our
duties by seeing two symbols flying aloft for ever in the head of
nations--two recognizances for hope or for fear--the roses of England
and the lilies of France.

Reflections such as these furnish matter for triumphal gratulation,
but also for great depression: and in the enormity of our joint
responsibilities, we French and English have reason to forget the
grandeur of our separate stations. It is fit that we should keep alive
these feelings, and continually refresh them, by watching the
everlasting motions of society, by sweeping the moral heavens for ever
with our glasses in vigilant detection of new phenomena, and by
calling to a solemn audit, from time to time, the national acts which
are undertaken, or the counsels which in high places are avowed.

Amongst these acts and these counsels none justify a more anxious
attention than such as come forward in the senate. It is true that
great revolutions may brood over us for a long period without
awakening any murmur or echo in Parliament; of which we have an
instance in Puseyism, which is a power of more ominous capacities than
the gentleness of its motions would lead men to suspect, and is well
fitted (as hereafter we may show) to effect a volcanic explosion--such
as may rend the Church of England by schisms more extensive and
shattering than those which have recently afflicted the Church of
Scotland. Generally, however, Parliament becomes, sooner or later, a
mirror to the leading phenomena of the times. These phenomena, to be
valued thoroughly, must be viewed, indeed, from different stations and
angles. But one of these aspects is that which they assume under the
legislative revision of the people. It is more than ever requisite
that each session of Parliament should be searched and reviewed in the
capital features of its legislation. Hereafter we may attempt this
duty more elaborately. For the present we shall confine ourselves to a
hasty survey of some few principal measures in the late session which
seem important to our social progress.

We shall commence our review by the fewest possible words on the
paramount nuisance of the day--viz. the corn-law agitation. This is
that question which all men have ceased to think sufferable. This is
that "mammoth" nuisance of our times by which "the gaiety of nations
is eclipsed." We are thankful that its "damnable iterations" have now
placed it beyond the limits of public toleration. No man hearkens to
such debates any longer--no man reads the reports of such debates: it
is become criminal to quote them; and recent examples of torpor beyond
all torpor, on occasion of Cobden meetings amongst the inflammable
sections of our population, have shown--that not the poorest of the
poor are any longer to be duped, or to be roused out of apathy, by
this intolerable fraud. Full of "gifts and lies" is the false fleeting
Association of these Lancashire Cottoneers. But its gifts are too
windy, and its lies are too ponderous. To the Association is "given a
mouth speaking great things and blasphemies;" and out of this mouth
issues "fire," it is true, against all that is excellent in the land,
but also "smoke"--as the consummation of its overtures. During many
reigns of the Cæsars, a race of swindlers infested the Roman court,
technically known as "sellers of smoke," and often punished under that
name. They sold, for weighty considerations of gold, castles in the
air, imaginary benefices, ideal reversions; and, in short, contracted
wholesale or retail for the punctual delivery of unadulterated
moonshine. Such a dealer, such a contractor, is the Anti-Corn-Law
Association; and for such it has always been known amongst intelligent
men. But its character has now diffused itself among the illiterate:
and we believe it to be the simple truth at this moment, that every
working man, whose attention has at any time been drawn to the
question, is now ready to take his stand upon the following
answer:--"We, that is our order, Mr Cobden, are not very strong in
faith. Our faith in the Association is limited. So much, however, by
all that reaches us, we are disposed to believe--viz. that ultimately
you might succeed in reducing the price of a loaf, by three parts in
forty-eight, which is one sixteenth; with what loss to our own landed
order, and with what risk to the national security in times of war or
famine, is no separate concern of ours. On the other hand, Mr Cobden,
in _your_ order there are said to be knaves in ambush; and we take it,
that the upshot of the change will be this: We shall save three
farthings in a shilling's worth of flour; and the _honest_ men of your
order--whom candour forbid that we should reckon at only twenty-five
per cent on the whole--will diminish our wages simply by that same
three farthings in a shilling; but the knaves (we are given to
understand) will take an excuse out of that trivial change to deduct
four, five, or six farthings; they will improve the occasion in
evangelical proportions--some sixty-fold, some seventy, and some a

This is the settled _practical_ faith of those hard-working men, who
care not to waste their little leisure upon the theory of the
corn-laws. It is this practical result only which concerns _us_; for
as to the speculative logic of the case, as a question for economists,
we, who have so often discussed it in this journal, (which journal, we
take it upon us to say, has, from time to time, put forward or
reviewed every conceivable argument on the corn question,) must really
decline to re-enter the arena, and _actum agere_, upon any occasion
ministered by Mr Cobden. Very frankly, we disdain to do so; and now,
upon quitting the subject, we will briefly state why.

Mr Cobden, as we hear and believe, is a decent man--that is to say,
upon any ground not connected with politics; equal to six out of any
ten manufacturers you will meet in the Queen's high road--whilst of
the other four not more than three will be found conspicuously his
superiors. He is certainly, in the senate, not what Lancashire rustics
mean by a _hammil sconce_;[28] or, according to a saying often in the
mouth of our French emigrant friends in former times, he "could not
have invented the gun-powder, though perhaps he might have invented
the hair-powder." Still, upon the whole, we repeat, that Mr Cobden is
a decent man, wherever he is not very indecent. Is he therefore a
decent man on this question of the corn-laws? So far from it, that we
now challenge attention to one remarkable fact. All the world knows
how much he has talked upon this particular topic; how he has
itinerated on its behalf; how he has perspired under its business. Is
there a fortunate county in England which has yet escaped his
harangues? Does that happy province exist which has not reverberated
his yells? Doubtless, not--and yet mark this: Not yet, not up to the
present hour, (September 20, 1843,) has Mr Cobden delivered one
argument properly and specially applicable to the corn question. He
has uttered many things offensively upon the aristocracy; he has
libelled the lawgivers; he has insulted the farmers; he has exhausted
the artillery of _political_ abuse: but where is the _economic_
artillery which he promised us, and which, (strange to say!) from the
very dulness of his theme making it a natural impossibility to read
him, most people are willing to suppose that he has, after one fashion
or other, actually discharged. The Corn-League benefits by its own
stupidity. Not being read, every leaguer has credit for having uttered
the objections which, as yet, he never did utter. Hence comes the
popular impression, that from Mr Cobden have emanated arguments, of
some quality or other, against the existing system. True, there are
arguments in plenty on the other side, and pretty notorious arguments;
but, _pendente lite_, and until these opposite pleas are brought
forward, it is supposed that the Cobden pleas have a brief provisional
existence--they are good for the moment. Not at all. We repeat that,
as to economic pleas, none of any kind, good or bad, have been placed
on the record by any orator of that faction; whilst all other pleas,
keen and personal as they may appear, are wholly irrelevant to any
real point at issue. In illustration of what we say, one (and very
much the most searching) of Mr Cobden's questions to the farmers, was
this--"Was not the object," he demanded, "was not the very purpose of
all corn-laws alike--simply to keep up the price of grain? Well; had
the English corn-laws accomplished that object? Had they succeeded in
that purpose? Notoriously they had not; confessedly they had failed;
and every farmer in the corn districts would avouch that often he had
been brought to the brink of ruin by prices ruinously low." Now, we
pause not to ask, why, if the law already makes the prices of corn
ruinously low, any association can be needed to make it lower? What we
wish to fix attention upon, is this assumption of Mr Cobden's, many
times repeated, that the known object and office of our corn-law,
under all its modifications, has been to elevate the price of our
corn; to sustain it at a price to which naturally it could not have
ascended. Many sound speculators on this question we know to have been
seriously perplexed by this assertion of Mr Cobden's; and others, we
have heard, not generally disposed to view that gentleman's doctrines
with favour, who insist upon it, that, in mere candour, we must grant
this particular postulate. "Really," say they, "_that_ cannot be
refused him; the law _was_ for the purpose he assigns; its final cause
_was_, as he tells us, to keep up artificially the price of our
domestic corn-markets. So far he is right. But his error commences in
treating this design as an unfair one, and, secondly, in denying that
it has been successful. It _has_ succeeded; and it ought to have
succeeded. The protection sought for our agriculture was no more than
it merited; and that protection has been faithfully realized."

    [28] A _hammil sconce_, or light of the hamlet, is the
    picturesque expression in secluded parts of Lancashire
    for the local wise man, or village counsellor.

We, however, vehemently deny Mr Cobden's postulate _in toto_. He is
wrong, not merely as others are wrong in the principle of refusing
this protection, not merely on the question of fact as to the reality
of this protection, (to enter upon which points would be to adopt that
hateful discussion which we have abjured;) but, above all, he is wrong
in assigning to corn-laws, as their end and purpose, an absolute
design of sustaining prices. To raise prices is an occasional means of
the corn-laws, and no end at all. In one word, what _is_ the end of
the corn-laws? It is, and ever has been, to equalize the prospects of
the farmer from year to year, with the view, and generally with the
effect, of drawing into the agricultural service of the nation, as
nearly as possible, the same amount of land at one time as at another.
This is the end; and this end is paramount. But the means to that end
must lie, according to the accidents of the case, alternately through
moderate increase of price, or moderate diminution of price. The
besetting oversight, in this instance, is the neglect of the one great
peculiarity affecting the manufacture of corn--viz. its inevitable
oscillation as to quantity, consequently as to price, under the
variations of the seasons. People talk, and encourage mobs to think,
that Parliaments cause, and that Parliaments could heal if they
pleased, the evil of fluctuation in grain. Alas! the evil is as
ancient as the weather, and, like the disease of poverty, will cleave
to society for ever. And the way in which a corn-law--that is, a
restraint upon the free importation of corn--affects the case, is
this:--Relieving the domestic farmer from that part of his anxiety
which points to the competition of foreigners, it confines it to the
one natural and indefeasible uncertainty lying in the contingencies of
the weather. Releasing him from all jealousy of man, it throws him, in
singleness of purpose, upon an effort which cannot be disappointed,
except by a power to which, habitually, he bows and resigns himself.
Secure, therefore, from all superfluous anxieties, the farmer enjoys,
from year to year, a pretty equal encouragement in distributing the
employments of his land. If, through the dispensations of Providence,
the quantity of his return falls short, he knows that some rude
indemnification will arise in the higher price. If, in the opposite
direction, he fears a low price, it comforts him to know that this
cannot arise for any length of time but through some commensurate
excess in quantity. This, like other severities of a natural or
general system, will not, and cannot, go beyond a bearable limit. The
high price compensates grossly the defect of quantity; the overflowing
quantity in turn compensates grossly the low price. And thus it
happens that, upon any cycle of ten years, taken when you will, the
manufacture of grain will turn out to have been moderately profitable.
Now, on the other hand, under a system of free importation, whenever a
redundant crop in England coincides (as often it does) with a similar
redundancy in Poland, the discouragement cannot but become immoderate.
An excess of one-seventh will cause a fall of price by three-sevenths.
But the simultaneous excess on the Continent may raise the one-seventh
to two-sevenths, and in a much greater proportion will these depress
the price. The evil will then be enormous; the discouragement will be
ruinous; much capital, much land, will be withdrawn from the culture
of grain; and, supposing a two years' succession of such excessive
crops, (which effect is more common than a single year's excess,) the
result, for the third year, will be seen in a preternatural
deficiency; for, by the supposition, the number of acres applied to
corn is now very much less than usual, under the unusual
discouragement; and according to the common oscillations of the season
according to those irregularities that, in effect, are often found to
be regular--this third year succeeding to redundant years may be
expected to turn out a year of scarcity. Here, then, in the absence of
a corn-law, comes a double deficiency--a deficiency of acres applied,
from jealousy of foreign competition, and upon each separate acre a
deficiency of crop, from the nature of the weather. What will be the
consequence? A price ruinously high; higher beyond comparison than
could ever have arisen under a temperate restriction of competition;
that is, in other words, under a British corn-law.

Many other cases might be presented to the reader, and especially
under the action of a doctrine repeatedly pressed in this journal,
but steadily neglected elsewhere--viz. the "_devolution_" of foreign
agriculture upon lower qualities of land, (and consequently its
_permanent_ exaltation in price,) in case of any certain demand on
account of England. But this one illustration is sufficient. Here we
see that, under a free trade in corn, and _in consequence_ of a free
trade, ruinous enhancements of price would arise--such in magnitude as
never could have arisen under a wise limitation of foreign
competition. And further, we see that under our present system no
enhancement is, or could be, _absolutely_ injurious; it might be so
_relatively_--it might be so in relation to the poor consumer; but in
the mean time, that guinea which might be lost to the consumer would
be gained to the farmer. Now, in the case supposed, under a free corn
trade the rise is commensurate to the previous injury sustained by the
farmer; and much of the extra bonus reaped goes to a foreign interest.
What we insist upon, however, is this one fact, that alternately the
British corn-laws have raised the price of grain and have sunk it;
they have raised the price in the case where else there would have
been a ruinous depreciation--ruinous to the prospects of succeeding
years; they have sunk it under the natural and usual oscillations of
weather to be looked for in these succeeding years. And each way their
action has been most moderate. For let not the reader forget, that on
the system of a sliding-scale, this action cannot be otherwise than
moderate. Does the price rise? Does it threaten to rise higher?
Instantly the very evil redresses itself. As the evil, _i.e._ the
price, increases, in that exact proportion does it open the gate to
relief; for exactly so does the duty fall. Does the price fall
ruinously?--(in which case it is true that the _instant_ sufferer is
the farmer; but through him, as all but the short-sighted must see,
the consumer will become the reversionary sufferer)--immediately the
duty rises, and forbids an accessary evil from abroad to aggravate the
evil at home. So gentle and so equable is the play of those weights
which regulate our whole machinery, whilst the late correction applied
even here by Sir Robert Peel, has made this gentle action still
gentler; so that neither of the two parties--consumers who to live
must buy, growers who to live must sell--can, by possibility, feel an
incipient pressure before it is already tending to relieve itself. It
is the very perfection of art to make a malady produce its own
medicine--an evil its own relief. But that which here we insist on,
is, that it never _was_ the object of our own corn-laws to increase
the price of corn; secondly, that the real object was a condition of
equipoise which abstractedly is quite unconnected with either rise of
price or fall of price; and thirdly, that, as a matter of fact, our
corn-laws have as often reacted to lower the price, as directly they
have operated to raise it; whilst eventually, and traced through
succeeding years, equally the raising and the lowering have
co-operated to that steady temperature (or nearest approximation to it
allowed by nature) which is best suited to a _comprehensive_ system of
interests. Accursed is that man who, in speaking upon so great a
question, will seek, or will consent, to detach the economic
considerations of that question from the higher political
considerations at issue. Accursed is that man who will forget the
noble yeomanry we have formed through an agriculture chiefly domestic,
were it even true that so mighty a benefit had been purchased by some
pecuniary loss. But this it is which we are now denying. We affirm
peremptorily, and as a fact kept out of sight only by the neglect of
pursuing the case through a succession of years under the _natural_
fluctuation of seasons, that, upon the series of the last seventy
years, viewed as a whole, we have paid less for our corn by means of
the corn-laws, than we should have done in the absence of such laws.
It was, says Mr Cobden, the purpose of such laws to make corn dear; it
is, says he, the effect, to make it cheap. Yes, in the last clause his
very malice drove him into the truth. Speaking to farmers, he found it
requisite to assert that they had been injured; and as he knew of no
injury to them other than a low price, _that_ he postulated at the
cost of his own logic, and quite forgetting that if the farmer had
lost, the consumer must have gained in that very ratio. Rather than
not assert a failure _quoad_ the intention of the corn-laws, he
actually asserts a national benefit _quoad_ the result. And, in a
rapture of malice to the lawgivers, he throws away for ever, at one
victorious sling, the total principles of an opposition to the

    [29] Those who fancy a possible evasion of the case
    supposed above, by saying, that if a failure, extensive
    as to England, should coincide with a failure extensive
    as to Poland, remedies might be found in importing from
    many other countries combined, forget one objection,
    which is decisive--these supplementary countries must be
    many, and they must be distant. For no country could
    singly supply a defect of great extent, unless it were a
    defect annually and regularly anticipated. A surplus
    never designed as a fixed surplus for England, but
    called for only now and then, could never be more than
    small. Therefore the surplus, which could not be yielded
    by one country, must be yielded by many. In that
    proportion increase the probabilities that a number will
    have no surplus. And, secondly, from the widening
    distances, in that proportion increases the extent of
    shipping required. But now, even from Mr Porter, a most
    prejudiced writer on this question, and not capable of
    impartiality in speaking upon any measure which he
    supposes hostile to the principle of free trade, the
    reader may learn how certainly any great _hiatus_ in our
    domestic growth of corn is placed beyond all hope of
    relief. For how is this grain, this relief, to be
    brought? In ships, you reply. Ay, but in what ships? Do
    you imagine that an extra navy can lie rotting in docks,
    and an extra fifty thousand of sailors can be held in
    reserve, and borne upon the books of some colossal
    establishment, waiting for the casual seventh, ninth, or
    twelfth year in which they may be wanted--kept and paid
    against an "_in case_," like the extra supper, so called
    by Louis XIV., which waited all night on the chance that
    it might be wanted? _That_, you say, is impossible. It
    is so; and yet without such a reserve, all the navies of
    Europe would not suffice to make up such a failure of
    our home crops as is likely enough to follow redundant
    years under the system of unlimited competition.--See

But enough, and more than enough, of THE nuisance. It will be
expected, however, that we should notice two collateral points, both
wearing an air of the marvellous, which have grown out of the nuisance
during the recent session. One is the relaxation of our laws with
respect to Canadian corn; a matter of no great importance in itself,
but furnishing some reasons for astonishment in regard to the
disproportioned opposition which it has excited. Undoubtedly the
astonishment is well justified, if we view the measure for what it was
really designed by the minister--viz. as a momentary measure, suited
merely to the _current_ circumstances of our relation to Canada. Long
before any evil can arise from it, through changes in these
circumstances, the law will have been modified. Else, and having,
regard to the remote contingencies of the case (possible or probable)
rather than to its instant certainties, we are disposed to think, that
the irritation which this little anomalous law has roused amongst some
of the landholders, is not quite so unaccountable, or so
disproportionate, as the public have been taught to imagine. True it
is, that for the present, _lis est de paupere regno_. Any surplus of
grain which, at this moment, Canada could furnish, must be quite as
powerless upon our home markets, as the cattle, living or salted which
have been imported under the tariff in 1842 and 1843. But the fears of
Canada potentially, were not therefore unreasonable, because the
actual Canada is not in a condition for instantly using her new
privileges. Corn, that hitherto had not been grown, both may be grown,
and certainly will be grown, as soon as the new motive for growing it,
the new encouragement, becomes operatively known. Corn, again, that
from local difficulties did not find its way to eastern markets, will
do so by continual accessions, swelling gradually into a powerful
stream, as the many improvements of the land and water communication,
now contemplated, or already undertaken, come into play. Another fear
connects itself with possible evasions of the law by the United
States. Cross an imaginary frontier line, and _that_ will become
Canadian which was not Canadian by its origin. We are told, indeed,
that merely by its bulk, grain will always present an obstacle to any
extensive system of smuggling. But obstacles are not impossibilities.
And these obstacles, it must be remembered, are not founded in the
vigilance of revenue officers, but simply in the cost; an element of
difficulty which is continually liable to change. So that upon the
whole, and as applying to the reversions of the case, rather than to
its present phenomena, undoubtedly there _are_ dangers a-head to our
own landed interest from that quarter of the horizon. For the present,
it should be enough to say, that these dangers are yet remote. And
perhaps it _would_ have been enough under other circumstances. But it
is the tendency of the bill which suggests alarm. All changes in our
day tend to the consummation of free trade: and this measure,
travelling in that direction, reasonably becomes suspicious by its
principle, though innocent enough by its immediate operation.

The other point connected with the corn question is personal. Among
the many motions and notices growing out of the dispute, which we hold
it a matter of duty to neglect, was one brought forward by Lord John
Russell. Upon what principle, or with what object? Strange to say, he
refused to explain. That it must be some modification applied to a
fixed duty, every body knew; but of what nature Lord John declined to
tell us, until he should reach a committee which he had no chance of
obtaining. This affair, which surprised every body, is of little
importance as regards the particular subject of the motion. But in a
more general relation, it is worthy of attention. No man interested in
the character and efficiency of Parliament, can fail to wish that
there may always exist a strong opposition, vigilant, bold,
unflinching, full of partizanship, if you will, but uniformly
suspending the partizanship at the summons of paramount national
interests, and acting harmoniously upon some systematic plan. How
little the present unorganized opposition answers to this description,
it is unnecessary to say. The nation is ashamed of a body so
determinately below its functions. But Lord John Russell is
individually superior to his party. He is a man of sense, of
information, and of known official experience. Now, if he, so
notoriously the wise man of "her Majesty's Opposition," is capable of
descending to harlequin caprices of this extreme order, the nation
sees with pain, that a constitutional function of control is extinct
in our present senate, and that her Majesty's Ministers must now be
looked to as their own controllers. With the levity of a child, Lord
John makes a motion, which, if adopted, would have landed him in
defeat; but through utter want of judgment and concert with his party,
he does not get far enough to be defeated: he does not succeed in
obtaining the prostration for which he manœuvres; but is saved from
a final exposure of his little statesmanship by universal mockery of
his miserable partizanship. Alas for the times in which Burke and Fox
wielded the forces of Parliamentary opposition, and redoubled the
energies of Government by the energies of their enlightened

In quitting the subject of the corn agitation, (obstinately pursued
through the session,) we may remark--and we do so with pain--that all
laws whatsoever, strong or lax, upon this question are to be regarded
as provisional. The temper of society being what it is, some small
gang of cotton-dealers, moved by the rankest self-interest, finding
themselves suffered to agitate almost without opposition, and the
ancient landed interest of the country, if not silenced, being silent,
it is felt by all parties that no law, in whatever direction, upon
this great problem, can have a chance of permanence. The natural
revenge which we may promise ourselves is--that the lunacies of the
free-trader, when acted upon, as too surely they will be, may prove
equally fugitive. Meantime, it is not by provisional acts, or acts of
sudden emergency, that we estimate the service of a senate. It is the
solemn and deliberate laws, those which are calculated for the wear
and tear of centuries, which hold up a mirror to the legislative
spirit of the times.

Of laws bearing this character, if we except the inaugural essays at
improving the law of libel, and at founding a system of national
education, of which the latter has failed for the present in a way
fitted to cause some despondency, the last session offers us no
conspicuous example, beyond the one act of Lord Aberdeen for healing
and tranquillizing the wounds of the Scottish church. Self-inflicted
these wounds undeniably were; but they were not the less severe on
that account, nor was the contagion of spontaneous martyrdom on that
account the less likely to spread. In reality, the late astonishing
schism in the Scottish church (astonishing because abrupt) is, in one
respect, without precedent. Every body has heard of persecutions that
were courted; but in such a case, at least, the spirit of persecution
must have had a local existence, and to some extent must have uttered
menaces--or how should those menaces have been defied? Now, the
"persecutions," before which a large section of the Scottish church
has fallen by an act of spontaneous martyrdom, were not merely
needlessly defied, but were originally self-created; they were evoked,
like phantoms and shadows, by the martyrs themselves, out of blank
negations. Without provocation _ab extra_, without warning on their
own part, suddenly they place themselves in an attitude of desperate
defiance to the known law of the land. The law firmly and tranquilly
vindicates itself; the whole series of appeals is threaded; the
original judgment, as a matter of course, is finally re-affirmed--and
this is the persecution insinuated; whilst the necessity of complying
with that decision, which does not express any novelty even to the
extent of a new law, but simply the ordinary enforcement of an old
one, is the kind of martyrdom resulting. The least evil of this
fantastic martyrdom, is the exit from the pastoral office of so many
persons trained, by education and habit, to the effectual performance
of the pastoral duties. That loss--though not without signal
difficulty, from the abruptness of the summons--will be supplied. But
there is a greater evil which cannot be healed--the breach of unity in
the church. The scandal, the offence, the occasion of unhappy
constructions upon the doctrinal soundness of the church, which have
been thus ministered to the fickle amongst her own children--to the
malicious amongst her enemies, are such as centuries do not easily
furnish, and centuries do not remove. In all Christian churches alike,
the conscientiousness which is the earliest product of heartfelt
religion, has suggested this principle, that schism, for any cause, is
a perilous approach to sin; and that, unless in behalf of the
weightiest interests or of capital truths, it is inevitably criminal.
And in connexion with this consideration, there arise two scruples to
all intelligent men upon this crisis in the Scottish church, and they
are scruples which at this moment, we are satisfied, must harass the
minds of the best men amongst the seceders--viz. First, whether the
new points contended for, waiving all controversy upon their abstract
doctrinal truth, are really such, in _practical_ virtue, that it could
be worth purchasing them at the cost of schism? Secondly, supposing a
good man to have decided this question in the affirmative for a young
society of Christians, for a church in its infancy, which, as yet,
might not have much to lose in credit or authentic influence--whether
the same free license of rupture and final secession _could_ belong to
an ancient church, which had received eminent proofs of Divine favour
through a long course of spiritual prosperity almost unexampled?
Indeed, this last question might suggest another paramount to the
other two--viz. not whether the points at issue were weighty enough to
justify schism and hostile separation, but whether those points could
even be safe as mere speculative _credenda_, which, through so long a
period of trial, and by so memorable a harvest of national services,
had been shown to be unnecessary?

Very sure we are, that no eminent servant of the Scottish church could
abandon, without anguish of mind, the multitude of means and channels,
that great machinery for dispensing living truths, which the power and
piety of the Scottish nation have matured through three centuries of
pure Christianity militant. Solemn must have been the appeal, and
searching, which would force its way to the conscience on occasion of
taking the last step in so sad an _exodus_ from the Jerusalem of his
fathers. Anger and irritation can do much to harden the obduracy of
any party conviction, especially whilst in the centre of fiery
partisans. But sorrow, in such a case, is a sentiment of deeper
vitality than anger; and this sorrow for the result will co-operate
with the original scruples on the casuistry of the questions, to
reproduce the demur and the struggle many times over, in consciences
of tender sensibility.

Exactly for men in this state of painful collision with their own
higher nature, is Lord Aberdeen's bill likely to furnish the bias
which can give rest to their agitations, and firmness to their
resolutions. The bill, according to some, is too early, and, according
to others, too late. Why too early? Because, say they, it makes
concessions to the church, which as yet are not proved to be called
for. These concessions travel on the very line pursued by the
seceders, and must give encouragement to that spirit of religious
movement which it has been found absolutely requisite to rebuke by
acts of the legislature. Why, on the other hand, is Lord Aberdeen's
bill too late? Because, three years ago, it would, or it might, have
prevented the secession. But is this true? Could this bill have
prevented the secession? We believe not. Lord Aberdeen, undoubtedly,
himself supposes that it might. But, granting that this were true,
whose fault is it that a three years' delay has intercepted so happy a
result? Lord Aberdeen assures us that the earlier success of the bill
was defeated entirely by the resistance of the Government at that
period, and chiefly by the personal resistance of Lord Melbourne. Let
that minister be held responsible, if any ground has been lost that
could have been peacefully pre-occupied against the schism. This,
however, seems to us a chimera. For what is it that the bill concedes?
Undoubtedly it restrains and modifies the right of patronage. It
grants a larger discretion to the ecclesiastical courts than had
formerly been exercised by the usage. Some contend, that in doing so
the bill absolutely alters the law as it stood heretofore, and ought,
therefore, to be viewed as enactory; whilst others maintain that is
simply a declaratory bill, not altering the law at all, but merely
expressing, in fuller or in clearer terms, what had always been law,
though silently departed from by the usage, which, from the time of
Queen Anne, had allowed a determinate preponderance to the rights of
property in the person of the patron. Those, indeed, who take the
former view, contending that it enacts a new principle of law, very
much circumscribing the old right of patronage, insist upon it that
the bill virtually revokes the decision of the Lords in the
Auchterarder case. Technically and formally speaking, this is not
true; for the presbytery, or other church court, is now tied up to a
course of proceeding which at Auchterarder was violently evaded. The
court cannot now peremptorily challenge the nominee in the arbitrary
mode adopted in that instance. An examination must be instituted
within certain prescribed limits. But undoubtedly the contingent power
of the church court, in the case of the nominee not meeting the
examination satisfactorily, is much larger now, under the new bill,
than it was under the old practice; so that either this practice must
formerly have swerved from the letter of the law, or else the new law,
differing from the old, is really more than declaratory. Yet, however
this may be, it is clear that the jurisdiction of the church in the
matter of patronage, however ample it may seem as finally ascertained
or created by the new bill, falls far within the extravagant outline
marked out by the seceders. We argue, therefore, that it could not
have prevented their secession even as regards that part of their
pretensions; whilst, as regards the monstrous claim to decide in the
last resort what shall be civil and what spiritual--that is, in a
question of clashing jurisdiction, to settle on their own behalf where
shall fall the boundary line--it may be supposed that Lord Aberdeen
would no more countenance their claim in any point of practice, than
all rational legislators would countenance it as a theory. How,
therefore, could this bill have prevented the rent in the church, so
far as it has yet extended? On the other hand, though apparently
powerless for that effect, it is well calculated to prevent a second
secession. Those who are at all disposed to follow the first seceders,
stand in this situation. By the very act of adhering to the
Establishment when the _ultra_ party went out, they made it abundantly
manifest that they do not go to the same extreme in their
requisitions. But, upon any principle which falls short of that
extreme being at all applicable to this church question, it is certain
that Lord Aberdeen's measure will be found to satisfy their wishes;
for that measure, if it errs at all, errs by conceding too much rather
than too little. It sustains all objections to a candidate on their
own merit, without reference to the quarter from which they arise, so
long as they are relevant to the proper qualifications of a parish
clergyman. It gives effect to every argument that can reasonably be
urged against a nominee--either generally, on the ground of his moral
conduct, his orthodoxy, and his intellectual attainments; or
specially, in relation to his fitness for any local varieties of the
situation. A Presbyterian church has always been regarded as, in some
degree, leaning to a republican character, but a republic may be
either aristocratic or democratic: now, Lord Aberdeen has favoured the
democratic tendency of the age by making the probationary examination
of the candidate as much of a popular examination, and as open to the
impression of objections arising with the body of the people, as could
be done with any decent regard either to the rights yet recognised in
the patron, or, still more, to the professional dignity of the
clerical order.

Upon the whole, therefore, we look upon Lord Aberdeen as a national
benefactor, who has not only turned aside a current running headlong
into a revolution, but in doing this exemplary service, has contrived
to adjust the temperament very equitably between, 1st, the individual
nominee, having often his livelihood at stake; 2dly, the patron,
exercising a right of property interwoven with our social system, and
not liable to any usurpation which would not speedily extend itself to
other modes of property; 3dly, the church, considered as the trustee
or responsible guardian of orthodoxy and sound learning; 4thly, the
same church considered as a professional body, and, therefore, as
interested in upholding the dignity of each individual clergyman, and
his immunity from frivolous cavils, however much against him they are
interested in detecting his insufficiency; and, 5thly, the body of the
congregation, as undoubtedly entitled to have the qualifications of
their future pastor rigorously investigated. All these separate
claims, embodied in five distinct parties, Lord Aberdeen has
delicately balanced and fixed in a temperate equipoise by the
machinery of his bill. Whilst, if we enquire for the probable effects
of this bill upon the interests of pure and spiritual religion, the
promise seems every way satisfactory. The Jacobinical and precipitous
assaults of the Non-intrusionists upon the rights of property are
summarily put down. A great danger is surmounted. For if the rights of
patrons were to be arbitrarily trampled under foot on a pretence of
consulting for the service of religion; on the next day, with the same
unprincipled levity, another party might have trampled on the
patrimonial rights of hereditary descent, on primogeniture, or any
institution whatever, opposed to the democratic fanaticism of our age.
No patron can now thrust an incompetent or a vicious person upon the
religious ministrations of the land. It must be through their own
defect of energy, if any parish is henceforth burdened with an
incumbent reasonably obnoxious. It must be the fault of the presbytery
or other church court, if the orthodox standards of the church are not
maintained in their purity. It must be through his own fault, or his
own grievous defects, if any qualified candidate for the church
ministry is henceforth vexatiously rejected. It must be through some
scandalous oversight in the selection of presentees, if any patron is
defeated of his right to present.

Contrast with these great services the menaces and the tendencies of
the Non-Intrusionists, on the assumption that they had kept their
footing in the church. It may be that, during this generation, from
the soundness of the individual partisans, the orthodox standards of
the church would have been maintained as to doctrine. But all the
other parties interested in the church, except the church herself, as
a depositary of truth, would have been crushed at one blow. This is
apparent, except only with regard to the congregation of each parish.
That body, it may be thought, could not but have benefited by the
change; for the very motive and the pretence of the movement arose on
their behalf. But mark how names disguise facts, and to what extent a
virtual hostility may lurk under an apparent protection. Lord
Aberdeen, because he limits the right of the congregation, is supposed
to destroy it; but in the mean time he secures to every parish in
Scotland a true and effectual influence, so far as that body ought to
have it, (that is, _negatively_,) upon the choice of its pastor. On
the other hand, the whole storm of the Non-intrusionists was pointed
at those who refused to make the choice of a pastor altogether
popular. It was the people, considered as a congregation, who ought
to appoint the teacher by whom they were to be edified. So far, the
party of seceders come forward as martyrs to their democratic
principles. And they drew a colourable sanction to their democracy
from the great names of Calvin, Zuinglius, and John Knox. Unhappily
for them, Sir William Hamilton has shown, by quotations the most
express and absolute from these great authorities, that no such
democratic appeal as the Non-intrusionists have presumed, was ever
contemplated for an instant by any one amongst the founders of the
Reformed churches. That Calvin, whose jealousy was so inexorable
towards princes and the sons of princes--that John Knox, who never
"feared the face of man that was born of woman"--were these great
Christian champions likely to have flinched from installing a popular
tribunal, had they believed it eligible for modern times, or warranted
by ancient times? In the learning of the question, therefore,
Non-intrusionists showed themselves grossly wrong. Meantime it is
fancied that at least they were generously democratic, and that they
manifested their disinterested love of justice by creating a popular
control that must have operated chiefly against their own clerical
order. What! is that indeed so? Now, finally, take another instance
how names belie facts. The people _were_ to choose their ministers;
the council for election of the pastor _was_ to be a popular council
abstracted from the congregation: but how? but under what conditions?
but by whom abstracted? Behold the subtle design:--This pretended
congregation was a small faction; this counterfeit "people" was the
petty gathering of COMMUNICANTS; and the communicants were in effect
within the appointment of the clergyman. They formed indirectly a
secret committee of the clergy. So that briefly, Lord Aberdeen, whilst
restraining the popular courts, gives to them a true popular
authority; and the Non-intrusionists, whilst seeming to set up a
democratic idol, do in fact, by dexterous ventriloquism, throw their
own all-potential voice into its passive organs.

We may seem to owe some apology to our readers for the space which we
have allowed to this great moral _émeute_ in Scotland. But we hardly
think so ourselves. For in our own island, and in our own times,
nothing has been witnessed so nearly bordering on a revolution.
Indeed, it is painful to hear Dr Chalmers, since the secession,
speaking of the Scottish aristocracy in a tone of scornful hatred, not
surpassed by the most Jacobinical language of the French Revolution in
the year 1792. And, if this movement had not been checked by
Parliament, and subsequently by the executive Government, in its
comprehensive provision for the future, by the measure we have been
reviewing, we cannot doubt that the contagion of the shock would have
spread immediately to England, which part of the island has been long
prepared and manured, as we might say, for corresponding struggles, by
the continued conspiracy against church-rates. In both cases, an
attack on church property, once allowed to prosper or to gain any
stationary footing, would have led to a final breach in the life and
serviceable integrity of the church.

Of the Factory bill, we are sorry that we are hardly entitled to
speak. In the loss of the educational clauses, that bill lost all
which could entitle it to a separate notice; and, where the Government
itself desponds as to any future hope of succeeding, private parties
may have leave to despair. One gleam of comfort, however, has shone
out since the adjournment of Parliament. The only party to the bitter
resistance under which this measure failed, whom we can sincerely
compliment with full honesty of purpose--viz. the Wesleyan
Methodists--have since expressed (about the middle of September)
sentiments very like compunction and deep sorrow for the course they
felt it right to pursue. They are fully aware of the malignity towards
the Church of England, which governed all other parties to the
opposition excepting themselves; and in the sorrowful result of that
opposition, which has terminated in denying all extension of education
to the labouring youth of the nation, they have learned (like the
conscientious men that they are) to suspect the wisdom and the
ultimate principle of the opposition itself. Fortunately, they are a
most powerful body; to express regret for what they have done, and
hesitation at the casuistry of those motives which reconciled them to
their act at the moment is possibly but the next step to some change
in their counsels; in which case this single body, in alliance with
the Church of England, would be able to carry the great measure which
has been crushed for the present by so unexampled a resistance. Much
remains to be said, both upon the introductory statements of Lord
Ashley, with which (in spite of our respect for that nobleman) we do
not coincide, and still more upon the extensive changes, and the
_principles_ of change, which must be brought to bear upon a national
system of education, before it can operate with that large effect of
benefit which so many anticipate from its adoption. But this is ample
matter for a separate discussion.

Lastly, let us notice the Irish Arms' bill; which, amongst the
measures framed to meet the momentary exigence of the times, stands
foremost in importance. This is one of those fugitive and casual
precautions, which, by intense seasonableness, takes its rank amongst
the permanent means of pacification. Bridling the instant spirit of
uproar, carrying the Irish nation over that transitional state of
temptation, which, being once gone by, cannot, we believe, be renewed
for generations, this, with other acts in the same temper, will face
whatever peril still lingers in the sullen rear of Mr O'Connell's
dying efforts. For that gentleman, personally, we believe him to be
nearly extinct. Two months ago we expressed our conviction, so much
the stronger in itself for having been adopted after some hesitation,
that Sir Robert Peel had taken the true course for eventually and
finally disarming him. We are thankful that we have now nothing to
recant. Progress has been made in that interval towards that
consummation, quite equal to any thing we could have expected in so
short a lapse of weeks. Mr O'Connell is now showing the strongest
symptoms of distress, and of conscious approach to the condition of
"check to the king." Of these symptoms we will indicate one or two. In
January 1843, he declared solemnly that an Irish Parliament should
instal itself at Dublin before the year closed. Early in May, he
promised that on the anniversary of that day the great change should
be solemnized. On a later day in May, he proclaimed that the event
would come off (according to a known nautical mode of advertising the
time of sailing) not upon a settled day of that month but "in all May"
of 1844. Here the matter rested until August 12, when again he shifted
his day to the corresponding day of 1844. But September arrived, and
then "before those shoes were old" in which he had made his promise,
he declares by letter, to some correspondent, that he must have
_forty-three months_ for working out his plan. Anther symptom, yet
more significant, is this: and strange to say it has been overlooked
by the daily press. Originally he had advertised some pretended
Parliament of 300 Irishmen, to which admission was to be had for each
member by a fee of L.100. And several journals are now telling him
that, under the Convention Act, he and his Parliament will be arrested
on the day of assembling. Not at all. They do not attend to his
harlequin motions. Already he has declared that this assembly, which
was to have been a Parliament, is only to be a conciliatory committee,
an old association under some new name, for deliberating on means
_tending to_ a Parliament in some future year, as yet not even

May we not say, after such facts, that the game is up? The agitation
may continue, and it may propagate itself. But for any interest of Mr
O'Connell's, it is now passing out of his hands.

In the joy with which we survey that winding up of the affair, we can
afford to forget the infamous display of faction during the discussion
of the Arms' bill. Any thing like it, in pettiness of malignity, has
not been witnessed during this century: any thing like it, in
impotence of effect, probably will not be witnessed again during our
times. Thirteen divisions in one night--all without hope, and without
even a verbal gain! This conduct the nation will not forget at the
next election. But in the mean time the peaceful friends of this yet
peaceful empire rejoice to know, that without war, without rigour,
without an effort that could disturb or agitate--by mere silent
precautions, and the sublime magnanimity of simply fixing upon the
guilty conspirator one steadfast eye of vigilant preparation, the
conspiracy itself is melting into air, and the relics of it which
remain will soon become fearful only to him who has evoked it.

The game, therefore, is up, if we speak of the purposes originally
contemplated. This appears equally from the circumstances of the case
without needing the commentary of Mr O'Connell, and from the acts no
less than the words of that conspirator. True it is--and this is the
one thing to be feared--that the agitation, though extinct for the
ends of its author, may propagate itself through the maddening
passions of the people, now perhaps uncontrollably excited. Tumults
may arise, at the moment when further excitement is impossible, simply
through that which is already in operation. But that stage of
rebellion is open at every turn to the coercion of the law: and it is
not such a phasis of conspiracy that Mr O'Connell wishes to face, or
_can_ face. Speaking, therefore, of the _real_ objects pursued in this
memorable agitation, we cannot but think that as the roll of possible
meetings is drawing nearer to exhaustion, as all other arts fail, and
mere _written_ addresses are renewed, (wanting the inflammatory
contagion of personal meetings, and not accessible to a scattered
peasantry;) but above all, as the day of instant action is once again
adjourned to a period both remote and indefinite, the agitation must
be drooping, and virtually we may repeat that the game is up. But the
last moves have been unusually interesting. Not unlike the fascination
exercised over birds by the eye of the rattlesnake, has been the
impression upon Mr O'Connell from the fixed attention turned upon him
by Government. What they _did_ was silent and unostentatious; more,
however, than perhaps the public is aware of in the way of preparation
for an outbreak. But the capital resource of their policy was, to make
Mr O'Connell deeply sensible that they were watching him. The eye that
watched over Waterloo was upon him: for six months that eagle glance
has searched him and nailed him: and the result, as it is now
revealing itself, may at length be expressed in the two lines of
Wordsworth otherwise applied--

    "The vacillating bondsman of the Pope
    Shrinks from the verdict of that steadfast eye."

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

Transcriber's Note

Minor typographic errors have been corrected. Please note there is
some archaic spelling, which has been retained as printed. There are a
few snippets of Greek, a few instances of the letter a with macron
(straight line) over it, and some oe ligatures; you may need to adjust
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