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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 58, No. 362, December 1845
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 58, No. 362, December 1845" ***

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

generously made available by The Internet Library of Early

TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE:  A few obvious misprints have been corrected, but
in general the originally erratic spelling, punctuation and typesetting
conventions have been retained. Accents in foreign-language poetry and
phrases, particularly the Greek, are inconsistent in the original, and
have not been standardised.




  MARLBOROUGH No. II.,                       649

  THE STUDENT OF SALAMANCA Part II.,         673


  THE MOUNTAIN AND THE CLOUD,                704

  THE SECOND PANDORA,                        711

  THE REIGN OF GEORGE THE THIRD,             713



  SUMMER NOONTIDE,                          _ib._

  TO CLARA,                                  753

  SECLUSION,                                _ib._

  THE LAST HOURS OF A REIGN. Part I.,        754

  THE SCOTTISH HARVEST,                      769




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




It might have been expected, that after the march into Bavaria had
demonstrated the military genius of the Duke of Marlborough, and the
battle of Blenheim had in so decisive a manner broken the enemy's
power, the principal direction of military affairs would have been
entrusted to that consummate commander; and that the Allied cabinets,
without presuming to interfere in the management of the campaigns,
would have turned all their efforts to place at his disposal forces
adequate to carry into execution the mighty designs which he
meditated, and had shown himself so well qualified to carry into
execution. It was quite the reverse. The Allied cabinets did nothing.
They did worse than nothing--they interfered only to do mischief.
Their principal object after this appeared to be to cramp the efforts
of this great general, to overrule his bold designs, to tie down his
aspiring genius. Each looked only to his own separate objects, and
nothing could make them see that they were to be gained only by
promoting the general objects of the alliance. Relieved from the
danger of instant subjugation by the victory of Blenheim, and the
retreat of the French army across the Rhine, the German powers
relapsed into their usual state of supineness, lukewarmness, and
indifference. No efforts of Marlborough could induce the Dutch either
to enlarge their contingent, or even render that already in the field
fit for active service. The English force was not half of what the
national strength was capable of sending forth. Parliament would not
hear of any thing like an adequate expenditure. Thus the golden
opportunity, never likely to be regained, of profiting by the
consternation of the enemy after the battle of Blenheim, and their
weakness after forty thousand of their best troops had been lost to
their armies, was allowed to pass away; and the war was permitted to
dwindle into one of posts and sieges, when, by a vigorous effort, it
might have been concluded in the next campaign.[2]

It was not thus with the French. The same cause which had loosened
the efforts of the confederates, had inspired unwonted vigour into
their councils. The Rhine was crossed by the Allies; the French armies
had been hurled with disgrace out of Germany; the territory of the
Grand Monarque was threatened both from the side of Alsace and
Flanders; and a formidable insurrection in the Cevennes both
distracted the force and threatened the peace of the kingdom. But
against all these evils Louis made head. Never had the superior vigour
and perseverance of a monarchy over that of a confederacy been more
clearly evinced. Marshal Villars had been employed in the close of the
preceding year to appease the insurrection in the Cevennes, and his
measures were at once so vigorous and conciliatory, that before the
end of the following winter the disturbances were entirely appeased.
In consequence of this, the forces employed in that quarter became
disposable; and by this means, and the immense efforts made by the
government over the whole kingdom, the armies on the frontier were so
considerably augmented, that Villeroi and the Elector of Bavaria took
the field in the Low Countries at the head of seventy-five thousand
men, while Marshal Marsin on the Upper Rhine, covered Alsace with
thirty thousand. Those armies were much larger than any which the
Allies could bring against them; for although it had been calculated
that Marlborough was to be at the head of ninety thousand men on the
Moselle on the 1st May, yet such had been the dilatory conduct of the
States-general and the German princes, that in the beginning of June
there were scarcely thirty thousand men collected round his standards;
and in Flanders and on the Upper Rhine the enemy's relative
superiority was still greater.

The plan of the campaign of 1705, based on the supposition that these
great forces were to be at his disposal, concerted between him and
Prince Eugene, was in the highest degree bold and decisive. It was
fixed that, early in spring, ninety thousand men should be assembled
in the country between the Moselle and the Saar, and, after
establishing their magazines and base of operations at Treves and
Traerbach, they should penetrate, in two columns into Lorraine; that
the column under Marlborough in person should advance along the course
of Moselle, and the other, under the Margrave of Baden, by the valley
of the Saar, and that Saar-Louis should be invested before the French
army had time to take the field. In this way the whole fortresses of
Flanders would be avoided, and the war, carried into the enemy's
territory, would assail France on the side where her iron barrier was
most easily pierced through. But the slowness of the Dutch, and
backwardness of the Germans, rendered this well-conceived plan
abortive, and doomed the English general, for the whole of a campaign
which promised such important advantages, to little else but
difficulty, delay, and vexation. Marlborough's enthusiasm, great as it
was, nearly sank under the repeated disappointments which he
experienced at this juncture; and, guarded as he was, it exhaled in
several bitter complaints in his confidential correspondence.[3] But,
like a true patriot and man of perseverance, he did not give way to
despair when he found nearly all that had been promised him awanting;
but perceiving the greater designs impracticable, from the want of all
the means by which they could be carried into execution, prepared to
make the most of the diminutive force which alone was at his disposal.

At length, some of the German reinforcements having arrived,
Marlborough, in the beginning of June, though still greatly inferior
to the enemy, commenced operations. Such was the terror inspired by
his name, and the tried valour of the English troops, that Villars
remained on the defensive, and soon retreated. Without firing a shot,
he evacuated a strong woody country which he occupied, and retired to
a strong defensive position, extending from Haute Sirk on the right,
to the Nivelles on the left, and communicating in the rear with
Luxembourg, Thionville, and Saar-Louis. This position was so strong,
that it was hopeless to attempt to force it without heavy cannon; and
Marlborough's had not yet arrived, from the failure of the German
princes to furnish the draught-horses they had promised. For nine
weary days he remained in front of the French position, counting the
hours till the guns and reinforcements came up; but such was the
tardiness of the German powers, and the universal inefficiency of the
inferior princes and potentates, that they never made their
appearance. The English general was still anxiously awaiting the
promised supplies, when intelligence arrived from the right of so
alarming a character as at once changed the theatre of operations, and
fixed him for the remainder of the campaign in the plains of Flanders.

It was the rapid progress which Marshal Villeroi and the Elector of
Bavaria, at the head of seventy-five thousand men, were making in the
heart of Flanders, which rendered this change necessary. General
Overkirk was there entrusted with the army intended to cover Holland;
but it was greatly inferior to the enemy in point of numerical amount,
and still more so in the quality and composition of the troops of
which it was composed. Aware of his superiority, and of the timid
character of the government which was principally interested in that
army, Villeroi pushed his advantages to the utmost. He advanced boldly
upon the Meuse, carried by assault the fortress of Huys, and, marching
upon Liege, occupied the town without much resistance, and laid siege
to the citadel. Overkirk, in his lines before Maestricht, was unable
even to keep the field. The utmost alarm seized upon the United
Provinces. They already in imagination saw Louis XIV. a second time at
the gates of Amsterdam. Courier after courier was dispatched to
Marlborough, soliciting relief in the most urgent terms; and it was
hinted, that if effectual protection were not immediately given,
Holland would be under the necessity of negotiating for a separate
peace. There was not a moment to be lost: the Dutch were now as hard
pressed as the Austrians had been in the preceding year, and in
greater alarm than the Emperor was before the battle of Blenheim. A
cross march like that into Bavaria could alone reinstate affairs.
Without a moment's hesitation, Marlborough took his determination.

On the 17th June, without communicating his designs to any one, or
even without saying a word of the alarming intelligence he had
received, he ordered the whole army to be under arms at midnight, and
setting out shortly after, he marched, without intermission, eighteen
miles to the rear. Having thus gained a march upon the enemy, so as to
avoid the risk of being pursued or harassed in his retreat, he left
General D'Aubach with eleven battalions and twelve squadrons to cover
the important magazines at Treves and Saarbruck; and himself, with the
remainder of the army, about thirty thousand strong, marched rapidly
in the direction of Maestricht. He was in hopes of being able, like
the Consul Nero, in the memorable cross march from Apulia to the
Metaurus in Roman story, to attack the enemy with his own army united
to that of Overkirk, before he was aware of his approach; but in this
he was disappointed. Villeroi got notice of his movement, and
instantly raising the siege of the citadel of Liege, withdrew, though
still superior in number to the united forces of the enemy, within the
shelter of the lines he had prepared and fortified with great care on
the Meuse. Marlborough instantly attacked and carried Huys on the 11th
July. But the satisfaction derived from having thus arrested the
progress of the enemy in Flanders, and wrested from him the only
conquest of the campaign, soon received a bitter alloy. Like Napoleon
in his later years, the successes he gained in person were almost
always overbalanced by the disasters sustained through the blunders or
treachery of his lieutenants. Hardly had Huys opened its gates, when
advices were received that D'Aubach, instead of obeying his orders,
and defending the magazines at Treves and Saarbruck to the last
extremity, had fled on the first appearance of a weak French
detachment, and burned the whole stores which it had cost so much time
and money to collect. This was a severe blow to Marlborough, for it at
once rendered impracticable the offensive movement into Lorraine, on
which his heart was so set, and from which he had anticipated such
important results. It was no longer possible to carry the war into the
enemy's territory, or turn, by an irruption into Lorraine, the whole
fortresses of the enemy in Flanders. The tardiness of the German
powers in the first instance, the terrors of the Dutch, and misconduct
of D'Aubach in the last, had caused that ably conceived design
entirely to miscarry. Great was the mortification of the English
general at this signal disappointment of his most warmly cherished
hopes; it even went so far that he had thoughts of resigning his
command.[4] But instead of abandoning himself to despair, he set
about, like the King of Prussia in after times, the preparation of a
stroke which should reinstate his affairs by the terror with which it
inspired the enemy, and the demonstration of inexhaustible resources
it afforded in himself.

The position occupied by the Elector of Bavaria and Marshal Villeroi
was so strong that it was regarded as impregnable, and in truth it was
so to a front attack. With its right resting on Marche aux Dames on
the Meuse, it stretched through Leau to the strong and important
fortress of Antwerp. This line was long, and of course liable to be
broken through at points; but such was the skill with which every
vulnerable point had been strengthened and fortified by the French
engineers, that it was no easy matter to say where an impression could
be made. Wherever a marsh or a stream intervened, the most skilful use
had been made of it; while forts and redoubts, plentifully mounted
with heavy cannon, both commanded all the approaches to the lines, and
formed so many _points d'appui_ to its defenders in case of disaster.
Such a position, defended by seventy thousand men, directed by able
generals, might well be deemed impregnable. But Marlborough, with an
inferior force, resolved to attempt it. In doing so, however, he had
difficulties more formidable to overcome than even the resistance of
the enemy in front; the timidity of the authorities at the Hague, the
nervousness and responsibility of the Dutch generals, were more to be
dreaded than Villeroi's redoubts. It required all the consummate
address of the English general, aided by the able co-operation of
General Overkirk, to get liberty from the Dutch authorities to engage
in any offensive undertaking. At length, however, after infinite
difficulty, a council of war, at headquarters, agreed to support any
undertaking which might be deemed advisable; and Marlborough instantly
set about putting his design in execution.

The better to conceal the real point of attack, he gave out that a
march to the Moselle was to be immediately undertaken; and to give a
colour to the report, the corps which had been employed in the siege
of Huys was not brought forward to the front. At the same time
Overkirk was detached to the Allied left towards Bourdine, and
Marlborough followed with a considerable force, ostensibly to support
him. So completely was Villeroi imposed upon, that he drew large
reinforcements from the centre to his extreme right; and soon forty
thousand men were grouped round the sources of the Little Gheet on his
extreme right. By this means the centre was seriously weakened; and
Marlborough instantly assembled, with every imaginable precaution to
avoid discovery, all his disposable forces to attack the weakened part
of the lines. The corps hitherto stationed on the Meuse was silently
brought up to the front; Marlborough put himself at the head of his
own English and German troops, whom he had carried with him from the
Moselle; and at eight at night, on the 17th July, the whole began to
march, all profoundly ignorant of the service on which they were to be
engaged. Each trooper was ordered to carry a truss of hay at his
saddle-bow, as if a long march was in contemplation. At the same
instant on which the columns under Marlborough's orders commenced
their march, Overkirk repassed the Mehaigne on the left, and, hid by
darkness, fell into the general line of the advance of the Allied

No fascines or gabions had been brought along to pass the ditch, for
fear of exciting alarm in the lines. The trusses of hay alone were
trusted to for that purpose, which would be equally effectual, and
less likely to awaken suspicion. At four in the morning, the heads of
the columns, wholly unperceived, were in front of the French works,
and, covered by a thick fog, traversed the morass, passed the Gheet
despite its steep banks, carried the castle of Wange, and, rushing
forward with a swift pace, crossed the ditch on the trusses of hay,
and, in three weighty columns, scaled the rampart, and broke into the
enemy's works. Hitherto entire success had attended this admirably
planned attack; but the alarm was now given; a fresh corps of fifteen
thousand men, under M. D'Allegré, hastily assembled, and a heavy fire
was opened upon the Allies, now distinctly visible in the morning
light, from a commanding battery. Upon this, Marlborough put himself
at the head of Lumley's English horse, and, charging vigorously,
succeeded, though not till he had sustained one repulse, in breaking
through the line thus hastily formed. In this charge the Duke narrowly
escaped with his life, in a personal conflict with a Bavarian officer.
The Allies now crowded in, in great numbers, and the French,
panic-struck, fled on all sides, abandoning the whole centre of their
intrenchments to the bold assailants. Villeroi, who had become aware,
from the retreat of Overkirk in his front, that some attack was in
contemplation, but ignorant where the tempest was to fall, remained
all night under arms. At length, attracted by the heavy fire, he
approached the scene of action in the centre, only in time to see that
the position was broken through, and the lines no longer tenable. He
drew off his whole troops accordingly, and took up a new position,
nearly at right angles to the former, stretching from Elixheim towards
Tirlemont. It was part of the design of the Duke to have intercepted
the line of retreat of the French, and prevented them from reaching
the Dyle, to which they were tending; but such was the obstinacy and
slowness of the Dutch generals, that nothing could persuade them to
make any further exertion, and, in defiance of the orders and
remonstrances alike of Marlborough and Overkirk, they pitched their
tents, and refused to take any part in the pursuit. The consequence
was, that Villeroi collected his scattered forces, crossed the Dyle in
haste, and took up new ground, about eighteen miles in the rear, with
his left sheltered by the cannon of Louvain. But, though the
disobedience and obstinacy of the Dutch thus intercepted Marlborough
in the career of victory, and rendered his success much less complete
than it otherwise would have been, yet had a mighty blow been struck,
reflecting the highest credit on the skill and resolution of the
English general. The famous lines, on which the French had been
labouring for months, had been broken through and carried, during a
nocturnal conflict of a few hours; they had lost all their redoubts
and ten pieces of cannon, with which they were armed; M. D'Allegré,
with twelve hundred prisoners, had been taken; and the army which
lately besieged Liege and threatened Maestricht, was now driven back,
defeated and discouraged, to seek refuge under the cannon of Louvain.

Overkirk, who had so ably co-operated with Marlborough in this
glorious victory, had the magnanimity as well as candour, in his
despatch to the States-general, to ascribe the success which had been
gained entirely to the skill and courage of the English general.[5]
But the Dutch generals, who had interrupted his career of success, had
the malignity to charge the consequences of their misconduct on his
head, and even carried their effrontery so far as to accuse him of
supineness in not following up his success, and cutting off the
enemy's retreat to the Dyle, when it was themselves who had refused to
obey his orders to do so. Rains of extraordinary severity fell from
the 19th to the 23d July, which rendered all offensive operations
impracticable, and gave Villeroi time, of which he ably availed
himself, to strengthen his position behind the Dyle to such a degree,
as to render it no longer assailable with any prospect of success. The
precious moment, when the enemy might have been driven from it in the
first tumult of success, had been lost.

The subsequent success in the Flemish campaign by no means
corresponded to its brilliant commencement. The jealousy of the Dutch
ruined every thing. This gave rise to recriminations and jealousies,
which rendered it impracticable even for the great abilities and
consummate address of Marlborough to effect any thing of importance
with the heterogeneous array, with the nominal command of which he was
invested. The English general dispatched his adjutant-general, Baron
Hompesch, to represent to the States-general the impossibility of
going on longer with such a divided responsibility; but, though they
listened to his representations, nothing could induce them to put
their troops under the direct orders of the commander-in-chief. They
still had "field deputies," as they were called who were invested with
the entire direction of the Dutch troops; and as they were civilians,
wholly unacquainted with military affairs, they had recourse on every
occasion to the very fractious generals who already had done so much
mischief to the common cause. In vain Marlborough repeatedly
endeavoured, as he himself said, "to cheat them into victory," by
getting their consent to measures, of which they did not see the
bearing, calculated to achieve that object; their timid, jealous
spirit interposed on every occasion to mar important operations, and
the corps they commanded was too considerable to admit of their being
undertaken without their co-operation. After nine days' watching the
enemy across the Dyle, Marlborough proposed to cross the river near
Louvain, and attack the enemy; the Dutch Deputies interposed their
negative, to Marlborough's infinite mortification, as, in his own
words, "it spoiled the whole campaign."[6]

Worn out with these long delays, Marlborough at length resolved at all
hazards to pass the river, trusting that the Dutch, when they saw the
conflict once seriously engaged, would not desert him. But in this he
was mistaken. The Dutch not only failed to execute the part assigned
them in the combined enterprise, but sent information of his designs
to the enemy. The consequence was, Villeroi was on his guard. All the
Duke's demonstrations could not draw his attention from his left,
where the real attack was intended; but nevertheless the Duke pushed
on the English and Germans under his orders, who forced the passage in
the most gallant style. But when the Duke ordered the Dutch generals
to support the attack of the Duke of Wirtemberg, who had crossed the
river, and established himself in force on the opposite bank, they
refused to move their men. The consequence was that this attack, as
well planned and likely to succeed as the famous forcing of the lines
a fortnight before, proved abortive; and Marlborough, burning with
indignation, was obliged to recall his troops when on the high-road to
victory, and when the river had been crossed, before they had
sustained a loss of a hundred men. So general was the indignation at
this shameful return on the part of the Dutch generals to Marlborough
for all the services he had rendered to their country, that it drew
forth the strongest expressions from one of his ablest, but most
determined opponents, Lord Bolingbroke, who wrote to him at this
juncture:--"It was very melancholy to find the malice of Slangenberg,
the fears of Dopf, and the ignorance of the deputies, to mention no
more, prevail so to disappoint your Grace, to their prejudice as well
as ours. We hope the Dutch have agreed to what your Grace desires of
them, without which the war becomes a jest to our enemies, _and can
end in nothing but an ill peace, which is certain ruin to us_."[7]

Still the English general was not discouraged. His public spirit and
patriotism prevailed over his just private resentment. Finding it
impossible to prevail on the Dutch deputies, who, in every sense, were
so many viceroys over him, to agree to any attempt to force the
passage of the Dyle, he resolved to turn it. For this purpose the army
was put in motion on the 14th August; and, defiling to his left, he
directed it in three columns towards the sources of the Dyle. The
march was rapid, as the Duke had information that strong
reinforcements, detached from the army at Alsace, would join Villeroi
on the 18th. They soon came to ground subsequently immortalized in
English story. On the 16th they reached Genappe, where, on 17th June
1815, the Life-guards under Lord Anglesea defeated the French lancers;
on the day following, the enemy retired into the forest of Soignies,
still covering Brussels, and the Allied headquarters were moved to
Braine la Leude. On the 17th August, a skirmish took place on the
plain in front of WATERLOO; and the alarm being given, the Duke
hastened to the spot, and rode over the field where Wellington and
Napoleon contended a hundred and ten years afterwards. The French
upon this retired into the forest of Soignies, and rested at Waterloo
for the night.

The slightest glance at the map must be sufficient to show, that by
this cross march to Genappe and Waterloo, Marlborough had gained an
immense advantage over the enemy. _He had interposed between them and
France._ He had relinquished for the time, it is true, his own base of
operations, and was out of communication with his magazines; but he
had provided for this by taking six days' provisions for the army with
him; and he could now force the French to fight or abandon Brussels,
and retire towards Antwerp--the Allies being between them and France.
Still clinging to their fortified lines on the Dyle, and desirous of
covering Brussels, they had only occupied the wood of Soignies with
their right wing; while the Allies occupied all the open country from
Genappe to Frischermont and Braine la Leude, with their advanced posts
up to La Haye Sainte and Mount St John. The Allies now occupied the
ground, afterwards covered by Napoleon's army: the forest of Soignies
and approaches to Brussels were guarded by the French. Incalculable
were the results of a victory gained in such a position: it was by
success gained over an army of half the size, that Napoleon
established his power in so surprising a manner at Marengo. Impressed
with such ideas, Marlborough, on the 18th August, anxiously
reconnoitred the ground; and finding the front practicable for the
passage of troops, moved up his men in three columns to the attack.
The artillery was sent to Wavre; the Allied columns traversed at right
angles the line of march by which Blucher advanced to the support of
Wellington on the 18th June 1815.

Had Marlborough's orders been executed, it is probable he would have
gained a victory, which, from the relative position of the two armies,
could not have been but decisive; and possibly the 18th August 1705,
might have become as celebrated in history as the 18th June 1815.
Overkirk, to whom he showed the ground at Over-Ische which he had
destined for an attack, perfectly concurred in the expedience of it,
and orders were given to bring the artillery forward to commence a
cannonade. By the malice or negligence of Slangenberg, who had again
violated his express instructions, and permitted the baggage to
intermingle with the artillery-train, the guns had not arrived, and
some hours were lost before they could be pushed up. At length, at
noon, the guns were brought forward, and the troops being in line,
Marlborough rode along the front to give his last orders. The English
and Germans were in the highest spirits, anticipating certain victory
from the relative position of the armies; the French fighting with
their faces to Paris, the Allies with theirs to Brussels. But again
the Dutch deputies and generals interposed, alleging that the enemy
was too strongly posted to be attacked with any prospect of success.
"Gentlemen," said Marlborough to the circle of generals which
surrounded him, "I have reconnoitred the ground, and made dispositions
for an attack. I am convinced that conscientiously, and as men of
honour, we cannot now retire without an action. Should we neglect this
opportunity, we must be responsible before God and man. You see the
confusion which pervades the ranks of the enemy, and their
embarrassment at our manoeuvres. I leave you to judge whether we
should attack to-day, or wait till to-morrow. It is indeed late; but
you must consider, that by throwing up intrenchments during the night,
the enemy will render their position far more difficult to force."
"Murder and massacre," replied Slangenberg. Marlborough, upon this,
offered him two English for every Dutch battalion; but this too the
Dutchman refused, on the plea that he did not understand English. Upon
this the Duke offered to give him German regiments; but this too was
declined, upon the pretence that the attack would be too hazardous.
Marlborough, upon this, turned to the deputies and said--"I disdain to
send troops to dangers which I will not myself encounter. I will lead
them where the peril is most imminent. I adjure you, gentlemen! for
the love of God and your country, do not let us neglect so favourable
an opportunity." But it was all in vain; and instead of acting, the
Dutch deputies and generals spent three hours in debating, until night
came on and it was too late to attempt any thing. Such was
Marlborough's chagrin at this disappointment, that he said, on
retiring from the field, "I am at this moment _ten years_ older than I
was four days ago."

Next day, as Marlborough had foreseen, the enemy had strengthened
their position with field-works; so that it was utterly hopeless to
get the Dutch to agree to an attack which _then_ would indeed have
been hazardous, though it was not so the evening before. The case was
now irremediable. The six days' bread he had taken with him was on the
point of being exhausted, and a protracted campaign without
communication with his magazines was impracticable. With a heavy
heart, therefore, Marlborough remeasured his steps to the ground he
had left in front of the Dyle, and gave orders for destroying the
lines of Leau, which he had carried with so much ability. His vexation
was increased afterwards, by finding that the consternation of the
French had been such on the 18th August, when he was so urgent to
attack them, that they intended only to have made a show of
resistance, in order to gain time for their baggage and heavy guns to
retire to Brussels. To all appearance Marlborough, if he had not been
so shamefully thwarted, would have illustrated the forest of Soignies
by a victory as decisive as that of Blenheim, and realized the
triumphant entrance to Brussels which Napoleon anticipated from his
attack on Wellington on the same ground a hundred years afterwards.

Nothing further, of any moment, was done in this campaign, except the
capture of Leau and levelling of the enemy's lines on the Gheet.
Marlborough wrote a formal letter to the States, in which he regretted
the opportunity which had been lost, which M. Overkirk had coincided
with him in thinking promised a great and glorious victory; and he
added, "my heart is so full that I cannot forbear representing to your
High Mightinesses on this occasion, that I find my authority here to
be much less than when I had the honour to command your troops in
Germany."[8] The Dutch generals sent in their counter-memorial to
their government, which contains a curious picture of their idea of
the subordination and direction of an army, and furnishes a key to the
jealousy which had proved so fatal to the common cause. They
complained that the Duke of Marlborough, "without holding a council of
war, made two or three marches _for the execution of some design
formed by his Grace_; and we cannot conceal from your High
Mightinesses that all the generals of our army think it very strange
_that they should not have the least notice of the said marches_."[9]
It has been already mentioned that Marlborough, like every other good
general, kept his designs to himself, from the impossibility of
otherwise keeping them from the enemy; and that he had the additional
motive, in the case of the Dutch deputies and generals, of being
desirous "to cheat them into victory."

Chagrined by disappointment, and fully convinced, as Wellington was
after his campaign with Cuesta and the Spaniards at Talavera, that it
was in vain to attempt any thing further with such impediments, on the
part of the Allies, thrown in his way, Marlborough retired, in the
beginning of September, to Tirlemont, the mineral waters of which had
been recommended to him; and, in the end of October, the troops on
both sides went into winter quarters. His vexation with the Dutch at
this period strongly appeared in his private letters to his intimate
friends;[10] but, though he exerted himself to the utmost during the
suspension of operations in the field, both by memorials to his own
government, and representations to the Dutch rulers, to get the
direction of the army put upon a better footing, yet he had
magnanimity and patriotism enough to sacrifice his private feelings to
the public good. Instead of striving, therefore, to inflame the
resentment of the English cabinet at the conduct of the Dutch
generals, he strove only to moderate it; and prevailed on them to
suspend the sending of a formal remonstrance, which they had prepared,
to the States-general, till the effect of his own private
representation in that quarter was first ascertained. The result
proved that he had judged wisely; his disinterested conduct met with
the deserved reward. The Patriotic party, both in England and at the
Hague, was strongly roused in his favour; the factious accusations of
the English Tories, like those of the Whigs a century after against
Wellington, were silenced; the States-general were compelled by the
public indignation to withdraw from their commands the generals who
had thwarted his measures; and, without risking the union of the two
powers, the factious, selfish men who had endangered the object of
their alliance, were for ever deprived of the means of doing mischief.

But while the danger was thus abated in one quarter, it only became
more serious in another. The Dutch had been protected, and hindered
from breaking off from the alliance, only by endangering the fidelity
of the Austrians; and it had now become indispensable, at all hazards,
to do something to appease their jealousies. The Imperial cabinet, in
addition to the war in Italy, on the Upper Rhine, and in the Low
Countries, was now involved in serious hostilities in Hungary; and
felt the difficulty, or rather impossibility, of maintaining the
contest at once in so many different quarters. The cross march of
Marlborough from the Moselle to Flanders, however loudly called for by
the danger and necessities of the States, had been viewed with a
jealous eye by the Emperor, as tending to lead the war away from the
side of Lorraine, with which the German interests were wound up; and
the instances were loud and frequent, that, now that the interests of
the Dutch were sufficiently provided for, he should return with the
English contingent to that, the proper theatre of offensive
operations. But Marlborough's experience had taught him, that as
little reliance was to be placed on the co-operation of the Margrave
of Baden, and the lesser German powers, as on that of the Dutch; and
he felt that it was altogether in vain to attempt another campaign
either in Germany or Flanders, unless some more effectual measures
were taken to appease the jealousies, and secure the co-operation of
this discordant alliance, than had hitherto been done. With this view,
after having arranged matters to his satisfaction at the Hague, when
Slangenberg was removed from the command, he repaired to Vienna in
November, and thence soon after to Berlin.

Marlborough's extraordinary address and powers of persuasion did not
desert him on this critical occasion. Never was more strongly
exemplified the truth of Chesterfield's remark, that manner had as
much weight as matter in procuring him success; and that he was
elevated to greatness as much on the wings of the Graces as by the
strength of Minerva. Great as were the difficulties which attended the
holding together the grand alliance, they all yielded to the magic of
his name and the fascination of his manner. At Bernsberg he succeeded
in obtaining from the Elector a promise for the increase of his
contingent, and leave for it to be sent into Italy, where its
co-operation was required; at Frankfort he overcame, by persuasion and
address, the difficulties of the Margrave of Baden; and at Vienna he
was magnificently received, and soon obtained unbounded credit with
the Emperor. He was raised to the rank of prince of the empire, with
the most flattering assurances of esteem; and fêted by the nobles, who
vied with each other in demonstrations of respect to the illustrious
conqueror of Blenheim. During his short sojourn of a fortnight there,
he succeeded in allaying the suspicions and quieting the apprehensions
of the Emperor, which no other man could have done; and, having
arranged the plan of the next campaign, and raised, on his own credit,
a loan of 100,000 crowns for the imperial court from the bankers, as
well as promised one of L.250,000 more, which he afterwards obtained
in London, he set out for Berlin, where his presence was not less
necessary to stimulate the exertions and appease the complaints of the
King of Prussia. He arrived there on the 30th November, and on the
same evening had an audience of the King, to whose strange and
capricious temper he so completely accommodated himself, that he
allayed all his discontents, and brought him over completely to his
views. He prevailed on him to renew the treaty for the furnishing of
eight thousand men to aid the common cause, and to repair the chasms
occasioned by the campaign in their ranks, as well as revoke the
orders which had been issued for their return from Italy, where their
removal would have proved of essential detriment. This concession, in
the words of the prime minister who announced it, was granted "as a
mark of respect to the Queen, and of particular friendship to the
Duke." From Berlin he went, loaded with honours and presents, to
Hanover, where jealousies of a different kind, but not less dangerous,
had arisen in consequence of the apprehensions there entertained, that
the Whigs were endeavouring to thwart the eventual succession of the
House of Hanover to the throne of England. Marlborough's address,
however, here also succeeded in overcoming all difficulties; and,
after a sojourn of only a few days, he departed in the highest favour
both with the Elector and his mother. From thence he hastened to the
Hague, where he remained a fortnight, and succeeded in a great degree
in removing those difficulties, and smoothing down those jealousies,
which had proved so injurious to the common cause in the preceding
campaign. He prevailed on the Dutch to reject separate offers of
accommodation, which had been made to them by the French government.
Having thus put all things on as favourable a footing as could be
hoped for on the Continent, he embarked for England in the beginning
of January 1705--having overcome greater difficulties, and obtained
greater advantages, in the course of this winter campaign, with his
divided allies, than he ever did during a summer campaign with the

Every one, how cursorily soever he may be acquainted with Wellington's
campaigns, must be struck with the great similarity between the
difficulties which thus beset the Duke of Marlborough, in the earlier
periods of his career, and those which at a subsequent period so long
hampered the genius and thwarted the efforts of England's greatest
general. Slangenberg's jealousy as an exact counterpart of that of
Cuesta at Talavera; the timidity of the Dutch authorities was
precisely similar to that of the Portuguese regency; the difficulty of
appeasing the jealousy of Austria and Prussia, identical with that
which so often compelled Wellington to hurry from the field to Lisbon
and Cadiz. Such is the selfishness of human nature that it seems
impossible to get men, actuated by different interests, to concur in
any measures for the general good but under the pressure of immediate
danger, so threatening as to be obvious to every understanding, or by
the influence of ability and address of the very highest order. It is
this which in every age has caused the weakness of the best-cemented
confederacies, and so often enabled single powers, not possessing a
fourth part of their material resources, to triumph over them. And it
is in the power of overcoming these difficulties, and allaying those
jealousies, that one of the most important qualities of the general of
an alliance is to be found.

Marlborough sailed for the Continent, to take the command of the
armies in the Low Countries, on the 20th April 1706. His design was to
have transferred the seat of war into Italy, as affairs had become so
unpromising in that quarter as to be well-nigh desperate. The
Imperialists had been surprised by the French general, Vendôme, in
their quarters near Como, and driven into the mountains behind that
town with the loss of three thousand men; so that all hold of the
plain of Lombardy was lost. The Duke of Savoy was even threatened with
a siege in his capital of Turin. The Margrave of Baden was displaying
his usual fractious and impracticable disposition on the Upper Rhine:
it seemed, in Marlborough's words, "as if he had no other object in
view but to cover his own capital and residence." In Flanders, the
habitual procrastination and tardiness of the Dutch had so thrown back
the preparations, that it was impossible to begin the campaign so
early as he had intended; and the jealousies of the cabinets of Berlin
and Copenhagen had again revived to such a degree, that no aid was to
be expected either from the Prussian or Danish contingents. It was
chiefly to get beyond the reach of such troublesome and inconstant
neighbours, that Marlborough was so desirous of transferring the seat
of war to Italy, where he would have been beyond their reach. But all
his efforts failed in inducing the States-general to allow any part of
their troops to be employed to the south of the Alps; nor, indeed,
could it reasonably have been expected that they would consent to
hazard their forces, in an expedition not immediately connected with
their interests, to so distant a quarter. The umbrage of the Elector
of Hanover at the conduct of Queen Anne, had become so excessive, that
he positively refused to let his contingent march. The Danes and
Hessians excused themselves on various pretences from moving their
troops to the south; and the Emperor, instead of contributing any
thing to the war in Flanders, was urgent that succour should be sent,
and that the English general should, in person, take the command on
the Moselle. Marlborough was thus reduced to the English troops, and
those in the pay of Holland; but they amounted to nearly sixty
thousand men; and, on the 19th May, he set out from the Hague to take
the command of this force, which lay in front of the old French
frontier on the river Dyle. Marshal Villeroi had there collected
sixty-two thousand men; so that the two armies, in point of numerical
strength, were very nearly equal.

The English general had established a secret correspondence with one
Pasquini, an inhabitant of Namur, through whose agency, and that of
some other citizens of the town who were inclined to the Imperial
interest, he hoped to be able to make himself master of that important
fortress. To facilitate that attempt, and have troops at hand ready to
take advantage of any opening that might be afforded them in that
quarter, he moved towards Tirlemont, directing his march by the
sources of the Little Gheet. Determined to cover Namur, and knowing
that the Hanoverians and Hessians were absent, Villeroi marched out of
his lines, in order to stop the advance of the Allies, and give battle
in the open field. On the 20th May, the English and Dutch forces
effected their junction at Bitsia; and on the day following the Danish
contingent arrived, Marlborough having by great exertions persuaded
them to come up from the Rhine, upon receiving a guarantee for their
pay from the Dutch government. This raised his force to seventy-three
battalions and one hundred and twenty-four squadrons. The French had
seventy-four battalions and one hundred and twenty-eight squadrons;
but they had a much greater advantage in the homogeneous quality of
their troops, who were all of one country; while the forces of the
confederates were drawn from three different nations, speaking
different languages, and many of whom had never acted in the field
together. Cadogan, with six hundred horse, formed the vanguard of
Marlborough's army; and at daybreak on the 22d, he beheld the enemy's
army grouped in dense masses in the strong camp of Mont St André. As
their position stretched directly across the allied line of march, a
battle was unavoidable; and Marlborough no sooner was informed of it,
than with a joyous heart he prepared for the conflict.

The ground occupied by the enemy, and which has become so famous by
the battle of RAMILIES which followed, was on the summit of an
elevated plateau forming the highest ground in Brabant, immediately
above the two sources of the Little Gheet. The plateau above them is
varied by gentle undulations, interspersed with garden grounds, and
dotted with coppice woods. From it the two Gheets, the Mehaigne and
the Dyle, take their source, and flow in different directions, so that
it is the most elevated ground in the whole country. The descents from
the summit of the plateau to the Great Gheet are steep and abrupt; but
the other rivers rise in marshes and mosses, which are very wet, and
in some places impassable. Marlborough was well aware of the strength
of the position on the summit of this eminence, and he had used all
the dispatch in his power to reach it before the enemy; but Villeroi
had less ground to go over, and had his troops in battle array on the
summit before the English appeared in sight. The position which they
occupied ran along the front of a curve facing inwards, and
overhanging the sources of the Little Gheet. Their troops extended
along the crest of the ridge above the marshes, having the village of
Autre Eglise in its front on the extreme left, the villages of Offuz
and Ramilies in its front, and its extreme right on the high grounds
which overhung the course of the Mehaigne, and the old _chaussée_ of
Brunehand which ran near and parallel to its banks. Their right
stretched to the Mehaigne, on which it rested, and the village of
Tavieres on its banks was strongly occupied by foot-soldiers. The
French foot were drawn up in two lines, with the villages in their
front strongly occupied by infantry. In Ramilies alone twenty
battalions were posted. The great bulk of their horse was arranged
also in two lines on the right, across the chaussée of Brunehand, by
which part of the Allied column was to advance. On the highest point
of the ridge occupied by the French, and in the rear of their extreme
right, commanding the whole field of battle, behind the mass of
cavalry, was the tomb or barrow of Ottomond, a German hero of renown
in ancient days, which it was evident would become the subject of a
desperate strife between the contending parties in the conflict which
was approaching.

Marlborough no sooner came in sight of the enemy's position than he
formed his own plan of attack. His troops were divided into ten
columns; the cavalry being into two lines on each wing, the infantry
in six columns in the centre. He at once saw that the French right,
surmounted by the lofty plateau on which the tomb of Ottomond was
placed, was the key of the position, and against that he resolved to
direct the weight of his onset; but the better to conceal his real
design, he determined to make a vehement false attack on the village
of Autre Eglise and the French left. The nature of the ground occupied
by the allies and enemy respectively, favoured this design; for the
French were posted round the circumference of a segment, while the
allies occupied the centre and chord, so that they could move with
greater rapidity than their opponents from one part of the field to
another. Marlborough's stratagem was entirely successful. He formed,
in the first instance, with some ostentation, a weighty column of
attack opposite to the French left, menacing the village of Autre
Eglise. No sooner did Villeroi perceive this than he drew a
considerable body of infantry from his centre behind Offuz, and
marched them with the utmost expedition to reinforce the threatened
point on his left. When Marlborough saw this cross-movement fairly
commenced, skilfully availing himself of a rising ground on which the
front of his column of attack on his right was placed, he directed the
second line and columns in support when the front had reached the edge
of the plateau, where they obstructed the view of those behind them,
to halt in a hollow where they could not be seen, and immediately
after, still concealed from the enemy's sight, to defile rapidly to
the left till they came into the rear of the left centre. The Danish
horse, twenty squadrons strong, under the Duke of Wirtemberg, were at
the same time placed in a third line behind the cavalry of the left
wing, so as to bring the weight of his horse as well as foot into that

At half past twelve the cannonade began on both sides, and that of the
French played heavily on the columns of the confederates advancing to
the attack. The Allied right wing directed against Autre Eglise,
steadily advanced up the slopes from the banks of the Little Gheet to
the edge of the plateau; but there they halted, deployed into line,
and opened their fire in such a position as to conceal entirely the
transfer of the infantry and cavalry in their rear to the Allied left.
No sooner had they reached it, than the attack began in real earnest,
and with a preponderating force in that direction. Colonel
Wertonville, with four Dutch battalions, advanced against Tavieres,
while twelve battalions in columns of companies, supported by a strong
reserve, began the attack on Ramilies in the left centre. The
vehemence of this assault soon convinced Villeroi that the real attack
of the Allies was in that quarter; but he had no reserve of foot to
support the troops in the villages, every disposable man having been
sent off to the left in the direction of Autre Eglise. In this
dilemma, he hastily ordered fourteen squadrons of horse to dismount,
and, supported by two Swiss battalions, moved them up to the support
of the troops in Tavieres. Before they could arrive, however, the
Dutch battalions had with great gallantry carried that village; and
Marlborough, directing the Danish horse, under the brave Duke of
Wirtemberg, against the flank of the dismounted dragoons, as they were
in column and marching up, speedily cut them in pieces, and hurled
back the Swiss in confusion on the French horse, who were advancing to
their support.

Following up his success, Overkirk next charged the first line of
advancing French cavalry with the first line of the Allied horse, and
such was the vigour of his onset, that the enemy were broken and
thrown back. But the second line of French and Bavarian horse soon
came up, and assailing Overkirk's men when they were disordered by
success, and little expecting another struggle, overthrew them without
difficulty, drove them back in great confusion, and almost entirely
restored the battle in that quarter. The danger was imminent that the
victorious French horse, having cleared the open ground of their
opponents, would wheel about and attack in rear the twelve battalions
who were warmly engaged with the attack on Ramilies. Marlborough
instantly saw the danger, and putting himself at the head of seventeen
squadrons at hand, himself led them on to stop the progress of the
victorious horse; while, at the same time, he sent orders for every
disposable sabre to come up from his right with the utmost expedition.
The moment was critical, and nothing but the admirable intrepidity and
presence of mind of the English general retrieved the Allied affairs.
Leading on the reserve of the Allied horse with his wonted gallantry,
under a dreadful fire from the French batteries on the heights behind
Ramilies, he was recognised by some French troopers, with whom he had
formerly served in the time of Charles II., who made a sudden rush at
him. They had well-nigh made him prisoner, for they succeeded in
surrounding the Duke before his men could come up to the rescue, and
he only extricated himself from the throng of assailants by fighting
his way out, like the knights of old, sword in hand. He next tried to
leap a ditch, but his horse fell in the attempt; and when mounting
another horse, given him by his aide-de-camp Captain Molesworth,
Colonel Bingfield, his equery, who held the stirrup, had his head
carried off by a cannon ball. The imminent danger of their beloved
general, however, revived the spirit of his troops, whom the dreadful
severity of the cannonade had, during the scuffle, thrown into
disorder; and, re-forming with great celerity, they again returned
with desperate resolution to the charge.

At this critical moment, when nothing was as yet decided, the twenty
fresh squadrons whom Marlborough had so opportunely called up from the
Allied right, were seen galloping at full speed, but still in regular
order, on the plain behind this desperate conflict. Halting directly
in rear of the spot where the horse on both sides were so vehemently
engaged, they wheeled into line, and advanced, in close order and
admirable array, to the support of the Duke. Encouraged by this
powerful reinforcement, the whole Allied cavalry re-formed, and
crowded forward in three lines, with loud shouts, to the attack of the
now intimidated and disheartened French. They no longer withstood the
onset, but, turning their horses' heads, fled with precipitation. The
low grounds between Ramilies and the old chaussée were quickly passed,
and the victorious horse, pressing up the slope on the opposite side,
erelong reached the summit of the plateau. The tomb of Ottomond, its
highest point, and visible from the whole field of battle, was soon
seen resplendent with sabres and cuirasses, amidst a throng of horse;
and deafening shouts, heard over the whole extent of both armies,
announced that the crowning point and key of the whole position was

But Villeroi was an able and determined general, and his soldiers
fought with the inherent bravery of the French nation. The contest,
thus virtually decided, was not yet over. A fierce fight was raging
around Ramilies, where the garrison of twenty French battalions
opposed a stout resistance to Schultz's grenadiers. By degrees,
however, the latter gained ground; two Swiss battalions, which had
long and resolutely held their ground, were at length forced back into
the village, and some of the nearest houses fell into the hands of the
Allies. Upon this the whole rushed forward, and drove the enemy in a
mass out of it towards the high grounds in their rear. The Marquis
Maffei, however, rallied two regiments of Cologne guards, in a hollow
way leading up from the village to the plateau, and opposed so
vigorous a resistance that he not only checked the pursuit but
regained part of the village. But Marlborough, whose eye was every
where, no sooner saw this than he ordered up twenty battalions in
reserve behind the centre, and they speedily cleared the village; and
Maffei, with his gallant troops, being charged in flank by the
victorious horse at the very time that he was driven out of the
village by the infantry, was made prisoner, and almost all his men
taken or destroyed.

The victory was now decided on the British left and centre, where
alone the real attack had been made. But so vehement had been the
onset, so desperate the passage of arms which had taken place, that
though the battle had lasted little more than three hours, the victors
were nearly in as great disorder as the vanquished. Horse, foot, and
artillery, were blended together in wild confusion; especially between
Ramilies and the Mehaigne, and thence up to the tomb of Ottomond, in
consequence of the various charges of all arms which had so rapidly
succeeded each other on the same narrow space. Marlborough, seeing
this, halted his troops, before hazarding any thing further, on the
ground where they stood, which, in the left and centre, was where the
enemy had been at the commencement of the action. Villeroi skilfully
availed himself of this breathing-time to endeavour to re-form his
broken troops, and take up a new line from Geest-a-Gerompont, on his
right, through Offuz to Autre Eglise, still held by its original
garrison, on his left. But in making the retrograde movement so as to
get his men into this oblique position, he was even more impeded and
thrown into disorder by the baggage waggons and dismounted guns on the
heights, than the Allies had been in the plain below. Marlborough
seeing this, resolved to give the enemy no time to rally, but again
sounding the charge, ordered infantry and cavalry to advance. A strong
column passed the morass in which the Little Gheet takes its rise,
directing their steps towards Offuz; but the enemy, panic-struck as at
Waterloo, by the general advance of the victors, gave way on all
sides. Offuz was abandoned without firing a shot; the cavalry pursued
with headlong fury, and soon the plateau of Mont St André was covered
with a mass of fugitives. The troops in observation on the right,
seeing the victory gained on the left and centre, of their own accord
joined in the pursuit, and soon made themselves masters of Autre
Eglise and the heights behind it. The Spanish and Bavarian
horse-guards made a gallant attempt to stem the flood of disaster, but
without attaining their object; it only led to their own destruction.
Charged by General Wood and Colonel Wyndham at the head of the English
horse-guards, they were cut to pieces. The rout now became universal,
and all resistance ceased. In frightful confusion, a disorganized mass
of horse and foot, abandoning their guns, streamed over the plateau,
poured headlong down the banks of the Great Gheet, on the other side,
and fled towards Louvain, which they reached in the most dreadful
disorder at two o'clock in the morning. The British horse, under Lord
Orkney, did not draw bridle from the pursuit till they reached the
neighbourhood of that fortress; having, besides fighting the battle,
marched full five-and-twenty miles that day. Marlborough halted for
the night, and established headquarters at Mildert, thirteen miles
from the field of battle, and five from Louvain.

The trophies of the battle of Ramilies were immense; but they were
even exceeded by its results. The loss of the French in killed and
wounded was 7000 men, and, in addition to that, 6000 prisoners were
taken. With the desertion in the days after the battle, they were
weakened by full 15,000 men. They lost fifty-two guns, their whole
baggage and pontoon train, all their caissons, and eighty standards
wrested from them in fair fight. Among the prisoners were the Princes
de Soubise and Rohan, and a son of Marshal Tallard. The victors lost
1066 killed, and 2567 wounded, in all, 3633. The great and unusual
proportion of killed to the wounded, shows how desperate and hand to
hand, as in ancient battles, the fighting had been. Overkirk nobly
supported the Duke in this action, and not only repeatedly charged at
the head of his horse, but continued on horseback in the pursuit till
one in the morning, when he narrowly escaped death from a Bavarian
officer whom he had made prisoner, and given back his sword, saying,
"You are a gentleman, and may keep it." The base wretch no sooner got
it into his hand than he made a lounge at the Dutch general, but
fortunately missed his blow, and was immediately cut down for his
treachery by Overkirk's orderly.

The immediate result of this splendid victory, was the acquisition of
nearly all Austrian Flanders--Brussels, Louvain, Mechlin, Alort,
Luise, and nearly all the great towns of Brabant, opened their gates
immediately after. Ghent and Bruges speedily followed the example; and
Daun and Oudenarde also soon declared for the Austrian cause. Of all
the towns in Flanders, Antwerp, Ostend, Nieuport, and Dunkirk alone
held out for the French; and to their reduction the Duke immediately
turned his attention. The public transports in Holland knew no bounds;
they much exceeded what had been felt for the victory of Blenheim, for
that only saved Germany, but this delivered themselves. The wretched
jealousy which had so long thwarted the Duke, as it does every other
really great man, was fairly overpowered in "the electric shock of a
nation's gratitude." In England, the rejoicings were equally
enthusiastic, and a solemn thanksgiving, at which the Queen attended
in person at St Paul's, gave a willing vent to the general
thankfulness. "Faction and the French," as Bolingbroke expressed
it,[11] were all that Marlborough had to fear, and he had fairly
conquered both. But the snake was scotched, not killed, and he
replenished his venom, and prepared future stings even during the roar
of triumphant cannon, and the festive blaze of rejoicing cities.[12]

The French army, after this terrible defeat, retired in the deepest
dejection towards French Flanders, leaving garrisons in the principal
fortresses which still held out for them. Marlborough made his
triumphant entry into Brussels in great pomp on the 28th May, amidst
the acclamations of the inhabitants. The Three Estates of Brabant
assembled there, acknowledged Charles III. for their sovereign, and
received, in return, a guarantee from the English government and the
States-general, that the _joyeuse entrée_, the Magna Charta of
Flanders, should be faithfully observed. "Every where, says
Marlborough, the joy was great at being delivered from the insolence
and exactions of the French." The victory of Ramilies produced no less
effect on the northern courts, where jealousies and lukewarmness had
hitherto proved so pernicious to the common cause. The King of
Prussia, who had hitherto kept aloof, and suspended the march of his
troops, now on the mediation of Marlborough became reconciled to the
Emperor and the States-general; and the Elector of Hanover, forgetting
his apprehensions about the English succession, was among the foremost
to offer his congratulations, and make a tender of his forces to the
now triumphant cause. It is seldom that the prosperous want friends.

The Dutch were clear, after the submission of Brabant, to levy
contributions in it as a conquered country, to relieve themselves of
part of the expenses of the war; and Godolphin, actuated by the same
short-sighted views, was eager to replenish the English exchequer from
the same source. But Marlborough, like Wellington in after days, had
magnanimity and wisdom enough to see the folly, as well as injustice,
of thus alienating infant allies at the moment of their conversion,
and he combated the project so successfully, that it was
abandoned.[13] At the same time, he preserved the strictest discipline
on the part of his troops, and took every imaginable precaution to
secure the affections and allay the apprehensions of the inhabitants
of the ceded provinces. The good effects of this wise and conciliatory
policy were soon apparent. Without firing a shot, the Allies gained
greater advantages during the remainder of the campaign, than they
could have done by a series of bloody sieges, and the sacrifice of
thirty thousand men. Nor was it less advantageous to the English
general than to the common cause; for it delivered him, for that
season at least, from the thraldom of a council of war, the invariable
resource of a weak, and bane of a lofty mind.[14]

The Estates of Brabant, assembled at Brussels, sent injunctions to
the governor of Antwerp, Ghent, and all the other fortresses within
their territories, to declare for Charles III., and admit these
troops. The effects of this, coupled with the discipline preserved by
the Allied troops, and the protection from contributions, was
incredible. No sooner were the orders from the States at Brussels
received at Antwerp, than a schism broke out between the French
regiments in the garrison and the Walloon guards, the latter declaring
for Charles III. The approach of Marlborough's army, and the
intelligence of the submission of the other cities of Brabant, brought
matters to a crisis; and after some altercation, it was agreed that
the French troops should march out with the honours of war, and be
escorted to Bouchain, within the frontier of their own country. On the
6th June this magnificent fortress, which it had cost the Prince of
Parma so vast an expenditure of blood and treasure to reduce, and
which Napoleon said was itself worth a kingdom, was gained without
firing a shot. Oudenarde, which had been in vain besieged in the last
war by William III. at the head of sixty thousand men, at the same
time followed the example; and Ghent and Bruges opened their gates.
Flanders, bristling with fortresses, and the possession of which in
the early part of the war had been of such signal service to the
French, was, with the exception of Ostend, Dunkirk, and two or three
smaller places, entirely gained by the consternation produced by a
single battle. Well might Marlborough say, "the consequences of our
victory are almost incredible. A whole country, with so many strong
places, delivered up without the least resistance, shows, not only the
great loss they must have sustained, but likewise the terror and
consternation they are in."[15]

At this period, Marlborough hoped the war would be speedily brought to
a close, and that a glorious peace would reward his own and his
country's efforts. His thoughts reverted constantly, as his private
correspondence shows, to home, quiet, and domestic happiness. To the
Duchess he wrote at this period--"You are very kind in desiring I
would not expose myself. Be assured, I love you so well, and am so
desirous of ending my days quietly with you, that I shall not venture
myself but when it is absolutely necessary; and I am sure you are so
kind to me, and wish so well to the common cause, that you had rather
see me dead than not do my duty. I am persuaded that this campaign
will bring in a good peace; and I beg of you to do all that you can,
that the house of Woodstock may be carried up as much as possible,
that I may have the prospect of living in it."[16]--But these
anticipations were not destined to be realized; and before he retired
into the vale of years, the hero was destined to drain to the dregs
the cup of envy, jealousy, and ingratitude.

His first step of importance, after consolidating the important
conquests he had made, and averting the cupidity of the Dutch, which,
by levying contributions on their inhabitants, threatened to endanger
them before they were well secured, was to undertake the siege of
Ostend, the most considerable place in Flanders, which still held out
for the French interest. This place, celebrated for its great
strength, and the long siege of three years which it had withstood
against the Spanish under Spinola, was expected to make a very
protracted resistance; but such was the terror now inspired by
Marlborough's name, that it was reduced much sooner than had been
anticipated. Every preparation had been made for a protracted
resistance. A fleet of nine ships of the line lay off the harbour, and
a formidable besieging train was brought up from Antwerp and Brussels.
Trenches were opened on the 28th June; the counterscarp was blown in
on the 6th July; and the day following, the besieged, after a
fruitless sally, capitulated, and the Flemish part of the garrison
entered the service of the Allies. The garrison was still five
thousand strong, when it surrendered; two ships of the line were
taken in the harbour; and the total loss of the besiegers was only
five hundred men.

Menin was next besieged, but it made a more protracted resistance. Its
great strength was derived from the means which the governor of the
fortress possessed of flooding at will the immense low plains in which
it is situated. Its fortifications had always been considered as one
of the masterpieces of Vauban; the garrison was ample; and the
governor a man of resolution, who was encouraged to make a vigorous
resistance, by the assurances of succour which he had received from
the French government. In effect, Louis XIV. had made the greatest
efforts to repair the consequences of the disaster at Ramilies.
Marshal Marsin had been detached from the Rhine with eighteen
battalions and fourteen squadrons; and, in addition to that, thirty
battalions and forty squadrons were marching from Alsace. These great
reinforcements, with the addition of nine battalions which were in the
lines on the Dyle when the battle of Ramilies was fought, would, when
all assembled, have raised the French army to one hundred and ten
battalions, and one hundred and forty squadrons--or above one hundred
thousand men; whereas Marlborough, after employing thirty-two
battalions in the siege, could only spare for the covering army about
seventy-two battalions and eighty squadrons. The numerical
superiority, therefore, was very great on the side of the enemy,
especially when the Allies were divided by the necessity of carrying
on the siege; and Villeroi, who had lost the confidence of his men,
had been replaced by the Duke de Vendôme, one of the best generals in
the French service, illustrated by his recent victory over the
Imperialists in Italy. He loudly gave out that he would raise the
siege, and approached the covering army closely, as if with that
design. But Marlborough persevered in his design; for, to use his own
words, "The Elector of Bavaria says, he is promised a hundred and ten
battalions, and they are certainly stronger in horse than we. But even
if they had greater numbers, I neither think it is their interest nor
their inclination to venture a battle; for our men are in heart, and
theirs are cowed."[17]

Considerable difficulties were experienced in the first instance in
getting up the siege equipage, in consequence of the inundations which
were let loose; but a drought having set in, when the blockade began,
in the beginning of August, these obstacles were erelong overcome, and
on the 9th August the besiegers' fire began, while Marlborough took
post at Helchin to cover the siege. On the 18th, the fire of the
breaching batteries had been so effectual, that it was deemed
practicable to make an assault on the covered way. As a determined
resistance was anticipated, the Duke repaired to the spot to
superintend the attack. At seven in the evening, the signal was given
by the explosion of two mines, and the troops, the English in front,
rushed to the assault. They soon cut down the palisades, and, throwing
their grenades before them, erelong got into the covered way; but
there they were exposed to a dreadful fire from two ravelins which
enfiladed it. For two hours they bore it without flinching, labouring
hard to erect barricades, so as to get under cover; which was at
length done, but not before fourteen hundred of the brave assailants
had been struck down. This success, though thus dearly purchased, was
however decisive. The establishment of the besiegers in this important
lodgement, in the heart as it were of their works, so distressed the
enemy, that on the 22d they hoisted the white flag, and capitulated,
still 4300 strong, on the following day. The reduction of this strong
and celebrated fortress gave the most unbounded satisfaction to the
Allies, as it not only materially strengthened the barrier against
France; but having taken place in presence of the Duke de Vendôme and
his powerful army, drawn together with such diligence to raise the
siege, it afforded the strongest proof of the superiority they had now
acquired over their enemy in the field.[18]

Upon the fall of Menin, Vendôme collected his troops, and occupied a
position behind the Lys and the Dyle, in order to cover Lille, against
which he supposed the intentions of Marlborough were directed. But he
had another object in view, and immediately sat down before
Dendermonde, still keeping post with his covering army at Helchin,
which barred the access to that fortress. Being situated on the banks
of the Scheldt, it was so completely within the power of the governor
to hinder the approaches of the besiegers, by letting out the waters,
that the King of France said, on hearing they had commenced its
siege--"They must have an army of ducks to take it." An extraordinary
drought at this period, however, which lasted seven weeks, had so
lowered the Scheldt and canals, that the approaches were pushed with
great celerity, and on the 5th September the garrison surrendered at
discretion. Marlborough wrote to Godolphin on this occasion--"The
taking of Dendermonde, making the garrison prisoners of war, was more
than could have been expected; but I saw they were in a consternation.
That place could never have been taken but by the hand of God, which
gave us seven weeks without rain. The rain began the day after we had
taken possession, and continued without intermission for the three
next days."[19]

Ath was the next object of attack. This small but strong fortress is
of great importance, as lying on the direct road from Mons to Brussels
by Halle; and, in consequence of that circumstance, it was rendered a
fortress of the first order, when the barrier of strongholds, insanely
demolished by Joseph II. before the war of the Revolution, was
restored by the Allies, under the direction of Wellington, after its
termination. Marlborough entrusted the direction of the attack to
Overkirk, while he himself occupied, with the covering army, the
position of Leuze. Vendôme's army was so much discouraged that he did
not venture to disturb the operations; but retiring behind the
Scheldt, between Condé and Montagne, contented himself with throwing
strong garrisons into Mons and Charleroi, which he apprehended would
be the next object of attack. The operations of the besiegers against
Ath were pushed with great vigour; and on the 4th October the
garrison, eight hundred strong, all that remained out of two thousand
who manned the works when the siege began, surrendered prisoners of
war. Marlborough was very urgent after this success to undertake the
siege of Mons, which would have completed the conquest of Brabant and
Flanders; but he could not persuade the Dutch authorities to furnish
him with the requisite stores to undertake it.[20] After a parade of
his army in the open field near Cambron, in the hope of drawing
Vendôme, who boasted of having one hundred and forty battalions and
one hundred and eighty squadrons at his command, to a battle, in which
he was disappointed, he resigned the command to Overkirk, put the army
into winter quarters, and hastened to Brussels, to commence his
arduous duties of stilling the jealousies and holding together the
discordant powers of the alliance.[21]

Marlborough was received in the most splendid manner, and with
unbounded demonstrations of joy, at Brussels, not only by the
inconstant populace, but by the deputies of the Three Estates of
Brabant, which were there assembled in regular and permanent
sovereignty. Well might they lavish their demonstrations of respect
and gratitude on the English general; for never in modern times had
more important or glorious events signalized a successful campaign. In
five months the power of France had been so completely broken, and the
towering temper of its inhabitants so lowered, that their best
general, at the head of above a hundred thousand men, did not venture
to measure swords with the Allies, not more than two-thirds of their
numerical strength in the field. By the effects of a single victory,
the whole of Brabant and Flanders, studded with the strongest
fortresses in Europe, each of which, in former wars, had required
months--some, years--for their reduction, had been gained to the
Allied arms. Between those taken on the field of Ramilies, and
subsequently in the besieged fortresses, above twenty thousand men had
been made prisoners, and twice that number lost to the enemy by the
sword, sickness, and desertion; and France now made head against the
Allies in Flanders only by drawing together their forces from all
other quarters, and starving the war in Italy and on the Rhine, as
well as straining every nerve in the interior. This state of almost
frenzied exertion could not last. Already the effects of Marlborough's
triumph at the commencement of the campaign had appeared, in the total
defeat of the French in their lines before Turin, by Prince Eugene, on
the 18th September, and their expulsion from Italy. It was the
reinforcements procured for him, and withheld from his opponents, by
Marlborough, which obtained for him this glorious victory, at which
the English general, with the generosity of true greatness, rejoiced
even more sincerely than he had done in any triumphs of his own;[22]
while Eugene, with equal greatness of mind, was the first to ascribe
his success mainly to the succours sent him by the Duke of

But all men are not Marlboroughs or Eugenes: the really great alone
can witness success without envy, or achieve it without selfishness.
In the base herd of ignoble men who profited by the efforts of these
great leaders, the malignant passions were rapidly gaining strength by
the very magnitude of their triumphs. The removal of danger was
producing its usual effect, among the Allies, of reviving jealousy.
Conquest was spreading its invariable discord in the cupidity to share
its fruits. These divisions had early appeared after the battle of
Ramilies, when the Emperor Joseph, as a natural mark of gratitude to
the general who had delivered his people from their oppressors, as
well as from a regard to his own interests, appointed Marlborough to
the general command as viceroy of the Netherlands. The English general
was highly gratified by this mark of confidence and gratitude; and the
appointment was cordially approved of by Queen Anne and the English
cabinet, who without hesitation authorized Marlborough to accept the
proffered dignity. But the Dutch, who had already begun to conceive
projects of ambition by an accession of territory to themselves on the
side of Flanders, evinced such umbrage at this appointment, as tending
to throw the administration of the Netherlands entirely into the hands
of the English and Austrians, that Marlborough had the magnanimity to
solicit permission to decline an honour which threatened to breed
disunion in the alliance.[24] This conduct was as disinterested as it
was patriotic; for the appointments of the government, thus declined
from a desire for the public good, were no less than sixty thousand
pounds a-year.

Although, however, Marlborough thus renounced this splendid
appointment, yet the court of Vienna were not equally tractable, and
evinced the utmost jealousy at the no longer disguised desire of the
Dutch to gain an accession of territory, and the barrier of which they
were so passionately desirous, at the expense of the Austrian
Netherlands. The project also got wind, and the inhabitants of
Brabant, whom difference of religion and old-established national
rivalry had long alienated from the Dutch, were so much alarmed at the
prospect of being transferred to their hated neighbours, that it at
once cooled their ardour in the cause of the alliance, and went far to
sow the seeds of irrepressible dissension among them. The Emperor,
therefore, again pressed the appointment on Marlborough; but from the
same lofty motives he continued to decline, professing a willingness,
at the same time, to give the Emperor every aid privately in the new
government which was in his power; so that the Emperor was obliged to
give a reluctant consent. Notwithstanding this refusal, the jealousy
of the Dutch was such, that on the revival of a report that the
government had been again confirmed to the Duke of Marlborough, they
were thrown into such a ferment, that in the public congress the
Pensionary could not avoid exclaiming in the presence of the English
ambassador, "Mon Dieu! est-il possible qu'on voudrait faire ce pas
sans notre participation?"[25]

The French government were soon informed of this jealousy, and of the
open desire of the Dutch for an accession of territory on the side of
Flanders, at the expense of Austria; and they took advantage of it,
early in the summer of 1706, to open a secret negotiation with the
States-general for the conclusion of a separate peace with that
republic. The basis of this accommodation was to be a renunciation by
the Duke of Anjou of his claim to the crown of Spain, upon receiving
an equivalent in Italy: he offered to recognize Anne as Queen of
England, and professed the utmost readiness to secure for the Dutch,
_at the expense of Austria_, that barrier in the Netherlands, to which
he conceived them to be so well entitled. These proposals elated the
Dutch government to such a degree, that they began to take a high
hand, and assume a dictatorial tone at the Hague: and it was the
secret belief that they would, if matters came to extremities, be
supported by France in this exorbitant demand for a slice of Austria,
that made them resist so strenuously the government of the Low
Countries being placed in such firm and vigorous hands as those of
Marlborough. Matters had come to such a pass in October and November
1706, that Godolphin regarded affairs as desperate, and thought the
alliance was on the point of being dissolved.[26] Thus was
Marlborough's usual winter campaign with the confederates rendered
more difficult on this than it had been on any preceding occasion; for
he had now to contend with the consequences of his own success, and
allay the jealousies and stifle the cupidity which had sprung up, out
of the prospect of the magnificent spoil which he himself had laid at
the feet of the Allies.

But in this dangerous crisis, Marlborough's great diplomatic ability,
consummate address, and thorough devotion to the common good, stood
him in as good stead as his military talents had done him in the
preceding campaign with Villeroi and Vendôme. In the beginning of
November, he repaired to the Hague, and though he found the Dutch in
the first instance so extravagant in their ideas of the barrier they
were to obtain, that he despaired of effecting any settlement of the
differences between them and the Emperor;[27] yet he at length
succeeded, though with very great difficulty, in appeasing, for the
time, the jealousies between them and the cabinet of Vienna, and
obtaining a public renewal of the alliance for the prosecution of the
war. The publication of this treaty diffused the utmost satisfaction
among the ministers of the Allied powers assembled at the Hague; and
this was further increased by the breaking off, at the same time, of a
negotiation which had pended for some months between Marlborough and
the Elector of Bavaria, for a separate treaty with that prince, who
had become disgusted with the French alliance. But all Marlborough's
efforts failed to make any adjustment of the disputed matter of the
barrier, on which the Dutch were so obstinately set; and finding them
equally unreasonable and intractable on that subject, he deemed
himself fortunate when he obtained the adjourning of the question, by
the consent of all concerned, till the conclusion of a general peace.

After the adjustment of this delicate and perilous negotiation,
Marlborough returned to England, where he was received with transports
of exultation by all classes of the people. He was conducted in one of
the royal carriages, amidst a splendid procession of all the nobility
of the kingdom, to Temple Bar, where he was received by the city
authorities, by whom he was feasted in the most magnificent manner at
Vintners' Hall. Thanks were voted to him by both Houses of Parliament;
and when he took his seat in the House of Peers, the Lord Keeper
addressed him in these just and appropriate terms--"What your Grace
has performed in this last campaign has far exceeded all hopes, even
of such as were most affectionate and partial to their country's
interest and glory. The advantages you have gained against the enemy
are of such a nature, so conspicuous in themselves, so undoubtedly
owing to your courage and conduct, so sensibly and universally
beneficial to the whole confederacy, that to attempt to adorn them
with the colouring of words would be vain and inexcusable. Therefore I
decline it, the rather because I should certainly offend that great
modesty which alone can and does add lustre to your actions, and which
in your Grace's example has successfully withstood as great trials, as
that virtue has met with in any instance whatsoever." The House of
Commons passed a similar resolution; and the better to testify the
national gratitude, an annuity of £5000 a-year, charged upon the
Post-Office, was settled upon the Duke and Duchess, and their
descendants male or female; and the dukedom, which stood limited to
heirs-male, was extended also to heirs-female, "in order," as it was
finely expressed, "that England might never be without a title which
might recall the remembrance of so much glory."

So much glory, however, produced its usual effect in engendering
jealousy in little minds. The Whigs had grown spiteful against that
illustrious pillar of their party; they were tired of hearing him
called the just. Both Godolphin and Marlborough became the objects of
excessive jealousy to their own party; and this, combined with the
rancour of the Tories, who could never forgive his desertion of his
early patron the Duke of York, had well-nigh proved fatal to him when
at the very zenith of his usefulness and popularity. Intrigue was rife
at St James's. Parties were strangely intermixed and disjointed. Some
of the moderate Tories were in power; many covetous Whigs were out of
it. Neither party stood on great public principle, a sure sign of
instability in the national councils, and ultimate neglect of the
national interests. Harley's intrigues had become serious; the prime
minister, Godolphin, had threatened to resign. In this alarming
juncture of domestic affairs, the presence of Marlborough produced its
usual pacifying and benign influence. In a long interview which he had
with the Queen on his first private audience, he settled all
differences; Godolphin was persuaded to withdraw his resignation; the
cabinet was re-constructed on a new and harmonious basis, Harley and
Bolingbroke being the only Tories of any note who remained in power;
and this new peril to the prosecution of the war, and the cause of
European independence, was removed.

Marlborough's services to England and the cause of European
independence in this campaign, recall one mournful feeling to the
British annalist. All that he had won for his country--all that
Wellington, with still greater difficulty, and amidst yet brighter
glories, regained for it, has been lost. It has been lost, too, not by
the enemies of the nation, but by itself; not by an opposite faction,
but by the very party over whom his own great exploits had shed such
imperishable lustre. Antwerp, the first-fruits of Ramilies--Antwerp,
the last reward of Waterloo--Antwerp, to hold which against England
Napoleon lost his crown, has been abandoned to France! An English
fleet has combined with a French army to wrest from Holland the
barrier of Dutch independence, and the key to the Low Countries. The
barrier so passionately sought by the Dutch has been wrested from
them, and wrested from them by British hands; a revolutionary power
has been placed on the throne of Belgium; Flanders, instead of the
outwork of Europe against France, has become the outwork of France
against Europe. The tricolor flag waves in sight of Bergen-op-Zoom;
within a month after the first European war, the whole coast from
Bayonne to the Texel will be arrayed against Britain! The Whigs of
1832 have undone all that the Whigs of 1706 had done--all that the
glories of 1815 had secured. Such is the way in which nations are
ruined by the blindness of faction.

[Footnote 1: Continued from No. I., in July 1845, Vol. lviii. p. 1.]

[Footnote 2: "C'est le retard de toutes les troupes Allemandes qui
dérange nos affaires. Je ne saurais vous expliquer la situation où
nous sommes qu'en vous envoyant les deux lettres ci jointes,--l'une
que je viens de recevoir du Prince de Bade, et l'autre la réponse que
je lui fais. En vérité notre état est plus à plaindre que vous ne
croyez; mais je vous prie que cela n'aille pas outre. _Nous perdons la
plus belle occasion du monde--manque des troupes qui devaient être ici
il y a deja longtemps._ Pour le reste de l'artillerie Hollandaise, et
les provisions qui peuvent arriver de Mayence, vous les arrêterez,
s'il vous plait, pour quelques jours, jusqu'à ce que je vous en
écrive."--_Marlborough à M. Pesters; Trêves, 31 Mai 1705. Despatches_,
II. 60-1.]

[Footnote 3: Even so late as the 8th June, Marlborough wrote.--"J'ai
d'abord pris poste dans ce camp, où je me trouve à portée
d'entreprendre la siège de Saar-Louis, si les troupes qui devaient
avoir été ici il y a quelques jours m'avaient joint. Cependant je n'ai
pas jusqu'ici un seul homme qui ne soit à la solde d'Angleterre ou de
la Hollande. Les troupes de Bade ne peuvent arriver avant le 21 au
plutôt; quelques-uns des Prussiens sont encore plus en arrière; et
pour les trois mille chevaux que les princes voisins devaient nous
fournir pour méner l'artillerie et les munitions, et sans quoi il nous
sera impossible d'agir, je n'en ai aucune nouvelle, nonobstant toutes
mes instances. J'ai grand peur même qu'il n'y ait, à l'heure même que
je vous écris celle-ci, des regulations en chemin de la Haye qui
détruiront entièrement tous nos projets de ce côté. Cette situation me
donne tant d'inquiétude que je ne saurais me dispenser de vous prier
d'en vouloir part à sa Majesté Impériale."--_Marlborough au Comte de
Wroteslau; Elft, 8 Juin 1705. Despatches_, II. 85.]

[Footnote 4: "Par ces contretemps tous nos projets de ce côté-ci sont
évanouis, au moins pour le present; et j'espère que V.A. me fera la
justice de croire que j'ai fait tout ce qui a dependu de moi pour les
faire réussir. Si je pouvais avoir l'honneur d'entretenir V.A. pour
une seule heure, je lui dirai bien des choses, par où elle verrait
combien je suis à plaindre. J'avais 94 escadrons et 72 bataillons,
tous à la solde de l'Angleterre et de la Hollande; de sorte que, si
l'on m'avait secondé nous aurions une des plus glorieuses campagnes
qu'on pouvait souhaiter. Après un tel traitment, V.A., je suis sûr, ne
m'aurait pas blâmé si j'avais pris la résolution _de ne jamais plus
servir_, comme je ne ferai pas aussi, je vous assure, après cette
campagne, à moins que de pouvoir prendre des mésures avec l'empereur
sur lesquelles je pourrais entièrement me fier."--_Marlborough à
Eugène, 21 Juin 1705. Despatches_, II. 124.]

[Footnote 5: "It is a justice I owe to the Duke of Marlborough to
state, that the whole honour of the enterprise, executed with so much
skill and courage, is entirely due to him."--_Overkirk to
States-general, 19th July 1705. Coxe_, II. 151.]

[Footnote 6: "On Wednesday, it was unanimously resolved we should pass
the Dyle, but that afternoon there fell so much rain as rendered it
impracticable; but the fair weather this morning made me determine to
attempt it. Upon this the deputies held a council with all the
generals of Overkirk's army, who have unanimously retracted their
opinions, and declared the passage of the river too dangerous, which
resolution, in my opinion, _will ruin the whole campaign_. They have,
at the same time, proposed to me to attack the French on their left;
but I know they will let that fall also, as soon as they see the
ground. It is very mortifying to meet more obstruction from friends
than from enemies; but that is now the case with me; yet I dare not
show my resentment for fear of alarming the Dutch."--_Marlborough to
Godolphin, 29th July 1705. Coxe_, II. 158.]

[Footnote 7: Bolingbroke to Marlborough, August 18, 1705. _Coxe_, II.

[Footnote 8: Marlborough to the States, Wavre, 19th August 1705.
_Desp._ II. 224.]

[Footnote 9: Dutch Generals' Mem. _Coxe_, II. 174.]

[Footnote 10: "Several prisoners whom we have taken, as well as the
deserters, assure us, that they should have made no other defence but
such as might have given them time to draw off their army to Brussels,
where their baggage was already gone. By this you may imagine how I am
vexed, seeing very plainly I am joined with people who will never do
any thing."--_Marlborough to Godolphin, August 24 1705._

"M. Overkirk et moi avons d'abord été reconnaitre les postes que nous
voulions attaquer, et l'armée étant rangée en bataille sur le midi,
nous avions tout d'esperer, avec la benediction du ciel, vu notre
supériorité, et la bonté des troupes, une heuruse journée; mais MM.
les deputés de l'état ayant voulu consulter leurs généraux, et les
trouvant de differentes sentiments d'avec M. Overkirk et moi, ils
n'ont pas voulu passer outre. De sorte que tout notre dessein, après
l'avoir méné jusque là, a échoué, et nous avons rebroussé chemin pour
aller commencer la démolition des Lignes, et prendre Leau. Vous pouvez
bien croire, Monsieur, que je suis au désespoir d'être obligé
d'essuyer encore ce contretemps; mais je vois bien qu'il ne faut pas
plus songer à agir offensivement avec ces messieurs, puisqu' ils ne
veulent rien risquer quand même ils ont tout l'advantage de leur
côté."--_Marlborough au Comte de Wartenberg, Wavre, 20 Août 1705.
Despatches_, II. 226.]

[Footnote 11: "This vast addition of renown which your Grace has
acquired, and the wonderful preservation of your life, are subjects
upon which I can never express a thousandth part of what I feel.
_France and faction are the only enemies England has to fear_, and
your Grace will conquer both; at least, while you beat the French, you
give a strength to the Government which the other dares not contend
with."--_Bolingbroke to Marlborough, May 28, 1706. Coxe_, II. 358.]

[Footnote 12: "I shall attend the Queen at the thanksgiving on
Thursday next: I assure you I shall do it, from every vein within me,
having scarce any thing else to support either my head or heart. The
_animosity and inveteracy one has to struggle against is
unimaginable_, not to mention the difficulty of obtaining things to be
done that are reasonable, or of satisfying people with reason when
they are done."--_Godolphin to Marlborough, May 24, 1706._]

[Footnote 13: Duke of Marlborough to Mr Secretary Harley, June 14,

[Footnote 14: "The consequences of this battle are likely to be
greater than that of Blenheim; for we have now the whole summer before
us, and, with the blessing of God, I will make the best use of it.
_For as I have had no council of war before this battle, so I hope to
have none during the whole campaign_; and I think we may make such
work of it as may give the Queen the glory of making a safe and
honourable peace, for the blessing of God is certainly with
us."--_Marlborough to Lord Godolphin, May 27, 1706. Coxe, II. 365._]

[Footnote 15: Marlborough to Mr Secretary Harley, 3d June 1706. _Desp.
II._ 554.]

[Footnote 16: Marlborough to Duchess of Marlborough, May 31, 1706.]

[Footnote 17: Marlborough to Secretary Harley, Helchin, 9th August
1706. _Desp._ III. 69.]

[Footnote 18: Marlborough to Duke of Savoy, Helchin, 25th August 1706.
_Desp._ III. 101.]

[Footnote 19: Marlborough to Godolphin, September 4, 1706. _Coxe_,
III. 10.]

[Footnote 20: "If the Dutch can furnish ammunition for the siege of
Mons, we shall undertake it; for if the weather continues fair, we
shall have it much cheaper this year than the next, when they have had
time to recruit their army. The taking of that town would be a very
great advantage to us for the opening of next campaign, which we must
make if we would bring France to such a peace as will give us quiet
hereafter."--_Marlborough to Godolphin, October 14, 1706. Coxe_, III.

[Footnote 21: "M. de Vendôme tells his officers he has one hundred and
forty battalions and one hundred and eighty squadrons, and that, if my
Lord Marlborough gives him an opportunity, he will pay him a visit
before this campaign ends. I believe he has neither will nor power to
do it, which we shall see quickly, for we are now camped in so open a
country that if he marches to us we cannot refuse fighting."--_Marlborough
to Lord Godolphin, October 14, 1706. Ibid._]

[Footnote 22: "I have now received confirmation of the success in
Italy, from the Duke of Savoy and Prince Eugene, and it is impossible
for me to express the joy it has given me; _for I not only esteem, but
really love, that Prince_. This glorious action must bring France so
low, that if our friends can be persuaded to carry on the war one year
longer with vigour, we could not fail, with God's blessing, to have
such a peace as would give us quiet in our days. But the Dutch are at
this time unaccountable."--_Marlborough to the Duchess, Sept. 26,
1706. Coxe_, III. 20, 21.]

[Footnote 23: "Your highness, I am sure, will rejoice at the signal
advantage which the arms of his Imperial Majesty and the Allies have
gained. _You have had so great a hand in it, by the succours you have
procured_, that you must permit me to thank you again."--_Eugene to
Marlborough, 20th Sept. 1706. Coxe_, III. 20.]

[Footnote 24: "This appointment by the Emperor has given some
uneasiness in Holland, by thinking that the Emperor has a mind to put
the power in this country into the Queen's hands, in order that they
may have nothing to do with it. If I should find the same thing by the
Pensionary, and that nothing can cure this jealousy but my desiring to
be excused from accepting this commission, I hope the Queen will allow
of it; for the advantage and honour I have by this commission is _very
insignificant in comparison of the fatal consequences that might be if
it should cause a jealousy between the two nations_. And though the
appointments of this government are sixty thousand pounds a-year, I
shall with pleasure excuse myself, since I am convinced it is for her
service, if the States should not make it their request, which they
are very far from doing."--_Marlborough to Godolphin, July 1 and 8,
1706. Coxe_, III. 391, 393.]

[Footnote 25: Mr Stepney to Duke of Marlborough, _Hague, Jan. 4, 1707.
Coxe_, II. 407.]

[Footnote 26: "Lord Somers has shown me a long letter which he has had
from the Pensionary, very intent _upon settling the barrier_. The
inclinations of the Dutch are so violent and plain, that I am of
opinion nothing will be able to prevent their taking effect but our
being as plain with them upon the same subject, and threatening to
publish to the whole world the terms for which they solicit."--_Lord
Godolphin to Marlborough_, Oct. 24, 1706. Coxe, III. 74.]

[Footnote 27: "My inclinations will lead me to stay as little as
possible at the Hague, though the Pensionary tells me I must stay to
finish the succession treaty and their barrier, which, should I stay
the whole winter, I am very confident would not be brought to
perfection. For they are of so many minds, and are all so very
extravagant about their barrier, that I despair of doing any thing
good till they are more reasonable, which they will not be till they
see that they have it not in their power to dispose of the whole Low
Countries at their will and pleasure, in which the French flatter
them."--_Marlborough to Godolphin, Oct. 29, 1706. Coxe_, III. 79.]



   "Por estas montañas,
    Facciosos siguiendo,
    Vamos defendiendo
    La Constitucion."

             _Himno de Navarra._

Rarely had the alameda of the picturesque old town of Logroño
presented a gayer or more brilliant appearance than on a certain July
evening of the year 1834. The day had been sultry in the extreme, and
the sun was touching the horizon before the fair Riojanas ventured to
quit their artificially darkened rooms, and the cool shelter of their
well-screened _miradores_, for the customary promenade. It was
pleasant, certainly, in those sombre apartments, and beneath those
thick awnings, which excluded each ray of sun, although they did not
prevent what little breeze there was from circulating freely between
the heavy stone balustrades or quaintly moulded iron-work of the
spacious balconies, rustling the leaves and blossoms of the
orange-trees, and wafting their fragrance to the languid beauties who
sat dozing, chatting, or love-making within. But if the _farniente_
and languor induced by the almost tropical heat, were so agreeable as
to tempt to their longer indulgence, on the other hand the _paseo_,
that indispensable termination to a Spaniard's day, had, upon the
evening in question, peculiar attractions for the inhabitants of
Logroño, and especially for their fairer portion. Within the preceding
three days, a body of troops, in number nearly twenty thousand men, a
large portion of them the pick and flower of the Spanish army, had
been concentrated at Logroño, whence, under the command of Rodil--a
general of high reputation--they were to advance into Navarre, and
exterminate the daring rebels, who, for some months past, had
disturbed the peace of Spain. All had been noise and movement in the
town during those three days; every stable full of horses, every house
crowded with soldiers; artillery and baggage-waggons encumbering the
squares and suburbs; the streets resounding with the harsh clang of
trumpets and monotonous beat of drums; muleteers loading and unloading
their beasts; commissaries bustling about for rations; beplumed and
embroidered staff-officers galloping to and fro with orders; the clash
of arms and tramp of horses in the barrack-yards; the clatter of
wine-cups, joyous song, and merry tinkle of the guitar, from the
various wine-houses in which the light-hearted soldiery were snatching
a moment of enjoyment in the intervals of duty;--such were a few of
the sights and sounds which for the time animated and gave importance
to the usually quiet town of Logroño. Towards evening, the throng and
bustle within the town diminished, and were transferred to the
pleasant walks around it, and especially to the shady and
flower-bordered avenues of the alameda. Thither repaired the proud and
graceful beauties of Castile and Navarre, their raven locks but
partially veiled by the fascinating mantilla, their dark and lustrous
eyes flashing coquettish glances upon the gay officers who accompanied
or hovered around them. Every variety of uniform was there to be seen;
all was blaze, and glitter, and brilliancy; the smart trappings of
these fresh troops had not yet been tattered and tarnished amidst the
hardships of mountain warfare. The showy hussar, the elegant lancer,
the helmeted dragoon, aides-de-camp with their cocked-hats and blue
sashes, crossed and mingled in the crowd that filled the alameda, at
either end of which a band of music was playing the beautiful and
spirit-stirring national airs of Spain. On the one hand arose the
dingy masses of the houses of Logroño, speckled with the lights that
issued from their open casements, their outline distinctly defined
against the rapidly darkening sky; on the other side was a wide
extent of corn-field, intersected and varied by rows and clusters of
trees, amongst the branches of which, and over the waving surface of
the corn, innumerable fire-flies darted and sparkled. Here, a group of
soldiers and country girls danced a bolero to the music of a guitar
and tambourine; there, another party was collected round an Andalusian
ballad-singer, of whose patriotic ditties "_la Libertad_" and "_la
inocente Isabel_" were the usual themes. In a third place, a few
inveterate gamblers--as what Spanish soldiers are not?--had stretched
themselves upon the grass in a circle, and by the flickering light of
a broken lantern, or of a candle stuck in the earth, were playing a
game at cards for their day's pay, or for any thing else they might
chance to possess. On all sides, ragged, bare-footed boys ran about,
carrying pieces of lighted rope in their hands, the end of which they
occasionally dashed against the ground, causing a shower of sparks to
fly out, whilst they recommended themselves to the custom of the
cigar-smokers by loud cries of "_Fuego! Buen fuego! Quien quiere

At few of the young officers, who, on the evening referred to, paraded
the alameda of Logroño, was the artillery of eyes and fan more
frequently levelled by the love-breathing beauties there assembled,
than at Luis Herrera, who, in the uniform of the cavalry regiment to
which he now belonged, was present upon the paseo. But for him fans
waved and bright eyes sparkled in vain. He was deeply engaged in
conversation with Mariano Torres, who, having recently obtained a
commission in the same corps with his friend, had arrived that evening
to join it. The two young men had parted soon after the death of Don
Manuel Herrera, and had not met since. One of Mariano's first
questions concerned the Villabuenas.

"The count went to France some months ago, I believe," replied Luis,

"Yes," said Torres, "so I heard, and took his daughter with him. But I
thought it probable that he might have returned in the train of his
self-styled sovereign. He is capable of any folly, I should imagine,
since he was mad enough to sacrifice his fine fortune and position in
the country by joining in this absurd rebellion. You of course know
that he has been declared a traitor, and that his estates have been

Luis nodded assent.

"Well, in some respects the count's losses may prove a gain to you,"
continued Torres, pursuing the train of his own thoughts, and not
observing that the subject he had started was a painful one to his
friend. "When we have put an end to the war, in a month or two at
furthest, you can go to France, and obtain his consent to your
marriage with his daughter. In the present state of his fortunes he
will hardly refuse it; and you may then return to Spain, and make
interest for your father-in-law's pardon."

"I am by no means certain," said Herrera, "that the war will be over
so soon as you imagine. But you will oblige me, Mariano, by not
speaking of this again. My engagement with Rita is long at an end, and
not likely ever to be renewed. It was a dream, a vision of happiness
not destined to be realized, and I endeavour to forget it. I myself
put an end to it; and not under present circumstances, perhaps under
none, should I think myself justified in seeking its renewal. Let us
talk of something else--of the future if you will, but not of the

The hours passed by Luis beside Don Manuel's death-bed, had witnessed
a violent revolution in his feelings and character. Devotedly attached
to his father, who had been the sole friend, almost the only
companion, of his boyhood, the fiercer passions of Herrera's nature
were awakened into sudden and violent action by his untimely fate. A
burning desire of revenge on the unscrupulous faction to which the
persecution, exile, and cruel death of Don Manuel were to be
attributed, took possession of him; and in order to gratify this
desire, and at the same time to fulfil the solemn pledge he had given
to his dying parent, he felt himself at the moment capable of
sacrificing even his love for Rita. No sooner was the mournful
ceremony of the interment over, than he wrote to Villabuena, informing
him, in a few stern words, how those who professed like him to be the
defenders of religion and legitimacy, had enacted the part of
assassins and incendiaries, and shed his father's blood upon his own
threshold. This communication he considered to be, without further
comment, a sufficient reply to the proposition made to him by the
count a few days previously. At the same time--and this was by far the
most difficult part of his self-imposed task--he addressed a letter to
Rita, releasing her from her engagement. He felt, he told her, that,
by so doing, he renounced all his fondest hopes; but were he to act
otherwise, and at once violate his oath, and forego his revenge, he
should despise himself, and deserve her contempt. He implored her to
forget their ill-fated attachment, for his own misery would be
endurable only when he knew that he had not compromised her happiness.

Scarcely had he dispatched these letters, written under a state of
excitement almost amounting to frenzy, when Herrera, in pursuance of a
previously formed plan, and as if to stifle the regrets which a forced
and painful determination occasioned him, hastened to join as a
volunteer the nearest Christino column. It was one commanded by
General Lorenzo, then operating against Santos Ladron and the
Navarrese Carlists. In several skirmishes Herrera signalized himself
by the intrepidity and fury with which he fought. Ladron was taken and
shot, and Lorenzo marched to form the advanced guard of a strong
division which, under the command of Sarsfield, was rapidly nearing
the scene of the insurrection. On the mere approach of the Christino
army, the battalions of Castilian Realistas, which formed, numerically
speaking, an important part of the forces then under arms for Don
Carlos, disbanded themselves and fled to their homes. Sarsfield
continued his movement northwards, took possession, after trifling
resistance, of Logroño, Vittoria, Bilboa, and other towns occupied by
the Carlists; and, after a few insignificant skirmishes, succeeded in
dispersing and disarming the whole of the insurgents in the three
Basque provinces. A handful of badly armed and undisciplined Navarrese
peasants were all that now kept the field for Charles V., and of the
rapid capture or destruction of these, the sanguine Christinos
entertained no doubt. The principal strength of the Carlists was
broken; their arms were taken away; the majority of the officers who
had joined, and of the men of note and influence in the country who
had declared for them, had been compelled to cross the Pyrenees. But
the tenacious courage and hardihood of the Navarrese insurgents, and
the military skill of the man who commanded them, baffled the
unceasing pursuit kept up by the Queen's generals. During the whole of
the winter the Carlists lived like wolves in the mountains, surrounded
by ice and snow, cheerfully supporting the most incredible hardships
and privations. Nay, even under such disadvantageous circumstances,
their numbers increased, and their discipline improved; and when the
spring came they presented the appearance, not of a band of robbers,
as their opponents had hitherto designated them, but of a body of
regular troops, hardy and well organized, devoted to their general,
and enthusiastic for the cause they defended. Their rapid movements,
their bravery and success in several well-contested skirmishes, some
of which almost deserved the name of regular actions, the surprise of
various Christino posts and convoys, the consistency, in short, which
the war was taking, began seriously to alarm the Queen's government;
and the formidable preparations made by the latter for a campaign
against the Carlists, were a tacit acknowledgment that Spain was in a
state of civil war.

In the wild and beautiful valley of the Lower Amezcoa, in the
_merindad_ or district of Estella, a large body of Christino troops
was assembled on the fifteenth day after Rodil's entrance into
Navarre. The numerous forces which that general found under his
command, after uniting the troops he had brought with him with those
already in the province, had enabled him to adopt a system of
occupation, the most effectual, it was believed, for putting an end to
the war. In pursuance of this plan, he established military lines of
communication between the different towns of Navarre and Alava,
garrisoned and fortified the principal villages, and having in this
manner disseminated a considerable portion of his army through the
insurgent districts, he commenced, with a column of ten thousand men
that remained at his disposal, a movement through the mountainous
regions, to which, upon his approach, the Carlists had retired. His
object was the double one of attacking and destroying their army, and,
if possible, of seizing the person of Don Carlos, who but a few days
previously had arrived in Spain. The heat of the weather was
remarkable, even for that usually sultry season; the troops had had a
long and fatiguing march over the rugged sierra of Urbasa; and Rodil,
either with a view of giving them rest, or with some intention of
garrisoning the villages scattered about the valley, which had
hitherto been one of the chief haunts of the Carlists, had come to a
halt in the Lower Amezcoa.

It was two in the afternoon, and, notwithstanding the presence of so
large a body of men, all was stillness and repose in the valley. The
troops had arrived that morning, and after taking up their cantonments
in the various villages and hamlets, had sought refuge from the
overpowering heat. In the houses, the shutters of which were carefully
closed to exclude the importunate sunbeams, in the barns and stables,
under the shadow cast by balconies or projecting eaves, and along the
banks of the stream which traverses the valley, and is noted in the
surrounding country for the crystal clearness and extreme coldness of
its waters, the soldiers were lying, their uniforms unbuttoned, the
stiff leathern stock thrown aside, enjoying the mid-day slumber, which
the temperature and their recent fatigue rendered doubly acceptable.
Here and there, at a short distance from the villages, and further
off, near the different roads and passes that give access to the
valley through or over the gigantic mountain-wall by which it is
encircled, the sun flashed upon the polished bayonets and
musket-barrels of the pickets. The men were lying beside their piled
arms, or had crept under some neighbouring bush to indulge in the
universal _siesta_; and even the sentries seemed almost to sleep as
they paced lazily up and down, or stood leaning upon their muskets,
keeping but a drowsy watch and careless look-out for an enemy whose
proximity was neither to be anticipated nor dreaded by a force so
superior to any which he could get together.

Such was the scene that presented itself to one who, having approached
the valley from the south, and ascended the mountains that bound it on
that side, now contemplated from their summit the inactivity of its
occupants. He was a man of the middle height, but appearing rather
shorter, from a slight stoop in the shoulders; his age was between
forty and fifty years, his aspect grave and thoughtful. His features
were regular, his eyes clear and penetrating, a strong dark mustache
covered his upper lip and joined his whisker, which was allowed to
extend but little below the ear. His dress consisted of a plain blue
frock, girt at the waist by a belt of black leather, to which a sabre
was suspended, and his head was covered with a _boina_, or flat cap,
of the description commonly worn in the neighbourhood of the Pyrenees,
woven in one piece of fine scarlet wool, and decorated with a _borla_,
or tassel of gold cord, spreading like a star over the crown of the
head. In his hand he held a telescope, which he rested on the top of a
fragment of rock, and through which he attentively noted what passed
in the valley below. The case of the field-glass was slung across his
body by a strap, and, upon inspection, a name would have been found
stamped upon its leathern surface. It was that of Tomas

A short distance in rear of the Carlist leader, and so posted as not
to be visible from the valley, stood a little group of officers, and
persons in civilian garb, and a few orderlies, one of whom held the
general's horse. Behind, a battalion of infantry was drawn up--fine,
muscular, active fellows, inured to every hardship, and as indifferent
to the scorching heat to which they were now exposed, as they had been
to the bitter cold in the mountains amongst which they had passed the
preceding winter. Their appearance was not very uniform in its
details; short jackets, loose trousers, and sandals, composed the
dress of most of them--one well adapted to long marches and active
movements--and they all wore caps similar to those of the officers,
but of a blue colour, and coarser material. A second battalion of
these hardy guerillas was advancing with light and elastic step up the
rugged and difficult path; and this was followed by two others, which,
as fast as they arrived, were formed up by their officers in the best
manner that the uneven nature of the ground would admit. Half a dozen
mules, laden with ammunition, brought up the rear. When the four
battalions, consisting together of nearly three thousand men, were
assembled on the summit of the mountain, the arms were piled, and the
soldiers allowed to sit down or repose themselves as they chose from
the fatigues of their long and wearisome ascent, and of a march that
had lasted from early dawn.

The mountain upon which these troops were now stationed was less
precipitous upon its inner side than most of those that surrounded the
valley. It shelved gradually downwards, broken here and there by
ravines, its partially wooded slopes forming a succession of terraces,
which extended right and left for a distance of more than a mile. At
the foot of these slopes, and immediately below the spot occupied by
the Carlists, a low hill ran off at right angles from the higher
range, projecting into the valley as a promontory does into the sea.
With the exception of the side furthest from the mountains, which
consisted of pasture land, the base and skirts of this hill were
covered with oak and chestnut, and upon the clearing on its summit
stood a shepherd's hut, whence was commanded a view of a considerable
extent of the face of the sierra, as well as of the entrance of a
neighbouring pass that led out of the valley in the direction of
Estella. At this hut a Christino picket was stationed, to which, when
the Carlist chief had completed his general survey of the valley, his
attention became more particularly directed. The outpost consisted of
about thirty men, little, brown-complexioned, monkey-faced creatures
from the southern provinces, who, sunk in fancied security and in the
indolence natural to them, were neglecting their duty to an extent
which might seriously have compromised the safety of the Christino
army, had it depended upon their vigilance. The majority of them were
lying asleep in and around the picket-house, which was situated on one
side of the platform, within fifty yards of the trees. Of the three
sentinels, one had seated himself on a stone, with his musket between
his knees, and, having unbuttoned the loose grey coat that hung like a
sack about his wizened carcass, was busily engaged in seeking, between
his shirt and his skin, for certain companions whom he had perhaps
picked up in his quarters of the previous night, and by whose presence
about his person he seemed to be but moderately gratified. One of the
other two sentries had wandered away from the post assigned to him,
and approached his remaining comrade, with the charitable view of
dividing with him a small quantity of tobacco, which the two were now
deliberately manufacturing into paper cigars, beguiling the time as
they did so by sundry guardroom jokes and witticisms.

An almost imperceptible smile of contempt curled the lip of
Zumalacarregui as he observed the unmilitary negligence apparent in
the advanced post of the Christinos. It was exchanged for a proud and
well-pleased glance when he turned round and saw his gallant Navarrese
awaiting in eager suspense a signal to advance upon the enemy, whom
they knew to be close at hand. Zumalacarregui walked towards the
nearest battalion, and on his approach the men darted from their
various sitting and reclining postures, and stood ready to seize their
muskets, and fall into their places. Their chief nodded his
approbation of their alacrity, but intimated to them, by a motion of
his hand, that the time for action was not yet come.

"_Paciencia, muchachos!_" said he. "Patience, you will not have long
to wait. Refresh yourselves, men, whilst the time is given you.
Captain Landa!" cried he, raising his voice.

The officer commanding the light company of the battalion stepped
forward, and, halting at a short distance from his general, stood
motionless, with his hand to his cap, awaiting orders.

"Come with me, Landa," said Zumalacarregui; and, taking the officer's
arm, he led him to the spot whence he had been observing the valley,
and pointed to the Christino picket.

"Take your company," said he, "and fetch me those sleepy fellows here;
without firing a shot if it be possible."

The officer returned to his men, and, forming them up with all speed,
marched them off at a rapid pace. When they had disappeared amongst
the rocks, Zumalacarregui turned to the chief of his staff.

"Colonel Gomez," said he, "take the third and fourth battalions, and
move them half a mile to our left, keeping them well out of sight. We
are not strong enough to attack in the plain, but we shall perhaps get
our friends to meet us in the mountain."

Gomez--a tall, portly man, of inexpressive countenance, and whose
accent, when he spoke, betrayed the Andalusian--proceeded to execute
the orders he had received, and Zumalacarregui once more resumed his
post of observation.

The carelessness of the Christino picket, and the practice which the
Carlists had already had in a warfare of stratagem and surprise,
enabled the company of light infantry to execute, with great facility,
the instructions they had received. The young ensign who commanded the
outpost was walking listlessly along the edge of the wood, cursing the
wearisome duty entrusted to him, and referring to his watch to see how
far still the hour of relief was off, when he was suddenly struck to
the ground by a blow from a musket-butt, and before he could attempt
to rise, the point of a bayonet was at his throat. At the same instant
three score long-legged Navarrese dashed from under cover of the wood,
bayoneted the sentinels, surrounded the picket-house, and made
prisoners of the picket. The surprise was complete; not a shot had
been fired, and all had passed with so little noise that it appeared
probable the _coup-de-main_ would only become known to the Christinos
when the time arrived for relieving the outposts.

A trifling oversight, however, on the part of the Carlists, caused
things to pass differently. A soldier belonging to the picket, and who
was sleeping amongst the long grass, just within the wood, had escaped
all notice. The noise of the scuffle awoke him; but on perceiving how
matters stood, he prudently remained in his hiding-place till the
Carlists, having collected the arms and ammunition of their prisoners,
began to reascend the mountain. At a distance of three hundred yards
he fired at them, and then scampered off in the contrary direction.
His bullet took no effect, and the retreating guerillas, seeing how
great a start he had, allowed him to escape unpursued. But the report
of his musket spread the alarm. The pickets right and left of the one
that had been surprised, saw the Carlists winding their way up the
mountain; the vedettes fired, and the drums beat to arms. The alarm
spread rapidly from one end of the valley to the other, and every part
of it was in an instant swarming with men. Dragoons saddled and
artillery harnessed; infantry formed up by battalions and brigades;
generals and aides-de-camp dashed about hurrying the movements of the
troops, and asking the whereabouts of the enemy. This information they
soon obtained. No sooner was the alarm given, than Zumalacarregui,
relying upon the tried courage of his soldiers, and on the advantage
of his position, which must render the enemy's cavalry useless, and
greatly diminish the effect of the artillery, put himself at the head
of his two battalions, and rapidly descended the mountain, dispatching
an officer after Gomez with orders for a similar movement on his part.
Before the Carlists reached the plain, the Christinos quartered in the
nearest village advanced to meet them, and a smart skirmish began.

Distributed along the clifts and terraces of the mountain, kneeling
amongst the bushes and sheltered behind the trees that grew at its
base, the Carlists kept up a steady fire, which was warmly replied to
by their antagonists. In the most exposed situations, the Carlist
officers of all ranks, from the ensign to the general, showed
themselves, encouraging their men, urging them to take good aim, and
not to fire till they could distinguish the faces of their enemies,
themselves sometimes taking up a dead man's musket and sending a few
well-directed shots amongst the Christinos. Here a man was seen
binding the sash, which forms part of the dress of every Navarrese
peasant, over a wound that was not of sufficient importance to send
him to the rear; in another place a guerilla replenished his scanty
stock of ammunition from the cartridge-belt of a fallen comrade, and
sprang forward, to meet perhaps, the next moment, a similar fate. On
the side of the Christinos there was less appearance of enthusiasm and
ardour for the fight; but their numbers were far superior, and each
moment increased, and some light guns and howitzers that had been
brought up began to scatter shot and shell amongst the Carlists,
although the manner in which the latter were sheltered amongst wood
and rock, prevented those missiles from doing them very material
injury. The fight was hottest around the hill on which the picket had
been stationed, now the most advanced point of the Carlist line. It
was held by a battalion, which, dispersed amongst the trees that
fringed its sides, opposed a fierce resistance to the assaults of the
Christinos. At last the latter, weary of the protracted skirmishing,
by which they lost many men, but were unable to obtain any material
advantage, sent forward two battalions of the royal guards to take the
hill at the point of the bayonet. With their bugles playing a lively
march, these troops, the finest infantry in the Spanish army, advanced
in admirable order, and without firing a shot, to perform the duty
assigned to them. On their approach the Carlists retreated from the
sides of the hill, and assembled in the wood on its summit, at the
foot of the higher mountains. One battalion of the guards ascended the
hill in line, and advanced along the open ground, whilst the other
marched round the skirt of the eminence to take the Carlists in flank.
The Navarrese reserved their fire till they saw the former battalion
within fifty yards of them, and then poured in a deadly volley. The
ranks of the Christinos were thinned, but they closed them again, and,
with levelled bayonets and quickened step, advanced to clear the wood,
little expecting that the newly-raised troops opposed to them would
venture to meet them at close quarters. The event, however, proved
that they had undervalued their antagonists. Emerging from their
shelter, the Carlists brought their bayonets to the charge, and, with
a ringing shout of "_Viva Carlos Quinto!_" rushed upon their foe. A
griding clash of steel and a shrill cry of agony bore witness to the
fury of the encounter. The loss on both sides was severe, but the
advantage remained with the Carlists. The guards, unprepared for so
obstinate a resistance, were borne back several paces, and thrown into
some confusion. But the victors had no time to follow up their
advantage, for the other Christino battalion had entered the wood, and
was advancing rapidly upon their flank. Hastily collecting their
wounded, the Carlists retired, still fighting, to the higher ground in
their rear. At the same moment Zumalacarregui, observing a body of
fresh troops making a movement upon his right, as if with the
intention of outflanking him, ordered the retreat to be sounded, and
the Carlist line retired slowly up the mountains. Some of Rodil's
battalions followed, and the skirmishing was kept up with more or less
spirit till an end was put to it by the arrival of night.

From the commencement of the fight, several squadrons of the Queen's
cavalry had remained drawn up near a village in which they had their
quarters, at about a mile from the left of the Carlists. A short
distance in front of the line, a number of officers had collected
together, and were observing the progress of the combat, in which the
impracticability of the ground for horsemen prevented them from taking
a share. There was considerable grumbling, especially amongst the
juniors, at the inactivity to which they found themselves condemned.

"If this is the kind of fighting we are always to have," said a young
cornet sulkily, "they might as well have left us in our garrisons. We
were a deuced deal more comfortable, and quite as useful, in our snug
quarters at Valladolid. The faction, it is well known, have no
cavalry, and you will not catch their infernal guerillas coming down
into the plain to be sabred at leisure."

"No," said another subaltern, "but they are forming cavalry, it is
said. Besides, we may catch their infantry napping some day, as they
did our picket just now."

"Pshaw!" replied the first speaker. "Before that time comes every
horse in the brigade will be lame or sore-backed, and we ourselves
shall be converted into infantry men. All respect for lance and
sabre--but curse me if I would not rather turn foot-soldier at once,
than have to crawl over these mountains as we have done for the last
fortnight, dragging our horses after us by the bridle. For six hours
yesterday did I flounder over ground that was never meant to be trod
by any but bears or izards, breaking my spurs and shins, whilst my
poor nag here was rubbing the skin off his legs against rocks and
tree-stumps. When I entered the cavalry I expected my horse would
carry me; but if this goes on, it is much more likely I shall have to
carry him."

"A nice set of fellows you are," said an old grey-mustached captain,
"to be grumbling before you have been a month in the field. Wait a
bit, my boys, till your own flesh and your horses' have been taken
down by hard marching and short commons, and until, if you mount a
hill, you are obliged to hold on by the mane, lest the saddle should
slip back over the lean ribs of your charger. The marches you have as
yet seen are but child's play to what you _will_ see before the
campaign is over."

"Then hang me if I don't join the footpads," returned the dissatisfied
cornet. "At any rate one would have a little fighting then--a chance
of a broken head or t'other epaulet; and that is better than carrying
a sabre one never has to draw. Why, the very mules cannot keep their
footing amongst these mountains. Ask our quartermaster, whom I saw
yesterday craning over the edge of a precipice, and watching two of
his beasts of burden which were going down hill a deal quicker than
they had come up--their legs in the air, and the sacks of corn upon
their backs hastening their descent to some ravine or other, where the
crows no doubt at the present moment are picking their bones. You
should have heard old Skinflint swear. I thought he would have thrown
the muleteer after the mules. And they call this a country for

"I certainly fear," said Herrera, who had been listening to the
colloquy, "that as long as the war is confined to these provinces,
cavalry will not be very often wanted."

"And if they were not here, they would be wanted immediately," said a
field-officer, who was observing the skirmish through a telescope.
"Besides, you young gentlemen have less cause for discontent than any
body else. There may be no opportunity for brilliant charges, but
there is always work for a subaltern's party, in the way of cutting
off detachments, or some such _coup-de-main_. I see a group of fellows
yonder who will get themselves into trouble if they do not take care."

All eyes and glasses turned towards the direction in which the major
was looking. It was the hottest moment of the fight; by their
impetuosity and courage the Carlists were keeping at bay the superior
numbers of their antagonists; and on their extreme left, a small party
of horsemen, consisting of four or five officers and a dozen lancers,
had ventured to advance a short distance into the plain. They had
halted at the edge of a _manzanal_, or cider orchard; and although
some way in advance of their own line, they were at a considerable
distance from any Christino troops; whilst a tolerably good path,
which led up the least precipitous part of the mountains in their
rear, seemed to ensure them an easy retreat whenever it might become
necessary. So confident were they of their safety, that the officers
had dismounted, and were observing the Christino reserves, and the
various bodies of infantry which were advancing from the more distant
cantonments. At this moment the officer commanding the cavalry rode up
to the spot where Herrera and his comrades were assembled.

"Major Gonzalez," said he, "send half a troop to cut off those
gentlemen who are reconnoitring. Let the party file off to the rear,
or their intention will be perceived."

The subalterns belonging to the squadron under command of Gonzalez,
pressed round him, eager to be chosen for the duty that was to vary
the monotony and inaction of which they had so recently been

"Herrera," said the major, "you have most practice in this sort of
thing. Take thirty men and march them back into the village, out on
the other side, and round that rising ground upon our right. There is
plenty of cover, and if you make the most of it, the game cannot
escape. And, a hint to you--your fellows generally grind their sabres
pretty sharp, I know, and you are not fond of encumbering yourself
with prisoners; but yonder party, judging from their appearance, may
be men of note amongst the rebels, worth more alive than dead. Bring
them in with whole skins if you can. As to the fellows with the red
and white lance-flags, I leave them entirely at your discretion."

"I shall observe your orders, major," replied Herrera, whose eyes
sparkled at the prospect of a brush with the enemy. "Sergeant
Velasquez, tell off thirty men from the left of the troop."

The non-commissioned officer, who was introduced to the reader at the
commencement of this narrative, and who now found himself, in
consequence of a change of regiment, in the same squadron as Herrera,
obeyed the order he had received, and the party marched leisurely into
the village. No sooner, however, had they entered the narrow street,
and were concealed from the view of those whom they intended to
surprise, than their pace was altered to a brisk trot, which became a
hand-gallop when they got into the fields beyond the rising ground
referred to by the major. They then struck into a hollow road,
sheltered by bush-crowned banks, and finally reached the long narrow
strip of apple-orchard, at the further angle of which the group of
Carlists was posted. Skirting the plantation on the reverse side to
the enemy, they arrived at its extremity, and wheeling to the left,
cantered on in line, their sabre scabbards hooked up to their belts to
diminish the clatter, the noise of their horses' feet inaudible upon
the grass and fern over which they rode. "Charge!" shouted Herrera, as
they reached the second angle of the orchard; and with a loud hurra
and brandished sabres, the dragoons dashed down upon the little party
of Carlists, now within a hundred paces of them. The dismounted
officers hurried to their horses, and the lancers hastily faced about
to resist the charge; but before they could complete the movement,
they were sabred and ridden over. Herrera, mindful of the orders he
had received, hurried to protect the officers from a similar fate. One
of the latter, who had his back turned to Herrera, and who, although
he wore a sword by his side, was dressed in plain clothes, was in the
very act of getting into the saddle, when a dragoon aimed a furious
cut at his head. Herrera was in time to parry the blow, and as he did
so, the person whose life he had saved, turned round and disclosed the
well-known features of the Conde de Villabuena.

"Señor Conde!" exclaimed the astonished Luis, "I am grieved"----

"It is unnecessary, sir," said the count, coldly. "You are obeying
orders, I presume, and doing what you consider your duty. Am I to be
shot here, or taken to your chief?"

"It is much against my will," answered Herrera, "that I constrain you
in any way. I am compelled to conduct you to General Rodil."

The count made no reply, but, turning his horse's head in the
direction of the Christino camp, rode moodily onwards, followed,
rather then accompanied, by his captor. A Carlist officer and three
members of the rebel junta were the other prisoners. The lancers had
all been cut to pieces.

The position in which Herrera now found himself was in the highest
degree embarrassing and painful. Old affection and friendship were
revived by the sight of the count; and, had he obeyed his first
impulse, he would frankly have expressed his sorrow at the chance
which had thrown Villabuena into the hands of his foes, and have said
what he could to console him under his misfortune. But the count's
manner was so haughty and repulsive, and he so studiously avoided
recognising in Luis any thing more than an opponent and a captor, that
the words of kindness froze upon the young man's tongue, and during
the few minutes that were required to rejoin the regiment, the silence
remained unbroken. On reaching the spot where the cavalry was still
halted, the detachment was received with loud congratulations on the
successful issue of the expedition.

"Cleverly managed, Señor Herrera!" said the colonel; "and the
prisoners are of importance. Take them yourself to the general."

In obedience to this order, Herrera moved off to the part of the field
in which Rodil, surrounded by a numerous and brilliant staff, had
taken his post.

"Ha!" said the general, when the young officer had made his report,
his quick eye glancing at the prisoners, some of whom were known to
him by sight. "Ha! you have done well, sir, and your conduct shall be
favourably reported at Madrid. The Marquis of Torralva and Count
Villabuena--an important capture this. Your name, sir--and yours, and
yours?" said he sharply to the other prisoners.

The answers visibly increased his satisfaction. They were all men well
known as zealous and influential partizans of the Pretender. Rodil
paused an instant, and then turned to one of his aides-de-camp.

"A priest and a firing party," said he. "You have half an hour to
prepare for death," he added, addressing the prisoners. "Rebels taken
with arms in their hands can expect no greater favour."

Herrera felt a cold chill come over him as he heard this order given
for the instant execution of a man whom he had so long regarded as his
friend and benefactor. Forgetting, in the agitation of the moment, his
own subordinate position, and the impropriety of his interference, he
was about to address the general, and petition for the life of
Villabuena, when he was saved from the commission of a breach of
discipline by the interposition of a third party. A young man in the
uniform of a general officer, of sallow complexion and handsome
countenance, who was stationed upon Rodil's right hand, moved his
horse nearer to that of the general, and spoke a few words to him in a
low tone of voice. Rodil seemed to listen with attention, and to
reflect a moment before replying.

"You are right, Cordova," said he; "they may be worth keeping as
hostages; and I will delay their death till I can communicate with her
Majesty's government. Let them be strictly guarded, and sent to-morrow
to Pampeluna under good escort. Your name, sir?" said he, turning to

Herrera told his name and regiment.

"Luis Herrera," repeated Rodil; "I have heard it before, as that of a
brave and promising officer. Well, sir, since you have taken these
prisoners, you shall keep them. Yourself and a detachment of your
squadron will form part of their escort to Pampeluna."

The flattering words of his general went but a short way towards
reconciling Luis to the unpleasant task of escorting his former friend
to a captivity which would in all probability find its termination in
a violent death. With a heavy heart he saw Villabuena and the other
prisoners led off to the house that was to serve as their place of
confinement for the night; and still more painful were his feelings,
when he thought of Rita's grief on receiving intelligence of her
father's peril, perhaps of his execution. In order to alleviate to the
utmost of his power the present position of the count, he recommended
him to the care of the officer placed on guard over him, who promised
to allow his prisoner every indulgence consistent with his safe
keeping. And although the escort duty assigned to him was in some
respects so unpleasant to fulfil, Herrera became almost reconciled to
it by the reflection, that he might be able to spare Villabuena much
of the hardship and rough treatment to which his captivity exposed

The first grey light of morning had scarcely appeared in the Lower
Amezcoa, stealing over the mountain-tops, and indistinctly shadowing
forth the objects in the plain, when the stillness that had reigned in
the valley since the conclusion of the preceding day's skirmish, was
broken by the loud and joyous clang of the reveillé. At various points
of the Christino cantonments, the brazen instruments of the cavalry,
and the more numerous, but perhaps less martially sounding, bands of
the infantry regiments, were rousing the drowsy soldiers from their
slumbers, and awakening the surrounding echoes by the wild melody of
Riego's hymn. Gradually the sky grew brighter, the last lingering
stars disappeared, the summits of the western mountains were
illuminated with a golden flush, and the banks and billows of white
mist that rested on the meadows, and hung upon the hillsides, began to
melt away and disappear at the approach of the sun's rays. In the
fields and on the roads near the different villages, the troops were
seen assembling, the men silent and heavy-eyed, but refreshed and
invigorated by the night's repose, the horses champing their bits, and
neighing with impatience. Trains of mules, laden with sacks of corn
and rations, that from their weight might be deemed sufficient load
for as many dromedaries, issued from barn and stable, expending their
superfluous strength and spirit by kicking and biting viciously at
each other, and were ranged in rear of the troops, where also carts
and litters, containing wounded men, awaited the order for departure.
The sergeant-majors called the roll of their troops and companies;
whilst the men, leaning upon their muskets, or sitting at ease in
their saddles, munched fragments of the brown ration bread, smoked the
cigarette, or received from the hands of the tawny-visaged sutlers and
_cantinieras_, who walked up and down the ranks, an antidote to the
effects of the cool morning air, in the shape of a glass of
_aguardiente_. When all preparations were completed, and the time
necessary for the forming up of so numerous a body of men had elapsed,
the order to march was given, and the troops moved off in a southerly

Whilst this general movement took place, a detachment, consisting of
four companies of infantry, and fifty dragoons, separated itself from
the main body, and took the road to Pampeluna, whither it was to
escort Count Villabuena and his fellow captives. The country to the
north-east of the Amezcoa, through which they would have to pass, was
known to be free from Carlists, with the exception of unimportant
parties of armed peasants; Rodil himself had gone in pursuit of
Zumalacarregui, who had retired in the same direction whence he had
approached the valley; and therefore this escort, although so few in
number, was deemed amply sufficient to convey the prisoners in all
safety to their destination, to which one long day's march would bring
them. The detachment was commanded by a major of infantry--a young man
who had acquired what military experience he possessed in the ease and
sloth of a garrison life, during which, however, thanks to certain
influential recommendations, he had found promotion come so quickly
that he had not the same reason with many of his comrades to be
satisfied with the more active and dangerous service to which he had
recently been called. Inwardly congratulating himself on the change
which his present duty ensured him from the hardships of bivouacs and
bad quarters to at least a day or two's enjoyment of the fleshpots of
Pampeluna, he rode gaily along at the head of the escort, chatting and
laughing with his second in command. Behind him came Herrera and his
dragoons, and in rear of them the prisoners, on either side of whom
marched foot-soldiers with fixed bayonets. The body of infantry
brought up the rear. Strict orders had been given against conversing
with the captives; and Herrera was compelled, therefore, to abandon
the intention he had formed of endeavouring to break down the barrier
of cold reserve within which Count Villabuena had fenced himself, and
of offering such assistance and comfort as it was in his power to
give. He was forced to be contented with keeping near the prisoners,
in order to protect them from any abuse or ill-treatment on the part
of the soldiery.

For some hours the march continued without incident or novelty to vary
its monotony. There was no high-road in the direction the escort was
taking; the way, which was shown them by a peasant, led through
country lanes, over hills, and across fields, as nearly in a straight
line as the rugged and mountainous nature of the country would allow.
Towards noon, the heat, endurable enough during the first hours of the
morning, became excessive. The musket barrels and sabre scabbards
almost burned the fingers that touched them; the coats of the horses
were caked with sweat and dust; and the men went panting along,
looking out eagerly, but in vain, for some roadside fountain or
streamlet, at which to quench the thirst that parched their mouths.
They had reached a beaten road, which, although rough and neglected,
yet afforded a better footing than they had hitherto had, when such
means of refreshment at last presented themselves. It was near the
entrance of a sort of defile formed by two irregular lines of low
hills, closing in the road, which was fringed with patches of trees
and brushwood, and with huge masses of rock that seemed to have been
placed there by the hands of the Titans, or to have rolled thither
during some mighty convulsion of nature from the distant ranges of
mountains. At a short distance from this pass, there bubbled forth
from under a moss-grown block of granite a clear and sparkling
rivulet, which, overflowing the margin of the basin it had formed for
itself, rippled across the road, and entered the opposite fields. Here
a five minutes' halt was called, the men were allowed to quit their
ranks, and in an instant they were kneeling by scores along the side
of the little stream, collecting the water in canteens and
foraging-caps, and washing their hands and faces in the pure element.
The much-needed refreshment taken, the march was resumed.

Notwithstanding that the pass through which the prisoners and their
escort were now advancing was nearly a mile in length, and in many
places admirably adapted for a surprise, the officer in command,
either through ignorance or over-confidence, neglected the usual
precaution of sending scouts along the hills that on either side
commanded the road. This negligence struck Herrera, who knew by
experience, that, with such active and wily foes as the Carlists, no
precaution could be dispensed with, however superfluous it might seem.
Scarcely had the troops entered the defile when he suggested to the
major the propriety of sending out skirmishers to beat the thickets
and guard against an ambuscade.

"Quite unnecessary, sir," was the reply. "There is no rebel force in
this part of the country that would venture to come within a league of

"So we are told," said Herrera; "but I have had occasion to see that
one must not always rely on such assurances."

"I shall do so, nevertheless, in this instance," said the major. "We
have a long march before us, and if I fag the men by sending them
clambering over hills and rocks, I shall lose half of them by
straggling, and perhaps not reach Pampeluna to-night."

"If you will allow me," said Herrera, "I will send a few of my
dragoons to do the duty. They will hardly be so effective as infantry
for such a service, but it will be better than leaving our flanks
entirely unguarded."

"I have already told you, sir," replied the major testily, "that I
consider such precaution overstrained and unnecessary. I believe,
Lieutenant Herrera, that it is I who command this detachment."

Thus rebuked, Herrera desisted from his remonstrances, and fell back
into his place. The march continued in all security through the wild
and dangerous defile; the men, refreshed by their momentary halt,
tramping briskly along, chattering, smoking, and singing snatches of
soldier's songs. It appeared as if the negligence of the major was
likely to be justified, as far as it could be, by the result; for they
were now within two hundred yards of the extremity of the pass, and in
view of the open country. The defile was each moment widening, and
the space between the road and the hills was filled up with a wood of
young beech and oak. Herrera himself, who had each moment been
expecting to receive a volley from some ambushed foe, was beginning to
think the danger over, when a man dressed in red uniform, with a
scarlet cap upon his head, and mounted on a white horse, suddenly
appeared at the end of the pass, and tossing his lance, which he
carried at the trail, into his bridle hand, put a trumpet that was
slung round his neck, to his mouth, and blew a loud and startling
blast. The signal, for such it was, did not long remain unanswered. A
hoarse wild shout issued from the wood on either side of the road, and
a volley of musketry resounded through the pass. In an instant the
hills were alive with Carlist soldiers, some reloading the muskets
they had just fired, others taking aim at the Christinos, or fixing
their bayonets in preparation for a closer encounter. Another minute
had scarcely elapsed, when a strong squadron of cavalry, which the
trumpeter had preceded, dashed out of the fields at the extremity of
the pass, formed column upon the road, and levelling their long light
lances, advanced, led on by Zumalacarregui himself, to charge the
astonished Christinos.

Extreme was the confusion into which the escort was thrown by this
attack, so totally unexpected by every body but Herrera. All was
bewilderment and terror; the men stood staring at each other, or at
their dead and wounded comrades, without even thinking of defending
themselves. This state of stupefaction lasted, however, but a second;
and then the soldiers, without waiting for orders, turned back to
back, and facing the points where the Carlists had stationed
themselves, returned their fire with all the vigour and promptness
which desperation could give. The major--a really brave man, but quite
unequal to an emergency of this nature--knew not what orders to give,
or how to extricate himself and his men from the scrape into which his
own headstrong imprudence had brought them. Foreseeing no possibility
of escape from an enemy who, in numbers and advantage of position, so
far overmatched him, his next thought regarded the prisoners, and he
galloped hastily back to where they stood. The Carlists had probably
received orders concerning them; for neither they nor their immediate
escort had suffered injury from the volley that had played such havoc
with the main body of the detachment.

"Fire on the prisoners!" shouted the major.

The guard round Villabuena and his fellow-captives stared at their
officer without obeying. Some of them were reloading, and the others
apparently did not comprehend the strange order.

"Fire, I say!" repeated the commandant. "By the holy cross! if we are
to leave our bones here, theirs shall whiten beside them."

More than one musket was already turned in the direction of the doomed
captives, when Herrera, who, at the moment that he was about to lead
his dragoons to the encounter of the Carlist cavalry, just then
appearing on the road, had overheard the furious exclamation of his
superior, came galloping back to the rescue.

"Stop!" shouted he, striking up the muzzles of the muskets. "You have
no warrant for such cruelty."

"Traitor!" screamed the major, almost breathless with rage, and
raising his sword to make a cut at Herrera. Before, however, he could
give force to the blow, his eyes rolled frightfully, his feet left the
stirrups, and, dropping his weapon, he fell headlong into the dust. A
Carlist bullet had pierced his heart.

"Fire at your foes, and not at defenceless prisoners," said Herrera
sternly to the dismayed soldiers. "Remember that your lives shall
answer for those of these men."

And again placing himself at the head of the cavalry, he led them to
meet Zumalacarregui and his lancers, who were already charging down
upon them.

But the few seconds that had been occupied in saving Villabuena and
his companions from the slaughter, had made all the difference in the
chances of success. Could Herrera have charged, as he had been about
to do, before the Carlists formed up and advanced, he might, in all
probability, owing to the greater skill of his men in the use of
their weapons, and to the superiority of their horses, have broken and
sabred his opponents, and opened the road for the Christino infantry.
Once in the plain, where the dragoons could act with advantage, the
Carlists might have been kept at bay, and a retreat effected. Now,
however, the state of affairs was very different. The lancers, with
Zumalacarregui and several of his staff charging at their head like
mere subalterns, came thundering along the road, and before Herrera
could get his dragoons into full career, the shock took place. In an
instant the way was blocked up with a confused mass of men and horses.
The rear files of the contending cavalry, unable immediately to check
their speed, pushed forward those in front, or forced them off the
road upon the strip of broken ground and brushwood on either side;
friends and foes were mingled together, cutting, thrusting, swearing,
and shouting. But the dragoons, besides encountering the lances of the
hostile cavalry, suffered terribly from the fire of the foot-soldiers,
who came down to the side of the road, blazing at them from within a
few paces, and even thrusting them off their horses with the bayonet.
In so confused a struggle, and against such odds, the superior
discipline and skill of the Christinos was of small avail. Herrera,
who, at the first moment of the encounter, had crossed swords with
Zumalacarregui himself, but who the next instant had been separated
from him by the mêlée, fought like a lion, till his right arm was
disabled by a lance-thrust. The soldier who had wounded him was about
to repeat the blow, when a Carlist officer interfered to save him. He
was made prisoner, and his men, discouraged by his loss, and reduced
already to little more than a third of their original numbers, threw
down their arms and asked for quarter. Their example was immediately
followed by those of the infantry who had escaped alive from the
murderous volleys of their opponents.

Of all those who took part in this bloody conflict, not one bore
himself more gallantly, or did more execution amongst the enemy, than
our old acquaintance, Sergeant Velasquez. When the charge had taken
place, and the desperate fight above described commenced, he backed
his horse off the narrow road upon which the combatants were cooped
up, into a sort of nook formed by a bank and some trees. In this
advantageous position, his rear and flanks protected, he kept off all
who attacked him, replying with laugh and jeer to the furious oaths
and imprecations of his baffled antagonists. His fierce and determined
aspect, and still more the long and powerful sweep of his broad sabre,
struck terror into his assailants, who found their best aimed blows
and most furious assaults repelled, and returned with fatal effect by
the practised arm of the dragoon. At the moment that Herrera was
wounded, and the fight brought to a close, the mass of combatants had
pressed further forward into the defile, and only three or four of the
rearmost of the Carlists occupied the portion of the pass between
Velasquez and the open country. Just then a shout in his rear, and a
bullet that pierced his shako, warned the sergeant that the infantry
were upon him; and at the same moment he saw his comrades desist from
their defence. Setting spurs to his charger, he made the animal bound
forward upon the road, clove the shoulder of the nearest lancer, rode
over another, and passing unhurt through the rain of bullets that
whistled around him, galloped out of the defile.

But, although unwounded, Velasquez was not unpursued. A dozen lancers
spurred their horses after him; and although more than half of these,
seeing that they had no chance of overtaking the well-mounted
fugitive, soon pulled up and retraced their steps, three or four still
persevered in the chase. Fortunate was it for the sergeant that the
good horse which he had lost at the venta near Tudela, had been
replaced by one of equal speed and mettle. With unabated swiftness he
scoured along the road through the whirlwind of dust raised by his
charger's feet, until the Carlists, seeing the distance between them
and the object of their pursuit rapidly increasing, gradually
abandoned the race. One man alone continued stanch, and seemed not
unlikely to overtake the dragoon. This was no other than the
sergeant's former opponent in the ball-court, Paco the muleteer, now
converted into a Carlist lancer, and who, his sharp-rowelled spurs
goring his horse's sides, his lance in his hand, his body bent forward
as though he would fain have outstripped in his eagerness the speed of
the animal he bestrode, dashed onward with headlong and reckless
violence. His lean and raw-boned but swift and vigorous horse,
scarcely felt the light weight of its rider; whilst Velasquez'
charger, in addition to the solid bulk of the dragoon, was encumbered
with a well-filled valise and heavy trappings. The distance between
pursued and pursuer was rapidly diminishing; and the sergeant, hearing
the clatter of hoofs each moment drawing nearer, looked over his
shoulder to see by how many of his enemies he was so obstinately
followed. Paco immediately recognised him, and with a shout of
exultation again drove the rowels into his horse's belly.

"_Halto! traidor! infame!_" yelled the ex-muleteer. "Stop, coward, and
meet your death like a man!"

His invitation was not long disregarded. Velasquez, having ascertained
that he had but a single pursuer, and that pursuer a man to whom he
owed a grudge and was by no means sorry to give a lesson, pulled up
his horse and confronted Paco, who, nothing daunted, came tearing
along, waving his lance above his head like a mad Cossack, and
shouting imprecations and defiance. As he came up, Velasquez, who had
steadily awaited his charge, parried the furious thrust that was aimed
at him, and at the same time, by a movement of leg and rein which he
had often practised in the _manège_, caused his horse to bound aside.
Unable immediately to check his steed, Paco passed onwards; but as he
did so, Velasquez dealt him a back-handed blow of his sabre, and the
unlucky Carlist fell bleeding and senseless from the saddle. His
horse, terrified at its rider's fall, galloped wildly across the

"That makes the half-dozen," said the sergeant coolly, as he looked
down on his prostrate foe; "if every one of us had done as much, the
day's work would have been better."

And sheathing his sabre, he resumed, but at a more moderate pace, the
flight which had for a moment been interrupted.


The title of "_Domestic_ Manners of the Turks,"[28] given to the
volumes before us, can scarcely be considered as a correct
designation; since it is not in the privacy of their own families, in
their harems and among their children, (scenes in which it would
indeed be rash to challenge comparison with the eloquent author of the
_Spirit of the East_,) that Mr White has depicted the Turks of the
present day: but rather in the places "where men most do
congregate"--in the _bezestans_ and _tcharshys_ or markets, commonly
called bazars:[29] in the exercise of the various trades and callings,
and the intercourse of professional and commercial relations. The work
is rather a treatise on the corporate bodies and municipal
institutions of Constantinople--a subject hitherto almost untouched by
European writers, and in the investigation of which Mr White has
diligently availed himself of the opportunities afforded him by the
liberal spirit which the events of late years have fostered among the
Turks. The results of these researches are now laid before us, in a
form which, though perhaps not the most popular which might have been
adopted, is not ill calculated to embrace the vast variety of subjects
included in the range of the author's observations. Taking the
bezestans and markets--the focus of business and commerce to which the
various classes of the Stamboul population converge--as the
ground-work of his lucubrations, Mr White proceeds to enumerate in
detail the various trades and handicrafts carried on within the
precincts of these great national marts, the articles therein sold,
and the guilds or incorporated companies, to many of which extensive
privileges have been granted by the sultans for their services to the
state. These topics are diversified by numerous digressions on
politics, religion, criminal law, the imperial harem, the language of
flowers--in short, _de omnibus rebus et quibusdam aliis_--in the
course of which Mr White gives his readers the benefit of all the
miscellaneous information which has fallen in his way during his three
years' residence among the Osmanlis. Of a work so diffuse in its
nature, it is impossible to give more than an outline; and
accordingly, omitting all mention of those subjects which have been
rendered tolerably familiar to European readers by the narratives of
former travellers, we shall select from these "orient pearls," strung
most literally "at random," such topics as possess most novelty, or on
which Mr White has imparted some novel information.

The space of ground occupied by the two great bezestans--the jewel or
arms' bezestan, and the silk bezestan--with the surrounding
_tcharshys_, and other buildings appropriated to trade, forms an
irregular quadrangle of about three hundred and fifty square yards, to
the north of the Mosque of Sultan Bajazet, and west of that of
Noor-Osmanya. "The bezestans originally consisted of isolated
buildings, each with four gates opening nearly to the cardinal points,
which were, and still are, designated after the trades carried on in
booths around or beneath their respective porches. By degrees new
shops, alleys, and enclosures clustered around the original depots,
until the whole were enclosed within walls, arched, roofed, and
provided with lock-up gates and posterns, of which there are twelve
large and about twenty small. They were then subjected to the same
syndical laws that regulate the police and administration of the
parent buildings." They are opened soon after dawn, and closed at
afternoon prayer; and the same regulations are observed at the _Missr
Tcharshy_, or Egyptian drug-market, hereafter to be noticed. The
jewel bezestan alone shuts at mid-day--the former occupants having
been principally janissaries, who held it beneath their dignity to
keep their shops open all day; on Fridays they are closed; and, during
Ramazan, are open only from mid-day to afternoon prayer. The silk
bezestan, being tenanted only by Armenians, is closed on Sundays, and
the saints' days of their calendar, amounting to nearly a fourth of
the year. "With the exception of the two bezestans, the bazars are not
surmounted by domes, the distinctive ornament of almost all public
edifices; ... so that the whole surface, when seen from the Serasker's
Tower, presents a vast area of tiles, without any architectural
relief, and exhibits a monotonous vacuum in the midst of the
surrounding noble mosques and lofty khans."

The Jewel or Arms' Bezestan (Djevahir or Silah-Bezestany) is the
oldest of these establishments, dating from the time of the conquest
by Mahommed II.; but, having been repeatedly destroyed by fire, the
present edifice of stone was constructed in 1708. It is a lofty oblong
quadrangular building, with fifteen cupolas and four arched gates--the
booksellers', the goldsmiths', the mercers', and the beltmakers'. The
interior consists of a broad alley, intersected by four transverse
alleys with double rows of shops, where the dealers, who are all
Moslems, sit on platforms raised about three feet and a half from the
pavement. They constitute a guild among themselves, presided over by a
sheikh, with a deputy and six elders; and are so highly esteemed for
their probity, that valuable deposits are frequently left in their
charge by persons going on pilgrimage or to distant countries; but
this privilege has lately been interfered with by government, which
has claimed, in failure of heirs, the reversions which formerly fell
to the guild. "It would be an endless task to describe the articles
exposed to sale in Djevahir-Bezestany, which, from jewels being rarely
sold there at present, might be more appropriately called the bezestan
of antiquities." The principal objects of attraction, especially to
foreigners, are the arms, to which Mr White accordingly confines his
remarks: but the once famed Damascus sabres (called _Sham_ or Syrian)
are now held as inferior to those of Khorassan and Persia, (_Taban_ or
polished,) unless anterior to the destruction of the old manufactory
by Timour in 1400; and those of this ancient fabric are now of extreme
rarity and value. "A full-sized Khorassan, or ancient Damascus sabre,
should measure about thirty-five inches from guard to point; the back
should be free from flaws, the watering even and distinct throughout
the whole length: the colour a bluish grey. A perfect sabre should
possess what the Turks call the Kirk Merdevend, (forty gradations:)
that is, the blade should consist of forty compartments of watered
circles, diminishing in diameter as they reach the point. A tolerable
_taban_ of this kind, with plain scabbard and horn handle, is not
easily purchased for less than 2000 piastres; some fetch as much as
5000, and when recognised as extraordinary, there is no limit to the
price. Damascus sabres made prior to 1600 are seldom seen, but modern
blades of less pure temper and lighter colour are common. Their form
is nearly similar to the Khorassan; but the latter, when of
extraordinary temper, will cut through the former like a knife through
a bean-stalk." The shorter swords of bright steel called _pala_,
watered not in circles, but in waving lines, are mostly from the
manufactory established at Stamboul by Mahommed II. soon after the
conquest, and which maintained its celebrity up to the time of Mourad
IV., the last sultan who headed his armies in person:--"After his
death, the fashion of wearing Khorassan and old Syrian blades was
revived: and the Stamboul manufactory was gradually neglected."

It is needless to follow Mr White through his dissertations on
handjars, yataghans, and other Oriental varieties of cold steel; but
passing through the booksellers' (Sahhaf) gate of the bezestan, we
find ourselves in the Paternoster Row of Stamboul--a short space
exclusively inhabited by the trade from which the gate derives its
name. The booksellers' guild consists of about forty members, presided
over by a sheikh and a council of elders; and is conducted on
principles as rigidly exclusive as those of some corporations nearer
home, it being almost impossible for any one to purchase the good-will
of a shop, unless connected by blood with some of the fraternity: but
Mr White's account of "the trade," and of the bearded Murrays and
Colburns by whom it is carried on, is far from favourable. Competition
being excluded by this monopoly, the prices demanded are so
exorbitant, "that it is common to say of a close-fisted dealer, 'he is
worse than a sahhaf.' The booksellers' stalls are the meanest in
appearance in all the bazars; and the effendy, who lord it over the
literary treasures, are the least prepossessing, and by no means the
most obliging, of the crafts within this vast emporium." There are
some exceptions, however, to this sweeping censure. Suleiman Effendi,
father of the imperial historiographer, Sheikh-Zadeh Assad Effendi, is
celebrated as a philologist; and Hadji-Effendi, though blind, "appears
as expert in discovering the merits of a MS. or printed work as the
most eagle-eyed of his contemporaries, and is moreover full of
literary and scientific information." Catalogues are unknown, and the
price even of printed books, after they have passed out of the hands
of the editor, is perfectly arbitrary; but the commonest printed books
are double the relative rate in Europe. The value of MSS. of course
depends on their rarity and beauty of transcription; a finely
illuminated Koran cannot be procured for less than 5000 or 6000
piastres, and those written by celebrated caligraphers fetch from
25,000 to even 50,000. Mr White estimates the average number of
volumes on a stall at about 700, or less than 30,000 in the whole
bazar; but among these are frequently found works of great rarity in
the "three languages," (Arabic, Persian, and Turkish.) Of those most
in request, a catalogue is given, comprising the usual range of
Oriental literature.

There are about forty public libraries in Constantinople, but many of
these are within the principal mosques, and therefore not easily
accessible to Europeans. They are all endowed with ample funds for
their maintenance and the salaries of their librarians, who frequently
add considerably to their emoluments by transcribing MSS:--"but it
does not appear that these funds are employed in adding to these
collections; so that in point of numbers they remain nearly as when
first founded." Each library has not only a simple nomenclature, but a
_catalogue raisonnée_ containing a summary of each work; and the
books, most of which are transcribed on vellum or highly glazed paper,
are bound in the manner of a tuck pocket-book, in dark morocco or
calf, with the titles written on the outside of the margin, and are
laid on their sides on the shelves. The floors are covered with mats,
and on one or more sides are low divans for the use of the students,
who leave their slippers at the door; a narrow desk in front of the
divans supports the volumes in use. Neither fire, candle, nor smoking,
is permitted; and the libraries in general are open daily, except on
Friday, and during Ramazan and the two Beirams, from about 9 A.M. to
afternoon prayer; those present at the time of mid-day prayer, quit
their studies and perform their devotions in common.

Many of the most valuable and costly of the illuminated MSS. are in
the two libraries of the seraglio, the larger of which, containing at
present 4400 volumes, is the most extensive collection of books in
Constantinople: but they can scarcely be reckoned among the public
libraries, as admission to them is obtained with difficulty, and only
by special permission, even by Moslems. Besides the MSS. in the great
seraglio library, among the most valuable of which is a magnificent
copy of the Arabic poem of Antar, and another of the Gulistan, the
great moral poem of Saadi, there is a canvass genealogical tree,
containing portraits of all the sovereigns of the house of Osman, from
originals preserved in the sultan's private library. Next in
importance is the library of the mosque of Aya Sofia (St Sophia,)
founded by Mohammed the Conqueror, which is rich in valuable MSS. and
contains a Koran said to have been written by the hand of the Khalif
Ali, the son-in-law of the Prophet: another attributed to the same
source, as well as one ascribed to the Khalif Omar, are in the library
of Osman III., attached to the beautiful mosque of Noor-Osmanya. But
the most interesting of the public libraries, though the number of its
volumes does not exceed sixteen hundred, is that of the grand-vizir
Raghib Pasha, a celebrated patron of learning in the middle of the
last century. It stands in an enclosed court, which also contains a
free school, fountains, and the monuments of the founder and his
family. The library itself is a lofty square chamber, with a central
dome and four semi-domes, supported by marble columns, and round the
apartment "runs a complete and most correct version of the celebrated
Boorda of the poet Keab," (a poem composed in honour of Mohammed by an
Arab contemporary,) "in gold letters, fourteen inches long, on a green
ground, forming an original and brilliant embellishment." Its contents
include some of the richest and rarest specimens of Persian and Arabic
caligraphy; and the founder's note-book, with a copy of his divan,
(poetical works,) is also exhibited: "the former proves that he was
not unaccomplished as a draughtsman and architect.... There is a
lightness and elegance in this building which renders it superior to
all others: but he survived its foundation only three years. His
remains are deposited in the north-east angle of the court, on an
elevated terrace, beneath open marble canopy, protected by a wirework
trellis. This, with the roses and myrtles, and the figs, vines,
pomegranates, and cypresses, that cast their shade around, gives it
the appearance of a noble aviary, more than that of a repository for
the dead: and the doves that nestle in the overhanging branches, and
fill the air with their querulous notes, add to the delusion."

The total number of volumes in all the public libraries is believed
not to exceed 75,000, of which at least a fourth are duplicates; "it
must be remembered, however, that, with a few modern exceptions, the
whole are MSS. admirably transcribed, elaborately embellished: and
thus, taking one volume with another, the sums paid for each work far
exceed the average price of rare printed editions in Europe." Besides
these stores of Oriental lore, the library of the medical academy
established by Mahmood II. in the palace of Galata Serai, contains
several hundred volumes of the best French medical works, which the
professors are allowed to carry to their own apartments--a privilege
not allowed in any other library. The art of printing was first
introduced in 1726, by a Hungarian renegade named Ibrahim, (known as
_Basmadji_, or the printer,) who was patronised by the Sultan Achmet
III;--but the establishment languished after his death; and though
revived in 1784 by Sultan Abdoul Hamid, it was only after the
destruction of the janissaries, the enemies of every innovation, that
the press began to exhibit any thing like activity. At present there
are four imperial printing establishments; and the types, which were
formerly cast in Venice, being now manufactured in Stamboul, a marked
improvement has taken place in the character. Though the Koran, and
all religious and doctrinal works, are still transcribed exclusively
by hand, the art of printing is regarded with great jealousy by the
booksellers, who hold that "presses are made from the calcined wood of
Al-Zacum, the dread tree of the lowest pit; while transcribers have
their seats near the gate of the seventh heaven." The newspaper press
of Stamboul is still in its infancy--for though the _Takwim_, or
_Moniteur Ottoman_, established in 1831 by Mahmood II. as an official
gazette, was conducted with considerable ability by the original
editor, M. Blaque, and his successor M. Francesschi, the sudden death
of both these gentlemen, within a short period of each other, awakened
strong suspicions of foul play; and the French translation, published
for European circulation, has since sunk into a mere transcript of the
Turkish original, which consists of little but official announcements.
Several attempts made, by Mr Churchill and others, to establish a
non-official paper for the advocacy of Turkish interests, have been
smothered after a brief existence, by the jealousy of Russia and
France: "the result is, that the _Moniteur_ is a dull court-circular,
and the Smyrna journals, abandoned to chance communications, are
neither prompt nor exact in circulating or detailing events."[30]

The spread of literary cultivation among the Turks of the present day,
and the European education which many of the rising generation have
received, has naturally led to a taste for European literature; and
many possess libraries stored not only with the lore of the East, but
with the choicest treasures of the French and English classics. Ali
Effendi, late ambassador from the Porte to the court of St James's, is
well known to have collected a most extensive and valuable library
during his residence in the regions of the West; and Mr White
enumerates several young Osmanlis distinguished for their
accomplishments in the literature and science of the Franks. Emin
Pasha, the director of the Imperial Military Academy, and Bekir Pasha,
late superintendent of the small-arm manufactory at Dolma-Baktchi,
were both educated in England, the latter at Woolwich and the former
at Cambridge, where he gained a prize for his mathematical
attainments. Fouad Effendi, son of the celebrated poet Izzet-Mollah,
and himself a poet of no small note, "possesses a choice library of
some 2000 volumes, in French, English, and Italian;" and Derwish
Effendi, professor of natural history in the academy of Galata Serai,
"has studied in France and England, and is not less esteemed for his
knowledge than for his modesty." But foremost among this _Tugenbund_,
the future hopes of Turkey, stands one whose name has already appeared
in the pages of _Maga_, (Sept. 1841, p. 304,) Achmet Wekif Effendi,
now third dragoman to the Porte, and son of Rouh-ed-deen Effendi, late
Secretary of Legation at Vienna, whom Mr White pronounces, with
justice, "one of the most rising and enlightened young men of the
Turkish empire. His knowledge of the French language is perfect, and
he adds to this an intimate acquaintance with the literature of that
country and of England." While men like these (and we could add other
names to those enumerated by Mr White, from our personal knowledge)
are in training for the future administration of the empire, there is
yet hope of the regeneration of the Osmanli nation.

In no country is primary instruction more general than in Turkey. Each
of the smaller mosques has attached to it an elementary school,
superintended by the imam, where the children of the lower classes are
taught to read and write, and to repeat the Koran by heart; while
those intended for the liberal professions undergo a long and
laborious course of study at the medressehs or colleges of the great
mosques, some of which are intended to train youth in general
literature, or qualify them for government employments, while others
are devoted to the study of theology and jurisprudence. Mr White
states the number of students in Stamboul, in 1843, at not less than
5000, all of whom were lodged, instructed, and furnished with one meal
a-day, at the expense of the _wakoof_ or foundation, (a term which we
shall hereafter more fully explain,) all their other expenses being at
their own charge; but "the sallow complexions and exhausted appearance
of these young men indicate intense labour, or most limited commons."

After thus successfully vindicating the Turks from the charge so often
brought against them by travellers who have only spent a few weeks at
Pera, of ignorance and indifference to knowledge, Mr White thus sums
up the general question of education. "For ten men that _can_ read
among Perotes and Fanariotes, there are an equal number that _do_ read
at Constantinople; and, taking the mass of the better classes
indiscriminately, it will be found also that there are more libraries
of useful books in Turkish houses than in those of Greeks and
Armenians." And though "the number of Turkish ladies that can read is
much less than those of Pera and the Fanar, those who can read among
the former never open a bad book; while among the latter there is
scarcely one that ever reads a good work, unless it be the catechism
or breviary on certain forced occasions. And while neither Greek nor
Armenian women occupy themselves with literature, Constantinople can
boast of more than one female author. Among the most celebrated of
these is Laila Khanum, niece to the above-mentioned Izzet-Mollah. Her
poems are principally satirical, and she is held in great dread by her
sex, who tremble at her cutting pen. Her _divan_ (collection of poems)
has been printed, and amounts to three volumes. Laila Khanum is also
famed for her songs, which are set to music, and highly popular.
Hassena Khanum, wife of the Hakim Bashy, (chief physician,) is
likewise renowned for the purity and elegance of her style as a
letter-writer, which entitles her to the appellation of the Turkish

But we must again diverge, in following Mr White's desultory steps,
from the Turkish fair ones--whom he has so satisfactorily cleared from
Lord Byron's imputation, that

   "They cannot read, and so don't lisp in criticism;
    Nor write, and so they don't affect the muse--"

to his dissertation on the _wakoofs_ above referred to;--a word
implying a deposit or mortgage, and used to designate a species of
tenure under which the greater part of the landed property throughout
the empire is held, and the nature of which is but imperfectly
understood in Europe. These institutions have existed from the
earliest period of Islam; but nowhere to so great an extent as in the
Ottoman empire; where they were divided by Soliman the Magnificent
into three classes, all alike held sacred, and exempt from
confiscation either by the sovereign or courts of law. The first class
comprises the lands or funds absolutely bequeathed to the mosques
either by founders or subsequent benefactors, the revenues of which
are employed in the payment of the imams, khatibs, and other ministers
of religion attached to their service, and to the gratuitous
maintenance of the colleges and hospitals dependent on them; and which
are in all cases amply sufficient for these purposes. "No demands in
the shape of tithes, collections, or entrance-money, are ever made:
the doors of all temples are open to the public without distinction:"
and although the imam usually receives a fee for marriages,
name-givings, circumcisions, and funerals, no demand can be legally
made. The author proceeds to enumerate the endowments in 1842, as
nearly as they could be ascertained, of the seventeen mosques in the
capital entitled to rank as imperial foundations--the richest being
that of Aya-Sofia, amounting to 1,500,000 piastres annually, while the
others vary from 710,000 to 100,000 piastres. The ecclesiastical staff
of an imperial mosque comprehends in general from thirty to forty
persons--the sheikh, who preaches after mid-day prayer on Friday, and
who is a member of the superior ecclesiastical synod, with rank and
privileges nearly similar to those of our bishops:--two or more
khatibs, who recite the khotbah, or prayer for the Prophet and
sultan:--four imams, who alternately read prayers:--twelve to twenty
muezzins, who call to prayers from the minarets:--with fifteen to
twenty subordinate functionaries. The finances of each of the mosques
are regulated by a _nazir_ (inspector) and _mutawelly_, (accountant,)
who are bound by law to render half-yearly statements; and these
offices, lucrative from the opportunities they afford for
malversation, are usually held for life by the holders for the time
being of high official stations, or sometimes by the heirs of the
founders, who thus secure their lands from forfeiture or confiscation;
or by persons to whom they have been bequeathed, with power to
nominate their successors. The annual revenues of the imperial mosques
being triple their expenditure, the wakoof fund has been often
encroached upon by the Sultan, nominally as a loan under the warrant
of the minister of finance, who checks the accounts of the imperial
nazir; and by these not unfrequent inroads, as well as by the
peculations of the superintendents, the accumulations, though great,
are not so enormous as they would otherwise become.

The second class comprises the funds devoted to the maintenance of
public baths, libraries, fountains, alms-houses, and of useful and
charitable institutions in general. They are frequently charged with
annuities to the representatives of the founder; and in all
foundations for gratuitous education, or distribution of alms or food,
founders' kin have the preference. They are all registered in the
treasury; but the foundation is invalidated if the property assigned
for its support be encumbered by mortgages or other obligations:--nor
can any one labouring under an incurable disease convert freehold
property into wakoof except as a testator, in which case the
inalienable rights of the heirs to two-thirds of the property are
secured:--a third part only, according to law, being otherwise
disposable by will. The third class of wakoofs (called _ady_ or
customary, the others being termed _shary_ or legal, as sanctioned by
religious law) are considered as secular foundations, consisting of
lands purchased by the religious wakoofs from their accumulations, on
reversion at the death of the assigner, or failure of his direct
heirs, for an inconsiderable portion of their value, leaving to the
vendors in the interim the full enjoyment of the property, which is
frequently continued to their nephews and brothers on the same terms.
"At first this plan was not considered lucrative for the wakoofs: but
when the system was widely extended, the multitude of assignments,
which fell in every year from death and default of issue, soon crowned
the speculation with success, in a country where the tenure of life is
eminently uncertain, not only from the caprices of sultans, but from
the constant ravages of plague.... The advantages to sellers were
equally great. They secured themselves from confiscation, and their
heirs from spoliation at their demise. They were enabled to raise
money to the value of a sixth or eighth of their capital, on payment
of a trifling interest, and yet retained the full enjoyment of the
whole for themselves and immediate issue. By founding these wakoofs,
sellers are also enabled to check the extravagance of their children,
who can neither mortgage nor alienate the property--a practice nearly
as common in Turkey as in other countries."

Not less than three-fourths of the buildings and cultivated lands
throughout the empire, according to the author, and even the imperial
domains, are held under one or other of these wakoof tenures, which
thus represent the great landed interests of the country. Formerly,
the domains belonging to the mosques in each pashalik were let on
annual leases (as the public revenues are still farmed) to _multezim_
or contractors, generally the pashas of the provinces: but the system
of subletting and dilapidation to which this course of short leases
gave rise, was so ruinous to the agricultural population and the
property of the wakoofs, that a thorough reform was introduced in the
reign of Abdoul-Hamid, the father of Mahmood II. The lands were now
let on life tenancies, (_malikania_,) on the same system of beneficial
leases and large fines on renewals which prevails with respect to the
property of collegiate and other corporate bodies in England; which
has greatly improved their condition, as it is no longer the interest
of the lessee to rack the peasantry, or damage the property, for the
sake of present advantage. "More than one monarch has entertained
projects of dispossessing the mosques of these privileges, and of
placing the wakoofya under the exclusive superintendence of
government. Sultan Mahmood II. seriously contemplated carrying this
plan into effect, and probably would have done so, had his life been
spared. The government in this case would have paid the salaries of
all sheikhs, priests, and persons attached to the sacred edifices,
together with all repairs and expenses of their dependent
institutions, and would have converted the surplus to state purposes.
Various plans were suggested to Mahmood's predecessors; but during the
existence of the janissaries, no one dared to interfere with
institutions whence the Oolema, (men of law and religion,) intimately
connected with the janissaries, derived invariable profit."

Returning at length from this long digression to the jewel bezestan,
and passing from the south-eastern, or mercers' gate, "through lines
of shops stored with a variety of ready-made articles required by
ladies," we reach the Silk Bezestan, (Sandal Bezestany,) which, like
the other, has four arched gates named after different trades, and is
surmounted by twenty domes, four in a line. Though occupied solely by
Armenians, and regulated by a committee of six Armenian elders, it is
directed by a Turkish kehaya or president, with his deputy, whose duty
it is to superintend the police and collect the government dues. The
scene presented by the interior presents a striking contrast to the
other, and (we regret to say) not at all to the advantage of the
Christians. "The building is gloomy and badly lighted, and appears not
to have been white-washed or cleansed since the first construction;
and while a stranger may repeatedly enter the jewel bezestan, and its
tenants, though they see him gazing with covetous eyes on some
antiquated object, will scarcely condescend to say 'Né istersiniz?'
(what want you?) ... the clamours of the Armenians to attract
purchasers are only to be surpassed by their want of honesty.
Strangers may often pay too much to Turkish shopkeepers, but they will
receive fair weight to a hair: whereas they will be subject not only
to overcharge, but to short quantity, at the hands of the Armeninians
and their more profligate imitators, the Greek dealers." The original
silk manufactories were established before the conquest of
Constantinople at the old capital of Broussa, whence most of the raw
material is still derived, the abundance of mulberry trees in its
neighbourhood being favourable to the nurture of the silkworm; little
Broussa silk is, however, now sold in the sandal bezestany, the
manufacture being principally carried on along the shores of the
Bosphorus. "But within the last ten years, and especially since the
conclusion of commercial treaties with the Porte, the silk trade in
home-made articles has decreased 50 per cent. A large supply of common
imitation goods is now received from England, France, and Italy, and
the richer articles, principally manufactured at Lyons, have
completely superseded those formerly received from Broussa, or
fabricated at Scutari and Constantinople."

The trade in furs, as well as that in silk, is entirely in the hands
of the Armenians, but has greatly fallen off since the European dress,
now worn by the court and the official personages, replaced the old
Turkish costume. In former times, the quality of the fur worn by
different ranks, and at different seasons of the year, was a matter of
strict etiquette, regulated by the example of the sultan, who, on a
day previously fixed by the imperial astrologer, repaired in state to
the mosque arrayed in furs, varying from the squirrel or red fox,
assumed at the beginning of autumn, to the samoor or sable worn during
the depth of winter; while all ranks of persons in office changed
their furs, on the same day with the monarch, for those appropriated
to their respective grades. The most costly were those of the black
fox and sable, the former of which was restricted, unless by special
permission, to the use of royalty: while sable was reserved for vizirs
and pashas of the highest rank. The price of these furs, indeed,
placed them beyond the reach of ordinary purchasers, 15,000 or 20,000
piastres being no unusual price for a sable lined pelisse, while black
fox cost twice as much. In the present day the _kurk_ or pelisse is
never worn by civil or military functionaries, except in private: but
it still continues in general use among the sheikhs and men of the
law, "who may be seen mounted on fat ambling galloways, with richly
embroidered saddle-cloths and embossed bridles, attired in kurks faced
with sables, in all the pomp of ancient times." The kurk is, moreover,
in harem etiquette, the recognised symbol of matronly rank:--and its
assumption by a Circassian is a significant intimation to the other
inmates of the position she has assumed as the favourite of their
master. The same rule extends to the imperial palace, where the
elevation of a fair slave to the rank of _kadinn_ (the title given to
the partners of the sultan) is announced to her, by her receiving a
pelisse lined with sables from the _ket-khoda_ or mistress of the
palace, the principal of the seven great female officers to whom is
entrusted the management of all matters connected with the harem. The
imperial favourites are limited by law to seven, but this number is
seldom complete; the present sultan has hitherto raised only five to
this rank, one of whom died of consumption in 1842. These ladies are
now always Circassian slaves, and though never manumitted, have each
their separate establishments, suites of apartments, and female slaves
acting as ladies of honour, &c. Their slipper, or (as we should call
it) pin money, is about 25,000 piastres (£240) monthly--their other
expenses being defrayed by the sultan's treasurer. Mr White enters
into considerable detail on the interior arrangements of the seraglio,
the private life of the sultan, &c.; but as it does not appear from
what sources his information is derived, we shall maintain an Oriental
reserve on these subjects.

The slave-markets and condition of slaves in the East is treated at
considerable length: but as the erroneous notions formerly entertained
have been in a great measure dispelled by more correct views obtained
by modern travellers, it is sufficient to observe, that "the laws and
customs relative to the treatment of slaves in Turkey divest their
condition of its worst features, and place the slave nearly on a level
with the free servitor: nay, in many instances the condition of the
slave, especially of white slaves, is superior to the other; as the
path of honour and fortune is more accessible to the dependent and
protected slave than to the independent man of lower degree." It is
well known that many of those holding the highest dignities of the
state--Halil Pasha, brother-in-law of the Sultan--Khosref, who for
many years virtually ruled the empire, with numberless others, were
originally slaves: and in all cases the liberation of male slaves,
after seven or nine years' servitude, is ordained by _adet_ or custom,
which, in Turkey, is stronger than law. This rule is rarely
infringed:--and excepting the slaves of men in the middle ranks of
life, who frequently adopt their master's trade, and are employed by
him as workmen, they in most cases become domestic servants, or enter
the army, as holding out the greatest prospect of honour and
promotion. The condition of white female slaves is even more
favourable. In point of dress and equipment, they are on a par with
their mistresses, the menial offices in all great harems being
performed by negresses;--and frequent instances occur, where parents
prefer slaves educated in their own families to free women as wives
for their sons:--the only distinction being in the title of _kadinn_,
which may be considered equivalent to _madame_, and which is always
borne by these emancipated slaves, instead of _khanum_, (or _lady_,)
used by women of free birth. Female slaves are rarely sold or parted
with, except for extreme misconduct; and though it is customary for
their masters, in the event of their becoming mothers, to enfranchise
and marry them, "the facility of divorce is such, that women, if
mothers, prefer remaining slaves to being legally married: as they are
aware that custom prevents their being sold when in the former
condition: whereas their having a family is no bar to divorce when

The guilds, or corporations of the different trades and professions,
to which allusion has more than once been made, and which constitute
what may be called the municipality of Constantinople, were formerly
mustered and paraded through the city, on every occasion when the
Sandjak-Shereef (or holy banner of Mahommed) was taken from the
seraglio to accompany the army. This gathering, the object of which
was to ascertain the number of men who could be levied in case of
extremity for the defence of the capital, was first ordained by Mourad
IV.,[31] before his march against Bagdad in 1638; when, according to
Evliya Effendi, 200,000 men fit to bear arms passed in review--and the
last muster was in the reign of Mustapha III., at the commencement of
the disastrous war with Russia in 1769. Its subsequent discontinuance
is said to have been owing to an insult then offered by the guild of
_emirs_ (or descendants of the Prophet) to the Austrian Internuncio,
who was detected in witnessing incognito the procession of the
Sandjak-Shereef, deemed too sacred for the eyes of an infidel--and a
tumult ensued, in which many Christians were maltreated and murdered,
and which had nearly led to a rupture with the court of Vienna. On
this occasion the number of guilds was forty-six, subdivided into 554
minor sections; and, excepting the disappearance of those more
immediately connected with the janissaries, it is probable that little
or no change has since taken place. These guilds included not only the
handicraft and other trades, but the physicians and other learned
professions, and even the _Oolemah_ and imams, and others connected
with the mosques. Each marched with its own badges and ensigns, headed
by its own officers, of whom there were seven of the first grade, with
their deputies and subordinates, all elected by the crafts, and
entrusted with the control of its affairs, subject to the approbation
of a council of delegates: while the property of these corporations is
invariably secured by being made _wakoof_, the nature of which has
been already explained. The shoemakers', saddlers', and tanners'
guilds are among the strongest in point of numbers, and from them were
drawn the _élite_ of the janissaries stationed in the capital, after
the cruel system of seizing Christian children for recruits had been
discontinued; the tailors are also a numerous and resolute craft,
generally well affected to government, to which they rendered
important services in the overthrow of the janissaries in 1826, when
the Sandjak-Shereef[32] was displayed in pursuance of the _Fethwa_ of
the mufti excommunicating the sons of Hadji-Bektash, and the guilds
mustered in arms by thousands for the support of the Sheikh al Islam
and the Commander of the Faithful.

Among these fraternities, one of the most numerous is that of the
_kayikjees_ or boatmen, of whom there are not fewer than 19,000,
mostly Turks, in the city and its suburbs; while 5000 more, nearly all
of whom are Greeks, are found in the villages of the Bosphorus. They
are all registered in the books of the _kayikjee-bashi_, or chief of
the boatmen, paying each eight piastres monthly (or twice as much if
unmarried) for their _teskera_ or license: and cannot remove from the
stations assigned them without giving notice. The skill and activity
of these men, in the management of their light and apparently fragile
skiffs, has been celebrated by almost every tourist who has floated on
the waters of the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus: and not less precise
is the accuracy with which is adjusted the number of oars to be
employed by the members of the European _corps diplomatique_, and the
great officers of the Porte, according to their relative ranks; the
smallest infringement of which would be regarded as an unpardonable
breach of etiquette. The oars and mouldings are painted of the
national colours, with the hulls white or black; the latter colour is
usually affected by the Turkish grandees, with the exception of the
capitan-pasha, who is alone privileged to use a green boat.
Ambassadors-extraordinary are entitled to ten oars; and the same
number is assigned to the grand-vizir, the mufti, and ministers
holding the rank of _mushir_, or marshal, the highest degree in the
new scale of Ottoman precedence. Pashas of the second rank, the
_cazi-askers_ or grand judges of Anatolia and Roumelia, with other
functionaries of equivalent grade, are allowed eight oars, the number
employed by the Austrian Internuncio, and by ministers-plenipotentiary;
while three or five pair of sculls are allotted to _chargés
d'affaires_, and the heads of different departments at the Porte. The
procession of the sultan, when he proceeds to the mosque by water,
consists of six kayiks, the largest of which is seventy-eight feet in
length, and pulled by twenty-four rowers--under the old _régime_ the
crew was taken from the bostandjis, whose chief, the bostandji-bashi,
held the helm; but since the abolition of that corps, they have been
chosen, without distinction of creed, from the common boatmen. The
imperial barge is distinguished, independent of its superior size, by
the gold-embroidered canopy of crimson silk, surmounted by crescents
at the stern; it is painted white within and without, with rich gilt
mouldings, under which runs a broad external green border, ornamented
with gilded arabesques. The oars are painted white, with gold scrolls;
the stern is adorned with massive gilt carvings; and the long
projecting prow with a richly-gilded ornament, representing a
palm-branch curling upwards. Behind this flutters a gilded falcon, the
emblem of the house of Osman. The carvings and ornaments of these
boats are elaborately finished, and exquisitely light and graceful.
These embellishments, combined with the loose white dresses,
blue-tasselled red caps, and muscular forms of the boatmen, as they
rise from their seats, vigorously plunge their oars into the dark blue
waters, and propel the kayiks with racehorse speed, give to these
splendid vessels an air of majesty and brilliancy, not less
characteristic than original and imposing.

Many instances have occurred, in which men have risen from the class
of boatmen to stations of high honour and dignity; the most recent
instance of which was in the case of the arch-traitor Achmet Fevzy
Pasha, who, in 1839, betrayed the Ottoman fleet under his command into
the hands of Mohammed Ali--a deed of unparalleled perfidy, for which
he righteously received a traitor's reward, perishing in January 1843
(as was generally believed) by poison administered by the orders of
the Egyptian Viceroy. The kayikjees, as a class, are generally
considered, in point of personal advantages, the finest body of men in
the empire; and share with the _sakkas_, or water-carriers--another
numerous and powerful guild, equally remarkable with the kayikjees for
their symmetry and athletic proportions--the dangerous reputation of
being distinguished favourites of the fair sex--doubly dangerous in a
country where, in such cases, "the cord or scimitar is the doom of the
stronger sex--the deep sea-bed that of the weaker. Money will
counterbalance all crimes in Turkey save female frailty. For this
neither religious law nor social customs admit atonement. Tears,
beauty, youth, gold--untold gold--are of no avail. The fish of the
Bosphorus and Propontis could disclose fearful secrets, even in our
days:"--and as a natural transition, apparently, from cause to effect,
Mr White proceeds, in the next chapter, to give an account of the
Balyk-Bazary, the Billingsgate of Stamboul. But we shall not follow
him through his enumeration of such a carte as throws the glories of a
Blackwall dinner into dim eclipse, and which no other waters of Europe
could probably rival:--since, in Mr White's usual course of digression
upon digression, the mention of the Fishmarket Gate, the usual place
of executions, leads him off again at a tangent to the consideration
of the criminal law, and its present administration in the Ottoman

There is no change among those wrought since the introduction of the
new system, more calculated forcibly to impress those who had known
Constantinople in former years, than the almost total cessation of
those public executions, the sanguinary frequency of which formed so
obtrusive and revolting a feature under the old _régime_. Since the
fate of the unfortunate Pertef Pasha in 1837, no one has suffered
death for political offences:--and the abolition by Sultan Mahmoud,
immediately after the destruction of the janissaries, of the
_Moukhallafat Kalemy_, or Court of Confiscations, put an end to the
atrocious system which had for centuries made wealth a sufficient
pretext for the murder of its possessors. In all cases of banishment
or condemnation to death, however arbitrary, confiscation of property
inevitably followed: but the wealthy Armenians and Greeks were usually
selected as the victims of these ruthless deeds of despotism and
rapacity; numerous records of which may be seen in the Christian
burying-grounds, where the rudely-carved figure of a headless trunk,
or a hanging man, indicates the fate of the sufferer. But the humane
and politic act of Mahmoud, which rendered riches no longer a crime,
has produced its natural effects in the impulse which has been given
to commercial activity and public confidence by the security thus
afforded to life and property. "The government finds the Armenians
willing to advance money in case of need; and there is scarcely a
pasha of rank who has not recourse to their assistance, which is the
more readily afforded, as the Armenians are aware that their debtors'
lives and property, as well as their own, are secure, and that they
shall not endure extreme persecution in the event of suing those on
whom they have claims."

In criminal cases, the administration of justice by the Moslem law
appears at all times to have been tempered by lenity; and the extreme
repugnance of the present sultan to sign death-warrants, even in cases
which in this country would be considered as amounting to wilful
murder, has rendered capital punishments extremely rare: while the
horrible death by impalement, and the amputation of the hand for
theft, have fallen into complete disuse. Offences are tried, in the
first instance, in the court of the Cazi-asker or grand judge of
Roumelia or Anatolia, according as the crime has been committed in
Europe or Asia: from this tribunal an appeal lies to the Supreme
Council of justice, the decisions of which require to be further
ratified by the Mufti. The _procès-verbal_ of two of the cases above
referred to, is given at length; in one of which the murderer escaped
condign punishment only because the extreme youth of the only
eye-witness, a slave, nine years old, prevented his testimony from
being received otherwise than as _circumstantial_ evidence:--in the
other, "it being essential to make a lasting and impressive public
example, it was resolved that the criminals should not be put to
death, but condemned to such ignominious public chastisement as might
serve during many years as a warning to others." The sentence in the
former case was ten, and in the latter, seven years' public labour in
heavy irons--a punishment of extreme severity, frequently terminating
in the death of the convict. Nafiz Bey, the principal offender in the
second of the above cases, did not survive his sentence more than
twenty months. "On examining a multitude of condemnations for crimes
of magnitude, the maximum average, when death was not awarded, was
seven years' hard labour in chains, and fine, for which the convict is
subsequently imprisoned as a simple debtor till the sum is paid. The
average punishment for theft, robbery, assault, and slightly wounding,
is three years' hard labour, with costs and damages. These sentences
(of which several examples are given) were referred, according to
established forms, from the local tribunals to the supreme council:
and before being carried into effect, were legalized by a _fethwa_
(decree) of the Sheikh-Islam, (Mufti,) and after that by the sultan's
warrant; a process affording a triple advantage to the accused, each
reference serving as an appeal."

The exclusive jurisdiction over the subjects of their own nation,
exercised by the legations of the different European powers in virtue
of capitulations with the Porte, was doubtless at one time necessary
for the protection of foreigners from the arbitrary proceedings of
Turkish despotism; it has, however, given rise to great abuses, and at
the present day its practical effect is only to secure impunity to
crime, by impeding the course of justice. The system in all the
legations is extremely defective; "but in none is it more flagrantly
vicious and ineffective than in that of Great Britain." This is a
grave charge; but only too fully borne out by the facts adduced. Not
fewer than three thousand British subjects are now domiciled in and
about the Turkish capital, chiefly vagabonds and desperadoes, driven
by the rigour of English law from Malta and the Ionian Isles:--and
half the outrages in Stamboul "are committed by or charged to the
Queen's adopted subjects, who, well knowing that eventual impunity is
their privilege, are not restrained by fear of retribution." All the
zeal and energy of our consul-general, Mr Cartwright, (in whom are
vested the judicial functions exercised by chancellors of other
legations,) are paralysed by the necessity of adhering to the forms of
British law, the execution of which is practically impossible. "In a
case of murder or felony, for instance,--a case which often occurs--a
_pro formâ_ verdict of guilty is returned; but what follows? The
ambassador has no power to order the law to be carried into effect:
nothing remains, therefore, but to send the accused, with the
depositions, to Malta or England. But the Maltese courts declare
themselves incompetent, and either liberate or send back the prisoner;
and English tribunals do not adjudicate on documentary evidence. The
consequence is, that unless witnesses proceed to England, criminals
must be liberated at Pera, or sent to be liberated at home, for want
of legal testimony. They have then their action at law against the
consul-general for illegal arrest." It appears scarcely credible that
a state of things, so calculated to degrade the British national
character in the eyes of the representatives of the other European
powers, should ever have been suffered to exist, and still more that
it should have remained so long unheeded. A bill was indeed carried
through Parliament in 1835, in consequence of the urgent reclamations
of Lord Ponsonby and Mr Cartwright, for empowering the Crown to remedy
the evil; but though the subject was again pressed by Sir Stratford
Canning in 1842, it still remains a dead letter. Mr White has done
good service in placing this plain and undeniable statement of facts
before the public eye; and we trust that the next session of
Parliament will not pass over without our seeing the point brought
forward by Mr D'Israeli, Mr Monckton Milnes, or some other of those
members of the legislature whose personal knowledge of the East
qualifies them to undertake it. "One plan ought to be adopted
forthwith, that of investing the consul-general with such full powers
as are granted to London police magistrates, or, if possible, to any
magistrates at quarter-sessions. He would then be able to dispose of a
multitude of minor correctional cases, which now pass unpunished, to
the constant scandal of all other nations. The delegated power might
be arbitrary, and inconsistent with our constitutional habits, but the
evil requires extrajudicial measures."

In pursuing Mr White's devious course through the various marts of
Constantinople, we have not yet brought our readers to the Missr
Tcharshy, or Egyptian market, probably the most diversified and purely
Oriental scene to be seen in Constantinople, and a representation of
which forms the frontispiece to one of the volumes. The building, the
entrance to which is between the Fishmarket Gate and the beautiful
mosque of the Valida, (built by the mother of Mohammed IV.,) consists
of an arcade lighted from the roof, like those of our own capital, 140
yards long, and 20 wide, filled on each side with shops, not separated
from each other by partitions, so as to impede the view; the tenants
of which are all Osmanlis, and dealers exclusively in perfumes,
spices, &c., imported chiefly through Egypt from India, Arabia, &c.
Here may be found "the Persian atar-gul's perfume," sandalwood, and
odoriferous woods of all kinds from the lands of the East; opium for
the _Teryakis_, a race whose numbers are happily now daily decreasing;
ambergris for pastilles; "cinnamon and ginger, nutmegs and cloves;"
the pink henna powder brought from Mekka by the pilgrims for tinging
ladies' fingers, though these "rosy-fingered Auroras" (as Mr W. kindly
warns the poetasters of Franguestan) are now only to be found among
slaves and the lower orders, the custom being now utterly exploded
among dames of high degree: "add to the above, spices, roots,
dyewoods, and minerals, and colours of every denomination, and an
idea may be formed of the contents of this neatly-arranged and
picturesque bazar. Its magnitude, its abundance and variety of goods,
the order that reigns on every side, and the respectability of the
dealers, render it one of the most original and interesting sights of
the city; it serves to refresh the senses and to dispel the
unfavourable impressions caused on first landing."

In the foregoing remarks and extracts, it has been our aim rather to
give a condensed view of the information to be derived from the
volumes before us, on topics of interest, than to attempt any thing
like a general abstract of a work so multifarious in its nature, and
so broken into detail, as to render the ordinary rules of criticism as
inapplicable to it as they would be to an encylopædia. In point of
arrangement, indeed, the latter would have the advantage; for a total
absence of _lucidus ordo_ pervades Mr White's pages, to a degree
scarcely to be excused even by the very miscellaneous nature of the
subject. Thus, while constant reference is made, from the first, to
the bezestans, the names of their different gates, &c., no description
of these edifices occurs till the middle of the second volume, where
it is introduced apropos to nothing, between the public libraries and
the fur-market. The chapter headed "Capital Punishments," (iv. vol.
1.) is principally devoted to political disquisitions, with an episode
on lunatic asylums and the medical academy of Galata Serai, while only
a few pages are occupied by the subject implied in the title; which is
treated at greater length, and illustrated by the _procès-verbaux_ of
several criminal trials, at the end of the second volume, where it is
brought in as a digression from the slavery laws, on the point of the
admissibility of a slave's evidence! But without following Mr White
further through the slipper-market, the poultry-market, the
coffee-shops, and tobacco-shops, the fruit and flower market, the
Ozoon Tcharshy or long market, devoted to the sale of articles of
dress and household furniture, _cum multis aliis_; it will suffice to
say that there is no article whatever, either of luxury or use, sold
in Constantinople, from diamonds to old clothes, of which some
account, with the locality in which it is procurable, is not to be
found in some part or other of his volumes. We have, besides,
disquisitions on statistics and military matters; aqueducts and baths,
marriages and funerals, farriery and cookery, &c. &c.--in fact on
every imaginable subject, except the price of railway shares, which
are as yet to the Turks a pleasure to come. It would be unpardonable
to omit mentioning, however, for the benefit of gourmands, that for
the savoury viands called kabobs, and other Stamboul delicacies, the
shop of the worthy Hadji Mustapha, on the south side of the street
called Divan-Yolly, stands unequaled; while horticulturists and
poetasters should be informed, that in spite of Lord Byron's fragrant
descriptions of "the gardens of Gul in their bloom," the finer
European roses do not sympathize with the climate. Lady Ponsonby's
attempts to introduce the moss-rose at Therapia failed; and the only
place where they have succeeded is the garden of Count Stürmer, the
Austrian Internuncio, whose palace is, in more respects than one,
according to Mr White, the Gulistan of Stamboul society.

But we cannot take leave of this part of the subject without
remarking, that while all praise is due to Mr White's accuracy in
describing the scenes and subjects on which he speaks from personal
knowledge, his acquaintance with past Turkish history appears to be by
no means on a par with the insight he has succeeded in acquiring into
the usages and manners of the Turks of the present day. The
innumerable anecdotes interspersed through his pages, and which often
mar rather than aid the effect of the more solid matter, are
frequently both improbable and pointless; and the lapses which here
and there occur in matters of historical fact, are almost
incomprehensible. Thus we are told (i. 179,) that the favour enjoyed
(until recently) by Riza Pasha, was owing to his having rescued the
present sultan, when a child, from a reservoir in the Imperial Gardens
of Beglerbey, into which he had been hurled by his father in a fit of
brutal fury--an act wholly alien to the character of Mahmoud, but
which (as Mr W. observes,) "will not appear improbable to those
acquainted with Oriental history"--since it is found related, in all
its circumstances, in Rycaut's history of the reign of Ibrahim, whose
infant son, afterwards Mohammed IV., nearly perished in this manner by
his hands, and retained through life the scar of a wound on the face,
received in the fall. This palpable anachronism is balanced in the
next page by a version of the latter incident, in which Mohammed's
wound is said to have been inflicted by the dagger of his intoxicated
father, irritated by a rebuke from the prince (who, be it remarked,
was only seven years old at Ibrahim's death, some years later) on his
unseemly exhibition of himself as a dancer. As a further instance of
paternal barbarity in the Osmanli sultans, it is related how Selim I.
was bastinadoed by command of his father, Bajazet II., for misconduct
in the government of Bagdad! with the marvellous addition, (worthy of
Ovid's _Metamorphoses_,) that from the sticks used for his punishment,
and planted by his sorrowing tutor, sprung the grove of Tchibookly,
opposite Yenikouy! History will show that Selim and Bajazet never met
after the accession of the latter, except when the rebellious son met
the father in arms at Tchourlou; and it is well known that Bagdad did
not become part of the Ottoman empire till the reign of Soliman the
Magnificent the son of Selim. The mention of the City of the Khalifs,
indeed, seems destined to lead Mr White into error; for in another
story, the circumstances of which differ in every point from the same
incident as related by Oriental historians, we find the Ommiyade
Khalif, Yezid III., who died A.D. 723, (twenty-seven years before the
accession of the Abbasides, and forty before the foundation of
Bagdad,) spoken of as an Abbaside khalif of Bagdad! Again, we find in
the list of geographical writers, (ii. 172,) "Ebul Feredj, Prince of
Hama, 1331"--thus confounding the monk Gregory Abulpharagius with the
Arabic Livy, Abulfeda, a prince of the line of Saladin! This last
error, indeed, can scarcely be more than a slip of the pen. But
instances of this kind might be multiplied; and it would be well if
such passages, with numerous idle legends (such as the patronage of
black bears by the Abbasides, and brown bears by the Ommiyades,) be
omitted in any future edition.

We have reserved for the conclusion of our notice, the consideration
of Mr White's observations on the late _constitution_ (as it has been
called) of Gul-khana, a visionary scheme concocted by Reshid Pasha,
under French influence, by which it was proposed to secure equal
rights to all the component parts of the heterogeneous mass which
constitutes the population of the Ottoman empire. The author's remarks
on this well-meant, but crude and impracticable _coup-d'état_, evince
a clear perception of the domestic interests and relative political
position of Turkey, which lead us to hope that he will erelong turn
his attention on a more extended scale, to the important subject of
Ottoman politics. For the present, we must content ourselves with
laying before our readers, in an abridged form, the clear and
comprehensive views here laid down, on a question involving the future
interests of Europe, and of no European power more than of Great Britain.

"The population of the Turkish empire consists of several distinct
races, utterly opposed to each other in religion, habits, descent,
objects, and in every moral and even physical characteristic. The
Turkomans, Kurds, Arabs, Egyptians, Druses, Maronites, Albanians,
Bosnians, Bulgarians, Greeks, Jews, and Armenians, are so many
distinct nations, inhabiting the same or contiguous soils, without
having intermixed in the slightest degree from their earliest
conquest, and without having a single object in common. Over these
dissentient populations stands the pure Ottoman race, the paramount
nation, charged with maintaining the equilibrium between all, and with
neutralizing the ascendancy of one faction by the aid of others. Were
this control not to exist--were the Turks, who represent their
ancestors, the conquerors of the land, to be reduced to a level with
those now beneath them, or were the preponderating influence of the
former to be destroyed by the elevation and equalization of the
latter, perpetual revolts and civil wars could not fail to ensue. The
dependent populations, now constituting so large a portion of the
empire, would continue the struggle until one of them obtained the
supremacy at present exercised by the Turkish race, or until the
territory were divided among themselves, or parcelled out by foreign
powers. In this last hypothesis will be found the whole secret of the
ardent sympathy evinced by most foreigners, especially by the press of
France, for the subjugated races.

"Many benevolent men argue, that the surest means of tranquillizing
the tributaries of the Porte, and attaching them to the government, is
by raising them in the social scale, and by granting to all the same
rights and immunities as are enjoyed by their rulers. But it has been
repeatedly proved, that concessions do but lead to fresh demands, and
that partial enfranchisement conducts to total emancipation. 'And why
should they not?' is often asked. To this may be replied, that the
possession of the Bosphorus and Dardanelles by any other power, or
fraction of power, than the Porte, would be a source of interminable
discord to Europe, and irreparable detriment to England. It would not
only affect our commerce, and undermine our political influence
throughout the East, but would add enormously to our naval
expenditure, by requiring an augmentation of our maritime force
equivalent to that now remaining neuter in the Golden Horn. Treaties,
it is said, might be concluded, exacting maritime restrictions. But
what are treaties in the face of events? Whoever possesses the
Bosphorus, Propontis, and Archipelago, _must_ become a maritime nation
in spite of treaties. Whoever possesses Constantinople _must_ become a
great manufacturing and exporting nation, in defiance of competition.
In less than half a century, the romantic villas and tapering
cypresses that now fringe the blue Bosphorus, would be replaced by
factories and steam-chimneys--every one of which would be a deadly
rival to a similar establishment in Great Britain. I argue as an
Englishman, whose duty it is to consider the material interests of his
country, now and hereafter, and not to occupy himself with the
theories of political philanthropists.

"According to the levelling system, recommended as the basis of
reforms, all classes would eventually be assimilated--the desert Arabs
to the laborious Maronites, the intractable Arnoots to the industrious
Bulgarians, the thrifty Armenians to the restless and ambitious
Greeks, and the humble and parsimonious Jews to the haughty and lavish
Osmanlis. Thus, contiguous populations, which now keep each other in
check, because their interests are divergent and their jealousies
inveterate, would find their interests assimilated; and in the event
of opposition to government, the Porte, in lieu of being able to
overcome one sect through the rivalry of another, would find them all
united against the dominant power. The Ottoman government should
therefore avoid establishing any community of rights or interests
among the races subjected to its rule. Each of these races ought to be
governed according to its own usages and individual creed; there
should be uniformity in the principles of administration, but
diversity in the application. The Ottoman tenure cannot be maintained
but by decided and peremptory superiority. Adhesion on the part of the
subjugated is impossible; connexion is all that can be expected; and
to preserve this connexion, the supremacy of conquest must not be
relaxed. The Porte cannot expect attachment; it must consequently
enforce submission. When this absolutism ceases to exist, the power
will pass into other hands; and where is the politician that can
calculate the results of the transfer? One issue may be safely
predicted--England must lose, but cannot gain by the change. With the
increasing embarrassments to commerce and industry, which continental
states are raising against Britain, it is essential that we should not
allow a false cry of philanthropy to throw us off our guard in the
Levant. France in Africa, and Russia on the Danube, are intent on the
same object. Their battle-cries are civilization and religion; their
pretext the improvement of the Christian populations. But who is there
that has studied the recent policy of the one, and the undeviating
system of the other, since the days of Catherine, that can question
for a moment the purport of both? _And yet England and Austria have
acted recently as if France were sincere, and Russia disinterested._"

[Footnote 28: _Three Years in Constantinople; or, Domestic Manners of
the Turks in 1844._ By CHARLES WHITE, ESQ.]

[Footnote 29: The root of bezestan and bazar is _bez_, cloth;--of
tcharshy, _tchar_, four, meaning a square.]

[Footnote 30: A catalogue of works printed from the establishment of
the press in 1726 to 1820, is given in the notes to Book 65 of Von
Hammer Purgstall's Ottoman History.]

[Footnote 31: Mr White erroneously calls him Mourad III., and places
the expedition against Bagdad in 1834.]

[Footnote 32: Mr White here introduces a digression on the other
relics of the Prophet, the Moslem festivals, &c., his account of which
presents little novelty; but he falls into the general error of
describing the Mahmil, borne by the holy camel in the pilgrim caravan,
as containing the brocade covering of the Kaaba, when it is in fact
merely an emblem of the presence of the monarch, like an empty
carriage sent in a procession.--(See _Lane's Modern Egyptians_, ii. p.
204, 8vo. ed.) It is indeed sufficiently obvious, that a box six feet
high and two in diameter, could not contain a piece of brocade
sufficient to surround a building described by Burckhardt as eighteen
paces long, fourteen broad, and from thirty-five to forty feet high.]



The cloud is to the mountain what motion is to the sea; it gives to it
an infinite variety of expression--gives it a life--gives it joy and
sufferance, alternate calm, and terror, and anger. Without the cloud,
the mountain would still be sublime, but monotonous; it would have but
a picture-like existence.

How thoroughly they understand and sympathize with each other--these
glorious playmates, these immortal brethren! Sometimes the cloud lies
supported in the hollow of the hill, as if out of love it feigned
weariness, and needed to be upheld. At other times the whole hill
stands enveloped in the cloud that has expanded to embrace and to
conceal it. No jealousy here. Each lives its own grand life under the
equal eye of heaven.

As you approach the mountains, it seems that the clouds begin already
to arrange themselves in bolder and more fantastic shapes. They have a
fellowship here. They built their mountains upon mountains--their
mountains which are as light as air--huge structures built at the
giddy suggestion of the passing breeze. Theirs is the wild liberty of
endless change, by which they compensate themselves for their thin and
fleeting existence, and seem to mock the stationary forms of their
stable brethren fast rooted to the earth. And how genially does the
sun pour his beam upon these twin grandeurs! For a moment they are
assimilated; his ray has permeated, has etherealized the solid
mountain, has fixed and defined the floating vapour. What now is the
one but a stationary cloud? what is the other but a risen
hill?--poised not in the air but in the flood of light.

I am never weary of watching the play of these giant children of the
earth. Sometimes a soft white cloud, so pure, so bright, sleeps,
amidst open sunshine, nestled like an infant in the bosom of a green
mountain. Sometimes the rising upcurling vapour will linger Just above
the summit, and seem for a while an incense exhaling from this vast
censer. Sometimes it will descend, and _drape_ the whole side of the
hill as with a transparent veil. I have seen it sweep between me and
the mountain like a sheeted ghost, tall as the mountain, till the
strong daylight dissolved its thin substance, and it rose again in
flakes to decorate the blue heavens. But oh, glorious above all! when
on some brightest of days, the whole mass of whitest clouds gathers
midway upon the snow-topped mountain. How magnificent then is that
bright eminence seen above the cloud! How it seems rising upwards--how
it seems borne aloft by those innumerable wings--by those enormous
pinions which I see stretching from the cloudy mass! What an ascension
have we here!--what a transfiguration! O Raphael! I will not disparage
thy name nor thy art, but thy angels bearing on their wings the
brightening saint to Heaven--what are they to the picture here?

Look! there--fairly in the sky--where we should see but the pure
ether--above the clouds which themselves are sailing high in serenest
air--yes, there, in the blue and giddy expanse, stands the solid
mountain, glittering like a diamond. O God! the bewildered reason pent
up in cities, toils much to prove and penetrate thy being and thy
nature--toils much in vain. Here, I reason not--I see. The Great King
lives--lo there is his throne.

       *       *       *       *       *

To him who quits the plain for the mountain, how the character of the
cloud alters. That which seemed to belong exclusively to the sky, has
been drawn down and belongs as plainly to the earth. Mount some noble
eminence and look down--you will see the clouds lying _on_ and _about_
the landscape, as if they had fallen on it. You are on the steadfast
earth, and they are underneath you. You look down perhaps on the lake,
and there is a solitary cloud lying settled on it; when the rest of
the fleecy drove had risen from their couch, this idle sleeper had
been left dreaming there.

Or stay below, and see the sun rise in the valley. When all is warm
and clear upon the heights, and the tops of the hills are fervid with
the beams of heaven, there still lies a cold white mass of cloud about
your feet. It is not yet morning in the valley. There the cloud has
been slumbering all night--there it found its home. It also will by
and by receive the beam, and then it will arise, enveloping the hill
as it ascends; the hill will have a second dawn; the cloud will assume
its proud station in the sky; but it will return again to the valley
at night.

I am sailing on the lake of Brienz on a day golden with sunbeams. The
high ridge of its rocky castellated hills is distinct as light can
make it. Yet half-way up, amidst the pine forests, there lies upon the
rich verdure a huge motionless cloud. What does it there? Its place
was surely in the sky. But no; it belongs, like ourselves, to the

Is nature gaily mocking us, when upon her impregnable hills she builds
these _castles in the air_? But, good heavens! what a military aspect
all on a sudden does this mountain-side put on. Mark that innumerable
host of pine-trees. What regiments of them are marching up the hill in
the hot sun, as if to storm those rocky forts above! What serried
ranks! and yet there are some stragglers--some that have hastened on
in front, some that have lingered in the rear. Look at that tall
gigantic pine breasting the hill alone, like an old grenadier. How
upright against the steep declivity! while his lengthened shadow is
thrown headlong back behind him down the precipice. I should be giddy
to see such a shadow of my own. I should doubt if it would consent to
be drawn up by the heels to the summit of the mountain--whether it
would not rather drag me down with it into the abyss.

       *       *       *       *       *

I have seen hills on which lay the clear unclouded sky, making them
blue as itself. I have gazed on those beautiful far-receding
valleys--as the valley of the Rhone--when they have appeared to
collect and retain the azure ether. They were full of Heaven. Angels
might breathe that air. And yet I better love the interchange, the
wild combination of cloud and mountain. Not cloud that intercepts the
sun, but that reflects its brilliancy, and brightens round the hills.
It is but a gorgeous drapery that the sky lets fall on the broad
Herculean shoulders of the mountain. No, it should not intercept the
beams of the great luminary; for the mountain loves the light. I have
observed that the twilight, so grateful to the plain, is mortal to the
mountain. It craves light--it lifts up its great chalice for
light--this great flower is the first to close, to fade, at the
withdrawal of the sun. It stretches up to heaven seeking light; it
cannot have too much--under the strongest beam it never droops--its
brow is never dazzled.

But then these clouds, you will tell me, that hover about the
mountain, all wing, all plumage, with just so much of substance for
light to live in them--these very clouds can descend, and thicken, and
blacken, and cover all things with an inexpressible gloom. True, and
the mountain, or what is seen of it, becomes now the very image of a
great and unfathomable sorrow. And only the great can express a great
sadness. This aspect of nature shall never by me be forgotten; nor
will I ever shrink from encountering it. If you would know the gloom
of heart which nature can betray, as well as the glory it can
manifest, you must visit the mountains. For days together, clouds,
huge, dense, unwieldy, lie heavily upon the hills--which stand, how
mute, how mournful!--as if they, too, knew of death. And look at the
little lake at their feet. What now is its tranquillity when not a
single sunbeam plays upon it? Better the earth opened and received it,
and hid for ever its leaden despondency. And now there comes the
paroxysm of terror and despair; deep thunders are heard, and a madness
flashes forth in the vivid lightning. There is desperation amongst the
elements. But the elements, like the heart of man, must rage in
vain--must learn the universal lesson of submission. With them, as
with humanity, despair brings back tranquillity. And now the driving
cloud reveals again the glittering summits of the mountains, and light
falls in laughter on the beaming lake.

How like to a ruined Heaven is this earth! Nay, is it not more
beautiful for being a ruin?

       *       *       *       *       *

Who can speak of lakes and not think of thee, beautiful Leman? How
calm! how exquisitely blue! Let me call it a liquid sky that is spread
here beneath us. And note how, where the boat presses, or the oar
strikes, it yields ever a still more exquisite hue--akin to the
violet, which gives to the rude pressure a redoubled fragrance--akin
to the gentlest of womankind, whose love plays sweetest round the
strokes of calamity.

Oh, there is a woman's heart in thy waters, beautiful Leman!

I have seen thee in all thy moods, in all thy humours. I have watched
thee in profoundest calm; and suddenly, with little note of
preparation, seen thee lash thy blue waves into a tempest. How
beautiful in their anger were those azure waves crested with their
white foam! And at other times, when all has been a sad unjoyous calm,
I have seen, without being able to trace whence the light had broken,
a soft expanse of brightness steal tremulous over the marble waters. A
smile that seemed to speak of sweet caprice--that seemed to say that
half its anger had been feint.

Yes, verily there is a woman's heart in thy waters, beautiful Leman!

I lie rocking in a boat midway between Vevay and Lausanne. On the
opposite coast are the low purple hills _couching_ beside the lake.
But there, to the left, what an ethereal structure of cloud and snowy
mountain is revealed to me! What a creation of that spirit of beauty
which works its marvels in the unconscious earth! The Alps here, while
they retain all the aërial effect gathered from distance, yet seem to
arise from the very margin of the lake. The whole scene is so
ethereal, you fear to look aside, lest when you look again it may have
vanished like a vision of the clouds.

And why should these little boats, with their tall triangular sails,
which glide so gracefully over the water, be forgotten? The sail,
though an artifice of man, is almost always in harmony with nature.
Nature has adopted it--has lent it some of her own wild
privileges--her own bold and varied contrasts of light and shade. The
surface of the water is perhaps dark and overclouded; the little
upright sail is the only thing that has caught the light, and it
glitters there like a moving star. Or the water is all one dazzling
sheet of silver, tremulous with the vivid sunbeam, and now the little
sail is black as night, and steals with bewitching contrast over that
sparkling surface.

       *       *       *       *       *

But we fly again to the mountain. Tourists are too apt to speak of the
waterfall as something independent, something to be visited as a
separate curiosity. There may be some such. But in general, the
waterfall should be understood as part of the mountain--as the great
fountain which adorns the architecture of its rocks, and the gardens
of its pine forests. It belongs to the mountain. Pass through the
valley, and look up; you see here and there thin stripes of glittering
white, noiseless, motionless. They are waterfalls, which, if you
approach them, will din you with their roar, and which are dashing
headlong down, covered with tossing spray. Or ascend the face of the
mountain, and again look around and above you. From all sides the
waterfalls are rushing. They bear you down. You are giddy with their
reckless speed. How they make the rock live! What a stormy vitality
have they diffused around them! You might as well separate a river
from its banks as a waterfall from its mountain.

And yet there is one which I could look at for hours together, merely
watching its own graceful movements. Let me sit again in imagination
in the valley of Lauterbrunnen, under the fall of the Staubbach. Most
graceful and ladylike of descents! It does not fall; but over the
rock, and along the face of the precipice, developes some lovely form
that nature had at heart;--diffuses itself in down-pointing pinnacles
of liquid vapour, fretted with the finest spray. The laws of gravity
have nothing to do with its movements. It is not hurled down; it does
not leap, plunging madly into the abyss; it thinks only of beauty as
it sinks. No noise, no shock, no rude concussion. Where it should dash
against the projecting rock, lo! its series of out-shooting pinnacles
is complete, and the vanishing point just kisses the granite. It
disappoints the harsh obstruction by its exquisite grace and most
beautiful levity, and springs a second time from the rock without
trace of ever having encountered it.

The whole side of the mountain is here barren granite. It glides like
a spirit down the adverse and severe declivity. It is like Christ in
this world. The famous fall of the Griesbach, near the lake of Brienz,
thunders through the most luxuriant foliage; the Staubbach meets the
bare rock with touches of love, and a movement all grace, and a voice
full of reconcilement.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mont Blanc! Mont Blanc! I have not scaled thy heights so boldly or so
far as others have, but I will yield to none in worship of thee and
thy neighbour mountains. Some complain that the valley of Chamouni is
barren; they are barren souls that so complain. True, it has not the
rich pastures that lie bordering on the snow in the Oberland. But
neither does it need them. Look _down_ the valley from the pass of the
Col de Balme, and see summit beyond summit; or ascend the lateral
heights of La Flegère, and see the Alps stretched out in a line before
you, and say if any thing be wanting. Here is the sculpture of
landscape. Stretched yourself upon the bare open rock, you see the
great hills built up before you, from their green base to their snowy
summits, with rock, and glacier, and pine forests. You see how the
Great Architect has wrought.

And for softer beauty, has not the eye been feasted even to
excess--till you cried "hold--enough!" till you craved repose from
excitement--along the whole route, from Lausanne to this spot? What
perfect combinations of beauty and sublimity--of grandeur of outline
with richness of colouring--have you not been travelling through!

It seems a fanciful illustration, and yet it has more than once
occurred to me, when comparing the scenery of the Oberland with that
of the valley of Chamouni and its neighbourhood; the one resembles the
first work--be it picture or poem--of a great genius; the other, the
second. On his first performance, the artist lavishes beauties of
every description; he crowds it with charms; all the stores of his
imagination are at once unfolded, and he must find a place for all. In
the second, which is more calm and mature, the style is broader, the
disposition of materials more skilful: the artist, master of his
inspiration, no longer suffers one beauty to crowd upon another, finds
for all not only place, but place sufficient; and, above all, no
longer fears being simple or even austere. I dare not say that the
Oberland has a fault in its composition--so charming, so magnificent
have I found it; but let me mark the broad masterly style of this
Alpine region. As you journey from Villeneuve, with what a gentle,
bland magnificence does the valley expand before you! The hills and
rocks, as they increase in altitude, still fall back, and reveal in
the centre the towering _Dent du Midi_, glittering with its eternal
snows. The whole way to Martigny you see sublimity without admixture
of terror; it is beauty elevated into grandeur, without losing its
amenity. And then, if you cross by the Col de Balme, leaving the
valley of the Rhone as you ascend, and descending upon the valley of
Chamouni, where the Alps curve before you in most perfect
grouping--tell me if it is possible for the heart of man to desire
more. Nay, is not the heart utterly exhausted by this series of scenic

For ever be remembered that magnificent pass of the Col de Balme! If I
have a white day in my calendar, it is the day I spent in thy defiles.
Deliberately I assert that life has nothing comparable to the delight
of traversing alone, borne leisurely on the back of one's mule, a
mountain-pass such as this. Those who have stouter limbs may prefer to
use them; give me for my instrument of progression the legs of the
patient and sure-footed mule. They are better legs, at all events,
than mine. I am seated on his back, the bridle lies knotted upon his
neck--the cares of the way are all his--the toil and the anxiety of
it; the scene is all mine, and I am all in it. I am seated there, all
eye, all thought, gazing, musing; yet not without just sufficient
occupation to keep it still a luxury--this leisure to contemplate. The
mule takes care of himself, and, in so doing, of you too; yet not so
entirely but that you must look a little after yourself. That he by no
means has your safety for his primary object is evident from this,
that, in turning sharp corners or traversing narrow paths, he never
calculates whether there is sufficient room for any other legs than
his own--takes no thought of yours. To keep your knees, in such
places, from collision with huge boulders, or shattered stumps of
trees, must be your own care; to say nothing of the occasional
application of whip or stick, and a _very_ strong pull at his mouth to
raise his head from the grass which he has leisurely begun to crop.
Seated thus upon your mule, given up to the scene, with something
still of active life going on about you, with full liberty to pause
and gaze, and dismount when you will, and at no time proceeding at a
railroad speed, I do say--unless you are seated by your own
incomparable Juliet, who has for the first time breathed that she
loves you--I do say that you are in the most enviable position that
the wide world affords. As for me, I have spent some days, some weeks,
in this fashion amongst the mountains; they are the only days of my
life I would wish to live over again. But mind, if you would really
enjoy all this, go alone--a silent guide before or behind you. No
friends, no companion, no gossip. You will find gossip enough in your
inn, if you want it. If your guide thinks it is his duty to talk, to
explain, to tell you the foolish names of things that need no
name--make belief that you understand him not--that his language, be
it French or German, is to you utterly incomprehensible.

I would not paint it all _couleur de rose_. The sun is not always

There is tempest and foul weather, fatigue and cold, and abundant
moisture to be occasionally encountered. There is something to endure.
But if you prayed to Heaven for perpetual fair weather, and your
prayer were granted, it would be the most unfortunate petition you
could put up. Why, there are some of the sublimest aspects, the
noblest moods and tempers of the great scene, which you would utterly
forfeit by this miserable immunity. He who loves the mountain, will
love it in the tempest as well as in the sunshine. To be enveloped in
driving mist or cloud that obscures every thing from view--to be made
aware of the neighbouring precipice only by the sound of the torrent
that rushes unseen beneath you--how low down you can only guess--this,
too, has its excitement. Besides, while you are in this total blank,
the wind will suddenly drive the whole mass of cloud and thick vapour
from the scene around you, and leave the most glorious spectacle for
some moments exposed to view. Nothing can exceed these moments of
sudden and partial revelation. The glittering summits of the mountains
appear as by enchantment where there had long been nothing but dense
dark vapour. And how beautiful the wild disorder of the clouds, whose
array has been broken up, and who are seen flying, huddled together in
tumultuous retreat! But the veering wind rallies them again, and again
they sweep back over the vast expanse, and hill and valley, earth and
sky, are obliterated in a second.

       *       *       *       *       *

He who would ponder what _man_ is, should journey amongst the
mountains. What _men_ are, is best learnt in the city.

How, to a museful spirit, the heart and soul of man is reflected in
the shows of nature! I cannot see this torrent battling for ever along
its rocky path, and not animate it with human passions, and torture it
with a human fate. Can it have so much turmoil and restlessness, and
not be allied to humanity?

But all are not images of violence or lessons of despondency. Mark the
Yungfrau, how she lifts her slight and virgin snows fearlessly to the
blazing sun! She is so high, she feels no _reflected heat_.

       *       *       *       *       *

How well the simple architecture of the low-roofed buildings of
Switzerland accords with its magnificent scenery! What were lofty
steeples beside Mont Blanc, or turreted castles beside her pinnacles
of granite? Elsewhere, in the level plain, I love the cathedral. I had
lately stood enraptured in the choir of that of Cologne, gazing up at
those tall windows which spring where other loftiest buildings
terminate--windows so high that God only can look in upon the

But here--what need of the stately edifice, when there is a church
whose buttresses are mountains, whose roof and towers are above the
clouds, verily in the heavens? What need of artificial reminiscences
of the Great King, here where he has built for himself? The plain, it
is _man's_ nature--given to man's wants; there stands his corn, there
flow his milk and honey. But the mountain, it is God's nature--his
stationary tabernacle--reserved for the eye only of man and the
communing of his spirit. If meant to subserve the wants of his earthly
nature, meant still more expressly to kindle other wants. Do they not
indeed lead to Heaven, these mountains? At least I know they lead
beyond this earth.

There is a little church stands in the valley of Chamouni. It was
open, as is customary in Catholic countries, to receive the visits and
the prayers of the faithful; but there was no service, no priest, nor
indeed a single person in the building. It was evening--and a solitary
lamp hung suspended from the ceiling, just before the altar. Allured
by the mysterious appearance of this lamp burning in solitude, I
entered, and remained in it some time, making out, in the dim light,
the wondrous figures of virgins and saints generally found in such
edifices. When I emerged from the church, there stood Mont Blanc
before me, reflecting the last tints of the setting sun. I am
habitually tolerant of Catholic devices and ceremonies; but at this
moment how inexpressibly strange, how very little, how poor,
contemptible, and like an infant's toy, seemed all the implements of
worship I had just left!

And yet the tall, simple, wooden cross that stands in the open air on
the platform before the church, this was well. This was a symbol that
might well stand, even in the presence of Mont Blanc. Symbol of
suffering and of love, where is it out of place? On no spot on earth,
on no spot where a human heart is beating.

Mont Blanc and this wooden cross, are they not the two greatest
symbols that the world can show? They are wisely placed opposite each

I have alluded to the sunset seen in this valley. All travellers love
to talk a little of their own experience, their good or their ill
fortune. The first evening I entered Chamouni, the clouds had gathered
on the summits of the mountains, and a view of Mont Blanc was thought
hopeless. Nevertheless I sallied forth, and planted myself in the
valley, with a singular confidence in the goodness of nature towards
one who was the humblest but one of the sincerest of her votaries. My
confidence was rewarded. The clouds dispersed, and the roseate sunset
on the mountain was seen to perfection. I had not yet learned to
distinguish that summit which, in an especial manner, bears the name
of Mont Blanc. There is a modesty in its greatness. It makes no
ostentatious claim to be the highest in the range, and is content if
for a time you give the glory of pre-eminence to others. But it
reserves a convincing proof of its own superiority. I had been looking
elsewhere, and in a wrong direction, for Mont Blanc, when I found that
all the summits had sunk, like the clouds when day deserts them, into
a cold dead white--all but one point, that still glowed with the
radiance of the sun when all beside had lost it. There was the royal

What a cold, corpse-like hue it is which the snow-mountain assumes
just after the sun has quitted it. There is a short interval then,
when it seems the very image of death. But the moon rises, or the
stars take up their place, and the mountain resumes its beauty and its
life. Beauty is always life. Under the star-light how ethereal does it

       *       *       *       *       *

In the landscapes of other countries, the house--the habitation of
man--be it farm-house or cottage--gathers, so to speak, some of the
country about itself--makes itself the centre of some circle, however
small. Not so in Switzerland. The hooded chalet, which even in summer
speaks so plainly of winter, and stands ever prepared with its low
drooping roof to shelter its eyes and ears from the snow and the
wind--these dot the landscape most charmingly, but yet are lost in it;
they form no group, no central point in the scene. I am thinking more
particularly of the chalets in the Oberland. There is no path
apparently between one and the other; the beautiful green verdure lies
untrodden around them. One would say, the inhabitants found their way
to them like birds to their nests. And like enough to nests they are,
both in the elevation at which they are sometimes perched, and in the
manner of their distribution over the scene.

However they got there, people at all events are living in them, and
the farm and the dairy are carried up into I know not what altitudes.
Those beautiful little tame cattle, with their short horns, and long
ears, and mouse-coloured skin, with all the agility of a goat, and all
the gentleness of domesticity--you meet them feeding in places where
your mule looks thoughtfully to his footing. And then follows perhaps
a peasant girl in her picturesque cloak made of the undressed fur of
the goat and her round hat of thickly plaited straw, calling after
them in that high sing-song note, which forms the basis of what is
called Swiss music. This cry heard in the mountains is delightful, the
voice is sustained and yet varied--being varied, it can be sustained
the longer--and the high note pierces far into the distance. As a real
cry of the peasant it is delightful to hear; it is appropriate to the
purpose and the place. But defend my ears against that imitation of it
introduced by young ladies into the Swiss songs. Swiss music in an
English drawing-room--may I escape the infliction! but the Swiss
peasant chanting across the mountain defiles--may I often again halt
to listen to it!

       *       *       *       *       *

But from the mountain and the cloud we must now depart. We must wend
towards the plain. One very simple and consolatory thought strikes
me--though we must leave the glory of the mountain, we at least take
the sun with us. And the cloud too, you will add. Alas! something too
much of that.

But no murmurs. We islanders, who can see the sun set on the broad
ocean--had we nothing else to boast of--can never feel deserted of
nature. We have our portion of her excellent gifts. I know not yet how
an Italian sky, so famed for its deep and constant azure, may affect
me, but I know that we have our gorgeous melancholy sunsets, to which
our island tempers become singularly attuned. The cathedral
splendours--the dim religious light of our vesper skies--I doubt if I
would exchange them for the unmitigated glories of a southern clime.


      Methought Prometheus, from his rock unbound,
    Had with the Gods again acceptance found.
    Once more he seem'd his wond'rous task to ply,
    While all Olympus stood admiring by.
    To high designs his heart and hands aspire,
    To quicken earthly dust with heavenly fire,
    Won by no fraud, but lent by liberal love,
    To raise weak mortals to the realms above;
    For the bright flame remembers, even on earth,
    And pants to reach, the region of its birth.
      A female form was now the artist's care;
    Faultless in shape, and exquisitely fair.
    Of more than Parian purity, the clay
    Had all been leaven'd with the ethereal ray.
    Deep in the heart the kindling spark began,
    And far diffused through every fibre ran;
    The eyes reveal'd it, and the blooming skin
    Glow'd with the lovely light that shone within.
      The applauding Gods confess'd the matchless sight;
    The first Pandora was not half so bright;
    That beauteous mischief, formed at Jove's command,
    A curse to men, by Mulciber's own hand;
    Whose eager haste the fatal jar to know,
    Fill'd the wide world with all but hopeless woe.
    But dawn of better days arose, when He,
    The patient Hero, set Prometheus free,
    Alcides, to whose toils the joy was given
    To conquer Hell and climb the heights of Heaven.
      In the fair work that now the master wrought,
    The first-fruits of his liberty were brought;
    The Gods receive her as a pledge of peace,
    And heap their gifts and happiest auspices.
      Minerva to the virgin first imparts
    Her skill in woman's works and household arts;
    The needle's use, the robe's embroider'd bloom,
    And all the varied labours of the loom.
    Calm fortitude she gave, and courage strong,
    To cope with ill and triumph over wrong;
    Ingenuous prudence, with prophetic sight,
    And clear instinctive wisdom, ever right.
      Diana brought the maid her modest mien,
    Her love of fountains and the sylvan scene;
    The Hours and Seasons lent each varying ray
    That gilds the rolling year or changing day.
    The cunning skill of Hermes nicely hung,
    With subtle blandishments, her sliding tongue,
    And train'd her eyes to stolen glances sweet,
    And all the wiles of innocent deceit.
    Phoebus attuned her ear to love the lyre,
    And warm'd her fancy with poetic fire.
    Nor this alone; but shared his healing art,
    And robb'd his son of all the gentler part;
    Taught her with soothing touch and silent tread
    To hover lightly round the sick one's bed,
    And promised oft to show, when medicines fail,
    A woman's watchful tenderness prevail.
      Next Venus and the Graces largely shed
    A shower of fascinations on her head.
    Each line, each look, was brighten'd and refined,
    Each outward act, each movement of the mind,
    Till all her charms confess the soft control,
    And blend at once in one harmonious whole.
      But still the Eternal Sire apart remain'd,
    And Juno's bounty was not yet obtained.
    The voice of Heaven's High Queen then fill'd the ear,
    "A wife and mother, let the Nymph appear."
    The mystic change like quick enchantment shows--
    The slender lily blooms a blushing rose.
    Three gentle children now, by just degrees,
    Are ranged in budding beauty round her knees:
    Still to her lips their looks attentive turn,
    And drink instruction from its purest urn,
    While o'er their eyes soft memories seem to play,
    That paint a friend or father far away.
    A richer charm her ripen'd form displays,
    A halo round her shines with holier rays;
    And if at times, a shade of pensive grace
    Pass like a cloud across her earnest face,
    Yet faithful tokens the glad truth impart,
    That deeper happiness pervades her heart.
      Jove latest spoke: "One boon remains," he said,
    And bent serenely his ambrosial head;
    "The last, best boon, which I alone bestow;"
    Then bade the waters of Affliction flow.
    The golden dream was dimm'd; a darken'd room
    Scarce show'd where dire disease had shed its gloom.
    A little child in death extended lay,
    Still round her linger'd the departing ray.
    Another pallid face appear'd, where Life
    With its fell foe maintain'd a doubtful strife.
    Long was the contest; changeful hopes and fears
    Now sunk the Mother's soul, now dried her tears.
    At last a steady line of dawning light
    Show'd that her son was saved, and banish'd night.
    Though sad her heart, of one fair pledge bereft,
    She sees and owns the bounties Heaven hath left.
    In natural drops her anguish finds relief,
    And leaves the Matron beautified by grief;
    While consolation, beaming from above,
    Fills her with new-felt gratitude and love.
      O happy He! before whose waking eyes,
    So bright a vision may resplendent rise--
    The New PANDORA, by the Gods designed,
    Not now the bane, but blessing of Mankind!


It is scarcely theoretical to say, that every century has a character
of its own. The human mind is essentially progressive in Europe. The
accumulations of past knowledge, experience, and impulse, are
perpetually preparing changes on the face of society; and we may
fairly regard every hundred years as the period maturing those changes
into visible form. Thus, the fifteenth century was the age of
discovery in the arts, in the powers of nature, and in the great
provinces of the globe: the sixteenth exhibited the general mind under
the impressions of religion--the Reformation, the German wars for
liberty and faith, and the struggles of Protestantism in France. The
seventeenth was the brilliant period of scientific advance, of
continental literature, and of courtly pomp and power. The eighteenth
was the period of politics; every court of Europe was engaged in the
game of political rivalry; the European balance became the test, the
labour, and the triumph of statesmanship. The negotiator was then the
great instrument of public action. Diplomacy assumed a shape, and
Europe was governed by despatches. The genius of Frederick the Second
restored war to its early rank among the elements of national life;
but brilliant as his wars were, they were subservient to the leading
feature of the age. They were fought, not, like the battles of the old
conquerors, for fame, but for influence--not to leave the king without
an enemy, but to leave his ambassadors without an opponent--less to
gain triumphs, than to ensure treaties: they all began and ended in

It is remarkable, that this process was exhibited in Europe alone. In
the East, comprehending two-thirds of human kind, no change was made
since the conquests of Mahomet. That vast convulsion, in which the
nervousness of frenzy had given the effeminate spirit of the Oriental
the strength of the soldier and the ambition of universal conqueror,
had no sooner wrought its purpose than it passed away, leaving the
general mind still more exhausted than before. The Saracen warrior
sank into the peasant, and the Arab was again lost in his sands; the
Turk alone survived, exhibiting splendour without wealth, and pride
without power--a decaying image of Despotism, which nothing but the
jealousy of the European saved from falling under the first assault.
Such is the repressive strength of evil government; progress, the most
salient principle of our nature, dies before it. And man, of all
beings the most eager for acquirement, and the most restless under all
monotony of time, place, and position, becomes like the dog or the
mule, and generation after generation lives and dies with no more
consciousness of the capacities of his existence, than the root which
the animal devours, or the tree under which it was born.

In England, the eighteenth century was wholly political. It was a
continual struggle through all the difficulties belonging to a free
constitution, exposed to the full discussion of an intellectual
people. Without adopting the offensive prejudice, which places the
individual ability of the Englishmen in the first rank; or without
doubting that nature has distributed nearly an equal share of personal
ability among all European nations; we may, not unjustly, place the
national mind of England in the very highest rank of general
capacity--if that is the most intellectual nation, by which the public
intellect is most constantly employed, in which all the great
questions of society are most habitually referred to the decision of
the intellect, and in which that decision is the most irresistible in
its effects, no nation of Europe can stand upon equal ground with the
English. For, in what other nation is the public intellect in such
unwearied exercise, in such continual demand, and in such unanswerable

In what other nation of the world (excepting, within those few years,
France; and that most imperfectly) has public opinion ever been
appealed to? But, in England, to what else is there any appeal? Or,
does not the foreign mind bear some resemblance to the foreign
landscape--exhibiting barren though noble elevations, spots of
singular though obscure beauty among its recesses, and even in its
wildest scenes a capacity of culture?--while, in the mind of England,
like its landscape, that culture has already laid its hand upon the
soil; has crowned the hill with verdure, and clothed the vale with
fertility; has run its ploughshare along the mountain side, and led
the stream from its brow; has sought out every finer secret of the
scene, and given the last richness of cultivation to the whole.

From the beginning of the reign of Anne, all was a contest of leading
statesmen at the head of parties. Those contests exhibit great mental
power, singular system, and extraordinary knowledge of the art of
making vast bodies of men minister to the personal objects of avarice
and ambition. But they do no honour to the moral dignity of England.
All revolutions are hazardous to principle. A succession of
revolutions have always extinguished even the pretence to principle.
The French Revolution is not the only one which made a race of
_girouettes_. The political life of England, from the death of Anne to
the reign of George the Third, was a perpetual turning of the
weathercock. Whig and Tory were the names of distinction. But their
subordinates were of as many varieties of feature as the cargo of a
slave-ship; the hue might be the same, but the jargon was that of
Babel. It was perhaps fortunate for the imperial power of England,
that while she was thus humiliating the national morality, which is
the life-blood of nations; her reckless and perpetual enemy beyond the
Channel had lost all means of being her antagonist. The French sceptre
had fallen into the hands of a prince, who had come to the throne a
debauchee; and to whom the throne seemed only a scene for the larger
display of his vices. The profligacy of Louis-Quatorze had been
palliated by his passion for splendour, among a dissolute people who
loved splendour much, and hated profligacy little. But the vices of
Louis the Fifteenth were marked by a grossness which degraded them in
the eye even of popular indulgence, and prepared the nation for the
overthrow of the monarchy. In this period, religion, the great
purifier of national council, maintained but a struggling existence.
The Puritanism of the preceding century had crushed the Church of
England; and the restoration of the monarchy had given the people a
saturnalia. Religion had been confounded with hypocrisy, until the
people had equally confounded freedom with infidelity. The heads of
the church, chosen by freethinking administrations, were chosen more
for the suppleness than for the strength of their principles; and
while the people were thus taught to regard churchmen as tools, and
the ministers to use them as dependents, the cause of truth sank
between both. The Scriptures are the life of religion. It can no more
subsist in health without them, than the human frame can subsist
without food; it may have the dreams of the enthusiast, or the frenzy
of the monk; but, for all the substantial and safe purposes of the
human heart, its life is gone for ever. It has been justly remarked,
that the theological works of that day, including the sermons, might,
in general, have been written if Christianity had never existed. The
sermons were chiefly essays, of the dreariest kind on the most
commonplace topics of morals. The habit of reading these discourses
from the pulpit, a habit so fatal to all impression, speedily rendered
the preachers as indifferent as their auditory; and if we were to name
the period when religion had most fallen into decay in the public
mind, we should pronounce it the half century which preceded the reign
of George the Third.

On the subject of pulpit eloquence there are some remarks in one of
the reviews of the late Sydney Smith, expressed with all the
shrewdness, divested of the levity of that writer, who had keenly
observed the popular sources of failure.

"The great object of modern sermons is, to hazard nothing. Their
characteristic is decent debility; which alike guards their authors
from ludicrous errors, and precludes them from striking beauties. Yet
it is curious to consider, how a body of men so well educated as the
English clergy, can distinguish themselves so little in a species of
composition, to which it is their peculiar duty, as well as their
ordinary habit, to attend. To solve this difficulty, it should be
remembered that the eloquence of the bar and of the senate force
themselves into notice, power, and wealth." He then slightly guards
against the conception, that eloquence should be the sole source of
preferment; or even "a common cause of preferment." But he strongly,
and with great appearance of truth, attributes the want of public
effect to the want of those means by which that effect is secured in
every other instance.

"Pulpit discourses have insensibly dwindled from speaking into
reading; a practice of itself sufficient to stifle every germ of
eloquence. It is only by the fresh feelings of the heart that mankind
can be very powerfully affected. What can be more unfortunate, than an
orator delivering stale indignation, and fervour of a week old;
turning over whole pages of violent passions, written out in German
text; reading the tropes and metaphors into which he is hurried by the
ardour of his mind; and so affected, at a preconcerted line and page,
that he is unable to proceed any further?"

This criticism was perfectly true of sermons forty years ago, when it
was written. Times are changed since, and changed for the better. The
pulpit is no longer ashamed of the doctrines of Christianity, as too
harsh for the ears of a classic audience, or too familiar for the ears
of the people. Still there are no rewards in the Church, for that
great faculty, or rather that great combination of faculties, which
commands all the honours of the senate and the bar. A clerical
Demosthenes might find his triumph in the shillings of a charity
sermon, but he must never hope for a Stall.

We now revert to the curious, inquisitive, and gossiping historian of
the time. Walpole, fond of French manners, delighting in the easy
sarcasm, and almost saucy levity, of French "Memoirs," and adopting,
in all its extent, the confession, (then so fashionable on the
Continent,) that the perfection of writing was to be formed in their
lively _persiflage_, evidently modelled his "History" on the style of
the Sevignés and St Simons. But he was altogether their superior. If
he had been a chamberlain in the court of Louis XV., he might have
been as frivolously witty, and as laughingly sarcastic, as any
Frenchman who ever sat at the feet of a court mistress, or whoever
looked for fame among the sallies of a _petit souper_. But England was
an atmosphere which compelled him to a manlier course. The storms of
party were not to be stemmed by a wing of gossamer. The writer had
bold facts, strong principles, and the struggles of powerful minds to
deal with, and their study gave him a strength not his own.

Walpole was fond of having a hero. In private life, George Selwyn was
his Admirable Crichton; in public, Charles Townshend. Charles was
unquestionably a man of wit. Yet his wit rather consisted in dexterity
of language than in brilliancy of conception. He was also eloquent in
Parliament; though his charm evidently consisted more in happiness of
phrase, than in richness, variety, or vigour, of thought. On the
whole, he seems to have been made to amuse rather than to impress, and
to give a high conception of his general faculties than to produce
either conviction by his argument, or respect by the solid qualities
of his genius. Still, he must have been an extraordinary man. Walpole
describes his conduct and powers, as exhibited on one of those days of
sharp debate which preceded the tremendous discussions of the American
war. The subject was a bill for regulating the dividends of the East
India Company--the topic was extremely trite, and apparently trifling.
But any perch will answer for the flight of such bird. "It was on
that day," says Walpole, "and on that occasion, that Charles Townshend
displayed, in a latitude beyond belief, the amazing powers of his
capacity, and the no less amazing incongruities of his character."
Early in the day he had opened the business, by taking on himself the
examination of the Company's conduct, had made a calm speech on the
subject, and even went so far as to say, "that he hoped he had atoned
for the inconsiderateness of his past life, by the care which he had
taken of that business." He then went home to dinner. In his absence a
motion was made, which Conway, the secretary of state, not choosing to
support alone, it being virtually Townshend's own measure besides,
sent to hurry him back to the House. "He returned about eight in the
evening, half drunk with champagne," as Walpole says, (which, however,
was subsequently denied,) and more intoxicated with spirits. He then
instantly rose to speak, without giving himself time to learn any
thing, except that the motion had given alarm. He began by vowing that
he had not been consulted on the motion--a declaration which
astonished every body, there being twelve persons round him at the
moment, who had been in consultation with him that very morning, and
with his assistance had drawn up the motion on his own table, and who
were petrified at his unparalleled effrontery. But before he sat down,
he had poured forth, as Walpole says, "a torrent of wit, humour,
knowledge, absurdity, vanity, and fiction, heightened by all the
graces of comedy, the happiness of quotation, and the buffoonery of
farce. To the purpose of the question he said not a syllable. It was a
descant on the times, a picture of parties, of their leaders, their
hopes, and effects. It was an encomium and a satire on himself; and
when he painted the pretensions of birth, riches, connexions, favours,
titles, while he effected to praise Lord Rockingham and that faction,
he yet insinuated that nothing but parts like his own were qualified
to preside. And while he less covertly arraigned the wild incapacity
of Lord Chatham, he excited such murmurs of wonder, admiration,
applause, laughter, pity, and scorn, that nothing was so true as the
sentence with which he concluded--when, speaking of government, he
said, that it had become what he himself had often been called--the

Walpole exceeds even his usual measure of admiration, in speaking of
this masterly piece of extravagance. "Such was the wit, abundance, and
impropriety of this speech," says he, "that for some days men could
talk or enquire of nothing else. 'Did you hear Charles Townshend's
champagne speech,' was the universal question. The bacchanalian
enthusiasm of Pindar flowed in torrents less rapid and less eloquent,
and inspired less delight, than Townshend's imagery, which conveyed
meaning in every sentence. It was Garrick acting extempore scenes of
Congreve." He went to supper with Walpole at Conway's afterwards,
where, the flood of his gaiety not being exhausted, he kept the table
in a roar till two in the morning. A part of this entertainment,
however, must have found his auditory in a condition as unfit for
criticism as himself. Claret till "two in the morning," might easily
disqualify a convivial circle from the exercise of too delicate a
perception. And a part of Townshend's facetiousness on that occasion
consisted in mimicking his own wife, and a woman of rank with whom he
fancied himself in love. He at last gave up from mere bodily
lassitude. Walpole happily enough illustrates those talents and their
abuse by an allusion to those eastern tales, in which a benevolent
genius endows a being with supernatural excellence on some points,
while a malignant genius counteracts the gift by some qualification
which perpetually baffles and perverts it. The story, however, of
Charles Townshend's tipsiness is thus contradicted by a graver
authority, Sir George Colebrook, in his Memoirs.

"Mr Townshend loved good living, but had not a strong stomach. He
committed therefore frequent excesses, considering his constitution;
which would not have been intemperance in another. He was supposed,
for instance, to have made a speech in the heat of wine, when that was
really not the case. It was a speech in which he treated with great
levity, but with wonderful art, the characters of the Duke of Grafton
and Lord Shelburne, whom, though his colleagues in office, he
entertained a sovereign contempt for, and heartily wished to get rid
of. He had a black riband over one of his eyes that day, having
tumbled out of bed, probably in a fit of epilepsy; and this added to
the impression made on his auditors that he was tipsy. Whereas, it was
a speech he had meditated a great while upon, and it was only by
accident that it found utterance that day. I write with certainty,
because Sir George Yonge and I were the only persons who dined with
him, and we had but one bottle of champagne after dinner; General
Conway having repeatedly sent messengers to press his return to the

This brings the miracle down to the human standard, yet that standard
was high, and the man who could excite this admiration, in a House
which contained so great a number of eminent speakers, and which could
charm the caustic spirit of Walpole into the acknowledgment that his
speech "was the most singular pleasure of the kind he had ever
tasted," must have been an extraordinary performance, even if his
instrument was not of the highest tone of oratory. A note from the
Duke of Grafton's manuscript memoirs also contradicts, on Townshend's
own authority, his opinion of the "wild incapacity of Lord Chatham."
The note says:--

    "On the night preceding Lord Chatham's first journey to Bath, Mr
    Charles Townshend was for the first time summoned to the Cabinet.
    The business was on a general view and statement of the actual
    situation and interests of the various powers in Europe. Lord
    Chatham had taken the lead in this consideration in so masterly a
    manner, as to raise the admiration and desire of us all to
    co-operate with him in forwarding his views. Mr Townshend was
    particularly astonished, and owned to me, as I was carrying him in
    my carriage home, that Lord Chatham had just shown to us what
    inferior animals we were, and that as much as he had seen of him
    before, he did not conceive till that night his superiority to be
    so transcendant."

Walpole writes with habitual bitterness of the great Lord Chatham. The
recollection of his early opposition to Sir Robert Walpole, seems to
have made him an unfaithful historian, wherever this extraordinary
man's name comes within his page; but at the period of those
discussions, it seems not improbable that the vigour of Chatham's
understanding had in some degree given way to the tortures of his
disease. He had suffered from gout at an early period of life; and as
this is a disease remarkably affected by the mind, the perpetual
disturbances of a public life seem to have given it a mastery over the
whole frame of the great minister. Walpole talks in unjustifiable
language of his "haughty sterility of talents." But there seems to be
more truth in his account of the caprices of this powerful
understanding in his retirement. Walpole calls it the "reality of Lord
Chatham's madness." Still, we cannot see much in those instances,
beyond the temper naturally resulting from an agonizing disease. When
the Pynsent estate fell to him, he removed to it, and sold his house
and grounds at Hayes--"a place on which he had wasted prodigious sums,
and which yet retained small traces of expense, great part having been
consumed in purchasing contiguous tenements, to free himself from all
neighbourhood. Much had gone in doing and undoing, and not a little in
planting by torchlight, as his peremptory and impatient habits could
brook no delay. Nor were those the sole circumstances which marked his
caprice. His children he could not bear under the same roof, nor
communications from room to room, nor whatever he thought promoted
noise. A winding passage between his house and children was built with
the same view. When, at the beginning of his second administration, he
fixed at North End by Hampstead, he took four or five houses
successively, as fast as Mr Dingley his landlord went into them,
still, as he said, to ward off the houses of the neighbourhood."

Walpole relates another anecdote equally inconclusive. At Pynsent, a
bleak hill bounded his view. He ordered his gardener to have it
planted with evergreens. The man asked "with what sorts." He replied,
"With cedars and cypresses." "Bless me, my lord," replied the
gardener, "all the nurseries in this county would not furnish a
hundredth part." "No matter, send for them from London: and they were
brought by land carriage." Certainly, there was not much in this
beyond the natural desire of every improver to shut out a disagreeable
object, by putting an agreeable one in its place. His general object
was the natural one of preventing all noise--a point of importance
with every sufferer under a wakeful and miserable disease. His
appetite was delicate and fanciful, and a succession of chickens were
kept boiling and roasting at every hour, to be ready whenever he
should call. He at length grew weary of his residence and, after
selling Hayes, took a longing to return there. After considerable
negotiation with Mr Thomas Walpole the purchaser, he obtained it
again, and we hear no more of his madness.

The session was one of continual intrigues, constant exhibitions of
subtlety amongst the leaders of the party, which at this distance of
time are only ridiculous, and intricate discussions, which are now
among the lumber of debate. Townshend, if he gained nothing else,
gained the freedom of the city for his conduct on the East India and
Dividend bills, for which, as Walpole says, "he deserved nothing but
censure." A contemptuous epigram appeared on the occasion by "somebody
a little more sagacious"--that "somebody" probably being Walpole

   "The joke of Townshend's box is little known,
    Great judgment in the thing the cits have shown;
    The compliment was an expedient clever,
    To rid them of the like expense for ever.
    Of so burlesque a choice the example sure
    For city boxes must all longing cure,
    The honor'd Ostracism at Athens fell,
    Soon as Hyperbolus had got the shell."

It is scarcely possible to think that an epigram of this heavy order
could have been praised by Walpole, if his criticism had not been
tempered by the tenderness of paternity.

We then have a character of a man embalmed in the contempt poured upon
him by Junius--the Duke of Grafton. Though less bitter, it is equally
scornful. "Hitherto," says Walpole, "he had passed for a man of much
obstinacy and firmness, of strict honour, devoid of ambition, and,
though reserved, more diffident than designing. He retained so much of
this character, as to justify those who had mistaken the rest. If he
precipitated himself into the most sudden and inextricable
contradictions, at least he pursued the object of the moment with
inflexible ardour. If he abandoned himself to total negligence of
business, in pursuit of his sports and pleasures, the love of power
never quitted him; and, when his will was disputed, no man was more
imperiously arbitrary. If his designs were not deeply laid, at least
they were conducted in profound silence. He rarely pardoned those who
did not guess his inclination. It was necessary to guess, so rare was
any instance of his unbosoming himself to either friends or
confidants. Why his honour had been so highly rated I can less
account, except that he had advertised it, and that obstinate young
men are apt to have high notions, before they have practised the
world, and essayed their own virtue."

At length, after a vast variety of intrigues, which threw the public
life of those days into the most contemptible point of view, the King
being made virtually a cipher, while the families of the Hertfords,
Buckinghams, and Rockinghams trafficked the high offices of state as
children would barter toys; an administration was tardily formed.
Walpole, who seemed to take a sort of _dilettante_ pleasure in
constructing those intrigues, and making himself wretched at their
failure, while nobody suffered him to take advantage of their success;
now gave himself a holiday, and went to relax in Paris for six
weeks--his relaxation consisting of gossip amongst the literary ladies
of the capital. During his absence an event happened which, though it
did not break up the ministry, yet must have had considerable effect
in its influence on the House of Commons. This was the death of the
celebrated Charles Townshend, on the 4th of September 1767, in the
forty-second year of his age. The cause of his death was a neglected
fever; if even this did not arise from his carelessness of health, and
those habits which, if not amounting to intemperance, were certainly
trespasses on his constitution. Walpole speaks of him with continual
admiration of his genius, and continual contempt of his principles. He
also thinks, that he had arrived at his highest fame, or, in his
peculiar phrase, "that his genius could have received no accession of
brightness, while his faults only promised multiplication." Walpole,
with no pretence to rival, probably envied this singular personage;
for, whenever he begins by panegyric, he uniformly ends with a sting.
One of the Notes gives an extract on Sir George Colebrook's Memoirs,
which perhaps places his faculties in a more favourable point of view
than the high-coloured eulogium of Burke, or the polished insinuations
of Walpole. Sir George tells us, that Townshend's object was to be
prime minister, and that he would doubtless have attained that object
had he lived to see the Duke of Grafton's resignation. Lord North
succeeded him as chancellor of the exchequer, and Townshend would
evidently have preceded _him_ as prime minister. "As a private man,
his friends were used to say, that they should not see his like again.
Though they were often the butts of his wit, they always returned to
his company with fresh delight, which they would not have done had
there been either malice or rancour in what he said. He loved society,
and in his choice of friends preferred those over whom he had a
decided superiority of talent. He was satisfied when he had put the
table in a roar, and he did not like to see it done by another. When
Garrick and Foote were present, he took the lead, and hardly allowed
them an opportunity of showing their talents for mimicry, because he
could excel them in their own art. He shone particularly in taking off
the principal members of the House of Commons. Among the few whom he
feared was Mr Selwyn, and at a dinner at Lord Gower's they had a trial
of skill, in which Mr Selwyn prevailed. When the company broke up, Mr
Townshend, to show that he had no animosity, carried him in his
carriage to White's; and, as they parted, Selwyn could not help
saying--'Remember, this is the first set-down you have given me

As Townshend lived at a considerable expense, and had little paternal
fortune, he speculated occasionally in both the French and English
funds. One of the incidents related by Sir George, and without a
syllable of censure too, throws on him an imputation of trickery
which, in our later day, would utterly destroy any public man. "When
he was chancellor of the exchequer, he came in his nightgown to a
dinner given by the Duke of Grafton to several of the principal men of
the city to settle the loan. After dinner, when the terms were
settled, and every body present wished to introduce some friend on the
list of subscribers, he pretended to cast up the sums already
admitted, said the loan was full, huddled up his papers, got into a
chair, and returned home, reserving to himself by this manoeuvre a
large share of the loan." An act of this kind exhibits the honesty of
the last age in a very equivocal point of view. If proud of nothing
else, we may be proud of the public sense of responsibility; in our
day, it may be presumed that such an act would be impossible, for it
would inevitably involve the ruin of the perpetrator, followed by the
ruin of any ministry which would dare to defend him.

At this period died a brother of the king, Edward Duke of York, a man
devoted to pleasure, headstrong in his temper, and ignorant in his
conceptions. "Immoderate travelling, followed by immoderate balls and
entertainments," had long kept his blood in a peculiar state of
accessibility to disease. He died of a putrid fever. Walpole makes a
panegyric on the Duke of Gloucester, his brother; of which a part may
be supposed due to the Duke's marriage with Lady Waldegrave, a
marriage which provoked the indignation of the King, and which once
threatened political evils of a formidable nature. Henry, the Duke of
Cumberland, was also an unfortunate specimen of the blood royal. He is
described as having the babbling loquacity of the Duke of York,
without his talents; as at once arrogant and low; presuming on his
rank as a prince, and degrading himself by an association with low
company. Still, we are to remember Walpole's propensity to sarcasm,
the enjoyment which he seems to have felt in shooting his brilliant
missiles at all ranks superior to his own; and his especial hostility
to George the Third, one of the honestest monarchs that ever sat upon
a throne.

In those days the composition of ministries depended altogether upon
the high families.--The peerage settled every thing amongst
themselves. A few of their dependents were occasionally taken into
office; but all the great places were distributed among a little
clique, who thus constituted themselves the real masters of the
empire. Walpole's work has its value, in letting us into the secrets
of a conclave, which at once shows us the singular emptiness of its
constituent parts, and the equally singular authority with which they
seem to have disposed of both the king and the people. We give a scene
from the _Historian_, which would make an admirable fragment of the
_Rehearsal_, and which wanted only the genius of Sheridan to be an
admirable pendant to Mr Puff's play in the _Critic_. "On the 20th a
meeting was held at the Duke of Newcastle's, of Lord Rockingham, the
Duke of Richmond, and of Dowdeswell, with Newcastle himself on one
part, and of the Duke of Bedford, Lord Weymouth, and Rigby on the
other. The Duke of Bedford had powers from Grenville to act for him;
but did not seem to like Lord Buckingham's taking on himself to name
to places. On the latter's asking what friends they wished to prefer,
Rigby said, with his cavalier bluntness--Take the _Court Calendar_ and
give them one, two, three thousand pounds a-year! Bedford
observed--They had said nothing on measures. Mr Grenville would insist
on the sovereignty of this country over America being asserted. Lord
Rockingham replied--He would never allow it to be a question whether
he had given up this country--he never had. The Duke insisted on a
declaration. The Duke of Richmond said--We may as well demand one from
you, that you will never disturb that country again. Neither would
yield. However, though they could not agree on measures; as the
distribution of place was more the object of their thoughts and of
their meeting, they reverted to that topic. Lord Rockingham named Mr
Conway. Bedford started; said he had no notion of Conway; had thought
he was to return to the military line. The Duke of Richmond said it
was true, Mr Conway did not desire a civil place; did not know whether
he would be persuaded to accept one; but they were so bound to him for
his resignation, and thought him so able, they must insist. The Duke
of Bedford said--Conway was an officer _sans tache_, but not a
minister _sans tache_. Rigby said--Not one of the present cabinet
should be saved. Dowdeswell asked--'What! not one?' 'No.' 'What! not
Charles Townshend.' 'Oh!' said Rigby, 'that is different. Besides, he
has been in opposition.' 'So has Conway,' said Dowdeswell. 'He has
voted twice against the court, Townshend but once.' 'But,' said Rigby,
'Conway is Bute's man.' 'Pray,' said Dowdeswell, 'is not Charles
Townshend Bute's?' 'Ah! but Conway is governed by his brother
Hertford, who is Bute's.' 'But Lady Ailesbury is a Scotchwoman.' 'So
is Lady Dalkeith.' Those ladies had been widows and were now married,
(the former to Conway, the latter to Townshend.) From this dialogue
the assembly fell to wrangling, and broke up quarrelling. So high did
the heats go, that the Conways ran about the town publishing the issue
of the conference, and taxing the Bedfords with treachery."

Notwithstanding this collision, at once so significant, and so
trifling--at once a burlesque on the gravity of public affairs, and a
satire on the selfishness of public men--on the same evening, the Duke
of Bedford sent to desire another interview, to which Lord Rockingham
yielded, but the Duke of Bedford refused to be present. So much,
however, were the minds on both sides ulcerated by former and recent
disputes, and so incompatible were their views, that the second
meeting broke up in a final quarrel, and Lord Rockingham released the
other party from all their engagements. The Duke of Bedford desired
they might still continue friends, or at least to agree to oppose
together. Lord Rockingham said no, "they were broken for ever."

It was at this meeting that the Duke of Newcastle appeared for the
last time in a political light. Age and feebleness had at length worn
out that busy passion for intrigue, which power had not been able to
satiate, nor disgrace correct. He languished above a year longer, but
was heard of no more on the scene of affairs. (He died in November 1768.)

A remarkable circumstance in all those arrangements is, that we hear
nothing of either the king or the people. The king is of course
applied to to sign and seal, but simply as a head clerk. The people
are occasionally mentioned at the end of every seven years; but in the
interim all was settled in the parlours of the peerage! The scene
which we have just given was absolutely puerile, if it were not
scandalous; and, without laying ourselves open to the charge of
superstition on such subjects, we might almost regard the preservation
of the empire as directly miraculous, while power was in the hands of
such men as the Butes and Newcastles, the Bedfords and Rockinghams, of
the last century. It is not even difficult to trace to this
intolerable system, alike the foreign calamities and the internal
convulsions during this period. Whether America could, by any
possibility of arrangement, have continued a British colony up to the
present time, may be rationally doubted. A vast country, rapidly
increasing in wealth and population, would have been an incumbrance,
rather than an addition, to the power of England. If the patronage of
her offices continued in the hands of ministers, it must have supplied
them with the means of buying up every man who was to be bought in
England. It would have been the largest fund of corruption ever known
in the world. Or, if the connexion continued, with the population of
America doubling in every five-and-twenty years, the question must in
time have arisen, whether England or America ought to be the true seat
of government. The probable consequence, however, would have been
separation; and as this could scarcely be effected by amicable means,
the result might have been a war of a much more extensive, wasteful,
and formidable nature, than that which divided the two countries
sixty-five years ago.

But all the blunders of the American war, nay the war itself, may be
still almost directly traceable to the arrogance of the oligarchy. Too
much accustomed to regard government as a natural appendage to their
birth, they utterly forgot the true element of national power--the
force of public opinion. Inflated with a sense of their personal
superiority, they looked with easy indifference or studied contempt on
every thing that was said or done by men whose genealogy was not
registered in the red book. Of America--a nation of Englishmen--and of
its proceedings, they talked, as a Russian lord might talk of his
serfs. Some of them thought, that a Stamp act would frighten the
sturdy free-holders of the Western World into submission! others
talked of reducing them to obedience by laying a tax on their tea!
others prescribed a regimen of writs and constables! evidently
regarding the American farmers as they regarded the poachers and
paupers on their own demesnes. All this arose from stupendous
ignorance; but it was ignorance engendered by pride, by exclusiveness
of rank, and by the arrogance of _caste_. So excessive was this
exclusiveness, that Burke, though the most extraordinary man of his
time, and one of the most memorable of any time, could never obtain a
seat in the cabinet; where such triflers as Newcastle, such figures of
patrician pedantry as Buckingham, such shallow intriguers as the
Bedfords, and such notorious characters as the Sandwiches, played with
power, like children with the cups and balls of their nursery. Lord
North, with all his wit, his industry, and his eloquence, owed his
admission into the cabinet, to his being the son of the Earl of
Guilford. Charles Fox, though marked by nature, from his first
entrance into public life, for the highest eminence of the senate,
would never have been received into the government _class_, but for
his casual connexion with the House of Richmond. Thus, they knew
nothing of the real powers of that infinite multitude, which, however
below the peerage, forms the country. They thought that a few frowns
from Downing Street could extinguish the resistance of millions, three
thousand miles off, with muskets in their hands, inflamed by a sense
of wrong, whether fancied or true, and insensible to the gatherings of
a brow however coroneted and antique.

This haughty exclusiveness equally accounts for the contests with
Wilkes. They felt themselves affronted, much more than resisted; they
were much more stung by the defiance of a private individual to
themselves, than they were urged to the collision by any conceivable
sense of hazard to the Monarchy. No man, out of bedlam, could
conceive, that Wilkes had either the power or the intention to subvert
the state. But Mr Wilkes, an obscure man, whose name was not known to
the calendar of the government fabricators, had actually dared to call
their privilege of power into question; had defied them in the courts
of law; had rebuked them in the senate; had shaken their influence in
the elections; and had, in fact, compelled them to know, what they
were so reluctant to learn, that they were but human beings after all!
The acquisition of this knowledge cost them half a dozen years of
convulsions, the most ruinous to themselves, and the most hazardous to
the constitution. Wilkes' profligacy alone, perhaps, saved the
constitution from a shock, which might have changed the whole system
of the empire. If he had not been sunk by his personal character, at
the first moment when the populace grew cool, he might have availed
himself of the temper of the times to commit mischiefs the most
irreparable. If his personal character had been as free from public
offence as his spirit was daring, he might have led the people much
further than the government ever had the foresight to contemplate. The
conduct of the successive cabinets had covered the King with
unpopularity, not the less fierce, that it was wholly undeserved.
Junius, the ablest political writer that England has ever seen, or
probably ever will see, in the art of assailing a ministry, had
pilloried every leading man of his time except Chatham, in the
imperishable virulence of his page. The popular mind was furious with
indignation at the conduct of all cabinets; in despair of all
improvement in the system; irritated by the rash severity which
alternated with the equally rash pusillanimity of ministers; and
beginning to regard government less as a protection, than as an
encroachment on the natural privileges of a nation of freemen.

They soon had a growing temptation before them in the successful
revolt of America.

We do not now enter into that question; it is too long past. But we
shall never allude to it without paying that homage to truth, which
pronounces, that the American revolt was a rebellion, wholly
unjustifiable by the provocation; utterly rejecting all explanation,
or atonement for casual injuries; and made in the spirit of a
determination to throw off the allegiance to the mother country. But,
if Wilkes could have sustained his opposition but a few years longer,
and with any character but one so shattered as his own, he might have
carried it on through life, and even bequeathed it as a legacy to his
party; until the French Revolution had joined flame to flame across
the Channel, and England had rivalled even the frenzy of France in the
rapidity and ruin of her Reform.

Fortunately, the empire was rescued from this most fatal of all
catastrophes. A great English minister appeared, on whom were to
devolve the defence of England and the restoration of Europe. The
sagacity of Pitt saw where the evil lay; his intrepidity instantly
struck at its source, and his unrivalled ability completed the saving
operation. He broke down the cabinet monopoly. No man less humiliated
himself to the populace, but no man better understood the people. No
man paid more practical respect to the peerage, but no man more
thoroughly extinguished their exclusive possession of power. He formed
his cabinet from men of all ranks, in the peerage and out of the
peerage. The great peers chiefly went over to the opposition. He
resisted them there, with as much daring, and with as successful a
result, as he had expelled them from the stronghold of government. He
made new peers. He left his haughty antagonists to graze on the barren
field of opposition for successive years; and finally saw almost the
whole herd come over for shelter to the ministerial fold.

At this period a remarkable man was brought into public life--the
celebrated Dunning, appointed solicitor-general. Walpole calls this
"an extraordinary promotion," as Dunning was connected with Lord
Shelburne. It was like every thing else, obviously an intrigue; and
Dunning would have lost the appointment, but for his remarkable
reputation in the courts; Wedderburne being the man of the Bedfords.
Walpole's opinion of Dunning in the House, shows, how much even the
highest abilities may be influenced by circumstances. He says, "that
Dunning immediately and utterly lost character as a speaker, although
he had acquired the very highest distinctions as a pleader;" so
different, says he, is the oratory of the bar and of parliament.
Mansfield and Camden retained an equal rank in both. Wedderburne was
most successful in the House. Norton had at first disappointed the
expectations that were conceived of him when he came into parliament;
yet his strong sense, that glowed through all the coarseness of his
language and brutality of his manner, recovered his weight, and he was
much distinguished. While Sir Dudley Ryder, attorney-general in the
preceding reign, the soundest lawyer, and Charles Yorke, one of the
most distinguished pleaders, soon talked themselves out of all
consideration in parliament; the former by laying too great a stress
on every part of his diffusive knowledge, and the latter by the
sterility of his intelligence.

An intelligent Note, however, vindicates the reputation of Dunning. It
is observed, that Dunning's having been counsel for Wilkes, and the
intimate of Lord Shelburne, it could not be expected that he should
take a prominent part in any of the debates which were so largely
occupied with Wilkes' misdemeanours. Lord North, too, was hostile to
Dunning. Under such conditions it was impossible that any man should
exhibit his powers to advantage; but at a later period, when he had
got rid of those trammels, his singular abilities vindicated
themselves. He became one of the leaders of the opposition, even when
that honour was to be shared with Burke. We have heard, that such was
the pungency of Dunning's expressions, and the happy dexterity of his
conceptions, that when he spoke, (his voice being feeble, and unable
to make itself heard at any great distance,) the members used to
throng around the bench on which he spoke. Wraxall panegyrizes him,
and yet with a tautology of terms, which must have been the very
reverse of Dunning's style. Thus, he tells us that when Dunning spoke,
"every murmur was hushed, and every ear attentive," two sentences
which amount to the same thing. Hannah More is also introduced as one
of the panegyrists; for poor Hannah seems to have been one of the most
bustling persons possible; to have run every where, and to have given
_her_ opinion of every body, however much above her comprehension. She
was one of the spectators on the Duchess of Kingston's trial, (a most
extraordinary scene for the choice of such a purist;) but Hannah was
not at that time quite so sublime as she became afterwards. Hannah
describes Dunning's manner as "insufferably bad, coughing and spitting
at every word; but his sense and expression pointed to the last
degree." But the character which the annotator gives as a model of
panegyric, pleases us least of all. It is by Sir William Jones, and
consists of one long antithesis. It is a studied toil of language,
expressing ideas, a commonplace succession, substituting words for
thoughts, and at once leaving the ear palled, and the understanding
dissatisfied. What, for instance, could be made of such a passage as
this? Sir William is speaking of Dunning's wit. "This," says he,
"relieved the weary, calmed the resentful, and animated the drowsy.
This drew smiles even from such as were _the object of it, and
scattered flowers over a desert_, and, like _sunbeams sparkling on a
lake_, gave spirit and vivacity to the dullest and least interesting
cause." And this mangling of metaphor is to teach us the qualities of
a profound and practical mind. What follows, is the perfection of
see-saw. "He was endued with an intellect sedate yet penetrating,
clear yet profound, subtle yet strong. His knowledge, too, was equal
to his imagination, and his memory to his knowledge." He might have
equally added, that the capacity of his boots was equal to the size of
his legs, and the length of his purse to the extent of his generosity.
This reminds us of one of Sydney Smith's burlesques on the balancing
of epithets by that most pedantic of pedants, the late Dr
Parr--"profundity without obscurity, perspicuity without prolixity,
ornament without glare, terseness without barrenness, penetration
without subtlety, comprehensiveness without digression, and a great
number of other things without a great number of other things."

Little tricks, or rather large ones, now and then diversify the
narrative. On the same day that Conway resigned the seals, Lord
Weymouth was declared secretary of state. At the same time, Lord
Hilsborough kissed hands for the American department, but nominally
retaining the post-office, the salary of which he paid to Lord
Sandwich, _till the elections should be over_; there being so strict a
disqualifying clause in the bill for prohibiting the postmasters for
interfering in elections, which Sandwich _was determined to do_ to the
utmost, that he did not dare to accept the office in his own name,
_till he had incurred the guilt_. Another trick of a very
dishonourable nature, though ultimately defeated, may supply a moral
for our share-trafficking days in high quarters. Lord Bottetort, one
of the bedchamber, and a kind of second-hand favourite, had engaged in
an adventure with a company of copper-workers at Warmley. They broke,
and his lordship, in order to cover his estate from the creditors,
begged a privy seal to incorporate the company, by which means private
estates would not be answerable. The king ignorantly granted the
request; but Lord Chatham, aware of the deception, refused to affix
the seal to the patent, pleading that he was not able. Lord Bottetort,
outrageous at the disappointment, threatened to petition the lords to
remove Lord Chatham, on the ground of inability. The annotator justly
observes, that the proposal was absolutely monstrous, being nothing
but a gross fraud on his lordship's creditors. It, however, does not
seem to have attracted the attention of the attorney-general, or the
home-office; but, for some cause or other, the patent did not pass,
the result being, that Lord Bottetort, unable to retrieve his losses,
obtained the government of Virginia in the following summer, where he
subsequently died.

A curious instance of parliamentary corruption next attracted the
notice of the public. It came out, that the city of Oxford had offered
their representation to two gentlemen, if they would pay £7500 towards
the debts of the corporation. They refused the bargain, and Oxford
sold itself to the Duke of Marlborough and Lord Abingdon. The matter
was brought before the House, and the mayor of Oxford and ten of the
corporation appeared at the bar, confessing their crime, and asking
pardon. It ended with committing them to prison for five days. A note
describes the whole affair as being treated with great ridicule,
(there being probably not a few who looked upon things of this nature
as a matter of course;) and the story being, that the aldermen
completed their bargain with the Duke of Marlborough, during their
imprisonment in Newgate.

On the 11th of March 1768, the parliament was dissolved. Walpole says,
"that its only characteristic was servility to the government; while
our ancestors, we presume, from the shamelessness of its servility,
might have called it the Impudent Parliament."

After wearying himself in the dusty field of politics, Walpole
retired, like Homer's gods from Troy, to rest in the more flowery
region of literature. His habits led him to the enjoyment of bitter
political poetry, which, in fact, is not poetry at all; while they
evidently disqualified him from feeling the power and beauty of the
imaginative, the only poetry that deserves the name. Thus, he
describes Goldsmith as the "correct author of _The Traveller_," one of
the most beautiful poems in the language; while he panegyrizes, with a
whole catalogue of plaudits, Anstey's _Bath Guide_--a very scandalous,
though undoubtedly a lively and ingenious, caricature of the habits of
the time. An ultra-heavy poem by Bentley, the son of the critic,
enjoys a similar panegyric. We give, as an evidence of its dulness, a
fragment of its praise of Lord Bute:--

   "Oh, if we seize with skill the coming hour,
    And reinvest us with the robe of power;
    Rule while we live, let future days transmute
    To every merit all we've charged on Bute.
    Let late posterity receive his name,
    And swell its sails with every breath of fame--
    Downwards as far as Time shall roll his tide,
    With ev'ry pendant flying, let it glide."

The rest is equally intolerable.

But Bentley was lucky in his patrons, if not in his poetry; as, in
addition to a Commissionership of Lotteries, he received a pension for
the lives of himself and his wife of £500 a-year! Though thus
undeservedly successful in attracting the notice of the government,
his more honest efforts failed with the public. He wrote two plays,
both of which failed. Walpole next describes Robertson the historian
in these high-coloured terms, "as sagacious and penetrating as
Tacitus, with a perspicuity of Livy:" qualities which every one else
knows to be directly the reverse of those which characterize
Robertson. That very impudent woman, Catharine Macaulay, seems also to
have been one of the objects of his literary admiration. He describes
her, as being as partial in the cause of liberty as bigots to the
church and royalists to tyranny, and as exerting manly strength with
the gravity of a philosopher.

But Walpole is aways amusing when he gives anecdotes of passing
things. The famous Brentford election finds in him its most graphic
historian. The most singular carelessness was exhibited by the
government on this most perilous occasion--a carelessness obviously
arising from that contempt which the higher ranks of the nobility in
those days were weak enough to feel for the opinion of those below
them. On the very verge of an election, within five miles of London,
and which must bring to a point all the exasperation of years; Camden,
the chancellor, went down to Bath, and the Duke of Grafton, the prime
minister, who was a great horse-racer, drove off to Newmarket.
Mansfield, whom Walpole seems to have hated, and whom he represents as
at "once resentful, timorous, and subtle," the three worst qualities
of the heart, the nerves, and the understanding, pretended that it was
the office of the chancellor to bring the outlaw (Wilkes) to justice,
and did nothing. The consequence was, that the multitude were left
masters of the field.

On the morning of the election; while the irresolution of the court,
and the negligence of the prime minister, caused a neglect of all
precautions; the populace took possession of all the turnpikes and
avenues leading to the hustings by break of day, and would suffer no
man to pass who did not wear in his hat a blue cockade, with "Wilkes
and Number 45," on a written paper. Riots took place in the streets,
and the carriage of Sir William Proctor, the opposing candidate, was
demolished. The first day's poll for Wilkes was 1200, for Proctor 700,
for Cooke 300. It must be remembered, that in these times the
elections were capable of being prolonged from week to week, and that
the first day was regarded as scarcely more than a formality. At night
the West-end was in an uproar. It was not safe to pass through
Piccadilly. Every house was compelled to illuminate; the windows of
all which did not exhibit lights were broken; the coach-glasses of
such as did not huzza for "Wilkes and liberty" were broken; and the
panels of the carriages were scratched with 45! Lord Weymouth, the
secretary of state, wrote to Justice Fielding for constables. Fielding
answered, that they were all gone to Brentford. On this, the guards
were drawn out. The mob then attacked Lord Bute's house and Lord
Egmont's, but without being able to force an entrance. They compelled
the Duke of Northumberland to give them liquor to drink Wilkes's
health. Ladies of rank were taken out of their sedan-chairs, and
ordered to join the popular cry. The lord-mayor was an anti-Wilkite--the
mob attacked the Mansion-house, and broke the windows. He ordered out
the trained bands; they had no effect. Six thousand weavers had risen
under the Wilkite banner, and defied all resistance. Even some of the
regimental drummers beat their drums for Wilkes! His force at the
election was evidently to be resisted no longer. The ministerial
candidate was beaten, Wilkes threw in his remaining votes for Cooke,
and they came in together. The election was thus over on the second
day, but the mob paraded the metropolis at night, insisting on a
general illumination. The handsome Duchess of Hamilton, one of the
Gunnings, who had now become quite a Butite, was determined not to
illuminate. The result was, that the mob grew outrageous, broke down
the outward gates with iron-crows, tore up the pavement of the street,
and battered the doors and shutters for three hours; fortunately
without being able to get in. The Count de Sollein, the Austrian
ambassador, the most stately and ceremonious of men, was taken out of
his coach by the mob, who chalked 45 on the sole of his shoe! He
complained in form of the insult. Walpole says, fairly enough, "it was
as difficult for the ministers to help laughing as to give him

Walpole frequently alludes to the two Gunnings as the two handsomest
sisters of their time. They were Irish-women, fresh-coloured, lively,
and well formed, but obviously more indebted to nature than to
education. Lady Coventry died young, and had the misfortune, even in
her grave, of being made the subject of an epitaph by Mason, one of
the most listless and languid poems of an unpoetic time. The Duchess
of Hamilton survived to a considerable age, and was loaded with
matrimonial honours. She first married the Duke of Hamilton. On his
death, she married the Marquis of Lorn, eldest son of the Duke of
Argyll, whom he succeeded in the title--thus becoming mother of the
heirs of the two great rival houses of Hamilton and Argyll. While in
her widowhood, she had been proposed for by the Duke of Bridgewater.
Lady Coventry seems to have realized Pope's verses of a dying belle--

   "And, Betty, give this cheek a little red,
    One would not, sure, look ugly when one's dead."

"Till within a few days of her death, she lay on a couch with a
looking-glass in her hand. When she found her beauty, which she
idolized, was quite gone, she took to her bed, and would be seen by
nobody, not even by her nurse, suffering only the light of a lamp in
her room."

Walpole's description of the ministry adds strikingly to the
contemptuous feeling, naturally generated by their singular ill
success. We must also observe, as much to the discredit of the past
age as to the honour of the present; that the leading men of the day
exhibited or affected a depravity of morals, which would be the ruin
of any public character at the present time. Many of the scenes in
high life would have been fitter for the court of Charles II., and
many of the actors in those scenes ought to have been cashiered from
public employment. Personal profligacy seems actually to have been
regarded as a species of ornamental appendage to public character;
and, except where its exposure sharpened the sting of an epigram, or
gave an additional flourish to the periods of a political writer, no
one seems to have conceived that the grossest offences against
morality were of the nature of crime. Another scandal seems to have
been frequent--intemperance in wine. Hard drinking was common in
England at that period, and was even regarded as the sign of a
generous spirit; but nearly all the leading politicians who died
early, are described as owing their deaths to excess. Those are
fortunate distinctions for the days which have followed; and the
country may justly congratulate itself on the abandonment of habits,
which, deeply tending to corrupt private character, render political
baseness the almost inevitable result among public men.

Walpole promptly declares, that half the success of Wilkes was owing
to the supineness of the ministers. He might have gone further, and
fixed his charge on higher grounds. He ought to have said, that the
whole was owing to the mingled treachery and profligacy which made the
nation loathe the characters of public parties and public men. Walpole
says, in support of his assertion--"that Lord Chatham would take no
part in business; that the Duke of Grafton neglected every thing, and
whenever pressed to be active threatened to resign; that the
Chancellor Camden, placed between two such intractable friends, with
whom he was equally discontented, avoided dipping himself further;
that Conway, no longer in the Duke's confidence, and more hurt with
neglect than pleased with power, stood in the same predicament; that
Lord Gower thought of nothing but ingratiating himself at St James's;
and though what little business was done was executed by Lord
Weymouth, it required all Wood's, the secretary's, animosity to
Wilkes, to stir him up to any activity. Wood even said, "that if the
King should pardon Wilkes, Lord Weymouth would not sign the pardon."
The chief magistrate of the city, consulting the chancellor on what he
should do if Wilkes should stand for the city, and being answered that
he "must consult the recorder," Harley sharply replied, "I consulted
your lordship as a minister, I don't want to be told my duty."

Some of the most interesting portions of these volumes are the notes,
giving brief biographical sketches of the leading men. The politics
have comparatively passed away, but the characters remain; and no
slight instruction is still to be derived from the progressive steps
by which the individuals rose from private life to public distinction.
The editor, Sir Denis la Marchant, deserves no slight credit for his
efforts to give authenticity to those notices. He seems to have
collected his authorities from every available source; and what he has
compiled with the diligence of an editor, he has expressed with the
good taste of a gentleman.

The commencement of a parliament is always looked to with curiosity,
as the debut of new members. All the expectations which have been
formed by favouritism, family, or faction, are then brought to the
test. Parliament is an unerring tribunal, and no charlatanry can cheat
its searching eye. College reputations are extinguished in a moment,
the common-places of the hustings can avail no more, and the
pamperings of party only hurry its favourites to more rapid decay.

Mr Phipps, the son of Lord Mulgrave, now commenced his career. By an
extraordinary taste, though bred a seaman, he was so fond of quoting
law, that he got the sobriquet of the "marine lawyer." His knowledge
of the science (as the annotator observes) could not have been very
deep, for he was then but twenty-two. But he was an evidence of the
effect of indefatigable exertion. Though a dull debater, he took a
share in every debate, and he appears to have taken the pains of
revising his speeches for the press. Yet even under his nursing, they
exhibit no traces of eloquence. His manner was inanimate, and his
large and heavy figure gained him the luckless appellation of Ursa
Major, (to distinguish him from his brother, who was also a member.)
As if to complete the amount of his deficiencies, his voice was
particularly inharmonious, or rather it was two distinct voices, the
one strong and hoarse, the other weak and querulous; both of which he
frequently used. On this was constructed the waggish story--that one
night, having fallen into a ditch, and calling out in his shrill
voice, a countryman was coming up to assist him; when Phipps calling
out again in his hoarse tone, the man exclaimed--"If there are two of
you in the ditch, you may help each other out!"

One of his qualities seems to have been a total insensibility to his
own defects; which therefore suffered him to encounter any man, and
every man, whatever might be their superiority. Thus, in his early
day, his dulness constantly encountered Lord North, the most dexterous
wit of his time. Thus, too, in his maturer age, he constantly thrust
himself forward to meet the indignant eloquence of Fox; and seems to
have been equally unconscious that he was ridiculed by the sarcastic
pleasantry of the one, or blasted by the lofty contempt of the other.
Yet, such is the value of perseverance, that this man was gradually
regarded as important in the debates, that he wrought out for himself
an influence in the House, and obtained finally the office of joint
paymaster, one of the most lucrative under government, and a British
peerage. And all this toil was undertaken by a man who had no

At his death, he was succeeded in his Irish title by his brother
Henry, who became first lord of the admiralty, and also obtained an
English peerage. The present Marquis of Normandy is his eldest son.

Parliamentary history sometimes gives valuable lessons, in exhibiting
the infinite folly of parliamentary prediction. It will scarcely be
believed in a day like ours, which has seen and survived the French
Revolution, that the chief theme of the period, and especial terror of
the opposition, was the conquest of Corsica by the French! Ministers
seem to have been deterred from a war with the French monarchy, solely
by the dislocated state of the cabinet; while the opposition declared,
that the possession of Corsica by the French, would be "the death-blow
to our influence in the Mediterranean." With Corsica in French hands,
it was boldly pronounced that "France would receive an accession of
power which nothing could shake; and they scarcely hesitated to say,
that upon the independence of Corsica rested not merely the supremacy
but the safety of England." Yet the French conquered Corsica (at a
waste of money ten times worth its value to their nation, and at a
criminal waste of life, both French and Corsican) without producing
the slightest addition to the power of the monarchy, and with no
slight disgrace to the honour of its arms. For, the Corsicans, the
most savage race of the Italian blood, and accustomed to the use of
weapons from their childhood, fought with the boldness of all men
fighting for their property, and routed the troops of France in many a
successive and desperate encounter. Still, the combat was too unequal;
the whole force of a great monarchy was obviously too strong for the
hope of successful resistance, and Corsica, after many a severe
struggle, became a French territory. But, beyond this barren honour
the war produced no fruit, except a deeper consciousness of the
unsparing ambition of the monarchy, and of the recklessness with which
it sacrificed all considerations of humanity and justice, to the
tinsel of a military name. One fatal gift, however, Corsica made, in
return to France. From it came, within a few years, the man who sealed
the banishment of the Bourbons! and, tempting France by the ambition
of military success, inflicted upon her the heaviest mortality, and
the deepest shame known in any kingdom, since the fall of the Roman
empire. Whether this were that direct retribution for innocent blood,
which Providence has so often inflicted upon guilty nations; or
whether it were merely one of those extraordinary casualties which
circumstances make so impressive; there can be no question, that the
man came from Corsica who inflicted on France the heaviest calamities
that she had ever known; who, after leading her armies over Europe, to
conquests which only aroused the hatred of all nations, and after
wasting the blood of hundreds of thousands of her people in victories
totally unproductive but of havoc; saw France twice invaded, and
brought the nation under the ban of the civilized world!

France is at this moment pursuing the same course in Algiers, which
was the pride of her politicians in Corsica. She is pouring out her
gigantic force, to overwhelm the resistance of peasants who have no
defence but their naked bravery. She will probably subdue the
resistance; for what can be done by a peasantry against the
disciplined force and vast resources of a great European power,
applied to this single object of success? But, barbarian as the Moor
and the Arab are, and comparatively helpless in the struggle, the
avenger may yet come, to teach the throne of France, that there is a
power higher than all thrones; a tribunal to which the blood cries out
of the ground.

The death of Secker, Archbishop of Canterbury, excites a few touches
of Walpole's sarcastic pen. He says, "that his early life had shown
his versatility, his latter his ambition. But hypocrisy not being
parts, he rose in the church without ever making a figure in the
state." So much for antithesis. There is no reason why a clergyman
should make a figure in the state under any circumstances; and the
less figure he made in the state, as it was then constituted, the more
likely he was to be fitted for the church. But the true censure on
Secker would have been, that he rose, without making a figure in any
thing; that he had never produced any work worthy of notice as a
divine; that he had neither eloquence in the pulpit, nor vigour with
the pen; that he seems to have been at all times a man of extreme
mediocrity; that his qualifications with the ministry were, his being
a neutral on all the great questions of the day; and his merits with
posterity were, that he possessed power without giving offence. A
hundred such men might have held the highest positions of the church,
without producing the slightest effect on the public mind; or might
have been left in the lowest, without being entitled to accuse the
injustice of fortune. His successor was Cornwallis, Bishop of
Lichfield, raised to the primacy by the Duke of Grafton, who, as
Walpole says, "had a friendship for the bishop's nephew, Earl
Cornwallis." This seems not altogether the most sufficient reason for
placing a man at the head of the Church of England, but we must take
the reason such as we find it. Walpole adds, that the nomination had,
however, the merit of disappointing a more unsuitable candidate,
Ternet of London, whom he describes as "the most time-serving of the
clergy, and sorely chagrined at missing the archiepiscopal mitre."

It was rather unlucky for the public estimate of royalty, that, at
this moment of popular irritation, the young King of Denmark should
have arrived in England. He had married the King's youngest sister,
and making a sort of tour of Europe, he determined to visit the family
of his wife. His proposal was waived by the King, who excused himself
by the national confusions. But the young Dane, scarcely more than a
giddy boy, and singularly self-willed, was not to be repelled; and he
came. Nothing could be colder than his reception; not a royal
carriage, not an officer of the court, was sent to meet him. He
arrived at St James's even in a hired carriage. Neither King nor Queen
was there. The only mark of attention paid to him was giving him an
apartment, and supplying him and his suite with a table. Walpole
observes, that this sullen treatment was as impolitic as it was
inhospitable; that the Dane was then actually a pensioner of France,
and, of course, it would have been wise to win him out of its hands.
But the Danish king seems to have been little better than a fool; and
between his frolics and his follies, he finally produced a species of
revolution in his own country. All power fell into the hands of his
queen, who, though of a bolder nature, seems to have been scarcely
less frantic than himself. On the visit of her mother, the Princess of
Wales, to Denmark, the Queen met her, at the head of a regiment,
dressed in full uniform, and wearing buckskin breeches. She must have
been an extraordinary figure altogether, for she had grown immensely
corpulent. Court favouritism was the fashion in Denmark, and the King
and Queen were equally ruled by favourites. But, in a short period, a
young physician of the household managed both, obtaining peculiarly
the confidence of the Queen. Scandal was not idle on this occasion,
and Germany and England rang with stories of the court of Denmark. The
physician was soon created a noble, and figured for a while as the
prime minister, or rather sovereign of the kingdom, by the well-known
title of Count Struensee. A party was formed against him by the
Queen-mother, at the head of some of the nobility. The Queen was made
prisoner, and died in prison. Struensee was tried as traitor, and
beheaded. The King was finally incapacitated from reigning, and his
son was raised to the regency. This melancholy transaction formed one
of the tragedies of Europe; but it had the additional misfortune of
occurring at a time when royalty had begun to sink under the incessant
attacks of the revolutionists, and France, the leader of public
opinion on the Continent, was filled with opinions contemptuous of all

The year 1768 exhibited France in her most humiliating position before
Europe. The Duc de Choiseul was the minister--a man of wit, elegance,
and accomplishment; but too frivolous to follow, if he had not been
too ignorant to discover, the true sources of national greatness. His
foreign policy was intrigue, and his domestic policy the favouritism
of the court by administering to its vices. He raised a war between
the Russians and Turks, and had the mortification of seeing his
_protégé_ the Turk trampled by the armies of his rival the Czarina.
Even the Corsicans had degraded the military name of France. But he
had a new peril at home. Old Marshal Richelieu--who, as Walpole
sarcastically observes, "had retained none of his faculties, but that
last talent of a decayed Frenchman, a spirit of back-stairs
intrigue"--had provided old Louis XV. with a new mistress. Of all the
persons of this character who had made French royal life scandalous in
the eyes of Europe, this connexion was the most scandalous. It
scandalized even France. This mistress was the famous Countess du
Barri--a wretched creature, originally of the very lowest condition;
whose vices would have stained the very highest; and who, in the
convulsions of the reign that followed, was butchered by the

In November of this year died the Duke of Newcastle, at the age of
seventy-five. He had been struck with palsy some months before, and
then for the first time withdrew from public life. Walpole observes,
that his life had been a proof that, "even in a free country, great
abilities are not necessary to govern it." Industry, perseverance, and
intrigue, gave him that duration of power "which shining talents, and
the favour of the crown, could not secure to Lord Granville, nor the
first rank in eloquence, or the most brilliant services, to Lord
Chatham. Rashness overset Lord Granville's parts, and presumptuous
impracticability Lord Chatham; while adventitious cunning repaired
Newcastle's folly." Such is the explanation of one of the most curious
phenomena of the time, by one of its most ingenious lookers-on. But
the explanation is not sufficient. It is impossible to conceive, how
mere cunning could have sustained any man for a quarter of a century
in the highest ministerial rank; while that rank was contested from
day to day by men of every order of ability. Since the days of
Bolingbroke, there have been no examples of ministerial talent, equal
to those exhibited, in both Houses, in the day of the Duke of
Newcastle. Chatham was as ambitious as any man that ever lived, and
full of the faculties that make ambition successful. The Butes, the
Bedfords, the Hollands, the Shelburnes, exhibited every shape and
shade of cabinet dexterity, of court cabal, of popular influence, and
of political knowledge and reckless intrigue. Yet the Duke of
Newcastle, with remarkable personal disadvantages--a ridiculous
manner, an ungainly address, speech without the slightest pretension
to eloquence, and the character of extreme ignorance on general
subjects--preserved his power almost to the extreme verge of life; and
to the last was regarded as playing a most important part in the
counsels of the country. Unless we believe in magic, we must believe
that this man, with all his oddity of manner, possessed some
remarkable faculty, by which he saw his way clearly through
difficulties impervious to more showy minds. He must have deeply
discovered the means of attaching the monarch, of acting upon the
legislature, and of controlling the captiousness of the people. He
must have had practical qualities of a remarkable kind; and his is not
the first instance, in which such qualities, in the struggles of
government, bear away the prize. Thus, in later times, we have seen
Lord Liverpool minister for eleven years, and holding power with a
firm, yet quiet grasp to the last; with the whole strength of Lord
Grey and the Whigs struggling for it in front, and George Canning, a
still more dangerous enemy, watching for it in the rear.

In one of the Notes referring to the appointment of Earl Cornwallis to
the vice-treasuryship of Ireland, the editor makes a remark which
ought not to pass without strong reprehension. Earl Cornwallis,
towards the close of the Irish rebellion in 1798, had been made chief
governor of Ireland, at the head of a large army, for the purpose of
extinguishing the remnants of the rebellion, and restoring the country
to the habits of peace. The task was no longer difficult, but he
performed his part with dignity and moderation. He had been sent
expressly for the purpose of pacifying the country, an object which
would have been altogether inconsistent with measures of violence; but
the editor, in telling us that his conduct exhibited sagacity and
benevolence, hazards the extraordinary assertion, that "he was one of
the few statesmen who inculcated the necessity of forbearance and
concession in the misgoverned country!" Nothing can be more erroneous
than this statement in point of principle, or more ignorant in point
of fact. For the last hundred years and upwards, dating from the
cessation of the war with James II., Ireland had been the object of
perpetual concessions, and, if misgoverned at all, it has been such by
the excess of those concessions. It is to be remembered, that in the
reign of William I. the Roman Catholics were in actual alliance with
France, and in actual arms against England. They were next beaten in
the field, and it was the business of the conquerors to prevent their
taking arms again. From this arose the penal laws. To those laws we
are not friendly; because we are not friendly to any attempt at the
suppression even of religious error by the force of the state. It was
a political blunder, and an offence to Christian principle, at the
same time; but the Papist is the last man in the world who has a right
to object to penal laws; for he is the very man who would have enacted
them himself against the Protestant--who always enacts them where he
has the power--and, from the spirit of whose laws, the British
legislature were in fact only borrowing at the moment. Yet from the
time when James II. and his family began to sink into insignificance,
the legislature began to relax the penal laws. Within the course of
half a century, they had wholly disappeared; and thus the editor's
flippant assertion, that Earl Cornwallis was one of the few statesmen
who inculcated the necessity of forbearance and concession, exhibits
nothing but his Whiggish ignorance on the subject. The misgovernment
of Ireland, if such existed, was to be laid to the charge of neither
the English minister nor the English people. The editor probably
forgets, that during that whole period she was governed by her own
parliament; while her progress during the second half of the 18th
century was memorably rapid, and prosperous in the highest degree,
through the bounties, privileges, and encouragements of every kind,
which were constantly held out to her by the _British_ government. And
that so early as the year 1780, she was rich enough to raise, equip,
and support a volunteer army of nearly a hundred thousand men--a
measure unexampled in Europe, and which would probably task the
strength of some of the most powerful kingdoms even at this day. And
all this was previous to the existence of what is called the "patriot

Walpole has the art of painting historic characters to the life; but
he sadly extinguishes the romance with which our fancy so often
enrobes them. We have been in the habit of hearing Pascal Paoli, the
chief of the Corsicans, described as the model of a republican hero;
and there can be no question, that the early resistance of the
Corsicans cost the French a serious expenditure of men and money. But
Walpole charges Paoli with want of military skill, and even with want
of that personal intrepidity so essential to a national leader. At
length, Corsican resistance being overpowered by the constant
accumulation of French force, Paoli gave way, and, as Walpole
classically observes, "not having fallen like Leonidas, did not
despair like Cato." Paoli had been so panegyrized by Boswell's work,
that he was received with almost romantic applause. The Opposition
adopted him for the sake of popularity, but ministers took him out of
their hands by a pension of £1000 a-year. "I saw him," says Walpole,
"soon after his arrival, dangling at court. He was a man of decent
deportment, and so void of any thing remarkable in his aspect, that,
being asked if I knew who he was, I judged him a Scotch officer--for
he was sandy complexioned and in regimentals--who was cautiously
awaiting the moment of promotion." All this is in Walpole's style of
fashionable impertinence; but there can be no doubt that Paoli was a
brave man, and an able commander. He gave the French several severe
defeats, but the contest was soon too unequal, and Paoli withdrew to
this country; which was so soon after to be a shelter to the
aristocracy of the country which had stained his mountains with blood.

By a singular fate, on his return to France in an early period of the
Revolution, he was received with a sort of national triumph, and
actually appointed lieutenant-general of Corsica by the nation which
had driven him into exile. In the war which followed, Paoli, disgusted
by the tyranny of French republicanism, and alarmed by the violence of
the native factions, proposed to put his country under the protection
of the English government. A naval and military force was sent to
Corsica, and the island was annexed to the British crown. But the
possession was not maintained with rational vigour. The feeble
armament was found unequal to resist the popular passion for
republicanism. And, from this expenditure of troops, and probably
still more from the discovery that the island would be wholly useless,
the force was altogether withdrawn. Paoli returned to England, where
he died, having attained the advanced age of eighty. His red hair and
sandy complexion are probably fatal to his character as an Italian
chieftain. But if his locks were not black, his heart was bold; and if
his lip wanted mustaches, his mind wanted neither sagacity nor

Walpole was born for a cynic philosopher. He treats men of all ranks
with equal scorn. From Wilkes to George III., he brands them all.
Ministers meet no mercy at his hands. He ranges them, as the Sultan
used to range heads on the spikes of the seraglio, for marks for his
arrows. His history is a species of moveable panorama; the scene
constantly shifting, and every scene a burlesque of the one that went
before; or perhaps the more faithful similitude would be found in a
volume of HB.'s ingenious caricatures, where all the likenesses are
preserved, though perverted, and all the dexterity of an accomplished
pencil is employed only in making its subjects ridiculous. He thus
tells us:--"The Duke of Grafton was the fourth prime minister in seven
years, who fell by his own fault. Lord Bute was seized with a panic,
and ran away from his own victory. Grenville was undone by his
insolence, by joining in the insult on the princess, and by his
persecution of Lord Bute and Mackenzie. Lord Rockingham's incapacity
overturned _him_; and now the Duke of Grafton destroyed a power which
it had depended on himself to make as permanent as he could desire."
But rash and rapid as those changes were, what were the grave
intrigues of the English cabinet to the _boudoir_ ministries of
France? Walpole is never so much in his element, as when he is
sporting in the fussy frivolities of the Faubourg St Germain. He was
much more a Frenchman than an Englishman; his love of gossip, his
passion for haunting the society of talkative old women, and his
delight at finding himself revelling in a region of _petite soupers_,
court gallantries, and the faded indiscretions of court beauties in
the wane, would have made him a rival to the courtiers of Louis XIV.

Perhaps, the world never saw, since the days of Sardanapalus, a court
so corrupt, wealth so profligate, and a state of society so utterly
contemptuous of even the decent affectation of virtue, as the closing
years of the reign of Louis XV. A succession of profligate women ruled
the king, a similar succession ruled the cabinet; lower life was a
sink of corruption; the whole a romance of the most scandalous order.
Madame de Pompadour, a woman whose vice had long survived her beauty,
and who ruled the decrepit heart of a debauched king, had made
Choiseul minister. Choiseul was the beau-ideal of a French noble of
the old _régime_. His ambition was boundless, his insolence
ungoverned, his caprice unrestrained, and his love of pleasure
predominant even over his love of power. "He was an open enemy, but a
generous one; and had more pleasure in attaching an enemy, than in
punishing him. Whether from gaiety or presumption, he was never
dismayed; his vanity made him always depend on the success of his
plans, and his spirits made him soon forget the miscarriage of them."

At length appeared on the tapis the memorable Madame du Barri! For
three months, all the faculties of the court were absorbed in the
question of her public presentation. Indulgent as the courtiers were
to the habits of royal life, the notoriety of Madame du Barri's early
career, startled even their flexible sense of etiquette. The ladies of
the court, most of whom would have been proud to have taken her place,
determined "that they would not appear at court if she should be
received there." The King's daughters (who had borne the ascendant of
Madame du Pompadour in their mother's life) grew outrageous at the new
favourite; and the relatives of Choiseul insisted upon it, that he
should resign rather than consent to the presentation. Choiseul
resisted, yielded, was insulted for his resistance, and was scoffed at
for his submission. He finally retired, and was ridiculed for his
retirement. Du Barri triumphed. Epigrams and _calembours_ blazed
through Paris. Every one was a wit for the time, and every wit was a
rebel. The infidel faction looked on at the general dissolution of
morals with delight, as the omen of general overthrow. The Jesuits
rejoiced in the hope of getting the old King into their hands, and
terrifying him, if not into a proselyte, at least into a tool. Even Du
Barri herself was probably not beyond their hopes; for the established
career of a King's mistress was, to turn _dévote_ on the decay of her
personal attractions.

Among Choiseul's intentions was that of making war on England. There
was not the slightest ground for a war. But it is a part of the
etiquette of a Frenchman's life, that he must be a warrior, or must
promote a war, or must dream of a war. M. Guizot is the solitary
exception in our age, as M. Fleury was the solitary exception in the
last; but Fleury was an ecclesiastic, and was eighty years old
besides--two strong disqualifications for a conqueror. But the King
was then growing old, too; his belligerent propensities were absorbed
in quarrels with his provincial parliaments; his administrative
faculties found sufficient employment in managing the morals of his
mistresses; his private hours were occupied in pelting Du Barri with
sugar-plums; and thus his days wore away without that supreme glory of
the old _régime_--a general war in Europe.

The calamities of the French noblesse at the period of the Revolution,
excited universal regret; and the sight of so many persons, of
graceful manners and high birth, flung into the very depths of
destitution in foreign lands, or destroyed by the guillotine at home,
justified the sympathy of mankind. But, the secret history of that
noblesse was a fearful stigma, not only on France, but on human
nature. Vice may have existed to a high degree of criminality in other
lands; but in no other country of Europe, or the earth, ever was vice
so public, so ostentatiously forced upon the eyes of man, so
completely formed into an established and essential portion of
fashionable and courtly life. It was even the _etiquette_, that the
King of France should have a _mistress_. She was as much a part of the
royal establishment as a prime minister was of the royal councils;
and, as if for the purpose of offering a still more contemptuous
defiance to the common decencies of life, the etiquette was, that this
mistress should be a _married woman_! Yet in that country the whole
ritual of Popery was performed with scrupulous exactness. A vast and
powerful clergy filled France; and the ceremonials of the national
religion were performed continually before the court, with the most
rigid formality. The King had his confessor, and, so far as we can
discover, the mistress had her confessor too; the nobles attended the
royal chapel, and also had their confessors. The confessional was
never without royal and noble solicitors of monthly, or, at the
furthest, quarterly absolution. Still, from the whole body of
ecclesiastics, France heard no remonstrance against those public
abominations. Their sermons, few and feeble, sometimes declaimed on
the vices of the beggars of Paris, or the riots among the peasantry;
but no sense of scriptural responsibility, and no natural feeling of
duty, ever ventured to deprecate the vices of the nobles and the
scandals of the throne.

We must give but a fragment, from Walpole's _catalogue raisonné_, of
this Court of Paphos. It had been the King's object to make some women
of rank introduce Madame du Barri at court; and he had found
considerable difficulty in this matter, not from her being a woman of
no character, but on her being a woman of no birth, and whose earlier
life had been spent in the lowest condition of vice. The King at last
succeeded--and these are the _chaperons_. "There was Madame de
l'Hôpital, an ancient mistress of the Prince de Soubize! The Comtesse
Valentinois, of the highest birth, very rich, but very foolish; and as
far from a Lucretia as Madame du Barri herself! Madame de Flavacourt
was another, a suitable companion to both in virtue and understanding.
She was sister to _three_ of _the King's earliest mistresses_, and had
aimed at succeeding them! The Maréchale Duchesse de Mirpoix was the
last, and a very important acquisition." Of her, Walpole simply
mentions that all her talents were "drowned in such an overwhelming
passion for play, that though she had long and singular credit with
the King, she reduced her favour to an endless solicitation for money
to pay her debts." He adds, in his keen and amusing style--"That, to
obtain the post of _dame d'honneur_ to the Queen, she had left off
_red_ (wearing rouge,) and acted _dévotion_; and the very next day was
seen riding with Madame de Pompadour (the King's mistress) in the
latter's coach!" The editor settles the question of _her_ morality,
too.--"She was a woman of extraordinary wit and cleverness, but
totally _without character_." She had her morals by inheritance; for
she was the daughter of the _mistress_ of the Duke of Lorraine, who
married her to Monsieur de Beauvan, a poor noble, and whom the duke
got made a prince of the empire, by the title of De Craon. Now, all
those were females of the highest rank in France, ladies of fashion,
the stars of court life, and the models of national manners. Can we
wonder at the retribution which cast them out into the highways of
Europe? Can we wonder at the ruin of the corrupted nobility? Can we
wonder at the massacre of the worldly church, which stood looking on
at those vilenesses, and yet never uttered a syllable against them, if
it did not even share in their excesses? The true cause for
astonishment is, not in the depth of their fall, but in its delay; not
in the severity of the national judgment, but in that long-suffering
which held back the thunderbolt for a hundred years, and even then did
not extinguish the generation at a blow!

[Footnote 33: _Memoirs of the Reign of King George the Third, by
Horace Walpole. From the MSS. Edited, with Notes, by_ SIR D. LA
MARCHANT, BART. London: Bentley.]



No. II.

It is somewhat late, my dear, Eusebius, to refer me to my letter of
August 1840, and to enquire, in your bantering way, if I have shaken
hands with a ghost recently, or dreamed a dream worth telling. You
have evidently been thinking upon this subject ever since I wrote to
you; and I suspect you are more of a convert than you will admit. You
only wish to provoke me to further evidence; but I see--through the
flimsy veil of your seeming denials, and through your put-on
audacity--the nervous workings of your countenance, when your
imagination is kindled by the mysterious subject. Your wit and your
banter are but the whistle of the clown in the dark, to keep down his
rising fears. However good your story[34] may be, there have been
dreams even of the numbers of lottery-tickets that have been verified.
We call things coincidences and chances, because we have no name to
give them, whereas they are phenomena that want a better settlement.
You speak, too, of the "doctrine of chances." If chance have a
doctrine, it is subject to a rule, is under calculation, arithmetic,
and loses all trace at once of our idea of absolute chance. If there
be chance, there is also a power over chance. The very hairs of our
head, which seem to be but a chance-confusion, are yet, we are
assured, all numbered--and is it less credible that their every
movement is noted also? One age is the type of another; and every age,
from the beginning of the world, hath had its own symbols; and not
poetically only, but literally true is it, that "coming events cast
their shadows before." If the "vox populi" be the "vox Dei," it has
pronounced continually, in a space of above five thousand years, that
there is communication between the material and immaterial worlds. So
rare are the exceptions, that, speaking of mankind, we may assert that
there is a universal belief amongst them of that connexion by signs,
omens, dreams, visions, or ghostly presences. Many professed sceptics,
who have been sceptics only in the pride of understanding, have in
secret bowed down to one form or other of the superstition. Take not
the word in a bad sense. It is at least the germ, the natural germ,
of religion in the human mind. It is the consciousness of a
superiority not his own, of some power so immeasurably above man, that
his mind cannot take it in, but accepts, as inconsiderable glimpses of
it, the phenomena of nature, and the fears and misgivings of his own
mind, spreading out from himself into the infinite and invisible. I am
not certain, Eusebius, if it be not the spiritual part of conscience,
and is to it what life is to organized matter--the mystery which gives
it all its motion and beauty.

It is not my intention to repeat the substance of my former letter--I
therefore pass on. You ask me if the mesmeric phenomena--which you
ridicule, yet of which I believe you covet a closer investigation--are
not part and parcel of the same incomprehensible farrago? I cannot
answer you. It would be easy to do so were I a disciple. If the
mesmerists _can_ establish _clairvoyance_, it will certainly be upon a
par with the ancient oracles. But what the philosopher La Place says,
in his _Essay on Probabilities_, may be worth your consideration--that
"any case, however apparently incredible, if it is a recurrent case,
is as much entitled to a fair valuation under the laws of induction,
as if it had been more probable beforehand." If the mesmerized can
project, and that apparently without effort, their minds into the
minds of others--read their thoughts; if they can see and tell what is
going on hundreds of miles off, on the sea and on distant lands alike;
if they can at remote distances _influence_ others with a sense of
their presence--they possess a power so very similar to that ascribed,
in some extraordinary cases, to persons who, in a dying state, have
declared that they have been absent and conversed with individuals
dear to them in distant countries, and whose presence has been
recognised at those very times by the persons so said to be visited,
that I do not see how they can be referable to different original
phenomena. Yet with this fact before them, supposing the facts of
mesmerism, of the mind's separation from, and independence of its
organic frame, is it not extraordinary that so many of this new school
are, or profess themselves by their writings, materialists? I would,
however, use the argument of mesmerism thus:--Mesmerism, if true,
confirms the ghost and vision power, though I cannot admit that
dreams, ghosts, and visions are any confirmation of mesmerism; for if
mesmerism be a delusion and cheat, it may have arisen from speculating
upon the other known power--as true miracles have been known to give
rise to false. In cases of mesmerism, however, this shock is felt--the
facts, as facts in the ordinary sense, are incredible; but then I see
persons who have examined the matter very nicely, whom I have known,
some intimately, for many years, of whose good sense, judgement, and
_veracity_ I will not allow myself to doubt--indeed to doubt whose
veracity would be more incredible to me than the mesmeric facts
themselves. Here is a conflict--a shock. Two contradictory
impossibilities come together. I do not weigh in the scale at all the
discovery of some cheats and pretenders; this was from the first to
have been expected. In truth, the discoveries of trick and collusion
are, after all, few. Not only has mesmerism been examined into by
persons I respect, but practised likewise; and by one, a physician,
whom I have known intimately many years, who, to his own detriment,
has pursued it, and whom I have ever considered one of the most
truthful persons living, and incapable of collusion, or knowingly in
any way deceiving. Now, Eusebius, we cannot go into society, and
pronounce persons whom we have ever respected all at once to be cheats
and liars. Yet there may be some among them who will tell you that
they themselves were entirely sceptical until they tried mesmerism,
and found they had the power in themselves. We must then, in fairness,
either acknowledge mesmerism as a power, or believe that these persons
whom we respect and esteem are practised upon and deluded by others.
And such would, I confess, be the solution of the difficulty, were it
not that there are cases where this is next to an impossibility.

But I do not mean now, Eusebius, to discuss mesmerism,[35] further
than as it does seem "a part and parcel" of that mysterious power
which has been manifested in omens, dreams, and appearances. I say
_seem_--for if it be proved altogether false, the other mystery stands
untouched by the failure--for in fact it was, thousands of years
before either the discovery or practice--at least as far as we know;
for some will not quite admit this, but, in their mesmeric dreaming,
attribute to it the ancient oracles, and other wonders. And there are
who somewhat inconsistently do this, having ridiculed and contemned as
utterly false those phenomena, until they have found them hitch on to,
and give a credit to, their new Mesmeric science.

But to return to the immediate subject. It has been objected against
dreams, omens, and visions, that they often occur without an object;
that there is either no consequence, or a very trifling one; the knot
is not "dignus vindice." Now, I am not at all staggered by this; on
the contrary, it rather tends to show that there is some _natural_
link by which the material and immaterial within and without ourselves
may be connected; and very probably many more intimations of that
connexion are given than noted. Those of thought, mental suggestions,
may most commonly escape us. It is thus what we would not do of
ourselves we may do in spite of ourselves. Nor do we always observe
closely objects and ends. We might, were we to scrutinize, often find
the completion of a dream or omen which we had considered a failure,
because we looked too immediately for its fulfilment. But even where
there is evidently no purpose attained, there is the less reason to
suspect fabrication, which would surely commence with an object. Some
very curious cases are well attested, where the persons under the
impression act upon the impulse blindly, not knowing why; and
suddenly, in conclusion, the whole purpose bursts upon their
understandings. But I think the objection as to purpose is answered by
one undoubted fact, the dream of Pilate's wife--"Have thou nothing to
do with that just man; for I have suffered many things this day in a
dream because of him." There is here no apparent purpose--the warning
was unheeded. Yet the dream, recorded as it is and where it is, was
unquestionably a dream upon the event to happen; and is not to be
considered as a mere coincidence, which would have been unworthy the
sacred historian, who wrote the account of it under inspiration. And
this is a strong--the strongest confirmation of the inspiration of
dreams, or rather, perhaps, of their significance, natural or
otherwise, and with or without a purpose. So the dream of Cæsar's wife
did not save Cæsar's life. And what are we to think of the whole
narrative, beginning with the warning of the Ides of March? Now,
Joseph's dream and Pharaoh's dream were dreams of purpose; they were
prophetic, and disclosed to the understanding of Joseph. So that, with
this authority of Scripture, I do not see how dreams can be set aside
as of no significance. And we have the like authority for omens, and
symbols, and visions--so that we must conclude the things themselves
to be possible; and this many do, yet say that, with other miracles,
they have long ceased to be.

Then, again, in things that by their agreement, falling in with other
facts and events, move our wonder, we escape from the difficulty, as
we imagine, by calling them coincidences; as if we knew what
coincidences are. I do not believe they are without a purpose, any
more than that seeming fatality by which little circumstances produce
great events, and in ordinary life occur frequently to an apparent
detriment, yet turn out to be the very hinge upon which the fortune
and happiness of life depend and are established. I remember a
remarkable instance of this--though it may not strictly belong to
omens or coincidences; but it shows the purpose of an accident. Many
years ago, a lady sent her servant--a young man about twenty years of
age, and a native of that part of the country where his mistress
resided--to the neighbouring town with a ring which required some
alteration, to be delivered into the hands of a jeweller. The young
man went the shortest way, across the fields; and coming to a little
wooden bridge that crossed a small stream, he leaned against the rail,
and took the ring out of its case to look at it. While doing so, it
slipped out of his hand, and fell into the water. In vain he searched
for it, even till it grew dark. He thought it fell into the hollow of
a stump of a tree under water; but he could not find it. The time
taken in the search was so long, that he feared to return and tell his
story--thinking it incredible, and that he should even be suspected of
having gone into evil company, and gamed it away or sold it. In this
fear, he determined never to return--left wages and clothes, and
fairly ran away. This seemingly great misfortune was the making of
him. His intermediate history I know not; but this--that after many
years' absence, either in the East or West Indies, he returned with a
very considerable fortune. He now wished to clear himself with his old
mistress; ascertained that she was living, purchased a diamond ring of
considerable value, which he determined to present in person, and
clear his character, by telling his tale, which the credit of his
present condition might testify. He took the coach to the town of ----,
and from thence set out to walk the distance of a few miles. He found,
I should tell you, on alighting, a gentleman who resided in the
neighbourhood, who was bound for the adjacent village. They walked
together; and, in conversation, this former servant, now a gentleman,
with graceful manners and agreeable address, communicated the
circumstance that made him leave the country abruptly, many years
before. As he was telling this, they came to the very wooden bridge.
"There," said he--"it was just here that I dropped the ring; and there
is the very bit of old tree, into a hole of which it fell--just
there." At the same time, he put down the point of his umbrella into
the hole of a knot in the tree--and, drawing it up, to the
astonishment of both, found _the_ very ring on the ferrule of the
umbrella. I need not tell the rest. But make this reflection--why was
it that he did not as easily find it immediately after it had fallen
in? It was an incident like one of those in Parnell's "Hermit," which,
though a seeming chance, was of purpose, and most important.

Now, here is an extraordinary coincidence between a fact and a dream,
or a vision, whatever it may be, which yet was of no result--I know it
to be true. And you know, Eusebius, my excellent, truth-telling,
worthy Mrs H----, who formerly kept a large school at ----. One morning
early, the whole house was awakened by the screams of one of the
pupils. She was in hysterics; and, from time to time, fainting away in
an agony of distress. She said she had seen her grandfather--that he
was dead, and they would bury him alive. In due time, the post brought
a letter--the grandfather _was dead_. Letters were written to the
friends to announce the dream or vision, and the burial was delayed in
consequence. Nothing could be more natural than the fear of burying
him alive in the mind of the young girl, unacquainted with death, and
averse to persuade herself that the person she had seen could be
really dead. Now, my dear Eusebius, you know Mrs H----, and cannot
doubt the fact.

Cases of this kind are so many, and well authenticated, that one knows
not where to choose.

          ----"Tam multa loquacem
     Delassare valent Fabium."

I think you knew the worthy and amiable Mr ----, who had the charge of
the valuable museum at ----. I well remember hearing this narrated of
him, long _before_ his death. He stated, that one day opening a case,
he heard a voice issue from it, which said--"In three days you shall
die." He became ill, and sent for Dr P----, the very celebrated
physician. It was in vain to reason with him. The third day arrived.
The kind physician sat with him till the hour was past. He did not
then die! Did he, however, mistake or miscalculate the meaning of the
voice? He died _that very day three years_!! Nothing can be more
authentic than this.

When I was in town in the summer, Eusebius, I spent an agreeable day
with my friends, the C----s. Now, I do not know a human being more
incapable of letting an idea, a falsehood of imagination, run away
with his sober judgment. He has a habit, I should say, more than most
men, of tying himself down to matters of fact. I copy for you an
extract from a diary; it was taken down that night. "Mr C---- has just
told me the following very curious circumstance:--Some years ago, Mrs
C---- being not in good health, they determined to spend some weeks in
the country. His father was then in his house. They separated--the
father, to his own home in the neighbourhood of London, and Mr and Mrs
C---- to visit the brother of Mrs C----, a clergyman, and resident
upon his living, in Suffolk. Soon after their arrival, there was a
large assembly of friends, in consequence of some church business.
There was church service--in the midst of which Mr C---- suddenly
felt an irresistible desire to return to his house in town. He knew
not why. It was in vain he reasoned with himself--go he must, forced
by an impulse for which he could in no way account. It would distress
his friends--particularly on such an occasion. He could not help it.
He communicated his intention to Mrs C----; begged her to tell no one,
lest he should give trouble by having the carriage;--his resolution
was instantly taken, to quit the church at once, to walk about six
miles to meet the coach if possible; if not, determining to walk all
night, a distance of thirty-two miles. He did quit the church, walked
the six miles, was in time to take the coach, reached London, and his
own home. The intelligence he found there was, that his father was
dangerously ill. He went to him--found him dying--and learned that he
had told those about him that he knew he should see his son. That wish
was gratified, which could not have been but for this sudden impulse
and resolution. His father expired in his arms."

It is curious that his father had told him a dream which he had had
some years before--that he was in the midst of some convulsion of
nature, where death was inevitable, and that then the only one of his
children who came to him was my friend Mr C----, which was thus in
manner accomplished on the day of his death.

I know not if some persons are naturally more under these and suchlike
mysterious influences. There was another occurrence which much
affected Mr C----. He went into Gloucestershire to visit a brother. I
do not think the brother was ill. All the way that he went in the
coach, he had, to use his own words, a death-smell which very much
annoyed him. Leaving the coach, he walked towards his brother's house
greatly depressed; so much so, that, for a considerable time, he sat
on a stone by the way, deeply agitated, and could not account for the
feeling. He arrived in time only to see his brother expire. I do not
know, Eusebius, how you can wish for better evidence of facts so
extraordinary. Mr C----'s character is sufficient voucher.

Here is another of these extraordinary coincidences which I have been
told by my friend Mrs S----, niece to the Rev. W. Carr, whom she has
very frequently heard narrate the following:--A farmer's wife at
Bolton Abbey, came to him, the Rev. W. Carr, in great agitation, and
told him she had passed a dreadful night, having dreamed that she saw
Mr Richard, (brother to Rev. W. Carr;) that she saw him in great
distress, struggling in the water, with his portmanteau on his
shoulders, escaping from a burning ship; and she begged the family to
write to know if Mr Richard was safe. It was exactly according to the
dream; he had, at the very time, so escaped from the burning of (I
believe) the Boyne. How like is this to some of the mesmeric visions!
I am assured of the truth of the following, by one who knew the
circumstance. One morning, as Mrs F---- was sitting in her room, a
person came in and told her he had had a very singular dream; that he
had been sitting with her sister, Mrs B----k, when some one came into
the room with distressing intelligence about her husband. Though it
could not have been there known at the time, Mr B----k had been
thrown from his horse and killed.

A party of gentlemen had met at Newcastle; the nature of the meeting
is stated to have been of a profane character. One of them suddenly
started, and cried, "What's that?"--and saw a coffin. The others saw
it; and one said--"It is mine: I see myself in it!" In twenty-four
hours he was a corpse.

I think I mentioned to you, Eusebius, that when I dined with Miss
A----, in town, she told me a curious story about a black boy. I have
been since favoured with the particulars, and copy part of the letter;
weigh it well, and tell me what you think of such coincidences--if you
are satisfied that there is nothing but chance in the matter.

"Now for the little black boy. In the year 1813, I was at the house of
Sir J. W. S----th of D---- House, near Bl----d, who then resided in
Portman Square, and a Mr L----r of Norfolk, a great friend of Sir
John's, was of the party. On coming into the room, he said--'I have
just been calling on our old Cambridge friend, H----n, who returned
the other day from India; and he has been telling me a very curious
thing which happened in his family. He had to go up the country to a
very remote part, on some law business, and he left Mrs H----n at
home, under the protection of her sister and that lady's husband. The
night after Mr H----n went away, the brother-in-law was awakened by
the screams of his own wife in her sleep; she had dreamed that a
little black boy, Mr H----n's servant, who had attended him, was
murdering him. He woke her, and while he was endeavouring to quiet
her, and convince her that her fears were the effects of a bad dream,
produced probably by indigestion, he was roused by the alarming
shrieks of Mrs H----n, who slept in an adjoining room. On going to
her, he found her, too, just awakening after a horrid dream--the
little Indian boy was murdering her husband. He used the same
arguments with her that he had already found answer in quieting his
own wife; but, in his own mind, he felt very anxious for tidings from
Mr H----n. To their great surprise, that gentleman made his
appearance the next evening, though he had expected to be absent above
a week. He looked ill and dejected. They anxiously asked him what was
the matter. Nothing, but that he was angry with himself for acting in
a weak, foolish manner. He had dreamed that his attendant, the little
black boy, intended to murder him; and the dream made such an
impression on his nerves that he could not bear the sight of the boy,
but dismissed him at once without any explanation. Finding he could
not go on without an attendant, he had returned home to procure one;
but as he had no reason whatever to suspect the boy of any ill
intention, he felt very angry with himself for minding a dream. Dear
Mrs H----n was much struck with this story; but she used to
say--unless it were proved that the boy really had the intention of
murdering his master, the dreams were for nothing.'"

In this instance a murder may have been prevented by these dreams; for
if merely coincidences, and without an object, the wonder of
coincidences is great indeed; for it is not one dream, but three, and
of three persons.

Things apparently of little consequence are yet curious for
observation. Our friend K----n, and two or three other friends, some
months ago went on an excursion together. Their first point was Bath,
where they meant to remain some time. K----n dreamed on Friday they
were to start on Saturday; that there was a great confusion at the
railway station; and that there would be no reaching Bath for them.
They went, however, on Saturday morning, and he told his dream when in
the carriage. One of the party immediately repeated the old saying--

   "A Friday's dream on Saturday told
    Will be sure to come true ere the day is old."

There was no accident to the train; but, instead of finding themselves
at Bath, they found themselves at Bristol--having, in their
conversation, neglected to notice that they had passed Bath. They were
put to great inconvenience, and confusion, and difficulty in getting
their luggage. I know you too well, Eusebius, not to hear, by
anticipation, your laughter at this trifling affair, and the wit with
which for a few moments you will throw off your ridicule. You may ask,
if the shooting of your corns are not as sure and as serious
prognostications? Be it so; and why not, Eusebius? You can tell by
them what weather to expect; and, after all, you know little more of
the material world, less of the immaterial, and nothing of their
mystical union. Nothing now, past, present, and future, may be but
terms for we know not what, and cannot comprehend how they can be lost
in an eternity. There they become submerged. So take the thing
represented, not the paltry, perhaps ridiculous, one through which it
is represented. It is the picture, the attitude, the position, the
undignified familiarity of yourself with the defects of your own
person, that make the ridiculous; but there is grave philosophy,
nevertheless, to be drawn from every atom of your own person, if you
view it aright. I have heard you eloquent against the "hypocrite
Cicero," as you called him, for his saying, that one Augur meeting
another could scarcely help laughing. If mankind chose augury as a
sign, it might have been permitted them to find a sign in it. But this
is plunging into deeper matter, and one which you will think a
quagmire, wherein wiser thoughts may flounder and be lost. When the
officers of Hannibal's army were heard to laugh by the soldiery on the
morning of the battle of Cannæ, they took it as a good omen. It was
generally received, and the day was fatal to the Romans. "Possunt quia
posse videntur," you will say; but whence comes the "videntur?" There,
Eusebius, you beg the whole question. The wonders and omens, gravely
related by Livy, at least portray a general feeling--an impression
before events. In the absence of a better religion, I would not have
quarrelled with the superstition, and very much join you in your
condemnation of the passage in Cicero.

The fatal necessity of event upon event, of omen, dream, and vision,
is the great characteristic of the wondrous Greek drama. So awfully
portrayed is the _OEdipus_--and with more grand and prophetic
mystery pervading the _Agamemnon_. Had it not been congenial with
popular belief, it could never have been so received; nor, indeed,
could somewhat similar (though degraded from their high authority, as
standing less alone by their amalgamation with a purer creed)
characteristics in some of the plays of our own Shakspeare have
touched the mind to wonderment, had there been no innate feeling to
which they might, and without effort, unite. The progress, however, of
the omen and vision, clearer and clearer, pointing to the very deed,
and even while its enactment has commenced, and that fatality by which
(prophetic, too) the plainest prophecy is unheeded, contemned, and the
Prophetess herself doomed, and knowing herself doomed, may be
considered as an epitome of the Grecian creeds upon the subject. It
was no vulgar punning spirit that designated the very _name_ of Helen
as a cursing omen.

   "Tis pot' hônomazen hôd
    Es to pan etêtumôs--
    Mê tis ontôn ouch orô--
    Men pronoaisi tou peprômeuou
    Glôssan en tucha nemôn."]

Helen, the destroyer--yes, that was her significant name. The present
King of the French was not allowed to assume the title of Valois,
which was, strictly speaking, his, and instead assumed that of Duc de
Chartres, on account of an evil omen attached to the former name; and
that evil omen originating in a curious fact, the seeing of a spectre
by that German princess who succeeded the poisoned sister of our
second Charles. But there is nothing in modern history more analogous
to the fatalities of the Grecian drama than those singular passages
relating to the death of Henry the Fourth of France. We have the
gravest authority of the gravest historians, that prophecies,
warnings, and omens so prepared Henry for his death, that he waited
for it with a calm resignation, as to an irresistible fatality. "In
fact," (says an eloquent writer in Maga of April 1840,) "it is to this
attitude of listening expectation in the king, and breathless waiting
for the blow, that Schiller alludes in that fine speech of Wallenstein
to his sister, where he notices the funeral knells that sounded
continually in Henry's ears; and, above all, his prophetic instinct,
that caught the sound from a far distance of his murderer's motions,
that could distinguish, amidst all the tumult of a mighty Capital,
those stealthy steps."

And does it seem so strange to you, Eusebius, if the ear and the eye,
those outposts, as it were, of the ever watchful, spiritual, and
intellectual sentinels within man, convey the secret intelligences
that most concern him? What is there, Eusebius, so marvellous to your
conception, if there be sympathy more than electric between those two
worlds, outer Nature and Man himself? If earth, that with him and for
him partook of one curse, with all its accompanying chain and
interchange of elements, be still one with him, in utterance and
signification, whether of his weal or woe. The sunshine and the gloom
enter into him, and are his; they reflect his feelings, or rather they
are his feelings, almost become his flesh--they are his bodily
sensations. The winds and the waters, in their gentler breathings and
their sullen roar, are but the music of his mind, echo his joys, his
passions, or funereally rehearse the dirge of his fate.

Reject not, my Eusebius, any fact, because it seems little and
trifling; a mite is a wonder in creation, from which deep, hidden
truths present themselves. It was a heathen thought, an imperfect
conception of the wide sympathy of all nature, and of that meaning
which every particle of it can convey, and more significantly as we
calculate our knowledge;--it was a heathen thought, that the poet
should lament the unlikeliness of the flowers of the field to man in
their fall and reappearance. It was not the blessing given to his
times to see the perfectness of the truth--the "non omnis moriar"
indicated even in his own lament.[36]

I had written thus far, when our friend H---l---r looked in upon me,
and enquired what I was about; I told him I was writing to you, and
the subject of my letter. He is this moment gone, and has left with me
these two incidents. They came within his own experience. He
remembers, that when he was a boy, he was in a room with several of
his brothers, some of whom were unwell, yet not seriously ill. On a
sudden, there was a great noise, so great, that it could be compared
to nothing but the firing of a pistol--a pane in the window was
broken; not, he said, to _pieces_, but literally to a _powder_ of
glass. All in the house heard it, with the exception of one of his
brothers, which struck them as very strange. The servants from below,
and their mother from above, rushed into the room, fearing one of them
might have been shot. The mother, when she saw how it was, told
H---l---r that his brother, who did not hear the noise, she knew it well,
would die. At that same hour next day that brother did die.

The other story is more singular. His family were very intimate with
another, consisting of father, mother, and an only daughter--a child.
Of her the father was so fond, that he was never happy but when she
was with him. It happened that he lost his health, and during his long
illness, continually prayed that, when he was gone, his child too
should be shortly taken from this world, and that he might be with her
in a better. He died--when, a short time after his death, the child,
who was in perfect health, came rushing into the presence of her
mother, from a little room which looked out upon a court, but from
which there was no entrance to the room--she came rushing to her
mother, calling out--"Oh, papa, papa! I have seen papa in the court,
and he called me to him. I must go--open the door for me--do, mamma! I
must go, for he called me." Within twenty-four hours that child was
dead. Now, said H--l--r, I knew this to be a fact, as well as I ever
knew any act, for our families were like one family. Sweet image of
infant and of parental love!--let us excuse the prayer, by that of the
ancient mother, who, when her sons dragged her chariot to the temple,
prayed that they might receive from the gods what was best for
them--and they were found dead in the temple. How beautiful is the
smile of the sleeping infant! "Holds it not converse with angels?" the
thought is natural--ministering spirits may be unseen around us, and
in all space, and love the whispering speech in the ear of sleeping
innocence; there is visible joy in the face, yet how little can it
know of pleasurable sensations, communicable through this world's
objects? How know we but the sense must be deteriorated, to make it
serviceable for the lower purposes for which in part the child is
born?--as the air we breathe must have something of poison, or it
would be too pure for mortal beings. Look down some lengthening valley
from a height, Eusebius, at the hour of twilight, when all lands,
their marks and boundaries, grow dim, and only here and there the
scant light indicates lowly dwellings, shelters of humanity in earth's
sombre bosom, and mark the vast space of vapour that fills all
between, and touches all, broods over all--can you think this little
world of life that you know by having walked its path, and now see so
indistinguishable, to be the all of existence before you? Lone indeed
would be the world were there nothing better than ourselves in it. No
beings to watch for us, to warn us, to defend us from "the Power of
the Air:" ministering spirits--and why not of the departed?--may be
there. If there be those that in darkness persuade to evil--and in
winter nights, the winds that shake the casement seem to denote to the
guilty conscience the presence of avenging fiends--take we not peace
and wholesome suggestion from milder influences of air and sunshine?
Brighter may be, perhaps, the child's vision than ours; as it grows
for the toil and work for which it is destined, there comes another
picture of a stern and new reality, and that which brought the smile
of joy upon the face, is but as a dissolving view; and then he becomes
fully fitted for humanity, of which he was before but the embryo. And
even in his progress, if he keep charge of his mind, in purity and in
love, seem there not ministering spirits, that spread before him, in
the mirage of the mind, scenes that look like a new creation? and
pedants, in their kind, call this the poet's fancy, his imagination.

Lately I have spent a month by the sea: the silent rocks seemed
significant in their overhanging look, and silence, as listening to
the incessant sea. It would be painful to think every thing insensible
about us, but ourselves. I wonder not that the rocks, the woods, and
wilds, were peopled by ancient Mythologists; and with beings, too,
with whom humanity could sympathize. I would not think that the
greater part of the earth's islands and continents were given up to
hearts insensate; that there were nothing better than wildernesses of
chattering apes--no sounds more rational than

    "The wolf's wild howl on Ulalaski's shore."

I would rather think that there are myriads of beings of higher nature
than ourselves, whose passage is [Greek: hôste noêma], and whose home
is ubiquity; and such as these may have their missions to us, and may
sometimes take the dying breath of father or of brother in far-off
seas, and instinct with, and maintaining in themselves, made visible,
that poor remnant of life, stand at a moment at the bedside of beloved
relatives, even in most distant lands, and give to each a blessed
interchange and intelligence. In every sense, indeed, we "see but in
part." In the dulness of the day, we see not a tenth part of the
living things that people the ground; a gleam of sunshine instantly
discovers to us in leaf and flower a little world; and could we but
remove this outward fog, this impure atmosphere of our mortal senses,
that which may be occasionally granted at dying hour, we might behold
all space peopled with the glory of created beings. There is a
beautiful truth of best feeling hidden in the superstition, that at
one particular moment on Christmas Eve, all the beasts of the field go
down on their knees amidst the darkness, seen alone by their Creator's
eye, and by that angelic host that sing again the first divine hymn of

I do not wonder that sailors are, what we choose to call, more
superstitious than landsmen; with but a plank between them and
death--unfathomable seas around them, whose depths are continual
wonder, from whose unseen treasure-house, the

        ----"billows roll ashore
     The beryl and the golden ore."

Seas and skies with the great attribute of life, motion--their very
ship a personification, as it were a living creature--cut off,
separated as they are for the most part, from cities, and the
mind-lowering ways of cities, which they see recede from them and melt
into utter insignificance, leaving for companionship but the winds and
the waters. Can it be a matter of wonder, if, with warm wishes and
affections in their breasts, their imaginations shape the clouds and
mists into being, messengers between them and the world they have all
but lost? The stars, those "watches of the night," to them are not the
same, changing yet ever significant. Even the waters about them, which
by day are apparently without a living thing beyond the life of their
own motion, in the darkness glittering with animated fire; can we
wonder, then, if their thoughts rise from these myriad, invisible,
lucent worms of the sea, to a faith in the more magnificent beings who
"clothe themselves with light;" and if they believe that such are
present, unseen, commissioned to guard and guide them in ways perilous
and obscure? Seamen, accustomed to observe signs in their great
solitude, unattracted by the innumerable sights and businesses of
other life, are ever open and ready to receive signs and
significations even of omen and vision; whereas he that is engaged in
crowded street and market, heeds no sign, though it were offered, but
that which his little and engrossing interests make for him; he,
indeed, may receive "angels' visits unaware." Omens, dreams, and
visions are to seamen more real, more frequent, as more congenial with
their wants; and some extraordinary cases have even been registered in
ships' logs, not resting on the credibility of one but of a crew, and
such logs, if I mistake not, have been admitted evidence in courts of
judicature. Am I led away by the subject, Eusebius? You will say I am;
yet I could go on--the wonder increases--the common earth is not their
sure grave--

   "Nothing of them that doth fade,
    But doth suffer a sea-change
    Into something rich and strange."

But I must not pursue this, lest, in your wit, you find reason to
compare me to that great philosopher, who gravely asserted that he had
discovered how to make a mermaid, but abstained from using the
receipt; and I am quite sure you are not likely to resemble the
learned Dr Farmer, who folded down the page for future experiment.[37]

It is not very long ago that I was discussing subjects of this kind
with our acute friend S---- V----. I send you a letter received from
him, written, I presume, more for you than myself; for I told him I
was on the point of answering yours, which he read. His attempt to
account for any of his stories by common coincidences, is rather
indicative of his naturally inquisitive mind than of his real belief;
and I suspect he has been led into that train of argument by his
hostility to mesmerism, which he pronounces to be a cheat from
beginning to end; and he cannot but see that, granting mesmerism, the
step in belief beyond is easy. He would, therefore, have no such
stepping stone; and lest confidence in dreams, omens, &c., should make
mesmerism more credible, he has been a little disposed to trim his own
opinions on the subject. You will judge for yourself--here is his

    "My dear --------,--You desire me to give you a written account
    of the dreams which I related to you when we lately met, and
    amused ourselves with speculations on these mysterious phenomena.

    "_Dream I._--Mrs X----, when a child, was attached to Captain
    T----, R.N. She had been brought up from infancy by her uncle and
    aunt, with whom she resided, and with whom Captain T---- had long
    been on terms of the most intimate friendship and regard. At the
    time to which I now refer, Captain T---- commanded a frigate in
    the West Indies, where he had been stationed for some months;
    letters had been occasionally received from him; his health had
    not suffered from the climate, nor had any of his friends in
    England the least reason to apprehend that a man of his age, good
    constitution, and temperate habits, by whom also the service in
    which he was engaged had been eagerly desired, would be likely to
    suffer from the diseases of these latitudes. One morning Mrs
    X----, (then Miss X----,) appeared at the breakfast table with an
    expression of grief on her countenance, that at once induced her
    uncle and aunt to ask the cause. She said, that she had dreamed
    that Captain T---- had died of fever in the West Indies, and that
    the intelligence had been sent in a large letter to her uncle. The
    young lady's uncle and aunt both represented to her the weakness
    of yielding to the impression of a dream, and she appeared to
    acquiesce in the good sense of their remonstrances--when, shortly
    after, the servant brought in the letter-case from the
    Post-office, and when her uncle had unlocked it, and was taking
    out the letters, (there were several,) Miss X---- instantly
    exclaimed, pointing to one of them--'That's the letter! I saw it
    in my dream!' It was the letter--a large letter, of an official
    size, addressed to her uncle, and conveying precisely the event
    which Miss X---- had announced.

    "_Dream II._--General D----, R.M., was one morning conversing with
    me on the subject of dreams, and gave me the following
    relation:--'I had the command of the marines on board a frigate,
    and in company with another frigate, (giving names and date,) was
    proceeding to America, when, on joining the breakfast table, I
    told my brother officers that I had had a very vivid and singular
    dream. That I had dreamed that the day was calm, as it now was,
    and bright, but with some haziness in the distance; and that
    whilst we were at breakfast, as we now are, the master-at-arms
    came in and announced two sail in the distance. I thought we all
    immediately ran on deck--saw the two ships--made them out to be
    French frigates, and immediately gave chase to them. The wind
    being light, it was long before we could approach the enemy near
    enough to engage them; and when, in the evening, a distant fire
    was commenced, a shot from the frigate which we attacked, carried
    away our foretopmast, and, consequently, we were unable to
    continue the chase. Our companion, also, had kept up a distant
    fire with the other French frigate, but in consequence of our
    damage, shortened sail to keep company with us during the night.
    On the following morning the French frigates had made their
    escape--no person had been killed or wounded on board our own
    ship; but in the morning we were hailed by our companion, and told
    that she had lost two men. Shortly after, whilst my brother
    officers were making comments on my dream--and before the
    breakfast table was cleared, the master-at-arms made his
    appearance, announcing, to the great surprise of all present, two
    sail in the distance; (and General D---- assured me that on
    reaching the deck they appeared to him precisely the same in place
    and distance as in his dream)--'the chase--the distant action--the
    loss of the topmast--the escape of the enemy during the night--and
    the announcement from the companion frigate that she had lost two
    men--all took place precisely as represented in my dream.' The
    General had but just concluded his narration, when a coincidence
    took place, little less extraordinary than that of the dream and
    its attendant circumstances.--The door opened, and a gentleman
    rushed into the room with all that eagerness which characterizes
    the unexpected meeting of warm friends after a long absence--and
    immediately after the first cordial greetings, General D----
    said--'My dear F----, it is most singular, that although we have
    not met during the last fifteen years, and I had not the most
    distant expectation of seeing or hearing from you, yet you were in
    my thoughts not five minutes ago--I was relating to my friend my
    extraordinary dream when on board the ----; you were present, and
    cannot have forgotten it.' Major F---- replied, that he remembered
    it most accurately, and, at his friend's request, related it to
    me, in every particular correspondent with the General's account.

    "What I now relate to you cannot be called a dream, but it bears a
    close affinity to 'those shadowy tribes of mind' which constitute
    our sleeping phantasmagoria. Calling one morning on my friend, Mrs
    D----m, who had for some time resided in my neighbourhood, I
    found her greatly distressed at the contents of a letter which she
    had just received. The letter was from her sister, Mrs B----, who
    was on her return to England, on board the ----, East Indiaman,
    accompanied by her two youngest children, and their nurse; Mr
    B----, her husband, remaining in India. One morning, shortly after
    breakfast, Mrs B---- was sitting in the cabin, with many other
    passengers present, but not herself at that moment engaged in
    conversation with them; when she suddenly turned her head, and
    exclaimed aloud, and with extreme surprise, 'Good God! B----, is
    that you?' At the same moment the children, who were with their
    nurse at a distant part of the ship, too far off, it is stated, to
    have heard their mother's exclamation, both cried out, 'Papa!
    papa!' Mrs B---- declared, that the moment she spoke, she saw her
    husband most distinctly, but the vision instantly vanished. All
    the persons present noted the precise time of this singular
    occurrence, lat. and long., &c., and Mrs B----'s letter to her
    sister was written immediately after it; it was forwarded to
    England by a vessel that was expected to reach home before the
    East Indiaman, and which did precede her by some weeks. No
    reasonings that I could offer were sufficient to relieve my
    friend's mind from the conviction that her sister had lost her
    husband, and that his decease had been thus mysteriously announced
    to her, until letters arrived from Mr B----, attesting his perfect
    health, which he enjoyed for some years after--and I believe he is
    still living.

    "To arrive at any reasonable conclusion respecting the phenomena
    of dreams, we require data most difficult to be obtained; we
    should compare authentic dreams, faithfully related, with their
    equally well-attested attendant and _precedent_ circumstances. But
    who can feel certain that he correctly relates even his own dream?
    I have many times made the attempt, but cannot be perfectly sure
    that in the act of recording a dream, I have not given more of
    order to the succession of the events than the dream itself
    presented. In the case of the first dream, the mere delivery of a
    letter, there is no succession of events, and therefore no ground
    to suppose that any invention could have been added to give it
    form and consistency. The young lady knew that her friend was in
    the West Indies; she knew, too, the danger of that climate, and
    had often seen the Admiral, her uncle, receive official letters.
    Some transient thoughts on these subjects, although too transient
    to be remembered, unquestionably formed her dream. That the letter
    really arrived and confirmed the event predicted, can only be
    referable to those coincidences which are not of very uncommon
    occurrence in daily life. To similar causes I attribute the second
    dream; and even its external fulfilment in so many particulars can
    hardly be deemed more extraordinary than the coincidence of the
    sudden and wholly unexpected arrival of Major F----, just at the
    very moment after General D---- had related to me his dream. The
    third narrative admits of an easy solution. Mrs B---- was not in
    good health. Thinking of her husband, in a state of reverie, a
    morbid spectrum might be the result--distinct enough to cause her
    sudden alarm and exclamation which, if the children heard, (and
    children distinguish their mother's voice at a considerable
    distance--the cabin door, too, might have been open, and the
    children much nearer than they were supposed to have been,) would
    account at once for their calling out 'Papa! papa!' During our
    waking hours, we are never conscious of any complete suspension of
    thought, even for a moment; if fatigued by any long and laborious
    mental exertion, such as the solution of a complicated
    mathematical problem, how is the weariness relieved? Not by
    listless rest like the tired body, but by a change of subject--a
    change of action--a new train of thoughts and expressions. Are we,
    then, always dreaming when asleep? We certainly are not conscious
    that we are; but it may be that in our sleep we do not remember
    our dreams, and that it is only in imperfect sleep, or in the act
    of waking, that the memory records them. That dreams occupy an
    exceedingly short period of time, I know from my own experience;
    for I once had, when a boy, a very long dream about a bird, which
    was placed in an insecure place in my bedroom, being attacked by a
    cat. The fall of the cage on the floor awoke me, and I sprang out
    of bed in time to save the bird. The dream must, I think, have
    been suggested by the fall of the cage; and, if so, my seemingly
    long dream could only have occupied a mere point of time. I have
    also experienced other instances nearly similar. It seems
    reasonable, too, to suppose that this is generally the case; for
    our dreams present themselves to us as pictures, with the subjects
    of which we are intimately acquainted. I now glance my eye at the
    fine landscape hanging in my room. You may say of it, as Falstaff
    said of Prince Henry, 'By the Lord, I know you as well as he that
    made you.' Well, it is full of subject, full of varied beauty and
    grand conception--a 'paulo majora' eclogue. When I first saw it, I
    could barely read it through in an hour. For pictures that are
    what pictures ought to be, Poems to the eye, demand and repay this
    investigating attention--those that do not demand and suggest
    thoughts are not worth a thought; but this picture, now its every
    part, tint, and sentiment, have long been intimately known to me.
    I see, at a glance, its entire subject--ay, at a glance, too, see
    the effect which a casual gleam of light has just thrown over it.
    Is it not probable, then, that our dreams may be equally
    suggestive, in as short a space of time? Dreams that have not some
    connexion, something of a continuity of events, however wild, are
    not retained by the memory. Most persons would find it much more
    difficult to learn to repeat the words in a dictionary, than a
    page of poetry of equal length; and many dreams are probably
    framed of very unconnected materials. In falling asleep, I have
    often been conscious of the dissevering of my thoughts--like a
    regiment dismissed from parade, they seemed to straggle away "in
    most admired disorder;" but these scattered bands muster together
    again in our sleep; and, as these have all been levied from the
    impressions, cogitations, hopes, fears, and affections, of our
    waking hours, however strangely they may re-combine, if they do
    combine with sufficient continuity to be remembered, the form
    presented, however wild, will always be found, on a fair analysis,
    to be characteristic of the dreamer. They are his own thoughts
    oddly joined, like freshwater Polyps, which may be divided, and
    then stuck again together, so as to form chains, or any other
    strange forms, across the globe of water in which they may be
    exhibited. In Devonshire, the peasantry have a good term to
    express that wandering of thought, and imperfect dreaming, which
    is common in some states of disease.--"Oh, sir, he has been lying
    pretty still; but he has been _roading_ all night." By this, they
    mean, that the patient, in imperfect sleep, has been muttering
    half-connected sentences; and the word, _roading_, is taken from
    the mode in which they catch woodcocks. At the last gleam of
    evening, the woodcocks rise from their shelter in the woods, and
    wind their way to the open vistas, which lead to the adjacent
    meadows, where they go to feed during the night; and they return
    to their covert, through the same vistas, with the first beam of
    morning. At the end of these vistas, which they call 'cock-roads,'
    the woodcock catchers suspend nets to intercept the birds in their
    evening and morning flights, and great numbers are taken in this
    manner; the time when they suspend the nets, is called
    roading-time; and thus, by applying the term, roading, to
    disturbed and muttered sleep, they compare the dim, loose thoughts
    of the half-dreaming patient, to the flight of the woodcocks,
    wheeling their way through the gloomy and darkling woods. It has
    been asserted that we never feel _surprise_ in our dreams; and
    that we do not _reason_ on the subjects which they present to us.
    This, from my own experience, I know to be a mistake. I once
    dreamed, whilst residing with a friend in London, that on entering
    his breakfast-room, the morning was uncommonly dark; but not very
    much more so than sometimes occurs in a November fog, when, as
    some one has said, the thick yellow air makes you think you are
    walking through pease-soup, and the sun, when seen at all, looks
    like the yolk of a poached egg floating on it. My friend was
    seated alone by the table, resting his head thoughtfully on his
    hand, when, looking towards me, with a very serious countenance,
    he said--'Can you account for this darkness? There is no eclipse
    stated in the almanack. Some change is taking place in our system.
    Go to N----, (a philosophical neighbour, who lived within three
    doors of our house,) and ask if he can explain it.' I certainly
    felt much surprised at my friend's observations. I went to N----
    's house--or, rather, I found myself in his room. He was walking
    up and down the room in evident perplexity; and, turning to me,
    said, 'This is very extraordinary! A change is taking place in our
    system!--look at the barometer.'--I looked at the barometer, which
    appeared to be hanging in its usual place in the room, and saw,
    with great surprise, that the tube was without quicksilver; it had
    fallen almost entirely down to the bulb. Certainly in this dream I
    felt great _surprise_, and that the faculty of reason was not
    suspended is apparent, nay, perhaps, it was quickened in this
    instance, for I doubt, if I had really seen the præternatural
    darkness, whether I should so readily have thought of consulting
    an almanack, or referring to a barometer; I should certainly have
    gone to my friend N----, for I was in the frequent habit of
    appealing to him on any subject of natural philosophy on which I
    might be desirous to be fully instructed. It is clear that the
    fabricator of the Ephesian Diana could not pay real adoration to
    his own work; and as we must be the artificers of our own dreams,
    and furnish all the materials, it seems difficult to discover by
    what process the mind can present subjects of surprise to itself;
    but surprise is that state of mind which occurs when an object or
    idea is presented to it, which our previous train of thought would
    not lead us to expect or account for. In dreams the catenation of
    our ideas is very imperfect and perplexed; and the mind, by
    forgetting its own faint and confused links of association, may
    generate subjects of surprise to itself. There are some dreams
    which we dream over again many times in our lives, but these
    dreams are generally mere scenes, with little or no action or
    dialogue. I formerly often dreamed that I was standing on a broad
    road by the side of a piece of water, (in which geese were
    swimming,) surrounding the base of a green hill, on the summit of
    which were the ruins of a castle: the sun shining brightly, and
    the blue sky throwing out the yellow stone-work of the ruin in
    strong relief. This dream always gave me an indefinite sense of
    pleasure. I fancied I had formed it from some picture that I might
    at some time have casually seen and forgotten; but a few years ago
    I visited the village in which I was born, and from which I had
    been removed when about three and a half years old. I found that I
    well remembered many things which might have engaged the attention
    of a child. The house in which my parents resided was little
    changed; and I remembered every room, and the pictures on the
    Dutch tiles surrounding the fireplace of that which had been our
    nursery. I pointed out the house where sugar-candy had formerly
    been sold, and went to the very spot in the churchyard where I had
    been led, when a child, to call out my name and hear the echo from
    the tower. I then went by a pathway, through some fields, which
    led to a neighbouring town. In these fields I recognised a
    remarkable stone stile, and a bank on which I had gathered
    daisies; then, extending my route, that I might return to the
    village by a different course, suddenly the prototype of my often
    dreamed dream stood before me. The day was bright. There was the
    blue sky--the green hill--the geese in the surrounding water. 'In
    every form of the thing _my dream_ made true and good.' The
    distance of this spot from the house of my birth was rather a long
    walk for a child so young; and, therefore, I suppose I might only
    once or twice have seen it, and then only in the summer, or in
    bright weather. I have said that that dream, whenever it recurred,
    always impressed me with an indefinite sense of pleasure; was not
    this feeling an echo, a redolence, of the happy, lively sensations
    with which, as a child, I had first witnessed the scene? It is
    singular that, remembering so many objects much less likely to
    have fixed themselves on the memory, I should have so utterly
    forgotten, in my waking hours, the real existence of that of which
    my dream had so faithfully Daguerreotyped; and it is not less
    remarkable that I have never had the dream since I recognised its
    original. I think I can account for this, but will not now attempt
    it, as the length of my epistle may probably have put you in a
    fair way of having dreams of your own.--Ever faithfully yours.

    "C. S."

This last dream of our friend exhibits one of the phenomena of memory,
which may not be unconnected with another, curious, and I suppose
common. Did you never feel a sense of a reduplication of any passing
occurrence, act, or scene--something which you were saying or doing,
or in which you were actor or spectator? Did you never, while the
occurrence was taking place, suddenly feel a consciousness of its
pre-existence and pre-acting; that the whole had passed before, just
as it was then passing, even to the details of place, persons, words,
and circumstances, and this not in events of importance, but mostly in
those of no importance whatever; as if life and all its phenomena were
a duplicate in itself, and that that which is acting here, were at the
same time acting also elsewhere, and the fact were suddenly revealed
to you? I call this one of the phenomena of memory, because it may
possibly be accounted for by the repercussion of a nerve, an organ,
which, like the string of an instrument unequally struck, will double
the sound. Vibrations of memory--vibrations of imagination are curious
things upon which to speculate; but not now, Eusebius--you must work
this out yourself.

What a curious story is that of Pan.[38] "Pan is dead,"--great Pan is
dead--as told by Plutarch. Was not one commissioned by dream or vision
to go to a particular place to proclaim it there; and is it not added
that the cry "great Pan is dead," was re-echoed from shore to shore,
and that this happened at the time of the ceasing of oracles?

It little matters whether you look to public events or private
histories--you will see signs and omens, and wondrous visitations,
prefiguring and accomplishing their purposes; and if occasionally,
when too they are indisputable, they seem to accomplish no end, it may
be only a seeming non-accomplishment--but suppose it real, it would
then the more follow, that they arise necessarily from the nature of
things, though a nature with which we are not acquainted. There is an
unaccountable sympathy and connexion between all animated
nature--perhaps the invisible, as well as the visible. Did you never
remark, that in a crowded room, if you fix your eyes upon any one
person, he will be sure soon to look at you? Whence is this more than
electric power! Wonderful is that of yawning, that it is
communicable;--it is so common, that the why escapes our observation.
This attractive power, the fascination of the eye, is still more
wonderful. Hence, perhaps, the superstition of the "Evil Eye," and the
vulgarly believed mischief of "being overlooked."

Of private histories--I should like to see the result of a commission
to collect and enquire into the authenticity of anecdotes bearing upon
this subject. I will tell you one, which is traditionary in our
family--of whom one was of the _dramatis personæ_. You know the old
popular ballad of "Margaret's Ghost"--

  "In glided Margaret's grimly ghost,
   And stood at William's feet."

You do not know, perhaps that it is founded on truth. William was Lord
S----, who had jilted Margaret; she died; and after death appeared to
him--and, it is said, gave him the choice of two things--to die within
a week, or to vow constancy, never to marry. He gave the solemn
promise to the ghost. We must transfer the scene to the living world
of pleasure. Lord S---- is at Bath. He is in the rooms; suddenly he
starts--is so overcome as to attract general attention--his eyes are
riveted upon one person, the beautiful Mary T----, whose father
resided in great style and fashion at Bathford. It was her resemblance
to Margaret, her astonishing resemblance, that overcame him. He
thought the ghost had again appeared. He was introduced--and, our
family tradition says, was for a length of time a daily visitor at
Bathford, where his habit was, to say little, but to sit opposite to,
and fix his eyes upon the lovely face of Mary T----. The family not
liking this, for there was no declaration on his part, removed Mary
T---- to the house of some relative in London. There Lord S----
followed her, and pursued his daily habit of profound admiration. At
length the lady spoke, and asked him his intentions with regard to her
guest. Lord S---- was in the greatest agitation, rose, burst into
tears, and left the house. Time passed; and here nothing more is said
of Mary T----; Lord S---- saw her no more. But of him, it is added,
that, being persuaded by his family and friends, he consented to
marry--that the bride and her relatives were at the appointed hour at
the church--that no bridegroom was there--that messengers sent to
enquire for him brought back the frightful intelligence, that he was
no more. He had suddenly expired.

My dear Eusebius, with this story I terminate my long letter. Ruminate
upon the contents. Revolved in your mind, they will yield a rich
harvest of thought. I hope to be at the reaping. Ever yours, &c.

[Footnote 34: The story given by Eusebius is very probably of his own
manufacture. It is this. Some years ago, when all the world were mad
upon lotteries, the cook of a middle-aged gentleman drew from his
hands the savings of some years. Her master, curious to know the
cause, learned that she had repeatedly dreamed that a certain number
was a great prize, and she had bought it. He called her a fool for her
pains, and never omitted an occasion to tease her upon the subject.
One day, however, the master saw in the newspaper, or at his
bookseller's in the country town, that _the_ number was actually the
L.20,000 prize. Cook is called up, a palaver ensues--had known each
other many years, loth to part, &c.--in short, he proposes and is
accepted, but insists on marriage being celebrated next morning.
Married they were; and, as the carriage took them from the church they
enjoy the following dialogue. "Well, Molly--two happy events in one
day. You have married, I trust, a good husband. You have something
else--but first let me ask you where you have locked up your
lottery-ticket." Molly, who thought her master was only bantering her
again on the old point, cried--"Don't ye say no more about it. I
thought how it would be, and that I never should hear the end on't, so
I sold it to the baker of our village for a guinea profit. So you need
never be angry with me again about that."]

[Footnote 35: Supposing mesmerism true in its facts, one knows not to
what power to ascribe it--a good or an evil. It is difficult to
imagine it possible that a good power would allow one human being such
immense influence over others. All are passive in the hands of the
mesmeriser. Let us take the case related by Miss Martineau. She
willed, and the water drunk by the young girl _was_ wine, at another
time it _was_ porter. These were the effects. Now, supposing Miss M.
had willed it to be a poison, if her statement is strictly true, the
girl would have been poisoned. We need no hemlock, if this be so--and
the agent must be quite beyond the reach of justice. A coroner's
inquest here would be of little avail.

It is said that most mischievous consequences have resulted from the
doings of some practitioners--and it must be so, if the means be
granted; and it is admitted not to be a very rare gift. The last
mesmeric exhibition I witnessed, was at Dr Elliotson's. It appeared to
be of so public a nature, that I presume there is no breach of
confidence in describing what took place. There were three persons
mesmerised, all from the lower rank of life. The first was put into
the sleep by, I think, but two passes of the hand, (Lord Morpeth the
performer.) She was in an easy-chair: all her limbs were rendered
rigid--and, as I was quite close to her, I can testify that she
remained above two hours in one position, without moving hand or foot,
and breathing deeply, as in a profound sleep. Her eyes were closed,
and she was finally wakened by Dr Elliotson waving his hand at some
distance from her. As he motioned his hand, I saw her eyelids quiver,
and at last she awoke, but could not move until the rigidity of her
limbs was removed by having the hand slightly passed over them. She
then arose, and walked away, as if unconscious of the state she had
been in. The two others were as easily transferred to a mesmeric
state. They conversed, answered questions, showed the usual
phrenological phenomena, singing, imitating, &c.

But there was one very curious phrenological experiment which deserves
particular notice. They sat close together. Dr W. E---- touched the
organ of Acquisitiveness of the one, (we will call her A.) She
immediately put out her hand, as if to grasp something, and at length
caught hold of the finger of Dr W. E----; she took off his ring and
put it in her pocket. Dr W. E---- then touched the organ of Justice of
the second girl, (B,) and told her that A had stolen his ring. B, or
Justice, began to lecture upon the wickedness of stealing. A denied
she had done any such thing, upon which Dr W. E---- remarked, that
thieving and lying always went together. Then, still keeping his hand
on Acquisitiveness, he touched also that of Pride; then, as Justice
continued her lecture, the thief haughtily justified the act, that she
should steal if she pleased. The mesmeriser then touched also the
organ of Combativeness, so that three organs were in play. Justice
still continued her lecture; upon which A, the thief, told her to hold
her tongue, and not lecture her, and gave her several pretty hard
slaps with her hand. Dr W. E---- then removed his hands, and
transferred the operation, making Justice the thief, and the thief
Justice; when a similar scene took place.

Another curious experiment was, differently affecting the opposite
organs--so that endearment was shown on one side, and aversion on the
other, of the same person. One scene was beautiful, for the very
graceful motion exhibited. One of these young women was attracted to
Dr Elliotson by his beckoning her to him, while by word he told her
not to come. Her movements were slow, very graceful, as if moved by
irresistible power.]

[Footnote 36: You remember the melancholy music of the lines of

   [Greek: "Ai Ai tai malachai men epan kata katon olôntai
    Ê tachlôra selina, to t' euthales oulon anêdon,
    Ysteron hauzôonti, kai eis etos allo phyonti.
    Ammes d' hoi megaloi kai karteroi hê sophoi andres,
    Oppote prôta thanômes, anakosi en chthoni koila
    Eudames eu mala makron atermona nêgreton hypnon."]

Accept of this attempt:--

    Alas! alas! the mallows, though they wither where they lie,
    And all the fresh and pleasant herbs within the garden die,
    Another year they shall appear, and still fresh bloom supply.

    But we, Great men, the strong, the wise, the noble, and the brave,
    When once we fall into the earth, our nourriture that gave,
    Long silence keep of endless sleep, within the hollow grave.]

[Footnote 37: _Vide_ an amusing little _jeu-d'esprit--A Descant upon
Weather-Wisdom--both Witty and Wise._--ANON. Longmans. 1845.]

[Footnote 38: There is an exquisite little poem, taken from this
passage of Plutarch, at once imaginative and true, for hidden truths
are embodied in the tangible workings of the poet's imagination, by
Miss Barrett.]


    My child--my first-born! Oh, I weep
      To think of thee--thy bitter lot!
    The fair fond babe that strives to creep
      Unto the breast where _thou art not_,
    Awakes a piercing pang within,
      And calls to mind thy heavy wrong.
    Alas! I weep not for my sin--
      To thy dark lot these tears belong.

    Thy little arms stretch forth in vain
      To meet a mother's fond embrace;
    Alas! in weariness or pain,
      Thou gazest on a hireling's face.
    I left thee in thy rosy sleep--
      I dared not then kneel down to bless;
    Now--now, albeit thou may'st weep,
      Thou canst not to my bosom press.

    My child! though beauty tint thy cheek,
      A deeper dye its bloom will claim,
    When lips all pitiless shall speak
      Thy mournful legacy of shame.
    Perchance, when love shall gently steal
      To thy young breast all pure as snow,
    This cruel thought shall wreck thy weal,
      _The mother's guilt doth lurk below_.

    J. D.


    Unruffled the pure ether shines,
      O'er the blue flood no vapour sails,
    Bloom-laden are the clinging vines,
      All odour-fraught the vales.

    There's not a ripple on the main,
      There's not a breath to stir the leaves,
    The sunlight falls upon the plain
      Beside the silent sheaves.

    The drowsy herd forget to crop,
      The bee is cradled in the balm:
    If but one little leaf should drop,
      'Twould break the sacred calm.

    From the wide sea leaps up no voice,
      Mute is the forest, mute the rill;
    Whilst the glad earth sang forth _Rejoice_,
      God's whisper said--_Be still_.

    Her pulses in a lull of rest,
      In hush submissive Nature lies,
    With folded palms upon her breast,
      Dreaming of yon fair skies.

    J. D.


    I would not we should meet again--
      We twain who loved so fond,
    Although through years and years afar,
      I wish'd for nought beyond.

    Yet do I love thee none the less;
      And aye to me it seems,
    There's not on earth so fair a thing
      As thou art in my dreams.

    All, all hath darkly changed beside,
      Grown old, or stern, or chill--
    All, save one hoarded spring-tide gleam,
      _Thy smile that haunts me still_!

    My brow is but the register
      Of youth's and joy's decline;
    I would not trace such record too
      Deep graven upon thine.

    I would not _see_ how rudely Time
      Hath dealt with all thy store
    Of bloom and promise--'tis enough
      To know the harvest's o'er.

    I would not that one glance to-day,
      One glance through clouds and tears,
    Should mar the image in my soul
      That love hath shrined for years.

    J. D.


    The heart in sacred peace may dwell,
      Apart from convent gloom--
    To matins and to vespers rise,
      'Mid nature's song and bloom:

    Or in the busy haunts of life,
      In gay or restless scene,
    In sanctuary calm abide,
      As vestal saint serene.

    It is the pure and holy thought,
      The spotless veil within,
    That screens pollution from the breast,
      And hides a world of sin.

    J. D.




      "Let's see the devil's writ.
    What have we here?"

         *       *       *       *       *

   "First of the King. What shall of him become?"

   "A pretty plot, well chosen to build upon."

It was in the month of May 1574, and in the city of Paris, that, at an
hour of the night which in these days might be considered somewhat
early, but which at that period was already late, two personages were
seated in a gloomy room, belonging to a small and ancient hotel, at no
great distance from the old palace of the Louvre, with which it was
supposed to communicate by courts and passages little known and seldom

One of these personages was a woman of middle age, whose form,
although full, was peculiarly well made, and whose delicate but well
fleshed hands were of striking beauty. The fair face was full and fat,
but very pale; the eyes were fine and dark, and the whole expression
of her physiognomy was in general calm, almost to mildness. But yet
there lurked a haughty air on that pale brow; and at times a look of
searching inquisitiveness, amounting almost to cunning, shot from
those dark eyes. Her ample dress was entirely black, and unrelieved by
any of the embroidery or ornament so much lavished upon the dress of
the higher classes at that time; a pair of long white ruffles turned
back upon the sleeve, and a large standing collar of spotless purity,
alone gave light to the dark picture of her form. Upon her head she
wore a sort of skull-cap of black velvet, descending with a sharp peak
upon her forehead--the cowl-like air of which might almost have given
her the appearance of the superior of some monastic community, had not
the cold imperious physiognomy of the abbess been modified by a
frequent bland smile, which showed her power of assuming the arts of
seduction at will, and her practice of courts. She leaned her arms
upon the table, whilst she studied with evident curiosity every
movement of her companion, who was engaged in poring, by the light of
a lamp, over a variety of strange manuscripts, all covered with the
figures, cyphers, and hieroglyphics used in cabalistic calculations.

This other personage was a man, whose appearance of age seemed to be
more studied than real. His grey hair, contrary to the custom of the
times, fell in thick locks upon his shoulders; and a white beard swept
his dark velvet robe, which was fashioned to bestow upon him an air of
priestly dignity; but his face was florid, and full of vigour, and the
few wrinkles were furrowed only upon his brow.

Around the room, the dark old panels of which, unrelieved by pictures
and hangings, rendered it gloomy and severe, were scattered books and
instruments, such as were used by the astronomers, or rather
astrologers, of the day, and a variety of other objects of a bizarre
and mysterious form, which, as the light of the lamp flickered feebly
upon them, might have been taken, in their dark nooks, for the
crouching forms of familiar imps, attendant upon a sorcerer. After
some study of his manuscripts, the old man shook his head, and,
rising, walked to the window, which stood open upon a heavy stone
balcony. The night was bright and calm; not a cloud, not a vapour
dimmed the glitter of the countless myriads of stars in the firmament;
and the moon poured down a flood of light upon the roofs of the
surrounding houses, and on the dark towers of the not far distant
Louvre, which seemed quietly sleeping in the mild night-air, whilst
within were fermenting passions, many and dark, like the troubled
dreams of the apparently tranquil sleeper. As the old man stepped upon
the balcony, he turned up his head with an assumed air of inspiration
to the sky, and considered the stars long and in silence. The female
had also risen and followed him to the window; but she remained
cautiously in the shadow of the interior of the room, whence she
watched with increasing interest the face of the astrologer. Again,
after this study of the stars, the old man returned to his table, and
began to trace new figures in various corners of the patterned
horoscopes, and make new calculations. The female stood before him,
resting her hands upon the table, awaiting with patience the result of
these mysteries of the cabala.

"Each new experience verifies the former," said the astrologer,
raising up his head at last. "The truth cannot be concealed from your
majesty. His hours are numbered--he cannot live long."

"And it is of a surety _he_, of whom the stars thus speak?" enquired
the female thus addressed, without emotion.

"The horoscopes all clash and cross each other in many lines,"
answered the astrologer: "but they are not confounded with his. The
horoscope of near and inevitable death is that of your son Charles,
the King."

"I know that he must die," said the Queen-mother coldly, sitting down.

The astrologer raised for an instant his deep-set, but piercing grey
eyes, to the pale, passionless face of the Queen, as if he could have
read the thoughts passing within. There was almost a sneer upon his
lip, as though he would have said, that perhaps none knew it better;
but that expression flickered only, like a passing flash of faint
summer lightning, and he quickly resumed--

"But about this point of death are centred many confused and jarring
lines in an inextricable web; and bright as they look to vulgar eyes,
yon stars in the heavens shine with a lurid light to those who know to
look upon them with the eyes of science; and upon their path is a dim
trail of blood--troubled and harassed shall be _the last hours of this

"But what shall be the issue, Ruggieri?" said the Queen eagerly.
"Since Charles must die, I must resign myself to the will of destiny,"
she added, with an air of pious humility; and then, as if throwing
aside a mask which she thought needless before the astrologer, she
continued with a bitterness which amounted almost to passion in one
externally so cold--"Since Charles must die, he can be spared. He has
thrown off my maternal authority; and with the obstinacy of suspicion,
he has thwarted all my efforts to resume that power which he has
wrested from me, and which his weak hands wield so ill. He has been
taught to look upon me with mistrust; in vain I have combated this
influence, and if it grow upon him, mistrust will ripen into hate. He
regrets that great master-stroke of policy, which, by destroying all
those cursed Huguenots, delivered us at one blow from our most deadly
enemies. He has spoken of it with horror. He has dared to blame me. He
has taken Henry of Navarre, the recusant Huguenot, the false wavering
Catholic, to his counsels lately. He is my son no longer, since he no
longer acknowledges his mother's will: and he can be spared! But when
he is gone, what shall be the issue, Ruggieri? how stand the other

"The stars of the two Henrys rise together in the heavens" replied the
Queen's astrologer and confidant. "Before them stands a house of
double glory, which promises a double crown; but the order of the
heavens is not such that I can read as yet, which of the two shall
first enter it, or enter it alone."

"A double crown!" said the Queen musingly. "Henry of Anjou, my son, is
king of Poland, and on his brother's death is rightful king of France.
Yes, and he _shall_ be king of France, and wear its crown. Henry never
thwarted his mother's will, he was ever pliant as a reed to do her
bidding; and when he is king, Catherine of Medicis may again resume
the reins of power. You had predicted that he would soon return to
France; and I promised him he should return, when unwillingly he
accepted that barbarian crown, which Charles' selfish policy forced
upon him, in order to rid himself of a brother whom he hated as a
rival--hated because I loved him. Yes, he shall return to resume his
rightful crown--a double crown! But Henry of Navarre also wears a
crown, although it be a barren one--although the kingdom of Navarre
bestow upon him a mere empty title. Shall it be his--the double crown?
Oh! no! no! The stars cannot surely say it. Should all my sons die
childless, it is his by right. But they shall not die to leave _him_
their heir. No! sooner shall the last means be applied, and the
detested son perish, as did his hated mother, by one of those
incomprehensible diseases for which medicine has no cure. A double
crown! Shall his be the crown of France also? Never! Ah! little did I
think, Ruggieri, when I bestowed upon him my daughter Margaret's hand,
and thus lured him and his abhorred party to the court to finish them
with one blow, that Margaret of Valois would become a traitress to her
own mother, and protect a husband whom she accepted so unwillingly!
But Margaret is ambitious for her husband, although she loves him not,
although she loves another: the two would wish to thwart her brothers
of their birthright, that she might wear their crown on her own brow.
Through her intervention, Henry of Navarre has escaped me. He has
outlived the massacre of that night of triumph, when all his party
perished; and now Charles loves him, and calls him 'upright, honest
Henry,' and if I contend not with all the last remnants of my broken
power, my foolish son, upon his death-bed, may place the regency in
his hands, and deprive his scorned and ill-used mother of her rights.
The regency! Ah! lies there the double crown? Ah! Ruggieri, Ruggieri,
why can you only tell me thus far and no further?"

"Madam," replied the wary astrologer, "the stars run in their slow
unerring course. We cannot compel their path; we can only read their

Catherine de Medicis rose and approached the window, through which she
contemplated the face of the bright heavens.

"Mysterious orbs of light," she said, stretching forth her arms--"ye
who rule our destinies, roll on, roll on, and tarry not. Accomplish
your great task of fate; but be it quickly, that I may know what
awaits me in that secret scroll spread out above on which ye write the
future. Let me learn the good, that I may be prepared to greet it--the
ill, that I may know how to parry it."

Strange was the compound of that credulous mind, which, whilst it
sought in the stars the announcement of an inevitable fate, hoped to
find in its own resources the means of avoiding it--which, whilst it
listened to their supposed dictates as a slave, strove to command them
as a mistress.

"And the fourth horoscope that I have bid you draw?" said the Queen,
returning to the astrologer. "How stands it?"

"The star of your youngest son, the Duke of Alençon, is towering also
to its culminating point," replied the old man, looking over the
papers before him. "But it is nebulous and dim, and shines only by a
borrowed light--that of another star which rises with it to the
zenith. They both pursue the same path; and if the star of Alençon
reach that house of glory to which it tends, that other star will
shine with such a lustre as shall dim all other lights, however bright
and glorious they now may be."

"Ha! is it so?" said Catherine thoughtfully. "Alençon conspires also
to catch the tottering crown which falls from the dying head of
Charles. But he is too weak and wavering to pursue a steady purpose.
He is led, Ruggieri--he is led. He is taught to believe that since his
elder brother has chosen the crown of Poland, it is his to claim the
throne which death will soon leave vacant. But he wants firmness of
will--it is another that guides his feeble hand. That star which
aspires to follow in the track of Alençon--I know it well, Ruggieri.
It is that of the ambitious favourite of my youngest son, of Philip de
la Mole. It is he who pushes him on. It is he who would see his master
on the throne, in order to throne it in his place. He has that
influence over Alençon which the mother possesses no longer; and were
Alençon king, it would be Philip de la Mole who would rule the
destinies of France, not Catherine de Medicis. Beneath that exterior
of thoughtless levity, lie a bold spirit and an ardent ambition. He is
an enemy not to be despised; and he shall be provided for. Alençon
protects him--my foolish Margaret loves him--but there are still means
to be employed which may curdle love to hate, and poison the secret
cup of sympathy. They shall be employed. Ha! Alençon would be king,
and Philip de la Mole would lord it over the spirits of the house of
Medicis. But they must be bold indeed who would contend with
Catherine. Pursue, Ruggieri, pursue. This star, which way does it

"It aspires to the zenith, madam," replied the astrologer. "But, as I
have said, upon the track there is a trail of blood."

Catherine smiled.

"My youngest son has already been here to consult you; I think you
told me?" she said, with an enquiring look to the astrologer.

"Among others, who have come disguised and masked, to seek to read
their destinies in the skies, I have thought to recognise Monseigneur
the Duke of Alençon," replied Ruggieri. "He was accompanied by a tall
young man, of gay exterior and proud bearing."

"It is the very man!" exclaimed the Queen. "And do they come again?"

"I left their horoscope undetermined," replied the astrologer, "and
they must come to seek an answer to my researches in the stars."

"Let the stars lie, Ruggieri--do you hear?" pursued Catherine.
"Whatever the stars may say, you must promise them every success in
whatever enterprise they may undertake. You must excite their highest
hopes. Push them on in their mad career, that their plans may be
developed. Catherine will know how to crush them."

"It shall be as your majesty desires," said the astrologer.

As the Queen and the astrologer still conferred, a loud knocking at
the outer gate caused them to pause. Steps were heard ascending the
hollow-sounding staircase.

"I will dismiss these importunate visitors," said Ruggieri.

"No," said Catherine, "admit them; and if it be really they you
expect, leave them alone after a time, and come, by the outer passage,
to the secret cabinet: there will I be. I may have directions to give;
and, at all events, the cabinet may prove useful, as it has already

Impatient knockings now resounded upon the panels of the door, and the
Queen-mother, hastily snatching up a black velvet mask and a thick
black veil, which hung upon the back of her high carved chair, flung
the latter over her head, so as to conceal her features almost as
entirely as if she had worn the mask. Ruggieri, in the meantime, had
pushed back a part of the panel of the oak walls, and when Catherine
had passed through it into a little room beyond, again closed this
species of secret door, so effectually that it would have been
impossible to discover any trace of the aperture. The astrologer then
went to open the outer door. The persons who entered, were two men
whose faces were concealed with black velvet masks, commonly worn at
the period both by men and women, as well for the purpose of disguise,
as for that of preserving the complexion; their bearing, as well as
their style of dress, proclaimed them to be young and of courtly

The first who entered was of small stature, and utterly wanting in
dignity of movement; and, although precedence into the room seemed to
have been given him by a sort of deference, he turned back again to
look at his companion, with an evident hesitation of purpose, before
he advanced fully into the apartment. The young man who followed him
was of tall stature, and of manly but graceful bearing. His step was
firm, and his head was carried high; whilst the small velvet cap
placed jauntily on one side upon his head, the light brown curling
hair of which was boldly pushed back from the broad forehead and
temples, according to the fashion of the times, seemed disposed as if
purposely to give evidence of a certain gaiety, almost recklessness,
of character. The astrologer, after giving them admittance, returned
to his table, and sitting down, demanded what might be their bidding
at that hour of the night! At his words the smaller, but apparently
the more important of the two personages, made a sign to his companion
to speak; and the latter, advancing boldly to the table, demanded of
the old man whether he did not know him.

"Whether I know you or know you not, matters but little," replied the
astrologer; "although few things can be concealed before the eye of

At these words the smaller young man shuffled uneasily with his feet,
and plucked at the cloak of his companion. Ruggieri continued--"But I
will not seek to pierce the mystery of a disguise which can have no
control over the ways of destiny. Whether I know you or not, I
recognise you well. Already have you been here to enquire into the
dark secrets of the future. I told you then, that we must wait to
judge the movements of the stars. Would you know further now?"

"That is the purpose of our coming," said the latter of the two young
men, to whom the office of spokesman had been given. "We have come,
although at this late hour of the night, because the matter presses on
which we would know our fate."

"Yes, the matter presses," replied the astrologer; "for I have read
the stars, and I have calculated the chances of your destinies."

The smaller personage pressed forward at these words, as if full of
eager curiosity. The other maintained the same easy bearing that
seemed his usual habit.

The astrologer turned over a variety of mysterious papers, as if
searching among them for the ciphers that he needed; then, consulting
the pages of a book, he again traced several figures upon a parchment;
and at length, after the seeming calculation of some minutes, he
raised his head, and addressing himself to the smaller man, said--

"You have an enterprise in hand, young man, upon which not only your
own destinies and those of your companion, but of many thousands of
your fellow creatures depend! Your enterprise is grand, your destiny
is noble."

The young men turned to look at each other; and he, who had as yet not
broken silence, said, with an eager palpitating curiosity, although
the tones of his voice were ill assured--

"And what say the stars? Will it succeed?"

"Go on, and prosper!" replied the astrologer. "A noble course lies
before you. Go on, and success the most brilliant and the most prompt
attends you."

"Ha! there is, after all, some truth in your astrology, I am inclined
to think!" said the first speaker gaily.

"Why have you doubted, young man?" pursued the astrologer severely.
"The stars err not--cannot err."

"Pardon me, father," said the young man with his usual careless air.
"I will doubt no further. And we shall succeed?"

"Beyond your utmost hopes. Upon your brow, young man," continued the
astrologer, addressing again the smaller person, "descends a circlet
of glory, the brilliancy of which shall dazzle every eye. But stay,
all is not yet done. The stars thus declare the will of destiny; but
yet, in these inscrutable mysteries of fate, it is man's own will that
must direct the course of events--it is his own hand must strike the
blow. Fatality and human will are bound together as incomprehensibly
as soul and body. You must still lend your hand to secure the
accomplishment of your own destiny. But our mighty science shall
procure for you so powerful a charm, that no earthly power can resist
its influence. Stay, I will return shortly." So saying, Ruggieri rose
and left the room by the door through which the young men had entered.

"What does he mean?" said the shorter of the young men.

"What matter, Monseigneur!" replied the other. "Does he not promise us
unbounded success? I little thought myself, when I accompanied you
hither, that my belief in this astrology would grow up so rapidly.
Long live the dark science, and the black old gentleman who professes
it, when they lighten our path so brilliantly!"

"Let us breathe a little at our ease, until he returns," said he who
appeared the more important personage of the two; and throwing himself
into a chair, and removing his mask, he discovered the pale face of a
young man, who might have been said to possess some beauty, in spite
of the irregularity of his features, had not the expression of that
face been marred by a pinched and peevish look of weakness and

His companion followed his example in removing his mask, and the face
thus revealed formed a striking contrast to that of the other young
man. His complexion was of a clear pale brown, relieved by a flush of
animated colour; his brow was fair and noble; his features were finely
but not too strongly chiselled. A small dark mustache curled boldly
upwards above a beautifully traced and smiling mouth, the character of
which was at once resolute and gay, and strangely at variance with the
expression of the dark grey eyes, which was more that of tenderness
and melancholy. He remained standing before the other personage, with
one hand on his hip, in an attitude at once full of ease and

"Did I not right, then, to counsel you as I have done in this matter,
my lord duke," he said to the other young man, "since the astrologer,
in whom you have all confidence, promises us so unbounded a success:
and you give full credence to the announcement of the stars?"

"Yes--yes, Philip," answered the Duke, reclining back in his chair,
and rubbing his hands with a sort of internal satisfaction.

"Then let us act at once," continued the young man called Philip. "The
King cannot live many days--perhaps not many hours. There is no time
to be lost. Henry of Anjou, your elder brother, is far away; the crown
of Poland weighs upon his brow. You are present. The troops have been
taught to love you. The Huguenot party have confidence in you. The
pretensions of Henry of Navarre to the regency must give way before
yours. All parties will combine to look upon you as the heir of
Charles; and now the very heavens, the very stars above, seem to
conspire to make you that which I would you should be. Your fortune,
then, is in your own hands."

"Yes. So it is!" replied the Duke.

"Assemble, then, all those attached to your service or your person!"

"I will."

"Let your intention be known among the guards."

"It shall."

"As soon as the King shall have ceased to breathe, seize upon all the
gates of the Louvre."

"Yes," continued the Duke, although his voice, so eager the moment
before, seemed to tremble at the thought of so much decision of

"Declare yourself the Master of the kingdom in full parliament."

"Yes," again replied the young Duke, more weakly. "But"----

"But what--Monseigneur!" exclaimed his companion.

"But," continued the Duke again, with hesitation, "if Henry, my
brother, should return--if he should come to claim his crown. You may
be sure that our mother, who cares for him alone, will have already
sent off messengers to advertise him of Charles's danger, and bid him

"I know she has," replied Philip coolly. "But I have already taken
upon myself, without Monseigneur's instructions, for which I could not
wait, to send off a sure agent to intercept her courier, to detain him
at any price, to destroy his despatches."

"Philip! what have you done?" exclaimed the young Duke, in evident
alarm. "Intercept my mother's courier! Dare to disobey my mother! My
Mother! You do not know her then."

"Not know her?" answered his companion. "Who in this troubled land of
France does not know Catherine of Medicis, her artful wiles, her
deadly traits of vengeance? Shake not your head, Monseigneur! You know
her too. But, Charles no more, you will have the crown upon your
brow--it will be yours to give orders: those who will dare to disobey
you will be your rebel subjects. Act, then, as king. If she resist,
give orders for her arrest!"

"Arrest my Mother! Who would dare to do it?" said the Duke with agitation.


"Oh, no--no--La Mole! Never would I take upon myself"----

"Take upon yourself to be a King, if you would be one," said the
Duke's confidant, with energy.

"We will speak more of this," hastily interposed the wavering Duke.
"Hush! some one comes. It is this Ruggieri!"

In truth the astrologer re-entered the room. In his hand he bore a
small object wrapped in a white cloth, which he laid down upon the
table; and then, turning to the young men, who had hastily reassumed
their masks before he appeared, and who now stood before him, he

"The sole great charm that can complete the will of destiny, and
assure the success of your great enterprise, lies there before you.
Have you no enemy whose death you most earnestly desire, to forward
that intent?"

The young men looked at each other; but they both answered, after the
hesitation of a moment--


"None, upon whose death depends that turn in the wheel of fate that
should place you on its summit?"

Both the young men were silent.

"At all events," continued the cunning astrologer, "your destiny
depends upon the action of your own hands. This action we must symbol
forth in mystery, in order that your destiny be accomplished.
Here--take this instrument," he pursued, producing a long gold pin of
curious workmanship, which at need might have done the task of a
dagger, "and pierce the white cloth that lies before you on the

The Duke drew back, and refused the instrument thus offered to him.

"Do I not tell you that the accomplishment of your brilliant destiny
depends upon this act?" resumed Ruggieri.

"I know not what this incantation may be," said the timid Duke. "Take
it, Philip."

But La Mole, little as he was inclined to the superstitious credulity
of the times, seemed not more disposed than his master to lend his
hand to an act which had the appearance of being connected with the
rites of sorcery, and he also refused. On the reiterated assurances of
the astrologer, however, that upon that harmless blow hung the
accomplishment of their enterprise, and at the command of the Duke, he
took the instrument into his hand, and approached it over the cloth.
Again, however, he would have hesitated, and would have withdrawn; but
the astrologer seized his hand before he was aware, and, giving it a
sharp direction downwards, caused him to plunge the instrument into
the object beneath the cloth. La Mole shuddered as he felt it
penetrate into a soft substance, that, small as it was, gave him the
idea of a human body; and that shudder ran through his whole frame as
a presentiment of evil.

"It is done," said the astrologer. "Go! and let the work of fate be

The pale foreheads of both the young men, visible above their masks,
showed that they felt they had been led further in the work of
witchcraft than was their intention; but they did not expostulate. It
was the Duke who now first rallied, and throwing down a heavy purse of
coin on the table before the astrologer, he called to his companion to
follow him.

Scarcely had the young men left the apartment, when the pannel by
which Catherine of Medicis had disappeared, again opened, and she
entered the room. Her face was pale, cold, and calm as usual.

"You heard them, Ruggieri!" she said, with her customary bland smile.
"Alençon would be king, and that ambitious fool drives him to snatch
his brother's crown. The Queen-mother is to be arrested, and
imprisoned as a rebel to her usurping son. A notable scheme, forsooth!
Her courier to recall Henry of Anjou from Poland has been intercepted
also! But that mischance must be remedied immediately. Ay! and
avenged. Biragne shall have instant orders. With this proof in my
possession, the life of that La Mole is mine," continued she, tearing
in twain the white linen cloth, and displaying beneath it a small wax
figure, bearing the semblance of a king, with a crown upon its head,
in which the gold pin was still left sticking, by the manner in which
this operation was performed. "Little treasure of vengeance, thou art
mine! Ruggieri, man, that plot was acted to the life. Verily, verily,
you were right. Charles dies; and troubled and harassed will be the
_last hours of his reign_."


   "There is so hot a summer in my bosom,
    That all my bowels crumble up to dust;
    I am a scribbled form, drawn with a pen
    Upon a parchment; and against this fire
    Do I shrink up."

   "Ambition is a great man's madness,
    That is not kept in chains and close-pent rooms
    But in fair lightsome lodgings, and is girt
    With the wild noise of prattling visitants,
    Which makes it lunatic beyond all cure."

In a room belonging to the lower apartments of the old palace of the
Louvre, reclined, in one of the large but incommodious chairs of the
time, a young man, whose pale, haggard face, and prematurely furrowed
brow, betrayed deep suffering both from moral and physical causes. The
thick lids of his heavy dark eyes closed over them with languor, as if
he no longer possessed the force to open them; whilst his pale thin
lips were distorted as if with pain. His whole air bore the stamp of
exhaustion of mind and body.

The dress of this personage was dark and of an extreme plainness and
simplicity, in times when the fashion of attire demanded so much
display--it bore somewhat the appearance of a hunting costume. The
room, on the contrary, betrayed a strange mixture of great richness
and luxury with much confusion and disorder. The hangings of the doors
were of the finest stuffs, and embroidered with gold and jewellery;
tapestry of price covered the walls. A raised curtain of heavy and
costly tissue discovered a small oratory, in which were visible a
crucifix and other religious ornaments of great value. But in the
midst of this display of wealth and greatness, were to be seen the
most incongruous objects. Beneath a bench in a corner of the room was
littered straw, on which lay several young puppies; in other choice
nooks slept two or three great hounds. Hunting horns were hung against
the tapestry, or lay scattered on the floor; an arquebuss rested
against the oratory door-stall--the instrument of death beside the
retreat of religious aspiration. Upon a standing desk, in the middle
of the room, lay a book, the coloured designs of which showed that it
treated of the "noble science of venerye," whilst around its pages
hung the beads of a chaplet. Against the wall of the room opposite the
reclining young man, stood one of the heavy chests used at that period
for seats, as much as depositories of clothes and other objects; but
the occupant of this seat was a strange one. It was a large ape, the
light brown colour of whose hair bordered so much upon the green as to
give the animal, in certain lights, a perfectly verdant aspect. It sat
"moping and mowing" in sulky loneliness, as if its grimaces were
intended to caricature the expression of pain which crossed the young
man's face--a strange distorted mirror of that suffering form.

After a time the young man moved uneasily, as if he had in vain sought
in sleep some repose from the torment of mind and body, and snapped
his fingers. His hounds came obedient to his call; but, after patting
them for a moment on the head, he again drove them from him with all
the pettish ill-temper of ennui, and rose, feebly and with difficulty,
from his chair. He moved languidly to the open book, looked at it for
a moment, then shook his head and turned away. Again he took up one of
the hunting horns and applied it to his lips; but the breath which he
could fetch from his chest produced no sound but a sort of low
melancholy whine from the instrument; and he flung it down. Then
dealing a blow at the head of the grinning ape, who first dived to
avoid it, and then snapped at its master's fingers, he returned
wearily to his chair, and sunk into it with a deep groan, which told
of many things--regret--bitter ennui--physical pain and mental
anguish. The tears rose for a moment to his heavy languid eyes, but he
checked their influence with a sneer of his thin upper-lip; then
calling "Congo," to his ape, he made the animal approach and took it
on his knees; and the two--the man and the beast--grinned at each
other in bitter mockery.

In this occupation of the most grotesque despair, the young man was
disturbed by another personage, who, raising the tapestry over a
concealed door, entered silently and unannounced.

"My Mother!" murmured the sufferer, in a tone of impatience, as he
became aware of the presence of this person; and turning away his
head, he began to occupy himself in caressing his ape.

"How goes it with you, Charles? Do you feel stronger now?" said the
mother, in a soft voice of the fondest cajolery, as she advanced with
noiseless, gliding steps.

The son gave no reply, and continued to play with the animal upon his
knee, whilst a dark frown knitted his brow.

"What say the doctors to your state to-day, my son?" resumed the
female soothingly. As she approached still nearer, the ape, with a
movement of that instinctive hate often observable in animals towards
persons who do not like them, sprang at her with a savage grin, that
displayed its sharp teeth, and would have bitten her hand had she not
started back in haste. Her cold physiognomy expressed, however,
neither anger nor alarm, as she quietly remarked to her son--

"Remove that horrid animal, Charles: see how savage he is?"

"And why should I remove Congo, mother?" rejoined Charles, with a
sneer upon his lip; "he is the only friend you have left me."

"Sickness makes you forgetful and unjust, my son," replied the Mother.

"Yes, the only friend you have left me," pursued the son bitterly,
"except my poor dogs. Have you not so acted in my name, that you have
left me not one kindred soul to love me; that in the whole wide
kingdom of France, there remains not a voice, much less a heart, to
bless its miserable king?"

"If you say that you have no friends," responded the Queen-mother,
"you may speak more truly than you would. For they are but false
friends; and real enemies, who have instilled into your mind the evil
thoughts of a mother, who has worked only for your glory and your

"No, not one," continued the young King, unheeding her, but dismissing
at the same time the ape from his knee with a blow that sent him
screaming and mouthing to his accustomed seat upon the chest. "Not
one! Where is Perotte, my poor old nurse? She loved me--she was a real
mother to me. She! And where is she now? Did not that deed of horror,
to which you counselled me, to which you urged me almost by
force--that order, which, on the fatal night of St Bartholomew, gave
signal for the massacre of all her co-religionists, drive her from my
side? Did she not curse me--me, who at your instigation caused the
blood of her friends and kindred to be shed--and leave me, her
nursling, her boy, her Charlot, whom she loved till then, with that
curse upon her lips? And do they not say that her horror of him who
has sucked her milk, and lain upon her bosom, and of his damning deed,
has frenzied her brain, and rendered her witless? Poor woman!" And the
miserable King buried his haggard face between his hands.

"She was a wretched Huguenot, and no fitting companion and confidant
for a Catholic and a king," said the Queen, in a tone of mildness,
which contrasted strangely with the harshness of her words. "You
should return thanks to all the blessed Saints, that she has willingly
renounced that influence about your person, which could tend only to
endanger the salvation of your soul."

"My soul! Ay! who has destroyed it?" muttered Charles in a hollow

The Queen-mother remained silent, but an unusual fire, in which
trouble was mixed with scorn and anger, shot from her eyes.

"And have you not contrived to keep Henry of Navarre, my honest Henry,
from my presence?" pursued the young King, after a pause, lifting up
his heavy head from between his hands. "He was the only being you had
left me still to love me; for my brothers hate me, both Anjou and
Alençon--both wish me dead, and would wear my crown. And who was it,
and for her own purposes, curdled the blood of the Valois in their
veins until it rankled into a poison that might have befitted the
Atrides of the tragedies of old? Henry of Navarre was the only
creature that loved me still, and your policy and intrigues, madam,
keep him from me, and so watch and harass his very steps in my own
palace of the Louvre, where he is my guest, that never can I see him
alone, or speak to him in confidence. He, too, deserts and neglects me
now; and I am alone--alone, madam, with courtiers and creatures, who
hate me too, it may be--alone, as a wretched orphan beggar by the

"My policy, as well as what you choose to call my intrigues, my son,"
rejoined the Queen, "have ever been directed to your interests and
welfare. You are aware that Henry of Navarre has conspired against the
peace of our realm, against your crown, may-be against your life.
Would you condemn that care which would prevent the renewal of such
misdeeds, when your own sister--when his wife--leagues herself in
secret with your enemies!"

"Ay! Margaret too!" muttered Charles with bitterness. "Was the list of
the Atrides not yet complete?"

"The dictates of my love and affection, of my solicitude for my son,
and for his weal--such have been the main-springs of my intrigues,"
pursued the mother in a cajoling tone.

"The intrigues of the house of Medicis!" murmured the King, with a
mocking laugh.

"What would you have me to do more, my son?" continued the

"Nothing," replied Charles, "nothing but leave me--leave me, as others
have done, to die alone!"

"My son, I will leave you shortly, and if it so please our Blessed
Virgin, to a little repose, and a better frame of mind," said
Catherine of Medicis. "But I came to speak to you of matters of
weight, and of such deep importance that they brook no delay."

"I am unfitted for all matters of state--my head is weary, my limbs
ache, my heart burns with a torturing fire--I cannot listen to you
now, madam," pursued the King languidly; and then, seeing that his
mother still stood motionless by his side, he added with more
energy--"Am I then no more a king, madam, that, at my own command, I
cannot even be left to _die_ in peace?"

"It is of your health, your safety, your life, that I would speak,"
continued Catherine of Medicis, unmoved. "The physicians have sought
in vain to discover the real sources of the cruel malady that devours
you; but there is no reason to doubt of your recovery, when the cause
shall be known and removed."

"And you, madam, should know, it would appear, better than my
physicians the hidden origin of my sufferings!" said Charles, in a
tone in which might be remarked traces of the bitterest irony. "Is it
not so?" and he looked upon his mother with a deadly look of suspicion
and mistrust.

The Queen-mother started slightly at these words; but, after a moment,
she answered in her usual bland tone of voice--

"It is my solicitude upon this subject that now brings me hither."

"I thank you for your solicitude," replied the King, with the same
marked manner; "and so, doubtless, does my brother Anjou: you love him
well, madam, and he is the successor of his childish brother."

In spite of the command over herself habitually exercised by Catherine
of Medicis, her pale brow grew paler still, and she slightly
compressed her lips, to prevent their quivering, upon hearing the
horrible insinuation conveyed in these words. The suspicions
prevalent at the time, that the Queen-mother had employed the aid of a
slow poison to rid herself of a son who resisted her authority, in
order to make room upon the throne for another whom she loved, had
reached her ears, and, guilty or guiltless, she could not but perceive
that her own son himself was not devoid of these suspicions. After the
struggle of a moment with herself, however, during which the drops of
perspiration stood upon her pale temples, she resumed----

"I love my children all; and I would save your life, Charles. My
ever-watchful affection for you, my son, has discovered the existence
of a hellish plot against your life."

"More plots, more blood!--what next, madam?" interrupted, with a
groan, the unhappy King.

"What the art of the physician could not discover," pursued his
mother, "I have discovered. The strange nature of this unknown
malady--these pains, this sleeplessness, this agony of mind and body,
without a cause, excited my suspicions; and now I have the proofs in
my own hands. My son, my poor son! you have been the victim of the
foulest witchcraft and sorcery of your enemies."

"Enemies abroad! enemies at home!" cried Charles, turning himself
uneasily in his chair. "Did I not say so, madam?"

"But the vile sorcerer has been discovered by the blessed intervention
of the saints," continued Catherine; "and let him be once seized,
tried, and executed for his abominable crime, your torments, my son,
will cease for ever. You will live to be well, strong, happy."

"Happy!" echoed the young King with bitterness; "happy! no, there the
sorcery has gone too far for remedy." He then added after a pause,
"And what is this plot? who is this sorcerer of whom you speak?"

"Trouble not yourself with these details, my son; they are but of
minor import," replied Catherine. "You are weak and exhausted. The
horrid tale would too much move your mind. Leave every thing in my
hands, and I will rid you of your enemies."

"No, no. There has been enough of ill," resumed her son. "That he
should be left in peace is all the miserable King now needs."

"But your life, my son. The safety of the realm depends upon the
extermination of the works of the powers of darkness. Would you, a
Catholic Prince, allow the evil-doer of the works of Satan to roam
about at will, and injure others as he would have destroyed his king?"
pursued the Queen-mother.

"Well, we will speak more of this at another opportunity. Leave me
now, madam, for I am very weak both in mind and body; and I thank you
for your zeal and care."

"My son, I cannot leave you," persisted Catherine, "until you shall
have signed this paper." She produced from the species of reticule
suspended at her side a parchment already covered with writing. "It
confers upon me full power to treat in this affair, and bring the
offender to condign punishment. You shall have no trouble in this
matter; and through your mother's care, your enemies shall be purged
from the earth, and you yourself once more free, and strong and able
shortly to resume the helm of state, to mount your horse, to cheer on
your hounds. Come, my son, sign this paper."

"Leave me--leave me in peace," again answered Charles. "I am sick at
heart, and I would do no ill even to my bitterest enemy, be he only an
obscure sorcerer, who has combined with the prince of darkness himself
to work my death."

"My son--it cannot be," said Catherine, perseveringly--for she was
aware that by persisting alone could she weary her son to do at last
her will. "Sign this order for prosecuting immediately the trial of
the sorcerer. It is a duty you owe to your country, for which you
should live, as much as to yourself. Come!" and, taking him by the
arm, she attempted to raise him from his chair.

"Must I ever be thus tormented, even in my hours of suffering?" said
the King with impatience. "Well, be it so, madam. Work your will, and
leave me to my repose."

He rose wearily from his chair, and going to a table on which were
placed materials for writing, hastily signed the paper laid before him
by his mother; and then, fetching a deep respiration of relief, like
a school-boy after the performance of some painful task, he flung
himself on to the chest beside the ape, and, turning his back to his
mother, began to make his peace with the sulky animal.

Catherine of Medicis permitted a cold smile of satisfaction to wander
over her face; and after greeting again her son, who paid her no more
heed than might be expressed by an impatient shrug of the shoulders,
indicative of his desire to be left in peace, again lifted the
hangings, and passed through the concealed door. The suffering King,
whose days of life were already numbered, and fast approaching their
utmost span, although his years were still so few, remained again
alone with his agony and his ennui.

Behind the door by which the Queen-mother had left her son's apartment
was a narrow stone corridor, communicating with a small winding
staircase, by which she mounted to her own suite of rooms upon the
first floor; but, when she had gained the summit, avoiding the secret
entrance opening into her own chamber, she proceeded along one of the
many hidden passages by which she was accustomed to gain not only
those wings of the palace inhabited by her different children, but
almost every other part of the building, unseen and unannounced.
Stopping at last before a narrow door, forming a part of the
stone-work of the corridor, she pulled it towards her, and again
lifting up a tapestry hanging, entered, silently and stealthily, a
small room, which appeared a sort of inner cabinet to a larger
apartment. She was about to pass through it, when some papers
scattered upon a table caught her eye, and moving towards them with
her usual cat-like step, she began turning them over with the
noiseless adroitness of one accustomed to such an employment.
Presently, however, she threw them down, as if she had not found in
them, at once, what she sought, or was fearful of betraying her
presence to the persons whose voices might be heard murmuring in the
adjoining room; and, advancing with inaudible tread, she paused to
listen for a minute. The persons, however, spoke low; and finding that
her _espionage_ profited nothing to her, the royal spy passed on and
entered the apartment.

In a chair, turning his back to her, sat a young man at a table, upon
which papers and maps were mixed with jewellery, articles of dress,
feathers and laces. A pair of newly-fashioned large gilt spurs lay
upon a manuscript which appeared to contain a list of names; a naked
rapier, the hilt of which was of curious device and workmanship, was
carelessly thrust through a paper covered with notes of music. The
whole formed a strange mixture, indicative at once of pre-occupation
and listless _insouciance_, of grave employment and utter frivolity.
Before this seated personage stood another, who appeared to be
speaking to him earnestly and in low tones. At the sight of Catherine,
as she advanced, however, the latter person exclaimed quickly,

"My lord duke, her majesty the Queen-mother!"

The other person rose hastily, and in some alarm, from his chair;
whilst his companion took this opportunity to increase the confusion
upon the table, by pushing one or two other papers beneath some of the
articles of amusement or dress.

Without any appearance of remarking the embarrassment that was
pictured upon the young man's face, Catherine advanced to accept his
troubled greeting with a mild smile of tenderness, and said--

"Alençon, my son, I have a few matters of private business, upon which
I would confer with you--and alone."

The increasing embarrassment upon the face of the young Duke must have
been visible to any eye but that which did not choose to see it. After
a moment's hesitation, however, in which the habit of obeying
implicitly his mother's authority seemed to subdue his desire to avoid
a conference with her, he turned and said unwillingly to his

"Leave us, La Mole."

The Duke's favourite cast a glance of encouragement and caution upon
his master; and bowing to the Queen-mother, who returned his homage
with her kindest and most re-assuring smile of courtesy and
benevolence, and an affable wave of the hand, he left the apartment.

Catherine took the seat from which her son had risen; and leaving him
standing before her in an attitude which ill-repressed trouble
combined with natural awkwardness of manner to render peculiarly
ungainly, she seemed to study for a time, and with satisfaction, his
confusion and constraint. But then, begging him to be seated near her,
she commenced speaking to him of various matters, of his own pleasures
and amusements, of the newest dress, of the fêtes interrupted by the
King's illness, of the effect which this illness, and the supposed
danger of Charles, had produced upon the jarring parties in the state;
of the audacity of the Huguenots, who now first began, since the
massacre of St Bartholomew's day, again to raise their heads, and
cause fresh disquietude to the government. And thus proceeding step by
step to the point at which she desired to arrive, the wily
Queen-mother resembled the cat, which creeps slowly onwards, until it
springs at last with one bound upon its victim.

"Alas!" she said, with an air of profound sorrow, "so quickly do
treachery and ingratitude grow up around us, that we no longer can
discern who are our friends and who our enemies. We bestow favours;
but it is as if we gave food to the dog, who bites our fingers as he
takes it. We cherish a friend; and it is an adder we nurse in our
bosoms. That young man who left us but just now, the Count La Mole--he
cannot hear us surely;"--the Duke of Alençon assured her, with
ill-concealed agitation, that his favourite was out of ear-shot--"that
young man--La Mole!--you love him well, I know, my son; and you know
not that it is a traitor you have taken to your heart."

"La Mole--a traitor! how? impossible!" stammered the young Duke.

"Your generous and candid heart comprehends not treachery in those it
loves," pursued his mother; "but I have, unhappily, the proofs in my
own power. Philip de la Mole conspires against your brother's crown."

The Duke of Alençon grew deadly pale; and he seemed to support himself
with difficulty; but he stammered with faltering tongue,

"Conspires? how? for whom? Surely, madam, you are most grossly

"Unhappily, my son," pursued Catherine--"and my heart bleeds to say
it--I have it no longer in my power to doubt."

"Madam, it is false," stammered again the young Duke, rising hastily
from his chair, with an air of assurance which he did not feel. "This
is some calumny."

"Sit down, my son, and listen to me for a while," said the
Queen-mother with a bland, quiet smile. "I speak not unadvisedly. Be
not so moved."

Alençon again sat down unwillingly, subdued by the calm superiority of
his mother's manner.

"You think this Philip de la Mole," she continued, "attached solely to
your interests, for you have showered upon him many and great favours;
and your unsuspecting nature has been deceived. Listen to me, I pray
you. Should our poor Henry never return from Poland, it would be yours
to mount the throne of France upon the death of Charles. Nay, look not
so uneasy. Such a thought, if it had crossed your mind, is an honest
and a just one. How should I blame it? And now, how acts this Philip
de la Mole--this man whom you have advanced, protected, loved almost
as a brother? Regardless of all truth or honour, regardless of his
master's fortunes, he conspires with friends and enemies, with
Catholic and Huguenot, to place Henry of Navarre upon the throne!"

"La Mole conspires for Henry of Navarre! Impossible!" cried the Duke.

"Alas! my son, it is too truly as I say," pursued the Queen-mother;
"the discoveries that have been made reveal most clearly the whole
base scheme. Know you not that this upstart courtier has dared to love
your sister Margaret, and that the foolish woman returns his
presumptuous passion? It is she who has connived with her ambitious
lover to see a real crown encircle her own brow. She has encouraged
Philip de la Mole to conspire with her husband of Navarre, to grasp
the throne of France upon the death of Charles. You are ignorant of
this, my son; your honourable mind can entertain no such baseness. I
am well aware that, had you been capable of harbouring a thought of
treachery towards your elder brother--and I well know that you are
not--believe me, the wily Philip de la Mole had rendered you his dupe,
and blinded you to the true end of his artful and black designs."

"Philip a traitor!" exclaimed the young Duke aghast.

"A traitor to his king, his country, and to you, my son--to you, who
have loved him but too well," repeated the Queen-mother.

"And it was for this purpose that he"--commenced the weak Duke of
Alençon. But then, checking the words he was about to utter, he added,
clenching his hands together--"Oh! double, double traitor!"

"I knew that you would receive the revelation of this truth with
horror," pursued Catherine. "It is the attribute of your generous
nature so to do; and I would have spared you the bitter pang of
knowing that you have lavished so much affection upon a villain. But
as orders will be immediately given for his arrest, it was necessary
you should know his crime, and make no opposition to the seizure of
one dependent so closely upon your person."

More, much more, did the artful Queen-mother say to turn her weak and
credulous son to her will, and when she had convinced him of the
certain treachery of his favourite, she rose to leave him, with the

"The guards will be here anon. Avoid him until then. Leave your
apartment; speak to him not; or, if he cross your path, smile on him
kindly, thus--and let him never read upon your face the thought that
lurks within, 'Thou art a traitor.'"

Alençon promised obedience to his mother's injunctions.

"I have cut off thy right hand, my foolish son," muttered Catherine to
herself as she departed by the secret door. "Thou art too powerless to
act alone, and I fear thee now no longer. Margaret must still be dealt
with; and thou, Henry of Navarre, if thou aspirest to the regency, the
struggle is between thee and Catherine. Then will be seen whose star
shines with the brightest lustre!"

When Philip de la Mole returned to his master's presence, he found the
Duke pacing up and down the chamber in evident agitation; and the only
reply given to his words was a smile of so false and constrained a
nature, that it almost resembled a grin of mockery.

The Duke of Alençon was as incapable of continued dissimulation, as he
was incapable of firmness of purpose; and when La Mole again
approached him, he frowned sulkily, and, turning his back upon his
favourite, was about to quit the room.

"Shall I accompany my lord duke?" said La Mole, with his usual
careless demeanour, although he saw the storm gathering, and guessed
immediately from what quarter the wind had blown, but not the awful
violence of the hurricane.

"No--I want no traitors to dog my footsteps," replied Alençon, unable
any longer to restrain himself, in spite of his mother's instructions.

"There are no traitors here," replied his favourite proudly. "I could
have judged, my lord, that the Queen-mother had been with you, had I
not seen her enter your apartment. Yes--there has been treachery on
foot, it seems, but not where you would say. Speak boldly, my lord,
and truly. Of what does she accuse me?"

"Traitor! double traitor!" exclaimed the Duke, bursting into a fit of
childish wrath, "who hast led me on with false pretences of a
Crown--who hast made _me_--thy master and thy prince--the dupe of thy
base stratagems; who hast blinded me, and gulled me, whilst thy real
design was the interest of another!"

"Proceed, my lord duke," said La Mole calmly. "Of what other does my
lord duke speak?"

"Of Henry of Navarre, for whom you have conspired at Margaret's
instigation," replied Alençon, walking uneasily up and down the room,
and not venturing to look upon his accused favourite, as if he
himself had been the criminal, and not the accuser.

"Ah! thither flies the bolt, does it?" said La Mole, with score. "But
it strikes not, my lord. If I may claim your lordship's attention to
these papers for a short space of time, I should need no other answer
to this strange accusation, so strangely thrown out against me." And
he produced from his person several documents concealed about it, and
laid them before the Duke, who had now again thrown himself into his
chair. "This letter from Condé--this from La Brèche--these from others
of the Protestant party. Cast your eyes over them? Of whom do they
speak? Is it of Henry of Navarre? Or is it of the Duke of Alençon?
Whom do they look to as their chief and future King?"

"Philip, forgive me--I have wronged you," said the vacillating Duke,
as he turned over these documents from members of the conspiracy that
had been formed in his own favour. "But, gracious Virgin!--I now
remember my mother knows all--she is fearfully incensed against you.
She spoke of your arrest."

"Already!" exclaimed La Mole. "Then it is time to act! I would not
that it had been so soon. But Charles is suffering--he can no longer
wield the sceptre. Call out the guard at once. Summon your fiends.
Seize on the Louvre."

"No--no--it is too late," replied the Duke; "my mother knows all, I
tell you. No matter whether for me or for another, but you have dared
to attack the rights of my brother of Anjou--and that is a crime she
never will forgive."

"Then act at once," continued his favourite, with energy. "We have
bold hearts and ready arms. Before to-night the Regency shall be
yours; at Charles's death the Crown."

"No, no--La Mole--impossible--I cannot--will not," said Alençon in

"Monseigneur!" cried La Mole, with a scorn he could not suppress.

"You must fly, Philip--you must fly!" resumed his master.

"No--since you will not act, I will remain and meet my fate!"

"Fly, fly, I tell you! You would compromise me, were you to remain,"
repeated the Duke. "Every moment endangers our safety."

"If such be your command," replied La Mole coldly, "rather than
sacrifice a little of your honour, I will fly."

"They will be here shortly," continued Alençon hurriedly. "Here, take
this cloak--this jewelled hat. They are well known to be mine. Wrap
the cloak about you. Disguise your height--your gait. They will take
you for me. The corridors are obscure--you may cross the outer court
undiscovered--and once in safety, you will join our friends.

La Mole obeyed his master's bidding, but without the least appearance
of haste or fear.

"And I would have made that man a king!" he murmured to himself, as,
dressed in the Duke's cloak and hat, he plunged into the tortuous and
gloomy corridors of the Louvre. "That man a king! Ambition made me
mad. Ay! worse than mad--a fool!"

The Duke of Alençon watched anxiously from his window, which dominated
the outer court of the Louvre, for the appearance of that form,
enveloped in his cloak; and when he saw La Mole pass unchallenged the
gate leading without, he turned away from the window with an
exclamation of satisfaction.

A minute afterwards the agents of the Queen-mother entered his


The approach of winter is always a serious time. When the fields are
cleared, and the produce of our harvest has been gathered into the
yard and the barn, we begin to hold a general count and reckoning with
the earth, and to calculate what amount of augmented riches we have
drawn from the bosom of the soil. When the investigation proves
satisfactory, the result is but slightly recorded. Our ancestors, with
just piety and gratitude, were accustomed to set apart whole days for
thanksgiving to the Almighty Being who had blessed the labours of the
year; we--to our shame be it said--have departed from the reverent
usage. We take a good season as if it were no more than our appointed
due--a bad one comes upon us with all the terrors of a panic.

But there are seasons frequently occurring which vary between the one
and the other extreme; and these are they which give rise to the most
discussion. It is unfortunately the tactics, if not the interest, of
one great party in the nation, to magnify every season of scarcity
into a famine for the purpose of promoting their own cherished
theories. A bad August and an indifferent September are subjects of
intense interest to your thorough-paced corn-law repealer; not that we
believe the man has an absolute abstract joy in the prospect of coming
scarcity--we acquit him of that--but he sees, or thinks he sees, a
combination of events which, erelong, must realize his darling theory,
and his sagacity, as a speculative politician, is at stake. Therefore,
he is always ready, upon the slightest apprehension of failure, to
demand, with most turbulent threat, the immediate opening of the
ports, in the hope that, once opened, they may never be closed again.

Our original intention was not to discuss the corn-law question in the
present article. We took up the pen for the simple purpose of showing
that, so far as Scotland is concerned, a most unnecessary alarm has
been raised with regard to the produce of the harvest; and we have not
the slightest doubt that the same exaggeration has been extended to
the sister country. Of course, if we can prove this, it will follow as
a matter of deduction, that no especial necessity exists for opening
the ports at present; and we shall further strengthen our position by
reference to the prices of bonded grain. We shall not, however,
conclude, without a word or two regarding the mischievous theories
which, if put into execution, would place this country at the mercy of
a foreign power; and we entreat the attention of our readers the more,
because already our prospective position has become the subject of
intense interest on the Continent.

It is a question of such immense importance, that we have thought it
our duty to consult with one of the best-informed persons on the
subject of practical agriculture in Scotland, or, indeed, in the
United Kingdom. Our authority for the following facts, as to the
results of the harvest in the North, is Mr Stephens, the author of
_The Book of the Farm_. His opinions, and the results of his
observation, have kindly been communicated to us in letters, written
during the first fortnight in November; and we do not think that we
can confer upon the public a greater service than by laying extracts
from these before them. They may tend, if duly weighed and considered,
to relieve the apprehensions of those who have taken alarm at the very
commencement of the cry. Our conviction is, that the alarm is not only
premature but unreasonable, and that the grain-produce of this year is
rather above than below the ordinary average. We shall consider the
potato question separately: in the meantime let us hear Mr Stephens
on the subject of the quantity of the harvest.


"I am quite satisfied in my own mind, from observation and
information, that a greater quantity of grain convertible into bread
has been derived from this harvest than from the last. Both oats and
barley are a heavy crop; indeed oats are the bulkiest crop I ever
remember to have seen in the higher districts of this country. The
straw is not only long, but is strong in the reed, and thick in the
ground; and notwithstanding all the rain, both barley and oats were
much less laid than might have been expected. In regard to wheat, all
the good soils have yielded well--the inferior but indifferently.
There is a much greater diversity in the wheat than in barley and
oats. The straw of wheat is long, and it is also strong; but still it
was more laid than either oats or barley, and wherever it was laid the
crop will be very deficient. As to the colour of all sorts of grain,
it is much brighter than the farmers had anticipated, and there is no
sprouted grain this year.

Let me relate a few instances of be yield of the crop. I must premise
that the results I am about to give are derived from the best
cultivated districts, and that no returns of yield have yet been had
from the upper and later districts. At the same time I have no reason
to suppose that these, when received, will prove in any way
contradictory. In East Lothian two fields of wheat have been tried, in
not the best soil; and the one has yielded 4-1/2, and the other very
nearly 5 quarters, per Scotch acre. Before being cut, the first one
was estimated at 2-1/2, and the second at 4-1/2 quarters. The grain in
both cases is good.

In Mid-Lothian, one farmer assures himself, from trials, that he will
reap 8 quarters of wheat per Scotch acre of good quality. And another
says, that, altogether, he never had so great a crop since he was a

In West Lothian, two farmers have thrashed some wheat, and the yield
is 8 quarters per Scotch acre, of good quality.

In the best district of Roxburghshire the wheat will yield well; while
a large field of wheat, in Berwickshire, that was early laid on
account of the weakness of the straw, which was too much forced by the
high condition of the soil, will scarcely pay the cost of reaping.
This, however, is but a single isolated instance, for a farmer in the
same county has put in 73 ordinary-sized stacks, whereas his usual
number is about 60.

In the east of Forfarshire, the harvest is represented to me as being
glorious; while in the west, there has not been a better crop of every
thing for many years. The accounts from Northumberland, from two or
three of my friends who farm there extensively, confirm the preceding
statements, in regard to the bulk and general yield of the corn crop.

I may also mention, that the samples of wheat, and oats, and barley,
presented at the Highland and Agricultural Society's Show at Dumfries,
along with the grain in the straw, were really admirable.

With all these attestations from so many parts of the country, that
are known to be good corn districts, I cannot doubt that the crop is a
good one on good soils."

       *       *       *       *       *

So much for the quantity, which, after all, is the main consideration.
The above account certainly gives no indications of famine, or even
scarcity. It contains the general character of the weight of the
harvest in the principal corn-growing districts of Scotland, and we
have no reason whatever to suppose that worse fortune has attended the
results of the husbandry in England. The next consideration is the


"Not the entire crop, but most of it, is inferior in quality to that
of last year. The barley and oats are both plump and heavy, but there
is a slight roughness about them; and yet the weights in some cases of
both are extraordinary. Potato oats were shown at Dumfries 48lb per
bushel--3lb above the ordinary weight. Barley has been presented in
the Edinburgh market every week as heavy as 56lb per quarter--about
3lb more than the ordinary weight. All the samples of wheat I have
seen in Leith in the hands of an eminent corn-merchant, weighed from
60lb to 63lb per bushel, and it has been as high as 66lb in the
Edinburgh market. I also saw samples of Essex wheat above 60lb, as
well as good wheat from Lincolnshire.

Now such weights could not be indicated by grain at the end of a wet
harvest, unless it were of good quality.

The quality is much diversified, especially in wheat; some of it not
weighing above 48lb per bushel. The winnowings from all the grains
will be proportionally large; although, in the case of barley and
oats, had every pickle attained maturity, the crop would probably have
exceeded the extraordinary one of 1815. But though heavy winnowings
entail decided loss to the farmer, yet human beings will not be the
greatest sufferers by them; the loss will chiefly fall on the poor
work-horses, as they will be made to eat the light instead of the good
corn, which latter will be reserved for human food. The light oats
will no doubt be given to horses in larger quantities than good corn,
and the light barley will be boiled for them in mashes probably every

The beans are a heavy crop in _straw_ every where; and bean-straw,
when well won, is as good for horses in winter as hay; while in
certain districts, such as on the Border, the beans will also be good.

With all these facts before me, I cannot make myself believe that we
are to experience any thing approaching to the privation of famine, so
far as the grain crop is concerned."

       *       *       *       *       *

Our practical experience in these matters is so limited, that we feel
diffident in adding any thing to these remarks of Mr Stephens. We may,
however, be permitted to express a doubt whether the average quality
of the crop has yet been satisfactorily ascertained. It is well known
that the farmer rarely brings his best wheat into the earliest market,
because it is his interest to thrash out that part of the crop which
may have sustained a partial damage, as soon as possible; and in these
circumstances it usually follows, that the worst wheat is first
exposed for sale. In like manner he wishes to dispose of his inferior
barley first. In regard to oats, the inferior portions find
consumption at home by the horses. In ordinary seasons, any wheat or
barley that may have shown symptoms of heating in the stacks are first
presented at market; but in this season, when there is no heated
grain--thanks to the low temperature and the precautions used in
stacking--the high prices have tempted the farmers to thrash both
wheat and barley earlier than usual, in order to meet the demands for
rent and wages at Martinmas--a term which, owing to the lateness of
the season, followed close on the termination of the harvest. This
peculiarity of the season may, perhaps, account for the large supplies
of wheat presented for some weeks past at Mark Lane--to the extent, we
understand, of from 30,000 to 40,000 quarters more than last year at
the same period. It is more than probable that the largest proportion
of the land in fallow has been sown with old wheat, as it was early
ascertained that the harvest would be unusually late. There is always
more bare fallow in England than in Scotland, and the old wheat having
been thus disposed of, the earlier portion of the new grain was
brought to market, and not appropriated for its usual purpose. We
must, however, conclude, that the crop--at all events the wheat--is
inferior to that of former years. This has generally been attributed
to the wetness of the season, in which view our correspondent does not
altogether concur; and we are glad to observe that on one important
matter--namely, the fitness of this year's grain for seed--his
opinions are decidedly favourable.


"I am of opinion, that the inferiority of the wheat in poor lands,
both as regards quantity and quality, has not arisen from the wetness
of the season, but from the _very low degree of temperature_ which
prevailed at the blooming season in the end of June, and which
prevented the pollen coming to maturity, and therefore interfered with
the proper fecundation of the plant. I observed that, during all that
time, the rain did not fall in so large quantities as afterwards, but
the thermometer averaged so low as from 48° to 52°, even during the
day, and there was a sad want of sunshine. And it is an ascertained
fact, that wheat will _not fecundate at all_ in a temperature which
does not exceed 45°, accompanied with a gloomy atmosphere. This theory
of the influence of a low temperature also accounts for the quantity
of _light_ wheat this year; for the side of the ear that was exposed
to the cold breeze which blew constantly from the north-east during
the period of blooming, would experience a more chilly atmosphere than
the other side, which was comparatively sheltered, and therefore its
fecundation would be most interfered with.

I may mention a peculiar characteristic of this year, if we take into
consideration the wetness of the season; which is, that scarcely a
sprouted ear of corn is to be found any where, notwithstanding that
the crop was laid in many instances. This immunity from an evil which
never fails to render grain, so affected, useless for human food, has
no doubt been secured by the _low temperature of the season_. It was
an observed fact, that immediately after the falls of rain, whether
great or moderate, a firm, drying, cool breeze always sprang up, which
quickly dried the standing and won the cut corn at the same time; and
the consequence has been, that the entire crop has been secured in the
stack-yard in a safe state. All the kinds of grain, therefore, may be
regarded as being in a _sound_ state; and, on that account, even the
lighter grains will be quite fit for seed next year."

       *       *       *       *       *

The point on which the nation at large is principally interested, is,
of course, the price of bread. It is quite evident that the cost of
manufactured flour ought, in all cases, to remain in just proportion
with the value of the raw material. Unfortunately that proportion is
not always maintained. The baker is a middleman between the farmer and
the public, between the producing and the consuming classes. Amongst
those who follow that very necessary trade, there exists a combination
which is not regulated by law; and the consequence is, that, whenever
a scarcity is threatened, the bakers raise the price of the loaf at
pleasure, and on no fixed principle corresponding with the price of
corn. Few persons are aware at what rate the quartern loaf _ought to
be sold_ when wheat is respectively at 50s., 60s., or 70s. per
quarter: they are, however, painfully sensitive when they are
subjected to an arbitrary rise of bread and their natural conclusion
is, that they are taxed on account of the dearness of the grain. The
number of those who buy grain or who study its fluctuations, is very
small; but every one uses bread, and the monthly account of the baker
is a sure memento of its price. Let us see how the middle functionary
has behaved.


"The price of bread is very high already, and is not likely to fall;
and the reason a baker would assign for this is the high price of
wheat--a very plausible reason, and to which most people would too
good-naturedly assent; but examine the particulars of the case, and
the reason adduced will be found based on a fallacy. During all the
last year, the aggregate average price of wheat never exceeded 56s. a
quarter, and in that time the price of the 4lb loaf was 5-1/2d.; at
least I paid no more for it with ready money. The highest mark that
wheat has yet attained in this market, is 88s. per quarter, and it is
notorious that this market has, for the present year, been the dearest
throughout the kingdom. As 10s. a quarter makes a difference of 1d. in
the 4lb loaf, the loaf, according to this scale--which, be it
remarked, is of the bakers' own selection--should be at 8-1/2d. when
the wheat is at 88s. Can you, nevertheless, believe that, _whilst the
present price of bread_ is 8-1/2d. _the loaf_ is made wholly of wheat
which cost the bakers 88s. the quarter? The bakers tell you they
always buy the best wheat, and yet, though they are the largest buyers
in the wheat market, the aggregate average of the kingdom did not
exceed 58s. 6d. on the 8th November. The truth is, the bakers are
trying to make the most they can; and they are not to blame, provided
their gains were not imputed to the farmers. But we all know, that
when bread gets inordinately high in price, clamour is raised against
_dear wheat_--that is, against the farmer--and this again is made the
pretext for _a free trade in corn_; whilst the _high price secured to
the baker by the privilege of his trade_ is left unblamed and

       *       *       *       *       *

Had the Court of Session thought proper to retain in observance the
powers to which it succeeded after the abolition of the Privy Council,
and which for some time it executed, we certainly should have applied
to their Lordships for an Act of Sederunt to regulate the proceedings
of Master Bakers. But, as centralisation has not even spared us an
humble Secretary, we must leave our complaint for consideration in a
higher quarter. Our correspondent, however, is rather too charitable
in assuming that the bakers are not to blame. We cannot, for the life
of us, understand why they are permitted to augment the price of
bread, the great commodity of life, at this enormous ratio, in
consequence of the rise of corn. Surely some enactment should be
framed, by which the price of the loaf should be kept in strict
correspondence with the average price of grain, and some salutary
check put upon a monopoly, which, we are convinced, has often afforded
a false argument against the agricultural interests of the country.

Such we believe to be the true state of the grain crop throughout the
kingdom generally. How, from such a state of things, any valid
argument can be raised for opening the ports at this time, we are
totally at a loss to conceive. The only serious feature connected with
the present harvest, is the partial failure of the potato crop, to
which we shall presently refer. But, so far as regards corn, we
maintain that there is no real ground for alarm; and further, there is
this important consideration connected with the late harvest, which
should not be ungratefully disregarded, that two months of the grain
season have already passed, and the new crop remains comparatively
untouched, so that it will have to supply only ten months' consumption
instead of twelve: and should the next harvest be an early one, which
we have reason to expect after this late one, the time bearing on the
present crop will be still more shortened. Nor should the fact be
overlooked, that two months' consumption is equal to 2,000,000
quarters of wheat--an amount which would form a very considerable item
in a crop which had proved to be actually deficient.

But as there has been a movement already in some parts of Scotland,
though solely from professed repealers, towards memorialising
government for open ports on the ground of special necessity, we shall
consider that question for a little; and, in doing so, shall blend the
observations of our able correspondent with our own.

Such a step, we think, at the present moment, would be attended with
mischief in more ways than one. There can be no pretext of a famine at
present, immediately after harvest; and the natural course of events
in operation is this, that the dear prices are inducing a stream of
corn from every producing quarter towards Britain. In such
circumstances, if you raise a cry of famine, and suspend the
corn-laws, that stream of supply will at once be stopped. The
importers will naturally suspend their trade, because they will then
speculate, not on the rate of the import duty, which will be
absolutely abolished by the suspension, but on the rise of price in
the market of this country. They will therefore, as a matter of
course--gain being their only object--withhold their supplies, until
the prices shall have, through panic, attained a famine price here;
and then they will realize their profit when they conceive they can
gain no more. In the course of things at present, the price of fine
wheat is so high, that a handsome surplus would remain to foreigners,
though they paid the import duty. Remove that duty, and the foreigner
will immediately add its amount to the price of his own wheat. The
price of wheat would then be as high to the consumer as when the duty
remained to be paid; while the amount of duty would go into the
pockets of the foreigner, instead of into our own exchequer. At
present, the finest foreign wheat is 62s. in bond--remove the present
duty of 14s., and that wheat will freely give _in the market_ 80s. the

It is, therefore, clear that such an expedient as that of suspending
the corn-laws merely to include the bonded wheat to be entered for
home consumption, would, in no degree, benefit the consumer. The
quantity of wheat at present in bond does not exceed half-a-million of
quarters--the greatest part of which did not cost the importer 30s.
per quarter. At least we can vouch for this, that early last summer,
when the crop looked luxuriant, 5000 quarters of wheat in bond were
actually offered in the Edinburgh market for 26s., and were sold for
that sum, and allowed to remain in bond. It still remains in bond, and
could now realise 62s. Here, then, is a realisable profit of 36s. per
quarter, and yet the holder will not take it, in the expectation of a

We cannot think that Sir Robert Peel would sanction a measure so
clearly and palpably unwise, for the sake of liberating only half a
million quarters of wheat, which is the calculated consumption of a
fortnight. But the late frequent meetings of the Privy Council have
afforded an admirable opportunity for the alarmists to declaim upon
coming famine. Matters, they say, must be looking serious indeed, when
both Cabinet and Council are repeatedly called together; and they jump
at the conclusion, that suspension of the corn-law is the active
subject of debate. We pretend to no special knowledge of what is
passing behind the political curtain; but a far more rational
conjecture as to the nature of those deliberations may be found in the
state of the potato crop, and the question, whether any succedaneum
can be found for it. Perhaps it would be advisable to allow Indian
corn, or maize, to come in duty-free; if not as food for people, it
would feed horses, pigs, or poultry, and would make a diversion in
favour of the consumption of corn to a certain extent; and such a
relaxation could be made without interfering with the _corn_-laws, for
maize is not regarded as corn, but stands in the same position as rice
and millet. We might try this experiment with the maize, as the Dutch
have already forestalled the rice market.

If the state of the harvest is such as we conscientiously believe it
to be, there can be no special reason--but rather, as we have shown,
the reverse--for suspending the action of the corn-laws at this
particular juncture. If the enactment of that measure was founded on
the principle of affording protection to the farmer, why interfere
with these laws at a time when any apprehension of a famine is
entirely visionary? And since there is a large quantity of food in the
country, the present prices are certainly not attributable to a
deficiency in the crop, and are, after all, little more than
remunerative to the farmers who are raisers of corn alone. The present
rents could not possibly be paid from the profits of the growth of
corn. It is the high price of live stock which keeps up the value of
the land. The aggregate average price of wheat throughout the kingdom
is only 58s. 6d., upon which no rational argument can be founded for
the suspension of the laws of the country. Besides the working of the
corn-laws will in its natural course effect all that is desirable; at
any rate it does not prevent the introduction of foreign grain into
the market. The present state of the grain-market presents an apparent
anomaly--that is, it affords a high and a low price for the same
commodity, namely wheat; but this difference is no more than might
have been anticipated from the peculiar condition of the wheat crop,
which yields good and inferior samples at the same time. It can be no
matter of surprise that fine wheat should realise good prices, or that
inferior wheat should only draw low prices. The high price will
remunerate those who have the good fortune to reap a crop of wheat of
good quality, and the low prices of the inferior wheat will have the
effect of keeping the aggregate average price at a medium figure, and,
by maintaining a high duty, will prevent the influx of inferior grain
to compete with our own inferior grain in the home market. The law
thus really affords protection to those who are in need of it--namely,
to such farmers as have reaped an inferior crop of wheat; while those
foreigners who have fine wheat in bond, or a surplus which they may
send to this country, can afford to pay a high duty on receiving a
high price for their superior article. Taking such a state of things
into consideration, we cannot conceive a measure more wise in its
operation, inasmuch as it accommodates itself to the peculiar
circumstances of the times, than the present form of the corn-law.

Were that law allowed to operate as the legislature intended, it would
bring grain into this country whenever a supply was actually
necessary; but we cannot shut our eyes to the mischievous effects
which unfounded rumours of its suspension have already produced in the
foreign market. Owing to these reports, propagated by the newspapers,
the holders of wheat abroad have raised the price to 56s. a quarter,
free on board; and as the same rumours have advanced the freight to
6s. a quarter, wheat cannot _now_ be landed here in bond under 66s.
The suspension of the corn-law would tend to confirm the panic abroad,
and would therefore increase the difficulties of our corn-merchants,
in making purchases of wheat for this market. It seems to us very
strange that sensible men of business should be so credulous as to
believe every idle rumour that is broached in the newspapers, so
evidently for party purposes; for the current report of the immediate
suspension of the corn-law originated in the papers avowedly inimical
to the Ministry. The character of the League is well known. That body
has never permitted truth to be an obstacle in the way of its

So much for corn and the corn-laws. But there is a more serious
question beyond this, and that is the state of the potatoes. If we are
to believe the journals, more especially those which are attached to
the cause of the League, the affection has spread, and is spreading to
a most disastrous extent. Supposing these accounts to be true, we say,
advisedly, that it will be impossible to find a substitute for the
potato among the vegetable productions of the world; for neither wheat
nor maize can be used, like it, with the simplest culinary
preparation. There can be no doubt that in some places this affection
is very prevalent, and that a considerable part of the crop in certain
soils has been rendered unfit for ordinary domestic use. It is
understood that the Lord-Advocate of Scotland has issued a circular to
the parish clergymen throughout the kingdom, requesting answers to
certain queries on this important subject. The information thus
obtained will no doubt be classified, so that the government will
immediately arrive at a true estimate of the extent of damage

In the mean time we have caused enquiry to be made for ourselves, and
the result, in so far as regards Scotland, is much more favourable
than we had expected, considering the extent of the first alarm. We
have seen accounts _from every quarter of the kingdom_, and the
following report may therefore be relied on as strictly consistent
with fact.

It appears, on investigation, that no traces whatever of the complaint
have yet been found in the northern half of Scotland. The crop in the
upper parts of Forfarshire and Perthshire is quite untainted, and so
across the island. When we consider what a vast stretch of country
extends to the north of Montrose, the point beyond which, as our
informants say, this singular affection has not penetrated, we shall
have great reason to be thankful for such a providential immunity. Our
chief anxiety, when we first heard of the probable failure, was for
the Highlands, where potato plant furnishes so common and so necessary
an article of food. We know by former experience what bitter privation
is felt during a bad season in the far glens and lonely western
islands; and most rejoiced are we to find, that for this winter there
is little likelihood of a repetition of the same calamity.
Argyleshire, however, except in its northern parishes has not escaped
so well. We have reason to believe that the potatoes in that district
have suffered very materially, but to what extent is not yet
accurately ascertained.

In the Lowlands the accounts are more conflicting; but it is
remarkable that almost every farmer confesses now, that his first
apprehensions were greatly worse than the reality. On examination, it
turns out that many fields which were considered so tainted as to be
useless, are very slightly affected: it is thus apparent that undue
precipitation has been used in pronouncing upon the general character
of the crop from a few isolated samples. Some districts appear to have
escaped altogether; and from a considerable number we have seen
reports of a decided abatement in the disease.

In short, keeping in view all the information we have been able to
collect, the following seems to be the true state of the case:--The
crop throughout Scotland has been a very large one, but one-half of it
is affected to a greater or less degree. About a fourth or a fifth of
this half crop is so slightly damaged, that the unusual amount of
produce will more than compensate the injury. The remainder is
certainly worse. Of this, however, a considerable proportion has been
converted into starch--an expedient which was early recommended in
many quarters, wisely adopted by the prudent, and may yet be
extensively increased. An affected potato, unless its juices were
thoroughly fermented, and decomposition commenced, will yield quite as
good starch as the healthy root, and all this may be considered as
saved. Potato starch or farina, when mixed with flour, makes a
wholesome and palatable bread. In some districts the doubtful potatoes
are given to the cattle in quantities, and are considered excellent
feeding. This also is a material saving.

The spread of the complaint, or rather the appearance of its worst
symptoms, seems to depend very much on the mode of management adopted
after the potatoes are raised. A friend of ours in Mid-Lothian, who
has paid much attention to agriculture, has saved nearly the whole of
his crop, by careful attention to the dryness of the roots when
heaped, by keeping these heaps small and frequently turned, and, above
all, by judicious ventilation _through them_. A neighbouring farmer,
who had an immense crop, but who did not avail him of any of these
precautions, has suffered most severely.

One letter which we have received is of great importance, as it
details the means by which an affected crop has been preserved. We
think it our duty to make the following extract, premising that the
writer is an eminent practical farmer in the south of Scotland:--"I
had this year a large crop of potatoes, but my fields, like those of
my neighbours, did not escape the epidemic. On its first appearance, I
directed my serious attention to the means of preserving the crop.
Though inclined to impute the complaint to a deeper cause than the
wetness of the season, I conceived that damp would, as a matter of
course, increase any tendency to decay, and I took my measures
accordingly. Having raised my potatoes, I caused all the sound ones,
which seemed free from spot and blemish, to be carefully picked by the
hand; and, having selected a dry situation in an adjoining field, I
desired them to be heaped there in quantities, none of which exceeded
a couple of bolls. The method of pitting them was this:--On a dry
foundation we placed a layer of potatoes, which we covered with sandy
mould, though I don't doubt straw would do as well; above that,
another layer, also covered; and so on, keeping the potatoes as
separate from each other as possible. We then thatched and covered
them over as usual with straw, leaving ventilators on the top. I have
had them opened since, and there is no trace whatever of any decay,
which I attribute to the above precautions, as others in the
neighbourhood, whose potatoes grew in exactly similar soil, have lost
great part of their crop by heaping them in huge masses. Ventilation,
you may depend upon it, is a great preservative. I have, I think,
arrested the complaint even in affected potatoes, by laying them out
(not heaping them) on a dry floor, in a covered place where there is a
strong current of air. They are not spoiling _now_; and when the
unsound parts are cut out, we find them quite wholesome and fit for
use. I am of opinion, therefore, that by using due caution, the
progress of the complaint, so far as it has gone, may in most cases be
effectually checked."

We are, therefore, almost certain, that when the damaged portion is
deducted from the whole amount of the crop, there still remains an
ample store of good potatoes for the consumption of the whole
population--that is, if the potatoes were distributed equally through
the markets. This, however, cannot be done, and, therefore, there are
some places where this vegetable will be dear and scarce. The farmer
who has a large crop of sound potatoes, and who does not reside in an
exporting part of the country, will naturally enough use his
superfluity for his cattle; and this cannot be prevented. We hope,
however, that the habitual thrift of our countrymen will cause them to
abstain, as much as possible, from wasting their extra stock in this
manner, more especially as there is abundance of other kinds of
fodder. They will command a high price as an esculent, and perhaps a
higher, if they are preserved for the purposes of seed. Exportation
also should be carried on cautiously; but we repeat, that the general
tenor of our information is so far satisfactory, that it exhibits
nothing more than a partial affection of the crop in the southern
districts, and the majority of those are compensated by a good
provision of corn.

In addition to these statistics, obtained from many and various
sources, we have been favoured with the opinion of Mr Stephens, which
we now subjoin:--


"This affection I do not regard as a disease--but simply as a
rottenness in the tuber, superinduced by the combination of a low
temperature with excessive moisture, during the growing season of that
sort of root, when it is most liable to be affected on account of its
succulent texture.[39] A friend informs me that he remembers the same
kind of rottenness seizing the potato crop of the country in the late
and wet season of 1799; and, as a consequence, the seed potato for the
following crop fetched as high a price as 26s. the boll of 5 cwt.[40]
I am inclined to believe, however, that the effects of this rot are
much exaggerated. It is, in the first place, said to be poisonous; and
yet pigs, to my certain knowledge, have been fed on spoiled potatoes
alone, on purpose, with impunity. There is little outcry made against
rot in the dry soils of Perthshire and Forfarshire, and these are the
two most extensive districts from which potatoes are shipped for
London. There are farmers in various parts of the country who warrant
the soundness of the potatoes they supply their customers. The
accounts of the potato crop from the Highland districts are most
favourable. I believe the fact will turn out to be this, that, like
corn, the potatoes will not only be a good, but a great crop, in all
the _true potato soils_--that is, in deep dry soils on a dry subsoil,
whether naturally so, or made so by draining--and that in all the
heavy soils, whether rich or poor, they are rotting.

A short time will put an end to all conjecture on the state of the
potato crop, and afford us facts upon which we shall be able to reason
and judge aright."

       *       *       *       *       *

As the question of seed is always a most important one, whenever a new
disease or partial affection of so staple a product is discovered, it
may not be useless to note down Mr Stephens' ideas, in regard to the
supposed destruction of the vegetative principle in part of the
affected crop--


"I would feel no apprehension in employing such affected potatoes for
seed, next spring, as shall be preserved till that time; because I
believe it to be the case that the low temperature enfeebled the
vegetative powers of the plant so much as to disable it from throwing
off the large quantity of moisture that was presented to it; and I
therefore conclude that any rot superinduced by such causes cannot
possess a character which is hereditary. There seems no reason,
therefore, why the complaint should be propagated in future, in
circumstances favourable to vegetation; and this opinion is the more
likely to be true, that it is not inconsistent with the idea of the
disease of former years having arisen from a degenerate state of the
potato plant, since low temperature and excessive moisture were more
likely to affect a plant in a state of degeneracy than when its
vitality remains unimpaired.

There is no doubt that this affection of the potato is general, and it
is quite possible that it may yet spread. This, however, is a question
which cannot yet be solved, and certainly, so far as we know, the
Highlands, and the Orkney and Shetland Isles, have hitherto escaped.
The portion of the crop as yet actually rendered unfit for human food,
does not perhaps exceed one-fourth in parts of the country whence
potatoes are exported; and could the affection be stopped from
spreading further than this, there would still be a sufficiency of
potatoes for the consumption of _human beings_, as the crop is
acknowledged to be a large one in the best districts. Much, however,
depends upon our ability to arrest the affection, or its cessation
from other causes.

It is known that rotten potatoes, like rotten turnips, when left in
heaps in contact with sound ones, will cause the latter to rot. Aware
of this fact, farmers have, this last year, caused the potatoes in the
heaps, as soon as the lifting of the crop was over, to be individually
examined, and placed the sound ones in narrow, low pits, mixed with
some desiccating substance, and covered with straw and earth. When the
pits were opened for examination, the rot was found to have spread
very much, in consequence of the dampness and heat which was so
diffused throughout the pits. This is an effect that might have been
anticipated. Had the precaution been used of taking up the crop in
small quantities at a time, or of spreading the potatoes on the ground
when the weather was fair, or in sheds when wet--and of allowing them
to be exposed to the air until they had became tolerably firm and dry;
and had the sound potatoes been then selected by hand, piled together,
and afterwards put into smaller pits, it is probable that a much less
proportion of any crop that was taken up would have been lost. Such a
plan, no doubt, would have caused a protracted potato harvest, but the
loss of time at that period, in performing the necessary work of
selection, is a small consideration compared with an extensive injury
to the crop. It is no doubt desirable to have the potato land ploughed
for wheat as soon as possible after the potatoes have been removed;
but there is no more urgency in ploughing potato than in ploughing
turnip land for wheat; and, at any rate, it is better to delay the
ploughing of the potato land for a few days, than run the risk of
losing a whole crop of so excellent an esculent.

I may here mention an experiment in regard to the potato, which shows
that a larger crop has been received by planting the sets in autumn
than in spring. Those who have tried this system on a large scale say,
that the increase is in the ratio of 111 to 80 bolls per acre. If this
is near the truth, it would indicate, that the sets may safely be
entrusted to lie in the ground all winter upon the dung; and could we
be assured of their safety there in all cases, the potatoes of this
year, selected in the manner above described, might be used as seed
this winter and preserved as such, in the ground, in a safer state
than even in the small pits. Such an experiment may be tried this
winter, in dry weather, without much risk of losing the future crop;
for if, on examination in spring, it should be found that all the sets
have rotted in the drills, there would be plenty of time to replant
the crop, in its proper season, with the sets that had survived till
that time, by the means of preservation used.

I have heard of farmers in this neighbourhood who are planting their
potato crop in this favourable weather; and it does seem very probable
that, as each set is placed at a considerable distance from the other,
and in circumstances to resist frost--namely, amongst plenty of dung
and earth--the entire number may escape putrefaction."

       *       *       *       *       *

No doubt, if the potato crop shall prove to be very generally
affected, the price of corn will rise yet farther, and may be for a
long time maintained. But this is a very different thing from a
scarcity of that article, which we believe is merely visionary. We
must be fed with corn if we cannot get the potato in its usual plenty;
and it is the certainty, or rather the expectation, of this, which has
raised the price of the former. In the course of last month (October)
we met with an admirable article on this subject, in the columns of
_Bell's Weekly Messenger_, which we do not hesitate to adopt, as clear
in its views, hopeful in its tone, and strictly rational in its


"What we predicted in one of our recent papers is daily becoming
realised to an extent which is now exciting general attention, and,
with some classes of the people, has already produced great alarm and
anxiety for the future. We stated at that time, that though the return
of fine weather, about the middle of last month, had saved the
harvest, and given us a crop much more than had been anticipated,
still there were causes in operation which would keep up the prices of
wheat and flour; and that, at least for many weeks to come wheat would
not fall in the British Market.

"It should be borne in mind that the getting in of the harvest is very
closely followed by the wheat seed-time, and that two causes are then
always operative to maintain and raise the price of wheat. There is,
first, a large call on the stock in hand for seed wheat; and,
secondly, the farmers are too busy to carry their corn into market,
and accordingly the market is ill supplied. A third cause is also in
operation to produce the same effect--that of an unreasonable alarm
always resulting from an ill-supplied market.

"It would seem astonishing and even incredible to men who argue only
theoretically, that though year after year the same uniform causes
operate, and produce exactly the same effects, yet that this aspect of
the market should continue to delude and mislead the public mind, but
so it is in the corn-market, and with the British public in general;
for though they see through a long succession of years that wheat and
flour invariably rise in the market immediately after harvest and
during seed-time, and though they ought to understand that this rise
is produced by the quantity required for seed, and by the busy
occupation of the farmers, they still perversely attribute it to
another cause, existing only in their own apprehensions, namely, that
the recent harvest has been deficient, and that the market is ill
supplied because there is an insufficient stock with which to supply

"As it is the inflexible rule of our paper to apply itself on the
instant to correct all popular errors and to dissipate all
unreasonable panics, we feel ourselves called upon to say, that the
present rise in the price of corn results only from the very serious
failure of the potato crop in many of our own counties, and still more
materially in Belgium and other foreign kingdoms. From the mere
circumstance of their numbers only, to say nothing of their habits and
necessities, an immense quantity of this food is required for the
sustenance of many millions of the community; and when the crop fails
to such an extensive degree as it has done in the present case, this
vast numerical proportion of every state must necessarily be chiefly
maintained from the stock of corn. If the potato crop fail at home,
the poor are directly thrown upon the corn-market, and the price of
corn must necessarily rise in proportion to the increased demand.
Where the potato crop has failed abroad, the supply of foreign corn
must necessarily be directed to that quarter, and therefore less corn
will be imported into the British market.

"Now, it is the expectation of this result, which, together with the
wheat seed-time and the full occupation of the farmers, is producing
the present rise in the British corn-market, and these causes will
probably continue to operate for some time longer.

"In some parts of the country, such as our northern and eastern
counties, we understand the current judgment to be, that though the
harvest has produced more bushels than in an average year, the weight
per bushel is less than last year, and that the deficiency of the
quality brings the produce down in such districts to less than an
average crop. But if we set against this the happier result of the
wheat harvest in our southern and western counties, we must still
retain our former opinion, that there is at least no present ground
for any thing like a panic, either amongst the public in general or
amongst the farmers themselves. The public as yet have no cause to
dread any thing like that very serious scarcity which some of our
papers have announced, and the farmers themselves have no cause to
apprehend such a sudden and extraordinary state of the market, as
would involve them in the general suffering of the community."

We shall now close our remarks on the subject of the Scottish Harvest.
In thus limiting our remarks to the harvest in Scotland, we have been
actuated by no narrow spirit of nationality, but have judged it right,
in treating a subject of such importance, to confine ourselves to that
portion of the United Kingdom in which we possessed means of obtaining
information which positively could be relied upon. Indeed, were it not
for the paramount importance of the question, which will soon be
founded on as a topic for political discussion, we should hardly have
addressed ourselves to the task. But we have noticed, with great
disgust, the efforts of the League to influence, at this particular
crisis, the public mind, by gross misrepresentations of our position
and prospects; and, being convinced that a more dangerous and
designing faction never yet thrust themselves into public notice, we
have thought it right, in the first instance, to collect and to
classify our facts. This done, we have yet a word or two in store for
the members of the mountebank coalition.

No evil is unmixed with good. The murmurs of the alarmists at home,
unfounded as we believe them to be, have brought out, more clearly
than we could have hoped for, the state of foreign feeling with regard
to British enterprise, and the prospects of future supply upon which
this country must depend, should the sliding-scale be abrogated and
all import duties abolished. The most infatuated Leaguer will hardly
deny, that if the corn-law had ceased to exist three years ago, and a
great part of our poorer soils had in consequence been removed from
tillage, our present position with regard to food must have been
infinitely worse. In fact, we should then have presented the unhappy
spectacle of a great industrial community incapable of rearing food
for its population at home, and solely dependent for a supply on
foreign states; and that, too, in a year when the harvests throughout
Europe, and even in America, have suffered. And here, by the way,
before going further, let us remark, that the advocates of the League
never seem to have contemplated, at all events they have never
grappled with, the notorious fact, that the effects of most
unpropitious seasons are felt far beyond the confines of the British
isles. This year, indeed, we were the last to suffer; and the memory
of the youngest of us, who has attained the age of reason, will
furnish him with examples of far severer seasons than that which has
just gone by. What, then, is to be done, should the proportion of the
land in tillage be reduced below the mark which, in an average year,
could supply our population with food--if, at the same time, a famine
were to occur abroad, and deprive the continental agriculturists of
their surplus store of corn? The answer is a short one--_Our people
must necessarily_ STARVE. The manufacturers would be the first to feel
the appalling misery of their situation, and the men whom they would
have to thank for the severest and most lingering death, are the
chosen apostles of the League!

Is this an overdrawn picture? Let us see. France at this moment is
convinced that we are on the verge of a state of famine. Almost all
the French journalists, believing what they probably wish for, and
misled by the repealing howl, and faint-hearted predictions of the
coward, assume that our home stock of provision is not sufficient to
last us for the ensuing winter. That is just the situation to which we
should be reduced _every_ year, if Messrs Cobden, Bright, and Company
had their will. What, then, says our neighbour, and now most
magnanimous ally? Is he willing--for they allege they have a
superfluity--to supply us in this time of hypothetical distress--to
act the part of the good Samaritan, and pour, not wine and oil, but
corn into our wounds? Is he about to take the noblest revenge upon a
former adversary, by showing himself, in the moment of need, a
benefactor instead of a foe? Oh, my Lord Ashley! you and others, whose
spirit is more timid than becomes your blood, had better look, ere you
give up the mainstay of your country's prosperity--ere you surrender
the cause of the agriculturist--to the _animus_ that is now manifested
abroad. We have reason to bless Heaven that it has been thus early
shown, before, by mean and miserable concession to the clamours of a
selfish interest, we have placed Britain for the first time absolutely
at the mercy of a foreign power. Scarce a journal in France that does
not tell you--loudly--boldly--exultingly--what treatment we may expect
from their hands. "At last," they say, "we have got this perfidious
Albion in our power. Nature has done for us, in her cycle, what for
centuries the force of our arms and concentrated rancour could not
achieve. The English newspapers in every column teem with the tidings
of failure. The crop of corn is bad beyond any former experience. It
cannot suffice to feed one half of the population. The potato crop
also, which is the sole subsistence of Ireland, is thoroughly ruined.
Scarce a minute fraction of it can be used for the purposes of human
food. The British Cabinet are earnestly deliberating on the propriety
of opening the ports. The public, almost to a man, are demanding the
adoption of that measure--and doubtless erelong they will be opened.

"What, then, are we to do? Are we to be guilty of the egregious folly
of supplying our huge and overgrown rival, at the moment when we have
the opportunity to strike a blow at the very centre of her system, and
that without having recourse to the slightest belligerent measures?
Are we, at the commencement of her impending misery, to reciprocate
with England--that England which arrested us in the midst of our
career of conquest, swept our navies from the seas, baffled our
bravest armies, and led away our Emperor captive? The man who can
entertain such an idea--be he who he may--is a traitor to the honour
of his country. Let England open her ports if she will, and as she
must, but let us at the self-same moment be prepared to CLOSE our own.
Let not one grain of corn, if possible, be exported from France. We
have plenty, and to spare. Our hardy peasantry can pass the winter in
comfort; whilst, on the opposite side of the Channel, we shall have
the satisfaction of beholding our haughty enemy convulsed, and
wallowing like a stranded Leviathan on the shore! We pity the brave
Irish, but we shall not help them. To do so would be, in fact, to
exonerate Britain of her greatest and primary burden."

This is the language which the French journalists are using at the
present moment. Let no Englishman delude himself into the belief that
it does not express the true sentiments of the nation. We know
something of the men whose vocation it is to compound these patriotic
articles. They are fostered under the pernicious system which converts
the penny-a-liner into that anomalous hybrid, a Peer of France--which
make it almost a necessary qualification to become a statesman, that
the aspirant has been a successful scribbler in the public journals.
And this, forsooth, they call the genuine aristocracy of talent! Their
whole aim is to be popular, even at the expense of truth. They are
pandars to the weakness of a nation for their own individual
advancement. They have no stake in the country save the grey
goose-quill they dishonour; and yet they affect to lead the opinions
of the people, and--to the discredit of the French intellect be it
recorded--they do in a great measure lead them. In short, it is a
ruffian press, and we know well by what means France has been
ruffianized. The war party--as it calls itself--is strong, and has
been reared up by the unremitting exertions of these felons of
society, who, for the sake of a cheer to tickle their own despicable
vanity, would not hesitate for a moment, if they had the power, to
wrap Europe again in the flames of universal war. Such will,
doubtless, one day be the result of this unbridled license. The demon
is not yet exorcised from France, and the horrors of the Revolution
may be acted over again, with such additional refinements of brutality
as foregone experience shall suggest. Meantime, we say to our own
domestic shrinkers--Is this a season, when such a spirit is abroad, to
make ourselves dependent for subsistence--which is life--upon the
chance of a foreign supply?

Yes, gentlemen journalists of France--whether you be peers or not--you
have spoken out a little too early. The blindest of us now can see you
in your genuine character and colours. But rest satisfied; the day of
retribution, as you impiously dare to term it, has not yet arrived.
Britain does not want your corn, and not for it will she abandon an
iota of her system.

There can be no doubt, that the news of a famine here would be
received in France with more joy than the tidings of a second Marengo.
The mere expectation of it has already intoxicated the press; and,
accordingly, they have begun to speculate upon the probable conduct of
other foreign powers, in the event of our ports being opened. Belgium,
they are delighted to find, is in so bad a situation, in so far as
regards its crop, that the august King Leopold has thought proper to
issue a public declaration, that his own royal mouth shall for the
next year remain innocent of the flavour of a single potato. This
looks well. Belgium, it is hoped, is not overabundant in wheat; but,
even if she were, Belgium owes much to France, and--a meaning asterisk
covers and conveys the remaining part of the inuendo. Swampy Holland,
they say, can do Britain no good--nay, have not the cautious Dutch
been beforehand with Britain, and forestalled, by previous purchase,
the calculated supply of rice? Well done, Batavian merchant! In this
instance, at least, you are playing the game for France.

Then they have high hopes from the ZOLLVEREIN. That combination has
evidently to dread the rivalry of British manufacture, and its
managers are too shrewd to lose this glorious opportunity of
barricado. There are, therefore, hopes that Germany, utterly
forgetting the days of subsidies, will shut her ports for export, and
also prevent the descent of Polish corn. If not, winter is near at
hand, and the mouths of the rivers may be frozen before a supply can
be sent to the starving British. Another delightful prospect for young
and regenerated France!

Also, mysterious rumours are afloat with regard to the policy of the
Autocrat. It is said, he too is going to shut up--whether from hatred
to Britain, or paternal anxiety for the welfare of his subjects, does
not appear. Yet there is not a Parisian scribe of them all but derives
his information direct from the secret cabinet of Nicholas. Then there
is America--have we not rumours of war there? How much depends upon
the result of the speech which President Polk shall deliver! _He_
knows well by this time that England is threatened with famine--and
will he be fool enough to submit to a compromise, when by simple
embargo he might enforce his country's claims? So that altogether, in
the opinion of the French, we are like to have the worst of it, and
may be sheerly starved into any kind of submission.

No thanks to Cobden and Co. that this is not our case at present. The
abolition of the corn-duty would be immediately followed by the
abandonment of a large part of the soil now under tillage. Every year
we should learn to depend more and more upon foreign supply, and give
up a further portion of our own agricultural toil. Place us in that
position, and let a bad season, which shall affect not only us, but
the Continent, come round, and the dreams of France will be realized.
Gentlemen of England--you that are wavering from your former
faith--will you refuse the lesson afforded you, by this premature
exultation on the part of our dangerous neighbour? Do you not see what
weight France evidently attaches to the repeal of our protection
duties--how anxiously she is watching--how earnestly she is praying
for it? If you will not believe your friends, will you not take
warning from an enemy? Would you hold it chivalry, if you saw an
antagonist before you armed at all points, and confident of further
assistance, to throw away your defensive armour, and leave yourselves
exposed to his attacks? And yet, is not this precisely what will be
done if you abandon the principles of protection?

Are you afraid of that word, PROTECTION? Shame upon you, if you are!
No doubt it has been most scandalously misrepresented by the
cotton-mongering orators, but it is a great word, and a wise word, if
truly and thoroughly understood. It does not mean that corn shall be
grown in this country for _your_ benefit or that of any exclusive
class--were it so, protection would be a wrong--but it means, that at
all times there shall be maintained in the country an amount of food,
reared within itself, sufficient for the sustenance of the nation, in
case that war, or some other external cause, should shut up all other
sources. And this, which is in fact protection for the nation--a just
and wise security against famine, in which the poor and the rich are
equally interested--is perverted by the chimney-stalk proprietors into
a positive national grievance. Why, the question lies in a nutshell.
Corn will not be grown in this country unless you give it an adequate
market. Admit foreign corn, and you not only put a stop to
agricultural improvement in reclaiming waste land, by means of which
production may be carried to an indefinite degree, but you also throw
a vast quantity of the land at present productive out of bearing.
Suppose, then, that next year, all protection being abolished, the
quantity of grain raised in the country is but equal to half the
demand of the population; foreign corn, of course, must come in to
supply the deficiency. We shall not enlarge upon the first argument
which must occur to every thinking person--the argument being, that in
such a state of things, the foreigner, whoever he may be, with whom we
are dealing, has it in his power to demand and exact any price he
pleases for his corn. What say the Cobdenites in answer to this? "Oh,
then, we shall charge the foreigner a corresponding price for our
cottons and our calicoes!" No, gentlemen--that will not do. We have no
doubt this idea _has_ entered into your calculations, and that you
hope, through a scarcity of home-grown corn, to realize an augmented
profit on your produce--in short, to be the only gainers in a time of
general distress. But there is a flaw in your reasoning, too palpable
to be overlooked. The foreigner _can do without calico_, but the
British nation CANNOT _do without bread_. The wants of the stomach are
paramount--nothing can enter into competition with them. The German,
Pole, or Frenchman, may, for a season, wear a ragged coat, or an
inferior shirt, or even dispense with the latter garment, if it so
pleases him; and yet suffer comparatively nothing. But what are our
population to do, if bread is not procurable except at the enormous
prices which, when you abolish protection, you entitle the foreigner
to charge? Have you the heart to respond, in the only imaginable
answer--it is a mere monosyllable--STARVE?

But suppose that, for the first two years or so, we went on
swimmingly--that there were good and plentiful seasons abroad, and
that corn flowed into our market abundantly from all quarters of the
world. Suppose that bread became cheaper than we ever knew it before,
that our manufactures were readily and greedily taken, and that we had
realised the manufacturing Eden, which the disciples of Devil's-dust
have predicted, as the immediate consequence of our abandoning all
manner of restrictions. How will this state of unbounded prosperity
affect the land? For every five shillings of fall in the price of the
quarter of wheat, fresh districts will be abandoned by the plough. The
farmer will be unable to work them at a profit, and so he will cease
to grow grain. He may put steers upon them; or they may be covered
with little fancy villas, or Owenite parallelograms, to suit the taste
of the modern philosopher, and accomodate the additional population
who are to assist in the prospective crops of calico. The cheaper corn
then is, the smaller will become our home-producing surface. The
chaw-bacon will be driven to the railroads, where there is already a
tolerable demand for him. The flail will be silent in the barn, and
the song of the reaper in the fields.

Let us suppose this to last for a few years, during which Lord John
Russell--the Whigs having, in the meantime, got rid of all graduating
scruples and come back to power--has taken an opportunity of enriching
the peerage by elevating the redoubted Cobden to its ranks. But a
change suddenly passes across the spirit of our dream. At once, and
like a thunderbolt--without warning or presage--comes a famine or a
war. We care not which of them is taken as an illustration. Both are
calamities, unfortunately, well known in this country; and we hardly
can expect that many years shall pass over our heads without the
occurrence of one or other of them. Let us take the evil of man's
creating--war. The Channel is filled with French shipping, and all
along the coast, from Cape Ushant to Elsinore, the ports are rigidly
shut. Mean time American cruisers are scouring the Atlantic, chasing
our merchantmen, and embarassing communication with the colonies.
Also, there is war in the Mediterranean. We have fifty, nay, a hundred
points to watch with our vessels--a hundred isolated interests to
maintain, and these demand an immense and yet a divided force. Convoys
cannot be spared without loss of territory, and then--what becomes of
us at home?

Most miserable is the prospect; and yet it does appear, if we are mad
enough to abandon protection, perfectly inevitable. With but a portion
of our land in tillage--an augmented population--no stored corn--no
means of recalling for two years at the soonest, even if we could
spare seed, and that is questionable, the dormant energies of the
earth!--Can you fancy, my Lord Ashley, or you, converted Mr Escott,
what Britain would be then? We will tell you. Not perhaps a prey--for
we will not even imagine such degradation--but a bargainer and
compounder with an inferior power or powers, whom she might have
bearded for centuries with impunity, had not some selfish traitors
been wicked enough to demand, and some infatuated statesmen foolish
enough to grant, the abrogation of that protection which is her
sole security for pre-eminence. What are all the cotton bales of
Manchester in comparison with such considerations as these? O
Devil's-dust--Devil's-dust! Have we really declined so far, that _you_
are to be the Sinon to bring us to this sorry pass? Is the poisoned
breath of the casuist to destroy the prosperity of those--

   "Quos neque Tydides, nec Larissæus Achilles,
    Non anni domuere decem, non mille carinæ!"

It may be so--for a small shard-beetle can upset a massive
candle-stick; and it will be so assuredly, if the protective principle
is abandoned. The first duty of a nation is to rear food for its
inhabitants from the bosom of its own soil, and woe must follow if it
relies for daily sustenance upon another. We can now form a fair
estimate of the probable continuance of the supply, from the premature
exultation exhibited in the foreign journals, and we shall be worse
than fools if we do not avail ourselves of the lesson.

[Footnote 39: "Not that I think there was more rain in the _earlier
part of summer_ than the potato crop could absorb, for it is known to
require a large supply of moisture in its growing state, in order to
acquire a full development of all its parts. It was observable,
however, that the rain increased as the season advanced, and after the
potato plant had reached its full development. It is, therefore,
probable that the increased moisture, which was not then wanted by the
plant, would become excessive; and this moisture, along with the low
temperature, may have produced such chemical change in the sap as to
facilitate the putrefaction of the entire plant. As to the theories
with respect to the presence of a fungus, or of insects, in the plant,
I consider these as a mere exponent of the tendency to a state of
putrefaction; such being the usual accompaniments of all vegetable and
animal decay."]

[Footnote 40: "I remember the wet seasons of 1816 and 1817. There was
then no rot in the potato; but, during the whole of those rainy
seasons, we had not the _continued cold_ weather which we have this
year experienced."]


  Account of a Visit to the Volcano of Kirauea, in the Island of
    Owhyhee, 591.

  Agriculture round Lucca, 619.

  Alas, for her! from the Russian of Púshkin, 141.

  Alpine scenery, sketches of, 704.

  American war, causes which fostered the, 721.

  Andes, description of the, 555.

  André Chenier, from the Russian of Púshkin, 154.

  Anti-corn-law League, strictures on the, 780.

  Apparitions, &c., letter to Eusebius on, 735.

  Armfelt, Count, 59.

  Arndt, notices of, 332, 333.

  Art, causes of the absence of taste for, 414.

  Avernus, lake, 489.

  Bacon, political essays of, 389.

  Baiæ, 488.

  Barclay de Tolly, from the Russian of Púshkin, 40.

  Baron von Stein, 328.

  Barri, Madame du, 730, 733.

  Bazars of Constantinople, the, 688.

  Beaumont, Sir George, 258, 262.

  Bell's Messenger, extract from, on the prices of grain, 779.

  Betterton's version of Chaucer, remarks on, 114.

  Bettina, sketch of the life, &c., of, 357.

  Biographical sketch of Frank Abney Hastings, 496.

  Black Shawl, the, from Púshkin, 37.

  Blanc, Mont, on the scenery of, 707.

  Blenheim, battle of, 18.

  Boas, Edward, sketches of Sweden, &c. by, 56.

  Bossuet's Universal History, characteristics of, 390.

  Bottetort, Lord, anecdote of, 724.

  Bowles, W. L., on the Dunciad, 251.

  Boyhood, a reminiscence of, by Delta, 408.

  Brabant, conquest of, by Marlborough, 665.

  Bread, causes of the present dearness of, 772.

  Bremer, Miss, the Swedish novelist, 62.

  Brentford election, the, 725.

  Brienz, scenery of the lake of, 705.

  British critics, North's specimens of the,
    --No. VI.--Supplement to Dryden on Chaucer, 114.
    --No. VI.--MacFlecnoe and the Dunciad, 229.
    --No. VIII.--Supplement to the same, 366.

  Bulwer's Last of the Barons, remarks on, 350, 353.

  Burtin on Pictures, review of, 413.

  Capital punishment, on, 131.

  Carlist war, sketches of the, 210.

  Caserta, palace of, 491.
    --silk manufactory, 492.

  Caucasus, the, from the Russian of Púshkin, 34.

  Celibacy of the clergy, effects of the, in France, 187.

  Chamouni, valley of, 707.

  Chatham, Lord, 717.

  Chaucer, Dryden on, 114.

  Chimborazo, ascent of, by Humboldt, 547.

  Choiseul, the Duc de, 730, 732.

  Churchill, critique on, 372.

  Churchill, see Marlborough.

  Clairvoyance, remarks on, 736.

  Clarke, Dr, extracts from, 555.

  Clarke's Life of James II., notice of, 4.

  Cloud, the, and the Mountain, a reminiscence of Switzerland, 704.

  Clytha house, &c., 477.

  Col de Balme, pass of the, 707.

  Colebrook, Sir George, extracts from the memoirs of, 716, 719.

  Colour in painting, remarks on, 419.

  Confessions of an English opium-eater, sequel to the, Part II., 43.

  Constable the painter, sketch of the life, &c., of, 257.

  Constantinople, Three Years in, 688.

  Convicts at Norfolk Island, management, &c. of, 138.

  Cooper, characteristics of, as a novelist, 355.

  Copenhagen, description of, 68.

  Corali, by J. D., 495.

  Corn-laws, proposed suspension of the, 773.
    --effects of the abolition of, 780.

  Cornwallis, Earl, administration of Ireland by, 731.

  Corporations of Constantinople, the, 696.

  Corsica, conquest of, by the French, 728.

  Coventry, Lady, 726.

  Coxe's Life of Marlborough, notice of, 3.

  Dalarna or Dalecarlia, sketches of, 64.

  D'Alembert, character of Montesquieu by, 395.

  Dalin, Olof von, 62.

  Danes, national character of the, 69.

  David the Telynwr; or, the Daughter's trial--a tale of Wales,
    by Joseph Downs, 96.

  Days of the Fronde, the, 596.

  Dearness of bread, causes of the present, 772.

  De Burtin on pictures, 413.

  Delta, a reminiscence of boyhood by, 408.

  Dendermonde, capture of, by Marlborough, 668.

  Despatches of the Duke of Marlborough, review of,
    --No. I. 1.
    --No. II. 649.

  Domestic manners of the Turks, the, 688.

  Downes, Joseph--David the Telynwr, a tale of Wales, by, 96.

  Drama, state of the, 178.

  Dreams, &c., letter to Eusebius on, 735.

  Drinking, prevalence of, in the 19th century, 726.

  Dryden on Chaucer, 114.
    --his MacFlecnoe, 232, 366.

  Dumas' Margaret of Valois, extracts from, 312.
    --extracts from his Days of the Fronde, 596.

  Dunciad, the, critique on, 234, 366.

  Dunning the solicitor-general, character of, 722.

  Dutch school of painting, the, 426.

  Dutem's life of Marlborough, notice of, 3.

  Echo, from the Russian of Púshkin, 145.

  Education, state of, in Turkey, 692.
    --remarks on the system of, at the English Universities, 542.

  Edward, Duke of York, character of, 719.

  Egyptian market at Constantinople, the, 700.

  English landscape painting, on, 257.

  English Opium-eater, a sequel to the confessions of the, Part II. 43.

  Epitaphs in Wales, 484.

  Esprit des Lois of Montesquieu, the, 392.
    --its characteristics, 397.

  Eugene, Prince, 14, 669.

  Eusebius, letter to, on omens, dreams, appearances, &c., 735.

  Failure of the potato crop, extent, &c. of the, 775.

  Feast of Peter the First, the, from Púshkin, 142.

  Fersen, Count, murder of, 61.

  Few passages concerning omens, dreams, appearances, &c., in a letter
    to Eusebius, 735.

  Few words for Bettina, a, 357.

  Fisher, Archdeacon, 260.

  Flemish school of painting, the, 426.

  Flour, on the rising price of, 779.

  Flygare, Emily, the Swedish novelist, 62.

  France under Louis XIV., 12.
    --prevalent feeling in, towards England, 781.

  French school of painting, the, 427.
    --Noblesse, character of the, 733.

  Garden of the Villa Reale, the, 486.

  General, the, from the Russian of Púshkin, 41.

  German school of painting, the, 427.

  Gleig's life of Marlborough, notice of, 4.

  Glenmutchkin railway, the
    --How we got it up, and how we got out of it, 453.

  Gloucester the Duke of, character of, 719.

  Goethe and Bettina, the correspondence of, 358.

  Goethe's Torquato Tasso, translations from, 87.

  Gotha canal, the, 68.

  Grafton, the Duke of, Walpole's character of, 718.

  Grain crop, quantity, &c., of the, in Scotland, 769.
    --and its quality, 770.

  Grandeur et décadence des Romains, Montesquieu's, characteristics,
    &c. of, 391, 401.

  Grand general junction and indefinite extension railway rhapsody, 614.

  Greek Revolution, sketches of the, 496.

  Griesbach, fall of the, 707.

  Guamos of South America, the, 554.

  Guilds of Constantinople, the, 696.

  Gunning, the Misses, 726.

  Gustavus Vasa, notices of, 66.

  Hahn-Hahn, the Countess, 71.

  Hakem the slave, a tale extracted from the history of Poland.
    --Chapter I., 560.
    --Chap. II., 561.
    --Chap. III., 563.
    --Chap. IV., 565.
    --Chap. V., 567.

  Hamilton, the Duchess of, 726.

  Handel, character of the music of, 573.

  Harvest, the Scottish, 769.
    --quantity of the grain crop, ib.
    --and its quality, 770.
    --cause of the inferiority of the wheat, 771.
    --and of the dearness of bread, 772.
    --state of the potato crop, 775.
    --potatoes for seed, 778.
    --rising price of wheat and flour, 780.
    --affords no argument for abolition of the corn-laws, 781.

  Hastings, Frank Abney, biographical sketch of, 496.

  Haydn, character of, 573.

  Heber, Bishop, description of the Himalayas by, 557.

  Hemp, culture of, in Italy, 620.

  Hints for doctors, 630.

  Historical romance, the, 341.

  Hogarth, Churchill's epistle to, criticised, 377.

  Holme's Life of Mozart, review of, 572.

  Horace Leicester, a sketch, 197.

  Hornes' Chaucer Modernized, remarks on, 115.

  House-hunting in Wales, 74.
    --a sequel to, 474.

  How we got up the Glenmutchkin railway, and how we got out of it, 453.

  Humboldt, 541.
    --character of his mind, 545.
    --his early life, 546.
    --sketch of his travels, 547.
    --list of his works, 548.
    --extracts from these, 549.

  I have outlived the hopes that charmed me, from Púshkin, 149.

  Ida, Countess Hahn-Hahn, 71.

  Imprisonment as a punishment, 131.

  Improvisatore, the, 626.

  Inferior quality of wheat, cause of the, 771.

  Insects common at Lucca, 623.

  Italian school of painting, the, 425.

  Italy, sketches of Lucca, 617.
    --agriculture round Lucca, 619.
    --sagena, 620.
    --lupins, ib.
    --hemp, ib.
    --trees, 622.
    --oaks, ib.
    --insects, 623.
    --ants, 624.
    --shooting fish, 625.
    --owls, 626.
    --the improvisatore, ib.
    --tables-d'hôtes, Mr Snapley, 628.
    --hints for doctors, 630.
    --private music-party, 631.

  J. D., a meditation by, 494.
    --on the old year, 495.
    --Corali, ib.
    --a mother to her deserted child, 752.
    --summer noontide, ib.
    --to Clara, 753.
    --seclusion, ib.

  James II., notices of, 7.

  James's Philip Augustus, remarks on, 353.

  Jesuitism in France, 185.
    --sources of its power, 186.

  Jones, Sir William, character of Dunning, by, 723.

  Johnson on the Dunciad, 236.

  Kames, Lord, on the Dunciad, 253.

  Kavanagh's Science of Languages, review of, 467.

  Kirauca, account of a visit to the volcano of, 591.

  Knorring, the Baroness, 62.

  Land, tenure of, in Turkey, 693.

  Landscape painting in England, 257.

  Languages, Kavanagh's Science of, reviewed, 467.

  Last hours of a reign, a tale in two parts.
    --Part I., Chapter 1, 754.
    --Chapter 2, 761.

  Law, administration of, in Turkey, 699.

  Law studies, Warren's Introduction to, reviewed, 300.

  Lay of Starkàther, the, 571.

  Lay of the wise Olég, the, from the Russian of Púshkin, 146.

  Ledyard's Life of Marlborough, notice of, 3.

  Leman, lake, scenery of, 706.

  Leslie's Life of John Constable, review of, 257.

  Letter from London, by a railway witness, 173.

  Letter to Eusebius, on omens, dreams, appearances, &c., 735.

  Lettres Persanes of Montesquieu, the, 391.

  Libraries at Constantinople, the, 690.

  Lipscomb's version of Chaucer, remarks on, 114.

  Llanos of South America, the, 551.

  Llansaintfraed lodge and church, 476.

  Llantony abbey, 485.

  Llanvair Kilgiden church, &c., 483.

  London, letter from, by a railway witness, 173.

  Louis XIV., notices of, 6, 12.

  Louis XV., character, &c., of, 714, 730, 733.

  Lowell, J. Russell, remarks on his strictures on Pope, 368.

  Lucca, sketches of; 617.
    --agriculture round, 619.

  Lucrine lake, the, 489.

  Lupins, culture of, in Italy, 620.

  MacFlecnoe and the Dunciad, 229.
    --a supplement to, 366.

  Machiavel as a historian, 389.

  Maconochie, Captain, on the management of transported criminals,
    review of, 129.

  Madonna, the, from Púshkin, 152.

  Maeler, lake, 58.

  Mahmood the Ghaznavide, by B. Simmons, 266.

  Mahon's England, remarks on, 2.

  Manner and Matter, a tale, Chapter I., 431.
    --Chapter II., 435.

  Manzoni's Promessi Sposi, remarks on, 356.

  Margaret of Valois, from the French of Dumas, 312.

  Marlborough, No. I, 1.
    --Various lives of him, 3.
    --His parentage and early career, 5.
    --Is created Lord Churchill, 7.
    --His conduct at the Revolution, 8.
    --Further honours conferred on him, 9.
    --His disgrace in 1691, and mystery attending it, ib.
    --Is restored to favour, 10.
    --Appointed commander in the Netherlands, 11.
    --His first successes, 14.
    --Defeats the French at Blenheim, 19.
    --His subsequent campaign, and causes which thwarted his success, 27.
        No. II., 649.
    --Plans for the campaign of 1705, 650.
    --Marches into Flanders, 652.
    --Defeats Villeroi, 653.
    --Thwarted by the inactivity of the Dutch, 654.
    --Victory of Ramilies, 661.
    --Subsequent operations, 664.

  Marston; or, Memoirs of a Statesman.--Part XVIII., 157.
    --Part XIX., 272.
    --Part XX. and last, 439.

  Meditation, a, by J. D., 494.

  Memoirs of a Statesman. _See_ Marston.

  Menin, siege and capture of, by Marlborough, 667.

  Mesmerism, remarks on, 736.

  Metternich, Stein's opinion of, 337.

  Michelet's Priests, Women, and Families, review of, 185.

  Mob, the, from the Russian of Púshkin, 36.

  Modern novels, characteristics of, 342.

  Monmouthshire, scrambles in, 474.

  Mont Blanc, scenery of, 707.

  Montesquieu, 389.
    --Compared with Tacitus, Machiavel, and Bacon, ib.
    --Sketch of his early life, 390.
    --Publication and character of his Lettres Persanes, 391.
    --Of the Grandeur et Decadence des Romains, ib.
    --And of the Esprit des Loix, and the defence of it, 392, 393.
    --His private life and character, and anecdotes of him, 394.
    --His death, 395.
    --Unpublished papers left by him, 396.
    --Characteristics of his works, and extracts from them, 397.
    --Causes which led to their comparative neglect, 398.

  More, Hannah, anecdotes of, 723.

  Mother, a, to her deserted child, by J. D., 752.

  Motion, from the Russian of Púshkin, 149.

  Mountain and the Cloud, the; a Reminiscence of Switzerland, 704.

  Mozart, 573.
    --Sketches of his life, 575.
    --Extracts from his letters, &c., 578.
    --Characteristics of his music, 590.

  Murillo as a painter, 420.

  Murray, Sir George, the Marlborough Despatches edited by, reviewed
    --No. I., 1.
    --No. II., 649.

  My college friends, No. II.--Horace Leicester, 197.

  Nantiglo ironworks, 485.

  Naples, see Neapolitan.

  Napoleon, from the Russian of Púshkin, 39.

  National gallery, want of a, in Great Britain, 413.

  Natural history, Waterton's essays on, second series, reviewed, 289.

  Neapolitan sketches.--garden of the Villa Reale, 486.
    --Servi de Pena, ib.
    --San Carlo, 487.
    --Pozzuoli, 488.
    --Baiæ, ib.
    --Lucrine and Avernus lakes, 489.
    --Procida, 490.
    --palace of Caserta, 491.
    --silk manufactory, 492.
    --The snake-tamer, 490.

  Newcastle, Duke of, character of, 730.

  Norfolk Island, management of convicts at, 138.

  North's specimens of the British critics.
    --No. VI. Supplement to Dryden on Chaucer, 114.
    --No. VII. MacFlecnoe and the Dunciad, 229.
    --No. VIII. Supplement to the same, 366.

  Northern lights, 56.

  Nyberg, Fru, a Swedish poetess, 57.

  Oaks in Italy, 622.

  Oberland, scenery of the, 707, 710.

  Olég, lay of, from Púshkin, 146.

  Omens, &c., letter to Eusebius on, 735.

  On the Old Year, by J. D., 495.

  Opening the ports, on the, 773.

  Opium-eater, sequel to the Confessions of an, part II., 43.

  Orinoco, description of the rapids of the, 550.

  Oscar, crown-prince of Sweden, 59.

  Ostend, capture of by Marlborough, 666.

  Overkirk, General, notices of, 653, 654, 656, 662, 664.

  Owls in Italy, 626.

  Painting and pictures, remarks on, 413.
    --characteristics of the various schools of, 424.

  Palace of Caserta, the, 491.

  Pampas of South America, the, 550.

  Paoli, the Corsican patriot, 731.

  Phipps, Mr, character, &c., of, 727.

  Pictures, De Burtin on, 413.
    --choice of subjects for, 417.
    --colouring, &c., ib.

    --Specimens of the lyrics of Púshkin, translated by T. B. Shaw.
    --No. I., 28.
    --No. II., 140.
    --Mahmood the Ghaznavide, by B. Simmons, 266.
    --A reminiscence of boyhood, by Delta, 408.
    --A meditation, by J. D., 494.
    --On the old year, by the same, 495.
    --Corali, by the same, ib.
    --The lay of Starkàther, 571.
    --The Grand General Junction and Indefinite Extension
       Railway rhapsody, 614.
    --The second Pandora, 711.
    --A mother to her deserted child, by J. D., 752.
    --Summer noontide, ib.
    --to Clara, 753.
    --seclusion, ib.

  Pompadour, Madame de, 732.

  Pope's version of Chaucer, remarks on, 119.
    --Dunciad, remarks on, 234.
    --Strictures on Lowell's criticism of him, 368.

  Potato crop, state of the, throughout Scotland, 776.
    --saving of them for seed, 780.

  Pozzuoli, 488.

  Presentiment, from the Russian of Púshkin, 152.

  Priests, Women, and Families, review of Michelet's work on, 185.

  Printing establishments in Constantinople, 691.

  Private music-party, a, 631.

  Prophecy of Famine, Churchill's, remarks on, 380.

  Procida, 490.

  Punishment, remarks on, 129.
    --its objects, ib.
    --various modes of, 131.
    --on capital, and a proposed substitute for it, ib.

  Púshkin, the Russian poet. No. II. Specimen of his lyrics, translated
       by T. B. Shaw. Introductory remarks, 28.
    --October 19th, 1825, 31.
    --The Caucasus, 34.
    --To * * *, 35.
    --The mob, 36.
    --The black shawl, 37.
    --The rose, 38.
    --Napoleon, 39.
    --The storm, 40.
    --The general, 41.
    --No. III. Introduction, 140.
    --Alas, for her! 141.
    --The feast of Peter the First, 142.
    --Town of starving, town of splendour, 143.
    --To the sea, 144.
    --Echo, 145.
    --The lay of the wise Olég, 146.
    --Remembrance, 149.
    --I have outlived the hopes that charmed me, ib.
    --Motion, ib.
    --To the slanderers of Russia, 150.
    --Presentiment, 152.
    --The Madonna, ib.
    --André Chenier, 154.

  Quietists, effects of the doctrines of the, in France, 190.

  Raffaele's Transfiguration, remarks on, 418.
    --his St Cecilia, 422.

  Ragland Castle, description of, 476.

  Railway rhapsody, the grand general junction and indefinite
       extension, 614.

  Railway witness in London, letter from a, 173.

  Railways and railway speculation, on, 633.

  Ramilies, battle of, 661.

  Reformation by punishment, on, 129.

  Reign of George III., Walpole's memoirs of the, 713.

  Religion, state of, during the eighteenth century, 714.

  Remembrance, from the Russian of Púshkin, 149.

  Reminiscence of boyhood, a, by Delta, 409.

  Reminiscence of Switzerland, a, 704.

    --Despatches of the Duke of Marlborough. No. I., 1.
    --No. II., 649.
    --Maconochie and Zschokke on punishment and reformation of
       criminals, 129.
    --Michelet's priests, women, and families, 185.
    --Leslie's life of Constable, the painter, 257.
    --Waterton's essays on natural history, second series, 289.
    --Warren's introduction to law studies, 300.
    --Kavanagh's science of languages, 467.
    --Holmes' life of Mozart, 572.
    --White's three years in Constantinople, 688.
    --Walpole's memoirs of the reign of George III., 713.

  Richelieu, Marshal, 730.

  Ritterhaus at Stockholm, the, 59.

  Romance, the historical, 341.

  Rose, the, from the Russian of Púshkin, 38.

  Russia, to the slanderers of, from Púshkin, 150.

  Sagena, culture of, at Lucca, 620.

  Saltza, Count, 68.

  San Carlo, 487.

  Sandwich, Lord, anecdote of, 724.

  Schools of painting, characteristics of the, 424.

  Science of languages, Kavanagh's, review of, 467.

  Scott's historical romances, remarks on, 345.

  Scottish harvest, the, 769.
    --quantity and quality of the grain crop, ib., 770.
    --cause of the inferior quality of the wheat, 771.
    --and of the high price of bread, 772.
    --state of the potato crop, 775.

  Scrambles in Monmouthshire, a sequel to house-hunting in Wales, 474.

  Sea, to the, from Púshkin, 144.

  Secker, Archbishop, character of, 728.

  Seclusion, by J. D., 752.

  Second Pandora, the, 711.

  Seed potatoes, saving of, 778.

  Servi de Pena, 486.

  Shaw, T. B., specimens of the lyrics of Púshkin, by, 28, 140.

  Shooting fish in Italy, 625.

  Silk manufactory of Caserta, the, 492.

  Simmons, B., Mahmood the Ghaznavide, by, 266.

  Sketches of Italy. Lucca, 617.
    --agriculture round Lucca, 619.
    --sagena, 620.
    --lupines, ib.
    --hemp, ib.
    --trees and oaks, 622.
    --insects, 623.
    --ants, 624.
    --shooting fish, 625.
    --owls, 626.
    --the improvisatore, ib.
    --tables-d'hôtes--Mr Snapley, 628.
    --hints for doctors, 630.
    --private music-party, 631.

  Smith, Sydney, on modern sermons, 714.

  Smollet's England, remarks on, 2.

  Snake-tamer, the, 493.

  Snapley, Mr, 628.

  Solitary imprisonment, effects of, 139.

  Stampe, the Countess, 69.

  Starkàther, the lay of, 571.

  Staubbach, fall of the, 706.

  Stein, the Baron von, career of, 328.

  Stephens, Mr, letters from, on the results of the harvest, 769.

  Stockholm, description of, 59.

  Storm, the, from Púshkin, 40.

  Stralsund, sketch of, 56.

  Struensee, Count, 729.

  Student of Salamanca, the. Part I., 521.
    Part II., 673.

  Summer noontide, by J. D., 752.

  Suspiria de profundis; being a sequel to the confessions of an English
       opium-eater. Part II., 43.

  Swedes, character of the, 69.

  Swift's apology for Queen Anne, &c., notice of, 4.

  Switzerland, a reminiscence of, 704.

  Tables-d'hôtes in Italy, 628.

  Tacitus, as a historian, 389.

  Tenure of land, &c. in Turkey, 693.

  Thorwaldsen the sculptor, 69.

  Three years in Constantinople; review of, 688.

  Titian, remarks on the style, &c. of, 420.

  To * * *, from the Russian of Púshkin, 35.

  To Clara, by J. D., 753.

  To the sea, from Púshkin, 144.

  To the slanderers of Russia, from Púshkin, 150.

  Torquato Tasso, Goethe's translations from, 87.

  Townsend, Charles, character of, 715.
    --his death, 719.

  Transfiguration of Raffaele, remarks on the, 418.

  Trees in Italy, 622.

  Turks, domestic manners of the, 688.

  Usk river, scenery of the, 475.

  Varnhagen von Ense, sketch of Stein by, 331.

  Villa Reale, garden of the, 486.

  Villars, Marshal, 650, 651.

  Villeroi, Marshal, 651, 652.
    --his defeat at Ramilies, 661.

  Volcano of Kirauea, account of a visit to the, 591.

  Voltaire's Age of Louis XIV., remarks on, 3.

  Von Stein, sketch of the career and character of, 328.

  Wales, sketches of, 74.

  Walpole's memoirs of the reign of George III., review of, 713.

  Warburton on the Dunciad, 253.

  Warren's introduction to law-studies, review of, 300.

  Warton, Dr, on the Dunciad, 251.

  Waterton's second series of essays in natural history, review of, 289.

  Waxholm, fortress of, 58.

  Weymouth, Lord, 727.

  Wheat crop, quantity and quality of the, throughout Scotland, 769, 770.
    --cause of its inferior quality, 771.
    --the supply abundant, 773.
    --on the rising price of, 779.

  Wild animals of South America, the, 553.

  Wilkes, John, notice of, 722, 725.

  William III., notices of, 9.
    --his death, 11.

  White's three years in Constantinople, review of, 688.

  Wordsworth's modernization of Chaucer, remarks on, 125.

  Wye, scenery of the, 481.

  Zschokke's Aehrenlese, review of, 129.

  Zumalacarregui, career of, 210.

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

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 58, No. 362, December 1845" ***

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