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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 347, September, 1844
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 347, September, 1844" ***

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

generously made available by The Internet Library of Early

{Transcriber's note: Spellings are sometimes erratic. A few obvious
misprints have been corrected, but in general the original spelling has
been retained. Accents in the French phrases are inconsistent, and have
not been standardised. Greek phrases have been transliterated, and are
enclosed in + signs +autochthones gaias+.}




  M. LOUIS BLANC,                                           265

  A NIGHT ON THE BANKS OF THE TENNESSEE,                    278

  THE EXECUTION OF MONTROSE,                                289

  THE WITCHFINDER. PART I.,                                 297

  NATURAL HISTORY OF MAN,                                   312

  POEMS BY COVENTRY PATMORE,                                331


  IT IS NO FICTION,                                         364

  THE BURNS' FESTIVAL,                                      370


       *       *       *       *       *


_To whom all Communications (post paid) must be addressed._






M. Louis Blanc, a democratic journalist, with all, and perhaps more than
the usual talents of the Parisian journalist--with all, and more than
the usual faults of one--has undertaken to write the history of his
country, during and since the revolution of 1830. What can we expect to
be the result of such an undertaking? What can we expect from a man who
sits down to a task of this description, animated with all the party
virulence which gives zest to a democratic newspaper? It is not a
history, but a scandal, that he will write. M. Louis Blanc has distilled
the bile of journalism; he has paused over the hasty sarcasm which
political animosity deals forth, not to correct, or moderate, or abate,
but merely to point and envenom it. His appreciation of men, their
character, their talents, their designs--all bear the hue of the
atrabilious journalist. There is this difference only between his
history and the daily portion of envy and malignity which a democratic
newspaper pours forth, that the dye is more deeply engrained. In the
mind of the author, the stain of his party has become ineffaceable.
Those who are pleased--and the number is not few--with having high names
and established reputations laid at their feet, soiled, trod upon, will
meet here with ample gratification. To be sure they will be occasionally
required, in lieu of such as they have thrown down, to set up the bust
of some democratic celebrity, whose greatness, or whose genius, they
were not previously aware of. But, not to say that the justice of party
requires this substitution, it is a penalty which writers of this
description will invariably impose upon them. It is the common trick of
the envious, and the mock magnanimity with which they seek to conceal
their true nature--to exalt the lowly, while they debase the exalted.
Since some idol there must be, let it be one of their raising. Even
while helping to raise it, they enjoy, too, the secret consciousness
that it is of brittle metal.

But in the composition of a history, the spirit of party, however eager
it may be, cannot always guide the pen. The mere interest of the
narrative, the strangeness and peculiarity of circumstances, will claim
their share of the author's mind. The politician must sometimes be
absorbed in the chronicler; and so it happens with M. Louis Blanc. His
narrative often interests by its details; and if it has the partiality,
it has also the vivacious colouring, of a contemporary. It possesses,
also, a richness of anecdote--the fruit, probably, of his position as a
journalist; add to which, that M. Louis Blanc is not without a species
of off-hand, dashing eloquence. He can say daring things in a daring
manner, and give the pungency of epigram to his political paradoxes. He
has a full share of that rhetoric of journalism which is so well
calculated to make an impression on the careless reader, but which
requires that the reader should continue careless, in order to retain
the impression he has received. It results from all this, that while we
constantly distrust our guide, while we perpetually refuse the
appreciation he offers to us of men and events, we still read on with
interest a work which is, at least, relieved from the charge of
insipidity or dulness; and indeed, if we had not derived some
entertainment from its perusal, we should not have thought of bringing
it under the notice of our readers. To have engaged ourselves merely in
combating its errors and misrepresentations, would have been a dreary
and an endless task.

To enable the reader at once to judge of the tone and temper of M. Louis
Blanc's politics, we present him the following passage. It is the object
of the long Introduction which precedes his history, to show that the
events which have transpired in France since 1793, have had, for their
great result, the establishment of the government of the middle classes
through a Chamber of Deputies--a view which we think is incontestably
right. That France has its House of Commons, is the great fruit of all
its struggles, its calamities, and its victories. It must not be
supposed, however, that this is a result in which M. Louis Blanc
rejoices. Nothing he so much detests as this government of the middle
classes; nor is there any portion of society he vilifies more cordially
than the _bourgeoisie_. Hear how he speaks of them. After relating the
history of the Carbonari, who troubled by their plots the reign of Louis
XVIII., he says:--"This _Carbonarism_ never descended into the depths of
society; it never moved the lower strata. How, then, could it be
preserved from the vices of the middle class--egoism, littleness of
ideas, extreme love of a mere material happiness, gross instincts!"--(P.
115.) So that he finds Carbonarism to have lacked in virtue, because it
had not descended, for its disciples, sufficiently low in the scale of
society!--to have grown corrupt, by reason of its not having penetrated
to the "lower strata!" And yet the duties of the Carbonari seem to have
been precisely calculated for these lower strata. These were, he had
already told us himself, "to have a gun and fifty cartridges, to be
ready to devote one's-self, and to obey blindly the orders of unknown
leaders."--(P. 101.)

When we describe M. Louis Blanc as a democrat, it is rather for want of
a better and more accurate title, than because this exactly describes
him. A democrat is generally understood to be one who has a large faith
in the lowest class of the people, such as they really exist; our author
has a faith only in the future of this class. He does not fail to give
vent, when the occasion prompts him, to his compassion or contempt for
the ignorant mass of mankind. The democracy he worships is one to be
established in some distant age, by a people very different, and living
under some modification of the law of property, which he has not thought
fit to explain. It is a democracy which has nothing distinct but its
hatreds--a shadowy monster, peculiarly disagreeable to deal with. Our
historian writes with overflowing gall against kings, against
aristocracies, against the middle class. You would say he is a stanch
republican, and that the people are to be his depositaries of power. But
no; a lamentation, which escapes him from time to time--as bitter as any
which Tory or Legitimist would utter--over the _blindness_ of the
people, their passions and their ignorance, contradicts this conclusion.
Where is the power, and in whom lodged, that M. Louis Blanc would
willingly obey, or see obeyed? It exists nowhere. Society is corrupt, is
chaotic; nor can it, by any organ it possesses, exercise a sound or
rational power. A new era must arise--how, whence, when, we are not

It is the peculiar characteristic of French democracy, that there is
always mixed up with it the principle, more or less distinctly avowed, of
the community of goods. Perhaps the vagueness we complain of in M. Louis
Blanc, is dictated by mere prudence; perhaps there is no vagueness to the
eye of a propagandist. One sentiment of French democracy he certainly
expresses with sufficient hardihood. It is not often we meet with the
principle of intervention between state and state, asserted in these days
with so much boldness as in the following passage:--"Men have stigmatized
the war in Spain, calling the principle of intervention an oppressive
principle. Puerile accusation! All people are brothers, and all
revolutions cosmopolite. When a government believes that it represents a
just cause, let it make it triumph wherever a triumph is possible. This
is its right; it is more--it is its duty."--(_Introduction_, p. 120.)

How exactly analogous to this is the reasoning which leads to
persecution in religion--to the Holy Inquisition, and all its
philanthropic schemes _of intervention!_ The conviction in a good cause
allowed to overrule the fundamental principles of justice between man
and man--to overrule them, not occasionally and by way of exception, but
systematically--this is the very essence of persecution. But let no one
think that, by any such representation, he would gain an advantage over
the republican propagandist. He no longer fears religious
persecution--it is a thing past: he braves it. He would adopt his
favourite principle, and all its consequences. He would probably admit
that it was the duty of the priest, according to his priestly
intelligence, to ban and persecute. Not mutual toleration, but
reciprocal compulsion, would be his principle. Combat thou for thy
truth--let me fight for mine; such would be his formula.

In a writer bent upon startling and surprising us, there is often a sort
of premeditated haste, a voluntary forgetfulness, which it is curious to
remark. One who weighs his matter well before he speaks, will often end,
alas! in having something very tame and moderate to propound--something
which, after all his turmoil and reflection, may sound very like a good
old commonplace. Now this approximation to commonplace is the great
horror of shallow writers; and the way to avoid it appears to be
this:--Proclaim your thought at once, in all its crude candescence,
before it has had time to cool and shape itself; then, in order to save
your credit with the more captions and scrutinizing, give, at some
convenient interval, such an explanation or modification as will show
that, after all, you were as wise as your reader. State your paradox in
all the startling force of unmitigated diction, and refute it yourself
afterwards, or say enough to prove that you could have done so. This,
well managed, gives two occasions for brilliant display; a sober
statement has been converted into a couple of bold and glancing
propositions. Truth, it is well proved, like the diamond, shines the
more by being cut into surfaces.

M. Louis Blanc, for instance, makes a startling remark on the
incompatibility of royalty and a representative chamber. The two powers
are represented to us as flatly irreconcilable. "Can society," he asks,
"have two heads? Is the sovereignty divisible? Between the government of
a king and the government of an assembly, is there not a gulf which
every day makes wider? And wherever this dualism exists, are not the
people condemned to fluctuate miserably between a 10th of August and an
18th Brumaire?"--(_Int._, p. 64.) And a little further on, speaking of
the times of Louis XVIII., he writes--"Meanwhile Europe began to be
disquieted on the state of things in France. Foreign sovereigns had
thought to establish peace in our country, by establishing the empire of
the charter, and the political dualism which it consecrates. The error
was great, and they ended by discovering it. M. de Richelieu, who had
been present at the congress at Aix-la-Chapelle, brought back with him a
very lively apprehension of the future fate of the monarchy in France. A
change of the electoral law was proposed. Unhappily, it was not in the
law of the 5th February that lay the danger which occupied the congress
of Aix-la-Chapelle. To consolidate the throne, and raise it above the
storms which threatened it, not this or that electoral law, but the
electoral power itself, should, if possible, be abolished. For in
whatever hands this formidable lever was placed, it was impossible that
royalty could long resist its action. To shift the elective power was
only to give the monarchy other enemies, not to save it. * * * The aim
of the new ministry was to preserve the electoral law; which amounted to
this--the monarchy chose ministers whose programme was the destruction
of monarchy."

On reading such passages, we naturally set about recalling certain
old-fashioned political truisms, bearing on the character and interest
of that middle class of society in which the electoral power is
generally lodged. We recollect that the middle classes have been held to
have an interest as well in preserving, as in checking and controlling
the monarchy. Alone, they could not govern society; and they have a
larger share in the government, as partners with the monarchy, than if
they were absorbed in the general mass of the population. They have
every thing to lose by the abolition of a royalty which they have ceased
to fear, and which they have bound by laws. Such a royalty, with its
sway over the imagination of the multitude, with its strong hand of
military power--hand in which the sword is allowed always to rest, as
pomp in time of peace, as weapon in time of war--such a royalty they
feel to be their best protection. Why, then, should they, in their
electoral capacity, be thrust on by a blind rage to destroy it? But all
this train of reflection we might have spared ourselves. M. Louis Blanc
knows it all, and, if you will wait a reasonable time, he will show you
that he knows it. He will put it to you very forcibly--in another place.
Accordingly, some ninety pages off, he tells us:--"At bottom, the middle
class (_la bourgeoisie_) sees in the monarchy a permanent obstacle to
democratic aspirations: it would have subjected royalty, but not
destroyed it."

For the enlightenment of those who may wish to write history in the most
captivating manner, and at the least possible expense to themselves, we
will reveal another fruitful expedient. There are two ways of writing
history. You may either deduce its great events from certain wide and
steadily-operating causes, as the growing wealth or intelligence of a
people, or you may raise a vulgar wonder by describing them as the
result of some quite trivial incident. In the one case, you appeal to a
philosophic taste; in the other, to a popular love of the marvellous. A
revolution may be represented as the inevitable outbreak of the
discontent and misery of the people; or it may be traced, with all its
disasters, to the caprice of a courtier, or perhaps the accidental delay
of a messenger. For want of a nail, the shoe was lost; for want of a
shoe, the horse was lost; for want of a horse, the man--and so all was
owing to the want of a nail!

The two manners seem incompatible. Never mind. Use them both--both
freely, independently--just as occasion prompts, and the effect
requires. Flatter the philosophic taste that delights in generalities,
and please the childish wonder which loves to fancy that the whole
oak--trunk, branches, leaves--lay in the acorn. M. Louis Blanc has
certainly no idea of forfeiting either of these attractions by laying
claim to the other. Observe the ease and boldness with which he embraces
them in his narrative of the fall of Napoleon, and the restoration of
the Bourbons. He commences in the generalizing mood.

"The fall of Napoleon lay in the laws of the development of the middle
classes. Can a nation be at the same time essentially commercial and
essentially warlike? Napoleon must have renounced his great part of
military chieftain, or he must have broken with the spirit of
citizenship and commerce. It was madness to think of reigning by the
sword, and continuing the Constituent Assembly. France could not have,
at the same time, the destinies of Rome and Carthage. Napoleon
succumbed, and must have succumbed, to the Carthaginian party of the
people of France. But if the necessary development of the middle classes
called for the overthrow of the empire, it demanded also the return of
the Bourbons. To prove this, we have only to present, in its instructive
simplicity of detail, that narrative of the restoration which so many
historians have distorted."--(_Int._, p. 18.)

Well, he proceeds with this simple and instructive detail; and his
first object is evidently to deprive Talleyrand, to whom on all
occasions he manifests a singular bitterness, of the credit generally
given him of having aided materially in the recall of the Bourbons in
1814. But does he effect this by showing, as from this exordium we might
expect, that his countrymen of the middle class, wearied of the costly
triumphs and disasters of the empire, had begun to sigh for peace and
their old kings? Not at all. He transfers the personal share in the
drama from Prince Talleyrand to Baron de Vitrolles. The Duke d'Alberg
had introduced the baron to Talleyrand, whose intention was to employ
him merely to sound the views of the Allies. Talleyrand was to have
accredited him by some lines of his own writing, but ultimately refused
to commit himself. How was Baron de Vitrolles, who by no means limited
himself to the subordinate part designed for him, and on whom it will be
seen so much really depended, to get accredited to the Allies?

The Duke d'Alberg was intimately acquainted with the Count de Stadion,
representative of Austria at the congress. Now these two friends had
formerly, at Munich, had a certain tender intimacy with two young girls,
whose names the Duke d'Alberg remembered; he wrote them on the leaf of a
pocket-book, and they served as a letter of credence to the adventurous
ambassador. "Such," exclaims our lately generalizing historian--"such is
the manner in which God disposes of the fate of nations!--_Voilà de
quelle sorte il plait à Dieu de disposer du sort des peuples!_"

The Baron de Vitrolles, we are told, found the Emperor Alexander
possessed with a strong repugnance against the Bourbons. It cost him
three hours' conversation to gain him over. But he succeeded. It was he
who did gain him over. On the 31st of March, when the Emperor of Russia
entered Paris, Talleyrand stepped forward to receive him.

"Well," said Alexander, "it seems that France recalls the Bourbons."

These words occasioned M. Talleyrand a profound surprise, which,
however, he was too skilful a diplomatist to betray. From that moment,
he was a convert to what he considered the successful cause. "Thus,"
continues our historian, "this restoration took place contrary to the
will of the people, to whom the Bourbons in 1814 were unknown; contrary
to the sympathies of Alexander, who feared the dangers of a reaction;
contrary, in fine, to the opinion of M. Talleyrand, who had never
thought it possible, and had desired only the regency of _Marie

What particle of truth there may be in this narrative, we do not stop to
enquire; we refer to it only as an example of the bold union of the two
historic manners. The restoration of the Bourbons was "in the laws of
the development of the middle classes!" It was all owing to the Baron de
Vitrolles, and that lucky little intrigue at Munich!

It is one of the boasts and privileges of history to reverse the
judgment that contemporaries have formed of the character of the actors
in it. This privilege M. Louis Blanc, since he writes history, is
determined at all events to seize upon; and he can boast, perhaps, of
having reversed more judgments of this kind than any other historian,
however voluminous. M. Talleyrand has obtained his reputation for
ability--his moral reputation it would be too commonplace a matter to
attack--by "speaking in monosyllables one half his life, and saying
nothing the other half." M. Guizot is a man "whose talent consists in
concealing, under the solemnity of expression and the pomp of _formulæ_,
an extreme poverty of views, and sentiments without grandeur." M. Dupin,
the elder, is "skilful in concealing, under an affectation of rudeness,
the pusillanimity of his heart." Cuvier, whose scientific reputation is
untouched, probably because no motive led him to assail it, is "_homme
plus grand par l'intelligence que par le coeur_." Of Metternich he
writes--"A lover of repose from selfishness, he sought it also from
incapacity. He wished to enjoy a reputation easily usurped, the
falsehood of which the least complication of events would have exposed."
And the picture he gives throughout of Casimir Perier is that of an
"illustrious charlatan," in whom nothing was genuine but his pride, his
hate, and his physical infirmities.

The ministers of Charles X. meet with a much fairer appreciation than
those of Louis Philippe. Towards them, one might even say that he is
indulgent. This is easily accounted for: in the war of party, those with
whom we come into the closest and most frequent collision, must, of
course, excite the largest share of our animosity. M. de Polignac seems
to have been aware that he had little to fear from the fierce democrat:
he has not disdained a sort of literary participation in the work,
having contributed some manuscript notes of his own, explanatory of his
share in the transactions of 1830. Altogether, we may presume that the
history, so far as it relates to the ministers of Charles X., is not
unfairly written. Let us approach the narrative by this quarter.

It is a singular picture that M. de Polignac presents to the
imagination, with his unruffled serenity, his extreme audacity, his
violent measures, his negligent preparation, his strong will, his weak
intelligence. The minister is always smiling, and, in the midst of
disaster and ruin, is still beaming with self-confidence; he seems to
have thought that self-confidence wrought like magic, or like faith, and
could of itself remove mountains. If difficulties occurred, his resource
was to be still more self-confident. He was well aware of the hostility
his ordonnances would create; he was well aware that the army must be
their veritable support: yet observe with what a sublime air of
nonchalance he prepares himself for the subjection of a people. "How
many men," asked M. d'Haussez, as the ministers sat round the
council-table, "can you reckon on at Paris?--have you twenty-eight or
thirty thousand?" "More," said the premier; "I have forty-two thousand;"
and, rolling up a paper which he held in his hands, he threw it across
the table to d'Haussez. "But," said the latter, as he looked over the
statement that had been given to him, "I see here only thirteen
thousand. Thirteen thousand men on paper--that amounts to about seven or
eight thousand actually ready to fight your battles. And the other
twenty-nine thousand to complete your number, where are they?" M. de
Polignac assured him that they were spread about the neighbourhood of
Paris, and in ten hours, if it were necessary, could be assembled in the
capital. The ministers felt, adds our historian, that they were entering
into a dreadful game blindfold.

M. de Polignac appears to have relied upon the army, much in the same
way that a speculative writer, theorizing upon government, rests upon
his great abstraction, the military power. He treated it as if it were a
principle, an idea, that developed itself without his aid, and not a
palpable fact of there being a certain number of armed men, then and
there, to fight for his ordonnances.

There is no virtue so much applauded in the present day as
resolution--_will_; and there are who regard a strong will as the
essence of all virtue. But the history of M. de Polignac proves, (if
this needed proof,) that the weak can have will enough. Your strong will
may be purchased at the sole expense of reason. Let there be one idea in
a brain that cannot hold two, and you have a strong will. M. de Polignac
never wavered once; he was always seen with a smiling countenance, calm,
radiant with hope and self-approval. When others around him began to
despond, when the Duke of Ragusa, commander of the forces, writing to
the king, said that it was not a riot, but a revolution, and advised him
to retreat while he could still retreat with honour, the minister had,
for all answer, but one word--"Fire!" It was still, Fire! But what if
the troops, it was asked, desert to the people? "Then fire on the

On the publication of the ordonnances, the members of the Chamber who
were in Paris met at each others' houses to discuss measures of
resistance. But it was not from the members of the Chamber that the
movement was to emanate. Those who had any position to compromise looked
on, for the most part, with anxiety and astonishment, waiting to see
what current the disturbed waters would finally take. "On the evening of
the 27th, a man, name unknown, appeared on the Quai d'Ecole, and
paraded the banks of the river with the tri-coloured flag, which had
been folded up and hidden away for fifteen years." The symbol was
adopted by the people. The revolution had commenced.

Then followed all those strange scenes of levity and blood, buffoonery
and heroism, which the history of Parisian revolutions has familiarized
to the imagination, but which, nevertheless, have an inexhaustible
interest. The people arm themselves wheresoever and howsoever they can.
One brings into the Place de la Bourse two large hampers, full of
muskets and accoutrements. They come from the Théâtre du Vaudeville,
where a piece had been played, a few days before, which required that a
number of actors should be armed. To command men thus equipped there
were extemporary generals, whose epaulets were obtained from the
wardrobe of the Opera Comique. The students of the Polytechnic were, as
usual, on the alert to practise whatever they had learned of military
science; the younger sort entering into the war with the same spirit
that other schoolboys partake of any minor mischief that is going
forward. A student of the Polytechnic is standing on the left bank of
the river; he has a musket, but no ammunition. A fellow-student, a lad
of fifteen, has a packet of cartridges, but no musket: "You shall share
them," said he, showing his treasure, "if you will lend me the gun to
shoot my half." A party of the royal guard were coming over the bridge.
He started with the gun _to have his shots_. He was swept off with
others by the fire of the military.

On one side comes a party led by a violin, women applauding. But the
women do more than applaud. They carry great paving-stones to the top of
the house, to be thence precipitated on the heads of the soldiers; they
tend the wounded, they bruise charcoal for gunpowder.

There was, no doubt, some severe fighting during the Three Days; but,
generally speaking, the military seem to have entered into the contest
with reluctance. Some instances are here given of singular forbearance
on their part. At a time when, in certain quarters of Paris, each house
was converted into a sort of fortress whence the military was assailed,
three men had placed themselves behind a stack of chimneys, and had,
from this shelter, directed a destructive fire on the troops. They were
at length discovered, and a cannon was levelled against the chimney.
But, before firing, the gunner made signal to the men to escape,
contenting himself with demolishing their breastwork. As another company
of soldiers, led by its officer, was marching through the streets, one
of the mob rushed forward, and, with a mad audacity, struck the officer
on the head with a bar of iron. He staggered, and his face overflowed
with blood; but he still had strength enough to raise his sword to put
aside the muskets of his men, who were in the act of firing on the

We have here a vivid description of the taking of the Tuileries by the
populace. Some amused themselves by mutilating the statues of kings, or
by firing at the portraits of such of the marshals as they considered to
have been guilty of treason to Napoleon. A number of artisans installed
themselves in the chamber of the throne; they sat, each in his turn,
upon the royal seat, afterwards they placed a corpse in it. Some of them
drew, over shirts stained with blood, the court-dresses which had
circled the waist of royal princesses, and strutted about in this
masquerade. Riot and destruction as much as you please, but no
theft--such was the order of the day. A young man was bearing off a hat,
decorated with plumes of a costly description. "Where are you going,"
cried his companions, "with that hat?" "It is only a souvenir," said he
of the hat. "Ha! good; but in that case the value is nothing." So
saying, they took the hat and trampled it under their feet, and then
returned it to him--doubly valuable as a souvenir. Many striking traits
of honesty were exhibited. One man brought a vase of silver to the
prefect of police, and did not even leave his name. Another found a bag
of three thousand francs in the Louvre, and hastened with the money to
the Çommune. The next day he was probably amongst the number who were
wandering about Paris without bread and without work, driven out of
employment by the commercial panic of their own glorious revolution.

A scene of a like grotesque description took place, at a later period,
on the return of the mob from Rambouillet, where they had gone in search
of the unhappy Charles X. The king had left Rambouillet before the mob
reached it, so that they had nothing to do but to return, unless any
work of demolition should invite them to stay. M. Degoussée, at that
moment the man in authority, in order to save the royal carriages from
destruction, bethought him of the expedient of offering a ride home in
them to the most violent and redoubtable of the mob. In a moment these
gilded vehicles, blazoned with the royal arms, were filled with the
lowest of the rabble, who projected their pipes and their bayonets from
the windows. These state carriages, drawn by eight horses, and driven by
silken postilions, were heaped up, inside and out, with this riotous
crew, who entered Paris in triumph, amidst the responsive jests and
shouts of the populace. Driven up to the Palais Royal, they there
descended from their splendid vehicles, and delivered them over to their
new owner. "_Tenez--voilà vos voitures!_" they shouted, as they alighted
under the windows of the Duke of Orleans.

It is curious to remark the contrast between the thoughtless, reckless
bravery of the combatants of July, and the watchful timidity of the
politicians who were ultimately to profit by their courage and
infatuation. The soldiers had, at many points, fraternized with the
people--all was success for the popular party--and the drawing-room of
M. Lafitte was full of distinguished men of that party.

"The court of the hotel," continues M. Blanc, "was now full of soldiers.
Five of the royal officers entered the saloon. M. Lafitte, who had been
wounded in the leg, received them sitting in an arm-chair. He received
them with great blandness and dignity. 'Gentlemen,' said he, 'keep your
arms, but swear never to turn them against the people.' The officers
extended their hands, as if to take an oath. 'No oath, gentlemen,' said
M. Lafitte with much emotion; 'kings have dishonoured oaths. The word of
the brave is sufficient.' This was received with universal applause, and
every one present resigned himself to the excitement of the hour; when
suddenly a discharge of musketry was heard. How describe the tumult that
in a moment filled the apartment! The royal guard was certainly
victorious--the enemy would be down on them--every one fled. They rushed
into the hall, they pushed, they struggled for egress. Some jumped
through the windows of the ground-floor into the garden. Two deputies
were found hiding in the stables. In an instant, M. Lafitte was
abandoned by all those who had besieged his arm-chair. His nephew was
the only person who remained with him. And what had happened? The
soldiers of the 6th had followed the example of their comrades of the
55th, and, gained over to the cause of the people, they had fired their
muskets in the air!"

Already, at the first outbreak of the revolution, some one had
remarked--"here were a good game for the Duke of Orleans, if he has the
courage to play it." Courage he had, but equal caution it seems, equal
prudence. A deputation had proceeded from the house of Lafitte to
Neuilly, the residence of the Duke, to invite him to the throne; but it
was the Duchess who received them. The Duke himself had taken refuge at
Raincy. To Raincy messengers were sent. The Duke of Orleans ordered his
carriage. Those who were waiting his arrival at Neuilly heard the wheels
approach--heard them suddenly recede. The carriage had turned, and was
regaining Raincy with all the speed possible. The resolution was not
quite taken, or the pear was not quite ripe.

His entry into Paris, according to M. Blanc, was made on foot in the
evening, and he clambered like a common citizen over the barricades.
Arrived at the Palais Royal, he sent to notify his presence to Lafitte
and Lafayette--representatives, the one of the Chamber, and the other of
the Hotel de Ville--and also to the Duke de Mortemart, minister of
Charles X. The interview with this last took place the same evening, and
had for its apparent object to proclaim, in the presence of the
minister, his attachment and unalterable fidelity to the elder branch of
the Bourbons. When De Mortemart arrived, he was ushered into a little
cabinet on the right, which looks upon the court, not ordinarily used as
an apartment of the family.

The Duke of Orleans was stretched upon the floor, lying on a mattrass,
in his shirt. His forehead was bathed in sweat;{B} the glare of his
eyes, and every thing about him, betrayed a great fatigue, and a
singular state of excitement. On seeing the Duke de Mortemart enter, he
began to speak with great rapidity. He expressed himself with much
volubility and ardour, proclaiming his attachment to the elder branch,
and protesting that he came to Paris only to save the town from anarchy.
At this moment a great noise was heard in the court, and the cry was
raised of _Vive le Duc d'Orleans!_ "You hear that cry," said the
minister; "it is you the people call for." "No, no!" answered the Duke
with increasing energy. "They shall kill me before I accept the crown."

The next morning the deputation from the Chamber presented itself at the
Palais Royal; and so far was resolved, that the Duke of Orleans was
proclaimed lieutenant-general of the kingdom.

M. Louis Blanc gives several anecdotes respecting the King of the
French, and his successive ministers, which we should be disposed to
extract, but that his political antipathies lying exactly in this
quarter, we have not felt sufficient confidence in their authority. For
this reason we will pass on abruptly to a portion of the work where the
political bias of the writer is harmless, or where it may have induced
him to inform himself more accurately on his subject than the generality
of persons.

This last is evidently the case in his account of the doctrines and
practices of the St Simonians. One who felt no sympathy with any portion
of their creed, would not have taken the trouble to obtain accurate
information, or an intimate knowledge on this subject. Not that M. Blanc
is a St Simonian; to do him justice, he has argued with ability and
clearness against their leading tenets or maxims; but being a man
devoted to a new order of things of some kind or other, he has given
naturally a more than usual attention to this sect, and we think our
readers will hold themselves obliged to us, if we abridge some portion
of his account of St Simon and his disciples.

"The founder of the St Simonian school had been deceased five years when
the revolution of July broke out. He belonged to one of the noblest
houses of France, bearing the name and arms of that famous Duke de St
Simon, the historian of the reign of Louis XIV., and the last of our
veritable _grands seigneurs_. Yet it was the privilege of birth that he
attacked, and the impiety of war that he proclaimed. He was a man of
singular independence of mind, and of extreme moral courage. Convinced
that, before dictating a code for the regulation of human life, it was
necessary to have attentively analysed that life as it actually exists,
he spent the first half of his days in studying society under all its
aspects; recoiling from no experience, practising, in the character of
an observer, even vice as well as virtue; drawing a lesson from his own
frailties, and making a study of his own follies. He dissipated his
fortune in premeditated prodigality, and terminated a studious opulence
in excessive poverty; living on the miserable salary of a copyist, when
in idea he was governing the world. In the estimation of some, a
sage--of others, a madman; at one time sanguine to enthusiasm, at
another discouraged to the point of attempting suicide; reduced at last
to the condition of a mendicant, after having so often united round his
table, in order to observe and judge them, the most celebrated men in
art and literature. Such was St Simon in life and character: it remains
to see what were the intellectual results he arrived at."--(Vol. III. p.

His first project of a code for human life was sufficiently ridiculous.
In a work entitled _Letters from an Inhabitant of Geneva to his
Contemporaries_, he addressed himself to the learned portion of the
world, inviting them to undertake the government of the human race. The
programme was as follows. A subscription was to be opened before the
tomb of Newton. Every one was called upon to subscribe according to his
means, rich and poor, man and woman; and each subscriber was to have a
voice in the selection of--three mathematicians, three natural
philosophers, three chemists, three physiologists, three men of letters,
three painters, and three musicians. These several threes, amounting to
twenty-one, besides having the produce of the subscription, were to form
a council, called the _Council of Newton_, and undertake the spiritual
government of the world, directing the efforts of the several nations of
the globe towards one common end.

The learned portion of the world made no response to this invitation; he
therefore next addressed himself to the operatives, declaring that the
time was come to tear the crown from the brow of idleness, and establish
the reign of labour. The king was now to be the chief of artisans, his
ministers enlightened workmen; and the electoral right was to be so
placed as to transfer all power from the proprietor of the soil to the
cultivator, from the capitalist to the journeyman. One would say that,
piqued with the indifference of the most literate portion of mankind, he
was determined to offer the government of the world to the most
illiterate. Since the Royal Society would not accept the ball and
sceptre which he had placed at its disposal, he gave them over to the
Trades' Union.

But neither would this satisfy him. He who appeals to the lowest order
of minds must confine himself to what is intelligible to, and
influential on the lowest; and this would hardly accord with one who, at
all events, had led an intellectual life, of however wild an order. He
again reverted to the thinking classes, and to some modification of his
first idea; and his _New Christianity_--his last and most complete
effort--has for its object to erect an intellectual and spiritual
government of the world. Taking his analogy from the spiritual dominion
of the church of Rome, but finding that that power was too restricted in
its exercise, inasmuch as the material interests and scientific labours
of mankind were not embraced by it, he called for the foundation of "a
religious power, which, embracing humanity in all its interests, should
conduct it towards a Christian purpose--the amelioration of the lot of
the great multitude of mankind; by their _sentiments_ employing
_artists_, by their _reason_ employing the _learned_, and by their
_activity_ employing the _operative_."

Whatever may be the importance of this conception, it answered one
purpose--it satisfied the builder's mind. St Simon died full of faith
and hope. When he bade his eternal adieus to the few disciples who
surrounded his dying bed, he regarded his work as completed, his mission
as fulfilled. "The fruit is ripe," said he; "you will gather it."

The disciples of St Simon still further elaborated and disseminated his
doctrines; and a school was formed which recognised MM. Enfantin and
Buzard for its chiefs. It need hardly be said, that the new order of
society was to be founded on universal benevolence--no war, and no
rivalry--and the industry of mankind organized in such sort, _that to
each man would be assigned according to his capacity, and to each
capacity according to its works_.

We quote with pleasure the remarks (tinctured though they are by his own
peculiar opinions) which M. Blanc makes on this famous formula:--"In
preaching a universal association of men, founded on benevolence--in
demanding that industry should be regularly organized, and that she
should establish her empire on the ruins of a system of violence and
war, the St Simonians showed a thorough intelligence of the laws which
will one day govern humanity. But they overthrow with one hand the
edifice they erect with the other, when they announce this famous
formula--_To each according to his capacity; to each capacity according
to its works_--a formula wise and equitable in appearance, but in
reality subversive and unjust.

"If we say that a man, in virtue of his intellectual superiority, is to
adjudge to himself a larger share than others of the goods of this
world, what right have we to censure the sturdy barbarian, who, in
virtue of his physical superiority, was wont to take the lion's share to
himself? We have changed the basis on which the tyranny rested--the
tyranny remains. The St Simonians, it is true, justify their formula on
the grounds of public utility; it is well, say they, to stimulate talent
by recompense. But is it necessary that the recompense of talent be of
this gross and material kind? that it be counted down in so much wealth?
Thank Heaven! man has other and more energetic motives. With a piece of
riband to be attached to the buttonhole, Napoleon could make an army of
a million of men rush forward upon danger and death. The word _glory_,
well or ill understood, has always decided the destinies of the world.
What is amply sufficient when the work of destruction is in hand, by
what disastrous fatality does it become incompetent when the task is to
produce and to create? Is it not true that great men have always sought
and found their principal recompense in the very exercise of their high
faculties? If society had wished to recompense Newton, it would have
been utterly powerless to do so; there was for Newton, in all the world,
no other or sufficient recompense, but the joy he must have felt when
his genius discovered the laws which govern the planets. * * * The
greater the intelligence, the greater the sphere of action; but not
necessarily the greater the material recompense. The inequality of
capacities can legitimately conduct to the inequality only of duties."

The revolution of 1830 gave a wonderful stimulant to the little society
of St Simon. It extended rapidly, and adjourned its sittings from a
private house to an ample theatre, where three tiers of boxes held the
admiring or ironical auditory. Fêtes, and the presence of charming
women, increased the number of proselytes; artists, physicians,
advocates, poets, flocked to share in the generous hopes of the new era.
The capital and the provinces were portioned out into new departments,
to accord with the new administration of affairs, and St Simonism had
also its map of France. The two chiefs, or fathers, took upon themselves
the ambitious title of popes. They already cast their eyes upon the
Tuileries. Louis-Philippe was summoned by letter to yield his place to
MM. Enfantin and Buzard. St Simonism was already a government destined
to replace the authority of the Catholic church.

But there were schisms in this new church--Pope Enfantin thinking one
thing and Pope Buzard another; and that, too, on the important topic of
matrimony. The principal adepts of the sect met together, and held
strange fanatical discussions for the discovery of the truth on these
controverted points. It is worthy of remark, that St Simonism, as well
as Irvingism or Mesmerism, could boast of its convulsions and its

"At this time there passed in the Rue Monsigny, in the midst of this
sceptical and mocking France, scenes so extraordinary, that, to find
their parallel, we must revert to the history of the Anabaptists. Those
who had hitherto resisted the extreme doctrines of Father Enfantin, felt
as if impelled against their will to the borders of some immense abyss.
With the rest, it was an accession of fervour altogether indescribable,
an exaltation which ended in delirium. There, in a room, the doors of
which were carefully closed, and whose thick walls betrayed no sound,
discussions were continued whole days and whole nights without
interruption, without relief, without repose. It sometimes happened that
a young man, incapable of sustaining these consuming vigils, reeled and
fainted; they removed the apparently lifeless body without suspending
the discussion. M. Caseaux was in an ecstasy for an hour, and began to
prophesy. Another day, M. Olinde Rodrigues was struck as if by apoplexy;
because, asking each of the members in turn whether it was not true that
the Holy Spirit was in him, (M. Olinde Rodrigues,) one of the persons
interrogated had the temerity to answer by certain expressions of
incredulity. The fit was extremely violent, and Dr Fuster, in order to
save the patient, had recourse to a formal retractation from the
inconsiderate respondent, who, on his part, was full of affliction for
the mischief he had occasioned. Such, even on men of serious thought and
elevated understanding, may be the effect produced by a belief carried
to a certain point of excitement."

Such, too, may be the danger of contradicting a prophet; and we intend
to take the hint, and never be guilty of so great an imprudence. These
dissensions, accompanied with certain financial difficulties, led to a
rupture, and the family of the Rue Monsigny were compelled to dissolve.

"In this crisis, the profound calm of Enfantin never deserted him. He
possessed, at Ménilmontant, a house and garden; here he resolved to seek
a place of retreat, of study, and of labour, for himself and his more
faithful disciples. Forty of these followed him to this retreat, and
there commenced the life in common, combined always with a just
sentiment of the true hierarchy of society. Poets, artists, officers,
musicians, all devoted themselves in turn to the rudest and coarsest
labours. They repaired the house, they swept the courts, they cleaned
the chambers and polished the floors; they dug up the uncultivated soil,
they covered the walks with gravel, extracted from a pit which they
themselves had excavated. To prove that their ideas on the nature of
marriage, and the emancipation of women, were pure from any selfish or
sensual calculations, they imposed upon themselves the law of celibacy.
Morning and evening they nourished their mind with the words of the
father, or, in the lives of the Christian saints read aloud, they found
example, encouragement, and precept. Hymns, the music of which one of
their members had composed, served to elevate their minds and charm
their labours. At five o'clock, dinner was announced by the sound of a
horn. Then these philosophic workpeople piled up their tools, arranged
their wheel-barrows symmetrically, and took their place, after having
first sung 'the prayer before repast.'"

In this retreat they adopted a distinctive dress, of which one portion,
the waistcoat, was symbolical; it was so made that it could not be put
on without the help of a brother--and thus was calculated perpetually to
call to mind the necessity of mutual aid. On the day of the institution
of this habit, Enfantin declared that he and his followers had renounced
all rights to property according to the existing law, and had duly
qualified themselves to receive "the honourable wages" of labour.

But this fantastical experiment was cut short by the interference of the
law. A public prosecution was instituted against the St Simonians; and
Père Enfantin, and other chiefs of the sect, were brought before the
tribunal at Paris. It will be easily understood that the court that day
was crowded with spectators, eager to see the St Simonians, especially
Enfantin, who appeared in a violet-coloured robe, with the words LE PÉRE
written in large letters on his breast. When asked by the president,
whether he did not style himself the Father of Humanity--whether he did
not profess to be the Living Law--he answered, "Yes!" with perfect
calmness and assurance. The discourse he delivered in his own defence
was chiefly remarkable for the long pauses he made from time to time,
occupying himself with looking steadfastly at the president, or the
advocate-general. He said he wished to make them feel "the power of the
flesh." But this species of animal magnetism appears to have had no
other effect than that of irritating the court. He and some others were
condemned to pay a fine, and suffer a year's imprisonment. The family
was dispersed. For the present there was an end to St Simonism.

A history is hardly complete without a plague, or pestilence, or famine,
or some such wide-spreading calamity, on which the historian can spend
the dark colours of his descriptive eloquence. Considering that M. Louis
Blanc had but the space of ten years under him, he must have regarded
himself as very fortunate in meeting with the cholera, which figures
here as a very respectable pestilence. The carrying forth the dead,
naked and uncoffined, in open carts, is an image often presented to us
in descriptions of this nature; but it is perhaps surpassed in terrible
effects by the one here offered to us, of the bodies of those who had
died of the cholera piled up in carts and tumbrils, in coffins so
hastily and slightly constructed, that, as they rattled over the stones,
there was constant danger of their horrible contents being poured upon
the pavement. But the strange reports that were afloat amongst this
credulous and passionate populace, form the most striking feature in the
picture. It was reported in Paris, as our readers will probably
remember, that there was, in reality, no cholera, but that poison had
been poured into the fountains of the metropolis, and had been mingled
with the wine and the flour; and thus it was that the people were dying.
It was dangerous to be found with a phial in the hand, or to be seen
sitting, without any ostensible cause, near one of the public fountains.
A young man was looking into a well; he was massacred. Another met the
same fate, who was leaning over the door of a dealer in wine and
spirits, in order to see what o'clock it was. A Jew in the market-place
was thought to have a sinister laugh; they searched him, found a packet
of white powder--it was camphor--they killed him, and set on the dogs to
tear the body.

And then that insurrection against the mud-carts--what an insight does
it give into the wide-spreading and tangled interests of a modern
capital! It was impossible to touch the mud of Paris without periling
the subsistence of eighteen hundred persons. What more fit, what more
innocuous to all parties, it would seem, than to clear away the mud from
the streets--to clear it away as soon as possible, that it should not
lie there, exhaling pestilence during the heat of the day? But
stop--there are in Paris some eighteen hundred persons who gain their
bread out of this mud, groping in it, and extracting from it every
article of the least commercial value. With a basket slung upon their
back, and a crook in their hand to facilitate their search, these
_chiffoniers_ are to be seen in every quarter of the city, congregating
wherever there is dirt. And now, if all that is thrown out of the houses
of Paris is taken away before these industrious persons have had time to
search it, what is to become of the whole profession of _chiffonerie_?
These new mud-carts, with their ruthless sweepers, traversing the city
at dawn of day, must be broken up and thrown into the Seine; and it was
done so accordingly.

There is a peculiar charm, we think, in having related to us, for the
first time, in the shape of history, what we remember to have read and
talked over as the news and gossip of the day. We seem to be present at
the making of history. We see facts, as the death of princes, which made
so much stir and confusion, sink into the commonplace of the historical
record; while anecdotes, which were repeated and forgotten, may stand
forward as instructive proofs of the temper of the times, and the spirit
of the past age. More than one such anecdote we think we could select
from the pages before us; but it is possible we might draw them from a
purer source than the work of M. Louis Blanc, to which our readers will
perhaps think that we have already given more than sufficient space.


{A} _Histoire de Dix Ans_, 1830-1840. Par M. LOUIS BLANC.

{B} As well it might, if he had been clambering over barricades in those
hot days of July; for the three glorious days were remarkable for their


"Can you tell us how far we are from Brown's ferry?" said I to a man,
who came suddenly and silently upon us from a narrow side-path.

We were on the banks of the Tennessee: the evening was drawing in; the
fog, that hung over land and river, was each moment thickening. The
landscape had a wild chaotic appearance, and it was scarcely possible to
distinguish objects at five paces distance.

The horseman paused some moments before answering my question. At last
he replied, accompanying his words with an ominous shake of the head--

"To Brown's ferry? Perhaps you mean Cox's ferry?"

"Well, then--Cox's ferry," said I, rather impatiently.

"Ay, old Brown is dead," continued the man, "and Betsy has married young
Cox. Ain't it him you mean?"

"That we know nothing about," replied I; "but what we wish to learn is,
whether we are far from the ferry, and if this is the right road to it."

"Ah! the way to the ferry--that's the rub, man! You're a good five miles
off, and might just as well turn your horse's head another way. I guess
you're strangers in these parts?"

"Heaven preserve us!" whispered my friend Richards, "we are in the hands
of a Yankee; he is guessing already."{A}

Meantime the horseman had drawn nearer to us, in spite of the thorns and
of the wet boughs, that each moment slapped and slashed him across his
face; and he was now close to our horse. As far as we could distinguish
through the rapidly-increasing gloom, he was a middle-aged man, bony and
long-legged, with a sallow unprepossessing physiognomy surmounting his
long ungainly carcass, and metal buttons upon his coat.

"And so you've lost your way?" said the stranger after a long pause,
during which the thick fog had had the kindness to convert itself into a
close penetrating rain. "That's queer too, seein' that the ferry ain't
fifteen paces from the road, which runs right along the side of the
river. A very queer mistake to be goin' up the stream, instead of
followin' yer nose and the run of the water."

"What do you mean?" cried Richards and I in a breath.

"That you're goin' up the Tennessee instead of down it, and are on the
road to Bainbridge. That's all!" replied the supposed Yankee.

"On the road to Bainbridge!" repeated we, in voices in which
astonishment and vexation were tolerably evident.

"You hadn't a mind to go to Bainbridge, then?"

"How far is the infernal place from here?" asked I.

"How far, how far?" repeated the man with the metal buttons. "It's not
to say very far, nor yet so very near, as I may guess. Perhaps you know
Squire Dimple?"

"I wish you and Squire Dimple were at the devil!" muttered I. But
Richards, who took things more quietly, replied--

"No, we have not the honour of his acquaintance."

"Humph! And whereaway may you be goin'?" enquired our tormentor, who was
apparently waterproof.

"To Florence in Alabama," answered Richards, "and thence down the

"Ah, fine city, Florence! such as one only finds in this country. Ain't
it now? And a good market, too. Talkin' of that, what's the price of
flour in the north? You're come from thereaway, I guess. I did hear it
was six and four levies, and Injun corn five and a fip--butter three

"Are you mad?" cried I, losing all patience, and unconsciously raising
my whip as I spoke--"are you stark staring mad, to keep us talking here
about flour and butter, and fips and levies, while the rain is falling
by bucketsfull?"

"Hallo, stranger!" cried the man, raising himself for the first time out
of his lounging position on the saddle. "Guess you're gettin' wolfish.
I'm for you--stick, fist, or whiphandle, rifle or bowie-knife. Should
like to see the man as could leather Isaac Shifty!"

"The road, the road, Mister Isaac Shifty!" interrupted friend Richards
in a conciliating tone. There was another long pause.

"I guess you're traders," said the fiend at last.

"No, man."

"And what may you be, then?"

Our answer was followed by another long inspection of our persons and
physiognomies. He gazed at us for a couple of minutes or more, examining
us from head to foot; at last he spoke.

"And so you've a mind to go down the Mississippi?"

"Yes, in the Jackson, which starts to-morrow, we are told."

"Ah, the Jackson! a mighty good steamboat too--ain't it now? But I guess
you ain't a thinkin' of takin' that thing and your horse with you?"
continued the Yankee, pointing to our gig.

"Yes, we are."

"Oh, you are! Well.--You haven't seen two women in a dearborn on the
road, have you?"

"No, we have not."

"Well, then," continued the man in the same indifferent tone, "it's
a'most too late now to get to Bainbridge; and yet you might try it, too.
Better turn your horse round, and follow the road till you come to a big
walnut-tree; there it divides. Take to the right hand for half a mile,
till you come to neighbour Dims's hedge; then you must go through the
lane; and then, for about forty rods, right through the sugar-field;
keep to your left till you come to some rocks, but then turn to your
right, if you don't want to break your necks. There's a bit of a stream
there; and when you are over that, the left-hand road will take you
straight to Cox's ferry. You can't miss it," concluded he, in a
self-satisfied tone, striking his horse a blow with his riding-whip. The
animal broke into a smart trot, and in ten seconds our obliging friend
had disappeared into the fog.

My countenance, during the Yankee's interminable directions, must have
somewhat resembled that of a French recruit, to whom some scarred and
mustached veteran is relating his Egyptian campaigns, and telling him
wonderful stories of snakes and crocodiles at least half a mile
long--monsters who made nothing of swallowing a drum-major to their
breakfast, bearskin cap, cane, and whiskers, included. I was so
completely bothered and confounded with the rights and lefts, that the
metal-buttoned individual was out of sight and hearing before I thought
of explaining to him, that, dark as it then was, we should never be able
to find even the walnut-tree, let alone neighbour Dims's hedge and the
break-neck rocks. Patience is by no means one of my virtues; but the
man's imperturbable phlegm and deliberation, in the midst of the most
pouring rain that ever wetted poor devil to the skin, tickled my fancy
so exceedingly, that the sound of his horse's hoofs had hardly died
away, when I burst into an almost interminable fit of laughter. "First
right, then left--look out for the big walnut-tree, and don't break your
neck over the crags!" repeated I, in a tone between merriment and
despair. Richards, however, saw nothing to laugh at.

"The devil take the Yankee!" cried he. "May I be hanged if I know what
you find so amusing in all this!"

"And hang me if I know how you manage to look so grave!" was my answer.

"How could we possibly have missed the ferry?" cried Richards; "and,
what is still more stupid, to come back instead of going forward!"

"Not very astonishing," replied I, "considering the multitude of
by-roads and cross-roads, and waggon-tracks and cattle-paths, and the
swamp into the bargain. It is quite impossible to see which way the
river runs. And then you have been sleeping all the afternoon, and I had
to find the way by myself."

"And you found it after an extraordinary fashion--retracing your own
steps," said Richards in a vexed tone. "It is really too stupid."

"Very stupid," said I--"to sleep."

As may be seen, we were on the verge of a quarrel; but we were old and
sincere friends, and stopped in time. The discussion was dropped. The
fact was, that our mistake was by no means a very surprising one. The
country in which we were, seemed made on purpose to lose one's-self in.
The road winds along at some distance from the river, frequently out of
sight of it; the shore is uneven, covered with crags and hillocks;
nothing like a landmark to be seen, or a mountain to guide one's-self
by, except occasionally, when one gets a peep at the Appalachians rising
out of the blue distance. The fog, however, had hidden them from us, and
that just at the time when we most wanted them as guides. We found
ourselves in a long low clearing--a sort of bottom, as they call it in
that country--which was laid out in sugar-fields, and through which
there ran nearly as many cart-roads as there were owners to the land.
The morning had been bright and beautiful; but, towards noon, a grey
mist had begun to rise in the south-western corner of the horizon, and
had gone on, thickening and advancing, till it spread like a pall over
the Tennessee. With a grey wall of fog on one side, and the swamp,
intersected with a hundred cross-paths, on the other, we had gone on for
about a mile; until it got so thick and dark, that it was quite as
possible we should find our way into the marsh as over the Mussel
shoals.{B} So certain was I, however, of the proximity of the latter,
that I pushed on, expecting each moment to find the ferry, until the
unlucky Yankee brought all my hopes to a termination.

It was now quite night--one of those dreary pitch-dark nights that are
of no unfrequent occurrence in the south-western states. I would as soon
have been on the banks of Newfoundland as in this swamp, from which
nothing was more probable than that we should carry away a rattling
fever. The Yankee's directions concerning the road were, as may be
supposed, long since forgotten; and even had they not been so, it would
have required cat's eyes to have availed ourselves of them. Even the
owls, the nightingales of that neighbourhood, seemed puzzled by the
extreme darkness. We could hear them whooping and screaming all around
us; and now and then one flew against us, as if it had lost its way as
well as ourselves. The road we were now following ran close to the bank
of the river; so close, indeed, that a single stumble of our horse might
have precipitated us into the water, which was then very high.

"I think we should do our best to get out of the gig," said I to my
companion; "or else we have a very good chance of passing the night in
the Tennessee."

"No danger," replied Richards, "Cæsar is an old Virginian."

A shock that made our very ribs crack again, and as nearly as possible
threw us backwards out of the gig, came rather opportunely to interrupt
this eulogium on Cæsar, who had suddenly reared furiously up on his

"There must be something in the path," cried Richards. "Let us see what
it is."

We got out, and found a huge walnut-tree lying right across the road.
Here was an end to our journey. It was an absolute impossibility to get
the gig over the enormous trunk; the boughs, which spread out full
twenty yards in every direction, had given Cæsar timely warning of the
impediment to our further progress. The road, moreover, was so narrow
that it was impossible to turn. There was nothing for it but to back
out. Richards began hunting about for a cross-road, where we might turn;
I set to work to back the gig. I had no sooner, however, set one foot
out of the road, than my cloak was almost torn from my shoulders by a
thorn half a yard long. To get through this detestable wilderness with a
whole skin, one ought to have been cased in complete armour. I had only
just taken my unfortunate garment off this new-fashioned cloak-peg, when
Richards returned.

"This is the most infernal wilderness in all the west!" said he.
"Neither road nor path, mud up to the ears, and, to add to my enjoyment,
I have left one of my boots in the swamp."

"And, for my part, there are as many holes in my cloak as thorns on that
cursed acacia-tree," replied I by way of consolation.

These were the last words we spoke in any thing like a jesting tone; for
we were now wet to the skin: and of all situations, I believe a damp one
to be the least favourable to jocularity. I confess a certain partiality
for adventures, when they are not carried too far. There is nothing I
detest like a monotonous wearisome Quaker's journey, with every thing as
tame, and dull, and uniform, as at a meeting of broad-brims; but to be
overtaken by darkness and a deluge in the middle of a maple-swamp, to be
unable to go three steps on one side without falling into the Tennessee,
with an impenetrable morass and thicket on the other hand, a colossal
walnut-tree barring the way in front, and no possibility of turning
back--this was, even to my taste, rather too much of an adventure.

"Well, what is to be done now?" said Richards, who had placed himself in
a sort of theatrical posture--his bootless foot on the gig-step, the
other sticking fast in the mud.

"Take out the horse, and draw the gig back," suggested I.

Easily said, but rather more difficult to accomplish. We set to work,
however, with a will; and pushed, and tugged, and pulled, till at last,
after much labour, we got the gig about thirty paces backwards, where
the road became wider. We then turned it, and were putting Cæsar into
the shafts, when, to our inexpressible delight, a loud hallo was given
quite close to us.

Reader, if you were ever at a hard contested election, where you had bet
your fifty or a hundred dollars on your favourite candidate, and just
when you made sure of losing, and your five senses were almost
extinguished by noise, brandy, and tobacco smoke, you heard the result
proclaimed that secured you your stake, and a hundred per cent to boot;
if you have ever been placed in such circumstances, then, and then only,
can you form an idea of the joyful feeling with which we heard that
shout. After such a thorough Yankee fashion was it given, that it caused
the fog to break for a moment, and roused the obscene inhabitants of the
neighbouring swamp from their mud-pillowed slumbers. They set up a
screeching, and yelling, and croaking, that was lovely to listen to.

"And now have patience, for Heaven's sake!" whispered Richards to me,
"and hold your tongue for a quarter of an hour, or you will spoil all
with this infernal Yankee."

"Do not be afraid," replied I; "I am dumb."

My blood was certainly tolerably cooled by the shower-bath I had had--to
say nothing of the prospect of passing the night in this vile hole; and
I would willingly have given the tenacious Yankee information concerning
the prices of flour and butter in every state of the Union, upon the
sole condition that he should afterwards help us out of this reservoir
of fever.

It was, as we had at once conjectured, our friend Mr Isaac Shifty, in
soul, body, and buttons. In true Connecticut fashion, he stood a couple
of minutes close to us without saying a word. It almost looked as if he
took a delight in our difficulties, and was in no particular hurry to
extricate us from them. For our part, we kept very much on our guard.
The cross-grained scarecrow might likely enough have left us to our fate
again, if we had said any thing that did not exactly chime in with his
queer humour. Richards at last broke silence.

"Bad weather," said he.

"Well, I don't know. I shouldn't say it was though, exactly," returned
the Yankee.

"You have not met the two women you were looking for, have you?"

"No. Guess they'll have stopped at Florence, with cousin Kate."

"You are not thinking of going there too, are you?" said Richards.

"No. I'm goin' home. I thought you were at the ferry by this time."

"Perhaps we should have been, if your roads were better, and the holes
in them filled up with stones instead of walnut-trees," returned
Richards, laughing.

"Guess you ain't inclined to go to the ferry to-day?"

"Inclined we are, but able we are not," replied Richards; "and you will
acknowledge, my friend, that is a pretty strong reason for not going."

"Well, so it is," replied the man sententiously. "It ain't very
agreeable lyin' out in the swamp; and so, stranger, if you like to go to
Bainbridge, you can come with me. Better let me drive, and my mare can
follow behind."

It took at least five minutes before the wearisome, pedantical fellow
had finished his arrangements and preparations. At last, to the infinite
satisfaction of Richards and myself, we sat three in the gig. After
undergoing a questioning and cross-questioning that would have done
honour to an experienced diplomatist, we had succeeded in striking up a
sort of alliance with Mr Isaac Shifty, and were on our way to one of the
hundred famous cities of Alabama--cities which have decidedly not their
match in the whole of the United States.

I do not know how it happens, but I am constantly finding myself
disappointed in my expectations. I had hoped that the distance between
the infernal maple swamp and the place to which we were going, would
have borne some sort of relative proportion to the agreeableness of our
situation--that is to say, that it would not be very great. It
nevertheless appeared to me enormous, and Horace's impatience during his
celebrated walk was trifling compared to mine. Our Yankee, like the
Roman babbler, had abundance of time to discourse on fifty different
subjects. The first which he brought before our notice was naturally his
own worthy person. From the interesting piece of biography with which he
favoured us, we learned that he was originally from Connecticut, and
that his first occupation had been that of usher in a school; which
employment he had, after a short trial, exchanged for the less
honourable but more independent one of a pedlar. From that he had risen
to be a trader and shop-keeper, and was now, as he modestly informed us,
a highly respectable and well-to-do man. He next gave us an account of
all the varieties of merchandise in which he dealt, or ever had dealt;
intermixing the details with an occasional side-blow at a certain Mr
Bursicut, who had dared to set up an opposition store, and whom
Providence had punished for his presumption by the loss of sundry dozen
knives and forks, and pairs of shoes, upon the Mussel shoals. He then
found occasion to talk of the thousand and one mishaps that had occurred
upon the aforesaid Mussel shoals; and thence branched off into the
various modes of water-carriage which the enlightened inhabitants of
Alabama were accustomed to employ. After amusing us for some time with
long histories concerning steam-boats and keel-boats, barks and
flat-boats, broad-horns, dug-outs, and canoes, he glided into some
canal-making scheme, which was to connect the waters of the Tennessee
with Heaven knows what others. It was a most monstrous plan--that I
remember; but whether the junction was to be made with Raritan bay or
Connecticut river, I have clean forgotten. At last we came to the
history of Bainbridge--a sure sign, as I thought, with much inward
gratulation, that we were approaching the end of our journey; yet the
accomplishment of this hope, reasonable as it was, was doomed to be
deferred a long time. We had first to listen to the whole history and
topographical description of that celebrated city; how it had sprung up
in the right corner, he reckoned; and how flourishing and industrious it
was; and whether we had not a mind to settle there--because if we had,
he, Mr Isaac Shifty, had some almighty fine building land to sell; and
how the town already boasted of three taverns, just the right proportion
to the ten houses of which Bainbridge consisted. We should find two of
the taverns chokeful of people, he said, because there was a canvass
going on for the Florence election; as to the third, it was a poor
place, hardly habitable indeed.

At the word _canvass_, Richards and I looked aghast.

"An election coming on!" stammered Richards.

"An election!" repeated I, the words dying away upon my tongue from
consternation at this unwelcome news. An election in Alabama, which even
in old Kentucky is considered as backwoods! Farewell, supper and sleep,
and comfortable bed and clean linen! every thing, in short, which we had
flattered ourselves with obtaining, and which we stood so much in need
of, after such a hard day's journey.

Before we had time to make any further enquiries, Cæsar, who had for
some time been splashing through a sea of mud, stood suddenly still. The
light of a tallow candle, glimmering and flaring through an atmosphere
of tobacco-smoke, and the hoarse and confused sounds of many voices,
warned us that we had reached the haven. We sprang out of the gig; and
whilst Richards was tying Cæsar to a post, I hurried to the door, when I
felt myself suddenly seized by the skirt of my cloak.

"Not there--not there! This is the house where you are to stop,"
exclaimed Mr Isaac Shifty, pointing anxiously to an adjacent edifice,
that looked something between a house and a pigsty.

"Don't go with him," whispered I to Richards, heartily glad to be at
last independent of the insupportable Yankee, and to be able to vex him
a little in my turn. My hand was already on the latch; I opened the
door, and we entered.

There sat the burgesses of Bainbridge, with their heels upon the
table--those, at least, for whom there were chairs; while those for whom
there were none, made shift with tubs, or stood up in various elegant
attitudes. There was a prodigious amount of talking, shouting, drinking,
and laughing going on; and my first feeling was, that I would rather
have been any where else than in that worshipful assembly. Richards,
however, stepped boldly forward, in spite of his bootless foot; and
luckily the men appeared disposed to be upon their best behaviour with
us. They pressed back right and left, forming a lane about a foot wide,
enclosed between living palisades, six feet and upwards in height,
through which we passed, subjected, as we did so, to a searching
inspection. Richards stepped smartly up to the table, then turned round,
and confronted the group of half-horse, half-alligator visages there

"A hurra for old Alabama!" cried he, "and the devil take the Bainbridge

"Are you mad?" I whispered to him.

"May I be scalped if you don't soon feel the weight of these five bones
upon your carcass, stranger!" growled a voice, proceeding from a sort of
mammoth that had just filled itself a half-pint tumbler of Monongahela.
Before the double-jointed Goliath put his threat into execution, he
swallowed the whisky at a gulp, and then, striding forwards, laid his
open hand upon my companion's shoulder, with a force that threw the poor
fellow on one side, and gave him the appearance of being crooked. At the
same time the giant stared Richards in the face, with an expression
which the natural hardness of his features, and the glimmer of his
owl-like eyes, rendered any thing but agreeable.

"The devil take the Bainbridge roadmaster--I repeat it!" cried Richards,
half in earnest and half laughing, raising his muddy and bootless foot
as he spoke, and placing it on a chair. "See there, men! I may thank him
for the loss of my boot. The cursed swamp between here and the ferry was
kind enough to pull it off for me."

The roar of laughter that responded to these words would inevitably have
broken the windows, had there been any glass in them. Fortunately the
latter luxury was wanting; its place being supplied by fragments of old
inexpressibles, and of _ci-devant_ coats and waistcoats.

"Come, lads!" continued Richards, "I mean no offence; but of a surety I
have to thank your bad roads for the loss of my boot."

Richard's jest, exactly adapted to the society in which we found
ourselves, was the most fortunate _impromptu_ that could have been hit
upon. It seemed at once to have established us upon a footing of harmony
and friendship with the rough backwoodsmen amongst whom we had fallen.

"May I be shot like a Redskin, if that ain't Mister Richards from Old
Virginny, now of the Mississippi," suddenly exclaimed the same colossus
who had so recently had his hand upon Richards's shoulder, twisting, as
he spoke, his wild features into a sort of amicable grin. "May I never
taste another drop of rale Monongahela, if you sha'n't drink a pint with
Bob Snags the roadmaster!"

It was the very dignitary whom Richards had insulted with such imminent
risk to his shoulder-blade.

"A hurra for old Virginny!" shouted the master of the roads, biting, as
he spoke, into a piece of tobacco from that famous state. "Come,
mister--come, doctor!" continued the man, offering Richards with one
hand a roll of tobacco, with the other a pint glassful of whisky.

"Doctor!" repeated the whole assembly--"a doctor!"

A man possessing power over gin and whisky, and whose word is an
indisputable veto against even a _smaller_, is no unimportant personage
in that feverish neighbourhood. In this instance, Richards's doctorship
was of the double utility of delivering us from the threatened
pint-glasses, and of causing us to be considered as privileged
guests--no small advantage in a backwoods' tavern, occupied as the
headquarters of an electioneering party. Cæsar, however, was the first
to derive a positive profit from the discovery. Bob left the room for a
minute or two, and we could hear the horse walking into the stable. When
the roadmaster returned, he had assumed a patronizing sort of look.

"Mister Richards!" said he confidentially, "Mister Richards! May I be
shot if you ain't continually a sensible man, with more rale blood in
your little finger than a horse could swim in. Yes, and I'll show you
that Bob Snags is your friend. I say, doctor, what countryman is your

"A thorough-bred Virginian," replied Richards.

"The devil he is!" cried Bob. "Well, doctor, to prove to you that I'm
your friend, and that I ain't forgotten old times, I'll swop with you
without lookin' at him. May I be shot if I ain't reg'larly cheatin'
myself. Well, I'm uncommon glad to see you again. Bob Snags has no
reason to fear lookin' a rale gemman in the face. Come, lads, none of
yer jimmaky, and slings, and poorgun,{C} and suchlike dog's wash, but
ginu_ine_ Monongahela--that's the stuff. Hurra for Old Virginny! Well,
doctor, it's a deal--ain't it?"

"No, Bob," said Richards, laughing; "your generosity is so truly
Alabamian, that I cannot make up my mind to accept it. For the present,
at least, I must keep my Virginian. It is my wife's saddle-horse."

"But Swiftfoot," replied Bob, in a cordial confidential
manner--"Swiftfoot is a famous trotter."

"It won't do, Bob," was the answer. "I should not dare show myself at
home without Cæsar."

Bob bit his lips, a little vexed at not being able to make a deal; but
another half-pint of whisky, which he poured down as if it had been
spring water, seemed to restore him to good humour. Meanwhile my wet
clothes were beginning to hang heavy upon me, and to steam in the hot
atmosphere in which we were. Bob, who had already cast several
side-glances at me, now turned to Richards.

"And who may the mister be?" said he.

The mention of my name and condition, procured me a welcome that I could
willingly have dispensed with. After the shake of the hand with which
Bob favoured me, I looked at my finger-nails, to see if the blood was
not starting from under them. The fellow's hands were as hard and rough
as bear's paws.

"Very glad that you're come, boys," said Bob in a low confidential tone.
"I'm just makin' a try for the next Assembly; and it's always good, you
know, to have somebody to speak to one's character. How long is it,
Mister Richards, since I left Blairsville."

"Eight years," replied my friend.

"No, Harry," whispered the roadmaster; "may I be shot if it's more than

"But," replied Richards, "I have been living five years by the
Mississippi, and you know"----

"Ah, nonsense!" interrupted Bob. "Five years--not an hour more. D'ye
understand?" added he cautiously--"five years, if you're asked."

The facts were thus. This respectable candidate for the representation
of his fellow-citizens, had made his escape from his previous residence,
the birthplace of Richards, on account of certain misdeeds, of which the
sheriff and constables had taken cognizance, and after wandering about
for a few years, had settled in Bainbridge county, where he seemed to
have thriven--as far, at least, as whisky and human weakness had allowed
him. We could hardly help laughing outright at the importance which Bob
thought proper to attribute to us before his companions, the independent
electors, whose votes he was desirous of securing. Æsculapius himself
was a mere quacksalver compared to Squire Richards, whose twenty-five
negroes were rapidly multiplied into a hundred; while my poor neglected
plantation was, between brothers, well worth five hundred thousand
dollars. We allowed Mr Bob to have it his own way; for it might have
been dangerous to contradict a giant of his calibre, who was always
ready to support his arguments with his huge cocoa nut-coloured fists.
At last Richards was able to slip in a word.

"You are not going to make your speech now, are you?"

"May I be shot if I ain't, though! I'll begin at once."

"Cannot we manage to change our clothes, and get some supper first?"
said Richards.

"Change your clothes!" said Bob contemptuously. "And what for, man? Not
on our account; you're quite smart enough, quite good enough for us--no
occasion to bother yourselves. If it's for your own pleasure, however,
you can do it. Hallo, Johnny!"

And he commenced a negotiation with Johnny, the host, who, to our great
joy, took up a candle, and led the way into a sort of back parlour, with
a promise that we should have our supper before very long.

"Is there no other room where we can dress ourselves?" said I.

"To be sure there is," was the answer. "There's the garret--only there's
my daughter and a dozen gals sleepin' there; then there's the kitchen,
if you like it better."

I looked round the room. A servant girl was beginning to lay the table;
and, unluckily, the apartment was connected by an open door with the
kitchen, in which there was a loud noise of voices. I would have given a
good deal for a quarter of an hour's undisturbed possession of the room.
I looked about for our portmanteaus, but could see nothing of them.

"Six smalls it ain't buffalo hide!" vociferated a young Stentor in the

"Six smalls its cow hide!" roared another.

"If I am not very much mistaken," said Richards, "it is our portmanteaus
that those fellows are betting about."

"That would really be too bad," said I.

Nevertheless, it was as Richards had said. We had little occasion to
fear that the portmanteaus would be lost or injured; but we knew very
well that the only way to get them out of the claws of these rough
backwoodsmen would be by some well-contrived joke. And those jokes were
exactly what I feared; for one had often to risk breaking an arm or a
leg by them. There was a crowd of men in the kitchen. One young fellow,
upwards of six feet high, held a lighted candle; and they were all
busily engaged examining something which lay in the middle of the floor.

"No," cried a voice, appealing apparently from a decision that had been
given, "I won't pay without I see the inside."

They were debating whether the portmanteaus were of buffalo or cow hide.
They had caught sight of them as they were being carried through the
kitchen into the back-room, and had at once seized upon them as good
subjects for a bet. It was time for us to interfere, if we did not wish
to see our trunks ripped open, for the sake of ascertaining the quality
of the leather.

"Sixteen smalls," cried Richards, "that it's deer hide!"

"Done!" thundered half a score voices, with loud peals of laughter.

"It is a bet, then," said my friend; "but let us see what we are betting

"Make way for the gemmen!" cried the men.

"Our portmanteaus!" exclaimed Richards, laughing. "No, certainly, they
are not deer hide. Here is my bet."

A loud hurra followed the payment of the dollar which my friend handed
over; and we now found ourselves in undisputed possession of our
baggage. The next thing to be done was to endeavour to get the room to
ourselves for a few minutes.

"We wish to be left alone for a short time," said I to the help, who was
bustling in and out, and covering the table with innumerable plates of
preserved fruits, cucumbers, beet-root, and suchlike edibles.

I shut the door.

"That is the surest way to have it opened again," said Richards.

He had hardly uttered the words, when, sure enough, the door flew open,
amidst a peal of uproarious laughter.

"Tail!" cried one fellow.

"Head!" shouted another.

"They want another dollar," said Richards. "Well, they must have it, I
suppose. Head!" cried he.

"Lost!" roared the fellows in chorus.

"There is something for you to drink," said my friend, whose wonderful
patience and good-humour was bringing us so fortunately through the
shoals and difficulties of this wild backwoods' life. We now shut the
door, and had time enough to change our wet clothes for dry ones. We
were nearly dressed, when a gentle tapping at the only pane of glass of
which the room window could boast attracted our attention. On looking in
the direction of the sound, we distinguished the amiable features of Mr
Isaac Shifty, who, upon our entering the tavern, had thought proper to
part company.

"Gentlemen," whispered he, removing the remains of an old waistcoat,
which supplied the place of one of the absent panes, and then applying
his face to the aperture--"Gentlemen, I was mistaken. Our spies say you
are not come to the election, but that you are from lower Mississippi."

"And if we are, what then?" replied I dryly. "Didn't we tell you as much
at first?"

"So you did, but I wasn't obliged to believe it; and d'ye see, they're
a-canvassing here for next election, and we've got an opposition in the
other tavern; and as we knew that Bob Snags's people were expectin' two
men from down stream, we thought you might be they."

"And so, because you thought we should vote against you, you allowed us
to stick in the mud, with the agreeable prospect of either breaking our
necks or tumbling into the Tennessee?" said Richards laughing.

"Not exactly that," replied the Yankee; "though if you had been the two
men that were expected, I guess we shouldn't have minded your passing
the night in the swamp; but now we know how matters stand, and I'm come
to offer you my house. There'll be an almighty frolic here to-night, and
p'r'aps somethin' more. In my house you can sleep as quiet as need be."

"It won't do, Mr Shifty," said Richards, with a look that must have
shown the Yankee pretty plainly that his object in thus pressing his
hospitality upon us was seen through; "it won't do, we will stop where
we are."

The latch of the door leading into the kitchen was just then lifted,
which brought our conversation to a close. During the confabulation, our
Yankee's sharp grey eyes had glanced incessantly from us to the door;
and hardly was the noise of the latch audible, when his face
disappeared, and the old waistcoat again stopped the aperture.

"He wants to get us away," said Richards, "because he fears that our
presence here will give Bob too much weight and respectability. You see
they have got their spies. If Bob and his people find that out, there
will be a royal row. A nice disreputable squatter's hole we have fallen
into; but, bad as it is, it is better than the swamp."

The table was now spread; the tea and coffee-pots smoking upon it. The
supper was excellent, consisting of real Alabama delicacies. Pheasants
and woodcocks, and a splendid haunch of venison, which, in spite of the
game-laws, had found its way into Johnny's larder--wheat, buckwheat, and
Indian-corn cakes; the whole, to the honour of Bainbridge be it spoken,
cooked in a style that would have been creditable to a Paris
_restaurateur_. By the help of these savoury viands, we had already, to
a considerable extent, taken the edge off our appetite, when we heard
Bob's voice growling away in the next room. He had begun his speech. It
was high time to make an end of our supper, and go and listen to him
under whose protecting wings we were, and to whom we probably owed it,
that we had got so far through the evening with whole heads and unbroken
bones. Backwoods' etiquette rendered our presence absolutely necessary;
and we accordingly rose from table, and rejoined the assemblage of

At the upper end of the table, next to the bar, stood Bob Snags, in his
various capacity of president, speaker, and candidate. A thickset
personage, sitting near him, officiated as secretary--to judge at least
from the inkstand with which he was provided. Bob looked rather black at
us as we entered, no doubt on account of our late arrival; but Cicero
pleading against Catiline could not have given a more skilful turn to
his oration than did Bob upon the occasion of our entrance.

"And these gemmen," continued he, "could tell you--ay, and put down in
black and white--no end of proofs of my respectability and character.
May I be shot by Injuns, if it ain't as good as that of the best man in
the state."

"No better than it should be," interposed a voice.

Bob threw a fierce look at the speaker; but the smile on the face of the
latter showing that no harm was meant, the worthy candidate cleared his
throat and proceeded.

"Yes," said he, "we want men as know what's what, and who won't let
themselves be humbugged by the 'Ministration, but will defend our
nat'ral born sovereign rights. I know their 'tarnal rigs, inside and
out. May I be totally swallowed by a b'ar, if I give way an inch to the
best of 'em; that is to say, men, if you honour me with your confidence

"You'll go the whole hog, will you?" interrupted one of the free and
independent electors.

"The whole hog!" repeated Bob, striking his fist on the table with the
force of a sledge-hammer; "ay, that will I! the whole hog for the
people! Now lads, don't you think that our great folks cost too much
money? Tarnation to me if I wouldn't do all they do at a third of the
price. Why, half a dozen four-horse waggons would have enough to do to
carry away the hard dollars that Johnny{D} and his 'Ministration have
cost the country. Here it is, lads, in black and white."

Bob had a bundle of papers before him, which we had at first taken for a
dirty pocket-handkerchief, but which now proved to be the county
newspapers--one of which gave a statement of the amount expended by the
first magistrate of the Union during his administration, reduced, for
the sake of clearness, into waggon-loads. Bob was silent, while his
neighbour the secretary put on his spectacles, and began to read this
important document. He was interrupted, however, by cries of "Know it
already! Read it already! Go on, Bob!"

"Only see here now," continued Bob, taking up the paper. "Diplomatic
missions! what does that mean? What occasion had they to send any one
there? Then they've appointed one General Tariff, who's the maddest
aristocrat that ever lived, and he's passed a law by which we ain't to
trade any more with the Britishers. Every stocking, every knife-handle,
that comes into the States, has to pay a duty to this infernal
aristocrat. Where shall we get our flannel from now, I wonder?"

"Hear, hear!" cried a youth in a tattered red flannel shirt, to whose
feelings this question evidently went home.

"Moreover," continued Bob, "it's a drag put upon our ships, to the
profit of their Yankee manyfacters. Manyfacters, indeed! Men! free
sovereign citizens! to work in manyfacters!"

"Hear, hear!" in a threatening tone from the audience.

"But that ain't all," continued Bob, nodding his head mysteriously. "No,
men--hear and judge! You, the enlightened freemen of Alabama, listen and
judge for yourselves! Clever fellows, the 'Ministration and the Yankees!
D'ye know what they've been a-doin'?"

"No, no. Tell us!" repeated twenty voices.

"You don't know?" said Bob, with a fine oratorical movement. "I'll tell
you then. They've been a-sendin' clothes, powder, rifles, flour, and
whisky to the Creeks! Two full shiploads have they sent. Here it is!"
yelled Bob, taking another paper from his pocket, and dashing it upon
the table.{E}

A breathless silence reigned during the reading of the important
paragraph, while Richards and myself were making almost superhuman
efforts to restrain our laughter. Bob continued--

"You see, men, they want to get the scalpin' plunderin' thieves back
ag'in over the Mississippi into Georgia--ay, and perhaps into Alabama
too. And they're holdin' meetin's and assemblies in their favour, and
say that we owe our independence to these Creeks; and talk about their
chiefs--one Alexander the Great, and Pericles, and Plato, and suchlike
names that we give our niggers. And the cussed Redskins are fightin'
against another chief whom they call Sultan, and who lives upon Turk's
island. Where shall we get our salt from now, I should like to know?"{F}

The storm that had been for some time brewing, now burst forth with a
roar that shook the rafters of the log-built tavern. Although
immeasurably tickled by Bob's speech, Richards and I had struggled
successfully with our disposition to laugh. At this moment, however, a
stifled giggling was heard behind us, which immediately attracted the
attention of Bob and his friends. "A spy! a spy!" shouted they; and
there was a sudden and general rush to the door, through which an
unfortunate adherent of the opposite party had sneaked in to witness
their proceedings. The poor devil was seized by a dozen hands, and
dragged, neck and heel, before Bob's tribunal, to account for his
intrusion. He set up a howl of terror, and probably pain, that
immediately brought to his assistance a whole regiment of his friends,
who were assembled in the adjacent tavern. A furious fight began, from
which Richards and myself hastened to escape. We made our way into the
kitchen, and thence into a court at the back of the house.

"Stop!" said a whispering voice, as we were groping about in the
darkness; "you are close to a pool that would drown an ox. I guess you
won't refuse my invitation now?"

It was no less a person than Mr Isaac Shifty; and we began to consider
whether it would not really be better to put ourselves under his
guidance. Indoors we could hear the fight raging furiously. We paused to
think what was best to be done. Suddenly, to our great astonishment, the
noise of the contest ceased, and was replaced by a dead silence. We
hurried through the kitchen to the field of battle, and found that the
charm which had so suddenly stilled the fury of an Alabamian election
fight, was no other than the arrival of the constable and his
assistants, who had suddenly appeared in the midst of the combatants.
Their presence produced an effect which scarcely any amount of mere
physical force would have been able to bring about; and a single summons
in the name of the law to keep the peace, had caused the contending
parties to separate--the intruding one retiring immediately to its own

We passed a quiet and tolerably comfortable night, except that Bob
thought proper to favour us with his society, so that we lay three in
one bed. Before break of day he got up, and went away. Tired as we were,
it was much later before we followed his example. Upon entering the
common room of the tavern, we found it empty, but bearing pretty evident
marks of the recent conflict. Chairs, benches, and tables, lay in
splinters upon the floor, which was, moreover, plentifully sprinkled
with fragments of broken jugs and glasses; and even the bar itself had
not entirely escaped damage. On repairing to the stable, to pay Cæsar a
visit, I found my gig, to my no small mortification, plastered all over
with election squibs--"Hurras for Bob Snags!" and the like; while poor
Cæsar's tail was shorn of every hair, as close and clean as if it had
been first lathered and then shaved. Our breakfast, however, was
excellent--the weather fine; and we set out upon our journey to Florence
under decidedly more favourable auspices than those that attended us on
the preceding day.


{A} There is no surer way of ascertaining the State from which an
American comes, than by his thinkings and guessings. The New-Englander
guesses, the Virginians and Pennsylvanians think, the Kentuckian
calculates, the man of Alabama reckons.

{B} The Mussel shoals are broad ridges of rocks, above Florence, which
spread out into the Tennessee.

{C} A corruption of Bourgogne, Burgundy wine.

{D} John Quincy Adams, then president of the United States.

{E} The Greeks, who at that time were struggling for their independence,
had received various succours from the United States. The Creeks are a
well-known tribe of Indians on the frontiers of Georgia.

{F} Turk's island is a small island from which the Western States, North
and South Carolina, Georgia, &c., get their salt.


The most poetical chronicler would find it impossible to render the
incidents of Montrose's brilliant career more picturesque than the
reality. Among the devoted champions who, during the wildest and most
stormy period of our history, maintained the cause of Church and King,
"the Great Marquis" undoubtedly is entitled to the foremost place. Even
party malevolence, by no means extinct at the present day, has been
unable to detract from the eulogy pronounced upon him by the famous
Cardinal de Retz, the friend of Condé and Turenne, when he thus summed
up his character:--"Montrose, a Scottish nobleman, head of the house of
Grahame--the only man in the world that has ever realized to me the
ideas of certain heroes, whom we now discover nowhere but in the Lives
of Plutarch--has sustained in his own country the cause of the King his
master, with a greatness of soul that has not found its equal in our

But the success of the victorious leader and patriot, is almost thrown
into the shade by the noble magnanimity and Christian heroism of the man
in the hour of defeat and death. It is impossible now to obliterate the
darkest page of Scottish history, which we owe to the vindictive cruelty
of the Covenanters--a party venal in principle, pusillanimous in action,
and more than dastardly in their revenge; but we can peruse it with the
less disgust, since that very savage spirit which planned the woful
scenes connected with the final tragedy of Montrose, has served to
exhibit to the world, in all time to come, the character of the martyred
nobleman in by far its loftiest light.

There is no ingredient of fiction in the historical incidents recorded
in the following ballad. The indignities that were heaped upon Montrose
during his procession through Edinburgh, his appearance before the
Estates, and his last passage to the scaffold, as well as his undaunted
bearing, have all been spoken to by eyewitnesses of the scene. A graphic
and vivid sketch of the whole will be found in Mr Mark Napier's volume,
"The Life and Times of Montrose"--a work as chivalrous in its tone as
the Chronicles of Froissart, and abounding in original and most
interesting materials; but, in order to satisfy all scruple, the
authorities for each fact are given in the shape of notes. The ballad
may be considered as a narrative of the transactions, related by an
aged Highlander, who had followed Montrose throughout his campaigns, to
his grandson, shortly before the splendid victory of Killiecrankie:--


    Come hither, Evan Cameron,
      Come, stand beside my knee--
    I hear the river roaring down
      Towards the wintry sea.
    There's shouting on the mountain side,
      There's war within the blast--
    Old faces look upon me,
      Old forms go trooping past.
    I hear the pibroch wailing
      Amidst the din of fight,
    And my old spirit wakes again
      Upon the verge of night!


    'Twas I that led the Highland host
      Through wild Lochaber's snows,
    What time the plaided clans came down
      To battle with Montrose.
    I've told thee how the Southrons fell
      Beneath the broad claymore,
    And how we smote the Campbell clan
      By Inverlochy's shore.
    I've told thee how we swept Dundee,
      And tamed the Lindsays' pride;
    But never have I told thee yet
      How the Great Marquis died!


    A traitor sold him to his foes;{A}
      O deed of deathless shame!
    I charge thee, boy, if e'er thou meet
      With one of Assynt's name--
    Be it upon the mountain's side,
      Or yet within the glen,
    Stand he in martial gear alone,
      Or back'd by armed men--
    Face him, as thou would'st face the man
      Who wrong'd thy sire's renown;
    Remember of what blood thou art,
      And strike the caitiff down!


    They brought him to the Watergate{B}
      Hard bound with hempen span,
    As though they held a lion there,
      And not a fenceless man.
    They set him high upon a cart--
      The hangman rode below--
    They drew his hands behind his back,
      And bared his lordly brow.
    Then, as a hound is slipp'd from leash,
      They cheer'd the common throng,
    And blew the note with yell and shout,
      And bade him pass along.


    It would have made a brave man's heart
      Grow sad and sick that day,
    To watch the keen malignant eyes
      Bent down on that array.
    There stood the Whig west-country lords
      In balcony and bow,
    There sat their gaunt and wither'd dames,
      And their daughters all a-row;
    And every open window
      Was full as full might be,
    With black-robed Covenanting carles,
      That goodly sport to see!


    But when he came, though pale and wan,
      He look'd so great and high,{C}
    So noble was his manly front,
      So calm his steadfast eye;--
    The rabble rout forbore to shout,
      And each man held his breath,
    For well they knew the hero's soul
      Was face to face with death.
    And then a mournful shudder
      Through all the people crept,
    And some that came to scoff at him,
      Now turn'd aside and wept.


    But onwards--always onwards,
      In silence and in gloom,
    The dreary pageant labour'd,
      Till it reach'd the house of doom:
    But first a woman's voice was heard
      In jeer and laughter loud,{D}
    And an angry cry and a hiss arose
      From the heart of the tossing crowd:
    Then, as the Græme look'd upwards,
      He caught the ugly smile
    Of him who sold his King for gold--
      The master-fiend Argyle!


    The Marquis gazed a moment,
      And nothing did he say,
    But the cheek of Argyle grew ghastly pale,
      And he turn'd his eyes away.
    The painted harlot at his side,
      She shook through every limb,
    For a roar like thunder swept the street,
      And hands were clench'd at him,
    And a Saxon soldier cried aloud,
      "Back, coward, from thy place!
    For seven long years thou hast not dared
      To look him in the face."{E}


    Had I been there with sword in hand
      And fifty Camerons by,
    That day through high Dunedin's streets
      Had peal'd the slogan cry.
    Not all their troops of trampling horse,
      Nor might of mailéd men--
    Not all the rebels in the south
      Had borne us backwards then!
    Once more his foot on Highland heath
      Had stepp'd as free as air,
    Or I, and all who bore my name,
      Been laid around him there!


    It might not be. They placed him next
      Within the solemn hall,
    Where once the Scottish Kings were throned
      Amidst their nobles all.
    But there was dust of vulgar feet
      On that polluted floor,
    And perjured traitors fill'd the place
      Where good men sate before.
    With savage glee came Warristoun{F}
      To read the murderous doom,
    And then uprose the great Montrose
      In the middle of the room.


    "Now by my faith as belted knight,
      And by the name I bear,
    And by the red Saint Andrew's cross
      That waves above us there--
    Ay, by a greater, mightier oath--
      And oh, that such should be!--
    By that dark stream of royal blood
      That lies 'twixt you and me--
    I have not sought in battle field
      A wreath of such renown,
    Nor dared I hope, on my dying day,
      To win the martyr's crown!


    "There is a chamber far away
      Where sleep the good and brave,
    But a better place ye have named for me
      Than by my father's grave.
    For truth and right, 'gainst treason's might,
      This hand has always striven,
    And ye raise it up for a witness still
      In the eye of earth and heaven.
    Then nail my head on yonder tower--
      Give every town a limb--
    And God who made shall gather them.--
      I go from you to Him!"{G}


    The morning dawn'd full darkly,
      The rain came flashing down,
    And the jagged streak of the levin-bolt
      Lit up the gloomy town:
    The heavens were speaking out their wrath,
      The fatal hour was come,
    Yet ever sounded sullenly
      The trumpet and the drum.
    There was madness on the earth below,
      And anger in the sky,
    And young and old, and rich and poor,
      Came forth to see him die.


    Ah, God! That ghastly gibbet!
      How dismal 'tis to see
    The great tall spectral skeleton,
      The ladder, and the tree!
    Hark! hark! It is the clash of arms--
      The bells begin to toll--
    He is coming! he is coming!
      God's mercy on his soul!
    One last long peal of thunder--
      The clouds are clear'd away,
    And the glorious sun once more looks down
      Amidst the dazzling day.


    He is coming! he is coming!
      Like a bridegroom from his room,{H}
    Came the hero from his prison
      To the scaffold and the doom.
    There was glory on his forehead,
      There was lustre in his eye,
    And he never walk'd to battle
      More proudly than to die:
    There was colour in his visage,
      Though the cheeks of all were wan,
    And they marvell'd as they saw him pass,
      That great and goodly man!


    He mounted up the scaffold,
      And he turn'd him to the crowd;
    But they dared not trust the people,
      So he might not speak aloud.
    But he look'd upon the heavens,
      And they were clear and blue,
    And in the liquid ether
      The eye of God shone through:
    Yet a black and murky battlement
      Lay resting on the hill,
    As though the thunder slept within--
      All else was calm and still.


    The grim Geneva ministers
      With anxious scowl drew near,{I}
    As you have seen the ravens flock
      Around the dying deer.
    He would not deign them word nor sign,
      But alone he bent the knee;
    And veil'd his face for Christ's dear grace
      Beneath the gallows-tree.
    Then radiant and serene he rose,
      And cast his cloak away:
    For he had ta'en his latest look
      Of earth, and sun, and day.


    A beam of light fell o'er him,
      Like a glory round the shriven,
    And he climb'd the lofty ladder
      As it were the path to heaven.{J}
    Then came a flash from out the cloud,
      And a stunning thunder roll,
    And no man dared to look aloft,
      For fear was on every soul.
    There was another heavy sound,
      A hush and then a groan;
    And darkness swept across the sky--
      The work of death was done!

    W. E. A.


{A} "The contemporary historian of the Earls of Sutherland records, that
(after the defeat of Invercarron) Montrose and Kinnoull 'wandered up the
river Kyle the whole ensuing night, and the next day, and the third day
also, without any food or sustenance, and at last came within the
country of Assynt. The Earl of Kinnoull, being faint for lack of meat,
and not able to travel any further, was left there among the mountains,
where it was supposed he perished. Montrose had almost famished, but
that he fortuned in his misery to light upon a small cottage in that
wilderness, where he was supplied with some milk and bread.' Not even
the iron frame of Montrose could endure a prolonged existence under such
circumstances. He gave himself up to Macleod of Assynt, a former
adherent, from whom he had reason to expect assistance in consideration
of that circumstance, and, indeed, from the dictates of honourable
feeling and common humanity. As the Argyle faction had sold the King, so
this Highlander rendered his own name infamous by selling the hero to
the Covenanters, for which 'duty to the public' he was rewarded with
four hundred bolls of meal."--NAPIER'S _Life of Montrose_.

{B} "_Friday, 17th May._--Act ordaining James Grahame to be brought from
the Watergate on a cart, bareheaded, the hangman in his livery, covered,
riding on the horse that draws the cart--the prisoner to be bound to the
cart with a rope--to the Tolbooth of Edinburgh, and from thence to be
brought to the Parliament House, and there, in the place of delinquents,
on his knees, to receive his sentence--viz., to be hanged on a gibbet at
the Cross of Edinburgh, with his book and declaration tied on a rope
about his neck, and there to hang for the space of three hours until he
be dead; and thereafter to be cut down by the hangman, his head, hands,
and legs to be cut off, and distributed as follows--viz., His head to be
affixed on an iron pin, and set on the pinnacle of the west gavel of the
new prison of Edinburgh; one hand to be set on the port of Perth, the
other on the port of Stirling; one leg and foot on the port of Aberdeen,
the other on the port of Glasgow. If at his death penitent, and relaxed
from excommunication, then the trunk of his body to be interred, by
pioneers, in the Greyfriars; otherwise, to be interred in the
Boroughmuir, by the hangman's men, under the gallows."--BALFOUR'S _Notes
of Parliament_.

It is needless to remark that this inhuman sentence was executed to the
letter. In order that the exposure might be more complete, the cart was
constructed with a high chair in the centre, having holes behind,
through which the ropes that fastened him were drawn. The author of the
_Wigton Papers_, recently published by the Maitland Club, says, "the
reason of his being tied to the cart was in hope that the people would
have stoned him, and that he might not be able by his hands to save his
face." His hat was then pulled off by the hangman, and the procession

{C} "In all the way, there appeared in him such majesty, courage,
modesty--and even somewhat more than natural--that those common women
who had lost their husbands and children in his wars, and who were hired
to stone him, were upon the sight of him so astonished and moved, that
their intended curses turned into tears and prayers; so that next day
_all the ministers preached against them for not stoning and reviling
him_."--_Wigton Papers._

{D} "It is remarkable, that of the many thousand beholders, the Lady
Jean Gordon, Countess of Haddington, did (alone) publicly insult and
laugh at him; which being perceived by a gentleman in the street, he
cried up to her, that it became her better to sit upon the cart for her
adulteries."--_Wigton Papers._ This infamous woman was the third
daughter of Huntly, and the niece of Argyle. It will hardly be credited
that she was the sister of that gallant Lord Gordon, who fell fighting
by the side of Montrose, only five years before, at the battle of

{E} "The Lord Lorn and his new lady were also sitting on a balcony,
joyful spectators; and the cart being stopt when it came before the
lodging where the Chancellor, Argyle, and Warristoun sat--that they
might have time to insult--he, suspecting the business, turned his face
towards them, whereupon they presently crept in at the windows: which
being perceived by an Englishman, he cried up, it was no wonder they
started aside at his look, for they durst not look him in the face these
seven years bygone."--_Wigton Papers._

{F} Archibald Johnston of Warristoun. This man, who was the inveterate
enemy of Montrose, and who carried the most selfish spirit into every
intrigue of his party, received the punishment of his treasons about
eleven years afterwards. It may be instructive to learn how _he_ met his
doom. The following extract is from the MSS. of Sir George
Mackenzie:--"The Chancellor and others waited to examine him; he fell
upon his face, roaring, and with tears entreated they would pity a poor
creature who had forgot all that was in the Bible. This moved all the
spectators with a deep melancholy; and the Chancellor, reflecting upon
the man's great parts, former esteem, and the great share he had in all
the late revolutions, could not deny some tears to the frailty of silly
mankind. At his examination, he pretended he had lost so much blood by
the unskilfulness of his chirurgeons, that he lost his memory with his
blood; and I really believe that his courage had been drawn out with it.
Within a few days he was brought before the parliament, where he
discovered nothing but much weakness, running up and down upon his
knees, begging mercy; but the parliament ordained his former sentence to
be put to execution, and accordingly he was executed at the cross of

{G} "He said he was much beholden to the parliament for the honour they
put on him; 'for,' says he, 'I think it a greater honour to have my head
standing on the port of this town, for this quarrel, than to have my
picture in the king's bedchamber. I am beholden to you, that, lest my
loyalty should be forgotten, ye have appointed five of your most eminent
towns to bear witness of it to posterity.'"--_Wigton Papers._

{H} "In his downgoing from the Tolbooth to the place of execution, he
was very richly clad in fine scarlet, laid over with rich silver lace,
his hat in his hand, his bands and cuffs exceeding rich, his delicate
white gloves on his hands, his stockings of incarnate silk, and his
shoes with their ribands on his feet; and sarks provided for him with
pearling about, above ten pund the elne. All these were provided for him
by his friends, and a pretty cassock put on upon him, upon the scaffold,
wherein he was hanged. To be short, nothing was here deficient to honour
his poor carcase, more beseeming a bridegroom than a criminal going to
the gallows."--NICHOLL'S _Diary_.

{I} The Presbyterian ministers beset Montrose both in prison and on the
scaffold. The following extracts are from the diary of the Rev. Robert
Traill, one of the persons who were appointed by the commission of the
kirk "to deal with him:"--"By a warrant from the kirk, we staid a while
with him about his soul's condition. But we found him continuing in his
old pride, and taking very ill what was spoken to him, saying, 'I pray
you, gentlemen, let me die in peace.' It was answered, that he might die
in true peace, being reconciled to the Lord and to his kirk."--"We
returned to the commission, and did show unto them what had passed
amongst us. They, seeing that for the present he was not desiring
relaxation from his censure of excommunication, did appoint Mr Mungo Law
and me to attend on the morrow on the scaffold, at the time of his
execution, that, in case he should desire to be relaxed from his
excommunication, we should be allowed to give it unto him in the name of
the kirk, and to pray with him, and for him, _that what is loosed in
earth might be loosed in heaven_." But this pious intention, which may
appear somewhat strange to the modern Calvinist, when the prevailing
theories of the kirk regarding the efficacy of absolution are
considered, was not destined to be fulfilled. Mr Traill goes on to say,
"But he did not at all desire to be relaxed from his excommunication in
the name of the kirk, _yea, did not look towards that place on the
scaffold where we stood_; only he drew apart some of the magistrates,
and spake a while with them, and then went up the ladder, in his red
scarlet cassock, in a very stately manner."

{J} "He was very earnest that he might have the liberty to keep on his
hat; it was denied: he requested he might have the privilege to keep his
cloak about him--neither could that be granted. Then, with a most
undaunted courage, he went up to the top of that prodigious
gibbet."--"The whole people gave a general groan; and it was very
observable, that even those who at his first appearance had bitterly
inveighed against him, could not now abstain from tears."--_Montrose



It was towards the close of an autumnal evening, in the commencement of
the sixteenth century, that a crowd of human beings was dispersing from
the old market-place of Hammelburg, an ancient and, at that time,
considerable town of Franconia, after witnessing the performance of a
hideous and living tragedy. The Ober-Amtmann, or governor of the town,
who had presided over the awful occasion, had left, attended by his
_schreibers_, or secretaries, the small balustraded terrace which
advanced out before the elevated entrance of the old Gothic town-hall.
The town-guard were receding in various directions, warning the crowd to
seek their homes, and sometimes aiding with a gentle admonition of their
pike-heads those who lingered, as, slowly retreating, they moved down
the different narrow streets that led from the central market-place,
like streams flowing off in different channels after an inundation.
Window after window was closing in the quaintly-carved and
strangely-decorated gables of the houses; and many a small casement had
been pulled to, over sundry withered old faces, that, peering from the
dark and narrow aperture, and illumined by the glaring light that had
filled the market-place, had resembled some darkly-traced picture placed
against the opening. In the middle of the square still smoked, in a
heavy volume of cloud, the last gleaming ashes of a lately blazing pile,
still filling the air with a noisome stench. The night was closing
darkly in, and one human being alone seemed yet to linger in the

It would have been difficult, indeed, to discover that the dark object
just discernible upon the edge of the blackened mass of smoking cinders
really was a human being, so shapeless was the form, so strangely was it
crouched down before the spot where the pile had been consumed. From
time to time only an upward-flung movement of two thin arms, as if in
the violent emotion of earnest prayer or deprecation, showed that this
object was a living thing; until, when the moon rose from behind the old
town-hall, disengaging itself, ever and anon, from among the heavy
clouds of a gathering storm, its light fell full upon this indistinct
apparition, and revealed the form of a man, curiously bent together in a
half-squatting, half-kneeling position. His head was bare. His long
tangled black locks hung around a swarthy face, young still in years,
but worn and withered, and prematurely aged by sickness, sorrow, or
violence of passion--perhaps by the constant operation of all three. At
this moment it was ghastly pale, and bore the marks of the faintness and
exhaustion attendant upon a reaction after intense excitement. The dress
of this creature was not the usual costume of the lower classes, and
consisted almost entirely of a ragged and soiled garment of coarse brown
linen, made somewhat in the shape of a modern _blouse_, and bound round
his waist by a coarse leathern band. Around his neck hung a square bag,
or satchel, which at once designated his calling to be that of a common
beggar, privileged by the religious authorities of the place. The stoop
of his broad shoulders, between which the head was deeply sunk, told a
tale of long sickness, which had broken a frame originally bold and
strong, and given a peculiarly ill-favoured appearance to a form
naturally well built; and when he arose from his squatting posture, the
bent and withered appearance of his crooked legs, which no longer
possessed sufficient strength to support the bulkier frame above, gave
painful evidence that the wretched man had suffered cruelly from those
common scourges of his class at that period--rheumatism and ague.
Clasped between his hands was a rosary of wood; and, as he rose, he
pressed it to his lips, and then deposited it in the upper part of his

"No, no!" exclaimed the cripple aloud, when he had staggered to his
feet. "No, it is not vengeance--it is not, God knows; although the
malevolence of those hideous and accursed hags, those lemans of
Satan"--and he spat upon the ground--"have made me the wretched outcast
of humanity I am. The blood of the foul one has been shed for His glory
only, and that of the blessed Virgin, to the destruction of the
arch-enemy of mankind and his delusions!"

"Thou knowest it is so," he added, again clutching forth the rosary from
his bosom, which, after gazing upon a rude personification of the
Virgin, stamped upon a tiny plate of copper at the end of the string of
beads, and devoutly making the sign of the cross, he returned to its
usual depository.

"I have cried against the handmaid of Beelzebub--uttering cry for cry as
she shrieked out her wretched soul. I have prayed earnestly and long,
and I am athirst," continued the cripple, as he dragged his distorted
limbs with difficulty over the rough stones towards a large covered
well, which occupied the lower part of the market-place.

As the beggar approached the parapet of the well, to drink from one of
the buckets which reposed upon its edge, he became first aware of the
presence of another human being. Half-concealed behind one of the
twisted columns that supported the Gothic pavilion above, sat upon the
parapet a female figure, dressed in a black garb of such a form and
nature, that, without being the exact costume of any known religious
order, it bore a monastic character. Her face, as she sat with her head
bent down over her clasped hands, in an attitude of mournful
humiliation, was fully concealed by a black hood. But when, upon the
approach of the beggar, she started up hastily, as if impelled by
feelings of horror and disgust, the moon shone full upon her, and
revealed the features of a woman of an advanced period of life, who
formerly might have possessed much beauty, although now so washed out by
tears, and furrowed by sorrow, that the whole character of her face was
changed. Her years, too, were probably very much fewer than her
appearance denoted, for the signs of age upon her face bore less the
marks of time than of mental suffering. The symptoms of aversion which
her manner displayed upon the beggar's approach, although instinctive
and involuntary, and almost immediately restrained, had not escaped his
eye. His features expressed the bitter resentment of his heart at this
insult, and worked with ill-repressed feelings of anger and spite.

"Ha! Mother Magdalena--it is thou! Why flinchest thou at my approach?
Hast thou cause to fear me, then?" exclaimed the cripple with a sneer,
as he drew nearer.

The female thus addressed shuddered at the sound of his voice; and,
hastily pulling her dark hood more closely over her face, endeavoured to
pass on without reply; but the beggar caught her by the arm.

"Not so fast, beldam!" he cried. "I would have a word with thee. Dost
thou not know me?"

"Not know thee!" exclaimed the dark female. "Who in this wretched town
does not know Schwartzer Claus, the witchfinder? What wouldst thou with
me? Let me go!"

"Why dost thou tremble, then, and turn away thy head?" continued the
cripple. "Why does Black Claus, the witchfinder--since such thou callest
me--make thee shudder thus in every limb? The innocent have no cause to

"Thou askest me why I shudder?" said Magdalena in an excited tone,
forgetting in her agitation her purpose of self-control. "Thou hast
forced me to speak, and I will tell thee. Is not thy hand yet reeking
with the bloody ashes of thy last victim? Has not a seventh unhappy
woman suffered this very day a cruel death at the stake upon thy hideous
denunciation; and thou askest me why I shudder?"

"Beware, woman--beware!" cried the witchfinder, lifting up his long
right arm with a gesture of menace. "Those who defend the evil-doer, and
malign the just and heaven-directed accuser, are not far from being
arraigned as accomplices themselves!"

"What! thou seekest already another innocent sacrifice, wretched man!"
continued the female, tearing away her arm, which the beggar still held
clenched in his left hand. "Thou art not sated with the innocent blood
thy false witness has this day shed?"

"It is a lie!--it is a damning lie!" screamed the cripple, foaming with
passion. "I have borne no false witness! Besides, did not she avow her
deeds of darkness? did she not confess her complicity with the spirits
of hell, and her harlotries with the arch-deceiver of mankind?"

"Ay! when, tortured in mind and body, her poor weak old head gave way,
and she unconsciously affirmed all that her torturers had for hours past
been pressing upon her wavering understanding. Ye had driven her mad,
poor wretch!"

"'Tis false again!--'tis false!" repeated the witchfinder. "The truth
spoke out of her at last, when her treacherous paramour, the demon, had
deserted her. God's glory and that of the holy church, for which I work,
had triumphed over the powers of darkness."

"Thou serve the holy church! Hear not the blasphemy, O Lord!" cried the
excited woman, raising up her hands to heaven. "Thou, miserable wretch!
who, for the favour of the Amtmann or the priest, for the pittance
bestowed on thee in reward of thy discovery of the supposed foul
practices of witchery and magic, art ever ready to sell the innocent
blood of the aged, helpless, and infirm!"

"For the lucre of gain!" screamed the cripple, but in a tone as much of
despair at this accusation as of wrath. "For the lucre of gain! No--no;
as God is my judge, it is not! My motives are pure; God and the Holy
Virgin know they are! It is not even a spirit of revenge that instigates
me. No--no! it cannot be; it _is_ not! If the words of my mouth have
condemned and killed, it is because my voice was uplifted in the cause
of religion, and to the confusion of the prince of evil!" But as he
spoke, the beggar covered his face with his hands, with a shudder, as
though there passed in his soul a struggle with himself--a doubt of his
own real motives.

Magdalena was about to quit in haste her dangerous companion, when a
sentiment of pity at the sight of the cripple's evident emotion seemed
to mingle strangely with her disgust and aversion to the witchfinder. It
was even with an uncontrollable feeling of interest that she stopped for
a moment to look upon the wretched man.

After a pause, the beggar removed his hands from his face, and uttering
in a low tone the words, "I thirst," staggered to the edge of the well,
and seized the bucket within his hands. He bent over it but for a moment
to drink, and could scarcely have swallowed many mouthfuls, before,
flinging back the bucket into the well, he started up, and spat the
water from his mouth.

"Horror!" he said, with a look of mingled terror and insanity--"it
tastes of blood!"

"It is thy own conscience, poor man, that troubles the taste of the
fresh element," said Magdalena solemnly; "the water is pure and sweet!"

"Thou hast done this, old hag!" cried the witchfinder wildly; unheeding
her remark. "Thou hast corrupted the waters at the source. Why did I
find thee sitting here, cowering over the surface of the well, if it
were not to cast malefick spells upon the water, and turn it into
poison--in order to give ills, and ails, and blains, and aches, and
pains, and sickness, and death to thy fellow-creatures? Ha! ha! I have
long thought it. Thou also art one of the accursed ones!"

"Thou ravest, miserable wretch!" replied the female; "thou knowest not
what thou utterest. God forgive thee, cripple, thy wicked thought, and
change thy perverted mind!"

She was again about to turn away, and leave her angry questioner, when,
fearing the result of the evil feeling now fully excited in the
witchfinder's mind, she again paused to excuse herself in the eyes of
the dangerous man, and added--

"Thou canst not mean what thou sayest, Claus; I sat by the well but to
cool my heated brow in the night-air, and taste the breath of heaven;
for my mind was saddened, and my head whirled, with the horrors that
this day has witnessed."

But her words were but oil upon the flame, and only served to augment
the wild infatuation of the witchfinder.

"Ah! thy mind was saddened! Thou hadst pity for that vile hag of hell!
Was she thy comrade? Perchance thou hadst fear for thyself? Thou
thought'st thy own time might come? Thy own time _will_ come, old
Magdalena. My eye is upon thee and thy dark practices; it has been upon
thee since thou camest, unknown and unacknowledged, to this place, none
could tell when, and whence, and how. Ay, my eye is upon thee,

Willingly would the woman now have shrunk away before the maddened
witchfinder's objurgation; but the wild accusation thus thundered
against her froze her with terror, and riveted her to the spot.

"I have marked thee well," continued the frantic man, "and I have seen
thee pause upon the threshold of the holy house of God, and kneel in
mockery upon the steps before it: but thou hast never dared to enter it.
Thou knewest well that the devil thou servest would have torn thee in
pieces hadst thou done it. Ha! do I catch thee there?" he continued, as
at these words the woman buried her face between her hands.

"Thou canst not deny it!" shouted the witchfinder with an air of

"God best judges the motives of the heart," murmured Magdalena.

"I will tell thee more, vile hag, and thou shalt hear it face to face,"
pursued the cripple, seizing the poor woman's arms with his long bony
fingers, and dragging her hands from before her face, in spite of her
efforts at resistance. "Thou watchest at street corners and in doorways,
on the bridge or on the causeway, to see fair Fraulein Bertha, the
Ober-Amtmann's daughter, ride past upon her ambling jennet, or mount the
church-steps, her missal in her hand. Thou watchest her to cast thy
spells upon her. Thou hatest her for her youth and beauty and spotless
purity, like all thy wretched tribe, whom the sight of innocence and
brightness sickens to the heart's core. Thou wouldst fascinate her with
thy eye of evil and thy deadly incantations."

The moon, the light of which still struggled faintly through the
fast-accumulating clouds, shone for a moment upon the face of old
Magdalena, as the cripple pronounced these words. Her features were more
deadly pale than usual, and convulsed with an excess of agitation at
this mention of Bertha's name, which she evidently struggled to control
in vain.

"Ah! I have thee there again!" screamed Claus in triumph a second time.
"Already have I seen her cheek grow pale, her head bow down like a
blighted flower, her walk become weary with faintness. Hast thou already
been at thy filthy machinations? But Black Claus, the witchfinder, is
there to wrestle with the powers of evil. And hear me! That fair sweet
girl is the only comfort of my wretched life. My soul grows calm and
soothed when I look upon that lovely face. A ray of sunshine gleams upon
the darkness of my path when her smile beams upon me. My heart leaps
within me for joy when her small white hand drops an offering into my
beggar's bowl. She is my only life, my only joy, and my guardian angel.
And couldst thou harm her, woman, no torment should be too horrible for
thee, body and soul. The chains of the stake still lie upon the
market-place--the ashes of yon pile still reek with heat; and the pile
shall rise again, the chains shall bind once more. Wretched hag! I bid
thee again beware!"

As with one hand the raving witchfinder pointed to the spot where one
unhappy woman had already perished that day, a victim to the
superstition of the times, Magdalena, who, during his praise of the fair
girl, had again looked at him with awakened interest, disengaged herself
from the other. "God's will be done!" she said with humility. "I am
prepared for all. But thou, unhappy man!" she continued, "beware in
turn, lest, before thou hast time to repent thee of the hardness and
cruelty of thy heart, His judgement fall on thee, and his justice punish

She spoke with hand upraised to heaven; and then, pulling her hood over
her face, hurried from the market-place.

The witchfinder gazed after her, fixed to the spot, and for a moment
awe-struck by her words. As he still stood struggling with his various
passions, the storm, which had been gathering ever since sunset, began
to burst over his head. The rain came down in torrents.

"Ah! was it that?" screamed the beggar, with a fit of wild laughter.
"The miserable old beldam! she stretched out her finger to the sky, and
it was to bring down these waterspouts upon my head. Curses on the foul
malicious fiend!" And he spat upon the ground, as if to exorcise the
evil spirit.

"But I must find shelter," he murmured. "Already pains rack my limbs; my
bones ache; a shudder runs through my frame! The old hag has worked her
spell upon me. _Apage, Sathanas!_ Anathema!"

Speaking thus, the wretched man shuffled along as fast as the crippled
state of his limbs, and the acute pains of rheumatism, which the damp
night-air had again brought upon him, would allow him to proceed. He
staggered to the shelter of a doorway, which was placed under the
advancing terrace of the town-hall, and between two staircases which
descended on either side on to the market-place. The protruding vault of
the Gothic archway afforded him some refuge from the storm, which now
burst down with increased violence. But the excited witchfinder's brain
seemed to wander, as he caught an indistinct vision of the gaping jaws
of the dragons and other grotesque monsters, which protruded as
waterspouts from the roofs of the surrounding houses, and now disgorged
torrents of rain.

"Spit, spit, ye devils all!" he shouted aloud. "Ye cannot reach me here.
Ha! ha! rage, storm, spew forth your venom, do the bidding of your
mistress--I defy you!" And as the wind swept round the corners of the
building, and spattered some of the water of the gushing cataracts in
his face, he cried, "Avaunt!" as if speaking to a living thing, and,
clinging to the bars of an aperture in the upper part of the door,
turned away his face.

As he thus came to look upon the strongly-barred opening in the door,
the current of his ideas changed. Within was the small and wretched
prison of the town, which just occupied the space of the terrace
above--a miserable hole.

"There she lay this morning," he murmured, looking into the interior,
which was now in utter darkness, and quite empty--"there she lay, old
Martha Dietz, and called in vain upon the demon who deserted her. There
have lain all the foul hags who tortured my poor aching limbs. There
shall _she_ lie also, the scoffer and reviler, the worker of evil. The
witchfinder will be revenged. Revenge! no, no! He will do the work of
the holy church. Who shall say the contrary? Not thou, old Martha--nor
thou--nor thou. If ye say so, ye lie in death, as ye have lied in life.
Ay! glare upon me with your lack-lustre eyes. Ye are powerless now,
though ye are there, and make mouths at me. One--two--three--God stand
by me! There they are--_all seven!_"

With a wild scream of horror, the cripple covered his eyes with his
hands, and rushed forth into the tempest.

Situated in the picturesque and fertile valley of the Saale, the town of
Hammelburg stands upon a gentle declivity, commanding one of the
numerous windings of the river, and sloping downwards to its banks. A
part of the old walls of the town is thus bathed by the waters of the
stream, which, calm and peaceful in the summer months, become
tumultuous, and even dangerous, during rainy weather, or after the
melting of the snows. From the ancient gateway of the town on the river
side, a triple bridge of great length and many arches, which, in the dry
season, seems to occupy a most unnecessary space across the narrower
waters, but which, at other times, scarce suffices to span the extent of
the invading inundation, affords a communication with the high-road.

At the commencement of the sixteenth century, this bridge was only
constructed of wood, and although put together with rude strength,
ill-sufficed to resist the force of the torrents, and had been
repeatedly swept before them.

Not far from the town gateway that commanded this bridge, stood a huge
mansion, constructed as a palace for the Prince Bishops of Fulda, the
sovereign rulers of the district; although, at the period in question,
it had been ceded to the Ober-Amtmann, a near relation of the reigning
bishop, as his official dwelling. On the side of this ancient palace
furthest removed from the town gate, ran, along the river's banks, its
spacious gardens, abutting at their extremity upon the premises of an
extensive Benedictine monastery, from which they were only separated by
a narrow lane, that led from the town to the river. At the very angle of
this lane, where it opened by a small water-gate upon a narrow
towing-path, skirting alike the town-walls and the banks of the stream,
there stood a low building attached to the monastery, the upper story of
which thus overlooked the old gardens of the palace on the one hand,
and, on the other, the river banks.

At one of the windows of this humble dwelling, that which overlooked the
palace gardens, stood a young man, intently gazing through its small
octagon panes. Two or three times he turned away with a heavy sigh, as
if wearied with long and vain watching, and as often returned again to
his previous occupation. At length the opening of the door of the room
startled him from his position; and as if ashamed of being caught in the
act of looking out, he hurried to a table in the middle of the room, and
flung himself into an old chair.

The various objects with which the table was covered, as well as those
which filled and littered the room in all directions, clearly designated
the young man's employment to be that of a sculptor and colourer of
images for the ornament of churches, as well as an illuminator of
missals and manuscripts--an occupation at that time still pursued,
although gradually falling into disuse since the invention of printing.
Scattered about upon the table were several old parchment manuscripts,
which had served as models for the artist's use, or had been confided to
his hands to clean. Old illuminated missals, some of the gorgeous
illustrations of which were open, as if lately retouched by the hand of
the young painter, lay here and there. At the further end of the table
stood a small figure of a Virgin and Child, delicately and exquisitely
carved, and painted with the richest colours. The group was bright with
its fresh finish, and evidently had not long been completed by the hand
of the artist. Upon an elevated bench or dresser were littered the tools
of the sculptor and wood-carver, with a few unfinished trials of small
saintly figures; and around the room were fragments of wooden images of
saints, some discoloured, some broken, a few in tolerable preservation,
which were either destined to be restored and repainted, or had served
as studies for the artist. Upon the walls hung a few pictures of female
saints, bedecked with garlands of flowers, which showed them to be
objects of devotion and respect in the eyes of the possessor. Among all
this confusion, space was scarcely left, in the small chamber of the
artist, for the pallet-bed and cumbrous press that formed his only

Immediately before the chair into which the young man so hastily flung
himself, lay a rich missal, upon the adornment of which he had been
employed, before other thoughts and feelings had sent him to the window;
and when he again resumed his work, it was upon the face of a fair
saint, which formed the headpiece of a chapter, peering out from among
the various graceful arabesques that twined in the brightest colours
along the margin of the leaf.

In truth, the face of the young artist was almost as fair as that of the
bright being he was engaged in painting. His light brown hair was parted
in the middle, over a high white forehead, and fell in faintly waving
curls almost to his neck, forming a frame to the soft oval face, to
which his violet-blue melancholy-looking eyes, his calm,
finely-chiselled features, and the serious repose of his imaginative
mouth, imparted an air of gentleness and thoughtfulness combined. His
dark, sober-coloured, simple dress, although somewhat too severe to suit
his youthful figure, accorded well with the character of his
physiognomy. His falling collar displayed a full white throat, which
might have served as a model for a statue of Antinous, had it not borne
more the stamp of genius in its proportions than of physical
voluptuousness. The hands, which now hastily resumed their neglected
occupation, had all the fairness and well-moulded contour of a woman's,
without that delicacy of size which would have stamped them as
effeminate. Had he been aware of his own beauty, he might have copied
his own graceful form for a personification of the lily-bearing angel in
a group of the Annunciation.

The person who had startled him from the window, by opening the door of
his room, was an aged-looking woman, in a plain dress of coarse black
serge. She bore in her hands a coarse brown porringer filled with
steaming viands, a lump of dark homely bread, and a white cloth.

"Ah! my good Magdalena, art thou there?" said the young artist, raising
his head with an almost unconscious affectation of surprise, as though
unexpectedly disturbed at his work.

"You forget all hours, and all human wants, in your zeal for your
beautiful art, Master Gottlob," said the woman. "I bring you your
noon-day repast, which you would never have called for, had I allowed it
to stand by even until sundown. But I have ventured to transgress your
orders. You must be faint with long fasting;" and the old woman made a
movement as if to place the food upon the table before the artist.

"Thanks, good Magdalena! thanks!" said the young man, looking at her
with that sweet smile, and tender expression of his mild blue eyes,
which had procured him, among all who knew him, the constant designation
of "Gentle Gottlob;" but at the same time repelling the porringer. "Not
here. Place the food elsewhere. I will eat anon. I am not hungry now;
and I must not leave my work. I have promised it to his noble reverence
the prior, for the eve of the fête of St Ursula, and to-morrow is the
very day. There is still much to do. It seems as if I could never give
sufficient finish to this face, or impart to it, with my dull colours
and rebellious pencil, that look of heavenly brightness that ought to
dwell upon it. And yet, alas! I would it never could be finished! It
will break my heart to part with it--although I love not my own work,
nor deem it excellent. But still I cherish it--all imperfect as it is--I
know not why; and when to-morrow comes, and I must give it up into his
reverence's hands, it seems that my life and spirit would depart from me
with its loss, and that all around me would be dark and joyless."

After placing the porringer and bread upon a spare corner of the
sculptor's working bench, Magdalena moved gently behind the young man's
chair, and having asked respectfully his pardon, looked over his
shoulder. At the sight of the fair face upon which the young artist was
bestowing so much care, her looks betrayed feelings of surprise, mingled
with much emotion. Once or twice she passed her hand over her eyes, as
if doubting the reality of what she saw. It was some time before she
could sufficiently master her agitation to speak; and when at last she
spoke, after a long-drawn sigh, it was with a tone which still betrayed,
in spite of her efforts, the interest inspired in her by the painter's
work of art.

"It is indeed a fine performance, and right bravely limned," she said;
"and in truth the countenance you have given to yonder saint, with the
pale glory, is one of exquisite beauty. I wonder not that you should be
grieved to look upon so sweet a face no more; although, methinks, I know
a face as fair, to which it bears a marvellous resemblance."

"What meanest thou, Magdalena?" said the young artist, bending his head
still lower over his work. "Whom dost thou know who could bear a
likeness to this creation of my own imagination?"

"Of your own memory, Master Gottlob! you should have said," pursued
Magdalena. "Surely--or my eyes deceive themselves most strangely--although
in that sweet face they were not easily deceived; surely the face is
that of"----

The old woman again paused, as if to suppress her emotion.

"Of whom?" enquired Gottlob in a low tone, also in much agitation.

"Of the fair Fraulein Bertha, the noble Ober-Amtmann's daughter."

"You think so, Magdalena?" replied the young man. "Perhaps it maybe a
slight shade of a resemblance, caught unconsciously"----

"It is she herself," exclaimed Magdalena. "It is the same angelic
smile--the same beam of innocent brightness athwart her brow! It is

"Perhaps thou art right," stammered Gottlob, still in much confusion,
but evidently well pleased with the species of praise thus bestowed
upon his performance. "There is, in truth, more resemblance to the
Fraulein Bertha than I had thought."

Magdalena seemed for a minute lost in her reflection, as if a new and
painful idea had struck her; and after giving a long and anxious look at
the window, from which the young artist had drawn back upon her
entrance, she pressed her hand heavily to her heart, as if to support
her in a sudden resolution, and, advancing to the artist's side, said in
an earnest tone, "Young man! thou lovest her!"

"Magdalena! thou knowest not what thou sayest," cried Gottlob, more
harshly than as the wont of his gentle nature.

"Oh! pardon me if I have offended. Condemn me not!" said the excited
woman. "But I do entreat you, tell me! Tell me your secret as you would
confide it to a mother--to your own mother, Gottlob. It is the purest
interest for you--for her--that guides me! I swear it to you! Oh! tell
me--is it not so? You love that fair and gentle girl!"

The young man looked at his strange interrogator with some astonishment
at her evident agitation. The tears were swelling in her eyes. But
without pausing to question the reasons of her emotion--so absorbed is
love in its own self--he rose, and took the old woman's hand.

"Yes! I will speak; my heart has long been overcharged with its own
secret, even to bursting," he said; "and it throbs to unburden itself
into some sympathizing heart! And why not thine, good Magdalena? Ever
since fate has brought us so strangely together, thou hast been like a
mother to me!"

"Do not I owe you all?" interrupted the old woman; "my life--my daily
bread--a shelter for my old limbs in the cell below?"

"Alas! I have but little to give, poor Magdalena!" said the young man

"And that little thou hast shared with me as a son," continued Magdalena
bending her head over his hand as if to kiss it.

"Yes, thou shalt know all," pursued Gottlob; "for it would seem as
though the destiny that threw thee in my way were linked with hers. Her
image it was that led me to the spot where first I saw thee. It was the
last day of the Carnival, at the beginning of this year, and there was a
fête at the palace of the Ober-Amtmann. I had long gazed with adoration
upon that angelic face, and treasured it in my heart. I already
worshipped yon saintly portraits, because in one--God forgive me the
profane thought!--I had found a faint forth-showing of the beam of her
bright eye; in another, the gentle, dimpled smile of her sweet mouth; in
a third, her pure and saint-like brow. It was not for such as I, a poor
artist, to be invited to the noble Amtmann's fête; but I thought that,
through the windows in the illuminated halls, I might perchance trace
her passing shadow. I fancied that, by some unforeseen accident, she
might come forth upon the terrace, overhanging the river's banks--a
foolish fancy, for the night was wintry and cold. I hoped to see her, no
matter how; and I wandered out of the town--for its gates were open for
that holiday--to look upon the lighted windows of the palace from the
opposite side of the stream. The snow was on the ground. My mantle
scarcely preserved me from the bitter cold. But I felt it not. It was
only when a groan sounded near me, that I thought on the sufferings of
others in such a night. I looked around me; and there, not far from me,
on the snow, before the very windows of the palace, where within was
music and dancing, and feasting and mirth, lay thy form, poor Magdalena!
Feeble, helpless, stiff with cold, thou appearedst to me in the last
agonies of death."

"Yes; I had laid me down to die, in sorrow and despair. It is too true,"
sobbed the old woman, in a voice choked with tears. "But your hand
raised me up--your arms warmed me into life--your voice encouraged me,
and gave me force. You brought me to your home, fostered me, and nursed
me--me, an unknown outcast, whose very history you did not even seek to
know--whose silence and secrecy you respected. Your kindness saved me
from despair, and gave me hope; and I lived on, in order to pay, were
it possible, my debt of gratitude to my preserver."

"Good Magdalena," said the young man soothingly, taking her withered
hands between his own, "I did but the duty of a Christian man."

"And you love her, then?" resumed Magdalena, recalling her young
preserver to his promised confidence.

"Love her!" exclaimed Gottlob with an impassioned fervour, which gave
his gentle face a look of inspiration. "Love her! She is my vision by
day--my dream by night. When I read, it is her voice that seems to speak
to me from the Minnesinger's poesy. When I paint, it is her form that
grows under my pencil. When I pray, it is her seraphic smile that seems
to beam upon me down from heaven. I wander forth: it is to meet her in
her walks. I kneel in the church: it is to breathe the same air as she!"
At these words, Magdalena covered her face, and uttered a suppressed
groan. "I rise from my labour, which of old was a labour of love to me,
and now is oft an irksome task: it is to watch for her coming forth into
the garden. I have neither rest by day nor by night. Where there was
repose in my heart, there is now eternal fever."

"And she?" said Magdalena with a low tone of anxiety, as if fearful of
the answer she might receive. "Does she know--does she return your

"How should she deign to remark a worm like me?" was the young artist's
answer. "How should I dare to breathe my affection in her ear, were it
even possible for me to approach her? And yet she looks upon me kindly,"
continued the young lover, encouraging himself in vague hopes, at the
same time that he condemned their presumption. "When I doff my cap to
the noble Amtmann's daughter, as she ambles forth by her proud father's
side, she will answer with so sweet a smile, and greet me with a wave of
her riding-switch--with what a grace!--and then grow red thereby, and
then grow pale. When I offer her the holy water as she passes from the
church, she will cast down her trembling eyelids, and yet will see
withal who offers it; and when I stand at yon window, as she rambles in
the garden, she will pluck flower after flower, as though she knew not
why; then fling them all aside, then pick them up with care; then
disappear as if she had gone back, and yet come forth again."

Magdalena's brow grew thoughtful and anxious as Gottlob proceeded in his
enumeration of these symptoms. Her bosom heaved painfully, her hands
were clenched together.

"Poor child! should it be so!" she murmured, casting her eyes upon the
ground; and then, raising them again to Gottlob's face, into which she
looked with scrutinizing eagerness, she said aloud--"And yet you do not
think she loves you?"

"She love me!" cried the young man. "Such a dream of bliss were madness!
Can I forget the immeasurable gulf that separates the noble daughter of
the high-placed Amtmann from the poor and humble artist--the dependent
of a cloister? No, Magdalena. I must die as I have lived, the poor
unloved and uncared-for orphan--die without a sigh of pity, without a
tear of sorrow from her eye."

"Have you, then, no friends, poor youth?" said Magdalena.

"None. Yes! I am ungrateful. I have one--a kind protector; but he is far
removed, and I have seen him seldom."

"The Prince Bishop of Fulda!" repeated the old woman, with some degree
of agitation. "Perhaps--yet it is a wild and foolish thought--perhaps
all hope is not shut out to you."

"What sayest thou, then, old Magdalena?" said the youth. "Hope were but
torture were it vain; and so it must be"----

"Yes. I was wrong. Heed not my words! But know you not that your patron,
the bishop, is close at hand? Already I have heard that he arrived this
morning at his castle of Saaleck, at half a league's distance from the
town; and he will probably shortly enter Hammelburg, as is his wont."

"These are glad tidings!" said Gottlob, his eyes beaming with joy. "I
will at once to Saaleck, and, if the prince admit me to his presence,
throw myself at his feet, assure him of all my gratitude for the past,
and offer him my poor service for the future."

With these words the young man hurried to his cumbrous chest, and
pulling out a short cloak, flung it around him. A small cap of black
velvet, of the cut of the time, which showed off to advantage the beauty
of his youthful face, was hastily thrown upon his head. He was about to
quit the chamber, when Magdalena caught him by the arm.

"Thy repast, Master Gottlob."

"Have I time to think of that?" said the eager youth, swallowing,
however, in haste a few mouthfuls of the broth, to satisfy the old
woman's look of supplication.

"And when you mount or descend the mountain-path that leads to the
castle on its brow," said the old woman, during Gottlob's hasty meal,
"if you can still have a thought for poor old Magdalena, she begs you
enter the chapel on the mountain-side, which is esteemed so holy that it
is permitted to be a sanctuary of refuge to the criminal, and say a
short prayer for her soul's weal."

"Can those so good and kind as thou, Magdalena, need the prayers of such
as I?" said the young man.

"The fervent supplications of the young and pure at heart are always
acceptable," replied Magdalena evasively, but in a sad and earnest tone.

"So be it--and fare-thee-well," said Gottlob, finishing his last
mouthful, and hurrying to depart.

"And heed you, gentle youth," again cried Magdalena, "as you cross the
bridge to leave the town. The river is much swollen with the late rains,
so much as to threaten destruction to the tottering fabric."

"I fear no such danger," was the young man's reply; "and besides, have I
not thy charm?" he continued, laughing, holding up a black ring
inscribed with strange characters, that hung about his neck.

"Oh, say not so!" said the old woman earnestly, as a recollection of the
Witchfinder's dreadful threats the night before came across her mind.
"Call it not a charm! The holy church permits not of such dealings. It
was but a remembrance that I gave you, to think sometimes on the poor
wretch whose life you had preserved. It was of little value; but I had
nought else to give. I prayed only that it might bring happiness to you,
boy, for it had brought nothing but misery and wretchedness to me."

Long before old Magdalena could complete her sentence, the eager youth
had left the room. The old woman looked after him for a time with a look
of gratitude, and then, hurrying to the artist's table, threw herself
down upon her knees beside the open missal, and gazed with intense
eagerness upon the picture of the fair saint upon which he had been
painting. She approached her lips as if to kiss it; then again drew
back, as if she feared to mar the colouring by her caress: then gazed
again, until her eyes filled with tears: and at last, with the cry,
"Yes! it is she--her very self!" burst into a fit of convulsive sobbing,
and buried her face between her hands.

As she still lay crouched upon her knees, a partly-concealed door, which
led towards the monastery, and was almost in disuse, slowly opened, and
a figure, enveloped in a monk's robe and cowl, entered the room.

Magdalena was not at first aware of the entrance of the stranger; and it
was only when, after looking about the room, as if to assure himself
that no one was there, he approached the table, that she heard the
footstep, and lifted up her head in surprise. The intruder evidently as
little expected to find the room already tenanted; for he also started
upon seeing the kneeling woman. But the astonishment of both parties was
greatly increased when their eyes met each other. Far from attempting to
rise from her knees, Magdalena remained in an attitude of supplication
before the stranger, who was an aged man of mild aspect, and folding her
arms across her heart, bent down her head like a penitent, in order to
avoid his scrutinizing look.

"Magdalena! thou here!" said the seeming monk, in a tone of voice which,
naturally that of benevolence, he evidently strove to render harsh and
severe. "How comes this? Thou hast left, without my knowledge, the
seclusion of the convent in which I placed thee? In defiance of thy
solemn promise, and thy accepted vow of penitence, thou hast approached
this town--thou hast sought, perhaps, forgetful of thy oath"----

"No, no," interrupted the agitated woman, "that cruel oath has sealed
my lips for ever. God knows, and you, reverend father--you know, that I
had accepted the bitterest trial woman can bear on earth, in expiation
of my past sin. Long did I observe my vow of penitence without a murmur
to heaven or to you. But I thought to die. A fever had seized me, and a
burning thought came over me that I no longer could withstand. O God,
forgive me--but my head was turned--I knew not what I did! I longed to
see once more on earth that object that was my only earthly joy. That
uncontrollable desire overcame the stubborn resolution of a vow, which
long years of tears and mortification had striven to fortify in vain. I
fled. I hoped once more to glad my eyes--but once----but once, my
father, and then to lay me down and die, trusting in God's pardon and
your reverence's." And Magdalena bowed her head to the ground, as a
criminal awaiting her sentence.

"Thou hast erred, woman--bitterly and grievously," replied the stranger
harshly, adding, however, with a feeling of indulgence that his kindly
nature evidently could ill suppress, "but the struggle of the spirit
with the weakness of the body, in sickness and in fever, is heavy to
bear. And yet," he continued, again assuming a severity of manner, "thou
livest, and I still find thee here. Thou hast remained to feast thy eyes
upon thy earthly treasure, in forgetfulness of thy vow of mortification
for thy soul's weal."

"Pardon!" cried Magdalena, raising her hands in supplication.

"But thou must leave this place forthwith," continued the monk. "Return
to the convent, and employ thyself in such acts of penitence as my
orders shall prescribe."

"Pardon!" again cried the unhappy woman, "for my vow is heavier than I
can bear. It is a task beyond the force of human nature!"

"Foolish woman!" exclaimed the stranger. "Wouldst thou compromise the
happiness and peace of mind of the being thou lovest best, by the danger
of a discovery to which thy presence here might lead? Thy expiation is
severe. Such as we, alas!" and the monk heaved a sigh, "who cannot feel
the vibration of some of the tenderest chords of humanity, know not how
to sound in its profundity; but I can judge that it must be grievous to
bear. Still it must be so. Go, then, in peace--but go. What I command no
longer in the name of thy salvation, I ask of thy heart, for the repose
of thy heart's treasure."

"Father," said the penitent, sobbing at his feet--"I obey! But I have
still a secret to impart to you, upon which depends, perhaps, the
happiness of that beloved one. Oh! deign to hear me."

"In three days hence, let me receive thy shrift at the convent of Saint
Bridget," continued the ecclesiastic. "There also I will hear thy
secret. But tell me," he added, looking round the room with some
surprise--"how comest thou here in gentle master Gottlob's studio?"

"It was he who saved my life," answered Magdalena, striving to repress
her sobbing, "when in the midst of the snows, and the keen blast of
winter, death had laid hands upon me. Ever since, he has cherished and
nourished the unknown outcast in his abode."

"Generous youth!" said the stranger. "I came to witness, alone and
unbiassed, his progress in his noble art; and I find that the heart
soars as nobly as the head. So should ever be true genius! Yes, yes!" he
murmured to himself, looking around, "he advances towards perfection
with rapid strides. This arabesque is exquisite. And this head, how
beautiful! And yon statue of our Holy Mother--what heavenly grace in its

And with more of such commendatory observations, interspersed now and
then with a few gentle criticisms, which showed the connoisseur as well
as the gratified admirer, he took up and examined the various designs
dispersed upon the table. When his curiosity seemed fully satisfied, he
again turned to Magdalena.

"I must away," he said; "for I have still many arduous and painful
duties to perform, and my time is limited. I rely upon thy strict
secrecy, Magdalena. I would not it should be known that I was here. And
remember, in three days at Saint Bridget's convent!"

With these words he stretched forth his hand. She again knelt, and
kissed it devoutly; and pulling his black robe and cowl more closely
about his face and person, the monk disappeared by the concealed door.

Magdalena still knelt, overcome by her various emotions, when a sound
from the window looking into the river startled her, and caused her to
turn round. An involuntary scream burst from her lips; for from among
the branches of a tree that grew upon the river's banks, and overhung
the window, peered, through the dingy panes, the pale face of the

It was about the hour of vespers; and an unusually dense crowd of the
town's people of Hammelburg, of all ages, ranks, and sexes, swarmed in
the small open space before the fine old Gothic church of the town, and
stood in many a checkered group--here, of fat thriving _bourgeois_ and
their portly wives, dragging in their hands chubby and rebellious little
urchins, who looked all but spherical in their monstrous puffed hose or
short wadded multifold petticoats, the miniature reproductions of the
paternal and maternal monstrosities of attire--there, of more noisy and
clamorous artizans, in humbler and less preposterous dress--on the one
side, of chattering serving-damsels, almost crushed under their high
pyramidical black caps, worn in imitation of an ancient fashion of their
betters--on the other, of grave counsellors and _schreibers_ in their
black costumes, interlarding their pompous phrases with most canine
Latin--here again, of the plumed and checkered soldiers of the civic
guard--there, of ragged-robed beggars, whose whine had become a second
nature--all in a constant ferment of movement and noise, until the
square might be fancied to look like the living and crawling mass of an
old worm-eaten cheese.

The congregation of the multitude had been induced by a report prevalent
throughout the town, that the Prince Bishop, whose arrival from Fulda at
his castle of Saaleck, close at hand, had been announced, was about to
make his entrance in grand state, and that a holy and solemn service to
celebrate this event was to be performed at the high church.

Already, however, other rumours were afloat among the crowd; and it
began to be confidently stated, that a sudden change of plans had forced
the Prince Bishop to renounce his intention.

Listening with anxiety, on the outskirts of a group, to the discussion
upon the probabilities or improbabilities of the service taking place in
the absence of the Prince, stood Magdalena. She was attired in her usual
dark semi-monastic dress; but to this was now added the scrip, wallet,
and tall crossheaded staff of the wandering pilgrim. As the prevailing
opinion appeared to be that the Ober-Amtmann would attend, at all
events, at the celebration of the church rites intended to be performed,
Magdalena turned away with a calmer air, murmuring to herself the

"I shall see her once more--once, and for the last time: and God surely
will forgive the sin, if such it be. One look of last farewell! and then
again a long expiation of penitence and prayer."

So saying, she traversed the small square to the broad stairs of the
church, where she sat herself down upon the highest step, among a group
of beggar women and ragged children, and, sinking her head to the
ground, seemed to dispose herself to wait with patience.

Shortly afterwards, a young man also began to mount the steps leading to
the great entrance of the church, as if with the intention of placing
himself near the arch, in so favourable a position as to be close by all
those who should pass into the interior. He bounded upwards with anxious
haste and beating heart--although there was yet a long interval before
the commencement of the service--and with a movement so hurried and
agitated, that he brushed rudely against one person of a group in his
way. He turned, with a gentleness of feeling unusual at the time towards
the lower classes, to crave of the female he had pushed a pardon for his
awkwardness. At the sound of his voice the old woman raised her head.

"Magdalena!" cried the young man with surprise, as he recognised upon
her the evident symbols of travel and wayfaring peculiar to that age,
"What means this pilgrim's garb?"

"Alas! kind, gentle Master Gottlob," replied Magdalena in a tone of the
bitterest sadness, as she rose from her seat, "my hour is arrived, and I
must leave you. Ask me not why. I must go as I have come, in silence and
mystery. But oh! I beseech you, deem me not ungrateful. I had not
quitted you without a last farewell--a last assurance that all your
gentle charities are engraven here, upon my heart for ever."

"Magdalena!" again exclaimed Gottlob, still astonished at this
unexpected announcement, "thou leavest me thus abruptly?"

"Again, I pray you, gentle Master," said the old woman sobbing, "think
me not unkind or cold. The will of another is far stronger than my own.
The will of God is above all. We shall meet no more on earth, young man;
at least I fear so: my destiny leads me from the world. But my prayers
shall be offered up, morning and evening, at my noontide meal as at my
lying down; at all times, and in all places, whenever it shall please
Heaven to hear them, for my generous benefactor."

"But you must not quit me thus," said the young man--"thus unassisted,
in penury and want. I have but little, it is true, but that little shall
be thine. What matter the gauds I thought to purchase? the dainty plume
to deck my cap?" Still, in spite of himself, an unconscious sigh broke,
as he spoke, from the breast of "Gentle Gottlob," at the anticipated
renunciation of the braveries that were to give him a price in the eye
of the fair object of his adoration. "Can my poor savings be better
bestowed than upon thee?"

"I need not thy generous sacrifice, kind youth," replied Magdalena. "The
pilgrim lacketh nothing in a Christian land; and soon I shall be beyond
all want."

"Oh! speak not thus sadly," said Gottlob, taking her hand.

"I meant it not so sadly as you deem. I am resigned still to live on,
until it please God to release me from this world of sin and sorrow,
more easily resigned and with a calmer spirit, since, through the mist
of solitary darkness around me, I see a way of hope that shines not upon
me, but upon the bright forms most dear to me."

"What meanest thou, Magdalena?" cried the young man.

"Strive not to comprehend me," said the old woman in a more subdued
tone--"I would not foster vain delusions;" and, as if to remove the
impression of what she had said from Gottlob's mind, she hastily added,
"You have not seen the Prince at Saaleck?"

"Alas, no!" replied the young artist. "My noble patron had already left
the castle with a small retinue, and I was too late to meet him. It was
said that he was gone upon a visit to all the various monasteries in
this part of the country, in order to hold secret counsel with the
different dignitaries of the church in his domain, respecting the late
heresies that have appeared, and already spread so widely throughout the

Magdalena was about to answer, when a new and general movement among the
crowd, showed that the expectation of the multitude was aroused. The
tapers upon the altars in the church had been lighted in splendid
profusion. The vapour of incense already scented the air, as it floated
down the aisles. The organ pealed through the church; and the priests,
in their sacerdotal robes, were seen advancing along the middle aisle
towards the entrance, to meet the expected dignitary. But Gottlob and
Magdalena gazed not upon this priestly show; their heads were turned in
another direction, and looked from the church across the square. Their
hearts beat with one feeling. Both murmured to themselves with one
accord, "She comes!"

Already the pikes of the guard preceding the noble Ober-Amtmann appeared
emerging from the street leading to the episcopal palace, and the
soldiers, entering the square, cleared the way rudely through the crowd,
when Magdalena again pressed tightly her companion's arm.

"Swear to me, young man," she whispered in a low and solemn tone, "as
you value your salvation--swear to me ever to respect the purity and
peace of mind of that innocent and happy girl, upon whose fair face I
shall now gaze for the last time!"

Gottlob looked at the excited woman with much surprise.

"Swear to me that you will not trouble her unconscious heart with words
of love, until, perhaps, a better time may come!" she continued, with

"Magdalena, I understand thee not," replied the young man. "But before
me she is as a holy saint of heaven, at whose shrine we may bow down and
pray, but whom we cannot pollute with earthly touch."

"God grant you happiness, young man!" said Magdalena, dropping her
flowing tears upon the hand she held in her own.

Gottlob's attention was too much absorbed in the sight of the one object
of his eager gaze, to heed more seriously, at that moment, the strange
and solemn adjuration of the old woman. His heart beat with intense
violence, his cheek flushed, his mild blue eyes dilated with animation,
as he followed along the square the form of Bertha, who was advancing in
the procession by her father's side. And now she was about to mount the
church steps, she would be obliged to pass close by him, perhaps near
enough for her dress to touch his own; for the crowd was dense behind,
and pressed forward upon those who stood, like him, in the foremost row.
The agitation of his companion equaled, perhaps exceeded, his own.

The clergy now stood under the church gate--the preceding guards had
stationed themselves on either side of the arch--the Ober-Amtmann,
leading his daughter by the hand, had reached the broad surface of the
highest step, where stood the aged female and the young artist, when the
agitated Magdalena, unable to control her feelings as the governor and
his fair child passed so near, bent lowly down, and seized the hem of
Bertha's garment to kiss it unperceived. At that moment, a rude gripe
seized her arm and dragged her up, and a harsh voice shrieked in her
ear--"Touch her not, hag of hell, to cast thy infernal spells upon her!"
A scream of terror burst from Magdalena as she recognised Black Claus,
the witchfinder.

"Noble Ober-Amtmann, hear me!" cried the cripple, pushing forward with
force, and arresting with a wild gesture the progress of the dignitary.
"I here denounce, before your noble honour, this wretched woman as a
most foul and most notorious witch."

In the rude attack thus made upon the unhappy woman--on her terror and
surprise--the cross-topped pilgrim's staff slipped from her grasp, and
slightly wounding the fair neck of Bertha, it fell upon the pavement,
and was splintered into several pieces.

"See, see!" screamed the witchfinder, "how she strives to harm the
innocent and good, and destroys and tramples under foot--curses on
her!--the holy symbols of the church."

With a feeling of horror and alarm, for which the credence in witchcraft
and its agents that pervaded all ranks and classes at that age gave full
warrant, Bertha clung with a scream to her father's breast, and sought
protection in his arms. At this sight the unhappy Magdalena uttered a
bitter cry of despair, and raising her clasped hands aloft,
exclaimed--"O God! Thou punishest me too bitterly."

"Hear ye," cried the witchfinder, "how she owneth her crime even in her

With one arm the Ober-Amtmann pressed the terrified Bertha to his bosom,
and, with the other, signed to some of the guards to surround the old
woman. At this moment the sight of the blood which had trickled in a few
insignificant drops upon her veil, caught the eye of the alarmed girl,
and turning very pale, she held forth a crucifix, which hung about her
neck, towards the spot where stood Magdalena, as if to exorcise the
powers of witchcraft directed against her, and sobbed--"Oh! take her
from my sight--save me--she would destroy me!"

"It is she condemns me!" cried Magdalena; and, with another
heart-rending exclamation of despair, she fell forward to the earth as
if in violent convulsions.

"See, see!" shouted Claus in triumph, "how the sight of the holy cross
causes the devil within her to tear and rend her."

The bystanders shrank in horror from the prostrate form of the unhappy
woman. The guards, who had approached, kept at a sufficient distance to
avoid all contact with the reputed witch, although near enough to
prevent her escape.

Petrified with astonishment and dismay at the strange scene that had
passed thus rapidly before him, and shocked at the sight of Bertha's
wound and terror, Gottlob had stood at first incapable of movement. But
when he saw Magdalena thus stricken to the earth, he forgot all the
terrors of witchcraft--he forgot the horrible denunciation--he forgot
even Bertha's fainting form; the instinctive impulse of his kindly
nature was to rush forward and to raise the poor old woman. Before he
could reach her, however, twenty hands had pulled him back with
force--twenty voices screamed in his ear, "Touch her not--beware!" In
vain he struggled, and strove to extricate himself--in vain he protested
the poor woman's innocence--he was held back by force.

In the meanwhile, although those nearest to the accused woman drew back
with terror, the remoter crowd rushed forward towards the church steps
in violent excitement, preferring loud cries of "A witch!--a witch! To
the stake with her--to the stake!" The deeper voices of the men mingling
with the shriller cries of the women and children.

In the midst of this scene of tumult, the Ober-Amtmann conveyed his
daughter in his arms--for she had now completely fainted--to the church,
and confided her to the care of her women. Upon returning, he sternly
gave orders that the accused female should be placed in the prison of
the town, with a guard before the door, until the denouncer should be
heard against her.

"Come hither man, black cripple!" he continued, with some disgust, to
Claus: "We know that the dreadful crime of witchcraft has, like heresy,
made much and notable progress in the land of late; and although our
reverend brother views the former abomination with more lenient eye than
ourselves, we think that fagot and stake are but too slight a punishment
for such black and damning sin. But still, of late, thy denunciations
against this crime have much multiplied; and sometimes, it has seemed to
our justice, upon but small and vague proof--although popular voice
demanded the condemnation of the wretched women. Have a care, then, how
thou wrongfully preferrest such a charge--have a care how thou jugglest
with our sense of right and wrong; for though there seemeth, in truth,
to be some appearance of the demon and his works in the horror which
that woman has expressed for the symbols of our holy religion, and in
the manner in which she has drawn blood from our young and innocent
daughter, yet were we to find thy accusation to be inspired by motive or
the spirit of falsehood, as we live that pile which threatens the
sorceress and hag shall be thy own seat--the fire thy death-garment."

"Noble Amtmann," cried the witchfinder, undaunted by this address, "I
fear not the proof. Again I denounce that woman as dealing in
witchcraft, and consorting with the powers of darkness."

As the guard drew nearer, to force the unhappy woman with their
pike-heads to rise from the ground, where she still lay crouched
together, the wretched Magdalena raised her head, and her eyes fell upon
the dark face of the witchfinder, as it glared upon her in triumph. The
hideous yells of the crowd prevented her hearing the only faint voice of
pity raised in her behalf--that of gentle Gottlob. Her brain whirled
with terror--she thought that her last hour was come; and, with a heavy
shudder throughout her whole frame, she fell senseless to the ground.


It has probably occurred to the reflecting student of logic, that the
philosophers of the schools must have been sorely straitened in seeking
for a definition of man, before they would have had recourse to such a
derogation from his apparently higher attributes, as to define him by
"_animal risibile_," or "_animal bipes implumis_." An attentive
consideration will, however, show the enquirer, that to distinguish man
from the remainder of the animal kingdom by his structural
characteristics alone, is not so easy a task as would at first sight
appear; and he will be obliged at length to return to some such
humiliating designation of the _genus animal_, _species homo_, as those
above given. Physical differences, indeed, there are between man and the
other tribes of mammalia; but these differences are more matters of
anatomical detail, than such salient notable exponents as would at once
be recognised and admitted by the sceptical objector. The strength,
moreover, of these differences resides in the whole collectively, and
not in any one taken singly. If, however, the student take as his
grounds for induction the habits of the species, instead of its
structure, he will find a much broader line of demarcation. Wherever he
examines the existing relations or former records of his race, and
compares them with those of other animals, he will find that the
instincts of the one are variable and progressive, those of the other
are definite and stationary. As far as has ever been ascertained by the
most accurate observer, the nest of the grossbeak, the dam of the
beaver, the cone of the termites, were, ages ago, each similar in
character, and equal in perfection, to those of the present day; while,
whether we compare the rude wigwam of the uncivilized savage, or the
more finished architecture of ancient Thebes, with the buildings,
railroads, and shipping of the present day, we still find a continual
variation, and a progressive adaptation to new wants. The psychological
characteristics stand out then in fuller relief than the physiological;
but yet the former are by no means free from grounds for cavil. Domestic
animals acquire new habits, varying from their natural instincts.
Admitting these to result from the teaching of man, it still shows--as
does, indeed, the fact of domestication--a capability of progression;
and some feeble instances of the faculty of learning may be detected
even in the wild tribes of animals. Thus every thing becomes, if
hypercritically examined, a question of degree, "_demo unum, demo etiam
unum_," and the hundred years become an hour; nought is every thing, and
every thing is nought. Rational investigation, then, should lead us to
reject, or at least to set no undue value upon, extreme instances, or
the merging shadows of boundaries; the spectrum consists of separate
colours, though we may not tell where the red ends and the yellow

The fair questions in examining the physiology and psychology of man,
with a view to his place in the creation, are, 1st, Whether his
distinctive marks and attributes, taken collectively, are such as
broadly separate him from the rest of the animal kingdom; 2dly,
Supposing such distinctions to exist now, whether they have existed at
all periods of which we can acquire any evidence; and, 3dly, Whether
these distinctions are common to the whole of the race to which the term
_man_ is applied, or whether different tribes of men differ _inter se_
as much as the species viewed collectively differs from other species.

These, with other minor questions which arise out of them, are, as far
as we can gather, the propositions discussed in the work before us--a
work abounding in elaborate research and erudition, but somewhat
deficient in logical precision or lucid arrangement; a mass of details
is given, but the links whereby the generalizations from these are
sought to be established, are here and there wanting, and here and there
obscure. It is probably the fault of the subject, which is in its
character inexact; but we certainly expected that more had been done;
and from some passages in the early portions of the work, we were
induced to believe that the author had succeeded in proving races of
mankind to be more distinctly deducible from their sources, and that
their physical and moral relations were more definitely traced. The
following passage, in which the object of the work is enounced by the
author, is wanting in precision and perspicuity:--

     "That great differences in external conditions, by the double
     influence of their physical and moral agency, should have effected,
     during a long series of ages, remarkable changes in the tribes of
     human beings subjected to their operation--changes which have
     rendered these several tribes fitted in a peculiar manner for their
     respective abodes--is by no means an improbable conjecture; and it
     becomes something more than a conjecture, when we extend our view
     to the diversified breeds of those animals which men have
     domesticated, and have transferred with themselves from one climate
     to another. Considered in this point of view, it acquires, perhaps,
     the character of a legitimate theory, supported by adequate
     evidence, and by an extensive series of analogous facts.

     "But we must not omit to observe, that to this opinion there is an
     alternative, and one which many persons prefer to maintain; namely,
     that the collective body of mankind is made up of different races,
     which have differed from each other in their physical and moral
     nature from the beginning of their existence. To determine which of
     these two opinions is the best entitled to assent, or at least to
     set before my readers a clear and distinct notion of the evidence
     that can be brought to bear upon the question, will be my principal
     object in the following work."

Now, as they are here stated, the two opinions are not necessarily
contradictory; differences in external condition may effect remarkable
changes in tribes of human beings, and yet the collective body may be
made up of different races: and to set before the reader a clear and
distinct notion, is to prove nothing, although indeed, as we shall see
in the sequel, the author has a very strong conviction, and believes
that he succeeds in proving, as far as a matter incapable of
mathematical demonstration can be proved, the negative of the latter
proposition. What the author seems to intend, or rather what the whole
tenor of his book imports, though his expressions at times go much
further, is, not that community of origin is proved inductively by the
researches which have been made into the existing and past state of man,
but that the natural history of man presents nothing inconsistent with
such a view.

The researches of Cuvier and others have negatived the theory of
Lamarcke as to the transmutation of species. The "_nisus formativus_" is
admitted, but admitted with limits, "_quos ultra citraque nequit
consistere rectum_".

The extreme rarity of hybrids, their inability of continuous
procreation, the absence of any well-authenticated cases of a permanent
species formed by the union of two distinct ones, the return to the
original type when the disturbing causes are removed, with various other
arguments tending the same way, have been considered, by the most
competent and impartial judges, as conclusive evidence of the real and
permanent existence in nature of distinct species. These arguments are
stated in detail in the second volume of Lyell's _Principles of
Geology_, to which we refer those of our readers who wish for further

Having briefly stated these and similar arguments, Dr Prichard expresses
his conclusion as follows:--

     "It seems to be the well-established result of enquiries into the
     various tribes of organized beings, that the perpetuation of
     hybrids, whether of plants or animals, so as to produce new and
     intermediate tribes, is impossible.

     "Now, unless all these observations are erroneous, or capable of
     some explanation that has not yet been pointed out, they lead, with
     the strongest force of analogical reasoning, to the conclusion,
     that a number of different tribes, such as the various races of
     men, must either be incapable of intermixing their stock, and thus
     always fated to remain separate from each other; or, if the
     contrary should be the fact, that all the races to whom the remark
     applies, are proved by it to belong to the same species.

     "I believe it may be asserted, without the least chance of
     contradiction, that mankind, of all races and varieties, are
     equally capable of propagating their offspring by intermarriages,
     and that such connexions are equally prolific, whether contracted
     between individuals of the same or of the most dissimilar
     varieties. If there is any difference, it is probably in favour of
     the latter."

This conclusion is repeated a little further on.

     "It appears to be unquestionable that intermediate races of men
     exist and are propagated, and that no impediment whatever exists to
     the perpetuation of mankind when the most dissimilar varieties are
     blended together. We hence derive a conclusive proof--unless there
     be, in the instance of human races, an exception to the universally
     prevalent law of organized nature--that all the tribes of men are
     of one family.

     "Perhaps the solution of the problem which we have undertaken to
     discuss might be left on this issue, or considered as obtained by
     this argument. But further light may be thrown on the subject, by a
     careful analysis of the facts which can be collected relative to
     the nature and origination of varieties; and it may be satisfactory
     to my readers to survey this field of enquiry."

Granting, then, the truth of the limitation of species to be
established, and taking as the definition of species the power of
continual propagation, we have it proved at the commencement of the
work, that "all human races are of one species;" the only question which
remains is, whether, admitting them to be of one species, the deduction
that they have a common origin is necessary; or, if not necessary,
whether it is proved in the course of the author's work. It does not
appear to us a _necessary_ conclusion; for there appears no reason _à
priori_ why the Creator should not as well form separately an indefinite
number of creatures of the same species as a single pair. This point is
not adverted to in the work before us; and whenever identity of origin
is assumed, it is upon the same grounds from which identity of species
is deduced. In fact, they are generally coupled; thus, at page 487, we
have the expression--

     "If now it should appear, on enquiry, that one common mind, or
     psychical nature, belongs to the whole human family, a very strong
     argument would thence arise, on the ground of analogy, for their
     community of species and origin."

And in the last page we have--

     "We are entitled to draw confidently the conclusion, that all human
     races are of one species and one family."

The great point as to identity of species being proved, it would be
certainly more simple, and more in unison with the economy of nature, to
suppose that all were descended from one pair, than that numerous
identical members of a common species were simultaneously created. On
the other hand, a physiological difficulty occurs, in viewing a race as
descended from a single pair, from the fact universally recognised in
the later periods of history, viz. the degeneration, and, in the end,
destruction or indefinite deterioration of both physical and mental
faculties, by continual intermarriage. The houses of Braganza and
Hapsburg are notorious instances of this; and, as far as we are aware,
there are no counter instances.

    A gentler scion to the wildest stock,
    And make conceive a bark of baser kind
    By bud of nobler race; this is an art
    Which does mend nature, change it rather, but
    The art itself is nature."

The matter is incapable of absolute proof--we mean inductive proof; for
it is in this point that the work before us regards it. Any arguments,
such as similarity of habits, of languages, of opinions, which may be
used to deduce community of origin, would be equally explained by
community of species; for, supposing that different individuals of the
same species were simultaneously created, the same physical formation
would necessarily engender similar habits, and the power of
intermarriage would induce a similarity of language, long before any
period to which our histories go back. Taking, then, as a fair
assumption, that, if identical in species, mankind have a common origin,
we get in the outset of the book the conclusion stated at the end, viz.
that all human races are of one species and one family. The great body
of the work is, therefore, only accessory and corroborative; and its
value would consist not so much in proving the affirmative of the
author's thesis, as in placing in a prominent point of view the
principal facts known respecting the natural history of man.

It may be thought that, in the existing state of man, few marks remain
from which his early history may be deduced; but those unacquainted with
the progress of inductive research, would be astonished at the magnitude
and importance of results derivable from an apparently simple and
worthless object. An unthinking wanderer, stumbling upon an ancient
tombstone, if reproached with inattention, would ask what is to be
learned from such a relic. A word of inscription would give a clue to
the language, and, coupled with other observations, to the date of the
monument; the character of the stone, whether roughly hewn or
elaborately carved, would give evidence as to the tools used in its
formation, and consequently furnish a key to the manufacturing and
metallurgic knowledge of the fabricators. The stone itself might
possibly not be similar to those in the immediate vicinity, and thence
would indicate that travelling and the power of transfer were practised,
and the skeleton within would indicate the physical formation of the men
of that day. We have selected here a case of an ordinary grave, but how
much stronger would the case be were we to take a sarcophagus of Egypt,
enclosing a mummy? The inscription, the fabric of the cere-cloth, the
chemical substances with which it is impregnated, as well as those by
which the body is preserved, and the relics commonly deposited with it,
would lead, by careful investigation, to a tolerably accurate knowledge
of the character and habits of the time; and where many relics of
different descriptions, collected from different parts, are skilfully
compared, a body of evidence is arrived at, minutely circumstantial in
its details, and the veracity of which admits of no dispute. As the
researches of comparative anatomists have enabled us, from the
examination of a single bone, to pronounce with certainty upon the
general conformation and habits of the animal to which it belonged; and
as, in many cases, from the existence of such animals, we may go on,
step by step, to the nature of the earth's surface at the period when
they lived: so the meanest relic of art will serve the natural historian
of man as a fulcrum by which he may turn up a mass of genuine
information; with which, as with all knowledge, as its store increases,
the power of applying it becomes more facile; until at length it
scarcely becomes an exaggeration to say, that every material relic bears
in itself its own natural history, and, if artificially modified, the
history of its fabricators--what the germ is to futurity the relic is to
the past.

From the data which Dr Prichard has given us, in a somewhat scattered
form, we shall endeavour to collect and group the most interesting of
his facts and opinions. In order to ascertain what modifications of
physical structure, variation of climate, food, and habits, may effect
upon mankind, it is necessary, first, to review the effects produced by
such variation upon domesticated animals. It is indeed questionable
whether we can in any case, with certainty, trace these to their native
wilds; but, in many cases, we have instances of their return to a savage
state, as with the wild horses, goats, oxen, &c.; and although it does
not necessarily follow that their conformation, induced by such return,
is identical with their original structure, yet there is a reasonable
probability that such is the case, and we must take these cases for want
of better. How far, then, has the outward form been altered by the
changes induced by domestication; how far are instincts acquired by such
changes capable of hereditary transmission, and is there any, and what,
connexion between the changed instincts and the changed structure? These
questions, involving among other things the infant and difficult
science of phrenology, Dr Prichard has left very much to conjecture.
Whether he considers the data too imperfect, or is afraid of trusting
himself with any decided expression of opinion on a subject which has
been so obscured by charlatanry, and which is open to so much
misapprehension, does not appear; but it certainly is an apparently
striking defect, that where a large portion of the work is devoted to
the explanation of the different forms of the cranium in the inferior
animals and in man, and to which the largest portion of his pictorial
illustrations apply, he should give us so little insight into his
opinions as to what extent phrenology is fairly entitled to credibility.
His having taken so much pains in collecting facts and drawings on this
point, necessarily leads to the inference that he attaches much value to
the craniological distinctions. We shall take an opportunity presently
of recurring to this subject. We will now take some of the most
interesting instances, given by Dr Prichard, of structural changes and
hereditary instincts, acquired by domesticated animals, and again lost
by them on returning to a wild state:--

     "Swine transported from Europe to America, since the discovery of
     the western continent by the Spaniards in the fourteenth century,
     and wandering at large in the vast forests of the New World, and
     feeding on wild fruits, have resumed the manner of existence which
     belonged to the original stock. Their appearance nearly resembles
     that of the wild boar. Their ears have become erect; their heads
     are larger, and the foreheads vaulted at the upper part; their
     colour has lost the variety found in the domestic breeds. The wild
     hogs of the American forests are uniformly black. The hog which
     inhabits the high mountains of Paramos bears a striking resemblance
     to the wild boar of France. His skin is covered with a thick fur,
     often somewhat crisp, beneath which is found, in some individuals,
     a species of wool. From excessive cold and defect of nourishment,
     the hog of that region is of small and stunted figure. In some warm
     parts of America, the swine are not uniformly black, as above
     described, but red, like the young pecari. At Melgara and other
     places, there are some which are not entirely black, but have a
     white band under the belly reaching up to the back; they are termed
     _cinchados_. The restoration of the original character of the wild
     boar in a race descended from domesticated swine, removes all
     reason for doubt, if any had really existed, as to the identity of
     the stock; and we may safely proceed to compare the physical
     characters of these races, as varieties which have arisen in one
     species. The restoration of one uniform black colour, and the
     change of thin sparse hair and bristles for a thick fur with a
     covering of wool, are facts that must be noticed in the
     observations of M. Roulin. The difference in the shape of the head
     between the wild and domestic hog of America, is very remarkable.
     Blumenbach long ago pointed out the great difference between the
     cranium of our swine and that of the primitive wild boar. He
     remarked that this difference is quite equal to that which has been
     observed between the skull of the Negro and the European. 'Those
     persons,' he says, 'who have no opportunity of verifying the fact,
     have only need to cast their eyes on the figure which Daubenton has
     given of both the former. I shall pass over,' he adds, 'the lesser
     varieties of breeds which may be found among swine, as among men,
     and only mention that I have been assured by M. Sobzer, that the
     peculiarity of having the bone of the leg remarkably long, which in
     the human kind is observed among the Hindoos, has been remarked
     with regard to swine in Normandy. They stand very long on their
     hind legs; their back, therefore, is highest at the rump, forming a
     kind of inclined plane; and the head proceeds in the same
     direction, so that the snout is not far from the ground.'

     "'Swine,' continues Blumenbach, 'in some countries have degenerated
     into races which, in singularity, far exceed every thing that has
     been found strange in bodily variety among the human race. Swine
     with solid hoofs were known to the ancients, and large breeds of
     them are found in Hungary and Sweden. In like manner, the European
     swine first carried by the Spaniards in 1509 to the island of
     Cubagua, at that time celebrated for its pearl fishery, degenerated
     into a monstrous race, with toes which were half a span in length.'
     There are breeds of solid-hoofed swine in some parts of England.
     The hoof of the swine is also found divided into five clefts.

     "Buffon had before remarked the varieties of the hog tribe. 'In
     Guinea,' he observes, 'this species has acquired very long ears,
     couched upon the back; in China, a large pendant belly, and very
     short legs; at Cape Verde and other places, very large tusks,
     crooked like the horns of oxen; in domestication, half pendant and
     white ears.'"

            *       *       *       *       *

     "A very remarkable fact relative to the oxen of South America is
     recorded by M. Roulin, to which M. Geoffrey St Hilaire has
     particularly adverted, in the report made by him on M. Roulin's
     Memoir, before the Royal Academy of Sciences.

     "In Europe, the milking of cows is continued through the whole
     period, from the time when they begin to bear calves till they
     cease to breed. This secretion of milk has become a constant
     function in the animal economy of the tribe; it has been rendered
     such by the practice, continued through long series of generations,
     of continuing to draw milk long after the period when it would be
     wanted for the calf; the teats of the cow are larger than in
     proportion, and the secretion is perpetual. In Columbia, the
     practice of milking cows was laid aside, owing to the great extent
     of farms and other circumstances. 'In a few generations,' says M.
     Roulin, 'the natural structure of parts, and withal, the natural
     state of the function, has been restored. The secretion of milk in
     the cow of this country is only an occasional phenomenon, and
     contemporary with the actual presence of the calf. If the calf
     dies, the milk ceases to flow, and it is only by keeping him with
     his dam by day, that an opportunity of obtaining milk from cows by
     night can be found.' This testimony is important, by the proof
     which it affords that the permanent production of milk in the
     European breeds of cows is a modified function of the animal
     economy, produced by an artificial habit continued through several
     generations. Two other very important observations made by M.
     Roulin in South America, were pointed out by M. Geoffrey St Hilaire
     in his report to the Academy of Sciences. They refer to the fact of
     the hereditary transmission of habits originally impressed with
     care and art upon the ancestors. Of this fact I shall adduce other
     examples in the sequel; at present I only advert to M. Roulin's
     observations. The horses bred in the grazing farms on the
     table-land of the Cordillera, are carefully taught a peculiar pace,
     which is a sort of running amble. This is not their natural mode of
     progression, but they are inured to it very early, and the greatest
     pains are taken to prevent them from moving in any other gait. In
     this way the acquired habit becomes a second nature. It happens
     occasionally that such horses, becoming lame, are no longer fit for
     use; it is then customary to let them loose, if they happen to be
     well-grown stallions, into the pasture grounds. It is constantly
     observed that these horses become the sires of a race to which the
     ambling pace is natural, and requires no teaching. The fact is so
     well known, that such colts have received a particular name; they
     are termed 'aguilillas.'

     "The second fact is, the developement of a new instinct, which, as
     M. Roulin declares, seems to become hereditary in the breed of dogs
     found among the borderers on the river Madeleine, which are
     employed in hunting the pecari. I shall cite the author's own
     words:--'L'addresse du chien consiste à modérer son ardeur à ne
     s'attacher à aucun animal en particulier, mais à tenir toute la
     troupe en échec. Or, parmi ces chiens, on en volt maintenant qui,
     la première fois qu'on les amène au bois, savent dejà comment
     attaquer; un chien d'une autre espèce se lance tout d'abord, est
     environné, et quelle que soit sa force, il est dévoré dans un

To these cases we may add a case familiar to the sportsmen of this
country, and one of which we have ourselves seen an unquestionable
instance, viz. the acquired habit of the setting-dog in arresting his
steps, and crouching, when in pursuit of game; the origin of which was
probably a pause in his career, in order the better to ascertain the
position of the game of which he was in quest; but this, by constant
teaching, has become hereditary to such an extent, that occasionally a
dog of pure breed will, the first time he is taken out, as soon as he
gets on the scent of game, crouch or place himself in a setting
attitude, and remain perfectly immobile until forced to proceed; nay
further--as it is necessary that the sportsman teach the dogs who are in
the same field with that one who discovers the game, as soon as they see
the latter setting to arrest their steps likewise; or, as it is termed,
to _back_, in order not to disturb the game--in the instance which came
under our notice, a dog of eight or nine months old, which had never
been out of a town, when taken into the fields for the first time with
an old well-trained dog, as soon as the latter had discovered game, and
pointed to it, instantly backed him--_i.e._ remained stiffly standing in
the position in which he was when he first caught sight of the older
dog: probably many sportsmen could be found who would vouch to similar

We may here state that we quite agree with Dr Prichard, as to the
absence of any foundation for the general belief, that all the acts of
inferior animals are performed without their consciousness or view to
any object or end; on the contrary, there is every probability that
they, in carrying into effect their several instincts, seem to
themselves to act from similar internal impulses of will and intention,
as human beings do.

We need not enter into the vast number of varieties which the most
domestic of all domesticated animals, the dog, exhibits; we shall only
remark, that, in all their varieties, Dr Prichard says,--

     "Restored to a state of comparative wildness, which approaches to
     their unreclaimed and primitive condition, the tribes of dogs every
     where make a corresponding approximation to the type which may be
     supposed to have belonged to the species in its original state."

But this passage is enigmatical, as the original _type_ seems to be
involved in dense obscurity. Buffon considered the shepherd dog to be
the least modified by domestication--very erroneously, according to Dr
Prichard; it is still a _vexata questio_, whether the original
progenitor of the dog be a wolf, a jackal, a fox, or an unknown animal
differing from all these.

     "The sheep is one of the most anciently domesticated animals, and
     it is one in which great varieties display themselves. It has been
     long believed, and this appears to have been the opinion of Baron
     Cuvier, that all the breeds of tamed sheep are descended either
     from the argali of Siberia, or from the moufloun or musmon of
     Barbary. This is at present doubted by most naturalists. There
     seems, however, to be no reason for believing that the domestic
     breeds belong to more than one species, though they differ much in
     different countries. In Europe, the breeds of sheep vary much in
     stature, in the texture of their wool, the number and shape of
     their horns, which are in some large, in some small, in others
     wanting to the female, or altogether absent from the breed. The
     most important varieties in Europe are the Spanish breeds, some
     with fine, others with crisp wool, in which the rams have long
     spiral horns; the English breeds, which differ greatly in size and
     in the quality of the wool; and, in the southern parts of Russia,
     the long-tailed breed. The breeds of sheep in India and in Africa
     are remarkable for the length of their legs, a very convex
     forehead, and pendant ears; these also have long tails. Their
     covering is not wool, but a smooth hair. In the northern parts of
     Europe and Asia the sheep have short tails. The breeds spread
     through Persia, Tartary, and China, have their tails transformed
     into a double spherical mass of fat. The sheep of Syria and
     Barbary, on the other hand, have long tails, but likewise loaded
     with a mass of fat. In both of these varieties of the sheep the
     ears are pendant, the horns of the rams large, and those of the
     ewes and lambs of moderate size, and the body is covered with wool,
     mixed more or less with hair.

     "New breeds of sheep are frequently formed in different countries
     in which particular qualities predominate, according to the
     preference of the breeders. This is done, partly by crossing or
     intermixing races already constituted and well known; but in great
     part also by selecting individuals from the stock in which the
     particular qualities are more strongly marked than in the
     generality of the same breed. In these instances, the natural or
     congenital variety which the individual animal displays, perhaps
     for the first time, becomes perpetuated by the hereditary
     transmission of such characters, which is a law of the animal
     economy. A striking instance of this fact is to be found in the
     origination of a new breed of sheep in the state of Massachusetts,
     which has been noticed by many writers in connexion with this
     subject. In the year 1791, one ewe on the farm of Seth Wright gave
     birth to a male lamb, which, without any known cause, had a longer
     body and shorter legs than the rest of the breed. The joints are
     said to have been longer, and the fore-legs crooked. The shape of
     this animal rendering it unable to leap over fences, it was
     determined to propagate its peculiarities, and the experiment
     proved successful; a new race of sheep was produced, which, from
     the form of the body, has been termed the otter breed. It seems to
     be uniformly the fact, that when both parents are of the otter
     breed, the lambs that are produced inherit the peculiar form."

We might extract other instances of physiological and psychological
changes induced by domestication, but we think enough have been given to
show the character and degree of such changes. The least important
change, and that which appears the soonest affected, is the colour of
the skin and hair. This is universally of an uniform tint in wild
animals, and generally bears a close approximation to the colour of the
land in which the animal lives: thus the ptarmigan, inhabiting snowy
regions, is white; the grouse has the colour of heath; the hare that of
dry fern or furze--a provision which has the effect of protecting the
weaker tribes from the stronger and predatory ones. In domesticated
animals, from causes apparently not as yet traced, the colour is
variegated and various. Closely connected with the colour and nature of
the skin, are the size and shape of the horns, their presence and
absence. Great as is the apparent variety of appearance effected by
horns, changes in these appear to be easily induced: they are connected
with the epidermic structure, generally the most easily modified; and we
need not cite instances to prove that different breeds of the same
tribe, and occasionally different individuals of the same breed, differ
materially as to horns. According to Azara, horned horses are sometimes
seen in Paraguay.

Very little appears to be known, at least scarcely any intimation is
given in the work before us, of the proximate or final cause of these
changes. Great as they are, certainly, as far as we can judge, no _nisus
formativus_ can account for the enormous horns of the Spanish sheep;
nor, looking to the final cause; does there appear any reason why
domestic animals should need such overgrown instruments of defence.
When, however, we come to the more important anatomical modifications,
such as the length and shape of the legs, the bones of the pelvis or of
the jaw, the object is more apparent. A greyhound, with the muzzle of a
bull-dog, would be an obvious natural inconsistency.

We now pass to the physical distinctions of the different races of men.
Here we may observe that a much greater importance is to be attached to
comparatively slight variations. Considering the surprising external
differences that exist in domesticated animals of the same species, the
wonder rather is, that the different races of men differ physically so
little as they do, than that they differ so much. Here we will take
first, the least important shades of difference--the texture of the
skin, hair, and complexion; and then pass on to the more prominent
diversities of the bony fabric, cranium, &c.

     "The texture of the body, in which all these varieties have their
     seat, is the extracorial or exodermal structure, constituting, if I
     may so speak, the outer coating of the body, external to the true
     skin, which corresponds to the cuticular and corneous excrescences
     of animals--a structure which includes horns, hoofs, hair,
     feathers, and all similar appendages in different orders of
     animals. This structure displays infinite diversities in colour,
     constitution, and organization, and is the most variable tissue on
     the whole body. Many different opinions have, however, been lately
     maintained, and much research has been made, as to the nature and
     texture of the parts on which the variety of colour depends."

The ancient anatomists, it appears, recognised only two parts of the
skin--the true skin, and the outer cuticle or epidermis. Malpighi
discovered a third layer interposed between these, consisting of a sort
of network, thence called _rete mucosum_, and believed to be the seat of
colour in the negro. Albinus showed this to be a continuous layer, and
not a network. Cruikshank discovered four layers--three membranes, and
the fourth a layer of colour. Flourens, at a more recent period, made
the number of intermediate layers five, four of which he showed to the
French Academy; one of these, a mucous membrane underlying the pigment,
is, according to this anatomist, a distinct organized body, existing
only in men of dark colour, and entirely wanting in the white races, or
else (which appears the more probable conjecture) maceration, and the
ordinary process of examination, fail to detect it in the skin of white
men. Lastly, the microscopical researches of Henle, Purkinje, and
Schwann, go to prove that the outer integument does not consist of
separate membranes, but is of a cellular structure, and that of these
cells or "cytoblasts," there are three distinct kinds. We will not
further analyse the different opinions as to the texture of the skin and
position of the colouring material; it certainly throws no
inconsiderable degree of doubt over certain classes of scientific
investigation, to find each subsequent research entirely altering, and
in some cases overturning, the previously received views.

To the different characters of human complexion, Dr Prichard gives three
distinctive terms--the _melanous_ or brunette; the _xanthous_ or blonde;
and the _leucous_ or albino; the _melanous_ predominating in the
southern countries, the _xanthous_ in the northern. It is observable
here, that although the natural divisions of territory with respect to
complexion, (supposing climate to have the principal modifying effect
upon complexion,) would be the equatorial and polar regions, or the
zones of the earth which differ in latitude, yet, with some few
exceptions, it is only on the northern side of the equator that the
_xanthous_ complexion prevails--the inhabitants of Australia and the
South Sea Islands being very generally _melanous_. The distribution of
land and water cannot well be conceived to have any influence upon
climate which would account for such diversity; it is probably,
therefore, a result of long-continued civilization, the covering the
body with clothes, and being for the most part sheltered from the direct
rays of the sun. The _leucous_ complexion is an abnormal variety, and
occurs occasionally in all countries. It proceeds from the absence of
the dark colouring matter, or pigment; there appears in this case,
however, no difference of anatomical structure, the pigment being
sometimes subsequently developed in persons who have been born albinoes.
The change from the _xanthous_ to the _melanous_ complexion, is a
circumstance of constant occurrence; there are few children born, whose
complexion does not darken as they grow up, in many cases undergoing a
total change: the passage from dark to fair is rare, but it constantly
occurs that _xanthous_, or even _leucous_ children, are born of
_melanous_ parents. There is nothing, therefore, in the diversities of
complexion which indicates specific diversity in different human races.
Of the conformation of the bony fabric in the human race, the formation
of the skull is the part of the greatest importance; we shall only
therefore briefly notice, as to the other parts of the skeleton, that
between the most uncultivated races of men, and those tribes of apes
which most nearly approach man, there is a wide difference--the arms of
the orang-outang reach to the ankle, and those of the chimpanzee below
the knee; the pelvis, or central bony fabric, differ much from those of
the human race.

With regard to the skull, the value of the distinctions in its form and
structure depends upon their connexion with the size and organization of
the brain--involving the question, whether this has any, and what,
influence upon the powers and habits of the creature. Dr Prichard, as we
have already stated, blinks the question of phrenology; though he makes
some inferences which prove him to have a general belief in the
connexion between mental power and physical formation; nay, further, in
the appropriation of different portions of the brain to different

Few will, we believe, in the present day be disposed entirely to deny
that, _ceteris paribus_, the external formation of the skull, or rather
the shape of the brain as shown by the formation of the skull, is a
general index of the mental power of the individual to whom it belongs.
Look over a collection of busts, or portraits, of eminent men, and, with
scarcely an exception, they will be found to have high and capacious
foreheads; while uncivilized races, and born idiots, are lamentably
deficient in this respect. The difficulties of phrenology exist in its
details, which by many have been carried out into degrees of subdivision
certainly not warranted either by the anatomical structure of the brain,
or by any empirical data as to the form of different crania, and the
biography of the individuals to whom they have belonged. Where, in the
existing state of our knowledge, the proper mean may be, it is perhaps
difficult to say; but it would have been well, we think, had Dr Prichard
given us a little more explicitly his opinions as to what extent
phrenology (we use the word in its broadest sense) may be fairly relied
on. As far as we can gather from the scattered passages in his book, he
seems to take a rational view of it; but a little less caution would
certainly have been more instructive to his readers, not only on the
subject of phrenology, but on many of the connexions between physical
structure and the habits to which such structure is adapted. This is a
_hiatus_ in Dr Prichard's work, the filling up of which would add much
interesting matter, and serve to weave together acts which at present
are disjointed and isolated; giving the book a dry character, and
preventing its arresting the attention of the reader. Throughout a
larger portion of the work also, we have, in every third page or so, a
minute description of the complexion, hair, &c., of different people;
which, however valuable as matter of record, becomes tiresome and
uninteresting as a continuous narrative, and would be much better thrown
into a tabular form, as matter of reference only, if incapable of being
so linked as to present a plausible theory.

The following passage is the most explicit we can find on the subject of
the connexion between the _physique_ and _morale_, and, at the same
time, will serve to introduce the three varieties of skull which the
author deems principally worth notice:--

     "If any method of subdividing the human family into groups, is
     likely to be of any particular advantage in elucidating the natural
     history of the species, it must be one founded on some relation
     between the physical characteristics of different tribes and the
     leading circumstances of their external condition.

     "We shall clearly perceive, in tracing the following outline of
     ethnography, that the varieties of colour refer themselves, in
     part, to climates, elevations of land, proximity to the sea-coast,
     or distance from it. It can hardly be doubted that these conditions
     have likewise an effect on the configuration of the human body. But
     there is, perhaps, some truth in the remark, though frequently made
     on little better foundation than conjecture, that the prevailing
     form or configuration of the body is more liable to be influenced
     by the habits of different races, and their manner of living, than
     by the simple agencies of climate. It would be an interesting
     discovery, could it be shown that there is any apparent connexion
     between the display of particular forms, or the leading physical
     characters of human races, and their habits of existence. If I may
     venture to point out any such relation, it would be by remarking,
     in a very general manner, and without pretending to make the
     observation as one which holds without many exceptions, that there
     are in mankind three principal varieties in the form of the head
     and other physical characters, which are most prevalent
     respectively in the savage or hunting tribes, in the nomadic or
     wandering pastoral races, and in the civilized and intellectually
     cultivated divisions of the human family. Among the rudest tribes
     of men, hunters and savage inhabitants of forests, dependent for
     their supply of food on the accidental produce of the soil or on
     the chase, among whom are the most degraded of the African nations
     and the Australian savages, a form of the head is prevalent which
     is most aptly distinguished by the term _prognathous_, indicating a
     prolongation or extension forward of the jaws; and with this
     characteristic other traits are connected which will be described
     in the following pages. A second shape of the head, very different
     from the last mentioned, belongs principally to the nomadic races,
     who wander with their herds and flocks over vast plains, and to the
     tribes who creep along the shores of the Icy Sea, and live partly
     by fishing, and in part on the flesh of their reindeers. These
     nations have broad and lozenge-formed faces, and what I have termed
     _pyramidal_ skulls.

     "The Esquimaux, the Laplanders, Samoïedes, and Kamschatkans,
     belong to this department, as well as the Tartar nations--meaning
     the Mongolians, Tungusians, and nomadic races of Turks. In South
     Africa, the Hottentots, formerly a nomadic people, who wandered
     about with herds of cattle over the extensive plains of Kafirland,
     resembling in their manner of life the Tungusians and the Mongols,
     have also broadfaced, pyramidal skulls, and in many particulars of
     their organization resemble the Northern Asiatics. Other tribes in
     South Africa approximate to the same character, as do many of the
     native races of the New World.

     "The most civilized races, those who live by agriculture and the
     arts of cultivated life, all the most intellectually improved
     nations of Europe and Asia, have a shape of the head which differs
     from both the forms above mentioned. The characteristic form of the
     skull among these nations may be termed _oval_ or _elliptical_.

     "We shall find hereafter that there are numerous instances of
     transition from one of these shapes of the head to another, and
     that these alterations have taken place in nations who have changed
     their manner of life."

Blumenbach considered that the most important admeasurement of the skull
was derivable from the shape and size of the oval, seen when the skull
was viewed from above, looking vertically down upon it. Camper took as
the basis of his theory of the gradations of different genera of
mammalia, the angle formed by a line drawn from the aperture of the ear
to the base of the nose, and a tangent to the forehead and jaw.
Considering the increasing size of this angle to be the distinctive mark
of intellectual superiority, he viewed a negro as an intermediate animal
between an European and an ape. But Mr Owen has shown that the
observations of Camper and others, being applied to immature animals,
are not worthy of reliance; as the relations of all animals more closely
approximate if they be examined in an infant, than in an adult state.
The facial angle of the orang, which has been estimated at from 60° to
64°, he finds in the adult animal is only 30°--_i. e._ 40° short of the
smallest facial angle in the human race! We should hence be led to
suspect a proportionate difference between the infant and adult mind;
but the psychological development of infants is a subject which has been
strangely neglected by philosophers. A clever Italian authoress who has
written an anonymous work upon education, gives as the reason for the
dearth of writing on this subject, that philosophers are not mothers,
and that mothers are not philosophers. Be this as it may, few theorems
appear to us more promising of interest. The struggle of internal force
with external resistance, the feelings manifested in the acquisition of
new powers, the impressions made by objects seen for the first time, and
first questions asked, form grounds for induction as to the psychology
of man, which, thanks to the chartered tyranny of nursery-maids over
philosophers, have been grossly neglected.

After going through other points of physical difference in human races,
with which, being for the most part matter of anatomical detail, we
shall not trouble our readers, Dr Prichard concludes:--

     "On surveying the facts which relate to difference in the shape of
     the body, and the proportions of parts in human races, we may
     conclude that none of these deviations amount to specific
     distinction. We may rest this conclusion on two arguments. First,
     that none of the differences in question exceed the limits of
     individual variety, or are greater than the diversities found
     within the circle of one nation or family. Secondly, the varieties
     of form in human races are by no means so considerable, in many
     points of view, as the instances of variation which are known to
     occur in different tribes of animals belonging to the same stock,
     there being scarcely one domesticated species which does not
     display much more considerable deviations from the typical
     character of the tribe."

The only observation we shall make upon this is, that, as before stated,
the test of identity of species being the power of continued
reproduction, not the slightest evidence having been ever offered that
all the various human races have not _inter se_ this power, but the
contrary having been proved in every case within human experience, none
of the deviations _can_ amount to _specific_ distinctions.

Having noticed the most remarkable physical distinctions of the human
race, we come to its ethnographical divisions--divisions founded partly
upon traditional and historical records, and partly upon the internal
evidence of similarity of language. The following sketch of hypotheses,
as to the original birthplaces of the +autochthones gaias+, although
visionary, and in all probability incorrect, forms such an interesting
abstract of philosophical speculations and poetical myths, that we
cannot refrain from quoting it:--

     "The most popular, or generally received distribution of human
     races in the present day, is that which was recommended by the
     adoption of Baron Cuvier. It did not entirely originate with that
     great writer, but was set forth by him in a more decided and
     complete manner than it had been before his time. This system
     refers different races of men to certain lofty mountain-chains, as
     the local seats of their original existence.

     "The birthplace, or the primitive station, of the race of men who
     peopled Europe and Western Asia, is supposed to have been Mount
     Caucasus. From this conjecture, Europeans and many Asiatic nations,
     and even some Africans, have received the new designation of
     Caucasians. The nations of Eastern Asia are imagined, in like
     manner, to originate in the neighbourhood of Mount Altaï, and they
     are named after the Mongolians, who inhabit the highest region in
     that vast chain of hills. The African negroes are derived from the
     southern face of the chain of Mount Atlas.

     "They are, however, named simply the Ethiopian race, from the
     Ethiopians, who were the only black people known to the ancients in
     very remote times. A mixture of somewhat vague notions, partly
     connected with physical theories, and in part derived from history,
     or rather from mythology, has formed the groundwork of this scheme,
     which refers the origin of human races to high mountainous tracts.
     The tops of mountains first emerged above the surface of the
     primeval ocean, and, in the language of some philosophical
     theorists, first became the scene of the organizing life of nature.
     From different mountain tops, Wildenow, and other writers on the
     history of plants, derive the vegetable tribes; which they suppose
     to have descended from high places into the plains, and to have
     spread their colonies along the margins of mountain streams. High
     mountains thus came to be regarded as the birthplaces of living

     "Geological theories give their part to render these notions
     popular; not only the late speculations of the Count de Buffon and
     the learned Bailly, but the opinions of ancient philosophers, who
     maintained, before the time of Justin and of Pliny, that the
     mountains of high Asia must have been the part of the world first
     inhabited by men, inasmuch as that region must have been first
     refrigerated in the gradual cooling of the surface of our planet,
     and first raised sufficiently above the level of the ocean.
     Moreover, the poetical traditions of the ancient world describe
     high mountains as the scenes of the first mythical adventures of
     gods and men--as the resting-places on which celestial or aërial
     beings alighted from their cloudy habitations, to take up their
     abode with men, and to become the patriarchs of the human race.
     Lofty mountains are the points in the geography of our globe on
     which the first dawn of historic light casts its early beams; hence
     the legends of the first ages begin their thread. In the cosmogony
     of the Hindoos, it was on the summit of the sacred mountain
     Maha-meru, which rises in the midst of the seven _dwipas_, or great
     peninsulas, like the stalk between the expanded petals of a lotus,
     that Brahma, the creator, sits enthroned on a pillar of gold and
     gems, adored by Rishis and Gandharbhas; while the regents of the
     four quarters of the universe hold their stations on the four faces
     of the mountain. Equally famed in the ancient mythology of Iran and
     of Zoroaster, is the sacred mountain Albordy, based upon the earth,
     but raising through all the spheres of heaven, to the region of
     supernal light, its lofty top, the seat of Ormuzd, whence the
     bridge Ishinevad conducts blessed spirits of pious men to Gorodman,
     the solid vault of heaven, the abode of Ferouers and Arnshaspands.
     Even the prosing disciples of Confucius had their sacred mountain
     of Kuen-lun, where, according to the legends of their forefathers,
     was the abode of the early patriarchs of their race. The Arabs and
     the Persian Moslemin had their poetical Kaf. The lofty hills of
     Phrygia and of Hellas--Ida, Olympus, Pindus--were, as every one
     knows, famous in Grecian story. Caucasus came in for a share of the
     reverence paid to the high places of the earth. Caucasus, however,
     was not the cradle of the human race, but the dwelling-place of
     Prometheus, the maker of men, and the teacher of astronomy."

Abandoning this somewhat dreamy view, Dr Prichard regards, consistently
with the Scriptural account, the birthplace of man as being on the banks
of fertilizing rivers, and at a period when the world was, by its
vegetable and animal productions, prepared for his reception, and adopts
three divisions as being those of which we have the earliest records;
1st, the _Semitic_ or _Syro-Arabian_, inhabiting countries between Egypt
and the Ganges. 2dly, the _Japetic_, _Indo-European_, or _Arian_,
spreading from the mouths of the Ganges over the greater part of Europe.
And 3dly, the Egyptian or _Hamitish_,{B} who peopled the banks of the
Nile, and of whom the African negroes are probably a degenerate
offshoot. With regard to the knowledge of letters possessed by these
three nations, our author gives two inconsistent statements. He says:--

     "The three celebrated nations whose history we have surveyed,
     appear alone to have possessed in the earliest times the use of
     letters, and by written monuments to have transmitted to the last
     ages memorials of their existence. It seems improbable that each of
     these nations should have become, by a separate process, possessed
     of this important art: yet those eminent scholars who have laboured
     with so great success of late in elucidating the Oriental forms of
     writing, have not succeeded in tracing any connexion between the
     alphabetic systems of Egypt, of the Phoenicians, the Assyrians,
     and the Hindoos."

And states afterwards:--

     "It is plain that the use of letters was entirely unknown to the
     Arian nations, to those tribes at least of the race who passed into
     Europe: and that it was introduced among them in long after ages by
     the Phoenicians, who claim this most important invention, and
     certainly have the merit of having communicated it to the nations
     of the west."

The words "those tribes at least," are scarcely sufficient to remove the

A fourth division comprehends those various barbarous nations of unknown
origin which occupied the territories surrounding the Indo-European
race, and were for the most part subdued and expelled by the latter--to
this fourth division he applies the term _Allophyllian_.

This glotto-historical division does not exactly correspond with the
physical division as deduced from the form of the skull. The three
nations first above mentioned, or the inhabitants of the central
regions, from which they at least are supposed, according to this view,
to have emanated, have all the oval skull; though, when we pass to the
nomadic people of high Asia, we get the pyramidal, and, passing from
Egypt to Africa, we get a gradually increasing tendency to the
prognathous form.

It would carry us far beyond the usual bounds of an article in this
Magazine, were we to give even a condensed abstract of the descriptions,
individual and collective, of each of these leading divisions and their
various subdivisions. We will observe generally that the central portion
of the work, which contains a detailed account of the divisions
physical, ethical, and ethnical, of all the most marked varieties of the
human race, accompanied with illustrative pictures and woodcuts, evinces
the most elaborate research, and, as a work of reference, will be
doubtless found of great value. We will, therefore, pass to the fifth
great division of the human race, which is discussed in a later portion
of the work, and which is not very distinctly connected with the other
four--viz. the American. The Sioux tribes, however, who occupy tracts
of land on the Upper Mississippi, are supposed with great probability,
from their physical character, language, and tradition, to be the
descendants of a Tartar race, who have emigrated across the north-west
straits of America.

     "The aboriginal people of America are generally considered as a
     department of the human family very distinct from the inhabitants
     of the Old World. The insulated situation of the continent, and the
     fact that it was so long unknown, and the tribes which it contains
     so long cut off from intercourse with other nations, are among the
     circumstances which have contributed to produce this impression.
     The American nations, taken in the aggregate, are neither among
     themselves so uniform and unvaried in the physical and moral
     qualities, nor is the line of distinction between them and the rest
     of mankind so strongly marked and so obvious, as most persons
     imagine. Yet it must be admitted that certain characters are
     discoverable which are common, or nearly so, to the whole of this
     department of nations; that there are strong indications, if not
     proofs, of a community of origin, or of very ancient relationship
     among them; and that in surveying collectively the people of the
     New World, we contemplate human nature under a peculiar aspect. On
     comparing the American tribes together, we find reasons to believe
     that they must have subsisted as a separate department of nations
     from the earliest ages of the world. Hence, in attempting to trace
     relations between them and the rest of mankind, we cannot expect to
     discover proofs of their derivation from any particular tribe or
     nation in the Old Continent. The era of their existence, as a
     distinct and insulated race, must probably be dated as far back as
     that time which separated into nations the inhabitants of the Old
     World, and gave to each branch of the human family its primitive
     language and individuality."

The points which are supposed to indicate this relationship of the
American aborigines _inter se_, and their distinction from the
inhabitants of our continents, are, 1st, the structure of their
language, in which--

     "Striking analogies of grammatical construction have been
     recognised, not only in the more perfect languages, as that of the
     Incas, the Aymara, the Guarani, the Mexican, and the Cora, but also
     in languages extremely rude. Idioms, the roots of which do not
     resemble each other more than the roots of the Sclavonian and
     Biscayan, have resemblances of internal mechanism similar to those
     which are found in the Sanscrit, the Persian, the Greek, and the
     German languages."

And, 2dly, their moral and social state, indicating a people which has
anciently possessed institutions of a highly civilized character, such
as, according to Dr Martius--

     "A complicated form of government, regulated despotisms or
     monarchies, privileged orders, hierarchical and sacerdotal
     ordinances, systematic laws, the results of reflection, and a
     settled purpose, connected with marriage and inheritance, and
     family relationships, and other customs, which are strongly
     contrasted with the simple and unreflective habits of rude and
     uncivilized nations.

     "The languages of these nations abound, as he says, with words
     expressive of metaphysical views and abstract conceptions. Their
     opinion respecting a future state, the nature and attributes of
     invisible agents, are strikingly different from those of nations
     who have never emerged from primitive barbarism. Another fact which
     tends, as M. Martius observes, to confirm the opinion that natives
     of the New World have fallen from a state of greater refinement, is
     their use, from immemorial ages, of certain domesticated animals
     and cultivated plants, and the notions which they entertained of
     the first acquisition of these possessions. Of such animals and
     plants the people of the Old World have their peculiar stock, and
     the American nations have their own entirely different.

     "In the Old World we know not whence our horses, our dogs, cattle,
     and the various kinds of cerealian gramina were obtained, and the
     American nations are equally at a loss, when we enquire for the
     original stock of the dumb dog of the Mexicans, the llama, the root
     of the mandioca, the American corn, and of the quinoa.

     "In the ancient world there were traditions of some mythical
     benefactors of mankind. Ceres, Triptolemus, Bacchus, Pallas, and
     Poseidon, who had contributed their gifts, corn and wine, the
     sacred olive, and the horse, and we infer that all these had been
     known from periods of remote antiquity.

     "In America, likewise, tradition refers the knowledge of cultivated
     plants and domestic animals, and the art of tilling the earth, to
     some fabulous person who descended from the gods, or suddenly made
     his appearance among their ancestors, such as the Manco-Capac of
     the Peruvians, and the Xolotl and the Xiuhtlato of the Tollecas and

     "The remains of ancient sculpture and architecture spread over
     Mexico, Yucatan, and Chiapa, as well as over the high plain of
     Quito and other parts of South America, and the extensive works of
     art, consisting of fortifications and other relics, discovered in
     the Tenessi country, as well as in the inland parts of New Mexico
     on the Rio Gila, afford some further support to the hypothesis of
     M. Martius.

     "The possession of arts and acquirements, the most simple
     improvements of human life, and such as belong to the very infancy
     of human society, distinctively appropriate, and the origin of
     which is recorded by mythical legends peculiar to each division of
     mankind, seems to carry back the era of their separation to the
     first ages of the world."

With regard to the physical character of the Americans, it appears,
according to Dr Martius, that the principal characteristic is the
truncation, or flatness, of the occipital portion of the cranium; the
forehead wide, but low, supposed upon rather insufficient data to be
moulded to this shape by artificial means; and the nose arched. In the
new as in the old continent, the diversities of physical character do
not correspond with the ethnical divisions. The principal criterion of
the latter adopted by Dr Prichard is the affinity of languages; and,
when this is insufficient to found any probable opinions, conjectures
derived from geographical or traditional evidence are called in aid.
Upon these grounds the Americans are arranged and described by the
author, into the details of which, for the same reason as before stated,
we regret not being able to follow him.

Since, however, the first pages of this article were written, a
discovery has been announced connected with the physiology of the
American aborigenes, which, if subsequently verified, will be of much
importance, both as to the anthropological classification of the
Americans, and as to the natural history of man generally. In a letter
addressed to the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, and
republished in the _Philosophical Magazine_ for July last, is an account
of the researches of Dr Lund, who has been for some time engaged in
geological investigation in Minas Geraes, a province of Brazil. While
examining the caverns of calcareous rocks, he has found in one of them,
mixed with the bones of extinct races of animals, human bones, having
all the character of fossils; they are stated to be in part petrified,
and in part penetrated with iron particles, which gave to them a
metallic lustre resembling bronze; they were of extraordinary weight;
the crania presented the narrow forehead, prominent zygomatic bones, the
facial angle, the maxillary and orbital conformation of the American
race. The depression of the forehead in many instances is said to amount
to a total disappearance. With the bones was found a smooth stone, about
ten inches in circumference, apparently intended to bruise seeds or hard
substances. In other caverns were found human bones, but unaccompanied
with those of other animals. These facts, if confirmed, will furnish us
with most important evidence as to the past state of the Americans, and
the ancient history and physiology of the human race; but the novelty of
the results, and the recent date of the communication, induce us to
abstain from hasty comment.

The general physiological comparison of human races, the similarity of
periodic changes, and the average duration of life, are points upon
which we can very briefly touch. Dr Prichard considers the different
ages at which women are said to be marriageable in different climates to
be very much exaggerated. He states his reasons, which do not appear to
us to be very conclusive. The exceptional cases from the normal
physiology would be more interesting, had we space for them, than the
analogies, for which probably all our readers would be prepared. Thus,
among the most curious national anomalies are the Quichuas and Aymaras,
who, from the constant habit of breathing an attenuated atmosphere, have
their chests enormously expanded; the Mandans, who, without any apparent
cause, have the hair grizzled or grey in youth. Among the instances of
individual peculiarity, no one is more extraordinary than the horned
man, whose entire person was covered with a rugged bark, or hide, having
bristles here and there, which hide he was said to shed annually; and
this peculiar form of monstrosity appears to have been capable of
hereditary transmission, as he had six children with a similar covering.
How he procured a wife to bear these children to him does not appear.
The children were, it is to be presumed, not equally successful, as the
breed of these human rhinoceri has become extinct. Some curious
instances of longevity are collected. Of 15 negroes, the names and
residences of whom are given, the average age is 135 years; from
European nations, there are 1310 recorded instances of persons aged from
100 to 110, and 3 from 180 to 190. We do no more than briefly notice
these exceptions, as we are anxious to devote our small remaining space
to what will by many be considered the most interesting portions of the
book, viz. the author's psychological view of the different races of
mankind, or the comparison of their different mental faculties.

     "Though inhabiting, from immemorial times, regions in
     juxtaposition, and almost contiguous to each other, no two races of
     men can be more strongly contrasted than were the ancient Egyptian
     and Syro-Arabian races; one nation, full of energy, of restless
     activity, changing many times their manner of existence--sometimes
     nomadic, feeding their flocks in desert places--now settled, and
     cultivating the earth, and filling their land with populous
     villages, and towns, and fenced cities--then spreading themselves,
     impelled by the love of glory and zeal of proselytism, over distant
     countries; the other, reposing ever in luxurious ease and wealth on
     the rich soil, watered by their slimy river, never quitting it for
     a foreign clime or displaying, unless forced, the least change in
     their position or habits of life. The intellectual character, the
     metaphysical belief, and the religious sentiments and practices of
     the two nations were equally diverse; one adoring an invisible and
     eternal spirit, at whose almighty word the universe started into
     existence, and 'the morning stars sang together, and the sons of
     God shouted for joy;' the other adorning splendid temples with
     costly magnificence, in which, with mysterious and grotesque rites,
     they paid a strange and portentous worship to some foul and
     grovelling object--a snake, a tortoise, a crocodile, or an ape. The
     destiny of the two races has been equally different: both may be
     said still to exist; one in their living representatives, their
     ever-roving, energetic descendants; the other reposing in their own
     land--a vast sepulchre, where the successive generations of thirty
     centuries, all embalmed, men, women, and children, with their
     domestic animals, lie beneath their dry preserving soil, expecting
     vainly the summons to judgment--the fated time for which is to some
     of them long past--before the tribunal of Sarapis, or in the hall
     of Osymandyas."

We are far from agreeing with this estimate of the ancient Egyptians.
Their progress in mechanical arts, their hieroglyphical literature, and
even their theology, with its mystic trine, marked them as a people far
surpassing their contemporaries; and they were not the less great
because their greatness is now extinct. The Arian{C} tribes, though
unskilled in many of the most useful arts of life, yet had--

     "National poetry, and a culture of language and thought, altogether
     surprising when compared with their external condition and habits.
     They had bards or scalds, _vates_, who were supposed, under divine
     impulse, to celebrate the history of ancient times, and connect
     them with revelations of the future, and with a refined and
     metaphysical system of dogmas, which were handed down from age to
     age, and from one tribe to another, as the primeval creed and
     possession of the enlightened race. Among them in the West, as
     well as in the remote East, the doctrine of metempsychosis held a
     conspicuous place, implying belief in an after state of rewards and
     punishment, and a moral government of the world. With it was
     connected the notion that the material universe had undergone, and
     was destined to undergo, a repetition of catastrophes by fire and
     water; and after each destruction, to be renewed in fresh beauty,
     when a golden age was again to commence, destined in a fated time
     to corruption and decay. The emanation of all beings from the soul
     of the universe, and their refusion in it, which were tenets
     closely connected with this system of dogmas, border on a species
     of Pantheism, and are liable to all the difficulties attendant upon
     that doctrine.

     "Among most of the Indo-European nations, the conservation of
     religious dogmas, patriarchal tradition, and national poetry, was
     confided, not to accidental reminiscences and popular recitations,
     but to a distinct order of persons, who were venerated as mediators
     between the invisible powers and their fellow mortals, as the
     depositories of sacred lore, and interpreters of the will of the
     gods, expressed of old to the first men, and handed down, either
     orally in divine poems, or preserved in a sacred literature, known
     only to the initiated. In most instances they were an hereditary
     caste, Druids, Brahmans, or Magi.

     "Among the Allophylian nations, on the other hand a rude and
     sensual superstition prevailed, which ascribed life and mysterious
     powers to the inanimate objects. The religion of fetisses, of
     charms, and spells and talismans, was in the hands not of a learned
     caste, the twice-born sons of Brama, but of shamans or sorcerers,
     who, by feigning swoons and convulsions, by horrible cries and
     yells, by cutting themselves with knives, by whirling and
     contortions, assumed the appearance of something preternatural and
     portentous, and impressed the multitude with the belief that they
     were possessed by demons. Of this latter description were the
     wizards of the Finns and Lappes, the angekoks of the Esquimaux; and
     such are the shamans of all the countries in Northern Asia, where
     neither Buddhism nor Islamism has yet penetrated."

Of the American nations, the prevailing opinion, according to Loskiel,

     "'That there is one God, or, as they call him, one Great and Good
     Spirit.' It seems, from the testimony of this writer, which is
     supported by the evidence of all those who have conversed with the
     aboriginal nations of North America, that the conceptions of these
     nations respecting the Deity are much more complete and
     philosophical than those of the most savage people in the Old
     Continent. They suppose him literally to be the creator of heaven
     and earth, of men and all other creatures; they represent him as
     almighty, and able to do as much good as he pleases; 'nor do they
     doubt that he is kindly disposed towards men, because he imparts
     power to plants to grow, causes rain and sunshine, and gives fish
     and venison to man for his support;' these gifts, however, to the
     Indians exclusively. 'They are convinced that God requires of them
     to do good, and to eschew evil.' We may observe that, in these
     particulars, the Americans resemble the Northern Asiatics. We are
     assured by the late traveller, M. Erman, on the authority of the
     metropolitan Philophei, who lived among the Ostiaks on the Oby,
     that these people had, before Christian missionaries ever came
     among them, a belief in the existence of a Supreme Deity, of whose
     nature they had pure and exalted ideas, and to whom they affirmed
     that they never made offerings, nor had they represented his form;
     while to inferior gods, and particularly to Oertidk, who was a sort
     of mediator, and whose name, as it was preserved among the Magyars,
     Oerdig, was used by the monks as a designator for the devil, they
     made divers gifts; they performed before his image dances, which
     Erman, who visited the Kolushians on the Sitcka, declares to be
     precisely similar to the war-dances of those Americans. Some of the
     American people make images of the Manittos.

     "Besides the Supreme Deity, the American nations believe in a
     number of inferior spirits, whom the Delaware Indians term
     Manittos; they are both good and evil. 'From the accounts of the
     oldest Indians,' says Loskiel, 'it appears that when war was in
     contemplation, they used to admonish each other to hearken to the
     good, and not to evil spirits--the former always recommending
     peace.' They had formerly no notion of a devil, or evil being, in
     the Christian or Eastern sense of the term, but readily adopted,
     according to Loskiel, such a belief from the white people. They
     have among them preachers, who pretend to have received
     revelations, and who dispute and teach different opinions. Some
     pretend to have travelled near to the dwelling of God, or near
     enough to hear the cocks crow, and see the smoke of the chimneys in
     heaven; others declare that no one ever knew the dwelling-place of
     God, but that the abode of the Good Spirit is above the blue sky,
     and that the road to it is the milky way--a notion, by the way,
     which Beausobre and others have traced in the remains of the
     Manicheans, and other Eastern philosophers. The Americans believe
     in the existence of souls distinct from bodies, and many of them in
     the transmigration of souls. According to Loskiel, they declare,
     'that Indians cannot die eternally; for even Indian corn is
     vivified, and rises again.' The general opinion among them is, that
     the souls of the good alone go to a place abounding in all earthly
     pleasures, while the wicked wander about dejected and melancholy.
     Like other nations, they had sacrifices. 'Sacrifices,' says
     Loskiel, 'made with a view to pacify God and the subordinate
     deities, are of a very ancient date among them, and considered in
     so sacred a light, that unless they are performed in a time and
     manner acceptable, illness, misfortune, and death would befall them
     and their families.' They offer on these occasions hares, bear's
     flesh, and Indian corn. Many nations have, besides other stated
     times of sacrifice, one principal festival in two years, when they
     sacrifice an animal, and make a point of eating the whole.

     "A small quantity of melted fat is poured by the oldest men into
     the fire, and in this the main part of the offering consists. The
     offerings are made to Manittos. The Manittos are precisely the
     Fetisses of the African nations, and of the Northern Asiatics. They
     are tutelary beings, often in visible forms. Every Indian has a
     guardian Manitto; one has the sun for his Manitto; one the moon;
     one has a dream, that he must make his Manitto an owl; one a
     buffalo. The Delawares had five festivals in the year, one in
     honour of fire, supposed to have been the parent of all the Indian
     nations. Like other nations, these people believed in the necessity
     of purification from guilt, by fasting and bodily mortification.
     Some underwent for this end the pain of being beaten with sticks
     from the sole of their feet to their head. 'Some gave the poor
     people vomits as the most expeditious mode.'

     "Like the Northern Asiatics, the American nations had, instead of a
     regular priesthood, jugglers or sorcerers, who pretended to have
     supernatural power and knowledge. They appear to conform in every
     respect to the schamans of the Siberians, and the Fetiss-seers of
     the African nations."

We have, in the above extracts, placed in juxtaposition the leading
psychical characteristics of the five divisions of mankind. There are
some points in which the different races of man seem, in their various
superstitions and creeds, curiously agreed. The doctrine of sacrificial
atonement seems almost universally prevalent, and forms the basis of the
various sacerdotal institutions. The care of the dead is also another
peculiarity, and one in which mankind appear, from the earliest
historical period, to have differed from other animals.

The susceptibility to receive the doctrines of Christianity is a
circumstance of agreement among the various races of mankind, from which
the Bushmen of South Africa are the only exception; and, viewing these
as a branch of the Hottentots, this exception would seem to
disappear--for the latter have been converted. The following is the
satisfactory account of the Hottentot missionaries as to the moral
effect of Christianity:--

     "It is the unvarying statement of these missionaries, deduced from
     the experience of a hundred years of patient service and laborious
     exertions among the rudest and most abject tribes of human beings;
     that the moral nature of man must be in the first instance
     quickened, the conscience awakened, and the better feelings of the
     heart aroused, by the motives which Christianity brings with it,
     before any improvement can be hoped for in the outward behaviour
     and social state; that the rudest savages have sufficient
     understanding to be susceptible of such a change; and that, when it
     has once taken place, all the blessings of civilization follow as a
     necessary result."

The gypsy tribe, of which Dr Prichard takes no notice, would seem to
form an exception from the great mass of mankind as to the absence of
religious creed. The opinions and theories respecting it we must leave,
as it forms of itself a wide field for discussion; and, having fully
occupied the space allotted to us, we must here bring to a close our
sketch of a work which, notwithstanding the somewhat unreadable
character of the central portion, has supplied to the public a valuable
collection of recorded facts, expressed for the most part in clear,
untechnical language. We have not entered into questions of contrast or
similitude with the opinions of other authors. Had we done so, we must
have adopted a style of criticism interesting only to those who are
specially engaged in the subject, and so incapable of limitation that
every paragraph would serve for an article longer far than that which we
have here written. Dr Prichard appears nowise unwilling to refer to each
author his due share of merit, and is by no means sparing of copious
extracts, taken with no partial view of supporting a theory. At the risk
of being considered only a compiler, he has, at all events, avoided any
affectation of originality.

With regard to the proposition sought to be established by the author,
the book before us does not appear to be conclusive. The question as to
the community of origin of mankind, viewed purely as an inductive one,
appears still involved in obscurity. On the one hand, the fact of
continual degeneration, resulting from the intermarriage of members of
the same family, would require for its explanation either a miraculous
interference in the first periods of human existence, or a gradual
change in the constitution of man, whereby what once was harmless has
become injurious, when the necessity for it is removed; moreover,
according to the evidence contained in this book, the races of mankind
cannot be traced backward to a single pair. But, taking the three great
divisions, the Semitic, the Hamitish, and the Japetic, as derived from
Shem, Ham, and Japhet, the various Allophyllian and American aborigines
would appear to have existed, and to have been spread over the world
before the above nations overran it. On the other hand, supposing that
the mere power of reproduction be not of itself sufficient evidence of
identity of species, the similarity of physical formation, of periodic
changes, and of psychical instincts, are strongly corroborative of this
evidence, and would of themselves lead to the deduction of such
identity. Upon the whole, we consider the merits of the work before us
to consist, not in the demonstration of a theorem, but in presenting to
the reader a compendious record of physical, historical, and
psychological facts and relations. Viewed in this light, it is an
interesting contribution to ethnology; while the size of the book, the
pictorial illustrations, and the absence of unnecessary technicality,
make it a convenient manual for the general reader.


{A} _The Natural History of Man._ By J. C. PRICHARD, M.D.

{B} The term _Hamitish_ is not used by Dr Prichard; but as he gives no
distinctive appellation to his third division, we adopt that which has
been used by Beke and others.

{C} The term _Arian_, used by Dr Prichard, is objectionable as having
received a very different application.


This is certainly an age of very merciful tendencies. The severity of
the criminal laws has been greatly abated; and, in conformity with the
views of the legislature, we have, of late years, been gradually
relaxing the stringency of our critical code. Yet we question whether
the change has been productive of good, and whether the result can be
said to have answered the expectations either of government or of
ourselves. We doubt whether crime has diminished in consequence of the
legislative clemency; and, in our own humble department, we are now
convinced that the mild method is not the best way of bringing singers
to repentance. The experiment has been fairly tried, and the numerous
trashy publications put forth by the young writers of the day,
particularly in the poetical line, convince us that our mercy has been
misplaced; and that a little well-timed severity, and a few examples
held up _in terrorem_, might have greatly benefited the literary
wellbeing of England. The "spirit of the age" might have been different
from what it is, if the just sentence of the law had been more
frequently carried into effect. Our timely strictures might not have
kindled into song any masculine intellect, but they might have prevented
the temple of the Muses from being desecrated. They might have prevented
the appearance of such a publication as this. In the days of the knout,
we believe that no such volume as Mr Coventry Patmore's could have
ventured to crawl out of manuscript into print. While we admit, then,
that we have to blame our own forbearance in some degree for its
appearance, we think it our duty to take this opportunity of amending
our code of criticism, and shall try the volume simply as it stands, and
somewhat according to the good old principles of literary jurisprudence.

We are further instigated to this act of duty by the laudatory terms in
which the volume has been hailed by certain contemporary journalists.
Had Mr Patmore's injudicious friends not thought proper to announce him
to the world as the brightest rising star in the poetical firmament of
Young England, we would probably have allowed his effusions to die of
their own utter insignificance. But since they have acted as they have
done, we too must be permitted to express our opinion of their merits;
and our deliberate judgment is, that the weakest inanity ever
perpetrated in rhyme by the vilest poetaster of any former generation,
becomes masculine verse when contrasted with the nauseous pulings of Mr
Patmore's muse. Indeed, we question whether the strains of any poetaster
can be considered vile, when brought into comparison with this
gentleman's verses. His silly and conceited rhapsodies rather make us
sigh for the good old times when all poetry, below the very highest, was
made up of artifice and conventionalism; when all poets, except the very
greatest, spoke a hereditary dialect of their own, which nobody else
interfered with--counted on their fingers every line they penned, and
knew no inspiration except that which they imbibed from Byssh's rhyming
dictionary. True that there was then no life or spirit in the poetical
vocabulary--true that there was no nature in the delineations of our
minor poets; but better far was such language than the slip-slop
vulgarities of the present rhymester--better far that there should be no
nature in poetry, than _such_ nature as Mr Patmore has exhibited for the
entertainment of his readers.

The first poem in the volume, entitled "The River," is a tale of
disappointed love, terminating in the suicide of the lover. Poor and
pointless as this performance is, it is by far the best in the book. As
Mr Patmore advances, there is a marked increase of silliness and
affectation in his effusions, which shows how sedulously he has
cultivated the art of sinking in poetry; and that the same adage which
has been applied to vice, may be applied also to folly, "_Nemo repente
fuit stultissimus_." Never was there a richer offering laid on the
shrine of the goddess _Stultia_ than the tale of Sir Hubert, with which
the volume concludes. But our business at present is with "The River."

The common practice of writers who deal with stories of love, whose
"course never did run smooth," is to make their heroes commit suicide,
on finding that the ladies whom they had wooed in vain were married to
other people. But in the poem before us, Mr Patmore improves upon this
method; he drowns his lover, Witchaire, because the lady, whom he had
never wooed at all, does not marry him, but gives her hand (why should
she not?) to the man who sues for it. Did Witchaire expect that the lady
was to propose to him? The poem opens with some very babyish verses
descriptive of an "old manor hall":--

    "Its huge fantastic weather-vanes
      _Look happy_ in the light;
    Its warm face through the foliage gleams,
      A _comfortable_ sight."

And so on, until we are introduced to the lady of the establishment:--

    "That lady loves the pale Witchaire,
      _Who loves too much to sue_:
    He came this morning hurriedly,
      Then out her young blood flew;
    But he talk'd of common things, _and so_
      Her eyes are steep'd in dew."

The lady, finding that her lover continues to hang back, dries her
tears, and very properly gets married to another man. During the
celebration of the ceremony, the poet recurs to his hero, who has taken
up his position in the park--

    "Leaning against an aged tree,
      By thunder stricken bare.

    "The moonshine shineth in his eye,
      From which no tear doth fall,
    Full of vacuity as death,
      Its slaty parched ball
    Fixedly, though expressionless,
      Gleams on the distant hall."

Witchaire then goes and drowns himself, in a river which "runneth round"
the lady's property--a dreadful warning to all young lovers "who love
too much to sue."

On a fine day in the following summer, the poet brings the lady to the
banks of this river. His evident intention is, to raise in the reader's
mind the expectation that she shall discover her lover's body, or some
other circumstance indicative of the fatal catastrophe. This
expectation, however, he disappoints. The only remarkable occurrence
which takes place is, that the lady does _not_ find the corpse, nor does
any evidence transpire which can lead her to suppose that the suicide
had ever been committed; and with this senseless and inconclusive
conclusion the reader is befooled.

The only incident which we ever heard of, at all rivaling this story in
an abortive ending, is one which we once heard related at a party, where
the conversation turned on the singular manner in which valuable
articles thrown into the sea had been sometimes recovered, and restored
to their owners--the ring of Polycrates, which was found in the maw of a
fish after having been sunk in deep waters, being, as the reader knows,
the first and most remarkable instance of such recoveries. After the
rest of the company had exhausted their marvellous relations, the
following tale was told as the climax of all such wonderful narratives;
and it was admitted on all hands that the force of surprise could no
further go. We shall endeavour to versify it, _à la_ Patmore, conceiving
that its issue is very similar to that of his story of "The River."


    A lady and her lover once
      Were walking on a rocky beach:
    Soft at first, and gentle, was
      The music of their mutual speech,
    And the looks were gentle, too,
      With which each regarded each.

    At length some casual word occurr'd
      Which somewhat moved the lady's bile;
    From less to more her anger wax'd--
      How sheepish look'd her swain the while!--
    And now upon their faces twain
      There is not seen a single smile.

    A ring was on the lady's hand,
      The gift of that dumb-founder'd lover--
    In scorn she pluck'd it from her hand,
      And flung it far the waters over--
    Far beyond the power of any
      Duck or drag-net to recover.

    Remorse then smote the lady's heart
      When she had thrown her ring away;
    She paceth o'er the rocky beach,
      And resteth neither night nor day;
    But still the burthen of her song
      Is, "Oh, my ring! my ring!" alway.

    Her lover now essays to soothe
      The dark compunctious visitings,
    That assail the lady's breast
      With a thousand thousand stings,
    For that she had thrown away
      This, the paragon of rings.

    But all in vain; at length one day
      A fisher chanced to draw his net
    Across the sullen spot that held
      The gem that made the lady fret,
    And caught about the finest cod
      That ever he had captured yet.

    He had a basket on his back,
      And he placed his booty in it;
    The lady's lover bought the fish,
      And, when the cook began to skin it,
    She found--incredible surprise!--
      She found the ring--was _not_ within it.

The next tale, called "The Woodman's Daughter," is a story of seduction,
madness, and child-murder. These are powerful materials to work with;
yet it is not every man's hand that they will suit. In the hands of
common-place, they are simply revolting. In the hands of folly and
affectation, their repulsiveness is aggravated by the simpering conceits
which usurp the place of the strongest passions of our nature. He only
is privileged to unveil these gloomy depths of erring humanity, who can
subdue their repulsiveness by touches of ethereal feeling; and whose
imagination, buoyant above the waves of passion, bears the heart of the
reader into havens of calm beauty, even when following the most
deplorable aberrations of a child of sin. Such a man is not Mr Patmore.
He has no imagination at all--or, what is the same thing, an imagination
which welters in impotence, far below the level of the emotions which it
ought to overrule. The pitfalls of his tale of misery are covered over
with thin sprinklings of asterisks--the poorest subterfuge of an
impoverished imagination; and besotted indeed is the senselessness with
which he disports himself around their margin. Maud, the victim, is the
daughter of Gerald, the woodman; and Merton, the seducer, is the son of
a rich squire in the neighbourhood. Maud used to accompany her father to
his employment in the woods.

    "She merely went to think she help'd;
      And whilst he hack'd and saw'd,
    The rich squire's son, a young boy then,
      For whole days, as if aw'd,
    Stood by, and gazed alternately
      At Gerald and at Maud.

    "He sometimes, _in a sullen tone_,
      Would offer fruits, and she
    Always received his gifts with an air,
      So unreserved and free,
    That half-feign'd distance soon became

    "Therefore in time, when Gerald shook
      The woods at his employ,
    The young heir and the cottage-girl
      Would steal out to enjoy
    The music of each other's talk--
      A simple girl and boy.

    "They pass'd their time, both girl and boy,
      Uncheck'd, unquestion'd; yet
    They always hid their wanderings
      By wood and rivulet,
    Because they could not give themselves
      A reason why they met.

    --It may have been in the ancient time,
      Before Love's earliest ban,
    Psychëan curiosity
      Had broken Nature's plan;
    _When all that was not youth was age,
      And men knew less of Man;_--

    "Or when the works of time shall reach
      The goal to which they tend,
    And knowledge, being perfect, shall
      At last in wisdom end--
    That wisdom to end knowledge--or
      Some change comes, yet unkenn'd;

    "It perhaps may be again, that men,
      Like orange plants, will bear,
    At once, the many fine effects
      To which God made them heir--
    Large souls, large forms, and love like that
      Between this childish pair.

    "Two summers pass'd away, and then--
      _Though yet young Merton's eyes,
    Wide with their language, spake of youth's
      Habitual surprise_--
    He felt that pleasures such as these
      No longer could suffice."

What the meaning of the three stanzas beginning with--

    "It may have been in the ancient time,"

may be, we are utterly at a loss to conjecture. We seek in vain to
invest them with a shadow of sense. Perhaps they are thrown in to
redeem, by their profound unintelligibility, the shallow trifling of the
rest of the poem. But it was not enough for young Merton that the girl
accepted the fruits which he offered to her in a _sullen_ tone. He had
now reached the age so naturally and lucidly described as the period of
life when the "eyes, wide with their language, speak of youth's habitual
surprise," and he began to seek "new joys from books," communicating the
results of his studies to Maud, whose turn it now was to be surprised.

    "So when to-morrow came, while Maud
      Stood listening with surprise,
    He told the tale learnt over night,
      And, if he met her eyes,
    _Perhaps_ said how far the stars were, _and
      Talk'd on about the skies_."

The effect of these lucid revelations upon the mind of Maud was very

    "She wept for joy if the cushat sang
      Its low song in the fir;
    The cat, _perhaps_, broke the quiet with
      Its regular slow purr;
    'Twas music now, and her wheel gave forth
    A rhythm in its whirr.

    "She once had read, When lovers die,
      And go where angels are,
    Each pair of lover's souls, _perhaps_,
      Will make a double star;
    _So stars grew dearer, and she thought
      They did not look so far._

    "But being ignorant, and still
      So young as to be prone
    To think all very great delights
      Peculiarly her own,
    She guess'd not what to her made sweet
      _Books writ on lovers' moan_."

And so the poem babbles on through several very sickly pages, in which
the following descriptive stanza occurs:--

    "The flat white river lapsed along,
      Now a broad broken glare,
    Now winding through the bosom'd lands,
      Till lost in distance, where
    The tall hills, sunning their chisell'd peaks,
      _Made emptier the empty air_."

During one of their ramblings, Maud becomes visibly embarrassed.

    "But Merton's thoughts were less confused:
      'What, _I_ wrong ought so good?
    Besides, the danger that is seen
      Is easily withstood:'
    Then loud, 'The sun is very warm'--
      _And they walk'd into the wood_."

The wood consisting of a forest of as shady asterisks as the most
fastidious lovers could desire.

    "Months pass'd away, and every day
      The lovers still were wont
    To meet together, and their shame
      At meeting had grown blunt;
    _For they were of an age when sin
      Is only seen in front_."

The father, however, who was also of an age to see sin _in front_,
suspects that his daughter is with child, and taxes her with it. Maud
confesses her shame; upon which, as we are led to conjecture, old Gerald
dies broken-hearted--while the girl is safely delivered under a cloud of
asterisks. She is deterred from disclosing her situation to Merton, the
father of the child--and why? for this very natural reason, forsooth,

    "He, if that were done,
      Could hardly fail to know
    The ruin he had caused, he might
      Be brought to share her woe,
    Making it doubly sharp."

So, rather than occasion the slightest distress or inconvenience to her
seducer, she magnanimously resolves to murder her baby; and accordingly
the usual machinery of the poem is brought into play--the
asterisks--which on former occasions answered the purpose of a forest
and a cloud, being now converted into a very convenient pool, in which
she quietly immerses the offspring of her illicit passion. And the deed
being done, its appalling consequences on her conscience are thus
powerfully and naturally depicted--

    "_Lo! in her eyes stands the great surprise
      That comes with the first crime_.

    "She throws a glance of terror round--
      There's not a creature nigh;
    But behold the sun that looketh through
      The frowning western sky,
    Is lifting up one broad beam, _like
      A lash of God's own eye_."

Were we not right in saying that there is nothing in the writings of any
former poetaster to equal the silly and conceited jargon of the present
versifier? Having favoured us with the emphatic lines in italics, to
depict the physical concomitants of Maud's guilt, he again has recourse
to asterisks, to veil the mental throes by which her mind is tortured
into madness by remorse: and very wisely--for they lead us to suppose
that the writer could have powerfully delineated these inner agitations,
if he had chosen; but that he has abstained from doing so out of mercy
to the feelings of his readers. We must, therefore, content ourselves
with the following feebleness, with which the poem concludes:

    "Maud, with her books, comes, day by day,
      Fantastically clad,
    To read them near the poor; and all
      Who meet her, look so sad--
    That even to herself it is
      Quite plain that she is mad."

"Lilian" is the next tale in the volume. This poem is an echo, both in
sentiment and in versification of Mr Tennyson's "Locksley Hall;" and a
baser and more servile echo was never bleated forth from the throat of
any of the imitative flock. There are many other indications in the
volume which show that Mr Tennyson is the model which Mr Patmore has set
up for his imitation; but "Lilian," more particularly, is a complete
counterpart in coarsest fustian of the silken splendours of Mr
Tennyson's poem. It is "Locksley Hall" stripped of all its beauty, and
debased by a thousand vulgarities, both of sentiment and style. The
burden of both poems consists of bitter denunciations poured forth by
disappointed and deserted love; with this difference, that the passion
which Mr Tennyson gives utterance to, Mr Patmore reverberates in rant. A
small poet, indeed, could not have worked after a more unsafe model. For
while he might hope to mimic the agitated passions of "Locksley Hall,"
in vain could he expect to be visited by the serene imagination which,
in that poem, steeps their violence in an atmosphere of beauty. Even
with regard to Mr Tennyson's poem, it is rather for the sake of its
picturesque descriptions, than on account of its burning emotions, that
we recur to it with pleasure. We rejoice to follow him to regions where

    "Never comes the trader, never floats an European flag,
    _Slides the bird o'er lustrous woodland_, droops the trailer from
        the crag."

It is rather, we say, on account of such lines as these (no picture of
tropical loveliness ever surpassed, in our opinion, the description
printed in italics) that we admire "Locksley Hall," than on account of
the troubled passions which it embodies; knowing as we do, that poetry
has nobler offices to perform than to fulmine forth fierce and sarcastic
invectives against the head of a jilt; and if, as Mr Tennyson says,
"love is love for evermore," we would ask even him why he did not make
the lover in "Locksley Hall" betray, even in spite of himself, a more
pitiful tenderness for the devoted heroine of the tale? How different
the strain of the manly Schiller under similar circumstances! _His_
bitterness cannot be restrained from breaking down at last in a flood of
tenderness over the lost mistress of his affections.

    "Oh! what scorn for thy desolate years
      Shall I feel! God forbid it should be!
    How bitter will then be the tears
      Shed, Minna, oh Minna, for thee!"

But if it be true that "Locksley Hall" is somewhat deficient in the
ethereal tenderness which would overcome a true heart, even when
blighted in its best affections, it was not to be expected that its
imitator should have been visited with deeper glimpses of the divine.
The indignant passions of his unrequited lover are, indeed, passions of
the most ignoble clay--not one touch of elevated feeling lifts him for
a moment out of the mire. The whole train of circumstances which
engender his emotions, prove the lover, in this case, to have been the
silliest of mortal men, and his mistress, from the very beginning of his
intercourse with her, to have been one of the most abandoned of her sex.
"Lilian" is a burlesque on disappointed love, and a travestie of the
passions which such a disappointment entails. We know not which are the
more odious and revolting in their expression--the emotions of the
jilted lover, or the incidents which call them into play.

The poem is designed to illustrate the bad effects produced on the
female mind by the reading of French novels. We have nothing to say in
their defence. But the incongruity lies here--that Lilian, who was
seduced by means of these noxious publications, was evidently a lady of
the frailest virtue from the very first; and her lover might have seen
this with half an eye. Her materials were obviously of the most
inflammable order; and it evidently did not require the application of
such a spark as the seducer Winton, with his formidable artillery of
imported literature, to set her tinder in a blaze--any other small
contingency would have answered equally well. All that she wanted was an
opportunity to fall; and that she would soon have found, under any
circumstances whatsoever. The lover, however, sees nothing of all this,
but relates the story of his unfortunate love-affair with as much
simplicity as if he had been mourning the fall of the mother of mankind
from paradise.

The lover relates his tale to his friend, the author. He begins by
entreating him to

                                  "Bear with me, in case
    Tears come. _I feel them coming by the smarting in my face_."

And then he proceeds to introduce us to this Lilian, the immaculate
mistress of his soul--

    "She could see me coming to her with the vision of the hawk;
    Always hasten'd on to meet me, _heavy passion in her walk;_
    Low tones to me grew lower, sweetening so her honey talk,

    "That it fill'd up all my hearing, drown'd the _voices of the birds_,
    The _voices of the breezes_, and the _voices of the herds_--
    For to me the lowest ever were the loudest of her words."

"Heavy passion in her walk!"--what a delicate and delectable young lady
she must have been! Then, as to the fact so harmoniously expressed, of
her accents drowning "the voices of the birds, the voices of the
breezes, and the voices of the herds," we may remark, that the first and
second never require to be drowned at all, being nearly inaudible at any
rate, even during the most indifferent conversation--so that there was
nothing very remarkable in their being extinguished by the plaintiveness
of the lady's tones; while, with regard to the voices of the herds, if
she succeeded in drowning these--the cattle being near at hand, and
lowing lustily--she must indeed have roared to her lover "like any

The description of her is thus continued--

    "On her face, then and for ever, was the seriousness within.
    Her sweetest smiles (and sweeter did a lover never win)
    _Ere half-done grew so absent, that they made her fair cheek thin._

    "On her face, then and for ever, thoughts unworded used to live;
    So that when she whisper'd to me, 'Better joy earth cannot give'--
    Her lips, though shut, continued, 'But earth's joy is fugitive.'

    "For there a _nameless something_, though suppress'd, still spread
    The same was on her eyelids, if she look'd towards the ground;
    When she spoke, you _knew directly_ that the same was in the sound;"

By and by, a young gentleman, of the name of Winton, comes to visit
Lilian and her father:--

    "A formerly-loved companion--he was fresh from sprightly France,
    And with many volumes laden, essay, poem, and romance."

He, and his pursuits after leaving school, are thus elegantly

    "When free, all healthy study was put by, that he might rush
    To his favourite books, French chiefly, that his blood might boil
       and gush
    Over scenes which set his visage glowing crimson--_not a blush_."

This gentleman and Lilian's lover strike up a strong friendship for one
another, and the latter makes Winton his confidant. As yet no suspicions
arise to break the blind sleep of the infatuated dreamer.

    "Delights were still remaining--hate--shame--rage--_I can't tell what_,
    Comes to me at their memory; none that, _more or less_, was not
    The soul's _unconscious incest_, on creations self-begot."

He still continues to doat on Lilian.

    "Oh friend, if you had seen her! heard her speaking, felt her grace,
    When serious looks seem'd filling with the smiles which, in a space,
    Broke, sweet as Sabbath sunshine, and lit up her _shady_ face.

    "Try to conceive her image--does it make your brain reel round?
    But all of this is over. Well, friend--various signs (I found
    Too late on rumination) then and thenceforth did abound,

    "Wherefrom--but that all lovers look too closely to see clear--
    I might have gather'd matter fit for just and jealous fear.
    From her face, _the nameless something_ now began to disappear.

    "What I felt for her I often told her boldly to her face;
    _Blushes used to blush at blushes flushing on in glowing chace!_
    But latterly she listen'd, bending full of bashful grace.

    "It was to hide those blushes, I thought then, _but I suspect
    It was to hide their absence_."

How great this writer is on the subject of blushing we shall have
another opportunity of showing.--(See Lady Mabel's shoulders, in the
poem of Sir Hubert.) Meanwhile, the fair deceiver is now undergoing a
course of French novels, under the tuition of young Winton. The
consequence was,

"_Her voice grew louder_"--no great harm in that--

    "Her voice grew louder--losing the much meaning it once bore,
    _The passion in her carriage_, though it every day grew more,
    Was now the same to all men--and that was not so before."

We suppose that there was now "heavy passion in her walk," whoever the
man might be that approached her.

    "And grosser signs, _far grosser_ I remember now; but these
    I miss'd of course, and counted _with those light anomalies,
    Too frequent to disturb us into searching for their keys_."

These misgivings, which might have ripened into suspicions, are suddenly
swept away by a stroke of duplicity on the part of his mistress,
inconceivable in any woman except one inclined naturally, and without
any prompting, to practise the profoundest artifices of vice.

    "Even the dreadful glimpses now began to fade away,
    And disappear'd completely, when my Lilian asked one day,
    If I knew what reason Winton had to make so long a stay

    "In England--'For,' said Lilian, with untroubled countenance,
    'Winton of course has told you of the love he left in France.'
    I seized her hand, and kiss'd it--joy had left no utterance."

Winton, according to the account of the false Lilian, having _a love_ in
France, could not, of course be supposed to be paying court to her. Thus
the lover is thrown off the scent, and his doubts are entirely laid
asleep. He is again in the seventh heavens of assured love, and
continues thus:--

    "Another calm so perfect I should think is only shed
    On good men dying gently, who recall a life well led,
    Till they cannot tell, _for sweetness_, if they be alive or dead.

    "_I'll stop here._ You already have, I think, divined the rest.
    There's a prophetic moisture in your eyes:--yet, tears being blest
    And delicate nutrition, apt to cease, too much suppress'd,

    "_I'll go on_; but less for your sake than my own:--my skin is hot,
    And there's an arid pricking in my veins; their currents clot:
    Tears sometimes soothe such fever, where the letting of blood will

At length his eyes are opened, and the whole truth flashes upon him, on
overhearing an acquaintance ask Winton whether his suit with Lilian has
been successful. Upon this he writes out his opinion of the lady's
behaviour, presents it to her, and watches her while she peruses it,
occupying himself at intervals as follows:--

    "I turn'd a volume, waiting her full leisure to reply,
    The book was one which Winton had ask'd me to read, and I
    Had stopp'd halfway for horror, _lest my soul should putrify_."

When Lilian has finished the perusal of the document, she endeavours at
first to stand on the defensive,--

    "She stood at bay, _depending on that crutch made like a stilt_,
    The impudent vulgarity wherewith women outstare guilt."

But she finally succumbs under the influence of the following refined

    "Don't speak! You would not have me unacquainted with what led
    To this result? No! listen, and let _me_ relate what bred
    Thy tears and cheapen'd chasteness--(_we may talk now as if wed._)

    "This book here, that lay open when I came in unaware,
    Is not the first--I thought so!--but the last of many a stair
    Of easy fall. Such only could have led you to _his lair_.

    "These drugs, at first, had scarcely strength to move your virgin
    They slowly rose in action, till they wrought it to a flood,
    Fit for their giver's purpose, who--_who turn'd it into mud!_"

The lover then leaves Lilian to her own meditations, and commences to
rant and rave against her seducer in good set terms, of which the
following is a specimen:--

    "Pardon, Heaven! that I doubted whether there was any hell.
    Oh! but now I do believe it! Firmly, firmly! I foretell
    Of one that shall rank high there: he's a scoffer, and must dwell

    "Where worms are--ever gnawing scoffers' hearts into belief;
    Where weepings, gnashings, wailings, thirstings, groanings, ghastly
    For ever and for ever pay the price of pleasures brief;

    "Where Gallios, who while living knew but cared for none of these,
    Now amazed with shame, would gladly, might it God (_Fate there_)
    Watch and pray a million cycles for a single moment's ease."

After having thus breathed his passion, in a diatribe which beats in
abomination any slang that was ever ranted out of a tub by a mountebank
saint, he harps back upon the prodigious attractiveness of his mistress,
in the following pathetic, though not very consistent terms--

    "Ah but had you known my Lilian! (a sweet name?) Indeed, indeed,
    I doted on my Lilian. None can praise her half her meed.
    Perfect in soul; too gentle--others' need she made her need;

    "_Quite passionless_, but ever bounteous-minded even to waste;
    Much tenderness in talking; very urgent, yet no haste;
    _And chastity--to laud it would have seem'd almost unchaste._

    "Graced highly, too, with knowledge; versed in tongues; a queen of
    An artist at her playing; a most touching utterance
    In song; her lips' mild music could make sweet the _clack_ of France."

Amid such outpourings of feculent folly, it is scarcely worth our while
to take notice of the minor offences against good taste that abound in
these poems; yet we may remark, that the writer who here condescends to
use such a word as _clack_, and who, on other occasions, does not
scruple to talk of _a repeat_ and _a repay_, instead of "a repetition,"
and "a repayment," does not consider the word _watch-dog_ sufficiently
elevated for his compositions. Whenever he alludes to this animal, he
calls him a _guard-hound_--a word which we do not remember ever to have
encountered either in conversation or in books, but which, for ought we
know, may be drawn from those "pure wells of English undefiled," which
irrigate with their fair waters the provincial districts of the modern

The author of "Lillian" evidently piques himself on the fidelity with
which he has adhered to nature in his treatment of that story. But there
are two ways in which nature may be adhered to in verse; and it is only
one of these ways which can be considered poetical. The writer may
adhere to the truth of _human_ nature, while he elevates the emotions of
the heart in strains which find a cordial echo in the sentiments of all
mankind. Or, if his whole being is sicklied over with silliness and
affectation, he may adhere to the truth of _his own_ nature, and while
writing perfectly naturally _for him_, he may unfold his delineations of
character in such a manner as shall strip every passion of its dignity,
and every emotion of its grace. Now, it is only by reason of their
adherence to the latter species of nature, that "Lillian" and the other
compositions of Mr Patmore can be considered natural, and, viewed under
this aspect, they certainly are natural exceedingly.

The story of "Sir Hubert" finishes the volume. This tale is versified
from Boccacio's story of the Falcon, with which many of our readers may
be acquainted; if not, they will find it in the fifth day, novel ninth,
of the _Decameron_. We can only afford space for a short outline of its
incidents, and shall substitute Mr Patmore's names for those of the
personages who figure in Boccacio's story. This will save both ourselves
and readers the trouble of threading the _minutiæ_ of Mr Patmore's
senseless and long-winded version of the tale. A few specimens will
suffice to exhibit the manner in which he deals with it. Sir Hubert is a
rich gentleman, who squanders almost all his substance in giving grand
entertainments to the Lady Mabel, whom he makes love to without meeting
with any return. Finding his suit unsuccessful, and his money being all
spent, he retires to a small and distant farm, having nothing left but
one poor hawk, upon which he depends for his means of subsistence.
Meanwhile, the Lady Mabel marries, and has a son. After a time, (her
husband being dead,) she comes to reside in a castle in the
neighbourhood of Sir Hubert's cottage, where her son, who has often
remarked the prowess and beauty of the above-mentioned hawk, falls sick,
assuring his mother that nothing can save his life except the possession
of the bird. The lady very reluctantly pays a visit to Sir Hubert, and
tells him that she has a request to proffer, which she will make known
to him after dinner. Though Sir Hubert is delighted to see her, the
mention of dinner throws him into a state of great perplexity, as he has
nothing in the house which they can make a meal of. Going out of doors,
"he espies his hawk upon the perch, which he seizes, and finding it very
fat, judges it might make a dish not unworthy of such a lady. Without
further thought, then, he pulls his head off, and gives it to a girl to
dress and roast carefully."

This being done, the lady and her admirer sit down to dinner, and make
an excellent repast. When their meal is over, then comes the
_éclaircissement_. The lady proffers her petition for the hawk; and
discovers from Sir Hubert's answer, and to her own consternation, that
she has eaten the very article she came in quest of, and which she had
expected to carry home alive; as the only means of saving the life of
her son. The young gentleman dies on finding that he cannot obtain what
he wants; and Mabel marries Sir Hubert, and settles upon him all her
possessions, as a reward for his magnanimity in sacrificing that which
(next to herself) he held dearest in the whole world, rather than that
she should go without a dinner.

Such is a short sketch of Boccacio's tale of the Falcon--a good enough
story in its way; and more creditable than many that were circulated
among the loose fish, male and female, that play their parts in the
_Decameron_. This novel has been versified by Mr Patmore, and versified
(as our specimens shall show) as he alone could have versified it. The
following is his description of the much-longed-for, but
sorely-ill-treated, hawk of Sir Hubert.

    "It served him, too, of evenings:
      On a sudden he would rise,
    From book or simple music,
      And awake his hawk's large eyes,
    (_Almost as large as Mabel's_)
      Teasing out its dumb replies,

    "In sulky sidelong glances,
      And reluctantly flapp'd wings,
    Or looks of slow communion,
      To the lightsome questionings
    That broke the drowsy sameness,
      And the sense, like fear, which springs

    "At night, when we are conscious
      Of our distance from the strife
    Of cities; and the memory
      Of the spirit of all things rife,
    _Endues the chairs and tables
      With a disagreeable life_."

A Scotch lyrist, who, we are told, sings his own songs to perfection,
has also recorded the very singular fact of various articles of
household furniture (not exactly tables) being occasionally endued "with
a disagreeable life." One of his best ballads, in which he describes the
bickerings which, even in the best-regulated families, will at times
take place between man and wife, and in which various domestic missiles
come into play, contains the following very excellent line--

    "_The stools pass the best o' their time i' the air_"--

than which no sort of life appertaining to a stool can be more
disagreeable, we should imagine--to the head which it is about to come
in contact with. We doubt whether Mr Patmore's, or rather Sir Hubert's,
chairs and tables ever acquired such a vigorous and unpleasant vitality
as that. What may have happened to the "stools" after Mabel was married
to Sir Hubert, we cannot take it upon us to say. At any rate, we prefer
the Scotch poet's description, as somewhat the more pithy, and graphic,
and intelligible of the two. The coincidence, however, is remarkable.

After Sir Hubert has retired to his farm, the state of his feelings is
described in the following stanzas. We suspect that the metaphysical
acumen of Boccacio himself would have been a good deal puzzled to
unravel the meaning of some of them.

    "He gather'd consolation,
      As before, where best he might:
    But though there was the difference
      That he now could claim a right
    To grieve as much as pleased him,
      It was six years, since his sight

    "Had fed on Mabel's features;
      So that Hubert scarcely knew
    What traits to give the vision
      Which should fill his eyes with dew:--
    For she must needs, by that time,
      Have become another, who,

    "In girlhood's triple glory,
      (For a higher third outflows
    Whenever Promise marries
      With Completion,) troubled those
    That saw, with trouble sweeter
      Than the sweetest of repose.

    "It, therefore, was the business
      Of his thoughts to try to trace
    The probable fulfilment
      Of her former soul and face,--
    From buds deducing blossoms.
      For, although an easy space

    "Led from the farm of Hubert
      To where Mabel's castle stood,
    Closed in, a league on all sides.
      With wall'd parks and wealthy wood,
    No chance glimpse could be look'd for,
      So recluse her widowhood.

    "Hence seasons past, and Hubert
      Earn'd his bread, but leisure spent
    In loved dissatisfaction,
      Which he made his element
    Of choice, as much as, till then,
      He had sought it in content."

If the verses above would have baffled the sagacity of the father of
Italian literature, what would he have thought of the following, in
which the interview between Sir Hubert and Mabel is described, when the
lady comes to negotiate with him about the hawk? She accosts him, "Sir
Hubert!" and then there is presented to our imaginations such a picture
of female loveliness, as (thank Heaven!) can only be done justice to in
the language which is employed for the occasion.

    "'Sir Hubert!'--and, that instant,
      _Mabel saw the fresh light flush
    Out of her rosy shoulders_,
      And perceived her sweet blood _hush
    About her_, till, all over,
      _There shone forth a sumptuous blush_--

    "'Sir Hubert, I have sought you,
      Unattended, to request
    A boon--the first I ever
      Have entreated.' Then she press'd
    _Her small hand's weight of whiteness
      To her richly-sloping breast_."

At first we thought that it should have been Hubert, and not Mabel, who
saw "the fresh light flush out of her rosy shoulders"--particularly if
the blush extended, as no doubt it did, to the lady's back: but on
further consideration we saw that we were wrong; for Sir Hubert could
not have perceived "her sweet blood _hush_ about her"--this _hushing_ of
the blood about one being, as all great blushers know, a fact
discernible only by the person more immediately concerned in the blush.
The propriety, therefore, of making Mabel perceive the blush, rather
than Sir Hubert, is undeniable. The writer must either have left out the
_hushing_ altogether, which would have been a great blemish in the
picture, or he must have written as he has done. How profoundly versed
in the physiology of blushing he must be! We are doubtful, however,
whether the costume of the picture is altogether appropriate; for we
question very much whether the Italian ladies of the thirteenth, or any
other century, were in the habit of paying forenoon visits in low-necked
gowns; and whether Mabel could have walked all the way from her castle
to Sir Hubert's cottage, in an attire which revealed so many of her
charms, without attracting the general attention of the neighbourhood.
She had no time, be it observed, to divest herself of shawl or mantilla
in order to show how _sumptuously_ she could blush--for her salutation
is made to Sir Hubert, and its roseate consequences ensue the very first
moment she sees him. But let that pass. We should have been very sorry
if such a "splendiferous" phenomenon had been obscured by envious boa or
pelisse, or lost to the proprieties of costume. The Lady then

      "Said that she was wearied
    With her walk--would stay to dine,
    And name her wishes after."

Meanwhile the poet asks--

    "How was it with Sir Hubert?
      --Beggarly language! _I could burst_
    For impotence of effort:
      Those who made thee were accurst!
    _Dumb men were gods were all dumb_.
      But go on, and do thy worst!--

    "His life-blood stopp'd to listen--
      Her _delivering_ lips dealt sound--
    Oh! _hungrily_ he listen'd,
      But the meaning meant was drown'd;
    For, to him, her voice and presence
      Meaning held far more profound.

    "He gave his soul to feasting,
      And his sense, (which is the soul
    More thoroughly incarnate,)
      Backward standing, to control
    His object, as a painter
      Views a picture in the whole.

    "She stood, her eyes cast downwards,
      And, upon them, dropp'd halfway,
    Lids, sweeter than the bosom
      Of an unburst lily, lay,
    With black abundant lashes,
      To keep out the upper day.

    "_A breath from out her shoulders
      Made the air cool_, and the ground
    Was greener in their shadow;
      All her dark locks _loll'd_, unbound,
    About them, heavily lifted
      By the breeze that struggled round.

    "As if from weight of beauty,
      Gently bent--but oh, how draw
    This _thousand-featured_ splendour--
      _Thousand-featured without flaw!_--
    At last, his vision reveling
      On her ravishing mouth, _he saw_

    "_It closed_; and then remember'd
      That she spoke not.--'Stay to dine,
    And name her wishes after'--
      To these sounds he could assign
    A sense, for still he heard them,
      Echoing silvery and divine."

Sir Hubert having reveled on her ravishing mouth, and having, by a
strong effort of intelligence, mastered the meaning of the very occult
proposition which issued therefrom, namely, that the lady would "stay to
dine, and name her wishes after;" and, moreover, having seen--"It
closed"--he shortly afterwards saw it opened, for the purpose of eating
his hawk, which, as the reader knows, he had felt himself under the
necessity of killing for the fair widow's entertainment. We pass over
the relation of the circumstances which, as the lady discovers, render
her mission fruitless, and which are detailed in a strain of the most
vapid silliness--and proceed to the interview which brings about the
union of Mabel and Sir Hubert. The latter, some time after these
occurrences, pays a visit to the castle.

                        "Half reclined
    Along a couch leans Mabel,
      Deeply musing in her mind
    Something her bosom echoes.
      O'er her face, like breaths of wind

    "Upon a summer meadow,
      Serious pleasures live; and eyes
    _Large always, slowly largen,
      As if some far-seen surprise
    Approach'd,--then fully orb them,
      At near sound of one that sighs_."

Her eyes having recovered their natural size, a good deal of
conversation ensues, the result of which is given in the following
stanza, which forms a fit conclusion for the story of such a passion--

    "Her hands are woo'd with kisses,
      They refuse not the caress,
    Closer, closer, ever closer,
      Vigorous lips for answer press!
    _Feasting the hungry silence
      Comes, sob-clad, a silver 'yes.'_"

There are several smaller poems interspersed throughout the volume. Mr
Tennyson has his "Claribels," and "Isabels," and "Adelines," and
"Eleanores"--ladies with whom he frequently plays strange, though, we
admit, by no means ungraceful vagaries; and Mr Patmore, as in duty
bound, and following the imitative bent of his genius, must also have
his Geraldine to dally with. The two following stanzas of playful
namby-pambyism, are a specimen of the manner in which this gentleman
dandles his kid:--

    "We are in the fields. Delight!
    Look around! The bird's-eyes bright;
    Pink-tipp'd daisies; sorrel red,
    Drooping o'er the lark's green bed;
    Oxlips; glazed buttercups,
    Out of which the wild bee sups;
    See! they dance about thy feet!
    Play with, pluck them, little Sweet!
    Some affinity divine
    Thou hast with them, Geraldine.

    "Now, sweet wanton, toss them high;
    Race about, you know not why.
    Now stand still, from sheer excess
    Of exhaustless happiness.
    I, meanwhile, on this old gate,
    Sit sagely calm, and perhaps relate
    Lore of fairies. Do you know
    How they make the mushrooms grow?
    Ah! what means that shout of thine?
    _You can't tell me, Geraldine._"

Our extracts are now concluded; and in reviewing them in the mass, we
can only exclaim--this, then, is the pass to which the poetry of England
has come! This is the life into which the slime of the Keateses and
Shelleys of former times has fecundated! The result was predicted about
a quarter of a century ago in the pages of this Magazine; and many
attempts were then made to suppress the nuisance at its fountainhead.
Much good was accomplished: but our efforts at that time were only
partially successful; for nothing is so tenacious of life as the spawn
of frogs--nothing is so vivacious as corruption, until it has reached
its last stage. The evidence before us shows that this stage has been
now at length attained. Mr Coventry Patmore's volume has reached the
ultimate _terminus_ of poetical degradation; and our conclusion, as well
as our hope is, that the fry must become extinct in him. His poetry
(thank Heaven!) cannot corrupt into any thing worse than itself.


{A} London: Moxon. 1844.



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


I had been familiar with the debates of the French Convention, and had
witnessed the genius of French eloquence in its highest exertions.
Nothing will cure this people of their aversion to nature. With them,
all that is natural is poor--simplicity is meanness. The truth of things
wants the picturesque, and thus wants every charm. I had listened to
some of their public speakers with strong interest, while they were
confined to detail. No man tells a story better than a French _conteur_.
There lies the natural talent of the people. Nothing can be happier than
their seizure of slight circumstances, passing colours of events, and
those transient thoughts which make a story as pretty as a piece of
ladies' embroidery--a delicate toil, a tasteful display of trivial
difficulties gracefully surmounted. But even in their higher order of
speakers, I could perceive a constant dissatisfaction with themselves,
unless they happened to produce some of those startling conceptions
which roused their auditory to a stare, a start, a clapping of hands. I
had seen Mirabeau, with all his conscious talent, look round in despair
for applause, as a sailor thrown overboard might look for a buoy; I had
seen him as much exhausted, and even overwhelmed, by the want of
applause, as if he had dropped into an exhausted receiver. If some lucky
epigram did not come to his rescue, he was undone.

I was now to be the spectator of a different scene. There was passion
and resentment, the keenness of rivalry and the ardour of triumph--but
there was no affectation. Men spoke as men speak when their essential
interests are engaged--plainly, boldly, and directly--vigorously always,
sometimes vehemently; but with that strong sincerity which administers
eloquence to even the most untaught orders of mankind, and without which
the most decorated eloquence is only the wooden sword and mask of

Pitt took the lead, in all senses of the phrase. He was magnificent. His
exposition of the state of Europe, perfectly unadorned, had yet an
effect upon the House not unlike that of opening a volume to a multitude
who had but just learned to read. All was novelty, conviction, and
amazement. His appeal to the principles by which a great people should
shape its conduct, had all the freshness and the strength of feelings
drawn at the moment from the depths of his own blameless bosom; and his
hopes of the victory of England over the temptations to public
overthrow, exhibited all the fire, and almost all the sacred assurance
of prophecy.

He described the system of France as "subversion on principle," its
purpose universal tumult, its instrument remorseless bloodshed, and its
success a general reduction of society to the wild fury and the squalid
necessities of the savage state. "This," he exclaimed, turning his full
front to the House, raising his hand, and throwing up his eyes to heaven
with the solemnity of an adjuration--"This we must resist, in the name
of that Omnipotent Disposer who has given us hearts to feel the
blessings of society, or we must acknowledge ourselves unworthy to hold
a name among nations. This we must resist--live or die. This system we
must meet by system--subtlety by sincerity--intrigue by
resolution--treachery by good faith-menace by courage. We must remember
that we have been made trustees of the honour of the past, and of the
hopes of the future. A great country like ours has no alternative but
to join the enemy of all order, or to protect all order--to league
against all government, or to stand forth its champion. This is the
moment for our decision. Empires are not afforded time for delay. All
great questions are simple. Shrink, and you are undone, and Europe is
undone along with you; be firm, and you will have saved the world!"

The feelings with which this lofty language was heard were intense. The
House listened in a state of solemn emotion, hour after hour, deeply
silent, but when some chord was so powerfully touched that it gave a
universal thrill. But those involuntary bursts of admiration were as
suddenly hushed by the anxiety of the House to listen, and the awful
sense of the subject. It was not until the great minister sat down that
the true feeling was truly exhibited; the applause was then unbounded--a
succession of thunder-peals.

I had now leisure to glance at the Opposition. Fox, for a while, seemed
good-humouredly inclined to give up the honour of the reply to some of
the popular speakers round him; but the occasion was too important to be
entrusted to inferior powers, and, on a general summons of his name, he
at length rose. The world is too familiar with the name of this
celebrated man to permit more than a sketch of his style. It has been
said that he had no style. But this could be said only by those who
regard consummate ability as an accident.

Of all the public speakers whom I have ever heard, Fox appeared to me
the most subtle--of course, not in the crafty and degrading sense of the
word; but in the art of approaching an unexpected case, he was a master.
He loitered, he lingered, he almost trifled by the way, until the
observer began to believe that he had either no object in view, or had
forgotten it altogether. In the next moment he rushed to the attack, and
carried all by storm. On this occasion he had a difficult part to play;
for the hourly violences of the French capital had begun to alienate the
principal aristocracy of England, and had raised abhorrence among that
most influential body, the middle class. The skill with which the orator
glided over this portion of his subject was matchless; no Camilla ever
"flew o'er the unbending corn" with a lighter foot. He could not
altogether evade the topic. But he treated it as one might treat the
narrative of a distressing casualty, or a disease to be touched on with
the pity due to human infirmity, or even with the respect due to a
dispensation from above. He often paused, seemed to find a difficulty of
breathing, was at a loss for words, of which, however, he never failed
to find the most pungent at last; and assumed, in a remarkable degree,
the appearance of speaking only from a strong compulsion, a feeling of
reluctant duty, a sense of moral necessity urging him to a task which
burdened all his feelings. I will acknowledge that, when he had made his
way through this difficult performance, I followed him with unequivocal
delight, and acknowledged all the orator. He had been hitherto Milton's
lion "pawing to get free his hinder parts." He was now loose, in all his
symmetry and power, and with the forest and the plain before him. "Why
has the monarchy of France fallen?" he explained, "because, like those
on whom the malediction of Scripture has been pronounced, it had eyes
and yet would not see, and ears, yet would not hear. An immense
population was growing up round it year after year, yet it could see
nothing but nobles, priests, and princes. In making this war," said he,
"you are beginning a contest of which no man can calculate the means, no
man can state the objects, and no man can predict the end. You are not
warring against the throne of France, nor even against the people of
France; but warring against every people of the earth which desires to
advance its own prosperity, to invigorate its own constitution, and to
place itself in that condition of peace, purity, and freedom, which is
not more the desire of man than the command of Providence."

The House burst into loud reprobations of the name of aristocrat and
democrat, which he declared to be mere inventions of party prejudice.
"Do you require to make political hostilities immortal, give them names;
do you wish to break down the national strength, divide it in sections:
arm against your enemy, if you will, but here you would arm one hand
against the other."

To the charge of defending the French mob, his answer was in the most
prompt and daring style.

"Who are the French mob? The French nation. Dare you put eight and
twenty millions of men into your bill of attainder? No indictment ever
drawn by the hand of man is broad enough for it. Impeach a nation, you
impeach the Providence that made it. Impeach a nation, you are
impeaching only your own rashness and presumption. You are impeaching
even the unhappy monarch whom you profess to defend. Man is every where
the creature of circumstances. Nations are what their governments make
them. But France is in a state of revolt. Be it so. I demand what nation
ever revolted against justice, truth, and honour? You might as well tell
me, that they rebelled against the light of heaven; that they rejected
the fruits of the earth; that they refused to breathe the air. Men do
not thus war against their natural benefactors; they are not mad enough
to repel the very instincts of preservation. I pronounce it, fearlessly,
that no nation ever rose, or ever will rise, against a sincere,
national, and benevolent authority. No nation was ever born blind.
Infatuation is not a law of human nature. The monarchy of France was the

Another burst, which produced vast effect on the House, referred to the
exclusiveness of the chief public employments.

"The people have overthrown the titles and dignities of France. I admit
it. But was it from a natural hatred of those distinctions? That I deny.
They are congenial to the heart of man. The national hatred lay in the
sense of that intolerable injustice which turns honour into shame. For
centuries, those titles and dignities were to the people not badges of
honour, but brands of scorn. They were not public calls to generous
emulation, but royal proclamations of everlasting contempt. They were
not ramparts surrounding the state, but barriers shutting out the
people. How would such insults to the common origin of man, to the
common powers of the human mind, to the common desires of distinction
born with every man, be endured in this country? Is it to be wondered
at, that France should have abolished them by acclamation? I contend,
that this was a victory gained, not for a populace, but for a people,
for all France, for twenty-eight millions of men--over a portion of
society who had lost their rank, a body already sentenced by their
personal inefficiency--a caste, who, like a famished garrison, had been
starved by the sterility of the spot in which they had inclosed
themselves; or, like the Indian devotees, had turned themselves into
cripples by their pretence of a sacred superiority to the habits of the
rest of mankind."

Opposition still exhibited its ranks but slightly diminished, and the
chief passages of this impassioned appeal, which continued for three
hours, were received with all the fervour of party. Burke then rose.
Strong interest was directed to him, not merely for his eminent name,
but from the public curiosity to hear his explanation of that
estrangement which had been for some time spreading, under his auspices,
through the leading personages of the Opposition. Like most men who have
made themselves familiar with the works of a great writer, I had formed
a portraiture of him by anticipation. I never was more disappointed.
Instead of the expressive countenance and commanding figure, I saw a
form of the middle size, and of a homely appearance, a heavy
physiognomy, and the whole finished by two appurtenances which would
have been fatal to the divinity of the Apollo Belvidere, spectacles and
a wig. His voice and manner were scarcely less prepossessing; the one
was as abrupt and clamorous, as the other was rustic and ungraceful. He
had the general look of a farmer of the better order; and seemed, at
best, made to figure on a grand jury.

But I soon felt how trivial are externals in comparison of genuine
ability; or perhaps, how much even their repulsiveness may add to the
power of genius. I had listened but a few minutes when I forgot every
thing, except that a man of the highest faculties was before me; with
those faculties wrought to the highest tension by the highest subjects.
Taking a line of argument, equally distinct from the leaders of the
Ministry and the Opposition, he dwelt as little on the political views
of England and Europe with Pitt, as he did upon the revolutionary
regeneration of France and Europe with Fox. His view was wholly English;
the reference of the revolutionary spirit to our own institutions. "I do
not charge," he exclaimed, turning full on the Opposition bench,
"individuals with conspiracy; but I charge them with giving the sanction
of their name to principles, which have in them all the germs of
conspiracy. Sir, the maxim of resisting the beginnings of evil, is as
sound in the concerns of nations as in the morality of individual minds.
Nay, I am not sure whether mischief is not more effectually done in that
incipient state, than when the evil comes full-formed. It is less
perceived, and it thus destroys with impunity. The locust, before it
gets its wings, destroys the crop with a still more rapacious tooth than
when its armies are loading the wind.

"Honourable members have talked largely of their zeal for the
constitution. Sir, I am content to follow the wisdom which judges of the
faith by the works. In my humble measure, I have been a zealous
worshipper of the constitution. There was a time when those honourable
gentlemen and myself--and I speak of that time with the regret due to
long friendship--took 'sweet counsel together,' and bowed before that
common worship as friends. That time is past. We have since taken
different paths. I have been charged with apostasy. What is my apostasy?
That I have not followed the frenzy and ingratitude of the hour; that,
while the most awful event in the history of human change has been
transacting before us, I have not shut my ears and eyes to its moral;
that I have not followed the throng into the valley, and there joined
the fabricators of the new idolatry, the priesthood of the golden calf
of revolution, and shared the polluted feast and the intoxicated dance;
while the thunders of divine vengeance were rolling on the hill above."

It was obvious from his manner, and his frequent return to the topic,
that that charge of deserting his party had deeply wounded his generous
and sensitive nature; and nothing struck me as more characteristic of
his mind, than the variety and richness of his fine amplification on
this subject.

"In those ranks," said he, "I fought for nearly the half of that portion
of life allotted to man; certainly for that portion of my course, in
which the desires, the vigour, and the applicability of all the best
parts of human nature have their fullest play. I came to it a
volunteer--I fought side by side with its foremost--I shared the 'winter
of their discontent,' as willingly as the summer of their prosperity. I
took the buffets of ill fortune, and they were many, with as cheerful a
countenance and as unshaken a fidelity as any man. But when I saw a new
banner raised among them, blazoned with mottoes of evil, and refused to
follow, who were the deserters? They or I?" As he spoke these words, he
drew his otherwise rather stooping form to its full height, lifted his
hand above his head, and stood like one at once demanding and defying
the investigation of the empire.

The roar of applause which followed seemed to shake the very walls. He
was powerfully moved; his countenance changed from its usual pallidness
to strong suffusion; his hands rather tossed than waved in the air. At
last I saw one of them thrust strongly into his bosom, as if the gesture
was excited by some powerful recollection. "Do I speak without proof of
the public hazards?" he exclaimed. "I can give you demonstration--I need
invoke neither powers above nor powers below to enlighten you. I have
the oracle within my hand." The House fixed all its eyes upon him. He
dropped his voice, and spoke with a faint, but clear tone which formed a
remarkable contrast to his usually bold, and even harsh enunciation:
"Sir," said he, in this half-whispered voice, "before I join these
gentlemen in their worship, I must know what deity presides in their
temple; I must see that the incense which fumes before its altar is
taken from the sacred repositories of the constitution, not the smuggled
importation of foreign fabrications of revolt--that pernicious compound
of civil mischief and mad metaphysics--which, instead of consummating
and purifying the sacrifice, only poisons the air. I must see something
of the priest too, before I join in his aspirations; I must see that he
is lawfully inducted to his office, that he is not a rebel in the garb
of loyalty--a blasphemer where he professes to pray, and a traitor where
he propounds allegiance."

Fox here, evidently taking the description to himself, exhibited
palpable signs of displeasure. Burke caught the expression at once, and
instantly changed the whole current of his conceptions. "If," said he,
"the honourable gentleman thinks that I designate _him_ as the
high-priest of this new worship, he does me as much injustice as
himself. No, no! When we shall see the Republican Pantheon thrown open,
he, and such as he, will not be called to officiate at the altar. He is
much more likely to be the victim. The popular ornaments, now flung so
lavishly upon him, will find him no further favour, than the speedier
offering on the same abhorred altar, which reeks with so much of the
best blood of France." Here a corpulent noble, peculiarly hostile to
Burke, laughed contemptuously. The orator instantly turned upon him.
"True," said he, "there may be a good deal of variety in that
procession. There may be the mummer as well as the priest; it may have
the mountebank selling his potions, and playing his tricks, as well as
the sacrificer with his axe--unless the ambition of the bloated
performer should prefer to combine the offices, and be at once the
butcher and the buffoon."

The hit was felt on all sides, and the laughter was unbounded. He then
rose, as was his custom, into a higher strain. "I can imagine that
procession," said he, "or rather, that triumph, of the principles of
change. Like the return of the classical Bacchus from his Indian
conquests, the demigod," and he now cast a look at Fox, "secure of
supremacy, exulting in his prowess, and thinking the civilized world at
his feet; but not without the companionship of his trusty Silenus"--and
here he turned his glance on the noble lord--"that veteran follower,
whose ambition is limited to his cups, and the vigour of whose fidelity
is shown only in the constancy of his intoxication; the whole procession
being drawn by the wild lords of the forest and the wilderness, who,
harnessed as they may be for the moment, will no sooner find their food
stinted, than they will resume the natural instincts of the lion and the
tiger, turn on their drivers and devour them.

"But, sir," he exclaimed, turning to the chair, "I have higher topics,
and to those I now call the attention of the representatives of England.
I have alluded to the revolutionary temple. I here have its deity." With
these words, he plucked from his bosom a large dagger, held it for a
moment up to the light, and then flung it at the foot of the table. The
astonishment, and even the alarm, of the whole assembly was beyond
description. They all started from their seats, as if assassination had
stood before them in a visible shape. Some crowded round Burke, some
seized the dagger, which was eventually carried to the Speaker, and
became the object of universal curiosity. All was confusion for a
considerable time. At length Burke, in a few words delivered in his most
impressive tone, explained the phenomenon. "That dagger," said he, "is
one of thousands, perhaps of millions, which the preachers of philosophy
are now forging for popular conviction. You see that by its construction
it is equally fitted for the head of a pike, or for a dagger--equally
serviceable in tearing down the monarchy in the field, or stabbing its
friends in their chambers. You have it, at once the emblem of rebellion
and assassination. Those are the arguments of the new school--those are
the instruments by which the limbs of the state are to be amputated, for
replacement by the inventions of the revolutionary mechanists. Those are
the keys by which the locks of cabinets and councils are henceforth to
be opened, and the secrets of national wealth laid bare to the rapacity
of the rabble." After this speech nothing was listened to.

The debate had been prolonged through the greater part of the night, and
yet such was the interest felt in its subject, that the streets in the
neighbourhood continued crowded to the last. All the hotels and
coffee-houses were filled with people waiting for the division. Groups,
with lighted torches, were lingering everywhere, and passing the
intelligence along, as a member happened casually to make his appearance
in the course of the night; shouts and expressions of wrath alternately
arose, according to the nature of the intelligence, and a species of
open-air legislature was held during one of the bitterest nights of
winter, with discussions as active, though perhaps not altogether so
classical, as those within; yet totally free from tumult, and in the
spirit of a people who live with a constant reference to the laws. The
rush of the members to the porch, on the breaking up of the debate,
produced a corresponding rush of the multitude. Public curiosity was
roused to its wildest height--every public sentiment had its full
expression; and whether the acclamation was louder when Fox's corpulent
frame was seen toiling its slow way through the pressure, or when Pitt's
slender figure and passionless face was recognised, is a question which
might have perplexed the keenest investigators of popular sentiment. All
was that uproar in which the Englishman delights as a portion of his

On returning to my chamber, exhausted, yet animated with a new sense of
the value of existence in such a country, and of the noble faculties
which she carried in her bosom, I saw a large packet on my table. I
gazed on its envelope for a few moments with that strange emotion which
sometimes makes us dread to open the very letter which we most desire to
receive. It was obviously from Downing Street. At last I opened it. It
contained my commission in the Guards!

My destiny was now fixed, and it is impossible to tell how much I felt
relieved. I had spent the preceding period in such perplexing
indecision, that I felt my heart withering within me. Now all was clear.
My course was decided. I was in other hands than my own, and whatever
might be the result, I was no longer answerable for either good or ill
fortune. No human being who has not felt the trial almost the torment,
of being left to decide on the conduct which may make or mar him for
life, can conceive the depression into which it plunges the mind. From
this I was now relieved; I was wholly free; an established routine, a
vigorous profession, a regulated pursuit, and that pursuit one of the
most honourable nature, was suddenly prepared for me by the enclosure
upon my table. After again and again reading this simple but expressive
document, I threw myself on my bed, and attempted to forget it and the
world. But I could forget neither; my eyelids would not close; sleep had
gone from me. After a useless effort for composure, I rose, relighted my
lamp, and spent the rest of the night in writing to my relatives, to
Vincent, to Mordecai, and every one to whom I felt his majesty's
sign-manual a vindication of my whole career. There was still one cloud
that overhung my prospect, one gloomy and bitter remembrance: but this
cloud I had neither the power nor even the wish to dispel; this
remembrance was already a part of my being--to extinguish it was
impossible. I resolved to cherish it as a sacred recollection, to
combine it with the aspirations of my new pursuit, and render them thus
still nobler; to reserve it as a treasure inaccessible to the knowledge
of mankind, but to which I might return in my hours of discontent with
the world, and restore my sense of the beauty of mind and form which
might still exist in the shape of human nature.

Yet it may be justly supposed that I did not limit my feelings to this
lonely abstraction. I spent an anxious period in making enquiries for
the Maréchale, in every quarter which offered the slightest probability
of discovering her abode. Though I had seen the announcement of
Clotilde's approaching marriage in the public journals, I had seen no
mention of its having taken place. My search was wholly unproductive.
The captivating duchess, who received me with the kindness which seemed
a part of her nature, while she joined me in my praises of the "young,
the lovely, and the accomplished Comtesse," "her dearest of friends,"
could tell me nothing more than that she had left London, and she
believed with an intention of visiting France. There her knowledge
ceased. I learned only further, that she had grown singularly fond of
solitude, was melancholy, and had no hesitation in expressing the
deepest dislike to the marriage proposed by her family. My enquiry was
at an end.

Hopeless as this intelligence was, it relieved me from the certainty,
which would have been despair. While Clotilde remained unallied to one
whom I could not avoid regarding as an uncongenial spirit, if not a hard
and tyrannical master, there was, at least, the chance of happiness
remaining for me in a world where every day brought changes more
extraordinary than our meeting. If there should be a war, my regiment
would be among the first to be employed, and France would inevitably be
the first object of a British expedition. The "march to Paris" had been
proclaimed by orators, exhibited in theatres, and chanted in street
ballads. All before us was conquest, and distinctions of every kind that
can captivate the untried soldier, glittered in all eyes. I was young,
ardent, and active. My name was one known to the table at which I seated
myself on my introduction to the Guards, and I was immediately on the
best footing with the gallant young men of a corps which has never
suffered a stain. I had even some peculiar sources of favour in their
eyes. I had actually made a campaign. This was more than had been done
by any man in the regiment. The Guards, always brave and always foremost
as they were, had not seen a shot fired for a quarter of a century. The
man who had heard bullets whistling about his ears, and had, besides,
seen the realities of war on the magnificent scale of continental
campaigning, possessed a superiority which was willingly acknowledged by
the gallant youths round us; and every detail of that most romantic
campaign, reluctantly given as it was by me, was listened to with
generous interest, or manly intelligence. And I had actually learned
enough, under the Duke of Brunswick, a master of tactics, to render my
services useful at the moment. The discipline of the British army was
not then, what it has since been, the model to Europe. The Englishman's
nature prompts him to require a reason for every thing; and there was no
peculiarly strong reason for the minute toil of foreign discipline, in
an army which had never been engaged since the American war. But other
days were now obviously at hand, and the passion for discipline, and
above all others, for the Prussian discipline, became universal. With
the exaggeration common to all popular impulses, the tactics of
Frederick were now regarded as the secrets of victory. That great
soldier, and most crafty of men, by his private reviews, to which no
stranger, even of the highest rank, was ever admitted, and by a series
of mystifications, had laboured to produce this impression upon Europe,
and had largely succeeded. Mankind love being cheated; and what the
charlatanism of necromancy effected a thousand years ago, was now
effected by the charlatanism of genius. If I had seen the Prussian
troops only at Potsdam, I should probably have mistaken the truncheon
for a talisman, like the rest of the world. But the field suffers no
mystification. I had seen that the true secret of this great tactician,
for such unquestionably he was, consisted in his rejecting the
superfluities and retaining the substance; in reducing tactics to the
ready application of force, and in simplifying the old and tardy
manoeuvres of the French and Austrian battalions, to the few
expeditious and essential formations required before an enemy in the
field. I was offered the adjutancy, and I accepted it rejoicingly.

In those days, by a curious anomaly, which can scarcely be believed in
ours, every regiment was practically free to choose its own system of
manoeuvre. The natural consequence was, that no two regiments did any
thing alike. To brigade the army was impossible, and every field-day was
a scene of ludicrous confusion. But this freedom had the advantage, in
the present instance, of allowing me to introduce that Prussian
discipline which has since been made the basis of the British. It was
then perfectly new, and it had all the effect of brilliant novelty. Our
parade was constantly crowded with officers of the highest grades,
anxious to transmit our practice to their regiments. The king, always
attached to German recollections, and who would have made as good a
soldier as any of his forefathers, was frequently a spectator. The
princes and nobility were constant in their attendance; and the
regiment, thus stimulated, rapidly displayed all the completeness and
precision of movement which to this day makes a review of the Guards the
finest military spectacle of Europe.

The adjutant was not forgotten in the general applause and excitement. I
was promised promotion in the most gratifying language of royalty
itself, and all the glittering prospects of the most glittering of all
pursuits opened before me. I still had my moments of depression.
Clotilde often rose before me like a departed spirit in the solitude of
my chamber, and even in the midst of public festivities, or in those
balls and banquets which the nobility gave in such profusion at this
period of the year. When a shape, however faintly resembling her
incomparable elegance of form, passed before my eye, or a voice, in the
slightest degree reminding me of her noble tones, reached my ear, I felt
an irresistible pang, that, for the time, embittered all the scene
around me.

But I had in no period of my life been suffered to linger in long
melancholy. One night, after returning from a dinner at Devonshire
House, I found a gentleman in possession of my chamber, with my fire
briskly blazing, supper on the table, and every appearance of his having
made himself master of the establishment. As I paused at the door, in
some surprise at the ease of the proceeding, the intruder turned round,
and I saw the face of my old and excellent friend Vincent. I was
delighted to take the honest hand of one who was enough to redeem the
character of human nature. He was full of congratulations and country
news. He told me that this, his first visit to London for years, was
simply to shake hands with his pupil; to hear from him his adventures;
and to have the opportunity of seeing the regiment on parade. He now
enjoyed all his objects together. The regiment "reminded him of the
grenadiers of Maria Theresa, in the first Hungarian campaign; and all
that he wished for me was, that I had seen Daun or Landohn. However, no
man in this world could have every wish gratified; and he was certain
that I had in me the materials of a field-marshal."

But he had more important topics. By an accidental meeting with an old
college friend, high in office, he had ascertained that an expedition
for Holland had been resolved on; and that it was to take place without
delay. The French army had passed the frontier, and taken the strong
fortress of Breda. Williamstadt was bombarded, and must fall in a few
days if not relieved. With its fall, the Seven Provinces would be thrown
open. In this emergency, aid had been solicited from England.

Vincent's country news was brief. My lordly brother was in pursuit of a
neighbouring heiress; and, as a prospective remedy for matrimonial
ennui, speculating on the chance of employment on some foreign embassy.
Vincent himself had married one of his daughters to a neighbouring
squire, whom he denominated an "unlicked cub," but an honest man. Thus I
had the knowledge of all that the country could furnish, and thus--"runs
the world away."

All now was excitement and activity. The intelligence of the French
advance into the territories of our old and very helpless ally, awoke
England at once. The feeble and perfectly fruitless negotiations, by
which the slide from disgust into war is generally managed, had produced
their effect; and France, furious for its prey, and England, steady and
stubborn, for the first time were brought face to face. The summons, so
long wished for, at length reached us; and the Guards were ordered for
embarkation. We received it in the spirit of a jubilee. All had been
prepared. And on the night before our final parade, I received my
appointment to a company. Our parade, next morning, was one which I
believe was never forgotten by any individual who had the good fortune
to witness it. Of all the striking ceremonials which I have ever seen,
it was the most striking. The king had given notice of his intention to
be present, and bid us farewell. At six o'clock, the three regiments
were drawn up in front of the Horse-Guards, a body of three thousand
men, and finer-looking troops never bore arms. All the avenues to the
park were crowded with the multitude. Exactly at the half-hour, a rush
of the people towards the parade showed that the king, always punctual,
was at hand. He came, surrounded by general officers, with the Prince of
Wales, then a most chivalric figure, in the uniform of his regiment of
light dragoons, and the Duke of York, as a field-marshal. The enthusiasm
of the troops could not be restrained, as this brilliant staff
approached their line; and three cheers were given with all the zeal of
honest loyalty. There are times when tears are the only substitute for
speech; and the king, one of the most kindhearted of men, visibly shed
tears at this reception. Another _cortège_ now approached; they were the
carriages of the queen and princesses. The scene now became almost
painful. There was many a tear from royal and noble eyes--the impulse of
high emotion, not of sorrow--or if tinged with the thoughts which always
shade the name of war, yet undegraded by weakness. The multitude caught
the feeling; the shouts subsided; and all was weeping and waving of
handkerchiefs. The king put an end to this embarrassing sympathy. He
rode forward, and, taking his station in the centre, gave the word to
"march." He was answered by one gallant "huzza" from the line, repeated
by the thousands and tens of thousands who now moved before and around
us. Our bands struck up, and, with the monarch and his sons at our head,
and the queen and princesses following in their equipages, we marched
through streets, crowded to the roof, echoing with acclamations, and
wishing us all good fortune as we passed along, until we left the mighty
metropolis behind. Even then, it was only to meet the new multitude of
the country. The road to Greenwich, where we were to embark, exhibited a
population as countless, enthusiastic, and full of good wishes as those
with whom we had just parted. The king still rode in our front; flags,
banners, and every kind of joyous testimonial met our eyes; and if ever
there was a triumph before the victory, it was in that honest and
generous display of the true heart of England.

The embarkation took place within a few hours; and on that night we
slept on the element which Britain has so long made her field of battle.
The weather was serene, and we fully enjoyed the freshness of the air,
and the brightness of the view, as we rounded the coast. At the mouth of
the Thames, we had met a strong squadron of the line of battle,
appointed for our convoy, and bringing numerous transports with troops.
Our fleet had now become extensive, and as we moved out from the land,
the sight became continually more animated and exciting. The despatch of
the look-out frigates, the constant change of signals, the firing of
guns to regulate the sailing of the great convoy, the manoeuvres of
those floating castles, the seventy-fours and three-deckers, the harmony
of their bands as they passed us, rushing along under a cloud of
canvass, with the hum of the thousands on board--all formed one of the
most heart-stirring combinations that could exist to the eye, or even to
the heart of a human being.

I stood gazing on the poop of our transport the entire day; and even
when twilight came, there was but a change of interest and beauty. We
moved on, a moving multitude--a fragment of a mighty nation--almost a
nation ourselves, on the face of the deep. Within the horizon which now
lay beneath my glance, smooth as glass, and shining in the richness of
the departing day, what materials of living power were gathered; what
bold hearts; what high hopes; what indefatigable perseverance; what
accomplished intelligence! a force inferior to the one before me had
more than once changed the fate of the world. It might be now on its way
only to change that fate once more. The cause, too, was a noble one. It
was sustained by no aggression, perfidy, or desire of change. It was to
protect a friendly nation, and to sustain an inspired cause. There was
no taint of cruelty or crime to degrade the soldiership of England. We
were acting in the character which had already exalted her name as
protectors of the weak and punishers of the powerful.

On the second evening we reached the flat and uninteresting coast of
Holland. But if the coast was repellent, nothing could exceed the
eagerness of the inhabitants to welcome our arrival. On our first
approach to the land every boat that could swim came off, crowded with
people, some to take refuge on board the fleet, but thousands to urge
our speedy landing. The ferocious plunder which had become the principle
of the republican arms had stricken terror into the hearts of the
Hollanders: a people remarkably attached to home, and fond, or even
jealous, of the preservation of the most trivial article of property
connected with that home. The French troops, often pressed with hunger,
and adopting the desperate maxim of "making war support war," had
committed such wanton ruin of property in the Netherlands, that, at this
distance, the common effect of exaggeration described them as rather
demons than men.

War is of all things the most picturesque, and there never was a gala on
the waters of the Adriatic more gay or glittering than our landing. But
we had infinitely the advantage in the numbers, the brilliancy, and,
what gave a higher feeling to the whole, in the reality of all its
objects. This was no painted pageant; it was real strength, real
soldiership; the cannon that roared above our heads, as we descended
into the boats, were the thunderers which had shaken many a battlement;
the flotilla of launches, long-boats, and cutters which covered the sea,
was manned with the soldiers and sailors sent forth to fight the battle
of human freedom on every shore of the globe. The ships were that
British fleet whose name was synonymous with the noblest exploits of
war, and which it would have been well worth going round the
circumference of the globe to see.

On this night we bivouacked; the shore offered no human habitation, and
it was too late for the landing of our tents. But the sand was dry; our
fires were soon lighted; all was sport and activity; our bands played
"Welcome to Holland;" our men danced with the peasantry; all had the
look of a magnificent frolic; and, when at last I threw myself on my
open air pillow, I dreamed of fairyland.

At daybreak we marched, in the highest spirits, and only longing to have
an opportunity of trying our strength with the enemy. From time to time,
the sound of a cannonade reached us, and heightened our eagerness to
advance. But Holland is proverbially difficult for any movements but
those of a trackschuyt; and the endless succession of narrow roads, the
perpetual canals, and the monotony of her level fields, rich as they
were, exhausted us, more than if we had marched twice the distance. But
the spell of human hearts is excitement, and war is all excitement. All
round us was new, and from the colonel to the rank and file, the
"general camp, pioneers and all," enjoyed the quaint novelty of Dutch
life. The little villages, so unlike our own, and yet so admirably
fitted for peasant comfort, the homesteads embedded in plantations of
willows, the neatness of every thing round the farm-houses, and even the
sleekness of the cattle, which seemed by their tameness to form a part
of the habitancy--all were objects of constant remark on our march; and
we could easily comprehend the horror with which the arrival of a French
commissariat must strike these comfortable burghers. But the punctuality
of British payments was perfectly known already; the whole plenty of the
land was poured out before us; we regaled sumptuously.

On the second evening of our march through this landscape of fatness, we
were warned of our approach to the besieged fortress, by the louder roar
of the cannon, and not less by the general desolation of the country.
The enemy's hussars had made a wide sweep, and wherever they were seen,
the villagers had fled instantly, carrying off their cattle. We found
the traces of those foraying excursions in the fragments of burned
mills, a favourite object of destruction with the French--for what
purpose I never could comprehend, except the pleasure of seeing them
burn--in cottages unroofed, for the sake of the thatch; in broken
moveables, and, in some instances, in the skeletons of horses and
remnants of arms; for the peasantry were not always patient sufferers,
and some of the smaller detachments of the plunderers had met with
severe retaliation.

At length we halted for the night, and orders were issued for a general
movement at daybreak, to attack the French force covering the siege of
Williamstadt. The order was received with shouts; and the night was
spent in great exultation. The cannonade, which was now within a few
miles of us, continued with such violence during the night that sleep
was next to impossible; and long before the first streak of light in the
east, we were busy in the numberless preparations for a first action.
Orderlies and aides-de-camp were speedily in motion, and at the first
tap of the _reveillé_ all were on parade. The sun rose brightly, gave
one broad blaze along our columns, and after thus cheering us, instantly
plunged into a mist, which, except that it was not actually black,
obscured our road nearly as much as if it had been midnight. This was
simply a specimen of the new land on which we now set foot. But it
perplexed all the higher powers prodigiously--generals and the staff
galloping round us in all directions, the whole one mass of confusion.
Yet we still pushed on, toiling our puzzled way, when, as if by magic, a
regiment of the enemy's hussars dashed full into the flank of our
column. Never was there a more complete surprise. The enemy were as much
astonished as ourselves, for the collision had been the result of an
attempt to find their way through the fog back to their camp; but I now
for the first time saw the temper of John Bull in the field. The attack
of the hussars was evidently looked on by our men less as a military
manoeuvre, than as a piece of foreign impudence. To fire might be
hazardous to some of our advancing columns, which we could hear, though
not see; but the word "charge" from our gallant old colonel was enough;
they rushed with the bayonet on the cavalry, forced their way in between
the squadrons, which had been brought to a stand by the narrowness of
the dyke; and in five minutes the whole had laid down their arms, given
up their horses to our fifers and drummers, and were marching to the

As if to reward us for this dashing affair, a gust of wind blew aside
the fog; the sun gleamed again; and Williamstadt, the French camp, the
covering force formed in columns and waiting for us, and the whole
country to the horizon, green as a duckpond, and altogether as smooth,
burst on our view. The suddenness of the display was like the drawing-up
of a stage curtain, with a melo-dramatic army and castle behind. Our
advance was now rapid. The skirmishers on both sides began to engage,
and our light artillery to throw a long shot now and then into the
enemy's columns. The difficulty of the ground, intersected with high
narrow causeways stretching over marshy fields, retarded our progress;
and for two hours--and they were the two longest hours which any of us
had ever spent--we were forced to content ourselves with firing at our
long range, and watching the progress of our more distant columns moving
on the flank of the enemy. To a military eye nothing could be more
interesting than the view of the vast field on which these concentric
movements were developing themselves from hour to hour. At length we
received the order to advance, and drive in a strong column which had
just debouched from a wood in front of us. Our men rushed on with a
cheer, threw in a heavy volley, and charged. Their weight was
irresistible, and the French column broke, and took refuge again in the
wood. Another glance showed me the whole British force in motion, every
where pressing on; the enemy every where retreating, all their columns
converging upon their camp. Those are the brilliant moments of a
soldier's life. All was exultation. We had met the enemy, and driven him
from his position.

But the most difficult task of the day was still to be achieved. The
French camp had been placed in strong ground; heavy batteries commanded
every approach; and Dampierre, their general, an officer of known
ability, had exhibited all his skill in rendering the position, if not
impregnable, at least one which could not be forced without the most
serious loss. The day had been already far spent, and the troops were
wearied with six hours' marching and fighting; but nothing could
restrain their eagerness to finish the victory. The heads of columns
again advanced, and the firing became tremendous on both sides. The
French batteries poured an absolute shower of balls upon us, and we were
beginning to lose men, when a strange and indescribable sound suddenly
caught every ear. Such was the universal sense of something more
singular, and even more formidable, than the work of war, that the fire
on our side rapidly subsided, and every eye was turned to look for the
cause. It soon exhibited itself. With a roar like thunder, I saw the sea
bursting in upon the plain where the enemy lay intrenched. The Dutch
garrison had sallied out from Williamstadt, on the repulse of the
French, and cut the dyke in several places. The ocean now fought our
battle; each chasm in the long mound which protected the fields from
inundation, was now the channel of a roaring cataract; the trenches were
soon filled; as the waters advanced, the field-works were washed away;
still wave rolled on wave; cannon, tents, baggage, every thing but the
soldier himself, was seen gradually sinking, or floating away on the
surface of the surge. Within the hour, the ground on which we had fought
during the day was completely covered with the flood. The French camp
was totally buried. The enemy had only time to make a hurried retreat,
or rather flight, along the causeways which stood above the waters. As
an army, they were utterly ruined; when they at last reached firm
ground, they scattered through the country, and those battalions never
appeared in the field again.

Our troops entered the relieved fortress, with drums beating and colours
flying. We were received as deliverers; all that the place could offer
was heaped upon us; and if praise could have repaid our exploits, never
was praise more abundant from the lips of the whole population.

The catastrophe was complete; and when at night I broke away from the
heat and noise of the huge barrack in which we had been placed, as the
post of favour, and walked upon the rampart, nothing could form a more
expressive contrast to the tumult of the day. The moon was high, and her
light showed the whole extent of the late field of battle. But all now
was one immense shining lake. Where cavalry had charged and artillery
had roared, and the whole living clash and confusion of a stubborn
engagement had filled the eye and ear but a few hours before, all was
now an expanse of quiet water, calm as the grave, without a vestige of
the struggle, but with hundreds of the combatants sleeping their last
sleep below, and the whole artillery and equipment of a powerful army

I was still gazing from the ramparts, when I observed a body of cavalry
advancing along the dike, at a rapid pace, with a group of staff
officers among them. The alarm was given by the sentries; and, after
some brief pause, it was ascertained that they were the escort of the
new commander-in-chief of the allied armies in the Netherlands. My first
impression was, that the man to whom so important a trust was given must
be Clairfait; and I hastened down to meet him at our quarters. But I was
disappointed; and for the dark and decided physiognomy, and military
frankness of that distinguished soldier, I saw the Prince Cobourg, stern
and lofty in his air, evidently too Austrian to be popular, yet known to
be a gallant officer. But my disappointment was considerably assuaged by
seeing one of his staff throw himself off his horse, and hasten towards
me with almost joyous salutation. My surprise and pleasure were equal
when I found him to be Guiscard!

Supper was on the table when I introduced the Prussian philosopher to my
brother officers, and they were delighted with him. But he was the
philosopher no longer, or rather had thrown off the half misanthropy
which had made him so strong a contrast to my honest friend Varnhorst.
His very countenance had adopted a different expression. It was no
longer stern and sarcastic, but was lighted up with pleasantry; and the
only conception of the change which I could form was, either that he had
arrived at that height of philosophy to which every thing seems trivial,
or that he had met with some of those extraordinary instances of good
fortune which throw all the world into sunshine for the moment.

But he was full of knowledge on the subject most interesting to his
hearers; and he gave us his information of the allied councils, and the
movements of the armies, with a copiousness and courtesy which all our
questioning could not tire.

"We have now," said he, "the finest army in line that Europe has ever
seen; little less than 200,000 men are under the command of the prince.
If he is suffered to move them in a mass, they must break through any
part of the French territory which they choose. If they divide, they
will be beaten. It will now take only three pitched battles to reach
Paris--for the three covering armies fight with the guillotine in their
rear. But a single unlucky skirmish may bring every peasant in France
upon us; and it takes but fifteen days to make the French peasant a
soldier. Blows, and those straightforward, are our true policy. If we
negotiate, we shall be beaten; if beaten here, we shall be beaten on the
Rhine, and perhaps even on the Danube."

The news of Dumourier's attempt to overthrow his government had reached
us, but in the usual way of mystification. The answer of Guiscard was
prompt and plain. "Dumourier," said he, "is one of those men who has a
one-sided understanding. He is a capital soldier, but a childish
statesman; and, with an absurdity by no means limited to himself, he
thinks that his talent lies in statesmanship. The result has been, that
the factions have always managed him as they do all men of his calibre.
When he attempted to act for himself, they crushed him without mercy;
when he ceased to be a tool, he necessarily became a victim. The army is
now in retreat. To the French retreat is always ruin; the horseman sells
his horse; the foot-soldier sells his musket; and the artilleryman sells
his powder and ball, breaks up his gun-carriage for a fire, and throws
his gun into the next ditch. The peasantry then fall on them all, repay
their plunder with the pike and the pitchfork, and in three days the
army is dissolved."

"But will Cobourg follow up his blow?" was the question on all sides.

"The commander-in chief," was the answer, "is intelligent and brave. He
has learned his profession under the greatest soldier whom Russia has
produced, or perhaps ever will produce--Suwarrow. But he is himself
under orders. If he were a republican general he would instantly march,
and within a week he would be in the Tuileries. But as an Austrian
commander, he must wait for the opinion of men too far off to know a
single fact of the campaign, too blind to know them if they were on the
spot, and too jealous even of their own general to suffer him to beat
the enemy if victory would throw their own nothingness into the shade."

Every hour now produced its event. A general _feu-de-joie_ announced the
first great success of the campaign; Mayence had been taken, with its
garrison of 20,000 men. The French general Custine, had made an
unsuccessful attack on the lines of the besiegers, to relieve the
fortress in its last extremity, had been beaten, and driven back into
the Vosges, where he was at liberty to starve among the most barren
mountains of France. But this intelligence came qualified by the
formidable rumour that Prussia was already making terms with the French,
that it had acknowledged the government as the "Republic," and even that
the Prussians had sung the _Marsellaise_. Thus we had the light and

But while politicians tremble, soldiers are gay. What were all those
shiftings and doublings to us? We had all the luxuries of the most
luxurious of all lives, the foreign camp. We had now marched from the
country of fogs and bogs, and were moving through the richest soil, and
not the least beautiful landscape, of the Continent. Holland was left
behind, Flanders was round us, France was before us. We had the finest
army of Europe, untouched by disaster, confident in its strength, and
the enemy in full flight. If we despised the fugitives, we fully as much
despised the politicians; the man with the sword in his hand naturally
scorns the man with the pen behind his ear. Thus we galloped, danced,
and dreamed on. The spring, too, had come; the harshness of a foreign
winter had been changed within a few days to the delightful softness of
early summer. The fields were covered with flowers, and the country was
filled with the preparations for the rural fêtes of the first of May. I
enjoyed the scene doubly, for I had been sent along with a squadron of
dragoons to the advanced posts, and thus escaped the turmoil of the
camp. My quarters were in one of the old Flemish country-houses, which
had been the headquarters of the French general, and had thus escaped
the usual ravage. The chateau was large, well furnished in the national
fashion, and the half-dozen domestics who remained after the escape of
their master, were charmed with the expenditure which always follows the
presence of English troops. My companion, the captain of dragoons, was
one of the finest specimens of his country--the heir of a noble family,
generous and gay, brave as his own sword, and knowing as little of the
soldier's life as became a young aristocrat with the prospect of thirty
thousand a-year. He insisted on our giving a ball to the Flemings; and
our invitations were sent out accordingly for half a dozen leagues
round. They included, of course, the camp; and every lounger who could
obtain leave for the night came crowding in upon us. Nothing could
succeed better. All was festivity within doors. But not so all without,
for the night suddenly changed from serenity to storm. England is not
the only spot famed for fickleness of atmosphere. By midnight every
beech and elm round the chateau was tossing and bending down to the
roots, and a heavy snowfall was already sheeting the fields. As the
storm rose, it occurred to me to ascertain what provision might have
been made against it by our soldiers, who were lodged in the barns and
extensive outhouses of the chateau. Leaving my dragoon friend to act as
master of the ceremonies, I sallied forth. The storm was now at its
height; and it was with some difficulty that I could make my way. In the
midst of the excessive darkness, I felt some animal make a sudden spring
on me, which nearly brought me to the ground. Wolves were not common in
the country, but there had been some recent instances of their issuing
from the forests, and my first idea was that I had been thus attacked.
But the barking and bounding of a dog soon put an end to this
conception; and I recognised in my assailant the huge house-dog of the
chateau, with whom I had already struck up a particular friendship. More
sharpsighted than myself, he had rushed across the wood after me, and
exhibited all imaginable rejoicing at the rencontre. I reached the
barns, found all my men wrapped in that quiet which cares nothing for
the troubles of kings and cabinet councils, and was preparing to return,
when Cæsar, with every demonstration of having found something of
importance, brought me a letter which he had dug out of the snow. By the
light of the lantern, I discovered it to be the report of an engineer
officer dispatched from the French army to ascertain the condition of
our outposts, informing the head of the staff of an intended ball, and
proposing a plan for carrying off the whole party together. I was
thunderstruck. The letter was dated three days before, and though
evidently dropped by some negligence of the officer, yet giving full
time for him to make his report in person, and bring the force necessary
for our capture. If it succeeded, an exploit of this order might have
paralysed the whole campaign; for nearly the entire staff of the army,
besides a crowd of regimental officers of all grades, were within the
walls of the chateau.

I hastened back, showed the report to one or two of the principal
officers, in private, for the purpose of avoiding alarm to our fair
partners, and we then considered what means were left to protect us from
the approaching catastrophe. Our little council of war was nearly as
much perplexed as matters of this kind are in general; and the
propositions, various as they were, came finally to the usual result,
that we had got into a scrape, and that we must get out of it as well as
we could. To send the ladies away was impossible, in a tempest which
already flooded every road, and with all the trees crashing over their
heads. To expect reinforcements from the camp, at such a distance, and
in such weather, was hopeless; with the recollection that the whole
affair might be over in the next quarter of an hour, and our entire
assembly be in march before the French hussars. This was the first
occasion of my responsibility as a soldier; and I learned, from this
time forth, to give commanders-in-chief some credit for their
responsibilities. The agonies of that half hour I have never forgotten.
Military failure was nothing compared to the universal shame and
blighting which must fall on the officer who suffered such a disgrace to
be inflicted on him in the presence of the whole army; and such a
calamity to arrest the progress of that army, if not the hopes of
Europe. My resolution was desperately but decidedly taken, if the post
fell into the enemy's hands, on that night to throw away my sword and
abandon my profession, unless some French bayonet or bullet relieved me
from all the anxieties of this feverish world. To offer the command of
the post to any of the superior officers present was, as I well knew,
contrary to rule; and on me and the dragoon devolved the whole duty.

But this state of almost nervous torture was as brief as it was painful,
and my faculties became suddenly clear. The service of outposts was a
branch of soldiership, at that period, wholly unpractised by the British
troops; but I had seen it already on its most perfect scale in the
Prussian retreat, which I and my hussars had our share in covering. My
first step was to warn my soldiers and the dragoons of the probability
of attack, and my second to call for a favourite quadrille, in which I
saw all our guests busily engaged before I left the chateau. My next was
to repeat my Prussian lesson in reconnoitring all the avenues to the
house. This, which ought to have been our first act on taking
possession, had been neglected, in the common belief that the enemy were
in full retreat. The gallant captain of dragoons prepared to take a
gallop at the head of a party along the _chaussée_, and ascertain
whether there were any symptoms of movement along the road. He mounted
and was gone. Posting the dragoons in the farm-yard, I went to the front
to make such preparations as the time might allow for the enemy. Like
the greater number of the Flemish chateaux, it was approached by a long
avenue lined with stately trees; but it wanted the customary canal, or
the fosse, which, however detestable as an accompaniment to the grounds
in peace, makes a tolerable protection in times of war, at least from
marauding parties. All was firm, grand, and open, except where the
garden walls and hedges of the lawn shut it in. As the avenue was the
only approach accessible to cavalry, and as this was the force which
would probably be used for a _coup-de-main_, if it were to be attempted
at all, I set all hands to work to secure it. Wild as the night was, my
men wielded the spade and mattock with good will; and we had completed a
trench of some feet deep and wide, half across the road, when I caught
the trampling of cavalry at a distance. My chagrin was irrepressible;
the enemy would be upon us before we had got through our work, and we
must be taken or fly. My men worked vigorously; but the cavalry were
upon us--and to my utter astonishment and infinite relief, our labours
produced a roar of laughter. The party were our dragoons, who had looked
for the French advance in vain, and were now amusing themselves with our
waste of toil. We forgave them their jest; they passed, and we prepared
to follow to our quarters. But still the French officer's report haunted
me; the precision of its terms, and the feasibility of the enterprise
itself, struck with new force; and even after I had given the word to
move, I halted the men, and climbing a little pleasure turret by the
side of the avenue, gave a parting glance round the horizon. Nothing was
to be seen. The night was dark as a dungeon, and I prepared to descend,
when at that moment the distant sound of a trumpet broke on the air. I
listened, and thought that I recognised the French call for cavalry to
saddle and mount. I sprang down; every man piled his arms, took spade
and mattock in hand once more, and in a few minutes the trench was
completed across the road. Still no further notice of approaching troops
was to be heard; and I heard a low, but rather provoking laugh among my
company. Still I determined to persevere, and ordering some of the trees
round us to be cut down, formed a rude species of _chevaux-de-frise_ in
front of our trench. It was scarcely finished, when the distant
trampling of cavalry was heard in the lull of the gale. All were now
convinced, and dispatching a notice to the dragoons to be ready, we
stood to our arms. Giving the strictest orders that not a word should be
spoken, nor a shot fired, I waited for the enemy. The trampling
increased every moment, and it was evident that the body of cavalry must
be large, though of its actual numbers we could form no conjecture. They
suddenly stopped at the entrance of the avenue, and I was in fear that
my _trou-de-rat_ would be discovered; but the national impatience soon
spared me this vexation. The cavalry, hearing nothing in the shape of
resistance, and not relishing the pelting of the storm in the open
country, rushed in without further search, and came pouring on at the
gallop. The avenue was long, and the whole corps was already within it,
when the leading squadrons came at full speed upon my rude
fortifications. In they dashed, into the very heart of my
_chevaux-de-frise_. Nothing could equal the confusion. Some sprang over
the trees, but it was only to be flung into the trench; some even leaped
the trench, but it was only to be met by our bayonets. The greater
number, startled by the cries of their unlucky comrades in front,
attempted to rein back; but found it impossible, from the weight of the
squadrons still pushing on from behind. At this point, while they stood
a struggling mass, wholly unable to move either backward or forward, I
gave the word to fire, and poured in a volley with terrible execution.
An ineffectual firing of pistols was their only return. Some of their
officers now rushed to the front, with the usual gallantry of their
character, called on their men to advance, and charged the trench; but
this dash only filled it with falling men and horses. I gave them a
second volley, which was followed by a howl of despair; the whole of
their leading squadron was brought down--every shot had told. The mass
still stood, evidently taken by surprise, and wholly unable to extricate
themselves. I now ordered our dragoons to mount, take a circuit to the
head of the avenue, and, if possible, close them in. In a few minutes, I
heard the effect of my order in their galloping through the enclosures,
and in the shout of a charge at the further end of the avenue. The staff
and other officers in the chateau had hurried out at the sound of our
firing, and some had come up to us, and others had joined the dragoons.
A proposal was now sent by a general officer to the commandant of the
brigade, to surrender, with a threat of being put to the sword in case
of an instant's delay. The brave Frenchman was indignant at the
proposal, and threatened to hang the bearer of it to the next tree. But
the British camp had palpably been alarmed by this time. Bugles and
trumpets were heard in every direction. Our dragoons had already shut up
the avenue; and after some slight discussion, the advance of a few
squadrons more, which came up at the gallop, proved the total
impossibility of escape, and the affair was at an end. This night's
_mêlée_ had no rival in the campaign; it put into our hands twelve
hundred of the best cavalry in the French army, and almost wholly
stripped the enemy of the means of protecting his flanks, while it made
a most brilliant figure in the Gazette--the true triumph of the British

To me, it was a restoration to life from the depths of despair. It may
be perfectly true, that many a post has been surprised, and many an
officer captured, without being objects of penalty, or even of public
observation; but my case was different. My character as a soldier was
essential to my existence. The eyes of many, at home and abroad, were on
me; and the scorn of one, wherever she was, would have been fatal to me.
But of those bitter extremes I say no more; my spirit was buoyant with a
sense that I had done my duty in the most effective style. Nor was I
left to my solitary sense on the subject. My return to the chateau was
as triumphant as if I had gained a pitched battle at the head of a
hundred thousand men. Our fair guests, who had spent the hour before in
the terrors of instant capture, were boundless in their congratulations
and expressions of gratitude. The officers, to whom my defence had made
the entire difference between a French prison and liberty, spoke in the
manliest and most cheering terms of my conduct. The scene of the
struggle was visited during the next day by every officer of the army
who could obtain a horse and an hour's leave; and the report which was
forwarded to the commander-in-chief contained language which was
regarded as a sure pledge of promotion.

Guiscard hurried over to join in the congratulation. He had been
employed until a late hour in sending despatches to his court, relative
to the growing problems of our politics with Prussia; and taking the
first opportunity of throwing aside the envoy, he came at a gallop to
shake hands with me. His impatience to see the ground scarcely suffered
him to sit down at table; his toast to the brave British army was given,
and we went out to traverse the avenue. After having inspected every
corner of it with his keen military glance--"You will find my theory
right," said he; "war is always a succession of mistakes. There never
has been a battle fought, in which even the successful general could not
point out a series of his own blunders, any one of which might have
ruined him. The only distinction is, that there are brilliant mistakes
and stupid ones. Yours was of the former order--the Frenchman's of the
latter. If, instead of sending his whole brigade headlong down the road,
like clowns at a fair, he had dismounted half a squadron of his
dragoons, and sent them to fire into the casements of the chateau, while
he kept the rest of his men in hand in the neighbourhood, he must have
captured every soul of the party, and by this time had you all fast at
the French headquarters; but he blundered, and he has paid the price of
blundering." To my laughing reply, "that there was at least some merit
in the steadiness of the men who beat him"--"Of course," was his answer.
"The English steadiness is like the English fire, the grand cure for the
English contempt of the tactician. Yours is an army of grenadiers; you
are fit for nothing but assaults: but it must be owned that your troops
of old managed that part of their business well, and I dare say that the
art is not lost among you yet. Still, there are other matters to be
thought of. Pray," said he, turning his keen eye on me, "can any one in
the chateau tell how near is the French army to-night?" I acknowledged
my ignorance. "I ask the question," said he, "because I think it by no
means improbable, that they are at this moment marching down upon you.
Not that they can afford to lose a brigade of cavalry a-night, and I
therefore think you safe enough for the twelve hours to come; but I am
far from answering for the next twenty-four. Dampierre commands them; I
know him well--he is a bold and also a clever fellow; the loss of his
cavalry last night will leave him no alternative but to attack you or to
meet the guillotine. Those are fine times to make a general officer look
about him. My last letters from the Rhine state that the two generals of
the two covering armies on the frontier have been put under arrest, and
that they are now both on their way to Paris, from which Custine and
Beauharnais will never return with their heads on their shoulders."

I shuddered at this fate of brave men, overcome only by circumstances,
and asked whether it was possible that such a system could last, or in
any case could be endured by men with swords in their hands.

"It can, and will," was the reply. "Soldiers are the simplest race of
mankind, when they come in contact with the cunning men of cities. An
army, showy and even successful as it may be, is always an instrument
and no more--a terrible instrument, I grant you, but as much in the
hands of the civilian as one of your howitzers is in the hands of the
men who load and fire it. At this moment sixty commissioners, ruffians
and cut-throats to a man--fellows whom the true soldier abhors, and who
are covered with blood from top to toe--are on their way from Paris to
the headquarters of the fourteen armies of the republic. Woe be to the
general who has a will of his own! Those fellows will arrest him in the
midst of his own staff, carry him off in the presence of his army, and
send him to give a popular holiday to the Parisians, by his execution
within half an hour after his arrival. So much for the power of an

"But Frenchmen are human beings after all. Must not those horrors revolt
human nature?" was my question, put with indignant sincerity. He looked
at me with a quiet smile.

"You are romantic, Marston, but you are of an age that becomes romance.
When you shall have lived as long as I have done, and seen as much of
the world as myself, you will know that it is utterly selfish. It may be
true, that some generous spirits are to be found here and there, some
fond hearts to cling to, some noble natures which inspire an involuntary
homage for their superiority; but you might as well expect to be lighted
on your way by a succession of meteors. In the world, you will find that
every man carries his lantern for himself; and that whether small or
great his light, the first object is to guide his own steps, with not
the slightest care whether yours may not be into the swamp--unless,
indeed, he may have a particular object in bewildering you into the very
heart of it. But now, to more pressing affairs than my honest and
luckless philosophy. Get leave from your colonel to take a ride with me.
I feel a sudden wish to know what Dampierre is doing; and a few hours,
and as few leagues, may supply us with information on points which your
brave countrymen seem so constitutionally to despise. But recollect that
_I_ am a Prussian."

We returned to the table, which was crowded with visitors, and spent an
hour or two in great enjoyment; for what enjoyment can be higher than
the conversation of minds willing to give and receive intellectual
pleasure? And Guiscard was never more animated, easy, and abundant, in
communicating that pleasure. He was a model of the most accomplished
order of the continental gentleman. He had commenced life as a scholar;
a disappointment in his affections drove him into the army. He
discovered that he was made for the profession; and, combining the
accomplished diplomatist with the almost chivalric soldier, he had
rapidly risen to the highest rank of the royal staff. But he had the
still rarer qualities of a sincere heart, and was a firm and willing

The orderly now returned with the leave for which I had applied. The
post was left in charge of the captain of dragoons; and Guiscard and I,
without mentioning our purpose, rode out quietly, as if to enjoy the
cool of the evening. It was well worth enjoying. The storm had gone down
at daybreak, and been succeeded by a glowing sun; the fields flourished
again, and if I had been disposed to forget the tremendous business
which might be preparing for the morrow, I might have lingered long over
the matchless luxuriance of the Flemish landscape. There certainly never
was one which gave slighter evidence of the approach of two hostile
armies. From the first hill which we ascended, the view, for leagues
round, exhibited nothing but the rich tranquillity of a country wholly
agricultural; soft uplands, covered with cattle grazing; ploughed
fields, purpling in the twilight; clumps of trees sheltering villages,
from which the smoke of the evening fires rose slowly on the almost
breathless air, giving an impression of the comfort and plenty of the
meal within; and at intervals, some huge old chateau, with its
buttressed and richly-wrought architecture--those carvings and
colourings which so strikingly convey the idea of a past age of quaint
luxury and lavish wealth--rose from the centre of its beech grove,
glaring against the sunset, as if it had been suddenly covered with a
sheet of gold. All was peace, and the few peasants whom we met, as the
night fell, were all in the same tale, that there had been no patrols in
their neighbourhood of late, and that, with the exception of the attack
on the "outposts of the English," they had not heard or seen any thing
of the French for a month before.

The night had now fallen, and though calm, it was one of remarkable
darkness. We passed village after village, but by this time all were
fast asleep, and except the disturbance of the house-dogs as we rode
by, not a sound was to be heard. I felt every inclination to take my
share of "nature's sweet restorer, balmy sleep," and proposed to my
companion to turn our horses into the first farm-yard, and "borrow an
hour" or two's rest from the farmer's hospitality, and clean straw.

"I agree with you," was the answer, "that Dampierre is clearly not on
this road; but that is no reason why he may not be on some other. On
considering the matter, I think that we have been wrong in looking for
him here; for his national adroitness is much more likely to have tried
a movement in any other direction. He may be marching on either the
right or the left of the spot where we are standing. And if he is the
officer which I believe him to be, he is trying this game at this

"What then is to be done, but ride back to our quarters, unless we
should prefer being cut off by his advance?" was my question.

"One thing is to be done," was the reply--"we must not let ourselves be
laughed at; and if we return with nothing more for our night's work than
the story that we slept in a Flemish barn, we shall be laughed at. So
far as I am concerned, I care nothing for the sneers of ignorance; but,
my young friend, your late conduct has inevitably made you an object of
envy already; and the only way to pluck the sting out of envy, is by
giving the envious some new service to think of."

We now agreed to separate, and examine the country to the right and left
for an hour precisely, meeting at one of the villages in the road, if no
advance of the enemy were discernible within that time. We parted, and I
commenced as comfortless an expedition as it would be easy to imagine.
The Flemish cross-roads, never very passable, were now deep in mire; the
rivulets, of which they are generally the conduits, had been swelled by
the storm of the night before; and I floundered on for nearly the
appointed time, in the full perplexity of a stray traveller. I was on
the point of returning, when I observed a sudden light rising above some
farm-houses, about half a league off. The light rapidly strengthened,
and I rode forward, in some degree guided by its illumination. But after
blazing fiercely for a while, it sank as suddenly as it rose; and I was
again left bewildered among hedges and ditches. But a loud hum of
voices, followed by the sound of many footsteps, now convinced me that a
large body of men were near; though whether peasants roused by the fire,
or battalions, I was still unable to discover. While I stood under cover
of a clump of trees by the roadside, the question was settled by the
march of a patrol of cavalry, followed at brief intervals by squadrons
and light troops intermixed. It was evident that Dampierre meditated a
surprise of the British forces, and that the whole of his skirmishers
were already in motion. How long this movement had continued, or how
near the enemy might already have approached to the British camp, was
entirely beyond my conjecture; and for the first few moments, the
probability of the surprise, and the possibility of my being already so
completely within the range of the French march as to preclude my
bearing the intelligence in sufficient time, made the drops of anxiety
and perturbation roll down my forehead. But every thing must be tried. I
no longer attempted to wind my way back through the network of lanes;
but, in the spirit of an English sportsman, took the country in a
straight line towards the British quarters. My horse, a thorough English
hunter, evidently preferred leaping the Flemish fences to wading his way
through the swamps; and I had the honour of bringing the first
information, and the happiness of finding that I had brought it just in
the right time.

The camp was immediately under arms; every preparation was made in a
silence which gave me a high conception of the capabilities of the
British soldier for every species of service; and, without a sound among
ten thousand men, we waited for the approach of the enemy.

Dampierre's manoeuvre had been a dashing one--conceived and managed
with the skill of an able officer. His purpose had been to throw his
main body into the rear of our position; and while he drew off our
attention by a false attack on our front, avail himself of the
confusion of a night attack to crush us. Whether the fighting qualities
of the Englishman would not have made him repent of his plan under any
circumstances, is no longer the question; but the surprise was now
wholly his own. The first volley which we poured into his columns, as
they crept up stealthily towards our line, was so heavy that it finished
the battle. By the blaze of the musketry, we could see the French masses
actually rolling back upon each other, staggering and shaken like
landsmen at sea, or like any man in an earthquake. Our cavalry were now
ordered to follow; but the enemy were too quick in making their escape;
and the intersected nature of the country forbade any continued pursuit.
A few shots from our howitzers, which ripped up the ground after them,
were all that we could send as our parting present; and the engagement,
which began in such silence and sternness, finished in roars of laughter
from all our battalions.

Day broke, and the order was issued to follow the French general. The
troops, animated by the prospect of coming to action at last, and
utterly wearied with the idleness of the camp, received the intelligence
with shouts; and the whole moved rapidly forward. Dampierre, before his
march of the previous night, had provided for casualty, by forming an
intrenched camp in the famous position of Famars. It was strong by
nature, and he had added to its strength by covering it with fieldworks,
and a powerful artillery. It was late in the day before we came within
sight of it; and its strength, from the height of its glacis--the
natural glacis made by a succession of sloping hills--was all displayed
to full and formidable advantage. The troops, fatigued with the length
of the march under the burning sun of one of the hottest days which I
ever felt, were halted at the foot of the heights; and the plans of
attack proposed were various enough to have perplexed the Aulic Council
itself. Lines of circumvallation, or bombardment, or waiting the effect
of famine, were successively urged. But the British style prevailed at
last over the scientific. The Guards were ordered to head the column
which was to storm the lines in front, and columns on the right and left
were put in motion at the same instant. We rushed forward under a
general discharge of the French artillery and musketry, and in a quarter
of an hour the position was in our hands. The difficulty of its
approach, and the broken nature of the ground in its rear, enabled the
French general to make his retreat with the chief part of his forces.
But our prize was well worth the trouble; for we brought back two
thousand prisoners, and the whole artillery in position.

The war had now begun in earnest; and our advance was unintermitted. On
the eighth day from the storm of Famars, we again came in sight of
Dampierre. He was now the assailant; our army, which had never exceeded
ten thousand men, (such was the military parsimony of those days,) with
the Prussian troops, and some of the smaller German contingents, were
now unwisely spread to cover a line of nearly thirty miles. The French
general had seized the opportunity of retaliating his ill fortune upon
the allied troops. At daybreak we were roused by the tidings that the
French had broken through our weak extended line in several places, and
had got into the rear of the whole army. The force of the enemy, its
direction, or its object, were alike matters of total ignorance; and,
for some hours, it was impossible to obtain any exact information.

It was in vain that we adopted all the usual expedients, of detaching
officers, examining peasants, or judging of the progress of the
engagement by the sound of the advancing or retreating fire. We had only
to wait, drawn up ready for action, and take our chance of the result.
Of all the contingencies of the field, none is more perplexing; but I
had a personal source of anxiety to add to the general vexation. I had
every reason to believe that my excellent friend, Guiscard, had either
fallen into the hands of the enemy, or had been killed on the night when
we separated. If either misfortune had occurred, it was solely in
consequence of his zeal for my character, and the thought inexpressibly
distressed me. I had made the most persevering enquiries for him, but
without any success; or rather, with a painful gathering of facts, all
which told against my feelings. His horse had been found straying
through the country; his helmet had been also found; and a fragment of a
sabre, in a spot evidently much trampled, and which, therefore, appeared
to be the scene of the personal rencontre in which he had probably
fallen. Every thing had been found but his body.

At length, the firing, which had continued with more or less steadiness
during the day, approached our position and we were ordered to advance.
The country was now a portion of an ancient forest, and it was difficult
to see in front of us beyond a few hundred yards. As we made way, we
could hear not only the musketry but the shouting of the troops engaged;
as, growing constantly more impatient, we pressed on, a mounted officer
came galloping towards us. Judge of my astonishment and delight when I
saw Guiscard. As he reined up beside me--

"I have not a moment," said he, "to speak to you; you shall hear of my
adventures by and by. I was in as much fear for you as you probably were
for me. But now, tell me where I am to look for the officer in command
of the column."

The general was soon found, and Guiscard communicated to him that the
enemy had concentrated his chief force directly in front of us, where a
Prussian column had been posted; that the Prussians had resisted
vigorously several successive attacks; but that the force converging on
it was too powerful, and that it must speedily retire. "Then let it
retire," was the general's reply, "and we shall take their place."

"Pardon me, general," was the prompt suggestion of the pupil of a more
experienced school; "but, if you will permit me, I shall ride back to my
countrymen, inform them of your advance, and make them hold their
position until you come out from the forest upon the enemy's flank."

His opinion was received, and he put spurs to his horse and was gone. We
now moved with all speed to the right of our former direction; and after
half an hour's toiling through the intricacies of a wood on which no axe
seemed to have fallen since the Deluge, passed round the enemy, and came
full upon their rear. A few volleys, thrown in upon them in this state
of alarm, broke them; the Prussian fire in front, and our's in the rear,
made their disorder irreparable. In this crisis, Dampierre rushed
forward with a group of aides-de-camp to restore the engagement,
striking the fugitives with his sabre, and desperately exposing his
person to the balls which now fell thick as hail around him. For a while
he seemed to bear a charmed life; but a rifleman of the Prussian hulans
took a sure aim. He fired, and I saw the unfortunate general fall from
his horse. He had died instantly. A more gallant death, and scarcely a
more expeditious one, than awaited the unsuccessful generals of the
merciless Republic. We buried him on the spot where he fell, with the
honours due to a distinguished soldier. Before nightfall the French had
retired in all quarters; and the remnant of the troops hurried across
the Flemish frontier, utterly disheartened and ruined.

This engagement, which was known long after as the battle of the forest
of Vicogne, cleared the Netherlands, raised the fame of the British
troops to the highest pitch, and left in their hands four thousand

The councils of the allied camp now assumed a bolder tone. France was
before us. The popular enthusiasm had been cooled by time and calamity.
Defeat had taught the nation the folly of supposing that it could
contend single-handed with Europe; and the only obstacle to our march to
Paris was the line of fortresses erected by Louis XIV. The most powerful
of those fortresses lay in the road by which the British columns were
advancing; and it was with a singular mixture of rejoicing and anxiety,
of ardour and awe, that I saw, at the breaking of a brilliant morning,
spread beneath me the strong city of Valenciennes.


     "Oh! I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of
     infinite space, were it not that _I have bad dreams_."--_Hamlet_.

     "I am wrapp'd in dismal thinkings."--SHAKSPEARE.

I have been a dreamer all my life. The earliest recollections of my
childhood are of dreams of greatness. My boyhood's visions were peopled
with warlike tumults. There were no spring mornings to my brain even in
early youth; my heart was clouded with shadow, and sadness reigned when
mirth and careless glee should have been pre-eminent. My manhood has
been a fitful, feverish, and painful existence. I have outlived all whom
I ever cared for; I have seen those whom I idolized lie before me cold
and senseless; and now, with every event vividly impressed upon my
memory, each tone of the voice of her I loved dropping like liquid fire
into my brain, and drying up the tears that would weep away my
anguish--feeling all this with intensity, and longing for the free air
of heaven, I find myself alone--desolate--and HERE!!

Oh! the horror of this prison-solitude--the anxious watching for the
pale morning after sleepless nights--the horrible nights when fantastic
shapes are alone visible, mocking at and jeering me--when the only
sounds I hear are the ravings of some wretched maniac, confined, like
myself, because we have made for ourselves a world, and our imaginations
have created a presiding divinity; and, should a laugh disturb the
silence, it is the outbreak of a maddened spirit seeking relief from
thought--a laugh frightful, because a mockery--sad in its
boisterousness--"_the laugh which laughs not_."

For many weary years I have been pent up in this prison, pining for
freedom, hoping for things which never existed, conjuring up
anticipations of a brighter future, calling upon her who made

    "The starlight of my boyhood,"

to look down upon me from her blest abode, and woo me back to calmness
by one gentle word, one loving glance; and then sinking into hopeless,
bitter despondency, when I remembered that she was gone, and that I
should see her no more.

Sometimes I can think of her in her exquisite beauty, and my soul drinks
in, as it were, the sweet and liquid tones of the voice which once spoke
peace to me, and, fancying her again before me, I sink into an unquiet
slumber, till some hideous dream oppresses me, and I see the fair brow
of my "Julia" contracted, withered; and instead of her silvery voice of
enchantment, a hissing sound escapes the lips I have worshipped. I rise,
and try to approach, but she recedes. I awake--I start from my uneasy
bed--I find this horrible picture, which bore the impress of reality, is
but a dream. I awake to the consciousness that my beloved is dead, and
that my eyes will gaze upon her beauty no more.

How few there are in this busy world who, when passing those abodes of
wretchedness--"private madhouses"--can imagine the agony, the misery,
the despair that dwells there! But to my history.

I was the only child of General Sir Frederick and Lady Charlotte B----.
I was reared in luxury; the rude air was scarcely allowed to blow upon
my delicate frame. I can remember now, though years have passed, and
sorrow has bowed me--I can remember the happy days when my wearied head
was pillowed on the bosom of my mother, and, after she had sung me to
sleep with some wild melody, she would place me in my small luxurious
cot, and watch over me with those deep-loving eyes, and be the first to
comfort and re-assure me if uneasy dreams--for even then I was a
dreamer--made me awake to sorrow. But my mother died. Even now I shudder
at the recollection of the desolateness of my agony when I knew I had
looked on her for the last time. Even now I can feel the coldness which
crept over me as I laid my cheek to hers. My blood was frozen. I could
not weep. Oh! tears would have been a relief, but they were denied me;
and though I saw her taken from my embrace, and her beloved form laid in
the vault, I could still gaze with speechless agony--but I wept not.

How I wished for the quiet of the grave; for even then there was a
whirlwind within my bosom, and my sensitive heart shrank from holding
converse with, or bestowing confidence on another as freely or
unreservedly as I had done with the dear being whom I had lost.

Shortly after this event my father was ordered upon foreign service, and
my childhood was passed among relatives who were strangers to me. It was
a childhood without love. I remembered my mother, and none could supply
her place. I could not trust in another as I had trusted in her. In my
sorrows, real or imaginary, none other could comfort me. I longed for my
childhood's resting-place, where I might again pillow my aching head,
and sleep once more the calm sleep hallowed by a mother's matchless

At an early age I was sent to one of our great public schools, and
there, although I endured some hardships, yet I experienced also
something like the pleasures and pastimes of boyhood.

From having been a weakly, delicate child, I grew strong and active; but
a gloom was ever upon me.

In my moments of relaxation I would join some of my companions in their
games of play; but even then a dark phantom pursued me, and I would
fancy a shadowless spirit was after me: if I ran it always followed me
with its noiseless steps, and my constant fear was, that it would
overtake me. This was _madness_--aye, I can see it now--_it was madness
coming upon me_.

I frequently used to endeavour to dispel the illusion by reading; but if
I raised my eyes from my book there was the figure, looking at me and
sighing, and its lips would move to speak--_but there was no sound_.

I have sat for hours watching this bane of my existence. I have sat till
my eyes were fixed from fright, and I have tried to move, but I felt
chained to the spot, and the fetters that appeared to bind me, seemed of
cold heavy steel, that fell on my whole body and paralyzed me. Then I
could feel my heart growing dead, and yet throbbing with those dull,
audible throbs, till at last I have shrieked in the agony of my horror,
and only then would the dark being leave me--but _it left me moody and

I had one friend at school who would soothe me by gentle words, and tell
me my fears were but fancy, and he would hold my hands until I slept,
and lost, for a time at least, the phantom which pursued me.

That friend is dead. I have outlived _him_. _Why should the madman

When I was about sixteen a new life opened to me. There came as a
visitor to one of the ladies belonging to the establishment, a young and
lovely girl. I first saw her at the private chapel belonging to the
school. The moment I looked at her a gush of hitherto unknown pleasure
came to my heart. I felt that I could love her.

I saw her again and again. I have stood for hours by the house in which
she was, hoping to catch a glimpse of her. Sometimes I was
successful--more frequently not--but it was something to hope for. Once
I fancied that her eye fell upon me. Oh, how I was repaid by that one
pure glance!

While she remained at ----, my life was one of bright and vivid fancy,
and I was cheered by the angel Hope; but at length her visit came to a
termination; yet, though I knew she had departed, I would go daily to my
accustomed watching place, and gaze until I fancied the beautiful girl
was again before me.

At the usual period my school days ended, and my college life began. I
was entered at Christ Church, Oxford. I read hard, and obtained the
highest honours. My fame was brilliant. I was talked of, and marked by
my superiors as a rising man.

Shortly afterwards, I was returned as one of the members of a family
borough in my native county, and my first speech in Parliament met with
general applause. The world called me a fortunate man. Oh! they little
knew the nights of horror I passed--the battling I had with my attendant
phantom, which still pursued me, blighted me. But I was mad; and the
excitement of madness was called energy.

How often I have laughed them to scorn, as I have sat alone with the
dark spirit!

My sole ambition was that the girl whom I had seen and admired might
hear of my career; and that, with honours crowded upon me, I might see
her again, that I might place my laurel crown at her feet, lay bare my
heart's best feelings, my undying love for her, and prove to her how
entire was my devotion, how earnest my worship.

I saw many young and lovely girls; and I was told that mothers looked
upon me as a desirable match--but I was true to my first love. I
remembered her in the perfection of maiden beauty--I wished for none
other; and to see _her_ again was my sole hope in life.

After a season of unceasing gaiety and dissipation--sick of London and
its vanities--I determined to travel, and for seven years I was absent
from my native land.

I was recalled to attend the deathbed of my father. I had seen but
little of him; he had no sympathy with me, and in heart we were
strangers to each other. He was proud of my talents, and I was an only
son; but he never bestowed any real affection on me. I honoured him
because he was my parent; but I never loved him as I ought to have loved
a father.

He died, and I succeeded to the baronetcy and estates; but I was already
tired of life--wretched in the midst of my splendour. In a word--_I was

At the table of a friend I met a man a few years my senior, whom I had
known at school. We renewed our acquaintance; and I accepted an
invitation to dine at his house, to meet some old schoolfellows.

I consented to go, but not cheerfully, for a moody state of mind was
coming over me. I can remember the struggle, the exertion it was to
dress for the party. Twenty times I was tempted to send a message saying
I was too unwell to go, but my better angel prevailed--and I went. To
what an eventful period was that evening but the prelude!

My friend met and welcomed me with a cordiality which somewhat cheered
me; but I had a weight on my spirits from which I could not rouse
myself, and most reluctantly accompanied Sir Charles Tracey, with
faltering steps and an aching heart and brow, into the inner
drawing-room, to be introduced to his wife, Lady Tracey.

She was seated on a low ottoman, with her back to the door, reading. She
arose as her husband presented me to her as his old friend, Sir
Frederick B----. She turned towards me, and for a moment I was
overpowered. I beheld before me the creature I had so long pined for--so
earnestly searched for--whose memory I had so devotedly and entirely

With exquisite grace she extended her hand to welcome her husband's
guest, and as I held those small taper fingers in mine, thick coming
fancies crowded upon me. I was again the schoolboy--the anxious, ardent
schoolboy, longing even for a look from this lovely woman, whose hand I
now held in mine.

Hot tears rushed into my eyes, and I bent over the fair hand to conceal

This momentary cloud passed away, and while seated by her, I forgot that
we had ever been parted, and imagination peopled a world of love--a
paradise of hope.

    "But she in these fond feelings had no share."

The years which had passed, had changed her from a lovely girl into the
more matured loveliness of the matron.

When I had last seen her, her hair, which was a rich and shining black,
hung in natural and graceful curls over her beautiful and classically
formed head. Now the thick and luxuriant mass was gathered into a knot
behind, and laid in soft bands over her pure and polished brow.

Her eyes were of that deep full blue which is so rare, and were large
and bright, and full of fire and spirit, which at times gave an
appearance of haughtiness to her noble countenance; her throat, neck,
and arms, were white as ivory, and formed in the most perfect mould; her
height was commanding, and her figure exquisitely proportioned.

Before she spoke I could only look at her with wonder, that any thing so
glorious could be earthly; but the instant she addressed me, a peculiar
witchery played over her features and about her mouth; and my wonder was
instantly changed into love and adoration, and I drank in with eagerness
the silvery sweetness of her voice.

I fancied on this night that Lady Tracey bestowed more attention on me
than on her other guests; for women have an intuitive tact in
discovering when a man admires devotedly.

For that night I lost my dark phantom, I slept a sweet sleep, dreaming
of things which could never be accomplished; and my waking vision, as
wild and improbable, was that she might one day return my love.

I would not lose sight of my newly found treasure. I called at her
residence. I was admitted. Again I gazed; and worshipped. Lady Tracey
looked more lovely by daylight than with the full blaze of candle-light
upon her beauty. There was a delicacy about her complexion no daylight
could impair; but it spoke also of a delicacy of constitution which made
me tremble as I gazed.

The fascination of her manner, the elegance of her movements, her light
and airy tread, her musical voice, her bright but subdued laugh; all
these combined made me idolize her.

There is but one sun in heaven: there was but one Julia to my eyes on
earth. Her shadow had fallen on my heart, as the sun on an island far
away from land in the lonely sea. It was filled with light and verdure,
and all my best feelings were warmed to ripeness by her glowing smile.

We conversed together on poetry, music, history, the arts; and I
discovered she possessed a refined and superior intellect. A sparkling
tincture of satire mingled with her mention of men and things; but while
she did this with perfect temper and gentleness, it gave a brilliancy to
her conversation not to be described. She expressed a wish for a book
which I had the happiness to possess; here was an opportunity for
another visit. Again and again we met, and I was intoxicated with love;
but I saw no reciprocal feeling on her part. She was the same gentle and
charming being; but she bestowed no _love_ upon the poor visionary who
adored her.

On the days we met I was gay and happy; but on the intervening ones I
was in despair. All my darkest thoughts came back upon me, fraught with
even greater horrors. I tried to battle with my evil spirit, but I could
not subdue it. It grasped me tightly in its fetters; and I had no
respite until I was again in the presence of my Julia. The smallest
sound of her voice, with its silvery sweetness, broke the sad chain
which had bound me, and I was free to look--to love--to worship again.
Oh, why did not these moments of rapture last for ever! This holy calm,
like an enchanted circle, into which my spirit of evil dared not
venture, why was it broken? Why did sickness, and sorrow, and
_madness_--yes, furious, hopeless, desponding madness--darken those
sunny days? Why did death come to her, and thick clouds to me?

The sky mocks me with its gemmed radiance. The stars shine on brightly;
but they fail to give light and hope to me. I have gazed on them with
her. I have seen her stand with her fair brow raised, and her lovely
face bathed in moonlight; but, as the pale beams danced around her, to
my eyes her own glory dimmed all other brightness.

The winds howl, and the trees wave to and fro in the tempest, and with
every blast comes a shriek, as if Julia were in despair, and I arise to
rush to her rescue; but the clanking chain of the maniac binds me. I try
to break my bonds, but they clasp me; and my hideous companion, the
phantom, jeers at me; and I hear the voice of my beloved receding
further and further from me, till, with an agonized moan, it dies away
in the distance.

And this the world calls fancy--the fantastic vision of a madman's

There was never a voice like _her_ voice; and though the winds rage
tempestuously among the waving branches of the storm-tossed trees, I
hear the liquid music of her accents above all, and I strain my eyes to
catch a glimpse of her person, but there is nothing; and I crouch down
again in my chains and my madness on my desolate bed, feeling how
utterly--how entirely, I am alone.

An interruption occurred in our intercourse, in consequence of Sir
Charles Tracey being obliged to go abroad, on business connected with
the state. His lady accompanied him, and they were absent for some
months. How I spent these months, I scarcely know. I avoided all
society--I felt moody--wretched--despairing. I grew violent. Restraint
became necessary. Then, indeed, I _knew_ that _I was mad_. Life was a
blank; and some weeks passed while this dark cloud was upon me.

At last, though my recovery had been a work of time, I was _called_
convalescent, and the violence of my frenzy abated.

I heard with joy that Sir Charles and his lady had returned to town. I
thought the hour would never come when I might set out on my visit.

I flew, rather than walked, to her residence. I felt startled and
alarmed as I trode the streets; for I had not been out for months, and I
fancied every one stared at me--that everyone knew _I was mad_; but the
one darling hope of seeing _her_ cheered me on.

At last I reached the house. I was admitted; and in a moment I was by
the side of Julia. She was looking pale and ill, but very lovely.

I rushed towards her. I knelt by her side. I took her cold hand in mine,
and kissed it ardently. A bright colour suffused her cheek. She
endeavoured to withdraw her hand from my grasp; but the demon was within
me. I held that pale, small, fragile hand firmly; and pressed it again
and again to my lips, and my throbbing, bursting heart. I laughed aloud
and wildly, and she looked at me fearfully. She had discovered my
secret, and she saw that _I was mad_.

"You, too, have been ill?" she said.

The honied accents of that beloved voice fell on my ear like dew to the
parched flower. I was calmed in a moment, and I endeavoured to look
coldly on her who was life--light--all to me in this world.

I found she had been dangerously ill, and I felt, as I looked on her
imperial loveliness, that she was not destined long for this world.

Daily I saw her. I could not see enough of one I loved so desperately;
and I feigned calmness while I endured agony--but my madness ruined me
at last.

One wretched day--I spoke to her of love. I told her of my devotion--my
hopeless devotion for so many years. I knelt by her side--I passed my
arm round her waist--and for one brief moment I rested my scorching,
maddened brow upon her bosom. It was only a moment of reality--but an
eternity of bliss in the recollection.

I strained her fragile form to my breast. I kissed her pale cheeks--her
brow--her lips. She moved not. I found she had fainted. I thought she
was dead, and my brain reeled.

I raised her beautiful form in my arms, and laid her gently on a couch.

She was like marble--so cold, and pale, and breathless. I called no one
to my assistance--I was the madman--the desperate, heart-broken
madman--and I saw before me the ruin I had wrought.

How long this lasted I cannot tell; I only know my feelings were worked
to frenzy. I called upon her by name; I conjured her to look at me, to
speak to me once--but once more.

I longed for tears to cool the burning heat of my brain. In my agony, I
laughed and shrieked aloud; I could not control myself.

She opened her eyes, those large, bright, lustrous eyes, and looked, I
thought, kindly on me. How those glances entered my soul!

"Speak to me, Julia, forgive me," I said. She smiled, and extended her
hand. Her eyes were in a moment fixed and glassy. She tried to speak,
when, O God! as her lips separated, the life-blood gushed from her
heart, and the purple stream flowed over her neck and bosom.

I was paralyzed--I moved not--I looked on horror-stricken.

She made one movement with her hand, and then it fell lifeless by her
side. She gave one deep sigh, and all was over. I saw that she was dead,
but I wept not. I stood by, a miserable madman, my heart heaving with
agony, but my eyes refusing to weep, and laughing that violent, horrible
laugh, that mockery of mirth which belongs only to the maniac's ravings.

I stood by the couch--I bathed my burning forehead with her blood--I
saw that beautiful being cold and motionless, her eyes closed, and the
lofty brow damp with the dews of death. I saw this and yet lived on.

There was stillness, and gloom, and death, around me, but I was not
alone. I felt that creeping consciousness that my evil spirit was near.
I raised my eyes and saw the phantom--the dark and hideous one; my old
companion as standing by me--muttering and mocking at my grief. I shrank
from the fiend.

I drew closer to the loved form of her I adored. I took her cold hand
and placed it on my burning brow. I can feel the death-like coldness now
where that small hand lay. I closed my eyes and tried to pray; but
fiendish shouts of laughter rang in my ears, and I felt that an _evil
spirit_ was by my side. My whole frame quivered with suppressed agony. I
turned. I saw it move; and the shadowless hand was raised as if to touch
the precious and costly form of her I loved. I can remember no more; all
after for some time was gloom and misery. * * *

Wild spirits are dancing around me, bearing in their arms the dear form
of my Julia. Sometimes her voice breaks the stillness of my chamber in
the darkness of night, for I never sleep--my brain is _too hot for
sleep_. Sometimes I am roused by feeling the softness of her light taper
fingers on my brow, and then I start from my uneasy and wretched bed to
look for her once more; but instead of her I see my dark spirit the
demon, watching me with that untired eye, following me with that
noiseless step, that shadowless form, and then falling on my bed, I bury
my face in my pillow, and try to pray for peace, and for tears--but both
are denied me.

The sun mocks me with his bright, clear, dancing beams speaking of life,
and hope, and joy. It brings back the memory of that wretched day when I
had killed by my burning passions the only woman I had ever loved.

She was, indeed, the sun of my gloom; and, without her, I am as a
captive in a darkened cell, through the gratings of which thoughts of
her stream in, and make a dim twilight--a sad satisfaction. Oh! if I
were to be false to her, my soul would be a void; my memory, a curse; my
heart, a heap of ashes.

I see again, with terrible reality, that graceful form--that regal
face--dead, yet smiling--as I last saw her in that curtained chamber,
with the sun shining in glory through the crimson drapery, and shedding
a warm glow on the inanimate features.

Even now I see her. I see that last look of unsullied purity and fear. I
feel again that warm blood, as it trickled down and fell on my hands and
face, as I knelt before her. It fell on my forehead, and I know that it
is eating in, deeper and deeper, towards my brain.

Her last words ring in my ears; her last smile is my beacon, my only ray
of hope, luring me on towards a happier future.

There is a fire kindled within me that will dry up every thought but
recollection of her; for every circumstance connected with her is
impressed on my memory with a vivid distinctness.

Can it be?--the thought sometimes occurs to me, with a balmy and
consoling power, like that fragrant wind from the Spicy Islands, which
the mariner feels blowing cool upon his brow, as he lies becalmed, in
the still noon, on the wide and desert sea? Can it be, that the devotion
of a lifetime--such as my devotion has been--may be repaid by
association in eternity?

May I dare to hope to live hereafter in the shadow of her glory? Shall
we meet again in that bright land?

No--the vision is too joyous for the poor maniac, her murderer. I shall
see her no more--we are separated for ever!

Hell--deep, deep hell--is the madman's portion; and heaven, that pure
and distant clime, is thy resting-place for ever--thy radiant home--thy
peaceful haven--my lost--my adored--my sainted Julia!


Scotland has of late years been exposed to perilous influences. Unused,
from its older form of representation, to popular excitement, and
stimulated by example from without, the nation threw itself headlong
into the revolutionary current which swept the whole empire at the
period of Parliamentary Reform, and, with characteristic fervour, seemed
inclined to riot in the novel element. Whenever symptoms of such a
disposition appear in the body politic, there is manifest danger that,
in the new accession of power, the old and sacred landmarks may be
disregarded, and little heed be given to the mutual dependence and
common interests of every class of society. Thus agitated and disturbed,
the Scottish people, once jealously national, and so proud of that
nationality that it had passed into a byword throughout Europe, might
have lost their cohesive power, loosened the cord which bound the social
rods together, and formed themselves into separate sections with
apparently hostile interests. Fortunately, however, there was a strong
counteracting influence. Even when the storm was wildest, and the clash
of conflicting opinions most discordant, it was impossible to eradicate
from the minds of any order the vast and stirring memories of the past.
New rights might, indeed, be claimed; but it was not alleged that there
had been any abuse of the old. Nothing had occurred to weaken the esteem
with which the lower ranks were accustomed to regard the ancient
aristocracy of the country; and accordingly, throughout the whole of
that protracted contest, fervid and determined as it was, there was less
rancour shown than might have been expected in the course of so great a
political change. As the excitement subsided, the kindly feeling, which
never had been extinguished, began more palpably to revive. Before the
epoch of agitation approached, we were a peaceful and a happy people.
The peerage, the gentry, the yeomen, and the peasantry--all classes were
bound together with the links of respect and of affection. The old
hereditary attachment between the orders had not been broken. The poor
man was proud of the noble, because the noble bore a name conspicuous in
the annals of his country; because he was the descendant of those who
had fought and died for Scotland, and who had identified their
honourable renown with hers; because he was a man every way worthy to
bear the titles so gloriously achieved; and, more than all perhaps,
because he loved and venerated the poor. And for that love and
veneration the noble had ample grounds. Ancient as his race might be,
the yeomanry and peasantry of Scotland were yet as ancient in theirs.
Not one step of honour could his fathers have gained without the help of
the fathers of those who were now living upon his hereditary soil; and
the old spell-words of the land were common to them both. Nor was there
to be found in wide Europe a better or a braver race. They were
industrious, faithful, loyal; they were attached without servility,
independent without rudeness, and intelligent to a degree that excited
the admiration and the wonder of the stranger. No wonder that the mere
thought of estrangement, in such a society as this, should have stricken
the bravest bosom with terror, and woe, and dismay! Yet so troublous was
the aspect of Europe then, that such fear was not utterly unfelt; and it
was the apprehension of that calamity, more than any other worldly
cause, that dimmed the soul and darkened the spirit of that great and
good man, Sir Walter Scott, in his declining years; for all his large
affections were bound up and entwined with the interests of Scotland,
and, had the sacrifice been required of him, he would gladly have laid
down his life to avert from her the perils which he then foresaw.

These few remarks we cannot consider as inappropriate to our present
subject. We have once more been joyful spectators of a truly national
gathering. Once more we have seen Scotsmen, of every grade and degree,
assemble together without a tinge of party purpose, to do honour to the
memory of a poet who sprang from the ranks of the people, and who was
heart and soul a Scotsman in his feelings, his inspiration, and, it may
be, in his errors and his prejudices also. It was a stirring and
exciting spectacle, such as no other country could have exhibited--to
behold peer and senator, poet and historian and peasant--the great and
the small, the lettered and the simple of the land--unite, after fifty
years of silence, in deep and sincere homage to the genius of one humble
man. Nor did they assemble there because his genius was greater than
God, in his bounty, had bestowed upon others, but because he had used it
for the glory and exaltation of his country; because he loved her with
an ardour the most vivid and extreme; because he had shed the light
entrusted to his charge both on the lofty dwelling and on the lowly
hearth, but most brightly and cheeringly upon the latter, for that was
his peculiar charge. We feel assured that the events of that day, and
the sentiments which were then inspired and uttered, will produce a
marked effect upon the disposition of the country at large. It seemed as
if all classes had spontaneously assembled to join hands above the grave
of Robert Burns, and then and there to renew the vow of enduring
reconciliation and love.

We shall now proceed to give a short account of the proceedings of the
day. In our climate, the state of the weather on public occasions is
always regarded with anxiety; for enthusiasm, however warm, is apt to
expire beneath a deluge of northern rain. On the previous evening the
sky promised well. A brilliant sunset and a warm wind seemed security
for a placid morrow; and although the glare of the great furnaces in the
neighbourhood of Glasgow glowed somewhat ominously large as the night
wore on, we retired to rest rather in hope than resignation. But dismal,
indeed, was the prospect when we awoke. A vaporous grey mist had
entirely usurped the heavens, and the plash of weary rain resounded
through the pluvious metropolis of the west. Fortunately, we were not
ignorant of the fact, that Glasgow is under the peculiar tutelage of the
Pleiades; and accordingly we proceeded to the railway, trusting that
matters might mend so soon as we lost sight of the stupendous
chimney-stalk of St Rollox. Notwithstanding the inclemency of the
weather, and the early hour, every town, as we passed along, seemed in a
state of the greatest excitement. There were bands of music, deputations
of mason lodges, and the rival brotherhood of Odd Fellows, with hundreds
of men and women, all clad in holiday attire, awaiting the arrival of
the train at every station. It is a marvel to us, how half of these
expectants could have found their way to Ayr. Carriage after carriage
was linked to the already exorbitant train, until the engine groaned
audibly, and almost refused to proceed. Still the rain continued to
fall, and it was not until after we had left Irvine, and were rounding
the margin of the bay towards Ayr, that the sky brightened up and
disclosed the great panorama of the sea, with Ailsa and Arran looming in
the distance, and steamers from every direction ploughing their way into
the port. The streets of Ayr were swarming with people, and sounding
with the crash of music. There were arches on the bridge, flags
streaming from windows, and bells tolling from the steeples--symptoms of
a jubilee as great as if Royalty had descended unawares, and the whole
district had arisen to pay honour to its Queen. The inns were thronged
to excess, and the waiters in absolute despair. What a multitude of
salmon must have died to furnish that morning's meal! Yet every face
looked bright and happy, as became those who had engaged in such a
pilgrimage. Then the burst of music became louder and more frequent, as
band after band, preceding the trades and other public bodies, filed
past towards the rendezvous of the great Procession. This was on what is
called the Low Green; and the admirable arrangements made by the
committee of management--of which Mr Ballantine of Castlehill was
convener, and Messrs Bone and Gray secretaries--were manifest. Mr
Thwaites undertook the marshaling of the whole. Here, first, the
grandeur of the National Festival was displayed, while the immense
multitudes that had come trooping in from all quarters stood
congregated in orderly muster, a mighty host, bound in unity by one
soul, stretching far and wide from the towers of Ayr to the sea.
Suddenly, at signal given, the Procession began to deploy, in admirable
order, with streaming banners and crashes of music, and shouts from the
accompanying thousands that rent the sky; and we were warned that it was
time to proceed, if we wished to obtain a place upon the Platform
erected on the banks of Doon.

A unit in the stream of population, we skirted the noble race-course,
and reached the Platform just before the head of the Procession had
arrived. It was erected in a magnificent situation. Behind was the
monument of Burns, and the sweet habitation of Mr Auld, with old Alloway
Kirk a little further off. Before it was the immense Pavilion erected
for the banquet, all gay with flags and streamers. To the right, were
the woods that fringe the romantic Doon, at that point concealed from
sight; but not so the Old Bridge, which spans it, with its arch of
triumphal evergreen. Every slope beyond was studded with groups of
people, content to view the spectacle from afar. The Carrick hills
reached far away beyond; and, on the other side, were the town and broad
bay of Ayr, and Arran with all its mountains. But we had little leisure
then to look around us. On the Platform were collected many of the
Ladies and Gentlemen of the county--Sir David Hunter Blair; James
Campbell, Esq. of Craigie; W. A. Cunninghame, Esq. of Fairlie; A. Boyle,
Esq. of Shewalton, &c.; Archibald Hastie, Esq. M.P.; A. Buchanan, Esq.,
Charles Neaves, Esq. Mr Sheriff Campbell, Mr Sheriff Bell, Mr
Carruthers, &c. &c.; some of the most distinguished of those who had
come from afar, and conspicuous in front the surviving Kindred of Burns.
There stood, with his beautiful Countess, the noble and manly Eglinton,
_preux chevalier_ of his day, and fitting representative of that ancient
house of Montgomery, so famous in the annals and peerage of Scotland,
and of France. There was the venerable and venerated Lord
Justice-General Boyle, the President of the Scottish Courts, and chief
magistrate of the land, with the snows of more than seventy winters
lying lightly and gracefully upon his head. There stood Wilson, never
more fitly in his place than here; for of the many who have interposed
to shield the memory of Burns from detraction, he had spoken with the
most generous spirit and collected purpose, and came now to rejoice in
the common triumph. There, too, were Alison, the sound and strong
historian; Chambers, whose delicate generosity to the relatives of
Burns, independently of the services he has rendered to our national
literature, made him one of the fittest spectators of the scene; and a
host of other distinguished men, well and aptly representing the
aristocracy and the learning of the country. Many strangers, too, had
come to grace the festival; amongst whom, it may be allowed us to
specify the names of Mrs S. C. Hall, the charming authoress, and her
accomplished husband. We looked in vain for some whose presence there
would have given an additional interest to the scene. We would fain have
seen the poets of the sister countries represented by Wordsworth and
Moore. That might not be; but their sympathies were not withheld.

Among that brilliant group, there stood an elderly female, dressed in
deep black, and three men, all past the meridian of life, with quiet,
thoughtful looks, and unpretending aspect. These were the sister and the
sons of Burns. His sister!--and half a century has wellnigh gone past
since the hot heart of the brother was stricken cold, and the manly
music of his voice made dumb for ever! Was it too much to believe that,
through these many long years of her earthly pilgrimage--sometimes, we
fear, darkened by want and neglect--that sister had always clung to the
memory of the departed dead, in the hope that the day would arrive when
his genius should receive the homage of a new generation, to atone for
the apathy and coldness of that which had passed away? What emotions
must have thrilled the bosom of that venerable woman, as she gazed on
the stirring spectacle before her, and saw her lingering hopes far more
than thoroughly realized! What a glorious welcome, too, for the sons to
their native land! They had left it--not quite as the poor man
does--but with heavy difficulties before them. They had wrestled their
way onwards through half the journey of life, and now, on their return,
they were greeted with a welcome which it were almost worth the
struggles of a life to obtain. All this they owed to their father; and
honoured among the honourable that day were the lineage and kindred of

Beneath and around the Platform there were thousands already
congregated. If any one had wished to paint the character of the
Scottish peasantry in its loftiest and most endearing light, the
subjects were there before him. Old patriarchal men, on whose venerable
temples time had bleached the white locks of age to the softness of
those of infancy, stood leaning upon their grandchildren, proud, and yet
wondering at the honours which were that day paid to him, whom, long,
long ago, reaching away through the vista of memory, they remembered to
have seen in their youth. So familiarized were they with his image, and
the glorious language he had uttered, that they had almost forgotten the
greatness and universality of his fame; and now, when brought forth from
their cottages in the far glens and muirlands of the south, they could
scarcely believe that the great, and gifted, and beautiful of the land,
had come together for no other purpose than to celebrate the genius of
their old companion. But they were proud, as they well might be; for it
was a privilege even to have beheld him, and in that homage they
recognised and felt the tribute that was paid to their order. The
instinctive decency of Scottish feeling had accorded to these men a
fitting and conspicuous place. Around them were the women of their
families of all ages--from the matron in her coif to the bashful maiden
with the snood--and even children; for few were left at home on that day
of general jubilee. These, and a vast concourse of strangers, already
occupied the ground.

Meanwhile the Procession had wound its enormous length from Ayr along a
road almost choked up with spectators. Every wall and gate had its
burden, and numerous Flibbertigibbets sat perched upon the branches of
the trees. The solitary constable of the burgh was not present to
preserve order, or, if he was, his apparition was totally unrequired.
The old bell of Alloway Kirk was set in motion as the head of the column
appeared, and continued ringing until all were past. The whole land was
alive. Each road and lane poured forth its separate concourse to swell
the ranks of the great Procession. The weather, after one heavy final
shower, cleared up; or, if not clear, resolved itself into that
indescribable mixture of sunshine and cloud which sets off the beauties
of the undulating landscape so well, light alternating with shadow, and,
on the ridges of the distant hills, contending radiance and gloom.

On they went, with banners flying and a perfect storm of music, across
the new Bridge of Doon, deploying along the road on the opposite side of
the river, and finally recrossing by the old bridge, from which they
filed past in front of the Platform. The order of the Procession was as

    Provost, Magistrates, Town-Council, and Trades of Ayr.



    Dalrymple Burns's Club, with banners and music.
    Motto, "Firm."

    Kilwinning Mother Lodge of Freemasons.

    London Newmilns Lodge.

    Troon Navigation Lodge.
    Girvan Masons.
    St James's, Tarbolton.
    St John's, Ayr.
    Thistle and Rose, Stevenston.
    St John's, Largs.
    Glasgow Star.

    Royal Arch, Maybole.
    St Paul's, Ayr.
    St Andrew's, Ayr.
    St John's, Girvan.
    St James's, Kilmarnock.
    St Peter's, Galston.
    St John's, New Cumnock.
    Junior or Knights Templars, Maybole.

    St John's, Dalry.

    St John's, Greenock.
    Shoemakers as follows:--
    British Prince and attendants.
    Indian Prince and Train.

    King Crispin and Train.
    Souter Johnie, in character.
    Highland Chieftains.

    Lodge of Odd Fellows.

    Robert Burns's Lodge, Beith.

    Banks of Ayr Lodge of Odd Fellows.
    Sir T. Makdougall Brisbane Lodge, Largs.
    Ancient Order of Foresters, Glasgow.
    Captain mounted, with Bow and Arrows.

    Kilmarnock Burns's Lodge of Foresters.
    Weavers from Maybole.

    Tailors of Maybole.

    Boxmakers of Mauchline, with large Scotch Thistle, carried
    shoulder-high by Four men, and Banner, inscribed,

    "I turn'd my weeder-clips aside,
    And spared the Symbol dear."

    The Party were on the Establishment of Messrs W. and A. Smith. The
    Thistle grew near to Mossgiel.

    Caledonian Union Odd Fellows, Dunlop. (Deputations of the Magistracy
    joined in the Procession from Dumbarton, Dunlop, Maybole, and Irvine.)

The effect of the Procession as seen from the Platform almost baffles
the power of description. The wailing of the bagpipes and the crash of
the bands were heard from the bosom of deep wood-thicket behind, long
before the ranks became visible. At length, among the trees that skirted
the opposite banks, there was a glittering of lances, and a lifting of
banners, and a dark-growing line of men, in closest order, marching as
if to battle. Gradually it flowed on, in continuous stream, file
succeeding to file without gap or intermission, until the head of the
column appeared recrossing by the Old Bridge, and winding up the road
towards the Platform; and still new banners rose up behind, and fresh
strains of music burst forth amidst the leafy screen. And now they
reached the platform: lance and flag were lowered in honour of those who
stood bareheaded above, and deafening were the cheers that ushered in
the arrival of the national pageant. The spectacle was most imposing,
and must have conveyed to the minds of the strangers present a vivid
impression of the energy and enthusiasm so deeply implanted in the
Scottish character, and always so irresistibly manifested at the
touching of a national chord. The most interesting part of the
Procession by far was the array of Farmers and Shepherds, the flower of
the west-country yeomanry, attired in the graceful plaid. Of that same
breed of men, of tall and compact mould and hardy sinew, was Robert
Burns; nor is it possible to imagine any thing more animated than the
appearance of those stalwart sons of the soil, as they lingered for a
moment before the platform, and looked with wistful eyes at the sons of
the Poet, if haply they might trace in their lineaments some resemblance
to the features of him whom, from their infancy, they had learned to
love. Then came the Freemasons, and King Crispin with his train, and the
Archers, and much more of old Scottish device, until there seemed no end
to the flowing tide of population, all keen, and joyful, and exultant.
But the full burst of enthusiasm was reserved for the close. In the rear
of all appeared an enormous Thistle borne shoulder high; and no sooner
was the national emblem in sight, than a universal and long-continued
cheer burst forth from the many thousands who were now congregated in
the plain beyond. Alas, for that thistle! Though Burns, as the
inscription bore,

    "Had turn'd his weeder-clips aside,
    And spared the symbol dear,"

such was not the fate of the offspring plant. Scarcely had it reached
the platform, when Christopher North violently possessed himself of one
branch, the Lord Justice-General seized upon another, and in the
twinkling of an eye it was torn into fragments, and its rough leaves and
rougher flowers displayed upon manly bosoms, from which it would have
been difficult to wrest them again. So closed the Procession--but not
the gathering. Deafening were the cheers which followed for Burns--for
his Sons--for Professor Wilson--for Lord Eglinton; until the last
remnant of reserve gave way, and a torrent of people swept forward to
obtain, if possible, a pressure of their hands that were gladly and
gratefully held forth. Descending from the Platform, we entered the
meadow-ground beyond, where the multitude were now assembled. One of the
bands struck up the beautiful air--"Ye banks and braes o' bonny Doon;"
and immediately the People, as if actuated by one common impulse, took
up the strain, and a loftier swell of music never rose beneath the cope
of heaven. We thought of the fine lines of Elliott--

    "To other words, while forest echoes ring,
    'Ye banks and braes o' bonny Doon,' they sing;
    And far below, the drover, with a start
    Awaking, listens to the well-known strain,
    Which brings Schehallion's shadow to his heart,
    And Scotia's loveliest vales: then sleeps again,
    And dreams on Loxley's banks of Dunsinane."

Few could abstain from tears as the last glorious note died solemnly
away into the skies. We looked down from the top of the pavilion-stairs
upon the vast multitude beneath. There could not have been less than
80,000 souls collected upon the ground. Of all that mighty mass, not
one man had thrown discredit upon the harmony and order of the day.
Every face glowed with happiness and congratulation, as if conscious
that a good work had been done, and that the nation had at length
discharged the duty which she owed to one of her most gifted sons.


The company began to enter the Pavilion almost immediately after the
close of the Procession, and the chair was taken about two o'clock. The
Pavilion was erected in a field of twenty-two acres, adjoining to the
Monument, and was a magnificent building. It measured not less than 120
feet by 110, forming nearly a perfect square. The roof, supported by two
rows of pillars, was covered with waterproof felt, and the building
inside was lined with white cloth, festooned with crimson. In the centre
of the roof was a radiation of the same colours. The tables and seats
were arranged in parallel lines from the head to the foot of the
apartment, rising with a gentle inclination from the middle on both
sides. At each end there was an elevated table for the Chairman,
Croupier, and their respective supporters; and on the two remaining
sides of the square there were _vis-a-vis_ galleries for the
instrumental band and glee-singers, a pianoforte for the accompaniment
to Mr Templeton being placed in front of the latter, at which Mr Blewitt
took his station. Mr Templeton, between the speeches, sang, with great
power and sweetness, appropriate songs from Burns; and Mr Blewitt's
performance was admirable. Mr Wilson came from Paris to the Festival;
but unfortunately was prevented by severe illness from delighting the
assembly with his exquisite strains. The hall was lighted by twenty-two
glass windows, shaded with white cloth. The chairman and croupier's
seats were of oak, made of the rafters of Alloway Kirk; and several
splendid silver vases decorated their tables. The hall was seated to
accommodate 2000 persons, and was entirely filled, although not
inconveniently crowded.

The distinguishing feature of the pavilion was the number of ladies who
were present. A great room exclusively filled with men, is at best a
dull and sombre spectacle; and so far from social, that it always
conveys to us a gross idea of selfishness. The mere scenic effect on
this occasion was immensely heightened by the adoption of the polite
rule; nor can it be doubted that the tone of the meeting underwent a
similar improvement.

The Chairman, the Right Hon. the Earl of Eglinton, was supported on the
right by Robert Burns, Esq., late of the Stamps and Taxes, Somerset
House, London, eldest son of the poet; Major Burns, youngest son of the
poet; Miss Begg, niece of the poet; Henry Glassford Bell, Esq.,
Sheriff-Substitute of Lanarkshire; Rev. Mr Cuthill, Ayr; Mr Robert Burns
Begg, teacher, Kinross, nephew of the poet; Miss Begg, the younger niece
of the poet; Mr and Mrs Thomson of Dumfries, (the latter the Jessie
Lewars of the bard, who tended his deathbed;)--on the left, by Colonel
Burns, second son of the poet; Mrs Begg, sister of the poet; Sir John
M'Neill, Bart., late Plenipotentiary to the Court of Persia; the Right
Hon. Lord Justice-General; the Countess of Eglinton; Sir D. H. Blair,
Bart., of Blairquhan. The Croupier, Professor Wilson, was supported on
the right by Archibald Alison, Esq., Sheriff of Lanarkshire, and author
of the History of Europe; Colonel Mure of Caldwell, author of Travels in
Greece; William E. Aytoun, Esq., Advocate; A. Hastie, Esq., M.P. for
Paisley; Jas. Oswald, Esq., M.P. for Glasgow;--on the left by Sir James
Campbell, Glasgow; Provost Miller, Ayr; James Ballantine, Esq. of
Castlehill; Charles Mackay, Esq., London; James Campbell, Esq. of

The Rev. Mr CUTHILL of Ayr asked the blessing.

The Earl of EGLINTON, after the usual loyal toasts, rose and spoke as
follows:--Ladies and gentlemen, The subject of the toast which I have
now the honour to bring before your notice, is one of such paramount
importance on this occasion, and is so deeply interesting, not only to
those whom I am addressing, but to all to whom genius is dear, that I
could have wished that it had been committed to more worthy hands; more
especially when I see the great assemblage collected here--the
distinguished persons who grace our board to-day. It is only because I
conceive that my official position renders me the most formal and
fitting, though most inefficient, mouthpiece of the inhabitants of this
county, that I have ventured to present myself before you on this
occasion, and to undertake the onerous, though most gratifying, duty of
proposing, in such an assemblage, the thrilling toast--"The Memory of
Burns." This is not a meeting for the purpose of recreation and
amusement--it is not a banquet at which a certain number of toasts are
placed on paper, which must be received with due marks of
approbation--it is the enthusiastic desire of a whole people to pay
honour to their greatest countryman. It is the spontaneous outpouring of
a nation's feeling towards the illustrious dead, and the wish to extend
the hand of welcome and of friendship to those whom he has left behind.
Here on the very spot where the Poet first drew breath, on the very
ground which his genius has hallowed, beside the Old Kirk which his
verse has immortalized, beneath the monument which an admiring and
repentant people have raised to his memory, we meet after the lapse of
years, to pay our homage at the shrine of genius. The master mind who
has sung the "Isle of Palms"--who has revelled in the immortal
"Noctes"--and who has already done that justice to the memory of Burns
which a brother poet alone can do--Christopher himself is here, anxious
to pay his tribute of admiration to a kindred spirit. The historian who
has depicted, with a Gibbon's hand, the eventful period of the French
empire, and the glorious victories of Wellington, is here--a Clio, as it
were, offering a garland to Erato. The distinguished head of the
Scottish bench is here. In short, every town and every district, every
class and every age, has come forward to pay homage to their poet. The
honest lads whom he so praised, and whose greatest boast it is that they
belong to the land of Burns, are here. The fair lasses whom he so loved
and sung, have flocked hither to justify, by their loveliness, their
poet's words. While the descendant of those who dwelt in the "Castle o'
Montgomerie," feels himself only too highly honoured by being permitted
to propose the memory of him who wandered then unknown along the banks
of Fail. How little could the pious old man who dwelt in yon humble
cottage, when he read the "big ha' bible"--"his lyart haffets wearing
thin and bare"--have guessed that the infant prattling on his knee was
to be the pride and admiration of his country; that that infant was to
be enrolled a chief among the poetic band; that he was to take his place
as one of the brightest planets that glitter round the mighty sun of the
Bard of Avon! In originality second to none, in the fervent expression
of deep feeling, and in the keen perception of the beauties of nature,
equal to any who ever reveled in the bright fairyland of poesy, well may
we rejoice that Burns is our own--well may we rejoice that no other land
can claim to be the birthplace of our Homer except the hallowed spot on
which we stand! Oh! that he could have foreseen the futurity of fame he
has created to himself--oh! that he could have foreseen this day, when
the poet and the historian, the manly and the fair, the peer and the
peasant, vie with each other in paying their tribute of admiration to
the untaught but mighty genius whom we hail as the first of Scottish
poets! It might have alleviated the dreary days of his sojourn at
Mossgiel--it might have lightened the last hours of his pilgrimage upon
earth. And well does he deserve such homage. He who portrayed the
"Cottar's Saturday Night" in strains that are unrivaled in simplicity,
and yet fervour--in solemnity, and in truth--He who breathed forth the
patriotic words which tell of the glories of Wallace, and immortalize
alike the poet and the hero--He who culled inspiration from the modest
daisy, and yet thundered forth the heroic strains of "The Song of
Death"--He who murmured words which appear the very incarnation of
poetry and of love, and yet hurled forth the bitterest shafts of
satire--a Poet by the hand of nature, despising, as it were, the rules
of art, and yet triumphing over those very rules which he set at
nought--at whose name every Scottish heart beats high--whose name has
become a household word in the cottage as in the palace--to whom shall
we pay our homage, of whom shall we be proud, if it is not our own
immortal Burns? But I feel that I am detaining you too long. I feel
that, in the presence of a Wilson and an Alison, I am not a fit person
to dilate upon the genius of Burns. I am but an admirer of the poet like
yourselves. There are those present who are brother poets and kindred
geniuses--men who, like Burns, have gained for themselves a glorious
immortality. To them will I commit the grateful task of more fully
displaying before you, decked out by their eloquence, the excellences of
the poet, the genius of the man, and to welcome his sons to the land of
their father: and I will only ask you, in their presence--on the ground
which his genius has rendered sacred--on the "banks and braes o' bonny
Doon"--to join with me in drinking an overflowing bumper, and giving it
every expression of enthusiasm which you can, to "The Memory of Burns!"

Mr ROBERT BURNS rose along with his brothers, and was received with
enthusiastic cheering. He said--My lord, ladies, and gentlemen, Of
course it cannot be expected, at a meeting such as the present, that the
sons of Burns should expatiate on the merits and genius of their
deceased father. Around them are an immense number of admirers, who, by
their presence here this day, bear a sufficient testimony to the opinion
in which they hold his memory, and the high esteem in which they hold
his genius. In the language of the late Sir Christopher Wren, though
very differently applied, the sons of Burns can say, that to obtain a
living testimony to their father's genius they have only to look around
them. I beg, in name of my aunt, brothers, and myself, to return our
heartfelt and grateful thanks for the honour that has this day been paid
to my father's memory.

PROFESSOR WILSON then rose and said--Were this Festival but to
commemorate the genius of Burns, and it were asked, what need now for
such commemoration, since his fame is coextensive with the literature of
the land, and enshrined in every household? I might answer, that
although admiration of the poet be wide as the world, yet we, his
compatriots, to whom he is especially dear, rejoice to see the universal
sentiment concentered in one great assemblage of his own people: that we
meet in thousands and tens of thousands to honour him, who delights each
single one of us at his own hearth. But this commemoration expresses,
too, if not a profounder, a more tender sentiment; for it is to welcome
his sons to the land he has illustrated, so that we may at once indulge
our national pride in a great name, and gratify in filial hearts the
most pious of affections. There was, in former times, a custom of
crowning great poets. No such ovation honoured our bard, though he too
tasted of human applause, felt its delights, and knew the trials that
attend it. Which would Burns himself have preferred, a celebration like
this in his lifetime, or fifty years after his death? I venture to say,
he would have preferred the posthumous as the finer incense. The honour
and its object are then seen in juster proportion; for death confers an
elevation which the candid soul of the poet would have considered, and
such honour he would rather have reserved for his manes, than have
encountered it with his living infirmities. And could he have foreseen
the day, when they for whom at times he was sorely troubled, should,
after many years of separation, return to the hut where himself was
born, and near it, within the shadow of his monument, be welcomed for
his sake by the lords and ladies of the land; and--dearer thought still
to his manly breast--by the children and the children's children of
people of his own degree, whose hearts he sought to thrill by his first
voice of inspiration; surely had the Vision been sweeter to his soul
than even that immortal one, in which the Genius of the Land bound the
holly round his head, the lyric crown that it will wear for ever.

Of his three Sons sitting here, one only can remember their father's
face--those large lustrous eyes of his, so full of many meanings, as
they darkened in thought, melted in melancholy, or kindled in mirth, but
never turned on his children, or on their excellent mother, but with one
of tender or intense affection. That son may even on this day have
remembrance of his father's head, with its dark clusters not unmixed
with gray, and those eyes closed, lying upon the bed of death. Nor,
should it for a moment placidly appear, is such image unsuitable to this
festival. For in bidding welcome to his sons to their father's land, I
feel that, while you have conferred on me a high honour, you have
likewise imposed on me a solemn duty; and, however inadequately I may
discharge it, I trust that in nought shall I do any violence to the
spirit either of humanity or of truth.

I shall speak reverently of Burns's character in hearing of his sons;
but not even in their hearing must I forget what is due always to
established judgment of the everlasting right. Like all other mortal
beings; he had his faults--great even in the eyes of men--grievous in
the eyes of Heaven. Never are they to be thought of without sorrow, were
it but for the misery with which he himself repented them. But as there
is a moral in every man's life, even in its outward condition
imperfectly understood, how much more affecting when we read it in
confessions wrung out by remorse from the greatly gifted, the gloriously
endowed! But it is not his faults that are remembered here--assuredly
not these we meet to honour. To deny error to be error, or to extenuate
its blame, _that_ makes the outrage upon sacred truth; but to forget
that it exists, or if not wholly so, to think of it along with that
under-current of melancholy emotion at all times accompanying our
meditations on the mixed characters of men--_that_ is not only
allowable, but it is ordered--it is a privilege dear to humanity--and
well indeed might he tremble for himself who should in this be deaf to
the voice of nature crying from the tomb.

And mark how graciously in this does time aid the inclinations of
charity! Its shadows soften what they may not hide. In the distance,
discordances that once jarred painfully on our ears are now
undistinguishable--lost in the music sweet and solemn, that comes from
afar with the sound of a great man's name. It is consolatory to see,
that the faults of them whom their people honour grow fainter and
fainter in the national memory, while their virtues wax brighter and
more bright; and if injustice have been done to them in life, (and who
now shall dare to deny that cruelest injustice was done to Burns?) each
succeeding generation becomes more and more dutiful to the
dead--desirous to repair the wrong by profounder homage. As it is by his
virtues that man may best hope to live in the memory of man, is there
not something unnatural, something monstrous, in seeking to eternize
here below, that of which the proper doom is obscurity and oblivion? How
beneficent thus becomes the power of example! The good that men do then
indeed "lives after them"--all that was ethereal in their being alone
survives--and thus ought our cherished memories of our best men--and
Burns was among our best--to be invested with all consistent
excellences; for far better may their virtues instruct us by the love
which they inspire, than ever could their vices by aversion.

To dwell on the goodnesses of the great shows that we are at least
lovers of virtue--that we may ourselves be aspiring to reach her serene
abodes. But to dwell on their faults, and still more to ransack that we
may record them, _that_ is the low industry of envy, which, grown into a
habit, becomes malice, at once hardening and embittering the heart.
Such, beyond all doubt, in the case of our great poet, was the source of
many "a malignant truth and lie," fondly penned, and carefully corrected
for the press, by a class of calumniators that may never be extinct;
for, by very antipathy of nature, the mean hate the magnanimous, the
groveling them who soar. And thus, for many a year, we heard "souls
ignoble born to be forgot" vehemently expostulating with some puny
phantom of their own heated fancy, as if _it_ were the majestic shade of
Burns evoked from his Mausoleum for contumely and insult.

Often, too, have we been told by persons somewhat presumptuously
assuming the office of our instructors, to beware how we suffer our
admiration of genius to seduce us from our reverence of virtue. Never
cease to remember--has been still their cry--how far superior is moral to
intellectual worth. Nay, they have told us that they are not akin in
nature. But akin they are; and grief and pity 'tis that ever they should
be disunited. But mark in what a hateful, because hypocritical spirit,
such advices as these have not seldom been proffered, till salutary
truths were perverted by misapplication into pernicious falsehoods. For
these malignant counsellors sought not to elevate virtue, but to degrade
genius; and never in any other instance have they stood forth more
glaringly self-convicted of the most wretched ignorance of the nature
both of the one and the other, than in their wilful blindness to so many
of the noblest attributes of humanity in the character of Burns. Both
gifts are alike from heaven, and both alike tend heavenward. Therefore we
lament to see genius soiled by earthly stain; therefore we lament to see
virtue, where no genius is, fall before the tempter. But we, in our own
clear natural perceptions, refuse the counsels of those who with the very
breath of their warning would blight the wreath bound round the heads of
the Muses' sons by a people's gratitude--who, in affected zeal for
religion and morality, have so deeply violated the spirit of both, by
vile misrepresentations, gross exaggerations, and merciless denunciations
of the frailties of our common nature in illustrious men--men who, in
spite of their aberrations, more or less deplorable, from the right path,
were not only in their prevailing moods devout worshippers of virtue, but
in the main tenor or their lives exemplary to their brethren. And such a
man was Burns. In boyhood--youth--manhood--where such peasant as he? And
if in trouble and in trial, from which his country may well turn in
self-reproach, he stood not always fast, yet shame and sin it were, and
indelible infamy, were she not _now_ to judge his life as Christianity
commands. Preyed upon, alas! by those anxieties that pierce deepest into
the noblest hearts--anxieties for the sakes--even on account of the very
means of subsistence--of his own household and his own hearth--yet was he
in his declining, shall we call them disastrous years, on the whole
faithful to the divine spirit with which it had pleased Heaven to endow
him--on the whole obedient to its best inspirations; while he rejoiced to
illumine the paths of poverty with light which indeed was light on
heaven, and from an inexhaustible fancy, teeming to the genial warmth of
the heart in midst of chill and gloom, continued to the very last to
strew along the weary ways of this world flowers so beautiful in their
freshness, that to eyes too familiar with tears they looked as if dropped
from heaven.

These are sentiments with which I rejoice to hear the sympathy of this
great assemblage thus unequivocally expressed--for my words but awaken
thoughts lodged deep in all considerate hearts. For which of us is there
in whom, known or unknown, alas! there is not much that needs to be
forgiven? Which of us that is not more akin to Burns in his fleshly
frailties then in his diviner spirit? That conviction regards not merely
solemn and public celebrations of reverential memory--such as this; it
pervades the tenor of our daily life, runs in our heart's-blood, sits at
our hearths, wings our loftiest dreams of human exaltation. How, on this
earth, could we love, or revere, or emulate, if, in our contemplation of
the human being, we could not sunder the noble, the fair, the gracious,
the august, from the dregs of mortality, from the dust that hangs
perishably about him the imperishable? We judge in love, that in love we
may be judged. At our hearthsides, we gain more than we dared desire, by
mutual mercy; at our hearthsides, we bestow and receive a better love,
by this power of soft and magnanimous oblivion. We are ourselves the
gainers, when thus we honour the great dead. _They_ hear not--_they_
feel not, excepting by an illusion of our own moved imaginations, which
fill up chasms of awful, impassable separation; but _we_ hear--_we_
feel; and the echo of the acclaim which hills and skies have this day
repeated, we can carry home in our hearts, where it shall settle down
into the composure of love and pity, and admiration and gratitude, felt
to be due for ever to our great poet's shade.

In no other spirit could genius have ever dared, in elegies and hymns,
to seek to perpetuate at once a whole people's triumph, and a whole
people's grief, by celebration of king, sage, priest, or poet, gone to
his reward. From the natural infirmities of his meanest subject, what
King was ever free? Against the golden rim that rounds his mortal
temples come the same throbbings from blood in disease or passion
hurrying from heart to brain, as disturb the aching head of the poor
hind on his pallet of straw. But the king had been a guardian, a
restorer, a deliverer; therefore his sins are buried or burned with his
body; and all over the land he saved, generation after generation
continues to cry aloud--"O king, live for ever!" The Sage who, by long
meditation on man's nature and man's life, has seen how liberty rests on
law, rights on obligations, and that his passions must be fettered, that
his will be free--how often has he been overcome, when wrestling in
agony with the powers of evil, in that seclusion from all trouble in
which reverent admiration nevertheless believes that wisdom for ever
serenely dwells! The Servant of God, has he always kept his heart pure
from the world, nor ever held up in prayer other than spotless hands? A
humble confession of his own utter unworthiness would be his reply alike
to scoffer and to him who believes. But, unterrified by plague and
pestilence, he had carried comfort into houses deserted but by sin and
despair; or he had sailed away, as he truly believed for ever, to savage
lands, away from the quiet homes of Christian men--among whom he might
have hoped to lead a life of peace, it may be of affluence and
honour--for his Divine Master's sake, and for sake of them sitting in
darkness and in the shadow of death. Therefore his name dies not, and
all Christendom calls it blest. From such benefactors as these there may
seem to be, but there is not, a deep descent to them who have done their
service by what one of the greatest of them all has called "the vision
and the faculty divine"--them to whom have been largely given the powers
of fancy and imagination and creative thought, that they might move
men's hearts, and raise men's souls, by the reflection of their own
passions and affections in poetry, which is still an inspired speech.
Nor have men, in their judgment of the true Poets, dealt otherwise with
them than with patriot kings, benign legislators, and holy priests.
Them, too, when of the highest, all nations and ages have reverenced in
their gratitude. Whatever is good and great in man's being seems
shadowed in the name of Milton; and though he was a very man in the
storms of civil strife that shook down the throne at the shedding of the
blood of kings, nevertheless, we devoutly believe with Wordsworth, that

    "His soul was like a star, and dwelt apart."

But not of such as he only, who "in darkness, and with danger compassed
round," soared "beyond this visible diurnal sphere," and whose song was
of mercy and judgment, have men wisely resolved to dwell only on what is
pure and high and cognate with their thoughts of heaven. Still, as we
keep descending from height to height in the regions of song, we desire
to regard with love the genius that beautifies wherever it settles down;
and, if pity will steal in for human misfortunes, or for human frailties
reproach, our love suffers no abatement, and religious men feel that
there is piety in pilgrimage to such honoured graves. So feel we now at
this commemoration. For our Poet we now claim the privilege, at once
bright and austere, of death. We feel that our Burns is brought within
the justification of all celebrations of human names; and that, in thus
honouring his memory, we virtuously exercise the imaginative rights of
enthusiasm owned by every people that has produced its great men.

And with a more especial propriety do we claim this justice in our
triumphal celebration of poets, who, like Burns, were led by the
character of their minds to derive the matter and impulse of their song,
in a stricter sense, from themselves. For they have laid bare to all
eyes many of their own weaknesses, at the side of their higher and purer
aspirations. Unreserved children of sincerity, by the very
open-heartedness which is one great cause of their commanding power, and
contagiously diffuses every zealous affection originating in their
nobility of nature--by this grown to excess, made negligent of
instinctive self-defence, and heedless of misconstruction, or overcome
by importunate and clinging temptations--to what charges have they not
been exposed from that proneness to disparaging judgments so common in
little minds! For such judgments are easy indeed to the very lowest
understandings, and regard things that are visible to eyes that may
seldom have commerced with things that are above. But they who know
Burns as we know him, know that by this sometimes unregulated and
unguarded sympathy with all appertaining to his kind, and especially to
his own order, he was enabled to receive into himself all modes of their
simple, but not undiversified life, so that his poetry murmurs their
loves and joys from a thousand fountains. And suppose--which was the
case--that this unguarded sympathy, this quick sensibility, and this
vivid capacity of happiness which the moment brings, and the frankness
of impulse, and the strength of desire, and the warmth of blood, which
have made him what he greatly is, which have been fire and music in his
song, and manhood, and courage, and endurance, and independence in his
life, have at times betrayed or overmastered him--to turn against him
all this self-painting and self-revealing, is it not ungrateful,
barbarous, inhuman? Can he be indeed a true lover of his kind, who would
record in judgment against such a man words that have escaped him in the
fervour of the pleading designed to uphold great causes dear to
humanity?--who would ignobly strike the self-disarmed?--scornfully
insult him who, kneeling at the Muses' confessional, whispers secrets
that take wings and fly abroad to the uttermost parts of the earth? Can
they be lovers of the people who do so? who find it in their hearts thus
to think, and speak, and write of Robert Burns?--He who has reconciled
poverty to its lot, toil to its taskwork, care to its burden--nay, I
would say even--grief to its grave? And by one Immortal Song has
sanctified for ever the poor man's Cot--by such a picture as only
genius, in the inspiring power of piety, could have painted; has given
enduring life to the image--how tender and how true!--of the Happy Night
passing by sweet transition from this worky world into the Hallowed Day,
by God's appointment breathing a heavenly calm over all Christian
regions in their rest--nowhere else so profoundly--and may it never be
broken!--as over the hills and valleys of our beloved, and yet religious

It cannot be said that the best biographers of Burns, and his best
critics, have not done, or desired to do, justice to his character as
well as to his genius; and, according as the truth has been more
entirely and fearlessly spoken, has he appeared the nobler and nobler
man. All our best poets, too, have exultingly sung the worth, while they
mourned the fate of him, the brightest of the brotherhood. But above,
and below, and round about all that they have been uttering, has all
along been heard a voice, which they who know how to listen for it can
hear, and which has pronounced a decision in his favour not to be
reversed; for on earth it cannot be carried to a higher tribunal. A
voice heard of old on great national emergencies, when it struck terror
into the hearts of tyrants, who quaked, and quailed, and quitted for aye
our land before "the unconquered Caledonian spear"--nor, since our union
with noblest England, ever slack to join with her's and fervid Erin's
sons, the thrice-repeated cry by which battle-fields are cleared; but
happier, far happier to hear, in its low deep tone of peace. For then it
is like the sound of distant waterfalls, the murmur of summer woods, or
the sea rolling in its rest. I mean the Voice of the People of
Scotland--the Voice of her Peasantry and her Trades--of all who earn
their bread by the sweat of their brow--her Working Men.

I presume not to draw their character. But this much I will say, that in
the long run they know whom it is fitting they should honour and love.
They will not be dictated to in their choice of the names that with
them shall be household words. Never, at any period of their history,
have they been lightly moved; but, when moved, their meaning was not to
be mistaken; tenacious their living grasp as the clutch of death; though
force may wrench the weapon from their hands, no force can wrench the
worship from their hearts. They may not be conversant with our written
annals; but in our oral traditions they are familiar with historic
truths--grand truths conceived according to the People's idea of their
own national mind, as their hearts have kindled in imagination of heroic
or holy men. Imaginary but real--for we all believe that men as good, as
wise, as brave, have been amongst us as ever fancy fabled for a people's
reverence. What manner of men have been their darlings? It would be hard
to say; for their love is not exclusive--it is comprehensive. In the
national memory live for ever characters how widely different!--with all
the shades, fainter or darker, of human infirmity! For theirs is not the
sickly taste that craves for perfection where no frailties are. They do
not demand in one and the same personage inconsistent virtues. But they
do demand sincerity, and integrity, and resolution, and independence,
and an open front, and an eye that fears not to look in the face of
clay! And have not the grave and thoughtful Scottish people always
regarded with more especial affection those who have struggled with
adversity--who have been tried by temptations from without or from
within--now triumphant, now overcome--but, alike in victory or defeat,
testifying by their conduct that they were animated by no other desire
so steadily as by love of their country and its people's good? Not those
who have been favourites of fortune, even though worthy of the smiles in
which they basked; but those who rose superior to fortune, who could not
frown them down. Nor have they withheld their homage from the
unfortunate in this world of chance and change, if, in abasement of
condition, by doing its duties they upheld the dignity of their own
nature, and looked round them on their honest brethren in poverty with

And how will such a people receive a great National Poet? How did they
receive Burns? With instant exultation. At once, they knew of
themselves, before critics and philosophers had time to tell them, that
a great Genius of their own had risen, and they felt a sudden charm
diffused over their daily life. By an inexplicable law, humour and
pathos are dependent on the same constitution of mind; and in his Poems
they found the very soul of mirth, the very soul of sadness, as they
thought it good with him to be merry, or to remember with him, "that man
was made to mourn." But besides what I have said of them, the people of
Scotland hold in the world's repute--signally so--the name of a
religious people. Many of them, the descendants of the old covenanters,
heirs of the stern zeal which took up arms for the purity of the
national faith--still tinged, it may be, by the breath of the flame that
then passed over the land--retain a certain severity of religious
judgment in questions of moral transgression, which is known to make a
part of hereditary Scottish manners--especially in rural districts,
where manners best retain their stamp. But the sound natural
understanding of the Scottish peasant, I use the liberty to say, admits,
to take their place at the side of one another, objects of his liberal
and comprehensive regard, which might appear, to superficial observation
and shallow judgment, to stand upon such different grounds, as that the
approbation of the one should exclude the admiration of the other. But
not so. Nature in him is various as it is vigorous. He does not, with an
over-jealous scrutiny, vainly try to reduce into seeming consistency
affections spontaneously springing from many sources. Truth lies at the
bottom; and, conscious of truth, he does not mistrust or question his
own promptings. An awful reverence, the acknowledgment of a Law without
appeal or error--Supreme, Sacred, Irresistible--rules in his judgment
of other men's actions, and of his own. Nevertheless, under shelter and
sanction of that rule, he feels, loves, admires, like a man. Religion
has raised and guards in him--it does not extinguish--the natural human
heart. If the martyrs of his worship to him are holy--holy, too, are his
country's heroes. And holy her poets--if such she have--who have
sung--as during his too short life above them all sang Burns--for
Scotland's sake. Dear is the band that ties the humbly educated man to
the true national poet. To many in the upper classes he is, perhaps, but
one among a thousand artificers of amusement who entertain and scatter
the tedium of their idler hours. To the peasant the book lies upon his
shelf a household treasure. There he finds depicted himself--his own
works and his own ways. There he finds a cordial for his drooping
spirits, nutriment for his wearied strength. Burns is his brother--his
helper in time of need, when fretfulness and impatience are replaced
with placidity by his strains, or of a sudden with a mounting joy. And
far oftener than they who know not our peasantry would believe, before
their souls awakened from torpor he is a luminous and benign presence in
the dark hut; for, in its purity and power, his best poetry is felt to
be inspired, and subordinate to the voice of heaven.

And will such a people endure to hear their own Poet wronged? No, no.
Think not to instruct _them_ in the right spirit of judgment. They have
read the Scriptures, perhaps, to better purpose than their revilers, and
know better how to use the lessons learned there, applicable alike to us
all--the lessons, searching and merciful, which proscribe mutual
judgment amongst beings, all, in the eye of absolute Holiness and Truth,
stained, erring, worthless: And none so well as aged religious men in
such dwellings know, from their own experience, from what they have
witnessed among their neighbours, and from what they have read of the
lives of good and faithful servants, out of the heart of what moral
storms and shipwrecks, that threatened to swallow the strong swimmer in
the middle passage of life, has often been landed safe at last, the
rescued worshipper upon the firm land of quiet duties, and of years
exempt from the hurricane of the passions! Thus thoughtfully guided in
their opinion of him, who died young--cut off long before the period
when others, under the gracious permission of overruling mercy, have
begun to redeem their errors, and fortified perhaps by a sacred office,
to enter upon a new life--they will for ever solemnly cherish the memory
of the Poet of the Poor. And in such sentiments there can be no doubt
but that all his countrymen share; who will, therefore rightfully hold
out between Burns and all enemies a shield which clattering shafts may
not pierce. They are proud of him, as a lowly father is proud of an
illustrious son. The rank and splendour attained reflects glory down,
but resolves not, nor weakens one single tie.

Ay, for many a deep reason the Scottish people love their own Robert
Burns. Never was the personal character of poet so strongly and
endearingly exhibited in his song. They love him, because he loved his
own order, nor ever desired for a single hour to quit it. They love him,
because he loved the very humblest condition of humanity, where every
thing good was only the more commended to his manly mind by
disadvantages of social position. They love him, because he saw with
just anger, how much the judgments of "silly coward man" are determined
by such accidents, to the neglect or contempt of native worth. They love
him for his independence. What wonder! To be brought into contact with
rank and wealth--a world inviting to ambition, and tempting to a
thousand desires--and to choose rather to remain lowly and poor, than
seek an easier or a brighter lot, by courting favour from the rich and
great--was a legitimate ground of pride, if any ground of pride be
legitimate. He gave a tongue to this pride, and the boast is inscribed
in words of fire in the Manual of the Poor. It was an exuberant feeling,
as all his feelings were exuberant, and he let them all overflow. But
sometimes, forsooth! he did not express them in sufficiently polite or
courteous phrase! And that too was well. He stood up not for himself
only, but for the great class to which he belonged, and which in his
days--and too often in ours--had been insulted by the pride of superior
station, when unsupported by personal merit, to every bold peasant a
thing of scorn. They love him, because he vindicated the ways of God to
man, by showing that there was more genius and virtue in huts, than was
dreamt of in the world's philosophy. They love him for his truthful
pictures of the poor. Not there are seen slaves sullenly labouring, or
madly leaping in their chains; but in nature's bondage, content with
their toil, sedate in their sufferings, in their recreations full of
mirth--are seen Free Men. The portraiture, upon the whole, is felt by
us--and they know it--to demand at times pity as a due; but challenges
always respect, and more than respect, for the condition which it
glorifies. The Land of Burns! What mean we by the words? Something more,
surely, than that Fortune, in mere blindness, had produced a great poet
here? We look for the inspiring landscape, and here it is; but what
could all its beauties have availed, had not a people inhabited it
possessing all the sentiments, thoughts, aspirations, to which nature
willed to give a voice in him of her choicest melody? Nothing
prodigious, after all, in the birth of such a poet among such a people.
Was any thing greater in the son than the austere resignation of the
father? In his humble compeers there was much of the same tender
affection, sturdy independence, strong sense, self-reliance, as in him;
and so has Scotland been prolific, throughout her lower orders, of men
who have made a figure in her literature and her history; but to Burns
nature gave a finer organization, a more powerful heart, and an ampler
brain, imbued with that mystery we call genius, and he stands forth
conspicuous above all her sons.

From the character I have sketched of the Scottish people, of old and at
this day, it might perhaps be expected that much of their poetry would
be of a stern, fierce, or even ferocious kind--the poetry of bloodshed
and destruction. Yet not so. Ballads enow, indeed, there are, embued
with the true warlike spirit--narrative of exploits of heroes. But many
a fragmentary verse, preserved by its own beauty, survives to prove that
gentlest poetry has ever been the produce both of heathery mountain and
broomy brae; but the names of the sweet singers are heard no more, and
the plough has gone over their graves. And they had their music too,
plaintive or dirge-like, as it sighed for the absent, or wailed for the
dead. The fragments were caught up, as they floated about in decay; and
by him, the sweetest lyrist of them all, were often revivified by a
happy word that let in a soul, or, by a few touches of his genius, the
fragment became a whole, so exquisitely moulded, that none may tell what
lines belong to Burns, and what to the poet of ancient days. They all
belong to him now, for but for him they would have perished utterly;
while his own matchless lyrics, altogether original, find the breath of
life on the lips of a people who have gotten them all by heart. What a
triumph of the divine faculty thus to translate the inarticulate
language of nature into every answering modulation of human speech! And
with such felicity, that the verse is now as national as the music!
Throughout all these exquisite songs, we see the power of an element
which we, raised by rank and education into ignorance, might not have
surmised in the mind of the people. The love-songs of Burns are
prominent in the poetry of the world by their purity. Love, truly felt
and understood, in the bosom of a Scottish peasant, has produced a crowd
of strains which are owned for the genuine and chaste language of the
passion, by highly as well as by lowly born--by cultured and by ruder
minds--that may charm in haughty saloons, not less than under
smoke-blackened roofs. Impassioned beyond all the songs of passion, yet,
in the fearless fervour of remembered transports, pure as hymeneals; and
dear, therefore, for ever to Scottish maidens in hours when hearts are
wooed and won; dear, therefore, for ever to Scottish matrons, who, at
household work, are happy to hear them from their daughters' lips. And
he, too, is the Poet of their friendships. At stanzas instinct with
blythe and cordial amities, more brotherly the grasp of peasant's in
peasant's toil-hardened hands! The kindliness of their nature, not
chilled, though oppressed with care, how ready at his bidding--at the
repeated air of a few exquisite but unsought-for words of his--to start
up all alive! He is the Poet of all their humanities. His Daisy has made
all the flowers of Scotland dear. His moorland has its wild inhabitants,
whose cry is sweet. For sake of the old dumb fellow-servant which his
farmer gratefully addresses on entering on another year of labour, how
many of its kind have been fed or spared? In the winter storm 'tis
useless to think of the sailor on his slippery shrouds; but the "outland
eerie cattle" he teaches his feres to care for in the drifting snow. In
what jocund strains he celebrates their amusements, their recreations,
their festivals, passionately pursued with all their pith by a people in
the business of life grave and determined as if it left no hours for
play! Gait, dress, domicile, furniture, throughout all his poetry, are
Scottish as their dialect; and sometimes, in the pride of his heart, he
rejoices by such nationality to provoke some alien's smile. The sickle,
the scythe, and the flail, the spade, the mattock, and the hoe, have
been taken up more cheerfully by many a toil-worn cottar, because of the
poetry with which Burns has invested the very implements of labour. Now
and then, too, here and there peals forth the clangour of the
war-trumpet. But Burns is not, in the vulgar sense, a military poet; nor
are the Scottish, in a vulgar sense, a military people. He and they best
love tranquil scenes and the secure peace of home. They are prompt for
war, if war be needed--no more. Therefore two or three glorious strains
he has that call to the martial virtue quiescent in their bosoms--echoes
from the warfare of their ancient self-deliverance--menacings--a
prophetical _Nemo me impune lacesset_, should a future foe dare to
insult the beloved soil. So nourishes his poetry all that is tender and
all that is stern in the national character. So does it inspire his
people with pride and contentment in their own peculiar lot; and as
_that_ is at once both poetical and practical patriotism, the poet who
thus lightens and brightens it is the best of patriots.

I have been speaking of Burns as the poet of the country--and his is the
rural, the rustic muse. But we know well that the charm of his poetry
has equal power for the inhabitants of towns and cities. Occupations,
familiar objects, habitual thoughts, are indeed very different for the
two great divisions of the people; but there is a brotherhood both of
consanguinity and of lot. Labour--the hand pledged to constant toil--the
daily support of life, won by its daily wrestle with a seemingly adverse
but friendly necessity--in these they are all commoners with one
another. He who cheers, who solaces, who inspirits, who honours, who
exalts the lot of the labourer, is the poet alike of all the sons of
industry. The mechanic who inhabits a smoky atmosphere, and in whose ear
an unwholesome din from workshop and thoroughfare rings hourly, hangs
from his rafter the caged linnet; and the strain that should gush free
from blossomed or green bough, that should mix in the murmur of the
brook, mixes in and consoles the perpetual noise of the loom or the
forge. Thus Burns sings more especially to those whose manner of life he
entirely shares; but he sings a precious memento to those who walk in
other and less pleasant ways. Give then the people knowledge, without
stint, for it nurtures the soul. But let us never forget, that the mind
of man has other cravings--that it draws nourishment from thoughts,
beautiful and tender, such as lay reviving dews on the drooping fancy,
and are needed the more by him to whom they are not wafted fresh from
the face of nature. This virtue of these pastoral and rural strains to
penetrate and permeate conditions of existence different from those in
which they had their origin, appears wheresoever we follow them. In the
mine, in the dungeon, upon the great waters, in remote lands under fiery
skies, Burns's poetry goes with his countrymen. Faithfully portrayed,
the image of Scotland lives there; and thus she holds, more palpably
felt, her hand upon the hearts of her children, whom the constraint of
fortune or ambitious enterprise carries afar from the natal shores.
Unrepining and unrepentant exiles, to whom the haunting recollection of
hearth and field breathes in that dearest poetry, not with homesick
sinkings of heart, but with home-invigorated hopes that the day will
come when their eyes shall have their desire, and their feet again feel
the greensward and the heather-bent of Scotland. Thus is there but one
soul in this our great National Festival; while to swell the multitudes
that from morning light continued flocking towards old Ayr, till at
mid-day they gathered into one mighty mass in front of Burns's Monument,
came enthusiastic crowds from countless villages and towns, from our
metropolis, and from the great City of the West, along with the sons of
the soil dwelling all round the breezy uplands of Kyle, and in regions
that stretch away to the stormy mountains of Morven.

Sons of Burns! Inheritors of the name which we proudly revere, you claim
in the glad solemnity which now unites us, a privileged and more fondly
affectionate part. To the honour with which we would deck the memory of
your father, your presence, and that of your respected relatives, nor
less that of her sitting in honour by their side, who, though not of his
blood, did the duties of a daughter at his dying bed, give an impressive
living reality; and while we pay this tribute to the poet, whose glory,
beyond that of any other, we blend with the renown of Scotland, it is a
satisfaction to us, that we pour not out our praises in the dull cold
ear of death. Your lives have been past for many years asunder; and now
that you are freed from the duties that kept you so long from one
another, your intercourse, wherever and whenever permitted by your
respective lots to be renewed, will derive additional enjoyment from the
recollection of this day--a sacred day indeed to brothers,
dwelling--even if apart--in unity and peace. And there is one whose
warmest feelings, I have the best reason to know, are now with you and
us, as well on your own account as for the sake of your great parent,
whose character he respects as much as he admires his genius, though it
has pleased Heaven to visit him with such affliction as might well
deaden even in such a heart as his all satisfaction even with this
festival. But two years ago, and James Burnes was the proud and happy
father of three sons, all worthy of their race. One only now survives;
and may he in due time return from India to be a comfort, if but for a
short, a sacred season, to his old age! But Sir Alexander Burnes--a name
that will not die--and his gallant brother have perished, as all the
world knows, in the flower of their life--foully murdered in a barbarous
land. For them many eyes have wept; and their country, whom they served
so faithfully, deplores them among her devoted heroes. Our sympathy may
not soothe such grief as his; yet it will not be refused, coming to him
along with our sorrow for the honoured dead. Such a father of such sons
has far other consolations.

In no other way more acceptable to yourselves could I hope to welcome
you, than by thus striving to give an imperfect utterance to some of the
many thoughts and feelings that have been crowding into my mind and
heart concerning your father. And I have felt all along that there was
not only no impropriety in my doing so, after the address of our Noble
Chairman, but that it was even the more required of me that I should
speak in a kindred spirit, by that very address, altogether so worthy of
his high character, and so admirably appropriate to the purpose of this
memorable day. Not now for the first time, by many times, has he shown
how well he understands the ties by which, in a country like this, men
of high are connected with men of humble birth, and how amply he is
endowed with the qualities that best secure attachment between the
Castle and the Cottage. We rise to welcome you to your Father's land.

Mr ROBERT BURNS replied in the following terms:--My lord, and ladies and
gentlemen, You may be assured that the sons of Burns feel all that they
ought to feel on an occasion so peculiarly gratifying to them, and on
account of so nobly generous a welcome to the Banks of Doon. In whatever
land they have wandered--wherever they have gone--they have invariably
found a kind reception prepared for them by the genius and fame of their
father; and, under the providence of Almighty God, they owe to the
admirers of his genius all that they have, and what competencies they
now enjoy. We have no claim to attention individually--we are all aware
that genius, and more particularly poetic genius, is not hereditary,
and in this case the mantle of Elijah has not descended upon Elisha. The
sons of Burns have grateful hearts, and will remember, so long as they
live, the honour which has this day been conferred upon them by the
noble and the illustrious of our own land, and many generous and kind
spirits from other lands--some from the far West, a country composed of
the great and the free, and altogether a kindred people. We beg to
return our most heartfelt thanks to this numerous and highly respectable
company for the honour which has been done us this day.

Sir JOHN M'NEILL spoke as follows:--My lord, ladies, and gentlemen--We
have now accomplished the main purpose of this assembly. We have done
honour to the memory of Burns, and have welcomed his sons to the land of
their father. After the address--which I may be permitted to call the
address of manly eloquence--which you have heard from our Noble
Chairman; after the oration--which I may be permitted to designate as
solemn and beautiful--which you have heard from our worthy
Vice-chairman--I should be inexcusable were I to detain you long with
the subject which has been entrusted to me. The range of English poetry
is so vast--it is profuse in so many beauties and excellences, and many
of its great names are approached with so much habitual veneration, that
I feel great diffidence and difficulty in addressing you on a subject on
which my opinions can have little weight, and my judgment is no
authority; but to you, whose minds have been stirred with the lofty
thoughts of the Poets of England, and are familiar with their beauties,
nothing is needed to stimulate you to admire that which I am sure has
been the object of your continual admiration, and the subject of your
unfailing delight. We have been sometimes accused of a nationality which
is too narrow and exclusive; but I hope and believe that the accusation
is founded on misapprehension of our feelings. It is true that, as
Scotsmen, we love Scotland above every other spot on earth--that we love
it as our early home, and our father's house. We cherish our feelings of
nationality as we cherish our domestic affections, of which they are in
truth a part. But while we have these feelings, we glory in the might
and the majesty of that great country, with which, for the happiness of
both, we have long been united as one nation. We are proud of the
victories of Cressy, of Agincourt, and of Poictiers, as if they had been
won by our own ancestors. And I may venture to say there is not in this
great assembly one who is not proud that he can claim to be the
countryman of Spenser, and Shakspeare, and Milton, and Wordsworth, and
of every one in that long list of glorious Englishmen, who have shed a
lustre and conferred a dignity upon our language more bright and more
majestic than illuminates and exalts the living literature of any other
land. There is, I think, in the history of the progress of the human
intellect, nothing more surprising than the sudden growth of literature
in England to the summit of its excellence. No sooner had tranquillity
been restored after the long civil wars of the Roses--no sooner had
men's minds been set free to enter the fields of speculation opened up
by the Reformation, than in the short space of the life of one man--than
in the space of seventy years, there arose such men as Spenser, and
Milton, and Shakspeare, and Sydney, and Raleigh, and Bacon, and Hobbes,
and Cudworth, and a whole phalanx of other great men, inferior only to
them in the brightness of original genius. How glorious must have been
the soil which could bring to maturity a harvest of such teeming
abundance! There are probably many among us who can even now remember
with exultation when the first ray of light was cast on their minds from
the genius of Spenser--as the first glimmering of day comes to him whose
sealed eyes are opened to the light of heaven, discovering objects at
first dimly and then more clearly, we at length gazed in wonder and in
joy on a creation vaster far, and far more lovely, than it had entered
into our hearts to conceive. And if, in our maturer years, we return to
live an hour with him in the regions of fairyland that enchanted our
youth--if some of the flowers seem less bright, if the murmur of the
waters is a more pensive sound, if a soberer light pervade the scene,
and if some of the illusions are broken for ever, we still discover in
every stanza beauties which escaped our earlier observation, and we
never lose our relish for that rich play of fancy, like the eastern
fountain, whose spray descends in pearls and in gems. But, above all,
when we look upon him with mature feelings, we can appreciate that lofty
strain of godly philosophy which he, the father of our poetry,
bequeathed, and which has been followed by his successors. When we call
to mind the influence produced on a people by the poetry of a
nation--when we call to mind that whatever is desired to be inculcated,
whether for good or for evil, the power of poetry has been employed to
advance it, even from the times when the Monarch-Minstrel of Israel
glorified his Maker in Psalms, to the latest attempts which have been
made to propagate treason, immorality, or atheism--when we thus think of
these things, we may learn how much of gratitude is due to those men
who, having had the precious ointment of poetic genius poured abundantly
on their heads, have felt and acknowledged that they were thereby
consecrated to the cause of virtue--who have never forgotten that there
was a time when

                     "The sacred name
    Of poet and of prophet was the same."

Such men are Spenser, Milton--such is Wordsworth. Of Milton I shall not
venture to speak. He stands alone in his sanctuary, which I would not
profane even by imperfect praise. But it is my duty to speak of
Wordsworth. Dwelling in his high and lofty philosophy, he finds nothing
that God has made common or unclean--he finds nothing in human society
too humble, nothing in external nature too lowly, to be made the fit
exponents of the bounty and goodness of the Most High. In the loftier
aspirations of such a mind, there must be much that is obscure to every
inferior intelligence; and it may be that its vast expanse can only be
but dimly visible--it may be that the clouds of incense rising from the
altar may veil from common eyes some portion of the stately temple they
perfume; but we pity the man who should therefore close his eyes on a
scene of beauty and sublimity, or turn back from the threshold of the
noble edifice in which he has been invited to survey the majesty of
creative genius, and where he will be taught to find "Books in the
running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in every thing."

    "Blessings be with them, and eternal praise,
    The poets who on earth have made us heirs
    Of truth and pure delight by heavenly lays."

    --"Wordsworth and the Poets of England."

HENRY GLASSFORD BELL, Esq., advocate, said--My lord, I feel it to be a
great distinction and privilege to have been requested to take a part in
the proceedings of this day. It is a day which will not soon pass from
the recollection of those who have partaken in its admirably-conducted
festivities. In assembling to do honour to the memory of Burns, in no
idle or frivolous spirit, but impressed with those elevated emotions
which have so plainly animated the whole of this mighty gathering, we
have a right to feel that we do honour to ourselves as individuals, and
as a nation. Our assembling has been prompted by a love of all that is
purest and best in our national genius, as represented by our national
poet. It has been prompted, too, by that indomitable love of our native
land which Burns felt and sang--a love founded on admiration, which
grows with our growth and strengthens with our strength, of all that
external nature here presents to us--on profound respect for our
inestimable and time-hallowed institutions; and in never-dying delight
in all that kindred spirits have here shared with us--in all that higher
spirits have here achieved for us. No poet ever possessed greater
influence in disseminating and strengthening such sentiments, than
Burns. My lord, it has been well said that wherever an humble artisan,
in the crowded haunts of labour or of trade, feels a consciousness of
his own dignity--is stirred with a desire for the beautiful, or haunted
with a dream of knowledge, or learns to appreciate the distinction
between the "guinea's stamp" and the "gowd," _there_ the royal and
gentle spirit of Robert Burns, lion-like in its boldness, and dove-like
in its tenderness, still glows, elevates, and inspires. This spirit is
also here, and has been evidenced in many ways; perhaps in none more
than in this, that in doing honour to the genius of Burns, we are
irresistibly led to acknowledge, and speak of the debts we owe to the
intellectual achievements of other great minds, not in Scotland only,
but in the sister countries. We have just heard, from the eloquent lips
of Sir John M'Neill, the well-deserved praises of the English bards.
Will this meeting refuse a similar cup of welcome, and of thanks, to the
poets of Green Erin? Will this meeting, where so many bright eyes rain
influence, and manly hearts beat high, not hail with simultaneous
delight the name of one who shines conspicuous as the very poet of
youth, of love, and of beauty--the poet, with deference be it spoken, of
better things than even beauty--of gentle thoughts and exquisite
associations, that give additional sweetness to the twilight hour, and
to the enjoyments of home a more endearing loveliness; the poet, too, of
his own high-souled country, through whose harp the common breeze of
Ireland changes, as it passes, into articulate melody--a harp that will
never be permitted to hang mute on Tara's walls, as long as

    "Erin! the tear and the smile in thine eye
    Blend like the rainbow that melts in thy sky!"

How many voices have to-day murmured a wish that he were here! But the
echo of the acclaim with which we greet the name of Moore will reach him
in his solitude, and he will feel, what Burns died too young to feel,
that it is something worth living for to have gained a nation's
gratitude. Of Maturin and others now dead, I must not pause to speak.
But let me be privileged to express, in name of this meeting, our
respect and admiration for the best of the living dramatists--one deeply
imbued with the spirit of the Elizabethan age--one who has rescued our
stage from the reproach which seemed ready to fall upon it--one to whose
exuberant poetical fertility, and bold originality of thought, we are
indebted for such beautiful creations as "Virginius" and "William Tell,"
the "Hunchback" and the "Love Chase,"--our valued friend, James Sheridan
Knowles. And I might have stopped here, had it not been that I have
to-day seen that not the gifted sons alone, but also some of the gifted
daughters of Ireland, have come as pilgrims to the shrine of Burns; that
one in particular, one of the most distinguished of that fair sisterhood
who give, by their talents, additional lustre to the genius of the
present day, has paid her first visit to Scotland, that she might be
present on this occasion, and whom have myself seen moved even to tears
by the glory of the gathering. She is one who has lately thrown
additional light on the antiquities, manners, scenery, and beautiful
traditions of Ireland--one, whose graceful and truly feminine works are
known to us all, and whom we are proud to see among us--Mrs S. C. Hall.
My lord, feebly and briefly as I have spoken of these great names, I
must not trespass longer on your time, but beg to propose the health of
"Moore and the Irish Poets."

ARCHIBALD ALISON, Esq., Sheriff of Lanarkshire, spoke as follows:--We
have listened with admiration to the eloquent strains in which the first
in rank and the first in genius have proposed the memory of the immortal
bard whose genius we are this day assembled to celebrate; but I know not
whether the toast which I have now to propose, has not equal claims to
our enthusiasm. Your kindness and that of the committee, has intrusted
to me the memory of three illustrious men--the far-famed successors of
Burns, who have drank deep at the fountains of his genius, and proved
themselves the worthy inheritors of his inspiration. And Scotland, I
rejoice to say, can claim them all as her own. For if the Tweed has been
immortalized by the grave of Scott, the Clyde can boast the birthplace
of Campbell, and the mountains of the Dee first inspired the muse of
Byron. I rejoice at that burst of patriotic feeling--I hail it as a
presage, that as Ayrshire has raised a graceful monument to Burns, and
Edinburgh has erected a noble structure to the Author of Waverley, so
Glasgow will ere long raise a worthy tribute to the bard whose name will
never die while Hope pours its balm through the human heart; and
Aberdeen will worthily commemorate the far-famed traveller, who first
inhaled the inspiration of nature amidst the clouds of Loch-nagarr, and
afterwards poured the light of his genius over those lands of the sun
where his descending orb set--

    "Not as in northern climes obscurely bright,
    But one unclouded blaze of living light."

Scotland, my lord, may well be proud of such men, but she can no longer
call these exclusively her own; their names have become household words
in every land. Mankind claims them as the common inheritance of the
human race. Look around us, and we shall see on every side decisive
proofs how far and wide admiration for their genius has sunk in the
hearts of man. What is it that attracts strangers from every part of the
world into this distant land, and has more than compensated a remote
situation and a churlish soil, and given to our own Northern Isle a
splendour unknown to the regions of the sun? What is it which has
brought together this mighty assemblage, and united the ardent and the
generous from every part of the world, from the Ural mountains to the
banks of the Mississippi, on the shores of an island in the Atlantic? My
lord, it is neither the magnificence of our cities, nor the beauty of
our valleys, the animation of our harbours, nor the stillness of our
mountains; it is neither our sounding cataracts, nor our spreading
lakes; neither the wilds of nature we have subdued so strenuously, nor
the blue hills we have loved so well. These beauties, great as they are,
have been equaled in other lands; these marvels, wondrous though they
be, have parallels in other climes. It is the genius of her sons which
has given Scotland her proud pre-eminence; this it is, more even than
the shades of Bruce, of Wallace, and of Mary, which has rendered her
scenes classic ground to the whole civilized world, and now brings
pilgrims from the most distant parts of the earth, as on this day, to
worship at the shrine of genius.

    "Yet Albyn! yet the praise be thine,
    Thy scenes with story to combine;
    Thou bid'st him who by Roslin strays
    List to the tale of other days.
    Midst Cartlane crags thou showest the cave,
    The refuge of thy champion brave;
    Giving each rock a storied tale,
    Pouring a lay through every dale;
    Knitting, as with a moral band,
    Thy story to thy native land;
    Combining thus the interest high
    Which genius lends to beauty's eye!"

But, my lord, the poet who conceived those beautiful lines, has himself
done more than all our ancestors' valour to immortalize the land of his
birth; for he has united the interest of truth with the charms of
fiction, and peopled the realm not only with the shadows of time, but
the creations of genius. In those brilliant creations, as in the glassy
wave, we behold mirrored the lights, the shadows, the forms of reality;
and yet

    "So pure, so fair, the mirror gave,
    As if there lay beneath the wave,
    Secure from trouble, toil, and care,
    A world than earthly world more fair."

Years have rolled on, but they have taken nothing, they have added much
to the fame of those illustrious men.

    "Time but the impression deeper makes,
    As streams their channels deeper wear."

The voice of ages has spoken: it has given Campbell and Byron the
highest place with Burns in lyric poetry, and destined Scott

    "To rival all but Shakspeare's name below."

Their names now shine in unapproachable splendour, far removed, like the
fixed stars, from the clouds and the rivalry of a lower world. To the
end of time they will maintain their exalted station. Never will the
cultivated traveller traverse the sea of Archipelago, that the "Isles of
Greece, the Isles of Greece," will not recur to his recollection; never
will he approach the shores of Loch Katrine, that the image of Ellen
Douglas will not be present to his memory; never will he gaze on the
cliffs of Britain, that he will not thrill at the exploits of the
"Mariners of England, who guard our native seas." Whence has arisen this
great, this universally acknowledged celebrity? My lord, it is hard to
say whether we have most to admire the brilliancy of their fancy or the
creations of their genius, the beauty of their verses or the magic of
their language, the elevation of their thoughts or the pathos of their
conceptions. But there is one whose recent death we all deplore, but who
has lighted "the torch of Hope at nature's funeral pile," who has gained
a yet higher inspiration. In Campbell it is the moral purposes to which
he has directed his mighty powers which is the real secret of his
success, the lofty objects to which he has devoted his life, which have
proved his passport to immortality. It is because he has unceasingly
contended for the best interests of humanity, because he has ever
asserted the dignity of the human soul, because he has never forgotten
that amidst all the distinctions of time,

    "The rank is but the guinea stamp,
    The man's the gowd for a' that."

Because he has regarded himself as the high-priest of Nature, and the
world which we inhabit as the abode not merely of human care and human
joys, but as the temple of the living God, in which praise is due, and
where service is to be performed.--"The memory of Scott, Byron, and

WILLIAM E. AYTOUN, Esq., advocate, said--We are met here to-day not only
to pay due honour to the memory of that bard whose genius has
consecrated this spot, and the scenes around it, as classic ground for
ever, but for a wider, a more important, and even a more generous
purpose. I look upon this assemblage as a great national gathering--a
meeting not only of the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland, but of
kindly strangers also, to testify our reverence and affection for the
living lights of fame that are still burning amongst us, and our undying
gratitude and exultation for those who have already passed away. Thus,
though they belong to the sister countries, we have paid due homage to
the venerable name of Wordsworth and to the sparkling genius of Moore.
Thus the heart of every one that hears me burned within him--am I not
right?--when we saw our own noble Wilson rise amidst us, and heard him,
with an eloquence the most pure--for it flowed spontaneously from his
soul--speak, as perhaps no other man could speak, of the genius of the
immortal dead. Thus, too, we have heard the tribute so touchingly paid
to Campbell, who now sleeps among the sages, and the statesmen, and the
warriors, and the poets of famous England; and to him who has a happier
and a holier sepulture still--for he lies within the bosom of his own
dear native land--to Scott, the master-spirit of the age, for whom we
well may mourn, since we dare not hope to look upon his like again! I
have now, in a few words, to entreat your patience whilst I speak of two
other Scottish poets whose memory is yet green amongst us--both reared,
like Robert Burns, at the lowly hearth of the peasant--both pursuing,
like him, through every discouragement and difficulty, the pathway
towards honourable renown--and both the authors of strains which bear
the stamp of immortality. And first, let me allude to one of them whom I
knew and dearly loved. Who is there that has not heard of the Ettrick
Shepherd--of him whose inspiration descended as lightly as the breeze
that blows along the mountain side--who saw, amongst the lonely and
sequestered glens of the south, from eyelids touched with fairy
ointment, such visions as are vouchsafed to the minstrel alone--the
dream of sweet Kilmeny, too spiritual for the taint of earth? I shall
not attempt any comparison--for I am not here to criticise--between his
genius and that of other men, on whom God in his bounty has bestowed the
great and the marvellous gift. The songs and the poetry of the Shepherd
are now the nation's own, as indeed they long have been; and amidst the
minstrelsy of the choir who have made the name of Scotland and her
peasantry familiar throughout the wide reach of the habitable world the
clear wild notes of the Forest will for ever be heard to ring. I have
seen him many times by the banks of his own romantic Yarrow; I have sat
with him in the calm and sunny weather by the margin of Saint Mary's
Lake; I have seen his eyes sparkle and his cheek flush as he spoke out
some old heroic ballad of the days of the Douglas and the Græme, and I
have felt, as I listened to the accents of his manly voice, that whilst
Scotland could produce amongst her children such men as him beside me,
her ancient spirit had not departed from her, nor the star of her glory
grown pale! For he was a man, indeed, cast in nature's happiest mould.
True-hearted, and brave, and generous, and sincere; alive to every
kindly impulse, and fresh at the core to the last, he lived among his
native hills the blameless life of the shepherd and the poet; and on the
day when he was laid beneath the sod in the lonely kirkyard of Ettrick,
there was not one dry eye amongst the hundreds that lingered round his
grave. Of the other sweet singer, too--of Allan Cunningham, the
leal-hearted and kindly Allan--I might say much; but why should I detain
you further? Does not his name alone recall to your recollection many a
sweet song that has thrilled the bosom of the village maiden with an
emotion that a princess need not blush to own? Honour, then, to the
poets!--whether they speak out loud and trumpet-tongued, to find
audience in the hearts of the great, and the mighty, and the brave--or
whether, in lowlier and more simple accents, but not less sacred in
their mission, they bring comfort and consolation to the poor. As the
sweep of the rainbow, which has its arch in heaven, and its shafts
resting upon the surface of the earth--as the sunshine which falls with
equal bounty upon the palace and the hut--is the all-pervading and
universal spirit of poetry; and what less can we do to those men who
have collected and scattered it around us, than to hail them as the
benefactors of their race? That has been the purpose of our gathering,
and we have held it in a fitting spot. Proud, indeed, may be the
district that can claim within herself the birthplaces of Burns and of
Cunningham; and proud may we all be--and we are proud, from yourself, my
lord, to the humblest individual who bore a part in the proceedings of
this memorable day--that we have the opportunity of testifying our
respect to the genius that will defy the encroachment of time: and which
has shed, and will continue to shed, a splendour and a glory around the
land that we love so well! My lord, I am honoured in having to propose
"The memory of the Ettrick Shepherd, and of Allan Cunningham."

Sir D. H. BLAIR, Bart., of Blairquhan, said--My Lord Eglinton and
gentlemen, I have been requested to give the next toast, which I very
much wish had fallen into abler hands. It is a toast, my lord, that is
as well calculated to call forth enthusiastic bursts of eloquence as any
we have listened to with such delight to-day; but as on that account I
feel quite unable to do it adequate justice, I must trust to that
acclamation by which I am confident it will be received, without any
effort on my part. We all recollect the words of our immortal bard,
when, in alluding to the manner in which nature had finished this fair
creation, he says--

    "Her 'prentice han' she tried on man,
    And then she made the lasses O!"

I am sure every man in this assembly will join me in an enthusiastic
bumper to the health of the "Countess of Eglinton, and the ladies who
have honoured this meeting with their presence."

Colonel MURE of Caldwell, said--In obedience to the order of our noble
chairman, I have to request a bumper to the Peasantry of Scotland. In
order justly to appreciate the claims of this most estimable class of
our fellow-citizens upon our sympathies, I must remind you that to it
pre-eminently belongs the honour of having given birth to the remarkable
man whose memory we are this day met to celebrate. I must remind you,
that while the fact of Burns having raised himself from the rank of a
Scottish ploughman, by the innate force of heaven-born genius, to the
level of the greatest and most original poets of any age or country, is
the noblest feature of his history, the peasantry of Scotland, in their
turn, may be entitled to feel pride, even in the presence of the
proudest nobles of their land, when they remember that from them, and
not from the privileged orders of society, our greatest national genius
was destined to arise. And, in fact, the most striking, and perhaps the
most valuable feature in the poetical character of Burns, is the marked
ascendancy which the spirit and habits of the peasant, the genius of the
man, as it were, continued to exercise on the genius of the poet, even
during the most brilliant periods of his subsequent career. Even amid
that rich variety of subjects, in the treatment of which his instinctive
refinement and delicacy of taste enabled him to combine, with all the
higher powers of the man, the courtly graces of the gentleman and
scholar--still his happiest effort, the masterpiece of his genius, in
which his own mind is displayed in the most agreeable light, and his
inspiration breathes forth with the greatest brilliancy and beauty, will
be found to be dictated by the associations of his early rustic days.
When I reflect, therefore, how copious, how graphic, how true are his
own descriptions of the character of the Scottish peasantry, in all its
varieties of grave or of gay, of light or of shadow, I cannot but feel
it is a sort of presumption to offer in a company, who must be all so
familiar with these descriptions, any crude remark of my own, on the
more interesting features of those to which they refer. I shall,
however, do my best to season the few comments which I am in some degree
bound to offer on the subject allotted to me, by taking the poet's works
as my text-book. Were I called upon, therefore, to name the virtues of
our peasantry, which chiefly claim our respect and admiration, I should
point first to their industry, frugality, and contentment, as those
which prominently adorn their own class of society above all others, and
also to their piety and their patriotism, as shared, I would fain hope
equally, or at least largely, by the mass of our fellow-citizens. Where,
then, shall we find a more spirited picture of the influence and effects
of the three former qualities--above all, of that most inestimable
blessing, contentment--than in the brilliant little poem which bears the
humble title of the "Twa Dogs," where, after so graphically describing
the honest toils, often the severe hardships, inseparable from the
peasant's lot, he goes on to say, that yet

    "They're nae sae wretched's ane wad think,
    Though constantly on poortith's brink;
    They're sae accustom'd wi' the sight,
    The view of it gi'es little fright;
    And how it comes I never kent yet,
    They're maistly wonderfu' contented;
    And buirdly chiels and clever hizzies
    Are bred in such a way as this is."

But where are we, after all, to look for the source of this beautiful
attribute of contentment? Is it not in the still more admirable one of
their piety? It is here almost superfluous to make any close appeal to
our poet's authority--to that most sublime description, so familiar to
you all, where the old peasant on the Saturday night collects his
scattered family, at the close of the long week's labour, around his
humble but happy cottage fireside, and, after a few sweet but
hard-earned hours of social enjoyment, instils, before retiring to
repose, from the open Word of God, into their minds those lessons of
Divine wisdom which were to guide them during the next week, and through
life, in the paths of religion and virtue. Are not such scenes to this
day common in our cottages, still, as of old, I firmly believe, the
favourite abodes of the genuine spirit of simple Scottish piety? Then as
to the last, if not the least, in the above list of the virtues of our
peasants--their patriotism. To whom, I would ask, but to the peasantry
of Scotland, does our poet so beautifully appeal as having bled with
Wallace? To whom, but to our peasantry, did our national hero look--and
never look in vain--for support in his gallant effort to restore the
fallen fortunes of his country, at the period when our doughty knights
and nobles--happily but for a season--had been reduced, by the intrigues
or intimidation of our powerful enemy, to crouch submissive beneath the
throne of his usurpation. And can we doubt that this proud spirit of
patriotism still burns as warm in their hearts as then, if no longer, by
God's blessing, so fearfully or so desperately called into action; or
that when after, as our poet again has it,

    "They lay aside their private cares
    To mind the Kirk and State affairs
    They'll talk of patronage and priests
    Wi' kindling fury in their breasts,
    Or tell what new taxation's coming,
    And ferlie at the folks in Lunnan."

But I have already detained you too long--if not longer than the
interest of the subject, at least than my power of doing justice to it
entitles me. I shall therefore conclude by pronouncing a grace over our
bumper, also supplied from the stores of the Poet, and the sentiments of
which every one here present, I am sure, will cordially sympathize--

    "O Scotia! my dear, my native soil,
    For whom my warmest wish to Heaven is sent,
    Long may thy hardy sons of rustic toil
    Be blest with health, and peace, and sweet content."

Sir JAMES CAMPBELL of Glasgow said--In proposing the toast with which I
have been entrusted, I shall content myself by simply expressing my deep
regret that, under any circumstances, I could so inadequately express my
own sentiments and feelings of admiration--in all the acceptations of
that word--of "the Land of Burns." I am aware, however, that I have the
honour of addressing an assemblage who can appreciate, who do
appreciate, and who, by their appearance here, and the interest so many
of them have taken in the proceedings and associations of this day, give
ample proof of their high estimation of, and attachment to, "the Land of
Burns." I am aware, also, that I have the honour to address not a few of
those who have, with the pencil or with the pen, done homage to the
classical, patriotic, and poetical claims of that land. I feel
satisfied, indeed, that there is not an individual in this most
interesting and splendid assemblage, who does not greatly prize and
admire the fertile soil and landscape beauty of that land; whose bosom
glows not with an honest pride at the intelligence, enterprise, and
patriotism of the men of that land; and, above all, who does not honour
and admire the beauty and accomplishments of the ladies of that land.
And therefore is it, my lord, that, without further preface, I would
call upon this assembly to dedicate a bumper to "The Land of Burns."

Lord EGLINTON said--Ladies and Gentlemen, Except the toast which I have
had the honour and happiness of bringing before you to-day, there is not
one which gives me greater pleasure to see committed to my charge than
that which I am now about to bring before your notice--I mean the
"Provost and Magistrates of Ayr;" and along with it, though not down on
the card, my feelings will not allow me to leave out the Interests of
Ayr. On such an occasion as this, and so late in the day, I will not
occupy your time by dilating on the interest which I feel in that Town,
or of the knowledge which I have of the Provost and the Magistrates.
From that knowledge I feel convinced that the interests of Ayr could not
be placed in more worthy hands. In addition to the respect felt towards
them as the Magistrates of the County Town, we all feel gratitude to
them for the assistance, support, and countenance, they have given to
our proceedings on this occasion.

Provost MILLER said--Permit me to return my best thanks, on behalf of my
colleagues and myself, for the flattering compliment which has just been
paid to them. The manner in which the toast was introduced by the noble
lord was particularly gratifying to me; and I am sure it will be
appreciated by the entire corporation. I beg to assure the noble lord
that the recognition of "Auld Ayr" at a meeting so peculiarly
interesting as the present, and combining, as it does, so much of the
rank, talent, and worth of the land, will be highly appreciated by the
"honest men and bonnie lasses" for which it has been characterized by
the immortal bard in honour of whose memory we are this day met.

The LORD JUSTICE-GENERAL rose amidst much applause. He said--Ladies and
gentlemen, after the uncommon success which has attended every part of
the proceedings at this meeting to-day, I am confident that I anticipate
the unanimous concurrence of this great assembly I have now the honour
to address, when I state that there appears, in addition to many toasts
drunk with so much enthusiasm, one that remains as a debt of gratitude
due by this assembly. I consider it a most fortunate circumstance
attending this meeting, that we have been presided over by the Noble
Lord in the chair. I am sure that the most enthusiastic admirers of
Burns must be gratified in thinking that the proceedings of this day
have been conducted by my noble friend in so admirable a manner. Every
person must be satisfied that it was impossible the proceedings of this
day could have been commenced in a happier strain. Without further
comment, I beg leave to propose that we drink the health of our
excellent Chairman.

Lord EGLINTON, in reply, said--My Lord Justice, and ladies and
gentlemen, I assure you I feel most deeply grateful to you for the
honour you have paid me, as I always ought to be when my health is
proposed and drunk at a meeting of Scotchmen. But I assure you I never
felt more deeply grateful, or more highly sensible of that honour, than
I do at the present moment, when my health is proposed by such a man as
the Lord Justice-General, and when it has been received--and, I am proud
to say, enthusiastically received--by an assemblage met for such a
purpose as to do honour to the memory of our greatest poet. But,
gentlemen, I will not at this late hour of the day, and in a temple, as
it were, dedicated to the Muses--I will not occupy your time by
returning thanks for drinking the health of one who has no merit. But,
before we part, there is a toast which claims our especial
consideration--"the health of Professor Wilson." Had it not been for the
modesty of the Professor, it ought to have been proposed at a much
earlier part of the evening. On such an occasion as this, when we have
met from all parts of Scotland, to do honour to the memory of the
greatest genius Scotland ever knew, it surely is not only proper, but
our bounden duty, to drink the health of the greatest genius which
Scotland possesses now. The memories of others have been drunk to-night,
and have been received with that deep feeling which Scotchmen feel
towards the memory of genius, but the toast which I am now proposing is
one which has this additional merit, that the subject of it is alive and
hearty, and able to continue, as you have heard to-day, in that career
which has hitherto so much delighted his countrymen. In the presence of
Professor Wilson I cannot dilate, as I could wish to do, on the
character of that gentleman. I will only ask you to drink with me his
health in a way that will show that you can pay honour to genius alive,
as you can do honour to departed worth.

Professor WILSON rose and simply bowed his acknowledgments.

The Earl of EGLINTON then rose and said--Ladies and Gentlemen,

    "Nae man can tether time nor tide;
    The hour approaches--Tam maun ride."

This brought the proceedings to a close.

We have thought it due--not less to the character of the meeting than to
the sincere and fervid eloquence of the speakers--to place upon our
pages an authentic record of the whole proceedings of the day. This
"great national gathering," as it was aptly denominated, must be of
enduring and not ephemeral interest, and will be remembered, and spoken
of, and quoted, long after events of greater apparent importance have
passed away into oblivion. The outpourings of a nation's heart are
immortal. The tributes that were paid, in the ages long since gone by,
to the poets of Greece and of Italy, have outlived the most enduring
monuments of marble, and we dare not hesitate now to recognise a triumph
which will be as everlasting as theirs.

We feel that little comment is necessary upon the various addresses that
are given above. But we should not be justified--and no man who was
there that day would forgive us--if we passed over in silence the manly
and distinguished manner in which Lord Eglinton discharged the duties of
the chair. Scotland, as we have already had occasion to say, is proud,
and justly so, of her aristocracy; but there is not one of them all,
through the whole length and breadth of the land, to whom she can point
more exultingly than to this young nobleman. His opening address would
have done honour to one long trained in the schools of oratory, and that
was its smallest merit. The emphatic and earnest tone of admiration in
which he spoke of the peasantry of his country--his generous and
touching allusions to Burns in his earlier years, to what he had done
and suffered, and to the honours so long withheld, and now so
brilliantly conferred--and the patriotic fervour which pervaded his
whole address--carried along with him not only the applauses, but the
hearts of the whole assemblage. Lord Eglinton may well look back with
pride and satisfaction to the proceedings of that day; for he has
secured the affections of thousands who already respected his name.

Of the other speeches, eloquent and impressive as they were, we
shall--with only one exception--speak collectively; and the highest
praise we can give is to say, that they were every way worthy of the
occasion, of the subjects which they celebrated, and of the men by whom
they were uttered. There was a delicate propriety in the feeling which
excluded from the list of toasts the names of the living poets, with the
great and glorious exceptions of Wordsworth and Moore, now beyond all
cavil at the head of the literature of their respective countries. Their
presence, though ardently hoped for, was hardly to be expected on this
occasion; for their advanced years, and the distant journey they must
have undertaken, were serious obstacles; but their apologetic letters,
full of deep feeling and sympathy, were received, and the reception
which greeted their names, showed the respect and love which the
Scottish people entertain for the greatness and universality of their
fame. Deep also and thrilling was the emotion evinced at the mention of
the illustrious dead, who have passed away into their graves in the
fulness and maturity of their fame. Strange and powerful is the spell
which lies in the mere plain utterance of their names! Scott, and Byron,
and Campbell, (just laid in the noblest mausoleum of the world,) the
Ettrick Shepherd, and Allan Cunningham--what names for a country to
record in its annals, in the brief space of one generation!

But the speech to which all looked forward with the utmost expectation
and anxiety, was that of Professor Wilson. His zeal in the cause of
Burns, his earnest and reiterated defence of his reputation, were so
well known, that on this occasion, when the balance might be held as
finally struck, and when the nation, by its own voluntary act, had
recognized the position which its poet, through all time coming must
maintain, it would have been felt as a vast and serious omission if the
last elegy had not been uttered by the greatest vindicator of his fame.
It _was_ so uttered, and none but those who listened to that address can
conceive the effect which it produced. Elsewhere than in these pages we
should assuredly have attempted some comment upon it. As it is, we shall
borrow an opinion of the provincial press, from the pen, we believe, of
the Editor of the _Dumfries-shire Herald_, Mr Aird, himself a spectator
of the scene, and a man of high intellect and imagination, whose remarks
we have been led to adopt, not from the eulogy they contain, but from
their just and reverential truth:--

"The remarkable speech of the day was Professor Wilson's. Since the time
when in his 'bright and shining youth' he walked seventy miles to be
present at a Burns' meeting, and electrified it with a new and peculiar
fervour of eloquence, such as had never been heard among us before, how
manifold, how multiform have been this man's generous vindications of
our great Bard! Now broad in humour; now sportive and playful; now
sarcastic, scornful, and searching; now calmly philosophic in criticism;
now thoughtful and solemn, large of reverent discourse, 'looking before
and after,' with all the sweetest by-plays of humanity, with every
reconciling softness of charity--such, in turns, and in quickest
intermingled tissue of the ethereal woof, have been the many
illustrations which this large-minded, large-hearted Scotchman, in whose
character there is neither corner nor cranny, has poured in the very
prodigality of his affectionate abundance around and over the name and
the fame of Robert Burns. It became him--and he knew it--that on this
great and consummating occasion, so full of reconcilement betwixt human
frailty and human worth, his address, on which so much expectation
waited, should be a last SOLEMN REQUIEM over the grave of the
illustrious dead, pronounced not merely to the congregation of the day,
but to mankind in general, and to every future age. With those long,
heart-drawn, lingering, slow-expiring tones, solemn as a cathedral
chant, the whole of this sacred piece of service (for we can call it
nothing else) was to us like some mournful oratorio by Mozart, soft at
once and sublime. Some might be disappointed that they heard nothing on
this occasion of the varied play of Christopher North; but the heart of
Scotland, in its calm retirement, will appreciate this holy oration, as
worthily hallowing and sanctifying her meeting."

The proceedings in that Pavilion were a just and fitting conclusion to
the splendid jubilee of the day. Some no doubt were absent, whom the
public would gladly have seen there; for, on an occasion like this, the
general wish must have been, that all the greatness, and talent, and
learning of the land should have united in the National Festival. But
that absence, though regretted, did not, in any degree, lessen the
enthusiasm. Indeed, as we looked around the meeting, and saw, unelevated
to any conspicuous place, Delta, and Chambers, and Ferrier, and a
hundred other distinguished men, not only content, but proud to bear
testimony by their simple presence to the genuine purpose of the
assembly, it was hardly possible to wish for more. Every individual
feeling was merged in the common desire, that the day should be
consecrated to its own peculiar object; and consecrated it was, if
unanimity, and eloquence, and tears, and the outpouring of all that is
lofty, and generous, and sincere, can consecrate aught on earth--where
error and frailty must abide, but where the judgment of man in his
weakness, may not, and dare not, usurp the functions of the All-seeing
and Eternal Judge.

And now we close the hasty record of a scene that will be remembered so
long as Scotland is a nation. Some there may be--for there are malignant
and jaundiced spirits every where--who may sneer at the solemnities we
have witnessed; and it is well that they should do so, for the praise of
such men is no honour--far better that it should be withheld. We
conclude by again adopting the language of Mr Aird, which leaves no word

"Such has been the tribute of a country to her national poet. She
furnished him with the rich materials of his song--with her dear
victories set in blood; with the imperishable memory of her
independence; with the character of her sons and daughters, simple as
water, but strong as the waterfall; with her snatches of old-world
minstrelsy, surely never composed by mortal man, but spilt from the
overflowing soul of sorrow and gladness; with her music, twin-born, say
rather one with her minstrelsy; with her fairy belief, the most
delicately beautiful mythology in the history of the human mind, and
strangely contrasted with the rugged character of her people, a people
of sturt and strife; with her heroic faith; with the graves of her
headless martyrs, in green shaw or on grim moor, visited by many a slip
of sunshine streaming down from behind the cloud in the still autumnal
afternoon. These, and all the other priceless elements of 'the auld
Scottish glory,' he--the national bard--compacted and crystallized into
a Poetry which, by innumerable points of sympathetic contact, carries
back into the national heart, by ever-conducting issue, the thoughts and
feelings which itself first gave forth to his plastic genius; and thus
there is an eternal interchange of cause and effect, to the perpetuation
and propagation of patriotism, and all that constitutes national spirit
and character.

"THEREFORE it was fitting that such a national tribute should be paid to
such a national benefactor."




    Stir the beal-fire, wave the banner,
    Bid the thundering cannon sound--
    Rend the skies with acclamation,
    Stun the woods and waters round--
    Till the echoes of our gathering
    Turn the world's admiring gaze
    To this act of duteous homage
    Scotland to her poet pays.
    Fill the banks and braes with music,
    Be it loud and low by turns--
    This we owe the deathless glory,
    That the hapless fate of Burns.


    Born within the lowly cottage
    To a destiny obscure,
    Doom'd through youth's exulting spring-time
    But to labour and endure--
    Yet Despair he elbow'd from him;
    Nature breathed with holy joy,
    In the hues of morn and evening,
    On the eyelids of the boy;
    And his country's Genius bound him
    Laurels for his sun-burn'd brow,
    When inspired and proud she found him,
    Like Elisha, at the plough.


    On, exulting in his magic,
    Swept the gifted peasant on--
    Though his feet were on the greensward,
    Light from heaven around him shone;
    At his conjuration, demons
    Issued from their darkness drear;
    Hovering round on silver pinions,
    Angels stoop'd his songs to hear;
    Bow'd the Passions to his bidding,
    Terror gaunt, and Pity calm;
    Like the organ pour'd his thunder,
    Like the lute his fairy psalm.


    Lo, when clover-swathes lay round him,
    Or his feet the furrow press'd,
    He could mourn the sever'd daisy,
    Or the mouse's ruin'd nest;
    Woven of gloom and glory, visions
    Haunting throng'd his twilight hour;
    Birds enthrall'd him with sweet music,
    Tempests with their tones of power;
    Eagle-wing'd his mounting spirit
    Custom's rusty fetters spurn'd;
    Tasso-like, for Jean he melted
    Wallace-like, for Scotland burn'd!


    Scotland!--dear to him was Scotland,
    In her sons and in her daughters,
    In her Highlands,--Lowlands,--Islands,--
    Regal woods, and rushing waters;--
    In the glory of her story,
    When her tartans fired the field,--
    Scotland! oft betray'd--beleagur'd--
    Scotland! never known to yield!
    Dear to him her Doric language,--
    Thrill'd his heart-strings at her name;--
    And he left her more than rubies,
    In the riches of his fame.


    Sons of England!--Sons of Erin!
    Ye who, journeying from afar,
    Throng with us the shire of Coila,
    Led by Burns's guiding star--
    Proud we greet you--ye will join us,
    As, on this triumphant day,
    To the champions of his genius
    Grateful thanks we duly pay--
    Carlyle--who his bones to save
    From the wolfish fiend, Detraction,
    Couch'd like lions round his grave.


    Daughter of the poet's mother!
    Here we hail thee with delight;
    Shower'd be every earthly blessing
    On thy locks of silver white!--
    Sons of Burns, a hearty welcome,
    Welcome home from India's strand,
    To a heart-loved land far dearer,
    Since your glorious Father's land:--
    Words are worthless--look around you--
    Labour'd tomes far less could say
    To the sons of such a father,
    Than the sight of such a day!


    Judge not ye, whose thoughts are fingers,
    Of the hands that witch the lyre--
    Greenland has its mountain icebergs,
    Ætna has its heart of fire;
    Calculation has its plummet;
    Self-control its iron rules;
    Genius has its sparkling fountains;
    Dulness has its stagnant pools;
    Like a halcyon on the waters,
    Burns's chart disdain'd a plan--
    In his soarings he was heavenly,
    In his sinkings he was man.


    As the sun from out the orient
    Pours a wider, warmer light,
    Till he floods both earth and ocean,
    Blazing from the zenith's height;
    So the glory of our poet,
    In its deathless power serene,
    Shines--as rolling time advances--
    Warmer felt, and wider seen:
    First Doon's banks and braes contain'd it,
    Then his country form'd its span;
    Now the wide world is its empire,
    And its throne the heart of man.


    Home returning, each will carry
    Proud remembrance of this day,
    When exulted Scotland's bosom
    Homage to her bard to pay;--
    When our jubilee to brighten,
    Eglinton with Wilson vied,
    Wealth's regards and Rank's distinctions
    For the season set aside;
    And the peasant, peer, and poet,
    Each put forth an equal claim,
    For the twining of his laurel
    In the wreath of Burns's fame!

       *       *       *       *       *

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

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 347, September, 1844" ***

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