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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 61, No. 380, June, 1847
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 61, No. 380, June, 1847" ***

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generously made available by The Internet Library of Early
Journals.)



BLACKWOOD'S

EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

No. CCCLXXX. JUNE, 1847. Vol. LXI.



NORTH AMERICA, SIBERIA, AND RUSSIA.[A]


The circumnavigation of the world is now a matter of ordinary occurrence
to our bold mariners: and after a few years it will be a sort of summer
excursion to our steamers. We shall have the requisitions of the
Travellers' Club more stringent as the sphere of action grows wider; and
no man will be eligible who has not paid a visit to Pekin, or sunned
himself in Siam.

But a circuit of the globe on _terra firma_ is, we believe, new. Sir
George Simpson will have no competitor, that we have ever heard, to
claim from him the honour of having first galloped right a-head--from
the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from the Pacific to the British
Channel. One or two slight divergencies of some thousand miles down the
smooth and sunny bosom of the Pacific, are to be reckoned as mere
episodes: but Sir George soon recovers his course, plunges in through
the regions of the polar star; defies time, trouble, and Tartary;
marches in the track of tribes, of which all but the names have expired;
follows the glories of conquerors, whose bones have mingled five hundred
years ago with the dust of the desert; gives a flying glance on one side
towards the Wall of China, and on the other towards the Arctic Circle;
still presses on, till he reaches the confines of the frozen
civilisation of the Russian empire; and sweeps along, among bowing
governors and prostrate serfs,--still but emerging from barbarism--until
he does homage to the pomp of the Russian court, and finally lands in
the soil of freedom, funds, and the income tax.

What the actual object of all this gyration may have been, is not
revealed, nor, probably, _revealable_ by a "Governor of the Hudson's Bay
territories," who, having the fear of _other_ governors before his eyes,
dedicates his two handsome volumes to "The Directors of the Hudson's Bay
Company;" but the late negotiations on Oregon, the Russian interest in
the new empire rising on the shore of the Northern Pacific, the vigorous
efforts of Russia to turn its Siberian world into a place of human
habitancy, and the unexpected interest directed to those regions by the
discovery of gold deposits which throw the old wealth of the Spanish
main into the shade, _might_ be sufficient motives for the curiosity of
an individual of intelligence, and for the anxious inquiries of a great
company, bordering on two mighty powers in North America, both of them
more remarkable for the vigour of their ambition than for the reverence
of their hunters and fishers for the _jus gentium_.

Those volumes, then, will supply a general and a very well conceived
estimate of immense tracts of the globe, hitherto but little known to
the English public. The view is clear, quick, and discriminative. The
countries of which it gives us a new knowledge are probably destined to
act with great power on our interests, some as the rivals of our
commerce, some as the depôts of our manufactures, and some as the
recipients of that overflow of population which Europe is now pouring
out from all her fields on the open wilderness of the world.

This spread of emigration to the north is a curious instance of the
reflux of the human tide; for, from the north evidently was Europe
originally peopled. Japhet was a powerful propeller; and often as he has
dwelt in the tents of Shem, he is likely to overwhelm the whole
territory of the southern brother once more. The Turk, the Egyptian, the
man of Asia Minor, the man of Thrace, will yet be but tribes in that
army of the new Xerxes which, pouring from Moscow, and impelled from St
Petersburg, will renew the invasions of Genghiz and Tamerlane, and try
the civilized strength of the west against the wild courage and
countless multitudes of Tartary. Into this strange, but important, and
prospectively powerful country, we now follow the traveller. Embarking
from Liverpool in the Caledonia, a vessel of 1300 tons and 450 horse
power, he was amply prepared to face the perils of the most stormy of
all oceans, the Atlantic. The run across lad the usual fortunes of all
voyages, and within a week after their departure from _terra firma_ they
saw a whale, who saw them with rather more indifference, for he lay
lounging on the surface until the steamer had nearly run over him. At
last he dived down, and was seen no more. Next day, while there was so
little wind, that all their light canvass was set, they saw the
phenomenon of a ship under close-reefed topsails. This apparent timidity
was laughed at by some of the passengers, but the more experienced
guessed that the vessel had come out of a gale, of which they were
likely to have a share before long, a conjecture which was soon
verified.

On the morning of the 9th day, the captain, discovering that the
barometer had fallen between two and three inches during the night, due
preparations were of course made to meet the storm. It came on in the
afternoon, a hurricane. Then followed the usual havock of boats and
canvass, the surges making a clean breach over the deck; the passengers,
of course, gave themselves up for lost, and even the crew are said to
have been pretty nearly of the same opinion. However, the wind went down
at last, the sea grew comparatively smooth, and in twenty-four hours
more, they found themselves on the banks of Newfoundland. The writer
thinks that it was fortunate for them that the storm had not caught them
in the short swell of these shallow waters, as was probably the case of
the President, whose melancholy fate so long excited, and still excites
a feeling of surprise and sorrow in the public mind.

It was lost in this very storm. Next day came another of the sea
wonders. The cry of land started them all from the dinner table; but the
land happened to be an immense field of ice, which, with the
inequalities of its surface and the effect of refraction, presented some
appearance of a wooded country. On that night the cry of "Light a-head,"
while they were still several hundred miles from land, excited new
astonishment. "All the knowing ones" clearly distinguished a magnificent
revolver. The paddles were accordingly stopped to have a cast of the
lead, but in another half hour it was ascertained that the revolver was
a newly risen star.

At length land was really seen, and after a run of fourteen days, they
cast anchor in the harbour of Halifax. But as Boston was their true
destination they steered for it at once. Their progress had been rapid,
for they entered Boston Bay in thirty-six hours from Halifax, a distance
of 390 miles. Boston is more English looking than New York. The gently
undulating shores of the bay, highly cultivated, bring to memory the
green hills of England, and within the town the buildings and the
inhabitants have a peculiarly English air.

As speed was an object, the party immediately left the town by the
railway, passing through Lowell and reaching Nashua. This is one of the
rapid growths of America. In 1819 this place was a village of but
nineteen houses. It now contains 19,000 inhabitants, with churches,
hotels, prisons, and banks. Here the party went off in two detachments,
one in a sleigh with six horses, and the other rattled along in a
coach-and-four. At the next stage the author exchanged the coach for a
sleigh, a matter of no great importance to the world, but which may be
mentioned as a caution against rash changes. For the first few miles the
new conveyance went on merrily, and the passengers congratulated
themselves on their wisdom. We must now let him speak for himself.

"The sun, as the day advanced, kept thawing the snow, till at last, on
coming to a deep drift, we were repeatedly obliged to get out, sometimes
walking up to the knees, and sometimes helping to lift the vehicle out
of the snow. However, at length we fairly stuck fast, in spite of all
our hauling and pushing. The horses struggled and plunged to no purpose,
excepting that the leaders, after breaking part of their tackle,
galloped off over the hills and far away, leaving us to kick our heels
in the slush, till they were brought back after a chase of several
miles."

The road now passed through Vermont, the state of green mountains. The
country appeared striking; and Montpelier, where they breakfasted, seems
to be a very pretty place, looking more the residence of hereditary ease
and luxury, than the capital of a republic of thrifty graziers. It is,
in fact, an assemblage of villas; the wide streets run between rows of
trees, and the houses, each in its own little garden, are shaded by
verandas.

In that very pleasant little book, the "Miseries of Human Life," one of
those small calamities is, the being called at the wrong hour to go off
in the wrong coach from a Yorkshire inn. Time and the railroad have
changed all this in England, but in America we have the primitive misery
well described.

The author, after forty-two hours of hard jolting, goes to bed at one
o'clock to obtain a little repose, leaving orders to be called at five
in the morning. He is wrapt in the profoundest of all possible slumbers,
when a peal of blows is heard at his door. "In spite, however, of
laziness, and a cold morning to boot," he says, "I had completed the
operations of washing and dressing by candlelight, having even donned
hat and gloves, to join my companions, when the waiter entered my room
with a grin. 'I guess,' said the rascal, 'I have put my foot in it. Are
you the man that wanted to be called at two?' 'No,' was my reply.
'Then,' said he, 'I calculate I have fixed the wrong man, so you had
better go to bed again.' Having delivered himself of this friendly
advice, he went to awaken my neighbour, who had all this time been
quietly enjoying the sleep that properly belonged to me. Instead of
following the fellow's recommendation, I sat up for the rest of the
night." Whether the author possessed a watch we cannot tell, but if he
was master of that useful and not very rare article, he might have saved
himself his premature trouble, and escaped shaving at midnight.

On crossing into the Canadian territory, he encounters one of those
evidences of popular liberty which belong to rather the American than
the English side. In the village of St John's, some of the party went
a-head to the principal inn, and as it was late at night, and their
knocking produced no effect, they appealed to what they regarded as the
most accessible of the landlord's susceptibilities, his pocket, by
saying that they were fourteen, more coming, with a whole host of
drivers. This appeal was the most unlucky possible, for the landlord had
another sensibility, the fear of being tarred and feathered, if not
hanged. On the door being opened at last, the landlord was not to be
found; his brother wandered about, the very ghost of despair. The
establishment was searched upside and downside, inside and outside, in
vain; and they began to think themselves the cause of some domestic
tragedy; but it must have been a late perpetration, for on looking into
his bed, they found the lair warm.

However, after a short time, mine host returned with a face all smiles.
The mystery was then explained. The election had taken place during the
day, and the landlord, having taken the part of the candidate who
eventually succeeded, was threatened with vengeance by the losing party.
The arrival of the travellers convinced him that his hour was come, and
he had jumped out of bed and hidden himself in some inscrutable corner.
But a good supper reconciled every thing.

The author crossed the ice to Montreal, and had a showy view of the
metropolis of the Canadas. A curious observation is suggested by
Montreal, on the different characters of the English and French
population. In the days of Wolf and Amherst, it was all French; but
John Bull, with his spirit of activity and industry, has quietly become
master of all the trading situations of the city, while the French have
as quietly retreated, and spread themselves through the upper sections
of it, to a great degree cut off from its commercial portions.

From Montreal the travel began. The heavy canoes were sent forward some
days before, under the charge of some of the Company's officers, the
light canoes waited for the author, with Colonel Oldfield, chief
engineer in Canada, who was going up the country on a survey of the
navigation, and the Earls of Mulgrave and Caledon, who were going to the
Red River, buffalo-hunting.

All was now ready in form, and on the 4th of May the two canoes were
floating on the Lactrine canal. The crews, thirteen to one vessel, and
fourteen to the other, were partly Canadians, but principally Iroquois.
Those _voyageurs_, as they are called, had each been supplied with a
feather in his cap, in honour of the occasion, and evidently expected to
produce a _sensation_ on shore. But a north-wester blowing prevented the
hoisting of their flags, which mulcted the pageant of much of its
intended glory. These canoes are thirty-five feet in length, and five
feet wide in the centre; drawing about eighteen inches water, and
weighing between three and four hundred pounds; capitally fitted for a
navigation among rocks, rapids, and portages; but they seem most
uncomfortable in rough weather. The waves of the St Lawrence rolled like
a sea, the gale was biting, and the snow drifted heavily in the faces of
the party. In this luckless condition, we are not surprised at the
intelligence, that at St Anne's Rapids, notwithstanding the authority of
the poet, "they sang no evening hymn."

This style of travelling was not certainly much mingled with luxury.
Next morning, after "toiling for six hours," they breakfasted, "with the
wet ground for their table, and with rain in place of milk to cool their
tea." On this day, while running close under the falls of the Rideau,
they seem to have had a narrow escape from a _finale_ to their voyage;
their canoes being swept into the middle of the river, under an immense
fall, fifty feet in height.

They now learned the art of _bivouaching_, and after a day of toiling
through portages, reserving the severest of them, the Grand Calumet, for
the renewed vigour of the morning, they made ready for the forest night.
The description, brief as it is, is one among many which shows the
_artist_ eye.

"The tents were pitched in a small clump of pines, while round a blazing
fire the passengers were collected, amid a medley of boxes, barrels,
cloaks, and on the rock above the foaming rapids were lying the canoes;
the men flitting about the fires as if they were enjoying a holiday, and
watching a huge cauldron suspended above the fire. The whole with a
background of dense woods and a lake."

Yet, startling as this "wooing of nature" in her rough moods may seem to
the silk-and-velvet portion of the world, we doubt whether this wild
life, with its desperate toil and its ground sleep, may not be the true
charm of travel to saint, savage, or sage, when once fairly forced to
the experiment. The blazing fire, the bed of leaves, the gay supper,
made gayer still by incomparable appetite, and the sleep after all, in
which the whole outward man remains imbedded, without the movement of a
muscle and without a dream, until the morning awakes him up a new being,
are fully worth all the inventions of art, to make us enjoy rest
unearned by fatigue, and food without waiting for appetite. "The sleep
of the weary man is sweet," said the ancient and wise king who slept
among curtains of gold, and under roofs of cedar; the true way to taste
that sleep is to spend a day, dragging canoes up Indian portages, and
lie down with one's feet warmed by a pine blaze and one's back to the
shelter of a forest.

But, as the time will assuredly come when this "life in the woods" will
be no more, when huge inns will supersede the canopy of the skies, and
down beds will make the memory of birch twigs and heather blossoms pass
away, we give from authority the proceedings of an evening's rest, which
the next generation will study with somewhat of the feeling of reading
Tacitus De Moribus Germanorum.

As the sun approached his setting, every eye in the canoes, as they
pulled along, was speculating on some dry and tolerably open spot on the
shore. _That_ once found, all were on shore in an instant. Then the axe
was heard ringing among the trees, to prepare for the fires, and make
room for the tents. In ten minutes, the tents were pitched, the fires
blazing in front of each, and the supper preparing in all its
diversities. The beds were next made, consisting of an oil-cloth laid on
the ground, with blankets and a pillow; occasionally aided by
great-coats, _à discretion_. The crews, drawing the canoes on shore,
first made an inspection of their hurts during the day; and having done
this, the little vessels were turned into a shelter, and each man
wrapping himself in his blanket defied the weather and the world.

But this state of happiness was never destined to last long. About _one_
in the morning, the cry, of "_Leve_, _leve_," broke all slumbers. We
must acknowledge that the hour seems premature, and that the most
patient of travellers might have solicited a couple of hours more of
"tired Nature's sweet restorer." But the discipline of the bivouac was
Spartan. If the slumberer did not instantly start up, the tent was
pulled down about him, and he found himself half-smothered in canvass.
However, we must presume that this seldom happened, and, within half an
hour, every thing would be packed, the canoes laden, and the paddles
moving to some "merry old song." In this manner passed the day, six
hours of rest, to eighteen of labour, a tremendous disproportion, even
to the sturdy Englishman, or the active Irishman, but perfectly
congenial to the sinews and spirit of the gay _voyageur_.

A few touches more give the complete picture of the day. About eight, a
convenient site would be selected for breakfast. Three-quarters of an
hour being the whole time allotted for unpacking and packing, boiling
and frying, eating and drinking. "While the preliminaries were
arranging, the _hardier_ among us would wash and shave, each person
carrying soap and towel in his pocket, and finding a _mirror_ in the
same sandy or rocky basin which held the water. About two in the
afternoon, we put ashore for dinner, and as this meal needed no fire,
or, at least, got none, it was not allowed to occupy more than twenty
minutes, or half an hour."

We recommend the following considerations to the amateur boat clubs, and
others, who plume themselves on their naval achievements between Putney
and Vauxhall bridges. Let them take the work of a Canadian paddle-man to
heart, and lower their plumage accordingly.

"The quality of the work, even more than the quantity, requires
operatives of iron mould. In smooth water, the paddle is plied with
twice the rapidity of the oar, taxing both arms and lungs to the utmost
extent. Amid shallows, the canoe is literally dragged by the men, wading
to their knees or their loins, while each poor fellow, after replacing
his drier half in his seat, laughingly strikes the heavier of the wet
from his legs over the gunwale, before he gives them an inside berth. In
rapids, the towing line has to be hauled along over rocks and stumps,
through swamps and thickets, excepting that when the ground is utterly
impracticable, poles are substituted, and occasionally also the bushes
on the shore."

This however is "plain sailing," to the Portages, where the tracks are
of all imaginable kinds and degrees of badness, and the canoes and their
cargoes are never carried across in less than two or three trips; the
little vessels alone monopolizing, in the first turn, the more expert
half of their respective crews. Of the baggage, each man has to carry at
least two pieces, estimated at a hundred and eighty pounds weight, which
he suspends in slings placed across his forehead, so that he may have
his hands free, to clear his way among the branches and standing or
fallen trunks. Besides all this, the _voyageur_ performs the part of
bridge, or jetty, on the arrival of the canoe at its place of rest, the
gentlemen passengers being carried on shore on the backs of these
good-humoured and sinewy fellows.

For the benefit of the untravelled, we should say, that a Portage is the
fragment of land-passage between the foot and head of a rapid, when the
rush of the stream is too strong for the tow-rope.

At one of the halting-places on Lake Superior, a curious tale was told
of the Indian's belief in a Providence, of which it had been the scene.

Three or four years before, a party of Salteaux, much pressed for
hunger, were anxious to reach one of their fishing stations, an island
about twenty miles from the shore. The spring had unluckily reached that
point, when there was neither clear water, nor trustworthy ice. A
council was being held, to consider the hard alternatives of drowning
and starving, when an old man of influence thus spoke:

"You know, my friends, that the Great Spirit gave one of our squaws a
child yesterday; now, he cannot have sent it into the world to take it
away again directly. I should therefore recommend the carrying the child
with us, as the pledge of safety."

We wish that we could have to record a successful issue to this
anticipation. But the transit was too much for the metaphysics of the
old Indian. They went on the treacherous ice, it gave way, and
eight-and-twenty perished.

The Thunder Mountain on their route, struck them as "one of the most
appalling objects" which they had seen, being a bleak rock twelve
hundred feet high above the level of the lake, with a perpendicular face
of its full height. The Indians say, that any one who can scale it, and
"turn three times on the brink of its fearful wall, will live for ever."
We presume, by dying first.

But the shores of this mighty lake, or rather fresh-water sea, which
seemed destined to loneliness for ever, are now likely to hear the din
of population and blaze with furnaces and factories. Its southern coasts
are found to possess rich veins of copper and silver. Later inquiry has
discovered on the northern shore "inexhaustible treasures of gold,
silver, copper, and tin," and associations have been already formed to
work them. Sir George Simpson even speaks of the future probability of
their rivalling in point of wealth the Altai chain, and the Uralian
mountains.

From Fort William, at the head of Lake Superior, the little expedition
entered a river with a polysyllabic name, which leads farther on, to the
"Far West." The banks were beautiful. When this country shall be
peopled, it will be one of the resemblances of the primitive paradise.

It is all picturesque; the river finely diversified with rapids, and
with one cataract which, though less in volume than Niagara, throws that
far-famed fall into the background, in point of height and wildness of
scenery. But we must leave description to the author's pen. "The river,
during this day's march, passed through forests of elm, oak, birch, &c.,
being studded with isles not less fertile and lovely than its banks. And
many a spot reminded us of the rich and quiet scenery of England. The
paths of the numerous portages were spangled with roses, violets, and
many other wild flowers--while the currant, the gooseberry, the
raspberry, the plum, the cherry, and even the vine, were abundant. All
this bounty of nature was imbued, as it were, with life, by the cheerful
notes of a variety of birds, and by the restless flutter of butterflies
of the brightest hues." He then makes the natural and graceful
reflection--

"One cannot pass through this fair valley without feeling that it is
destined to become, sooner or later, the happy home of civilised men,
with their bleating flocks, and their lowing herds--with their schools
and their churches--with their full garners, and their social hearths.
At the time of our visit, the great obstacle in the way of so blessed a
consummation was the hopeless wilderness to the eastward, which seemed
to bar for ever the march of settlement and cultivation, but which will
soon be an open road to the far west with all its riches. That
wilderness, now that it is to yield up its long-hidden stores, bids fair
to remove the impediments which hitherto it has itself presented. The
mines of Lake Superior, besides establishing a continuity of route
between the East and the West, will find their nearest and cheapest
supply of agricultural produce in the valley of the Kaministaquoia."

One of the especial hazards of the forest now encountered them. Passing
down a narrow creek near _Lac le Pluie_, fire suddenly burst forth in
the woods near them. The flames crackling and clambering up each tree,
quickly rose above the forest; within a few minutes more the dry grass
on the very margin of the waters, was in "a running blaze, and before
they were clear of the danger, they were almost enveloped in clouds of
smoke and ashes. These conflagrations, often caused by a wanderer's
fire, or even by his pipe, desolate large tracts of country, leaving
nothing but black and bare trunks, one of the most dismal scenes on
which the eye can look. When once the fire gets into the thick turf of
the primeval wilderness, it sets every thing at defiance. It has been
known to smoulder for a whole winter under the deep snow."

Another Indian display quickly followed. After traversing the lake, they
were hailed by the warriors of the Salteaux, a band of about a hundred,
the fighting men of a tribe of five hundred. Their five chiefs presented
a congratulatory address on their safe arrival, requesting an audience,
which was appointed, at the rather undiplomatic hour of _four_ next
morning. But, while the Governor was slumbering, the Indians were
preparing means of persuasion more effective, in their conceptions, than
even the oratory on which they seem to pride themselves very
highly--"while they were napping, the enemy were pelting away at them
with their incantations."

In the centre of a conjuring tent--a structure of branches and bark,
forty feet in length by ten in width--they kindled a fire; round the
blaze stood the chiefs and "medicine men," while as many others as could
find room were squatted against the walls. Then, to enlighten and
convert the Governor, charms were muttered, rattles were shaken, and
offerings were committed to the flames. After all these operations the
silent spectators, at a given signal, started on their feet and marched
round the magic circle, singing, whooping, and drumming in horrible
discord. With occasional intervals, which were spent by the performers
in taking fresh air, the exhibition continued during the whole night, so
that when the appointed hour arrived they were still engaged in their
observances. At length the two parties met in the open square of the
fort. The Indians dressed in all their glory, a part of which consists
in smearing their faces entirely out of sight with colours--the
prevailing fashion being, forehead white, nose and cheeks red, mouth and
chin black.

The Governor and his party of course made their best effort to meet all
this magnificence. Lord Caledon and Lord Mulgrave exhibited in
regimentals; the rest put on their _dressing-gowns_, which, being of
showy patterns, were equally effective. Seated in the "hall of
conference," the pipes being sent round, hands shaken, and all due
ceremonial having been performed, the Indian orator commenced his
harangue in the style with which we have now become familiar. Beginning
with the creation, &c. &c., which Sir George cut short, and suddenly
dropping down into the practical complaint, "that we had stopped their
rum," though our predecessors had promised to furnish it "as long as the
waters flowed down the rapids." "Now," said he, in allusion to our empty
casks, "if I crack a nut, will water flow from it?"

The Governor replied, that the withdrawal of the rum was _not_ to save
expense but to benefit them. He then gave them his advice on temperance,
and promised them a small quantity of rum every autumn. He also promised
a present for their civility in bringing their packet of furs, for which
they should receive payment besides. Then followed a general and final
shaking of hands, and the Congress between the English and Chippaway
nations broke up to their mutual satisfaction.

The Red River settlement, of which we heard so often during the quarrels
between Lord Selkirk and the Company, will yet be a great colony; the
soil is very fertile (one of the most important elements of
colonisation,) its early tillage producing forty returns of wheat; and,
even after twenty years of tillage, without manure, fallow, or green
crop, yielding from fifteen to twenty-five bushels an acre. The wheat
is plump and heavy, and, besides, there are large quantities of other
grain, with beef, mutton, pork, butter, cheese, and wool in abundance.
This would be the true country for emigration from our impoverished
islands, and will, of course, be crowded when conveyances shall become
more manageable. A railroad across Canada must still be a rather Utopian
conception, but it might be well worth the expense of making by
government, even though it produced nothing for the next half-dozen
years, for the multitudes whom it would carry through the heart of this
superb country in the half-dozen years after, and for the wealth which
they would pour into England in every year to come.

The settlement, however, meets, in its turn, the common chances of an
American climate. In winter the cold is intense. The summer is short,
and the rivers sometimes overflow and drown the crops. Still what are
these things to the population, where food is plenty, the air healthy,
and the ground cheap, fertile and untaxed. In fact, the difficulties, in
such instances, are scarcely more than incitements to the ingenuity of
man, to provide resources against them. The season of snow is a time of
cheerfulness in every land of the north. In Denmark, Russia, and Canada,
when the rivers close up, business is laid by for the next six months;
and the time of dancing, driving, and feasting begins. Food is the great
requisite; when that is found, every thing follows.

In addition to agriculture, or in place of it, the settlers, more
particularly those of mixed origin, devote the summer, the autumn, and
sometimes the winter also, to the hunting of the buffalo, bringing home
vast quantities of pemmican, dried meat, grease, tongues, &c. for which
the Company and voyaging business affords the best market.

The party now proceeded, still with their faces turned to the west, and
marched for some days over an immense prairie, which seemed to them to
have been once the bottom of a huge lake. A rather striking circumstance
is, that nearly every height in this region has its romance of savage
life. We give one of murder, for the benefit of the modern school of
novelists.

Many summers ago, a party of Assinabaians fell on a party of Crees in
the neighbourhood of the Beatte a Carcajar, a conspicuous knoll in this
neighbourhood, and nearly destroyed them all. Among the assailants was
the former wife of one of the Crees, who had been carried off from him,
in an earlier foray, by her present lord and master. From whatever
motive of domestic memory, this Amazon rushed into the thickest of the
fight, for the evident purpose of killing the original husband. He,
however, escaped; and while the victors were scalping his unfortunate
companions, creeping stealthily along for a whole day under cover of the
woods, he laid down at night in a hollow at the top of the Knoll. But
his wife had never lost sight of him, and no sooner had he, in the
exhaustion of hunger and fatigue, sunk into a sound sleep, than she sent
an arrow into his brain. She then possessed herself of his scalp, and
exhibited it as her prize to the victors. The title of the slain savage
was the Wolverine, and the spot is still called the Wolverine's Knoll.

The Indians assert that the ghosts of the murderess and her victim are
often to be seen struggling on the height.

Human nature, left to itself, is a fierce and frightful thing; and the
stories of savage life are nearly all of the same calibre, and all
exhibit a dreadful love of revenge. About twenty years ago, a large
encampment of Black-feet and others, had been formed in those prairies
for the purpose of hunting. The warriors, however, growing tired of
their peaceful occupation, resolved to make an incursion into the lands
of the Assinabaians. They left behind them the old men with the women
and children. After a successful campaign, they turned their steps
homewards, loaded with scalps and other spoils, and on reaching the top
of the ridge that overlooked their camp, they gave note of their
approach by the usual shouts of victory. But no shout answered, and on
descending to their huts, they found the whole of the inmates
slaughtered. The Assinabaians had been there to take their revenge.

On beholding the dismal scene, the triumphant warriors cast away their
spoils, arms, and clothing, and then putting on robes of leather, and
smearing their heads with mud, they betook themselves to the hills for
three days and nights, to howl and moan, and cut their flesh. It is
observed, that this mode of expressing public grief, bears a striking
resemblance to the customs of the Jews. The track towards Fort Vancouver
exhibited a country, which may yet make a great figure in the American
world,--immense valleys sheltered by mountain ridges, and containing
beautiful lakes. In one instance, their tents were pitched in a valley
of about five hundred acres enclosed by mountains on three sides, and a
lake on the fourth. From the edge of the waters there arose a gentle
descent of six or eight hundred feet covered with vines, and composed of
the accumulated fragments of the heights above; and on the upper border
of this slope there stood perpendicular walls of granite of three or
four thousand feet high, while among those dizzy altitudes, the goats
and sheep bounded in playful security. This defile had been the scene of
an exploit. One of the Crees, whom they had met a few days before, had
been tracked into the valley along with his wife and family by five
warriors of a hostile tribe. On perceiving the odds against him, the man
gave himself up for lost, observing to the woman, that as they could die
but once, they had better die without resistance. The wife, however,
said, that "as they had but one life to lose, they had the more reason
to defend it," and, suiting the action to the word, the heroic wife
brought the foremost of the enemy down to the ground by a bullet, while
the husband disposed of two others by two arrows. The fourth warrior was
rushing on the woman with uplifted tomahawk, when he stumbled and fell.
She darted forward, and buried her knife in his heart. The sole
surviving assailant now turned and fled, discharging, however, a bullet
which wounded the man in the arm.

They had now reached that rocky range from which the eastern and western
rivers of those mighty provinces take their common departure. Here they
estimated the height of the pass to be seven or eight thousand feet
above sea-level, while the peaks seemed to be nearly half that height
above their heads.

Of course, the party often felt the torture of mosquitoes, but one
valley was so pre-eminently infested with those tormentors, that man and
beast alike preferred being nearly choked with smoke, in which they
plunged, for the sake of escaping their stings. But we advert to this
common plague of all forest travel, only for its legendary honours.

"The Canadians vented their curses against the OLD MAID, who had the
credit of having brought the scourge upon earth, by praying for
something to fill up the leisure of her single blessedness." And if, as
the author observes, "the tormentors would confine themselves to
nunneries and monasteries, the world might see something more of the
fitness of things in the matter."

At the close of August, the party reached Fort Vancouver, having crossed
the Continent, by a route of five thousand miles, in twelve weeks'
travelling.

They now made a visit to the Russian-American Company's Establishment of
New Archangel. This exhibited considerable signs of commerce. In the
harbour were five sailing vessels from 250 to 350 tons; besides a large
bark in the offing in tow of a steamer, which brought advices from St
Petersburgh down to the end of April. An officer came off conveying
Governor Etholine's compliments and welcome. The party landed, and were
received in the residence situated on the top of a rock. The Governor's
dwelling consisted of a suite of apartments communicating, according to
the Russian fashion, with each other, all the public, rooms being
handsomely decorated and richly furnished. It commanded a view of the
whole establishment, which was, in fact, a little village. About half
way down the rock, two batteries frowned respectively over the land and
the water. Behind the Bay arise stupendous piles of conical mountains
with summits of everlasting snow. To seaward, Mount Edgecumbe, also in
the form of a cone, rears its trunk-headed peak, still remembered as
the source of smoke and flame, lava and ashes, but now the repository of
the snows of an age. Next day, the Governor, in full uniform, came in
his gig to return the visit to Sir George on board his steamer. The
party were invited on shore, where they were introduced to Madame
Etholine, a pretty and lady-like woman, a native of Finland. They then
visited the schools, in which there were twenty boys and as many girls;
the boys were intended chiefly for the naval service, nor did religion
seem to be neglected any more than education. The Greek Church had its
bishop, fifteen priests, deacons, and followers, and the Lutherans had
their clergyman. The ecclesiastics were all maintained by the Imperial
Government. Such is Sitka, the principal depot of the Russian-American
Company. It has various subordinate establishments. The operations of
the Company are becoming more extensive, and at this period the returns
of the trade amounted to about 25,000 skins of beavers, otters, foxes,
&c.

Among the company at the Russian Governor's, was a half-breed native,
who had been the leader of an expedition equipped some years ago, for
the discovery of what would here be styled the North-East passage. The
Russians reached Point Barrow shortly after the expedition under Mr
Thomas Simpson had reached the same point from the opposite direction.
The climate seems to be sufficiently trying, and during the four days at
Sitka there was nearly one continued fall of rain. The weather was cold
and squally, snow had fallen, and the channels were traversed by
restless masses which had broken off from the glaciers. In short nothing
could exceed the dreariness of the coast.

This shore, of which so much has been said and written during the late
Oregon negociations, is described as the very scene for the steam-boat.
Here are the Straits of Juan de Fuca; and here Admiral Fonte penetrated
up the more northerly inlets. They are the very region made for the
steam-boat, as in the case of a sailing vessel their dangers and delays
would have been tripled and quadrupled. But steam has also a power
almost superstitious on the minds of the natives; besides acting on
their fears, it has in a great measure subdued their love of robbery and
violence. It has given the savage a new sense of the superiority of his
white brother.

A striking instance of this feeling is given. After the arrival of the
emigrants from Red River, their guide, an Indian, took a short trip in
the Beaver. When asked what he thought of her, "Don't ask me," was his
reply. "I cannot speak; my friends will think that I tell lies when I
let them know what I have seen. Indians are fools, and know nothing. I
can see that the iron machinery makes the ship go, but I cannot see what
makes the iron machinery itself go." This man, though intelligent, and
partly civilized, was nevertheless so full of doubt and wonder that he
would not leave the vessel till he had got a certificate to the effect
that he had been on board of a ship which needed neither sails nor
paddles,--any document in writing being regarded by the Indians as
unquestionable. Fort Vancouver--which will probably be the head of a
great colony, is about ninety miles from the sea, the Colombia in front
of it, being a mile in width--contains houses, stores, magazines, &c.
Outside the fort, the dwellings of the servants, &c. form a little
village. The people of the establishment vary in number, according to
the season of the year, from one hundred and thirty to more than two
hundred. Divine service is regularly performed every Sunday in English
to the Protestants. But at the time of this journal there was
unfortunately no English clergyman connected with the establishment.

Sir George himself now visited California, the region which the Mexican
war is bringing into prominent notice. The harbour of San Francisco is
magnificent, the first view of the shore presented a level sward of
about a mile in depth, backed by a ridge of grassy slopes, the whole
pastured by numerous herds of cattle and horses, which, without a keeper
or a fold, fattened whether their owners waked or slept.

The harbour displays a sheet of water of about thirty miles in length
by about twelve in breadth, sheltered from every wind by an amphitheatre
of green hills. But this sheet of water forms only a part in the inland
sea of San Francisco. Whaler's Harbour, at its own northern extremity,
communicates by a strait of about two miles in width with the bay of San
Pedro, which leads by means of a second strait into Fresh Water Bay, of
nearly the same form and magnitude, and which forms the receptacle, of
two great rivers, draining vast tracts of country to the south-east and
north-east, which are navigable for inland craft, so that the harbour,
besides its matchless qualities as a port of refuge on this surf-beaten
coast, is the outlet of an immense, fair, and fertile region.

But the beauties of nature are useless when they fall into the hands of
idlers and fools. Every thing in those fine countries seems to be
boasting and beggary. Every thing has been long sinking into ruin,
through mere indolence. The Californians once manufactured the fleeces
of their sheep into cloth. They are now too lazy to weave or spin, too
lazy even to clip and wash the raw material, and now the sheep have been
literally destroyed to make more room for the horned cattle.

They once made the dairy an object of attention, now neither butter nor
cheese is to be found in the province. They once produced in the
Missions eighty thousand bushels of wheat and maize,--they were lately
buying flour at Monterey at the rate of £6 a sack. Beef was once
plentiful,--they were now buying salted salmon for the sea-store for one
paltry vessel, which constituted the entire line-of-battle of the
Californian navy.

The author justly observes, that this wicked abuse of the soil and
consequent poverty of the people results wholly from "the objects of the
colonisation." Thus the emigrants from England to the northern colonies
looked to subsistence from the fruits of labour; ploughed, harrowed, and
grew rich, and civilized. On the other hand the colonists of "New
France" a name which comprehended the valleys of the St Lawrence and
Mississippi, dwindled and pined away, partly because the golden dreams
of the free trade carried them away from stationary pursuits, and partly
because the government considered them rather as soldiers than settlers.
In like manner Spanish America, with its _Serras_ of silver, holding out
to every adventurer the hope of earning his bread without the sweat of
his brow, became the paradise of idlers.

In California the herds of cattle, and the sale of their hides and
tallow, offer so easy a subsistence, that the population think of no
other, and in consequence are poor, degenerate, and dwindling. Their
whole education consists in bullock hunting. In this view, unjust and
violent as may be the aggressions of the American arms, it is difficult
to regret the transfer of the territory into any hands which will bring
these fine countries into the general use of mankind, root out a race
incapable of improvement, and fill the hills and valleys of this mighty
province with corn and man.

At present the produce of a bullock in hide, tallow, and horns, is about
five dollars, (the beef goes for nothing) of which the farmer's revenue
is averaged at a dollar and a half. This often makes up a large income.
General Vallego, who had about eight thousand head of cattle, must
receive from this source about ten thousand dollars a-year. The former
Missions, or Monkish revenues, must have been very large; that of San
Jose possessing thirty thousand head of cattle, Santa Clara nearly half
the number, and San Gabriel more than both together.

It must be acknowledged that the monks had made a handsome affair of
holiness in the good old times. Previously to the Mexican revolution
their "missions" amounted, in the upper province alone, to twenty-one,
every one of course with its endowment on a showy scale. Every monk had
an annual stipend of four hundred dollars. But this was mere
pocket-money; they had "donations and bequests" from the living and from
the dead, a most capacious source of opulence, and of an opulence
continually growing, constituting what was termed the pious fund of
California. Besides all these things, they had the cheap labour of
eighteen thousand converts. But the drones were to be suddenly smoked
out of their hives. Mexico declared itself a republic; and, as the
first act of a republic, in every part of the world, is to plunder every
body, the property of the monks went in the natural way. The lands and
beeves, the "donations and bequests were made a national property," in
1825. Still some show of moderation was exhibited, and the names and
some of the offices of the missions were preserved. But, in 1836, the
Californians took the whole affair into their own hands, threw off the
Central Government, and were "free, independent," and beggared. The
Missions were then "secularized" at their ease. The Mexican government
was furious for a while, and threatened the Californians with all the
thunders of its rage; but the vengeance ended in the simple condition,
that California should still acknowledge the Mexican supremacy, taking
her own way in all that had been done, was doing, and was to be done.

The travellers had now an opportunity of seeing the interior of a
Californian mansion, the house of the chief proprietor in this quarter,
General Vallego.

We must acknowledge that Sir George Simpson would have much improved his
volumes by striking out the whole of this description. It is evident
that he was received with civilities of every kind;--he was provided
with horses and attendants;--he was taken to see all the remarkable
features of the estate and the habits of its people; he was _fêted_,
introduced to wife and daughters, sons-in-law and daughters-in-law, sung
and danced for, and smiled on and talked with, as if he had been a
prince; and yet his whole account of this hospitality throws it into the
most repulsive light imaginable;--cold dinners, bad attendance, rude
furniture, and so forth, form the staple of his conceptions; and if his
book should ever reach General Vallego's hands, which it probably will,
through the zeal of American republication, we can easily imagine that
he will become cautious in his hospitality for the time to come. We, at
least, shall not extend the vexation of this Spanish gentleman by
quoting any part of this unfortunate _bevue_. We say this with regret.
But this style of repaying generous hospitality cannot be too distinctly
reproved, for the sake of all future travellers who may want, not merely
hospitality, but protection.

The next subject of description is Monterey, which has lately assumed a
peculiar interest, as one of the objects of the American invasion. The
Bay of Monterey forms a segment of a circle with a chord of about
eighteen miles. Monterey had always been the seat of government, though
it consisted of but a few buildings. But, since the revolution of 1836,
it has expanded into a population of about seven hundred souls. The town
occupies a plain, bounded by a lofty ridge. The dwellings are the
reverse of pompous, being all built of mud bricks. The houses are
remarkable for a paucity of windows, glass being inordinately dear; even
parchment almost unattainable, and the artists in window-making charging
three dollars a-day!

But, to the Californians, perhaps this privation of light is not an
evil. While it makes the rooms cooler, it cannot, by any possibility,
interfere with the occupations of those who do nothing. The bed affords
a curious contrast to the rest of the furniture. While the apartments
exhibit a deal-table, badly made chairs, probably a Dutch clock, and an
old looking-glass, the bed "challenges admiration by snowy white sheets,
fringed with lace, a pile of soft pillows, covered with the finest linen
or the richest satin, and a well-arranged drapery of costly and tasteful
curtains." Still this bed is "but a whited sepulchre," with a wool
mattress--"the impenetrable stronghold of millions of----." We leave the
rest to the imagination.

The history of "Political Causes and Effects" would make a curious
volume; and it would admirably display, at once the profound agency of
Providence, and the shortsightedness of human policy. It would scarcely
be supposed that the devastation of Europe, and the sack of Berlin,
Vienna, and Moscow, found their origin in a Spanish treaty, on the banks
of the Mississippi, half a century before.

The power of France in the interior of America, which had extended from
Canada to Louisiana, and which formed a line of posts for its boundary
along this immense internal _frontier_, kept the British Colonies in a
state of constant alarm; and, by consequence, in a state of continual
dependence on England. But the English possession of Canada, in 1763,
and the cession of Louisiana to Spain at the same period, as they
lessened the alarms, loosened the allegiance of the British colonies.
The next steps were more obvious. The war of the United States, in which
France was an auxiliary, inflamed the French population with the hope of
breaking down the strength of England and the aristocracy of France. But
the expense of equipping the French allied force fell heavy on an
exchequer already burthened by the showy extravagance of the Regent
Orleans, and by the gross profligacies of Louis XV. To relieve the
exchequer, the States General were summoned; and from that _moment_
began the Revolution. The European war was the result of a republican
government, and the conquest of the Continent the result of placing
Napoleon on the throne of the empire. What further results may be still
preparing are beyond our knowledge; but it can scarcely be conceived
that the chain is yet finally broken.

But before we take leave of California, we must do it the justice to
speak of San Barbara, which, as the author _rather_ emphatically
expresses it, is to Monterey "what the parlour is to the kitchen."

The bay is an unfavourable one, being exposed to the "worst winds of the
worst season." But the town having been selected as the favourite
retreat of the more respectable functionaries of the province, Santa
Barbara exhibits the charms of aristocratic manners. The houses,
externally, are superior to any others on the coast, and, internally,
exhibit taste in their furniture and ornament. The ladies excite the
author's pen into absolute rapture; their sparkling eyes and glossy
hair, are, in themselves, sufficient to negative the idea of tameness or
insipidity, while their sylph-like figures exhibit fresh graces at every
step. This is supported by the more important qualities, of "being by
far the more industrious half of the community, and performing their
household duties with cheerfulness and pride."

The men are a handsome race, and the greatest dandies imaginable,
completely modelled on the Andalusian Majo, and displaying the finest
linen, the most embroidered pantaloons, and the most glittering jackets
in the western world. Of course, it cannot be expected of any Spaniards
that they should do much, and beaux so fine cannot be expected to do any
thing. Accordingly, his day is spent in riding from house to house, on a
horse as fine as himself, a living machine of trappings, and the nights
in dancing, billiard-playing, and flirting.

In all countries where serious things are habitually turned into
trifles, trifles become serious things. "The balls, in fact, seem more
like a matter of business than any thing else that is done in
California. For whole days beforehand, sweetmeats are laboriously
prepared in the greatest variety, and from beginning to end of the
festivities, which have been known to last several successive nights, so
as to make the performers, after wearing out their pumps, trip it in
sea-boots, both men and women displaying as much gravity as if attending
the funeral of their friends."

A still more humanising portion of their tastes is their passion for
music. The guitar is heard in every house. Father, mother, and child are
all playing and singing; and, to the praise of their taste be it spoken,
playing nothing but the fandangoes, seguidillas, and ballads of Spain;
the truest, purest, and most touching of all music; well worth all the
_hammered_ harmonies of the German school, and all the long-winded and
laborious bravuras of the Italian. The Spanish music is the most
refined, and yet the most natural, in the world.

We are glad to see this experienced judge of men and things speaking of
the Californians as "a happy people possessing the means of physical
pleasure to the full," even though he qualifies the opinion by their
"knowing no higher kind of enjoyment."

It is true, that the Englishman, who knows what _intellectual_ enjoyment
is, will not abandon that highest, though most toilsome, of all
gratifications, for inferior indulgences; but it would be a fortunate
hour for the Englishman when he could get rid of some portion of the
toil that wears away his life, in exchange for the lighthearted
pleasures and simple occupations of foreign existence. Nor is there any
man who less prefers the dogged round of his cheerless exertions, or who
is more genuinely susceptible of essential enjoyment. We even think that
the cultivated Englishman has a finer relish for enjoyment than the man
of any other country. The caperings of the Frenchman, or the grimaces of
the Italian, have but little connexion with the mind. All foreigners
seem wretched when they have no physical excitement. There is not a more
miserable object on earth, than a Frenchman wandering through the
streets of London on a Sunday, when he can neither see the print shops
in the day, nor go to the play at night. The German is heart-broken for
the same reason, and shrouds himself and his sorrow in double clouds of
smoke. The Italian would worship Diana of Ephesus, or the Great African
Snake, if its pageantry, or puppet-show, would enable him to get through
the day of closed shops and _no_ opera! Yet, contemptible as this
restless hunting after nothings is, it would be fortunate for us if we
could qualify the severity and constancy of our national toil by some
mixture of the lighter pursuits of the Continent.

The fertility of California is boundless; it produces every thing that
human appetite can desire. In the Mission-garden of San Gabriel were
produced grapes, oranges, lemons, olives, figs, bananas, plums, peaches,
apples, pears, pomegranates, raspberries, strawberries, &c. &c., while
in the adjoining Mission were found in addition, tobacco, the plantain,
the cocoa-nut, the indigo plant, and the sugar cane.

But Nature is nothing, in this country, without a miracle; and the
history of every village probably furnishes its legend. The Missions,
however, may be presumed to be the peculiar favourites of Heaven.

"When Padre Pedro Cambon, and Padre Somera, were selecting a site for
the Mission, escorted by ten soldiers, a multitude of Indians, armed,
presented themselves, and setting up horrid yells, seemed determined to
oppose its establishment. The fathers, fearing that war would ensue,
took out a piece of cloth with the image of our Lady upon it, and held
it up in view of the barbarians. This was no sooner done, than the whole
were quiet, being subdued by the sight of this most precious image; and
throwing on the ground their bows and arrows, their two captains came
running to lay the beads, which they had round their necks, at the feet
of the Sovereign Queen, in proof of their tender regard." We recommend
the trial of this holy Cloth on General Taylor.

But there is no limit to the richness of this region. The valley of the
Zulares, in the neighbourhood, would support millions of people. Its
lakes and rivers all abound in fish, its forests have all kinds of
trees, some of them growing to a size which, but for the force of
testimony, would be incredible. One of these is stated by Humboldt as of
one hundred and eighteen feet in girth. "But this is a walking-stick
compared with another at Bodega, as described to Sir George by Governor
Etholine, of Sitka." It is thirty-six Russian fathoms (seven feet each)
in span, and seventy-five in height; so that, if tapered into a perfect
cone, it would contain nearly twenty-two thousand tons of bark and
timber. In addition, the valley contains immense herds of wild horses,
in troops of several thousands each. What a country will this be, when
it shall fall into the hands of an intelligent people!

The last of the five posts, San Diego, is, next to San Francisco, the
best harbour in the province. Thus, Upper California contains, at its
opposite extremities, two of the best harbours on the Pacific Ocean;
each of them being enhanced in value by the distance of any others
worthy of the name, San Francisco being nearly one thousand miles from
Port Discovery in the north, and San Diego six hundred miles from the
Bay of Magdalena in the south.

That in the hands of any vigorous possessors this country would form a
most powerful kingdom, is beyond all question; and Sir George Simpson
evidently thinks that it might easily be acquired, and with a
legitimate claim too, by England. But the still higher question is the
policy of a perpetual increase of territory. England already has in
America a larger extent of territory than she can people for five
hundred years to come. But the possession of California, and perhaps of
the whole extent of the Mexican provinces, is on the eve of decision;
the American invasion has found no resistance that can deserve the name.
The Mexicans fly in every quarter, and a few discharges of cannon put
them to flight by thousands. At this moment the whole Mexican Republic,
equal in size to half a dozen European States, appears to be crumbling
into fragments. The rambling expeditions of the Americans are ravaging
it in all directions with impunity, and armies which might have been
long since annihilated by a mere guerilla war, have been suffered to
march from city to city, with scarcely more resistance than a
cattle-stealing skirmish. By the last intelligence, San Juan d' Ulloa
has fallen, and Vera Cruz has capitulated after a siege of only three
days and a half. The castle is the strongest fortification in the
Western World--and, as Napoleon said of Malta, "It is lucky that it had
somebody inside to open the gates for us:" the garrison of this fortress
seems to have been placed there merely for the purpose of surrendering
it. But, whatever may be the fate of men who had such a fortress to
defend, and yet whose defence actually cost the assailants but
_seventeen_ killed! there can be but one feeling of commiseration for
the unhappy inhabitants of Vera Cruz, on whom was rained, day and night,
a shower of shot and shell amounting to more than seven thousand of
those tremendous missiles. It is computed that the slaughter, and that
slaughter chiefly of women and children, amounts to thousands. These are
terrible things, even where they may be supposed the _necessities_ of
war. But here we can discover no necessity--Vera Cruz was _no_
fortification, it was nearly an open town. We recollect no similar
instance of a bombardment. In Europe, it has long been a rule of
military morals, that no open city shall ever be bombarded. We believe
it to be the boast of the first living soldier in the world--and we
could have no more honourable one--that he never suffered a city to be
bombarded; from the obvious fact, that the chief victims were the
helpless inhabitants, while the soldiery are sheltered by the casemates
and bomb-proofs.

At all events, we must regard the contest as decided. The Government has
exhibited nothing more than a sullen resolution; and the people little
more than the apathy of their own cattle; the troops have exhibited no
evidence of discipline, and the only resource of the Finance has been in
the wild projects of an empty Exchequer. Whether the United States will
be the more prosperous for this conquest, is a question of time alone.
Whether the facility of the conquest may not make the multitude frantic
for general aggression,--whether the military men of the States may not
obtain a popularity and assume a power which has been hitherto confined
to civil life,--whether the attractions of military career may not turn
the rising generation from the pursuits of trade and tillage, to the
idle, or the ferocious life of the American campaigner,--and whether the
pressure of public debt, the necessity for maintaining their half-savage
conquests by an army, and the passion for territorial aggrandisement,
may not urge them to a colonial war with England,--are only parts of the
great problem which the next five-and-twenty years will compel the
American Republic to solve.

At the same time, we cannot avoid looking upon the invasion of Mexico as
a portion of that extraordinary and mysterious agency which is now
shaking all the great stagnant districts of the world; which has already
awaked Turkey in Europe and in Asia Minor; which has brought Egypt into
civilised action; which has broken down the barbarism of the Algerines,
and planted the French standard in place of the furies and profligacies
of African Mahometanism. Deeply deprecating the guilt of those
aggressions, and condemning the crimes by which they have been
sustained, we cannot but regard changes so unexpected, so powerful, and
so simultaneous, as the operation of a higher power than man's, with
objects altogether superior to the shortsightedness of man, and amply
bearing the character of working good out of evil, which belongs to the
history of Divine Providence in all the ages of the world.

There is one peculiarity in these volumes which we cannot sufficiently
applaud, and that is, the thoroughly English spirit in which they are
written. Without weak partiality, for the reasons are every where
assigned; without narrow prejudice, for the facts are in all instances
stated; and without derogating from the merits of other nations, the
work is calculated to give a just conception of the value of England to
the world.

On his return from the Sandwich Isles--an interesting portion of his
travels, to which we have not now time to advert in detail--and
preparing to start from the Russian post of New Archangel by a five
months' journey through the Russian empire, he gives a glance at what he
has done.

"I have," says he, "threaded my way round nearly half the globe,
traversing about 220 degrees of longitude, and upwards of 100 of
latitude, barely one fourth of this by the ocean. Notwithstanding all
this, I have uniformly felt more at home, with the exception of my first
sojourn at Sitka, than I should have felt in Calais. I have every where
seen our race, under a great variety of circumstances, either actually
or virtually invested with the attributes of sovereignty."

After a few words on the vigour of the English blood, as exhibited in
the commerce, intelligence, and activity of the United States, he
returns to the immediate possessions and prowess of England. "I have
seen the English posts which stud the wilderness from the Canadian lakes
to the Pacific Ocean. I have seen English adventurers with that innate
power which makes every individual, whether Briton or American, a real
representative of his country, monopolising the trade, and influencing
the destinies of California. And lastly, I have seen the English
merchants of a barbarian Archipelago, which promises, under their
guidance, to become the centre of the traffic of the east and the west,
of the new world and the old. In saying all this, I have seen less than
half the grandeur of the English race. How insignificant in comparison
are all the other nations of the earth, one nation alone excepted.
Russia and Great Britain literally gird the globe where either continent
has the greatest breadth, a fact which, taken in connexion with their
early annals, can scarcely fail to be regarded as the work of a special
Providence. After the fall of the Roman empire, a scanty and obscure
people suddenly burst on the west and east, as the dominant race of the
times; one swarm of the Normans making its way to England, while another
was establishing its supremacy over the Sclavonians of the Borysthenes,
the two being to meet in opposite directions at the end of a thousand
years."

He regards the gigantic power of Russia as in an unconscious
co-partnership with England in the grand cause of commerce and
civilisation. He also makes the curious and true remark that,
notwithstanding the astonishing successes of the Normans in Europe, they
were never numerous enough to establish their language in any of the
conquered countries. Their unparalleled successes, therefore, seem to
express the idea that those feeble bands of warriors were strengthened
every where to accomplish the purposes of Providence.

We now come to the overland journey to Siberia. On the 23d of July, they
reached the port of Ochotsk, where, however, they were met by masses of
floating ice. Here Sir George had the first intelligence from England,
which brought to his English heart the glad tidings of the birth of a
Prince of Wales. They found this settlement a collection of huts on a
shingly beach. The population is about 800 souls. A more dreary scene
can scarcely be conceived than the surrounding country. Not a tree, and
even scarcely a green blade is to be seen within miles of the town. The
climate is on a par with the soil. The summer consists of three months
of damp and chilly weather, during great part of which the snow still
covers the hills, and the ice chokes the harbour, and this is succeeded
by nine months of dreary winter. But when men find fault with such a
climate as this, the fact is, that the fault is their own. Those
climates were never intended for the residence of man; they were
intended for the white bear, the seal, the whale, and the fur-bearing
animals. To those inhabitants, they are perfectly adapted. If the rage
of conquest, or the eagerness for gain, fixes human beings in the very
empire of winter, they are intruders, and must suffer for their
unsuitable choice of a locale.

The principal food of the inhabitants is fish. On fish they feed
themselves; their dogs--which are equivalent to their carriage
horses--their cattle, and their poultry, are also chiefly fed on fish.
All other provisions are ruinously dear. Flour costs twenty-eight rubles
the pood,--(a ruble is worth about a franc, the pood is thirty-six
English pounds.) Beef is so dear as to be regarded as a treat, and wines
and groceries have to pay a land carriage of seven thousand miles.

Here, too, the people drink tea in the style in which it was introduced
in more primitive days into Europe. It is of the kind known as brick
tea, being made up in cakes, and is consumed in great quantities by the
lower orders in Siberia, being made into a thick soup, with the addition
of butter and salt.

On the 27th of the month, they began their journey across Siberia. After
leaving the shore, and boating the river Ochota, to an encampment where
they were to meet their horses, hired at the rate of forty-five rubles a
horse, on an agreement to be conveyed to Yakutsh in eighteen days, they
struck into the country, which exhibited forests of pine, their progress
being about four or five miles an hour. The Yakuti appear to be very
industrious; young and old, male and female, being always occupied in
some useful employment. When not engaged in travelling or farming, men
and boys make saddles, harness, &c.; while the women and girls keep
house, dress skins, prepare clothing, and attend to the dairy. They are
also remarkably kind to strangers, for milk and cream, the best things
they had to give, were freely offered in every village. This was the
10th of July, yet the snow was still partially lying on the ground. From
day to day they met caravans of horses; and one day they were startled
by the shouts of a party at the head of them. Their next sight was a
herd of cattle running wildly in all directions, and the cause was seen
in a huge she-bear and her cub moving off at a round trot. On this
route, the bears are both fierce and numerous. The country had now
become more fertile; there was no want of flowering plants, and the
forests were enlivened by the warbling of birds, which, contrasted as it
was with the deathlike silence of the American woods, was peculiarly
grateful to the ear. In the course of the day, the vexatious incident
occurred of meeting the courier, with the letters from England, which
had been looked for so anxiously on the arrival of the travellers in
Siberia; but the bags of course could not be opened on the road.

The presence of the Cossack, who attended the party, was of great
importance in quickening the movements of the natives; but they seemed
kind and good-natured, full of civility to the strangers, and not
without some degree of education. The Yakuti have a singular mode of
estimating distances. In Germany, a common measure of distance is the
time that it takes to smoke a pipe. In this part of Siberia, they take
as their unit the time necessary for boiling a kettle of a particular
sort of food. They tell you, that such and such a place is so many
kettles off, or half a kettle, or, as the case may be, only part of a
kettle.

At last they arrive at the Lena. This is described as one of the
grandest rivers in the world. At a distance of thirteen hundred versts
from the sea, (three versts are equal to two miles,) it is from five to
six miles wide. Its entire length is not less than four thousand versts.
The word Lena implies lazy--a name justified by the circuitous flowing
of its stream. At Yakutsk, the seat of the Governor, they were received
with great civility in this capital of the province, latitude sixty-two
north, and longitude one hundred and thirty east. The extreme
temperature of summer and winter is almost beyond belief, the
thermometer having, risen in the shade to 106° of Fahrenheit, and in
winter having fallen to 83° below zero--making a difference of 189°. In
this district are the enormous deposits of mammoth bones. Spring after
spring, the alluvial banks of the lakes and rivers crumbling under the
thaw have given up their dead; and the islands opposite to the mouth of
the Yana, and, as there was reason for believing, even the bed of the
ocean itself, teems with those mysterious memorials of antiquity. The
question is, how do those bones come there? Sir George, after giving the
opinions of some of the professors of geology, conceives the most
natural account of the phenomenon to be, that those animals or their
bones were swept from the great Tartarian pasturages of Cobi, by the
waters of the Deluge, towards the ocean. We must acknowledge that this
has long been our own opinion. It must be remembered that the Scriptural
account states the rising of the Deluge to have been gradual. The rain
fell forty days and nights. All living things would of course make their
way to the heights to escape the rising inundation of the valleys. The
cattle thus grouped together in immense herds, (the buffalos in the
prairies at the present day sometimes exceed five thousand in one
pasturage,) thus gathered into one mass, would be finally submerged, and
swept away in whatever irresistible current rushed over the spot on
which they stood. The frost of the region, which penetrates the earth to
the depth apparently of some hundred feet, would thenceforth preserve
them from decay. The tusks form an article of considerable trade, the
ivory selling from a shilling to one and ninepence a pound, according to
the perfection of the tusks.

One of the travellers' especial wishes was, to have visited the town of
Kiachta, the place of commerce between the Russians and the Chinese. But
a note from the Governor mentioned that the Chinese had suddenly stopped
all communication. But a few words may be given to a commerce so
peculiar. By the treaty of Nertshinsk, a reciprocal liberty of traffic
was stipulated; and accordingly caravans on the part of the Russian
government, and individual traders, used to visit Pekin. But the
Muscovites exhibited so much of the native habits in "drinking and
roystering," that, after exhausting the patience of the Celestials
during three-and-thirty years, they were wholly excluded. But a
cessation of five years having taken place, the Russians in 1728
obtained a treaty, by which individuals were permitted to trade on the
frontier; and Kiachta was built. But public caravans were permitted to
go on to Pekin. At length, in 1762, Catherine fixed the grand emporium
at Kiachta.

This town, standing on a beach of the same name, is within about half a
furlong of the Chinese village of Maimatschin, (about the fiftieth
parallel of latitude,) being one thousand miles from Pekin, and four
thousand from Moscow. Such are the enormous distances through which the
eagerness for money-making drives the children of men.

The materials of the Russian traffic are furs, woollens, cottons, linen,
&c., with articles in tin, copper, iron, &c.--the whole amounting to
about nineteen millions of rubles. The Chinese products are tea, silks,
sugar-candy, &c.--nominally to the amount of seven millions of rubles,
but probably rising to thrice the value. The chief time of the market is
the winter. To the chief Russian merchants this is a species of
monopoly, and a most thriving one, some of them being _millionnaires_,
and living in the most sumptuous manner, the "merchant princes" of the
wilderness!

We had some curiosity to know the condition of the exiles to Siberia
from this intelligent eye-witness. But he gives little more than a
glance to a subject on which the public mind of England is at present so
much engaged. In Russia corporal punishment is much in use; but
criminals are seldom put to death. They are marched off to Siberia for
every kind of offence, from the highest political crime to petty
larceny. The most heinous offenders are sent to the mines; those guilty
of minor delinquencies are settled in villages, or on farms; and
those guilty of having opinions different from those of the
government--statesmen, authors, and soldiers--are generally suffered to
establish themselves in little knots, where they spread refinement
through the country. The consequence is, that "all grades of society are
decidedly more intelligent than the corresponding grades in any other
part of the empire, and perhaps more so than in most parts of Europe."

Many of the exiles are now men of large income.--"The dwelling in which
we breakfasted to-day," says the traveller, "was that of a person who
had been sent to Siberia _against his will_. Finding that there was but
one way of bettering his condition, he worked hard, and behaved well. He
had now a comfortably furnished house and a well-cultivated farm, while
a stout wife, and plenty of servants, bustled about the premises. His
son had just arrived from St Petersburg, to visit his exiled father, and
had the pleasure of seeing him amid all the comforts of life, reaping an
abundant harvest, and with _one hundred and forty persons_ in his pay!"

He adds, "In fact, for the _reforming_ of the criminal, in addition to
the punishment of the crime, Siberia is undoubtedly the best
_penitentiary_ in the world. When not bad enough for the mines, each
exile is provided with an allotment of ground, a house, a horse, two
cows, agricultural implements, and, for the first year, with provisions.
For three years he pays no taxes whatever, and for the next ten, only
half the full amount. To bring fear as well as hope to operate in his
favour, he clearly understands, that his very first slip will send him
from his home and family, to toil in the mines. Thus does the government
bestow an almost paternal care on the less atrocious criminals."

Yet with this knowledge before the British Government,--for we must
presume that they had not overlooked the condition of the Russian
exiles; and with the still more impressive knowledge of the growth of
our Australian colonies, and the improvement of the convicts; the
new-fangled and most costly plan is now to be adopted of reforming our
criminals by keeping them at home! Thus we are to save the national
expenditure by building huge penitentiaries, which will cost millions of
money, and to secure society from depredation, by annually pouring out
from those prisons, as the time of their sentences expires, the whole
crowd of villany to live on villany once more;--making the very streets
a place of danger, and filling the country with hungry crime.

The only argument on the opposite side is, that the free settlers are
offended by finding themselves in a population of convicts. But to this
the obvious answer is, that the colonisation of Australia was originally
intended as a school of reform--that the convicts have been to a great
extent reformed, which they never would have been at home--that the
convicts were in the colony first, and that the settlers going there,
with their eyes open, have no reason to complain.

We then have a Notice on another subject, which is at present engrossing
the speculations of all Europe, namely, the gold-country on the
Yenissei. Krasnoyayk, the capital, stands in a plain in the centre of
the district, where the mania of gold-washing broke out about fifteen
years ago. Some individuals have been singularly lucky in their search.
One person, after having laboured in vain for three years, and expending
a million and a half of rubles, suddenly, in this very year, had hit
upon a depot which gave him a hundred and fifty poods of gold--worth
thirty-five thousand rubles each, or five millions and a half of rubles.
Gold here measures every thing: a lady's charms are by weight, "a pood
is a good girl, and two or three poods are twice or thrice as good as a
wife." _This_ province alone has, in this year, yielded five hundred
poods of gold.

Ekaterineburg is the centre of the mining district of the Uralian
mountains. The population amounts to about fourteen thousand, who are
all connected with the mines. The town has an iron foundery, a mint for
copper and silver coin, and various establishments for cutting marble,
porphyry, and polishing precious stones. The neighbouring mountains
appear to be nature's richest repository of minerals, yielding, in great
abundance, diamonds, amethysts, topazes, &c.; gold, silver, iron, and
platina. These inexhaustible treasures chiefly belong to Count Demidoff
and M. Yakovleff. The Count is said to receive half a million sterling
a-year from this princely property.

Hurrying now towards England, with the anxiety which every one feels to
reach home as the end of a long journey seems to be nigh, the traveller
passed through Kazan, second in national honour to Moscow, but found it
in ashes from a late fire. He then hurried on to Nishney-Novgorod, the
place of the greatest fair in the world, where the traffic brings
traders from the ends of the earth, and where the trade amounts to
nineteen millions sterling a-year. He then traversed the property of
General Sheremetieff, an estate of _two days' journey_, with a hundred
thousand serfs--a comfortable race when under a good master, each head
of a family having a farm, and paying its rent, part in produce and part
in work. The people appear to be a gay race--singing every where;
singing on the roads, singing at work, and singing at cutting up their
cabbages for the national luxury of _saurkraut_.

At length was seen looming in the west, with all its steeples and domes,
the queen of the wilderness, Moscow the Magnificent--the most
frequently-burned of all cities, and, as Sir George observes, the most
_retaliatory_ on the burners--it having been burned to embers _four_
times, and each time having seen the incendiary nation ruined. It must
be admitted, however, that the revenge, however sure, was slow, for it
seldom occurred in less than a couple of centuries!--Napoleon's fate
being the only instance of promptitude on this point.

From Moscow to St Petersburg, a macadamised road of seven hundred versts
conveyed the traveller to the northern city of the Czar, where, on the
8th of October, he terminated a journey from Ochotsk, of about seven
thousand miles. In eight days from St Petersburg he reached Hamburg, and
in five days more arrived in London, having rounded the globe in a
period of nineteen months and twenty-six days!

We have given an abstract of this work with the more satisfaction, that
it not merely supplies a certain knowledge of vast regions of which the
European world knows little; but that it gives a favourable view of the
condition, the habits, and the temper, of the multitudes of our fellow
men, spread over those immense spaces of the globe. Personally, of
course, a man of the official rank and individual intelligence of the
writer, might expect the hospitality of the Russian employés. But he
seems to have been met with general kindness--to have experienced no
injury, no obstacle, and no extortion; and, on the whole, having
exhibited the good sense which disregards the _inevitable_ annoyances of
all journeys in distant countries, to have escaped all the severer ones
which an ill-tempered traveller naturally brings upon himself. But the
feature of his volumes on which we place the still higher value, is the
honesty of his English spirit. He knows the value of his country; he
does justice to her principles; he gives the true view of her power; he
vindicates her intentions; and without depreciating the merits of
foreign nations, he pays a manly tribute to the truth, by doing deserved
honour to his own.

FOOTNOTES:

[A] _Narrative of an Overland Journey Round the World._ By Sir George
Simpson, Governor-in-Chief of the Hudson's Bay Company's Territories in
North America.



LETTERS ON THE TRUTHS CONTAINED IN POPULAR SUPERSTITIONS.


VI.--RELIGIOUS DELUSIONS: THE POSSESSED: WITCHCRAFT.

Dear Archy,--The subjects about which I propose writing to you to-day
are, delusions of a religious nature;--the idea of being possessed,--the
grounds of the belief in witchcraft. With so much before me, I have no
room to waste. So, of the first, first.

The powerful hold which the feeling of religion takes on our nature, at
once attests the truth of the sentiment, and warns us to be on our guard
against fanatical excesses. No subject can safely be permitted to have
exclusive possession of our thoughts, least of all the most absorbing
and exciting of any.

    "So--it will make us mad."

It is evident that, with the majority, Providence has designed that
worldly cares should largely and wholesomely employ the mind, and
prevent inordinate craving after an indulgence in spiritual stimulation;
while minds of the highest order are diverted, by the active duties of
philanthropy, from any perilous excess of religious contemplation.

Under the influence of constant and concentrated religious thought, not
only is the reason liable to give way--which is not our theme--but,
alternatively, the nervous system is apt to fall into many a form of
trance, the phenomena of which are mistaken by the ignorant for Divine
visitation. The weakest frame sinks into an insensibility profound as
death, in which he has visions of heaven and the angels. Another lies,
in half-waking trance, rapt in celestial contemplation and beatitude;
others are suddenly fixed in cataleptic rigidity; others, again, are
dashed upon the ground in convulsions. The impressive effect of these
seizures is heightened by their supervention in the midst of religious
exercises, and by the contagious and sympathetic influence through which
their spread is accelerated among the more excitable temperaments and
weaker members of large congregations. What chance have ignorant people
witnessing such attacks, or being themselves the subjects of them, of
escaping the persuasion that they mark the immediate agency of the Holy
Spirit? Or, to take ordinarily informed and sober-minded people,--what
would they think at seeing mixed up with this hysteric disturbance,
distinct proofs of extraordinary perceptive and anticipatory powers,
such as occasionally manifest themselves as parts of trance, to the
rational explanation of which they might not have the key?

In the preceding letter, I have already exemplified, by the case of
Henry Engelbrecht, the occurrence of visions of hell and heaven during
the deepest state of trance. No doubt the poor ascetic implicitly
believed his whole life the reality of the scenes to which his
imagination had transported him.

In a letter from the Earl of Shrewsbury to Ambrose Mark Phillips, Esq.,
published in 1841, a very interesting account is given of two young
women who had lain for months or years in a state of religious
beatitude. Their condition, when they were exhibited, appears to have
been that of half-waking in trance; or, perhaps, a shade nearer the
lightest form of trance-sleep. To increase the force of the scene, they
appear to have exhibited some degree of trance-perceptive power. But,
without this, the mere aspect of such persons is wonderfully imposing.
If the pure spirit of Christianity finds a bright comment and
illustration in the Madonnas and Cherubim of Raffaelle, it seems to
shine out in still more truthful vividness from the brow of a young
person rapt in religious ecstasy. The hands clasped in prayer,--the
upturned eyes,--the expression of humble confidence and seraphic hope,
(displayed, let me suggest, on a beautiful face,) constitute a picture
of which, having witnessed it, I can never forget the force. Yet I knew
it was only a trance. So one knows that village churches are built by
common mechanics. Yet when we look over an extensive country, and see
the spire from its clump of trees rising over each hamlet, or over the
distant city its minster tower,--the images find an approving harmony in
our feelings, and seem to aid in establishing the genuineness and the
truth of the sentiment and the faith which have reared such expressive
symbols.

In the two cases mentioned in Lord Shrewsbury's pamphlet, it is,
however, painful to observe that trick and artifice had been used to
bend them to the service of Catholicism. The poor women bore on their
hands and feet wounds, the supposed _spontaneous_ eruption of
delineations of the bleeding wounds of the crucifix, and, on the
forehead, the bloody marks of the crown of thorns. To convict the
imposture, the blood-stains from the wounds in the feet ran _upwards_
towards the toes, to complete a _facsimile_ of the original, though the
poor girls were lying on their backs. The wounds, it is to be hoped, are
inflicted and kept fresh and active by means employed when the victims
are in the insensibility to pain, which commonly goes with trance.

To comprehend the effects of religious excitement operating on masses,
we may inspect three pictures,--the revivals of modern times--the
fanatical delusions of the Cevennes--the behaviour of the
Convulsionnaires at the grave of the Abbé Paris.

"I have seen," says M. Le Roi Sunderland, himself a preacher, [_Zion's
Watchman_, New York, Oct. 2, 1842,] "persons often 'lose their
strength,' as it is called, at camp-meetings, and other places of great
religious excitement; and not pious people alone, but those also who
were not professors of religion. In the spring of 1824, while performing
pastoral labour in Dennis, Massachusetts, I saw more than twenty people
affected in this way. Two young men, of the name of Crowell, came one
day to a prayer meeting. They were quite indifferent. I conversed with
them freely, but they showed no signs of penitence. From the meeting
they went to their shop, (they were shoemakers,) to finish some work
before going to the meeting in the evening. On seating themselves they
were both struck perfectly stiff. I was immediately sent for, and found
them sitting paralysed [he means cataleptic] on their benches, with
their work in their hands, unable to get up, or to move at all. I have
seen scores of persons affected the same way. I have seen persons lie in
this state forty-eight hours. At such times they are unable to converse,
and are sometimes unconscious of what is passing round them. At the same
time they say they are in a happy state of mind."

These persons, it is evident, were thrown in to one of the forms of
trance through their minds being powerfully worked upon; with which
cause the influence of mutual sympathy with what they saw around them,
and perhaps some physical agency, co-operated.

The following extract from the same journal portrays another kind of
nervous seizure, allied to the former, and produced by the same cause,
as it was manifested at the great revival, some forty years ago, at
Kentucky and Tennessee.

"The convulsions were commonly called 'the jerks.' A writer, (M'Neman,)
quoted by Mr Power, (Essay on the Influence of the Imagination over the
Nervous System,) gives this account of their course and progress:--

"'At first appearance these meetings, exhibited nothing to the spectator
but a scene of confusion, that could scarcely be put into language. They
were generally opened with a sermon, near the close of which there would
be an unusual outcry, some bursting out into loud ejaculations of
prayer, &c.

"'The rolling exercise consisted in being cast down in a violent manner,
doubled with the head and feet together, or stretched in a prostrate,
manner, turning swiftly over like a dog. Nothing in nature could better
represent the jerks, than for one to goad another alternately on every
side with a piece of red-hot iron. The exercise commonly began in the
head, which would fly backwards and forwards, and from side to side,
with a quick jolt, which the person would naturally labour to suppress,
but in vain. He must necessarily go on as he was stimulated, whether
with a violent dash on the ground, and bounce from place to place, like
a foot-ball; or hopping round with head, limbs, and trunk, twitching
and jolting in every direction, as if they must inevitably fly asunder,'
&c."

The following sketch is from _Dow's Journal_. "In the year 1805 he
preached at Knoxville, Tennessee, before the governor, when some hundred
and fifty persons, among whom were a number of Quakers, had the jerks."

"I have seen all denominations of religions exercised by the jerks,
gentleman and lady, black and white, young and old, without exception. I
passed a meeting-house, where I observed the undergrowth had been cut
away for camp meetings, and from fifty to a hundred saplings were left,
breast high, on purpose for the people who were jerked to hold by. I
observed where they had held on, they had kicked up the earth, as a
horse stamping flies."

Every one has heard of the extraordinary scenes which took place in the
Cevennes at the close of the seventeenth century.

It was towards the end of the year 1688 a report was first heard, of a
gift of prophecy which had shown itself among the persecuted followers
of the Reformation, who, in the south of France, had betaken themselves
to the mountains. The first instance was said to have occurred in the
family of a glass-dealer, of the name of Du Serre, well known as the
most zealous Calvinist of the neighbourhood, which was a solitary spot
in Dauphiné, near Mount Peyra. In the enlarging circle of enthusiasts,
Gabriel Astier and Isabella Vincent made themselves first conspicuous.
Isabella, a girl of sixteen years of age, from Dauphiné, who was in the
service of a peasant, and tended sheep, began in her sleep to preach and
prophesy, and the Reformers came from far and near to hear her. An
advocate, of the name of Gerlan, describes the following scene which he
had witnessed. At his request she had admitted him, and a good many
others, after nightfall, to a meeting at a chateau in the neighbourhood.
She there disposed herself upon a bed, shut her eyes, and went to sleep;
in her sleep she chanted in a low tone the Commandments and a psalm;
after a short respite she began to preach in a louder voice, not in her
own dialect, but in good French, which hitherto she had not used. The
theme was an exhortation to obey God rather than man. Sometimes she
spoke so quickly as to be hardly intelligible. At certain of her pauses,
she stopped to collect herself. She accompanied her words with
gesticulations. Gerlan found her pulse quiet, her arm not rigid, but
relaxed, as natural. After an interval, her countenance put on a mocking
expression, and she began anew her exhortation, which was now mixed with
ironical reflections upon the Church of Rome. She then suddenly stopped,
continuing asleep. It was in vain they stirred her. When her arms were
lifted and let go, they dropped unconsciously. As several now went away,
whom her silence rendered impatient, she said in a low tone, but just as
if she was awake, "Why do you go away? Why do not you wait till I am
ready?" And then she delivered another ironical discourse against the
Catholic Church, which she closed with a prayer.

When Boucha, the intendant of the district, heard of the performances of
Isabella Vincent, he had her brought before him. She replied to his
interrogatories, that people had often told her that she preached in her
sleep, but that she did not herself believe a word of it. As the
slightness of her person made her appear younger than she really was,
the intendant merely sent her to an hospital at Grenoble, where,
notwithstanding that she was visited by persons of the Reformed
persuasion, there was an end of her preaching,--she became a Catholic!

Gabriel Astier, who had been a young labourer, likewise from Dauphiné,
went in the capacity of a preacher and prophet into the valley of
Bressac, in the Vivarais. He had infected his family: his father,
mother, elder brother, and sweetheart, followed his example, and took to
prophesying. Gabriel, before he preached, used to fall into a kind of
stupor in which he lay rigid. After delivering his sermon, he would
dismiss his auditors with a kiss, and the words: "My brother, or my
sister, I impart to you the Holy Ghost." Many believed that they had
thus received the Holy Ghost from Astier, being taken with the same
seizure. During the period of the discourse, first one, then another,
would fall down; some described themselves afterwards as having felt
first a weakness and trembling through the whole frame, and an impulse
to yawn and stretch their arms, then they fell convulsed and foaming at
the mouth. Others carried the contagion home with them, and first
experienced its effects, days, weeks, months afterwards. They
believed--nor is it wonderful they did so--that they had received the
Holy Ghost.

Not less curious were the seizures of the Convulsionnaires at the grave
of the Abbé Paris, in the year 1727. These Jansenist visionaries used to
collect in the church-yard of St Médard, round the grave of the deposed
and deceased Deacon, and before long the reputation of the place for
working miracles getting about, they fell in troops into convulsions.

Their state had more analogy to that of the Jerkers already described.
But it was different. They required, to gratify an internal impulse or
feeling, that the most violent blows should be inflicted upon them at
the pit of the stomach. Carré de Montgeron mentions, that being himself
an enthusiast in the matter, he had inflicted the blows required with an
iron instrument, weighing from twenty to thirty pounds, with a round
head. And as a convulsionary lady complained that he struck too lightly
to relieve the feeling of depression at her stomach, he gave her sixty
blows with all his force. It would not do, and she begged to have the
instrument used by a tall, strong man, who stood by in the crowd. The
spasmodic tension of her muscles must have been enormous; for she
received one hundred blows, delivered with such force that the wall
shook behind her. She thanked the man for his benevolent aid, and
contemptuously censured De Montgeron for his weakness, or want of faith
and timidity. It was, indeed, time for issuing the mandate, which, as
wit read it, ran:

    "De par le roi--Defense à Dieu,
      De faire miracle en ce lieu."

Turn we now to another subject:--the possessed in the middle ages,--What
was their physiological condition? What was really meant then by being
possessed? I mean, what were the symptoms of the affection, and how are
they properly to be explained? The inquiry will throw further light upon
the true relations of other phenomena we have already looked at.

We have seen that Schwedenborg thought that he was in constant
communication with the spiritual world; but felt convinced, and avowed,
that though he saw his visitants without and around him, they reached
him first inwardly, and communicated with his understanding; and thence
consciously, and outwardly, with his senses. But it would be a
misapplication of the term to say that he was possessed by these
spirits.

We remember that Socrates had his demon; and it should be mentioned as a
prominent feature in visions generally, that their subject soon
identifies one particular imaginary being as his guide and informant, to
whom he applies for what knowledge he wishes. In the most exalted states
of trance-waking, the guide or demon is continually referred to with
profound respect by the entranced person. Now, was Socrates, and are
patients of the class I have alluded to, possessed? No! the meaning of
the term is evidently not yet hit.

Then there are persons who permanently fancy themselves other beings
than they are, and act as such.

In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, there prevailed in parts of
Europe a seizure, which was called the wolf-sickness. Those affected
with it held themselves to be wild beasts, and betook themselves to the
forests. One of these, who was brought before De Lancre, at Bordeaux, in
the beginning of the sixteenth century, was a young man of Besançon. He
avowed himself to be huntsman of the forest lord, his invisible master.
He believed, that through the power of his master, he had been
transformed into a wolf; that he hunted in the forest as such, and that
he was often accompanied by a bigger wolf, whom he suspected to be the
master he served--with more details of the same kind. The persons thus
affected were called Wehrwolves. They enjoyed in those days the
alternative of being exorcised or executed.

Arnold relates in his history of church and of heresy, how there was a
young man in Königsberg, well educated, the natural son of a priest, who
had the impression, that he was met near a crucifix in the wayside by
seven angels, who revealed to him that he was to represent God the
Father on earth, to drive all evil out of the world, &c. The poor
fellow, after pondering upon this impression a long time, issued a
circular commencing thus,--

"We, John Albrecht, Adelgreif, Syrdos, Amata, Kanemata, Kilkis,
Mataldis, Schmalkilimundis, Sabrundis, Elioris, Overarch High-priest,
and Emperor, Prince of Peace of the whole world, Overarch King of the
Holy Kingdom of Heaven, Judge of the living and of the dead, God and
Father, in whose divinity Christ will come on the last day to judge the
world, Lord of all Lords, King of all Kings," &c.

He was thereupon thrown into prison at Königsberg, regarded as a most
frightful heretic, and every means were used by the clergy to reclaim
him. To all their entreaties, however, he listened only with a smile of
pity, "that they should think of reclaiming God the Father." He was then
put to the torture; and as what he endured made no alteration in his
convictions, he was condemned to have his tongue torn out with red-hot
tongs, to be cut in four quarters, and then burned under the gallows. He
wept bitterly, not at his own fate, but that they should pronounce such
a sentence on the Deity. The executioner was touched with pity, and
entreated him to make a final recantation. But he persisted that he was
God the Father, whether they pulled his tongue out by the roots or not;
and so he was executed!

The Wehrwolves, and this poor creature, in what state were they? they
were merely insane. Then we must look further.

Gmelin, in the first volume of his Contributions to Anthropology,
narrates, that in the year 1789, a German lady, under his observation,
had daily paroxysms, in which she believed herself to be, and acted the
part of a French emigrant. She had been in distress of mind through the
absence of a person she was attached to, and he was somehow implicated
in the scenes of the French revolution. After an attack of fever and
delirium, the complaint regulated itself, and took the form of a daily
fit of trance-waking. When the time for the fit approached, she stopped
in her conversation, and ceased to answer when spoken to; she then
remained a few minutes sitting perfectly still, her eyes fixed on the
carpet before her. Then, in evident uneasiness, she began to move her
head backwards and forwards, to sigh, and to pass her fingers across her
eye-brows. This lasted a minute, then she raised her eyes, looked once
or twice around with timidity and embarrassment, then began to talk in
French; when she would describe all the particulars of her escape from
France, and, assuming the manner of a French woman, talk purer and
better accented French than she had been known to be capable of talking
before, correct her friends when they spoke incorrectly, but delicately
and with a comment on the German rudeness of laughing at the bad
pronunciation of strangers; and if led herself to speak or read German,
she used a French accent, and spoke it ill; and the like.

Now, suppose this lady, instead of thus acting, when the paroxysms
supervened, had cast herself on the ground, had uttered bad language and
blasphemy, and had worn a sarcastic and malignant expression of
countenance,--in striking contrast with her ordinary character and
behaviour, and _alternating with it_,--and you have the picture and the
reality of a person "possessed."

A person, "possessed," is one affected with the form of trance-waking
called double consciousness, with the addition of being deranged when in
the paroxysm, and then, out of the suggestions of her own fancy, or
catching at the interpretation put on her conduct by others, believing
herself tenanted by the fiend.

We may quite allowably heighten the above picture by supposing that the
person in her trance, in addition to being mad, might have displayed
some of the perceptive powers occasionally developed in trance; and so
have evinced, in addition to her demoniacal ferocity, an "uncanny"
knowledge of things and persons. To be candid, Archy, time was, when I
should myself have had my doubts in such a case.

We have by this time had intercourse enough with spirits and demons to
prepare us for the final subject of witchcraft.

The superstition of witchcraft stretches back into remote antiquity, and
has many roots. In Europe it is partly of Druidical origin. The
Druidesses were part priestesses, part shrewd old ladies, who dealt in
magic and medicine. They were called _all-rune_, all-knowing. There was
some touch of classical superstition mingled in the stream which was
flowing down to us;--so an edict of a council of Trêves, in the year
1310, has this injunction: "Nulla mulierum se nocturnis horis equitare
cum Dianâ propitiatur; hæc enim doemoniaca est illusio." But the main
source from which we derived this superstition, is the East, and
traditions and facts incorporated in our religion. There were only
wanted the ferment of thought of the fifteenth century, the vigour,
energy, ignorance, enthusiasm, and faith of those days, and the papal
denunciation of witchcraft by the famous Bull of Innocent the VIII. in
1459, to give fury to the delusion. And from this time for three
centuries, the flames, at which more than 100,000 victims perished, cast
a lurid light over Europe.

One ceases to wonder at this ugly stain in the page of history, when one
considers all things fairly.

The Enemy of mankind, bodily, with horns, hoofs, and tail, was believed
to lurk round every corner, bent upon your spiritual, if not bodily
harm. The witch and the sorcerer were not possessed by him against their
will, but went out of their way to solicit his alliance, and to offer to
forward his views for their own advantage, or to gratify their
malignity. The cruel punishments for a crime so monstrous were mild,
compared with the practice of our own penal code fifty or sixty years
ago against second-class offences. And for the startling bigotry of the
judges, which appears the most discreditable part of the matter, why,
how could they alone be free from the prejudices of their age? Yet they
did strange things.

At Lindheim, Horst reports, on one occasion six women were implicated in
a charge of having disinterred the body of a child to make a
witch-broth. As they happened to be innocent of the deed, they underwent
the most cruel tortures before they would confess it. At length they saw
their cheapest bargain was to admit the crime, and be simply burned
alive and have it over. So they did so. But the husband of one of them
procured an official examination of the grave; when the child's body was
found in its coffin safe and sound. What said the Inquisitor? "This is
indeed a proper piece of devil's work; no, no, I am not to be taken in
by such a gross and obvious imposture. Luckily the women have already
confessed the crime, and burned they must and shall be in honour of the
Holy Trinity, which has commanded the extirpation of sorcerers and
witches." The six women were burned alive accordingly.

It was hard upon them, because they were innocent. But the regular
witches, as times went, hardly deserved any better fate--considering, I
mean, their honest and straight-forward intentions of doing that which
they believed to be the most desperate wrong achievable. Many there were
who sought to be initiated in the black art. They were re-baptized with
the support of responsible witch sponsors, abjured Christ, and entered
to the best of their belief into a compact with the devil; and forthwith
commenced a course of bad works, poisoning and bewitching men and
cattle, and the like, or trying to do so.

One feature transpired in these details, that is merely pathetic, not
horrifying or disgusting.

The little children of course talked witchcraft, and you may fancy,
Archy, what charming gossip it must have made. Then the poor little
things were sadly wrought on by the tales they told. And they fell into
trances and had visions shaped by their heated fancies.

A little maid, of twelve years of age, used to fall into fits of sleep,
and afterwards she told her parents, and _the judge_, how an old woman
and her daughter, riding on a broom-stick, had come and taken her out
with them. The daughter sat foremost, the old woman behind, the little
maid between them. They went away through the roof of the house, over
the adjoining houses and the town gate, to a village some way off. There
they went down a chimney of a cottage into a room, where sat a tall
black man and twelve women. They eat and drank. The black man filled
their glasses from a can, and gave each of the women a handful of gold.
She herself had received none; but she had eaten and drank with them.

A list of persons burned in Salzburg for participation in witchcraft
between the years 1627 and 1629 in an outbreak of this frenzy, which had
its origin in an epidemic among the cattle, enumerates children of 14,
12, 11, 10, 9, years of age; which in some degree reconciles one to the
fate of the fourteen canons, four gentlemen of the choir, two young men
of rank, a fat old lady of rank, the wife of a burgomaster, a
counsellor, the fattest burgess of Wartzburg, together with his wife,
the handsomest woman in the city, and a midwife of the name of
Schiekelte, with whom (according to an N.B. in the original report) the
whole mischief originated. To amateurs of executions in those days the
fatness of the victim was evidently a point of consideration, as is
shown by the specifications of that quality in some of the victims in
the above list. Were men devils _then_? By no means; there existed then
as now upon earth, worth, honour, truth, benevolence, gentleness. But
there were other ingredients, too, from which the times are not yet
purged. A century ago people did not know--do they now?--that vindictive
punishment is a crime; that the only allowable purpose of punishment is
to prevent the recurrence of the offence; and that restraint, isolation,
employment, instruction, are the extreme and only means towards that end
which reason and humanity justify. Alas, for human nature! Some
centuries hence, the first half of the nineteenth century will be
charged with having manifested no admission of principle in advance of a
period, the judicial crimes of which make the heart shudder. The old
lady witches had, of course, much livelier ideas than the innocent
children, on the subject of their intercourse with the devils.

At Mora, in Sweden, in 1669, of many who were put to the torture and
executed, seventy-two women agreed in the following avowal, that they
were in the habit of meeting at a place called Blocula. That on their
calling out "Come forth!" the Devil used to appear to them in a gray
coat, red breeches, gray stockings, with a red beard, and a peaked hat
with party-coloured feathers on his head. He then enforced upon them,
not without blows, that they must bring him, at nights, their own and
other peoples' children, stolen for the purpose. They travel through the
air to Blocula either on beasts or on spits, or broomsticks. When they
have many children with them, they rig on an additional spar to lengthen
the back of the goat or their broom-stick that the children may have
room to sit. At Blocula they sign their name in blood and are baptized.
The Devil is a humorous, pleasant gentleman; but his table is coarse
enough, which makes the children often sick on their way home, the
product being the so-called witch-butter found in the fields. When the
Devil is larky, he solicits the witches to dance round him on their
brooms, which he suddenly pulls from under them, and uses to beat them
with till they are black and blue. He laughs at this joke till his sides
shake again. Sometimes he is in a more gracious mood, and plays to them
lovely airs upon the harp; and occasionally sons and daughters are born
to the Devil, which take up their residence at Blocula.

I will add an outline of the history, furnished or corroborated by her
voluntary confession, of a lady witch, nearly the last executed for this
crime. She was, at the time of her death, seventy years of age, and had
been many years sub-prioress of the convent of Unterzell, near
Wartzburg.

Maria Renata took the veil at nineteen years of age, against her
inclination, having previously been initiated in the mysteries of
witchcraft, which she continued to practise for fifty years under the
cloak of punctual attendance to discipline and pretended piety. She was
long in the station of sub-prioress, and would, for her capacity, have
been promoted to the rank of prioress, had she not betrayed a certain
discontent with the ecclesiastic life, a certain contrariety to her
superiors, something half expressed only of inward dissatisfaction.
Renata had not ventured to let any one about the convent into her
confidence, and she remained free from suspicion, notwithstanding that,
from time to time, some of the nuns, either from the herbs she mixed
with their food, or through sympathy, had strange seizures, of which
some died. Renata became at length extravagant and unguarded in her
witch propensities, partly from long security, partly from desire of
stronger excitement; made noises in the dormitory, and uttered shrieks
in the garden; went at nights into the cells of the nuns to pinch and
torment them, to assist her in which she kept a considerable supply of
cats. The removal of the keys of the cells counteracted this annoyance;
but a still more efficient means was a determined blow on the part of a
nun, struck at the aggressor with the penitential scourge one night, on
the morning following which Renata was observed to have a black eye and
cut face. This event awakened suspicion against Renata. Then, one of the
nuns, who was much esteemed, declared, believing herself upon her
death-bed, that, "as she shortly expected to stand before her Maker,
Renata was uncanny, that she had often at nights been visibly tormented
by her, and that she warned her to desist from this course." General
alarm arose, and apprehension of Renata's arts; and one of the nuns, who
previously had had fits, now became possessed, and in the paroxysms told
the wildest tales against Renata. It is only wonderful how the
sub-prioress contrived to keep her ground many years against these
suspicions and incriminations. She adroitly put aside the insinuations
of the nun as imaginary or of calumnious intention, and treated
witchcraft and possession of the Devil as things which enlightened
people no longer believed in. As, however, five more of the nuns, either
taking the infection from the first, or influenced by the arts of
Renata, became possessed of devils, and unanimously attacked Renata, the
superiors could no longer avoid making a serious investigation of the
charges. Renata was confined in a cell alone, whereupon the six devils
screeched in chorus at being deprived of their friend. She had begged to
be allowed to take her papers with her; but this being refused, and
thinking herself detected, she at once avowed to her confessor and the
superiors, that she was a witch, had learned witchcraft out of the
convent, and had bewitched the six nuns. They determined to keep the
matter secret, and to attempt the conversion of Renata. And as the nuns
still continued possessed, they despatched her to a remote convent.
Here, under a show of outward piety, she still went on with her attempts
to realise witchcraft, and the nuns remained possessed. It was decided
at length to give Renata over to the civil power. She was accordingly
condemned to be burned alive; but in mitigation of punishment her head
was first struck off. Four of the possessed nuns gradually recovered
with clerical assistance; the other two remained deranged. Renata was
executed on the 21st January 1749.

Renata stated, in her voluntary confession, that she had often at night
been carried bodily to witch-Sabbaths; in one of which she was first
presented to the Prince of Darkness, when she abjured God and the Virgin
at the same time. Her name, with the alteration of Maria into Emma, was
written in a black book, and she herself was stamped on the back as the
Devil's property, in return for which she received the promise of
seventy years of life, and all she might wish for. She stated that she
had often, at night, gone into the cellar of the _chateau_ and drank the
best wine; in the shape of a swine had walked on the convent walls; on
the bridge had milked the cows as they passed over; and several times
had mingled with the actors in the theatre in London.

A question unavoidably presents itself--How came witchcraft to be in so
great a degree the province of women? There existed sorcerers, no doubt,
but they were comparatively few. Persons of either sex and of all ages
indiscriminately interested themselves in the black art; but the
professors and regular practitioners were almost exclusively women, and
principally old women. The following seem to have been some of the
causes. Women were confined to household toils; their minds had not
adequate occupation: many young unmarried women, without duties, would
lack objects of sufficient interest for their yearnings; many of the old
ones, despised, ill treated probably, soured with the world, rendered
spiteful and vindictive, took even more readily to a resource which
roused and gave employment to their imaginations, and promised to
gratify their wishes. It is evident, too, that the supposed sex of the
Devil helped him here. The old women had an idea of making much of him,
and of coaxing, and getting round the black gentleman. But beside all
this, there lies in the physical temperament of the other sex a peculiar
susceptibility of derangement of the nervous system, a predisposition to
all the varieties of trance, with its prolific sources of mental
illusion--all tending, it is to be observed, to advance the belief and
enlarge the pretensions of witchcraft.

The form of trance which specially dominated in witchcraft was
trance-sleep with visions. The graduates and candidates in the faculty
sought to fall into trances, in the dreams of which they realised their
waking aspirations. They entertained no doubt, however, that their
visits to the Devil and their nocturnal exploits were genuine; and they
seem to have wilfully shut their eyes to the possibility of their having
never left their beds. For, with a skill that should have betrayed to
them the truth, they were used to prepare a witch-broth to promote in
some way their nightly expeditions. And this they composed not only of
materials calculated to prick on the imagination, but of substantial
narcotics, too--the medical effects of which they no doubt were
acquainted with. They contemplated evidently producing a sort of stupor.

The professors of witchcraft had thus made the singular step of
artificially producing a sort of trance, with the object of availing
themselves of one of its attendant phenomena. The Thamans in Siberia do
the like to this day to obtain the gift of prophecy. And it is more than
probable that the Egyptian and Delphic priest habitually availed
themselves of some analogous procedure. Modern mesmerism is in part an
effort in the same direction.

Without at all comprehending the real character of the power called into
play, mankind seems to have found out by a "mera palpatio," by
instinctive experiment and lucky groping in the dark, that in the stupor
of trance the mind occasionally stumbles upon odds and ends of strange
knowledge and prescience. The phenomenon was never for an instant
suspected of lying in the order of nature. It was construed, to suit the
occasion and the times, either into divine inspiration or diabolic
whisperings. But it was always supernatural. So the ignorant old
lemon-seller in Zschokke's Selbstschau thought his "hidden wisdom" a
mystical wonder; while the enlightened and accomplished narrator of
their united stories, stands alone, in striking advance ever of his own
day, when he unassumingly and diffidently puts forward his seer-gift as
_a simple contribution to psychical knowledge_. And thus, my proposed
task accomplished, my dear Archy, finally yours, &c.

                          MAC DAVUS.



THE HYMN OF KING OLAF THE SAINT.

ALTERED FROM THE ICELANDIC.


      Swend, king of all,
      In Olaf's hall
    Now sits in state on high;
      Whilst up in heaven
      Amidst the shriven
    Sits Olaf's majesty.
      For not in cell
      Does our hero dwell,
    But in realms of light for ever:
      As a ransom'd saint
      To heal our plaint,
    Be glory to thee, gold-giver!

      Of raptures there
      He has won his share,
    All cleansed from taint of sin;
      For on earth prepared,
      No toil he spared
    That holy place to win.
      That he hath won
      Near God's dear Son
    Fast by the holy river--
      Oh, such as thine
      May the end be mine;
    Be glory to thee, gold-giver!

      His sacred form
      Unscathed by worm,
    And clear as the hour he died,
      Lies at this day
      Where good men pray
    At morn and at eventide.
      His nails and his hair
      Are fresh and fair,
    With his yellow locks still growing;
      His cheek as red,
      And his flesh not dead,
    Though the blood hath ceased from flowing.

      If you watch by night,
      In the dim twilight
    You may hear a requiem singing;
      And the people hear
      Above his bier
    A small bell clearly ringing.
      And if ye wait
      Until midnight late,
    You may hear the great bell toll:
      But none can tell
      Who tolls that bell
    If it sounds for Olaf's soul.
      With tapers clear,
      Which Christ holds dear,
    O'er the corpse so still reclining,
      By day and night
      Is the altar light
    And the cross of the Saviour shining.
      For our King did so,
      And all men know
    That washed from sin and shriven,
      All free from taint,
      A ransom'd saint,
    He dwells with the saints in heaven.

      And thousands come,
      The deaf and the dumb,
    To the tomb of our monarch here--
      The sick and the blind
      Of every kind
    They throng to the holy bier.
      With heads all bare
      They breathe their prayer
    As they kneel on the flinty ground:
      God hears their sighs,
      And the sick men rise
    All whole, and healed, and sound.

      Then to Olaf pray,
      To spare thy day
    From wrath, and wrong, and harm;
      To save thy land
      From the spoiler's hand,
    And the fell invader's arm.
      God's man is he,
      To deal to thee
    What is ask'd in a lowly spirit--
      Let thy prayer not cease,
      And wealth, and peace,
    And a blessing thou shalt inherit.

      For prayers are good,
      If before the rood
    Thy beads thou tellest praying;
      If thou tellest on,
      Forgetting none
    Of the saints who with God are staying.

                          W. E. A.



FOUR SONNETS BY ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING.

TWO SKETCHES.


                    I.

    The shadow of her face upon the wall
    May take your memory to the perfect Greek;
    But when you front her, you would call the cheek
    Too full, sir, for your models, if withal
    That bloom it wears could leave you critical,
    And that smile reaching toward the rosy streak:--
    For one who smiles so, has no need to speak,
    To lead your thoughts along, as steed to stall!
    A smile that turns the sunny side o' the heart
    On all the world, as if herself did win
    By what she lavished on an open mart:--
    Let no man call the liberal sweetness, sin,--
    While friends may whisper, as they stand apart,
    "Methinks there's still some warmer place within."


                    II.

    Her azure eyes, dark lashes hold in fee:
    Her fair superfluous ringlets, without check,
    Drop after one another down her neck;
    As many to each cheek as you might see
    Green leaves to a wild rose! This sign, outwardly,
    And a like woman-covering seems to deck
    Her inner nature! For she will not fleck
    World's sunshine with a finger. Sympathy
    Must call her in Love's name! and then, I know,
    She rises up, and brightens, as she should,
    And lights her smile for comfort, and is slow
    In nothing of high-hearted fortitude.
    To smell this flower, come near it; such can grow
    In that sole garden where Christ's brow dropped blood.


            MOUNTAINEER AND POET.

    The simple goatherd who treads places high,
    Beholding there his shadow (it is wist)
    Dilated to a giant's on the mist,
    Esteems not his own stature larger by
    The apparent image; but more patiently
    Strikes his staff down beneath his clenching fist--
    While the snow-mountains lift their amethyst
    And sapphire crowns of splendour, far and nigh,
    Into the air around him. Learn from hence
    Meek morals, all ye poets that pursue
    Your way still onward up to eminence!
    Ye are not great, because creation drew
    Large revelations round your earliest sense,
    Nor bright, because God's glory shines for you.


                    THE POET.

    The poet hath the child's sight in his breast,
    And sees all _new_. What oftenest he has viewed,
    He views with the first glory. Fair and good
    Pall never on him, at the fairest, best,
    But stand before him, holy, and undressed
    In week-day false conventions; such as would
    Drag other men down from the altitude
    Of primal types, too early dispossessed.
    Why, God would tire of all his heavens as soon
    As thou, O childlike, godlike poet! did'st
    Of daily and nightly sights of sun and moon!
    And therefore hath He set thee in the midst
    Where men may hear thy wonder's ceaseless tune,
    And praise His world for ever as thou bidst.



CONSTANTINOPLE AND THE DECLINING OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE.

(BEING A FEW PAGES FROM MY EASTERN DIARY).


----At half-past seven in the evening, we left Smyrna by the Scamandre,
a French government steamer, and were soon gliding over a sea smooth as
glass. The soft tints of the twilight spread gradually around us, and to
a beautiful day there succeeded one of those marvellous nights, during
which one cannot bring one's-self to the determination of retiring to
rest.

The dawn of day surprised me on deck. In the morning we neared the land,
which presented to our view a desert plain, covered with dwarf oak. This
was the site of ancient Troy; we were coasting near those famous fields,
_ubi Troja fuit_; that stream which was throwing itself before our eyes
into the sea, was formerly called the "Simois;" those two hillocks which
we saw upon the coast, were the tombs of Hector and Patroclus; that huge
blue mountain which in the distance raised towards the sky its three
peaks covered with snow, was Ida; and behind us, from the midst of the
sparkling waves, rose the island of Tenedos. All conversation between
the passengers from many nations had long since ceased, and I
contemplated in silence that grim desert, which, at Eton, I had dreamed
of as full of movement and sound, and that calm sea which I had so often
figured to myself as covered with the ships of Agamemnon, of Ulysses,
and of Achilles the

    "Impiger, iracundus, inexorabilis, acer."

At mid-day we entered the Dardanelles, and several hours afterwards, we
cast anchor between Sestos and Abydos, before a small white town,
containing no remarkable objects. Sestos and Abydos, which it must be
owned would not be by any means celebrated, were it not for the
enterprises which cost Leander his life and Lord Byron an ague, are two
hamlets, which, like the greater portion of Turkish villages, offer in
no shape whatever what it is the fashion to term the Oriental type. They
are composed of an assemblage of rose-coloured houses, whose large red
roofs, seen through the verdure and flowers, call to one's mind the
description of a Chinese village.

Upon its arrival, the Scamandre was immediately surrounded by a
multitude of caicks filled with bearded Turks, veiled women, and various
coloured bales. Upon deck rose a deafening Babel of voices,--the sailors
swore, the women screamed, and the porters fought, until at length quiet
was restored, and one hundred and eighty-six new Mussulman passengers
came on board the steamer. Amid the caicks ranged along the sides of the
vessel, was one much more richly freighted than the rest; the traveller
to whom it belonged was a young Arab, who, standing on a pile of bales,
domineered over his boatmen by several feet. His white garments set off
to advantage his dark complexion; and a cloak of black wool, profusely
embroidered with gold lace, drew upon him the eyes of all. I had seldom,
if ever, beheld a head more beautiful or more expressive than that of
the young man. His large black eyes were full of intelligence, and in
his bearing was a natural nobility and pride. As long as the confusion,
described above, continued, he directed his boatmen to keep at a
distance, but when all were embarked, and the Scamandre was ready to
start, he hailed the vessel, and having mounted the side-ladders, gave
his hand to six veiled women in succession, whose long white dominos
prevented the spectators from even guessing at their age or beauty. The
young man, once on board, conducted his odalisques to a fore-cabin,
placed a hideous negro at the door as sentinel, and returned immediately
to the deck, where another negro presented him with a narguileh (Turkish
water-pipe).

Nothing can less resemble our regular fortifications than the fort of
Gallipoli, (before which we soon after passed,) and the other castles of
the Dardanelles, which ought to render Constantinople the most
impregnable place in the world (from the sea.) The forts are large
buildings of a dazzling white colour, perforated with port-holes,
similar to those belonging to a ship of war, and mounted with old guns,
the greater portion of which are without carriages, and served,
ordinarily, by a single artillery-man, assisted in time of war by three
or four peasants. In the present century, however, these batteries have
shown their prowess, and against our own countrymen too. During the
month of February 1807, the British government, justly irritated at the
increasing influence that the French ambassador, Count Sebastiani, was
obtaining at the Ottoman court, despatched Admiral Sir John Duckworth,
in command of a squadron, with orders to bombard, if necessary, the
Seraglio itself. Unfortunately, Sir John Duckworth's plan of acting was
exactly contrary to what would have been our gallant Nelson's in the
same position. After having passed without difficulty before the then
disarmed castles of the Dardanelles, after having burned the Ottoman
fleet off Gallipoli, while the crews were peaceably celebrating on shore
the feast of Courban-Beiram, Sir John presented himself off
Constantinople, and threatened to bombard that city, should the Sultan
refuse to accept the conditions he offered, at the same time he allowed
his Imperial Highness two days to consider the terms; Nelson would have
allowed as many hours only. The folly of Admiral Duckworth's conduct
fully shown in the sequel, for, at the conclusion of the forty-eight
hours, the approaches to Stamboul and Galata were bristling--thanks to
the delay accorded, and to the exertions of the French ambassador--with
twelve hundred pieces of cannon; while, at the same time, orders having
been sent to the castles of the Dardanelles to mount their batteries,
the British squadron was hemmed in on all sides, as if by enchantment.
The besieged now became the aggressors, and there soon remained to
Admiral Duckworth no other resource than to weigh anchor and get away as
fast as possible, which he accordingly did. The batteries of the
Dardanelles were now, however, prepared for him. A most destructive fire
was opened upon the ill-fated fleet: two corvettes were sunk off
Gallipoli; the Admiral's flag-ship, the Royal George, lost her mainmast;
a huge marble ball, weighing eight hundred pounds, swept away a quantity
of hands from the lower deck of the Standard, while many officers and
seamen wore severely wounded. It must be here observed, that the
batteries of the Dardanelles owed much of the murderous effect of their
cannonading to the skill of eight French engineer officers, whom Count
Sebastiani, profiting by the delay accorded by Admiral Duckworth to the
Sultan, had despatched to the castles.

These historical reminiscences did not prevent my thoughts occasionally
reverting to the six odalisques, who formed the suite of the young Arab
on board. Ever since their arrival, I had been reflecting that in all
probability never would so excellent an opportunity offer itself of
penetrating the secrets of a Mussulman harem, and of assuring myself of
the vaunted beauty of the mysterious women of Asia. As soon as we were
again in motion, I began to watch the black Argus to whose guard the
fair houris were intrusted. For more than an hour I lurked without
success about the fore-hatchway, for, faithful to his trust, the slave
was lying at the threshold of the door that closed upon his young
mistresses; and I was on the point of losing all patience, when I beheld
him suddenly rise and mount rapidly on deck. He had no sooner
disappeared than I glided into his place, and, having applied my eye to
a large chink in the door, cast a most indiscreet glance into the cabin.
In front of me two women were seated upon their heels, one of them had
thrown aside her veil; and I was gazing in admiration upon a pale but
beautiful face, set off by two immense black and brilliant eyes, when
suddenly I heard behind me the sound of hurried steps. It was the negro
returning to his post, who, on perceiving me, began to cry out most
lustily. Having no desire to commence a contest with him, I proceeded
to mount the hatchway and gain the deck.

The exasperated slave, however, followed me, and hurrying to his master,
proceeded to inform him of my escapade, pointing at the same time to me.
Two old Turks leaped immediately to their feet with fury depicted on
their features; and one of them placed his hand upon the hilt of his
cangiar, and pronounced in a voice half-choked with passion the word
"Ghiaour," (infidel): in answer to which, I politely told him, (as I was
a good Turkish scholar,) to mind his own business, and that I was rather
inclined to consider him the greater infidel of the two. He looked both
surprised and vexed at this, but did not attempt to retort. As to the
young Arab, he proved himself to be a man of sense; for, contenting
himself with smiling at his infuriated attendant, he descended to the
cabin of his odalisques, from whence he did not emerge during the
remainder of our voyage. I did not again see him, and never knew who was
the Mussulman, so handsome and at the same time so little fanatical.

The strait through which we had navigated all day, gradually widened as
we advanced; the shores as they receded were covered with opal tints;
the vessel began to roll, and we entered the sea of Marmora. At sunset
the Mussulmans with whom the deck was crowded collected in groups, and
devoutly said their evening prayer. Their countenances were wrapped in
deep devotion, and they appeared to take no notice of the satirical
smiles, which the strangeness of their attitudes called forth from
several unreflecting travellers, who, by wanting in respect for the
usages of the countries through which they were passing, lowered
themselves immensely in the estimation of the inhabitants. The
irritation excited by the ill-timed railleries of such foolish persons,
is no doubt one of the chief causes of the hatred in which Christians
are held in Turkey. Surely nothing could be less calculated to excite
mockery, than the sight of the Mussulman travellers at their evening
devotions; besides, be it had in mind, that upon this Christian vessel,
scarcely a Christian perhaps was thinking of his God, while not a single
Mahometan was to be seen unengaged in prayer, as the sun sunk below the
horizon.

The following morning I was early upon deck. The sun had not yet risen,
and the air was fresh and invigorating; while upon the white, heavy,
oily sea, was a slight fog, which the breeze was dispersing in flakes.
Around us a quantity of porpoises were either splashing in the midst of
the waves or floating like buoys upon the surface. The most profound
silence reigned upon the deck of the steamer. Wet with the night-dews,
the half-slumbering seamen of the watch were seated in a circle near the
funnel; while numberless Turks, rolled up in their yellow coverlets
striped with red, were sleeping forward beneath the netting: the
steersman at the wheel and the man on the look-out were alone really
wide awake. Suddenly, I perceived dawning in the east a greenish light,
which became yellow as it ascended in the heavens; the low and flat
shore appeared like a black line upon this luminous background, and by
degrees the sea resumed its azure tint. An hour afterwards we were
within cannon-shot of the Seraglio; but, alas! a thick fog covered the
city. Constantinople was invisible--and I was deploring the mischance,
which was depriving me of a long-anticipated pleasure, when suddenly the
sun shone forth brightly, and the fog acquired as if by enchantment a
wonderful transparency. The curtain was, as it were, torn to bits, and
from all quarters at once there appeared to my dazzled eyes forests of
minarets with gilded peaks, thousands of cupolas blazing in the light,
hills covered with many-coloured houses, surrounded by verdure; an
immense succession of palaces with grotesque windows, blue-roofed
mosques, groves of cypress-trees and sycamores, gardens full of flowers,
a port filled as far as the eye could discern with ships, masts, and
flags; in a word, the whole of that enchanted city, which resembles less
an immense capital than an endless succession of lovely kiosks, built in
a boundless park, having lakes for docks, mountains for background,
forests for thickets, fleets for boats,--in fine, an incomparable spot,
and at the same time so grand and elegant, that it seems to have been
designed by fairies, and executed by giants.

Several writers have compared the view of Constantinople to that of
Naples. I cannot, however, agree with them. Any one can figure the
latter capital, whilst, on the contrary, the City of the Sultan
surpasses all that imagination can picture. Our enchantment, however,
was of short duration: the vapours again became condensed, the view was
gradually covered with a rosy haze, then became dim, and Constantinople
disappeared from before us like a dream. The Scamandre, which had
stopped for a few minutes, was again put in motion, and having rounded
the Seraglio, cast anchor in the midst of the strait which separates
Stamboul (the Turkish quarter) from Galata, (the European faubourg.) In
a moment the deck of our vessel was one scene of confusion: the sailors
were running to and fro, while the passengers were rushing one against
another, vociferating after their baggage. Around the vessel there kept
gliding two or three hundred black caicks, rowed by half-naked boatmen;
and notwithstanding the orders to the contrary, a quantity of Maltese
sailors, Turkish porters, and Levantine ciceroni came on board, and
literally took us by storm, bawling out their offers of service, in
almost every known language. Clouds of blue pigeons, and whitewinged
albatros, flew about over our heads, uttering plaintive cries; add to
these the stentorian voice of our French commander, the curiosity and
impatience of the travellers demonstrated by their noisy exclamations,
and one will have an idea of the spectacle offered by the deck of a
steamer on its arrival at a Turkish port.

During the hauling of the vessel to the quay, I scarcely knew upon what
to fix my eyes, attracted as they simultaneously were by a thousand
different objects. Here was the Golden Horn with its numberless ships,
the cypress-trees of Galata, and the seven hills of ancient Byzantium
covered with mosques; there, the blue waves of the Propontis, and the
glittering banks of Scutari. Giddy with enthusiasm, and intoxicated with
admiration, I attempted, as our caick approached the landing-place, to
be the first to leap upon the quay, when, just as I was in the act of
springing, my foot slipped, and I fell headlong into a miry stream. Such
was my entrance into Constantinople.

As soon as I gained footing, splashed with mud from head to foot, I
remained a moment motionless, and almost petrified with astonishment.
All was changed around me: the enchanted panorama had disappeared, and I
found myself in a small filthy crossway, at the entrance of a labyrinth
of narrow, damp, dark, muddy streets. The houses which surrounded me,
built as they were of disjointed planks, had a miserable aspect; time
and rain had diluted their primitive red colour into numberless nameless
tints. One of those minarets which from afar appeared so slender and so
beautiful, now that it was close to me proved to be merely a small
column devoid of symmetry, while its covering of cracked plaster seemed
on the point of falling to pieces. The Turkish promenaders whom from a
distance I had taken for richly attired merchants, proved to be a set of
miserable tatterdemalions with ragged turbans. Behind the porters who
crowded to the landing-place, were butchers embowelling sheep in the
open street; while the pavement was covered with bloody mire and smoking
entrails, around which several score of hideous dogs, of a fallow
colour, were growling and fighting. A fetid stench arose from the damp
gutters, where neither air nor light have ever penetrated, where
corruptions of all sorts amass, and where one is continually in danger
of stepping upon a dead dog or rat. Such is without exaggeration the
aspect of the greater part of the streets of Constantinople, and in
particular those of Galata. This contrast between the misery of what
surrounds you, and the incomparable beauty of the same spot when seen
from a distance, has never yet been sufficiently remarked upon by
travellers who seek to describe Constantinople. Perhaps they have been
unwilling to cool the enthusiasm of their readers in dirtying with these
hideous, but true details, their gold and silver-plated descriptions.

Perfectly disenchanted by this sudden change of scene, I followed the
bearer of my baggage up a street, which was steep, badly paved, and so
narrow that three men could scarcely have walked along it abreast. On
the right and left hand were disgusting little shops, or rather booths,
filled with green fruit and vegetables. Having proceeded onwards, we
rounded the tower of Galata, which, from a near view resembles a
handsome dove-cote, and shortly afterwards arrived at Pera, and
proceeded to take up our quarters at a kind of hotel, kept by one
Giusepine Vitali, where I immediately went to bed and was soon
afterwards fast asleep.

At ten o'clock, A.M., I was awakened by my fellow-travellers, and
accompanied them to the caravanserai of the Turning Dervishes. A
somewhat lengthened residence in the northern provinces of Persia, where
a Turkish idiom is spoken, had given me a tolerable fluency in that
language, and I was thus enabled to act as interpreter to my friends.
The cicerone of the hotel conducted us to a circular building situated
in the midst of a small garden, whither was hurrying a crowd composed of
Greeks, Armenians, and Turks. Having arrived at the vestibule, we took
off our boots and confided them to the care of a man who kept a sort of
depôt for slippers, of which he hired out to each of us a pair. We then
entered a large circular hall, lighted from above, in the centre of
which was an oaken floor, waxed and polished with the greatest care, and
protected by a balustrade. Around this arena were seated a number of
spectators of all ages, country, and costumes, and exhaling a strong
odour of garlic. The ceremony was commenced: for to the music of a
barbarous orchestra, composed of small timbals and squeaking fifes,
accompanying some nasal voices, about twenty tall, bearded young men,
clad in long white robes, were waltzing gravely round an old man in a
blue pelisse. These men carried on their heads a thick beaver cap,
similar in form to a flower-pot turned upside down. Their white robes,
made of a heavy kind of woollen stuff, were so constantly bulged out
with the air that they seemed made of wood. With their arms extended in
the form of a cross, the left hand being somewhat more elevated than the
right, and their looks fixed upon the ceiling with a stupid stare, these
Dervishes continued to turn rapidly round upon their naked feet with
such regularity and impassibility that they seemed like automatons put
into motion by machinery.

Suddenly the music ceased, upon which the Dervishes threw themselves
simultaneously upon their knees, inclining their heads at the same time
to the ground. For several minutes they remained motionless in this
position, while some attendants threw a large black cloak over each,
upon which they again stood up and ranged themselves in a line. Upon
this the old man in the blue pelisse, who had hitherto sat motionless
upon his heels, began a plaintive nasal chant, to which his subordinates
responded in a roaring chorus; this finished, the crowd began to
disperse, and we returned to our hotel.

Besides the Turning Dervishes, there are also at Constantinople the
Howling Dervishes, who, instead of waltzing until they fall from
giddiness, continue to utter the most frightful shrieks, until they fall
upon the ground exhausted and foaming at the mouth. Historians have
accorded different origins to these singular and absurd exercises; for
my part, I am inclined to consider them as remnants of the furious
dances taught by the ancient people of Asia to the Corybantes.

The day after my arrival I embarked for Stamboul, the Turkish quarter,
in one of those long caicks which are as it were the hackney coaches of
Constantinople. The least oscillation is sufficient to upset these light
barks, which are impelled with inconceivable rapidity by two or three
fine light-looking Arnaouts, dressed in silken shirts. In two minutes,
having traversed the Golden Horn, passing through an immense crowd of
boats of every form, and ships of every nation, we disembarked upon a
landing-place even more dangerous than the caick, on account of its
slipperiness and the chances thereby of falling headlong into a
receptacle of filth and mud. The streets of Stamboul are still more
narrow, filthy, and fetid than those of Galata and Pera. Wooden hovels,
badly constructed, and worse painted; a species of cages pierced with an
infinite number of trellised windows, with one story projecting over the
ground floor, flank on the right and on the left hand these passages,
through which hurry a motley crowd with noiseless tread. The pavement,
made of little stones placed in the dust, slip from under one's feet and
expose one to continual falls. Upon the boards of the first shops one
passes are piled heaps of large fish, whose scales glitter in the sun,
in spite of the dust. Fawn-coloured dogs, in much greater numbers than
at Galata, run between your legs--and wo to whosoever should disengage
himself too energetically from these hideous brutes, which are protected
by Mussulman bigotry! The habits of these animals, whose number amounts
to above a hundred thousand, are exceedingly singular. They belong to no
one, and have no habitation; they are born, they live and they die, in
the open street; at every turn one may see a litter of puppies suckled
by their mother. Upon what these quadrupeds feed it would be difficult
to state. The Turkish government abandons to them the clearing of the
streets, and the offal and every sort of filth, together with the dead
bodies of their fellows, compose their apparently ordinary nourishment.
At night they wander about in the burying grounds, howling in the most
frightful manner. Whatever may be their means of existence, they
multiply their species with the most surprising rapidity. Some years
ago, the canine race had increased to such a degree at Constantinople
that it became dangerous, when, to the pious horror of the Old
Mussulmans, the Sultan Mahmood, among other reforms, caused twenty
thousand of these animals to be, not poisoned, he would not have dared
to so greatly offend against the prejudices of the inhabitants, but
transported to the isles of Marmora. In a few days they had devoured
every thing in the place of exile, after which, tormented by hunger,
they made such a hideous row, and uttered such plaintive howls, that
pity was taken upon them, and they were brought back in triumph to
Constantinople. Fortunately hydrophobia is unknown in the Levant.

The bazars of Constantinople have been so often described that it would
be useless to describe them at any length. I will merely observe,
therefore, that though infinitely more considerable, they do not
respond, any more than those of Smyrna, to the ideas of luxury and
grandeur which untravelled Europeans are apt to conceive of them. The
Turkish bazars have a miserable aspect; they are nothing more than an
immense labyrinth of large vaulted galleries, clumsily built, and at all
times damp in the extreme. Magnificent carpets, stuffs embroidered in
gold and silver, and other objects, the richness of which contrasts most
singularly with the nakedness of the walls, are hung out for display on
cords stretched transversely. The counter is a flat board of wood, very
slightly elevated above the ground, and which serves as a divan to the
seller and a seat to the buyer. From this place, which is usually
covered with a mat, the Mussulman gazes in silence upon the passing
foreigner, whom he rarely deigns to address by the name of Effendi;
while, on the contrary, the active and loquacious Armenian even leaves
his shop to run after him with some tempting object in his hand, at the
same time indiscriminately giving him the title of "Signore Capitan." In
the bazars are an astonishing number of articles which are often very
cheap, such as tissues of silk, dressing gowns, gold embroidery, and
Persian carpets, perfumery, precious stones, pieces of amber, furs,
sweetmeats, pipes, morocco leather, velvet slippers, silken scarfs and
Cachemire shawls cover a space extending over several leagues. In the
"_Besestein_," a large building separated from the other bazars, one
meets with in quantities those old arms, so sought after by antiquaries,
carbines ornamented with coral, magnificent yataghans worn by the
Janissaries before their destruction, and the famous blades of Khorasan.

The commerce of Constantinople is closely allied with that of Smyrna;
and many branches of trade, such as silk and opium, being required to
pay duties at the customhouse of the capital, the merchants buy them at
Constantinople merely in order to pass them over to Smyrna, where they
find a more advantageous market for them. In consequence, these goods
are twice borne upon the registers of the Turkish customhouses, which,
be it observed, are exceedingly badly kept. Wool forms the principal
branch of trade at the Porte, which is abundantly furnished with that
article from her nearest provinces, Roumelia, Thessaly, and Bulgaria,
which, containing about five million inhabitants, feed about eight
million sheep, the value of which may be estimated at about two hundred
million piastres, (the Turkish piastre, is worth about 2-1/4d.) It would
have been impossible for such an important object to have failed
exciting the cupidity of a government constituted like that of the
Ottoman empire; in consequence, in 1829, they attempted to make a
monopoly of the wool-trade. Fortunately, the clamorous despair of the
owners of the flocks, and some good advice, caused the Divan to recall
the measure, which would in all probability not only have given a fatal
blow to the wool-trade, but have entirely put an end to the feeding of
flocks throughout Turkey. Instead, therefore, of monopolising this
branch of commerce, the government saddled it with such an exorbitant
duty, that the provinces definitively gained little by the change. The
price of wool was more than quadrupled, and in 1833 there was sold for
above 170 piastres the hundredweight what in 1816 cost but forty
piastres. The abolition of the monopolies and the modification of the
duties have given, since the last six or seven years, some facilities to
this trade, without, however, entirely restoring it to its former state
of prosperity. Partly destroyed by the severe blow it had received, and
shackled by the avarice of the Pashas, it languishes, as indeed does
every other branch of trade and industry in the empire.

Of Turkey, which men have rendered a country of misery and of famine,
the Almighty seems to have intended to have made a land of promise. For
agriculture, He has created immense plains, unequalled in fertility
throughout the globe, and in the bowels of the mountains He has hidden
incalculable treasures; and in return for all these gifts, these
glorious gifts, what have the inhabitants done? they have left the land
uncultivated, and the mountains unsearched. Mines of all sorts abound.
Copper, (which is sold in secret only, and is a contraband article,)
were its mines worked on a grand scale, would alone furnish a new
element of commerce to Constantinople, and might help to draw it from
its present state of torpor. But will the Turks ever dream of such a
thing? Never! For like the dog in the fable, the Ottomans will neither
profit themselves nor let others profit by what is in the territory. Too
indolent to work out the natural riches of their soil, they are too
jealous to permit others to do it for them. Besides, Europeans, by an
ancient law which we have recently seen confirmed, having no right to
possess land in Turkey, cannot undertake any agricultural or commercial
speculation of any importance. In addition to this, the Turkish
government itself is ignorant of most of the natural riches of its
territory; for the inhabitants, well knowing the character of the men
who have the management of affairs, take every possible precaution to
conceal the existence of the mines, for fear they should be forced to
work them without remuneration.

The provinces of the Danube have now yielded to Thrace and to Macedon
the furnishing of the capital with corn. This important trade has been
ruined, like every thing else, by the barbarous measures of a stupid
ministry. In reserving to itself the supplying of the capital, the
government does not allow the exportation of corn without special
permission. Without doubt, the liberty of this trade would have given a
new impulse to agriculture, and would have restored prosperity to
several provinces; but that would not have been for the interest of
those personages who had the power of giving permits, and who
consequently made a traffic of the firmans. In 1828, a circumstance
occurred which ought to have enlightened the government on this point.
The Russians had intercepted all communication with the capital, and in
consequence a want of provisions occurred; for the ill-furnished public
magazines afforded such damaged wheat only, that it could with great
difficulty be baked into bad and unhealthy bread. To remedy this evil,
an employé ventured to suggest that any one who could procure corn
should be permitted to supply the capital. The situation of affairs was
critical, for the people were beginning to murmur; and the suggestion
was carried into effect. No sooner was the permission accorded, than a
multitude of farmers and merchants hastened to pour grain into the
market, and plenty soon reappeared. This was an excellent lesson to the
government, but how did it profit thereby? First of all it reinstated
the monopoly, and four years afterwards, in 1832, happening to require a
million measures for its magazines, in order to make more sure of
speedily procuring that quantity, it forbade the _exportation_ of corn,
inasmuch that to collect the required million of measures, it destroyed,
in all probability, a hundred millions, and ruined about ten thousand
cultivators. This barbarous system partly ended in 1838, but it will be
long before its withering effects are effaced.

It is in the long corridors of the bazars that the commercial business
of the country is carried on. An immense multitude, more curious to view
than even the exposition of the different wares, congregates thither
daily. Constantinople, notwithstanding its state of decline, is always
the point of intersection between the eastern and western world. At this
general rendezvous, whither Europe and Asia send their representatives,
one may study the human species in almost every possible variety of
type. English, Americans, Russians, Greeks, Italians, Germans, Persians,
Circassians, Arabs, Koords, Austrians, Hungarians, Abyssinians, Tartars,
French, &c. &c., hurry to and fro around the Turk, who smokes and
dreams, calm and immovable amidst the active throng, which presents an
inconceivable medley of silk pelisses, white bornous and black robes,
surmounted by green turbans, red fezs, and beaver hats. Numbers of
women, covered with white dominos, advance slowly and spectre-like
through the crowd, which every now and then opens its ranks to give
passage to some mounted Pasha, followed by his attendants on foot. Here
and there may be seen asses loaded with bales, and at the further end of
the galleries are caravans of camels. One's ears are deafened with the
piercing cries of the sherbet-sellers, and the howling of the dogs;
while quantities of pigeons coo over the heads of the motley crowd.
Although, on taking a general view of this spectacle, there is little to
admire, still one may select from it an infinite number of original
scenes and pictures full of character. Here, for instance, an ambulating
musician sings, or rather chants to an attentive audience one of those
interminable ballads of which the Turks never tire; there, are half a
dozen Greeks quarrelling and vociferating so energetically, that one
would expect nothing less than that from words they would come to
bloodshed; while, further on, a circle of friends are regaling
themselves over a basket of green cucumbers. Talking of cucumbers, they
almost entirely compose, in summer, the nourishment of the Turks. The
Sultan Mahmood II. was excessively fond of this fruit, or rather
vegetable, and cultivated it with his own hands in the Seraglio gardens.
Having one day perceived that some of his cucumbers were missing, he
sent for his head gardener, and informed him that, should such a
circumstance occur again, he would order his head to be cut off. The
next day three more cucumbers had been stolen, upon which the gardener,
to save his own head, accused the pages of his highness of having
committed the theft. These unhappy youths were immediately sent for, and
having all declared themselves innocent, the enraged Sultan, in order to
discover the culprit, commanded them one after another to be
disembowelled. Nothing was found in the stomach or entrails of the first
six victims, but the autopsy of the seventh proved him to have been the
guilty one.

In the midst of the crowds in the Turkish capital, the women present a
curious spectacle, wandering about as they do covered with white
dominos, or rather winding-sheets. The lot of this portion of the
Mussulman population is much less unhappy than one would be led to
expect. They certainly hold a secondary station in society, but,
brought-up as they are in the most complete ignorance, they are
unconscious of their degraded position, and know not that there is a
better. They are, in general, treated very kindly by their husbands and
masters, and do not undergo, as it is supposed, either capricious or
brutal treatment. Although in Europe they still believe a Turk to be
constantly surrounded by a multitude of odalisques, to whom, as it suits
his fancy, he throws in turn his handkerchief, at Constantinople there
are very few Osmanlees who have three or even two wives, and even these
they lodge in separate mansions, in general far distant from each other.
Almost all the Turks, with the exception of the very few above mentioned
individuals, possess in general but one wife, to whom they are most
faithful. The grand seignior alone is a Sultan in the full and
voluptuous acceptation of the term. He is possessor of a magnificent
palace, where no noise from without ever penetrates, and where immense
riches have collected together all the wonders of luxury. Marble baths,
lovely gardens bounded by a sparkling sea, and vaulted by an indigo sky,
legions of slaves, who have no will but his, no law but his caprices;
and in this Eden three or four hundred women chosen from out of the most
beautiful in the universe; this is the world, this is the life of that
man: and yet, although he be so young, all who know him say that the
present Sultan is morose, sad, and splenetic.

On mounting, at sixteen, upon the throne of Turkey, Abdul Medjid
announced it to be his intention to change nothing that his father
Mahmood had established, and declared himself a partisan of the system
of reform commenced by that sovereign. Notwithstanding the custom,
rendered almost sacred by tradition, he renounced the turban and was
_crowned_ with the fez. Contrary to the usage of former Sultans, who on
their accession put to death or closely imprisoned all their brothers,
he allowed his brother Abdul Haziz not only his life, but full liberty.

The Hatti-sherif of Gulhanch, published on the 19th of November 1839,
and which has been viewed in so many and different lights, proved at
least the good intentions of this sovereign, called so young to support
so weighty a burden. At various times he has manifested a desire for
instruction, and has taken lessons in geography and in Italian; he has
also travelled over a part of his empire.

It is usual at Constantinople for the Sultan to proceed every Friday
(the Mussulman Sabbath) to pray in one of the mosques. The one chosen is
named in the morning, and he proceeds thither on horseback or in his
caick, according to the quarter in which it is situated. This weekly
ceremony is almost the sole occasion on which foreigners can see his
highness. During my stay at Constantinople, I had several opportunities
of gazing upon the descendant of the Prophet. He is a young man, of
slender frame, of grave physiognomy, and a most _distingué_ appearance.
A crowd of officers and eunuchs formed his suite, and all heads bowed
low at his approach. Abdul Medjid, who was the twentieth-born child of
his father Mahmood, was born at Constantinople on the 19th of April
1823. His black and stiff beard cause him to appear older than he is in
reality. His eye is very brilliant, and his features regular. His face
is somewhat marked with the smallpox; but this is not very apparent, as
the young sultan, according to the custom of the harem, has an
artificial complexion for days of ceremony. Naturally of a delicate
frame, excesses have much enfeebled his constitution; his continual
ill-health, his pallor, and his teeth already decayed, announce, that
though so young in years, he is expiating the pleasures of a Sultan by a
premature decrepitude. Abdul Medjid has several children, who are weak
and sickly like their father, and the state of their health inspires
constant anxiety.

Few sovereigns have been more diversely judged than Mahmood, the father
of the present Sultan. Lauded to the skies by some, lowered to the dust
by others, he died before Europe was properly enlightened as to his
intentions. Now that his work has undergone the ordeal of time, one can
appreciate it at its real value. Ascending the throne at an epoch of
anarchy and disorder, having at one and the same time to oppose the
invasion of Russia, and to put down the rebellion of the Pashas, who
were raising their pashalicks into sovereignties, Mahmood gave proofs,
during several years, of a force of character almost inconceivable in a
man enervated from his childhood by the pleasures of the harem.
Unfortunately his intellect was unequal to his obstinacy: every abuse he
put down gave rise to or made way for new abuses, which he could not
foresee, and was unable to destroy. The established order of affairs,
which he fought against, was a hydra, from which, for one head cut off,
twenty sprang up. Far from augmenting his power, his greatest
enterprises merely tended to enfeeble it. The repression of Ali the
Pasha of Janina, cost Mahmood the kingdom of Greece; and had not the
powers of Europe intervened, the war against Mehemet Ali would have cost
him his throne. Even the destruction of the Janissaries, which was
considered so great a cause of triumph by the Sultan, was it in reality
so? It is surely permitted to doubt the circumstance. That powerful
militia, scattered through the empire, was in some sort the focus of
that spirit of fatalism, which had till then been the principal prop of
the imperfect work of the Arabian impostor; to destroy it was to strike
a death-blow to that society which breathed as it were in war alone. In
overthrowing an obstacle which paralysed his power, Mahmood dug an abyss
into which the Turkish empire must sooner or later fall; for the spirit
of religious enthusiasm which he destroyed has been replaced by no other
incentive.

The chief fault of Mahmood was the cutting down without thinking of
sowing; for without properly understanding the extent of what he was
doing, he too hastily cast from its old course, without placing it in a
better, a dull stupid nation, to transform which required both time and
patience. Above all, Mahmood was guided solely by the impulses of an
indomitable pride, and seems to have much less considered the interests
of his empire, than the satisfying of his own vanity. He hastened to
change the aspect and surface of things, deluding himself into the idea
that he had metamorphosed an Asiatic people into a European state.
Hurried away by the desire of innovation, and at the same time cramped
by the effects of a religion which resists all progress, striving in
vain to make the precepts of the Koran compatible with civilisation,
Mahmood moved during the whole of his reign within a fatal circle, and,
dying of an ignoble malady, he left his empire tottering to its fall.



HORÆ CATULLIANÆ.

LETTER TO EUSEBIUS.


You desire, then, my dear Eusebius, to hear more of the Curate's
difficulty. We left him, you remember, with Gratian, who took him by the
arm, and walked off to see what his authority would do to quell the
parochial disturbance. You have seen the general opinion upon the
countenance Gratian would give to delinquents; you will not, therefore,
augur very favourably of this expedition. Loving a little mischief, as
you do, you will, perhaps, be not quite agreeably disappointed. Had
Gratian trusted alone to his character, he would have failed; which
shows that sometimes it is dangerous to have too good a one.

Not a parishioner but would have looked upon the patronage of Gratian to
the Curate as resulting from the weakness--those who meant to turn it to
compliment would say, the excessive kindness, of his nature. A little
malice interposing, they were by no means disposed, if they loved
Gratian, "to love his dog,"--in the light of which comparison they now
looked upon the Curate. Gratian's sly wit, however, availed more than
his authority. It seems they had not proceeded very far when they met
Prateapace. The Curate having some business in another direction, left
Gratian with the maiden-lady. You can imagine his first advances,
complimenting her upon her fresh morning looks. Then taking her by the
arm, as if for familiar support, transferring his stick to the other
hand, and looking his cajolery inimitably, and with a low voice saying,
"My dear Miss Lydia, what is all this story I hear that you charge the
Curate with?" "Oh, no, not I!" interrupted the maiden; "it is you have
done that. I only know that I heard you reprove him for his behaviour to
some one or other, whom you seriously declared either must be or ought
to be his wife." "My dear _young_ lady," said Gratian, "that is now
quite a mistake of yours:" he then, as he reports, told her what they
had been reading, and that his remarks were upon the book, and the
author of it, and had nothing to do with the Curate. To all which she
nodded her head incredulously, and laughingly said, "Oh, you good,
_good_-natured man; and pray who may that improper author be?" "Why,"
quoth Gratian, "Miss Lydia Prateapace wouldn't, I know, have me
recommend her any _improper_ author." "Oh, no, no!--I don't ask with any
intention to read him, I assure you," she replied. Gratian went on,
"Believe me, he is a very old author, a Roman." "A Roman indeed!" she
quite vociferated--"one of those horrid Papists, I suppose! A Roman is
he? Then the Curate--why should he read Papistical books, and learn such
tricks from them?" It was in vain for Gratian to endeavour to explain.
Miss Prateapace had but one notion of the Romans--that there never was
one that had not kissed the Pope's toe. So here he very wisely took
another tack, and drawing her a little aside, as if he would not have
even the very hedges hear him, and with no little affected caution,
looking about him, he said, in a half whisper--"Now let me, my dear
young lady, tell you a bit of a secret. All this is an idle tale, and is
just as I have told you; but this I tell you, that to my certain
knowledge, the Curate's _affections_"--laying stress on the word
affections--"are seriously engaged;" at which Miss Lydia stared, and
looked the personification of curiosity. "Engaged is he, did you say?"
"No, _he_ is not engaged," said Gratian, "but I happen to know that his
affections are--" "Then," quoth she, "I suppose he has declared as much
to the object." "Ah--no!--there is the very point--you are quite
mistaken--she has not the slightest suspicion of it." This was scarcely
credible to the lady's notion of love-making, but the earnest manner of
Gratian was every thing. "No," said he; "he is a most exemplary
conscientious young man, and so far avoids the making any show of his
feelings, that he affects, I really believe, more indifference towards
that lady than to any other. He tells me that he thinks it would not be
honourable in his present circumstances and position to engage _her_
affections; but he looks forward, as his prospects are fair." Miss Lydia
was interested--pondered awhile, and then said, "You dear good man, do
tell me who the lady is!" "No," replied Gratian, "I dare not betray a
secret; but be assured, my dear Miss Lydia Prateapace, that if our
Curate marries, he will make his choice not very far from this." "You
don't say so!" cried she: "Really now, who can it be?" "I can only say
one thing more," replied our fox Gratian, "and perhaps that is saying
too much; but--" whispering in her ear--"of all the letters in the
alphabet, her name begins with Lydia." Whereupon he made a start, put
his finger upon his lips, as if he had in his hurry told the secret; and
she started back a pace in another direction, looked in his face to see
if he was in jest; finding there nothing but apparent simplicity, she
looked a little confused, and evidently took the compliment and the
_hopes_ into her own bosom. When she could sufficiently collect her
thoughts, she expressed her sorrow for any mischief she might have done,
unintentionally; and added, that she would do all in her power to set
all things right again. At this point the Curate returned: he addressed
her somewhat distantly, which to her was a sign stronger than
familiarity, upon the power of which she gave him her hand _of
encouragement_. Gratian took care to leave well alone--let go her arm,
and leaning upon the Curate's wished her good morning, with a gracious
smile about his insidious mouth, to which he put his finger
significantly as if entreating her silence upon the subject of their
conversation. I have told you the particulars of this interview,
Eusebius, as I could gather them from Gratian's narration; and he has a
way of acting what he says, as if he had studied in that school where
the first requisite for an orator is--action; the second--action; the
third--action!

Our friend Gratian, Eusebius, made no matter of conscience of this
fibbing--did not hesitate--wanted no "ductor dubitantium"--as he told it
to us. He gave, it is true, his limb a smarter tapping; but it was no
twinge of conscience that caused the movement of the stick, and there is
nothing of the Franciscan about our friend. Did he _say_ a word that was
not perfect truth?

But what was the intention?--did he mean to deceive? But this is not a
question to discuss with you. You will do more than acquit him. So I am
answered, and silent. Gratian's answer was this. In his fabulous mood,
he asked--"If you should see a lion, an open-mouthed lion of the
veritable [Greek: chasm' odontôn] breed, traversing a wood, and he
should accost you thus, 'Pray, sir, did you chance to see a man I am
looking after go this way?' would you point out his lurking place, his
path of escape? or would you not, if you knew he went to the right,
direct the lion by all means to continue his pursuit on the left? Then,
sir, which will your worshipful morality prefer, to be the accessary to
the murder, or the principal in the deceit?"

I must not omit to tell you that a few days ago Gratian and the Curate
spent a pleasant day with the Bishop, who was not a little amused at
their narration of the circumstances that produced the singular
parochial epistle, which his lordship had duly received. The Bishop's
hospitality is well seasoned with conversational ease, and perfect
agreeability, and has besides that

    "Seu quid suavius elegantiusve est"

which our Catullus promises to his friend Fabullus. The Bishop, a ripe
scholar, spoke much and critically of Catullus, and laid most stress
upon the extreme suavity of his measures, especially in the "Acmen
Septimius." There were present two archdeacons and a very agreeable
classical physician. All had at one time or other, they acknowledged,
translated "Vivamus, mea Lesbia, atque amemus." The physician said he
had only satisfied himself with three lines, and yet he thought their
only merit was the being line for line. He repeated both the original
and his translation:--

    "Soles occidere et redire possunt:
    Nobis, quum semel occidit brevis lux,
    Nox est perpetua una dormienda.

    "Suns die, but soon their light restore,
    While we, when our brief day is o'er,
    Sleep one long night to wake no more."

The Curate, with the jealousy of a rival translator, objected to "suns
_die_," and thought "suns _set_" would be quite as well and a closer
translation. The Physician assented. The Bishop smiled, and said, "suns
_die_" was probably a professional lapsus. The Physician replied, that
such would be a very unprofessional lapsus; and Gratian quoted the
passage from Fielding, who says it is an unjust misrepresentation that
"physicians are the friends of death," and instanced the two physicians
who, in the case of the death of Captain Blifil, "dismissed the corpse
with a single fee, but were not so disgusted with the living patient."
At parting, the Bishop took the Curate most kindly by the hand, and
recommended him by all means to cultivate the amiability of
versification.

After this, Gratian and the Curate had much business in hand, and we did
not meet for some time. Gratian stirred a little in this affair of the
Curate's, and with effect. We did meet, however, and recommenced the


HORÆ CATULLIANÆ.

You now see us again in the library--time, after tea. Gratian enjoys his
easy-chair; a small fire--for it is not cold--just musically whispers
among the coals, comfort. Gratian says he has had a busy day of it, and,
though not wearied, is in that happy state of repose to enjoy rest, and
of excitement to enjoy social converse; and after a little, preliminary
chat, asked if there was any thing lately from Catullus.

AQUILIUS.--Yes. He is returned from his unprofitable travel, and you
seem to be in that state of sensitive quiescence, to feel with him the
pleasures of home. He is now at his own villa, and thus welcomes, and
acknowledges the welcome offered him by his beloved Sirmio.

    AD SIRMIONEM PENINSULAM.

    My Sirmio, thou the very gem and eye
    Of islands and peninsulas, that lie
    In that two-fold dominion Neptune takes
    Of the salt sea and sweet translucent lakes!
    Oh! with what joy I visit thee again,
    Scarce yet believing, how, left far behind,
    The tedious Thynian and Bithynian plain,
    I see thee, Sirmio, with this peaceful mind.
    Oh, what a blessed thing is the sweet quiet,
    When the tired heart lays down its load of care,
    And after foreign toil and sickening riot,
    Weary and worn, to feel at last we are
    At our own home--and our own floor to tread,
    And lie in peace on the long-wish'd-for bed!
    This, this alone, repays all labours past.
    Hail to thee, lovely Sirmio! gladly take
    Thine own, own master home to thee at last:
    And all ye sportive waters of my lake,
    Laugh out your welcome to my cheerful voice,
    And all that laughs at home, with me rejoice.

GRATIAN.--I well remember this singularly sweet, kind, affectionate
address. It is the best version of "Home is home, be it ever so homely,"
I know. You have needlessly repeated _own_. Why not say, loved master?

CURATE.--Don't you think the _acquiescimus lecto_ would be better
rendered "sink to rest?" I fancy the Latin expresses the sinking down of
the wearied limbs, or rather, whole person, into the soft and deep
feather bed.

AQUILIUS.--I Set it down so, but altered it, thinking the "lie in peace"
was in reality more quiescent than any thing expressing an act--as
sinking is a process _in transitu_--the result, lying in peace. It has
often been translated, among others, by Leigh Hunt, and that prince of
translators, Elton--though I think I was not satisfied with his
translation of the Sirmio--of the others I do not remember a word.

CURATE.--Leigh Hunt overdid his work--there is more labour than ease in
the line

    "The loosened limbs o'er all the wished-for bed."

Not simple enough for Catullus; neither is this--a rather affected
line--

    "Laughs every dimple in the cheek of home."

GRATIAN.--No, that won't do--it is a conceit. One would imagine it
borrowed or translated from some Italian poet.

AQUILIUS.--The "loosened limbs o'er all the wished-for bed," strikes me
as rather of the ludicrous, and not unlike the description of himself by
Berni in his fanciful palace, where he ordered a bed, adjoining that of
the French cook's, which was to be large enough to swim in--"Come si fa
nel mare."

GRATIAN.--Now then, Mr Curate, let us have your version.

CURATE.

    TO THE PENINSULA OF SIRMIO.

    All hail to thee, delightful Sirmio!
    Of all peninsulas and isles the gem,
    Which lake or sea in its fair breast doth show
    With either Neptune's arms encircling them.
    What joy to find that Thynia, and that plain
    Bithynian gone, and see thee safe again!
    Charming it is to rest from care and cumber,
    When the mind throws its burden, and we come
    Wearied with pains of foreign travel home,
    And in the bed so longed for sink to slumber.
    This pays for all the toil, this quiet after--
    Joy, my sweet Sirmio, for thy master's sake,
    Make merry, frolic wavelets of my lake--
    Laugh on me, all ye stores of home-bred laughter.

GRATIAN.--I don't like "the mind _throws_ its burden:" lays it down is
better--there is more weariness in it. You must alter that expression,
or we see the mind like the "iniquæ mentis ascellus," dropping back its
ears, and _throwing_ its not agreeable and easy-sitting rider. Why not--

    "When the mind lays its burden down, to come?"

But I see you have both of you translated away from the Latin the _Lydiæ
undæ_. How comes it so?

AQUILIUS.--The reasons given for the word meaning Lydian seem to be
insufficient; because it is said the Benacus resembles the Lydian rivers
Hermus and Pactolus in having gold; or because the Benacus was in the
district of the Thusci, who came from the Lydians. I adopted a
conjecture once thrown out--and I think it was by the most accomplished
scholar, W. S. Landor, that _Lydiæ_ is the adjective of the word
_Ludius--ludiæ undæ_, or _Lydiæ undæ_, the same thing, for that ludius
is, as the dictionary tells us, "a Lydis, qui erant optimi saltatores."
If so, _Lydiæ_ would mean the sportive, or "dancing waters of the lake."

CURATE.--I took this hint from Aquilius, though I do not remember from
whom the suggestion came. I would venture from the last line--

    "Ridete quidquid est domi cachinnorum--"

a remark upon a passage, the celebrated expression in the _Prometheus_
of Æschylus, the [Greek: anêrithmon gelasma]. Some call it "countless
dimples." Now is it not possible Catullus may have thought of this, and
as it were translated it by _quidquid est cachinnorum_? The question
then would be, is it meant to speak to the ear or the eye? Is it of
sound or vision? I am inclined to think it is the sound, the
communicative laughter of the many waves. "Dimple" is too little for the
gigantic conception of Æschylus, but the laughter of the multitudinous
ocean-waves is more after his genius. No one could translate _cachinnus_
"a dimple." If, therefore, Catullus had in his mind the Greek passage,
it shows his idea of the [Greek: anêrithmon gelasma].

GRATIAN.--I have often admired how that can be _very_ beautiful which is
of uncertain meaning. Is it that either construction conveys distinct
thought--clear idea? I confess, I prefer the sound. What comes next?

CURATE.--Missing one or two, we take up his "Request to his friend
Cæcilius to come to him to Verona"--who, it seems, was a native of that
place, and fellow townsman, as well as most dear friend of Catullus.

AQUILIUS.--Both poets--both kind-hearted; in fact, "The two gentlemen of
Verona."

GRATIAN.--Well, that is saying something for Latin poets. Let us have
your version, Curate.

CURATE.

    INVITATION TO CÆCILIUS.

    Papyrus, to Cæcilius tell
    (A touching bard, my friend as well)
    That to Verona he must come,
    Where his Catullus is at home,
    And new-built Comu's walls forsake,
    And that sweet shore of Laris Lake.
    A friend of mine and his has brought
    To light some passages of thought,
    Which he must hear. So if he will
    Be thriving and improving still,
    His speed will swallow up the distance,
    Although with amorous resistance,
    And both arms clinging round his neck,
    That lovely maid his progress check,
    With lips a thousand times that say
    "Oh, do not, do not go away!"
    I mean that maid who, Fame--not I--
    Asserts for love of him would die;
    For fire consumes her heart and head,
    Since first the opening lines she read
    Of Cybele the God's great queen.
    Maid, learned as the Sapphic muse,
    I cannot sympathy refuse;
    For not amiss (the book I've seen)
    Begins the tale, "The Mighty Queen."

AQUILIUS.--I protest against "so if he will be thriving and improving
still." That is the Curate's interpolation. The fact is, he must have
rhymed a passage from his last sermon; and it has somehow or other
slipped into his Catullus.

CURATE.--No authority! What, then, is meant by "Quare si sapiet?"

AQUILIUS.--Simply, if he would know the secret--the "cogitationes."

GRATIAN.--I am inclined to agree with you. Now, Aquilius, we will listen
to your version.

    AQUILIUS.

    Hasten, papyrus! greet you well
    That tender poet, my sweet friend
    Cæcilius--speedily I send,
    As speedily my message tell:
    That he should for Verona make
    All haste--and quit his Larian Lake,
    And Novum Comum--for I would
    Some certain thoughts he understood
    And purposes, that now possess
    A friend of mine; and his no less.
    And if he takes me rightly, say
    His coming will devour the way,
    Though that fair girl should bid him stay,
    And round his neck her arms should throw,
    And cry, Oh, do not, do not go!--
    That girl, who, if the truth be told,
    E'en in her heart of hearts doth hold
    And cherish such sweet love--since he
    First read to her of Cybele,
    "Great Queen of Dindymus" the tale
    Begun. Oh, then she did inhale
    The living breath of love, whose heat
    Into her very life doth eat.
    Thy passion I can well excuse,
    Fair maid! more learn'd than the tenth muse,
    The Lesbian maid--nor couldst thou fail
    To find for love an ample plea,
    In that so nobly open'd tale
    Of the great Goddess Cybele.

CURATE.--What's all this?--the "tenth muse!" where is she in the Latin?

AQUILIUS.--_Sapphicâ musâ_, Doctor. That is Sappho, is it not? and pray
was Sappho one of the _nine_ muses? No; then of course she was the
_tenth_--and was not she "the Lesbian maid?"

CURATE.--Well, I admit it--you have vindicated your muse fairly, and I
will not pronounce against her, though tempted by an apt quotation from
the mouth of Bacchus, in the _Frogs_ of Aristophanes.

    "[Greek: Autê poth ê Mouo ouk elesbiazen ou]."

For your muse is certainly a Lesbian; but you have omitted "misellæ,"
which shows that the passion was not returned.

GRATIAN.--I don't see that; for she throws her arms about his neck. But
neither of you have well spoken the "millies euntem revocet," the
calling him back after departure, and that is very good too. I see the
note upon _Sapphicâ Musâ_, speaks of various interpretations to the
passage; but adopts this--that the maiden loving Cæcilius has more sense
(is that _doctior_? I doubt) than Sappho, who loved a youth too stupid
ever to write a line; but this maid did not love till she had read the
commencement of his poem. I don't see the necessity for thinking the
passion hopeless either, because of the comparison with Sappho. Few
Roman maidens took the Leucadian leap.

CURATE.--It is very odd, and might first appear a mark of their good
manners--that the Romans never mention "old maids." I fear there was
another cause. I suppose the omission may be accounted for by the state
of society, which was not favourable to their existence at all; for then
a man could put away his wife at any moment, and for any plea, most
women must have managed to get a husband for a long or a short time.

AQUILIUS.--The only ancient old maids were the Fates and Furies--of the
latter, the burden of the song was--

    "Oh no, we never mention them,
    Their names are never heard!"

GRATIAN.--Come back to your duty: we are wandering, and leaving Catullus
behind. What are we to have now?

AQUILIUS.--An attack upon one Egnatius, who, having white teeth, took
care to show them upon all occasions. He was not, however, celebrated
for his tooth-powder. He is a fair mark for the wit of our author. The
arrow of his satire was occasionally keen enough and free to fly.

    IN EGNATIUM.

    Egnatius's teeth are very white,
    And therefore is he ever grinning:
    Let pleaders in the court excite
    All hearts to weep--from the beginning
    E'en to the end he laughs. The while
    The mother on the funeral bier,
    Sheds o'er her only son the tear,
    Alone Egnatius seems to smile,
    Then opes his mouth from ear to ear:
    Where'er he is, whatever doing,
    He laughs and grins. The thing in fact is
    A tasteless, foolish, silly practice,
    Egnatius, and well worth eschewing.
    Spare all this risible exertion,
    And were you Roman or Tiburtian,
    Sabine, Lanuvian, fat Etruscan,
    Or porcine Umbrian with rare show
    Of tusks--columnar--order Tuscan:
    Or born the other side the Po,}
    (And my compatriot, therefore know,)}
    Where folk are civilised I trow,}
    And wash their teeth with water cleanly--
    Pure water such as folk might quaff--
    I would entreat you still--don't laugh.
    You look so sillily, so meanly,
    As if you were but witted half.
    Yet being but a Celtiberian,
    Holding the custom of your nation,
    Using that lotion called Hesperian;
    The more you grin, folk say, forsooth,
    What pity 'tis the whitest tooth
    Should have the foulest application!

CURATE.--I did not translate--and our host will think one translation
quite enough.

GRATIAN.--Go on then to the next. What are we to have?

CURATE.--His address to his farm. Authors were happy in those days to
have their landed estate. Horace always speaks of his with delight; so
does Catullus, as we have seen, of his Sirmio. This farm was, it should
seem, like Horace's, among the Sabine hills.

    TO MY FARM.

    My farm! which those who wish to please
      Thy master's heart, Tiburtian call;
    But they who call thee Sabine, these
      Respect his feelings not at all:
    And wishing more to tease and fret,
    Will wager thou art Sabine yet--
    How well it pleased me to retreat
    To thy suburban country-seat;
    Where I sent summarily off
    That plaguy pulmonary cough;
    Which, half-deserved, my stomach gave
    Just for a hint no more to crave
    Luxurious living. I had hoped
    With a good dinner to have coped
    At Sextius' table; when he read
    A poisonous speech might strike one dead,
    All gall and venom, to refute
    One Attius in a certain suit.
    Since when, a cold cough and catarrh
    Against my battered frame made war;
    Until I came in thee to settle,
    And cured it with repose and nettle.
    So, now I'm well, I thank thee, farm!
    And that I got so little harm,
    From such great fault. I may be pardon'd
    If to this pitch my heart is harden'd:
    To pray, when Sextius reads again
    Things so abhorr'd of gods and men,
    That that my cough and cold catarrh
    Not mine but Sextius' health might mar--
    Who never sends me invitation
    But for such wretched recitation.

GRATIAN.--A charitable wish this of our good Catullus! But these
heathens knew little of "do as you would be done by." One of the neatest
wishes of this kind is in a Greek epigram. I can't remember word for
word the Greek, so I give the translation:--"Castor and Pollux, who
dwell in beauteous Lacedemon, by the sweet-flowing river Eurotas, if
ever I wish evil to my friend, may it light upon me; but if ever he
wishes evil to me, may he have twice as much."

AQUILIUS.--In a note on _villæ_, I see the derivation of that word
given, _quasi vehilla_, because there the fruits of the farm were
carried; so that the original idea of a villa was quite another thing
from the modern suburban construction. Architects, when they call these
suburban edifices villas, might as well remember how inappropriate is
the term. But here you have my version of this address to his farm:--

    AD FUNDUM.

    My Farm, or Sabine or Tiburtian,
      (What name I care not we confab in,
    Though they who hold me in aversion,
      Persist and wager you are Sabine,)

    In your suburban sweet recesses
      Of that vile cough I timely rid me,
    Merited well, for those excesses
      My stomach failed not to forbid me,

    When I with Sextius was convivial,
      Who feasting read me his invective,
    Vilest, 'gainst Attius his rival,
      All venom--and, alas! effective.

    For surely 'twas that poison seized me,
      A chill--a heat--a cough then shook me
    E'en to my vitals--and so teazed me,
      That to thy bosom I betook me.

    Thanks, my good farm! my fault you pardon'd,
      And not revenged. We've much to settle
    On score of thanks: my chest you harden'd,
      And healed with basil-root and nettle.

    But from henceforth, if I such vicious
      Invectives read, though Sextius pen 'em,
    Who but invites me with malicious
      Intent to kill me with their venom--

    If e'er I yield to his endeavour,
      Expose me to his scrip infectious--
    I call down ague, cold, and fever,
      Oh! fall ye not on me,--but Sextius.

GRATIAN.--I see the next is that one which has been not unfrequently
translated and imitated. Is there not one by Cowley,--if I remember,
much lengthened?

AQUILIUS.--It can scarcely be called a translation. The Latin measure is
certainly here very sweet and tender.

    DE ACME ET SEPTIMIO.

    Septimius, to his bosom pressing
    His Acme, said, "I love thee, Acme--
    All my life-long will love thee, Acme!
    Nor day shall come to love thee less in.
    Or should it come, like common lover,
    In such poor love I love thee only;
    May Libyan lion dun discover,
    Or torrid India's beast attack me,
    Wandering forlorn from thee, and lonely
      On desert shore."--
    He said: Love, as before,
    Upon the left hand aptly sneezed.
    The omen showed that he was pleased
      To give his blessing.

    Then gentle Acme, softly turning
    Upon the breast of her Septimius,
    And unto his her face upraising,
    And looking in his eyes so burning,
    As if inebriate with gazing;
    With that her rich red mouth she kissed them,
    And said,--"My love, dear, dear Septimius!
    Oh, let us serve our master duly--
    Our master Love, as now caressing;
    For never yet have Love so blessed them
    As now my thoughts he blesseth truly,
    Even to my heart of hearts, Septimius,
      The inmost core."
    She said: and, as before,
    Love on the left hand aptly sneezed.
    The omen showed that he was pleased
      To give his blessing.

    They loved--were loved: this sweet beginning
    Omen'd their future bright condition.
    Offer all Asia to Septimius--
    Add Britain--put in competition
    With Acme--wretchedly abstemious
    They'd call him of your gifts, Ambition.
    The only province worth his winning
    Is Acme: Acme's faithful bosom
    Knows nought on earth but her Septimius.
    Ripe was the fruit, as fair the blossom
    Of this their mutual love, and glowing;
    And all admired its freshness growing.
    Was never pair so fond and loving!
    And Venus' self looked on approving.

CURATE.--Are you correct in your translation "Love, as before?" Is it
not that, as before he sneezed on the left, now he sneezes on the right
hand,--_was_ unfavourable--_is_ now propitious?

GRATIAN.--I see in the note that the passage bears either construction.
There is also authority given; for what to us is the left hand, to the
gods is the right. Now, Curate, for your Acme and Septimius.

CURATE.--

    OF SEPTIMIUS AND ACME.

    Acme to Septimius' breast,
    Darling of his heart, was prest--
    "Acme mine!" then said the youth,
    "If I love thee not in truth,
    If I shall not love thee ever
    As a lover doated never,
    May I in some lonely place,
      Scorch'd by Ind's or Libya's sun,
    Meet a lion's tawny face;
      All defenceless, one to one."--
    Love, who heard it in his flight,
      To the truth his witness bore,
    Sneezing quickly to the right--
      (To the left he sneezed before.)

    Acme then her head reflecting,
      Kiss'd her sweet youth's ebriate eyes,
    With her rosy lips connecting
      Looks that glistened with replies.
    "Thus, my life, my Septimillus!
      Serve we Love, our only master:
    One warm love-flood seems to thrill us,
      Throbs it not in me the faster?"--
    Love, who heard it in his flight,
      To the truth his witness bore,
    Sneezing quickly to the right--
      (To the left he sneezed before.)

    Thus with omens all-approving,
    Each and both are loved and loving.
    Poor Septimius with his Acme,
      Cares not to whose lot may fall
    Syria's glory--wealthy province!--
      Or both Britains great and small.
    Acme, faithful and unfeigning,
      Gives, creates, enjoys all pleasure,
    With her dear Septimius reigning.--
      Oh! was ever earthly treasure
    Greater to man's lot pertaining?
      Blessed pair!--thus, without measure,
    Venus' choicest gifts attaining.

GRATIAN.--You have a little run riot, good Master Curate; and run out of
your rhyming course too, I see--for you don't mean "province" to rhyme
to "Acme."--I see the next is, On Approach of Spring--with that
beautiful line, "Jam ver egelidos refert tepores." I wish to see how you
would have translated that refreshing and cool warmth of
expression--almost a contradiction in terms--the season when we inhale
the heavenly air with the chill off--like hot tea thrown into a glass of
spring-cold water, and drank off immediately.

AQUILIUS.--I gave it up in despair, and the Curate too has omitted it.
There are two other perhaps untranslatable lines in this short piece:--

    "Jam mens prætrepidans avet vagari;
    Jam læti studio pedes vigescunt."

After two other little pieces, we come to a few lines to no less a
personage than Marcus Tullius Cicero, who had probably in some cause
gratuitously assisted the poet with his eloquence; for to sue _in formâ
poetæ_, was, perhaps, pretty much the same as in _formâ pauperis_. It
seems that "omnium patronus" was a flattering title on other occasions,
and by other persons bestowed upon Cicero, as well as by our poet here.
One would almost think the orator had served the poet an ill turn, and
that this superlative praise was but irony; for he not only calls
Tullius the most eloquent of men, but as much the best of patrons, as
he, Catullus, is the worst of poets. This surely must be a mock
humility. Is it a satire in disguise, and meaning the reverse? After
this, follows a little piece to his friend Cornellus Licinius Calvus,
with whom he had passed a pleasant and too exciting day--but let him
tell his own story. Shall I repeat?

    AD LICINIUM.

    My dear Licinius, yesterday
    We sported in our pleasant way;
    Tablets in hand--and at our leisure,
    In verse as various as the measure,
    Scribbling between our wine and laughter.
    But when we parted, mark the after
    Vexation;--conquered, and hard hit
    By your all-overpowering wit,
    I could not eat--nor yet would Sleep
    His softly-soothing fingers keep
    Upon my weary lids: all night}
    I toss'd, I turned from left to right}
    Impatient for the morning light,}
    That I might talk with you, and be
    Again in your society.
    But when my limbs, as 'twere half dead,
    Were lying on my restless bed,
    I made these lines--which, my good friend,
    That you may know my pains, I send.
    Now, though so free, so bold to dare,
    So apt to scoff--good sir, beware
    Lest with the eye of your disdain
    You view these lines, my vow, my pain.
    Beware of Nemesis, beware!--
    For Vengeance, should I cry aloud--
    She hears--and punishes the proud.

GRATIAN.--Those last lines are very grave: are they not too much so for
the intended play of this mock anger? Let us have your version, Master
Curate.

CURATE.--I am sure you think one version quite enough. I did not
translate it; and believe we must now turn over many pages, and then I
have little more to offer.

GRATIAN.--(Turning over the leaves of Catullus.) Here I see is that
beautiful passage in his "Carmen Nuptiale."

    "Ut flos in septis secretus nascitur hortis."

AQUILIUS.--Which did not escape the tasteful, though bold Ariosto. I
have made a weak attempt to translate the passage; and as it stands in
the middle of a long piece, I have taken it out as a sonnet. I will read
it:--

    UT FLOS IN SEPTIS, &C.

    As in enclosure of chaste garden ground,
      The floweret grows--where nor unseemly tread
      Of flocks or ploughshares bruise its tender head--
    There soft airs soothe it with their gentle sound;
    Suns give it strength, and nurturing showers abound,
      And raise its tall stem from its sheltered bed;
      And many a youth and maiden, passion-led,
    With longing eyes admiring walk around:
    Pluck'd from the stem that its pure grace supplied,
      Nor youths nor maidens love it as before.
    So the sweet maiden, in the queenly pride
      Of her chaste beauty, many hearts adore;
    But that her virgin charter laid aside,
      Who lov'd, who cherish'd, cherish, love no more.

CURATE.--I remember Ariosto's translation--for translation it is; and
though you know it, I will repeat it, and, by Gratian's favour, let it
pass for my version. For once, borrowed plumes,--and I shall not be the
worse bird--though birds of richer plumage have no song.

    "La verginella è simile alla rosa,
      Chi'n bel giardin su la nativa spina,
    Mentre sola, e sicura si riposa,
      Ne gregge, ne pastor sele avvicina;
    L'aura soave, e l'alba rugidosa
    L'acqua, la terra al suo favor s'inch a:
    Giovani vaghi, e donne innamorate,
    Amano averne e seni, e tempre ornate.
    Ma non si tosto dal materno stelo,
      Remossa viene, e dal suo ceppo verde,
    Che, quanto avea dagli uomini, e dal cielo,
      Favor, grazia, ebellezza, tutto perde."

GRATIAN.--Let us examine the alterations made by one genius, in
transferring to his own language the ideas of another genius of another
country. Catullus says "the floweret,"--_flosculus_: Ariosto
particularises the rose,--the _bel giardin_, "the beautiful garden,"
stands for _septis in hortis_, the enclosed. Then he has given the idea
of _secretus_, which is certainly "separated," "set apart," by the words
_sola e sicura_, "alone and safe"--is it so good? but he gives that a
grace, a beauty, the original perhaps has not, _riposa_--the floweret
enjoys its secret repose. The cutting down the flower by the plough was
unnecessary, after telling us of the enclosure; we scarcely like to be
brought suddenly into the ploughed field. Here Ariosto is better--"nor
shepherd nor flock come near it." That enough confirms the idea of its
being fenced off, and they wander in their idleness, or, but for the
fence, might have reached it; the plough and the team are a heavy
apparatus, and would be a most unexpected intrusion,--so I like the
Italian here better. Then, _su la nativa spina_ is good: you see the
beautiful creature on its native stem or thorn. Then for the enumeration
of the airs, the sun, and the shower, the Italian, in his beautiful
language, softens the very air, and gives it a sweetness, _l'aura
soave_, and ushers in "the dewy morn:" then, expanding to the glory of
the full reverence of nature to this emblem of purity, he makes all bend
and bow before it, as before the very queen of the earth. Here he
surpasses his original. Then he gives you the object of the wishes of
the youths and maidens, the _multi pueri multæ optaveræ puellæ_. They
desire to place it in their bosoms or round their temples: and is not
the lovingness of the youths and maidens a good addition? The _giovani
vaghi e donne innamorate_. Both are admirable--but I incline to Ariosto.

AQUILIUS.--And do you think the Latin poet the original? You forget how
little originality the Latin authors can claim. This of Catullus is a
translation--a free one, it is true--of perhaps a still more beautiful
passage in Euripides. Reach the book: you will find it in that very
singular play the Hippolytus. Ay, here it is. He offers the garland to
the virgin goddess Artemis--(line 73)

    [Greek:
    "Soi tonde plekton stephanon ex akêratou
    Leimônos, ô despoina, kosmêsas pherô,
    Enth' oute poimên axioi pherbein bota
    Out' êlthe pô sidêros, all' akêraton
    Melissa leimôn' êrinon dierchetai
    Aidôs de potamiaisi kêpeuei drosois.
    Hosois didakton mêden, all' en tê physei
    To sôphronein eilêchen es ta panth' homôs,
    Toutos drepesthai; tois kakoisi, d' ou themis."]

"I bring thee, O mistress, this woven crown, beautifully made up of
flowers of the pure untouched meadow--where never shepherd thinks it
fitting to feed his flock, nor the sickle comes; but the bee ever passes
over the pure meadow breathing of spring, and modesty waters it as a
garden with the river-dews. To them who have, untaught, in their nature
the gift of chastity, to these only it is at all times an allowed
sanctity to cut these flowers, but not to the evil-minded."

You cannot doubt that the passage in Catullus is taken from the
Greek--which is of a higher sentiment in the conclusion, and is enriched
beyond the Latin by the bee, and above all by the personification of
Modesty tending and watering the garden, or rather these especial
flowers, with the river-dews.

CURATE.--How far more pure is the sentiment, and more quiet the imagery,
in the Greek! The Greeks were the great originators of glorious thought
and beautiful diction.

GRATIAN.--Let us now to Catullus. What have we next?

AQUILIUS.--Here is a tender little piece, to his friend Ortalus. I see
it has an omission: this edition does not supply it; I only take what I
see. It seems Ortalus had requested him to send him his translation from
Callimachus, the "Coma Berenices," which for some time, through grief
for the death of his brother, he had failed to do. He now sends the
poem.


    AD ORTALUM.

    Though care, that unto me sore grief hath brought,
    Calls me from converse with the sacred Nine,
      Nor can my heart incline
    To bring to any end inspired thought;--

    (For now the wave of the Lethæan lake,
    How recent hath it bathed in Death's dark vale
      A brother's feet so pale;
    And I can only sorrow for his sake.

    The Trojan land on the Rhoetean shore
    Hath hidden him for ever from these eyes,--
      And I with glad surprise,
    And brother's love, shall welcome thee no more.

    Loved more than life, dear brother! what can I
    But love thee still, and mourn for thee full long
      In a funereal song,
    In secret to assuage my grief thereby?

    As amid many boughs all leaf-array'd
    The Danlian bird, the nightingale, out-poured,
      When Itys she deplored,
    Her mellow sorrows in the thickest shade:)

    Yet, Ortalus, 'mid tears that flow so fast,
    The work of your Battiades I send,
      Lest you should deem, dear friend,
    Your wishes to the winds are idly cast,

    And from my mind escaped, all unaware,
    As falls the fruit, love's furtive gift, unbid,
      In virgin bosom hid,
    When she, forgetful of its lying there,

    Would suddenly arise, and run to greet
    The coming of her mother, from her vest
      And her now loosen'd breast,
    The shameless apple rolls before her feet.

    And she, poor maid! abashed, and in the hush
    Of shame, before her mother cannot speak,
      While all her virgin cheek
    Betrays her secret in the conscious blush.

CURATE.--It is very tender--the last image is delicately beautiful. I
did not translate it.

GRATIAN.--Pretty as the passage of the maiden's disaster in dropping the
lover's gift--and that, too, be it observed, in the hurry of her
tenderness, which increases the beauty, or rather accomplishes it--yet
is it not abrupt in a piece where there is the expression of so much
grief? Catullus was an affectionate man, more especially affectionate
brother; on other occasions, if I remember rightly, he deplores this
brother's loss. Now, Master Curate, what do you offer us?

CURATE.--Not now a verse translation, but an observation on a little
piece of raillery, in which Catullus quizzes one Arrius for his
aspirating; and, I mean it not as a pun, exasperating, though it should
seem that his friends were not a little exasperated at his bad
pronunciation. Do we inherit from the Romans this, our (Cockneyism, I
was going to say, but it is too general to allow of such a limit,)
vulgarity of speech? "Where," says Catullus, "Arrius meant to say
commoda, he uttered it as c_h_ommoda, and _h_insidias for insidias, and
never thought he spoke remarkably well unless he laid great stress upon
the aspirate, calling it with emphasis _h_insidias. I believe his
mother, his uncle, his maternal grandfather and grandmother all spoke in
the same way. When the man went into Syria, all ears had a little rest,
and heard those words pronounced without this emphatic aspirate, and
began to entertain no fears respecting the use of the words; when on a
sudden they hear--that after Arrius had gone thither, the Ionian seas
were no longer Ionian, but Hionian." This is curious. As the Romans had
possession here more than four hundred years, did they leave us this
legacy?

AQUILIUS--I will, then, give you versions of the two which immediately
follow.

    DE AMORE SUO.

    I love and hate. You ask me how 'tis so.
    Small is the reason which I have to show:
    I feel it to my cost--'tis all I know.

Then follows a compliment, by comparison, to his Lesbia.

    DE QUINTIA ET LESBIA.

    Many think Quintia beautiful: she's tall,
    And fair, and straight. I know, I grant it all,
    When each particular beauty I recall;

    But I deny--when these are uncombined
    To form a whole of beauty--and I find
    So large a person with so small a mind.

    But Lesbia's perfect person is all soul,
    Compact in beauty--as if grace she stole
    From all the rest, and made herself one perfect whole.

CURATE.--This is compliment enough as far as comparison goes--but he
pays her a much greater shortly after: for he loves her in their
greatest quarrels.

    OF LESBIA.

    "Lesbia mi dicit semper male."

    Lesbia's always speaking ill
    Of me--her tongue is never still:
    Yet may I die, but 'gainst her will,
      She loves me, spite of her detraction.

    Why think I so? Because I blame
    Her ways, abuse her just the same:
    Yet howsoe'er I name her name,
      I still love Lesbia to distraction.

GRATIAN.--Perhaps the constancy was more to the credit of Lesbia than
Catullus. Now then, Aquilius.

AQUILIUS.--

    DE LESBIA.

    Lesbia speaketh ill of me
      Ever--nought it moves me:
    Say she what she will of me,
      Yet I know she loves me.

    Why? Because in words of hate,
      I am far before her;
    Yet no jot of love abate,
      Rather I adore her.

CURATE.--I don't like "I am far before her." We say, "I am not behind"
in hate or love--I doubt "before."

AQUILIUS.--Easily mended--thus then,--

    Why? Because in words of hate
      I go far beyond her,
    Yet no jot of love abate--
      But still grow the fonder.

GRATIAN.--Probatum est.

AQUILIUS.--The Curate is too quick upon me. We must go back: he has left
out "De Inconstantia Feminei Amoris."

CURATE.--True. Here is my version. Not being a happy subject, I passed
over it.

    OF WOMAN'S INCONSTANCY.

    My pretty she will none but me
      For husband, though were Jove, her wooer.
    So tells she me: but what a she
      Says to her lover and pursuer,
    Might well be written on the wind,
    Or stream that leaves no track behind.

AQUILIUS.--I object to "pretty she," for _mulier_. I think, however,
that _mulier_ here is a word of contempt. I make it out thus:

     DE INCONSTANTIA FEMINEI AMORIS.

      She says--the woman says--she none would wed
      But me, though Jove came suitor to her bed;
      She says--but, oh! what woman says--so fair,
      And smooth to doting man, is writ on air,
    And on the running stream that changeth every where.

AQUILIUS.--We have seen much of our friend Catullus as a loving poet,
let us end by showing him to have been a good hater. The following is no
bad specimen of his powers in this line:--

    IN COMINIUM.

    If you, Cominius, old, defiled
      With every vice, contemn'd, and hoary,
    From your vile life were once exiled,
      Your carcass beasts would mar--grim, wild.
    Vultures that tongue, defamatory
      Of all the gentle, good, and mild;
    And with those eyes, that all detest,
      Pluck'd from their hateful sockets gory,
    Crows cram their maws, or feed their nest,
    And hungry wolves devour the rest!

It was now time, Eusebius, to conclude for the night, and, indeed, to
put our Catullus upon his shelf again. Before separating, we reminded
Gratian that he was the arbiter, and must make his award. "I remember
well," said he; "and you, Aquilius, made, I think, this my baculus the
staff of office. A good umpire might, not very improperly, give the
stick to you both, breaking it equally, "secundum artem baculinam." But
it is a good, useful staff to me; we have had some rubs together, and I
won't part with it. True, it has not unfrequently rubbed my pigs' backs,
and shall again. But _the_ pig Aquilius has made his acquaintance with,
has grunted out all his happy days; and, to do him all honour, I have
sacrificed him upon this occasion, to appease the manes of the Latin
poet in his anger at your bad translations. But for yourselves, I have
still something to award. My pig has two cheeks--there is one for each,
and you shall have them put before you at breakfast to-morrow morning;
and thus, I think, you will agree with me that I have duly countenanced
you both. And I hope my pig will have both sharpened your appetites and
your wit, 'sus Minervam.' Good-night!

    'To-morrow to fresh fields and turnips new.'"


POSTSCRIPT.

I here send you, Eusebius, the last of our Horæ Catullianæ, which has
been lying by a week or more. This little delay enables me to wind up
the Curate's affair to your satisfaction. Our friend Gratian gave
verbally the Bishop's reply to Mathew Miffins, who, seeing himself
deserted by his principal witness and informer, Prateapace, was not
sorry to veer round with the weather-cock, and was obsequiously civil.
It was characteristic of our friend Gratian, that he should settle it as
he did with that huckster. Going through, as it is called, the main
street, I saw him engaged with Miffins, in his shop, and went in. He was
talking somewhat familiarly with the man--of all subjects, on what do
you suppose?--on fishing. Gratian had been a great fisherman in his day,
as his rheumatic pains can now testify. As he afterwards told me,
fearing he might have given the Bishop's message rather sharply, and not
liking to pain the man, he turned off the subject, and talked of
fishing, to which he knew Miffins was addicted; and so it ended by
Gratian's obtaining his good-will for ever, for he sent him some choice
hackles. Prateapace and Gadabout have returned to the church, whereupon
the Rev. the cow-doctor has stirred up the wrath of the chapel by a very
strong discourse upon backsliding. A poor woman spoke of it as very
affecting, adding, "Some loves 'sons of consolation,' but I loves 'sons
of thunder.'" Doubtless there was lightning too; and there is of that
vivid kind which bewilders and leaves all darker than before. The Curate
_has_ found bouquets in the vestry and the desk, and has been in danger
of becoming "a popular."

A subscription has actually been set on foot, by Nicholas Sandwell, at
the instigation, it is said, of certain ladies, and even encouraged by
Miffins, to purchase a coffee-pot and tea-spoons for the Curate; but an
event a few days ago has put an end to the affair, and given rather a
new turn to the parochial feelings. This event is of such moment, that I
ought, perhaps, to have told you of it at first--but I should have
spoiled my romance, my novel--and what is any writing without a tale in
it worth now-a-days? The Curate, then, is actually married--even since
the termination of the Horæ Catullianæ.

Miss Lydia, ("alas, false man!" sighed some one,) of the family at
Ashford, is the happy bride. The Curate had unexpectedly come into a
very decent independence; and is, and will be for ever after, according
to the usual receipt, happy.

Since this event, the bouquets have ceased to be laid in the vestry and
the desk. Lydia Prateapace has been heard to say she should not wonder
if all was true after all, and affects to be glad, for propriety's sake,
that they _are_ married. Gadabout runs every where repeating what
Prateapace said; and Brazenstare looks audacious indifference, and once
stared in the Curate's face and asked him how many Misses Lydia there
might be of his acquaintance. My dear Eusebius,

    "So goes the world, and such the Play of Life.
    This loves to make, and t'other mends a strife;
    Old fools write rhymes--the Curate takes a wife."

                          Yours ever, AQUILIUS.



PROSPER MÉRIMÉE.


Rarely, in these days of profuse and unscrupulous scribbling, do we find
an author giving the essence, not a dilution, of his wit, learning, and
imagination, dispensing his mental stores with frugal caution, instead
of lavishing them with reckless prodigality. Such a one, when met with,
should be made much of, as a model for sinners in a contrary sense, and
as a bird of precious plumage. Of that feather is Monsieur Prosper
Mérimée. He plays with literature, rather than professes it; it is his
recreation, not his trade; at long intervals and for a brief space, he
turns from more serious pursuits to coquet with the Muse, not frankly to
embrace her. Willing though she be, he will not take her for a lawful
spouse and constant companion, but courts her _par amours_. The
offspring of these moments of dalliance are buxom and _debonair_, of
various but comely aspect. In two-and-twenty years he has written less
than the average annual produce of many of his literary countrymen. In
several paths of literature, he has essayed his steps and made good a
footing; in not one has he continuously persevered, but, although
cheered by applause, has quickly struck into another track, which, in
its turn, has been capriciously deserted. His "Studies of Roman history"
give him an honourable claim to the title of historian; his "Notes of
Archæological Rambles" are greatly esteemed; he has written plays; and
his prose fictions, whether middle-age romance or novel of modern
society, rank with the best of their class. He began his career with a
mystification. His first work greatly puzzled the critics. It professed
to be a translation of certain comedies, written by a Spanish actress,
whose fictitious biography was prefixed and signed by Joseph L'Estrange,
officer in the Swiss regiment of Watteville. This imaginary personage
had made acquaintance with Clara Gazul in garrison at Gibraltar. Nothing
was neglected that might perfect the delusion and give success to the
cheat; fragments of old Spanish authors were prefixed to each play,
showing familiarity with the literature of the country; the style, tone,
and allusions were thoroughly Spanish; and, through the French dress,
the Castilian idiom seemed here and there to peep forth, confirming the
notion of a translation. Clara was an Andalusian, half gipsy, half Moor,
skilled in guitars and castanets, saynetes and boleros. L'Estrange makes
her narrate her own origin.

"'I was born,' she told us, 'under an orange-tree, by the roadside, not
far from Motril, in the kingdom of Granada. My mother was a
fortune-teller, and I followed her, or was carried on her back, till the
age of five years. Then she took me to the house of a canon of Granada,
the licentiate Gil Vargas, who received us with every sign of joy.
Salute your uncle, said my mother. I saluted him. She embraced me, and
departed. I have never seen her since.' And to stop our questions, Doña
Clara took her guitar and sang the gipsy song, _Cuando me pariò mi
madre, la gitana_."

Biography and comedies were so skillfully got up, the deception was so
well combined, that the reviewers were put entirely on a wrong scent.
Two years later, M. Mérimée was guilty of another harmless literary
swindle, entitled La Guzla, a selection of Illyrian poems, said to be
collected in Bosnia, Dalmatia, &c., but whose real origin could be
traced no further than to his own imagination. Although the name was a
manifest anagram of Gazul, the public were gulled. The deceit was first
unmasked in Germany, we believe, by Goethe, to whom the secret had been
betrayed. Thenceforward the young author was content to publish under
his own name works of which he certainly had no reason to be ashamed.
One of the earliest of these was, "La Jacquerie"--a sort of long
melodrama, or series of scenes, illustrating feudal aggressions and
cruelties in France, and the consequent peasant revolts of the
fourteenth century. It shows much historical research and care in
collection of materials, is rich in references to the barbarous customs
and strange manners of the times, and, like the "Chronicle of Charles
IX.," another historical work of M. Mérimée's, has, we suspect, been
found very useful by more recent fabricators of romances.

Educated for the bar, but not practising his profession, M. Mérimée was
one of the rising men of talent whom the July revolution pushed forward.
After being _chef de cabinet_ of the Minister of the Interior, Count
d'Argout, he held several appointments under government, amongst others,
that of Inspector of Historical Monuments, an office he still retains.
In 1844 he was elected to a chair in the French Academy, vacant by the
death of the accomplished Charles Nodier. He has busied himself much
with archæological researches, and the published results of his travels
in the west of France, Provence, Corsica, &c., are most learned and
valuable. In the intervals of his antiquarian investigations and
administrative labours, he has thrown off a number of tales and
sketches, most of which first saw the light in leading French
periodicals, and have since been collected and republished. They are all
remarkable for grace of style and tact in management of subject. One of
the longest, "Colomba," a tale of Corsican life, is better known in
England than its author's name. It has been translated with accuracy and
spirit, and lately has been further brought before the public, on the
boards of a minor theatre, distorted into a very indifferent melodrama.
The Corsican Vendetta has been taken as the basis of more than one
romantic story, but, handled by M. Mérimée, it has acquired new and
fascinating interest; and he has enriched his little romance with a
profusion of those small traits and artistical touches which exhibit the
character and peculiarities of a people better than folios of dry
description. "La Double Méprise," another of his longer tales, is a
clever _novelette_ of Parisian life. According to English notions its
subject is slippery, its main incident, and some of its minor details,
improbable and unpleasant, although so neatly managed that one is less
startled when reading them than shocked on after-reflection. It
certainly requires skilful management to give an air of probability to
such a scene as is detailed in chapter five. A French _gentleman_, a man
of fortune and family, mixing in good society, is anxious for an
appointment at court, and to obtain it he reckons much on the influence
and good word of a certain Duke of H----. There is a benefit night at
the Opera, and the young wife of the aspirant to court honours has a
box. Between the acts her husband, who has unwillingly accompanied her,
rambles about the house, and discovers the Duke in an inconvenient
corner, where he can see nothing. His grace is not alone, but in the
society of his kept-mistress. To propitiate his patron, the unscrupulous
husband introduces him and his companion into the box of his
unsuspecting wife! The sequel may be imagined; the stare and titter of
acquaintances, the supercilious gratitude of the Duke, the astonishment
of the lady at the singular tone of the pretty and elegantly dressed
woman with whom she is thus unexpectedly brought in contact, and whose
want of _usage_ bespeaks, as she imagines, the newly arrived provincial.
All this, which might pass muster in a novel depicting the manners and
morals of the Regency, is rather violent in one of our day; but yet, so
cleverly are the angles of improbability draped and softened down, the
reader perseveres. The plot is very slight; the tale scarcely depends on
it, but is what the French call a _tableau de moeurs_, with less
pretensions to the regular progress and catastrophe of a novel, than to
be a mirror of everyday scenes and actors on the bustling stage of Paris
life. The characters are well drawn, the dialogues witty and dramatic,
the book abounds in sly hits and smart satire; but its bitterness of
tone injured its popularity, and, unlike its author's other tales, it
met little success. The opening chapter is a picture of a lively
Parisian _ménage_, such as many doubtless exist; a striking example of a
_mariage de convenance_, or mis-match.

"Six years had elapsed since the marriage of Julie de Chaverny, and
five years and six months, or thereabouts, since she had discovered that
it was impossible for her to love her husband, and very difficult to
esteem him. He was not a bad man, neither could he be called stupid, nor
even silly; she had once thought him agreeable; now she found him
intolerably wearisome. To her every thing about him was repulsive and
unpleasant. His most trifling actions, his way of eating, of taking
coffee, of talking, gave her umbrage and irritated her nerves. Except at
table, the pair scarcely saw or spoke to each other; but they dined
together several times a-week, and that sufficed to keep up the sort of
hatred Julie entertained towards her husband.

"As to Chaverny, he was rather a handsome man, a little too corpulent
for his time of life, with a fresh complexion, full-blooded, and by no
means subject to those vague uneasinesses which sometimes torment
persons of more intellectual organisation. Piously convinced that his
wife's sentiments towards him were those of tender friendship, the
conviction caused him neither pleasure nor pain. Had he known Julie's
feelings to be of an opposite nature, it would have made little
difference to his happiness. He had served several years in a cavalry
regiment, when he inherited a considerable fortune, became disgusted
with garrison life, resigned his commission, and took a wife. It seems
difficult to explain the marriage of two persons who had not an idea in
common. On the one hand, a number of those officious friends and
relations, who, as Phrosine says, would marry the republic of Venice to
the Grand Turk, had taken much pains to arrange it: on the other,
Chaverny was of good family; before his marriage he was not too fat; he
was gay and cheerful, and what is called a _good fellow_. Julie was glad
to see him at her mother's house, because he made her laugh with
anecdotes of his regiment, droll enough, if not always in the best
taste. She found him amiable, because he danced with her at every ball,
and was always ready with excellent reasons to persuade her mother to
remain late at theatre or party, or at the _Bois de Boulogne_. Finally,
she thought him a hero, because he had fought two or three creditable
duels. But what completed his triumph, was the description of a certain
carriage, to be built after a plan of his own, and in which he was to
drive Julie, as soon as she consented to become Madame de Chaverny.

"A few months of married life, and Chaverny's good qualities had lost
much of their merit. He no longer danced with his wife--that of course.
His funny stories had long been thrice told. He complained that balls
lasted too late; at the theatre he yawned; the custom of dressing for
the evening he found an insufferable bore. Laziness was his bane; had he
endeavoured to please, perhaps he would have succeeded, but the least
exertion or restraint was torture to him, as to most fat persons. He
found it irksome to go into society, because there the manner of one's
reception depends on the efforts one makes to please. A rude joviality
suited him better than refined amusements; to distinguish himself
amongst persons of a similar taste to his own, he had only to talk and
laugh louder than his companions--and that he did without trouble, for
his lungs were remarkably vigorous. He also prided himself on drinking
more champagne than most men could support, and on leaping his horse
over a four-foot wall in true sporting style. To these various
accomplishments he was indebted for the friendship and esteem of the
indefinable class of beings known as 'young men,' who swarm upon our
_boulevards_ towards eight in the evening. Shooting parties, country
excursions, races, bachelors' dinners and suppers, were his favourite
pastimes. Twenty times a-day he declared himself the happiest of
mortals; and when Julie heard the declaration, she cast her eyes to
heaven, and her little mouth assumed an expression of indescribable
contempt."

We turn to another of M. Mérimée's books, in our opinion his best, an
historical romance, entitled 1572, a "Chronicle of the Reign of Charles
the Ninth." "In history," says the author in his preface, "I care only
for the anecdotes, and prefer those in which I fancy I discover a true
picture of the manners and characters of a particular period. This is
not a very elevated taste; but I own, to my shame, that I would
willingly give the whole of Thucydides for an authentic memoir of
Aspasia, or of one of Pericles' slaves. Memoirs, the familiar gossip of
an author with his reader, alone supply those individual portraits that
amuse and interest me. It is not from Mezerai, but from Montlue,
Brantôme, D'Aubigné, Tavannes, La Noue, &c., that one forms a just idea
of the French of the sixteenth century. From the style of those
contemporary authors, we learn as much as from the substance of their
narratives. In L'Estoile, for instance, I read the following concise
note. 'The demoiselle de Chateau-neuf, one of the king's _mignonnes_,
before he went to Poland, having espoused, _par amourettes_, the
Florentine Antinotti, officer of the galleys at Marseilles, and
detecting him in an intrigue, slew him stoutly with her own hand.' By
the help of this anecdote, and of similar ones, which abound in
Brantôme, I make up a character in my head, and resuscitate a lady of
Henry the Third's court." The "Chronicle" is the result of much reading
and combination of the kind here referred to; and M. Mérimée has even
been accused of adhering too closely to reality, to the detriment of the
poetical character of his romance. He does not make his heroes and
heroines sufficiently perfect, or his villains sufficiently atrocious,
to suit the palate of some critics, but depicts them as he finds
evidence of their having existed--their virtues obscured by the coarse
manners and loose morality, their crimes palliated by the religious
antipathies and stormy political passions of a semi-civilised age. He
declines judging the men of the sixteenth century according to the ideas
of the nineteenth. And, with regard to minor matters, he does not, like
some of his contemporaries, place in the mouth of a Huguenot leader, or
a _Guisarde_ countess, the tame and dainty phrase appropriate enough in
that of an equerry, or lady of the bed-chamber at the court of the
Citizen King. Eschewing conventionality, and following his own judgment,
and the guidance of the old chroniclers, in whose quaint records he
delights, he has written one of the best existing French historical
romances.

It would have been easy for a less able writer than M. Mérimée to have
extended the "Chronique" to thrice its present length. It is not a
complete romance, but a desultory sketch of the events and manners of
the time, with a few imaginary personages introduced. Novel readers who
require a regular _denoûment_ will be disappointed at its conclusion.
There is not even a hint of a wedding from the first page to the last;
and the only lady who plays a prominent part in the story, a certain
countess Diane de Turgis, is little better than she should be. And yet,
if we follow M. Mérimée's rule, and judge her according to the ideas and
morals of the age she flourished in, she was rather an amiable and
proper sort of person. True, she sets her lovers by the ears, and feels
gratified when they cut each other's throats: she even challenges a
court dame, who has taken the precedence of her, to an encounter with
sword and dagger, _en chemise_, according to the prevailing mode amongst
the _raffinés_, or professed duellists of the time; and she writes
seductive billets-doux in Spanish, and gives wicked little suppers to
the handsome cavalier on whom her affections are set. But, on the other
hand, she goes to mass, and confesses, and does her best to save her
Huguenot lover's body and soul, and obtain the remission of her own sins
by converting him from his heresy. So that, as times went in the year
1572, she was to be reckoned amongst the righteous. The handsome
heretic, in whose present safety and future salvation she takes so
strong an interest, is one Bernard de Mergy, who has come to Paris to
take service with the great chief of his co-religionists, Admiral
Coligny. His brother, George de Mergy, has deserted the creed of Calvin,
and is consequently in high favour at the Louvre, but under the ban of
his father, a stern old Huguenot officer, who will not hear the name of
his renegade son. Bernard, whilst regretting his brother's apostasy,
does not deem it necessary to shun his society. On the road he has been
cajoled or robbed of his ready cash by a pretty gipsy girl, and his
good horse has been stolen by one of the hordes of German lanzknechts,
whom the recent civil war had brought to France. He reaches Paris with
an empty purse, and is not sorry to meet his brother, who welcomes him
kindly, and supplies his wants, but refuses to recant, and attempts to
justify his backsliding. In the course of his defence he gives an
insight into the prevalent corruption of the time, and shows how the
private vices of great political leaders often marred the fortunes of
their party.

"'You were still at school,' said De Mergy, 'learning Latin and Greek,
when I first donned the cuirass, girded the Huguenot's white scarf, and
took share in our civil wars. Your little Prince of Condé, who has led
his party into so many errors, looked after your affairs when his
intrigues left him time. A lady loved me; the prince asked me to resign
her to him; I refused, and he became my mortal enemy. From that hour he
lost no opportunity of mortifying me.

    Ce petit prince si joli
    Qui toujours baise sa mignonne,

held me up to the fanatics of the party as a monster of libertinism and
irreligion. I had only one mistress; and as to the irreligion,--I let
others do as they like, why attack me?'

"'I thought the prince incapable of such baseness,' said Bernard.

"'He is dead,' replied his brother, 'and you have deified him. 'Tis the
way of the world. He had great qualities; he died like a brave man, and
I have forgiven him. But then he was powerful, and on the part of a poor
gentleman like myself, it was guilt to resist him. All the preachers and
hypocrites of the army set upon me, but I cared as little for their
abuse as for their sermons. At last one of the prince's gentlemen, to
curry favour with his master, called me libertine, before all our
captains. I struck him: we fought--and he was killed. At that time there
were a dozen duels a day in the army, and no notice taken. In my favour
an exception was made; I was fixed upon by the prince to serve as an
example. The entreaties of the other leaders, including the Admiral,
procured my pardon. But the prince's rancour was not yet appeased. At
the fight of Jazeneuil, I commanded a company: I had been foremost in
the skirmish; my cuirass battered and broken by bullets, my left arm
pierced by a lance, showed that I had not spared myself. I had only
twenty men left, and a battalion of the king's Swiss guards advanced
against us. The Prince of Condé ordered me to charge them; I asked for
two companies of _reitres_, and--he called me coward.'

"Mergy rose and approached his brother with an expression of strong
interest. The Captain continued--his eyes flashing with anger at the
recollection of the insult:--

"'He called me coward before all those popinjays in gilt armour who
afterwards abandoned him on the battle-field of Jarnac. I resolved to
die, and rushed upon the Swiss--vowing, if I escaped with life, never
again to draw sword for that unjust prince. Grievously wounded, thrown
from my horse, one of the Duke of Anjou's gentlemen, Béville--the mad
fellow whom we dined with to-day--saved my life, and presented me to the
duke. He treated me well. I was eager for vengeance. They urged me to
take service under my benefactor, the Duke of Anjou; they quoted the
line--

    Omne solum forti patria est, ut piscibus æquor.

I was indignant to see the Protestants summoning foreigners to their
assistance. But why disguise the real motive that actuated me? I
thirsted for revenge, and became a Catholic, in hopes of meeting the
Prince of Condé in fair fight, and killing him. A coward forestalled me,
and the manner of the prince's death almost made me forget my hatred. I
saw his bloody corpse abandoned to the insults of the soldiery; I
rescued it from their hands, and covered it with my cloak. I was pledged
to the Catholics; I commanded a squadron of their cavalry; I could not
leave them. I have happily been able to render some service to my former
party; I have done my best to soften the fury of religious animosities,
and have been fortunate enough to save several of my friends.'

"'Oliver de Basseville tells every body he owes you his life.'

"'Behold me then a Catholic,' continued George, in a calmer voice. 'The
religion is as good as another: and then it is an easy and pleasant one.
See yonder pretty Madonna: 'tis the portrait of an Italian courtesan;
but the bigots praise my piety when I cross myself before it. My word
for it, I get on vastly better with Rome than Geneva. By making trifling
sacrifices to the opinions of the _canaille_, I live as I like. I must
go to mass--very good! I go there and stare at the pretty women. I must
have a confessor--_parbleu!_ I have one, a jolly Franciscan and
ex-dragoon, who for a crown-piece gives me a ticket of confession, and
delivers my billets-doux to his pretty penitents into the bargain. _Mort
de ma vie! Vive la messe!_'

"Mergy could not restrain a smile.

"'There is my breviary,' continued the Captain, throwing his brother a
richly-bound book, fastened with silver clasps, and enclosed in a velvet
case. 'Such a missal as that is well worth your prayer-books.'

"Mergy read on the back of the volume, _Heures de la Cour_.

"'The binding is handsome,' he said, disdainfully returning the book.

"The Captain smiled, and opening it again handed it to him. Mergy then
read upon the first page: _La vie très-horrifique du grand Gargantua,
père de Pantagruel: composée par M. Alcofribas, abstracteur de
Quintessena._"

Thus, in a single page, does M. Mérimée place before us a picture of the
times, with their mixture of fanaticism and irreligion, their shameless
political profligacy and private immorality. Bernard de Mergy cannot
prevail with his brother to return to the conventicle: so he accompanies
him to mass--not to pray, but hoping to obtain a glimpse of Madame de
Turgis, whom he has already seen masked in the street, and whose
graceful form and high reputation for beauty have made strong impression
on the imagination of this novice in court gallantries. On entering the
sacristy, they find the preacher, a jolly monk, surrounded by a dozen
young rakes, with whom he bandies jokes more witty than wise.

"'Ah,' cried Béville, 'here is the Captain! Come, George, give us a
text. Father Lubin has promised to preach on any one we propose.'

"'Yes,' said the monk; 'but make haste. _Mort de ma vie!_ I ought to be
in the pulpit already.'

"'Peste! Father Lubin, you swear like the king,' cried the Captain.

"I bet he would not swear in his sermon,' said Béville.

"'Why not, if the fancy took me?' stoutly retorted the Franciscan.

"'Ten pistoles you do not.'

"'Ten pistoles? Done.'

"'Béville,' cried the Captain, 'I go halves in your wager.'

"'No, no!' replied his friend, 'I will not share the reverend's money;
and if he wins, by my faith! I shall not regret mine. An oath in pulpit
is well worth ten pistoles.'

"'They are already won,' said Father Lubin; 'I begin my sermon with
three oaths. _Ah! Messieurs les Gentilhommes_, because you have rapier
on hip, and plume in hat, you would monopolise the talent of swearing.
We will see.'

"He left the sacristy, and in an instant was in his pulpit. There was
silence in the church. The preacher scanned the crowded congregation as
though seeking his bettor; and when he discovered him leaning against a
column exactly opposite the pulpit, he knit his brows, put his arms
akimbo, and in an angry tone thus began:

"'My dear Brethren,

"_'Par la vertu!--par la mort!--par le sang!'_--

"A murmur of surprise and indignation interrupted the preacher, or, it
were more correctly said, filled up the pause he intentionally left.

"---- 'de Dieu,' continued the Franciscan, in a devout nasal whine, 'we
are saved and delivered from punishment.'

"'A general burst of laughter interrupted him a second time. Béville
took his purse from his girdle, and shook it at the preacher, as an
admission that he had lost."

The sermon that follows is in character with its commencement. Whilst
awaiting its conclusion, Bernard de Mergy in vain seeks the Countess de
Turgis; it is only when leaving the church that his brother points her
out to him. She is escorted by a young man, of slight figure and
effeminate mien, dressed with studied negligence. This is the terrible
Count de Comminges, the duellist of the day, the chief of those
_raffinés_ who fought on every pretext, and often on no pretext at all.
He had had nearly a hundred duels, and a challenge from him was held
equivalent to a ticket for the hospital, if not to sentence of death.
"Comminges once summoned a man to the Pré-aux-Clercs, then the classic
duelling-ground. They stripped off their doublets, and drew their
swords. 'Are you not Berny of Auvergne?' inquired Comminges. 'Certainly
not,' replied his antagonist; 'my name is Villequier, and I am from
Normandy.' 'So much the worse,' quoth Comminges, 'I took you for another
man; but since I have challenged you, we must fight.' They fought
accordingly, and the unlucky Norman was killed." Since the death of a
Monsieur de Lannoy, slain at the siege of Orleans, Madame de Turgis is
without a lover. Comminges aspires to the vacant post; his attentions
are rather tolerated than encouraged; but he seems determined that if he
does not succeed, nobody else shall, for he has constituted himself her
constant attendant, and a wholesome dread of his formidable rapier keeps
off rivals. He has sworn to kill all who present themselves.

By the interest of Coligny, whom Charles the Ninth affects to favour
whilst he plots his death, Bernard de Mergy receives a commission in the
army preparing for a campaign in Flanders. He goes to court to thank the
king, and the following scene passes.

"The court was at the Château de Madrid. The queen-mother, surrounded by
her ladies, waited in her apartment for the king to come to breakfast.
The king, followed by the princes, slowly traversed the gallery, in
which were assembled the nobles and gentlemen who were to accompany him
to the chase. With an absent air he listened to the remarks of his
courtiers, and made abrupt replies. When he passed before the two
brothers, the Captain bent his knee, and presented the newly-made
officer. Mergy bowed profoundly, and thanked his majesty for the favour
shown him before he had earned it.

"'Ha! it is you of whom my father the Admiral spoke! You are Captain
George's brother?'

"'Yes, sire.'

"'Catholic or Protestant?'

"'Sire, I am a Protestant.'

"'I ask from idle curiosity. The devil take me if I care of what
religion are those who serve me well.'

"And having uttered these memorable words, the king entered the queen's
apartments. A few moments later, a swarm of ladies spread themselves
over the gallery, as if sent to enable the gentlemen to wait with
patience. I shall speak but of one of the beauties of that court, where
they so greatly abounded; of the Countess de Turgis, who plays an
important part in this history. She wore an elegant riding-dress, and
had not yet put on her mask. Her complexion, of dazzling but uniform
whiteness, contrasted with her jet-black hair; her well-arched
eye-brows, slightly joining, gave a proud expression to her physiognomy,
without diminishing its graceful beauty. At first, the sole expression
of her blue eye seemed one of disdainful haughtiness; but when animated
in conversation, their pupils, dilated like those of a cat, seemed to
emit sparks, and few men, even of the most audacious, could long sustain
their magical power.

"'The Countess de Turgis--how lovely she looks!' murmured the courtiers,
pressing forward to see her better. Mergy, close to whom she passed, was
so struck by her beauty, that he forgot to make way till her large
silken sleeves rustled against his doublet. She remarked his emotion
without displeasure, and for a moment deigned to fix her magnificent
eyes on those of the young Protestant, who felt his cheek glow under her
gaze. The Countess smiled and passed on, letting one of her gloves fall
before our hero, who, still motionless and fascinated, neglected to pick
it up. Instantly a fair-haired youth, (it was no other than Comminges,)
who stood behind Mergy, pushed him rudely in passing before him, seized
the glove, kissed it respectfully, and presented it to Madame de
Turgis. Without thanking him, the lady turned towards Mergy with a look
of crushing contempt; and, observing Captain George at his side,
'Captain,' said she, very loud, 'where does that great clown spring
from? He must be some Huguenot, judging from his courtesy.'

"The laughter of the bystanders completed the embarrassment of the
unlucky Bernard.

"'He is my brother, madam,' was George's quiet reply; 'he has been three
days at Paris, and, by my honour! he is not more awkward than Lannoy
was, before you undertook his education.'

"The Countess coloured slightly. 'An unkind jest, Captain,' she said:
'Speak not ill of the dead. Give me your hand; I have a message to you
from a lady whom you have offended.'

"The Captain respectfully took her hand, and led her to the recess of a
distant window. Before she reached it, she once more turned her head to
look at Mergy.

"Still dazzled by the apparition of the beautiful Countess, whom he
longed to look at, but dared not, Mergy felt a gentle tap upon his
shoulder. He turned and beheld the Baron de Vaudreuil, who drew him
aside, to speak to him, as he said, without fear of interruption.

"'My dear fellow,' the Baron began, 'you are a stranger at court, and
are probably not yet acquainted with its customs?'

"Mergy looked at him with astonishment.

"'Your brother is engaged, and not able to advise you; if agreeable to
you I will replace him. You have been gravely insulted; and seeing you
in this pensive attitude, I doubt not you meditate revenge.'

"'Revenge?--on whom?' cried Mergy, reddening to the very white of his
eyes.

"'Were you not just now rudely pushed aside by little Comminges? The
whole court witnessed the affront, and expect you to notice it
suitably.'

"'But,' said Mergy, 'in so crowded a room as this an accidental push is
nothing very extraordinary.'

"'M. de Mergy, I have not the honour to be intimate with you: but your
brother is my particular friend, and he will tell you that I practise as
much as possible the divine precept of forgiveness of injuries. I do not
wish to embark you in a bad quarrel, but at the same time it is my duty
to tell you that Comminges did not push you accidentally. He pushed you,
because he wished to insult you; and if he had not pushed you, you would
still be insulted; for, by picking up Madame de Turgis's glove, he
usurped your right. The glove was at your feet, _ergo_ it was for you
alone to raise and return it. And you have but to look around; you will
see Comminges telling the story and laughing at you.'

"Mergy turned about. Comminges was surrounded by five or six young men,
to whom he laughingly narrated something which they listened to with
curious interest. Nothing proved that his conduct was under discussion;
but at the words of his charitable counsellor, Mergy felt his heart
swell with fury.

"'I will speak to him after the hunt,' he said, 'and he shall tell me--'

"'Oh! never put off a good resolution; besides, you offend Heaven much
less in challenging your adversary immediately after the offence than in
doing it when you have had time to reflect. In a moment of irritation,
which is but a venial offence, you agree to fight; and if you afterwards
fulfil your agreement, it is only to avoid committing a far greater sin,
that of breaking your word. But, I forget that you are a Protestant.
Nevertheless, arrange a meeting with him at once. I will bring you
together.'

"'I trust he will not refuse to make a fitting apology.'

"'Undeceive yourself, comrade. Comminges never yet said, I was wrong.
But he is a man of strict honour, and will give you every satisfaction.'

"Mergy made an effort to suppress his emotion and assume an indifferent
air.

"'Since I have been insulted,' he said, 'I must have satisfaction. And
whatever kind may be necessary, I shall know how to insist upon it.'

"'Well spoken, my brave friend; your boldness pleases me, for you of
course know that Comminges is one of our best swordsmen. _Par ma foi!_
he handles his blade right cunningly. He took lessons at Rome, of
Brambilla, and Petit-Jean will fence with him no longer.' And whilst
speaking, Vaudreuil attentively watched the countenance of Mergy, who
was pale, but from anger at the offence offered him rather than from
apprehension of its consequences.

"'I would willingly be your second in this affair, but I take the
sacrament to-morrow, and, moreover, I am engaged to M. de Rheincy, and
cannot draw sword against any but him.'[B]

"'I thank you, sir. If necessary, my brother will second me.'

"'The Captain is perfectly at home in these affairs. Meanwhile, I will
bring Comminges to speak with you.'

"Mergy bowed, and turning to the wall, did his best to compose his
countenance and arrange what he should say. There is a certain grace in
giving a challenge, which habit alone bestows. It was our hero's first
affair, and he was a little embarrassed; he was less afraid of a
sword-thrust than of saying something unbecoming a gentleman. He had
just succeeded in composing a firm and polite sentence, when Baron de
Vaudreuil, taking him by the arm, drove it out of his head.

"'You desire to speak to me, sir?' said Comminges, hat in hand, and
bowing with an impertinent politeness, which brought an angry flush upon
Mergy's countenance.

"'I hold myself insulted by your behaviour,' the young Protestant
instantly replied, 'and I desire satisfaction.'

"Vaudreuil nodded approvingly; Comminges drew himself up, and placing
his hand on his hip, the prescribed posture in such circumstances,
replied with much gravity:

"'You constitute yourself demander, sir, and, as defendant, I have the
choice of arms.'

"'Name those you prefer.'"

Comminges reflected for an instant. "'The _estoc_,' he at last said, 'is
a good weapon, but it makes ugly wounds; and at our age,' he added, with
a smile, 'one is not anxious to appear before one's mistress with a
scarred countenance. The rapier makes a small hole, but it is enough.'
And he again smiled, as he said, 'I choose rapier and dagger.'

"'Very good,' said Mergy, and he took a step to depart.

"'One moment!' cried Vaudreuil; 'you forget the place of meeting.'

"'The Court uses the Pré-aux-Clercs,' said Comminges; 'and if the
gentleman has no particular preference----'

"'The Pré-aux-Clercs--be it so.'

"'As to the time, I shall not be up before eight o'clock, for reasons of
my own--you understand--I do not sleep at home to-night, and cannot be
at the Pré before nine.'

"'Let nine be the hour.'

"Just then Mergy perceived the Countess de Turgis, who had left the
Captain in conversation with another lady. As may be supposed, at sight
of the lovely cause of this ugly affair, our hero threw into his
countenance an additional amount of gravity and feigned indifference.

"'Of late,' said Vaudreuil, 'it is the fashion to fight in crimson
drawers. If you have none, I will send you a pair. They look clean, and
do not show blood. And now,' continued the Baron, who appeared quite in
his element, 'nothing remains but to fix upon your seconds and thirds.'

"'The gentleman is a new comer at Court' said Comminges, 'and perhaps
might have difficulty in finding a third. Out of consideration for him I
will content myself with a second.'

"With some difficulty, Mergy contracted his lips into a smile.

"'Impossible to be more courteous,' said the Baron. 'It is really a
pleasure to deal with so accommodating a cavalier as M. de Comminges.'

"'You will require a rapier of the same length as mine,' resumed
Comminges; 'I can recommend you Laurent, at the Golden Sun, Rue de la
Féronnerie; he is the best armourer in Paris. Tell him you come from me,
and he will treat you well.' Having thus spoken, he turned upon his
heel, and rejoined the group he had lately left.

"'I congratulate you, M. Bernard,' said Vaudreuil; 'you have acquitted
yourself admirably. Exceedingly well, indeed. Comminges is not
accustomed to hear himself spoken to in that fashion. He is feared like
fire, especially since he killed Canillac; for as to St Michel, whom he
killed a couple of months ago, he did not get much credit by that. St
Michel was not particularly skilful, whilst Canillac, had already slain
five or six antagonists, without receiving a scratch. He had studied at
Naples under Borelli, and it was said that Lansac had bequeathed him the
secret thrust with which he did so much harm. To be sure,' continued the
Baron, as if to himself, 'Canillac had pillaged the church at Auxerre,
and trampled on the consecrated wafers: no wonder he was punished.'

"Mergy, although far from amused by this conversation, thought himself
bound to continue it, lest a suspicion offensive to his courage should
occur to Vaudreuil.

"'Fortunately,' he replied, 'I have pillaged no church, and never
touched a consecrated wafer in my life; so I have a risk the less to
run.'

"'Another caution. When you cross swords with Comminges, beware of one
of his feints, which cost Captain Tomaso his life. He cried out that the
point of his sword was broken. Tomaso instantly guarded his head,
expecting a cut; but Comminges's sword was perfect enough, for it
entered, to within a foot of the hilt, Tomaso's breast, which he had
exposed, not anticipating a thrust. But you fight with rapiers, and
there is less danger.'

"'I will do my best.'

"'Ah! one thing more. Choose a dagger with a strong basket-hilt; it is
very useful to parry. I owe this scar on my left hand to having gone out
one day without a poniard. Young Tallard and myself had a quarrel, and
for want of a dagger, I nearly lost my hand.'

"'And was he wounded?' inquired Mergy.

"'I killed him, thanks to a vow I made to St Maurice, my patron. Have
some linen and lint about you, it can do no harm. One is not always
killed outright. You will do well also to have your sword placed on the
altar during mass. But you are a Protestant. Yet another word. Do not
make it a point of honour not to retreat; on the contrary, keep him
moving; he is short-winded; exhaust his breath, and, when you find your
opportunity, one good thrust in the breast and your man is down.'

"There is no saying how long the Baron would have continued his valuable
advice, had not a great sounding of horns announced that the King was
about to take horse. The door of the apartment opened; and his Majesty
and the Queen-mother made their appearance, equipped for the chase.
Captain George, who had just left his lady, joined his brother, and
clapped him joyously on the shoulder.

"'By the mass!' he cried, 'thou art a lucky rogue! Only see this
youngster, with his cat's mustache; he has but to show himself, and all
the ladies are mad after him. The handsome Countess has been talking
about you for the last quarter of an hour. Come, good courage! During
the hunt, keep by her stirrup, and be as gallant as you can. But what
the devil's the matter with you? Are you ill? You make as long a face as
a preacher at the stake. _Morbleu!_ cheer up, man!'

"'I have no great fancy to hunt to-day,' said Bernard; 'and I would
rather--'

"'If you do not hunt,' whispered Vaudreuil, 'Comminges will think you
are afraid.'

"'I am ready,' said Mergy, passing his hand across his burning brow, and
resolved to wait till after the hunt to inform his brother of his
adventure. 'What disgrace,' thought he, 'if Madame de Turgis suspected
me of fear; if she supposed that the idea of an approaching duel
prevented my enjoying the chase.'

"During the hunt, Bernard swerves not from the side of the Countess, who
accords him various marks of favour, and finally dismisses Comminges,
who has also escorted her, and has a _tête-a-tête_ ride with her new
admirer. She well knows that a duel is in the wind, and dreads it, for
Mergy's sake. Hopeless of his escape with life from the projected
combat, she tries at least to save his soul, and makes a bold attempt at
his conversion. But on that head he is deaf even to _her_ voice.
Baffled, she essays a compromise.

"'You heretics have no faith in relics?' said Madame de Turgis.

"Bernard smiled.

"'And you think yourselves defiled by touching them?' she continued.
'You would not carry one, as we Roman Catholics are wont to do?'

"'We hold the custom useless, to say the least.'

"'Listen. A cousin of mine once attached a relic to his hound's neck,
and at twelve paces fired at the dog an arquebuse charged with slugs.'

"'And the dog was killed?'

"'Not touched.'

"'Wonderful! I would fain possess such a relic.'

"'Indeed!--and you would carry it?'

"'Undoubtedly--since the relic saved the dog, it would of course--But
stay, is it quite certain that a heretic is as good as a Catholic's
dog?'

"Without listening to him, Madame de Turgis hastily unbuttoned the top
of her closely fitting habit, and took from her bosom a little gold box,
very flat, suspended by a black ribbon. 'Here,' she said,--'you promised
to wear it. You shall return it me one day.'

"'Certainly. If I am able.'

"'But you will take care of it? No sacrilege! You will take the greatest
care of it!'

"'I have received it from you, madam.'

"She gave him the relic, and he hung it round his neck.

"'A Catholic would have thanked the hand that bestowed the holy
talisman.'

"Mergy seized her hand, and tried to raise it to his lips.

"'No, no! it is too late.'

"'Say not so! Remember, I may never again have such fortune.'

"'Take off my glove,' said the lady. Whilst obeying, Mergy thought he
felt a slight pressure. He imprinted a burning kiss on the white and
beautiful hand."

"Frank and free were the dames of the ninth Charles's court. Faithless
in the virtues of the relic, feverishly excited by the novelty of his
situation, and by the preference the Countess has shown him, which has
given life a tenfold value in his eyes, Mergy passes an agitated and
sleepless night. When the Louvre clock strikes eight, his brother enters
his apartment, bringing the necessary weapons, and vainly endeavouring
to conceal his sadness and anxiety. Bernard examines the sword and
dagger, the manufacture of the famous Luno of Toledo.

"'With such good arms,' he said, 'I shall surely be able to defend
myself.' Then showing the relic given him by Madame de Turgis, and which
he wore concealed in his bosom, 'Here too,' he added with a smile, 'is a
talisman better than coat of mail against a sword-thrust.'

"'Whence have you the bauble?'

"'Guess.' And the vanity of appearing favoured by the fair, made him for
a moment forget both Comminges and the duelling sword that lay naked
before him.

"'I would wager that crazy Countess gave it you! May the devil confound
her and her box!'

"'It is a relic for protection in to-day's encounter.'

"'She had better have worn her gloves, instead of parading her fine
white fingers.'

"'God preserve me,' cried Mergy, blushing deeply, 'from believing in
Papist relics. But if I fall to-day, I would have her know that I died
with this upon my heart.'

"'Folly!' cried the Captain, shrugging his shoulders.

"'Here is a letter for my mother,' said Mergy, his voice slightly
tremulous. George took it without a word, and approaching the table,
opened a small Bible, and seemed busy reading whilst his brother
completed his toilet. On the first page that offered itself to his eyes,
he read these words in his mother's handwriting; '1st May 1549, my son
Bernard was born. Lord, conduct him in thy ways! Lord, shield him from
all harm!' George bit his lip violently, and threw down the book.
Bernard observed the gesture, and imagining that some impious thought
had come into his brother's head, he gravely took up the Bible, put it
in an embroidered case, and locked it in a drawer, with every mark of
great respect.

"'It is my mother's Bible,' he said.

"The Captain paced the apartment, but made no reply."

According to the established rule in such cases--a rule laid down for
the especial behoof, benefit, and accommodation of romance writers--the
hero of a hundred duels falls by the maiden sword of the tyro, who
escapes with a slight wound. So signal a triumph makes the reputation of
Mergy. His wound healed, and all danger of persecution by the powerful
family of Comminges at an end, he reappears at court, and finds that he
has in some sort inherited the respect and consideration formerly shown
to his defunct rival. The politeness of the _raffinés_ is as
overpowering as their envy is ill concealed; and, as to the ladies, in
those days the character of a successful duellist was a sure passport to
their favour. The raw provincial, so lately unheeded, has but to throw
his handkerchief, now that he has dabbled it in blood. But the only one
of these sanguinary sultanas on whom Mergy bestows a thought, is not to
be found. In vain does he seek, in the crowd of beauties who court his
gaze, the pale cheek, blue eyes, and raven hair of Madame de Turgis.
Soon after the duel, she had left Paris for one of her country seats, a
departure attributed by the charitable to grief at the death of
Comminges. Mergy knows better. Whilst laid up with his wound, and
concealed in the house of an old woman, half doctress, half sorceress,
he detected a masked lady, whom he recognised as De Turgis, performing
for his cure, with the assistance of the witch, certain mysterious
incantations. They had procured Comminges's sword, and rubbed it with
scorpion oil, "the sovereign'st thing on earth" to heal the wound the
weapon had inflicted. And there was also a melting of a wax figure,
intended as a love charm; and from all that passed, Bernard could not
doubt that the Countess had set her affections on him. So he waits
patiently, and one morning, whilst his brother is reading the "Vie
très-horrifique de Pantagruel," and he himself is taking a guitar lesson
from the Signor Uberto Vinibella, a wrinkled duenna brings him a scented
note, closed with a gold thread, and a large green seal, bearing a Cupid
with finger on lips, and the Spanish word, _Callad_, enjoining silence.

The best picture of the massacre of St Bartholomew we have read in a
book of fiction, is given by M. Mérimée, in small compass and without
unnecessary horrors. Less than an hour before its commencement, the
Countess informs her lover of the fate reserved for him and all of his
faith. She urges and implores him to abjure his heresy; he steadfastly
refuses--and she, her love redoubled by his courageous constancy,
conceals him from the assassins. In the disguise of a monk, he escapes
from Paris, and makes his way to La Rochelle, the last stronghold of the
persecuted Protestants. On the road, he falls in with another refugee,
the _lanzknecht_ Captain Dietrich Hornstein, similarly disguised and
bound to the same place. There is an excellent scene at a country inn,
where four ruffians, their hands reeking with Protestant blood, compel
the false Franciscans to baptise a pair of pullets by the names of carp
and perch, that they may not sin by eating fowl on Friday. Mergy at last
loses patience, and breaks a bottle over one of their heads; and a fight
ensues, in which the bandits are worsted. The two Huguenots reach La
Rochelle, which is soon afterwards besieged by the king's troops. In a
sortie, Bernard forms an ambuscade, into which his brother unfortunately
falls, and receives a mortal wound. Taken into La Rochelle, he is laid
upon a bed to die; and, refusing the spiritual assistance of Catholic
priest and Protestant minister, he accelerates his death by a draught
from Hornstein's wine flask, and strives to comfort Bernard, who is
frantic with remorse.

"He again closed his eyes, but soon re-opened them and said to Mergy:
'Madame de Turgis bade me assure you of her love.' He smiled gently.
These were his last words. In a quarter of an hour he died, without
appearing to suffer much. A few minutes later Béville expired in the
arms of the monk, who afterwards declared that he had distinctly heard
in the air the cries of joy of the angels who received the soul of the
penitent, whilst subterraneous demons responded with a yell of triumph
as they bore away the spiritual part of Captain George."

"It is to be seen in any history of France, how La Noue left La
Rochelle, disgusted with civil wars and tormented by his conscience,
which reproached him for bearing arms against his king; how the Catholic
army was compelled to raise the siege, and how the fourth peace was
made, soon followed by the death of Charles IX.

"Did Mergy console himself? Did Diana take another lover? I leave it to
the decision of the reader, who thus will end the romance to his own
liking."

By his countrymen, M. Mérimée's short tales are the most esteemed of his
writings. He produces them at intervals much too long to please the
editor and readers of the periodical in which they have for some time
appeared,--the able and excellent _Revue des Deux Mondes_. Once in
eighteen months, or two years, he throws a few pages to the public,
which, like a starved hound to whom a scanty meal is tossed, snaps
eagerly at the gift whilst growling at the niggardliness of the giver:
and the publisher of the _Revue_ knows that he may safely print an extra
thousand copies of a number containing a novel by Prosper Mérimée. Now
and then, M. Mérimée comes out with a criticism of a foreign book. His
last was a review of "Grote's Greece," and he has also written a paper
on "Borrow's Spanish Rambles." A man of great erudition and extensive
travel, he is thoroughly master of many languages, and, in writing about
foreign countries and people, steers clear of the absurd blunders into
which some of his contemporaries, of respectable talents and
attainments, not unfrequently fall. His English officer and lady in
Colomba are excellent; very different from the absurd caricatures of
Englishmen one is accustomed to see in French novels. He is equally
truthful in his Spanish characters. A great lover of things Spanish, he
has frequently visited, and still visits, the Peninsula. In 1831 he
published, in the _Revue de Paris_, three charming letters from Madrid.
The action of most of his tales passes in Spain or Corsica, or the South
of France, although he now and then dashes at Parisian society. With
this he has unquestionably had ample opportunity to become acquainted,
for he is a welcome guest in the best circles of the French capital.
Still we must hope there is some flaw in the glasses through which he
has observed the gay world of Paris. The "Vase Etrusque" is one of his
sketches of modern French life, in the style of the "Double Méprise,"
but better. It is a most amusing and spirited tale, but unnecessarily
immoral. Had the heroine been virtuous, the interest of the story would
in no way have suffered, so far as we can see; and that which attaches
to her, as a charming and unhappy woman, would have been augmented. This
opinion, however, would be scoffed at on the other side of the Channel,
and set down as a piece of English prudery. And perhaps, instead of
grumbling at M. Mérimée for making the Countess Mathilde the mistress of
Saint Clair--which nothing compelled him to do--we ought thankfully to
acknowledge his moderation in contenting himself with a quiet intrigue
between unmarried persons, instead of favouring us with a flagrant case
of adultery, as in the "Double Méprise," or initiating us into the very
profane mysteries of _operatic figurantes_, as in "Arsène Guillot." Even
in France, where he is so greatly and justly admired, this last tale was
severely censured, as bringing before the public eye phases of society
that ill bear the light. Fidelity to life in his scenes and characters
is a high quality in an author, and one possessed in a high degree by M.
Mérimée; but he has been sometimes too bold and cynical in the choice
and treatment of his subjects. "_La Partie de Tric-trac_," and
"_L'Enlèvement de la Redoute_," are amongst his happiest efforts. Both
are especially remarkable for their terse and vigorous style. We have
been prodigal of extracts from "Charles IX."--for it is a great
favourite of ours--and, although well known and much esteemed by all
habitual readers of French novels, it is hitherto, we believe,
untranslated into English. But we shall still make room for--


THE STORMING OF THE REDOUBT.

"I rejoined the regiment on the evening of the 4th September. I found
the colonel at the bivouac. At first he received me rather roughly; but
after reading General B's. letter of recommendation, he changed his
manner, and spoke a few obliging words. He presented me to my captain,
who had just returned from a reconnoissance. This captain, whom I had
little opportunity to become acquainted with, was a tall dark man, of
hard and repulsive physiognomy. He had been a private soldier, and had
won his cross and his epaulets on the battle-field. His voice, hoarse
and weak, contrasted strangely with his gigantic stature. They told me
he was indebted for this singular voice to a bullet that had passed
completely through his body at Jena.

"On hearing that I came from the school at Fontainbleau, he made a wry
face, and said, 'My lieutenant died yesterday.'--I understood that he
meant to say, 'You are to replace him, and you are not able.' A sharp
word rose to my lips, but I repressed it.

"The moon rose behind the redoubt of Cheverino, situate at twice
cannon-shot from our bivouac. She was large and red, as is common at her
rising; but that night she seemed to me of extraordinary size. For an
instant the black outline of the redoubt stood out against the moon's
brilliant disc, resembling the cone of a volcano at the moment of an
eruption.

"An old soldier who stood near me, noticed the colour of the moon. 'She
is very red,' he said; ''tis a sign that yon famous redoubt will cost us
dear.' I was always superstitious, and this augury, just at that moment,
affected me. I lay down, but could not sleep; I got up and walked for
some time, gazing at the immense line of fires covering the heights
beyond the village of Cheverino.

"When I deemed my blood sufficient cooled by the fresh night air, I
returned to the fire, wrapped myself carefully in my cloak, and shut my
eyes, hoping not to re-open them till daylight. But sleep shunned me.
Insensibly my thoughts took a gloomy turn. I said to myself, that I had
not one friend amongst the hundred thousand men covering that plain. If
I were wounded, I should be in an hospital, carelessly treated by
ignorant surgeons. All that I had heard of surgical operations returned
to my memory. My heart beat violently; and mechanically I arranged, as a
species of cuirass, the handkerchief and portfolio that I carried in the
breast of my uniform. I was overwhelmed by fatigue, and continually fell
into a doze, but as often as I did so, some sinister idea awoke me with
a start. Fatigue, however, at last got the upper hand, and I was fast
asleep when the _reveillé_ sounded. We formed up, the roll was called,
then arms were piled, and according to all appearance the day was to
pass quietly.

"Towards three o'clock an aid-de-camp arrived with an order. We resumed
our arms; our skirmishers spread themselves over the plain; we followed
slowly; and in twenty minutes we saw the Russian pickets withdraw to the
redoubt. A battery of artillery took post on our right hand, another on
our left, but both considerably in advance. They opened a vigorous fire
upon the enemy, who replied with energy, and soon the redoubt of
Cheverino disappeared behind a cloud of smoke.

"Our regiment was almost protected from the Russian fire by a ridge.
Their bullets, which seldom came in our direction--for they preferred
aiming them at the artillery--passed over our heads, or at most sent
earth and pebbles in our faces.

"When we had received the order to advance, my captain looked at me with
an attention which made me pass my hand two or three times over my young
mustache, in the most cavalier manner I could assume. I felt no fear,
save that of being thought to feel it. These harmless cannon-balls
contributed to maintain me in my heroic calmness. My vanity told me that
I ran a real danger, since I was under fire of a battery. I was
enchanted to feel myself so much at my ease, and I thought with what
pleasure I should narrate the capture of the redoubt of Cheverino in the
drawing-room of Madame de B----, Rue de Provence.

"The colonel passed along the front of our company and spoke to me.
'Well!' he said, 'you will see sharp work for your first affair.'

"I smiled most martially, and brushed my coat-sleeve, on which a ball,
fallen about thirty paces from me, had sent a little dust.

"It seems the Russians perceived how small was the effect of their round
shot, for they replaced them by shells, which could reach us better in
the hollow where we were posted. A tolerably large fragment of one of
these knocked off my shako and killed a mail beside me.

"'I congratulate you,' said the captain, as I picked up my shako. 'You
are safe for to-day.' I knew the military superstition which holds the
maxim _Non bis in idem_ to be as applicable on a battle-field as in a
court of justice. I proudly replaced my shako on my head. 'An
unceremonious way of making people bow,' said I, as gaily as I could.
Under the circumstances, this poor joke appeared excellent. 'I
congratulate you,' repeated the captain; 'you will not be hit again, and
to-night you will command a company, for I feel that my turn is coming.
Every time I have been wounded, the officer near me has received a spent
ball, and,' he added in a low voice, and almost ashamed, 'all their
names began with a P.'

"I affected to laugh at such superstitions. Many would have done as I
did--many would have been struck, as I was, by these prophetic words. As
a raw recruit I understood that I must keep my feelings to myself, and
always appear coldly intrepid.

"After half an hour the Russian fire sensibly slackened; then we emerged
from our cover to march against the redoubt. Our regiment was composed
of three battalions. The second was charged to take the redoubt in flank
on the side of the gorge; the two others were to deliver the assault. I
was in the third battalion.

"On appearing from behind the sort of ridge that had protected us, we
were received by several volleys of musketry, which did little harm in
our ranks. The whistling of the bullets surprised me: I turned my head
several times, thus incurring the jokes of my comrades, to whom the
noise was more familiar. 'All things considered,' said I to myself, 'a
battle is not such a terrible thing.'

"We advanced at storming pace, preceded by skirmishers. Suddenly the
Russians gave three hurras, very distinct ones, and then remained
silent, and without firing. 'I don't like that silence,' said my
captain. 'It bodes us little good.' I thought our soldiers rather too
noisy, and I could not help internally comparing the tumultuous clamour
with the imposing stillness of the enemy.

"We rapidly attained the foot of the redoubt: the palisades had been
broken, and the earth ploughed by our cannonade. With shouts of '_Vive
l'Empereur!_' louder than might have been expected from fellows who had
already shouted so much, our soldiers dashed over the ruins.

"I looked up, and never shall I forget the spectacle I beheld. The great
mass of smoke had arisen, and hung suspended like a canopy twenty feet
above the redoubt. Through a gray mist were seen the Russian grenadiers,
erect behind their half-demolished parapet, with levelled arms, and
motionless as statues. I think I still see each individual soldier, his
left eye riveted on us, the right one hidden by his musket. In an
embrasure, a few feet from us, stood a man with a lighted fuse in his
hand.

"I shuddered, and thought my last hour was come. 'The dance is going to
begin,' cried my captain. Good-night.' They were the last words I heard
him utter.

"The roll of drums resounded in the redoubt. I saw the musket muzzles
sink. I shut my eyes, and heard a frightful noise, followed by cries and
groans. I opened my eyes surprised to find myself still alive. The
redoubt was again enveloped in smoke. Dead and wounded men lay all
around me. My captain was stretched at my feet; his head had been
smashed by a cannon-ball, and I was covered with his blood and brains.
Of the whole company, only six men and myself were on their legs.

"A moment of stupefaction followed this carnage. Then the colonel,
putting his hat on the point of his sword, ascended the parapet, crying
'_Vive l'Empereur!_' He was instantly followed by all the survivors. I
have no clear recollection of what then occurred. We entered the
redoubt, I know not how. They fought hand to hand in the middle of a
smoke so dense that they could not see each other. I believe I fought
too, for my sabre was all bloody. At last I heard a shout of victory,
and, the smoke diminishing, I saw the redoubt completely covered with
blood and dead bodies. About two hundred men in French uniform stood in
a group, without military order, some loading their muskets, others
wiping their bayonets. Eleven Russian prisoners were with them.

"Our colonel lay bleeding on a broken tumbril. Several soldiers were
attending to him, as I drew near--'Where is the senior captain?' said he
to a sergeant. The sergeant shrugged his shoulders in a most expressive
manlier. 'And the senior lieutenant?' 'Here is _Monsieur_, who joined
yesterday,' replied the sergeant, in a perfectly calm tone. The colonel
smiled bitterly. 'You command in chief, sir,' he said to me; 'make haste
to fortify the gorge of the redoubt with those carts, for the enemy is
in force; but General C. will send you a support.'--'Colonel,' said I,
'you are badly wounded.'--'_Foutre, mon cher_, but the redoubt is
taken.'"

"Carmen," M. Mérimée's latest production, appeared a few months since in
the _Revue des Deux Mondes_, which appears to have got the monopoly of
his pen, as it has of many of the cleverest pens in France. "Carmen" is
a graceful and animated sketch, in style as brilliant as anything by the
same author--in the character of its incidents less strikingly original
than some of his other tales. It is a story of Spanish life, not in
cities and palaces, in court or camp, but in the barranca and the
forest, the gipsy suburb of Seville, the woodland bivouac and smuggler's
lair. Carmen is a gipsy, a sort of Spanish Esmeralda, but without the
good qualities of Hugo's charming creation. She has no Djali; she is
fickle and mercenary, the companion of robbers, the instigator of
murder. She inveigles a young soldier from his duty, leads him into
crime, deceives and betrays him, and finally meets her death at his
hand. M. Mérimée has been much in Spain, and--unlike some of his
countrymen, who apparently go thither with the sole view of spying out
the nakedness of the land and making odious comparisons, and who, in
their excess of patriotic egotism, prefer Versailles to the Alhambra,
and the Bal Mabille to a village _fandango_--he has a vivid perception
of the picturesque and characteristic, of the _couleur locale_, to use
the French term, whether in men or manners, scenery or costume, and he
embodies his impressions in pointed and sparkling phrase. As an
antiquarian and linguist, he unites qualities precious for the due
appreciation of Spain. Well-versed in the Castilian, he also displays a
familiarity with the Cantabrian tongue--that strange and difficult
_Vascuense_ which the Evil One himself, according to a provincial
proverb, spent seven years of fruitless labour in endeavouring to
acquire. And he patters Romani, the mysterious jargon of the gitanos, in
a style no way inferior--so far as we can discover--to Bible Borrow
himself. That gentleman, by the bye, when next he goes a missionarying,
would find M. Mérimée an invaluable auxiliary, and the joint narrative
of their adventures would doubtless be in the highest degree curious.
The grave earnestness of the Briton would contrast curiously with the
lively half-scoffing tone of the witty and learned Frenchman. Indeed,
there would be danger of persons of such opposite character falling out
upon the road, and fighting a mortal duel, with the king of the gipsies
for bottle-holder. The proverbial jealousy between persons of the same
trade might prove another motive of strife. Both are dealers in the
romantic. And "Carmen," related as the personal experience of the author
during an archæological tour in Andalusia the autumn of 1830, is as
graphic and fascinating as any chapters of the great tract-monger's
remarkable wanderings.

FOOTNOTES:

[B] It was a rule with the _raffinés_ not to commence a new quarrel so
long as there was an old one to terminate.



HOW TO BUILD A HOUSE AND LIVE IN IT.


NO. III.

Having disposed of two grand categories of mistakes and absurdities in
house-building, viz., lightness of structure and badness of material, we
shall now address ourselves more particularly to the defects of
Arrangement and Form, or, as an architect might term it, to the
discussion of Plan and Elevation. The former task was ungrateful enough;
for therein we had to attack the cupidity and meanness, and the desire
for show and spurious display, which is the besetting sin of every
Englishman who pays poor-rates; but, the present undertaking is hardly
less hopeless, for we have to appeal to the intelligence, not only of
architects and builders, but also of those who commission them.

Now, there is nothing drier and more unprofitable under the sun, nothing
more nearly approaching to a state of addle, than a builder's brains.
Your regular builders (and, indeed, not a few of your architects) are
the sorriest animals twaddling about on two legs; mere vivified bags of
sawdust, or lumps of lath and plaster, galvanised for a while, and
forming themselves into strange, uncouth, unreasonable shapes. A mere
"builder" has not two ideas in his head; he has only one; he can draw
only one "specification," as he calls it, under different forms; he can
make only one plan; he has one set of cornices always in his eye; one
peculiar style of panel; one special cut of a chimney. You may trace him
all through a town, or across a county, if his fame extends so far; a
dull repetition of the same notion characterises all his works. He
served his apprenticeship to old Plumbline, in Brick Lane; got up the
_Carpenter's Vade-Mecum_ by heart; had a little smattering of drawing
from Daub the painter, and then set up in business for himself. As for
Mr Triangle the architect, who built the grand town-hall here, the
other-day, in the newest style of Egyptian architecture, and copied two
mummies for door-posts, and who is now putting up the pretty little
Gothic church for the Diocesan Church-and-Chapel-Building and
Pew-Extension Society, with an east window from York, and a spire from
Salisbury, and a west front from Lincoln--why, he is the veriest stick
of a designer that ever applied a T-square to a stretching-board. He has
studied Wilkins's Vitruvius, it is true, and he has looked all through
Hunt's Tudor Architecture, but his imagination is as poor as when he
began them; he has never in his life seen one of the good buildings he
is pirating from, barring St Paul's and Westminster Abbey; he knows
nothing finer than Regent Street and Pall-Mall, and yet he pretends to
be a modern Palladio. It will not do, all this sham and parade of
knowledge; we want a new generation, both of architects and builders,
before we shall see any thing good arising in the way of houses--but as
this new progeny is not likely to spring up within a few days, nor even
years, we may as well buckle to the task of criticism at once, and find
out faults, which we shall leave others to mend.

And, to lay the foundation of criticism in such matters once more and
for ever, let us again assert that good common-sense, and a plain
straight-forward perception of what is really useful, and suited to the
wants of climate and locality, are worth all the other parts of any
architect's education. These are the great qualities, without which he
will take up his rulers and pencils in vain; without them, his ambitious
_façades_ and intricate plans will all come to nothing, except dust and
rubbish. He may draw and colour like Barry himself; but unless he has
some spark of the genius that animated old Inigo and Sir Christopher,
some little inkling of William of Wickham's spirit within him, some
sound knowledge of the fitness and the requirements of things, he had
better throw down his instruments, and give it up as a bad job; he'll
only "damn himself to lasting shame."

A moderate degree of science, an ordinarily correct eye, so as to tell
which is straightest, the letter I or the letter S, and a good share of
plain common-sense--these are the real qualifications of all architects,
builders, and constructors whatsoever.

One other erroneous idea requires to be upset; the notion that our
modern houses, merely because they are recent, are better built and more
convenient than ancient ones. If there be one thing more certain than
another in the matter, it is this, that a gentleman's house built in
1700, is far handsomer, stronger, and more convenient, than one built in
1800; and not only so, but if it had had fair play given it, would still
outlive the newer one, and give it fifty years to boot;--and also that
another house built in 1600, is stronger than the one raised in 1700,
and has still an equal chance of survivorship; but that any veteran
mansion which once witnessed the year 1500, is worth all the other three
put together--not only for design and durability, but also for comfort
and real elegance. Pick out a bit of walling or roofing some four or
five centuries old, and it would take a modern erection of five times
the same solidity to stand the same test of ages.

Let it not be supposed that our ancestors dwelt in rooms smaller, or
darker, or smokier, than those we now cram ourselves into. Nothing at
all of the kind; they knew what ease was, better than we do. They had
glorious bay-windows, and warm chimney-corners, and well-hung buttery
hatches, and good solid old oak tables, and ponderous chairs: had their
windows and doors been only a little more air-tight, their comforts
could not have been increased.

First of all, then, with regard to the plans best suited for the country
residences of the nobility and gentry of England--of that high-minded
and highly gifted aristocracy, which is the peculiar ornament of this
island,--of that solid honest squirearchy, which shall be the
sheet-anchor of the nation, after all our commercial gents, with their
ephemeral prosperity, shall have disappeared from the surface of the
land, and have been forgotten,--the plan of a house best suited for the
"Fine old English Gentleman;" and we really do not care to waste our
time in considering the convenience and the taste of any that do not
rank with this class of men. It is absurd for any of the worthy members
of that truly noble and generous class of men, to try to erect
reminiscences of Italy, or any other southern clime, amid their own
"tall ancestral groves" at home, here in old England. They have every
right in the world to inhabit the palaces of Italy, which many a needy
owner is glad to find them tenanting; they cannot but admire the noble
proportions, the solid construction, the magnificent decorations, which
meet their eyes on every side, whether at Genoa, at Verona, at Venice,
at Florence, or at Rome. But it by no means follows, that what looks so
beautiful, and is so truly elegant and suitable on the Lake of Como,
will preserve the same qualities when erected on the banks of
Windermere; those lovely villas that overlook the _Val d'Arno_, and
where one could be content to spend the rest of one's days, with
Petrarch and Boccacio, and Dante, and Michael Angelo, and Raffaelle,
will not bear transplanting either to Richmond or Malvern. The climate
and the sky and the earth of Tuscany and Piedmont, are not those of
Gloucestershire and Warwickshire; what may be very harmonious in form
and colour when contrasted with the objects of that country which
produced it, may have the most disagreeable effect, and be excessively
inconvenient, in another region with which it has no relation. Not that
the proportions of style and the execution of detail may not be
reproduced in England, if sufficient taste and money be applied,--but
that all surrounding things are out of harmony with the very idea and
existence of the building. The vegetable world is different: the
external and internal qualities of the soil jar with the presence of the
foreign-looking mansion. An English garden is not, nor can be, an
Italian one; an English terrace can never be made to look like an
Italian one; those very effects of light and shade on which the
architect counted when he made his plans and elevations, are not to be
attained under an English sky. The house, however closely it may be
taken from the last Palazzo its noble owner lived in, will only be a
poor-looking copy after all; and he will wonder, as he paces through its
corridors and halls, or views it from every point of the compass on the
outside, what can be the cause of such a failure of his hopes? He hoped
for and expected an impossibility; he thought to raise up a little Italy
in the midst of his Saxon park. Could the experiment end in any thing
else than a failure?

Every climate and every country has its own peculiarities, which the
inhabitants are found to consult, and which all architects will do well
to observe closely before they lay down their plans. The general
arrangement, the plan of a house, will depend upon this class of
external circumstances more than on any other; while the architectural
effect and design of the elevation will have an intimate relation to the
physical appearance of the region, to the ideas, the pursuits, and the
history of its people.

Thus it was with the ancient Greeks and Romans, as we find their
domestic life revealed to us at Pompeii. In that delicious climate of
Campania, where the sun shines with a whitening and ever unclouded
splendour, and where winter's frosts may be said to be unknown, the
great thing wanted was shady coolness, privacy, and the absence of all
that might fatigue. Hence, in the arrangement of the Pompeian villas,
windows were comparatively unknown: the rooms were lighted from above;
the aperture for the light was open to the sky; whatever air could be
procured was precious. Colonnades and dark passages were first-rate
appendages of a fashionable man's habitation. His sleeping apartment was
a dark recess impervious to the sun's rays, lighted only by the
artificial glare of lamps, placed on those elegant candelabra, which
must be admired as models of fitness and beauty as long as imitative art
shall exist. He had not a staircase in all his house, or he would not
have if he could help it. The fatigue of lifting the foot in that hot
climate was a point of importance, and he carefully avoided it. The
house was a regular _frigidarium_. It answered the end proposed. It was
commodious, it was elegant--and it was therefore highly suitable to the
people and the place. But it does not therefore follow that it ought to
be imitated in a northern clime, nor indeed in any latitude, we would
rather say in any country, except Italy itself. Few parts of France and
Germany would admit of such erections--some portions of Spain and Greece
might. In Greece, indeed, the houses are much after the same plan, but
in Spain only portions of the south-eastern coast would allow of such a
style of building being considered at all habitable.

Place, then, a Pompeian villa at Highgate or Hampstead--build up an
Atrium with an Impluvium, add to it a Caldarium if you please, and a
Viridarium, too,--and _omne quod exit in um_: but you will not thereby
produce a good dwelling-house; far from it, you will have a show-box fit
for Cockneys to come and gape at: but nothing else.

Now, if we would only follow the same rule of common sense that the
Greek or Roman architect did on the shores of the Parthenopoean Gulf,
we should arrive at results, different indeed, but equally congruous to
our wants, equally correct and harmonious in idea. What is it that we
want in this foggy, damp, and cloudy climate of ours, nine days out of
every ten? Do we want to have a spacious colonnade and a portico to keep
off every ray of a sun only too genial, only too scorching? Is the
heavens so bright with his radiance that we should endeavour to escape
from his beams? Are we living in an atmosphere of such high temperature
that if we could now and then take off our own skins for a few minutes,
we should be only too glad to do so? As far as our own individual
sensations are concerned, we would that things were so; but we know from
unpleasant experience that they are far otherwise.

We believe that every rational householder will agree with us, that the
first thing to be guarded against in this country is cold, next wet,
and thirdly darkness. A man who can really prove that he possesses a
thoroughly warm, dry, and well-lighted house, may write himself down as
a _rerum dominus_ at once: a favoured mortal, one of Jove's right-hand
men, and a pet of all the gods. He is even in imminent danger of some
dreadful calamity falling upon him, inasmuch as no one ever attains to
such unheard-of prosperity without being visited by some reverse of
fortune. He is at the top of the fickle goddess's wheel, and the least
impulse given to one of its many spokes must send him down the slippery
road of trouble. Nevertheless, though difficult to attain, these three
points are the main ones to be aimed at by every English builder and
architect; let him only keep them as the stars by which he steers his
course, and he will come to a result satisfactory in the end.

One other point is of importance to be attended to as a _fundamental_
one, and indeed as one of superstruction too. From the peculiarly
changeable nature of our climate, and from the provision that has to be
made for thoroughly warming a house, there is always a danger of the
ventilation and the drainage being neglected. Not one architect in a
hundred ever allows such "insignificant" points as these to disturb his
reveries. All that he is concerned in is his elevation, and his neatly
executed details; but whether the inhabitants are stifled in their beds
with hot foul air, or are stunk out of their rooms by the effluvia of
drains, are to him mere bagatelles. No trifles these, to those who have
to live in the house; no matter of insignificance to those who have an
objection to the too frequent visits of their medical attendant.

In the first place, then, a gentleman's country house (we are adverting
here to country residences alone--to those in the metropolitan haunts of
men we shall return hereafter) should be thoroughly warm. Now, of course
a man may make a fire-place as big as Soyer's great range at
Crockford's--poor dear Crocky's, before it was reformed--and he may burn
a sack of coals at a time in it; and he may have one of these in each
apartment and lobby of his house--and a pretty warm berth he will then
have of it; but it would be no thanks to his architect that he should
thus be forced to encourage his purveyor of the best Wallsend. No:
either let him see that the walls are of a good substantial
thickness--none of the thin, hollow, badly set, sham walls of the
general run of builders; but made either of solid blocks of good ashlar
stone, with well-rammed rubble between, and this rubble again laid in an
all-penetrating bed of properly sanded mortar with plenty of lime in it,
and laid on hot, piping, steaming hot, if possible--and the joints of
the stones well closed with cement or putty; or else let the walls be
made of the real red brick, the clay two years old or more, well laid in
English bond, and every brick in its own proper and distinct bed of
mortar, as carefully made as before, and the joints cemented into the
bargain. Nor let any stone wall be less than thirty-six, nor any brick
wall than thirty inches thick; whereas, if the house exceeds two stories
in height, some additional inches may yet be added to the thickness of
the lower walls. These walls shall be proof against all cold, and, if
they be not made of limestone, against wet also.

"But all this is horridly expensive! why, a house built after this
fashion would cost three times the amount of any one now erected upon
the usual specifications!" Of course it would. Materials and labour are
not to be had gratuitously; but then, if the house costs three times as
much, it will be worth three times more than what it would otherwise
fetch, and it will last more than three times as long. "But what is the
use of building for posterity? what does it matter whether the house is
a good one in the time of the next possessor but six? Why not 'run up' a
building that will have a handsome appearance in the present, my own
life-time, and if my descendant wishes for a better one and a warmer
one, why let him build another for himself? Add to which it will grow so
dreadfully old-fashioned in fifty years hence, that it is a hundred to
one if it is not voted a nuisance, and pulled down as an eyesore to the
estate." Such is the reasoning commonly used when any architect more
honest, more scientific, and more truly economical in his regard for his
employer's means, ventures to recommend the building of a mansion upon
principles, and with dimensions, which can alone fully satisfy the
exigencies of his art. We take leave, however, to observe, that such
ought not to be the reasoning of an English nobleman or gentleman. In
the first place, what is really erected in a proper and legitimate style
of architecture, be it classical or mediæval, can never become
"old-fashioned" or ugly. Is Hampton Court old-fashioned and ugly? is
Audley End so? are Burghleigh and Hatfield so? If they are, go and build
better. Is Windsor Castle so? yes, a large portion of it is, for its
architecture is not very correct; and though it has been erected only so
few years, in another fifty the reigning sovereign--if there be a
sovereign in England in those days--will pull down most of it, and
consider it as sham and as trumpery as the Pavilion has at length been
found out to have been all along. True; if you build houses in a false
and affected and unreal style of architecture, they are ugly from the
very beginning; and they will become as old-fashioned as old Buckingham
House or Strawberry Hill itself, perhaps in the life-time of him who
owns them; or else, like Fonthill, they will crumble about your ears,
and remain as monuments of your folly rather than of your taste. But go
and build as Thorpe, or Inigo Jones, or Wren used to build. Or even, if
you will travel abroad for your models, take Palladio himself for your
guide, or Phillbert Delorme, or Ducerceau, or Mansard; and your
erections shall stand for centuries, and become each year more and more
harmoniously beautiful.

Next, your house should be dry; do not, then, go and build it with a
slightly-framed low-pitched roof, nor place it in that part of your
grounds which would be very suitable for an artificial lake, but not for
your mansion. Do not be afraid of a high roof; but let it tower up
boldly into the air; let there be, as the French architects of old used
to term it most expressively, a good "forest" of timber in its framing;
cover it with lead, if you can--if not, with flag-stones, or else, if
these be too dear, with extra thick slates in as large slabs as can be
conveniently worked, and as may be suitable to the framing,--least of
all with tiles.

"But, good Lord! what ideas you have got of expense! Why, sir, do you
know that such a house would cost a great deal of money! and besides
this, I am almost certain that in ancient Rome, the houses had quite
flat roofs, and even in Italy, at the present day, the palaces have
remarkably low-pitched roofs!" Rome and Italy go to the ---- Antipodes!
Did you not stipulate that the house should be dry? do you think that
the old Italians ever saw a good shower of rain in all their lives? did
they? "_Nocte pluit totâ_," is all very well in the poet's fugitive
inscription; but did they ever see a six-weeks' rain, such as we have
every autumn and spring, and generally in June and July, to say nothing
of January and February, in Devonshire? My dear sir, if you wish to lie
dry in your bed, and all your family, too, to the seventh generation,
downwards, make your roof suited to the quantity of rain that falls;
pitch up its sides not less steeply than forty-five degrees, and do not
be afraid if it rises to sixty, and so gives you the true mediæval
proportion of the equilateral triangle. Do you consider it ugly? Then we
will ornament it; and we will make the chimney-stalks rise with some
degree of majesty, into an important feature of the architectural
physiognomy of the building. Are you grumbling at the expense, as you
did just now about that of the walls? What then! are you a Manchester
manufacturer, some dirty cotton-spinner? have you no faith in the
future? have you no regard for the dignity and comfort of your family?
are you, too, bitten with the demoralising commercial spirit of the age?
are you all for self and the present? have you no obligations towards
your ancestors? and are you unwilling to leave a name to be talked of by
your posterity? Why, to be sure it may tighten you up for five or six
years; but then do not stop quite so long in London: make your season
there rather shorter, and do not go so often to Newmarket, and keep away
from White's or Boodle's, and do not be so mad as to throw away any
more of those paltry thousands in contesting the county. Let the
Parliament and the country take care of themselves; they can very well
spare an occasional debater like yourself; the "glorious constitution"
of old England will take no harm even if _you_ do not assist in
concocting the hum-bug that is every year added to its heterogeneous
mixture. Lay out your money at home, drain your land, build a downright
good house for yourself; do not forget your poor tenants, set them a
good example, and let us put a proper roof on Hambledown Hall.

Providing, however, that the worthy squire actually consents to pull out
a few more hundreds, for the sake of having walls of proper thickness
and roofs of right pitch, it does not quite follow that his ground-floor
rooms will be dry, unless the mansion is well vaulted underneath, and
well drained, to boot. We have known more than one ancient manor-house,
built in a low dead flat, with a river running by, and the joists of the
ground floor resting on the soil, and, yet the whole habitation as dry
as a bone; but still more numerous are the goodly edifices which we have
witnessed, built on slopes, and even hills, where not a spoonful of
water, you would say, could possibly lodge, and yet their walls outside
all green with damp, and within mildew, and discoloured loose-hanging
paper, telling the tale of the demon of damp. When you are seriously
bent on building a good house, put plenty of money under ground; dig
deep for foundations, lay them better and stronger even than your
super-structure; vault every thing under the lower rooms--ay, vault
them, either in solid stone or brick, and drain and counter drain, and
explore every crick and cranny of your sub-soil; and get rid of your
land springs; and do not let the water from any neighbouring hill
percolate through your garden, nor rise into a pleasing _jet-d'eau_
right under the floor of your principal dining-room. If you can, and if
you do not mind the "old-fashioned" look of the thing, dig a good deep
fosse all round your garden, and line it with masonry; and have a couple
of bridges over it; you may then not only effectually carry off all
intruding visits of the watery sprites, but you may keep off hares from
your flower-beds, two-legged cats from your larder, and sentimental
"cousins" from your maids. You may thus, indeed, make your hall or
mansion into a little fortified place, with fosse and counter-scarp, and
covered way, and glacis; or at any rate, you may put a plain English
haw-haw ditch and fence all round the sacred enclosure; and depend upon
it that you will find the good effects of this extra expense in the
anti-rheumatic tendencies of your habitation.

And now for the plan of your mansion, for the Ground Plan--the main part
of the business, that, on the proper proportioning and arranging of
which the success of your edificative experiment entirely depends. Here
take the old stale maxim into immediate and constant use, "Cut your coat
according to your cloth;" and, if you are a man of only £2000 a-year, do
not build a house on a plan that will require £10,000 at least of annual
income to keep the window-shutters open. Nor, seeing that you are living
in the country, attempt to cramp yourself for room, and build a great
tall staring house, such as would pass muster in a city, but is
exceedingly out of place in a park. As a matter of domestic æsthetics,
do not think of giving yourself, and still less any of your guests, the
trouble of mounting up more than one set of stairs to go to bed, but
keep your reception and principal rooms on the ground floor, and your
private rooms, with all the bed-chambers, on the floor above. Since,
however, you have determined on going to the expense of a proper roof,
do not suppose that we are such bad architectural advisers as to
recommend that the roof should be useless. No; here let the female
servants and the children of the family, perhaps, too, a stray bachelor
friend or two, find their lodging; and above all, if you are a family
man, if you have any of those tender yearnings after posterity, which we
hope you have, introduce into the roof a feature which we will remind
you of by and by, and for which, if we could only persuade people that
such a very old and useful idea were a new one, and our own, we would
certainly take out a patent.

There should, then, be only two stories in a gentleman's country
residence, and a dormer or mansard story if we may so term it, in the
roof;--we will not be so vulgar as to call it a garret,--nor yet so
classical as to resort to the appellation of an attic. If, therefore,
you require a large house, take plenty of ground, and lay out all your
rooms _en suite_. Let all the offices, whence any noise or smell can
arise, be perfectly detached from the dwelling part of the
mansion:--such as the kitchens, sculleries, laundries, &c. They should
all be collected into a court with the coach-houses and stables on the
outside, and the whole range of the domestic offices on the other. Never
allow a kitchen to be placed under the same roof as your dining-room or
drawing-room: cut it off completely from the _corps de logis_, and let
it only communicate by a passage;--so shall you avoid all chance of
those anticipatory smells, the odour of which is sufficient to spoil
your appetite for the best dressed dinner in the world. If you would
have any use for the vault under your house, keep all your cellar
stores, and all your "dry goods" there;--it will be a test of your house
being well-built if they do not show any effects of damp after a few
months' stowage below the level of the soil, yet in _aere pleno_. We do
not mean to say that we would put one of our best and newest saddles,
nor our favourite set of harness, in one of the lower vaults, to judge
of the dampness of the house; but depend upon it, a pair or two of old
shoes form excellent hygrometers; and you may detect the "dew-point"
upon them with wonderful accuracy.

"But only look at how you are increasing the cost of the house by thus
stretching out the house, and really wasting the space and
ground!"--What! still harping on the same string--that eternal
purse-string!--still at the gold and the notes? If you go on at this
rate, my good sir, you will never do any thing notable in the
house-line. Take a lesson from Louis XIV. when he built
Versailles;--that sovereign had at least this one good quality,--he had
a supreme contempt for money;--it cost him a great deal no doubt, but it
is "Versailles," _nec pluribus impar_;--why, it is a quarter of a mile
long, and there is, or rather was, room in it to have lodged all the
crowned heads of Europe, courts, ministers, guards, and all. Never stint
yourself for space; the ground you build on is your own; it is only the
extra brick and mortar;--the number of windows is not increased by
stretching the plan out, the internal fittings are not an atom more
expensive. Be at ease for once in your life, and cast about widely for
room.

And now, dear sir, if you can but once remove this prejudice of cost
from your mind, you may set at defiance all those twaddling architects
who come to you with their theories of the "smallest spaces of support,"
and who would fain persuade you that, because it is scientific to build
many rooms with few materials, _therefore_ you ought to dwell in a house
erected on such principles,--and that they ought to build it for you.
You may send them all to the right-about with their one-sided contracted
notions: is the house to be built for _your_ sake or for _theirs_? who
is going to inherit it--you or they? who is to find out all the comforts
and discomforts of the mansion--the owner or the architect?--If _you_,
then keep to your two stories and to the old English method of building
your house round one or more courts. Go upon the old palatial, baronial,
or collegiate plan; no matter what may be the style of architecture you
adopt, this plan will be found suitable to any. The advantages of it are
as follows: first of all, it gives you the opportunity of having your
rooms all _en suite_, and yet not crowded together; next, it is more
sociable for the inmates of a large country mansion to have the windows
of their apartments looking partly inwards, as it were to the centre of
the house, and partly outwards to the surrounding scenery: and thirdly,
it requires and it gives the opportunity of having that most admirable
and most useful appendage of any large mansion,--a cloister, or covered
gallery, running round the whole interior of the court, either
projecting from the plane of the walls--and, if so, becoming highly
ornamental; or else formed within the walls, and, if so, giving an
unusual degree of warmth and ventilation. In this damp and uncertain
climate of ours, just consider how many days there are in the course of
the year, when the ladies and the children of a family cannot stir out
of doors, not even into the gardens; and then think of what a comfort it
would be to have a dry and airy and elegant promenade and place of
exercise within their own walls. Then the children may scamper about, if
it be, a proper cloister external to the house, and make that joyous
noise which is so essential to their health, without any fear of
annoying even the most nervous of mammas. Within an instant they may all
be under her own personal inspection, and yet they may have their
perfect freedom. Here may the ladies of the family walk for hours on a
wet day, and enjoy themselves without trouble, and with the facility of
being at home again in a minute. If the court is well laid out as a
flowery parterre, and the green-house is made to contribute its proper
supply of plants to the cloister, it becomes converted into a kind of
conservatory, and forms of itself an artificial or winter garden. Both a
cloister, and an internal corridor with windows opening into the former,
may very appropriately be constructed together, and then the
accommodation of this plan is complete.

Whoever has lived in a cloistered and court-built house will know the
convenient and comfortable feature we would here point out:--it is
especially suited to the climate of England, and to the domestic habits
of English families; it is one of the most ornamental features a house
can possess; it gives great facilities to the waiting of the servants;
it makes the house warm rather than cold; and it adds greatly to the
comfort of the whole. As for the additional cost--let the cost be----!
have we not entered our caveat against all such shabby pleas? Take this
along with you, good sir,--do the thing well, or don't do it at all.



A TURKISH WATERING-PLACE.


Ten days ago, when snowed up by winter, recurrent for the third time
this season, I could not compel myself to the recollection of my Adalian
experiences. Now that I am sitting with window thrown wide open, and
with fire raked out, the spirit of the scene encourages memories of my
visit to that very hot emporium of Caramania.

We had been kept on the Smyrna station till we pretty well knew it under
every changing phase of season. Through the rigour of winter we had been
brought now to the very flagrance of the dog-star, to the time when
human nature can pretend no opposition to the mood of the lordly sun.
Even late in the autumn, these clear skies afford so little interruption
to the tide of sunbeams, that one is not quite exempt from risk of _coup
de soleil_. Indeed this is perhaps the very time when the untutored
stranger is particularly exposed to this danger. It is the only time of
the year when travelling can be pursued as a serious occupation; or when
one of the pale-faced Occidentals can venture forth _sub dio_ at
mid-day, without positive madness. During the months that, on the
admission of the indigenous, do duty as summer, the state of things is
so evidently beyond a joke, that no idea of trifling therewith enters
into the most unsophisticated mind. Life is reduced to something very
like a resignation of the sturdy substance of the day, and a diligent
employment of the two fag-ends. The intervening hours must be slept
away, or read away, or somehow employed without the requisition of
corporeal activity. And, considering that these are the hours during
which musquitoes vex not, and lesser tormentors of the rampant kind are
inactive, it is no slight boon to have such an interval, during some
part of which you may sleep in peace. As for the night, you may use it
for eating ices, or strolling on the Marina, or pulling out on the
phosphorescent waters of the bay; but unless you be very fresh, you will
hardly think of using that as the time for turning in. And thus are
rendered grateful those slumbers which are induced by the prevailing
spirit of noon. Of course, under such conditions of existence, there is
no great probability that much risk will be encountered by any one
gifted with the ordinary instinct of self-preservation. Should any one
be foolhardy enough to dare for himself the experiment, he would
scarcely find a _surridgi_ to furnish animals, or a guide willing to
pilot him. And should he even make a start of it, am I not the very man
to know what a lesson he would get in the course of the first six hours
of his march; and to predict that he would, should any brains be then
remaining to him, turn back on the strength of that same sample? It is
only a very young, and somewhat foolish person, who would be at all
likely to be found in this predicament. The dissuasion of the indigenous
is so earnest, and so without exception, that, considering their
knowledge of the facts, a prudent stranger must perceive in them the
substance of reason. The Asiatics, perhaps, carry a little too far the
dread of exposure to the atmospheric influences of summer; for they are
careful to shut out even the cool breezes of night, and dread the odour
of freshness that a shower calls forth from the earth. This delightful
exhalation they affirm to be the producer of fever. But indeed we may
concede to them the entertaining of some whimsies on this subject, as
being the necessary contingencies on their fatal experiences of marsh
_malaria_.

Happy we Englishmen and Scotsmen, who know not what this _malaria_
means! The worst story on the subject that I remember was a personal
adventure of my friend Beard. The scene of this adventure is a little
out of the way of Adalia, but it may serve to illustrate the style of
thing prevailing generally in this direction any where within hail of a
marsh. Beard was engaged in that (to those who like it) delightful, but
occasionally perilous duty of surveying. This involves the being sent
away in the boats for weeks at a stretch, during which time you go
groping along the coast, or threading out-of-the-way channels between
islands. It is easy to conceive that with fine weather, and healthy
shores, this must be a welcome duty to a young officer, full of zeal,
and unaccustomed to command. But sometimes the course will lie along
deadly shores, past which you must creep, and snatch hydrographical
facts from the teeth of death. Beard, poor fellow--and yet, considering
that he lives to tell the tale, we should rather congratulate than
pity--Beard was in command of a party of seven. Any one who knows the
service, knows that an officer accustomed to command a particular boat,
if he be a good fellow, acquires a strong fellow-feeling for and with
his men. This is but human nature, seeing that they are subject to
frequent and long isolations from the rest of the ship's company. I have
felt this influence strongly myself, and am persuaded that a sailor is
never so amiable a being as when away from his ship and from
civilisation, on some scrambling boat-expedition. He then puts off
altogether that selfishness of bearing which it often suits his humour
while on board to affect. Beard was one who entered fully into the
spirit of these expeditions; indeed he might have led one to suppose
that he would willingly have agreed to pass his life in a boat. On this
particular occasion they were coasting along Thessaly--those shores so
beautiful to look at, but of which the beauty, when the mists of night
descend upon them, reek with the breath of death. They proceeded
cautiously; and as their labours were protracted into new days and
weeks, and none of their little band had been stricken, they began to
hope, and perhaps to believe themselves seasoned and safe. The time for
them to rejoin the ship at last arrived, and not a man had been ill. One
man did indeed complain in the morning, but he laid in his oar, and they
hoped would soon be better. Presently another was forced to claim the
same exemption, and another. In short, they reached the ship with great
difficulty, and as by miracle, and not one of the party could mount the
side. They were all hoisted in, and in a few hours the only man of the
party who lived was my friend. In the pretty island of Sciathos is a
tomb, wherein sleep the whole party save that one. I have stood by this,
and read in the sad story of its inscription a sufficient warning on the
subject of marsh _malaria_. Once or twice I have come in its way, but
never willingly, and happily always without calamitous result. Once only
I have slept within its problematical range, and that was off that
pestiferous bit of coast near Epidaurus, and I fancy at a season when
the marshes had not their steam up.

We had among us a lesson, but not of this melancholy character, on the
absurdity of attempting to brave the daylight heat of summer. It is so
natural for an Englishman to look upon the mere natives of any place to
which he may come in his travels, as cheats and ignoramuses, that we, as
a matter of course, and most complacently, admitted the natives _en
masse_ and every where to that rating. In the course of our vagaries we
stumbled on the pretty island of Mytilene, in the very piping hours of
summer. Very cool and pleasant did it look to us shipmen, hanging down
its umbrageous olive groves nearly to the water's edge--and very
pleasant should we have found it to be, had we been content to defer our
landing till the authorised hour of eventide. But besides that the place
looked so inviting, we felt bound to give way to a little enthusiasm at
this approach to the birthplace of the lady who gave Horace the model of

    "Jam satis terris nivis atque diræ" &c.

so nothing could hold us in from immediate disembarkation, and a cross
country ride. We went right across from one harbour to another--for it
has two, which between them nearly bisect the island. But so frightful
was the heat, that nothing but youth and English blood exempted us from
the penalty of fever. Some of the party were very nearly knocked up
mid-way; and we should scarcely any of us have managed to get back to
the ship as we did, had it not been our fortune to meet a resting-place
in the village of Loutri. Such attempts as this are the causes of the
sad casualties that we occasionally find happening to Eastern
travellers. How many have paid with their lives the penalty of an
unseasonable journey in Syria, especially on the coast between Beyrout
and Jerusalem. Only choose well your time, and you may proceed in
perfect security, so far as the dangers of nature are concerned. Any
attempt at forcing a journey is a folly; and a folly of which the
correction will come with the first experiment, if it leave to the
person any future opportunity of sublunary conduct.

But no one should mention Mytilene without saving a word or two in
praise of its beauty. All shrivelled up as we were by the heat--for we
were almost past the sudatory stage--we drank in some refreshment from
the scenery. Port Olivet has quite the appearance of a lake, and it is
only when quite at the spot that you perceive the real nature of the
locality. The hills around are finely shaded; and the masses of
olive-trees assumed, in the then lurid glare of sky and water, that
shadowy appearance that we used to see in Turner's pictures. They are
very famous for the production of a fine oil from their olives, which is
the staple commodity of the island, and of which they export
considerable quantities. By all accounts, nature, unassisted, may claim
the praise of this produce, for they are said to be careless
manufacturers. We went into one or two of the [Greek: ergastêria] to
witness the process of compression, but could not take it upon our
veracity to utter an opinion anent them. At least they seem in a fair
way to improve their wares; for the new consular agent of France (whom,
by the way, we took to his Barataria) is especially knowing in this
line, and hopes to produce, in a short time, oil that shall be equal to
that of France or Lucca.

After all this talk about the impossibility of travelling in the summer,
it augurs ill for our account of Adalia, to say that it was the very
heat and rage of summer when we landed there. But as we were not
volunteers on the occasion, we did not choose our own season. Like the
fifty thousand Cossacks who marched off to the East Indies, not because
they liked it, but because they were sent, we were saved all the trouble
of deliberation; and once arrived at the spot, we were sufficiently old
stagers to adapt ourselves to the ways and means of the place. I
remember that we were delighted at the start: catching at the prospect
of change, as at the hope of improvement. Certainly things were bad
enough with us in Smyrna bay at that time. The pitch was boiling in the
seams, the water was hissing along-side; the sky seemed an entire sun,
so truly were the fiery rays rendered back from every part of the
glowing concave. The sea-breeze, one's only solace under such
circumstances, was continually forgetting to come. In spite of the
common profession, that without the sea-breeze it would be impossible to
live hereaway, we continued to pant through days of breezeless
existence. At this time it was that I arrived at the conclusion which is
now established in the code of my economics, that the endurance at
Calcutta or Port Royal is a joke compared with what one has to undergo
in these milder latitudes. The dweller in Anatolia has no such range of
Fahrenheit to alarm him into defensive measures, and thus he falls
comparatively unprepared into the conflict with the dog-days. Your
Bengalee mounts defences of _tattees_ and punkahs that cool down a hot
wind, or whistle air into presence in a trice. Whereas in this part of
the world, as the Sirocco blows, so it must steal into your room,
parching your face, and covering you all over with a clammy stickiness,
through which you may distinctly feel the subdolent shudder of incipient
ague. When he has darkened his room, and spread cool mats on the floor,
the poor Smyrniot has nothing farther that he can do. And if such be the
case of those who dwell within the mansions of Ismir, who have at least
thick walls between them and the sun, what is likely to be the state of
those _disgraziatos_, who people the busy town of ships in the bay?--the
rash men

    "--digitos a morte remotos
    Quatuor aut septem."

Custom, they say, may bring a man to any thing, as it did M. Chabert to
the power of living in an oven; to which achievement, by the way, I
should not wonder if the first step had been the passing of a hot summer
on board ship in harbour. You may any day see, at some of our gigantic
iron-works, custom bringing men to such a pass, that they can endure to
stand before a fire that would be the death and cooking of an ox. And so
I suppose it was by force of custom that we were able to undergo a style
of thing that ought to have been the stewing of any ordinary flesh and
blood. But it was a stupid and languid life that we were leading,
scarcely venturing on deck even beneath the awning, and not dreaming of
shore except quite in the evening. Sometimes a morning's interest would
be excited by some story of plague in the Lazaretto, and a proposed
adjournment of the ship to Vourlah, to be out of harm's way; and such
speculations, though not exactly pleasurable, were at least
anti-stagnative in character. In any thing like decent weather it is not
bad fun to get down to Vourlah for a time, and to fly from the gaieties
of the metropolis to the pleasures of the _chasse_ at Rabbit Island. It
must ever be soothing to a spirit that has not quite forgotten "the
humanities," to walk upon the turf which witnessed the infant gambols of
Anaxagoras; and besides that, the locality is pretty, and worthy of
being visited on its own account. The town is at the distance of some
miles from the Scala, which last is the grand watering-place for the
ships on this station. Some few years ago, when the two fleets, French
and English, were here, an extempore town was devised on the beach, for
the benefit of the thousand and one hangers-on who are always found in
such neighbourhoods. This was a stretch of luxury on their part; for
generally these nautical suttlers need no other shelter than that of the
boat which contains their wares. They are always ready for a start, and
glad to be allowed to follow almost any whither in the wake of a ship. I
should think they might be rated amongst the most honest of their
compatriots, as they certainly may amongst the most hard-working and
courageous.

But no such luck had been ours, as to be assigned so pleasant an
adjournment. The longest cruise we had any of us managed to steal, was
perhaps in one of the cutters, as far as what we Englishmen persist in
calling St James's castle--a strange name for Turks to give a place, and
which, in fact, we have devisedly corrupted from their word _sandjeak_.

At last, one happy day--happy in its result, not in the complexion it
bore at its opening--we positively did receive orders for a start, and
this is the way it came about: The representative of sultanic dignity at
the somewhat retired watering-place of Adalia, was a man prone, like the
greater number of his countrymen, to judge of things altogether in the
concrete. The idea of power could by him be deduced only from present
violence; and without some such sensible manifestations, it became to
him like one of Fichte's "objects," i.e. all moonshine. With regard to
foreign powers, they existed for him, and influenced his government,
only so far as they sent occasionally a ship of war with its suggestive
influence of a frowning broadside to look in his way. They have no very
distinct idea, these gentlemen, of geography, nor of political science;
all thus are sadly out in their estimation of the relative importance of
places. To them the seat of their government is the world; or at least
the place in it of importance second to Constantinople. If they be
passed over in the distribution of our _corps de demonstration_, they
are apt to ascribe the omission to a want of power on our part. Now,
with all their excellencies, it call hardly be denied that they are
sadly apt to presume on any want of power in a neighbour. So it happens
that the unfortunate consuls who are stowed away in the obscurer
establishments, are apt to suffer from their caprice. Should it so
happen that the particular flag over whose interests the consul is
appointed inspector, should not have been displayed in the neighbourhood
lately by any ship of war, the short memory of a pasha is in danger of
forgetting that nation's claim to respect; for any thing that he knows,
it may have been revolutionised or sunk by an earthquake,--at least he
cannot bear the trouble of imagining any other reason for the
non-appearance of its executive ministers, than the obvious one of its
having no ships to send. Thus, in matters of precedence, consuls are apt
sometimes to get snubbed--a point on which, of all others, they are
tender: or in matters of justice, their clients will find themselves
ousted, in spite of the proverbial integrity of the Turkish judges.
Perhaps the readiest way of stumbling on a grievance, is the kind of
thing that gave rise to our visit, where some of the populace presume on
your want of protection, and commit some aggression on your rights as a
man and a brother. This being referred to the authorities, will be apt
to be viewed by them in the light of that consideration which they
happen to be lending at that moment to your nation. Poor fellows! we
must not be hard upon them; nor will we doubt the sound foundation of
the panegyrics which many travellers have pronounced on their honesty.
They are honest, no doubt, so far as they understand the doctrine of the
thing; but the fact is, they do not seem to understand the subject in
the abstract. They have no idea of judging a foreigner's cause, without
reference to considerations of his nationality and personal importance;
and to pronounce readily a decision in favour of one against whom should
lie the preponderance in these particulars, would be to them an
absurdity. We have had occasion lately to be struck with the tone in
which certain writers have spoken on the subject of Mussulman morals.
The first notability about such accounts is, that they are very
different from the reports of their predecessors--of such an accurate
man as Burkhardt for instance; and the second notability, so far as most
of us are concerned, is, that they are contrary to the general consent
of travellers. That there are excellent men, and honest among them, is a
fact; and it is a fact, that in general matters of bargaining, you may
trust to them. But when the idea of probity is carried out, so far as to
imply a view of things comparatively disparaging to Christian morals, it
mounts to an anti-climax, and falls over into the province of nonsense.
The Koran has provided them with much ethical guidance, of which
individual Turks, of any pretence to religion, must be in some degree
observant. But it is not true that the history of such cases, in their
administration of justice, as might have occurred in the court of the
old [Greek: polemarchos], will allow us to conclude that they are in
possession of a rule coercing them to be just and brotherlike towards
the unprotected stranger, abstractly and for justice's sake. Now, with
us you may find many individual rogues, but never a roguish court, nor
tolerated roguish public body. And of this difference between us
Christians and them Turks, it will not be difficult for any one to
supply the reason, who will give himself the trouble to think about it.

But as I was saying, at Adalia,--the town I mean, not the
province,--lived, with the authority of local governor, a personage
styled a _Caimacan_. This is a person inferior to a regular pasha,
having in fact a sort of acting rank. One remembers this style and title
well, because it puts us in mind of the nicest thing eatable that the
Levant affords--_Caimac_, which is something very like Devonshire cream,
only better. This Caimacan, being a sort of great man's great man, is
apt not to bear his honours meekly. At the precise time of which I
speak, the Sultan was raising considerable levies in different parts of
his dominions, for the benefit of good order among the Albanians. Near
Adalia was a military rendezvous for the forces raised in that
neighbourhood, and the command _pro tempore_ of the new levies was
assigned to the Caimacan. So that the poor man was labouring under an
accession of dignity.

At Adalia also lived a certain Ionian--from the Seven Islands, friend,
not from Asia--who had been led thither by a speculation in the soap
trade. To judge by the evident want of the article, would have been to
pronounce a most favourable opinion as to the probable result of such
speculation. In fact the man succeeded only too well; he boiled so
successfully, and sold so cheaply, that all the native competitors were
beaten out of the field. The true believers were, of course, indignant
at this conduct of an infidel and a stranger; and as they could not
weather on him in the fair way of trade, they determined to try if they
could not "choke his luff" by a practical expedient. Paying him a visit
one day, they spoiled his stock in trade, broke his gear, gave him a
good thrashing, and told him to take that as a gentle hint of what they
would do if he did not behave himself for the future. The poor fellow
appealed to the Caimacan for satisfaction for the injury done, and for
security against future violence. From this person he received no
assistance, and was left to fight it out as he best could against his
opponents.

Those dear Ionians! creditable fellow-countrymen are they for us, and
profitable. No people assert more unflinchingly their privilege of
national relationship with ourselves, and thus do we get the credit of
all the rows which they may kick up throughout the Mediterranean. It is
highly amusing to see the style in which they will declare themselves to
be Englishmen, not merely as allies and protected for the time being,
but with the implication of a claim to identity of race. A son of Ithaca
or Zante will talk as if he were a true Saxon. Certainly, the Turks seem
to make little distinction between the races. That the men are under
British protection, is for them sufficient reason for esteeming them to
be Englishmen. Sometimes their classification of races shows an amusing
ignorance of, and indifference to the whole set of national distinctions
among Franks. I remember that all who attended the services of the
British chaplaincy at Smyrna, were called English, though among them
were many who could speak scarcely a word of the language; and so all
who went to the dissenting meeting-house (for they have one there) were
called Americans.

Our poor soap-boiler being reduced to extremity, having lost his goods,
and being afraid to make a fresh start of it, betook himself for
assistance to the English vice-consul. The office was at that time
filled by a very efficient person--one, moreover, who had for many years
resided in the country, and understood well the language and national
genius. But it so happened that just then a long time had elapsed since
any of our men-of-war had paid a visit to the road-stead and consular
dignity was in a condition of proportional depreciation. The consul,
however, as in duty bound, paid his visit of remonstrance, and laid
before the great man the wrong done within his jurisdiction; whereupon
the Caimacan behaved like any thing but a gentleman, and, far from
promising to remedy the ill done, gave him to understand that he did not
care sixpence for soap-boiler or consul either. Mr ---- had sufficient
knowledge of the people to know that this declaration of opinion was
strictly true, and that the only plan to correct it, would be to prove
himself able to summon an armed force to his assistance. Till they saw
this, nothing would be able to persuade the Adalians that he was not
either deserted by his country, or that his country had not lost the
power to assist him.

And thus it was that Mr ---- wrote to his chief at Smyrna a description
of the ticklish state of circumstances, and explained that unless
English commercial interests at Adalia were to be suffered to go
altogether to the wall, some strong preservative must be sent thither in
the shape of a stout ship, with a goodly array of long thirty-twos. And
so was it that word came to the good ship Falcon, which thereupon spread
forth her wings, or, in plain language, hoisted her topsails, and set
forth on her conciliatory expedition. Besides that we were delighted to
get away in any direction from the stagnation of Smyrna--a stagnation
affecting air, sea, and society,--it was a recommendation of the cruise
in this particular direction that none of us had ever been there before.
There is little reason why in a general way it should be visited from
one year's end to another,--I mean in the way of business, at least the
business of those who have to distribute their attention throughout
these seas for the interests of general pacification. The place, as we
afterwards found, is not without commerce; but there are no merchants of
our nation except the vice-consul. The advantages of this place as a
trading station, more especially as being a station where he would find
no competitors, had induced him to settle here. And the _prestige_ lent
by the consular name, afforded sufficient inducement for the undertaking
of an office, which, if it be not very lucrative, at any rate involves
the responsibility of no very serious duties. Though now and then a man
in office may forget himself, yet in the long run a consul is sure to be
treated with deference, and to reap considerable commercial advantages
from his position. Be it understood, that here there are other
merchants,--but the indigenous, chiefly Turco-Greek. Besides a single
gentleman who acted as assistant to the vice-consul in his various
duties, we did not find a Frank resident. We heard, indeed, that there
was also an Austrian, but we did not see him, so I suppose that he could
hardly have been of much consequence.

The weather at first beguiled us with symptoms of a change for the
cooler, and lent to our sails some pleasant breezes as we passed out of
the Gulf of Smyrna. As we sped onward, things became even better, and
especially delighted us with their aspect off Rhodes. It is a singular
fact, well known to those who know the locality, that the day scarcely
occurs in the year when this island is afflicted with a calm. For some
reason it so happens that, pass when you will, you are pretty sure to
find a stiff breeze blowing. One of the points of the island, which
thrusts out into the sea a long and low promontory, shows that the
natives here know how to turn this physical provision to good effect.
This point is in the most curious way studded with windmills, and from
this its garniture has received its name in our geography. These poor
machines rarely know an hour's quiet, but continually throw about their
long arms in what, from a little distance, seems to be a mere confusion
of material. Past this exquisitely beautiful island, of whose strand the
recollection is fraught with associations of unfeverish existence, we
sped rapidly before the breeze, which almost made us regret the land we
were leaving. Truly should we have regretted it, had we but known the
breezeless condition on which we were about to enter! For some
four-and-twenty hours before we arrived at our port, the weather changed
eminently for the worse. The feathery vanes stirred not, and the canvass
flapped against the mast, as the old girl rolled lumpingly in the swell.
She was a dear old ship as ever floated, but like all other things
sublunary, animate, or inanimate, was not without her faults. Of these
the worst, nay, the only one to speak of, was the habit of rolling about
most viciously whenever she had a chance. The sun poured upon us such a
flood of heat, that awnings became a joke. Things were so thoroughly
heated during the day, that the night scarcely afforded sufficient hours
to cool them down, for a fresh start next morning. We began almost to
question whether we had not changed bad for worse; and very soon made up
our minds that without any mistake we had. We arrived at this
conclusion, as the port of our destination hove in sight. It was towards
evening that we crept in to our anchorage, through an atmosphere
scarcely sufficiently alive to give us motion, and so almost glowing
that it seemed to burn us as we passed. The place was wrapped in
breathless stillness: no boats came forth to try a market with us, or to
gratify their curiosity; and no sounds issued from the shore, which
might have been deemed almost unhaunted of men.

When daylight revealed the features of the place, we perceived the
pretensions of Adalia in the way of the picturesque to be of a high
order. Neither was there wanting matter of admiration even in the night,
though we were suffering too much discomfort to be easily pleased by
mere pictures. The shore, in its way, afforded an unusual spectacle. The
town stands on high ground, and on both sides the line of coast is
formed by lofty cliffs, stretching far away into the distance. What of
the beauties of these depended on the light of day for development, were
reserved for our edification on the morrow. But the good people had
ornamented their country just then in a fashion more appropriate to
embellish the night than the day. Enormous fires were blazing on the
cliffs, which skirted the bay up which we were advancing,--if we may
apply so familiar a word to the conflagrations that met our sight. The
most active spirit of incendiarism had been afloat, for entire woods
were seen in a state of burning. We never discovered whether this
destruction was by accident, or of set purpose: if it were done by way
of obtaining charcoal, the price of that article one would think must
have fallen in the market. But as these fires blazed away in the clear
dry air of the night, they lit up the bay, and almost threw upon the
waters the dark shadow of our masts and yards. At first, when at some
distance, we had been disposed to account for the lurid appearance of
the heavens, by supposing that distance and refraction had effected a
cheat upon our senses. When we came nearer, the only thing we could
suppose was, that the whole country, was in the course of destruction.
It is hard to say whether the distance at which we anchored from the
shore was not too great to allow of the production on us of any sensible
effect from these fires: that we had any misgiving on the subject may
serve to show that they were enormous. I know that at the time we made
up our minds, that to their agency was to be attributed some portion at
least of the heat that oppressed us. The wind came off in gusts of
overpowering heat; not with that tepid influence that grumblers
sometimes denounce as a hot wind, but with the full sense of having come
from a baker's oven. At least we had a grand sight for our pains, and
therefrom reaped some consolation as we clustered panting on the deck.

I remember to have seen something in this way before, though on a
smaller scale, and that was in the island of Euboea. Once in my life,
I had a very near view of the recent scene of such a conflagration in
one of the smaller Greek islands. It was in taking, according to our
custom, a ramble right across the land, that we came on no less a
collection of embers than the _debris_ of an entire forest, which lay
smouldering at our feet. I know that, having commenced from curiosity
the work of picking our way through the ashes, we found the undertaking
more arduous than we quite fancied, and that our trowsers and shoes
would afterwards have fetched but little in Monmouth-street. The Greeks,
it is understood, light up their bonfires, partly by way of amusing
themselves, and partly by way of hinting displeasure at things in
general. Of course, it is quite obvious, that any party who wish to
prove a minister's rule to be calamitous, assists their argument by
increasing the sum of calamity.

But night with its miseries at length was passed. During its course, the
thermometer did not get below 90°. What it reached in the daytime it
boots not to record--and signifies less, because when the sun is above
us, we bargain for a hot day in summer. But oh! those nights, when by
every precedent we should have had cooling dews, and refreshing air!

However, the sun rose, and the people on shore rose too. There was no
tumultuous rushing forth in boats to have a look at the new comers, as
there is so apt to be on the arrival of a man-of-war. A quiet little
dingy would steal out, manned by three or four mongrel-looking Greeks,
and row round us at a respectful distance. The fact is, that the people
had got scent of the reason of our coming: and as a reclamation of right
is by them supposed to be incompatible with any thing but an angry mood,
they were afraid to approach us. The town itself we perceived to be a
most ill-conditioned looking place. Harbour there is none--at least none
available in a breeze from seaward. A heavy sea sets right in, and must
strand any thing found anchored here. We were afterwards told, that in
the bad weather of the winter before our coming, the sea had washed some
vessels right up into the town. This want of a harbour is the most
serious drawback to the commerce of Adalia. It is, in every respect
except this, adapted to serve as the general emporium of the interior.
Even at present, notwithstanding its disadvantages, a good deal of
business is done here: but ships can never lie before the town in peace,
nor commence loading and unloading, with the confidence that they shall
be able to get through their work without having first to slip cable and
be off. But the town must be in other hands before so arduous a work is
likely to be undertaken.

A most unserviceable rumble of a fort mounted guard over the town, in a
position little likely to be of use in repelling an attack by sea.
Perhaps it might have been available as a maintainer of good order in
the town, should the spirit of insubordination haply spring up therein:
but we could hardly have credited the walls as possessed of sufficient
stability to stand the shock of a report. We saw the artillery-men, busy
as bees, at their guns--evidently standing by to return the salute which
we were expected to give. But this would have been far too civil
treatment for them, while matter of dispute between us remained. We
maintained a dignified silence.

It was not long before Mr ---- found his way off to us, and put us up to
the actual state of affairs. It seemed that little Pedlington was in an
uproar. The whole of the Adalian public were in a state of lively
commotion. Of course, as they had bullied loudly, they were abject in
concession. Those more immediately concerned in the outrage on the
soap-boiler, would have infallibly absconded, had not the strong arm of
the law laid an embargo upon them, and laid them by as scapegoats in the
first instance. The prevailing opinion about us was, that we should
certainly blow the town about their ears, but that still all must be
essayed to conciliate us. The Caimacan himself, the great man who had
given rise to the remonstrance on our part, had taken himself off, and
left his deputy in command. This was professedly to look after some
troops that he was recruiting in the neighbourhood, but we gave him the
credit of practising a dodge to get out of the way of an awkward
business. A striking peculiarity of the business was, that no doubt
seemed any longer to be maintained as to the issue of the negotiation.
The question of right and wrong was no longer considered as being open;
but the verdict was already presumed to be given against those whom we
challenged as offenders.

It was thought advisable to pay some attention to appearances on the
occasion of our interview with the governor. No suit prospers with them,
in a general way, unless backed by good personal appearance. For this
reason we mustered a strong party of officers, in imposing costume; and
by way of evincing our determination, proceeded with as little delay as
possible to the divan. The usual motley group of starers gathered round
us at the landing, and escorted us up the rugged street to the _palais
de justice_. They all seemed to be affected with the spirit of fear,
except our partisans, who were in a state of exultation from the like
cause. Two individuals in particular were amusingly and palpably
possessed with the spirit of triumph, and they were the two attendants
of the vice-consul. These men were worthy of notice on other accounts,
but singularly remarkable in respect of the effectual manner in which
they seemed to have divested themselves of national prejudices. They
were enthusiastic fellows, who had not merely let out their services to
the representative of England, but seemed fairly to have made over to
him the allegiance of heart and head; retaining no sympathy with their
own countrymen. Thus did they seem to rejoice eminently in our coming,
and the consequent humbling of the local authorities. They were two
strapping fellows--as janissaries, to be any thing worth, should always
be--and marshalled us the way in grand style.

The unhappy rabble seemed to be suffering the pangs of most cruel
privation when the cortège arrived at the residence of justice, and they
found themselves left in the lurch at the threshold. In such mood you
see a London mob flattening their noses against the panes of a chemist's
window, or hanging outside of a replete magistrate's office. One comfort
is, that the economy of a Turkish _menage_ perfectly admits of the
establishment of a line of scouts, even from the very presence-chamber:
so that earliest intelligence may be conveyed to the gentlemen without.
Mr ---- gave us by the way a few hints as to etiquette, and engaged to
prompt us as occasion might demand. I have said already that he was
perfectly up to conversation in the native language and might have well
played the part of interpreter. One might might have supposed that this
would have been taken by the people rather as a compliment; and that it
would have been considered creditable to a foreign agent to have
acquired a knowledge of the vernacular of the people with whom he had
constantly to treat. But the contrary is the fact. To speak for one's
self is far too simple a mode of conducting business: and he who would
preserve his dignity in any consideration, must retain the services of a
dragoman. To conduct an important interview without the intervention of
this functionary would convey to the Turks an idea of slovenly
negligence. A good thing is it when the agent, commercial or diplomatic,
possesses sufficient knowledge of the language to enable him to check
the version of the interpreter, who otherwise is apt to take liberties
with his text. However, we were in this case quite safe: first, in the
assurance of Mr ---- that he would risk his life on his dragoman's
veracity; and next, because it was clear that no word could pass which
was not likely to be reinterpreted to us.

We marched into the room, and made our salaams-some of us inconsiderable
ones very truculently, for we were very irate; and on all such occasions
a man's indignation rises in exact proportion to the degree in which he
has nothing to say to the matter. The deputy Caimacan was sitting on a
divan at the top of the room, and rose politely as we entered. There
were too many of us to find room in the divan, so we were scattered
about as best we could light on places. The main difficulty was to get a
place that looked clean enough to sit upon; for a dirtier palace I never
saw, nor a more, beggarly. One cannot say whether the head governor had
taken all his traps with him when he went a-soldiering; but if what we
saw really was his establishment, it is likely enough that he had gone
away to avoid exposing his poverty.

"_Hosh Gueldin_," said the Turk; "you are welcome."

And now was to be seen a fine contrast between Oriental apathy and
British energy. The Turk sank back on his seat, as if disengaged from
all care, and not quite up to the trouble of entertaining his morning
visitors. The English Captain sat bolt upright, "at attention," and
opened the business of the _séance_ at once.

"Tell the Governor--"

"Stop a moment," said Mr ----, "that's not the way to begin."

"What is the way then?"

"First, you must smoke a pipe--there's one coming this way. You would
shock all their notions of propriety by entering abruptly on business.
We must have first a little talk about things in general."

Just then the Governor roused up, and addressed to the Captain, through
the dragoman, some observation on the weather or the crops. Then came a
servant with a chibouque and coffee: and the head negotiators were soon
co-operatively engaged.

And no bad way of beginning business either; especially in cases where
there may be a little awkward rust to rub off. The only objection to the
amusement in this case was, that it was not general--pipes being
afforded only to the heads of departments. This was a style of treatment
so different from all our experience, that it left me more fully
persuaded than ever that the Caimacan had walked off with his goods and
chattels, not forgetting his pipes.

This fumatory process proceeded for some time, almost in silence. It
afforded the several parties opportunity to settle the speeches they
intended to make, and certainly must have been useful in the way of
allaying the angry passions of their several minds. We, who had none of
the business on our consciences, and had come merely to make up the
show, employed this interval in taking cognizance of the localities. The
household appointments were sadly inferior to those we had been
accustomed to see; and especially must this condemnation fall on the
servants, who were a most dirty, ill-conditioned set. They stood
clustered about the doorway in groups, looking furtively at us, and
whispering counsel.

"Halloo!" said Mr ----, "they have determined to be prepared for
contingencies. There are the culprits, I see, in waiting for the
bastinado, if such should be your demand."

And there, sure enough, they had the poor fellows just outside, waiting
to be scourged for the propitiating of our wrath. Evidently they were
little aware that the affair had changed altogether its complexion; and
that the culpability had in our eyes been transferred from the original
rioters to the protectors of the riot.

When, eventually, the signal was given for commencing business, it was a
fine thing to see how beautifully submissive the deputy had become. He
began by declaring that he could not arrange the matter, but must refer
it to his chief, and wanted much to put off the discussion till that
functionary should arrive. On this it was hinted to him, that it would
have been polite and proper had that gentleman remained in the way to
settle the row, which had occurred by his own fault, but that we could
not await his return. Either must they undertake at once to make full
reparation for the wounded dignity of the Consul, and for the injurious
treatment of the Ionian, or they would see what they should see. It
needed little pressing on our part to break down the feint which had
been set up by way of opposition. The deputy soon declared that all
should be as we wished. He still stuck to his declaration, that the
actual settlement of the business was beyond his province, and that he
must wait for the sanction of his commanding officer. But meanwhile he
took upon himself to declare the terms on which things might be
considered virtually settled; and they were, that we were to have
everything our own way. This result was obtained by us without recourse
had to any thing like bullying; and we were able, in this instance, to
behave in a more civilised manner, because we were backed by so much
real authority, and show of present power. But little doubt is there,
that, however unfavourable the inference with respect to Turkish sense
and honesty, the mode most commonly to be recommended in dealings with
them, is by _in terrorem_ proceeding. They cannot understand the
co-ordinate existence, of power and moderation. Very good fun will
sometimes be enacted by the knowing for the cowing of a pasha; and in
almost any case the only fear of _échouance_ is where there may exist
too much modesty. But only bully hard, and you are tolerably sure to
gain your point. It is by no means necessary that your arguments should
carry the cogent force of soundness. Appearances are what weigh chiefly
with those whose habits of thinking do not dispose them to discuss
argument. One sharp-witted fellow that I knew brought to successful
issue a decisive experiment on the readiness of pashas to be taken in by
mere sound. He went into the vice-regal presence, attended by a dragoman
whom he had previously instructed in the subject-matter to be
propounded--some question of redress for grievance. It was necessary
that he should say something on the occasion, and afford the appearance
of telling the dragoman what to say: but as this person already knew his
lesson, it was not necessary that what he said should be to him
intelligible. Nothing occurred to him as likely to be more effective in
delivery than the celebrated speech of Norval about the Grampian hills;
which accordingly he recited with due emphasis, standing up to give the
better effect to the scene. The end desired was fully attained. The
pasha opened wide eyes, as the actor grew excited, and was visibly
affected by the assumption of towering passion. He soon began to try to
pacify him, and beg him to be easy. "Inshalla! all should be as he
wished." The upshot of our argument with the deputy Caimacan was, that
he would send immediately to his chief, for a confirmation of the
pacification between us, and that meanwhile we were to amuse ourselves
as well as we could. But for all we saw, amusement was one of the good
things not easily to be had at Adalia. It is so deeply retired in
uncivilisation, and so wanting withal in the excitements of energetic
barbarism, that human life is there tamed down to the most passionless
condition. It was, too, notwithstanding the season, a time of unusual
commercial enterprise just then. It was the year of the murrain in
Egypt, which destroyed so enormous a proportion of their cattle; and
Mehemet Ali was sending in all directions to purchase horses, asses, and
kine. A large corvette of his came in while we were there, on this
service. She had landed her guns, and was filling her deck with
livestock. There was also a deal of business going on just then in the
timber line. But little evidence of this brisk state of the markets was
given by the people. A good many visitors certainly came off to see us;
but that was rather a reason why we should have accused the populace of
idleness. We were struck with the appearance of many of the old fellows
who honoured us with visits. They retained, without exception, the
orthodox dress and beard of the old school. Among them were a great
number of the green turbans, which mark the sacred person of the
"Hadji." Such a clustering of these distinguished characters made us
fancy at first that Adalia itself must be invested with the idea of some
peculiar sanctity. But we found that these gentlemen were merely _en
route_, tarrying at Adalia, a great point of embarkation, for
opportunity to pursue their journey. The place is in one of the great
high roads to the Hedjaz: and of the swarms who pass through it every
year, many pilgrims have not sufficient funds to defray the expense of
travelling either way. It then becomes a work of charity for the more
opulent of the faithful to speed them on the journey. But that they
depend on such means of travelling is reason sufficient to account for
long in their line of locomotion, and for their congregating here in
considerable numbers. Of all places likely to maintain the constant
infection of plague, this must be one of the first: for notoriously
among no people is the disease so rife as among the pilgrims.

The worthy consul did his best to embellish the days of our sojourn with
pleasurable episodes. Society there was not likely to be any; but yet
such as, for want of better, they had, he undertook to show us. He
really seemed very much obliged to us for our opportune visit, and said
that it would be the making of him. It certainly did seem to be quite
necessary to the maintaining of the dignity of his office. One
invitation we had from a merchant of the place, a man whom they
described as being very rich and of great influence; and a plan was laid
for our having a picnic in the country. There is a place in the
neighbourhood of the town which has been prepared expressly for the use
of those who make rural excursions. A thick grove of trees keeps off the
sun, and soft turf lends a seat to the revellers. We could make out the
top of the trees from the anchorage, for the country is of an elevated
character, hanging out on lofty cliffs the different features of its
panorama. The effect produced by this arrangement of the scenery is
highly beautiful. It has in profusion one element of the beautiful, and
that is the feature of cascade. There is in one point a congress of
waterfalls, whereat may be counted no less than nine separate streams,
which pour down their abundance from the cliffs into the sea. The good
consul and his satellites bore us pretty constant company; and of great
service they were in preserving order among the motley crew that
constantly thronged our decks. We did not like to qualify the good
report we had so far gained and maintained, by any exhibition of
harshness towards the mob. But the sturdy janissary of Mr ---- thought
nothing of laying his stick across a fellow's shoulders, by way of
reminder to behave himself. I must say that many of them deserved it,
and for their sakes can but hope that they profited by the attention.

Mr ---- had two men in attendance upon him, without whom he never
stirred abroad. They were brothers, but filled situations of different
rank. One was dragoman, a post of which the occupation entitled him to
the consideration of a gentleman; the other was merely henchman or
janissary, of which dignity the allocation is in the kitchen. I remember
that it pained me to see one brother walk in to dinner, while the other
poor fellow had to keep guard without. But they seemed well used to the
enforcement of the distinction, and to find therein nothing of
invidiousness. Fine fellows were they both, and highly lauded by their
master. There is surely something extraordinary in these instances,
where men are brought to devote themselves implicitly to a foreign
service, in the heart of their country, and amid the full play of
national prejudices. That they really are faithful followers, is I
believe beyond doubt; and that sometimes under trying circumstances.
With these two individuals especially, we had so much intercourse, that
we were enabled to see how admiration for the English entered into the
main current of their feelings. It so happened that we had come here to
the very place where that early victim to the zeal of travel, Mr
Daniels, had shortly before met his doom. While following in the track
of Mr Fellowes, he caught the fatal Xanthian fever; and after many
relapses died here. That these men were very kind and attentive to him
may be argument only of their humanity. But there was something in the
emotion with which they spoke of him, that betokened a sense of
fellowship, beyond what men of such differing creeds are apt to feel for
a travelling stranger. They spoke of sitting up with him at night,
giving him his medicine, and weeping for him, when there remained no
room for active solicitude. The idea of dying amidst strangers in a
foreign land, with no familiar face at the bed-side, is a desolation
whose thought cannot pass over the spirit without beclouding its
sunniness. And yet we may rely upon it, that amongst those most
affectionately tended and most generously wept, have been they who have
met their last hour under such circumstances. Human hearts all vibrate
in harmony to one chord: in the good this sympathy is ready; in the bad
it is dulled; but never while life and hope remain, can the silver chord
be said to be cut. And so it is, that the same image of the forlorn,
which, as affecting any that we love, appeals at once to the deep wells
of compassion, will cause the same feeling of compassion to thrill with
the remotest stragglers of the family of Adam. It is not a matter of
reasoning, but an instinct. There is in the sight of helpless suffering
a power to disarm human ferocity. And if that be the gentlest
death-pillow that is breathed upon by the prayer and lighted by the eye
of family love, depend upon it that far from the ungentlest is that,
whose presence has brought to rude and rough natures the putting off of
their roughness, and the recognising of the sweet faculty of compassion.
Happy is that desolation, even in the last hour, which can awaken the
heaven-like eagerness to be to the dying one a minister from his far-off
home! A man might be happy so to die, that he might light up so much of
heaven within a human breast.

Both these _attachés_ of the consulate were men of note. The dragoman
had been captain of a troop of cavalry in the service of Mehemet Ali,
and on some quarrel with his commanding officer had left the service and
kingdom. He was a person of polished manners, and some education, and
thus enabled to produce agreeably in conversation the results of his
experience of many lands and people. He rather astonished us with the
extent to which he carried _jeune France_ principles, that seem so
entirely incompatible with the holding of Mahomedanism. But wonderful it
is to see how the French spirit circulates in the most apathetic
societies, seeming to find in them a latent vitality suited to its
purpose. The manners of a Mussulman are so stereotyped, and his subjects
of conversation so provided for by law, that it seemed quite an anomaly
to see this Turk drinking wine after dinner, and talking like a man of
the world. It would not seem that such an effect on the personal
character is the invariable result of educating a Turk in Paris, though
such an effect is exactly what we might expect. I have met a native of
Constantinople, who had brought back with him from France only the
language and the personal deportment, retaining withal the
anti-reforming spirit of his orthodox brethren. But this spirit of
resistance to innovation is fast fading away; and as innovation once
begun here must lead to revolution, it is not difficult to foresee that
a few more years only shall have passed, when the character of the Turk
will have become historical, and the scenes that at present embellish
their corner of the world, will have to be sought for in the
descriptions of pen and pencil. Whether the influence emanate from the
throne, or whether the court be following the popular metropolitan
movement, it is difficult to say. But among them is assuredly at work
the spirit of change, that must shortly carry away the mouldering
edifice of their present institutions. This is something too vetust to
abide the shock of any agitation. Let us hope that their changes may be
successively biassed towards the better: may they acquire the urbanity
of our great masters in elegance, without their profligacy; and if they
reject Mahomedanism, may it be to receive in exchange something better
than mere infidelity.

The brother of the _ci-devant_ captain was a quiet, unassuming fellow,
who wanted language to communicate with us freely. Nevertheless he
managed to interest us much, with an account of the sufferings and
trials of his youth. They were by birth Moreote Turks; and in the
revolution of that country, when first the Greeks arose against their
Turkish masters, (for really one must particularise in talking of Greek
revolutions,) they had suffered the loss of all their protecting
kindred, and hardly, children as they were, by some kindly intervention,
been themselves saved. It is a sad thing, but a truth, that in this
exterminating war, the cold-blooded massacreing was not all on one side.
The horror and hatred of these deeds have, with their infamy, rested
chiefly on the Turks, because theirs was the power to exceed in
enormity; but the black veil of guilt rests on both sides of the strife.
Still, however blameable the Greeks may be, for the cruelty committed on
occasion, they were far from having power to work the enormous
destruction of harmless life, whose memory still weighs on the Turkish
power, and whose record is still extant in the evidence of ruined and
dispeopled cities. But a short time before coming to Adalia, we had
visited the island of Scio--that island which once was the garden of the
Levant, and the storehouse of her riches. Even now, the great majority
of the Greek merchants who are so prosperous a body in London, are
Sciotes; and in those days they had pretty well all the commerce of the
Levant in their hands. They delighted themselves in adorning their
beautiful island with the artifices which money can command to the
decorating of nature. At present a mass of ruins defaces that lovely
spot. One is disposed to wonder that the Turks have never been at the
pains to clear away the wreck of the town, if only for the sake of
removing the monument of their cruelty. Mere selfish motives might
induce them to be at that pains, and to restore this island to its
former fitness for the habitations of the rich. At present it is one
wide ruin; noble streets are there, with the shells of their houses
remaining, as they were left in the day of massacre and pillage. The few
inhabitants are stowed away in the one or two odd rooms of the old
mansions that remain; being now reduced to such poverty that they have
had neither spirit nor money to build for themselves; and probably
finding it more congenial to the present spirit of their fortunes to
roost among the bats and owls, rather than in trim streets. One
occurrence gave us much pleasure, because it gave the lie to a story
which has many abettors. It is said that when the garrison in the
fortress, and the fleet before the town, were promoting the havoc, the
English consul, from some punctilio on the subject of neutrality,
refused shelter to the miserables who fled to his threshold. One old
woman, in the story of her sufferings, gave us a full contradiction to
this most incredible tradition. She had invited us into her dwelling to
look at her wares, in the shape of conserves and purses--a strange
combination, but nevertheless the articles by the sale of which they eke
out their living. We were fully consoled for the trouble of passing over
and through the _debris_ of some half-dozen houses which lay between us
and her domicile. It came out that she herself had been saved by flying
to the English consulate. It was a comfort to hear this--and to hear it
in a way that involved the fact of an indefinite number of refugees
having found the same shelter. Many rejoice to say that the French
consul was the only efficient protector in that day of horror; and of
these times, though so recent, it is not easy always to get such correct
information as may sustain a contradiction of popular report.

In a country of such limited resources in the way of amusement, it was
not very easy for our zealous friends to cater for us, during the long
days that we had to await the answer from the Caimacan. Riding was out
of the question, and there were no antiquities within reach. Thus were
we cut off from the two great resources of men in our position. But they
played their part of entertainers hospitably and well. They told us long
stories of the courts, and of what was to be seen in actual service in
the camp of the Egyptian viceroy. Above all, they did us good by showing
how thoroughly happy the whole party had been rendered by our coming. We
were only afraid that they might become a little too bumptious on the
strength of it, and be after giving us another job. But they did more
than simply bear us company; they bore us to the cool grove, which I
have said we could descry from the deck of our ship, there to be
introduced to certain worthies, and to make _kef_ in their company.
Nothing to my mind comes up to an _al fresco_ entertainment--in proper
season and country, be it understood; for an English gipsy party is a
very different affair.

Our host conceived it to be a duty incumbent on him to develop, on this
occasion, the full power of the resources of Adalia. We should have been
far better satisfied if he had contented himself with doing things in a
smaller way; but he was bent on magnificence. It was quite treat enough
to lie on the soft turf, with the thick shade above, and to allow the
hours to pass away as they led on evening. But he had been at the
trouble to retain a band of musicians for our sakes. Such a set they
were!--surpassing, in discordant prowess, the worst street musicians
among our beggar melodists. It is quite surprising that invention has so
long slumbered with these native artistes. With Musard concerts and
Wilhelm music-meetings all around them, it is wonderful that they do not
catch the note of something better than their villanous mandolins and
single-noted pipes. Does any one need to be told what a mandolin is? It
is something very different, let me assure him, from the ideal
instrument of Moore's Melodies. Not even the lovely maidens that Moore
paints could render tolerable a performance upon it; whereas it is made
to resound by some especially ugly fellow, whose rascality of
appearance, is relieved by no touch of the poetic. I did once hear a
Turco-Greek lady perform, and on a more civilised instrument--a lady of
high reputation as a performer on the guitar and a vocalist. And seldom
has the spirit of romantic preparation received a more sudden chill than
did mine on that occasion. Nothing could be more outrageously absurd
than the whole thing was--accompaniment and song. I never afterwards was
solicitous to hear an Oriental's musical performance; and am quite
satisfied, that in them dwells no musical faculty, creative or
perceptive: or that at least it is in a dormant state.

These musicians began with a symphony on the full band--mandolins
leading, drums doing bass, and the whole lot of ugly fellows screeching
forth what might have been esteemed air or accompaniment, as the case
might be. That a sorry musical effect was produced will surprise no one
who considers the build of the most musical of their instruments. The
mandolin is by way of being a guitar, or banjo--only in a very small way
indeed. Nothing has been added to the idea since first Mercury stumbled
on the original _testudo_--indeed, I should guess that the dried sinews
of a tortoise would give out a far purer sound than the jingling wires
with which the mandolin is mounted. I have sometimes stood at the door
of a _café_, or, to give it the real name [Greek: kapheneion], and
listened in wonder to the strains of some minstrel holding forth within.
The wonder was, not that the man should play egregiously ill, but that
the effect of good music should be produced by his evil playing. The
people were evidently excited to sorrow when the attempt was at a
mournful strain, and to ardour when the lilt took a loftier flight. To
me who stood by, the difference of intention on the part of the
performer was hardly discernible; indeed to be recognised only by the
occasional catching of some familiar word in the burden of the song. The
same observation may apply to the current Greek poetry. There can be no
mistake in the conclusion, that it produces the effect of real poetry on
the people, urging them in the direction whither works the imagination
of the poet. But men of taste have come to, and can come to, but one
decision on the judgment of Romaic poetasters. The spirit of poetry has
died out of, and is become extinct from the genius of their tongue. It
is but the enthusiasm of by-gone days, the inkling of Attic glory, that
lingers about the circumstances of their modern productions, and cheats
men with the mere similarity of idiom. Poetry is of universal
application, and were the pretensions of the modern Greek genuine, his
productions would touch the hearts of the poetic of other lands.

These fellows who entertained us on this occasion, struck a good deal of
enthusiasm out of their jingle,--enthusiasm to themselves, be it
remarked, and not to us. I saw them grow sad in face, while the strain
proceeded at a slow pace, and the _voce di canto_ degenerated into a
more lugubrious howl than ever. By these tokens, I judged them to be
singing some tale of sorrow, and so it seemed they were. The gentleman
who performed for us the part of Chorus, gave us to wit, that they were
lamenting the fall of Algiers, and imprecating maledictions on the head
of the French. This they evidently considered a delicate and appropriate
attention to us as Englishmen. I was only surprised to find they entered
so far into the family distinctions of the Franks. There was some heart,
too, in the manner in which they gesticulated and declaimed; and I have
little doubt but that they were in earnest--especially if any of these
happened to have friends or relations down that way, who had been roused
out of house and home by the Gallic Avatar. When they were tired with
singing, or perhaps presumed that they had therewith tired us, they took
to playing the fool. Not merely in a general sense, in which they may be
said to have been so engaged all along; but with heavy effort, and under
the express direction of a professional master of the ceremonies. The
Adalian jester was a tall ugly fellow, who had considerable power of
comic expression in his face, but whose forte lay in a cap of fantastic
device. It was made of the skin of some animal, whose genus I will not
venture to guess; and had been contrived in such fashion that the tail
hung over the top, and whisked about at the caprice of the wearer. This
was a never-failing source of amusement to the performer himself, as
well as to the native bystanders. As he bobbed his head up and down, and
ran after this tail, the people burst into peals of laughter. They were
quite taken up with the exhibition, except when they stole a moment now
and then for a peep to see how the Frank visitors were amused with their
wit. Besides this, the jester had a number of practical jokes, such as
coming quietly along-side of some unsuspecting person, and catching hold
of his leg, barking loudly the while, so as to make him think that some
dog had bitten him. But this part of the performance was decidedly
coarse, and did not improve our idea of the civilisation of the place. A
good deal of sketching was going on in the course of this day; and the
visages of some of these musicians, and especially of the jester, and of
a blind old choragus, have been handed down to the posterity of our
affectionate friends. We had a visit this day of a gentler kind. A Greek
lady, the owner of considerable landed property in the place, came with
her youthful daughter to interchange civilities with us. She was a
plain, almost ugly old woman; but, like nine out of ten of all women
extant, was of kind and _feminine_ disposition. Moreover, like the rest
of the ladies, she was very fond of talking; but, on this particular
occasion, unhappily could speak no single word that would convey meaning
to us. Still it was not to be expected that she could hold her tongue;
so she squatted down by us, and talked, perhaps all the faster because
she had the conversation all to herself. Her daughter was a young lady,
whom by appearance in England, you would call somewhere in her teens;
but, hereaway they are so precocious that one is constantly deceived in
guessing their age. She would have been pretty if she had been clean;
and was abundantly and expensively ornamented. Sometimes we hear it
figuratively said of a domestic coquette, that she carries all her
property on her back. These Greeks must be well off, if it may not
sometimes be so said with propriety of them. They have a plan of
advertising a young lady's assets, in a manner that must be most
satisfactory to fortune-hunters, and prevent the mistakes that with us
constantly foil the best-laid plans. They turn a girl's fortune into
money, and hang it--it, the fortune proper--the [Greek: poion] and the
[Greek: poson]--about her neck. They do not buy jewels worth so many
hundreds or tens--but transpierce the actual coin, and of them compose a
necklace of whose value there can be no doubt, and whose fashion is not
very variable. This may be called a fair and above-board way of doing
things. The swain, as he sits by the beloved object, may amuse himself
by counting the number of precious links in the chain that is drawing
him into matrimony, and debate within himself, on sure data, the
question whether or no he shall yield to the gentle influence. There
would not have been much doubt about the monetary recommendations of
this young lady, for she was abundantly gilt, as became the daughter of
one reputed so rich as the old lady. Poor girls! It makes one sad to
look upon them, brought up with so little idea of what is girlish and
beautiful; to see them ignorant yet sophisticated, bejeweled and
unwashed. This poor child was decked out in the most absurd manner, and
sat for admiration most palpably. She also sat for something else, which
was her picture. This was taken by several of the party, so much to the
satisfaction of mother and daughter, that the old lady insisted on
taking her turn as model. We invariably found them pleased with the
productions of our art in these cases, and satisfied of the correctness
of the likeness. The only objections they would occasionally make, would
refer to the pretermission of some such thing as a tassel in the cap.
The fidelity of the likeness they took implicitly on trust.

I have said we could not talk to this old lady, Greek though she was,
furnished though some of us were with the language of her compatriots.
The deficiency was on her part--not on ours. She could not speak one
single word of her own language. And so it is, that of all the Greeks of
Adalia, not one can converse in the language of their fathers. Separated
from their countrymen, they have become almost a distinct race; and,
losing that language of which they have no practice, have learnt to use
as their own the vernacular of the land in which they are immigrants of
such antique standing. They talk Turkish--live almost like Turks; and by
their religion only are distinguished from their neighbours. For
religious purposes they use their own language: and, by consequence,
understand no single word of the ritual or lessons. This is certainly a
singular national position--impossible, except from religious
prevention. It is just the reverse of what may be seen elsewhere: for
instance, in the mountains of Thessaly you find a colony of Germans,
who, though completely shut in by the people of the land, and holding
intercourse with none other, remain foreigners and Germans, resisting
the tendency to amalgamation. So in Sicily you find the _Piana della
Grecia_, where the original Greek colonists have kept their language and
customs in their integrity. But where else, save in this one spot, will
you find people who, after having imbibed the influences of the country
to the extent of adoption of its language, have been able to resist
amalgamation with its denizens in every respect?

By the bye, these people have opened a sort of royal road to the
acquisition of the Turkish language. The orthography of this language is
a most vexed and perplexed affair. Those who have made the attempt to
master its difficulties may say something in its vituperation; but the
practice of many of those who are well acquainted therewith, says a
great deal more. These Greeks, for instance, though they have adopted
this language as their own, and have been accustomed in no other to lisp
to their nurses, have altogether discarded the orthography. They speak
as do the natives, but write in their own character; accommodating the
flexible capabilities of their alphabet to the purposes of Turkish
orthoepy. Thus have you the means of reading Turkish in a familiar
character, which also has the advantage of presenting your words in a
definite form. The real Turkish alphabet is any thing but definite; at
least to one within any decent term of years of his commencing the
study. This is a mode of teaching which I have known to be insisted on
by at least one good master: though of course the man of any ambition
would regard this byway to knowledge as merely a step preliminary in the
course.

This was not the only party at which we assisted during our visit. A
rich Greek merchant invited us to enjoy the coolness of evening in his
gardens. It was duly impressed on our minds by the gentleman of the
place that this old fellow was worth his weight in gold. They did say
that his name was good for £150,000--a long figure, certainly, to meet
in such a place. He was a quiet-looking, unpretending person, with very
much the air of a moneyed man. The hope that we had formed of seeing a
display of the youth and fashion of Adalia was disappointed. It was by
all express relaxation of the law of etiquette that we had the
opportunity of seeing even the one or two ladies belonging to the
family. Greeks, in their own country, though exceedingly jealous, and
apt to build up alarms on the slightest foundation, are yet by no means
chary in showing their women. In-doors and out, you will meet them, both
old and young; and perfectly unconstrained and companionable you will
find them. But here the case is far otherwise. They have acquired so
much of Mussulman notions, that they do not allow their women to mix in
society. This is the general rule: more pliant to occasion than the law
of the Turks, which never yields. And not only here is there a strong
feeling on this subject: the same prejudice prevails widely in the
Turco-Greek islands. For instance, in Mytilene, on occasion of taking
that long excursion which I have already mentioned, we observed that all
the women we met were old and ugly. From this observed fact we drew
conclusions unfavourable to the general appearance and presentability of
the Mytilenian ladies. But subsequently we found the reason of the
phenomenon to be, that the young and pretty girls were kept within
doors, and the old ones alone allowed the privilege of walking forth--a
difference of condition that might almost induce the girls of Mytilene
to wish for age and wrinkles.

They did not, at Adalia, use us quite so ill as to withhold their ladies
from the entertainment. The mother was there and a daughter--a young
lady with the romantic name of Dúdù. With such a name as this she ought
to have been very pretty, and certainly she did not fall far short of
such condition. It was clearly to be perceived that she was unaccustomed
to mix in general society, and that the company of strange men disturbed
her. But she was not ungraceful either in manner or dress, or in her
evident desire to please. The place of our reception was in the central
court, which the best kind of houses preserve--a contrivance which gives
to each of the four sides on which the building is disposed, the
advantages of a pure and thorough current of air. Here we sat drinking
sherbet, and, of course, smoking the unfailing chibouque. The lady
mother was painfully anxious to talk to us, and pretty Miss Dúdù was
seriously bent on listening; but we could not manage to execute a
colloquy. All the civil things imaginable were expressed to us by
gesture, and the young lady came out strong in the presentation of
bouquets. One fortunate man received from her an orange, the only one
remaining at that time in the garden; this we persuaded ourselves must,
in their symbolical language, imply a declaration of some soft interest.
Miss Dúdù would not have been such a very bad _parti_, being, as she
was, the sole heritress of her father's thousands. However, she was, we
understood, engaged already to a youth, who was obeying the cruel law
prevalent in this place, which compels the accepted swain to absent
himself from his inamorata for a long probation. I think the time was
said to be a year; during which no communication must pass between the
parties. Should the first overtures of a suitor be rejected, it is a
settled matter of etiquette, that he never again is to see or speak to
the young lady. This must be likely, we would think, to render a man
cautious in proposing: but certainly it must tend to lessen the number
of eventual old maids, by rendering the young ladies also chary of
saying No, when they mean Yes. On the whole, we can scarcely admire
their matrimonial tactics. We found that we were among a family of
Hádjis. Miss Dúdù was a Hadji, and so were her father and mother. In
their case the place of pilgrimage is Jerusalem, a visit to which
confers on them the respectable title of Hadji for life. This old
gentleman had made a pious use of some of his money, by promoting the
cause of pilgrimage among his less opulent brethren. The desire to tread
the holy soil is common to them all; not only to the religious. These
have their motives; but so also have the disorderly and wicked, who
think that a world of cheating and ill-living is covered over by the
wholesome cloak of pilgrimage. There are also certain less considerable
places of pilgrimage, invested with considerable sanctity, though
inferior in character to the one great rendezvous of the religious.
Health to body seems often the expected result of visits to these
secondary places, to which recourse will frequently be had when medical
aid has failed to be available. Dúdù's father had made himself highly
popular by chartering a vessel, and conveying, for charity's sake, as
many devotees as chose to go on one of these minor expeditions. The
island of Cyprus has a convent of peculiar sanctity, a visit to which is
highly esteemed as an antidote to bodily ills. He gave a great number
the opportunity of testing the truth of the tradition.

It was not bad fun, after all, tarrying a few days in Adalia: only, by
choice, we would hardly choose that particular season for the excursion.
What between the Consul's gardens, and the old Greek, and the little bit
of business we had upon our hands, we managed to get through the time
pleasantly enough. We saw that we had here a good specimen of the
variety of life commonly described as deadly-lively. Were it not that
they have such a lot of strangers constantly passing through the place,
they might seem to be in danger of a moral_anchylosis_--of falling into
a state of mind so rusty, as to be incapable of direction to any object,
save such as lay before them, in the way of immediate physical
requirement. The few days that we remained there did not afford time
enough for the disease to make much head with us. Indeed, for us it was
a variety of experience, sufficiently stirring for the time, to mark the
ways of a people so deeply buried in imperturbability and incuriosity.

I think we were not sorry when at last the messenger returned from the
Caimacan, and we found we were in condition to leave the place. The
Consul was set on his legs again, and the English name in better odour
than ever. The _attachés_ of the consulate had taken care that our visit
should fail in no degree of its wholesome influence, for want of their
good word; and I fancy that the town's people thought themselves rather
well off that we left their town standing. We left, too, with the full
reputation for merciful dealing; as we had spared the poor soap-rioters
the infliction of the bastinado.

And so we sped on our way to Rhodes.



PACIFIC ROVINGS.[C]


We were much puzzled, a few weeks since, by a tantalising and
unintelligible paragraph, pertinaciously reiterated in the London
newspapers. Its brevity equalled its mystery; it consisted but of five
words, the first and last in imposing majuscules. Thus it ran:--

    "OMOO, by the author of TYPEE."

With Trinculo we exclaimed, "What have we here? a man or a fish? dead or
alive?" Who or what were Typee and Omoo? Were things or creatures thus
designated? Did they exist on the earth, or in the air, or in the waters
under the earth; were they spiritual or material, vegetable or mineral,
brute or human? Were they newly-discovered planets, nicknamed whilst
awaiting baptism, or strange fossils, contemporaries of the Megatherium,
or Magyar dissyllables from Dr Bowring's vocabulary? Perchance they were
a pair of new singers for the Garden, or a fresh brace of beasts for the
legitimate drama at Drury. Omoo might be the heavy elephant; Typee the
light-comedy camel. Did danger lurk in the enigmatical words? Were they
obscure intimations of treasonable designs, Swing advertisements, or
masonic signs? Was the palace at Westminster in peril? had an agent of
sure of Barbarossa Joinville undermined the Trafalgar column? Were they
conspirators' watchwords, lovers' letters, signals concerted between the
robbers of Rogers's bank? We tried them anagrammatically, but in vain:
there was nought to be made of Omoo; shake it as we would, the O's came
uppermost; and by reversing Typee we obtained but a pitiful result. At
last a bright gleam broke through the mist of conjecture. Omoo was a
book. The outlandish title that had perplexed us was intended to
perplex; it was a bait thrown out to that wide-mouthed fish, the public;
a specimen of what is theatrically styled _gag_. Having but an
indifferent opinion of books ushered into existence by such
charlatanical manoeuvres, we thought no more of Omoo, until, musing
the other day over our matutinal hyson, the volume itself was laid
before us, and we suddenly found ourselves in the entertaining society
of Marquesan Melville, the phoenix of modern voyagers, sprung, it
would seem, from the mingled ashes of Captain Cook and Robin Crusoe.

Those who have read M. Herman Melville's former work will remember,
those who have not are informed by the introduction to the present one,
that the author, an educated American, whom circumstances had shipped as
a common sailor on board a South-Seaman, was left by his vessel on the
island of Nukuheva, one of the Marquesan group. Here he remained some
months, until taken off by a Sydney whaler, short-handed, and glad to
catch him. At this point of his adventures he commences Omoo. The title
is borrowed from the dialect of the Marquesas, and signifies a rover:
the book is excellent, quite first-rate, the "clear grit," as Mr
Melville's countrymen would say. Its chief fault, almost its only one,
interferes little with the pleasure of reading it, will escape many, and
is hardly worth insisting upon. Omoo is of the order composite, a
skilfully concocted Robinsonade, where fictitious incident is
ingeniously blended with genuine information. Doubtless its author has
visited the countries he describes, but not in the capacity he states.
He is no Munchausen; there is nothing improbable in his adventures, save
their occurrence to himself, and that he should have been a man before
the mast on board South-Sea traders, or whalers, or on any ship or ships
whatever. His speech betrayeth him. His voyages and wanderings
commenced, according to his own account, at least as far back as the
year 1838; for aught we know they are not yet at an end. On leaving
Tahiti in 1843, he made sail for Japan, and the very book before us may
have been scribbled on the greasy deck of a whaler, whilst floating
amidst the coral reefs of the wide Pacific. True that in his preface,
and in the month of January of the present year, Mr Melville hails from
New York; but in such matters we really place little dependence upon
him. From his narrative we gather that this literary and gentlemanly
common-sailor is quite a young man. His life, therefore, since he
emerged from boyhood, has been spent in a ship's forecastle, amongst the
wildest and most ignorant class of mariners. Yet his tone is refined and
well-bred; he writes like one accustomed to good European society, who
has read books and collected stores of information, other than could be
perused or gathered in the places and amongst the rude associates he
describes. These inconsistencies are glaring, and can hardly be
explained. A wild freak or unfortunate act of folly, or a boyish thirst
for adventure, sometimes drives lads of education to try life before the
mast, but when suited for better things they seldom persevere; and Mr
Melville does not seem to us the manner of man to rest long contented
with the coarse company and humble lot of merchant seamen. Other
discrepancies strike us in his book and character. The train of
suspicion once lighted, the flame runs rapidly along. Our misgivings
begin with the title-page. "Lovel or Belville," says the Laird of
Monkbarns, "are just the names which youngsters are apt to assume on
such occasions." And Herman Melville sounds to us vastly like the
harmonious and carefully selected appellation of an imaginary hero of
romance. Separately the names are not uncommon; we can urge no valid
reason against their junction, and yet in this instance they fall
suspiciously on our ear. We are similarly impressed by the dedication.
Of the existence of Uncle Gansevoort, of Gansevoort, Saratoga County, we
are wholly incredulous. We shall commission our New York correspondents
to inquire as to the reality of Mr Melville's avuncular relative, and,
until certified of his corporality, shall set down the gentleman with
the Dutch patronymic as a member of an imaginary clan.

Although glad to escape from Nukuheva, where he had been held in a sort
of honourable captivity, Typee--the _alias_ bestowed upon the rover by
his new shipmates, after the valley whence they rescued him--was but
indifferently pleased with the vessel on which he left it, and whose
articles he signed as a seaman for one cruise. The Julia was of a
beautiful model, and on or before a wind she sailed like a witch; but
that was all that could be said in her praise. She was rotten to the
core, incommodious, and ill-provided, badly manned, and worse commanded.
American-built, she dated from the Short war, had served as a privateer,
been taken by the British, passed through many vicissitudes, and was in
no condition for a long cruise in the Pacific. So mouldering was her
fabric, that the reckless sailors, when seated in the forecastle, dug
their knives into the dank boards between them and eternity as easily as
into the moist sides of some old pollard oak. She was much dilapidated
and rapidly becoming more so; for Black Baltimore, the ship's cook, when
in want of firewood, did not scruple to hack splinters from the bits and
beams. Lugubrious indeed was the aspect of the forecastle. Landsmen,
whose ideas of a sailor's sleeping-place are taken from the snow-white
hammocks and exquisitely clean berth-deck of a man of war, or from the
rough, but substantial comfort of a well-appointed merchantman, can form
no conception of the surpassing and countless abominations of a
South-Sea whaler. The "Little Jule," as her crew affectionately styled
her, was a craft of two hundred tons or thereabouts; she had sailed with
thirty-two hands, whom desertion had reduced to twenty, but these were
too many for the cramped and putrid nook in which they slept, ate, and
smoked, and alternately desponded or were jovial, as sickness and
discomfort, or a Saturday night's bottle and hopes of better luck, got
the upper hand. Want of room, however, was one of the least grievances
of which the Julia's crew complained. It was a mere trifle, not worth
the naming. They could have submitted to close stowage had the dunnage
been decent. But instead of swinging in cosy hammocks, they slept in
_bunks_ or wretched pigeon-holes, on fragments of sails, unclean rags,
blanket-shreds, and the like. Such unenviable accommodations ought
hardly to have been disputed with their luckless possessors, who
nevertheless were not allowed to occupy in peace their broken-down bunks
and scanty bedding. Two races of creatures, time out of mind the curse
of old ships in warm latitudes, infested the Julia's forecastle,
resisting all efforts to dislodge or exterminate them, sometimes even
getting the upper hand, dispossessing the tortured mariners, and driving
them on deck in terror and despair. The sick only, hapless martyrs
unable to leave their cribs, lay passive, if not resigned, and were
trampled under foot by their ferocious and unfragrant foes. These were
rats and cockroaches. Typee--we use the name he bore during his Julian
tribulations--records a singular phenomenon in the nocturnal habits of
the last-named vermin. "Every night they had a jubilee. The first
symptom was an unusual clustering and humming amongst the swarms lining
the beams overhead, and the inside of the sleeping-places. This was
succeeded by a prodigious coming and going on the part of those living
out of sight. Presently they all came forth; the larger sort racing over
the chests and planks; winged monsters darting to and fro in the air;
and the small fry buzzing in heaps almost in a state of fusion. On the
first alarm, all who were able darted on deck; while some of the sick,
who were too feeble, lay perfectly quiet, the distracted vermin running
over them at pleasure. The performance lasted some ten minutes." Persons
there are, weak enough to view with loathing and aversion certain sable
insects that stray at night in kitchen or in pantry, and barbarous
enough to circumvent and destroy the odoriferous coleopteræ by artful
devices of glass traps and scarlet wafers. Such persons will probably
form their ideas of Typee's cockroaches from their own domestic
opportunities of observation. That were unjust to the crew of the Julia,
and would give no adequate idea of their sufferings. As a purring tabby
to a roaring jaguar, so is a British black-beetle to a cock-roach of the
Southern Seas. We back our assertion by a quotation from our lamented
friend Captain Cringle, who in his especially graphic and attractive
style thus hits off the peculiarities of this graceful insect. "When
full grown," saith Thomas, "it is a large dingy brown-coloured beetle,
about two inches long, with six legs, and two feelers as long as its
body. It has a strong anti-hysterical flavour, something between rotten
cheese and asafoetida, and seldom stirs abroad when the sun is up, but
lies concealed in the most obscure and obscene crevices it can creep
into; so that, when it is seen, its wings and body are thickly covered
with dust and dirt of various shades, which any culprit who chances to
fall asleep with his mouth open, is sure to reap the benefit of, as it
has a great propensity to walk into it, partly for the sake of the
crumbs adhering to the masticators, and also, apparently, with a
scientific desire to inspect, by accurate admeasurement with the
aforesaid antennæ, the state and condition of the whole potato-trap." A
description worthy of Buffon. Such were the delicate monsters, the
savoury sexipedes, with whom Typee and his comrades had to wage
incessant war. They were worse even than the rats, which were certainly
bad enough. "Tame as Trenck's mouse, they stood in their holes, peering
at you like old grandfathers in a doorway;" watching for their prey, and
disputing with the sailors the weevil-biscuit, rancid pork, and
horse-beef, composing the Julia's stores; or smothering themselves, the
luscious vermin, in molasses, which thereby acquired a rich wood-cock
flavour, whose cause became manifest when the treacle-jar ran low,
greatly to the disgust and consternation of the biped consumers. There
were no delicate feeders on board, but this saccharine essence of rat
was too much even for the unscrupulous stomachs of South-Sea whalers. A
queer set they were on board that Sydney barque. Paper Jack, the
captain, was a feeble Cockney, of meek spirit and puny frame, who glided
about the vessel in a nankeen jacket and canvass pumps, a laughing-stock
to his crew. The real command devolved upon the chief mate, John
Jermin--a good sailor and brave fellow, but violent, and given to drink.
The junior mate had deserted; of the four harpooners only one was left,
a fierce barbarian of a New Zealander--an excellent mariner, whose stock
of English was limited to nautical phrases and a frightful power of
oath, but who, in spite of his cannibal origin, ranked as a sort of
officer, in virtue of his harpoon, and took command of the ship when
mate and captain were absent. What a capital story, by the bye, Typee
tells us of one of this Bembo's whaling exploits! New Zealanders are
brave and bloodthirsty, and excellent harpooners, and they act up to the
South-Seaman's war-cry, "A dead whale or a stove boat!" There is a world
of wild romance and thrilling adventure in the occasional glimpses of
the whale fishery afforded us in Omoo; a strange picturesqueness and
piratical mystery about the lawless class of seamen engaged in it. Such
a portrait gallery as Typee makes out of the Julia's crew, beginning
with Chips and Bungs, the carpenter and cooper, the "Cods," or leaders
of the forecastle, and descending until he arrives at poor Rope Yarn, or
Ropey, as he was called, a stunted journeyman baker from Holborn, the
most helpless and forlorn of all land-lubbers, the butt and drudge of
the ship's company! A Dane, a Portuguese, a Finlander, a savage
from Hivarhoo, sundry English, Irish, and Americans, a daring
Yankee _beach-comber_, called Salem, and Sydney Ben, a runaway
ticket-of-leave-man, made up a crew much too weak to do any good in the
whaling way. But the best fellow on board, and by far the most
remarkable, was a disciple of Esculapius, known as Doctor Long-Ghost.
Jermin is a good portrait; so is Captain Guy; but Long-Ghost is a jewel
of a boy, a complete original, hit off with uncommon felicity. Nothing
is told us of his early life. Typee takes him up on board the Julia,
shakes hands with him in the last page of the book, and informs us that
he has never since seen or heard of him. So we become acquainted with
but a small section of the doctor's life; his subsequent adventures are
unknown, and, save a chance hint or two, his previous career is a
mystery, unfathomable as the Tahitian coast, where, within a biscuit's
toss of the coral shore, soundings there are none. Now and then he would
obscurely refer to days more palmy and prosperous than those spent on
board the Julia. But however great the contrast between his former
fortunes and his then lowly position, he exhibited much calm philosophy
and cheerful resignation. He was even merry and facetious, a practical
wag of the very first order, and as such a great favourite with the
whole ship's company, the captain excepted. He had arrived at Sydney in
an emigrant ship, had expended his resources, and entered as doctor on
board the Julia. All British whalers are bound to carry a medico, who is
treated as a gentleman, so long as he behaves as such, and has nothing
to do but to drug the men and play drafts with the captain. At first
Long-Ghost and Captain Guy hit it off very well; until, in an unlucky
hour, a dispute about politics destroyed their harmonious association.
The captain got a thrashing; the mutinous doctor was put in confinement
and on bread and water, ran away from the ship, was pursued, captured,
and again imprisoned. Released at last, he resigned his office, refused
to do duty, and went forward amongst the men. This was more magnanimous
than wise. Long-Ghost was a sort of medical Tom Coffin, a raw-boned
giant, upwards of two yards high, one of those men to whom the
between-decks of a small craft is a residence little less afflicting
than one of Cardinal Balue's iron cages. And to one who "had certainly,
at some time or other, spent money, drunk Burgundy, and associated with
gentlemen," the Julia's forecastle must have contained a host of
disagreeables, irrespective of rats and cockroaches, of its low roof,
evil odours, damp timbers, and dungeon-like aspect. The captain's table,
if less luxurious than that of a royal yacht or New York liner, surely
offered something better than the biscuits, hard as gun-flints and
thoroughly honeycombed, and the shot-soup, "great round peas polishing
themselves like pebbles by rolling about in tepid water," on which the
restive man of medicine was fain to exercise his grinders during his
abode forward. As regarded society, he lost little by relinquishing that
of Guy the Cockney, since he obtained in exchange the intimacy of
Melville the Yankee, who, to judge from his book, must be exceeding good
company, and to whom he was a great resource. The doctor was a man of
learning and accomplishments, who had made the most of his time whilst
the sun shone on his side the hedge, and had rolled his ungainly carcass
over half the world. "He quoted Virgil, and talked of Hobbes of
Malmsbury, besides repeating poetry by the canto, especially Hudibras.
In the easiest way imaginable, he could refer to an amour he had in
Palermo, his lion-hunting before breakfast among the Caffres, and the
quality of the coffee to be drunk in Muscat." Strangely must such
reminiscences have sounded in a whaler's forecastle, with Dunks the
Dane, Finland Van, and Wymontoo the Savage, for auditors.

The Julia had hitherto had little luck in her cruise, and could scarcely
hope for better in the state in which Typee found her. Besides the
losses by desertion, her crew was weakened by disease. Several of the
men lay sick in their berths, wholly unfit for duty. The captain himself
was ill, and all would have derived benefit from a short sojourn in
port; but this could not be thought of. The discipline of the ship was
bad, and the sailors, desperate and unruly fellows, discontented, as
well they might be, with their wretched provisions and uncomfortable
state, were not to be trusted on or near shore. Three-fourths of them,
had they once set foot on dry land, would have absconded, taken refuge
in the woods or amongst the savages, and have submitted to any amount of
tattoo, paint, and nose-ringing, rather than return to the ship.
Already, at St Christina, one of the Marquesas, a large party had made
their escape in two of the four whale-boats, scuttling the third, and
cutting the tackles of the fourth nearly through, so that when Bembo
jumped in to clear it away, man and boat went souse into the water. By
the assistance of a French corvette, and by bribing the king of the
country with a musket and ammunition, the fugitives were captured. But
it was more than probable that they and others would renew the attempt
should opportunity offer; so there was no alternative but to keep the
sea, and hope for better days and for the convalescence of the invalids.
Two of these died. Neither Bible nor Prayer-book were on board the
godless craft, and like dogs, without form of Christian burial, the dead
were launched into the deep. The situation of the survivors inspired
with considerable uneasiness the few amongst them capable of reflection.
The captain was ignorant of navigation; it was the mate who, from the
commencement of the voyage, had kept the ship's reckoning, and kept it
all to himself. He had only to get washed overboard in a gale, or to
walk over in a drunken fit, to leave his shipmates in a fix of the most
unpleasant description, ignorant of latitude, longitude, and of
everything else necessary to be known to guide the vessel on her course.
And as to the sperm whales, which Jermin had promised them in such
abundance that they would only have to strike and take, not a single fin
showed itself. At last the captain was reported dying, and the mate took
counsel with Long-Ghost, Typee, and others of the crew. He would gladly
have continued the cruise, but his wish was overruled, and the whaler's
stern was turned towards the Society Islands.

The first glimpse of the peaks of Tahiti was hailed with transport by
the Julia's weary mariners. They had got a notion that if the captain
left the ship, their articles were no longer binding, and they should be
free to follow his example. And, at any rate, the sickness on board and
the shaky condition of the barque, guaranteed them, as they thought,
long and blissful leisure amongst the waving palm-groves and soft-eyed
Neuhas of Polynesia. Their arrival in sight of Papeetee, the Tahitian
capital, was welcomed by the boom of cannon. The frigate Reine Blanche,
at whose fore flew the flag of Admiral Du Petit Thouars, thus celebrated
the compulsory treaty, concluded that morning, by which the island was
ceded to the French.

Captain Guy and his baggage were now set on shore, and it was soon
apparent to his men that whilst he nursed himself in the pure climate
and pleasant shades of Tahiti, they were to put to sea under the mate's
orders, and after a certain time to touch again at the island, and take
off their commander. The vessel was not even allowed to go into port,
although needing repairs, and in fact unseaworthy; and as to healing the
sick, selfish Paper Jack thought only of solacing his own infirmities.
The fury of the ill-fed, reckless, discontented crew, on discovering the
project of their superiors, passed all bounds. Chips and Bungs
volunteered to head a mutiny, and a round-robin was drawn up and signed.
But when Wilson, an old acquaintance of Guy's, and acting consul in the
absence of missionary Pritchard, came on board, the gallant cooper, who
derived much of his courage from the grog-kid, was cowed and craven. The
grievances brought forward, amongst others that of the _salt-horse_, (a
horse's hoof with the shoe on, so swore the cook, had been found in the
pickle,) were treated as trifles and pooh-poohed by the functionary, "a
minute gentleman with a viciously pugged nose, and a decidedly thin pair
of legs." But if Bungs allowed himself to be brow-beaten, so did not his
comrades. Yankee Salem flourished a bowie-knife, and such alarming
demonstrations were made, that the _counsellor_, as the sailors
persisted in calling the consul, thought it wise to beat a retreat.
Jermin now tried his hand, holding out brilliant prospects of a rich
cargo of sperm oil, and a pocket-full of dollars for every man on his
return to Sydney. The mutineers were proof alike against menace and
blandishment, and, at the secret instigation of Long Ghost and Typee,
resolutely refused to do duty. The consul, who had promised to return,
did not show; and at last the mate, having now but a few invalids and
landsmen to work the ship and keep her off shore, was compelled to enter
the harbour. The Julia came to an anchor within cable's length of the
French frigate, on board which consul Wilson repaired to obtain
assistance. The Reine Blanche was to sail in a few days for Valparaiso,
and the mutineers expected to go with her and be delivered up to a
British man-of-war. Undismayed by this prospect, they continued stanch
in their contumacy, and presently an armed cutter, "painted a 'pirate
black,' its crew a dark, grim-looking set, and the officers uncommonly
fierce-looking little Frenchmen," conveyed them on board the frigate,
where they were duly handcuffed, and secured by the ankle to a great
iron bar bolted down to the berth-deck.

Touching the proceedings on board the French man-of-war, its imperfect
discipline, and the strange, un-nautical way of carrying on the duty,
Typee is jocular and satirical. American though he be--and, but for
occasional slight yankeeisms in his style, we might have doubted even
that fact--he has evidently much more sympathy with his cousin John Bull
than with his country's old allies, the French, whom he freely admits to
be a clever and gallant nation, whilst he broadly hints that their
valour is not likely to be displayed to advantage on the water. He finds
too much of the military style about their marine institutions. Sailors
should be fighting men, but not soldiers or musket-carriers, as they all
are in turn in the French navy. He laughs at or objects to every thing;
the mustaches of the officers, the system of punishment, the sour wine
that replaces rum and water, the soup instead of junk, the pitiful
little rolls baked on board, and distributed in lieu of hard biscuit.
And whilst praising the build of their ships--the only thing about them
he does praise--he ejaculates a hope, which sounds like a doubt, that
they will not some day fall into the hands of the people across the
Channel. "In case of war," he says, "what a fluttering of French ensigns
there would be! for the Frenchman makes but an indifferent seaman, and
though for the most part he fights well enough, somehow or other, he
seldom fights well enough to beat:"--at sea, be it understood. We are
rather at a loss to comprehend the familiarity shown by Typee with the
internal arrangements and architecture of the Reine Blanche. His time on
board was passed in fetters; at nightfall on the fifth day he left the
ship. How, we are curious to know, did he become acquainted with the
minute details of "the crack craft in the French navy," with the
disposition of her guns and decks, the complicated machinery by which
certain exceedingly simple things were done, and even with the rich
hangings, mirrors, and mahogany of the commodore's cabin? Surely the
ragged and disreputable mutineer of the Julia, whose foot had scarcely
touched the gangway, when he was hurried into confinement below, could
have had scanty opportunity for such observations: unless, indeed,
Herman Melville, or Typee, or the Rover, or by whatever other _alias_ he
be known, instead of creeping in at the hawse-holes, was welcomed on the
quarter-deck and admitted to the gun-room, or to the commodore's cabin,
an honoured guest in broad-cloth, not a despised merchant seaman in
canvass frock and hat of tarpaulin. We shall not dwell on these small
inconsistencies and oversights in an amusing book. We prefer
accompanying the Julia's crew to Tahiti, where they were put on shore
contrary to their expectations, and not altogether to their
satisfaction, since they had anticipated a rapid run to Valparaiso, the
fag-end of a cruise in an English man-of-war, and a speedy discharge at
Portsmouth. Paper Jack and Consul Wilson had other designs, and still
hoped to reclaim them to their duty on board the crazy Julia. On their
stubborn refusal, they were given in charge to a fat, good-humoured, old
Tahitian, called Captain Bob, who, at the head of an escort of natives,
conveyed them up the country to a sort of shed, known as the Calabooza
Beretanee or English jail, used as a prison for refractory sailors. This
commences Typee's shore-going adventures, not less pleasant and original
than his sea-faring ones; although it is with some regret that we lose
sight of the vermin-haunted barque, on whose board such strange and
exciting scenes occurred.

Throughout the book, however, fun and incident abound, and we are
consoled for our separation from poor little Jule, by the curious
insight we obtain into the manners, morals, and condition of the gentle
savages, on whom an attempted civilisation has brought far more curses
than blessings.

    "How pleasant were the songs of Toobonai,"

how gladsome and grateful the rustle of leaves and tinkle of rills, and
silver-toned voices of Tahitian maidens, to the rough seamen who had so
long been "cabined, cribbed, confined," in the Julia's filthy
forecastle! Not that they were allowed free range of the Eden of the
South Seas. On board the Reine Blanche their ankles had been manacled to
an iron bar; in the Calabooza, (from the Spanish _calabozo_, a dungeon,)
they were placed in rude wooden stocks twenty feet long, constructed for
the particular benefit of refractory mariners. There they lay, merry men
all of a row, fed upon _taro_ (Indian turnip) and bread-fruit, and
covered up at night with one huge counterpane of brown _tappa_, the
native cloth. It was owing to no friendly indulgence on the part of Guy
and the consul, that their diet was so agreeable and salutary. Every
morning Ropey came grinning into the prison, with a bucket full of the
old worm-eaten biscuit from the Julia. It was a huge treat to the
unfortunate Cockney, thus to be instrumental in the annoyance of his
former persecutors; and lucky for him that their limbo'd legs prevented
their rewarding his visible exultation otherwise than by a shower of
maledictions. They swore to starve rather than consume the maggoty
provender. Luckily the natives had it in very different estimation. They
did not mind maggots, and held British biscuit to be a piquant and
delicious delicacy. So in exchange for their allotted ration, the
mutineers obtained a small quantity of vegetable food, and an unlimited
supply of oranges, thanks to which refreshing regimen the sick were
speedily restored to health. And after a few days of stocks and
submission, jolly old Captain Bob, who spoke sailor's English, and
obstinately claimed intimacy with Captain Cook,--whose visit to the
island had occurred some years before his birth--relaxed his severity,
and allowed the captives their freedom during the day. They profited of
this permission to forage a little, in a quiet way; assisting at
pig-killings, and dropping in at dinner-time upon the wealthier of their
neighbours. Tahitian hospitality is boundless, and the more praiseworthy
that the island, although so fertile, produces but a scanty amount of
edibles. Bread-fruit is the chief resource; fish, a very important one,
the chief dependence of many of the poorer natives. There is little
industry amongst them, and on the spontaneous produce of the soil the
shipping make heavy demands. Polynesian indolence is proverbial. Very
light labour would enable the Tahitians to roll in riches, at least
according to their own estimate of the value of money and of the
luxuries it procures. The sugar-cane is indigenous to the island, and of
remarkably fine quality; cotton is of ready growth; but the fine
existing plantations "are owned and worked by whites, who would rather
pay a drunken sailor eighteen or twenty Spanish dollars a month, than
hire a sober native for his fish and _taro_." Wholly without energy, the
Tahitians saunter away their lives in a state of drowsy indolence,
aiming only at the avoidance of trouble, and the sensual enjoyment of
the moment. The race rapidly diminishes. "In 1777, Captain Cook
estimated the population of Tahiti at about two hundred thousand. By a
regular census taken some four or five years ago, it was found to be
only nine thousand!" Diseases of various kinds, entirely of European
introduction, and chiefly the result of drunkenness and debauchery,
account for this frightful decrease, which must result in the extinction
of the aborigines.

    "The palm-tree shall grow,
    The coral shall spread,
    But man shall cease."

So runs an old Tahitian prophecy, soon to be realised. And if Pomaree,
who is under forty years of age, proves a long-lived sovereign, she may
chance to find herself a queen without subjects. Concerning her majesty
and her court, Typee is diffuse and diverting. This is an age of queens,
and although her dominions be of the smallest, her people few and
feeble, and her prerogative wofully clipped, she of Tahiti has made some
noise in the world, and attracted a fair share of public attention. At
one time, indeed, she was almost as much thought of and talked about as
her more civilised and puissant European sisters. In France, _La Reine
Pomarée_ was looked upon as a far more interesting personage than
Spanish Isabel or Portuguese Maria; and extraordinary notions were
formed as to the appearance, habits, and attributes of her dusky
majesty. Distance favoured delusion, and French imagination ran riot in
conjecture, until the reports of the valiant Thonars, and his squadron
of protection, dissipated the enchantment, and reduced Pomaree to her
true character, that of a lazy, dirty, licentious, Polynesian savage,
who walks about barefoot, drinks spirits, and hen-pecks her husband. Her
real name is Aimata, but she assumed, on ascending the throne, the royal
patronymic by which she is best known. There were Cæsars in Rome, there
are Pomarees in Tahiti. The name was originally assumed by the great
Otoo, (to be read of in Captain Cook,) who united the whole island under
one crown. It descended to his son, and then to his grandson, who came
to the throne an infant, and, dying young, was succeeded by her present
majesty, Pomaree Vahinee I., the first female Pomaree. This lady has
been twice married. Her first husband was a king's son, but the union
was ill assorted, a divorce obtained, and she took up with one Tanee, a
chief from the neighbouring island of Imeco. She leads him a dog's life,
and he consoles himself by getting drunk. In that state, he now and then
violently breaks out, contemns the royal authority, thrashes his wife,
and smashes the crockery. Captain Bob gave Typee an account of a burst
of this sort, which occurred about seven years ago. Stimulated by the
seditious advice of his boon companions, and under the influence of an
unusually large dose of strong waters, the turbulent king-consort forgot
the respect due to his wife and sovereign, mounted his horse, and ran
full tilt at the royal cavalcade, out for their afternoon ride in the
park. One maid of honour was floored, the rest fled in terror, save and
except Pomaree, who stood her ground like a man, and apostrophised her
insubordinate spouse in the choicest Tahitian Billingsgate. For once her
eloquence failed of effect. Dragged from her horse, her personal charms
were deteriorated by a severe thumping on the face. This done,
Othello-Tanee attempted to strangle her, and was in a fair way to
succeed, when her loving subjects came to her rescue. So heinous a crime
could not be overlooked, and Tanee, was banished to his native island;
but after a short time he declared his penitence, made _amende
honorable_, and was restored to favour. He does not very often venture
to thwart the will of his royal wife, much less to raise his hand
against her sacred person, but submits with exemplary patience to her
caprices and abuse, and even to the manual admonitions she not
unfrequently bestows upon him.

Upon the whole, life, at the Calabooza was not very disagreeable. The
prisoners, now only nominally so, had little to complain of, except
occasional short commons, arising not from unwillingness, but from
disability, on the part of the kind-hearted natives, to satisfy the
cravings of the hungry whalers, whose appetites were remarkable,
especially that of lanky Doctor Long Ghost. The doctor was a stickler
for quality as well as quantity; the memory of his claret and beccafico
days still clung to him, like the scent of the roses to Tom Moore's
broken gallipot: he was curious in condiments, and whilst devouring,
grumbled at the unseasoned viands of Tahiti. Cayenne and Harvey abounded
not in those latitudes, but pepper and salt were on board the Julia, and
the doctor prevailed on Rope Yarn to bring him a supply. "This he placed
in a small leather wallet, a monkey bag (so called by sailors) usually
worn as a purse about the neck. 'In my poor opinion,' said Long Ghost,
as he tucked the wallet out of sight, 'it behoves a stranger in Tahiti
to have his knife in readiness, and his castor slung.'" And thus
equipped, the doctor and his brethren in captivity rambled over the
verdant slopes and through the cool groves of Tahiti, bathed in the
mountain streams, and luxuriated in orange orchards, where "the trees
formed a dense shade, spreading overhead a dark, rustling vault, groined
with boughs, and studded here and there with the ripened spheres, like
gilded balls." Then they had plenty of society; native visitors flocked
to see them, and Doctor Johnson, a resident English physician, was
constant in his attendance, knowing that the Consul must pay his bill.
Three French priests also called upon them, one of whom proved to be no
Frenchman, but a portly, handsome, good-humoured Irishman, well known
and much disliked by the Polynesian protestant missionaries. A strong
attempt was made by Guy and Wilson to get the men to do duty. A schooner
was about to sail for Sydney, and they were threatened to be sent
thither for trial. They still refused to hand rope or break biscuit on
board the Julia. Long Ghost made some cutting remarks on the captain;
and the sailors, who had been taken down to the Consul's office for
examination, began to bully, and talked of carrying off Consul and
Captain to bear them company in the Calabooza. The same ill success
attended subsequent attempts, until Captain Guy was compelled to look
out for another crew, which he obtained with difficulty, and by a
considerable advance of hard dollars. And at last, "It was Sunday in
Tahiti, and a glorious morning, when Captain Bob, waddling into the
Calabooza, startled us by announcing, 'Ah, my boy--shippee you,
harree--maky sail!' in other words, the Julia was off," and had taken
her stores of old biscuit with her: so the next morning the inmates of
the Calabooza were without rations. The Consul would supply none, and it
was pretty evident that he rather desired the departure of the obstinate
seamen from that part of the island. The whole of his proceedings with
regard to them had served but to render him ridiculous, and he wished
them out of his neighbourhood; but the ex-prisoners found themselves
pretty comfortable, and preferred remaining. They were better off than
they had for some time been, for Jermin--not such a bad fellow, after
all--had sent them their chests ashore; and these, besides supplying
them with sundry necessaries, gave them immense importance in Tahitian
eyes. They had been kindly treated before, but now they were courted and
flattered, like younger sons in marching regiments, who suddenly step
into the family acres. The natives crowded round them, eager to swear
eternal friendship, according to an old Polynesian custom, once
universal in the islands, but that has fallen into considerable disuse,
except when something is to be gained by its observance. A gentleman of
the name of Kooloo fixed his affections upon Typee--or rather upon his
goods and chattels; for when he had wheedled him out of a regatta shirt,
and other small pieces of finery, he transferred his affections to a
newly-arrived sailor, whose chest was better lined, and who bestowed on
him a love-token, in the shape of a heavy pea-jacket. In this garment,
closely buttoned up, Kooloo took morning promenades, with the tropical
sun glaring down upon him. He frequently met his former friend, but
passed him with a careless "How d'ye do?" which presently dwindled into
a nod. "In one week's time," says poor Typee, "he gave me the cut
direct, and lounged by without even nodding. He must have taken me for
part of the landscape."

After a while the contents of the chests, and even the chests
themselves--esteemed by the Tahitians most valuable pieces of
furniture--were given or bartered away, and, as the Consul still refused
them rations, the sailors knew not how to live. The natives helped them
as much as they could, but their larders were scantily furnished, and
they grew tired of feeding fifteen hungry idlers. So at last the latter
made a morning call upon the Consul, who, being unwilling to withdraw,
and equally so to press, charges which he knew would not be sustained,
refused to have any thing to say to them. Thereupon some of the party,
strong in principle and resolution, and seeing how grievous an annoyance
their presence was to their enemy, Wilson, swore to abide near him and
never to leave him. Others, less obstinate or more impatient of a
change, resolved to decamp from the Calabooza. The first to depart were
Typee and Long Ghost. They had received intelligence of a new plantation
in Imeco, recently formed by foreigners, who wanted white labourers, and
were expected at Papeetee to seek them. With these men they took service
under the names of Peter and Paul, at wages of fifteen silver dollars a
month; and, after an affecting separation from their shipmates--whose
respectable character may be judged of by the fact, that one of them
picked Long Ghost's pocket in the very act of embracing him,--they
sailed away for Imeco, and arrived without accident in the valley of
Martair, where the plantation was situate. The chapters recording their
stay here are amongst the very best in the book, full of rich, quiet
fun. Typee gives a capital description of his employers. They were two
in number, both "whole-souled fellows; one was a tall robust Yankee,
born in the backwoods of Maine, sallow, and with a long face; the other,
a short little Cockney who had first clapped his eyes on the Monument."
Zeke the Yankee, had christened his comrade "Shorty;" and Shorty looked
up to him with respect, and yielded to him in most things. Both showed
themselves well disposed towards their new labourers, whom they at once
discovered to be superior to their station. And they soon found their
society so agreeable, that they were willing to keep them to do little
more than nominal work. As to making them efficient farm servants, they
quickly gave up that idea. As a sailor, Typee had little fancy for
husbandry; and the doctor found his long back terribly in his way when
requested to dig potatoes and root up stumps, under a sun which, as
Shorty said, "was hot enough to melt the nose hoff a brass monkey." Long
Ghost very soon gave in; the extraction of a single tree-root settled
him; he pleaded illness, and retired to his hammock, but was
considerably vexed when he heard the Yankee propose a bullock hunting
expedition, in which, as a sick man, he could not decently take part.
This was only the prologue to his annoyances. Musquitoes, unknown in
Tahiti, abound in Imeeo. They were brought there, according to a native
tradition, by one Nathan Coleman, of Nantucket, who, in revenge for some
fancied grievance, towed a rotten water-cask ashore, and left it in a
neglected _taro_ patch, where the ground was moist and warm. Musquitoes
were the result. "When tormented by them, I found much relief in
coupling the word Coleman with another of one syllable, and pronouncing
them together energetically." The musquito chapter is very amusing,
showing the various comical and ingenious manoeuvres of the friends to
avoid their tormentors, and obtain a night's sleep. At last they entered
a fishing canoe, paddled some distance from shore, and dropped the
native anchor, a stone secured to a rope. They were awakened in the
morning by the motion of their boat. Zeke was wading in the shallow
water, and towing them from a reef towards which they had drifted. "The
water-sprites had rolled our stone out of its noose, and we had floated
away." This was a narrow escape, but nevertheless they stuck to their
floating bedstead as the only possible sleeping place. A day's
successful hunting, followed by a famous supper and jollification under
a banian-tree, put the doctor in good humour, and he made himself vastly
agreeable. The natives beheld his waggish pranks with infinite
admiration, and Zeke looked upon him with particular favour; so much so,
that when upon the following morning an order came from a ship at
Papeetee, for a supply of potatoes, he almost hesitated to tell funny
Peter to assist in digging them up. But the emergency pressed, and the
work must be done. So Peter and Paul were set to unearth the vegetables.
This was no very cruel task, for "the rich tawny soil seemed specially
adapted to the crop; the great yellow murphies rolling out of the hills
like eggs from a nest." But when they were dug up, they had to be
carried to the beach; and to this part of the business the lazy
adventurers had a special dislike, although Zeke kindly provided them,
to lighten their toil, with what he called the barrel machine--a sort of
rural sedan, in which the servants carried their loads with comparative
ease, whilst their employers sweated under shouldered hampers. But no
alleviation could reconcile the sailor and the physician to this novel
and unpleasant labour, and the potato-digging was the last piece of
work, deserving the name, that either of them did. A few days afterwards
they gave their masters warning, greatly to the vexation of Zeke,
although he received the notice--with true Yankee imperturbability. He
proposed that Long Ghost, who, after the hunt, had shown, considerable
culinary skill, should assume the office of cook, and that Paul-Typee
should only work when it suited him, which would not have been very
often. The offer was friendly and favourable, but it was refused. A
hospitable invitation to remain as guests as long as was convenient to
them, was likewise rejected, and, bent upon a ramble, the restless
adventurers left the vale of Martair. Even greater inducements would
probably have been insufficient to keep them there. They had been so
long on the rove, that change of scene had become essential to their
happiness. The doctor, especially, was anxious to be off to Tamai, an
inland village on the borders of a lake, where the fruits were the
finest, and the women the most beautiful and unsophisticated in all the
Society Islands. Epicurean Long Ghost had set his mind upon visiting
this terrestrial paradise, and thither his steady chum willingly
accompanied him. It was a day's journey on foot, allowing time for
dinner and siesta; and the path lay through wood and ravine, unpeopled
save by wild cattle. About noon they reached the heart of the island,
thus pleasantly described. "It was a green, cool hollow among the
mountains, into which we at last descended with a bound. The place was
gushing with a hundred springs, and shaded over with great solemn trees,
on whose mossy boles the moisture stood in beads." There is something
delightfully hydropathic in these lines; they cool one like a
shower-bath. He is a prime fellow, this common sailor Melville, at such
scraps of description, terse and true, placing the scene before us in
ten words. In long yarns he indulges not, but of such happy touches as
the above, we could quote a score. We have not room, either for them,
or for an account of the valley of Tamai, its hospitable inhabitants,
and its heathenish dances, performed in secret, and in dread of the
missionaries, by whom such saturnalia are forbidden. The place was
altogether so pleasant, that the doctor and his friend entertained
serious thoughts of settling there, or at least of making a long stay,
when one morning they were put to flight by the arrival of strangers,
said to be missionaries, with whom, vagrants as they were, they had no
wish to fall in. So they returned to their friend Zeke, nursing new and
ambitious projects. They had no intention of remaining with the
good-hearted Yankee, but merely paid him a flying visit, and that with
an interested motive. What they wanted of him was this. Although feeling
themselves gentlemen every inch, they were not always able to convince
the world of their respectability. So they resolved to have a passport,
and pitched upon Zeke to manufacture it, he being well known and much
respected in Imeeo. Zeke was gratified by the compliment, and set to
work with a rooster's quill, and a piece of dirty paper. "Evidently he
was not accustomed to composition; for his literary throes were so
violent, that the doctor suggested that some sort of a Cæsarian
operation might be necessary. The precious paper was at last finished;
and a great curiosity it was. We were much diverted with his reasons for
not dating it. 'In this here damned climate,' he observed, 'a feller
can't keep the run of the months, no how; 'cause there's no seasons, no
summer and winter to go by. One's etarnally thinking it's always July,
it's so pesky hot.' A passport provided, we cast about for some means of
getting to Taloo."

The decline of the Tahitian monarchy--the degradation of the regal house
of Pomaree, is painful to contemplate. The queen still wears a crown--a
tinsel one, received as a present from her sister-sovereign of
England,--she has also a court and a palace, such as they are; but her
power is little more than nominal, her exchequer seldom otherwise than
empty. Typee draws a touching contrast between times past and present.
"'I'm a greater man than King George,' said the incorrigible young Otoo,
to the first missionaries; 'he rides on a horse and I on a man.' Such
was the case. He travelled post through his dominions on the shoulders
of his subjects, and relays of immortal beings were provided in all the
valleys. But, alas! how times have changed! how transient human
greatness! Some years since, Pomaree Vahinee I., granddaughter of the
proud Otoo, went into the laundry business, publicly soliciting, by her
agents, the washing of the linen belonging to officers of ships touching
in her harbours." Into the court of this washerwoman-queen, Typee and
Long Ghost were exceedingly anxious to penetrate. Vague ideas of favour
and preferment haunted their brains. During their Polynesian cruise,
they had seen many instances of rapid advancement; vagabond foreigners,
of all nations, domesticated in the families of chiefs and kings, and
sometimes married to their daughters and sharing their power. At one of
the Tonga islands, a scamp of a Welshman officiated as cupbearer to the
king of the cannibals. The monarch of the Sandwich islands has three
foreigners about his court--a Negro to beat the drum, a wooden-legged
Portuguese to play the fiddle, and Mordecai, a juggler, to amuse his
majesty with cups and balls and sleight of hand. On the Marquesan island
of Hivarhoo, they had found an English sailor who had attained to the
highest dignity in the country. He had deserted from a merchant ship,
and at once set up, on his own hook, as an independent sovereign,
without dominions, but by disposition most belligerent. A musket and a
store of cartridges were his whole possessions; but in a land where war
was rife, carried on with the primitive weapons of spear and javelin,
they were sufficiently important to make a native prince covet his
alliance. His first battle was a decisive victory, a perfect Waterloo,
and he became the Wellington of Hivarhoo, receiving, as reward for his
distinguished services, the hand of a princess, and a splendid dowry of
hogs, mats, and other produce. To conform to the prejudices of his new
family, he allowed himself to be tattooed, tabooed, and otherwise
paganized, becoming as big a savage as any in the island. A blue shark
adorned his forehead; a broad bar, of the same colour, traversed his
face. The tabooing was a less ornamental but more decidedly useful
formality, for by it his person was declared sacred and inviolable.
Typee and his medical friend had a strong prejudice against cerulean
sharks and the like embellishments; but if these could be dispensed
with, they felt no disinclination to form part of Pomaree's household.
They had not quite made up their minds what office would best suit them,
but their circumstances were unprosperous, and they resolved not to be
particular. They understood that the queen was mustering around her all
the foreigners she could recruit, to make head against the French. She
was then at Taloo, a village on the coast of Imeeo, and thither the two
adventurers betook themselves, hoping to be at once elevated to
important posts at court; but quite resigned, in case of disappointment,
to work as day-labourers in a sugar-plantation, or go to sea in a
whaler, then in the harbour for wood and water. Disgusted with their
desultory, hand-to-mouth existence, they yearned after respectability
and a prime-ministership. To their sanguine anticipations, both of these
seemed easy of attainment. Long Ghost, indeed, who, amongst his various
accomplishments, was a very Orpheus upon the violin, insisted strongly
upon the probability of his becoming a Tahitian Rizzio. But a necessary
preliminary to the realisation of these day-dreams, was a presentation
at court, and that was difficult to obtain. Once before Queen Pomaree,
they doubted not but she, with Napoleonic sagacity, would discern their
merits, and forthwith make Typee her admiral, and Long Ghost
inspector-general of hospitals. But they lacked an introduction. The
proper course, according to the practice of travelling nobodies,
desirous of intruding their plebeianism into a foreign court, would have
been to apply to their ambassadors. Unfortunately Deputy-Consul Wilson,
the only person at hand of a diplomatic character, was by no means
disposed to act as master of the ceremonies to the insurgents of the
Julia. And their costume, it must be confessed, scarcely qualified them
to appear at levee or drawing-room. A short time previously, their
ragged and variegated garb had given them much the look of a brace of
Polynesian Robert Macaires. Typee had made himself a new frock out of
two old ones, a blue and a red, the irregular mingling of the colours
producing a pleasing parrot-like effect; a tattered shirt of printed
calico was twisted round his head, turban-fashion, the sleeves dangling
behind, and bullock's-hide sandals protected his feet. The doctor was
still more fantastical in his attire. He sported a _roora_, a garment
similar to the South American poncho, a sort of mantle or blanket, with
a hole in the centre, through which the head passes. This simple article
of apparel, which in the doctor's case was of coarse brown tappa, fell
in folds around his angular carcass, and in conjunction with a
broad-brimmed hat of Panama grass, gave him the aspect of a decayed
grandee. Thus clad, the two friends arrived in the neighbourhood of the
royal residence, and there were fortunate enough to fall in with Mrs
Po-Po, a benevolent Tahitian matron, who provided them with clean frocks
and trousers, such as sailors wear, and in all respects was as good as a
mother to them. Her husband, Jeremiah Po-Po, a man of substance and
consideration, made them welcome in his house, fed and fostered them,
without hope of fee or recompense. A little of this generous hospitality
was owing to the hypocrisy of that villain, Long Ghost, who, finding his
entertainers devoutly disposed, muttered a "Grace before Meat" over the
succulent little porkers, baked _à la façon de Barbarie_ in the ground,
upon which their kind-hearted Amphitrion regaled them. But neither clean
canvass, nor simulated piety, sufficed to draw upon the ambitious
schemers the favourable notice of Queen Pomaree. Accustomed to sailors,
she held them cheap. A uniform, though but the moth-eaten undress of a
militia ensign, would have been a powerful auxiliary to their projects
of aggrandisement. Like some others of her sex, Pomaree loves a
soldier's coat, and maintained in more prosperous days a formidable
regiment of body-guards, in pasteboard shakos, and without breeches.

To go to court, however, Typee and his comrade were fully resolved; and
they were not very scrupulous as to the manner of their introduction.
They made up to a Marquesan gentleman of herculean proportions, whose
office it was to take the princes of the blood an airing in his arms.
Typee, who spoke his language, and had been at his native village, soon
ingratiated himself with Marbonna, who introduced them to one of the
queen's chamberlains. Bribery and corruption now came into play: a plug
of tobacco, proved an excellent passport to within the royal precincts,
but then Marbonna was suddenly called away, and the intruders found
themselves abandoned to their fate amongst the ladies of the court,
amiable and affable damsels, whom a little "soft sawder" induced to
conduct them into the queen's own drawing room. Here were collected
numerous costly articles of European manufacture, sent as presents to
Pomaree. Writing-desks, cut glass and beautiful china, valuable
engravings, and gilt candelabras, arms and instruments of all kinds, lay
scratched and broken, musty and rusting amongst greasy calabashes, old
matting, paddles, fish-spears, and rubbish of all kinds. It was
supper-time; and presently the queen came out of her private boudoir,
attired in a blue silk gown and rich shawls, but without shoes or
stockings. She lay down upon a mat, and fed herself with her fingers.
Presumptuous Long Ghost, unabashed before royalty, was for immediately
introducing himself and friend; but the attendants opposed this forward
proceeding, and, in doing so, made such a fuss that the queen looked up
from her calabash of fish, perceived the strangers, and ordered them
out. Such was the first and last interview between Typee the mariner and
Pomaree the queen.

"Disappointed in going to court, we determined upon going to sea." The
Leviathan, an American whaler, lay in harbour, and Typee shipped on
board her. Long Ghost would have done the same, but the Yankee captain
disliked the cut of his jib, swore he was a "Sidney bird," and would
have nought to say to him. So Typee divided his advance of wages with
the medical spectre--drank with him a parting bottle of wine,
surreptitiously purchased from a pilfering member of Pomaree's
household--and sailed on a whaling cruise to the coast of Japan. We look
forward with confidence and interest to an account of what there befel
him.

FOOTNOTES:

[C] _Omoo; A Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas._ By HERMAN
MELVILLE. London: 1847.



ON THE NUTRITIVE QUALITIES OF THE BREAD NOW IN USE.

BY PROFESSOR JOHNSTON.


A few plain words on this subject may not be unacceptable to the popular
reader at the present time.

We are fond of what is agreeable to the eye as well as pleasant to the
taste, and therefore we love to have our bread made of the whitest and
finest of the wheat. Attaching superior excellence to what thus pleases
the eye, we call the good Scotch bannock an inferior food, and the
wholesome black bread of the north of Europe a disgusting article of
diet. When our experience and knowledge are local and confined, our
opinions necessarily partake of a similar character.

In regard to the different qualities of wheaten flour, our judgments are
not so severe. All things which pertain to this aristocratic grain--this
staff of English life--like the liveries and horses of a great man--are
treated with a certain degree of respect. Still, they are only the
appendages of the noble seed, and the more thoroughly they are got rid
of, the better the kernel is supposed to become.

In many of our old-fashioned families, indeed, the practice still
lingers of baking bread from the whole meal of wheat for common use in
the kitchen or hall, and for occasional consumption on the master's
table. An enthusiastic physician also now and then rouses himself, and
does battle with the national organs of taste on behalf of the darker
bread, and the browner flour--and dyspeptic old gentlemen or mammas who
have over-pampered their sickly darlings, listen to his fervid warnings,
and the star of the brown loaf is for a month or two in the ascendant.

But gradually the warning sound is lost to the alarmed ear, and the
pulses of the commoved air waft it on to mingle with the thousand other
long-quenched voices which people the distant realms of space, and form
together that unutterable harmony which, by consent of the poets, is
named the music of the spheres.

There are times, however, when good men, though aware of this passing
tendency of human efforts, and of the thankless impotency of a struggle
against the public voice--that _vox populi_ which wise men (so-called)
have pronounced to be also _vox Dei_--will nevertheless return to what
they believe to be a useful though unvalued labour. The present is one
in which any thing which can be said in favour of the less-valued parts
of our imperial grain, will be more readily listened to than at any
other period in the life-time of the existing generation; and being
listened to, may be productive of the greatest national good.

I propose, therefore, to show, in an intelligible manner, that whole
meal flour is really more nourishing, as well as more wholesome, than
fine white flour as food for man.

The solid parts of the human body consist, principally, of three several
portions: the fat, the muscle, and the bone. These three substances are
liable to constant waste in the living body, and therefore must be
constantly renewed from the food that we eat. The vegetable food we
consume contains these three substances almost ready formed. The plant
is the brick-maker. The animal voluntarily introduces these bricks into
its stomach, and then involuntarily--through the operation of the
mysterious machinery within--picks out these bricks, transports them to
the different parts of the body, and builds them into their appropriate
places. As the miller at his mill throws into the hopper the unground
grain, and forthwith, by the involuntary movements of the machinery,
receives in his several sacks the fine flour, the seconds, the
middlings, the pollard, and the bran; so in the human body, by a still
more refined separation, the fat is extracted and deposited here, the
muscular matter there, and the bony material in a third locality, where
it can not only be stored up, but where its presence is actually at the
moment necessary.

Again, the fluid parts of the body contain the same substances in a
liquid form, on their way to or from the several parts of the body in
which they are required. They include also a portion of salt or saline
matter which is dissolved in them, as we dissolve common salt in our
soup, or Epsom salts in the pleasant draughts with which our doctors
delight to vex us. This saline matter is also obtained from the food.

Now, it is self-evident, that that food must be the most nourishing
which supplies all these ingredients of the body most abundantly on the
whole, or in proportions most suited to the actual wants of the
individual animal to which it is given.

How stands the question, then, in regard to this point between the brown
bread and the white--the fine flour, and the whole meal of wheat?

The grain of wheat consists of two parts, with which the miller is
familiar--the inner grain and the skin that covers it. The inner grain
gives the pure wheat flour; the skin, when separated, forms the bran.
The miller cannot entirely peel off the skin from his grain, and thus
some of it is unavoidably ground up with his flour. By sifting, he
separates it more or less completely: his seconds, middlings, &c., owing
their colour to the proportion of brown bran that has passed through the
sieve along with the flour. The whole meal, as it is called, of which
the so-named brown _household bread_ is made, consists of the entire
grain ground up together--used as it comes from the mill-stones
unsifted, and therefore containing all the bran.

The first white flour, therefore, may be said to contain no bran, while
the whole meal contains all that grew naturally upon the grain.

What is the composition of these two portions of the seed? How much do
they respectively contain of the several constituents of the animal
body? How much of each is contained also in the whole grain?

1. _The fat._ Of this ingredient a thousand pounds of the

    Whole grain contain 28 lbs.
    Fine Flour,    "    20  "
    Bran,          "    60  "

So that the bran is much richer in fat than the interior part of the
grain, and the whole grain ground together (whole meal) richer than the
finer part of the flour in the proportion of nearly one half.

2. _The muscular matter._ I have had no opportunity as yet of
ascertaining the relative proportions of this ingredient in the bran and
fine flour of the same sample of grain. Numerous experiments, however,
have been made in my laboratory, to determine these proportions in the
fine flour and whole seed of several varieties of grain. The general
result of these is, that the whole grain uniformly contains a larger
quantity, weight for weight, than the fine flour extracted from it does.
The particular results in the case of wheat and Indian corn were as
follows:--A thousand pounds of the whole grain and of the fine flour
contained of muscular matter respectively,--

               _Whole grain._   _Fine Flour._
Wheat,          156 lbs.               130 lbs.
Indian Corn,    140                    110

Of the material out of which the animal muscle is to be formed, the
whole meal or grain of wheat contains one-fifth more than the finest
flour does. For maintaining muscular strength, therefore, it must be
more valuable in an equal proportion.

3. _Bone material and Saline matter._--Of these mineral constituents, as
they may be called, of the animal body, a thousand pounds of bran, whole
meal and fine flour, contain respectively,--

    Bran,        700 lbs.
    Whole meal,  170  "
    Fine flour,   60  "

So that in regard to this important part of our food, necessary to all
living animals, but especially to the young who are growing, and to the
mother who is giving milk--the whole meal is three times more nourishing
than the fine flour.

Our case is now made out. Weight for weight, the whole grain or meal is
more rich in all these three essential elements of a nutritive food,
than the fine flour of wheat. By those whose only desire is to sustain
their health and strength by the food they eat, ought not the whole meal
to be preferred? To children who are rapidly growing, the browner the
bread they eat, the more abundant the supply of the materials from which
their increasing bones and muscles are to be produced. To the
milk-giving mother, the same food, and for a similar reason, is the most
appropriate.

A glance at their mutual relations in regard to the three substances,
presented in one view, will show this more clearly. A thousand pounds of
each contain of the three several ingredients the following proportions.

                  Whole meal.   Fine flour.
Muscular matter,   156 lbs.       130 lbs.
Bone material,     170  "          60  "
Fat,                28  "          20  "

Total in each,     354            210

Taking the three ingredients, therefore, together, the whole meal is
one-half more valuable for fulfilling all the purposes of nutrition than
the fine flour--and especially it is so in regard to the feeding of the
young, the pregnant, and those who undergo much bodily fatigue.

It will not be denied that it is for a wise purpose that the Deity has
so intimately associated, in the grain, the several substances which are
necessary for the complete nutrition of animal bodies. The above
considerations show how unwise we are in attempting to undo this natural
collocation of materials. To please the eye and the palate, we sift out
a less generally nutritive food,--and, to make up for what we have
removed, experience teaches us to have recourse to animal food of
various descriptions.

It is interesting to remark, even in apparently trivial things, how all
nature is full of compensating processes. We give our servants household
bread, while we live on the finest of the wheat ourselves. The mistress
eats that which pleases the eye more, the maid what sustains and
nourishes the body better.

But the whole meal is more wholesome, as well as more nutritive. It is
on account of its superior wholesomeness that those who are experienced
in medicine usually recommend it to our attention. Experience in the
laws of digestion brings us back to the simple admixture found in the
natural seed. It is not an accidental thing that the proportions in
which the ingredients of a truly sustaining food take their places in
the seeds on which we live, should be best fitted at once to promote the
health of the sedentary scholar, and to reinvigorate the strength of the
active man when exhausted by bodily labour.

Some may say that the preceding observations are merely theoretical; and
may demand the support of actual trial, before they will concede that
the selection of the most nourishing and wholesome diet is hereafter to
be regulated by the results of chemical analysis. The demand is
reasonable in itself, and the so-called deductions of theory are
entitled only to the rank of probable conjectures, till they have been
tested by exact and repeated trials.

But such in this case have been made; and our theoretical considerations
come in only to confirm the results of previous experiments--to explain
why these results should have been obtained, and to extend and enforce
the practical lessons which the results themselves appeared to
inculcate.

Thus, from the experiments of Majendie and others, it was known that
animals which in a few weeks died if fed only upon fine flour, lived
long upon whole meal bread. The reason appears from our analytical
investigations. The whole meal contains in large quantity the three
forms of matter by which the several parts of the body are sustained, or
successively renewed. We may feed a man long upon bread and water only,
but unless we wish to kill him also, we must have the apparent cruelty
to restrict him to the coarser kinds of bread. The charity which should
supply him with fine white loaves instead, would in effect kill him by a
lingering starvation.

Again, the pork-grower who buys bran from the miller, wonders at the
remarkable feeding and fattening effect which this apparently woody and
useless material has upon his animals. The surprise ceases, however,
and the practice is encouraged, and extended to other creatures, when
the researches of the laboratory explain to him what the food itself
contains, and what his growing animal requires.

Economy as well as comfort follow from an exact acquaintance with the
wants of our bodies in their several conditions, and with the
composition of the various articles of diet which are at our command. In
the present condition of the country, this economy has become a vital
question. It is a kind of Christian duty in every one to practise it as
far as his means and his knowledge enable him.

Perhaps the amount of the economy which would follow the use of whole
meal instead of fine flour, may not strike every one who reads the above
observations. The saving arises from two sources.

First, The amount of husk, separated by the miller from the wheat which
he grinds, and which is not sold for human use, varies very much. I
think we do not over-estimate it, when we consider it as forming
one-eighth of the whole. On this supposition, eight pounds of wheat
yield seven of flour consumed by man, and one of pollard and bran which
are given to animals--chiefly to poultry and pigs. If the whole meal be
used, however, eight pounds of flour will be obtained, or eight people
will be fed by the same weight of grain which only fed seven before.

Again, we have seen that the whole meal is more nutritious--so that this
coarser flour will go farther than an equal weight of the fine. The
numbers at which we arrived, from the results of analysis, show that,
taking all the three sustaining elements of the food into consideration,
the coarse is one-half more nutritive than the fine. Leaving a wide
margin for the influence of circumstances, let us suppose it only
one-eighth more nutritive, and we shall have now nine people nourished
equally by the same weight of grain, which, when eaten as fine flour,
would support only seven. _The wheat of the country_, in other words,
_would in this form go one-fourth farther than at present_.

But some one may remark, if all this good is to come from the mere use
of the bran, why not recommend it to be withheld from the pigs, and
consume it by man in some way alone? This would involve no change in the
practice of our millers, and little in the habits and bread of the great
mass of the population.

But such a course, if possible, would not bring us to the economical end
we wish to attain. Suppose it could be made palatable and eaten by man,
little comparative saving would be effected.

First, because, when eaten alone, the fine flour will not go so far as
when mixed with a certain proportion of bran: that is to say,--a given
weight of fine flour will produce an increased nutritive effect when
mixed with the bran: greater than is due to the constituents of the bran
taken alone. The mixture of the two in reality increases the virtues of
both. Again, if eaten alone, bran would prove too difficult, and
therefore slow of digestion in most stomachs. Much would thus pass,
unexhausted of its nutritive matter, through the alimentary canal, as
whole oats often do through that of horses, and thus a considerable
waste would ensue.

And further, supposing all to be dissolved in the stomach, there would
still, of necessity, be a waste of material, since the bran actually
contains a larger proportion of bone material and saline matter compared
with its other ingredients, than the body, in its natural healthy state,
can make use of. All this excess must, therefore, be rejected by the
body, and, as nutritive matter, for the time be wasted.

Lastly, it is doubtful if bran alone contains enough of starch, or of
any substitute for it, to meet the other demands of the human system. I
have not spoken of the use of the starch of the grain in the preceding
observations, because, as both whole meal and fine flour contain a
sufficient quantity of it to supply the wants of the living animal, it
was unnecessary to the main object of this paper. But with bran the case
is different. It is doubtful if the purposes of the starch could be
fully, and with sufficient speed, fulfilled by the ingredients which, in
the bran, take the place of starch in the flour. The cellular fibre or
woody matter, of which it contains a considerable proportion, is too
slowly soluble in the stomachs of ordinary men. While, therefore, much
of it would pass through the body undigested, it would require to be
eaten in far larger proportions than its composition indicates, if the
body was to be supported, and thus a further waste would be incurred.

On the whole, therefore, we come back to the whole meal, as the most
economical as well as the most nutritive and wholesome form in which the
grain of wheat can be consumed. The Deity has done far better for us, by
the natural mixtures to be found in the whole seed, than we can do for
ourselves. The materials, both in form and in proportion, are adjusted
in each seed, as wheat, in a way more suitable to us than any which,
with our present knowledge, we appear able to devise.

A word to our Scottish readers, before we conclude. We do not recommend
to you even the whole meal of wheat as a substitute for your oatmeal or
your oaten-cake. The oat is more nutritive even than the whole grain of
wheat, taken weight for weight. For the growing boy, for the
hard-working man, and for the portly matron, oatmeal contains the
materials of the most hearty nourishment. This it owes in part to its
peculiar chemical composition, and in part to its being, as it is used
in Scotland, a kind of whole meal. The finely sifted oatmeal of
Yorkshire and Lancashire is not so agreeable to a Scottish taste, and, I
believe, is not so nutritious, as the rounder and coarser meal of the
more northern counties.

While, therefore, the whole meal of wheat is superior to the fine flour,
in economy, in nutritive power, and in wholesomeness, and therefore
should be preferred by those who _must_ live upon wheat,--in all these
respects the oat has still the advantage, and therefore ought
religiously to be adhered to. You owe it to the experience of your
forefathers, for a thousand years, not to forsake it.

                          _Lurham, 19th May, 1847._



INDEX TO VOL. LXI.


Abdul Medjid, the Sultan, 693.

Adalia, sketches of, 737.

Addington, Henry, see _Sidmouth_.

Addington, Hiley, 475.

Adelaide, Madame, 2, 7, 8, 12.

Adventures of the Connaught Rangers, review of, 457.

Aidan, Bishop, 84.

Albemarle, Lord, 201.

Albert, Madame, 186.

Ambrosio, General, 174.

America, origin of the struggle with, 207.

America, how they manage matters in, 492.

America, North, 653.

Ancient and Modern Ballad Poetry, 622.

Anglo-Saxons, Lappenberg's History of the, reviewed, 79.

Angouleme, the Duc d', 5, 6.

Appert, B. Dix ans à la Cour du Roi Louis Philippe, review of, 1.

Aquilius, Letter from, to Eusebius, 374
  --second, 501
  --third, 695.

Arabs in Batavia, the, 321.

Archangel, New, settlement of, 661.

Armenians of Smyrna, the, 238.

Arnal, a French actor, 185.

Arnault, M., 15.

Arthur, King, 81.

Assessed Taxes, inequalities of, 248.

Aumale, Duc d', 17.


Badajos, capture of, 468.

Ballad Poetry, ancient and modern, 622.

Balzac, M. de, 16, works of, 591.

Banditti of Spain, the, 356.

Batavia, city of, 320.

Baths of Mont Dor, the, 448
  --the company at, 451
  --the forest, 454.

Belgrade, siege and battle of, 36.

Belisarius,--was he blind? 606.

Benedict Biscop, 87.

Bernard, Charles de, notices of the works of, 589.

Berri, Duchesse de, 530.

Blackwall, ode to, 59.

Blucher, sketches of, 76.

Bolingbroke, Lord, 204.

Bonabat, village of, 241.

Bouffé, Marie, 189.

Boufflers, Marshal, 35, 36.

Boujah, village of, 241.

Bread, on the nutritive qualities of, by Professor Johnston, 768.

Browning, Elizabeth Barrett, sonnets by:
  --Life, 555
  --Love, _ib._
  --Heaven and Earth, 556
  --The Prospect, _ib._
  --Two Sketches, 683
  --The Mountaineer and the Poet, 684
  --the Poet, _ib._

Brunet, an actor, 187.

Bruhl, Count, 209.

Bunzelwitz, camp and battle of, 43.

Buonaparte, Joseph, as King of Naples, 168.

Burgos, the retreat from, 471.

Burke, notices of, 483, 484, 487.

Busaco, battle of, 460.


Canning, Peel's conduct towards, 97.

California, sketches of, 662.

Caravan Bridge of Smyrna, the, 239.

Carbonari of Naples, the, 173.

Cardinal's voyage, the, 430.

Carlyle's Cromwell, review of, 392.

Caroline, Queen of Naples, 164, 167.

Catherine of Russia, intimacy of, with Voltaire, 537.

Catholic question, Peel's conduct on the, 97.

Catullus, translations from, No. I., 374
  --No. II., 501
  --No. III., 695.

Cave of the Regicides, the, and how three of them fared in New
England, 333.

Championet, General, capture of Naples by, 163.

Chapelle, an actor, 185.

Charles X., accession of, 6.

Charles de Bernard, works of, 589.

Chateauroux, the Duchess of, 206, 530.

Chatham, Lord, 474, 475.

Cheri, Rose, 191.

Chesterfield, Lord, character of, by Walpole, 198.

Chinese in Batavia, the, 321.

Church rate, inequality of the, 250.

Ciudad Rodrigo, capture of, 467.

Claqueurs of Paris, the, 183.

Collier's book of Roxburghe ballads, review of, 622.

Connaught Rangers, sketches of the, 457.

Constantine Kanaris, epitaph of, 644.

Constantinople, and the declining state of the Ottoman empire, 685.

Corn law, Peel's conduct regarding the, 99.

Court of Louis Philippe, sketches of the, 1.

Cromwell, Carlyle's life of, reviewed, 392.

Cunnersdorf, battle of, 42.

Cunningham's poems and songs, review of, 622.


Dardanelles, the, 686.

Daun, Marshal, 40, 42.

Dejazet the actress, 189.

Delta, Scottish Melodies by:
  --Eric's Dirge, 91
  --The Stormy Sea, _ib._
  --The Maid of Ulva, 645
  --Lament for Macrimmon, _ib._

Direct Taxation, on, 243
  --true principles of, 258.

Divining Rod, the, 368.

Dixwell, John, the Regicide, 338.

Doche, Madame, 187.

Doddington, Bubb, 201, 202, 210.

Doré, a French robber, sketches of, 4.

Dubois, the Abbé, 530.

Duckworth, Sir John, forcing of the Dardanelles by, 686.

Dumas, General, 168.

Dumas, M. de, and his works, 16, 590, 591.

Durham, Lord, 15, 16.

Dutch, cruelties of the, in Java, 327.


Early Taken, the, 230.

Egmont, Lord, 197.

Ekaterineburg, town of, 671.

England, uniform triumphs of, over France, 48.

Epigrams, 361.

Epitaphs, 57, 61.

Epitaph of Constantine Kanaris, the, 644.

Eric's dirge, by Delta, 91.

Erith, village of, 423.

Erskine, Lord, 488.

Eugene, Marlborough, Frederick, Napoleon, and Wellington, 34.

Eusebius, letters to--Horæ Catullianæ, 374, 501, 695.


Famine, lessons from the, 515.

Ferdinand, king of Naples, 163, 164, 167.

Ferguson of Pitfour, anecdotes of, 488.

Fighting Eighty-eighth, the, 457.

Flour, on the various kinds of, and their nutritive qualities, 768.

Fontenoy, battle of, 535.

Ford's gatherings from Spain, review of, 350.

Fossa del Maritimo, prison of, 167.

Fox, anecdotes of, 488.

France, the modern court of, 1.

France, uniform triumphs of England over, 48.

France, Walpole's picture of, 206.

France, letter on, 547.

Frederick the Great, sketch of the career of, and comparison of him
with Marlborough and others, 37
  --his intimacy with Voltaire, 537.

Frederick, prince of Wales, death of, and his character, 200.

Free trade in connexion with taxation, 243.

French players and playhouses, 177.

Fuentes d' Onore, battle of, 462.


Galata, sketches of, 688.

General Mack: a Christmas carol, 92.

George II., Walpole's reign of, reviewed, 194.

George III., anecdotes of, 490.

Georges, characteristics of the reigns of the, 211.

Ghosts, letters on, 440, 541.

Gneisenau, General, 77.

Goffe the Regicide, 333.

Gold district of Siberia, the, 671.

Grand Opera at Paris, the, 180, 182.

Grattan's Adventures of the Connaught Rangers, review of, 457.

Greeks of Adalia, the, 750.

Grey, Lord, first appearance of, 479.

Guilleminot, Count, 6.

Gutch's Robin Hood, review of, 622.

Gymnase Dramatique at Paris, the, 190.


Hastings, Warren, trial of, 478, 487.

Heaven and Earth, a Sonnet, 556.

Heptarchy, the, 79.

Hervey's Theatres of Paris, review of, 177.

Highway Rates, inequalities of, 249.

Hohenfriedberg, battle of, 39.

Hohenkirchen, battle of, 42.

Horæ Catullianæ, No. I., 374
  --No. II., 501
  --No. III., 695.

Horn, Count de, execution of, 534.

How they manage matters in the model republic, 492.

How to build a house and live in it,--No. III., 727.

Hughes' Overland Journey to Lisbon, review of, 350.

Hymn of King Olaf the Saint, the, altered from the Icelandic, 682.


Imeeo, residence on island of, 763.

Income Tax, inequalities of the, 253.

Indian Life, anecdotes of, 658, 659, 660.

Indirect Taxes, probable abandonment of, in Great Britain, 244, 245.

Ireland, state of, under George II., 205
  --necessity of Poor Law for, 247
  --unjust exemption from taxation enjoyed by, 256.

Isle of Dogs, the, 50
  --tradition regarding, 52.

Italian History, modern, 162.


Java, sketches of, 318.

Joinville, Prince de, 17.

Johnston, Professor, on the nutritive qualities of the Bread now
in use, 768.

Jones, Neville, 205.

Jutland 130 years since, from the Danish
  --I., the Deer Rider, 286
  --II., Ansbjerg, 289
  --III., the Nisse, 292
  --IV., the Elopement, 297
  --V., the Horse Garden, 303.


Kawashes of Turkey, the, 235.

Khan of Magnesia, the, 309.

Khans of Turkey, the, 236.

Kiachta, town of, 670.

Kolin, battle of, 41.

Krasnoyayk, town of, 671.


Lafayette, sketches of, 5.

Lament for Macrimmon, by Delta, 645.

Land, injustice of the freedom of, from legacy duty, 246.

Land Tax, injustice of the, 248.

Landsheck, battle of, 42.

Lappenberg's Anglo-Saxons, review of, 79.

Latest from the Peninsula, 350.

Law of Lauriston, 533, 534.

Lays and Legends of the Thames, No. II., 49
  --the Isle of Dogs, 50
  --the Song of the Mail Coachman, 51
  --the Presentation, 55
  --Epitaphs, 57, 61
  --Ode to Blackwall, 59
  --the Poet's Auction, 62
  --No. III., 423
  --the Vision, 424
  --the Arsenal, 426
  --True Love, 428
  --the Cardinals' voyage, 430.

Legacy duty, inequality of the, 246.

Lemaitre, the Marquis, 166.

Lemaitre, Frederick, 188.

Lena, the river, 669.

Lessons from the Famine, 515.

Letters on the Truths contained in Popular Superstitions,
  --No. I., the Divining Rod, 368
  --II., Vampyrism, 432
  --III., Spirits, Goblins, Ghosts, 440
  --IV., Real Ghosts and Second Sight, 541
  --V., Trance and Sleep-waking, 547
  --VI., Religious Delusions, the Possessed, Witchcraft, 673.

Lettres de Cachet, profligate use of, in France, 538.

Levasseur the actor, 192.

Leuthen, battle of, 41.

Life, a sonnet, 555.

Lord Sidmouth's Life and Times, 473.

Louis XV., sketches of, by Walpole, 206.

Louis XV., De Tocqueville's Memoirs of, reviewed, 525.

Louis Philippe, sketches of the court of, 1
  --his elevation, 8
  --and personal habits, 9.

Love, a sonnet, 555.

Lowositz, battle of, 40.


Macdonald, General, administration of Naples by, 164.

Mack, General, a Christmas carol, 92.

Mack, General, at Naples, 163.

Magnesia, a ride to, stage first, 231
  --II. 305.

Mahmood, the Sultan, 694.

Maid of Ulva, the, by Delta, 645.

Maida, battle of, 168.

Mail Coachman, song of the, 51.

Maison Dorée at Paris, the, 177.

Mammone, a Neapolitan bandit, 164.

Mammoth deposits of Siberia, the, 670.

Maria Theresa, accession of, and war against, 38.

Marie Amelie, Queen of Louis Philippe, 7, 8, 11.

Marlborough, comparison of, with Eugene, &c., 34.

Marriage Bill, the Scotch, 646.

Marsin, Marshal, 35.

Massillon, 532.

Mazarine, Cardinal, French Opera originated by, 180.

Melville's Omoo, review of, 754.

Mérimée, Prosper, notices of the works of, 695.

Merkatz, Lieutenant, 67, 68.

Mexican War, the, 667.

Mildred, a tale, Chap. IV., 18
  --Chap. V., 23
  --Chap. VI., 28
  --Chap. VII., 213
  --Chap. VIII., 217
  --Chap. IX., 222.

Minden, battle of, 42.

Minerals of Lake Superior, the, 658.

Mississippi Scheme, the, 533.

Modern Italian History, 162.

Mollwitz, battle of, 38.

Mont Dor, baths of, 448.

Montebello, Duchess of, 5.

Monterey, town of, 664.

Montreal, town of, 655.

Motherwell's Poems, review of, 622.

Mountaineer and Poet, the, a sonnet, 684.

Muleteers of Spain, the, 352, 354.

Murat, sketches of, 166, 167
  --as King of Naples, 170
  --death of, 175, 176.

Murray, a Jacobite, sketches of, 196.

Music, Turkish, 749.

Mytilene, Island of, 736.


Naples, sketch of the recent history of, 162.

Napoleon, comparison of Frederick the Great with, 34, 45.

Nashua, town of, 654.

Nemours, the Duc de, 17.

New Archangel, settlement of, 661.

New Sentimental Journey, a
  --the Baths of Mont Dor, 448
  --the Company, 451
  --the Forest, 454.

Newcastle, the Duke of, character of, by Walpole, 202.

New England, Residence of three of the Regicides in, 333.

Newhaven, grave of the Regicides at, 334.

North America, Siberia, and Russia, 653.

Nugent, Lord, Walpole's character of, 197.


Oatmeal, superiority of, to wheat, 772.

Ochotsk, town of, 668.

Oglou, Pasha, 235.

Olaf the Saint, the Hymn of, altered from the Icelandic, 682.

Omoo, review of, 754.

Orleans, Dowager Duchess of, Anecdote of, 11.

Orleans, the Regent, 530.

Opera Comique at Paris, the, 180.

Oswald, Prince, 84.

Ottoman Empire, present state of the, 685.

Overland Journey round the Globe, Simpson's, review of, 653.


Pacific Rovings, 754.

Pano di Grajo, a Neapolitan leader, 165, 169.

Palais Royal, the, 191.

Paris, Sketches of Society in, 13.

Passaruang, town of, 332.

Pauperism and its treatment, 261.

Peel, Sir Robert, reflections on the career of, 93.

Pelham, Lord, 204, 206.

Pellew's Life of Sidmouth, review of, 473.

Peninsula, latest from the, 350.

Pépé, General, review of the memoirs of, 162.

Pépé, Florestano, 172.

Personal character, importance of, to a statesman, 93.

Peterwardin, battle of, 36.

Picton and the Connaught Rangers, 457.

Pitt, first appearance of, 476
  --notices of, 483, 484.

Poacher, the, or Jutland 130 years since, from the Danish.
  --I. The Deer Rider, 286.
  --II. Ansbjerg, 289.
  --III. The Nisse, 292.
  --IV. The Elopement, 297.
  --V. The Horse Garden, 303.

Poet, the, a Sonnet, 684.

Poet's Auction, the, 62.

Poetry
  --Eric's Dirge, by Delta, 91
  --the Stormy Sea, by the same, _ib._
  --General Mack, 92
  --the Early Taken, 230
  --To the Stethoscope, 361
  --Epigrams, 367
  --Four Sonnets, namely, Life, Love, Heaven and Earth, the Prospect,
    by E. B. Browning, 555
  --Epitaph of Constantine Kanaris, 644
  --The Maid of Ulva, by Delta, 645
  --The Lament of Macrimmon, by the same, _ib._
  --The Hymn of King Olaf the Saint, 682
  --Four Sonnets, by Elizabeth B. Browning, 683.

Police Rates, inequalities of, 250.

Polynesia, sketches of, 754.

Pomaree, Queen, 761, 766.

Pompadour, Madame de, 206.

Poor, treatment of the, 262.

Poors'-rate, inequality of the, 247.

Popular Superstitions, Letters on the truths contained in, No. I. The
Divining Rod, 368
  --II. Vampyrism, 432
  --III. Spirits, Goblins, Ghosts, 440
  --IV. Real Ghosts and Second-sight, 541
  --V. Trance and Sleep-waking, 547
  --VI. Religious Delusions: the Possessed: Witchcraft, 673.

Portuguese troops, character of the, 464.

Possession, Demoniacal, letter on, 673.

Premier, reflections: suggested by the career of the late, 93.

Prospect, the, a Sonnet, 556.

Prosper Mérimée, notices of the works of, 695.

Prussian Military Memoirs, 65.


Rahden, Baron von, wanderings of an old soldier, reviewed, 65.

Railways in Spain, 352.

Raval the Actor, 193.

Red River Settlement, the, 659.

Reflections suggested by the career of the late Premier, 93.

Regicides, cave of the, and how three of them fared in New England, 333.

Regnier, defeat of, at Maida, 168.

Reichenbach, Count, 68.

Reign of George II., the, 194.

Religious Delusions, letter on, 673.

Ride to Magnesia, a
  --stage I. 231
  --II. 305.

Robinson, Sir Thomas, 209.

Rosama, a tale of Madrid, 557.

Rosbach, battle of, 41.

Royal Arsenal, the, 426.

Ruffo, Cardinal, 164.

Russia, sketches of, 668.


Salamanca, battle of, 470.

Samson, the executioner of Paris, 15.

Sanchez, Julian, a Spanish Guerilla leader, 463.

San Francisco, harbour of, 662.

Santa Barbara, town of, 665.

Saxe, Marshal, 535.

Saxony, conquest of, by Frederick the Great, 40.

Scio, Island of, 748.

Scotch Marriage Bill, the, 646.

Scotland, new poor law for, 247.

Scottish Melodies, by Delta, Eric's Dirge, 91
  --The Stormy Sea, _ib._
  --The Maid of Ulva, 645
  --Lament for Macrimmon, _ib._

Secker, Archbishop, character of, 198.

Second-sight, letter on, 541.

Selberg's Java, review of, 318.

Sentimental Journey, a, see _New_.

Sheldon's Border Minstrelsy, review of, 622.

Sheridan, speech of, on the Begum question, 478
  --notices of, 488.

Siberia, sketches of, 668.

Sidmouth, Lord, life and times of, 473.

Simpson's Overland Journey Round the World, review of, 653.

Sitka, Settlement of, 661.

Sleep-waking, letter on, 547.

Smith, John William, memoir of, by Samuel Warren, 129.

Smyrna, city of, 231, 233, 735.

Soor, battle of, 39.

Spain, sketches of modern, 350.

Spirits, Goblins, Ghosts, letter on, 440.

Stamboul, sketches of, 689.

Stamp Duties, inequalities of, 250.

Stethoscope, to the, 361.

Stewart, Sir John, 169.

Storming of the Redoubt, the, 724.

Stormy Sea, the, by Delta, 91.

Sue, Engene, 591.

Superior, Lake, the minerals of, 658.

Surabaya, town of, 324.


Tahiti, sketches of, 758.

Taxation, direct, 243,
  true principles of, 258.

Thames, Lays and Legends of the, _see_ Lays.

Theatres of Paris, the, 177.

Theatre des Variétés, the, 187.

Thill, Colonel, 77.

Thorpe's translation of Lappenberg's Anglo-Saxons, review of, 79, 80.

Tiger Hunting in Java, 326.

Tocqueville's History of the reign of Louis XV., review of, 525.

Torgau, battle of, 43.

Treatment of Pauperism, on the, 261.

True Love, 428.

Turin, battle of, 35.

Turkey, present state of, 685.

Turkish Manners, sketches of, 231.

Turkish Watering Place, a, 735.

Turning Dervishes, the, 689.

Two Sketches, by E. B. Browning, 683.


United States, war of the, with Mexico, 667.

Ural mountains, mines of the, 671.


Vallego, General, 663.

Valona, town of, 231.

Vampyrism, letter on, 432.

Vaudeville at Paris, the, 184, 185.

Vestris, the Dancer, 181.

Vidocq, the Thief-taker, 15.

Villeroi, Marshal, 35.

Visible and Tangible, the, a metaphysical fragment, 580.

Vision, the, 424.

Voltaire, sketches of, 536, 537.


Walpole's reign of George II., review of, 194.

Walpole, Sir Robert, notices of, 197, 203, 204.

Warren, Samuel, memoir of the late John William Smith by, 129.

Watermen of London, the, 262.

Wellington, comparison of Marlborough with, 34
  --Sketches of, by Von Rahden, 75, 76.

Whalley the Regicide, 333.

Wheat, on the nutritive qualities of, and the various kinds of
flour from it, 768.

Wilberforce, anecdotes of, 480.

Wilfrith, Bishop, 88.

Witchcraft, letter on, 673.


Yakutsh, province of, 669.

Yonge, Sir William, 191.


Zenta, battle of, 35.

Zorndorf, battle of, 42.

Zulares, valley of, 666.


END OF VOL. LXI.


_Printed by William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh._





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