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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 58, Number 360, October 1845
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 58, Number 360, October 1845" ***

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generously made available by The Internet Library of Early


  No. CCCLX. OCTOBER, 1845. Vol. LVIII.


  Montesquieu,                                           389
  A Reminiscence of Boyhood. By Delta,                   408
  De Burtin on Pictures,                                 413
  Manner and Matter,                                     431
  Marston; or, the Memoirs of a Statesman. Conclusion.   439
  How we Got Up the Glenmutchkin Railway,                453
  The Science of Languages. Kavanagh,                    467
  Scrambles in Monmouthshire,                            474
  Neapolitan Sketches,                                   486
  A Meditation,                                          494
  On the Old Year,                                       495
  Corali,                                               _ib._
  Biographical Sketch of Frank Abney Hastings,           496


  _To whom all Communications (post paid) must be addressed_.






Montesquieu is beyond all doubt the founder of the philosophy of
history. In many of its most important branches, he has carried it to
a degree of perfection which has never since been surpassed. He first
looked on human affairs with the eye of philosophic observation; he
first sought to discover the lasting causes which influence the fate
of mankind; he first traced the general laws which in every age
determine the rise or decline of nations. Some of his conclusions were
hasty; many of his analogies fanciful; but he first turned the human
mind in that direction. It is by repeatedly deviating into error that
it can alone be discovered where truth really lies: there is an
alchemy in the moral, not less than in the material world, in which a
vast amount of genius must be lost before it is discovered that it has
taken the wrong direction. But in Montesquieu, besides such occasional
and unavoidable aberrations, there is an invaluable treasure of
profound views and original thought--of luminous observation and deep
reflection--of philosophic observation and just generalization. His
fame has been long established; it has become European; his sayings
are quoted and repeated from one end of the world to the other; but to
the greater part of English readers, his greatness is known rather
from the distant echo of continental fame, than from any practical
acquaintance with the writings from which it has arisen.

Though Montesquieu, however, is the father of the philosophy of
history, it is due to Tacitus and Machiavel to say, that he is not the
author of political thought. In the first of these writers is to be
found the most profound observations on the working of the human mind,
whether in individuals or bodies of men, that ever were formed by
human sagacity: in the latter, a series of remarks on Roman history,
and the corresponding events in the republics of modern Italy, which,
in point of deep political wisdom and penetration, never were
surpassed. Lord Bacon, too, had in his Essays put forth may maxims of
political truth, with that profound sagacity and unerring wisdom by
which his thoughts were so preeminently distinguished. But still these
men, great as they were, and much as they added to the materials of
the philosophy of history, can hardly be said to have mastered that
philosophy itself. It was not their object to do so; it did not belong
to the age in which they lived to make any such attempt. They gave
incomparable observations upon detached points in human annals, but
they did not take a general view of their tendency. They did not
consider whence the world had come, or whither it was going. They
formed no connected system in regard to the march of human events.
They saw clearly the effects of particular measures or systems of
government at the time, but they did not reflect on the chain of
causes which first raised up, and afterwards undermined it. Aristotle,
the most powerful intellect of the ancient world, was of the same
calibre as a political observer. He considered only the effects of the
various forms of government which he saw established around him. In
that survey he was admirable, but he never went beyond it. Bossuet's
_Universal History_ is little more than a history of the Jews; he
refers every thing to the direct and immediate agency of Providence,
irrespective of the freedom of the human will. Montesquieu first fixed
his eyes upon the rise, progress, and decay of nations, as worked out
by the actions of free agents. The _Grandeur et Décadence des Romains_
is as original as the _Principia_, and laid the foundation of a
science as sublime, and perhaps still more important to man than the
laws of the planetary bodies.

Charles Secondat, Baron de la Brede and Montesquieu, was born at the
chateau of La Brede, near Bourdeaux, on the 18th January 1689. The
estate of La Brede had been long in his family, which was a very
ancient one; it had been erected into a barony in favour of Jacob de
Secondat, his great-great-grandfather, by Henry IV. The office of
President of the Parliament (or Local Court of Justice) of Bourdeaux,
had been acquired by his family in consequence of the marriage of his
father with the daughter of the first president of that tribunal. From
his earliest years young Montesquieu evinced remarkable readiness and
vivacity of mind; a circumstance which determined his father to breed
him up to the "magistracy," as it was termed in France--a profession
midway, as it were, between the career of arms peculiar to the noble,
and the labours of the bar confined to persons of plebeian origin, and
from which many of the greatest men, and nearly all the distinguished
statesmen of France took their rise. Montesquieu entered with the
characteristic ardour of his disposition into the studies suited for
that destination; and at the age of twenty he had already collected
the materials of the _Esprit des Loix_, and evinced the characteristic
turn of his mind for generalization, by an immense digest which he had
made of the civil law. But these dry, though important studies, did
not exclusively occupy his mind; he carried on, at the same time, a
great variety of other pursuits. Like all men of an active and
intellectual turn of mind, his recreation was found not in repose, but
in change of occupation. Books of voyages and travels were collected,
and read with avidity; he devoured rather than read the classical
remains of Greece and Rome. "That antiquity," said he, "enchants me,
and I am always ready to say with Pliny--You are going to Athens; show
respect to the gods."

It was under this feeling of devout gratitude to the master minds of
the ancient world, that he made his first essay in literature, which
came out in a small work in the form of letters, the object of which
was to show, that the idolatry of most Pagans did of itself not merit
eternal damnation. Probably there are few good Christians, from
Fénélon and Tillotson downwards, who will be of an opposite opinion.
Even in that juvenile production are to be found traces of the sound
judgment, correct taste, and general thought which characterised his
later works. But he was soon thrown into the proper labours of his
profession. On the 24th February 1714, he was admitted into the
parliament of Bourdeaux as a councillor; and his paternal uncle, who
held the president's chair, having died two years after, young
Montesquieu was, on the 13th July 1716, appointed to that important
office, though only twenty-seven years of age. Probably his being
thrown thus early in life into the discharge of onerous and important
duties, had an important effect in producing that firmness and
maturity of judgment by which his mind was subsequently distinguished.
Some years afterwards, he gave a convincing proof of his fitness for
the situation, in the vigour with which he remonstrated against the
imposition of a fresh tax on wine, which had the effect of procuring
its removal at the time, though the necessities of government led to
its being reimposed some years after. But his ardent mind was not
confined to professional pursuits. He concurred in the formation of an
academy of sciences at Bourdeaux, and read some papers in it on
natural history; and his attention being in this way turned to
physical science, he wrote and published in the journals, a project
for a "Physical History of the Earth, Ancient and Modern."

But in no human being was more completely exemplified the famous

    "The proper study of mankind is man."

Montesquieu's genius was essentially moral and political; it was on
man himself, not the material world with which he was surrounded, that
his thoughts were fixed. This strong bent soon appeared in his
writings. He next read at the academy at Bourdeaux, a "Life of the
Duke of Berwick," and an "Essay on the Policy of the Romans in
Religion," which was the basis of the immortal work which he
afterwards composed on the rise and fall of that extraordinary people.
These desultory essays gave no indication of the first considerable
work which he published, which was the famous _Lettres Persanes_. They
appeared in 1721, when he was thirty-two years of age. Their success
was immediate and prodigious; a certain indication in matters of
thought, that they were not destined to durable fame. They fell in
with the ideas and passions of the time; they were not before it;
thence their early popularity and ultimate oblivion. The work was
published anonymously; for the keen but delicate satire on French
manners and vices which it contained, might have endangered the
author, and as it was he had no small difficulty, when it was known he
was the writer, in escaping from its effects. It consists in a series
of letters from an imaginary character, Usbeck, a Persian traveller,
detailing the vices, manners, and customs of the French metropolis.
The ingenuity, sarcasm, and truth, which that once celebrated
production contains, must not make us shut our eyes to its glaring
defects; the vices of the age, as they mainly contributed to its early
popularity, have been the chief cause of its subsequent decline. It
contains many passages improperly warm and voluptuous, and some which,
under the mask of attacks on the Jesuits, had the appearance, at
least, of being levelled at religion itself. No work, at that period,
could attract attention in France which was not disfigured by these
blemishes. Even the great mind of Montesquieu, in its first essay
before the public, did not escape the contagion of the age.

But, erelong, the genius of this profound thinker was devoted to more
congenial and worthy objects. In 1726, he sold his office of president
of the parliament of Bourdeaux, partly in order to escape from the
toils of legal pursuit and judicial business, which, in that
mercantile and rising community, was attended with great labour;
partly in order to be enabled to travel, and study the institutions
and character of different nations--a pursuit of which he was
passionately fond, and which, without doubt, had a powerful effect in
giving him that vast command of detached facts in political science,
and that liberal view of institutions, habits, and manners, differing
in some degree from his own, by which his philosophical writings are
so eminently distinguished. Here, as in the biography of almost all
other really great men, it is found, that some circumstances
apparently trivial or accidental have given a permanent bent to their
mind; have stored it with the appropriate knowledge, and turned it, as
it were, into the allotted sphere, and contributed to form the
_matrix_ in which original thought was formed, and new truth
communicated by Providence to mankind. In the course of his travels,
which lasted several years, he visited successively Austria, Hungary,
Italy, Switzerland, the Rhine, Flanders, Holland, and England--in the
latter of which he lived two years. During these varied travels, he
made notes on all the countries which he visited, which contributed
largely to the great stock of political information which he
possessed. These notes are still extant; but, unfortunately, not in
such a state of maturity as to admit of publication.

On his return to France, which took place in 1732, he retired to his
native chateau of La Brede, and commenced in good earnest the great
business of his life. The fruit of his studies and reflections
appeared in the _Considerations sur les Causes de la Grandeur et de
la Décadence des Romains_, which was published in 1732. Great and
original as this work--the most perfect of all his compositions--was,
it did not give vent to the whole ideas which filled his capacious
mind. Rome, great as it was, was but a single state; it was the
comparison with other states, the development of the general
principles which run through the jurisprudence and institutions of all
nations, which occupied his thoughts. The success which attended his
essay on the institutions and progress of a single people, encouraged
him to enlarge his views and extend his labours. He came to embrace
the whole known world, civilized and uncivilized, in his plan; and
after fourteen years of assiduous labours and toil, the immortal
"Spirit of Laws" appeared.

The history of Montesquieu's mind, during the progress of this great
work, is singularly curious and interesting. At times he wrote to his
friends that his great work advanced "à pas de géant;" at others, he
was depressed by the slow progress which it made, and overwhelmed by
the prodigious mass of materials which required to be worked into its
composition. So distrustful was he of its success, even after the vast
labour he had employed in its composition, that he sent his manuscript
before publication to a friend on whose judgment he could
rely--Helvetius. That friend, notwithstanding all his penetration, was
so mistaken in his reckoning, that he conceived the most serious
disquietude as to the ruin of Montesquieu's reputation by the
publication of such a work. Such was his alarm that he did not venture
to write to the author on the subject, but gave the manuscript to
another critic, Saurin, the author of a work entitled _Spartacus_,
long since extinct, who passed the same judgment upon it. Both
concurred in thinking that the reputation of Montesquieu would be
entirely ruined by the publication of the new manuscript; the
brilliant author of the semi-voluptuous, semi-infidel _Lettres
Persanes_, would sink into a mere Legist, a dull commentator on
pandects and statutes, if he published the _Esprit des Loix_, "That,"
said Helvetius, "is what afflicts me for him, and for humanity, which
he was so well qualified to have served." It was agreed between them
that Helvetius should write to Montesquieu to give him an account of
their joint opinion, that he should not give the work to the world in
its present state. Saurin, with some reason, was afraid that
Montesquieu would be hurt at their communication; but Helvetius wrote
to him--"Be not uneasy; he is not hurt at our advice; he loves
frankness in his friends. He is willing to bear with discussions, but
answers only by sallies, and rarely changes his opinions. I have not
given him ours from any idea that he would either change his conduct
or modify his preconceived ideas, but from a sense of the duty of
sincerity cost what it will, with friends. When the light of truth
shall have dispelled the illusions of self-love, he will at least not
be able to reproach us with having been less indulgent than the

Montesquieu, however, was not discouraged. He sent his manuscript to
the press with hardly any alteration, and took for his motto, _Prolem
sine matre creatam_;[1] in allusion to the originality of his
conception, and the total want of any previous model on which it had
been formed. The work appeared in the month of July 1748; and its
success, so far as the sale went, was prodigious. Before two years had
elapsed, it had gone through twenty-two editions, and been translated
into most of the European languages. This early success, rare in works
of profound and original thought, showed, that though it was in
advance of the age, it was but a little in advance; and that it had
struck a key which was ready to vibrate in the national mind. Like all
distinguished works, if it was much read and admired by some, it was
as keenly criticized and cut to pieces by others. Madame de Deffand
said it was not the _Esprit des Loix_ he had written, but _Esprit sur
les Loix_. This expression made a great noise; it had a certain degree
of truth, just enough, when coupled with epigrammatic brevity, to
make the fortune of the sayer. Encouraged by its success, the enemies
of original genius, ever ready to assail it, united their forces, and
Montesquieu was soon the object of repeated and envenomed attacks. It
was said, that to establish certain favourite theories, he availed
himself of the testimony of travellers obscure and of doubtful credit;
that he leapt too rapidly from particulars to general conclusions;
that he ascribed to the influence of climate and physical laws what
was in fact the result of moral or political causes; that he had split
the same subject into small chapters, so confusedly arranged that
there was no order or system in the work; that it was still
incomplete, and wanted the master-hand which was to put it together;
and that it resembled the detached pieces of a mosaic pavement, each
of which is fair or brilliant in itself, but which have no meaning or
expression till disposed by the taste and skill of the artist. There
was some truth in all these criticisms; it is rare that it is
otherwise with the reproaches made against a work of original thought.
Envy generally discovers a blot to hit. Malignity is seldom at a loss
for some blemish to point out. It is by exaggerating slight defects,
and preserving silence on great merits, that literary jealousy ever
tries to work out its wretched spite. The wisdom of an author is not
to resent or overlook, but in silence to profit by such sallies;
converting thus the industry and envy of his enemies into a source of
advantage to himself.

Montesquieu, in pursuance of these principles, passed over in silence
the malignant attacks of a herd of critics, whose works are now buried
in the charnel-house of time, but who strove with all the fury of envy
and disappointment to extinguish his rising fame. When pressed by some
of his friends to answer some of these attacks, he replied--"It is
unnecessary; I am sufficiently avenged on some by the neglect of the
public, on others by its indignation." The only instance in which he
deviated from this wise resolution was in replying to the attacks of
an anonymous critic, who, in a Journal entitled the _Nouvelles
Ecclesiastiques_, had represented him as an atheist. In his _Lettres
Persanes_, though he had never assailed the great principles of his
religion, he had, in his sallies against the Jesuits, gone far to
warrant the belief that he was inclined to do so; and had already done
enough in the estimation of the tyrannical and bigoted ecclesiastics
who at that period ruled the Church of France, to warrant his being
included in the class of infidel writers. But his mind, chastened by
years, enlightened by travelling and reflection, had come to cast off
these prejudices of his age and country, the necessary result of the
Romish tyranny by which it had been oppressed, but unworthy of an
intellect of such grasp and candour. In the Protestant countries of
Europe, particularly Holland and England, he had seen the working of
Christianity detached from the rigid despotism by which the Church of
Rome fetters belief, and the well-conceived appliances by which it
stimulates imagination, and opens a refuge for frailty. Impressed with
the new ideas thus awakened in his mind, he had in his _Esprit des
Loix_ pronounced a studious and sincere eulogium on Christianity;
recommending it, not only as the most perfect of all systems of
religious belief, but as the only secure basis of social order and
improvement. It was material to correct the impression, partly just,
partly erroneous, which his earlier and more indiscreet writings had
produced; and with this view he wrote and published his _Defence de l'
Esprit des Loix_. This little piece is a model of just and candid
reasoning, accompanied with a refined and delicate vein of ridicule,
which disarmed opposition without giving ground for resentment. He
congratulated himself on the fine satire with which he had overthrown
his enemies.--"What pleases me in my Defence, is not so much," said
he, "to have floored the Ecclesiastics, as to have let them fall so
gently." Posterity will find a more valuable charm in this little
production; it is, that the author in it has unconsciously painted
himself. His contemporaries have recorded, that in reading it they
could believe they heard the writer speak; and this proves that his
talents in conversation had been equal to those he displayed in
writing--a combination very rare in persons of the highest class in

The fame of Montesquieu, great as it was in his own country, was even
greater in foreign ones. In Great Britain in particular, the _Esprit
des Loix_ early acquired a prodigious reputation. It was read and
admired by all persons of thought and education. This was partly the
consequence of England being so much in advance of France in the
career of liberty--alike in matters civil and ecclesiastical. The new
ideas, hardy thoughts, and original conceptions of the great work met
with a ready reception, and cordial admiration, in the land of freedom
and the Reformation--in the country where meditation had so long been
turned to political subjects, contemplation to religious truth. But
another cause of lasting influence also contributed to the same
effect. Original genius is ever more readily and willingly admired in
foreign states than its own: a prophet has no honour in his own
country. He interferes too much with existing influences or
reputations. To foreigners, he is more remote--more like a dead man.
Human vanity is less hurt by his elevation.

The latter years of Montesquieu's life were spent almost entirely in
retirement at his paternal chateau of La Brede, varied occasionally by
visits to the great world at Paris. He was occupied in agriculture and
gardening--tenacious of his seignorial rights, but indulgent to the
last degree to his tenantry, by whom he was adored. Never was
exemplified in a more remarkable manner the soothing influence of the
recollections of a well-spent life on the felicity of its later years,
or the fountains of happiness which may be opened in the breast itself
from the calm serenity of conscious power and great achievement. He
conversed much, with the farmers and peasants on his estate, whose
houses he frequently entered, and whose convivialities, on occasion of
a marriage or a birth, he seldom failed to attend. He often preferred
their conversation to that of persons their superiors in rank or
information--"for," said he, "they are not learned enough to enter
into argument; they only tell you what they know, which frequently you
do not know yourself." Though he lived with the great when in Paris,
partly from necessity, partly from inclination, yet their society was
noways necessary to his happiness. He flew as soon as he could from
their brilliant assemblies to the retirement of his estate, where he
found with joy, philosophy, books, and repose. Surrounded by the
people of the country in their hours of leisure, after having studied
man in the intercourse of the world and the history of nations, he
studied it in those simple minds which nature alone had taught; and he
found something to learn there. He conversed cheerfully with them;
like Socrates, he drew out their talents and information; he appeared
to take as much pleasure in their conversation as in that of the
brilliant circles by which he was courted in the capital; he
terminated their disputes by his wisdom, assuaged their sufferings by
his beneficence.

In society he was uniformly affable, cheerful, and considerate. His
conversation was light, agreeable, and instructive, abounding with
anecdotes of the great number of eminent men with whom he had lived.
Like his style in writing, it was brief, _tranchant_, and
epigrammatic, full of wit and observation, but without a particle of
bitterness or satire. In common with all men of the highest class of
intellect, he was totally devoid of envy or jealousy. None more
readily applauded genius or merit in others, or was more desirous on
all occasions to bring it forward, and give it the due reward. No one
recounted anecdotes with more vivacity, a happier effect, or less
tedium. He knew that the close of all such narratives contains in
general all that is pleasing in them; and therefore he hastened to
arrive at it before the patience of his hearers could be exhausted. He
had a perfect horror at long stories. He was frequently absent, and
remained in society for some time wrapt in thought, without speaking;
but never failed, on such occasions, to make amends by some unexpected
remark or anecdote, which revived the languishing conversation. His
mind was full: no subject could be mentioned on which he was not
informed; but he never brought his knowledge ostentatiously forward,
and sought rather to draw out those around him, and lead the
conversation so as to make others shine, than to do so himself.

He was regular and methodical in his life; and this arose not merely
from his character and disposition, but the order he had prescribed to
himself in his studies. Though capable of long-continued effort and
profound meditation, he never exhausted his strength; he uniformly
changed the subject of his labour, or book, to some recreation, before
feeling the sensation of fatigue. Temperate in his habits, serene and
unruffled in his mind, he enjoyed a much larger share of happiness
than falls to the lot of most men. He was fortunately married; had
affectionate children, whose kindness and attentions solaced his
declining years; and his remarkable prudence and economy not only
preserved him from those pecuniary embarrassments so common to men of
genius, but enabled him frequently to indulge the benevolence of his
disposition by splendid acts of generosity. He frequently said that he
had never experienced a chagrin in life which an hour's reading did
not dissipate. In his later years, when his eyesight was affected he
depended chiefly on listening to reading aloud, which was done
alternately by his secretary and one of his daughters. He had every
thing which could make life happy; an ample fortune, affectionate
family, fame never contested, the consciousness of great powers nobly
applied--"I have never through life," said he in his old age, "had a
chagrin, still less an hour of ennui. I waken in the morning with a
secret pleasure at beholding the light. I gaze upon it with species of
ravishment. All the day I am content. In the evening when I retire to
rest, I fall into a sort of reverie which prevents the effort of
thought, and I pass the night without once waking."

No man ever possessed a higher sense of the dignity of intellectual
power, of its great and glorious mission, of its superiority to all
the world calls great, and of the consequent jealousy and aversion
with which it is sure to be regarded by the depositaries of political
authority. He was neglected by them; he knew it, and expected it; it
never gave him a moment's chagrin. "He was not insensible," says
D'Alembert, "to glory; but he had no desire to win but by deserving
it. Never did he attempt to enhance his reputation by the underhand
devices and secret machinations by which second-rate men so often
strive to sustain their literary fortunes. Worthy of every eloge and
of every recompense, he asked nothing, and was noways surprised at
being forgot. But he had courage enough in critical circumstances to
solicit the protection at court of men of letters persecuted and
unfortunate, and he obtained their restoration to favour." What a
picture of the first man of his age, living in retirement, asking
nothing, noways surprised at being forgot! He knew human nature well
who acted thus after writing the _Esprit des Loix_. Power loves talent
as long as it serves itself, when it is useful but manageable; it
hates it when it becomes its instructor. Self-love is gratified by the
subservience of genius in the first case; it is mortified by its
superiority in the last.

But this honoured and happy life was drawing to a close. Shortly after
the publication of the _Esprit des Loix_, the strength of Montesquieu
rapidly declined; it seemed as if nature had been exhausted by that
great production. "I had intended," said he in his journal, "to give
more extent and depth to some parts of the _Esprit des Loix_, but I
have become incapable of it. Reading has weakened my eyes; and it
seems as if the little light that still remains to them, is but the
dawn of the day when they will close for ever." His anticipations were
not long of being carried into effect. In February 1755, he was seized
with an inflammatory fever when on a visit at Paris. The utmost care
and attention was bestowed on him by a number of friends especially
the Duc de Nivernois and the Duchesse d'Aiguillon, two of his oldest
friends; but he sunk under the malady at the end of thirteen days. The
sweetness of his temper and serenity of his disposition never deserted
him during this illness. From the first he was aware of its dangerous
nature, but not a groan, a complaint, or a murmur ever escaped his
lips. The Jesuits made strenuous endeavours to get possession of him
during his last moments; but, though strongly impressed with
religions principle, he resisted all their efforts to extract from him
a declaration in favour of their peculiar tenets. "I have always
respected religion," said he; "the morality of the Gospel is the
noblest gift ever bestowed by God on man." The Jesuits strenuously
urged him to put into their hands a corrected copy of the _Lettres
Persanes_, in which he had expunged the passages having an irreligious
tendency, but he refused to give it to them; but he gave the copy to
the Duchesse d'Aiguillon, and Madame Dupré de St Maur, who were in the
apartment, with instructions for its publication, saying, "I will
sacrifice every thing to religion, but nothing to the Jesuits."
Shortly after he received extreme unction from the hands of the curé
of the parish. "Sir," said the priest, "you now feel how great is
God." "Yes," he replied, "and how little man." These were his last
words. He died on the 10th of February 1755.

Montesquieu left a great number of manuscripts and notes; but they
were in so incomplete a state, that a few detached fragments only have
been deemed fit for publication. He had written a journal of his
travels, and in particular a set of "Notes on England," which would
have been of much value had they been worked up to a mature form; but
death interrupted him when he was only in the commencement of that
great undertaking. He had begun a history of France under Louis XI.,
which is still extant, though very little progress was made in the
work. The introduction, containing a sketch of the state of Europe at
that period, is said to equal the most brilliant picture left by his
immortal hand. It is written in the terse, epigrammatic style which is
so characteristic of its author; and a few striking expressions
preserved by those who have had access to the manuscript, will convey
an idea of what the work would have been. "He saw only," said he, "in
the commencement of his reign, the commencement of vengeance."
Terminating a parallel of Louis XI. and Richelieu, which he drew much
to the advantage of the latter, he observed, "He made the monarch play
the second part in the monarchy, but the first in Europe--he lowered
the king, but he raised the Kingdom." These and similar expressions
are in Montesquieu's peculiar and nervous style, and they prove that
the work would have contained, if completed, many brilliant passages;
but they do not warrant the conclusion that the history itself would
have been of much value. There is nothing more dangerous to an
historian than great powers of epigrammatic expression; it almost
inevitably leads to the sacrifice of truth and candour to point and
antithesis. It is well for Tacitus that we have not the other side of
his story recounted by a writer of equal power, but less party spirit
and force of expression. In truth, it is probable the world has not
lost much by Montesquieu's numerous unpublished manuscripts having
been left in an incomplete state. There is no end to the writing of
romances, or the annals of human events, but there is a very early
limit to the production of original ideas, even to the greatest
intellects; to Plato, Bacon, Newton, Smith, or Montesquieu, they are
given only in a limited number. Hence their frequent repetition of the
same thoughts, when their writings become voluminous. Montesquieu has
done enough; his mission to man has been amply fulfilled.

In common with other men whose thoughts have made a great and
wide-spread impression on mankind, the originality and value of
Montesquieu's conceptions cannot be rightly appreciated by subsequent
ages. That is the consequence of their very originality and
importance. They have sunk so deep, and spread so far among mankind,
that they have become common and almost trite. Like the expressions of
Shakspeare, Gray, or Milton, they have become household words; on
reading his works, we are astonished to find how vast a proportion of
our habitual thoughts and expressions have sprung from that source.
This, however, far from being a reproach to an author, is his highest
commendation; it demonstrates at once the impression his thoughts have
made on mankind. If we would discover the step a great man has made,
we must recur to the authors in the same line who have preceded him,
and then the change appears great indeed. The highest praise which can
be bestowed on an author of original thought, is to say, that his
ideas were unknown to the authors who preceded, trite with those who
followed him.

The great characteristic of Montesquieu's thoughts, is the tracing the
operation of general and lasting causes on human affairs. Before his
time, the march of political or social events was ascribed by divines
to the immediate and direct agency of the Deity guiding human actions,
as a general moves an army; by men of the world, to chance, or the
mastering influence of individual energy and talent. Bossuet may be
considered as the most eminent of the former class. Voltaire brought
the doctrines of the latter to their highest perfection. In opposition
to both, Montesquieu strenuously asserted the operation of general
laws, emanating doubtless originally from the institutions of the
Deity, and the adaptation of the human mind to the circumstances in
which man is placed in society, but acting at subsequent periods
through the instrumentality of free agents, and of permanent and
lasting operation in all ages of the world. Machiavel had frequently
got sight of this sublime theory in his political writings; and in his
_Discorsi_ on Roman History, many of the most profound observations
ever made by man on the working of the human mind under free
institutions, and of the corresponding effects of similar principles
of action in the republics of antiquity, and of those of Italy in
modern times, are to be found. But it was Montesquieu who first
carried out the doctrine to its full extent, and traced its operation
through an infinity of historical events and political institutions.
It is to the success with which he has done this, and the combined
philosophical depth and grasp of details which his writings exhibit,
that his colossal reputation has been owing. He had prodigious
acquaintance with individual facts, united to the power of classifying
them under their proper heads, and deducing from them their general
and common principles. Like the steam-engine, he could, by turns, turn
a thread round a spindle, and elevate a seventy-four in the air. He
was the Kepler of science; like the immortal German, he had made
eighty thousand observations in the social world; but, like him, he
could deduce the few laws of national advance or decline from the
regular irregularity of their motion.

The expression, _Esprit des Loix_, selected as the title of
Montesquieu's great work, was not happily chosen. What he meant was
not the _Spirit of Laws_, but the causes from which laws have arisen;
the "_Leges Legum_," as Cicero said, to which they were owing, and
from which they had sprung. He ascribed very little influence to human
institutions in moulding the character or determining the felicity of
man. On the contrary, he thought that these institutions were in
general an effect, not a cause. He conceived that they arose, in every
country, from something peculiar in the race from which the nature
descended, or the climate, employments, or mode of earning subsistence
to which it was chained in subsequent times by the physical
circumstance in which it was placed. A certain type or character was
imprinted on every people, either by the ineradicable influence of
blood, which descends to the remotest generations, or the not less
irremovable effect of external and physical circumstances which
attaches to them through all ages. It was this blood and those
circumstances which formed the national character, and through it, in
the course of generations, moulded the national customs and
institutions. Such customs and institutions were those which, having
been framed by necessity, or the dictates of expedience, according to
the circumstances in which each people were placed, were best adapted
to their temper and situation. True wisdom consisted not in altering
but following out the spirit of existing laws and customs; and, in his
own words--"No nation ever yet rose to lasting greatness but from
institutions in conformity to its spirit." No calamities were so great
or irremediable as those which arose from disregarding the separate
characters stamped on the different races and nations of men by the
hand of the Almighty, or seeking to force upon one people or one race
the institutions which have arisen among, and are adapted to, another.

Such are the fundamental principles which run through Montesquieu's
writings, and to the elucidation of which he devoted the fifteen best
years of his life. It will readily be perceived that they are entirely
at variance with the whole doctrines of the French philosophers of the
latter part of the eighteenth century, and which were practically
enforced and carried into effect in their great Revolution. With them
institutions were every thing; national character, descent,
employment, or physical circumstances, nothing. All mankind would be
the same if they only enjoyed the same liberty, laws, and
institutions. The differences observable among them were entirely the
result of the different governments forced upon men, in various stages
of their progress, by the tyranny of kings, the force of conquest, or
the machinations of priests. One frame of institutions, one code of
laws, one set of government maxims, were adapted for all the world,
and if practically acted upon would every where produce the same pure
and upright character in the people. Vice and wickedness were the
hateful effect of aristocratic pride, kingly lusts, or sacerdotal
delusion; the human heart was naturally innocent, and bent only upon
virtue; when the debasing influence of these corrupters of men was
removed, it would universally resume its natural direction. Hence the
maxim of Robespierre--"Le peuple est _toujours bon_, le magistrat
toujours corruptible." Hence the readiness with which the
constitution-mongers at Paris set themselves to prepare skeletons of
government for all nations, and their universal identity with that
originally cast during the fervour of the Revolution for the Great
Nation. Hence also, it may be added, their experienced evils, short
duration, and universal sweeping away, within a few years, before the
accumulated suffering and aroused indignation of mankind.

It was owing to this fundamental variance between the doctrines of
Montesquieu and those of the greater part of his contemporaries, and
nearly the whole generation which succeeded him, that the comparative
obscurity of his fame after his death, and the neglect which his
writings for long experienced in France, are to be ascribed. When we
contemplate the profound nature of his thoughts, the happy terseness
and epigrammatic force of his expressions, and the great early fame
which his writings acquired, nothing appears more extraordinary than
the subsequent neglect into which, for above half a century after his
death, he fell.[2] Voltaire, Rousseau, Helvetius, Condorcet, Turgot,
and the Encyclopédists, were then at the acme of their reputation; and
their doctrines as to the natural innocence of man, and the universal
moulding of human character by political institutions, not of
political institutions by human character, were too much at variance
with Montesquieu's deductions and conclusions to admit of their
coexisting together. The experience of the Revolution, both abroad and
at home, however, erelong spread a doubt among many thinking men,
whether these doctrines were in reality as well founded as they were
universally represented to be by the philosophers of the preceding
age. Napoleon, who was thoroughly convinced of their erroneous nature,
had a high admiration for Montesquieu, and frequently quoted his
sentiments. But still the opposite set of opinions, diffused over the
world with the tricolor flag, maintain their ground with the great
majority even of well-informed men, at least in all republican states
and constitutional monarchies. The policy of England in encouraging
the revolutions of Belgium, Portugal, Spain, and the South American
republics, has, for the last thirty years, been mainly founded on the
principle, that institutions similar to those of Britain may with
safety be transferred to other states, and that it is among them alone
that we are to look for durable alliances or cordial support. The
wretched fate of all the countries, strangers to the Anglo-Saxon
blood, who have been cursed with these alien constitutions, whether in
the Spanish or Italian Peninsulas, or the South American states--the
jealous spirit and frequent undisguised hostility of America--the
total failure of English institutions in Ireland, have had no effect
with the great majority of men in this country, in rooting out these
fatal errors. More than one generation, it is apparent, must descend
to their graves before they are fairly expelled from general thought
by experience and suffering. So obstinately do men cling to doctrines,
which are flattering to human vanity, in opposition alike to the
dictates of wisdom and the lessons of experience; and so true in all
ages is the doctrine of the Roman Catholic church, that pride is the
last sin which can be conquered in the human heart.

One remarkable instance will illustrate the manner in which
Montesquieu supported the opposite principles, that institutions are
moulded by the character and circumstances of nations, not the
moulders of them. It is well known that primogeniture, though neither
the law of succession in the Roman empire, nor originally of the
nations of Northern Europe, in whom the _allodial_ customs at first
generally prevailed, came to be universally introduced with the feudal
system, and the thorough establishment of a military aristocracy in
every country of Europe. But, strange to say, there are some places
where the rule is just the reverse, and the _youngest_ son succeeds to
the whole movable estate of the father, as is still the custom of some
boroughs in England.[3] Montesquieu ascribes, and apparently with
reason, these opposite rules of succession to a similar feeling of
expedience and necessity in the different circumstances in which the
same race of Northmen were placed in different periods of their
progress. The succession of the youngest son to the father's estate
was the bequest of the patriarchal ages, when the youngest son
generally remained last at home with his aged parent, his elder
brothers having previously hived off with their herds and flocks. He
therefore naturally succeeded to the movables of which he was alone in
possession, jointly with his father, at the latter's death.

On the other hand, the descent of the whole landed estate to the
eldest son, to the exclusion of his younger brothers and sisters, was
naturally suggested by the settlement of a brave and martial race of
conquerors in extensive districts gained by their valour, and which
could be maintained only in the lands they had won by the sword. To
divide the estate in such circumstances of peril, was to expose it to
certain destruction; unity of operation in all its forms, one head,
one castle, was as indispensable as one general to an army, or one
sovereign to a kingdom. The old maxim, "divide et impera," was
universally felt to be of fearful application. Empires, duchies,
principalities, earldoms, baronies, private estates, could alone be
preserved entire, amidst the general hostility with which all were
surrounded, by descending to a single occupant. That occupant was
naturally the eldest son, the first-born of the family, the first who
arrived at man's estate, and the most capable on that account to
render the necessary protection to its various members and dependants.
Hence the general establishment of the law of primogeniture in all the
countries of Europe. And for a similar reason, when the necessity
which at first occasioned this general deviation from the feelings of
equal affection to offspring was removed by the establishment of
regular government, and general security, and the spread of commerce,
with the necessity of capital to fit out sons and daughters, had been
generally felt, this custom was silently abrogated at least in the
commercial and middle classes, and a division of the succession,
whether in land or money, into nearly equal parts, very generally took

It may readily be inferred from these observations, that the doctrines
of Montesquieu, as to the moulding of institutions by external
circumstances, and the character of nations, not of the character of
nations by institutions and forms of government, is one of the very
highest importance, not merely to speculative philosophers, but
practical statesmen. In truth, it is the question of questions; the
one thing needful to be understood both by the leaders of thought and
the rulers of men. Unless correct and rational views are entertained
on this subject, internal legislation will be perpetually at fault,
external policy in a false direction. Reform will degenerate into
revolution, conquest into desolation. The greatest calamities, both
social and foreign, recorded in the history of the last half century,
have arisen from a neglect of the maxims of Montesquieu, as to the
indelible influence of race and external circumstances on human
character, and the adoption in their stead of the doctrines of
Voltaire and Rousseau, on the paramount influence of political
institutions and general education on human felicity. Our policy, both
social and foreign, is still mainly founded on the latter basis. If
Montesquieu's principles as to no nation ever arriving at durable
greatness but by institutions in harmony with its spirit and origin,
had been generally adopted, the French Revolution, which originated in
the Anglo and American mania, and the desire to transplant English
institutions into the soil of France, would never have taken place.
Had the same views prevailed in the British Cabinet, the iniquitous
support of the revolt of the South American colonies in 1821 and 1822,
and the insidious encouragement of the ruinous revolutions of Spain
and Portugal during the Carlist war, would not have stained the honour
of England, and ruined the prospects of the Peninsula. Had they
pervaded the British community, the two fatal mistakes of policy in
our time, the sudden emancipation of the negro slaves in the West
Indies, and the unloosing all the bonds of government in Ireland, by
the transplantation of Anglo-Saxon institutions, and the tempered
freedom of England, into the midst of the Celtic blood and
semi-barbarous passions of Ireland, would never have been committed.
The great question at issue, in short, between Montesquieu and the
Encyclopédists, as to whether man is moulded by institutions, or
institutions by man, is the fundamental question, not only
speculative, but practical, of the age; and without correct ideas on
which, internal legislation and external policy are equally certain to
be precipitated into error, and benevolence itself to become the
parent of unbounded calamities.

And yet, if the matter be considered dispassionately, and without the
disturbing influence of human pride and democratic ambition, which
have obscured the visions of three generations of the ablest men in
Europe, it seems extraordinary how any doubt could ever have been
entertained on the subject. What are laws and institutions but the
work of men, the concentration of the national will in times past, or
at the present moment? If so, how _could_ they have arisen but from
the will of the people? It is only removing the difficulty a step
further back to say, as has so often been done, that they were
imposed, not by the will of the nation, but by the power of the
tyrants who had oppressed, or the priests who had deluded it. For who
were these tyrants or these priests? Not one in twenty thousand to the
whole community. If they were empowered and enabled to impose
arbitrary or debasing institutions, it must have been because the
immense majority devolved to them the task; because, conscious of
inability to govern themselves, or wanting the inclination to do so,
they willingly resigned themselves to the guidance and direction of
others. The Czar at St. Petersburg, the Sultaun at Constantinople, the
Emperor at Pekin, reign just as much by the national will, and in a
manner just as conformable to the national wish, as the Consuls of
Rome, the Committee of Public Salvation at Paris, or the present
constitutional Monarchs of France or England. The proof of this is,
that when the people are dissatisfied with their administration, or
displeased with the sovereign, they have no difficulty in dispatching
him. The twisting of a sash round the neck in Russia, the bowstring in
Constantinople or Ispahan, are very effectual monitors--fully as much
so as a hostile Parliamentary majority in the house of Commons or
Chamber of Deputies. In a word, government in every country being
conducted by the few over the many by the hundreds over the hundred
thousands, it is altogether impossible that the administration or
institutions can be, for any length of time, at variance with the
general will; because, if it was, it would not be submitted to. It may
be, indeed, despotic and tyrannical in the highest degree, but that is
no indication that it is contrary to the general will; it is only an
indication that the general will is to be slaves--no unusual
occurrence among men.

This fundamental principle of Montesquieu as to the perpetual and
ineradicable influence of race, climate, and physical circumstances,
in forming national character, and moulding national institutions, is
unquestionably the true doctrine on the subject, though probably
several generations must pass away, and an incalculable amount of
suffering be endured by mankind, before it is generally admitted.
Coupled with the cardinal point of the Christian faith, the inherent
and _universal_ corruption of the human heart, it forms the only
foundation of a salutary or durable government. Decisive proof of this
may be found in the fact, that the revolutionary party, all the world
over, maintain directly the reverse; viz. that free political
institutions, and general education, are all in all; and that, if
established, the native virtue of the human heart affords a sufficient
guarantee for general happiness. Montesquieu's principles lead to the
conclusion that all reform and amelioration of existing institutions,
to be either durable or beneficial, must be moulded on the old
precedents, and deviate as little as may be, and that only from
obvious necessity or expedience, from them. They utterly repudiate all
transplantation of constitutions, or forcing upon one people the
institutions or privileges of another. They point to experience as the
great and only sure guide in social or political change, and for the
obvious reason, that it alone can tell what has been found to be
suitable to the circumstances, and adapted to the character and wants,
of the nation among whom it has taken place. It is not that our
ancestors were in the least wiser than we are; doubtless they did many
foolish things, as we do. It is that time has consigned their foolish
things, whether laws or measures, to the grave; and nothing has
descended to our time but those institutions which have been found to
be beneficial in their tendency. The portions of our present
legislation which are suitable to the country, will in like manner
descend to posterity, and the folly and absurdity will in a few
generations be heard of no more.

It has been already remarked, that the _Grandeur et Décadence des
Romains_ is a more complete, and in some respects profound work, than
the _Esprit des Loix_. A few quotations will justify, it is thought,
this high eulogium--

     "The circumstance of all others which contributed most to the
     _ultimate_ greatness of Rome, was the long-continued wars in
     which its people were early involved. The Italian people had no
     machines for conducting sieges; and in addition to this, as the
     soldiers every where served without pay, it was impossible to
     retain them long before a fortified town; thus few of their wars
     were decisive. They fought for the pillage of a camp, or the
     booty of the fields, after which victors and vanquished retired
     alike into their respective cities. It was this circumstance
     which occasioned the long resistance of the Italian cities, and,
     at the same time, the obstinacy of the Romans in their endeavours
     to subjugate them; it was that which gave them victories which
     did not enervate, and conquests which left them their poverty.
     Had they rapidly conquered the neighbouring cities, they would
     have arrived at their decline before the days of Pyrrhus, of the
     Gauls, and of Hannibal; and, following the destiny of all the
     nations in the world, they would _too quickly_ have gone through
     the transition from poverty to riches, and from riches to
     corruption."--C. 1.

What a subject for reflection is presented in this single paragraph!
Rome, without any knowledge of siege equipage, thrown in the midst of
the Italian states bristling with strongholds; and slowly learning,
during centuries of indecisive, and often calamitous contests, that
military art by which she was afterwards to subdue the world! It was
in like manner, in the long, bloody, and nearly balanced contests of
the Grecian republics with each other, that the discipline was
learned which gave Alexander and the Macedonian phalanx the empire of
Asia; and in the protracted struggles of the Anglo-Saxons, first with
each other in the Heptarchy, and then with the Danes and Normans in
defence of their coasts, that the foundation was laid of the energy
and perseverance which have given the British race their present
eminence and dominion among men.

     "It has been often observed," says Montesquieu, "that our armies
     generally melt away under the fatigue of the soldiers, while
     those of the Romans never failed to preserve their health by it.
     The reason is, that their fatigues were _continued_; whereas our
     soldiers are destroyed by passing from a life of almost total
     inactivity to one of vehement exertion--the thing of all others
     most destructive to health. Not only were the Roman soldiers
     accustomed, during war, to incessant marching, and fortifying of
     the camps, but in peace they were daily trained to the same
     active habits. They were all habituated to the military step,
     that is, to go twenty miles, and sometimes twenty-four, in five
     hours. They did this bearing burdens of sixty pounds. They were
     daily trained to run and leap with their whole equipment on; in
     their ordinary drills the swords, javelins, and arrows were of a
     weight double of that used in war, and the exercises were
     continued."--C. 2.

There can be no doubt that this passage both explains much of the
astonishing conquests of the Roman legions, and furnishes ample
subject for reflection to a modern observer. The constant employment
of these troops in the construction of great public works, as
highways, bridges, harbours, or the like, was at once the best
security for the health of the soldiers and the circumstance, of all
others, which rendered their maintenance tolerable to the people. If
we examine the inscriptions found in all parts of the world, where
Roman remains are to be met with, we shall find that they were raised
by the hands of the legions. It was their persevering and incessant
toil which formed the magnificent highways, which, emanating from the
Roman Forum, extended to the furthest extremity of the empire. The
prodigious labour required for these great undertakings; the vast
bridges and viaducts which required to be constructed; the mountains
to be levelled; morasses and valleys to be filled up, habituated the
legionary soldiers to such an amount of daily labour, that their
engaging in the fatigues of a campaign was felt rather as a recreation
than a burden. Hence, the dreadful sickness which in modern armies
invariably attends the commencement of a campaign, and in general
halves its numerical strength before a sword has been drawn, was for
the most part unknown, and hence, too, the extraordinary achievements
performed by small bodies of these iron veterans. How great the
difference in modern times, where the naval and military forces are
every where kept up during peace in almost total idleness; and the
consequence is, that they are at once an eyesore to the citizens whose
substance they consume in what is deemed useless ostentation, and are
deprived of half their numerical strength, and more than half their
efficiency, on first engaging in the fatigues of real warfare.

No province hails the arrival of a modern division of troops, no
seaport longs for the presence of a man-of-war, as the signal for the
commencement of great and beneficent pacific undertakings, as was the
case in the Roman empire. Of what incalculable use might the British
navy be, if even a part of it was employed in transporting the hundred
thousand colonists who annually seek in our distant possessions, or in
the American States, that profitable market for their industry, which
they cannot find amidst our crowded manufactories at home? And this is
an instance of the manner in which the reflections of Montesquieu,
though made in reference only to the Roman empire, are in truth
applicable to all ages and countries; as the parables in the Gospels,
though delivered only to the fishermen of Judea, contain the rules of
conduct for the human race to the end of the world.

Regarding the comparative causes of corruption in a military and
commercial state, Montesquieu makes the following observation. Let him
that feels it not applicable to this nation and ourselves, throw the
first stone:--

     "Carthage having become richer than Rome, was also more
     corrupted. For this reason, while at Rome public employments
     were chiefly awarded to ability and virtue, and conferred no
     advantage, but a greater share of fatigues to be endured, and
     dangers incurred, every thing which the public had to bestow was
     sold at Carthage, and every service rendered by individuals was
     paid by the state. The tyranny of a prince does not bring a
     despotic state nearer its ruin than indifference to the public
     good does a republic. The advantage of a free state consists in
     this, that its revenues are in general better administered; and
     even where this is not the case, it has at first the advantage of
     not being governed by court favourites. But, on the other hand,
     the corrupting power in a democracy, when once brought into
     action, erelong becomes more dissolving than in a despotism; for
     instead of paying court merely to the friends and relations of
     the prince, it becomes necessary to provide for the friends and
     relations of the multitude who have a share in political power.
     All is then lost. The laws are eluded in a more dangerous manner
     than by the violence of a despot; for they are so by the
     interests of the changing many, not the passions of one, whose
     position at the head of the state being fixed and unchangeable,
     gives him a lasting interest in its preservation."--C. 4.

How many reflections does this passage, written in France above a
century ago, awaken in the breast of a British citizen at this
time!--"Si monumentum quæris, circumspice!" So true it is, that real
political truth belongs to no age or locality--"non alia Romæ, alia
Athenis;" it is of eternal application, and is destined to receive
confirmation from the experience of men, and the lessons of history,
to the end of the world.

     "Powers," says Montesquieu, "which owe their greatness to
     commerce, may exist long in mediocrity, but their grandeur can
     never be of long duration. The reason is, that they rise to
     greatness by little and little, without any one being aware of
     their growth, as they have done nothing which attracts attention,
     awakens alarm, or indicates their power. But when it has risen to
     that point, that no one can avoid seeing it, all the surrounding
     nations secretly endeavour to deprive the great commercial state
     of advantages which they all envy, and which have taken them, as
     it were, by surprise."--C. 4.

Few persons who contemplate the present state of the British empire,
its astonishing rise to greatness in the space of less than a
century--the general, it may be said universal jealousy with which it
is regarded, and the perilous pinnacle on which it now stands, will
deny the justice of this observation. May the remark, as to the short
duration of power founded on such a basis, not receive an additional,
and even more memorable confirmation in ourselves! But one thing is
perfectly clear. This remark indicates the impossibility of
conciliating the adjoining and poorer states while our commercial
superiority continues, and thus strikes at the very foundation of the
reciprocity system, on which our whole commercial policy for the last
quarter of a century has been founded. That system proceeds on the
principle, that by opening to the adjoining states a fair
communication of advantages, it is in the power of a great commercial
state, not only to conciliate their good-will, but obtain with them a
great and mutually beneficial mercantile intercourse. Montesquieu's
observation points to the undying and universal jealousy by its
neighbours with which such a power is ever surrounded, and the
futility of all attempts, while its superiority exists, to avert their
mercantile hostility, or preserve with them any considerable
commercial traffic. Which is the better option, let the hedge of
hostile tariffs with which, after boundless concessions to purchase
commercial good-will, we are surrounded in every direction, give the

On the comparative value of infantry and cavalry in war, Montesquieu,
though no professional soldier, makes the following observation, on
which those who are so, would do well to ponder:--

     "The Carthaginian cavalry was superior to that of the Romans, for
     two reasons. One was, that the Numidian and Spanish horses were
     better than those of Italy; the other, that the Roman cavalry was
     ill armed; for Polybius tells us, that it was not till they had
     carried on war in Greece, that they changed their manner of
     equipping that limb of military strength. In the first Punic
     war, Regulus was beat as soon as the Carthaginians made choice of
     plains for combat, where their cavalry could act to advantage; in
     the second, Hannibal owed to the Numidian horse his principal
     victories. It was not till whole corps of them began to go over
     to the Romans in Italy, that the latter began to breathe. Scipio
     having conquered Spain, and contracted an alliance with
     Masinissa, deprived the Carthaginians of that advantage. He did
     more, he gained it for himself. It was the Numidian cavalry which
     gained the battle of Zama, and terminated the war in favour of
     the Romans."--C. 4.

It is impossible to read the admirable account of Hannibal's campaign
in the last volume of Arnold's _History of Rome_, without perceiving
that this observation, as to the decisive effect of the Numidian
cavalry upon the fortunes of the war, in first giving victory to the
Carthaginians when they were entirely on their side, and gradually,
and at length decisively restoring it to that of the Romans, when they
were won over to their eagles, is entirely well-founded. Napoleon was
of the same opinion, and has repeatedly expressed it in various parts
of his works. "Give me," said that great man, "the French infantry and
the Mameluke horse, and I will conquer the world." It was his constant
affirmation that cavalry, equally brave and skillfully led, should
always, other things being equal, overthrow infantry; and that the
contrary opinion which generally prevails, was owing to horse,
considered as the sole strength of war during the feudal ages, having
been unduly decried since the invention of fire-arms. All the world
knows the immense use he made of his heavy cavalry in all his
campaigns; how often, in circumstances the most critical, it chained
victory to his standards; how nearly it re-established his affairs,
and replaced the imperial crown upon his head on the field of
Waterloo. How striking a proof of human sagacity that the philosophic
sage, in the early part of the seventeenth century, should have
divined a truth which the researches of the historian and the exploits
of the conqueror were to confirm in the middle of the eighteenth!

     "Those who are governed by a king," says Montesquieu, "are less
     tormented by envy and jealousy, than those who live under an
     hereditary aristocracy. The prince is so far distant from his
     subjects, that he is rarely seen by them; he is so far above them
     that nothing in his situation can mortify his self-love. But the
     nobles who govern in an aristocracy are under the eyes of all,
     and they are not so elevated, but that odious comparisons are
     made without ceasing. Thus in all ages we have seen the people
     detest their senators, though they frequently love their king.
     Republics, where birth confers no title to power, are in that
     respect in a better situation than aristocracies; for the people
     feel less jealousy of an authority which they give to whom they
     please, and take from whom they incline."--C. 8.

How many confirmations of this remark have the history of France
during the Revolution, and of England during the Reform mania
afforded! And this affords an illustration of a truth, which, the more
history is studied, will be rendered more apparent, viz., that the
principles which lie at the bottom of the greatest changes in the
political world, and produce the most devastating evils to society,
are in reality the same which we see acting every day around us in
common life. In the jealousies of the tea-table, the animosities of
the market-place, the envy of trade, we may see the passions working,
which, infused into a whole people, tear society in pieces. It is only
supposing the same malevolent or selfish desires working in every
breast, directed against one object, and rendered irresistible from
that very multiplication, and we have the envy of the coterie
transformed into the fury of revolution. Whoever will closely observe
the working of that mainspring of human actions--selfishness--on the
society, whether in a village, a city, a country, or a metropolis in
which he resides, will have no difficulty in discerning the real but
secret, and therefore unobserved spring of the greatest changes that
ever occur in the political and social world. Voltaire said the
factions at Geneva were storms in a teacup; if any man will study the
motion of water in a teacup, he will be at no loss to understand the
hurricanes of the Atlantic.

On the division of the Roman people into centuries and tribes, which
was the cardinal point of their constitution, Montesquieu makes the
following important observation:--

     "Servius Tullius was the author of the famous division of the
     people into centuries, which Livy and Dionysius Halicarnassus
     have so well described. He distributed an hundred and
     ninety-three centuries into six classes, and put the whole lower
     people into the last century, which singly formed the sixth
     class. It is easy to see that that arrangement virtually excluded
     the lower classes from the suffrage, not _de jure_, but _de
     facto_. Subsequently it was agreed, that except in some
     particular cases they should, in voting, follow the division into
     tribes. There were thirty-five of these tribes who gave each
     their vote: _four were from the city, thirty-one from the
     country_. The principal citizens, being all rural proprietors,
     were naturally classed in the country tribes: the lower people
     were all massed together in the four urban ones. This
     circumstance was regarded, and with reason, as the salvation of
     the republic. Appius Claudius had distributed the lower people
     among the whole tribes, but Fabius classed then again in the four
     urban ones, and thence acquired the surname of 'Maximus.' The
     Censors very five years took a survey of the citizens, and
     distributed the people in the tribes to which they legally
     belonged; so that the ambitious could not render themselves
     masters of their suffrages, nor the people abuse their own
     power."--C. 8.

The Romans had good reason for styling Fabius "Maximus," who
discovered this way of preventing the lower classes, by their number,
from acquiring an overwhelming superiority in the government of the
state. He achieved as great a good for his country by so doing, as by
baffling Hannibal after the battle of Cannæ. But for that circumstance
the Roman constitution would have become, after the change of Appius
Claudius, a mere prototype of the American democracy; a government
constantly swayed by a numerical majority of the lowest class of
citizens. There can be no doubt that the matter at issue, in this
question, is the most material which can engage the attention of
political philosophers and statesmen in a free country, and that, on
its determination, its ultimate fate is entirely dependant. So great
is the number of the working-classes in every old and opulent
community, compared to those who possess the advantages of property
and superior education, that nothing is more certain than that, if the
elective franchise be widely diffused, and no mode of classifying the
votes, as at Rome, has been discovered, the sway of a numerical
majority of incompetent electors will, erelong, become irresistible.
Certain ruin then awaits the state. It was that which ruined Athens in
ancient, which has destroyed Poland in modern times, and is fast
undermining the foundations of the social union in America. The Roman
method of giving every citizen a vote, but classifying them in such a
way that the paramount influence of a mere numerical majority was
prevented, and the practical direction of affairs was thrown into the
hands of the better class of citizens, though not free from objection,
is the most perfect method of combining universal suffrage in the
citizens, with the real direction of affairs by those fitted to
conduct them, which the wit of man has ever divined.

In truth, it deserves consideration by those who think on human
affairs, and the probable form of government which may be expected to
prevail in future among men, whether _universal_ suffrage is the real
evil to be dreaded; and whether _equality_ of suffrage is not the real
poison which destroys society. Abstractly considered, there is much
justice in the plea so constantly advanced by the working-classes,
that being members of the community, and contributing to its support
or opulence by their labour, they are entitled to a certain voice in
the direction of its affairs. If no one has a voice at all but the
sovereign, as in a despotism, or no one except a few magnates, as in
an aristocracy, the humbler classes cannot complain at least of
inconsistency, whatever they may of injustice, if they are excluded.
But if a vast body of electors, as in Great Britain, are admitted, and
still the great bulk of the working-classes are excluded, it is not
easy to see on what principle the exclusion of some can be rendered
consistent with the admission of others. It deserves consideration
whether the true principle would not be to give every able-bodied
working man, major and not receiving parochial relief, a vote, but a
_vote of much less weight than his superiors in intelligence,
property, or station_. This might be done either as the Romans did, by
making the votes be taken by centuries, and classing all the votes of
the poorer electors in a limited number of centuries, or giving each
man a _personal_ vote, and giving the holders of property, in
addition, more votes for their property; as one for every pound of
direct taxes paid. Louis XVI. proposed a plan of this sort to Turgot
before the Revolution; but that minister, deeply embued with the
principles of democracy, rejected it; and Neckar, following out his
views, practically established universal suffrage. Possibly the plan,
if adopted and honestly carried into execution, might have prevented
the whole calamities of the Revolution.

Of the dangers of such a multiplication of votes, without any
restriction, Roman history affords a memorable example.

     "Rome," says Montesquieu, "had conquered the world with the aid
     of the Italian cities, and, in return, she had communicated to
     them a great variety of privileges. At first they cared little
     for these advantages; but when the rights of Roman citizenship
     was that of universal empire, when no one was any thing in the
     world if he was not a Roman citizen, and with that little he was
     every thing, the Italian people resolved to perish or acquire
     that envied distinction. Being unable to attain this object by
     prayers and remonstrances, they had recourse to arms: the whole
     allies on the Eastern coast of the Peninsula revolted, those on
     the Western side were about to follow their example. Rome,
     obliged to combat as it were the hands by which it had conquered
     the world, was lost; it was about to be reduced to its walls,
     when it extricated itself from the difficulty by extending the
     privilege to the allies who had remained faithful, and shortly
     after to the whole.

     "From that moment Rome ceased to be a city of which the people
     had the same spirit, the same interest, the same love of freedom,
     the same reverence for the Senate. The people of Italy having
     become citizens, every town brought thither its dispositions, its
     separate interests, its dependence on some neighbouring
     protector. The city, torn with divisions, formed no longer a
     whole; and as the vast majority of the citizens were so only by a
     species of fiction, had neither the same magistrates, the same
     walls, the same temples, the same gods, nor the same places of
     sepulture, Rome was no longer seen with the same eyes; the
     undivided love of country was gone; Rome was no more. The
     inhabitants of whole provinces and cities were brought up to the
     capital to give their suffrages, or compel others to give them;
     the popular assemblies degenerated into vast conspiracies, a
     troop or seditious band usurped the sacred name of Comitia; the
     authority of the people, their laws, even themselves, became a
     mere chimera; and the anarchy rose to such a point that it became
     impossible to tell whether the people had made an ordinance, or
     had not. Writers are never tired of descanting on the divisions
     which ruined Rome; but they have not seen that those divisions
     always existed, and ever must exist in a free community. It was
     solely the greatness of the republic which was the cause of the
     evil, by changing popular tumults into civil wars. Faction was
     unavoidable in Rome; its warriors, so fierce, so proud, so
     terrible abroad, would not be moderate at home. To expect in a
     free state men at once bold in war, and timid in peace, is to
     look for an impossibility. It may be assumed as a fixed
     principle, that wherever you see every one tranquil in a state
     which bears the name of a republic, liberty there has been long
     since extinct."--C. 9.

The representative system has saved Great Britain and America from
these terrible popular _comitia_, in which, as Montesquieu has truly
said, the mobs of the people became the convulsions of an empire; and
which tore in pieces Poland in modern, as it had done Rome in ancient
times. But does not the real evil exist, despite this liberation from
the actual tumult, in the representative government of a great empire,
as much as in the stormy _comitia_ of an overgrown republic? It is
not the mere strife in the streets, and shedding of blood in civil
warfare, bad as it is, and truly as the "bellum plusquam civile"
exceeds all others in horror, which is the only evil. The separation
of interests, the disregard of common objects in the struggle for
individual elevation, the tyranny of one class by another class, is
the thing which really dissolves the national bonds in every
wide-spread and free community. We see this source of discord
operating with as much force in the divided representation of great
popular states, as in the bloody contests of the Roman forum or the
plain of Volo in Poland. The nullification of South Carolina, the
obnoxious tariff of America, the fierce demands for the repeal of the
union in Ireland, the sacrifice of agricultural and producing, to
commercial and monied interests in Great Britain, prove that these
evils are in full operation among ourselves, as well as our
descendants on the other side of the Atlantic. There is a confusion of
tongues, and separation of mankind from the undue amalgamation of
interests, as well as individuals. Providence has a sure way to punish
the selfishness and presumption of men who seek to build up a Babel of
human construction; and that is to leave them to the consequences of
their own extravagance.

The style of Montesquieu may be judged from the extracts, few and
imperfect as they are, given in the preceding pages. It is not
vehement, eloquent, or forcible; but condensed, nervous, and
epigrammatic. No writer has furnished to succeeding times so many
brilliant passages to quote; but there are many who can be read _en
suite_ with more satisfaction. This is not unfrequently the case with
writers on philosophical subjects of the highest class of intellect;
and it arises from the variety and originality of their ideas. The
mind of the reader is fatigued by following out the multitude of
thoughts which their works engender. At the close of every paragraph
almost, you involuntarily close the book, to reflect on the subjects
of meditation which it has presented. The same peculiarity may be
remarked in the annals of Tacitus, the essays of Bacon, the poetry of
Milton, the _Inferno_ of Dante, the _Discorsi_ of Machiavel. In the
habit of expansion which has arisen in more recent times from the
multiplication of books, the profits made by writing, and the
necessity of satisfying the craving of a voracious public for
something new, is to be found the cause of the remarkable difference
in the modes of composition which has since become prevalent. When men
write for the monthly or quarterly press, there is no time to be
condensed or profound. What has been gained, however, in animation and
fervour, has too often been lost in thought; and it may be doubted
whether, among the many writers of the present day, whether in Great
Britain or the Continent, there is one whose works, a century hence,
will be deemed to contain as much of original and valuable ideas as
even the preceding sketch, imperfect as it is, has presented in


By Delta.

    "Life is a dream, whose seeming truth
    Is moralized in age and youth;
    When all the comforts man can share
    As wandering as his fancies are:
    Till in a mist of dark decay
    The dreamer vanish quite away."

                       Bishop King.


    'Twas a blithe morning in the aureate month
    Of July, when, in pride of summer power,
    The sun enliven'd nature: dew-besprent,
    A wilderness of flowers their scent exhaled
    Into the soft, warm zephyr; early a-foot,
    On public roads, and by each hedge-way path,
    From the far North, and from Hybernia's strand,
    With vestures many-hued, and ceaseless chat,
    The reapers to the coming harvest plied--
    Father and mother, stripling and young child,
    On back or shoulder borne. I trode again
    A scene of youth, bright in its natural lines
    Even to a stranger's eyes when first time seen,
    But sanctified to mine by many a fond
    And faithful recognition. O'er the Esk,
    Swoln by nocturnal showers, the hawthorn hung
    Its garland of green berries, and the bramble
    Trail'd 'mid the camomile its ripening fruit.
    Most lovely was the verdure of the hills--
    A rich luxuriant green, o'er which the sky
    Of blue, translucent, clear without a cloud,
    Outspread its arching amplitude serene.
    With many a gush of music, from each brake
    Sang forth the choral linnets; and the lark,
    Ascending from the clover field, by fits
    Soar'd as it sang, and dwindled from the sight.
    'Mid the tall meadow grass the ox reclined,
    Or bent his knee, or from beneath the shade
    Of the broad beech, with ruminant mouth, gazed forth.
    Rustling with wealth, a tissue of fair fields,
    Outstretch'd to left and right in luxury;
    And the fir forests on the upland slopes
    Contrasted darkly with the golden grain.


      Pensively by the river's bank I stray'd--
    Now gazing on the corn-fields ripe and rich;
    Now listening to the carol of the birds
    From bush and brake, that with mellifluous notes
    Fill'd the wide air; and now in mournful thought--
    That yet was full of pleasure--running through
    The mazy past. I know not how it was,
    But from the sounds--the season--and the scene--
    Soften'd my heart; and, as the swallow wings
    In autumn back to softer sunnier climes--
    When summer, like a bright fallacious dream,
    Hath with its flowers and fragrance pass'd away--
    So, from the turmoil of maturer years,
    In boyish thoughts my spirit sought relief.


      Embathed in beauty pass'd before my sight,
    Like blossoms that with sunlight shut and ope,
    The half-lost dreams of many a holiday,
    In boyhood spent on that blue river side
    With those whose names, even now, as alien sounds
    Ring in the ear, though then our cordial arms
    Enwreathed each other's necks, while on we roam'd,
    Singing or silent, pranksome, never at rest,
    As life were but a jocund pilgrimage,
    Whose pleasant wanderings found a goal in heaven.
    But when I reach'd a winding of the stream,
    By hazels overarch'd, whose swollen nuts
    Hung in rich clusters, from his marginal bank
    Of yellow sand, ribb'd by receding waves,
    I scared the ousel, that, like elfin sprite,
    Amid the water-lilies lithe and green,
    Zig-zagg'd from stone to stone; and, turning round
    The sudden jut, reveal'd before me stood,
    Silent, within that solitary place--
    In that green solitude so calm and deep--
    An aged angler, plying wistfully,
    Amid o'erhanging banks and shelvy rocks,
    Far from the bustle and the din of men,
    His sinless pastime. Silver were his locks,
    His figure lank; his dark eye, like a hawk's,
    Glisten'd beneath his hat of whitest straw,
    Lightsome of wear, with flies and gut begirt:
    The osier creel, athwart his shoulders slung,
    Became full well his coat of velveteen,
    Square-tail'd, four-pocket'd, and worn for years,
    As told by weather stains. His quarter-boots,
    Lash'd with stout leather thongs, and ankles bare,
    Spoke the adept--and of full many a day,
    Through many a changeable and checquer'd year,
    By mountain torrent, or smooth meadow stream,
    To that calm sport devoted. O'er him spread
    A tall, broad sycamore; and, at his feet,
    Amid the yellow ragwort, rough and high,
    An undisturbing spaniel lay, whose lids,
    Half-opening, told his master my approach.


      I turn'd away, I could not bear to gaze
    On that grey angler with his rod and line;
    I turn'd away--for to my heart the sight
    Brought back, from out the twilight labyrinth
    Of bypast things, the memory of a day,
    So sever'd from the present by the lapse
    Of many a motley'd, life-destroying year,
    That on my thoughts the recognition came
    Faintly at first--as breaks the timid dawn
    Above the sea, or evening's earliest star
    Through the pavilion of the twilight dim--
    Faintly at first--then kindling to the glow
    Of that refulgent sunshine, only known
    To boyhood's careless and unclouded hours.


      Even yet I feel around my heart the flush
    Of that calm, windless morning, glorified
    With summer sunshine brilliant and intense!
    A tiny boy, scarcely ten summers old,
    Along blue Esk, under the whispering trees,
    And by the crumbling banks, daisy-o'ergrown,
    A cloudless, livelong day I trode with one
    Whose soul was in his pastime, and whose skill
    Upon its shores that day no equal saw:--
    O'er my small shoulders was the wicker creel
    Slung proudly, and the net whose meshes held
    The minnow, from the shallows deftly raised.
    Hour after hour augmenting our success,
    Turn'd what was pleasure first, to pleasant toil,
    Lent languor to my loitering steps, and gave
    Red to the cheek, and dew-damp to the brow:
    It was a day that cannot be forgot--
    A jubilee in childhood's calendar--
    A green hill-top seen o'er the billowy waste
    Of dim oblivion's flood:--and so it is,
    That on my morning couch--what time the sun
    Tinges the honeysuckle flowers with gold,
    That cluster round the porch--and in the calm
    Of evening meditation, when the past
    Spontaneously unfolds the treasuries
    Of half-forgotten and fragmental things,
    To memory's ceaseless roamings--it comes back,
    Fragrant and fresh, as if 'twere yesterday.
    From morn till noon, his light assiduous toil
    The angler plied; and when the mid-day sun
    Was high in heaven, under a spreading tree,
    (Methinks I hear the hum amid its leaves!)
    Upon a couch of wild-flowers, down we sat
    With healthful palates to our slight repast
    Of biscuits, and of cheese, and bottled milk;
    The sward our table, and the boughs our roof:
    And oh! in banquet hall, where richest cates
    Luxurious woo the pamper'd appetite,
    Never did viands proffer such delight,
    To Sybarite upon his silken couch,
    As did to us our simple fair that day.


      Bright shone the afternoon, say rather burn'd,
    In floods of molten gold, with all its rich
    Array of blossoms by that river's side--
    Wild camomile, and lychnis in whose cups
    The bee delights to murmur, harebells blue,
    And violets breathing fragrance; nor remote
    The aureate furze, that to the west-winds sigh,
    Lent its peculiar perfume blandly soft.
    At times we near'd the wild-duck and her brood
    In the far angle of some dim-seen pool,
    Silent and sable, underneath the boughs
    Of low hung willow; and, at times, the bleat
    Of a stray lamb would bid us raise our eyes
    To where it stood above us on the rock,
    Knee-deep amid the broom--a sportive elf.
    Enshrined in recollection--sleep those hours
    So brilliant and so beautiful--the scene
    So full of pastoral loveliness--the heart
    With pleasure overflowing--and the sky
    Pavilion'd over all, an arch of peace--
    God with his fair creation reconciled:
    And oh! to be forgotten only with
    The last fond thoughts of memory, I behold
    That grand and gorgeous evening, in whose blaze
    Homeward with laden paniers we return'd.
    Through the green woods outshot the level rays
    Of flooding sunlight, tinging the hoar bark
    Of the old pine-trees, and in crimson dyes
    Bathing the waste of flowers that sprang beneath;
    It was an hour of Paradise restored--
    Eden forth mirror'd to the view again,
    As yet ere Happiness forsook its bowers,
    Or sinless creatures own'd the sway of death.
    All was repose--and peace--and harmony;
    The flocks upon the soft knolls resting lay,
    Or straying nibbled at the pastures green;
    Up from its clovery lurking-place, the hare
    Arose; the pheasant from the coppice stray'd;
    The cony from its hole disporting leapt;
    The cattle in the bloomy meadows lay
    Ruminant; the shy foal scarcely swerved aside
    At our approach from under the tall tree
    Of his delight, shaking his forelocks long
    In wanton play; while, overhead, his hymn,
    As 'twere to herald the approach of night,
    With all her gathering stars, the blackbird sang
    Melodiously, mellifluously, and Earth
    Look'd up, reflecting back the smiles of Heaven!
    For Innocence, o'er hill and dale again
    Seem'd to have spread her mantle, and the voice
    Of all but joy in grove and glade was hush'd.


      Thro' the deep glen of Roslin--where arise
    Proud castle and chapelle of high St Clair,
    And Scotland's prowess speaking--we had traced
    The mazy Esk by cavern'd Hawthornden,
    Perch'd like an eagle's nest upon the cliffs,
    And eloquent for aye with Drummond's song--
    Through Melville's flowery glades--and down the park
    Of fair Dalkeith, scaring the antler'd deer
    'Neath the huge oaks of Morton and of Monk,
    Whispering, as stir their boughs the midnight winds.
    These left behind, with purpling evening, now
    We stood beside St Michael's holy fane,
    With its nine centuries of gravestones girt;
    And, from the slopes of Inveresk, gazed down
    Upon the Frith of Forth, whose waveless tide
    Glow'd like a plain of fire. In majesty,
    O'ercanopied with many-vestured clouds,
    The mighty sun, low in the farthest west,
    With orb dilated, o'er the Grampian chain,
    Mountain up-piled on mountain, huge and blue,
    Was shedding his last rays, adorn'd the shores
    Of Fife, with all its towns, and woods, and fields,
    And bathing Ben-Ean and Ben-Ledi's peaks
    In hues of amethyst. Ray after ray,
    From the twin Lomond's conic heights declined,
    And died away the glory; and, at length,
    As sank the last, low horizontal beams,
    And Twilight drew her azure curtains round,
    From out the south, twinkled the Evening star!


      Since then full often hath the snow-drop shown
    Its early flower--hath summer waved its corn--
    Hath autumn shed its leaves--and Arctic gales
    Brought wintry desolation on their wings!
    When Memory ponders on that boyish scene,
    Broken seems almost every tie that links
    That day to this--and to the child the man:
    The world is alter'd quite in all its thoughts--
    In all its works and ways--its sights and sounds--
    With the same name it is another sphere,
    And by another race inhabited.
    The old familiar dwellings, with their trees
    Coeval, mouldering wall, and dovecot rent--
    The old familiar faces from the streets,
    One after one, have now all disappear'd,
    And sober sires are they who then were sons,
    Giddy and gay:--a generation new
    Dwells where they dwelt--whose tongues are silent quite--
    Whose bodily forms are reminiscences
    Fading:--the leaden talisman of Truth
    Hath disenchanted of its rainbow hues
    The sky, and robb'd the fields of half their bloom.
    I start, to conjure from the gulf of death
    The myriads that have gone to come no more:--
    And where is he, the Angler, by whose side
    That livelong day delightedly I roam'd,
    While life to both a sunny pastime seem'd?
    Ask of the winds that from the Atlantic blow,
    When last they stirr'd the wild-flowers on his grave!


The writings of enthusiasts, however dry the subjects upon which they
employ their pens, have always some power of fascination. Many a one
who has never hooked a fish, has found delight in Isaac Walton. He is
still the pleasant companion by river and brooklet, and the cause why,

    "He that has fishing loved should fish the more,
    And he should fish who never fish'd before."

But then the subject is the loveliest of arts, Painting--embracing as
it does the beautiful, the great, and the pathetic, whatever charms
the eye and moves the heart--we are sensible of more than common
pleasure, and become soothed into dreams and visions of our own, even
by the gentle garrulity of a connoisseur. Is there any one who
pretends to acquaintance with literature, however uninitiated he may
be in the mysteries of the arts, who has not read the _Discourses_ of
Sir Joshua Reynolds, and who has not wished, after reading them, to be
enabled to say, "anche io son pittore?" When we are told of picture
galleries with their thousand works of art, and are warmed by the
descriptions, feeble though they must be, of many of them, we seem to
be suddenly led by a lamp of more magical power than Aladdin's; for
what was his gallery of fruit-trees bearing, precious stones, to a
gallery rich in pictures, the still brighter fruits of genius,
presenting endless variety, each one almost a world in itself, and
all, enticing the imagination into regions unbounded, of charm and
loveliness, suggested, though not made visible, but to the mind's eye?
We remember in our school days giving Virgil credit for much tact in
endeavouring to make a gentleman of Æneas, and succeeding too for a
while in raising the more than equivocal character of his hero, by
placing him in the picture-gallery of the Queen of Carthage, and
giving him leisure to contemplate and to criticise, and poetically to
describe to his silent and spiritless lounger-friend many noble and
many touching works. In this passage we also obtain the great Latin
poet's opinion of the ameliorating effect of "collections." The hero
of the Æneid knew immediately he was among an amiable people. The
picture-gallery was the "nova res oblata" which "timorem leniit"--

    "Hic primum Æneas sperare salutem
    Ausus, et afflictis melius confidere rebus;

It is singular that all the courts of Europe have, for more than two
centuries, been earnestly engaged in forming public galleries, a
national benefit and honour which England had neglected with her great
wealth, and with opportunities singularly favourable, until within a
few years; and even now we are making but very slow progress, and
works of art of the olden and golden time are becoming more rare, and
immensely rising in value. Had we, as a nation, collected even fifty
years ago--speaking of the transactions as a money speculation, in
which view, according to the taste of the day, we must look at every
thing--our purchases would now have been worth treble the first cost
in money. The unhappy fate of Charles I. was most adverse to the arts
here. It not only scattered the collection made by him, but, by the
triumph of Puritanism, plunged the country first into a dislike of,
and, for long subsequent periods, into an indifference for art. We
even doubt if this gross feeling has altogether subsided. We do not
yet take a national pride in works of genius, unless they immediately
bear upon the art of living. No country is so rich as ours in private,
and none so poor in public collections. And if we progress so slowly
in our National Gallery, we can scarcely wonder that public
institutions of the kind have not been dreamed of in the provinces. We
sincerely hope that the movement Mr Ewart is making will be crowned
with success, and that in time "collections" in our cities and towns
will be the result.

The Musée of Paris, in 1844, contained upwards of fifteen hundred
pictures. According to the catalogue compiled in 1781, the Imperial
Gallery of Vienna then contained twelve hundred and thirty-four.
According to the catalogue of 1839, the Dresden gallery contained
eighteen hundred and fifty-seven. At Munich, the present king has
erected a spacious building, into which he has draughted a selection,
from among several thousands, of about fifteen hundred. And what have
we done to improve the national taste? And strange, indeed, does it
appear, that whenever such a subject is brought before the public mind
in Parliament, it is solely with a view to the connexion of art with
manufactures. There must be in the nature of things a certain
connexion; but unnecessarily to bind them in union is to bind then
unnaturally, and to put the shackles upon the higher, which cannot
bear them without degradation. We hail with great pleasure every
publication whose object is to promote a love for the fine arts; and
more particularly those which show a due reverence for the old
masters; for, however unwilling we may be to limit the power of
genius, no one who has any pretensions to taste, and is of a
cultivated mind, will deny that, if their works are not perfection,
they are at least in a right direction. The novelties which more
modern art has sought will pass away, we are persuaded, as not founded
upon true principles, and we shall best advance by properly
appreciating what has been done before us. We will not here enter into
the subject of the _décadence_ of art, nor its causes. We believe that
if adequate national and provincial galleries were formed, more
especially at our universities, the improved public taste would create
a demand which this country would not lack genius to supply. We are
not in the exact condition of Italy at the sudden rise of art there.
The public, in the days of Raffaelle and Michael Angelo, had nothing,
or but little _to unlearn_; the previous aim had fortunately not been
very multifarious; the sentiment of art was right, and the direction
true. It remained only to enlarge the sphere; the principles were in
being; they required but confirmation. Grace and power naturally
arose; for there was no counteracting education, nothing positively
bad altogether to lay aside, though there was something to correct.
Now with us, on the contrary, art has run into very strange vagaries;
the enlargement of the boundaries has been unlimited, but it has been
in regions far below the Parnassian Mount. We have talked of the High
Ideal, and practised and encouraged _ad infinitum_ the Low Natural,
and too often have descended to the worse, the Low Unnatural; so that,
upon the whole, we have to unlearn very much before we can be said to
be in the rudiments of Real Art. Let us suppose one born with every
natural endowment, with imagination, and a power of imitation. The
mind, after all, is fed with _realities_; there is in it also process
of digestion, which converts the real into the imaginative. Now, in
early years, how rare it is that the naturally endowed artist is not
ill fed--unhealthy diet of the mind entices him every where. If in the
country, he is sparingly fed--sees little or nothing of Art, little
perhaps beyond the Sign of an Inn--and is scarcely, from other sources
of education, taught to look with the mind's eye, through the
undignified appearance, to the actual dignity even of the nature he
sees:--if he has lived in the city, the Print shops are inevitable
lures to cheat him by little and little out of his natural taste, if
there be one; for at first it can be but a mere germ. The works of
greatness, of goodness, will be the last things that he will see; for
seldom indeed will they be presented to his sight. For the pure, the
sweet, the graceful, the dignified, he will have thrust before his
eyes gaudy, tawdry caricature and grimace; and, worse still, perhaps
wholly vulgar obscenities. Were he in his boyhood given a present in
the pictorial line, it would be of an Opera-dancer or a race-course,
or an abomination of London low life. What "slang" is to the ear, so
would it be to the eye; and such is in nine cases out of ten the first
education of those aspirants in art, who, ere they have unlearned any
thing, set up for themselves--and abuse the old masters. Generally
speaking, they are brought up in an anti-ideal school; the powers,
therefore, that nature has given them, are not only uncultivated, but
led astray; and similar education and similar tastes in the public,
find them a market for very low, very worthless commodities. We have,
in fact, a great deal to unlearn. The first step with us all, is, to
unlearn. Could we see nothing bad it would not be so. That which
would, at first view, be thought the greatest benefit to art,
engraving, has but spread the wider the pestilence of false taste. It
is from all this the earlier and greater painters were free. The evil,
however, having once so spread, is not to be easily corrected. Bad
taste has claimed a perpetuity of copyright. Good taste must proceed
from an opposite source, and work in spite of the bad. It must come
from publications, just criticisms, lives of painters,[4] familiar
treatises on the principles of art; and more especially from national
and other public galleries, to direct attention, and indeed to create
a demand for those other auxiliary works. People will seek to
understand and feel that which is continually put before them. Could
they never see any but fine productions, they would soon have a relish
for them that now is impossible; but by little and little, the sight
of what is good will create a liking, and the liking will soon reach
an adoration, and the unlearning process is imperceptibly going on.
Corrupted as our eyes now are, we would venture to assert, that were
you to offer, either in prints or originals, to boys of fourth and
fifth forms at our public schools, in one hand a vile and gaudy horse
and jockey, and in the other a pure and lovely picture by Raffaelle,
the former would be taken. Here is a lamentable neglect in education;
the ear must suffer the probing and the torture of metres and
verse-making, but the eye is left unguarded, unprotected, to shift for
itself, or to yield to the fascinations the first pander of evil
chooses to offer. The school-boy might be improved at the
universities; but there, too, is the same neglect. In our time, it was
a rare thing to see a "man's" room without many engravings; and that
sufficiently shows how much a school of art is wanted in those places,
and what a hold they would have upon youth. But we cannot say much for
the taste of the productions, that generally we will not say _graced_
the walls. We had hoped that the Taylor bequest would have established
at Oxford, not only a picture gallery, but a professorship of Painting
and Sculpture. A large Building has been erected; and we have heard of
an intention to remove to it some rubbish called pictures. If that
threat be accomplished, we shall despair of seeing them removed to
give place to better things. The majority will be satisfied with
seeing walls covered, and look no further. We have heard likewise that
some very valuable pictures have been offered upon very favourable
terms to the university. If there be amongst any an intention of
forming a gallery, we would urge them to use their best endeavours to
make as soon as may be a beginning. For every succeeding year not only
increases the difficulty in obtaining the concurrence of influential
persons, but the annually rising value of pictures makes delay an
imprudence. Besides, if a beginning were once made--were it once shown
that the universities are in earnest--valuable bequests might greatly
promote the great object. And this is an advantage that admits not of
being put off to the morrow.

We have digressed from our purpose, which was to acknowledge the
pleasure we have received from the pages of M. de Burtin's work; or we
should rather say, from Mr White's translation. We have been some
years acquainted with the original work in French. Its value in its
present form is not lessened by the number of years that have passed
between the original French edition and the translation; for general
remarks on art are of all times, and there is much in the particular
information the volume contains, such as lists of prices, and some
other matters, from which useful comparisons may be now made.

The author very modestly, in his introduction, professes not to write
"for artists nor accomplished connoisseurs;" yet to such, we believe,
the volume, in its compressed form, will be of most value. He has the
honesty to confess that he has learned his connoisseurship at some
cost--that he has been victimized into a knowledge of art. And as this
is generally the case with most collectors in the beginning, and not
unfrequently in the end too, he thinks he may be of some use to others
in showing "how to judge pictures well"--"what is a good picture;" and
not of the least value, how to use it when you have it. His
qualification as teacher cannot be denied; for he has not only
collected, but travelled much, visited all the important collections,
and by comparing picture with picture, and style with style, he has
been enabled to speak with accuracy upon the distinguishing marks of
schools and masters. A universal admiration, a love that will embrace
all schools and all styles, is of very rare attainment, and perhaps
hardly to be desired; for every man of any strength, of any fixed tone
of character, must necessarily have a bias. And besides, one man
naturally receives more powerfully impressions through form, another
through colour. It is not inconsistent that a perfect connoisseur
should be equally affected by both; but the mind is not allowed the
same latitude with regard to subject; the passion will ever be for
that which is congenial; whatever is foreign to it will receive but a
cold and passing admiration. We should collect from the whole contents
of this volume, that the author was never an enthusiastic admirer of
what is termed high Italian art. He seldom dwells upon "the sublime
and beautiful." Gifted rather with a complacent acquiescence in what
is great, than stirred by it to any heat of rapture, it is probable
that at least the sphere of his pleasures was enlarged; and his nice
sense of the beauty, touch, and colour, rendered pictures, of subjects
of little interest, more pleasing to him, than they could be to the
connoisseur of more exclusive taste. His predilection is, however, for
Colour; and we agree with him, "that without the science of colouring,
that so difficult science, about which the exclusive partisans of
ideal beauty trouble themselves so little, their antiques and their
ideal perfection may produce designs, but never can pictures."

Two definitions are laid down, which, as frequent reference is made to
them, we copy. Definition of painting--"The art of applying colours,
without relief, upon a plain surface, so as to imitate any object in
the manner in which it is seen, or may be conceived visible in
nature." "A good picture" he defines to be, "a good choice of subject
well represented." If we knew precisely what is here meant by
"nature," a word used by all writers on art in very various senses,
and commonly very vaguely, we might not find fault with the
definition; but genius, which has

    "Exhausted worlds, and then imagined new,"

is not too strictly to be limited to the actualities of external
nature. It is the nature of the mind, under certain impulses and
impressions, to exaggerate, to combine from memory, not from sight,
even to the verge of the impossible; for even this extravagance is the
product of human passion, which by its nature disdains common
boundaries; and this, in painting, is especially the province of
Colour, which may be said to be the poetical language of art, and
admits differences of the same kind as exist between common speech and
poetical and figurative diction.

The painter as well as poet may colour somewhat highly,

    "And breathe a browner horror o'er the woods."

Critics too often write of art as if it had only to do with what
actually exists; whereas it is given to it as to poetry "to make," to
create--all that is required is a certain connexion with the real,
sometimes exceedingly slight, which shall be sufficiently delusive
for present purpose. The agile mind can pass over a deep and
formidable chasm upon a slender thread; and when over, is too much
occupied in the new region to turn back and measure the means of
passage. We suspect our author's view of nature is too limited.

Upon _"a good choice of subject"_ are some good remarks. Disgusting
subjects are justly condemned. "It is evident that an animal, flayed
or embowelled, entrails, meat raw or mangled, blood, excrements,
death's-heads, carcasses, and similar objects, if they strike upon the
view too much, will be as disgusting in a picture as they are in
nature; and that grimaces, hideous or monstrous deformities, whether
moral or physical, will be as shocking in the one as the other. Events
which are sufficiently unnatural, barbarous, and cruel, to shake
violently the soul, and cause it to tremble with insurmountable
horror, create an agitation too frightful for it to resist, much less
to be pleased with. Subjects of so bad a choice, (which Horace
severely prohibits from being introduced upon the scene,) do little
honour to the painter. They become even more insupportable in
proportion as they approach nearer to reality by the perfection of
their execution." The translator thinks his "author has stated this
too broadly;" and instances, as pictures of this kind to be admired
for their truth, _The Lesson of Anatomy_, by Rembrandt; _Prometheus
Devoured by the Vulture_, by Salvator Rosa; _Raising of Lazarus_, by
Sebastian del Piombo. Of the two first subjects, we think they are to
be condemned, if, in the _Prometheus_, the enduring mind of Prometheus
be not the subject. But surely the grand picture of Piombo, though it
is all awful, has in it nothing disgusting, or that comes within the
condemned list. The question to be asked in all these cases is, what
is the object, as well as what is the subject. Is it to teach, to
improve, to soften the mind by human love and sympathy, or to excite
it to a just and _hopeful_ indignation, for therein is a source of
pleasure? The rule of tragedy should be applicable here. Undoubtedly,
we receive pleasure from tragic representations. Isolated, barbarism,
cruelty would be intolerably disgusting. But in every good tragedy,
there are always good and lovely characters with whom we can
sympathise. We are bettered by thus uniting ourselves with what is
lovely; and are content to take at second-hand, and thus feel only in
a safe degree, the distresses to which, as human nature ourselves, we
are liable. In pictured representation, however, we have to guard
against the too vivid, and at the same time too permanent, as being a
fixed expression, which, by the art and power of language, we are not
allowed to dwell upon too exclusively; and relief is offered in change
and diversity. There are some very judicious remarks upon disgusting
subjects in "An Essay on the Choice of Subjects in Painting," read, we
believe, some years ago, by Mr Duncan, at the Institution at Bath. We
remember an account in the Essay of a very ridiculous burlesque (it is
not intended so to be) of some of the horrific legends of the Italian
schools. The picture was exhibited in the chapel of Johanna Southcote,
at Newington Butts, near London. St Johanna was represented in a
sky-blue dress, leading the devil with a long chain, like a
dancing-bear, surrounded by adoring angels. Is not this doubtful? "I
add, that, excepting man, that King of Nature, whose head presents to
a painter the subject that is most interesting for character, grace,
dignity, and expression of the whole mind, of which it is the mirror,
no animal, dead or alive, affords, in any one part of its frame,
whatever care may be taken in the execution, more than a subject for a
study, or will by any means form what can be called a picture." This
surely is not quite true. There is a very fine picture of a lioness,
dimly seen at the mouth of her den, in grim repose, that is very
grand. One colour pervades the whole--there is nothing forced; but the
very colour is of the stealthiness of the animal's nature; it is so
dim, that the animal is not strikingly discoverable, but grows out
upon the sight, and we feel the sense of danger with the knowledge of
security. And surely this is the sublime of art. Had the author seen
some of the noble animals, gifted with noble characters by nature, and
by the hand of our Landseer, he would have hesitated ere he
pronounced thus strongly.

The choice of a subject is considered as belonging solely to
invention, irrespective of composition or disposition. "The honour of
inventing truly belongs to him whose imagination creates all, or
almost all, of new." A distinction is made between composition and
design: indeed, according to our author, there are three parts of
invention--composition, disposition, and design. There is a repetition
of the charge of disproportion in objects, brought against Raffaelle,
to which we do not implicitly bow. He is considered as having
"committed two striking faults against nature and lineal perspective,
in his famous picture of the _Transfiguration_, by the ridiculous
smallness of his Mount Tabor, and by the disproportionable size of the
Christ and of the two Prophets." But we question if the mind, in that
state of feeling in which it beholds a miraculous and altogether
overwhelming subject, is not necessarily in a condition to overstep
the actual rules of nature, and to receive a type of things for the
reality, admitting the small to stand for the great. Were it conscious
of very exact formal truth, the power of the subject would be reduced.
Actual perspective would have, in Raffaelle's case, ruined the
picture. There was that boldness of genius which Shakspeare, when the
nature of the subject required it, adopted, which made the one, leap
over time, and the other, space and proportion.

Under the head "disposition of the subject," there is a somewhat
unsatisfactory sentence. "It contributes to the 'goodness' of the
picture," "if it avoid uniformity and positions that are too
symmetrical; if it distribute the light well; if by means of it the
groups _pyramid_ and unite well; and if it give value to all the parts
of the picture by means of each other, in such a manner as that the
result shall be a satisfactory whole." There is much here that is
true; but there is something false. And that which is false in it, has
often strangely misled artists in their arrangement and grouping.
There are some subjects of a perfectly symmetrical character; however
rare they may be, there are some. Raffaelle, in his cartoon of
delivering the keys to Peter, paints, as nearly as may be, all the
apostles' heads in one line. Is not the _character_ of Gothic
architecture symmetrical? Painters of architectural subjects very
commonly overlook this, and by perspective difference destroy this
orderly character. Few make the centre the point of sight; which is,
however, the proper one for representation, as it alone shows the
exact conformity and order, the idea of which it was the purpose of
the architect to present, and which constitutes _the_ beauty. The
"pyramid" rule is manifestly absurd, and seldom has even a tolerably
good effect. It was the quackery of a day.[5] The good masters did not
work upon it. It is, in fact, a little truth taken out of a greater,
and misapplied--a part of that circular character of composition, as
it were a principle of reflection, by which lines close in upon or
recede from each other. We have, in a former paper in this Magazine,
treated of this principle--to dwell on it now would take us far from
our purpose. As to the ability of all persons to judge of the
naturalness of a picture, the translator doubts the correctness of the
affirmative opinion of his author. He remarks, that "it requires
considerable practice and experience to enable one to judge how much
art can do; what is the exact medium between feebleness and
exaggeration, which constitutes the all-surpassing quality of truth,
of which he declares himself a partisan; and in what manner one
painter differs from or excels another in the representation of it."
It may also be observed, that people in general have uncultivated
eyes, and see not the whole beauties of any one object; they are
commonly quite ignorant of ideal and sentimental beauty, almost
wholly arising out of the _power of art_--the representing the
imagination. It is when such persons are called upon to see nature in
a picture, that they show how imperfect their sight has been. Seeing
the representation in a frame, they know it to be a work of art, and
generally object to shadow; whereas, could they see the picture placed
at an open window or some deceiving position, they would be deceived.
Many, knowing the intention is to deceive them, are ready armed with
objections, which, however, they make because they have sought them,
not because they have felt them. What we term local colour, is termed
by M. de Burtin _proper_ colour; local colour he considers as the
colour made variable by space, by locality, air, light, and
surrounding bodies. The distinction may be useful; but _proper_ colour
will itself be difficult to discover, for we never can see it entirely
separated from some foreign influence. In a picture it would be
perhaps best to consider that the _proper_ colour which would be
proper to the half-tone, whether modified by aerial perspective or
not. He considers that _proper_ colour is not shown mostly in objects
in the foreground, for there the light which destroys it is most
powerful; light destroys proper colour, and substitutes its own. "It
is the perfect understanding of this interesting principle, which
renders the works of Rubens, and of his best scholars, so superior for
their magic truth of colour. It is this which explains why they make
the colour of the blood to appear through the fine and transparent
skin of their Flemings, particularly of the women, only in proportion
as the effect of the light is lost in the retiring parts; and why the
red prevails more in these parts in general, which are illuminated
only by a reflected light too feeble to change the natural colour. The
latter may often be even strengthened by the colour of the object from
which the reflected light proceeds, which happens when one flesh part
is reflected upon another, as may be remarked more particularly
towards the extremities."

The following quotation is well worth considering--the observation it
contains is new. "As to the influence of light upon the local colours,
one of the plainest proofs of it is, that the colour of objects seen
in broad day, diminishes in force the more that the sun enlightens the
distant plain on which they are placed. This observation, and many
other analogous ones, convince me that the light in a picture in
general exerts a greater influence upon the local colours than even
the air, although those who have written upon the art seem to
attribute the local colours exclusively to the interposition of the
air and the vapours with which it is charged. The above remark, though
useful to all painters, becomes the more indispensable to those who
have to do with landscape, seeing that without attention to it, the
aerial perspective would render useless, by a false and mannered
representation, the just proportions and the exact contours dictated
by linear perspective. Another remark, not less interesting, is, that
the colour of cast shadows depends, beyond every thing, on that of the
light, and consequently on the state of the atmosphere and the time of
the day, as well as the season of the year." Hence is it that the
brown shadows of art, which are adopted for the sake of warm, are, in
good painters such as Vandyke, always blended with the silvery grey.

"Of the general tone of colour."--This part of the subject is treated
rather with regard to strict observation of nature, than its poetical
applicability to art. For surely there is a distinction; there should
be a tone of colour belonging to the subject, irrespective of the
actual colour of place or time of day, properly belonging to the
action represented. It is well observed, that the argentine or silvery
tone so much admired and sought after by amateurs, "is nothing but the
faithful imitation of the tone assumed by nature in countries where
the rays of the sun are not too perpendicular, every time that the air
is in that state of transparency required to temper to the necessary
degree the too brilliant blue of a pure sky, and itself to receive and
transmit this desirable silvery tone which delights the spectator." By
this it would appear that our artists' dreams of countries, _alio sub
sole_, are not likely to bring beauty of colour to their
pictures--that the fables of Eastern skies are, with regard to art,
fables; and though there is now always an attempt, and that by no mean
powers, to drag the spectators at our exhibitions under the very
chariot of the sun, "sub curru nimium propinqui solis," real beauty of
colour will be found much nearer home.

We are somewhat surprised by, as it would appear from the general
observations of De Burtin, an accidental truth which he has not
elsewhere followed to its consequences. "If pictures offend against
nature, and become cold by the employment of cold colours upon them,
such as black, white, blue, and green, either pure or bluish, and by
the omission of the glazings which the tone of the light requires, or
if they become so from the natural coldness of night and of snow, _not
remedied by art_, the painter ought to correct the fault in the manner
I have previously hinted at." In the following remark, we can see the
great defect in the colouring of Murillo's pictures, especially in his
backgrounds, who appears always to have painted on a wet and dingy
day. "But nothing can correct the cold of a sky concealed by the kind
of clouds last mentioned, or _rendered totally invisible by mist_." He
rescues the clear-obscure from the meaning commonly attached to it as
light and shade. "In the literal sense, this word means nothing but
the obscure which is at the same time clear." It should rather be
defined to be light in shadow; but it will be difficult to establish
any other sense for it than the disposition of the light and shade in
a picture. The inventor of it, for practical use, was Leonardo da
Vinci. Of this _chiaroscuro_ he says: "It is this, in fine, against
which so many renowned Italian masters have sinned, but in which the
immortal Correggio is so eminently distinguished, and which proves
how they err who have named Titian the prince of colourists. For how
much soever he may possess in a supreme degree very many other parts
of colouring, he has so misunderstood this one in his general harmony,
that his grounds are rarely in agreement with the rest of his picture,
and are often all black. His _Venus_, in the Dresden gallery, and his
_Ecce Homo_, in that of Vienna, two of his most renowned pictures but
especially the latter, present striking proofs, among very many
others, of the correctness of my opinion on this great colourist."

Those who object, as some venture to do, to Titian's colour,
especially in his backgrounds, we believe overlook his intention, and
are not aware how much what they consider defects affect the whole.
Objections have been made to the background of the _Peter Martyr_,
without considering how appropriate the colouring is to the subject.
There are some just observations on the necessity of transparency,
which should not be confined to shadows and demi-tints, "which cannot
do without it." It has been said that Titian and Correggio glazed over
every part of the picture, thereby giving even the lights a sort of
transparency. Of harmony of colour, he says, "Under the pencil of an
intelligent artist, local colours, even the least agreeable, and those
which have the least affinity among themselves, may become very
agreeable to the eye, and contribute powerfully to the harmony of the
picture through the interposition of some other colour, as in music
discordant tones are happily united by means of intermediate ones."
The translator appends to this a note in which he quotes from Mengs,
that "The three primary colours being red, blue, and yellow, when any
one of them is prominently used, it should be accompanied by one which
unites the _other two_. Thus, if pure red be used, it should be
accompanied by green, which is a compound of blue and yellow. This
compound colour is called the contrasting colour, and is always used
sparingly. But the harmonizing colour is said to be the compound made
by any one colour itself, along with the next adjoining to it on
either side of the spectrum. Thus red will be harmonized by purple,
the colour produced by compounding it with blue on the one side of it,
and it will also be harmonized by orange, which is the colour produced
by compounding it with the yellow, next to it on the other side of the
spectrum." In treating "of the effect" of a picture, although the
author with a kind of reluctance admits, or "will not condemn
absolutely" factitious effects, he has no predilection for them, and
blames for the extravagant use of them Carravagio and others of the
Italian schools. Unquestionably they afford a power which should be
used with judgment, then most applicable when the supernatural of the
subject overpowers the familiarity of more natural effects. Of the
"_empasto_," so much spoken of by connoisseurs, he is an admirer. He
directs that the "colours which compose the _empasto_" should be
perfectly well ground, and the ground perfectly smoothed. Yet this was
not always the case in the _empasto_ of Paul Veronese, whose _empasto_
was often of a broken and mortary surface; and it would appear, from
an examination of such parts of his pictures, as if he had purposely
used water with his oil-paint, which would have the effect of slightly
separating the particles, and thereby giving brilliancy from the
broken surface of refracting particles. This seems to have escaped the
notice of M. de Burtin in this place. It has been said of Michael
Angelo, that he never painted more than one picture in oil. Like the
relics of saints, that one has wonderfully multiplied. Our author
speaks of one in his own possession, which is certainly not described
as according to the manner we should expect on that great master. "A
truly unique picture, by the great Michael Angelo Buonarroti, in my
possession, proves to what an astonishing degree art can imitate gold,
silver, and stones, without using the originals, by the magic illusion
with which the rare genius has painted them as ornaments. They look as
if _relieved_ on the armour of the two cavaliers, insomuch that one
would believe them to be truly the work of an actual chisel." He
admires the smooth _empasto_; and among the painters who practised it,
laudably mentions Vander Werff. But he blames others less known for
carrying it out to an extreme finish. To our taste, the smooth
_empasto_ of Vander Werff is most displeasing; rendering flesh ivory,
and, in that master, ivory without its true and pleasing colour. This
branch of the subject ends with remarks on touch, which completes the
list of the parts that contribute "to make a good picture." The manner
of a painter is in nothing so distinguished as in his touch. There
must, then, be great variety in the touch of painters. To be a judge
of masters, it is necessary, as the first step to connoisseurship, to
be acquainted with this executive part of their art. "Since it is
correct to say that without a good touch there cannot be a good
picture, one may say likewise, that he is not a good master who has
not a good touch, and _who does not know how to avoid using it too
much_." It is a mark of a defective mind, when the painter is too much
pleased with the dexterity of his hand. Many however, require this
hint; their pictures are so overlaid with touch, that the autographs
supersede the subject.

The incipient connoisseur will do well to read the chapter in this
volume which will tell him "how to judge pictures well." It will tell
him even in what position to see a picture. He disapproves of the use
of the mirror, in which the picture is reflected as giving a softness
and harmony not genuine; but as it was the practice of Giorgione and
Correggio, "in order to learn the effect of the colours, of the
masses, and of the work as a whole," he recommends it to _the
painter_. He expects, however, from the amateur an impartiality almost
impossible to attain, when it is expected to reach such a point that
"all schools, all masters, all manners, and all classes of pictures
will be a matter of indifference to him." We fear that an amateur who
could reach this indifference, would be rather a general admirer than
a good lover. The amateur thus advanced, "will soon be able to weigh
impartially the grounds of the dispute between the partisans of ideal
beauty on the one hand, and the beauty which exists in nature on the
other." But here is a mistake _in initio_; for is not the Ideal, too,
Nature? We should have rather expected a disquisition to elucidate
this point; but our author prefers passing away from the real question
to indulge in a little severity on the admirers of the Ideal, which
Ideal we are persuaded he never understood; for he considers evidently
that the "ideal beauties," with the "magic truth" of the Dutch school
in execution, would be perfection. He would view a work painted under
this union as perfection. To us it would, we feel quite sure, be an
intolerable performance. For this little bit of bad taste he is called
to account by his translator. The author's taste was, after all, we
suspect, rather incomplete; rather the product of an educated eye than
of a mind educated to embrace the Ideal. The fact is, the Ideal in
practice must be the reach of a something which the eye, however
educated, does not altogether find in external nature; but which, from
the data of external nature, the mind creates, partly by combination,
and partly from a power of its own invention altogether. The external
senses in educated man are obedient to this inventive direction of the
mind, and at length receive their greater, perhaps often only,
pleasures from it. It is easy to imagine how the _more evident_ and
real beauties of the inferior schools, for we do not hesitate to speak
of the Italian as the higher, more easily captivate, especially, the
incipient lovers of art. They begin by collecting the Dutch; but as
they advance in taste and knowledge, and acquire the legitimate
feeling for art, they are sure to end with the Italian. The
uninitiated may wonder to be told there is any difficulty in judging
"whether a picture is in good preservation or not." Yet here is a
chapter to teach this "useful knowledge." The "perils that flesh is
heir to," are nothing if compared to the perils that environ the
similitudes of flesh. "_Nos nostraque morti debemur._" Men and
pictures suffer from the doctors as well as from time. Pictures, too,
are often in the "hand of the spoiler," and are subject, with their
owners, to a not very dissimilar quackery of potion and lotion,
undergo as many purifications, nor do they escape the knife and
scarification; are laid upon their backs, rubbed and scrubbed,
skinned, and oftentimes reduced to the very ribs and dead colouring of
what they were. It is surprising how great a number of pictures are
ruined by the cleaners. We are sorry to read this account of
Correggio's celebrated _Notte_. "Even when they do not destroy the
picture entirely, they, at all events, leave the most injurious traces
behind, depriving it of its transparency and harmony, and much of the
effect, rendering it hard, cold, and weak. Of this the admirable
'Night' of Correggio at Dresden presents a very sad example."

We look upon the audacious man who dares to repaint upon an old
picture unnecessarily, and by wholesale, as guilty of a crime. It is
the murder of another man's offspring, and of his name and fame at the
same time. We have heard of a man half a century ago going about the
country to paint new wigs upon the Vandykes. We would have such a
perpetrator bastinadoed on the soles of his feet. "I was present,"
says our author, "at Amsterdam during a dispute between one who had
just sold a landscape for several thousand florins, and the agent who
had made the purchase on commission. The latter required an important
change to be made towards the centre of the picture, which he
contended would be very much improved thereby. It was in vain that the
seller, with whom I agreed in opinion upon the point, persisted in
refusing to repaint a work in such good preservation, and by so great
a master; for the broker closed his lips by protesting, that unless
the demand were complied with, he was instructed to throw up the
bargain." We look with equal horror on buyer and seller. Would not the
latter have sold his father, mother, brothers, sisters, aunts, and
cousins? It has been said that, in compliment to William III., many of
the portraits of the ancestors of the courtiers of the day were
re-painted with aquiline noses. M. de Burtin very justly observes,
that the new touches on old pictures do not preserve their tone, but
he does not give the true reason. He seems to entertain no notion that
pictures were painted with any other vehicle than common oil; and, in
a short discussion upon Van Eyck's discovery, he only shows that he
takes up what others have said, and never himself could have read what
the monk Theophilus really wrote; for, like M. Merimée, he supposes
the monk to say what he never did say. It is only surprising that, in
his numerous cleanings, he did not discover the difference between the
old paint of one date and of another, and how they require different
solvents. There is a chapter upon "the manner of knowing and
appreciating copies," from which the beginner, in collecting, may take
some useful hints. He repeats the well-known anecdote of the copy from
Raffaelle by Andrea del Sarto, which Julio Romano, who had worked upon
the picture, believed to be the original, though assured beforehand by
Vasari that it was a copy. With regard to Rubens, by far the greater
number of pictures said to be by him, are by the hands of his
scholars, to whom he gave the design and outline merely, sometimes
touching up the pictures with his own hand. This has been a common and
a justifiable practice with great painters, both ancient and modern,
or it would have been impossible for any one pair of hands to have
done the works which bear the names of some well-employed painters.
The few pictures entirely by the hand of Rubens confirm the suspicion
as to others, by their superiority. Contemporary copies he considers
in a very different light from more modern, because the modern being
from the old after they had deepened, deepen still more, and in a few
years scarcely resemble in tone the originals. It is from such copies
that an ill name has been given to all copies. We have very little
feeling for amateurs in their annoyances and embarrassments, who
discover that they have only purchased a copy; for they did not judge
according to the merits of the picture, but the name under which it
was admitted.

The sixth chapter, upon "The manner of analysing and describing
pictures," furnishes some good hints to catalogue-makers and
auctioneers. The examples are ingeniously worded, and with no little
precision. The number given is but a selection from about 240 pages.
Whoever will try his hand at a descriptive catalogue, will find it not
so easy a task as he imagined. We should have perhaps entertained a
higher opinion of the author's judgment, though not a higher of his
descriptive power, supposing it to have been exercised as a disciple
of the noted Mr Puff, who took a double first in those arts, had the
translator kindly omitted an outline of a picture by Poelemburg--_The
Adoration of the Shepherds_. It is certainly well described in
generality and detail; but never was any thing more like Mr Puff's
style than the following:--"Poelemburg has here surpassed himself by
the exactness of the design, and the fine form of the figures. He has
carried to the highest degree their gracious and simple expression.
The picture is not less distinguished for the attractive effect of
light well distributed, for harmony and the clear obscure, for the
agreeable and sweet tone of the proper colours, and for that truth,"
&c. &c. &c.--but alas! the outline! "Look on this picture and on
this." It may have been a pretty picture, though the subject is much
above Poelemburg; but--shall we pronounce it?--the design is
wretched--we cannot help it, and would spare it if we could. Strange
are the blunders made in descriptive catalogues. An instance is
given--an amusing specimen from a well-established manufactory. "The
famous picture of Raffaelle, painted for the church of St John at
Bologna, representing St Cecilia holding a musical instrument in her
hands, with others at her feet, affords an example of the errors
alluded to. She listens with rapt attention to a choir of angels borne
on the clouds, and singing. On her right hand are St Paul and St John
the Evangelist, strongly characterized; the one by his sword, the
other by his eagle, and both by the airs of the heads. On her left are
St Magdalene with her cup, and St Augustine with his cross and
pontifical garments." Hitherto all the world had been agreed upon the
justness of the description; but the author of the _Manual of the
French Museum_, printed in 1803, judged it proper to make one of his
own, of which behold the title and the substance--_The Martyrdom of St

"Raffaelle would not represent the martyrdom of a young virgin like
the execution of a malefactor. Here Cecilia advances towards the place
where the palm of martyrdom awaits her. Her feet only still belong to
this earth. Her upraised eyes tell that her thoughts are already in
heaven. The man who bears the sword is not an executioner whose stern
ferocity augments that of the spectacle. Here the headsman has an air
of compassion. Behind the saint walks a priest who assists her. His
physiognomy is common, but sweet. He applauds the tranquil resignation
of the victim, who seems already to hear the celestial concert that is
going on above. The angels celebrate her coming before hand! One of
the companions of Cecilia points them out to her with his finger, and
seems to do so as an encouragement to her. A young man follows the
saint. His action is too expressive to suppose it that of a parent or
convert." This is indeed a very fine specimen, both for what is said
and what is unsaid--the surmise is perfectly French, and the pitying
tender familiarity of Cecilia, for commiseration's sake robbed of her
saintship, would be enough to melt an auction-room to tears, were the
picture to be sold and thus described.

The very best auction description of a picture we remember ever to
have heard, was one most fluently given, and with a most winning and
gentlemanly manner, by Mr Christie, the father of the present justly
appreciated Mr Christie, as true and honourable as unerring in his
judgment of pictures. It was many years ago. The picture to be sold
was the celebrated one of the three goddesses, _The Judgment of
Paris_, a large picture. Now the difficulty of the case lay in this,
that it was well known that there were three pictures of the subject,
all claiming to be originals. This was well known and talked about.
There were in fact three pictures of the judgment of Paris. After
minutely and most ably describing the picture, Mr Christie came to
this delicate acknowledgment. He admitted there were three; the great
painter, delighted with his subject, enamoured of the beauties he had
created, had, as it were, thrice thrown himself at the feet of each
goddess. The three pictures were an offering and homage to each. None
could determine which was best. The subject was the Judgment of
Paris--it was an enviable opportunity for a happy purchaser "to throw
the golden apple." We do not pretend to give, with any exactness, the
eloquent wording of this address; nor can we describe the perfect
grace with which it was delivered. Every one in the room seemed to
know that he was listening to a scholar and a gentleman, and felt a
confidence. But to return to De Burtin. The chapter on "the general
schools of painting," contains both useful information and judicious
remarks. He mentions the embarrassment the amateur must feel, seeing
that authors are not agreed among themselves in the number and
classification of schools. Some reckon three, some five, some eight,
some extend the number to twelve. Lanzi even makes fourteen of the
Italian schools alone. "In order that the school of a particular city
or country may take its place among the general schools, it is
necessary, in my opinion, that it shall have produced a great many
masters celebrated for their merit, and that these shall have in their
style and manner something common to them all, which particularly
characterizes them, and which is sufficiently remarkable to
distinguish their school from all others. Upon this principle, I
reckon eight schools in all; and these are, the Florentine or Tuscan,
the Roman, the Lombard, the Venetian, the Flemish, the Dutch, the
French, and the German. If it were sufficient to have given to the
world artists renowned for their merit, the Spanish might likewise
claim a place among the general schools, were it only from having
possessed a Morales, a Velasquez, and a Murillo. Naples, too, might
enjoy the same privilege, from the names of Spagnoletto, Calabrese,
Salvator Rosa, and Luca Giordano. Genoa, likewise, from Castiglione,
Strozzi, Castelli, and Cambiasi. But the want of a general distinctive
character prevents their being ranked under the general schools, and
the masters are, for the most part, placed separately in that one or
other of the acknowledged schools to which their manner approaches
most nearly, or to which their master belonged." The distinguishing
marks of the schools are ably laid down. The author confesses that he
feels a difficulty in generalizing the characteristics of the
Florentine school. He adopts the somewhat exaggerated (as he allows)
account of M. Levesque. His characteristics are--fine movement, a
certain sombre austerity, an expression of vigour, which excludes
perhaps that of grace, a character of design, the grandeur of which is
in some sort gigantic. They may be reproached with a kind of
exaggeration; but it cannot be denied that there is in this
exaggeration an ideal majesty, which elevates human nature above the
weak and perishing nature of reality. The Tuscan artists, satisfied
with commanding admiration, seem to disdain seeking to please. The
description of the Roman school we conceive to be not so fortunate.
Its excellence is attributed to the antique, distinguished "by great
beauty in the forms, a composition elegant, although often singular,
and by expressions ideal rather than natural, of which a part is often
sacrificed to the preservation of beauty." If we receive as models of
these two most celebrated schools, Michael Angelo Buonarroti, and
Raffaelle, (though it should be observed, if we look to the actual
genius of these great men, we must not forget the early age at which
Raffaelle died,) such distinction as this may be drawn. That the
Florentine school had for its object the personal, the absolute bodily
power and dignity of man, and such strong intellect and energy as
would be considered in necessary agreement with that perfect condition
of the human form. That there is therefore, in their vigorous
delineations, a great and simple, and, as it were, gigantic rudeness
very perceptible. On the contrary, in the Roman, the subordination of
the person to the cultivated mind is decidedly marked. It is the
delineation of man further off from his ruder state, showing in
aspect, and even in bodily movements, the mental cultivation. The one
school is of an Antediluvian, the other of a Christian race. Hence, in
the latter, under the prerogative of love, grace and a nicer beauty
are assumed; and a delicacy and purity arising from minds educated to
bear, to forbear, chastened by trial, endowed with a new greatness not
inconsistent with gentleness. Yet was simplicity strongly marked in
the Roman school; nor do we think the blame thrown upon their
colouring justly thrown, as it was most consistent with the
characteristic dignified simplicity; nor do we agree with those who
think it inharmonious in itself. Baroccio is praised, in that he added
somewhat of the colouring of Correggio to the study of the antique and
the works of Raffaelle; but it is more than doubtful if the innovation
upon the Roman simplicity be not a deterioration of the school. The
colouring, the chief characteristic of the Venetian school, represents
mankind in a still further onward (we use not the word advanced,
because it may be misunderstood) state, in the state of more
convention, of manners, and of luxury. Hence even most refined
subjects of the Venetian are, with regard to purity, and moral and
intellectual beauty, in a grade of inferiority to the Roman and
Florentine. They are of the age of a civil government rather than of a
religious influence. The countenances indicate the _business_ of the
world; the more varied costume, the more rich covering of the figures,
with less of the _nude_, are marks of merchandise and traffic. This is
perceptible, and possibly somewhat to the disparagement of the full
display of the subject, in the grand picture of Del Piombo, the
_Raising of Lazarus_, though perhaps that picture, bearing such
evidence of the design if not the hand of Michael Angelo, may by some
not be admitted as belonging to the Venetian school. We mean not to
say that the Venetian school did not advance the art by the new power
of colour, the invention of that school; it opened the way to a new
class of subjects, which still admitted much of the grand and the
pathetic. It certainly did more; it showed that there was a grand and
a pathetic in colour alone, a principle of art which, though first
shown, and not in its perfect degree by the Venetians, has never yet
been carried out as a principle. We hear much of its beauty, its
harmony, in a limited sense of its power, but seldom of its sentiment.

The remarks of M. de Burtin upon the _Peter Martyr_ of Titian are
very strange. He must have been much deceived when he saw this
wonderful picture, either by its position or the state of his own
vision. We saw the picture out of its frame, and down against the
wall, and saw no factitious unnatural effect, nor any black and white.
"This picture," he says, "so full of merit in other respects, presents
a striking example of the factitious and unnatural effect produced by
the extraordinary opposition of black and white. I am well aware that
gay and brilliant colouring would not be appropriate to a cruel
action; but a measure is to be observed in every thing, and I cannot
be convinced that there could occur, in broad day, and in the open
air, a scene in which all was obscure and black except the figures."
Obscurity and blackness in Titian's _Peter Martyr_! Our author has
attached the school of Bologne to that of Lombardy, as others have
done, in consideration that the Caracci in forming their school
greatly studied Correggio. Yet undoubtedly Correggio stands quite
apart from the Caracci. The Bologna was in fact a "Composite" school.
If the Venetian school was indicative of business, of the activities
of society as a mass, the Lombard school, as first distinguished by
Correggio, assumed more homely grace, it was domestic, of the
hearth--the cherished love, the sweet familiar grace. This was its
characteristic; it bore a kind of garden luxuriance and richer
embellishment of colour, not the embellishment of civic pomp as seen
in the Venetian, but a coloured richness as of the fruit and flower of
a new Eden. The _Holy Families_ of Correggio are in fragrant repose.
The earth pays the homage of her profusion, and, as conscious of the
presence of him that shall remove her curse, puts on her gorgeous
apparel. The next descent from this grade of art would be to the
pastoral. M. de Burtin objects to the airs of the heads, "graceful and
smiling felt not to be altogether appropriate when the action is sad
or violent." We can imagine that he alludes to the picture of the
_Martyrdom of St Placidus and Flavia_ at Parma. The smiling saint
receiving the sword in her bosom, as a boon in thankfulness or that
coming bliss which is already hers in vision, is perhaps as touching
as any expression ever painted by Correggio. Did our author miss the
meaning of that devotional and more than hopeful smile? This picture,
like some others of Correggio, is very grey, and has probably had much
of its glazing removed. In M. de Burtin's notice of the Flemish
school, we entirely pass over the discussion respecting Van Eyck and
his discovery; enough has been said upon that subject. The partiality
of our author for Rubens is very perceptible. The characteristics of
the Flemish school are confined to Historical painting, and even in
that class there is scarcely more than one example, Rubens. Between
Rubens and Vandyke there is certainly affinity beyond that of
colouring, though in colouring to a limited degree. Between Rubens and
Teniers there is surely a gap of many classes. If there be any
characteristic mark common to both, it must lie in the silvery
lightness of colouring, distinctness and freedom of touch, as if both
had used the same vehicle, and in the same manner, allowance being
made for the size and subjects of their pictures. We are not disposed
to detract from the reputation of Rubens as a colourist; no painter
perhaps better understood theoretically and practically the science of
the harmony of colours, and their application to natural
representation. But he was entirely careless as to sentiment of
colouring. Action even to its utmost superiority was his _forte_, and
for this one expression his colouring, by its vivid power and
contrasts, was certainly very admirable.

The Dutch school is so blended with the Flemish, separating from both
Rubens and Vandyke, and their immediate scholars, that it is difficult
to speak of them as distinct schools. Fascinating as they undoubtedly
are, they utterly abandon the power to teach for the art of pleasing.
They are not for the public; have little to do with _events_ of any
great interest. There is a manifest descent from the high pretensions
of art; the aim is to gratify the mere love of exact imitation, and to
interest by portraiture of manners. "If, then," says our author,
"truth of imitation is the first business of works of art; if,
without that, no picture is in a situation to please; if all that is
visible over the whole face of nature be included in the domain of
painting, how is it that among the exclusive partisans of historical
subjects, there are persons so blind as not to see that the marvellous
productions of this school, and of the Flemish, have filled with
admirable success the immense gaps which their vaunted Italian schools
have left in different parts of art?"

The very first sentence of this passage is of very undefined sense; we
can guess at what is meant by the sneer upon the "_vaunted Italian
schools_." There are not only immense gaps, but great gulfs, over
which there is no legitimate passage. If these schools have "done so
much honour to the art of painting," as M. de Burtin asserts that they
have, it has rather been in their perpetuating it as a practical art,
than by adding to its dignity or importance. If, however, it be
allowable to separate Rubens from the Flemish school, we may with
still greater propriety set apart by himself that extraordinary man
Rembrandt, who, if any, had some insight of the sentiment of colour.

Very little compliment is paid to the French school by De Burtin. He
considers that it has no characteristic but that of the imitation of
all schools. It should be observed in justice to more modern French
painters, that this was written in 1808. The very opposite opinions of
M. Levesque against, and Lairesse in favour of Simon Vouet, the
founder of the school, are quoted. The opinions of neither will weigh
much with modern critics, even though it were certain that those
ascribed to Lairesse were his. Neither Claude nor Nicolas Poussin are
allowed to belong to the French school. We presume De Burtin had but
little taste for landscape, for he does not mention, we believe, in
this whole work, Gaspar Poussin--nor does he dwell much upon Claude.
It is extraordinary that in mentioning the one, he should take no
notice of his great contemporary.

And here we may observe, that writers on art have ever been neglectful
in the extreme with regard to this part of art--we should add, this
delightful part, and so capable of sentiment. They take a vast jump
from the high Italian Historic (of Figures) to the low Flemish and
Dutch, not even in those latter schools discriminating the better
portion of the landscape from the lower.

There is wanting a new classification, one not so much of schools, nor
of styles _per se_, as of subjects--in which the School of Landscape
would require an ample treatment. It is a school which, by the neglect
of critics, has been allowed to descend to its lowest depth; yet is it
one which is daily becoming more the public taste--a taste,
nevertheless, which has as yet given to it but little of its former
elevation, which it had entirely lost before it reached us through the
deterioration of the Dutch and Flemish schools.

The German school, the first in antiquity, was extinguished with its
masters. It was founded by Albert Durer, whose genius was acknowledged
and admired by Raffaelle himself. The modern German school was not in
existence at the date of this publication in 1808.

An entire chapter is given upon "the causes of the characteristics
which distinguish the different schools from each other." There is,
however, nothing new said upon this subject. Undoubtedly there is much
truth in the following passage: "So much did the liberty which the
Dutch had just recovered from the Spaniards, by unheard-of efforts,
become fatal among them to the same class of art, the foundations of
which they sapped by their resolution to banish their priests, and to
substitute a religion that suffers neither pictures nor statues of
saints in their churches. From that time all the views of their
painters were necessarily turned to the other classes of art, more
susceptible of a small form, and therefore more suitable to the
private houses of the Dutch, which, though neat and commodious, are
not sufficiently large for pictures of great size." If the dignity of
art is to be recovered, it will be by national galleries, and we might
yet perhaps hope, by re-opening our churches for the admission of
scriptural pictures.

The chapter upon the division of pictures into classes, is by no means
satisfactory. It is admitted by the translator to be incomplete. At
its conclusion is a quotation from Pliny, which, as it is intended to
justify De Burtin's taste for the low Flemish and Dutch schools, does
not indicate a very high taste in either Pliny or himself. Pliny says
of Pyreicus, that "few artists deserve to be preferred to him. That he
painted, in small, barbers' and shoemakers' stalls, asses, bears, and
such things." He further adds, that his works obtained _larger_ prices
than other artists of nobler subjects obtained, and that he was not
degraded by choosing such low subjects. We beg pardon of Pliny, but we
would not give three farthings for his pictorial judgment. Indeed, had
not Lucian given us some most vivid descriptions of some of the
ancient pictures, we should have had no very high opinion of them. For
the well-known anecdotes speak only in favour of mechanical
excellence. Our author, in his chapter on the art of describing
pictures, might have taken Lucian for his model with great propriety.
There is in this chapter on division into classes, much nonsense about
beauty, Ideal and Physical. De Burtin thinks we have not any
instinctive feeling for physical beauty as of moral beauty; that a
fixed proportion of parts neither in men nor animals, any more than in
architecture, is the foundation of beauty--which is perfectly
ridiculous, and not worth an argument. Ideal beauty he here treats
with great contempt, and points out two truths on this matter
demonstrated by comparative anatomy; "the one of which is, that the
beauty of the antique heads depends chiefly on the facial line in
them, making an angle of 100 degrees with the horizontal line; the
other is, that it is certain that such a head is never found in

In the tenth chapter he treats of "the causes of the superiority of
the pictures of the 16th and 17th centuries over those of the past
century." He looks upon Rome and the Antique as the chief cause, and
that artists go there before they have established principles of art.
It is not, he asserts, in difference of colours; for "Giorgione and
Titian neither made this themselves, nor brought them from afar, but
bought then uniformly in the shops at Venice." He appears to entertain
no suspicion of loss or deterioration of vehicle; on the contrary,
thinks some artists have been very successful in copies, here rather
contradicting his former remarks upon the difference between old
copies and new; but, above all, he attributes this _décadence_ of art
to the neglect of colour. That, however, is evidently only one part of
the art. We are almost induced to smile either at his flattery or his
simplicity in naming certain exceptions of modern times, whose names
will be little known to, and those known not much in the admiration
of, the English collector, "all of whom have carried their art to a
very high degree of perfection." In his chapter on the "different
manners of the masters," it is observable how little he has to say of
the Italian schools; almost all the subsequent remarks in the volume
are confined to the Flemish and Dutch. He greatly praises Dietrici for
his manner, which to us is not pleasing, and which we should term an
imitating flippancy. He tells an anecdote of Titian, which, if it rest
upon any good authority, tends to prove that Titian's medium must have
been one which admitted the mixture of water with oil. Of Titian he
says, that at the end of his life "he used to daub his best works anew
with red paint, because he thought the colour too feeble. But happily
his pupils had the address to prevent the fatal effects of his
foolishness, _by making up his colours with water only_, or with an
oil that was not of a drying nature." With colours ground, Titian
could not have mixed his pencil in oil alone and unmixed--and he would
himself have immediately discovered the cheat, for it would have dried
as distemper dead, and crumbled away under his hand. He might have so
painted, if oil and water had been combined, and the vehicle rendered
saponaceous, which it probably was. Many artists have been led, he
observes, to change the manner from good to bad. We have a remarkable
instance in our Gainsborough, whose latter scratchy, slovenly manner
is most displeasing; nor had he at any time an imagination to justify
it, or rather to qualify it by the power of his compositions.

It is strange that he attributes slovenliness of manner to Rembrandt,
"from Avarice." Documents have recently been produced showing that
Rembrandt's goods were seized for payment of no very large debt. But
is not M. de Burtin altogether mistaken in this manner of Rembrandt?
Any of his pictures that show this slovenliness, are, we should
suspect, in those parts merely sketched in--a method agreeable to his
practice, which was to work upon and upon, glazing, and heaping
colour--a method which required, in the first instance, a loose and
undefined sketchy manner. Some few years ago there was a picture by
him exhibited at the Institution, Pall-Mall--dead game, wonderfully
painted, and evidently unfinished; a boy in the background was, as we
might term it, daubed in in a very slovenly manner, and with a
greenish colour, evidently for the sake of that colour as an
underground. Under the head "Historical" in this chapter, it is
strange to find but seven names, Rubens, Vandyke, Rembrandt, Lairesse,
Poelemburg, Albert Durer, and Hans Holbein. Even with some of these
names it is too much honour to place Lairesse and Poelemburg.

In reference to the lower classes of subjects, we think justice is
hardly done to Jan Steen, of whom, considering him even as a
colourist, more should have been said, than that he "is distinguished
by the drollery of his subjects, and by the most true and ingeniously
simple expression of the feelings of common life." All this might be
said of many others; the characteristic of Jan Steen is still wanting.
So we think as to Philip Wouverman; no notice is taken of his too
great softness, the evident fault of his manner. Nor are we satisfied
with the description of Backhuysen. It should have been noticed in
what he is distinguished from Vandervelde. His defect in composition
is so striking, as frequently to show a want of perspective in design,
and often he has no principal object in his picture. His vessels are
either too large or too small for the scene; and his execution was
likewise too softened. He winds up this part of the subject with a
quotation from Diderot, that "he cannot be manner'd, either in design
or colouring, who imitates nature scrupulously, and that mannerism
comes of the master of the academy, of the school, and of the
Antique," which we very much doubt, for the mannerism is often in the
mind, the peculiar, the autographic character of the painter, which he
stamps even upon nature. Were a Wynantz, and a Claude or Poussin, put
down before the same scene, how different would be their pictures, how
different the vision in the eye of the three! A Claude would see the
distances, a Gaspar Poussin the middle distances and flowing lines,
and Wynantz the docks and thistles. The chapter "on the signatures of
the Masters," will be found useful to collectors. He says that where
there is a false signature it is removed by spirits of wine, and that
is the proof that it is false. He does not draw the inference, that as
spirits of wine destroy the one vehicle and not the other, the old and
original, they must differ.

Another chapter is devoted to "The famous balance composed by De Piles
for estimating the different degrees of merit in the principal
historical painters." This famous balance is a piece of critical
coxcombry with which we never could have tolerable patience. It is an
absurd assumption of superiority in the critic over all the masters
that ever were; as if he alone were able to conceive perfection, to
which no painter has ever been able to advance; that perfection on
which the critic, or rather De Piles, had his eye, is Number 20; that
no Painter has approached it nearer than nineteen. It commences with a
falsehood in supposition, that the critic is above the Painter, or
Art, or the only one really cognisant of it. The fact being quite the
reverse, for _we know nothing that we have not been absolutely taught
by genius_. It is genius that precedes; it is the maker, the worker,
the inventor, who alone sees the step beyond. Did the critic see this
step he would cease to be the critic, and become the maker. He would
become the genius. In the arts, whether of poetry, painting, or music,
we know nothing but what practical genius tells us, shows us, teaches
us; seldom is it, indeed, that the scholar critic comprehends fully
the lessons taught; but to pretend to go before the _masters_, and to
set up a post with his Number 20 marked upon it, and to bid his master
reach it if he can, is the puerile play of an infantine intellect, or
very conceited mind! And so we give M. De Piles, and all his
followers, a slap in the face, and bid them go packing with Number 20.
We will not condescend to pull to pieces this fantastic scheme, which
is in its distinctions, and weighings and calculations, appreciations
and depreciations, as false as it must necessarily be, arising from a
mind capable of laying down any such scheme at all. The chapter on
prices, and the lists contained, will be consulted with advantage by
collectors. It contains valuable documents, showing the fluctuations
of public taste. There is much useful information upon cleaning
pictures, and on varnishes. Something has been recently said to bring
into practice again the varnishing with white of egg. M. de Burtin is
decidedly against the practice. "As to the varnishes of water,
isinglass, and white of egg, every prudent amateur will attack them
the instant that he discovers such dangerous enemies, and will use
every effort to free his pictures from them." We think him utterly
mistaken in the following passage. "In operating upon a work of art,
whether to clean it or to raise the varnish, it ought to be
remembered, that the colours grow hard only by the lapse of time." If
so, surely a hundred years would be time enough to harden--but the
chemical tests which touch the hard paint, if it be hard, of a century
old, will not be applicable to those of still older date, and of
better time. He had shown this unconsciously in what he had said of
spirits of wine. We have taken some pains in the pages of Maga to
disabuse the public with regard to the imaginary benefit of painting
in varnish--a most pernicious practice; and that it is so, we have
elsewhere given both proof and authorities. We are glad to find our
author on our side. "Besides, no one at the present day (1808) is
ignorant of their absurd method of painting in varnish, which corrupts
the colours, and prevents them ever attaining the requisite hardness."
There is much useful matter upon varnishing, which it will be well
that collectors and keepers of public galleries should read with
attention. We do not say follow, but read; for it is indeed a very
serious matter to recommend a varnish, seeing how many pictures are
totally ruined by bad applications. We have been told that drying oil
mixed with mastic varnish has been, though not very recently, used in
our National Gallery. We hope it is a mistake, and that there has been
no such practice. The effect must be to make them dull and horny, and
to destroy all brilliancy in time. We say no more upon that subject,
believing that our National Gallery is intrusted to good hands, and
that whatever is done, will be done with judgment, and not without
much reflection. A new varnish has appeared, "Bentley's." We believe
it is copal, but rendered removable as mastic. It is certainly very
brilliant, not, or but slightly, subject to chill, and is more
permanent, as well as almost colourless. De Burtin not only denounces
the use of oil in varnishes, but speaks of a more disgusting practice,
common in Italy, of rubbing pictures "with fat, oil, or lard, or other
animal grease.... So destructive a practice comes in process of time
to rot the picture, so that it will not hold together." We should
scarcely have thought it worth while to notice this, had we not seen
pictures so treated in this country. Behold a specimen of folly and
hazardous experiment:--"At that time, I frequented the Dresden gallery
every morning, and got from M. Riedal all the details of his practice.
He informed me that, amongst others, the chief works of Correggio,
Raffaelle, Titian, and Procaccini, after having undergone his
preparatory operations, had got a coat of his 'oil of flowers,' which
he would repeat, until every part became 'perfectly bright.' And on my
remarking, that in the admirable 'Venus' of Titian, the carnations
alone were bright, and all the rest flat, he told me with perfect
coolness, that 'having only as yet given it three coats of his oil,
that it was not astonishing, but that he would put it all in unison by
multiplying the coats.'" The man should have been suffocated in his
"oil of flowers," preserved in them, and hung up in the gallery _in
terrorem_. Could ghosts walk and punish, we would not have been in his
skin, though perfumed with his preservative oil of flowers, under the
visitations of the ghosts of Correggio, Raffaelle, Titian, and
Procaccini. "Such," adds M. de Burtin, "was his threat at the very
moment that I felt overpowered with chagrin, to see the superb
carnations of Titian acquiring a yellowish, sad, and monotonous tone,
through the coats that he had already given to it."

We have noticed, at considerable length, this work, and have been led
on by the interest of the subject. The perusal of this translation
will repay the connoisseur, and we think the artist. The former, in
this country, will be surprised to find names of artists, whose works
will not be found in our collections, at least with their titles. The
artist will find some useful information, and will always find his
flame of enthusiasm fed by reading works upon the subject of art,
though they should be very inferior to the present useful volume. We
recommend it as not unamusing to all who wish to think upon art, and
to acquire the now almost necessary accomplishment of a taste for




Along the dusty highway, and underneath a July sun, a man about fifty,
tending somewhat to the corpulent, and dressed in heavy parsonic
black, might have been seen treading slowly--treading with all that
quiet caution which one uses who, conscious of fat, trusts his person
to the influence of a summer sky. Mr Simpson, such was the name of
this worthy pedestrian, passed under the denomination of a
mathematical tutor, though it was now some time since he had been
known to have any pupil. He was now bent from the village of ------ to
the country-seat of Sir John Steventon, which lay in its
neighbourhood. He had received the unusual honour of an invitation to
dinner at the great man's house, and it was evidently necessary that
he should present himself, both his visage and his toilet, in a state
of as much composure as possible. The dust upon his very shining boot,
this a touch from his pocket-handkerchief, before entering the house,
could remove, and so far all traces of the road would be obliterated;
but should this wicked perspiration once fairly break its bounds, he
well knew that nothing but the lapse of time, and the fall of night,
would recover him from this palpable disorder. Therefore it was that
he walked with wonderful placidity, making no one movement of body or
mind that was not absolutely necessary to the task of progression, and
holding himself up, so to speak, _within_ his habiliments as if he and
they, though unavoidably companions on the same journey, were by no
means intimate or willing associates. There was a narrow strip of
shade from the hedge that ran beside the road, and although the shadow
still left the nobler half of his person exposed to the rays of the
sun, he kept carefully within such shelter as it afforded. If he
encountered any one, he stood still and examined the foliage of the
hedge. To dispute the path in any other manner, with the merest urchin
he might meet, was out of the question. It would have caused
excitement. Moreover he was a meek man, and in all doubtful points
yielded to the claim of others. Grocery-boys and barrow-women always
had the wall of him. Our traveller proceeded so tranquilly, that a
sparrow boldly hopped down upon the ground before him; he was so
resolved to enter into conflict with no living creature, that he
paused till it had hopped off again.

Mr Simpson's toilet, though it had been that day a subject of great
anxiety with him, presented, we fear, to the eyes of the world nothing
remarkable. A careless observer, if questioned on the apparition he
had met with, would have replied very briefly, that it was the figure
of an old pedant dressed in a suit of rusty black. Suit of rusty
black! And so he would dismiss the aggregate of all that was choice,
reserved, and precious in the wardrobe of Mr Simpson. Rusty black,
indeed! Why, that dress coat, which had been set apart for years for
high and solemn occasions, had contracted a fresh dignity and
importance from every solemnity with which it had been associated. And
those respectable nether-garments, had they not always been dismissed
from service the moment he re-entered his own dusty apartment? Had
they not been religiously preserved from all abrasion of the surface,
whether from cane-bottomed chair, or that under portion of the library
table which, to students who cross their legs, is found to be so
peculiarly pernicious to the nap of cloth? What _could_ have made them
worse for wear? Would a thoughtless world confound the influence of
the all-embracing atmosphere, with the wear and tear proper to cloth
habiliments? And then his linen--would a careless public refuse to
take notice that not a single button was missing from the shirt,
which, in general, had but one solitary button remaining--just one at
the neck, probably fastened by his own hand? Above all, was it not
noticeable that he was not to-day under the necessity of hiding one
hand behind him under the lappets of his coat, and slipping the other
down his half-open umbrella, to conceal the dilapidated gloves, but
could display both hands with perfect candour to public scrutiny? Were
all these singular merits to pass unacknowledged, to be seen by no
one, or seen only by himself?

It was an excellent wish of Burns'--

    "Oh, would some power the giftie gie us,
    To see ourselves as others see us!"

But it would be a still more convenient thing if some power would give
the rest of the world the faculty of seeing us as we see ourselves. It
would produce a most comfortable state of public opinion; and on no
subject would it operate more favourably than on that of dress. Could
we spread over beholders the same happy delusion that rests on
ourselves, what a magical change would take place in the external
appearance of society! Mr Simpson is not the only person who might
complain that the world will not regard his several articles of attire
from the same _point of view_ as himself. We know a very charming
lady, who, when she examines her kid gloves, doubles her little fist,
and then pronounces--they will do--forgetful that she is not in the
habit of doubling her pretty fist in the face of every one that she
speaks to--and that, therefore, others will not take exactly the same
point of view as herself.

Notwithstanding the heat of the sun, our mathematician contrived to
deliver himself in a tolerable state of preservation at the mansion of
Sir John Steventon. We pass over the ceremony of dinner, and draw up
the curtain just at that time when the ladies and gentlemen have
re-assembled in the drawing-room.

We look round the well-dressed circle, and it is some time before we
can discover our worthy friend. At length, after a minute research, we
find him standing alone in the remotest corner of the room. He is
apparently engaged in examining the bust of the proprietor of the
mansion, which stands there upon its marble pedestal. He has almost
turned his back upon the company. Any one, from his attitude, might
take him for a connoisseur, perhaps an artist, absorbed in his
critical survey. But so far is he from being at the present moment
drawn away by his admiration of the fine arts, that we question
whether he even _sees_ the bust that is standing upright, face to
face, before him. He has got into that corner, and knows not how to
move from it. He knows not where else to put himself, or what else to
be looking at. The scene in which he finds himself has, from the
solitude of his later years, become strange and embarrassing. The
longer he stands there, the more impossible does it seem for him to
get away, or even to turn round and face the company. The position of
the valorous Schmelzle, who having read upon a board the notice "that
spring guns were set upon the premises," trembled as much to retreat
as to advance, to move a foot backwards or forwards, or in any
direction, but stood gazing at the formidable announcement, was
scarcely more painful than that of Simpson. Although probably not a
single person in the room was taking the least notice of his
movements, he _felt_ that every eye was upon him. The colour was
mounting in his cheek. Every moment his situation was becoming more
intolerable. We are afraid that he would soon have committed something
very absurd--have broken from his moorings with a shout--or dispelled
the sort of nightmare that was stifling him by some violent gesture,
perhaps by dealing a blow at that bust which stood there so placidly
before him, just as the poor youth did at the British Museum, who
threw a stone at the Portland vase, to prove that he also was a man,
and had volition, and was not to be looked into stone by the Gorgon of
society. Fortunately, however, Sir John Steventon himself came to the

"Well, Mr Simpson," said the baronet pointing to the bust, "do you
trace a resemblance?"

Mr Simpson was so overjoyed to have at length some one at hand to whom
he might speak, or seem to be speaking, and so connect himself with
the society around him, that to the simple question he made not one
only, but several answers, and very dissimilar ones too. In the same
breath he found it a likeness, yet not very like, and ended with
asking for whom it was intended.

Sir John Steventon smiled, and after one or two indifferent
observations, led Mr Simpson apart into a little study or _sanctum_ of
his own, which communicated with the drawing-room. It will be
naturally concluded that there existed some peculiar reason for the
invitation passed on our humble mathematician, who was not altogether
the person, under ordinary circumstances, to find himself a guest at
rich men's tables. The following conversation will explain this
departure from the usual course of things, and the respectable
conventions of society.

"You were some years," said Sir John, "a tutor in the family of the
late Mr Scott?"

"I was," responded Mr Simpson, "and prepared his son for Cambridge.
Had the young man lived"----

"He would, I am sure," politely interrupted Sir John, "have borne
testimony to the value of your instruction. I am, as you may be aware,
the executor of Mr Scott. That gentleman was so well satisfied with
the exertions you made, and the interest you took in his son, that, on
your quitting him, he presented you, I believe, with an annuity of
fifty pounds, to be enjoyed during your life. This is, if I may be
allowed to say so, the chief source of your income."

"The only one," answered Mr Simpson. "For although I willingly
proclaim myself tutor of mathematics, because a title, no matter what,
is a protection from the idle curiosity of neighbours; yet, if I may
venture to say so, my life is, indeed, devoted to science for the love
of science itself, and with the hope of enrolling my name, although
the very last and humblest, amongst those who have perfected our
knowledge of the mathematics, and extended their application. I have
already conceived, and in part executed a work."

Mr Simpson was launching on the full tide of his favourite subject. He
thought, as good simple creatures always do, that he could not make a
better return for the hospitalities of the rich man, than by pouring
out his whole heart before him. Sad mistake which these simple people
fall into! The rich man cares nothing for their heart, and is very
susceptible to ennui.

"Very good," interrupted Sir John, "very good; but with regard to this
annuity. I have not yet looked over the papers relating to it, and I
hope, for your sake, I shall find it properly secured."

"I have a deed formally drawn up."

"True, true; and I hope all will be found straightforward in this,
and in other affairs of the testator, and that nothing will compel me
to call in the assistance or sanction of the Court of Chancery in
administering the estate. In that case, although your claim might be
ultimately substantiated, yet the payment of your annuity might, for
some years, be suspended."

"I pray God not!" exclaimed our man of science with some trepidation.
"I have lived so much alone, so entirely amongst my figures and
diagrams, that I have not a friend in the world of whom I could borrow

"Well, I trust," resumed Sir John, after a short pause, "that there
will be no occasion for applying to a Court of Chancery. There ought
to be none. There is but one child, Mrs Vincent, whom you have seen
this evening in the drawing-room. The great essential is to keep
prying and meddlesome attorneys from thrusting themselves into the
business. You acted as confidential secretary as well as tutor, while
you were domiciled with Mr Scott."

"I did."

"There was a pecuniary transaction between myself and Mr Scott, to
which I think you were privy."

"A loan of ten thousand pounds, for which you gave your bond."

"Exactly. I see you are informed of that circumstance. You are not,
perhaps, equally well informed that that bond was cancelled; that the
debt, in short, was paid. This happened after you had left Mr Scott.
But although, as I tell you, this debt no longer exists, yet it might
create a great embarrassment to me, and to every person interested in
the estate of the testator, if it were known that such a debt ever had
existed. Mrs Vincent has just returned from India, expecting a very
considerable fortune from her late father. To her, in general terms,
the whole property is left. She will be disappointed. There is much
less than she anticipates. However, not to make a long story of this
matter, all I have to request of you is this, if any one should
question you as to the property of your late patron, and especially as
to this transaction, be you silent--know nothing. You have ever been a
man of books, buried in abstractions, the answer will appear quite
natural. This will save you, be assured, from much vexation,
disquietude, and grievous interruption to your studies, and I shall
rest your debtor for your considerate behaviour. A contrary course
will create embarrassment to all parties, and put in jeopardy your own
annuity, on which, as you say, you depend for subsistence, and the
carrying out of your scientific projects."

As Mr Simpson sat silent during this communication, Sir John continued
some time longer in the same strain. He made no doubt that the simple
mathematician before him was quite under his influence--was completely
in his power. That simple person, however, who lived in obscurity,
almost in penury--to society an object of its wisely directed
ridicule--was a man of honour. Little had he to do with the world;
even its good opinion was scarcely of any importance to him. What to
him was the fastidiousness of virtue--to him whom poverty excluded
from the refined portion of society, and knowledge and education from
the vulgar and illiterate? What could he profit by it? Nothing,
absolutely nothing. And yet there was no power on earth could have
made this man false to his honour. Partly, perhaps, from his very
estrangement from the business of the world, his sense of virtue had
retained its fresh and youthful susceptibility. As is the case with
all such men, he was slow to attribute villany to others. This it was
had kept him silent; he waited to be quite convinced that he
understood Sir John. When the truth stood plainly revealed, when it
became evident to him that this debt of ten thousand pounds was _not_
paid, and that he was brought there to be bribed or intimidated into a
guilty secrecy, his whole soul fired up with indignation.

He had listened, as we say, in silence. When satisfied that he
perfectly comprehended Sir John, he rose from his seat, and briefly
intimating that he should not leave him long in doubt as to the manner
in which he should act, turned, and abruptly left the apartment. Sir
John had no time to arrest him, and could only follow, and be a
witness to his movements. He re-entered the drawing-room. Where were
now all the terrors of that scene? Where the awe which its easy
elegant ceremonial inspired? Gone, utterly gone. He had now a duty to
fulfil. You would have said it was another man. Had he been the
proprietor of the mansion, he could not have entered with a more
assured and unembarrassed air. There was a perfect freedom and dignity
in his demeanour as he stepped across the room. In the centre of the
room, throned, as it were, upon the sofa, sat two ladies, remarkable
above all the others, for the finished elegance of their manner, and
the splendour of their toilet. The one was Lady Steventon, the other
Mrs Vincent. Some minutes ago, not for all the world would he have
stood alone upon that piece of carpet in front of this sofa. No
courtier, assured of the most smiling reception, could have drawn his
chair with more ease to the vacant spot beside Mrs Vincent, than did
now Mr Simpson. He immediately entered into conversation on the
subject that at the moment engrossed all his thoughts; he reminded her
of the confidential intimacy which had subsisted between himself and
her late father; proffered his assistance to aid her in the
arrangement of her affairs; and, in particular, gave a succinct
account of the transaction which Sir John had manifested so great
anxiety to conceal.

The manner in which all this was said, so entirely took Sir John
Steventon by surprise, that he was unable to interfere with a single
word. Mrs Vincent, to whom the information was evidently quite new,
concealed the embarrassment she felt in some general expressions of
thanks to Mr Simpson. He, when he had fulfilled his object, rose, and
making a profound bow to his host and hostess, quitted the house. His
demeanour was such, that his host involuntarily returned his
salutation with one of marked deference and respect.


A year had rolled round, and Mrs Vincent was established in all her
rights. Sir John Steventon had been disappointed in the fraudulent
scheme he had devised; not disappointed, however, as he deemed, in the
revenge he had taken on the man who had frustrated it. Payment of Mr
Simpson's annuity was resisted, and the poor mathematician was in
great straits for those necessaries of life, which, necessary as they
may be, are often with a great portion of the human family very
fortuitous. Ask not on what legal pretexts Sir John had been
successful in inflicting this revenge. Such pretexts are "thick as
blackberries." _Facilis est descensus_--No rich suitor ever sought
long for admission into the Court of Chancery, however difficult even
he may have found the escape from it. Neither, do we apprehend, is
there any remedy for this abuse of law, in the legal reforms usually
contemplated by our legislators. The only effective remedy, if we may
be here permitted to give a remark, would be this--that the state
administer civil justice at its own expense to rich and poor
alike--that, as it protects each man's life and limb, so it should
protect each man's property, which is the means of life, which is
often as essential to him as the limbs by which he moves. This is the
only mode of realizing that "equal justice" which at present is the
vain boast of every system of jurisprudence, when the suitor has to
pay for protection to his property.

Poor Simpson, who had lived for some years on his scanty annuity, and
had lived content, for his wants were few, and his mind utterly
absorbed in his science, now found himself without the simplest means
of subsistence. He had escaped, as he thought, for ever, from the
necessity of applying his science to satisfy mere animal wants; he
began to think he should be very fortunate if all his science would
procure for him the commonest "board and lodging!" When a man has
ceased to cultivate his relationship with society, and wishes, after a
time, to return to them, he will find that a blank wall has been built
up between him and the world. There is not even a door to knock at,
let alone the chance of its opening when he knocks. Our mathematician
knew not where to look for a pupil, nor for a friend who would
recommend him. Some unavailing attempts he made to obtain his rights
through litigation; but he soon found, that to the loss of his money
he was adding only the loss of all tranquillity of mind. The lawyer he
employed neglected (and very naturally) a suit which would have
required on his part large advances, the repayment of which was very

In this predicament he bethought himself of making an appeal to Mrs
Vincent, the lady whom he had benefited by his simple and
straightforward honesty; not that he held her under any peculiar
obligation to him; what he had done was by no means to oblige her; it
was strictly a self-obligation; he could not have acted otherwise, let
the consequences have been what they might. But he reasoned with
himself, that the annuity of which he was deprived would fall into the
general residue of the estate, and be in fact paid to her; and as he
could not believe that she would wish to profit by the villany of Sir
John, he thought there could be nothing derogatory to him, nor
exacting upon her, if he proposed to relinquish entirely his legal
claim upon the estate, and receive the annuity from her hands. She
must surely be desirous, he thought, to fulfil the solemn engagements
of her deceased parent. Full of these cogitations, he betook himself
to London, where Mrs Vincent had established herself.

The reader must imagine himself introduced into an elegantly furnished
drawing-room, in one of the most fashionable quarters of the
metropolis. Had we any talent for the description of the miracles of
upholstery, it would be a sin to pass over so superb and tasteful a
scene without a word. But the little descriptive power we possess must
be reserved for the lady who was sitting in the midst of one of those
domestic miniature palaces, of which the "interiors" of London could
present so great a number. Mrs Vincent had lately become a widow, at
the opening of our narrative, and was therefore still dressed in
black. But though in black, or rather perhaps on that very account,
her attire was peculiarly costly. In black only can magnificence of
apparel be perfectly allied with purity of taste. And certainly
nothing could harmonize better than the rich satin dress, and the
superb scarf of lace which fell over it with such a gorgeous levity. A
pope in his highest day of festival might have coveted that lace.
Between the black satin and the light folds of the scarf, relieved by
the one, and tempered, and sometimes half hidden by the other, played
a diamond cross, which might have been the ransom of a Great Mogul.
The features of Mrs Vincent were remarkably delicate, and her pale
beauty was of that order which especially interests the imagination.
She wore her hair plainly parted upon either side, revealing the
charming contour of her well-shaped head. A patriarch would have
gloried in his age if it gave him the privilege to take that dear head
between his hands, and imprint his holy kiss upon the forehead. Her
little girl, her sole companion and chief treasure in the world, stood
prattling before her; and the beauty of the young mother was tenfold
increased by the utter forgetfulness of herself, which she manifested
as she bent over her child, absorbed in the beauty of that dear little
image which she was never weary of caressing.

Mrs Vincent was even more fascinating in manner than in appearance.
She was one of those charming little personages whom every one
idolizes, whom men and women alike consent to _pet_. It was impossible
to be in the same room with her half an hour without being perfectly
ready to do every thing, reasonable or unreasonable, that she could
request of you. The charm of her conversation, or rather of her
society, was irresistible; there was a sweet subdued gaiety in her
speech, accent, and gestures which made you happy, you knew not why;
and though by no means a wit, nor laying the least claim to be a
clever person, there was a sprightly music in her tones, and a
spontaneous vivacity in her language, which left a far more delightful
impression than the most decided wit.

Where shall we find a more beautiful picture than that of a young
mother, and that mother a widow, bending over the glossy tresses of
her child? Never is woman so attractive, so subduing; never does she
so tenderly claim our protection; never is she so completely
protected, so unassailable, so predominant. Poor Simpson felt his
heart penetrated with the holiest love and veneration when he entered
the room.

Nothing could exceed the graceful and benevolent manner in which Mrs
Vincent received him. He had been the tried friend of her father, the
beloved tutor of her brother; he had lately been of signal service to
herself. Mr Simpson was overpowered with his reception. The object of
his visit seemed already accomplished. Hardly did it appear necessary
to proceed with any verbal statement; surely she knew his position,
and this was enough. She had been restored to her rights; she would
not, she could not, allow him to suffer by an act which led to that
restoration; still less would she consent to reap herself the benefit
of an injustice perpetrated upon him.

Some explanation, however, of the object of his visit he found it
necessary to make. When he had concluded the brief statement which he
thought sufficient, the lady answered in the softest voice in the
world--that she was sorry she could not enter upon that subject, as
she had promised Sir John Steventon not to interfere between him and
Mr Simpson--that Sir John had exacted this promise, and she had given
it, as necessary to facilitate the arrangement of her affairs. What
could she do, an unprotected woman, with the interests of her child
depending upon her? She was bound, therefore, she regretted to say,
not to intermeddle in the business. But then Mr Simpson could proceed
with his legal remedies. She did not presume to pass an opinion upon
the justice of his claim, or to advise him not to prosecute it.

In brief, she had given up the brave and honourable man, who had
befriended her at the peril of his fortune, to the revenge of the
wealthy, unscrupulous baronet, who had intended to defraud her. It was
so agreeable to be on amicable terms with her father's executor.

Our mathematician doubted his ears. Yet so it was. And it was all
repeated to him in the blandest manner in the world. She seemed to
think that a duty to any one else but her child was out of the
question. We believe that many interesting and beautiful mothers have
the same idea.

Mr Simpson gasped for breath. Some quite general remark was the only
one that rose to his lip. "You are angels--to look upon," he
half-murmured to himself.

It was not in his disposition to play the petitioner, and still less
to give vent to feelings of indignation, which would be thought to
have their origin only in his own personal injuries. It was still
surprise that was predominant in him, as at length he exclaimed--"But
surely, madam, you do not understand this matter. This annuity was
honestly won by long services rendered to your father, and to his son.
Instead of receiving other payments, I had preferred to be finally
remunerated in this form--it was my desire to obtain what in my humble
ideas was an independence, that I might devote my life to science.
Well, this annuity, it is my all--it stands between me and absolute
penury--it is the plank on which I sail over the waters of life. I
have, too, an object for my existence, which this alone renders
possible. I have studies to pursue, discoveries to make. This sum of
money is more than my life, it is my license to study and to think."

"Oh, but, Mr Simpson," interrupted the lady with a smile, "I
understand nothing of mathematics."

Mr Simpson checked himself. No, she did _not_ understand him. What was
his love of science or his hope of fame to her? What to her was any
one of the pains and pleasures that constituted _his_ existence?

"Besides," added the lady, "you are a bachelor, Mr Simpson. You have
no children. It can matter little"----

A grim smile played upon the features of the mathematician. He was
probably about to prove to her, that as children are destined to
become men, the interests of a man may not be an unworthy subject of
anxiety. However important a person a child may be, a man is something
more. But at this moment a servant entered, and announced Sir John

On perceiving Mr Simpson, that gentleman was about to retreat, and
with a look of something like distrust at Mrs Vincent, he said that
he would call again. "Nay, come in!" exclaimed the mathematician with
a clear voice. "Come in! The lady has not broken her word, nor by me
shall she be petitioned to do so. It is I who will quit this place.
You have succeeded, Sir John, in your revenge--you have succeeded, and
yet perhaps it is an imperfect success. You shall not rack the heart,
though you should starve the body. You think, perhaps, I shall pursue
you with objurgation or entreaty. You are mistaken. I leave you to the
enjoyment of your triumph, and to the peace which a blunted conscience
will, I know, bestow upon you."

Sir John muttered, in reply, that he could not debate matters of
business, but must refer him to his solicitor.

"Neither personally," continued Mr Simpson, "nor by your solicitor,
will you hear more of me. I shall forget you, Sir John. Whatever
sufferings you may inflict, you shall not fill my heart with
bitterness. Your memory shall not call forth a single curse from me.
Approach. Be friendly to this lady. Be mutually courteous, bland, and
affable--what other virtues do you know?"

He strode out of the room. His parting word was no idle boast. Sir
John heard of him and of his just claims no more; and the
brave-hearted man swept the memory of the villain from his soul. He
would not have it there.

The baronet soothed his conscience, if it ever gave him any
uneasiness, by the supposition that the aged mathematician had found
some pupils--that probably he eked out as comfortable a subsistence as
before, and had only exchanged the dreamy pursuit of scientific fame,
for the more practical labours of tuition. But no such fortune
attended Mr Simpson. He had lived too long out of the world to find
either friends or pupils, and the more manifest his poverty, the more
hopeless became his applications. Meanwhile, utter destitution stood
face to face before him. Did he spend his last coin in the purchase of
the mortal dose? Did he leap at night from any of the bridges of the
metropolis? He was built of stouter stuff. He collected together his
manuscripts, a book or two, which had happily for him been unsaleable,
his ink-bottle and an iron pen, and marched straight--to the parish
workhouse. There was no refusing his claim here. Poverty and famine
were legible in every garment, and on every feature. In that asylum he
ended his days, unknown, unsought for.

One of his companions, dressed like himself, in the workhouse costume,
who had gathered that he was the sufferer by some act of injustice of
a rich oppressor, thought, on one occasion, to console him by the
reflection, that his wrongdoer would certainly suffer for it in the
next world--in his own energetic language, that he would certainly be

"Not on my account--not, I hope, on my account," said the
mathematician, with the greatest simplicity in the world. "No revenge
either here or hereafter. But if civil government deserved the name,
it would have given me justice now. Had I been robbed of sixpence on
the highway, there would have been hue and cry--the officers of
government would not have rested till they had found and punished the
culprit. I am robbed of all; and, because I am poor and
unfriended--circumstances which make the loss irremediable--the law
puts forth no hand to help me. Men will prate about the expense--the
burden on the national revenue--as if justice to all were not the very
first object of government--as if--but truce to this. My good friend,
you see these fragments of snuff that I have collected--could you get
them exchanged for me for a little ink?"


                Part XX.

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


As my mission was but temporary, and might be attended with personal
hazard, I had left Clotilde in England, much to her regret, and
travelled with as small a retinue as possible; and in general by
unfrequented ways, to avoid the French patroles which were already
spread through the neighbourhood of the high-roads. But, at Burgos,
the Spanish commandant, on the delivery of my passport, insisted so
strongly on the necessity for an escort, placing the wish on a feeling
of his personal responsibility, in case of my falling into the enemy's
hands, that to save the señor's conscience, or his commission, I
consented to take a few troopers, with one of his aides-de-camp, to
see me in safety through the Sierra Morena.

The aide-de-camp was a _character_; a little meagre being, who, after
a long life of idleness and half-pay, was suddenly called into
service; and now figured in a staff-coat and feather. His first
commission had been in the luckless expedition of Count O'Reilly
against the Moors; and it had probably served him as a topic, from
that time to the moment when he pledged his renown for my safe
delivery into the hands of the junta of Castile. He had three leading
ideas, which formed the elements of his body and soul,--his exploits
in the Moorish campaign; his contempt for the monks; and his value for
the talents, courage, and fame of Don Ignacio Trueno Relampago, the
illustrious appellative of the little aide-de-camp himself. He talked
without mercy as we rode along; and gave his opinions with all the
easy conviction of an "officer on the staff," and all the freedom of
the wilderness. The expedition to Africa had failed solely for want of
adopting "the tactics which _he_ would have advised;" and his public
services in securing the retreat would have done honour to the Cid, or
to Alexander the Great, had not "military jealousy refused to transmit
them to the national ear." His opinion of Spanish politics was, that
they owed their occasional mistakes solely to the culpable negligence
of the war-minister "in overlooking the gallant subalterns of the
national army." Spain he regarded as the natural sovereign of Europe;
and, of course, of all mankind--its falling occasionally into the
background being satisfactorily accounted for by the French descent of
her existing dynasty, by the visible deterioration in the royal
manufacture of cigars, and, more than either, "by the tardiness of
military promotion." This last grievance was the sting. "If justice
had been done," exclaimed the new-feathered warrior, rising in his
stirrups, and waving his hand, as if he was in the act of cleaving
down a Moor, "_I_ should long since have been a general. If I had been
a general, the armies of Spain would long since have been on a very
different footing. Men of merit would have been placed in their proper
positions; the troops would have emulated the exploits of their
forefathers in the age of Ferdinand and Isabella; and, instead of
receiving a king from France, we should have given her one; while,
instead of seeing a French emperor carrying off our princes, as the
hawk carries off pigeons, or as a gipsy picks your pocket under
pretence of telling your fortune, we should have been garrisoning
Paris with our battalions, and sending a viceroy to the Tuileries."

I laughed; but my ill-timed mirth had nearly cost me an "affair of
honour" with the little regenerator. His hand was instantly on the
hilt of his sword, and every wrinkle on his brown visage was swelling
with wrath; when my better genius prevailed, He probably recollected
that he was sent as my protector, and that the office would not have
been fulfilled according to his instructions, by running me through
the midriff. But, with all his pomposity, he had the national
good-nature; and when we sat down to our chicken and bottle of Tinto
in one of those delicious valleys, he was full of remorse for his
burst of patriotic temper.

The day had been a continued blaze of sunshine, the road a burning
sand, and the contrast of the spot where we made our halt was
tempting. The scene was rich and _riant_, the evening lovely, and the
wine good. I could have reposed there for a month, or a year, or for
ever. It would have been enough to make a man turn hermit; and I
instinctively gazed round, to look for the convent which "must lie" in
so luxurious a site. My companion informed me that I was perfectly
right in my conjecture, that spot having been the position of one of
the richest brotherhoods of Spain. But its opulence had been unluckily
displayed in rather too ostentatious a style in the eyes of a French
brigade; who, in consequence, packed up the plate in their baggage,
and, in the course of a tumult which followed with the peasantry,
burned the building to the ground.

Yet, this misfortune was the source of but slight condolence on the
part of my friend. He was perfectly of the new school. "They were
Theatines," said he--"as bad as the Jesuits in every thing but
hypocrisy--powerful, insolent, bold-faced knaves; and after their
robbing me of the inheritance of my old, rich uncle, which one of
those crafty _padres_ contrived to make the old devotee give them on
his death-bed, I had dry eyes for their ill luck. But, I suppose,"
added he, "you know their creed?" I acknowledged my ignorance. "Well,
you shall hear it. It is incomparably true; though, whether written
for them by Moratin or Calderon, I leave to the antiquarians." He then
chanted it in the style of the monkish service, and with
gesticulations, groans, and upturning of eyes, which strongly gave me
the idea that he had employed his leisure, if not relieved his sense
of the war-minister's neglect, by exerting his talents as the
"Gracioso" of some strolling company. The troopers gathered round us,
with that odd mixture of familiarity and respect which belongs to all
the lower ranks of Spain; and the performer evidently acquired new
spirits from the laughter of his audience, as he dashingly sang his


    Los mandamientos de los Teatinos,[6].
    Mas humanos son que divinos.

                   _Coro_.--Tra lara, tra lara.

    _Primo_--Adquirir mucho dinero. Tra lara, &c.
    _Segundo_--Sujetar todo il mondo. Tra lara, &c.
    _Tercero_--Buen capon, buen carnero. Tra lara, &c.
    _Quarto_--Comprar barato, y vender caro. Tra lara, &c.
    _Quinto_--Con el blanco aguar el tinto. Tra lara, &c.
    _Sexto_--Tener siempre el lomo en siesto. Tra lara, &c.
    _Septimo_--Guardase bien del sereno. Tra lara, &c.
    _Octavo_--Obrar la suya, y lo ageno. Tra lara, &c.
    _Nono_--Hazar del penitente esclavo. Tra lara, &c.
    _Decimo_--Mesclarse en cosas d'estado. Tra lara, &c.

    _Coro_.--Estes diez mandamientos se encierran en dos--
              Todo para mi, y nada para vos.
                                Tra lara, tra lara, &c.

The whole performance was received with an applause which awoke the
little aide-de-camp's genius to such an extent, that he volunteered to
sing some stanzas of his own, immeasurably more poignant. He was in
the act of filling a bumper to the "downfall of all monkery on the
face of the earth," when the report of a musket was heard, and the
bottle was shivered in his hand. The honour of Don Ignacio Trueno
Relampago was never in greater danger, for he instantly turned much
whiter than his own pocket-handkerchief: but the Spaniard is a brave
fellow, after all; and seeing that I drew out my pistols, he drew his
sword, ordered his troopers to mount, and prepared for battle. But,
who can fight against fortune? Our horses, which had been picketed at
a few yards' distance in the depth of the shade, were gone. A French
battalion of tirailleurs, accidentally coming on our route, had
surrounded the grove, and carried off the horses unperceived, while
our gallant troopers were chorusing the songster. The sentinel left in
charge of them had, of course, given way to the allurements of "sweet
nature's kind restorer, balmy sleep," and awoke only to find himself
in French hands. Don Ignacio would have fought a legion of fiends; but
seven hundred and fifty sharpshooters were a much more unmanageable
affair; and on our holding a council of war, (which never fights,) and
with a whole circle of bayonets glittering at our breasts, I advised a
surrender without loss of time. The troopers were already disarmed,
and the Don, appealing to me as evidence that he had done all that
could be required by the most punctilious valour, surrendered his
sword with the grace of a hero of romance. The Frenchmen enjoyed the
entire scene prodigiously, laughed a great deal, drank our healths in
our own bottles, and finished by a general request that the Don would
indulge them with an encore of the chant which had so tickled their
ears during their advance in the wood. The Don complied, _malgrè_,
_bongrè_; and at the conclusion of this feat, the French colonel,
resolved not to be outdone in any thing, called on one of his
subalterns for a song. The subaltern hopelessly searched his memory
for its lyrical stores; but after half a dozen snatches of "chansons,"
and breaking down in them all, he volunteered, in despair, what he
pronounced, "the most popular love-song in all Italy." Probably not a
syllable of it was understood by any one present but myself; yet this
did not prevent its being applauded to the skies, and pronounced one
of the most brilliant specimens of Italian sensibility. It was in
_Latin_, and a fierce attack on the Jesuits, which the young officer,
a palpable _philosophe_, had brought with him from the _symposia_ of
the "Ecole Polytechnique:"--

    Mortem norunt animare[7]
    Et tumultus suscitare,
    Inter reges, et sedare.

    Tanquam sancti adorantur,
    Tanquam reges dominantur,
    Tanquam fures deprædantur.

    Dominantur temporale,
    Dominantur spirituale,
    Dominantur omnia male.

    Hos igitur Jesuitas,
    Heluones, hypocritas,
    Fuge, si cælestia quæras.

    Vita namque Christiana
    Abhorret ab hac doctrinâ,
    Tanquam fictâ et insanâ.

The colonel of the tirailleurs was a complete specimen of the
revolutionary soldier. He was a dashing figure, with a bronzed face;
at least so much of it as I could discover through the most inordinate
pair of mustaches ever worn by a warrior. He was ignorant of every
thing on earth but his profession, and laughed at the waste of time in
poring over books; his travelling-library consisting of but two--the
imperial army-list, and the muster-roll of his regiment. His family
recollections went no higher than his father, a cobbler in Languedoc.
But he was a capital officer, and the very material for a
_chef-de-bataillon_--rough, brave, quick, and as hardy as iron. Half a
dozen scars gave evidence of his having shared the glories of France
on the Rhine, the Po, and the Danube; and a cross of the Legion of
Honour showed that his emperor was a different person from the object
of Don Ignacio's cureless wrath, the war-minister who "made a point of
neglecting all possible merit below that of a field-marshal."

The Frenchman, with all his, _brusquerie_, was civil enough to regret
my capture, "peculiarly as it laid him under the necessity of taking
me far from my route;" his regiment then making forced marches to
Andalusia, to join Dupont's division; and for the purpose of secrecy,
the strictest orders having been given that the prisoners which they
might make in the way should be carried along with them. As I had
forwarded my official papers from Galicia to Castile, and was regarded
simply as an English tourist, I had no sense of personal hazard; and
putting the best complexion which I could upon my misadventure, I rode
along with the column over hill and dale, enjoying the various aspects
of one of the most varied and picturesque countries in the world. Our
marches were rapid, but chiefly by night; thus evading at once the
intolerable heat of the Spanish day, and collisions with the people.
We bivouacked in the shelter of woods, or in the shade of hills,
during the sultry hours; and recommenced our march in the cool of the
eve, with short halts, until sunrise. Then we flung ourselves again
under the shelter of the trees, and enjoyed those delights of rest and
appetite, which are unknown to all but to the marchers and fasters for
twelve hours together.

But, on our crossing the Sierra Morena, and taking the direction of
Andalusia, the scene was wholly changed. The country was like one vast
field of battle. The peasants were every where in arms, villages were
seen burning along the horizon, and our constant vigilance was
necessary to guard against a surprise. Every soldier who lay down to
rest but a few yards from the column, or who attempted to forage in
the villages, was sure to be shot or stilettoed; provisions were
burned before our faces; and even where we were not actually fired on,
the frowns of the population showed sufficiently that the evil day was
at hand. At length we reached the range of hills which surround the
plain of Cordova; yet only just in time to see the army of Dupont
marching out from the city gates, in the direction of Andujar. As I
stood beside the colonel, I could observe, by the knitting of his
brow, that the movement did not satisfy his military sagacity. "What a
quantity of baggage!" he murmured: "how will it be possible to carry
such a train through the country, or how to fight, with such an
encumbrance embarrassing every step? Unless the Spanish generals are
the greatest fools on earth, or unless Dupont has a miracle worked for
him, he must either abandon three-fourths of his waggons, or be

But I was now to have a nearer interest in the expedition. The
battalion had no sooner joined the army on its advance, than I was
ordered to appear before the chief of the staff. The language of this
officer was brief, but expressive.

"You are a spy."

"You are misinformed. I am a gentleman and an Englishman."

"Look here." He produced a copy of my letter to the junta of Castile,
which some clerk in the French pay had treacherously transmitted from
Madrid. "What answer have you to this?"

I flung the letter on the table.

"What right have you to require an answer? I have not come voluntarily
to the quarters of the French army; I am a prisoner; I am not even in
a military capacity. You would only act in conformity to the law of
nations by giving me my liberty this moment; and I demand that you
shall do your duty."

"I shall do it! If you have any arrangements to make, you had better
lose no time; for I wait only the general's signature to my report, to
have you shot." He turned on his heel. A sergeant with a couple of
grenadiers entered, and I was consigned for the night to the
provost-marshal. How anxiously I spent that night, I need not say. I
was in the hands of violent men, exasperated by the popular
resistance, and accustomed to disregard life. I braced myself up to
meet my untoward catastrophe, and determined at least not to disgrace
my country by helpless solicitation. I wrote a few letters, committed
myself to a protection above the passions and vices of man, wrapped my
cloak round me, and sank into a sound slumber.

I was aroused by a discharge of cannon, and found the camp in
commotion. The Spaniards, under Reding and Castanos, had, as the
colonel anticipated, fallen upon our line of march at daybreak, and
cut off a large portion of the baggage-train. It had been loaded with
the church-plate, and general plunder of Cordova; and the avarice of
the French had obviously involved them in formidable difficulty. But,
even in the universal tumult, the importance of my seizure was not
forgotten; and I was ordered to the rear in charge of a guard. The
action now began on all sides; the cannonade rapidly deepening on the
flank and centre of the French position, and the musketry already
beginning to rattle on various points of the line. From the height on
which I stood, the whole scene lay beneath my eye; and nothing could
have been better worth the speculation of any man--who was not under
sentence of being shot as soon as the struggle was over!

I was aware of the reputation of the French general. He held a high
name among the _braves_ of the imperial army for the last ten years,
and he had been foremost everywhere. In the desperate Italian
campaign against the Austrians and Russians; in the victorious
campaign of Austerlitz; in the sanguinary campaign of Eylau--Dupont
was one of the most daring of generals of brigade. But his pillage of
Cordova had roused the Spanish wrath into fury; and the effort to
carry off his plunder made it impossible for him to resist a vigorous
attack, even with his twenty thousand veterans. He had indulged
himself in Cordova, until the broken armies of the south had found
time to rally; and a force of fifty thousand men was now rushing down
upon his centre. The hills, as far as the eye could range, were
covered with the armed peasantry, moving like dark clouds over their
sides, and descending by thousands to the field. The battle now raged
furiously in the centre, and the charges of the French cavalry made
fearful gaps in the Spanish battalions. At length, the rising of the
dust on the right showed that a strong column was approaching, which
might decide the day. My heart beat slow as I saw the tricolor
floating above its bayonets. It was the advanced guard, with Dupont at
its head--a force of three thousand men, which had returned rapidly on
its steps, as soon as the sound of the attack had reached it. It was
boldly resisted by the Swiss and Walloon brigades of the Spanish line:
but the French fire was heavy, its manoeuvre was daring, and I began
to fear for the fate of the day; when a loud explosion, and a hurried
movement at the extreme of the French position, turned my eyes to the
left wing. There the Spanish attack had swept every thing before it.
Brigade after brigade was giving way, and the country was covered with
scattered horsemen, infantry retiring in disorder, and broken and
captured guns. The peasantry, too, had joined in the pursuit, and the
wing seemed utterly ruined. To retrieve this disorder was now
hopeless, for the French general had extended his line to the
extraordinary length of ten miles. His baggage-train was his ruin. The
whole Spanish line now advanced, shouting, and only halting at
intervals to cannonade the enemy. The French returned a feeble fire,
and began to retreat. But retreat was now impossible, and they must
fight, or be massacred. At this moment I saw an officer, from the spot
where Dupont sat on his charger surrounded by his staff, gallop
between the two armies. He was met by a Spanish officer. The firing
ceased. Dupont had surrendered, with all the troops in Andalusia!

I was now at liberty, and I was received by the Spanish
commander-in-chief with the honours due to my mission and my country.
After mutual congratulations on this most brilliant day, I expressed
my wish to set off for Madrid without delay. An escort of cavalry was
ordered for me, and by midnight I had left behind me the slaughter and
the triumph, the noblest of Spanish fields, the immortal Baylen!

The night was singularly dark; and as the by-roads of the Peninsula
are confessedly among the most original specimens of the road-making
art, our attention was chiefly occupied, for the first hour, in
finding our way in Indian file. At length, on the country's opening, I
rode forward to the head of the troops, and addressed some questions,
on our distance from the next town, to the officer. He at once
pronounced my name, and my astonishment was not less than his own. In
the commandant of the escort I found my gallant, though most wayward,
young friend, Mariamne's lover, Lafontaine! His story was brief. In
despair of removing her father's reluctance to their marriage, and
wholly unable to bring over Mariamne to his own opinion, that she
would act the wiser part in taking the chances of the world along with
himself, he had resolved to enter the Russian or the Turkish service,
or any other in which he had the speediest probability of ending his
career by a bullet or a sabre-blow. The accidental rencontre of one of
his relations, an officer high in the Spanish service, had led him
into the Peninsula; where, as a Royalist, he was warmly received by a
people devoted to their kings; and had just received a commission in
the cavalry of the guard, when the French war broke out. He felt no
scruples in acting as a soldier of Spain; for, with the death of
Louis, he had regarded all ties as broken, and he was now a citizen of
the world. I ventured to mention the name of Mariamne; and I found
that, there at least, the inconstancy charged on his nation had no
place. He spoke of her with eloquent tenderness, and it was evident
that, with all his despair of ever seeing her again, she still held
the first place in his heart. In this wandering, yet by no means
painful, interchange of thoughts, we moved on for some hours; when one
of the advanced troopers rode back, to tell us that he had heard shots
in the distance, and other sounds of struggle. We galloped forward,
and from the brow of the next hill saw flames rising from a village in
the valley beneath, and a skirmish going on between some marauding
troops and the peasantry. Lafontaine instantly ordered an advance; and
our whole troop were soon in the centre of the village, busily
employed with the pistol and sabre. The French, taken by surprise,
made but a slight resistance, and, after a few random shots, ran to a
neighbouring wood. But as I was looking round, to congratulate my
friend on his success, I saw him, to my infinite alarm, reel in his
saddle, and had only time to save him from falling to the ground.

The accommodation of the Ventas and Posadas is habitually wretched,
and I demanded whether there was not a house of some hidalgo in the
neighbourhood, to which the wounded officer might be carried. One of
the last shots of the skirmish had struck him in the arm, and he was
now fainting with pain. The house was pointed out, and we carried my
unfortunate friend there, in a swoon. Even in that moment of anxiety,
and with scarcely more than the first dawn to guide us, I could not
help being struck with the cultivated beauty of the avenue through
which we passed, and the profusion and variety of the flowers, which
now began to breathe their opening incense to the dawn. The house was
old, but large and handsome, and the furniture of the apartment into
which we were shown, was singularly tasteful and costly. Who the owner
was, was scarcely known among the bold fellows who accompanied us; but
by their pointings to their foreheads, and their making the sign of
the cross at every repetition of my enquiries, I was inclined to think
him some escaped lunatic. I shortly, however, received a message from
him, to tell me, that so soon as the crowd should be dismissed, he
would visit the officer. The apartment was cleared and he came. This
was a new wonder for me. It was Mordecai that entered the room. The
light was still so imperfect, that for awhile he could not recognise
either of us; and when I advanced to take his hand, and addressed him
by his name, he started back as if he had trod upon a snake. However,
his habitual presence of mind soon enabled him to answer all my
enquiries, and, among the first, one for the health and happiness of
his daughter. Fearful of the effects of his intelligence, whether good
or evil, on the nerves of Lafontaine, who still lay on the sofa,
almost invisible in the dusk, I begged to follow him to another room,
and there I listened to his whole anxious history since our
parting.--Mariamne had suddenly grown discontented with Poland; which
to Mordecai himself had become a weary residence, from the ravages of
the French war. For some reason, unaccountable to me, said the old
man, she set her heart upon Spain, and had now been domiciled in this
secluded spot for a year. But she was visibly fading away. She read
and wrote much, and was even more attached to her harp and her flowers
than ever; yet declared that she had bid farewell to the world. The
father wept as he spoke, but his were the tears of sorrow rather than
of anguish. They stole quietly down his cheeks, and showed that the
stern and haughty spirit was subdued within him. I had not ventured to
allude to Lafontaine; but the current of his own thoughts at length
led to that forbidden topic. "I am afraid, Mr Marston," said he, "that
I have been too harsh with my child. I looked for her alliance with
some of the opulent among my own kindred; or I should have rejoiced if
your regards had been fixed on her, and hers on you. And in those
dreams, I forgot that the affections must choose for themselves. I had
no objection to the young Frenchman, but that he was a stranger, and
was poor.--Yet are not we ourselves strangers? and if he was poor, was
not I rich? But all is over now; and I shall only have to follow my
poor Mariamne, where I should have much rather preceded her,--to the

I now requested to see Mariamne. She met me with almost a cry of joy,
and with a cheek of sudden crimson; but, when the first flush passed
away, her looks gave painful proof of the effect of solitude and
sorrow. The rounded beauty of her cheek was gone, her eyes, once
dancing with every emotion, were fixed and hollow, and her frame, once
remarkable for symmetry, was thin and feeble. But, her heart was
buoyant still, and when I talked of past scenes and recollections, her
eye sparkled once more. Still, her manner was changed--it was softer
and less capricious; her language, even her voice, was subdued; and
more than once I saw a tear stealing on her eye. At length, after
hearing some slight detail of her wanderings, and her fears that the
troubles of Spain might drive her from a country in whose genial
climate and flowery fields "she had hoped to end her days;" I
incidentally asked--whether, in all her wanderings, she had heard of
"my friend, Lafontaine." How impossible is it to deceive the instinct
of the female heart! The look which she gave me, the searching glance
of her fine eyes, which flashed with all their former lustre, and the
sudden quivering of her lip, told me how deeply his image was fixed in
her recollection. She saw at once that I had tidings of her lover; and
she hung upon the hand which I held out to her, with breathless and
beseeching anxiety. After some precautions, I revealed to her the
facts--that he was as faithfully devoted to her as ever, and--that he
was even under her roof!

I leave the rest of her story to be conjectured. I shall only say,
that I saw her made happy; the burden taken off her spirits which had
exhausted her frame; her former vivacity restored, her eye sparkling
once more; and even the heart of her father cheered, and acknowledging
"that there was happiness in the world, if men did not mar it for
themselves." The "course of true love" had, at last, "run smooth." I
was present at the marriage of Lafontaine. The trials of fortune had
been of infinite service to _him_; they had sobered his eccentricity,
taught him the value of a quiet mind, and prepared him for that
manlier career which belongs to the husband and the father. I left
them, thanking me in all the language of gratitude, promising to visit
me in England.

       *       *       *       *       *

My mission to the junta was speedily and successfully accomplished.
Spain, in want of every thing but that which no subsidy could supply,
a determination to die in the last intrenchment, was offered arms,
ammunition, and the aid of an English army. In her pride, and yet a
pride which none could blame, she professed herself able to conquer by
her own intrepidity. Later experience showed her, by many a suffering,
the value of England as the guide, sustainer, and example of her
national strength. But Spain had still the gallant distinction of
being the first nation which, as one man, dared to defy the conqueror
of all the great military powers of the Continent. The sieges of
Saragossa and Gerona will immortalize the courage of the Spanish
soldier; the guerilla campaigns will immortalize the courage of the
Spanish peasant; and the memorable confession of the French Emperor,
that "Spain was his greatest error, and his ultimate ruin," is a
testimonial more lasting than the proudest trophy, to the magnanimous
warfare of the Peninsula.

This was the Crisis. The spirit of the whole European war now assumed
a bolder, loftier, and more triumphant form. A sudden conviction
filled the general heart, that the fortunes of the field were about to
change. Nations which had, till then, been only emulous in prostration
to the universal conqueror, now assumed the port of courage, prepared
their arms, and longed to try their cause again in battle. The outcry
of Spain, answered by the trumpet of England, pierced to the depths of
that dungeon in which the intrigue and the power of France had
laboured to inclose the continental nations. The war of the Revolution
has already found historians, of eloquence and knowledge worthy of so
magnificent an era of human change. But, to me, the chief interest
arose from its successive developments of the European mind. The whole
period was a continued awakening of faculties, hitherto almost
unknown, in the great body of the people. The first burst of the
Revolution, like the first use of gunpowder, had only shown the
boundless force of a new element of destruction. The Spanish
insurrection showed its protecting and preservative power. The
tremendous energy which seemed to defy all control, was there seen
effecting the highest results of national defence, and giving proof of
the irresistible strength provided in the population of _every_ land.
What nation of Europe does not possess a million of men for its
defence; and what invader could confront a million of men on their own
soil? Let this truth be felt, and aggression becomes hopeless, and war
ceases to exist among men.

For the first time in the history of war, it was discovered, that the
true force of kingdoms had been mistaken--a mistake which had lasted
for a thousand years; that armies were but splendid machines; and
that, while they might be crushed by the impulse of machines more
rapid, stronger, and more skilfully urged, nothing could crush the
vigour of defence, while it was supplied by a people.

The _levée en masse_ of France was but the rudest, as it was the
earliest, form of the new discovery. There, terror was the moving
principle. The conscription was the recruiting-officer. The guillotine
was the commander who manoeuvred the generals, the troops, and the
nation. Yet, the revolutionary armies differed in nothing from the
monarchical, but in the superiority of their numbers, and the
inferiority of their discipline.

The war of Spain was another, and a nobler advance. It was the war of
a nation. In France the war was the conspiracy of a faction. In Spain
the loss of the capital only inflamed the hostility of the provinces.
In France the loss of the capital would have extinguished the
Revolution; as it afterwards extinguished the Empire. I think that I
can see the provision for a still bolder and more beneficent advance,
even in those powerful developments of national capabilities. It will,
perhaps, be left to other nations. Spain and France have a yoke upon
their minds, which will disqualify them both from acting the nobler
part of guides to Europe. Superstition contains in itself the canker
of slavery; perfect freedom is essential to perfect power; and the
nation which, from the cradle, prostrates itself to the priest, must
retain the early flexure of its spine. The great experiment must be
reserved for a nobler public mind; for a people religious without
fanaticism, and free without licentiousness; honouring the wisdom of
their fathers, without rejecting the wisdom of the living age;
aspiring but to the ministration of universal good, and feeling that
its opulence, knowledge, and grandeur are only gifts for mankind.

The system of the war was now fully established. All the feelings of
England were fixed on the Peninsula, and all the politics of her
statesmen and their rivals were alike guided by the course of the
conflict. The prediction was gallantly fulfilled--that the French
empire would there expose its flank to English intrepidity; that the
breaching battery which was to open the way to Paris, would be fixed
on the Pyrenees; that the true sign of conquest was the banner of

The battle of the Ministry was fought in Spain, and as victoriously as
the battle of our army. We saw Opposition gradually throw away its
arms, and gradually diminish in the popular view, until its existence
was scarcely visible. Successive changes varied the cabinet, but none
shook its stability. Successive ministers sank into the grave, but the
ministry stood. The spirit of the nation, justly proud of its
triumphs, disdained to listen to the whispers of a party, who murmured
defeat with victory before their eyes; who conjured up visions of
ruin, only to be rebuked by realities of triumph; and to whom the
national scorn of pusillanimity, and the national rejoicing in the
proudest success, could not unteach the language of despair. Perceval,
the overthrower of the Foxite ministry, perished; but the political
system of the cabinet remained unchanged. Castlereaghperished--Liverpool
perished; but the political system still remained. The successive
pilots might give up the helm, but the course of the great vessel
continued the same--guided by the same science, and making her way
through sunshine, and through storm, to the same point of destination.

The three successive ministers were men of high ability for
government, though their character of ability exhibited the most
remarkable distinctions. Perceval had been a lawyer, and had risen to
the rank of attorney-general. In the House, he carried the acuteness,
the logic, and even the manner, of his profession with him. Without
pretending to the power of eloquence, he singularly possessed the
power of conviction; without effecting changes in the theory of the
constitution, he put its truths in a new light; and without a trace of
bigotry, he defended, with conscientious vigour, the rights of the
national religion. Sustaining a bold struggle at the head of the
feeblest minority perhaps ever known in Parliament, he had shown
unshaken courage and undismayed principle in the day of the Foxite
supremacy. This defence was at length turned into assault, and his
opponents were driven from power. His ministry was too brief for his
fame. But, when he fell by the hand of a maniac, he left a universal
impression on the mind of the empire, that the blow had deprived it of
a great ministerial mind.

Lord Castlereagh exhibited a character of a totally different order,
yet equally fitted for his time. An Irishman, he had the habitual
intrepidity of his countrymen, combined with the indefatigable
diligence of England. Nobly connected, and placed high in public life
by that connexion, he showed himself capable of sustaining his
ministerial rank by personal capacity. Careless of the style of his
speeches, he was yet a grave, solid, and fully-informed debater. But
it was in the council that his value to the country was most
acknowledged. His conception of the rights, the influence, and the
services of England, was lofty; and, when the period came for deciding
on her rank in the presence of continental diplomacy, he was her
chosen, and her successful, representative. His natural place was
among the councils of camps, where sovereigns were the soldiers. The
"march to Paris" was due to his courage; and the first fall of
Napoleon was effected by the ambassador of England.

Lord Liverpool was a man equally fitted for his time. The war had
triumphantly closed. But, a period of perturbed feelings and financial
necessities followed. It required in the minister a combination of
sound sense and practical vigour--of deference for the public
feelings, yet respect for the laws--of promptitude in discovering
national resources, and yet of firmness in repelling factious change.
The head of the cabinet possessed those qualities. Without brilliancy,
without eloquence, without accomplished literature; still, no man
formed his views with a clearer intelligence; and no man pursued them
with more steady determination. Perhaps disdaining the glitter of
popularity, no minister, for the last half century, had been so
singularly exempt from all the sarcasms of public opinion. The nation
relied on his sincerity, honoured his purity of principle, and
willingly confided its safety to hands which none believed capable of
a stain.

But the characters of those three ministers were striking in a still
higher point of view. Their qualities seem to have been expressly
constructed to meet the peculiar exigency of their times.
Perceval--acute, strict, and with strong religious conceptions--to
meet a period, when religious laxity in the cabinet had already
enfeebled the defence of the national religion. Castlereagh--stately,
bold, and high-toned--to meet a period, when the fate of Europe was to
be removed from cabinets to the field, and when he was to carry the
will of England among assembled monarchs. Liverpool--calm, rational,
and practical; the man of conscience and common sense--for the period,
when the great questions of religion had been quieted, the great
questions of the war had died with the war, and when the supreme
difficulty of government was, to reconcile the pressure of financial
exigency with the progress of the people--to invigorate the public
frame without inflaming it by dangerous innovation--and to reconstruct
the whole commercial constitution, without infringing on those
principles which had founded the prosperity of the empire.

At length the consummation came: the French empire fell on the field
by the hand of England. All the sovereigns of Europe rushed in to
strip the corpse, and each carried back a portion of the spoils. But
the conqueror was content with the triumph, and asked no more of glory
than the liberation of mankind.

While all was public exultation for this crowning event, fortune had
not neglected to reward the gentler virtues of one worthy of its
noblest gifts. In my first campaign with the Prussian troops in
France, I had intrusted to the care of the old domestic whom I found
in the Chateau de Montauban, an escritoire and a picture, belonging to
the family of Clotilde. The old man had disappeared; and I took it for
granted that he had been plundered, or had died.

But one day, after my return from one of those splendid entertainments
with which the Regent welcomed the Allied sovereigns, I found Clotilde
deeply agitated. The picture of her relative was before her, and she
was gazing at its singularly expressive and lovely countenance with
intense interest.

She flew into my arms. "I have longed for your coming," said she, with
glowing lips and tearful eyes, "to offer at least one proof of
gratitude for years of the truest protection, and the most generous
love. Michelle, the husband of my nurse, has arrived; and he tells me,
that this escritoire contains the title-deeds of my family. I was
resolved that you alone should open it. In the frame of that picture,
in a secret drawer, is the key." The spring was touched, the key was
found; and in the little chest was discovered, untouched by chance or
time, the document entitling my beautiful and high-hearted wife to one
of the finest possessions in France. By a singular instance of good
fortune, the property had not been alienated, like so many of the
estates of the noblesse; and it now lay open to the claims of the
original proprietorship. I hastened to Paris. My claim was
acknowledged by the returned Bourbon, and Clotilde had the delight of
once more sitting under the vine and the fig-tree of her ancestors.
The old domestic had made it the business of years to obtain the means
of reaching England. But the war had placed obstacles in his way every
where, and he devoted himself thenceforth to the guardianship of his
precious deposit, as the duty of his life. He was almost pathetic, in
his narration of the hazards to which it had been exposed in the
perpetual convulsions of the country, and in the rejoicing with which
he felt himself at last enabled to place it in the hands of its
rightful mistress, the last descendant of the noble house of De
Tourville.--But I had still to experience another gift of fortune.

On the evening of my birth-day, Clotilde had given a rustic fête to
the children of her tenantry; and all were dancing in front of the
chateau, with the gaiety and with the grace which nature seems to have
conferred as an especial gift on even the humblest classes of France.

The day was one of the luxury of summer. The landscape before me was a
rich extent of plain and hill; the fragrance of the vast gardens of
the chateau as rising as the twilight approached; my infants were
clustering round my knee; and in that thankfulness of heart, which is
not less sincere for its not being expressed in words, I came to the
conclusion, that no access of wealth, or of honours, could add to my
substantial happiness at that hour.

My reverie was broken by the sound of a _calèche_ driving up the
avenue. A courier alighted from it, who brought a letter with a black
seal, addressed to me. It was from the family solicitor. My noble
brother had died in Madeira; where he had gone in the hopeless attempt
to recruit a frame which he had exhausted by a life of excess. In that
hour, I gave him the regrets which belonged to the tie of blood. I
forgot his selfishness, and forgave his alienation. I thought of him
only as the remembered playfellow of my early days; and could say in
heart--"Alas, my brother!" The landscape before me at last sank into
night; and with feelings darkened like it, yet calm and still, I saw
the closing of a day which, painful as was the cause, yet called me to
new duties, gave me a stronger hold upon society, and placed me in
that position which I fully believe to combine more of the true
materials of happiness and honour than any other on earth--that of an
opulent English nobleman.

My brother, dying childless, had devolved the family estates to me,
disburdened of the results of his prodigality; but I had still much to
occupy me, in restoring them from the neglect of years. The life of
the member of government was now to alternate with the life of the
country gentleman; and my transfer to the House of Peers gave me the
comparative leisure, essential to the fulfilment of the large and
liberal duties which belong to the English landholder. To cheer the
country life by rational hospitality; to make friends of those whom
nature had made dependents; to sustain those laws which had turned
England into a garden; and to protect that "bold peasantry," who ought
to be the pride, as they are the strength of their country; to excite
the country gentlemen to the scientific study of the noblest of all
arts, as it was the first, the cultivation of the soil; to maintain
among that gallant race a high sense of their purposes, their powers,
and their position; to invigorate the principles which had made them
the surest defenders of the throne in its day of adversity; and to fix
in their minds by example, more effectual than precept, a solemn
fidelity to the faith and to the freedom of their forefathers:--these
were the objects which I proposed to myself, and which the loftiest
intellect, or the amplest opulence, might be well employed in
attempting to fulfil.

Those objects had been placed before England, from the day when the
light of the Reformation broke through the darkness of a thousand
years, and her brow was first designed for the diadem. By those she
was made the universal protector of Europe, in its day of fugitive
princes and falling thrones; and by those alone will be erected round
her, if she shall remain true to her allegiance, a wall of fire, in
the days of that approaching contest which shall bring the powers of
good and evil front to front, in strength and hostility unknown
before, and consummate the wars of the world.

Yet with those tranquil and retired pursuits, I still took my share in
the activity of public life. I was still minister, and bore my part in
the discussions of the legislature. But the great questions which had
once sounded in my ear, like the call to battle in the ear of the
warrior, had passed away. The minds that "rode in the whirlwind, and
ruled the storm," had vanished with the storm. The surge had gone
down; and neither the dangers of my earlier day, nor the powers which
were summoned to resist them, were to be found in the living
generation. Yet, let it not be thought that I regard the mind of
England as exhausted, or even as exhaustible. The only distinction
between the periods is, that one gave the impulse, and that the other
only continues it. When peril comes again, we shall again see the
development of power. We might as well doubt the existence of
lightning, because the day is serene, the sun shining, and no cloud
rolls across the heaven. But when the balance of the elements demands
to be restored, we shall again be dazzled by the flash, and awed by
the thunder.

But time has taught me additional lessons. I have learned to see a
hand, in all its clouds, which guides man and kingdoms with more than
human power. In these remembrances, I have spoken but little of
religion. It belongs to the chamber more than to the council; and it
is less honoured than humiliated by being brought idly before men. But
by that light I have been able to see, where subtler minds have been
blind. The man may be bewildered by the glare of the torch in his
hand, who would have found his way by trusting to the milder lustre of
the stars. In the great war of our time, the greatest since the fall
of the Roman empire--the war of the French Revolution--I think, that I
can trace a divine protection, distinctly given to England as the
champion of justice, honour, and religion. I offer but the outline of
this view; but to me the proof is demonstrative.--In every instance in
which France aimed an especial blow at England, that blow was retorted
by an especial retribution; while her assaults on the continental
kingdoms were made with triumphant impunity.

I give the examples.--The French expedition to Egypt was formed with
the express object of breaking down the influence of England in the
East, and ultimately subverting her Indian empire--that expedition was
the _first_ which tarnished the military renown of the Republic, cost
her a fleet, and lost her an army. Of the army which Napoleon led to
Egypt, not a battalion returned to Europe but as the prisoners of

The French invasion of Spain was a blow aimed _expressly_ at England.
Its object was the invasion of England--the Spanish war broke down the
military renown of the Empire, and was pronounced by Napoleon to be
the origin of his ruin!

The invasion of Russia was a blow aimed _expressly_ at England. Its
object was the extinction of English commerce in the whole sea-line of
the north--that invasion was punished, by the ruin of the whole
veteran army of France!

Napoleon himself at length met the troops of England. He met them with
an arrogant assumption of victory--"Ah! je les tiens, ces Anglais."
Never was presumption more deeply punished. This single conflict
_destroyed_ him; his laurels, his diadem, and his dynasty, were
blasted together!

It is not less memorable, that during the entire Revolutionary war,
France was never suffered to inflict an injury on England; with one
exception--the perfidious seizure of the English travelling in the
French territories under the safeguard of the Imperial passports. But
this, too, had its punishment--and one of the most especial and
characteristic retribution--Napoleon himself was sent to a dungeon! By
a fate unheard of even among fallen princes, the man who had
treacherously made prisoners of the English was himself made a
prisoner, was delivered into English hands, was consigned to captivity
in an English island, and died the prisoner of England!

I speak of events like these, not in the spirit of superstition, nor
in the fond presumption of being an interpreter of the mysterious ways
of Providence. I record them, in a full consciousness of the
immeasurable distance between the intellect of man and the wisdom of
the supreme Disposer. But they convey, at least to my own feelings, a
confidence, a solemn security, a calm yet ardent conviction, that
chance has no share in the government of the world; that the great
tide of things, in its rise and fall, has laws, which, if unapproached
by the feebleness of human faculties, are not the less true, vast, and
imperishable; that if, like the air, the agency of that ruling and
boundless authority is invisible, we may yet feel its existence in its
effects, rejoice in the acknowledgment of a power which nothing can
exhaust, and take to our bosoms the high consolation, that the good of
man is the supreme principle of the system.

       *       *       *       *       *

Men actively employed in public life, are strangely apt to think that
there is no progress outside their circle. But, on my return to
Mortimer Castle, I found this conception amply confuted. The world had
moved as rapidly in those shades, as in the centre of cabinets and
courts. Time had done its work, in changing the condition of almost
every human being whom I had known in my early days. The brothers and
sisters, whom I had left children, were now in the full beauty of
their prime; my brothers showy and stirring youths; my sisters fair
and gentle girls, just reaching that period of life when the
countenance and mind are in their bloom together, and the highborn
woman of England is the loveliest perhaps in the world. The
extravagance of my elder brother had dilapidated the provision
intended for the younger branches of his house. My habits, learned in
a sterner school, enabled me to retrieve their fortunes, and I thus
secured a new tie to their regards. Justice is essential to all
gratitude, and I found them ready to pay the tribute, to the full.

Among my first visits was one to my old friend and tutor, Vincent. I
found him still resident on his living; and with spirits, on which
time had wrought no change. Years had passed lightly over his head.
His eye was as vivid, and his mind as active as ever. He perhaps
stooped a little more, and his frame had lost something of that
elasticity of step which had so often tried my young nerves in our
ramblings over the hills. But he was the same cordial, animated, and
high-toned being, in all his feelings, that I had seen him from the
first hour. I found him in his garden, arranging, selecting, and
enjoying his flower-beds with all the spirit of a horticulturist. But
he apologised for what he termed, "its disorder." "For," said he, "I
have lost all my gardeners." On my looking doubtful, "All my girls,"
said he, "are gone; all married; all wedded to one neighbour or
another. Such is the way in which I have been left alone." I made my
condolences on his solitude, in due form. "Yet I am not quite
solitary," added the gay old man, "after all; or my solitude depends
upon myself. My girls are all married to our squires, honest fellows,
and some of them well enough off in the world. But I made a
stipulation, that none of them should marry out of sight from the
gazebo on the top of yonder hill; and when I want their company, I
have only to hoist a flag. You see that I have not altogether
forgotten my days of the sabre and the signal-post; my telegraph works
well, and I have them all trooping over here with the regularity of a

The approach of winter made the castle a scene of increased
liveliness. I had always looked with strong distaste on the habit of
flying to watering-places at the season when the presence of the
leading families of a county is most important to the comforts of the
tenantry, and to the intelligent and social intercourse of the higher
ranks. I sent a request to Lafontaine and his wife, that they should
perform their "covenant," and venture to see "how English life
contrived to get through the dulness of its Decembers." My request was
countersigned by Clotilde, and this was irresistible. They came, and
were received with a joyous welcome. They too had undergone a change.
Lafontaine was graver, and was much the better for his gravity. He was
now the sincere and kind-hearted being for which nature had intended
him. The coxcombry of French early life had disappeared, and left
behind it only that general grace and spirit which makes the maturity
of a foreign life its most interesting portion. Mariamne was still
more advantageously changed. Her wild vivacity was less subdued than
transformed into elegance of manner; her features were still handsome,
travel had given her knowledge, and her natural talents had been
cultivated by the solitary hours, in which but for that cultivation
she might have sunk into the grave. She had brought with her, too,
another remembrance, and one of that order which produces the most
powerful effect upon the whole character of woman. She had brought her
first-born, a lovely infant, in which her whole soul seemed to be
absorbed, and in which she already discovered more beauties and good
qualities than fate or fortune had ever given to human nature. But the
centre of our circle, and the admiration and love of all, sat my wife,
my generous, noble, pure-spirited Clotilde. Time, too, had wrought its
change on her; but it was only to give her deeper claims on the
feelings of a heart which could not imagine happiness without her. The
heroine had wholly disappeared, and given place to the woman; the
character of resistance to the shocks and frowns of fortune, which
adversity had made essential perhaps to her being, had passed away
with her day of suffering. She was now soft, mild, tender, and
confiding. She often reminded me of some of those plants which, when
exposed to the storm, contract and diminish their form and foliage;
but, when sheltered, resume their original luxuriance and loveliness.
Clotilde, in the sufferings of the emigration, in the terrors of the
Revolution, and in the march through the Vendée, might have perished,
but for that loftiness of soul which was awakened by the exigency of
the trial. But now, surrounded with all the security of rank, and with
opulence for her enjoyment, and with love to cherish her, she
displayed the force of her nature only in the fondness of her
affections. Thus surrounded, thus cheered, thus looked up to by beings
whom I loved; what had I to ask for more? Nothing. I here close my
page of life. I still vividly retain all the sense of duty, all the
feeling of patriotism, and all the consciousness, that age will
neither dull my heart towards those whom I have so long loved, nor
shut up theirs to me. I believe in the possibility of friendship
untainted by selfishness, and I am firm in the faith, of love that
knows no decline. I look round me, and am serenely happy. I look above
me, and am sacredly thankful.


I was confoundedly hard up. My patrimony, never of the largest, had
been for the last year on the decrease--a herald would have emblazoned
it, "ARGENT, a money-bag improper, in detriment"--and though the
attenuating process was not excessively rapid, it was, nevertheless,
proceeding at a steady ratio. As for the ordinary means and appliances
by which men contrive to recruit their exhausted exchequers, I knew
none of them. Work I abhorred with a detestation worthy of a scion of
nobility; and, I believe, you could just as soon have persuaded the
lineal representative of the Howards or Percys to exhibit himself in
the character of a mountebank, as have got me to trust my person on
the pinnacle of a three-legged stool. The rule of three is all very
well for base mechanical souls; but I flatter myself I have an
intellect too large to be limited to a ledger. "Augustus," said my
poor mother to me, one day while stroking my hyacinthine
tresses--"Augustus, my dear boy, whatever you do, never forget that
you are a gentleman." The maternal maxim sunk deeply into my heart,
and I never for a moment have forgotten it.

Notwithstanding this aristocratical resolution, the great practical
question, "How am I to live?" began to thrust itself unpleasantly
before me. I am one of that unfortunate class who have neither uncles
nor aunts. For me, no yellow liverless individual, with characteristic
bamboo and pigtail--emblems of half a million--returned to his native
shores from Ceylon or remote Penang. For me, no venerable spinster
hoarded in the Trongate, permitting herself few luxuries during a
long-protracted life, save a lass and a lanthorn, a parrot, and the
invariable baudrons of antiquity. No such luck was mine. Had all
Glasgow perished by some vast epidemic, I should not have found myself
one farthing the richer. There would have been no golden balsam for me
in the accumulated woes of Tradestown, Shettleston, and Camlachie. The
time has been when--according to Washington Irving and other veracious
historians--a young man had no sooner got into difficulties than a
guardian angel appeared to him in a dream, with the information that
at such and such a bridge, or under such and such a tree, he might
find, at a slight expenditure of labour, a gallipot secured with
bladder, and filled with glittering tomauns; or in the extremity of
despair, the youth had only to append himself to a cord, and
straightaway the other end thereof, forsaking its staple in the roof,
would disclose amidst the fractured ceiling the glories of a
profitable pose. These blessed days have long since gone by--at any
rate, no such luck was mine. My guardian angel was either woefully
ignorant of metallurgy, or the stores had been surreptitiously
ransacked; and as to the other expedient, I frankly confess I should
have liked some better security for its result, than the precedent of
the "Heir of Lynn."

It is a great consolation amidst all the evils of life, to know that,
however bad your circumstances may be, there is always somebody else
in nearly the same predicament. My chosen friend and ally, Bob
M'Corkindale, was equally hard up with myself, and, if possible, more
averse to exertion. Bob was essentially a speculative man--that is, in
a philosophical sense. He had once got hold of a stray volume of Adam
Smith, and muddled his brains for a whole week over the intricacies of
the _Wealth of Nations_. The result was a crude farrago of notions
regarding the true nature of money, the soundness of currency, and
relative value of capital, with which he nightly favoured an admiring
audience at "The Crow;" for Bob was by no means--in the literal
acceptation of the word--a dry philosopher. On the contrary, he
perfectly appreciated the merits of each distinct distillery; and was
understood to be the compiler of a statistical work, entitled, _A Tour
through the Alcoholic Districts of Scotland_. It had very early
occurred to me, who knew as much of political economy as of the
bagpipes, that a gentleman so well versed in the art of accumulating
national wealth, must have some remote ideas of applying his
principles profitably on a smaller scale. Accordingly, I gave
M'Corkindale an unlimited invitation to my lodgings; and, like a good
hearty fellow as he was, he availed himself every evening of the
license; for I had laid in a fourteen gallon cask of Oban whisky, and
the quality of the malt was undeniable.

These were the first glorious days of general speculation. Railroads
were emerging from the hands of the greater into the fingers of the
lesser capitalists. Two successful harvests had given a fearful
stimulus to the national energy; and it appeared perfectly certain
that all the populous towns would be united, and the rich agricultural
districts intersected, by the magical bands of iron. The columns of
the newspapers teemed every week with the parturition of novel
schemes; and the shares were no sooner announced than they were
rapidly subscribed for. But what is the use of my saying any thing
more about the history of last year? Every one of us remembers it
perfectly well. It was a capital year on the whole, and put money into
many a pocket. About that time, Bob and I commenced operations. Our
available capital, or negotiable bullion, in the language of my
friend, amounted to about three hundred pounds, which we set aside as
a joint fund for speculation. Bob, in a series of learned discourses,
had convinced me that it was not only folly, but a positive sin, to
leave this sum lying in the bank at a pitiful rate of interest, and
otherwise unemployed, whilst every one else in the kingdom was having
a pluck at the public pigeon. Somehow or other, we were unlucky in our
first attempts. Speculators are like wasps; for when they have once
got hold of a ripening and peach-like project, they keep it rigidly
for their own swarm, and repel the approach of interlopers.
Notwithstanding all our efforts, and very ingenious ones they were, we
never, in a single instance, succeeded in procuring an allocation of
original shares; and though we did now and then make a hit by
purchase, we more frequently bought at a premium, and parted with our
scrip at a discount. At the end of six months, we were not twenty
pounds richer than before.

"This will never do," said Bob, as he sat one evening in my rooms
compounding his second tumbler. "I thought we were living in an
enlightened age; but I find I was mistaken. That brutal spirit of
monopoly is still abroad and uncurbed. The principles; of free-trade
are utterly forgotten, or misunderstood. Else how comes it that David
Spreul received but yesterday an allocation of two hundred shares in
the Westermidden Junction; whilst your application and mine, for a
thousand each, were overlooked? Is this a state of things to be
tolerated? Why should he, with his fifty thousand pounds, receive a
slapping premium, whilst our three hundred of available capital
remains unrepresented? The fact is monstrous, and demands the
immediate and serious interference of the legislature."

"It is a bloody shame," said I, fully alive to the manifold advantages
of a premium.

"I'll tell you what, Dunshunner," rejoined M'Corkindale, "it's no use
going on in this way. We haven't shown half pluck enough. These
fellows consider us as snobs, because we don't take the bull by the
horns. Now's the time for a bold stroke. The public are quite ready to
subscribe for any thing--and we'll start a railway for ourselves."

"Start a railway with three hundred pounds of capital!"

"Pshaw, man! you don't know what you're talking about--we've a great
deal more capital than that. Have not I told you seventy times over,
that every thing a man has--his coat, his hat, the tumblers he drinks
from, nay, his very corporeal existence--is absolute marketable
capital? What do you call that fourteen-gallon cask, I should like to

"A compound of hoops and staves, containing about a quart and a half
of spirits--you have effectually accounted for the rest."

"Then it has gone to the fund of profit and loss, that's all. Never
let me hear you sport those old theories again. Capital is
indestructible, as I am ready to prove to you any day, in half an
hour. But let us sit down seriously to business. We are rich enough
to pay for the advertisements, and that is all we need care for in the
mean time. The public is sure to step in, and bear us out handsomely
with the rest."

"But where in the face of the habitable globe shall the railway be?
England is out of the question, and I hardly know a spot in the
Lowlands that is not occupied already."

"What do you say to a Spanish scheme--the Alcantara Union? Hang me if
I know whether Alcantara is in Spain or Portugal; but nobody else
does, and the one is quite as good as the other. Or what would you
think of the Palermo Railway, with a branch to the sulphur
mines?--that would be popular in the North--or the Pyrenees Direct?
They would all go to a premium."

"I must confess I should prefer a line at home."

"Well, then, why not try the Highlands? There must be lots of traffic
there in the shape of sheep, grouse, and Cockney tourists, not to
mention salmon and other et ceteras. Couldn't we tip them a railway
somewhere in the west?"

"There's Glenmutchkin, for instance"----

"Capital, my dear fellow! Glorious! By Jove, first-rate!" shouted Bob
in an ecstasy of delight. "There's a distillery there, you know, and a
fishing village at the foot; at least there used to be six years ago,
when I was living with the exciseman. There may be some bother about
the population, though. The last laird shipped every mother's son of
the original Celts to America; but, after all, that's not of much
consequence. I see the whole thing! Unrivalled scenery--stupendous
waterfalls--herds of black cattle--spot where Prince Charles Edward
met Macgrugar of Glengrugar and his clan! We could not possibly have
lighted on a more promising place. Hand us over that sheet of paper,
like a good fellow, and a pen. There is no time to be lost, and the
sooner we get out the prospectus the better."

"But, Heaven bless you, Bob, there's a great deal to be thought of
first. Who are we to get for a provisional committee?"

"That's very true," said Bob musingly. "We _must_ treat them to some
respectable names, that is, good sounding ones. I'm afraid there is
little chance of our producing a Peer to begin with?"

"None whatever--unless we could invent one, and that's hardly
safe--_Burke's Peerage_ has gone through too many editions. Couldn't
we try the Dormants?"

"That would be rather dangerous in the teeth of the standing orders.
But what do you say to a baronet? There's Sir Polloxfen Tremens. He
got himself served the other day to a Nova Scotia baronetcy, with just
as much title as you or I have; and he has sported the riband, and
dined out on the strength of it ever since. He'll join us at once, for
he has not a sixpence to lose."

"Down with him, then," and we headed the Provisional list with the
pseudo Orange-tawney.

"Now," said Bob, "it's quite indispensable, as this is a Highland
line, that we should put forward a Chief or two. That has always a
great effect upon the English, whose feudal notions are rather of the
mistiest, and principally derived from Waverley."

"Why not write yourself down as the Laird of M'Corkindale?" said I. "I
daresay you would not be negatived by a counter-claim."

"That would hardly do," replied Bob, "as I intend to be Secretary.
After all, what's the use of thinking about it? Here goes for an
extempore Chief," and the villain wrote down the name of Tavish
M'Tavish of Invertavish.

"I say, though," said I, "we must have a real Highlander on the list.
If we go on this way, it will become a Justiciary matter."

"You're devilish scrupulous, Gus," said Bob, who, if left to himself,
would have stuck in the names of the heathen gods and godesses, or
borrowed his directors from the Ossianic chronicles, rather than have
delayed the prospectus. "Where the mischief are we to find the men? I
can think of no others likely to go the whole hog; can you?"

"I don't know a single Celt in Glasgow except old M'Closkie, the
drunken porter at the corner of Jamaica Street."

"He's the very man! I suppose, after the manner of his tribe, he will
do any thing for a pint of whisky. But what shall we call him? Jamaica
Street, I fear, will hardly do for a designation."

"Call him THE M'CLOSKIE. It will be sonorous in the ears of the

"Bravo!" and another Chief was added to the roll of the clans.

"Now," said Bob, "we must put you down. Recollect, all the
management--that is, the allocation--will be entrusted to you.
Augustus--you haven't a middle name I think?--well, then, suppose we
interpolate 'Reginald;' it has a smack of the Crusades. Augustus
Reginald Dunshunner, Esq. of ---- where, in the name of Munchausen?"

"I'm sure I don't know. I never had any land beyond the contents of a
flower-pot. Stay--I rather think I have a superiority somewhere about

"Just the thing," cried Bob. "It's heritable property, and therefore
titular. What's the denomination?"

"St Mirrens."

"Beautiful! Dunshunner of St Mirrens, I give you joy! Had you
discovered that a little sooner--and I wonder you did not think of
it--we might both of us have had lots of allocations. These are not
the times to conceal hereditary distinctions. But now comes the
serious work. We must have one or two men of known wealth upon the
list. The chaff is nothing without a decoy-bird. Now, can't you help
me with a name?"

"In that case," said I, "the game is up, and the whole scheme
exploded. I would as soon undertake to evoke the ghost of

"Dunshunner," said Bob very seriously, "to be a man of information,
you are possessed of marvellous few resources. I am quite ashamed of
you. Now listen to me. I have thought deeply upon this subject, and am
quite convinced that with some little trouble we may secure the
co-operation of a most wealthy and influential body--one, too, that is
generally supposed to have stood aloof from all speculation of the
kind, and whose name would be a tower of strength in the monied
quarters. I allude," continued Bob, reaching across for the kettle,
"to the great Dissenting Interest."

"The what?" cried I aghast.

"The great Dissenting Interest. You can't have failed to observe the
row they have lately been making about Sunday travelling and
education. Old Sam Sawley, the coffin-maker, is their principal
spokesman here; and wherever he goes the rest will follow, like a
flock of sheep bounding after a patriarchal ram. I propose, therefore,
to wait upon him to-morrow, and request his co-operation in a scheme
which is not only to prove profitable, but to make head against the
lax principles of the present age. Leave me alone to tickle him. I
consider his name, and those of one or two others belonging to the
same meeting-house--fellows with bank-stock, and all sorts of tin--as
perfectly secure. These dissenters smell a premium from an almost
incredible distance. We can fill up the rest of the committee with
ciphers, and the whole thing is done.

"But the engineer--we must announce such an officer as a matter of

"I never thought of that," said Bob. "Couldn't we hire a fellow from
one of the steam-boats?"

"I fear that might get us into trouble: You know there are such things
as gradients and sections to be prepared. But there's Watty Solder,
the gasfitter, who failed the other day. He's a sort of civil engineer
by trade, and will jump at the proposal like a trout at the tail of a
May fly."

"Agreed. Now, then, let's fix the number of shares. This is our first
experiment, and I think we ought to be moderate. No sound political
economist is avaricious. Let us say twelve thousand, at twenty pounds

"So be it."

"Well, then, that's arranged. I'll see Sawley and the rest to-morrow;
settle with Solder, and then write out the prospectus. You look in
upon me in the evening, and we'll revise it together. Now, by your
leave, let's have in the Welsh rabbit and another tumbler to drink
success and prosperity to the Glenmutchkin railway."

I confess, that when I rose on the morrow, with a slight headache and
a tongue indifferently parched, I recalled to memory, not without
perturbation of conscience, and some internal qualms, the conversation
of the previous evening. I felt relieved, however, after two spoonfuls
of carbonate of soda, and a glance at the newspaper, wherein I
perceived the announcement of no less than four other schemes equally
preposterous with our own. But, after all, what right had I to assume
that the Glenmutchkin project would prove an ultimate failure? I had
not a scrap of statistical information that might entitle me to form
such an opinion. At any rate, Parliament, by substituting the Board of
Trade as an initiating body of enquiry, had created a responsible
tribunal, and freed us from the chance of obloquy. I saw before me a
vision of six months' steady gambling, at manifest advantage, in the
shares, before a report could possibly be pronounced, or our
proceedings in any way overhauled. Of course I attended that evening
punctually at my friend M'Corkindale's. Bob was in high feather; for
Sawley no sooner heard of the principles upon which the railway was to
be conducted, and his own nomination as a director, than he gave in
his adhesion, and promised his unflinching support to the uttermost.
The Prospectus ran as follows:--

    In 12,000 Shares of L.20 each. Deposit L.1 per Share.
              _Provisional Committee._
    SIR POLLOXFEN TREMENS, Bart. of Toddymains.
    TAVISH M'TAVISH of Invertavish.
    SAMUEL SAWLEY, Esq., Merchant.
    PHELIM O'FINLAN, Esq. of Castle-rook, Ireland.
    JOHN JOB JOBSON, Esq., Manufacturer.
    EVAN M'CLAW of Glenscart and Inveryewky.
    HABBAKUK GRABBIE, Portioner in Ramoth-Drumclog.
              _Engineer_--WALTER SOLDER, Esq.
         _Interim Secretary_--ROBERT M'CORKINDALE, Esq.

     "The necessity of a direct line of Railway communication through
     the fertile and populous district known as the VALLEY of
     GLENMUTCHKIN, has been long felt and universally acknowledged.
     Independent of the surpassing grandeur of its mountain scenery,
     which shall immediately be referred to, and other considerations
     of even greater importance, GLENMUTCHKIN is known to the
     capitalist as the most important BREEDING STATION in the
     Highlands of Scotland, and indeed as the great emporium from
     which the southern markets are supplied. It has been calculated
     by a most eminent authority, that every acre in the strath is
     capable of rearing twenty head of cattle; and, as has been
     ascertained after a careful admeasurement, that there are not
     less than TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND improvable acres immediately
     contiguous to the proposed line of Railway, it may confidently be
     assumed that the number of cattle to be conveyed along the line
     will amount to FOUR MILLIONS annually, which, at the lowest
     estimate, would yield a revenue larger, in proportion to the
     capital subscribed, than that of any Railway as yet completed
     within the United Kingdom. From this estimate the traffic in
     Sheep and Goats, with which the mountains are literally covered,
     has been carefully excluded, it having been found quite
     impossible (from its extent) to compute the actual revenue to be
     drawn from that most important branch. It may, however, be
     roughly assumed as from seventeen to nineteen _per cent_ upon the
     whole, after deduction of the working expenses.

     "The population of Glenmutchkin is extremely dense. Its situation
     on the west coast has afforded it the means of direct
     communication with America, of which for many years the
     inhabitants have actively availed themselves. Indeed the amount
     of exportation of live stock from this part of the Highlands to
     the Western continent, has more than once attracted the
     attention of Parliament. The Manufactures are large and
     comprehensive, and include the most famous distilleries in the
     world. The Minerals are most abundant, and amongst these may be
     reckoned quartz, porphyry, felspar, malachite, manganese, and

     "At the foot of the valley, and close to the sea, lies the
     important village known as the CLACHAN of INVERSTARVE. It is
     supposed by various eminent antiquaries to have been the capital
     of the Picts, and, amongst the busy inroads of commercial
     prosperity, it still retains some interesting traces of its
     former grandeur. There is a large fishing station here, to which
     vessels from every nation resort, and the demand for foreign
     produce is daily and steadily increasing.

     "As a sporting country Glenmutchkin is unrivalled; but it is by
     the tourists that its beauties will most greedily be sought.
     These consist of every combination which plastic nature can
     afford--cliffs of unusual magnitude and grandeur--waterfalls only
     second to the sublime cascades of Norway--woods, of which the
     bark is a remarkably valuable commodity. It need scarcely be
     added, to rouse the enthusiasm inseparable from this glorious
     glen, that here, in 1745, Prince Charles Edward Stuart, then in
     the zenith of his hopes, was joined by the brave Sir Grugar
     M'Grugar at the head of his devoted clan.

     "The Railway will be twelve miles long, and can be completed
     within six months after the Act of Parliament is obtained. The
     gradients are easy, and the curves obtuse. There are no viaducts
     of any importance, and only four tunnels along the whole length
     of the line. The shortest of those does not exceed a mile and a

     "In conclusion, the projectors of this Railway beg to state that
     they have determined, as a principle, to set their face AGAINST
     may hereafter be brought into Parliament, unless it shall contain
     a clause to that effect. It is also their intention to take up
     the cause of the poor and neglected STOKER, for whose
     accommodation, and social, moral, religious, and intellectual
     improvement a large stock of evangelical tracts will speedily be
     required. Tenders of these, in quantities of not less than
     12,000, may be sent in to the interim secretary. Shares must be
     applied for within ten days from the present date.

    "By order of the Provisional Committee,
    "ROBT. M'CORKINDALE, _Secretary_."

"There!" said Bob, slapping down the prospectus on the table, with the
jauntiness of a Cockney vouchsafing a pint of Hermitage to his
guests--"What do you think of that? If it doesn't do the business
effectually, I shall submit to be called a Dutchman. That last touch
about the stoker will bring us in the subscriptions of the old ladies
by the score."

"Very masterly, indeed," said I. "But who the deuce is

"A _bona-fide_ chief, I assure you, though a little reduced: I picked
him up upon the Broomielaw. His grandfather had an island somewhere to
the west of the Hebrides; but it is not laid down in the maps."

"And the Captain of M'Alcohol?"

"A crack distiller."

"And the Factor for Glentumblers?"

"His principal customer. But, bless you, my dear St Mirrens! don't
trouble yourself any more about the committee. They are as respectable
a set--on paper at least--as you would wish to see of a summer's
morning, and the beauty of it is that they will give us no manner of
trouble. Now about the allocation. You and I must restrict ourselves
to a couple of thousand shares a-piece. That's only a third of the
whole, but it wont do to be greedy."

"But, Bob, consider! Where on earth are we to find the money to pay up
the deposits?"

"Can you, the principal director of the Glenmutchkin Railway, ask me,
the secretary, such a question? Don't you know that any of the banks
will give us tick to the amount 'of half the deposits.' All that is
settled already, and you can get your two thousand pounds whenever you
please merely for the signing of a bill. Sawley must get a thousand
according to stipulation--Jobson, Heckles, and Grabbie, at least five
hundred a-piece, and another five hundred, I should think, will
exhaust the remaining means of the committee. So that, out of our
whole stock, there remain just five thousand shares to be allocated to
the speculative and evangelical public. My eyes! won't there be a
scramble for them?"

Next day our prospectus appeared in the newspapers. It was read,
canvassed, and generally approved of. During the afternoon, I took an
opportunity of looking into the Tontine, and whilst under shelter of
the _Glasgow Herald_, my ears were solaced with such ejaculations as
the following:--

"I say, Jimsy, hae ye seen this grand new prospectus for a railway tae

"Ay--it looks no that ill. The Hieland lairds are pitting their best
fit foremost. Will ye apply for shares?"

"I think I'll tak' twa hundred. Wha's Sir Polloxfen Tremens?"

"He'll be yin o' the Ayrshire folk. He used to rin horses at the
Paisley races."

("The devil he did!" thought I.)

"D'ye ken ony o' the directors, Jimsy?"

"I ken Sawley fine. Ye may depend on't, it's a gude thing if he's
in't, for he's a howkin' body."

"Then it's sure to gae up. What prem. d'ye think it will bring?"

"Twa pund a share, and maybe mair."

"'Od, I'll apply for three hundred!"

"Heaven bless you, my dear countrymen!" thought I, as I sallied forth
to refresh myself with a basin of soup, "do but maintain this liberal
and patriotic feeling--this thirst for national improvement, internal
communication, and premiums--a short while longer, and I know whose
fortune will be made."

On the following morning my breakfast-table was covered with shoals of
letters, from fellows whom I scarcely ever had spoken to--or who, to
use a franker phraseology, had scarcely ever condescended to speak to
me--entreating my influence as a director to obtain them shares in the
new undertaking. I never bore malice in my life, so I chalked them
down, without favouritism, for a certain proportion. Whilst engaged in
this charitable work, the door flew open, and M'Corkindale, looking
utterly haggard with excitement, rushed in.

"You may buy an estate whenever you please, Dunshunner," cried he,
"the world's gone perfectly mad. I have been to Blazes the broker, and
he tells me that the whole amount of the stock has been subscribed for
four times over already, and he has not yet got in the returns from
Edinburgh and Liverpool!"

"Are they good names though, Bob--sure cards--none of your M'Closkies
and M'Alcohols?"

"The first names in the city, I assure you, and most of them holders
for investment. I wouldn't take ten millions for their capital."

"Then the sooner we close the list the better."

"I think so too. I suspect a rival company will be out before long.
Blazes says the shares are selling already conditionally on allotment,
at seven and sixpence premium."

"The deuce they are! I say, Bob, since we have the cards in our hands,
would it not be wise to favour them with a few hundreds at that rate?
A bird in the hand, you know, is worth two in the bush, eh?"

"I know no such maxim in political economy," replied the secretary.
"Are you mad, Dunshunner? How are the shares ever to go up, if it gets
wind that the directors are selling already? Our business just now, is
to _bull_ the line, not to _bear_ it; and if you will trust me, I
shall show them such an operation on the ascending scale, as the Stock
Exchange has not witnessed for this long and many a-day. Then,
to-morrow, I shall advertise in the papers, that the committee having
received applications for ten times the amount of stock, have been
compelled, unwillingly, to close the lists. That will be a slap in the
face to the dilatory gentlemen, and send up the shares like wildfire."

Bob was right. No sooner did the advertisement appear, than a
simultaneous groan was uttered by some hundreds of disappointed
speculators, who with unwonted and unnecessary caution, had been
anxious to see their way a little, before committing themselves to our
splendid enterprise. In consequence, they rushed into the market, with
intense anxiety to make what terms they could at the earliest stage,
and the seven-and-sixpence of premium was doubled in the course of a

The allocation passed over very peaceably. Sawley, Heckles, Jobson,
Grabbie, and the Captain of M'Alcohol, besides myself, attended, and
took part in the business. We were also threatened with the presence
of the M'Closkie and Vich-Induibh; but M'Corkindale, entertaining some
reasonable doubts as to the effect which their corporeal appearance
might have upon the representatives of the dissenting interest, had
taken the precaution to get them snugly housed in a tavern, where an
unbounded supply of gratuitous Ferntosh deprived us of the benefit of
their experience. We, however, allotted them twenty shares a-piece.
Sir Polloxfen Tremens sent a handsome, though rather illegible letter
of apology, dated from an island in Lochlomond, where he was said to
be detained on particular business.

Mr Sawley, who officiated as our chairman, was kind enough, before
parting, to pass a very flattering eulogium upon the excellence and
candour of all the preliminary arrangements. It would now, he said, go
forth to the public that this line was not, like some others he could
mention, a mere bubble, emanating from the stank of private interest,
but a solid, lasting superstructure, based upon the principles of sound
return for capital, and serious evangelical truth, (hear, hear.) The
time was fast approaching, when the gravestone, with the words "HIC
OBIIT", chiselled upon it, would be placed at the head of all the other
lines which rejected the grand opportunity of conveying education to the
stoker. The stoker, in his (Mr Sawley's) opinion, had a right to ask the
all important question, "Am I not a man and a brother?" (Cheers.) Much
had been said and written lately about a work called _Tracts for the
Times_. With the opinions contained in that publication, he was not
conversant, as it was conducted by persons of another community from
that to which he (Mr Sawley) had the privilege to belong. But he hoped
very soon, under the auspices of the Glenmutchkin Railway Company, to
see a new periodical established, under the title of _Tracts for the
Trains_. He never for a moment would relax his efforts to knock a nail
into the coffin, which, he might say, was already made, and measured,
and cloth-covered for the reception of all establishments; and with
these sentiments and the conviction that the shares must rise, could it
be doubted that he would remain a fast friend to the interests of this
Company for ever? (Much cheering.)

After having delivered this address, Mr Sawley affectionately squeezed
the hands of his brother directors, and departed, leaving several of
us much overcome. As, however, M'Corkindale had told me that every one
of Sawley's shares had been disposed of in the market the day before,
I felt less compunction at having refused to allow that excellent man
an extra thousand beyond the amount he had applied for,
notwithstanding of his broadest hints, and even private entreaties.

"Confound the greedy hypocrite!" said Bob; "does he think we shall let
him Burke the line for nothing? No--no! let him go to the brokers and
buy his shares back, if he thinks they are likely to rise. I'll be
bound he has made a cool five hundred out of them already."

On the day which succeeded the allocation, the following entry
appeared in the Glasgow share lists. "Direct Glenmutchkin Railway.
15s. 15s.6d. 15s.6d. 16s. 15s.6d. 16s. 16s.6d. 16s.6d. 16s. 17s 18s.
18s. 19s.6d. 21s. 21s. 22s.6d. 24s. 25s. 6d. 27s. 29s. 29s.6d. 30s.
31s. pm."

"They might go higher, and they ought to go higher," said Bob
musingly; "but there's not much more stock to come and go upon, and
these two share-sharks, Jobson and Grabbie, I know, will be in the
market to-morrow. We must not let them have the whip-hand of us. I
think upon the whole, Dunshunner, though it's letting them go dog
cheap, that we ought to sell half our shares at the present premium,
whilst there is a certainty of getting it."

"Why not sell the whole? I'm sure I have no objections to part with
every stiver of the scrip on such terms."

"Perhaps," said Bob, "upon general principles you may be right; but
then remember that we have a vested interest in the line."

"Vested interest be hanged!"

"That's very well--at the same time it is no use to kill your salmon
in a hurry. The bulls have done their work pretty well for us, and we
ought to keep something on hand for the bears; they are snuffling at
it already. I could almost swear that some of those fellows who have
sold to-day are working for a time-bargain."

We accordingly got rid of a couple of thousand shares, the proceeds of
which not only enabled us to discharge the deposit loan, but left us a
material surplus. Under these circumstances, a two-handed banquet was
proposed and unanimously carried, the commencement of which I
distinctly remember, but am rather dubious as to the end. So many
stories have lately been circulated to the prejudice of railway
directors, that I think it my duty to state that this entertainment
was scrupulously defrayed by ourselves, and _not_ carried to account,
either of the preliminary survey, or the expenses of the provisional

Nothing effects so great a metamorphosis in the bearing of the outer
man, as a sudden change of fortune. The anemone of the garden differs
scarcely more from its unpretending prototype of the woods, than
Robert M'Corkindale, Esq., Secretary and Projector of the Glenmutchkin
Railway, differed from Bob M'Corkindale, the seedy frequenter of "The
Crow." In the days of yore, men eyed the surtout--napless at the
velvet collar, and preternaturally white at the seams--which Bob
vouchsafed to wear, with looks of dim suspicion, as if some faint
reminiscence, similar to that which is said to recall the memory of a
former state of existence, suggested to them a vision that the garment
had once been their own. Indeed, his whole appearance was then
wonderfully second-hand. Now he had cast his slough. A most undeniable
Taglioni, with trimmings just bordering upon frogs, gave dignity to
his demeanour and twofold amplitude to his chest. The horn eyeglass
was exchanged for one of purest gold, the dingy high-lows for
well-waxed Wellingtons, the Paisley fogle for the fabric of the China
loom. Moreover, he walked with a swagger, and affected in common
conversation a peculiar dialect which he opined to be the purest
English, but which no one--except a bagman--could be reasonably
expected to understand. His pockets were invariably crammed with share
lists; and he quoted, if he did not comprehend, the money article from
the _Times_. This sort of assumption, though very ludicrous in itself,
goes down wonderfully. Bob gradually became a sort of authority, and
his opinions got quoted on 'Change. He was no ass, notwithstanding his
peculiarities, and made good use of his opportunity.

For myself, I bore my new dignities with an air of modest meekness. A
certain degree of starchness is indispensable for a railway director,
if he means to go forward in his high calling and prosper; he must
abandon all juvenile eccentricities, and aim at the appearance of a
decided enemy to free trade in the article of Wild Oats. Accordingly,
as the first step towards respectability, I eschewed coloured
waistcoats, and gave out that I was a marrying man. No man under
forty, unless he is a positive idiot, will stand forth as a
theoretical bachelor. It is all nonsense to say that there is any
thing unpleasant in being courted. Attention, whether from male or
female, tickles the vanity, and although I have a reasonable, and, I
hope, not unwholesome regard, for the gratification of my other
appetites, I confess that this same vanity is by far the most poignant
of the whole. I therefore surrendered myself freely to the soft
allurements thrown in my way by such matronly denizens of Glasgow as
were possessed of stock in the shape of marriageable daughters; and
walked the more readily into their toils, because every party, though
nominally for the purposes of tea, wound up with a hot supper, and
something hotter still by way of assisting the digestion.

I don't know whether it was my determined conduct at the allocation,
my territorial title, or a most exaggerated idea of my circumstances,
that worked upon the mind of Mr Sawley. Possibly it was a combination
of the three; but sure enough few days had elapsed before I received a
formal card of invitation to a tea and serious conversation. Now
serious conversation is a sort of thing that I never shone in,
possibly because my early studies were framed in a different
direction; but as I really was unwilling to offend the respectable
coffin-maker, and as I found that the Captain of M'Alcohol--a decided
trump in his way--had also received a summons, I notified my

M'Alcohol and I went together. The Captain, an enormous brawny Celt,
with superhuman whiskers, and a shock of the fieriest hair, had figged
himself out, _more majorum_, in the full Highland costume. I never saw
Rob Roy on the stage look half so dignified or ferocious. He glittered
from head to foot, with dirk, pistol, and skean-dhu, and at least a
hundred-weight of cairngorums cast a prismatic glory around his
person. I felt quite abashed beside him.

We were ushered into Mr Sawley's drawing-room. Round the walls, and at
considerable distances from each other, were seated about a dozen
characters male and female, all of them dressed in sable, and wearing
countenances of woe. Sawley advanced, and wrung me by the hand with so
piteous an expression of visage, that I could not help thinking some
awful catastrophe had just befallen his family.

"You are welcome, Mr Dunshunner, welcome to my humble tabernacle. Let
me present you to Mrs Sawley"--and a lady, who seemed to have bathed
in the Yellow Sea, rose from her seat, and favoured me with a profound

"My daughter--Miss Selina Sawley."

I felt in my brain the scorching glance of the two darkest eyes it
ever was my fortune to behold, as the beauteous Selina looked up from
the perusal of her handkerchief hem. It was a pity that the other
features were not corresponding; for the nose was flat, and the mouth
of such dimensions, that a Harlequin might have jumped down it with
impunity--but the eyes _were_ splendid.

In obedience to a sign from the hostess, I sank into a chair beside
Selina; and not knowing exactly what to say, hazarded some observation
about the weather.

"Yes, it is indeed a suggestive season. How deeply, Mr Dunshunner, we
ought to feel the pensive progress of autumn towards a soft and
premature decay! I always think, about this time of the year, that
nature is falling into a consumption!"

"To be sure, ma'am," said I, rather taken aback by this style of
colloquy "the trees are looking devilishly hectic."

"Ah, you have remarked that too! Strange! it was but yesterday that I
was wandering through Kelvin Grove, and as the phantom breeze brought
down the withered foliage from the spray, I thought, how probable it
was, that they might erelong rustle over young and glowing hearts
deposited prematurely in the tomb!"

This, which struck me as a very passable imitation of Dickens's
pathetic writings, was a poser. In default of language, I looked Miss
Sawley straight in the face, and attempted a substitute for a sigh. I
was rewarded with a tender glance.

"Ah!" said she, "I see you are a congenial spirit. How delightful, and
yet how rare it is to meet with any one who thinks in unison with
yourself! Do you ever walk in the Necropolis, Mr Dunshunner? It is my
favourite haunt of a morning. There we can wean ourselves, as it were,
from life, and, beneath the melancholy yew and cypress, anticipate the
setting star. How often there have I seen the procession--the funeral
of some very, _very_ little child"----

"Selina, my love," said Mrs Sawley, "have the kindness to ring for the

I, as in duty bound, started up to save the fair enthusiast the
trouble, and was not sorry to observe my seat immediately occupied by
a very cadaverous gentleman, who was evidently jealous of the progress
I was rapidly making. Sawley, with an air of great mystery, informed
me that this was a Mr Dalgleish of Raxmathrapple, the representative
of an ancient Scottish family who claimed an important heritable
office. The name, I thought, was familiar to me, but there was
something in the appearance of Mr Dalgleish which, notwithstanding the
smiles of Miss Selina, rendered a rivalship in that quarter utterly
out of the question.

I hate injustice, so let me do due honour in description to the Sawley
banquet. The tea-urn most literally corresponded to its name. The
table was decked out with divers platters, containing seed-cakes cut
into rhomboids, almond biscuits, and ratafia drops; but somehow or
other they all looked clammy and damp, and, for the life of me, I
could not divest myself of the idea that the selfsame viands had
figured, not long before, as funeral refreshments at a dirgie. No such
suspicion seemed to cross the mind of M'Alcohol, who hitherto had
remained uneasily surveying his nails in a corner, but at the first
symptom of food started forwards, and was in the act of making a clean
sweep of the china, when Sawley proposed the singular preliminary of a

The hymn was accordingly sung. I am thankful to say it was such a one
as I never heard before, or expect to hear again; and unless it was
composed by the Reverend Saunders Peden in an hour of paroxysm on the
moors, I cannot conjecture the author. After this original symphony,
tea was discussed, and after tea, to my amazement, more hot brandy and
water than I ever remember to have seen circulated at the most
convivial party. Of course this effected a radical change in the
spirits and conversation of the circle. It was again my lot to be
placed by the side of the fascinating Selina, whose sentimentality
gradually thawed away beneath the influence of sundry sips, which she
accepted with a delicate reluctance. This time Dalgleish of
Raxmathrapple had not the remotest chance. M'Alcohol got furious, sang
Gaelic songs, and even delivered a sermon in genuine Erse, without
incurring a rebuke; whilst, for my own part, I must needs confess that
I waxed unnecessarily amorous, and the last thing I recollect was the
pressure of Mr Sawley's hand at the door, as he denominated me his
dear boy, and hoped I would soon come back and visit Mrs Sawley and
Selina. The recollection of these passages next morning was the surest
antidote to my return.

Three weeks had elapsed, and still the Glenmutchkin Railway shares
were at a premium, though rather lower than when we sold. Our
engineer, Watty Solder, returned from his first survey of the line,
along with an assistant who really appeared to have some remote
glimmerings of the science and practice of mensuration. It seemed,
from a verbal report, that the line was actually practicable; and the
survey would have been completed in a very short time--"If," according
to the account of Solder, "there had been ae hoos in the glen. But
ever sin' the distillery stoppit--and that was twa year last
Martinmas--there wasna a hole whaur a Christian could lay his head,
muckle less get white sugar to his toddy, forbye the change-house at
the clachan; and the auld luckie that keepit it was sair forfochten
wi' the palsy, and maist in the dead-thraws. There was naebody else
living within twal miles o' the line, barring a tacksman, a lamiter,
and a bauldie."

We had some difficulty in preventing Mr Solder from making this report
open and patent to the public, which premature disclosure might have
interfered materially with the preparation of our traffic tables, not
to mention the marketable value of the shares. We therefore kept him
steadily at work out of Glasgow, upon a very liberal allowance, to
which, apparently, he did not object.

"Dunshunner," said M'Corkindale to me one day, "I suspect that there
is something going on about our railway more than we are aware of.
Have you observed that the shares are preternaturally high just now?"

"So much the better. Let's sell."

"I did so this morning--both yours and mine, at two pounds ten
shillings premium."

"The deuce you did! Then we're out of the whole concern."

"Not quite. If my suspicions are correct, there's a good deal more
money yet to be got from the speculation. Somebody has been bulling
the stock without orders; and, as they can have no information which
we are not perfectly up to, depend upon it, it is done for a purpose.
I suspect Sawley and his friends. They have never been quite happy
since the allocation; and I caught him yesterday pumping our broker in
the back shop. We'll see in a day or two. If they are beginning a
bearing operation, I know how to catch them."

And, in effect, the bearing operation commenced. Next day, heavy sales
were effected for delivery in three weeks; and the stock, as if
water-logged, began to sink. The same thing continued for the
following two days, until the premium became nearly nominal. In the
mean time, Bob and I, in conjunction with two leading capitalists
whom we let into the secret, bought up steadily every share that was
offered; and at the end of a fortnight we found that we had purchased
rather more than double the amount of the whole original stock. Sawley
and his disciples, who, as M'Corkindale suspected, were at the bottom
of the whole transaction, having beared to their heart's content, now
came into the market to purchase, in order to redeem their
engagements. The following extract from the weekly share-lists will
show the result of their endeavours to regain their lost position:--

                                Sat.    Mon.   Tues.    Wed.   Thurs.
Glenmutchkin Rail, L.1 paid,.  1 2/8 | 2 1/4 | 4 3/8 | 7 1/2 | 10 3/4

                                      Frid.   Sat.
                                     15 3/8 |  17,

and Monday was the day of delivery.

I have no means of knowing in what frame of mind Mr Sawley spent the
Sunday, or whether he had recourse for mental consolation to Peden;
but on Monday morning he presented himself at my door in full funeral
costume, with about a quarter of a mile of crape swathed round his
hat, black gloves, and a countenance infinitely more doleful than if
he had been attending the interment of his beloved wife.

"Walk in, Mr Sawley," said I cheerfully. "What a long time it is since
I have had the pleasure of seeing you--too long indeed for brother
directors. How are Mrs Sawley and Miss Selina--won't you take a cup of

"Grass, sir, grass!" said Mr Sawley, with a sigh like the groan of a
furnace-bellows. "We are all flowers of the oven--weak, erring
creatures, every one of us. Ah! Mr Dunshunner! you have been a great
stranger at Lykewake Terrace!"

"Take a muffin, Mr Sawley. Any thing new in the railway world?"

"Ah, my dear sir--my good Mr Augustus Reginald--I wanted to have some
serious conversation with you on that very point. I am afraid there is
something far wrong indeed in the present state of our stock."

"Why, to be sure it is high; but that, you know, is a token of the
public confidence in the line. After all, the rise is nothing compared
to that of several English railways; and individually, I suppose,
neither of us have any reason to complain."

"I don't like it," said Sawley, watching me over the margin of his
coffee-cup. "I don't like it. It savours too much of gambling for a
man of my habits. Selina, who is a sensible girl, has serious qualms
on the subject."

"Then, why not get out of it? I have no objection to run the risk,
and, if you like to transact with me I will pay you ready money for
every share you have at the present market price."

Sawley writhed uneasily in his chair.

"Will you sell me five hundred, Mr Sawley? Say the word and it is a

"A time bargain?" quavered the coffin-maker.

"No. Money down, and scrip handed over."

"I--I can't. The fact is, my dear young friend, I have sold all my
stock already!"

"Then permit me to ask, Mr Sawley, what possible objection you can
have to the present aspect of affairs? You do not surely suppose that
we are going to issue new shares and bring down the market, simply
because you have realized at a handsome premium?"

"A handsome premium! O Lord!" moaned Sawley.

"Why, what did you get for them?"

"Four, three, and two and a half."

"A very considerable profit indeed," said I; "and you ought to be
abundantly thankful. We shall talk this matter over at another time,
Mr Sawley, but just now I must beg you to excuse me. I have a
particular engagement this morning with my broker--rather a heavy
transaction to settle--and so"----

"It's no use beating about the bush any longer," said Mr Sawley in an
excited tone, at the same time dashing down his crape-covered castor
on the floor. "Did you ever see a ruined man with a large family? Look
at me, Mr Dunshunner--I'm one, and you've done it!"

"Mr Sawley! are you in your senses?"

"That depends on circumstances. Haven't you been buying stock lately?"

"I am glad to say I have--two thousand Glenmutchkins, I think, and
this is the day of delivery."

"Well, then--can't you see how the matter stands? It was I who sold


"Mother of Moses, sir! don't you see I'm ruined?

"By no means--but you must not swear. I pay over the money for your
scrip, and you pocket a premium. It seems to me a very simple

"But I tell you I haven't got the scrip!" cried Sawley, gnashing his
teeth, whilst the cold beads of perspiration gathered largely on his

"That is very unfortunate! Have you lost it?"

"No!--the devil tempted me, and I oversold!"

There was a very long pause, during which I assumed an aspect of
serious and dignified rebuke.

"Is it possible?" said I in a low tone, after the manner of Kean's
offended fathers. "What! you, Mr Sawley--the stoker's friend--the
enemy of gambling--the father of Selina--condescend to so equivocal a
transaction? You amaze me! But I never was the man to press heavily on
a friend"--here Sawley brightened up--"your secret is safe with me,
and it shall be your own fault if it reaches the ears of the Session.
Pay me over the difference at the present market price, and I release
you of your obligation."

"Then I'm in the Gazette, that's all," said Sawley doggedly, "and a
wife and nine beautiful babes upon the parish! I had hoped other
things from you, Mr Dunshunner--I thought you and Selina"----

"Nonsense, man! Nobody goes into the Gazette just now--it will be time
enough when the general crash comes. Out with your checque-book, and
write me an order for four-and-twenty thousand. Confound fractions! in
these days one can afford to be liberal."

"I haven't got it," said Sawley. "You have no idea how bad our trade
has been of late, for nobody seems to think of dying. I have not sold
a gross of coffins this fortnight. But I'll tell what--I'll give you
five thousand down in cash, and ten thousand in shares--further I
can't go."

"Now, Mr Sawley'," said I, "I may be blamed by worldly-minded persons
for what I am going to do; but I am a man of principle, and feel
deeply for the situation of your amiable wife and family. I bear no
malice, though it is quite clear that you intended to make me the
sufferer. Pay me fifteen thousand over the counter, and we cry quits
for ever."

"Won't you take Camlachie Cemetery shares? They are sure to go up."


"Twelve hundred Cowcaddens' Water, with an issue of new stock next

"Not if they disseminated the Ganges."

"A thousand Ramshorn Gas--four per cent guaranteed until the act?"

"Not if they promised twenty, and melted down the sun in their

"Blawweary Iron? Best spec. going."

"No, I tell you once for all. If you don't like my offer--and it is an
uncommonly liberal one--say so, and I'll expose you this afternoon
upon 'Change."

"Well, then--there's a checque. But may the"----

"Stop, sir! Any such profane expressions, and I shall insist upon the
original bargain. So, then--now we're quits. I wish you a very
good-morning, Mr Sawley, and better luck next time. Pray remember me
to your amiable family."

The door had hardly closed upon the discomfited coffin-maker, and I
was still in the preliminary steps of an extempore _pas seul_,
intended as the outward demonstration of exceeding inward joy, when
Bob M'Corkindale entered. I told him the result of the morning's

"You have let him off too easily," said the Political Economist. "Had
I been his creditor, I certainly should have sacked the shares into
the bargain. There is nothing like rigid dealing between man and man."

"I am contented with moderate profits," said I; "besides, the image
of Selina overcame me. How goes it with Jobson and Grabbie?"

"Jobson has paid, and Grabbie compounded. Heckles--may he die an evil
death!--has repudiated, become a lame duck, and waddled; but no doubt
his estate will pay a dividend."

"So, then, we are clear of the whole Glenmutchkin business, and at a
handsome profit."

"A fair interest for the outlay of capital--nothing more. But I'm not
quite done with the concern yet."

"How so? not another bearing operation?"

"No; that cock would hardly fight. But you forget that I am secretary
to the company, and have a small account against them for services
already rendered. I must do what I can to carry the bill through
Parliament; and, as you have now sold your whole shares, I advise you
to resign from the direction, go down straight to Glenmutchkin, and
qualify yourself for a witness. We shall give you five guineas a-day,
and pay all your expenses."

"Not a bad notion. But what has become of M'Closkie, and the other
fellow with the jaw-breaking name?"

"Vich-Induibh? I have looked after their interests, as in duty bound,
sold their shares at a large premium, and dispatched them to their
native hills on annuities."

"And Sir Polloxfen?"

"Died yesterday of spontaneous combustion."

As the company seemed breaking up, I thought I could not do better
than take M'Corkindale's hint, and accordingly betook myself to
Glenmutchkin, along with the Captain of M'Alcohol, and we quartered
ourselves upon the Factor for Glentumblers. We found Watty Solder very
shakey, and his assistant also lapsing into habits of painful
inebriety. We saw little of them except of an evening, for we shot and
fished the whole day, and made ourselves remarkably comfortable. By
singular good-luck, the plans and sections were lodged in time, and
the Board of Trade very handsomely reported in our favour, with a
recommendation of what they were pleased to call "the Glenmutchkin
system," and a hope that it might generally be carried out. What this
system was, I never clearly understood; but, of course, none of us had
any objections. This circumstance gave an additional impetus to the
shares, and they once more went up. I was, however, too cautious to
plunge a second time into Charybdis, but M'Corkindale did, and again
emerged with plunder.

When the time came for the parliamentary contest, we all emigrated to
London. I still recollect, with lively satisfaction, the many pleasant
days we spent in the metropolis at the company's expense. There were
just a neat fifty of us, and we occupied the whole of an hotel. The
discussion before the committee was long and formidable. We were
opposed by four other companies who patronised lines, of which the
nearest was at least a hundred miles distant from Glenmutchkin; but as
they founded their opposition upon dissent from "the Glenmutchkin
system" generally, the committee allowed them to be heard. We fought
for three weeks a most desperate battle, and might in the end have
been victorious, had not our last antagonist, at the very close of his
case, pointed out no less than seventy-three fatal errors in the
parliamentary plan deposited by the unfortunate Solder. Why this was
not done earlier, I never exactly understood; it may be, that our
opponents, with gentlemanly consideration, were unwilling to curtail
our sojourn in London--and their own. The drama was now finally
closed, and after all preliminary expenses were paid, sixpence per
share was returned to the holders upon surrender of their scrip.

Such is an accurate history of the Origin, Rise, Progress, and Fall of
the Direct Glenmutchkin Railway. It contains a deep moral, if any body
has sense enough to see it; if not, I have a new project in my eye for
next session, of which timely notice shall be given.


The past history of Mr Morgan Kavanagh is probably as little known to
our readers as it is to ourselves. But his future destiny is not
equally obscure. We have it, on his own authority, that he has made a
discovery of unparalleled merit and magnitude, as simple as it is
surprising, and calculated, in an equal degree, to benefit mankind,
and immortalize its author. He has discovered the science of
languages--a science in which the wisest hitherto have been
smatterers, but in which the most shallow may henceforward be
profound. In the prophetic spirit of conscious genius, Horace, Ovid,
and other great men, have boasted of the perpetuity of fame achieved
by their efforts; and Kavanagh, apparently under a similar
inspiration, indulges the pleasing anticipation, that he has completed
a monument more lasting than brass--of which material, it may be
observed, he does not appear to have a deficient supply. He confesses,
that on so trite a subject, the presumption is against him of so great
an achievement; but he sticks to his point, and is sure that he has
attained an undying name by his inestimable disclosures:--

     "A discovery equalling in magnitude the one to which I lay claim,
     must appear to all, before examining its accompanying proofs,
     just about as probable as the discovery, in the neighbourhood of
     the British Channel, of some rich and extensive island that had
     escaped till now the mariner's notice. Then am I either
     egregiously in error, or, through my humble means, one of the
     greatest and most important discoveries on record has been made."

The alternative here allowed us is irresistible--_either_ our author
is egregiously in error, _or_ he has made a great discovery. Who can
doubt it? We feel at once driven to the wall by the horns of so
dexterous a dilemma; and unable as we are, in the kindness of our
hearts, to adopt the more uncivil supposition, we succumb, without a
struggle, to the only choice left us, and concede to such a disputant
all that he can demand.

Mr Kavanagh is determined that the importance of his discovery shall
lose nothing from his reluctance to put it in the strongest light:--

     "If, from having taken a view of the human mind different from
     any other hitherto taken, and from having founded a rational
     principle, in conformity with this view, I can offer such a
     definition of words as may bear the strictest investigation, and
     which all may understand; and if a child, by adhering to this
     principle, may be able to account for words with all their
     changes and variations, and show them such as they must have
     been, not only ages before the Bible and the Iliad had been
     written, but even as they were at their very birth; then it will,
     I dare hope, be admitted, that I shall not only have surmounted
     innumerable difficulties, but have discovered the real science of
     languages. Yet all this, and a great deal more, may be done by
     the application of the principle by which I am guided."

Again he says:--

     "I am sorry that the resolution I have formed, of frankly speaking
     my mind throughout this work, obliges me to express myself as I
     do here and elsewhere with such an apparent want of modesty; but
     were I to adopt, with regard to this discovery, and the knowledge
     we have hitherto had of the science of grammar, what is
     understood by a more becoming and humble tone, I should, by doing
     so, lose in truth what I might gain by affected modesty, since I
     should not only be speaking falsely, but be leading the reader
     into error by concealing from him my real opinion, which I should
     by no means do. And if while it be allowed, as I am sure it must,
     that though I do well to speak as I think, it be observed that
     this is not a reason why I should think as I do--that is, so
     presumptuously--I beg to reply, that if I had never _thought so_,
     this discovery had never been attempted, and much less made; for
     notwithstanding what the world may say about the modesty of
     certain great men, I do in my heart believe that such modesty has
     been ever affected, and that it is wholly impossible that any
     thing great may be undertaken or achieved, but where there is at
     bottom great presumption, which is, after all, nothing more than
     a consciousness of one's own strength."

This is all right, and no apology was necessary. Why should a man be
modest, who, in the six thousandth year of the creation, has found
out, for the first time, the science of languages? Though entirely
devoid of originality ourselves, we can sympathize with the proud
exultation of those who have produced a new and "glorious birth." From
the cackling of the hen when she has laid an egg, to the [Greek:
heurêcha] of Archimedes when he discovered hydrostatics, we see the
instinctive impulse under which those who have brought to light a
great result, are constrained to proclaim it aloud; and we should be
thankful when the mighty inventor can refrain from rushing out, in
native nudity, into the public way.

The discoverer of the science of languages, however, does not come
forth upon us, like Archimedes, in a state of dishabille. Attired in
the same fashionable garb, rejoicing in the same paper and type, and
issuing from the shelves of the same respectable publishers, Mr
Kavanagh's two goodly octavos may fitly range, as far as exterior is
concerned, with the collected productions of Jeffrey and Macaulay, who
will no doubt feel honoured by such good company. The fly-leaf at the
beginning of the work warns all pirates and poachers "that it is
private property, protected by the late Copyright Act;" and a foot-note
seems to inform us that a French edition is simultaneously to appear
in Paris. Who could doubt that such mighty notes of preparation were
to usher in some _magnum opus_, worthy of the expectations thus

Mr Kavanagh appears to us to have lived for some time in France, and
if so, he has not lived there in vain. He has acquired the knack of
framing a bill of fare, that would do honour to the reigning prince of
restaurateurs, whoever he may be, and would create an appetite under
the ribs of death. Take the following excerpts from the contents:--

     "What the author should do before attempting to prove the
     discovery of the science of languages. This he does, and a great
     deal more."

     "View of the human mind. That taken by eminent philosophers
     inquired into, and found to be erroneous. The author's view of

     "Proof that there are no such words as substantives or nouns."

     "Pronouns, supposed like nouns, but erroneously, to represent
     substances. They never represent nouns, as they have been
     supposed to do. Proof that they never stand for substances, nor
     can be, any more than nouns, the subject of propositions. Their
     real nature shown, and difficulties and locutions connected with
     them accounted for. The original form of _oh me_! and _ah me_!"

     "Thus far the author pretends to have shown that there is but one
     part of speech."

     "The author's account of the verb. Why it cannot be compared like
     the adjective. The verb is an adjective or name in the fourth
     degree. It does not represent an action. TO and DO. Shown how it
     does not represent an action, and how grammarians have been led
     to suppose that it does."

     "How men expressed themselves in the beginning of the world, when
     they had occasion to make use of the verb TO BE."

     "The nature of a past participle in English and French. This
     knowledge of a past participle in French leads to a precious

     "How to find the etymology of words. Instances given: the meaning
     of _friend_, _mind_, _blind_, &c., shown."

     "The origin of the termination _ish_ discovered. The etymology of
     the words, _Ireland_, _Scotland_, _Dublin_, with many other

     "The feminine and plural of _mon_, _ton_, _son_, explained.
     _Mes_, _tes_, and _ses_, not plural numbers. _Notre_ and _votre_
     do not come from the Latin words _noster_ and _vester_. No
     language derived from another."

     "The first names man ever had for his own dwelling, with several
     other etymologies, such as _barrack_, _good-by_, _property_,
     _coin_, _copper_, _maistre_, _castor_, _out-cast_, _caserne_,
     _quoit_, _cat_, _quiet_, _discus_, _Apollo_, _tranquil_, _keel_,
     _cuisse_, &c."

     "The delicate meaning of certain words."

     "The extraordinary wisdom displayed in the formation of words:
     different accounts of the words _man_, _woman_, _Adam_, &c. The
     meanings of _animare_, _animal_, _animation_, _beget_, _amo_,
     _Venus_, _shame_, _honte_, &c.

     "The etymology of _squat_, _cower_, _square_, _four_, _year_,
     _fair_, _faire_, &c."

     "In the account given of the letters of the Greek alphabet are to
     be found explained the letters of all languages. To what this
     knowledge may lead. Shown how the twenty-four letters make but
     one. The dot over the _i_. A straight line, a circle, &c."

     "The _ing_ in _being_ accounted for. Meaning of _big_, _wig_,
     _mig_, &c.; of _hat_, _oyster_, &c.; of _eight_, _octo_, &c.; of
     _nigh_, _near_, _night_, &c. The literal meaning of negatives and
     affirmatives. What man's first oaths were."

     "_Big_, once a name for the Divinity."

     "How all numbers make but one. No such thing as a plural number.
     Examination of the ten figures, 1, 2, 3, &c. Each of them means

     "Concluding observations resumed. The difficulty of believing in
     this discovery. The great wisdom it contains. The language
     supposed to be spoken in heaven."

     "The advantages to be derived from this discovery. How
     Mathematicians, Theologians, Grammarians, Lexicographers,
     Logicians, and Philosophers, are likely to consider this
     discovery. Other works proposed."

     "The members of the press. Bookmaking. The many important
     discoveries in this work lie in the way of its immediate success
     with such minds as cannot receive new ideas. The view which the
     man of enlarged ideas is likely to take of it. The author's
     pretensions. His confidence in the ultimate success of this

We confess we felt our mouth water at the glimpses thus afforded of
the coming feast; and we are happy to acknowledge that what we
expected was fully realized.

It must not be imagined that we are going to furnish, in these trivial
pages, a full disclosure of Mr Kavanagh's discovery. There are several
reasons for our not doing so. First, we could not, in common justice,
think of spoiling the sale of Mr Kavanagh's book. Secondly, we are not
sanguine that, in the space allowed us, we could make the discovery
understood by our readers. And thirdly, we are not sure that we
understand it ourselves. But, as far as consistent with these
considerations, we shall endeavour to give such a view of it as may
excite, without satiating, curiosity, and may give the means of
conjecturing what the book itself must be, of which we are enabled to
offer such specimens.

It is a common and allowable artifice, in those attempting to lead us
up the hill of science, to point to some attractive object that is to
be reached at the summit. Mr Kavanagh employs this expedient with
great effect. He shows us, near the outset of our journey, one
astonishing result to which it is to conduct us, and which necessarily
inflames our eagerness to get over the ground:--

     "That the reader may have in advance some notion of this manner
     of analysing words, and discovering their hidden meaning, I beg
     here to give, for the present, the contents of the analysis of
     the English alphabet _collectively_ considered; that is, not as
     to what each letter means when read by itself, but as to what
     they all mean when read together in the following order:--

            A B C D E F G H I (or J) K L M N O P Q
                    R S T U (or V) W X Y Z;

     of which the literal meaning in modern English is--_This first
     book is had of the Jews; it opens the mind, and is good breeding
     and wisdom._ I shall show in the proper place how this meaning
     may be found in the above characters."

The steps by which we are to reach a mighty secret like this, are
given by our author in great detail; for, as he candidly observes--

     "Though my discoveries are mostly about as evident as any thing
     in Euclid, still, as they are new to the world, and require,
     previous to their being received as truths, the disagreeable
     admission that we have been hitherto in error; some art, besides
     down-right logical persuasion, will be necessary towards bringing
     the mind friendly to them."

The first discovery Mr Kavanagh seems to have made is, that he knew
nothing of grammar; and had he stopped here, he would have been
entitled to no small praise for discernment. But this was but a
stepping-stone to greater things.

Mr Kavanagh seems by and by to have found out that "there are no such
words as substantives or nouns; that is to say, words standing for
substances, or representing substances in any manner." He discovered
that such words, and indeed all words, are, whether it be true or not,
sounds to our ears not altogether new. We had a notion that, at least,
the term _noun_, _nom_, and _nomen_, meant properly a _name_, but of
course Mr Kavanagh must know better. We must decline, however, to
follow him through his explanation on this footing of the real

But then comes an announcement of undoubted originality, "that all
words called substantives are but names _in the fourth degree of
comparison_; that is to say, in a degree above the one commonly called
the superlative." We durst not doubt that Mr Kavanagh is here right;
but, for persons of slow perception like ourselves, we should have
liked to see a little more fully explained what are the first, second,
and third degrees of comparison of those names, of which _hat_,
_stick_, _thing_, _hand_, _foot_, &c., are the fourth degrees.
Discoverers should bear a little with beginners; and we suggest that,
in a second edition, a full table should be given of what we

The view thus taken of nouns, leads, it seems, to important results,
and, in particular, enables us to explain what Mr Kavanagh had been
puzzling himself about for half his lifetime--the meaning of the
expressions, "This is John's book," and "this is a book of John's." We
had always thought that the first of these phrases was plain sailing,
and that the second meant, "this a book of John's books--or, one of
John's books," _ex libris Joannis_. But these simple suppositions
cannot satisfy men of science, who require a discovery to explain what
other men think they understand without one:--

     "We can now account for what has hitherto puzzled all grammarians,
     namely, the double possessive. This book of John's means, this
     book of all John's; that is, this book forming a part of all
     John's, of all things belonging to John."

     "And how rich and full the meaning of this new possessive! What
     an image it brings before the mind, compared to the wretched
     meaning our ignorance of this noble science has hitherto taught
     us to allow it to have! This book is John's, means, we have been
     told, this book is John's book. How frivolous, how poor, compared
     to, 'this book is part of all things corporeal and ideal
     belonging to John.' How useless this repetition of the same word
     book! and how incorrect! since if John possessed only one book,
     and that we said, 'this book of John's is better than mine,' we
     were immediately stopt, as we cannot say, this book of John's
     book is better than mine. But now we know that this book of
     John's, &c., means, 'this book is a part of all John's,' &c."

Our discoverer thereafter proceeds to analyse the personal
terminations of verbs, of which he seems to give an elucidation highly
satisfactory to himself, and which, we hope, will be equally so to his
readers. It is obviously of oriental origin, being analogous to the
astronomical theory of the elephant and tortoise, by which the Hindoos
are said so clearly to account for the support of our terrestrial
planet. "_Love_, _lovest_, _loveth_, or _loves_," &c., have been
formed by combining the root with the inflections of the auxiliary
verb, _to have_. He gives a very distinct table by which

     "We see that _love hast_ has been shortened to _lovest_; _love
     has_, to _loves_; _love hath_ to _loveth_; _love had_ to _loved_;
     and _love hadst_ to _lovedst_. The _ha_ has been omitted
     throughout, as, love [ha]st; love [ha]s; love [ha]th; love [ha]d;
     love [ha]dst."

This is remarkably ingenious, and it must be from a very
unphilosophical curiosity that ignorant persons like ourselves are
tempted to ask how Mr Kavanagh explains the origin of the inflections
_have_, _hast_, _hath_, _had_, &c. We have been accustomed to regard
these terminations, though in a contracted form, as having the same
origin as those of other verbs; and we doubt if it would command
general acquiescence to say that "hath" was a compound of "have hath."
But these are probably foolish doubts, only showing the small progress
of our scientific enlightenment; and we feel assured that they would
occur to no one who was once fully imbued with Mr Kavanagh's

A similar theory is applied by Mr Kavanagh with equal success to the
Latin system of conjugation; but we think it better to refer our
readers to the book itself, than weaken its effect by any attempt at
an abstract of it. We cannot, however, resist quoting Mr Kavanagh's
account of the advantages to which his theories directly tend.

     "And this inquiry has led me to the most important of all my
     discoveries; since it not only showed me the original of the
     endings of the Latin verbs, but also those of the several
     declensions of Latin nouns, adjectives, pronouns, participles,
     &c., with their several cases, genders, numbers, &c. And this
     knowledge will not only apply to the Latin language, but of
     course to all the languages in the world. From this I have been
     also led to discover the real nature of a pronoun, and how words
     have been made in the beginning of time, and how they have
     increased from a single letter, or at most from two, to all which
     they have at present: by which means we may see the state of
     languages at different periods of the world, even such as they
     must have been ages before the building of the tower of Babel;
     which knowledge will, it is presumed, throw great light on the
     ancient history of the world, since men must, in the composition
     of words, have ever made allusion to things already known, and
     such as might serve to explain the words they made. Thus is it
     even in our own times, and thus has it ever been. I intend
     towards the end of this work to give numerous instances of how
     words were at first formed, and the various forms they bore at
     different times; so that no doubt may remain on any man's mind,
     either as to the truth of this, the most important part of my
     discovery, or as to the advantages which may, from our following
     it up, arise from it."

In pursuing this interesting subject, Mr Kavanagh shows the important
part in etymology played by the Latin verb _esse_.

     "Nothing of this has, however, been known. The greatest
     lexicographers have not even suspected that _sagesse_ was for
     _sage-esse_ (sage-étre,) so short-sighted is man without the
     light of science; then much less did they suspect that for _to
     be_, and _to go_ there was, whilst languages were yet in their
     infancy, but one word. The learned, from their not knowing that
     _sagesse_ is for _sage-esse_, must have lost discovering the
     etymology of a vast number of words in all languages. Thus, all
     the French words ending in _esse_, as, caresse, finesse, paresse,
     &c., have never been accounted for; and, in like manner, the
     etymology of all English words ending in _ess_ and _ness_, as,
     car_ess_, happi_ness_, &c., has been unknown. But here the
     reader, as he has not yet seen how we are to discover in words
     their own definitions, may say, that though he can admit _caress_
     and _caresse_ to be for _cara_ or _carus esse_ (to be dear,) and
     _finesse_ to be for _fin-esse_ (être fin,) he cannot so readily
     allow _paresse_ and _happiness_ to be accounted for after a
     similar manner, since _paresse_ must hence become _par-esse_, and
     _happiness_, _happin-esse_, which words _par_ and _happin_ here
     offer no meaning. But a little farther on, he will know that
     _par_ here signifies _on the ground_; so that _paresse_ literally
     means _on the ground to be_, that is, to be lying down, or doing
     nothing. He will also see, that the termination _ness_ has not
     the ridiculous meaning assigned it by the learned, namely, "the
     top or the foot of a hill" (I forget which,) but that it
     literally means _the being_ (_en-esse_,) so that _happiness_ was
     first _en-esse-happy_, (the being happy, the thing happy,) after
     which, _en-esse_ became contracted to _ness_, and so fell behind
     happy, making _happiness_.

     "Here, not to perplex the reader's and my own mind, by the
     considering of too many things at once, I am really obliged to
     turn my view from the many important discoveries that rush upon
     me, all emanating out of this little word _be_, or _go_, (no
     matter which we call it,) in order merely to show how verbs in
     Latin have, from this single word, formed their endings."

By and by it appears that if we are so much indebted to the Latin for
their verb _esse_, the Latin is no less indebted to us for our verb

     "But I have not shown by what artifice this past time (ibam) of
     _eo_ is formed. It is, we may see, composed of two words, _ib_
     and _am_; yet the latter word _am_ has all the appearance of a
     present time or a future; as we may see it in e_am_, leg_am_, and
     audi_am_. Then it is evidently to the word _ib_ we are indebted
     for this word _ibam_ having a past signification; and as there
     is now no such Latin word, we are led to believe that _ib_ must
     be a contraction, and this at once leads us upon _ibi_, which
     means, _then_, or, _at that time_. Hence, _ibam_ is a contraction
     of _ibi am_, there being only the letter _i_ omitted. Now, as
     _am_ is evidently a present time, and the same _am_ we have in
     English, it means, "I existence;" so that when _ibi_ is added to
     it, both words mean, "I existence then," or "at that time;" and
     it is in this manner that men, in the beginning, made a past
     time. If we now turn to the past time of _sum_ (_eram_, _eras_,
     _erat_, &c.) we shall find that the same method has been adhered
     to. The _am_ here is the _am_ in ib_am_; and now we have to look
     to the word _er_ by which it is preceded, in order to find its
     past signification. This brings us to _era_, or as it is now
     written in Latin, _æra_ which, like _ibi_, refers also to a past
     time, meaning _that epoch_. Then _eram_, which might as well be
     written _æram_, is a contraction of ær_a_am, there being, as
     before, but a single letter omitted, (the _a_,) and the meaning
     is as before, "I existence _then_, or _at that epoch_."

Certainly if ever there was a man who "existenced" at an era or epoch,
or rather who was himself the era, Mr Kavanagh may claim the

We are informed by the printer that our space is nearly out, and we
must therefore draw to a close. We cannot better fill up the limits
allowed us, than by selecting a few examples of our author's
successful treatment of etymology. It will be seen that in the
zoological department of this subject he is particularly happy.

     "The third person plural, _étoient_, is a very curious word: it
     literally means _the great lives_--and there is for this a very
     wise reason. When this word first received this name, persons
     were not referred to, but the winds of heaven; and hence the
     propriety of the name _great lives_ or _great beings_; and also
     of making this name signify afterwards _persons_ or _beings
     gone_, since nothing can, to all appearance, be more gone than
     the winds that have passed by. When _oient_ means _the great
     lives_, it is to be thus analysed: _oi-iv-it_; or thus,
     _ii-iv-it_; or thus, _iv-iv-it_. But when considered as meaning
     but a single idea, it may be indifferently written _went_ or
     _ivent_. It is easy to perceive that _ivent_ is no other than
     _vent_, the French of wind, the _i_ having been dropped. Thus we
     discover the origin of the English word _went_: we see that it is
     the same as _vent_ or _wind_."

     "As the French word _souvent_ means, when analysed, _all the
     wind_ (_is-oii-vent_), it would appear that men in the beginning
     of time received also the idea of frequency from the winds. But
     in a country rarely visited by them, this idea must have been
     borrowed from some other natural object. Thus the Latin word for
     _often_ (_sæepè_) takes, when analysed, this form, _is-æ-ip-é_,
     which literally means, _is the bees_. Here the word _bees_ is
     represented by _ip-è_, of which the meaning is _bee_, _bee_; but
     to avoid the repetition of the second _bee_, a pronoun, that is
     _è_, and which means life or being, has been put in its place.
     When it is remarked that this pronoun might as well be _is_ or
     _es_ as what it is, it will be admitted that _sæpè_ might as well
     be written _sæpes_. I make this remark to show how slight the
     difference between _apes_, the Latin of _bees_ and _apè_ in
     _is-apè_, which means also the _bees_. Now the English word
     _often_ becomes, when analysed, _en-ov-it_, of which the literal
     meaning is _the sheep-sheep_; the pronoun _it_ serving here as in
     the last instance, and for the same reason, as a substitute for
     the second word _sheep_; but this _it_ might as well be _es_ or
     _is_. In Latin the word for _sheep_ is _ov is_, which must have
     first been _is ov_; that is, _the sheep_: but when the _is_ fell
     behind, it became _ovis_, and it has no other meaning than _the
     one life_ (_is-o-vie_). Thus we perceive that _the winds, bees_,
     and _sheep_, have, in three different countries, given birth to
     the same idea."

Mr Kavanagh adds in a foot-note as to the word sheep--

     "This is for she-bay; that is, _the female-bay_, this animal being
     so called from its crying _bay_. Hence it would appear that the
     word sheep (_she-bay_) did not in the beginning apply equally to
     both genders, but that it was only in the feminine. When we
     recollect that the _b_ and the _p_ are frequently confounded, it
     can be easily admitted that, with our great love for contraction,
     _sheep_ should be used instead of _sheeb_. An analysis of the
     French word for sheep (_brebis_) confirms what I have here stated
     with regard to this animal's being called after its bleat. When
     analysed, it is _is-bre-be_; of which the literal meaning is,
     the _bray bay_; that is, the _cry bay_ or _the breath bay_, for
     the word _breath (bray the)_ is no other than _the bray_ which
     became _breath_ from the article _the_ falling behind _bray_. And
     this again is confirmed by an analysis of the word _bleat_, which
     makes _it_-BE-_il-ea_, or _it bay il é_, and means, _the bay it
     is_, that is, it is the cry of the sheep."

     "_Mons_," says Mr Kavanagh, "is the original of _monster_ in
     English, of _monstre_ in French, and _monstrum_ in Latin. Then
     the literal meaning of these words is--_monster, it is to be a
     mountain; est er_ literally means 'it is the thing,' and, of
     course, these two words first preceded _mon_, thus, _est er mon_
     (it is the thing mountain.) _Monstre_ is for _mon estre_, this
     _estre_ being the infinitive _être_, and the same as _est re_ (it
     is the thing.) _Monstrum_ is more modern in its form than either
     the English word _monster_, or the French word _monstre_, since
     it has in its composition the pronoun _um_, besides what these
     two words have. Then the Latins had _monstre_ or _monster_ before
     they had _monstrum_; and they must have said _um monstre_ or _um
     monster_ just as the French say now _le monstre_."

     "The word _chien_ becomes when analysed (and the explanation of
     the alphabet will show how this happens) _ic iv ien_; or, as
     _ien_ can be reduced to _iv_, we may say it is equal to _ic iv
     iv_. No matter which of these two forms we adopt, the analysis of
     _chien_ will be still the same, since both are expressive of
     haste. _Ic iv ien_ means _the thing come_ or _go_, or _life
     life_. Thus if we contract _iv ien_ to one word, we have _vien_,
     so that _ic vien_ will mean _the come_; and this word is we know
     expressive of haste, since _venir_, as we have seen in the
     account given of _oient_, means the wind (_ir ven_). In like
     manner _ic iv iv_ may mean _the life life_, which we know from
     the repetition of _life_ must imply quickness. And hence it is
     that _iv iv_ become when contracted, _vive_, that is, _be alive_.
     Now when we contract _iv ien_ to _vien_, if we give to _ic_ its
     primitive meaning, which is that of _here_, we shall, by allowing
     that _vien_ in the beginning went before _ic_, have for the
     meaning of both words, come here (_vien ic_). Hence it is we
     still hear a dog called upon in English by _Here! here!_ and in
     French by the word _Ici_ with the dog's name attached to it. The
     English word _dog_ is also, when analysed, expressive of haste,
     since it makes _id eo ge_ or _id-o-ge,_ which implies _the thing
     go_, or _the go, go_."

We conclude this brief, and, we fear, imperfect notice of so great a
work, by suggesting for the author's consideration, whether, in a
revisal of his views, he might not bestow some attention on one or two
other languages than English and French. His attainments in these seem
to be of a superior order, and he seems also to have made considerable
progress in the Latin rudiments. We do not hold that Greek is
essential, but we respectfully submit that the acquisition of
Anglo-Saxon, and some other older dialects of Europe, with which
English is generally supposed to have some connexion, might with
advantage be attempted. Not that we imagine Mr Kavanagh's views would
then be changed or improved. The etymologist's eye, "in a fine frenzy
rolling," may have intuitive perceptions of results such as no course
of study could attain. But still there is a vulgar prejudice to which
we think it prudent to pay some deference, and which recommends that,
before writing on a subject, we should know something about it.

This, however, is a secondary matter, which we merely submit in
passing. As it is, Mr Kavanagh has taken his place as a philologist on
an elevation which only a few can hope to attain. He may be said to
have done for language in general what has hitherto only been
attempted in the field of Celtic speculation; but it is no light
matter to have followed and outstripped in their course the
illustrious men who have excelled in that more limited province.
Henceforth the name of Morgan Kavanagh will be entwined in the same
undying wreath with those of Lachlan Maclean and Sir William Betham.



As we sat in the state of mind which has become characteristic of the
gallant Widdrington--in the large room at the Angel inn at
Abergavenny, wondering when our pilgrimage among the hotels would come
to an end--a messenger of joyful tidings made his appearance in the
person of our friendly landlord. He had just remembered that a house
about three miles off was occasionally let--he thought it was unlet at
that moment--it was the larger portion of a farm-house, originally
occupied by the 'squire, but now in the hands of a most respectable
farmer. We would hear no more; in ten minutes from this communication
we were careering along in a one-horse car to judge for ourselves--our
imaginations filled with the same celestial visions that blest the
slumbers of the friar, in the song--

    "All night long of heaven I dream--
    But that is fat pullets and clouted cream"--

and before we had conjured up one-half the delights of a residence in
a real farm-house, we turned in at some iron gates, drove up a
gravelled avenue, and stood at the door of a very nice,
comfortable-looking house, that in many advertisements would pass very
well for "a quiet and gentlemanly mansion, fit for a family of the
first distinction." The rooms were of good size--a beautiful lawn
before the door--a well-filled garden behind--fields, hedges, trees
all round--and the river winding through brushwood a few hundred yards
in front. It did not take long to settle about terms. We were
installed the very next day; and, after our ten days' wanderings, it
was no little satisfaction to find once more

    "All that the heart can dream of heaven
        --a home!"

Trunks were unpacked, books laid on the table, and, in spite of the
season of the year, a roaring fire went rushing up the chimney; and as
we looked round, after candles were brought in, and the novel skies
and unaccustomed earth shut out, we could hardly believe we had gone
through such a succession of coaches and cars, boats, busses, and
flies--Yorks, Westerns, Beauforts, Angels, Swans, Lions, and other
beasts of hospitable inclinations--but that we had long been
completely settled in our present quarters, while all these
conveyances and hotels were the phantasmata of a dreadful dream.

Even in the best furnished houses, in Aladdin's palace itself,
new-comers always discover some deficiency; and a few things were
wanting in this to complete our felicity;--but Fate, which had frowned
from every sign-board on us for a long time, was now determined to
make up for her bad behaviour, and at that moment put into our hands a
catalogue of household goods to be sold the very next day, a few miles
off, at Oakfield Lodge. The one-horse car was again put in
requisition, and our hostess--the kindest of women--accompanied us to
the sale, and by nodding at intervals to the auctioneer, procured all
the articles required.

A sale is always a melancholy event. A house looks so miserable with
all its carpets and chairs and tables piled in useless heaps--the beds
dismantled--and the rooms filled with a staring crowd, handling every
thing, and passing its vulgar judgment upon curtains and drapery that
the proprietor perhaps thought finer than those of a Grecian
statue--on pier-glasses which had reflected shapes of love or
beauty--on the polish of mahogany that had been set in a roar with
wit,--a low, mean, savage-hearted crowd, bent on making bargains, and
caring nothing for the associations that make commonest furniture more
valuable than cedar and ebony. The auction on this occasion lasted
nearly a week; and day after day the whole population of the
neighbourhood streamed to it like a fair. It was a handsome house, and
the arrangement of the rooms spoke audibly of taste and comfort.
Selling the things that agreed together so well, to go into separate
situations--the library table to one town--the library chairs to
another--seemed very like selling a family of slaves to different
masters; so, after a cursory glance at the dwelling, we betook
ourselves in solitary rumination to the banks of the river. And a
quiet, steady, calm, respectable kind of river the Usk is--not of the
high aristocratic appearance of the Wye, with wild outbursts of
youthful petulance softened immediately into grace and elegance--but a
sedate individual, like a retired citizen, well to do in the world,
and glad to jog on as uninterruptedly as he can. The grounds of
Oakfield slope down to the water--and beautiful grounds they are--a
line of rich meadows, shaded with stately trees, and divided into
numerous portions by invisible wires, stretches for several miles
along the banks; and the abrupt elevation, bounding this level sweep
of grass and stream, affords an admirable site for two or three of the
moderate-sized and tasteful villas that seem the characteristics of
this vicinity. On pursuing our way through field and fell towards the
suspension bridge over the river, we saw, emerging from a wood, a
figure that Isaac Walton would have adopted immediately for his son
and heir. He was a good-looking young man, but so piscatorially
habilimented that there was no making out his order or degree from his
external sophistications. Round his hat were twined spare lines; on
his back, as Paris's quiver hung over his shoulder broad, was
suspended a fish-basket; an iron blade of a foot or so in length
formed the end of his rod; and, as if he had been afraid of the
disciples of the gentle Rebecca, he bore an instrument something
between a Highland claymore and a reaping-hook; and as we looked on
his accoutrements, we thought we would not be a trout in such a
neighbourhood on any consideration. Escape must be impossible for
everything with fins, from a thirty-pound salmon to a minnow. As we
got near him, he handled his rod with a skill and dexterity that left
the young waterman far behind in the management of his oars; and,
after a whisk or too in the upper air, he deposited the hook and line,
not on the ripple in the middle of the Usk, but on the bough of an

"Here's a mess!" he said, with a half-despairing, half-angry look at
the entanglement. He pulled, and it seemed firmer at every tug. We
approached to render what aid we could.

"Here's a mess!" again he said.

"You can scarcely call it a kettle of fish," was our sympathizing
reply; and by the aid of crooked sticks to hold the bough with, and
the warlike weapon, which cut off some of the branches, the hook was
regained, the fly found uninjured, and with mutual good wishes we each
took off his several way.

There seems a good deal of amateur fishing in this country. In the
course of our walk to the bridge, we saw three or four individuals
flogging the water with great energy, who had evidently been fitted
out in Bond Street, or who were perhaps taking out the value of the
dresses in which they had enacted piscators at the fancy ball; but
their success, we are sorry to say, was in no degree proportioned to
the completeness of their preparations; and we suspect that people
with less adornments, and a much more scanty apparatus of flies and
fish-baskets, are the real discoverers of the treasures of the deep in
the shape of trout and sewin. This latter fish, the sewin, we may add
in passing, is a luxury of which the Usk has great reason to boast;
for it is better than any thing we remember of the salmon kind, except
the inimitable grilses at Stirling.

On returning from the sale, with the carriage loaded with our
purchases, we disposed our new acquisitions in the different rooms,
and laid ourselves out for a few weeks' enjoyment of the blest
retirement--friend to life's decline--which we had struggled so hard
to gain, and which now looked so satisfying in every point.

There is nothing to be compared, for comfort and beauty, to a
dairy-farm. Arable lands are detestable; and the windows of the house
generally look into a horrible yard, where the present agonies of the
nose are made tolerable only by the hope of the rich crop to come.
Here our windows looked upon a sloping green field, bounded from the
road by a good thick hedge, at the distance of seventy or eighty
yards. Beyond the road stretched fine luxuriant meadows, each bordered
with its fence of noble elms, down to the river; so that we had
nothing to do but cross the road, and wander among fields and
hedgerows, miles and miles, either east or west--always within hearing
of the gentle voice of the Usk, and often in sight of the long, still
reaches of the river, that looked like beautiful lakes, fringed to the
water side with willows and flowering shrubs. Seventeen or eighteen
cows were our fellow-lodgers at the farm; and no sight is more
fascinating, especially if you are fond of warm milk, than the long
majestic march, and musical invocations, of the milky mothers, as they
come home at evening from the pastures. Before three days were over,
the names of all the cows were household words among the young ones;
their very voices were distinguished; and it was decided that the
flower of the flock, as to beauty, was Glo'ster, though some of us
stoutly maintained that the whiteness of Handsome entitled her to the
prize. Then there were about thirty sheep; but with them (in spite of
frequent intercourse) we could only make out a general acquaintance--for
we disbelieve altogether in the possibility of distinguishing one of
the flock from the others. It must be the easiest thing in the world
for a sheep to establish an _alibi_; and we are rather surprised that
the impossibility of detection does not encourage some of the bolder
of the woolly-sided heroes to some desperate outrage. There could be
no identifying the culprit. But we saw no instance of spirit among
them, except a wicked attempt on the part of a young lamb to overthrow
authorities and powers; and we are sorry to say it was successful. Our
friend the farmer discovered the presence of some insects in the wool,
or rather in the body, of one of the yearlings. He proceeded, attended
by us all, to extirpate this fatal enemy with his shears; and, having
seized the sufferer, put its head between his knees, and proceeded to
lay bare the hiding-place of the devouring grub. By some unlucky
chance, the lamb got its head loose, pushed forward with two or three
tremendous jumps, and the operator was thrown on his back, his feet in
the air, and the shears held helplessly up in his discomfited hands.
It created great consternation among the spectators; and the two
younger children, after looking on in speechless amazement, thought,
probably, that the assailant was a tiger in disguise, and sought
safety ignominiously in flight. The patient--the lamb, we mean--was
again submitted to the shears, the grub extirpated, and the cure, we
believe, effected. The muscular power of a sheep is tremendous; and,
if it were to get its head between the ankles of the brazen Achilles,
down would fall the glory of Hyde Park. It is lucky they have not
found out the secret of their strength, as they might take such a
dangerous attitude as materially to raise the price of mutton--a
consummation by no means to be wished.

In addition to the cows and sheep, and innumerable multitudes of
chickens and turkeys, the farm boasted a goodly array of horses. These
would have made a poor figure at Newmarket, as they were no kin to
Godolphin or Eclipse--but in plough or harrow they looked respectable.
There was an old mare, and her daughter, and her daughter's
daughter--Grannie, and Polly, and Rose by name. There were also
another mare and her foal; but our acquaintance was confined to the
three generations--or rather to the two--for Grannie was old and
stupid; and as the farmer sported a fine old-fashioned strong rough
gig, we occasionally pressed Polly into the service, put two or three
children on footstools in the front, brandished a whip that had done
duty at the plough, and trotted off with the easy dignity of four
miles an hour, and lionized the whole neighbourhood. Amidst bumps, and
thumps, and bursts of laughter at the unwieldy turn-out, the excursion
was pleasanter than if made in a chariot and four.

One day we started off to visit Ragland Castle; the distance was five
or six miles, the day beautiful, the mare in splendid order, and the
whip ornamented with a new lash. Disregarding the whinnyings and
neighings with which the family received our steed as we passed the
field where they were all assembled to see us at the gate, from
Grannie down to the foal, we applied the thong vigorously, and
chirruped, and whistled, and cried "Gee!" and "Hither!" and got fairly
into a trot; and an easy thing it is to maintain the pace after you
have once got into it--in fact, you find some difficulty in getting
into a slower rate; and if by any chance we pulled up altogether to
see a view, Polly, who was no judge of the picturesque, was very apt
to turn round and run away home--if the word "run away" can be applied
to a very determined walk, with no regard whatever to bit and rein. A
struggle of this sort was very apt to occur at Llansaintfraed Lodge,
meaning, we are told, in the original, the Church of St Bridget--and a
pretty church it is. It is in a park of moderate size, crowning a
gentle elevation; a carriage-drive leads to it, nicely gravelled, for
it is the approach to Llansaintfraed House. The church, when we saw
it, was all festooned over the porch and a portion of the walls, with
honeysuckle in full show; roses and other flowers were planted all
round, and a fine solid stone cross threw its beautiful shadow over
the graves. The church is very small and very old, and owes a part of
its good condition to the good fortune of having had the late Bishop
of Llandaff for a parishioner. Some years ago he occupied
Llansaintfraed House, and rescued the parish from the disgrace of a
ruinous and neglected church. It is only to be wished that every
parish had its manor occupied so well--for a district with churches so
shamefully fallen into disrepair we never saw. In all the churchyards,
for instance, the piety of our forefathers had raised a cross; and it
surely does not argue a man to be a Puseyite, if he thinks highly of
such an emblem in such a place; and in every instance, except this one
of Llansaintfraed, the hand of the spoiler hath been upon it. The
cross, in every instance, is broken, and only a portion of the broken
pillar remaining. If the archdeacon disapproves of the cross, let it
be removed altogether; but if not, let it be repaired, and not left to
affront the parishioners with the daily spectacle of the rate-payers'
meanness and the clergyman's neglect. So, having managed to get
Polly's head round again--for she had availed herself of our pause to
whisk homeward--we proceed on our way to Ragland. Welsh precisians, we
perceive, call it Rhaglan--and probably attach a nobler meaning to the
name than can be forced out of the Saxon Rag and Land; but as
novelists and historians have agreed in calling it Ragland, we shall
keep to the old spelling in spite of sennachie and bard. A short way
beyond Llansaintfraed is the handsome gate and beautiful park of
Clytha; the gate surmounted by a magnificent and highly ornamented
Gothic arch, and the mansion-house pure Grecian--an allegory, perhaps,
of the gradual civilization of mankind, or the process by which
chivalrous knights are turned into Christian gentlemen. The house is
modern, and even the arch without much pretension to antiquity; but
the family stretching far back into the gloom of ages, and lineal
ancestors of the antediluvian patriarchs. Since the Deluge, however,
they have restricted themselves to this part of Monmouthshire; and
judging from the number of Joneses--which is the great name in the
neighbourhood--there seems no great chance of the genealogical tree
being in want of branches. There is nothing so strange in a new
vicinity as the different weight attached to family names. We have
known districts where the word Smith itself, even without the
fictitious dignity of _y_ in the middle and _e_ at the end, was
pronounced with great veneration. Jones--elsewhere sacred to the comic
muse--is of as potent syllable--unluckily it has only one--along the
banks of the Usk, as Scott or Douglas on the Nith and Yarrow. And such
is the effect of territorial or moral association, that we shall
willingly withdraw an objection we made to a line in the tragedy of
our late friend J---- S----, where some one, speaking of the patriot
Pym--to eye and ear the most pithless and contemptible of

    "There is a sound of thunder in the name."

We have no doubt there was a very distinct peal of heaven's dread
artillery in the ear of that bitter-hearted Roundhead every time he
heard the magic word--Pym.

The family highest in mere antiquity in Monmouthshire, we are told,
rejoices in the curious-looking name of Progers. From them are
descended the noble Beauforts, and even the Joneses of Clytha. For
hundreds of years, the Progerses had kept going down-hill; estate
after estate had disappeared; farm after farm took to flight; till,
thirty or forty years ago, the blood of the Progerses flowed in the
veins of a poor gentleman with about two hundred a-year, a house in
very bad repair, and family pride that seemed to flourish in
proportion as every thing else decayed. Some tourist, in the course of
his researches, encountered this Monmouthshire Marins sitting among
the ruins of his former state. The tourist was of a genealogical turn
of mind, and the Desdichado poured forth his hoarded boasts in his
sympathizing ear. "Out of this house," he said, pointing mechanically
to the tottering walls of his family mansion, but metaphorically
alluding to the House of Progers, "came the Joneses of Clytha and
Llanerth--out of this house came the noble Somersets, now Dukes of
Beaufort;" and so he went on, relating all the great and powerful
names that had owed their origin to his house. The tourist seems also
to have had some knowledge of architecture, for his answer to the
catalogue was--"Well, sir, it's my advice to you to come out of this
house yourself as quickly as you can, or it will be down upon you some
of these days to a certainty."

On passing Clytha, we enter into a territory which might more justly
be called Somersetshire than the county the other side of the channel.
The Dukes of Beaufort seem paramount wherever you go; and in every
town, and even in all the villages, there is sure to be a house of
entertainment with the royal portcullis on the signpost, and the name
of the Beaufort Arms. The domains of the family must be larger than
half a dozen foreign principalities; and, from all we heard, the
conduct of the present noble Somerset is worthy of his high
position--liberal, kind-hearted, magnificent. One thing very pleasant
to see was the little garden-ground taken from the road, and attached
to nice clean cottages, almost all the way. Little portions, about
thirty feet in depth, and considerable length, formed the wealth and
ornament of the wayside dwellings. They were all well filled with
apple and other fruit-trees, and stocked with useful vegetables. If
this is the plan of enclosing commons, we wish we were in Parliament
to give Lord Worsley our aid; for a few perches, well hedged and
carefully kept, are worth all the rights of pasture, whether of cows,
geese, or donkeys, that ever the poor possessed. Inside of this fringe
of rustic independencies, snug farm-houses rose up in all directions;
but, with a perverseness which seems characteristic of the whole
county, and not limited to farm-houses, or even semi-genteel villas, no
sooner does a man fix on a nice situation--a rising knoll beside a
river--a gentle slope--or beautiful level green--no sooner does he
rear a modest, or perhaps an ornamental, mansion on the site, than his
next care is to plant as thick round it as the trees will stand. Elms,
poplars, oaks, and larches, in a few years block up the view; and
arbutus, rododendrons, and enormous Portugal laurels, stand as an
impenetrable screen before every window; so that a house, which by its
architecture ought to be an ornament to the neighbourhood, and should
command noble hills and rich valleys, might as well be a wigwam in an
Indian forest. There seems a greater tendency to rheumatism than
romance among the inhabitants; and, by the by, we observed on all the
walls Welsh placards of Parr's pills. But in spite of the large
letters, and the populousness of the towns and villages where they
were posted up, we did not see a single individual reading the
announcements. Query, can the Welsh peasantry read Welsh? or is their
book-learning limited to English, and their native tongue left to its
oral freedom, untrammeled with A, B, C? In addition to the usual fence
of impenetrable trees and shrubs, we noticed one pretty little
dwelling, newly built, a mile or two from the village of Ragland,
tastefully ornamented with an immense heap of compost, which nearly
barricaded the drawing-room window. The inhabitant must have been a
prodigious agriculturist; and probably preferred the useful, but
unromantic heap, to any other object in the view. We gave it the name
of Guano Hall.

But where, all this while, is Ragland Castle, and when will the old
mare jiggle joggle to the end of our course? All eyes were kept in
constant motion to catch a glimpse of the towers and pinnacles, of
which we felt sure we were now within a mile. Trees, trees, and
nothing but trees, with sometimes a glimpse of blue hills far off, and
wreaths of smoke from cottages or farms rising above the wilderness of
leaves. At last, on a little elevation on the left hand, rising
solemnly, into the silent air, we caught sight of the old ruin, with
great ponderous walls, covered with ivy, and the sky seen through the
open arches of its immense windows. A beautiful mass of building, with
such rents and fissures in it, that you wondered whether it was ever
entire; and the walls so thick and massive that you wondered again how
it ever fell into decay. We hobbled into the village, keeping the
castle in view the whole time, got good quarters for the mare at the
first hostel we encountered, and proceeded up a country lane to spend
an hour or two among the ruins. The entrance is very fine, and might
give rise to grand historic emotions in people fond of the feudal and
sublime; but in our instance such a train of thought would have been
impossible, for just inside of the majestic portal sat an old harper
thrumming away at the pathetic melody of Jenny Jones. He might as well
have played Jim Crow at once, for romance was put to flight, and we
speedily got as far as we could from the descendant of Talessin. The
Duke of Beaufort has fitted up the ruins in a way that would have
gratified the heart of Mrs Radcliffe. Winding stairs lead, in the
thickness of the walls, from tower to tower, and the dim corridors and
dizzying bartizans are made safe to the most timid of Cockneys by
stout wooden banisters, that enable you to stand as securely on a
crumbling battlement as on the top of Salisbury plain. We saw the
courts and quadrangles, admired the splendid windows, and only
wondered at the lowness of the ceilings of some of the principal
rooms, as from floor to floor could not have been more than seven feet
and a half. There were fountain courts without a fountain; and
chapel-yards with no chapel; why should we speak of kitchens,
conjuring up visions of roasted oxen, and butteries suggestive of
hogsheads of home-brewed ale, when fire-places are now choked up, and
nothing is left of the buttery but a pile of broken stones? At first,
on going in, we dilated on the grand things we should do in the way of
restoration if we were the lord of the castle. First, we would fit it
up exactly as it was in the brave days of old: we should have new
floors put in the audience-chamber; a roof on the great dining-hall; a
stately dais at the upper end, and get it from the hands of Pugin--the
identical castle of the days of Elizabeth. But, on closer inspection,
we came to the conclusion that the natural condition of such buildings
is that of interesting remains. The rooms are low, the passages are
dark, the bed-rooms dog-kennels, the stairs ladders, the court-yards
damp, the windows all turned the wrong way, and, in short, the
sixteenth century an excellent trimmer of popes and conqueror of
armadas, but a very bad architect.

In one of the court-yards was a flock of sheep nibbling at the grass
that had been trodden by the great marquis, as he walked down after
his noble defence, to deliver his sword to the Parliamentarian
Fairfax. Has Cattermole or Charles Landseer never thought of the brave
old cavalier, at the age of eighty-five, surrendering his ancestral
home,--surrounded by his sorrowing garrison, and bearing himself with
the true dignity of a heroic noble? Let them think of this, and send
us a proof print.

Leader of the sheep was the most beautiful ram that ever was seen
since Aries was made a star. All our common-place muttons at home sank
into insignificance at once. The children patted it, and fed it, and
kissed it,--and to all their endearments it answered in the most
bewitching manner. It followed them like a dog, and rubbed its head
against them, and it was soon very evident that the greatest beauty of
Ragland Castle, in certain eyes, was thickly cased in wool. The
ancient gardener told us it had once taken such a fancy to one of the
visitors, that it had followed her up a hundred and sixty steps to the
very top of the signal tower,--and the old lady was so pleased with
it, she wished to take it home with her, though she lived two or three
hundred miles off. And certainly if ever a pet of such a size was
allowable, it must have been the gentle creature before us. But all
things are deceitful--gentle-looking rams among the number,--for on
the discontinuance of our gifts, he waxed all of a sudden very wroth,
and favoured the youngest of the party with a butt, that made her not
know whether she was on her head or her heels--which is an
extraordinary specimen of ignorance, for she was exactly half-way
between both. So, converting our admiration of the golden fleece into
a kick, we raised the astonished victim of his anger, and after a
delightful stroll got into our gig again, and in due time arrived at
our comfortable home.

We have heard of people being a month at Cairo, and never going to see
the Pyramids,--a circumstance which does not give a very lofty idea of
their activity. We determined to show those stay-at-homes a good
example, and not remain a week in Monmouthshire without visiting the
Wye. Again the old gig was put in requisition; but on this occasion we
succeeded in borrowing a horse of a neighbouring farmer, that trotted
merrily up and down hill at a reasonable pace; and away we started on
one of the few warm days of this hyperborean summer, on our way to the
town of Monmouth. Great is the enjoyment of passing through a
beautiful country on a fine clear day in June. There was no dust--the
sun was not too hot--the hedges were in full leaf, and no drawback to
our felicity except a preternatural dread of stone heaps by the
roadside, on the part of our steed, which: kept us on the alert to try
and pull in the proper direction the moment he shied to the side. All
other objects in nature or art it passed with the equanimity of a
sage; tilted waggons with the wind flapping their canvass coverings
with a sound and motion that would justify a little tremor in the
heart of Bucephalus--stagecoaches, loaded with men and luggage,
rushing down-hill at fifteen miles an hour, and apparently determined
to force their way over our very heads. Against all these it showed
the most unflinching courage; but if it came to a heap of stones,
large or small, broken or entire, it lost its presence of mind in a
moment, and would have jumped for safety into the ditch at the other
side of the road, if not restrained by a pull at the rein, and a good
cut of the whip scientifically applied. Even the milestone was an
object of great alarm; and as there were twelve of them on the way,
and the cowardly creature never by any chance missed seeing them,
however deep they were sunk in hedges, or buried in grassy banks, we
never required to distinguish the figures on the stones, but
calculated the progress we made by the number of starts and struggles.
After a dozen of these debates, which created great amusement among
the juveniles of the party, we arrived at the clean delightful town of
Monmouth--and here let us make amends for the disparaging mention of
this place in our former narrative of House-Hunting in Wales. The
weather on that occasion was very bad, and the inn we lunched at a
very poor and uncomfortable one. When a person's principal
acquaintance with a town consists in his experience of its wet streets
and tough beef steaks, it is no wonder that his impressions are not of
the most agreeable kind. On the present occasion we drove to the
Beaufort Arms, and, in imitation of the Marquis of Exeter, "we pulled
at the bell with a lordly air." The hostler and his curates rushed
zealously from the further end of the yard, and received us with
astonishing command of face--not a grin was visible, even the waiters
stood with decorous solemnity, while child after child was lifted
down, and all out of one gig. They rather looked on with the pleased
expression we have seen on the countenances of a rural audience when
Mr Ingilby, or other juggler, produced, out of some unaccountably
prolific hat, a stewing-pan, a salt cellar, a couple of eggs, a brood
of chickens, and finally the maternal hen. We ordered a cold dinner to
be put into baskets, with a moderate accompaniment of bottles and
glasses--enquired if a boat was to be had to take us up the Wye--were
recommended to a certain barge-master of the name of Williams; and, in
a very short space of time, were safely stowed in a beautiful clipper,
thirty feet long, with only nine inches draught of water, with a
gorgeous morning over our heads, luxurious cushions on the seats, a
tug, in the shape of a most strong, active fellow, pulling us by the
towing-path, and, seated at the helm, the most civil, the most polite,
the most communicative, and the most talkative man that it ever was
our fortune to meet. He united in his own person a vast multiplicity
of trades and offices. He was innkeeper, boat-builder, boat-owner,
pilot, turner, Bristol-trader, wood-merchant, coracle-maker,
fisherman, historian, and, above all, a warrior of the most tremendous
courage. In all of these capacities he had no rival; and as it was his
own boat, his native town, his own river, and we were merely his
passengers, he had it all his own way. He stood up in the excitement
of his discourse, and talked without a moment's intermission--sometimes
to us--sometimes to a little boy he had brought on board to look after
the baskets--sometimes to the man on the towing-path--and sometimes to
himself; but at all times there fell thick and fast about our ears the
words of Thomas Williams; and of all his words, Thomas Williams was
the hero. As people get used to the noise of a waterfall, at last we
stood the perpetual sound without any inconvenience, and carried on
quiet conversation, or sank into silent admiration, as we floated past
the bold cliffs, or soft-wooded shores, of the sylvan Wye.

For the first mile or two from Monmouth, the hermit of the woods is
nothing to boast of. The banks are low; the water sluggish; and the
scenery common-place. The beauties begin at a bend of the river, where
Mr Blakemore has built a large and comfortable-looking house. On a
high, conical hill above the mansion, there stands a lofty gazebo of
open iron-work, commanding a view of we don't remember how many
counties; but before our _cicerone_ had got half-way into an account
of each of them, with their capital towns, the names of the present
mayors, and the noble families he had supplied with cricket-bats, we
had passed far away among the noble scenery of the oak district; and
our friend launched into a description of oak plantations in
general--the value of oaks per acre--the sum paid to Lord George for
his estate, which was bought by government fourteen years ago, the
last time the duke was in power--

"What duke?"

An unlucky question, for it led into a disquisition o all dukes,
ancient and modern, and an encomium on the late Duke of Beaufort, as
the best soldier that England had ever produced. "He was a true
soldier's friend, and flogged every soul that came on parade-ground
with a dirty shirt. I don't think there was ever seen such a militia
regiment--there was a sight more flogging in it than the reg'lars--so
it was quite a comfort to some fellers that didn't like it, to go into
the line. I was in it myself; but I liked the duke, though he would
have flogged me as soon as look at me. And such dinners he gave us
when our time was over--it was dreadful--six of our corporals died of
drinking in one month. He was certainly the greatest officer ever _I_
see. I was threatened myself with a thing they call _delirium
tremens_, for he dined us in tents for a fortnight at a time. It's a
pity the French never landed; we would have licked them like sacks. I
hates a Frenchman, and hope to have a fling at 'em yet."

In the mean time we had glided further and further into the leafy
recesses of the river. Such banks are nowhere else to be seen--high
perpendicular cliffs, broken off in all manner of fantastic shapes;
sometimes a great rock standing up bare, smooth, and majestic, like a
vast tower of some gigantic cathedral; sometimes a solitary column,
higher and more massive than any of an architect's designing, with its
capital ornamented with self-sown shrubs, and its base washed by the
rippling water. Each of these called forth an anecdote from our guide,
philosopher, and friend--one was "the scene of the great fight between
Characterus and the Romans. The Romans licked 'em; for them Welsh was
never no great shakes. I could lick any three ancient Britons I ever
saw myself--and they knows it. And, as to Characterus, he could be no
great general, or he never would have fought on that side of the
water. He should have come across to the other side, and he would have
licked them Romans to a certainty."

We thought it was a pity Mr Williams, who, in spite of his contempt
for the ancient Britons, was as true a Welshman as ever ate his leek,
had not been of the council of war of Caractacus--for it _was_ the
scene of his great struggle we were passing. The ground still bears
the name of Slaughter Field, and was a fit altar on which to offer the
last victims to national freedom. The scenery all round it is of the
noblest character--rock and wood, and the mountain chain that they
hoped had shut out the invader. The river bends round it, and enables
you to keep for a long time in view the plain where the battle was
fought, and the rude remains of what is considered to have been the
Roman encampment. After an hour or two delightfully spent in gliding
under enormous cliffs, and winding among woods of all hues and sizes,
hanging over the precipice, and waving their branches almost down to
the water's edge, we arrived at our point of destination, a high rock
called Simon's Yatt, which our agreeable companion described as the
finest thing in the world. On bringing to at the landing-place, we
found we had nearly a mile to walk up a steep road, newly escarped on
the side of the hill; and setting ourselves manfully to the effort, we
began our march--Williams insisted on being the useful member of the
party. He offered, in the plenitude of his strength, to carry the
shawls, to carry a couple of children, to carry ourselves; he thought
nothing of weights; he was used to hard labour; he rather liked some
difficult thing to do; and finally, nearly broke down under the burden
of one of the provision baskets; stopping every now and then to rest,
and evidently over-tasked. The day was very hot--the soil was a red
ironstone--there was no shelter from the pervading sun--and the ascent
was on an inclination of at least one foot in six; at last, however,
urged on by a desire to enjoy the prospect--and the lunch--and also
with a malicious intention, shared by the whole party, to walk our
companion to death, we surmounted all difficulties, wound round a
rocky eminence at the top, and suddenly found ourselves on a
beautifully wooded platform, six or seven hundred feet above the
river, and in the enjoyment of the most surprising view we ever saw.
The river Wye takes a sharp turn round the foot of this enormous
projection, not only winding round the extremity, but actually flowing
down on one side exactly as it flowed up on the other, leaving Simon's
Yatt as a sort of wedge inserted in its course; and presents the
extraordinary effect of the same river at the same moment running both
north and south. The summit of Simon's Yatt is not above fifty feet
wide, and the descent on one side is perpendicular, showing the river
directly under your feet, and on the other is nearly precipitous,
leaving only room, between its base and the river, for a most
picturesque assemblage of cottages called the New-Weir village.
Directly in front is the rich level champaign, containing the town of
Ross at a considerable distance, Goodrich Priory, and many other
residences, from the feudal Castle to the undated Grange. On the
horizon-line you recognise Ledbury, the Malvern hills; and the whole
outline of the Black mountains. On the right, where the river careers
along in its backward course, you see the interminable foliage of the
forest of Dean, and the rich valleys of Glo'stershire. A very
handsome house, about a mile down the river, attracted our attention.
"It's a reg'lar good billet," said Mr Williams, breaking off from some
other piece of information with which he was regaling the idle wind,
for by this time we had acquired a power of not hearing a word he
said; "and it's a great shame, the gent as owns it never lives in it.
He is a very great man in foreign parts; and the Pope is his uncle.
So, in course, he always lives in France to be near his great
relations." No cross-examination could shake his statement of this
genealogical curiosity; so we looked with increased interest on the
mansion of the Pope's nephew, whose principal merit by the by, in Mr
William's eyes, was, that he had once furnished him with a coracle.
After gratifying our eyes for a long time with the surprising
prospect, we found a nice shady spot in a plantation at a little
distance; spread shawls and cloaks upon the grass, and were soon
engaged in the mysteries of cold meat, hard-boiled eggs, an excellent
salad, and Guinness's porter--not to mention a beautiful gooseberry
tart and sparkling ginger-beer. Some feasts have been more splendid,
and some perhaps more seasoned with eloquence and wisdom--but, as the
Vicar of Wakefield says of the united party of the Primroses and the
Flamboroughs, "If there was not much wit among the company, there was
a great deal of laughter, and that did just as well." So we laughed a
good hour among the shady walks at Simon's Yatt--managed for five
whole minutes to stop our companion's conversation by filling his
mouth with beef and porter, distributed the fragments among a hungry
and admiring population of young coal-heavers who looked on--like a
group starting out of Murillo's pictures--and with empty baskets and
joyous hearts set off on our homeward way. We glided at our own sweet
will down the river, exchanged the bark for our plethoric gig, and in
due course of time, after twelve starts at the twelve milestones,
arrived in safety at our home.

By this time there were no symptoms left of deficient health and
strength--the invalid would have done for an honorary member of the
club of fat people recorded in the _Spectator_; and we looked, with
disdain on the level territory on the banks of the Usk, and longed for
hills to climb, and walls to get over, and rocks to overcome, like
knights-errant in search of adventures. No walk was too great for us.
We thought of challenging Captain Barclay to a match against time, or
of travelling through England as the Pedestrian Wonders. Walker, the
twopenny postman, would have had no chance against us. So, merely by
way of practice, we started off one day, with straw-hats and short
summer frocks, and every other accompaniment of a professed
pedestrian's turn-out, and away we went on a pilgrimage to the
churchyard of Llanvair Kilgiden. Through rich fields of grass we
sauntered--over stiles we leapt--through hedges we dashed--and
occasionally became prosaic enough to walk on for half a mile or so in
a country lane, but generally we preferred trespassing through a
corn-field, and losing our way in searching for a short cut across a
plantation; and at last, after many hairbreadth 'scapes--after being
terrified by the bellowing of a bull, which turned out to be a
sentimental cow giving vent to her agitated feelings in what somebody
calls a "gentle voice and low"--after nearly losing half the party by
the faithlessness of a plank that crossed a ditch that swarmed with an
innumerable multitude of tadpoles--after surpassing these, and many
other perils, we at last got into the quiet road that leads from Penty
Goitre bridge down to the church of Llanvair--a large, solemn-looking
churchyard, ornamented with a goodly array of splendid yew-trees, and
boasting, at some former period, a majestic stone cross, now of course
defaced, and the very square it stood upon moss-grown and in ruins.
The church itself is a plain quiet structure, but the sylvan beauty
and peaceful seclusion of the situation cannot be surpassed. We
measured the great yews, and several of them were twenty-four or
twenty-five feet in circumference at four feet from the ground. There
were some graves enclosed in railings, and surrounded by evergreens
and rose-trees; and the sentiment of the place was not destroyed by a
few nibbling sheep that cropped the short grass on the graves where
the rude forefathers of the hamlet slept. Can the sepulchral muses
have found their way to so remote a district as this? Have
"afflictions sore" and "vain physicians" obtained a sculptor among the
headstones of this out-of-the-way place? We made a survey of the
inscriptions, as a very sure guide to the state of education among the
peasantry, and are compelled to confess that the schoolmaster had
decidedly gone abroad. Even monuments of some pretension to grandeur,
with full-cheeked cherubs on the sides, and solid stones on the top,
offered no better specimens of spelling and composition that this:--

    "Laden with age my years they flew--
    The Lord is holy, just, and trew."

And on the slab, over a child of three years old, the following pithy

    "If life and care could death p_er_vent,
    My days would not so soon been spent."

The sculptor, in many instances, (being tired probably of chiselling
the same words over and over,) had attempted an improvement by
altering the arrangement of the lines,--an ingenious device on his
part, and a pleasing puzzle to the spectator:--

    "A tender husband and a father
    dear, a faithful friend lies
    buried hear, he was true and
    just in all his ways, he do
    deserve this worthey praise."

To the memory of Margaret, wife of John Hall, appeared some lines of a
superior kind, with which we never met elsewhere:--

    "You see around me richer neighbours lie
    As deep and still in this cold ground as I;
    From ease and plenty they were called away--
    Could I in lingering sickness wish to stay?
    When faith supports the body worn with pain,
    To live is nothing but to die is gain."

But as if to show that the muse had made a very flying visit to the
hamlet, and had left the mason, on the next occasion, to his own
unassisted genius, the epitaph on two other members of the same family
runs thus:--

    "When in the world we did remain,
    Our latter days was grief and pain,
    But God above he thought it best
    To take _we_ to a place of rest."

What can it be that induces people, who were probably as unpoetical as
Audrey in their lives, to wish the ornament of verse upon their
tombstones? The effect must be almost ludicrous upon those who were
acquainted with the living individual, to hear "the long resounding
march and energy divine" of heroics and Alexandrines proceeding from
him, now he is dead. Philosophy put by the epitaph-writer in the
mouths of a chaw-bacon--moral reflections on the loveliness of virtue
in the mouth of a poor-law overseer--and noble incitements to follow a
good example in the mouth of the bully or drunkard of the parish, must
be far from useful to the surviving generation. We therefore highly
approve of the remarks of a sententious gentleman in this churchyard,
who seems to lay no great claim to extraordinary merit himself, but
favours his co-parishioners with very useful advice:--

    "Farewell, vain world, I've seen enough of thee,
    And now am careless what thou say'st of me,--
    Thy smiles I court not, nor thy frowns I fear;
    My cares are past; my head lies quiet here--
    What faults thou see'st in me take care to shun--
    Look well at home; enough there's to be done."

By the time we had transferred these and other inscriptions to our
note-book, the party were refreshed and ready for the homeward walk.
We got over the same stiles and underwent the same dangers as before,
and happily completed our voyage of discovery to the beautiful
churchyard of Llanvair.

Day after day saw us all busy in ferreting out fine views or old
manor-houses--the little Skirrid or old Llangattock. Sometimes we
crossed the river and wandered through the delicious lanes of
Llanover, or passed through Llanellen on our way to the Blorenge. As
our courage and strength expanded, we tried bolder flights--spent a
day among the smoke and thunder of the Nantiglo ironworks--with
processions of thousands of men hurrying off amidst music, and shouts
of the most tremendous loudness, to a dinner at their club. Great,
hard-featured, savage-looking fellows they were, though in their
holiday attire, and accompanied by one or two of the Bailey
family--the real iron kings of the neighbourhood; and a sight of their
grim features and brawny arms gave us a more vivid respect for the
courage of Sir Thomas Philips, who drove them back from the sack and
massacre of Newport; and also a clearer idea of the almost justifiable
hardihood of the worshipful Mister Frost, in thinking that with ten or
twelve thousand souls, made of fire, and children of the mine, he
could upset Old England, and be himself the legitimate successor of
King Coal.

Another day we spent among the ruins of Llantony Abbey, one of the
finest remains of ecclesiastical architecture in the kingdom. The
person who owns the ground and the ruins, is a poet, a philosopher, a
scholar, so at least he wishes to be thought; but from the condition
of the abbey, (a small pot-house protruding its vulgar sign from one
of the noble entrances, and a skittle-ground being established in the
main aisle--desolation, neglect, and dirtiness all around,) we formed
no very high estimate of the taste or feeling of Mr Walter Savage
Landor. If he had no higher object than merely to keep up the beauty
of the building, you might expect that he would have guarded it from
the degradation of beer, tobacco, and British spirits. A man of a
poetical mind would have taken care to prevent such miserable
associations as are supplied by a tap and skittle-ground;--a person of
loftier and purer sentiments would have shown more reverence for the
_genius loci_, and would have remembered that the walls were once
vocal with Christian prayers, and that what in other instances would
be only negligence, is profanation here. But probably the innkeeper
pays his rent regularly, and we hope will be made the interlocutor in
an imaginary conversation with the last abbot of Llantony.

The object we had in coming into Wales was now entirely gained; and
after ten weeks most happy wanderings over hill and dale, and
constantly breathing the clear fresh air of Monmouthshire, we packed
up bag and baggage, and returned to our home with a stock of health
laid in for winter use, which will keep us constantly in mind of the
benefits we derived from change of scene.



This garden--which, during the winter months, is the lounge of the
English idler at Naples, and then looks as flowerless and dingy as
Kensington in an east wind--assumes a very different appearance in
spring. On the 7th of May, we, who had passed the winter at Rome, were
at once struck with the brilliancy of unusual blossoms, and the number
of distinguished vegetable foreigners who lifted their heads out of
parterres, of the very existence of which in winter one is scarcely
conscious. The formal line of clipt _Ilex_ that looks towards the sea,
had changed its dusky hue for a warmer tint; statues that had been
doing sentinel all the winter without relief, now seem to bend
delighted over fragrant flower-beds, and enjoy the spring. Two high
shrubs in flower (_Metresiglias_) hoist from opposite beds, the one
its _white_, the other its _red_ banner. Two of the _Muses_, the
_Speciosa_ and _Paravisogna_, or bread-tree plant, were raising their
light spiry trunks out of a _corbeille_ taller than a life-guardsman.
They want no hothouse in Naples:--would you shade your face from the
sun, an elsewhere exotic, the Brazilian _Camarotta_ at your feet,
furnishes you with a _screen_. The _white flocks_ of the _Acacia
verticillata_ are peeping out from the ranks of those small
_triangular leaves_, which are so singularly attached, without stalks,
by one of these angles to the stem. Amidst these pleasant perfumes
camphor would be unwelcome, but there is the _laurel_ that yields it.
_Fennel_ has here become a tree, in which, like the _mustard_ of the
Gospels, the fowls of the air may lodge; we are dwarfs beside it!
Three kinds of the soft, slimy Mallow of the Marsh are here so much
WOODY and so tall, that we must pick their flowers on tiptoe. The
_flattened disk_ of the sky-blue _Nana arborea_ contrasts with the
_Betula sanguinea_, glowing deeply in the flower-bed of many
lighter-coloured petals; the sweet-scented _African laurel_ grows
against the long-leafed Babylonian willow, which _susurrates_
droopingly over your head, as if it were "by _the waters of Babylon_."
The fountains, with their _hydrophilous_ tribes, add to the charm; and
many a beautiful _Launaria aquatica_ had already buoyed himself up on
his large _cordate leaves_ on the surface of the _tazza_, and was
filling his vegetable skin with water. All these beauties and
peculiarities, a mere scantling of the whole of the Villa Reale,
escape the lounger, and the nurserymaids, and children, and those of
either sex who have appointments to keep, or to look out for; and the
soldiers, and the police, and the Neapolitan nobility and gentry, and
the pickpockets, and others:--to the nurseryman and botanist, things
not to be forgotten; and at present the weather is not too hot to
interfere with their enjoyment.


At Castel Nuovo, a penal settlement of Naples, we held conversation
with a man sentenced to the galleys, and wearing, accordingly, a
_yellow_ jacket; but yellow is not here, as at Leghorn, the deepest
dye. Here, it is _red cloth_ and manacles that go together. We asked
him his crime. "Un _piccolo_ omicidio." "A small homicide, provoked by
a dispute for a single ducat! I quarrelled with a man _now in
paradise_. I killed him at one stab, but the devil possessed me to
give him another _colpo di coltello_ after he had fallen; and as the
judges asked me _why_ I did this, and I could not perfectly satisfy
them, they concluded I was a sanguinary fellow, and gave me eighteen
years galleys--but, as you see, I have no chains; nor ever had--_mai!
mai_!" and he extended his hands in somewhat of the attitude of
Raphael's _Paul before Festus_, to suit the action to the word. "No!
he was of a very different order of criminals to a boatful of
_birboni_ in red jackets, all _bad cases_ of homicide and _robbery!_"

"What do you call _bad_ cases?"

"Why, I call it a bad case to kill a man for NOTHING."

"Well, but _theft_ to any amount is not so bad as taking away _life_."

"Oh! as to that, the police are _quite right!_ A decent and a devout
man does not commit homicides every day: but he that steals at all,
steals always!" So that our culprit reasoned, like _Paley_, on the
_tendency_ of crimes. It was his _Chapter of the Silver Spoon_, with a
new exposition from the mouth of a Galeote! And they pluck men at
Cambridge for _not_ getting up their Paley! Our philosophical criminal
seemed satisfied with his lot.

     "We are not so badly off after all: we walk out with an obliging
     escort, who let us do pretty much as we like; and all our work is
     confined to sweeping the courts in front of the king's palace. We
     are free of the castle, and allowed to conduct strangers over it,
     as in your case. Oh! for the fellows at _St Stefano_, it is quite
     another matter; as a part of their punishment, they are
     _compelled to be idle!_"

Our rascal was allowed a new coat once every eighteen months, with two
pair of drawers and as many shirts, and a penny a-day for
pocket-money! These _piccoli omicidii_ at home do not get off so
cheap, but stabbing is endemic at Naples. When a queen of Naples
brings the Neapolitans a new prince--great joy of course!--all the
penal settlements _except_ St Stefano receive _three_ years'
mitigation of their sentence; but the crimes that consign to that
island are _senza grazia_--the rays of royal bounty do not reach those
dark and solitary cells. The St Stefano convicts form a body of three
hundred doomed men, incorrigible housebreakers or systematic
assassins. The food of all classes of criminals is the same, whatever
the offence, and consists of twenty-four ounces of bread, with
half-a-pint measure of beans and some oil--a basin of cabbage soup,
without meat, for dinner, and meat once in fourteen days: there are
eight thousand out-of-doors convicts, many of whom being under
sentence for a less space _than two years_, work in their own
clothes--which is, of course, a considerable saving to government.
Although all the galley-slave establishments are full, no place swarms
like Naples with so many meritorious candidates for the _red_ and
_yellow_ liveries of the state.


St Carlo is, as the guide-books tell us, "a very fine theatre." What
we particularly like, is the absence of all _side-lights round its
boxes_. Two hundred burners, arranged in three rows round a small
chandelier, give just light enough to set off the fine chastened white
and gold, and the one quiet fresco which embellishes the ceiling. A
pit of vast size, divided into comfortable sittings, six tiers of
boxes, and an orchestra of great space, suited to the extraordinary
size of the house, secure a far less adulterated playhouse atmosphere
than we are used to; and so exempt from the ordinary inconveniences,
that we were able to sit out the _Semiramide_, even with Ronzi di
Begnis, now old and out of keeping, for the heroine. Surely _she
never_ should have been Semiramis, even in her palmy day! Actors and
actresses _will_ not know that words written for them, scenery and
dresses adapted for them, and attitudes invented for them, can never
_make_ them the personages mentioned in the playbill. On returning
home, we stood at our balcony gazing on the lovely face of a true
Naples night--a night beyond description!--the whole vault of heaven
lighted by one light: a full moon, like a subdued sunshine over earth
and water. A world of light, that shone on a world of darkness,
tinging the air, gilding the mountain-tops, and making the sea run
like melted phosphorus. And what a silence abroad! not the perilous
cessation of sound which so often only anticipates the storm; nor the
sultry stillness of an exhausting noon; but a mighty and godlike
display, as it were, of the first full moon after creation shining on
an entranced world!


An _amphitheatre_ is one of those few ruins that leave no problem to
solve. Here we have a grey antiquity without any mutilation of form,
and merely spoliated of its benches. The patron saint of Naples was,
they say, imprisoned here. A little chapel ascertains the spot, but he
does no miracles on this _arena_. When we come to _temples_, we are
always at a great loss for proprietors. The very large one here is
called of Jupiter Serapis. The remaining columns of this temple,
whatever it was, exhibit a very remarkable appearance. Three pillars,
forty-two feet in height, up to about twelve feet above their
pedestals, have the surface of the marble as smooth as any in the
Forum; then comes a portion of nine or ten feet, of which the marble
has been bored, drilled in all directions, by that persevering bivalve
the _Lithodomus;_ the perforations are so considerable, and go so
deep, as to prove "the long-continued abode" of these animals within
the stone, and by consequence, as Mr Lyell observes, "a long-continued
immersion of the columns in the sea at some period recent,
comparatively, with that of its erection." Indeed, there is abundant
evidence adduced in the fourth volume of his _Geology_ to show, that
all this ground was at a no very distant period _under the sea_, like
Monte Nuovo in its neighbourhood, and was thrust out of the water to
its present level. When the ground on which this temple stood,
collapsed, the _bottom part of its columns_ was protected by "the
rubbish of decayed buildings and strata of turf;" the _middle_ or
perforated part was left exposed to the action of the sea bivalves
above alluded to; and the _upper part_, which was never under the
water, remained smooth and free from perforation. But these columns
not only prove by internal evidence the general fact of the ground on
which they stand having been submerged--they also furnish an exact
_measure_ of the degree to which it sunk; viz. twenty feet--_i.e._ the
height where these perforations terminate at present. You can only
cross the floor of this building on stepping-stones; and as you do so,
you see shoals of small sea-fish darting about in the shallow water
which occupies its area, into which the sea has been _admitted_ on
purpose, to prevent the accumulation of the stagnant water that had
infected this particular spot with intense malaria.


We took a hot bath under the _soi-disant_ villa of Lucullus. Steam,
sulphur, and hot water, may be had cheap any where along this coast.
An awful place it was to enter naked, and be kept in the dark,
stifling, as we were, for some seconds which seemed minutes, till our
guide returned with a _milord's_ dressing-gown, which he assured us
had been hung up as a votive offering for cured rheumatism. Being
candidates ourselves for a similar benefit, we desired to be rubbed
down like _milord_, till _aluminous_ perspiration stood thick upon us,
the alum being deposited from the walls and atmosphere of the place.
We were soon obliged to beg for quarter. The _milord_, whose
dressing-gown we were possessed of, was so bad as to be obliged to be
rubbed sitting; but so powerful is the remedy, that after fifteen such
sittings, he walked round the lake (two miles), and went home in his
carriage "_guerito!_" "Such baths!" that had cured _he_ knew not how
many persons:--

    "Men who'd spent _all_ upon physician's fees,
    Who'd _never_ slept, nor had a _moment's_ ease,
    Were now as _roaches sound_, and all as _brisk as bees!_"--CRABBE.

What with its hot water, sulphur, vapour, and alum, we too should have
fancied Naples might have been comparatively exempt from rheumatisms
and skin diseases, in both of which it abounds.


From the sea and its inlet called the Lucrine _Lake_, we pass along a
pleasant green lane, about a mile long, which issues on _Avernus_,
whose waters we find both limpid and clear; but are instructed that
two months later will change them to a dark-red colour, and that the
neighbourhood will then become very malarious and unsafe. A piece of
semicircular wall on one side of the lake, indicates the whereabouts
of a temple of Proserpine, or Apollo, or any god or goddess you
please. We were so absurd as to pay a scudo to be taken through a vile
tunnel, accompanied by two torch-bearers, and two other dirty
wretches, who often carry us pick-a-back through one black hole into
another, splashing us through dark pools, putting us down here and
there as they pleased, picking us up again, grinning like demons, and
by dint of shaking their torches above, and disturbing the water
below, raising foul smells enough to intoxicate fifty Sybils. At
length, half suffocated by those classical delights, we cry Enough!
enough! and beg to be put into our saddles again. The _Stufa di
Nerone_, a little further on the high-road, is another volcanic
_calidarium_ in full activity, where you may boil eggs or scald
yourself in a dark cavern. There you may deposit your mattrass and
yourself in any one of a store of _berths_ wrought into that most
unpicturesque tufa, of which the exterior face constitutes the whole
of the sea view of _Baiæ._ If ever there were decorations in these
caverns, they are gone; but there probably never were. Diana, Mercury,
Venus, and Apollo all claim brick tenements, called temples, in this
little bay, all close together on the seaside, and none having any
claim at present either on the artist or the poet.

We quit the seaside at this spot, and reach the summit of the hill
above, where there is more torch-work and more disappointment for
those that go a Sybil-seeking with the sixth book of Virgil for a
guide. Those who like it may also grope their way through _Nero's
prisons_, and descend into the _Piscina Mirabilis_, that vast
pilastered cellar like an underground dissenting chapel. They say the
Roman fleet was supplied with water from this huge tank; but if this
had been the intention of its construction, why obstruct it with more
pillars or supports of square masonry than the roof absolutely
required, without which incumbrances a reservoir of half its size
would have held more water,--and for water it was evidently meant?
Ascending the hill we see a man or two working away at a
newly-discovered _tomb_, from which he told us he had removed several
skulls in perfect preservation, even to the teeth of both jaws,
together with some small sepulchral lamps and old copper coins. We
dine on the summit of a low hill, immediately opposite a cape better
known to fame than the Cape of Good Hope--the promontory of _Misenum_,
with _Procida_ and _Ischia_ on our right, and _Nisida_ with its white
lazaretto, and _Puteoli_ (Pozzuoli,) where St Paul landed, on our
left. We took to _plant_ collecting after dinner, and were glad to
learn that we should find at Puzzuoli a celebrated botanist of the
locality, who could declare to us the _unknown_ of all we should
collect. On our return, therefore, the man of science was fetched to
look at our wild nose-gay and at us. We show him a specimen; he calls
it by some outlandish name; we tell him what we want is its _Latin_
one. It _is_ Latin, he says, which he is actually speaking! _We_
thought _not_. A crowd of fishermen and rustics are fast collecting
around us; we try him with another one of the grasses. "_Questo è
asparago_," cries a bumpkin, unasked, from behind. "_Che asparagi?_"
says _il mio Maestro_, "_è Pimpinella._" We show him a _Cytisus_, and
he calls it a _Campanula._ Seeing that so great a difference exists
between our friend and Linnæus, we ask no further questions.

Tench and eels abound in _Avernus_, and coot and teal also blunder
here occasionally, as if to contradict Virgil and confute
etymology--for Avernus is [Greek: aornos] (birdless,) and Latinised as
every one knows. However, few birds are to be found here. The
_Lucrine_ is now a mere salt-water pond of small extent, affording the
little sea fish, in rough weather, a sort of playground. No Lucrine
oysters now, though these dainties are of excellent quality at Naples,
and might have satisfied _Montanus_ himself. As to the _Mare Mortuum_,
it is another rank, unwholesome, unpicturesque pond. We walked all
round it, and have a right to say so; and, if we had done so _twice_
after sunset, might perchance have had to say _more_.


"_Ego vel Prochytam præpono Suburræ_," says Juvenal, and so would we
if compelled to live in that nasty St Giles's beyond the Coliseum; but
as the "_vel_" seems strangely misapplied--for the _situation_ of
Procida must always have been delightful--the poet's preference must
be understood as of a dull unlively place, with few inhabitants or
resources, to a dense and dangerous population. Baiæ itself is not
three miles from Procida; but the Roman Baiæ was thronged with good
society, and this little island was doubtless then as unpeopled as it
is now populous. Procida is about three-fourths of an hour's fair
rowing from Miniseolæ, on the Baian side; but you may run your boat
over on a fine day in half an hour. As you approach the houses, you
discern the not unpicturesque frontage of a little fishing town; but
all is as revolting within as fair without. Something of the Greek or
Albanese costume is still preserved here, and they offer to dress up
one of their families in full _parure_ for our further satisfaction,
if we will pay them. The view from the leads of the fort (under which
the galley-slaves are confined) is fine indeed! Ischia and Vesuvius,
and the whole stretch of the bay, and _Sorrento_, and the promontory
of Minerva. Procida builds good enough trading vessels. We saw two in
the harbour of Baiæ, as we rowed back on a delicious evening towards
sunset; they were going on a first voyage, bound for our London
docks;--and _à propos_ of the London docks, all this country is, as it
always was, rich in productive vineyards and bad wine. Every hill once
gave its own epithet to wines celebrated in _longs and shorts_ of
immortal celebrity, whereas the land round Rome could never have been
viniferous. You may still drink _Falernian_, if so minded, on its
native seat of St Agatha. The wine of _Gaurus_ has not deserted Monte
Babaro, and _Lachryma_, though not classical, has its own celebrity;
and the islands of Ischia and Procida also produce a strong, heating,
white wine. But there is not any wine, from the Alps to Messina, to be
compared to those of the _Garonne_, and the _Rhine_, or the _Moselle_.
The _Barbarians_ subdued by the Roman legions have long had it all
their own way, not only in this, but in every other good thing _except
sunshine_; but the vine, growing as it grows, suspended as it is
suspended, and wreathed round the hills of Italy, is still the _plant_
which secures the loudest admiration of the foreigner. "The vine of
Italy for ever!"--so we join the chorus of all travellers, and
say-"_till_ it lies bruised, bleeding, fermenting in the vat! _then_
commend us to the Bacchus of lands far nearer home." And here, feeling
ourselves called upon for a _song_, we will sing one.



    "Amidst the Celtic hordes of old
    That gather'd round his wayworn band,
    The cumbrous booty to behold
    Brought from Ausonia's sunny land,
    Thus _Brennus_ spake--'This lance of mine
    Bears Rome's best gift--Behold--the Vine!
        Plant, plant the Vine, to whose fair reign belong
        The arts of Peace, and all the realms of Song!

    "'They told us of its wondrous juice;
    We fought to taste it, and have won!
    Now o'er your hills new wealth diffuse
    And cherish well the warrior's boon.
        Plant, plant the Vine, &c.

    "'Nor for ourselves alone we tore
    That stem away; your ships shall bear
    The freighted joy to many a shore,
    And spread the unknown gladness there.
        Plant, plant the Vine, &c.'

    "He ended, and in face of all,
    While deep in earth he strikes the lance
    And plants the shoot--_unconscious Gaul
    Prepares the world's vast vineyard--France!_"[9]


About thirteen miles from Naples is one of the finest kingly
residences in Europe--so say all the guide-books, and they are right.
Vanvitelli is the very Michael Angelo of palace-rearing! Its shape is
a parallelogram approaching to a square. Counting mezzanines, it has
six stories besides the attics; and is pierced with no less than 1700
windows. Its stair, the very perfection of that sort of construction,
is vast in all its dimensions, and so very easy, that you look down
from its summit admiring, with untried lungs, the enormous height you
have reached. It starts double from the ground, and twenty persons
might ascent either branch abreast, and meet one another at the spot
where it begins to return upon itself; so that the noble octagonal
landing above finds itself just over the starting-place below. From
this post four large windows command four spacious courts, and the
simple construction of this gigantic edifice stands unveiled. You now
begin your journey through vast, lofty, magnificently marbled, and
very ill-furnished apartments, of which, before you have completed the
half circuit of a single floor, you are heartily tired, for, beyond
the architecture, there is nothing to see. The commonest broker's shop
would furnish better pictures. Boar-hunts of course, to represent how
Neapolitan kings kill boars at Portici, and shoot wild-ducks on the
_Lago di Fusina_. There is also an ample historical fresco on the
ceiling of the antechamber to the throne-room, on which Murat _had_
caused to be represented some notable _charge_ where he proved
victorious; but after he was shot, Ferdinand, with great taste,
judgment, and good feeling, _erased_, _interpolated_, and _altered_
the picture into a harmless battle of Trojans against Greeks, or some
such thing! The palace has two theatres and a chapel; and you must
change your conductor four times if you would be led through the
whole. For this enormous edifice boasts of only twelve servants, at
eleven dollars a-month from the privy purse. Caserta, which, even in
its present imperfect state, has cost 7,000,000 scudi, is raised
amidst a swarm of paupers, who are permitted to besiege the stranger,
and impede his progress, with an importunity such as could be shown by
none but men on the eve of famishing. We _never_ saw such a population
of beggars as those which infest the walls of this most sumptuous
palace and its park--but the park is a park indeed! It may have
something of the formality of Versailles or Chantilly; but its leading
features are essentially English; its thickets and copses abound in
hares and pheasants. The ilex attains twice the height we remember to
have seen it reach elsewhere. Its islands and fishponds, its kitchen
and flower-gardens, put one in mind of a first-rate English
country-seat. The ornamental water is fetched, by an aqueduct worthy
of old Rome, from mountains seven miles off, first emptying its whole
charge over a high ledge of rock, making a waterfall (which you see
from the drawing-room window) over a series of steps and terraces,
which get wider as they get lower, till they terminate in a superb
basin within a quarter of a mile of the palace, where the water makes
its last bound, and forms a broad lake fit for Diana and her nymphs,
amidst woods fit for Actaeon and his dogs. Of course we asked to be
conducted to these stone terraces, over which the dash of the mountain
stream into the lake is effected: but as we passed the latter, we were
surprised by our guide approaching the water, and, beginning to
whistle, he begs us to observe the water begins to be troubled at a
distance, and the more he whistles the more the commotion increases.
Ten, twenty, and in half a second hundreds of _immense_ fish come
trooping up, and, undeterred by our presence, approach as near as they
dare to the surface of the water where he stands; they swim backwards
and forwards, and lash the water with their tails. What is the matter?
Why! they come to be fed! and such is the ferocious impatience of this
aquatic _menagerie_, that we long to assist in quelling it; and so we
dip our hand into the man's basket of frogs, and drop a few right over
the swarm--and now the water is bubbling and lathering with the
workings and plungings of these mad fish; and so large are they, so
strong, so numerous, that, all angler as we are, we really felt
unpleasantly, nor would we, after what we saw, have trusted hand or
foot in the domain of such shark-like rapacity. They consume five
basketsful of frogs and minnows a-day. Except that of the Caserta
beggars, we never saw any thing like the hunger of the Caserta fish.


The silk manufactory at Caserta is worth a visit. The labour is
chiefly accomplished by the hand, as is all labour in Naples. Silk is
wound off into skeins by a mill turned by the artificial falls of the
aqueduct. At one extremity you see the unpromising _cocoons_; at the
other the most rare and beautiful velvets and _gros de Naples_. The
locality of this manufactory is delightful, and the old queen
preferred its comforts and cheerfulness to the solitary grandeur of
the palace in the plain. In place of occupying and paying the poor
round his palace to make silk and satins for his court and the Pope,
the present king spends his money in _gunpowder and soldiering_. They
accuse him of having less compassion for the misfortunes of the poor
than even his father Francis, or his grandfather Ferdinand of blessed
memory. The view from this spot of the huge palace itself, with
Vesuvius smoking to our right, and Capri shining before it, is one of
those not to be forgotten.


Behold the old snake-finder with his sack! "_Ola! vecchio, che cosa
avete pigliato quest' oggi?_" was a question put from our one-horse
cart, till then going at a great rate through the village of Somma, to
a little old man, with a humpback, a sack, and a large shallow box. He
was dressed in a queer costume, had a wolf's brush in his hat, and
remarkably tight-fitting leather leggings. "Tre! fra altri una vipera
meschia." "Oh! oh! aspetta," added we--we must see the viper. Upon
which there was a broad grin all round the circle; but the driver
stopped, and down we got. The old man, seeing our intention to be
serious, got a chair for us from a cottage, and putting his box on his
knee, looked knowing, and thus began.

"Gentlemen, you have all seen a viper, _basta feroce_--a reptile that
every one runs from _except_ me, and those who know, as I do, how to
humour him. I have a viper in this box whom I have so perfectly tamed,
that he lives with two others, and never quarrels with them. I will
open the box, and, as you will see, they will all lie as if they were
dead, until I notice _one_, when he will put up his head that I may
take him out."

He opened the box, where lay coiled, and perfectly still, a spotted
viper, an immense black snake, and one very light and silvery like an

"Here's my family," said the old man; and catching the viper round the
middle, brought him out, while the others wriggled a little, as if in
expectation of being caressed in their turn. "This animal, signor, is
not so bad in his temper as you have been told. It is only when he is
making love that he is poisonous--to all but his females; but in this,
gentlemen, he is scarcely worse than many of yourselves, whom it is
not safe then to approach."

"Bravo, bravo, _vecchaccio_! ancora! Go it again!" sounds every where
from the circle collected round the old snake-charmer.

"If you tread upon his tail, gentlemen, what can you expect but a
bite? Would not _you_ bite if you had your tails trodden on?"

The viper now raised his head, and darted it out, with about half of
his body behind it, at the crowd. The two nearest peasants fell back.
The viper, missing his spring, turns round to bite the hand that is
holding him, but no sooner touches it, than off it glides from the
horny finger, wriggling both head and tail at a great rate.

"He has been warmed by my hand, sirs, and wants to escape! _Ingrato!_
Come, I have something to tell you that these gentlemen must not

And he opened his month, and the viper thrust his head between his
lips; upon which the old man closes them and makes believe to mumble
the horrid head, the body appearing violently convulsed, as if it
really suffered violence.

"He has lost his teeth," said one, "and can't bite."

"_Sicuro_," said another, and began to yawn.

"No," said the old man, "his teeth are all in his head. You doubt it,
do you? See here, then."

And catching him by the head, and drawing down his lower jaw, having
forced the mouth to its full stretch, he drew the red surface of his
upper-jaw smartly over the back of his own hand two or three times, so
as to bring blood from six or seven orifices. Then, drying the blood
off his hand, he returns his viper to the box, and asks a _baiocco_
for the exhibition.

"What's the price of your viper?" ask we.

"Two _carlines_, excellenza."

"Here, tie him up for me in my handkerchief." Which was accordingly
done, and we popped him into spirits of wine, as a _souvenir_ of Monte
Somma, and of the old man whom we saw handling him.

"Does he gain a livelihood by his trade?" we enquired.

"He teaches people how to catch serpents; and by familiarizing them
with the danger, they work in greater comfort, and are not afraid of
going over any part of Monte Somma, which, as it abounds in vipers and
snakes, still deters the unpractised a little. Besides, they like to
see the snake caught and exhibited, and every body gives him


    Some hidden disappointment clings
      To all of man--to all his schemes,
    And life has little fair it brings,
      Save idle dreams.

    The peace that may be ours to-day,
      Scarce heed we, looking for the morrow;
    The slighted moments steal away,
      And then comes sorrow.

    The light of promise that may glow
      Where life shines fair in bud or bloom,
    Ere fruit hath ripen'd forth to show,
      Is quench'd in gloom.

    The rapture softest blush imparts,
      Dies with the bloom that fades away,
    And glory from the wave departs
      At close of day.

    Where we have garner'd up our hearts,
      And fixed our earnest love and trust,
    The very life-blood thence departs,
      And all is dust.

    Then, Nature, let us turn to thee;
      For in thy countless changes thou
    Still bearest immortality
      Upon they brow.

    Thy seasons, in their endless round
      Of sunshine, tempest, calm or blight,
    Yet leave thee like an empress crown'd
      With jewels bright.

    Thy very storms are life to thee,
      'Tis but a sleep thy seeming death;
    We see thee wake in flower and tree
      At spring's soft breath.

    We view the ruin of our youth,
      Decay's wan trace on all we cherish;
    But thou, in thine unfailing truth,
      Canst never perish.



    With mournful tone I hear thee say,
      "Alas, another year hath sped!"
    As if within that circlet lay
      Life's garland dead.

    Vain thought! Thy measure is not Time's;
      Not thus yields life each glowing hue;
    Fair fruit may fall--the tendril climbs,
      And clasps anew.

    Time hath mute landmarks of his own;
      They are not such as man may raise;
    Not his the rudely number'd stone
      On life's broad ways.

    The record measuring his speed
      Is but a shadow softer spread--
    A browner leaf--a broken reed,
      Or mildew shed.

    And if his footfall crush the flower,
      How sweet the spicy perfume springs!
    His mildew stain upon the tower
      A glory brings.

    Then let the murmuring voice be still,
      The heart hold fast its treasure bright;
    The hearth glows warm when sunbeams chill;
      Life hath no night.



    Soft-brow'd, majestic Corali!
      Thou like a memory serene
    Seemest to me--or melody,
      Or moonlight scene.

    With thee life in soft plumage glides,
      As on the ruffled lake the swan,
    Whose downy breast the struggle hides
      That speeds it on.

    In thy fair presence wakes no care;
      Harsh discords into music melt;
    Thy harmony alone is there--
      Alone is felt.

    The heart, unsway'd by hope or dread,
      Safe haven'd in a clime of balm,
    Nor chain'd in ice, nor tempest-sped,
      Lies rock'd in calm.



    "Man wrongs and time avenges, and my name
    May form a monument not all obscure."

The success of the Greek insurrection against the Turks, is the event
in contemporary history concerning which it is most difficult to form
a precise and correct idea. Causes and effects seem, to the ordinary
observer, to be utterly disproportionate. Its progress set the
calculations of statesmen at defiance; and while congresses,
ambassadors, and protocols, were attempting to fetter it in one
direction, it generally advanced with increased speed in some other,
totally unexpected.

It was very natural that the Greeks should take up arms to emancipate
themselves from Turkish oppression, the moment a favourable
opportunity presented itself; but certainly, few foreigners conceived
that the time they selected afforded them much chance of success.
Kolocotroni, however, appears to have understood the internal
condition of the Ottoman empire rather better than Metternich. The
unwarlike habits of the majority of the Greek population, contrasted
with the military feelings of the Turks, and with the numbers and
valour of the Ottoman armies, rendered their cause desperate for some
years, even in the opinion of their most enthusiastic friends. The
whole progress of the Revolution was filled with anomalous
occurrences; and the wisdom of the statesman, and the skill of the
warrior, were constantly set at nought by events, the causes of which
have still been too generally overlooked by the professional
politicians of all nations who mix in the affairs of Greece.

Unquestionably, therefore, there exists much in the condition of the
Greek nation, and in the character of the people, which has been
completely misunderstood by foreigners. Nor do we entertain any hope
of seeing the affairs of Greece placed on a better footing, until the
Greeks themselves collect and publish detailed information concerning
the statistics and the administration of the kingdom.

Hitherto, not a single report of any value has been published on any
branch of the public service; so that the foreign ministers at Athens
are, from absolute want of materials, compelled to confine their
active exertions for the good of Greece to recommending King Otho to
choose particular individuals, devoted to the English, French, or
Russian party, as the case may be, to the office of cabinet ministers.
Not even an army list has yet been published in Greece, though the
Hellenic kingdom is in the twelfth year of its existence. But as the
publication of an army list would put some restraint on political
jobbing and ministerial patronage, each minister leaves it to be done
by his successor.

The fate of all the foreigners who have taken an active part in the
Greek Revolution is worthy of notice. Many persons of high, and of
deservedly high, reputation embarked in the cause, yet not one of the
number added to his previous fame by his exploits. Although the names
of Byron, Cochrane, and Capo d'Istrias appear in the annals of Greece,
it is doubtful whether their actions in the country exercised any
direct influence on the course of events. We think we may safely
assert that they did not, and that these distinguished and able men
were all carried along by the current of events. To us, it appears
that the fate of Greece would have undergone no change if these great
men had changed places;--if Capo d'Istrias had enacted the part of
lord high admiral, Lord Cochrane that of commander-in-chief at
Missolonghi, and Lord Byron, in his day, that of president of the
Greek republic, things would have been little better and no worse. The
ambassadors with their treaties and protocols at London, and the
admirals with their _untoward event_ at Navarin, were almost as
unfortunate as all other volunteers in the Greek cause. The
ambassadors were occupied for years in trying to hinder the Greek
state from attaining the form it ultimately assumed; and, in spite of
the battle of Navarin, Ibrahim Pasha carried away from the
Peloponnesus an immense number of Greek prisoners, in the very fleet
the allied admirals supposed they had destroyed.

The insignificance of individual exertions in this truly national
Revolution, has been equally remarkable among the Greeks themselves.
Indeed it has been made a capital charge against them by strangers,
that no man of distinguished talent has arisen to direct the destinies
of the country. Perhaps there is a worse feature than this prominent
in the Greek community, and this is a disposition to calumniate
whatever little merit may exist. Here again, however, we cannot
refrain from remarking, that a singular resemblance may be traced
between the conduct of the strangers in Greece, and the Greeks
themselves. A vice so predominant must doubtless be nourished by some
inherent defect in the constitution of society in Greece, rather than
in the characters of individuals.

If no Greek has succeeded in gaining a glorious pre-eminence by the
Revolution, we must recollect that the foreigners who have visited the
country have contrived to bury there all the fame they brought with
them. Singular too as it may appear, a love of quarrelling and a
passion for calumny have been found to be as decidedly characteristic
of the foreigners in Greece, as of the natives. The Philhellenes were
notoriously a most insubordinate body; the English in Greece have
never been able to live together in amity and concord; the three
European powers who signed a treaty to aid and protect Greece, have
rarely been able to agree on the means of carrying their good
intentions into execution on a systematic plan. The Regency sent to
civilize the country during King Otho's minority, though consisting of
only three members, set the Greeks an example of what the Litany calls
"blindness of heart, pride, vain-glory, and hypocrisy, envy, hatred,
and malice, and all uncharitableness." The _corps diplomatique_ has
often astounded the Greeks by its feuds and dissensions. The Bavarians
made their sojourn in the country one prolonged _querelle
d'Allemande._ Even the American missionaries at Athens have not
escaped severe attacks of the universal epidemic, and during the
paroxysms of the malady have made all Greece spectators of their

The single exception which so often occurs to confirm the general
ruler, exists in this case as in so many others. One European officer
rendered very important services to Greece, and so conducted himself
as to acquire the respect and esteem of every party in that singularly
factious land. This officer was Frank Abney Hastings; but he always
made it his rule of life to act, amidst the license and anarchy of
society in Greece, precisely as he would have felt himself called upon
to act in similar circumstances, could they have occurred, in England.
We shall now attempt to erect a humble monument to his memory. The
pages of Maga have frequently rescued much that is good from the
shadow of oblivion; and, in this instance, we hope that a short
account of the actions of the best of the Philhellenes will not only
do honour to his memory, but will likewise throw some new light on the
history of the Greek Revolution.

Frank Abney Hastings was the younger son of the late
Lieutenant-general Sir Charles Hastings, Bart., and his elder brother
Sir Charles Abney Hastings inherited the baronetcy. The late Sir
Charles Hastings was colonel of the 12th foot, and knight grand cross
of the Guelphic order; he possessed a large fortune, and he was well
known for his singularity at Carlton House, and in the fashionable
circles of London, about the beginning of the present century. The
present baronet, Sir Charles Abney Hastings, entered the army when
young, but retired after having served some time in the Mediterranean.
Frank was born on the 14th of February 1794, and was placed in the
navy when about eleven years old. Hardly six months after he became a
midshipman, he was present at the battle of Trafalgar on board the
Neptune. An explosion of powder between the decks of the Neptune
during the action, by which several men were killed and wounded, early
directed his attention to the service of artillery on board ship; and
the science of gunnery became his favourite study. Hastings was
subsequently serving in the Seahorse when that frigate engaged two
Turkish men-of-war, and captured one of them, which proved to be a
frigate much larger than herself. During his career of service, he
visited every quarter of the globe.

After having served nearly fifteen years, he was sent to the West
Indies in command of the Kangaroo, a vessel destined for the surveying
service, carrying out his commission as commander. On arriving in the
harbour of Port-Royal, in Jamaica, he was supposed to have brought the
Kangaroo to an anchor in an improper manner. The flag-captain of the
admiral's ship, then in the harbour considered this offence so
extraordinary, that he took a still more extraordinary manner of
expressing his dissatisfaction. We cannot give our readers a better
idea of the circumstance than by transcribing the words of a letter
which Hastings, on his return to England, addressed to Lord Melville,
then first lord of the Admiralty. "He thought proper to hail me in a
voice that rang through the whole of Port-Royal, saying--'You have
overlayed our anchor--you ought to be ashamed of yourself--you damned
lubber, you--who are you?'" Of course such an insult, both personal
and professional, could never be overlooked. Hastings, however,
feeling the importance of any step he might take to his future
reputation, both as a sailor and a gentleman, waited until he had
delivered up the command of the Kangaroo to the officer appointed to
conduct the survey; and having received his commission as commander,
and being ready to return to England on half-pay, he sent a challenge
to the flag-captain who had thus insulted him.

The admiral on the station was, by some circumstance, informed of this
challenge, and on his representation of the affair to the Admiralty,
Hastings was dismissed the service. We shall conclude our mention of
this most unfortunate business by quoting a few more words from the
letter of Hastings to Lord Melville, which we have already alluded
to:--"I have served fourteen years under various captains, and on
almost all stations. I have certainly seen greater errors committed
before; yet I never was witness to such language used to the commander
of a British vessel bearing a pendant." "Your lordship may, perhaps,
find officers that will submit to such language, but I do not envy
them their dearly purchased rank; and God forbid that the British navy
should have no better supporters of its character than such spiritless
creatures." These words express the deep attachment he always felt to
the service.

    "Alas! how bitter is his country's curse
    To him who for that country would expire."

Hastings now found that all his hopes of advancement at home were
blasted, and, without any loss of time, he determined to qualify
himself for foreign service. He flattered himself that he might
acquire a reputation abroad, which would one day obtain for him the
restoration of his rank in the navy in a distinguished manner. He
resided in France for some time, in order to acquire a thorough
knowledge of the French language, which, by dint of close application,
he soon spoke and wrote with ease and correctness.

About three years after his dismissal from the navy, the position of
the Greeks induced him to believe that in Greece he should find an
opportunity of putting in practice several plans for the improvement
of maritime warfare which he had long meditated. He embarked at
Marseilles on the 12th of March 1822, and arrived at Hydra on the 3d
of April. Here he was kindly received by the two brothers Jakomaki and
Manoli Tombazis, and their acquaintance soon ripened into friendship.

The Greek fleet was preparing to sail from Hydra to encounter the
Turks, and Hastings was anxious to accompany it, in order to witness
the manner in which the Greeks and Turks conducted their naval
warfare. As it was necessary for a stranger to receive an
authorization from the general government before embarking in the
fleet, Hastings repaired to Corinth, which was then the seat of the
executive power. The hostility displayed to the Greek cause by Sir
Thomas Maitland, the lord high commissioner in the Ionian islands, had
rendered the British name exceedingly unpopular at this time, in
Greece, and Alexander Maurocordatos, (called at that period Prince
Maurocordatos,) who was president of the Greek Republic, partook of
the popular prejudice against Englishmen.

On arriving at Corinth Hastings met with a very cool reception, and
spies were placed to watch his conduct; for though the president had
made no progress in organizing the naval, military, or financial
administration, he had already established a numerous and active
secret police. For several days Hastings was unable to obtain an
audience of Maurocordatos; but an American, Mr Jarvis, (afterwards a
lieutenant-general in the Greek service,) to whom Hastings had given a
passage from Marseilles, was received with great attention. Jarvis, as
well as Hastings, observed "that the police was very severe and
vigilant in Corinth;" and on the 15th of April he wrote thus:--"I paid
my respects to the prince, and was invited to come in the evening. I
had a long conversation with him, and he was particularly kind to me,
and liked me the more, as he said, for being an American. He told me
many of the bad actions of the English, and plainly told me he and the
rest took my friend and companion for a spy. I then answered what was
necessary--approved his dislike of the English and his foresight, but
showed him that he was in the wrong in this case."

These suspicions being mentioned to Hastings, he immediately addressed
a letter to the president, demanding that his offer of serving on
board the fleet should be either definitely refused or accepted by the
Greek government. He, at the same time, pointed out to Maurocordatos
the absurdity of suspecting him as a spy. We translate his own letter,
which is in French. "I am suspected by your excellency of being an
English spy. Considering the conduct of the British government to
Greece, I expected to meet with some prejudice against the English
among the ignorant; but I own I was not prepared to find this
illiberality among men of rank and education. If the English
government required a spy in Greece, it would not address itself to a
person of my condition. I am the younger son of Sir Charles Hastings,
Baronet, a general in the army, and who was educated in his youth with
the Marquis of Hastings, governor-general of India; so that I could
surely find a more lucrative, less dangerous, and more respectable
employment in India than that of a spy in Greece. I quitted England
because I considered the government treated me with injustice, in
arbitrarily dismissing me from the navy, after more than fourteen
years of active service, for an affair of honour, while I was on
half-pay." This letter obtained for Hastings an audience of the
president, and his services were at length accepted.

On the 3d of May 1822, the Greek fleet began to get under weigh at
Hydra, and Hastings embarked as a volunteer on board the Themistocles,
a corvette belonging to the brothers Tombazis. The scene presented by
the Hydriote ships hauling out of harbour was calculated to depress
the hopes of the most sanguine friend of Greece. Those of the crew who
chose to come on board did so; the rest remained on shore, and came
off as it suited their convenience. When it became necessary to make
sail, the men loosed the sails, but shortly found that no sheets were
rove, and the bow-lines bent to the bunt line cringles. At last sheets
were rove. But as the ships were getting clear of the harbour, a
squall came on; then every man on board shouted to take in sail; but
there were no clue-lines bent, and the men were obliged to go out on
the jib-boom to haul down the sail by hand. The same thing occurred
with the topgallant sails. The crews, however, were gradually
collected; things assumed some slight appearance of order; and after
this singular exhibition of anarchy and confusion, the fleet bore up
for Psara.

It is needless to describe the scenes of misery Hastings witnessed
when the fleet arrived at Scio, as the particulars of the frightful
manner in which that island had been devastated by the Turks are
generally known. The war was at this period carried on with unexampled
barbarity, both by the Greeks and Turks. As an illustration of the
manner in which naval warfare had been previously conducted in the
Levant, we shall quote the account given by an English sailor of the
conduct of the Russo-Greek privateers in 1788. The modern atrocities
were not perpetrated on so large a scale, and the officers rarely
countenanced them, but still it would be too invidious to cite single
examples. We shall therefore copy a short extract from Davidson's
narrative of a cruise on board one of the vessels connected with the
expedition of the famous Greek privateer and pirate, Lambro. "The
prize had on board eighty-five hands, which we took on board us, and
confined in the hold until next day; when they were called up one by
one, and had their heads cut off in the same manner as we cut off
ducks' heads at home, and we then threw them overboard. This was the
first time we were obliged to take it by turns to put them to death.
The English, when called upon, at first refused it; but when the
captain told them they were cowards, and that he could not believe
they were Englishmen, they went and did the same as the rest; and
afterwards were even worse than the others, for they always were first
when such work was going on. Sometimes we had three or four in a day
to put to death for each man's share." Things are certainly better
than this in our times; but the statesmen who have constituted the
kingdom of Greece should recollect, that these occurrences took place
in the dominions of King Otho on the 21st of May 1789, and that
similar scenes, though not on so extensive a scale, were witnessed by
Hastings in the month of May 1822.

The Greek naval force at this period consisted entirely of merchant
ships, fitted out at the private expense of their owners. These
vessels were generally commanded either by the owners or their near
relations, whose whole fortune frequently consisted in the vessel they
were to lead into action. It is not surprising that under such
circumstances many brave men, who would willingly have exposed their
lives, felt some hesitation in risking their property. The Greek
ships, previously to the breaking out of the Revolution, had been
navigated by crews interested in certain fixed proportions in the
profits of the cargo. As the proprietor of the ship, the captain, and
the sailors formed a kind of joint-stock company, they were in the
habit of deliberating together on the measures to be adopted, and in
discussing the destination of the vessel. The disorder and want of
discipline naturally arising from such habits, were greatly increased
by the practice which was introduced at the breaking out of the
Revolution, of always paying the sailors their wages in advance. In a
fleet so composed and manned, Hastings soon perceived that there was
no hope of executing any of his projects for the improvement of naval
artillery. After fitting locks and sights to the guns in the
Themistocles, and building up a furnace for heating shot in her hold,
he found that all his arrangements were of no avail. Some order was
absolutely necessary, but he discovered by experience that there was
nothing the Albanians of Hydra held in so much honour as disorder.

The naval campaign of 1822 was signalized by the successful attack of
the Greek fire-ships on the fleet of the Capitan Pasha off Scio.
Kanaris, who conducted his vessel with admirable courage and presence
of mind, set fire to the ship bearing the pasha's flag, which was
completely destroyed. Pepinos, who commanded the Hydriot fire-ship,
was not so fortunate in his attack on the ship of the Reala Bey. His
vessel was disengaged, and though it drifted on board another
line-of-battle ship, the Turks succeeded in extinguishing the flames
in both.

Hastings, having failed to persuade the Greeks to fit out one or two
gun-boats with long guns of large calibre and furnaces for heating
shot, became disgusted with the service on board the fleet, which was
confined to sending marauding parties to the coast of Asia Minor,
where the plunder was oftener taken from the poor Greek villagers than
from their Ottoman masters. These expeditions were conducted with
unparalleled disorder, and without any plan. Before quitting the
fleet, Hastings made a last attempt to inspire the councils of the
admiral with some of his own energy. He waited on the celebrated
Admiral Miaoulis with a plan for capturing a Turkish frigate then
anchored at Tenedos. This interview between these two remarkable men
is of great importance for the appreciation of their respective
characters and views at this period. In order to convey to our readers
as vividly as possible the impression which it produced on the mind of
Hastings, we shall transcribe the account of it in his own words. "I
proposed to direct a fire-ship and three other vessels upon the
frigate, and, when near the enemy, to set fire to certain combustibles
which should throw out a great flame; the enemy would naturally
conclude they were all fire-ships. The vessels were then to attach
themselves to the frigate, fire broadsides double-shotted, throwing on
board the enemy at the same time combustible balls which give a great
smoke without flame. This would doubtless induce him to believe he was
on fire, and give a most favourable opportunity for boarding him.
However, the admiral returned my plan, saying only [Greek: chalho],
without asking a single question, or wishing me to explain its
details; and I observed a kind of insolent contempt in his manner,
which no doubt arose from the late success of Kanaris. This interview
with the admiral disgusted me. They place you in a position in which
it is impossible to render any service, and then they boast of their
own superiority, and of the uselessness of the Franks (as they call
us) in Turkish warfare." It must be recollected, in justification of
Miaoulis, that he had not then had time to avail himself of the
enlarged experience he subsequently acquired in his capacity of
admiral of the Greek fleet. He was then little more than a judicious
and courageous captain of a merchant brig, just elected by the
suffrage of his equals to lead them. As one of the owners of the ships
hired by government, his attention was naturally rather directed to
the destruction than to the capture of the large Turkish men-of-war;
and it is probable that he considered the total want of discipline
among the Hydriotes as presenting insuperable difficulties to the
execution of the plan, and as likely to render the Turkish frigate,
even if captured, utterly useless to the Greeks, who would doubtless
have allowed her to rot in port.

Shortly after this disagreeable affair, Hastings had an opportunity of
acquiring considerable personal reputation among the Hydriote sailors,
by saving the corvette of Tombazis in circumstances of great danger.
In pursuing some Turkish _sakolevas_ off the north of Mytilene, they
ran in near Cape Baba, and made for the shore under a cliff, where a
considerable number of armed men soon collected from the neighbouring
town. The captain and crew of the Themistocles, eager for prizes,
pursued them; when the ship was suddenly becalmed within gun-shot of a
battery at the town, which opened a well-directed fire on the
corvette. In getting from under the fire of the battery, a baffling
wind and strong current drove the ship within sixty yards of the high
rocky cliff where the Turkish soldiers were posted. These troops
opened a sharp but ill-directed fire of musketry on the deck of the
Themistocles; and on this occasion the total want of order, and the
disrespect habitually shown to the officers, had very nearly caused
the loss of the vessel. The whole crew sought shelter from the Turkish
fire under the bulwarks, and no one could be induced to obey the
orders which every one issued. A single man would spring forward for a
few seconds, at intervals, to execute the most necessary manoeuvre.
Hastings was the only person on deck who remained silently watching
the ship slowly drifting towards the rocks. He was fortunately the
first to perceive the change in the direction of a light breeze which
sprang up, and by immediately springing forward on the bowsprit, he
succeeded in getting the ship's head round. Her sails soon filled, and
she moved out of her awkward position. As upwards of two hundred and
fifty Turks were assembled on the rocks above, and fresh men were
arriving every moment, there can be no doubt that in a short time the
enemy would have brought a piece of artillery to bear on the
Themistocles from a position inaccessible to her fire; so that, even
if she had escaped going on shore on the rocks, her destruction seemed
inevitable, had she remained an hour within gun-shot of the cliff.
Thus, the finest vessel in the Greek fleet was in imminent danger of
being lost, through the carelessness and obstinacy of the captain,
who, though repeatedly entreated by Hastings to have a small anchor
constantly in readiness, could never be induced to take this necessary

On this occasion, however, both the captain and the crew of the
Themistocles did Hastings ample justice. Though they had refused to
avail themselves of his skill, and neglected his advice, they now
showed no jealousy in acknowledging his gallant conduct, and he became
a permanent favourite with the crew ever after this exploit. Though he
treated all with great reserve and coldness, as a means of insuring
respect, there was not a man on board that was not always ready to do
him any service. Indeed the candid and hearty way in which they
acknowledged the courage of Hastings, and blamed their own conduct in
allowing a stranger to expose his life in so dangerous a manner to
save them, afforded unquestionable proof that so much real generosity
was inseparable from courage, and that, with proper discipline and
good officers, the sailors of the Greek fleet would have had few

When the naval campaign was concluded, Hastings joined the troops
engaged in the siege of Nauplia. That force was exposed to the
greatest danger by the irruption of a large Turkish army into the
Morea, commanded by Dramali Pasha. While engaged in defending the
little fort of Bourdzi in the port of Nauplia, and under the guns of
that fortress, he became intimately acquainted with Mr Hane, a young
artillery officer, who subsequently served under his orders with great
distinction. At this time Hastings raised a company of fifty men, whom
he armed and equipped at his own expense. But as his actions on shore
are not immediately connected with the great results of his services
to Greece, we shall confine this sketch exclusively to the share he
took in the naval warfare. He served the campaign of 1823 in Crete, as
commander of the artillery; but a violent fever compelling him to quit
that island in autumn, he found, on his return to Hydra, that Lord
Byron had arrived at Cephalonia.

It was of great importance to the Greek cause that the services of
Lord Byron should be usefully directed, and it was equally necessary
that the funds collected by the Greek committee in London should be
expended in the way most likely to be of permanent advantage to
Greece. The moment appeared suitable for one who, like Hastings, had
acquired some experience by active service, both with the fleet and
army, to offer his advice. He accordingly drew up a project for the
construction and armament of a steam-vessel, which he recommended as
the most effectual mode of advancing the Greek cause, by giving the
fleet a decided superiority over the Turks at sea. It appeared to
Hastings that it was only by the introduction of a well-disciplined
naval force, directly dependent on the central government, that order
could be introduced into the administration, as well as a superiority
secured over the enemy. It is not necessary to enter into all the
professional details of this memoir, as we shall have occasion to
state the manner in which Hastings carried his views into execution a
few years later. Its conclusion was to recommend Lord Byron to direct
his attention to the purchase or construction of a steam-vessel, armed
with heavy guns, and fitted up for the use of hot shot and shells as
its ordinary projectiles.

Neither Lord Byron nor Colonel Stanhope, the agent of the Greek
committee, seem to have appreciated the military science of Hastings,
and the plan met with little support from either.

The Greek government shortly after this obtained its first loan in
England; and, during the summer of 1824, Hastings endeavoured to
impress its members with the necessity of rendering the national cause
not entirely dependent on the disorderly and tumultuous merchant
marine, which it was compelled to hire at an exorbitant price. It is
needless to record all the difficulties and opposition he met with
from a government consisting in part of shipowners, eager to obtain a
share of the loan as hire for their ships. These ships were in some
danger of rotting in harbour, in case a national navy should be
formed. The loan, however, appeared inexhaustible; and in the autumn
of 1824, Hastings returned to England, with a promise that the Greek
government would lose no time in instructing their deputies in London
to procure a steam-vessel to be armed under his inspection, and of
which he was promised the command. This promise was soon forgotten; a
number of favourable accidents deluded the members of the Greek
government into the belief that their deliverance from the Turkish
yoke was already achieved, and they began to neglect the dictates of
common prudence. The Greek committee in London emulated the example of
the Greek government at Nauplia; and in place of acting according to
the suggestions of common sense and common honesty, that body engaged
in a number of tortuous transactions, ending in the concoction of a
dish called "the Greek pie." Ibrahim Pasha awakened the heroes at
Nauplia from their dreams, and Cobbett disturbed the reveries of the
sages in London.

The success which attended Ibrahim Pasha on his landing in the
Peloponnesus in 1825, and the improvement displayed by the Turks in
their naval operations, seriously alarmed the Greeks. The advice of
Hastings occurred to their remembrance; but, even then, it required
the active exertions of two judicious friends of Greece in London to
induce the Greek deputies to take the necessary measures for fitting
out a steamer. Hastings, in a letter addressed to the Greeks, which he
wrote on his return to Greece, declared distinctly that the gratitude
of the Greek nation was due to the Right Honourable Edward Ellice and
to Sir John Hobhouse, and not to the Greek deputies in London, if the
steam-vessel he commanded proved of any service to the cause.

Greece was then in a desperate condition. Navarin was taken by Ibrahim
Pasha, the Romeliat army was completely defeated, and the Egyptians
encamped in the centre of the Peloponnesus, after routing every body
of troops which attempted to arrest their progress. The Turkish and
Egyptian fleets kept the sea in spite of the gallant attacks of
Miaoulis; and the partial successes of the Greeks were more honourable
to their courage than injurious to the real strength of their enemies.
In the mean time, the Greek government had lost all power of
commanding either respect or obedience at home, in consequence of the
civil wars which prevailed previously to the arrival of the Egyptians,
and the intrigues of Maurocordatos and Kolettis to obtain the sole
direction of affairs.

At this conjuncture, Lord Cochrane's name excited universal attention
in England, and he was engaged by the Greek deputies, and some friends
of the cause, to enter the Greek service. He received for his services
£37,000 sterling, in cash; and an additional sum of £20,000 was paid
into the hands of Sir Francis Burdett, to be given to Lord Cochrane
whenever the independence of Greece should be secured.

This transaction happened in the month of August 1825; but in the
month of March, a steam-vessel, called the Perseverance, of about four
hundred tons, had already been ordered; and Hastings had been named to
command her, and received authority to arm her with sixty-eight
pounders, according to the plan he had submitted to the Greek
government. When Lord Cochrane was appointed commander-in-chief of the
Greek fleet, five more steam-vessels were ordered to be built; but it
may be observed, that only two of these ever reached Greece. The
equipment of the Perseverance was then kept back, in order that the
whole squadron might sail together under the auspices of Lord
Cochrane. The news of the taking of Missolonghi by the Turks at last
threw the friends of Greece into such a state of alarm, and the outcry
against the dilatory manner in which the steam-boat expedition in the
Thames was fitting out, became so violent over all Europe, that the
Perseverance was hastily completed, and allowed to sail alone.

After a series of difficulties and disappointments, which it required
all the extraordinary perseverance and energy of Hastings to overcome,
he was hurried away from Deptford on the twenty-sixth of May 1826,
though the engine of the Perseverance was evidently in a very
defective state. The boiler burst in the Mediterranean; and the ship
was detained at Cagliari, reconstructing a boiler, until the
twenty-eighth of August. She arrived in Greece too late to be of any
use in the naval campaign of that year. The winter was spent in aiding
the operations of the army, which was endeavouring to raise the siege
of Athens.

The Karteria, which was the name of the Perseverance in the Greek
navy, was armed on the principle which Hastings had laid down as
necessary to place the Greeks with small vessels on some degree of
equality with the line-of-battle ships and large frigates of the
Turks: namely, that of using projectiles more destructive than the
shot of the enemy. These projectiles were hot shot and shells, instead
of the cold round-shot of the Turks. We have already mentioned that
the Karteria was armed with sixty-eight pounders. Of these she mounted
eight; four were carronades of the government pattern, and four were
guns of a new form, cast after a model prepared by Hastings himself.
These guns were seven feet four inches long in the bore, and weighed
fifty-eight hundred-weight. They had the form of carronades in every
thing but the addition of trunnions to mount them like long guns;
these trunnions, however, were, contrary to the usual practice, placed
so that their centre intersected a line through the centre of the bore
of the gun. They were mounted on ten-inch howitzer carriages, which
answered the purpose admirably. The shells used were generally
strapped to wooden bottoms; but they were more than once employed
without any precaution, except that of putting them in the gun with
the fusees towards the muzzle. The hot shot were heated in the engine
fires, and were brought on deck by two men in a machine resembling a
double coal-box, which was easily tilted up at the muzzle of the gun
to be loaded.

Hastings fired about eighteen thousand shells from the Karteria in the
years 1826 and 1827, with a miscellaneous crew composed of Englishmen,
Swedes, and Greeks, and never had a single accident from explosion. As
a very small number of hot shot can be heated at once, and as an iron
ball of eight inches diameter loses its spherical form if kept for any
length of time red hot, this projectile could only be used in
particular circumstances. It happened more than once on board the
Karteria, that shot which had remained for some time in the engine
fires, had so lost their form as not to enter the muzzle of the guns.
With regard to the great danger which is supposed to attend the use of
hot shot on board ships, Hastings thus states his opinion in a "Memoir
on the use of Shells, Hot Shot, and Carcass Shells, from ship
artillery:"[11] "I have continually used hot shot with perfect safety;
my people having become so familiar with them, that they employ them
with as little apprehension as if using cold shot."

We shall now give a regular account of the career of active service in
which Hastings was engaged, as captain of the Greek steam-frigate
Karteria, extracted in part from his own official reports and private
letters, and drawn in part from the testimony of eyewitnesses of all
his actions.

In February 1827, Captain Hastings was ordered by the Greek government
to co-operate with the troops under General Gordon, destined to
relieve Athens. Captain Hastings, sailing from Egina, passed round the
island of Salamis, and entering the western strait between it and
Megara, arrived, unobserved by the Turks, in the bay where the battle
of Salamis was fought--now called the port of Ambelaki. This was the
first time the passage had ever been attempted by a modern man-of-war.
During the presidency of Count Capo-d'Istrias, Sir Edmund Lyons
carried H.M.S. Blonde through the same passage.

The troops under General Gordon were landed in the night, and they
occupied and fortified the hill of Munychia without any loss of time.
It was then resolved to drive the Turks from a monastery at the
Piræus, in which they kept a garrison to command the port. The troops
were ordered to attack the building on the land side, and Hastings
entered the Piræus to bombard it from the sea. A practicable breach
was soon made; but the Greek troops, though supported by the fire of a
couple of field-pieces, were completely defeated in their feeble
attempts to storm this monastery. The Turks, on the other hand,
displayed the greatest activity; and the Seraskier Kutayhi Pasha, who
commanded the army besieging Athens, soon arrived with a powerful
escort of cavalry, and bringing with him two long five-inch howitzers
with shells, boasting that with these he would sink the Karteria. As
the object of the Greek attack had completely failed, and the troops
had retired, the Karteria quitted the port just as the Turks opened
their fire on her.

A few days after this, the Turks, having defeated a division of the
Greek army destined to make a diversion from the plain of Eleusis,
attempted to carry the camp of General Gordon by storm. Captain
Hastings now entered the Piræus again, even at the risk of exposing
the Karteria to the Turkish shells; as he saw that by his powerful
fire of grape he could prevent the Turks from forming in any force to
attack the most vulnerable part of the camp. The fire of the Karteria
soon produced its effect; but it drew all the attention of the Pasha
to the vessel, as he perceived it was vain to persist in attacking the
troops until he compelled the steamer to quit the Piræus. Five guns
directed their fire against her, and though three were either
dismounted by her fire, or rendered useless by their carriages
breaking, still two elongated five-inch howitzers being placed between
the monastery and an adjoining tower, which covered them from the fire
of the Karteria, contrived to keep up a well-supported fire. The
effect produced by the shells from the Turkish guns was soon
considerable, though several of those which struck the Karteria did
not explode. One, however, fixed in the carriage of a long sixty-eight
pounder, and exploded there, though fortunately without injuring
either Captain Hane, the artillery-officer engaged in pointing the
gun, or any of the men who were working it. Another exploded in the
Karteria's counter, and tore out the planking of two streaks for a
length of six feet, and started out the planking from the two adjacent
streaks. As this shell struck the vessel on the water's edge, a ship
built in the ordinary manner would have been sunk by this explosion of
about nine ounces of powder; but the Karteria was in no danger, as she
was built with her timbers close and caulked together. She was also
constructed with two solid bulkheads enclosing the engine-room,
caulked and lined, so as to be water-tight; consequently, any one of
her compartments might have filled with water from a shot-hole without
her sinking. The attack of the Turks on the Greek camp having been
repulsed, nothing remained for Hastings but to retreat from his
dangerous position in the Piræus as speedily as possible. This,
however, he did not effect without loss; all his boats were shot
through, and he had to encounter a severe fire of musketry from the
Turks stationed on each side, as he moved through the pillars at the
entrance of the port.

In the month of March an expedition was planned by General Heideck,
who was afterwards one of the members of the unhappy regency which
misgoverned Greece during the minority of King Otho. The object of
this expedition was to destroy the magazines of provisions and stores
which the Turks possessed at Oropos, and, by occupying their lines of
communication with Negropont, to compel them to raise the siege of
Athens. This was the only feasible method by which the Greeks could
ever have hoped to defeat the Turks; but when the execution of it was
proposed, it always met with some opposition. When it was at last
undertaken by a foreigner, the operation was conducted in so weak and
desultory a manner, as to end in complete disgrace.

The naval force which accompanied General Heideck was unusually
powerful, as he was then the acknowledged agent of the King of
Bavaria. It consisted of the frigate Hellas of sixty-four guns, with
the flag of Admiral Miaoulis, the Karteria, and some smaller vessels
as transports. The Greek vessels arrived before Oropos in the
afternoon, and as the Hellas was compelled to anchor about a mile from
the Turkish camp, Captain Hastings immediately steamed into the port.
He captured two transports laden with grain and flour, which had just
arrived from Negropont; and having anchored within two hundred yards
of the Turkish batteries, he opened on them a fire, which in a short
time dismounted every gun which they could bring to bear on his ship.
A carcass-shell lodging in the fascines of which the principal battery
was constructed, soon enveloped the whole in flames--the
powder-magazine exploded, and the carriages of the guns were rendered

At this moment the Greek troops, of whom one hundred and fifty were on
board the Karteria, loudly demanded to be led to attack the camp; and
an officer from General Heideck, who had remained on board the Hellas,
was expected every moment to place himself at their head. No orders,
however, arrived. Hastings remained all night in the port, and it was
not until dawn next morning that the troops were landed. The Turks, in
the mean time, had been more active; they had also received
considerable reinforcements; the day was consumed without General
Heideck going on shore, and a large body of Turkish cavalry making its
appearance in the afternoon, he issued orders to re-embark the troops,
and sailed back to Egina.

The public attention was suddenly diverted from this disgraceful
exhibition of European military science by the arrival of Lord
Cochrane in Greece. He came, however, in an English yacht, which had
been purchased to expedite his departure, but unaccompanied by a
single one of the five steamers which were still unfinished in the
Thames. His lordship was soon after appointed lord high admiral of
Greece; General Church was at the same time named generalissimo of the
land forces; and both officers directed all their attention to raising
the siege of Athens, which Kutayhi continued to attack with the
greatest constancy.

Captain Hastings was now detached for the first time with an
independent naval command. The Turks drew their supplies for carrying
on the siege of Athens from a great distance in their rear, as all the
provinces of Greece were in a state of desolation. This circumstance
exposed their lines of communication, both by land and sea, to be
attacked by the Greeks in many different points. Volo was one of the
principal depots at which the supplies transmitted from Thessalonica
and Constantinople were secured; and from this station they were
forwarded by the channel of Euboea to the fortress of Negropont, and
thence to Oropos. From Oropos these supplies were transported on
horses and mules to the camp of the Pasha at Patissia, near Athens.
Captain Hastings was now charged with the duty of cutting off the
communications of the Turks between Volo and Oropos, and instructed to
use every exertion to capture their transports and destroy their
magazines. For this purpose he sailed from Poros with a small
squadron, consisting of the Karteria and four hired vessels--the
corvette Themistocles, belonging to the Tombazis; the Ares, belonging
to the Admiral Miaoulis; and two small schooners.

On the afternoon of a beautiful clear day, the little fleet entered
the bay of Volo, in which eight Turkish transports were seen at
anchor. It was some time before the enemy was persuaded that the
Greek vessels were bearing down to attack them, for they considered
the anchorage perfectly defended by two batteries which they had
erected on the cape, enclosing the harbour, opposite the castle of
Volo. The castle itself is a square fort in a dilapidated condition,
with only a few guns mounted.

At half-past four o'clock, the Themistocles and Ares received orders
to anchor before the batteries, just out of the reach of musketry, and
not to waste a single shot before they had taken up their positions.
They were then directed to open a heavy fire of grape and round shot
on the enemy. While they were executing these orders, Hastings entered
the port, and opened his fire of shells on the intrenchments of the
Turks, and of grape on the transports, which were filled with men to
prevent their capture. The heavy fire of the Karteria, which poured on
the enemy three hundred two-ounce balls from each of its guns, soon
threw the Turks into confusion; and the boats were manned, and sent to
board the transports. Five vessels being heavily laden, though they
had been run aground, were not close to the shore, and these were soon
captured; but two brigs being empty, were placed close under the fire
of the troops in the intrenchments. Though they were attacked by all
the boats of the squadron, they were not taken until after an
obstinate resistance. The English boatswain of the Karteria, who was
the first to mount the side of one, was wounded; but he succeeded in
gaining the deck, and hauling down the Turkish flag. A Turk, however,
who had no idea of surrendering to an infidel, rushed at him, and
fired a pistol at his head. The ball, fortunately, only grazed his
forehead. The Turk then leaped overboard, and endeavoured to swim on
shore; but one of the English sailors, considering his conduct so
unfair as to merit death, jumped into the sea after him, and, having
overtaken him, deliberately cut his throat with a clasp-knife, as he
had no other weapon, and then returned on board. The Greek Revolution
too often gave occasions for displaying

    "The instinct of the first-born Cain,
    Which ever lurks somewhere in human hearts."

It was found impossible to get the two brigs afloat; and, as their
sails had been landed, it would have been impossible to navigate them.
They were therefore burnt; and another smaller vessel, which was so
placed that Hastings would not expose his men by attempting to take
possession of her, was destroyed by shells. A shell, exploding in her
hull, blew her fore-mast into the water. For four hours the Karteria
remained in the harbour of Volo. The corvette and brig had so
completely silenced the fire of the batteries, that they appeared to
be abandoned; while the guns of the castle only kept up an irregular
and ill-directed fire on the Karteria. The magazines were all in
flames from the effect of the red-hot shot fired into them; and, as
night approached, the Karteria made the signal for all the vessels to
make sail out of the harbour with a light breeze from the land. The
spectacle offered by the bay as it grew dark was peculiarly grand. On
the sombre outline of the hills round the gulf, innumerable fires were
seen; and a continued discharge of musketry was heard proclaiming the
arrival of each little band of troops which reached the camp at Volo.
The lurid light thrown out by the flames from the burning magazines,
and the reflection of the blazing transports, which were quickly
consumed to the water's edge, enabled the steamer, in departing, to
destroy the carriages of two guns which the Turks were endeavouring to
get ready to salute the departing squadron.

Hastings had expected to find at Volo a large Turkish man-of-war,
mounting sixteen heavy guns, and two mortars which had been
constructed for the siege of Missolonghi, but which had not even got
so far as Volo until after the fall of that place. This vessel was now
waiting until the Turks should require her to bombard some seaport in
the possession of the Greeks. A Greek fishing-boat came alongside to
inform Hastings that the Pasha had ordered this vessel to Tricheri for
greater security, where she was moored, with three schooners taken
from the Greeks at Psara, in a small bay protected by a battery of
twelve guns. In this position, she was considered perfectly safe from
the attacks of the whole Greek fleet, aided by the fire-frigate
herself, as the Turks called the Karteria. Hastings proceeded
immediately to Tricheri, hoping to surprise the enemy by an attack
during the night; but he found the Turks on the alert, and their
well-directed fire of musketry rendered it impossible to continue the
attack with the smallest chance of success.

At daylight next morning, Hastings examined the position of the enemy
with care, but he saw there was no hope of capturing the bomb-ketch or
any of the schooners; he therefore determined to confine his
operations to destroying them. After getting up the steam and heating
a few shot, he stood in to about three-quarters of a mile of the
Turkish ship, and going slowly round in a large circle, he brought his
long guns to bear successively, and fired them with the greatest
deliberation. He then moved out of gun-shot of the Turkish battery to
observe the effect of his fire. In about half an hour, a quantity of
smoke was observed to issue from the large Turkish vessel, which the
enemy appeared at first to disregard; but, in a short time, they
seemed to discover that their ship was on fire, for they were seen
hurrying down and rushing on board in great numbers. The carronades
were now reloaded with shells, and the long guns with large grape, and
the Karteria stood in to prevent the enemy from continuing his
endeavours to extinguish the fire. The attention of the Turks was thus
distracted; the flames soon burst through the decks of the ship, and,
catching the rigging, rendered all approach to her impossible. In a
short time she was a mass of flame; and her guns to the land-side,
having been loaded, went off, discharging their shot into the battery
formed for her protection. As her upper works burned away, she drifted
from her station; but getting again on shore against the rocks, her
magazine exploded, and the remains of her hull, with all her guns,
sank in deep water. The three schooners also received several shells,
and were so injured, as to be rendered unable to put to sea without
undergoing great repairs.

The loss of the Greek squadron in this expedition was very small; only
three men were killed and two wounded. But one of the killed was James
Hall, an Englishman on board the Karteria--an old sailor of a most
excellent character, and possessed of considerable knowledge in every
branch of his profession. He was killed by a twelve-pound shot from
the battery at Tricheri. This shot, after breaking the claw of an
anchor, rebounded, and, in falling, struck Hall in the pit of the
stomach, and rolled on the deck, as if it had hardly touched his
clothes. He fell instantly, and was taken up quite dead--the usual
tranquil smile his features bore still lingering on his lips. Hall was
not only a most excellent sailor, but, a truly honest man, and he was
long remembered and deeply regretted by all on board the Karteria. His
remains were committed to the deep, Captain Hastings reading the
funeral service; for the English insisted that he would have preferred
a sailor's funeral to being interred on shore in a Greek churchyard.

James Hall was the only human spirit among the rude crew of the
Karteria, and after his death most of the English sailors displayed
the feelings of savages. One old man-of-war's man, who had served in
many a well-fought action, declared that he would kill every Turkish
prisoner taken in the prizes at Volo; and he attempted one night to
break into the cabin abaft the larboard paddle-box, in which some of
these Turks were confined. Armed with a large knife, he proclaimed
that he was determined to kill the prisoners, and he called on the
other sailors to assist him. He argued, that the war with the Turks
was an irregular warfare; and as the Turks killed their prisoners, on
the ground that they were either rebels or outlaws, it was the duty of
the Greeks to kill every Turk who fell into their power. When brought
before Captain Hastings, he persisted in his determination; and though
he was perfectly sober, he at last declared that he would quit the
service, unless the English were allowed in future to kill the
prisoners. Hastings tried to reason with him, but in vain. It was
necessary to put him under arrest, and when the Kateria returned to
Poros, he demanded his discharge, and quitted Greece.

The Karteria suffered very severely in her hull and rigging, from the
fire of the castle at Volo, and the battery at Tricheri. She lost her
jib-boom, main-topmast, gaff, and larboard cat-head, and received much
other damage; so that it was necessary to proceed to Poros to give her
a thorough repair. On her way, she was fortunate enough to capture
four vessels laden with stores and provisions for the Turks of

At Poros, Hastings found the affairs of the navy very little improved
by Lord Cochrane's presence in Greece; and we think that we cannot
convey a better idea of their state, than is contained in a letter
which he addressed to his lordship on the 30th of April 1827. "It is
with deep regret I see the extreme discontent on board the Sauveur
brig, which seems to me to be greatly increased by, if not entirely
owing to, the Greeks being paid in advance, and the English being in
arrears of wages. In this country, I must repeat, my lord, nothing can
be done without regular payments. By paying out of my own funds when
others could not be obtained, I have established the confidence both
of Greeks and English in this vessel, as far as money is concerned;
but I cannot continue to pay out of my own pocket. If funds are not
forthcoming, I beg leave to resign. Whilst I am on board, the people
will always consider me personally responsible for their wages; and I
must again remark, I have suffered already much too severely in my
private fortune in this service to admit of my making further
sacrifices. Besides wages for the crew, I have various expenses to
repair damages sustained in the late actions at Volo and Tricheri."
Captain Hastings was, however, at this time, easily induced to
continue his services on board the Karteria, as the defeat of the
Greek army before Athens on the 6th of May, and the departure of
General Gordon, Count Porro, and several other Philhellenes, who
considered the cause utterly hopeless, rendered the moment unsuitable
for his resignation.

The Karteria was again fitted for sea with the greatest expedition,
and joined Lord Cochrane, when he made an unsuccessful attempt to
surprise and capture Ibrahim Pasha at Clarenza. Hastings was separated
from the Hellas by bad weather, and in returning to the rendezvous at
Spetzia, he lost two of his masts and two men, in a hurricane off Cape
Malea. Shortly after his return to Poros, where he was again compelled
to refit, he received the following laconic communication from Lord
Cochrane, in which all mention of a rendezvous was omitted.

     "_Memo._--If the Perseverance is fit for service, please join the
     squadron without delay.

        "_Hellas, 7th June 1827._
        "Captain Hastings, _Perseverance_."

In consequence of this order, Captain Hastings set out in search of
Lord Cochrane. A series of fruitless cruises followed, in which every
division of the Turkish fleet contrived to escape the Greeks. At last,
it was resolved that an attack should be made on Vasiladhi, the little
fort which commands the entrance into the lagoons of Missolonghi; and
the whole fleet, under the command of Lord Cochrane in person,
appeared off that place. The attempt was only persisted in for a short
time, and it failed.

The treaty of the 6th of July 1827, for the pacification of the
affairs of Greece, between Great Britain, France, and Russia, now
became known to the Greeks; and the news stimulated both them and
their friends to make increased exertions, in order that the Allies
might find as much of the country as possible already delivered from
the Turkish yoke. A small squadron of ten Turkish brigs having entered
the Gulf of Lepanto, Lord Cochrane gave Hastings an order to pursue
them, conceived in the following flattering terms:--

    _Off Missolonghi, 18th Sept. 1827._

     "You have been good enough to volunteer to proceed into the Gulf
     of Lepanto, into which, under existing circumstances, I should
     not have ordered the Perseverance (Karteria.) I therefore leave
     all the proceedings to your judgment, intimating only, that the
     transporting of General Church's troops to the north of the gulf,
     and the destruction or capture of the enemy's vessels, will be
     services of high importance to the cause of Greece."

Captain Hastings immediately entered the gulf, passing through the
formidable strait between the castles of the Morea and Roumelia,
called the Dardanelles of Lepanto, during the night. On the 29th of
September, having collected his little squadron, consisting of the
Karteria, the brig Sauveur of eighteen guns, commanded by Captain
Thomas, and two gun-boats, each mounting a long thirty-two pounder;
Hastings stood into the bay of Salona (Amphissa) to attack a Turkish
squadron, consisting of nine vessels, anchored under the protection of
batteries, and a large body of troops placed at the Scala of Salona.
Three Austrian merchantmen in the port were also filled with armed
men, in spite of the remonstrances of their masters, and assisted in
defending the squadron at anchor.

About ten o'clock A.M., the Karteria, followed by the Sauveur and the
two gun-boats, stood into the bay to attack this formidable position.
The Turks were so confident of victory, that they were eager to see
the Greek ships anchor as near them as possible. They therefore
withheld their fire until Captain Hastings made the signal for
anchoring. The Karteria proceeded much nearer the shore than the
sailing vessels, and having anchored within five hundred yards,
opposite the vessel which bore the flag of the Turkish commodore, she
opened her fire. The Turks then commenced a furious cannonade from
upwards of sixty pieces of artillery; but they had hardly time to
reload the greater part of the guns on board their ships. Captain
Hastings, before going into action, had heated several shells,
thinking that sixty-eight pound shot might pass through both sides of
the vessels he was about to engage so near, as they were principally
constructed of fir. After firing one broadside of cold shot to make
sure of the range, his second consisted of two hot shells from the
long guns, and two carcass-shells from the carronades. One of these
lodged in the hull of the Turkish commodore, and, reaching the
powder-magazine, the action commenced by blowing up his ship.[12] A
carcass-shell exploding in the bows of the brig anchored next to the
commodore, she sank forward, while a hot shell striking her stern,
which stood up in the shallow water, it was soon enveloped in flames.
In a few minutes, another vessel was perceived to be on fire; and a
fine Algerine schooner, mounting twenty long brass guns, having
received a shell which exploded between her decks, was abandoned by
her crew.

The battle of Salona afforded the most satisfactory proofs of the
efficiency of the armament of steam-boats, with heavy guns, which
Captain Hastings had so long and so warmly advocated. The terrific and
rapid manner in which a force so greatly superior to his own was
utterly annihilated by the hot shot and shells of the Karteria,
silenced the opponents of Captain Hastings' plan throughout all
Europe. From that day it became evident to all who studied the
progress of naval warfare, that every nation in Europe must adopt his
principles of marine artillery, and arm some vessels in their fleets
on the model he had given them. In Greece the question of continuing
to hire merchant ships to form a fleet was put to rest; and the
necessity of commencing the formation of a national navy was now
admitted by Hydriotes, Spetziotes, and Psariotes.

The services of the other vessels in the Greek squadron at Salona,
though eclipsed by the superior armament of the Karteria ought not to
be overlooked. Captain Thomas, who commanded the Sauveur, displayed
all the courage, activity, and skill of an experienced English
officer; he silenced the two batteries, on which the Turks had placed
great dependence, as alone sufficient to prevent the Greeks from
entering the port; and by a well-directed fire of grape, he compelled
the troops which lined the shore to get under the cover of the
irregular ground in the neighbourhood. Hastings then made the signal
for all the boats of the squadron to take possession of the Algerine
schooner and the two other brigs which were not on fire.

A severe contest took place in order to gain possession of the
schooner; for the fire of the Greek ships being suspended as the boats
approached her, the Turkish troops sprang from their hiding-places,
and rushed to the edge of the rocks, which commanded a view of her
deck. From this position they opened a heavy fire of musketry on those
who had mounted her sides. The fire of the gun-boats again cleared the
beach; but the Turks contrived to keep up a severe fire at intervals,
and Mr Scanlan, the first lieutenant of the Sauveur, was killed, and
several others wounded, in attempting to get her under weigh. Captain
Hastings steamed up to the schooner at last, and having got her
stream-cable made fast, attempted to move her; but the cable broke,
and it became evident that the falling tide in the bay had fixed her
firmly on the ground. With incredible exertions her long brass guns
were all saved, and she was then set on fire. Mr Phalangas, a Greek
officer, the first lieutenant of the Karteria, was also wounded in
setting fire to a brig anchored at some distance from the rest. The
boats then concluded the day by driving the Turks from the Austrian
merchantmen, and bringing out these vessels as prizes.

In this engagement nine Turkish vessels were destroyed, though
defended by batteries on shore and upwards of 500 veteran troops; yet
it cost the assailants only six men killed and a few wounded. In the
despatch of Captain Hastings, announcing the victory, he pays a high
tribute to the merits of Captain Hane, who had served with him at the
siege of Nauplia in 1822, and in Crete during the campaign of 1823.
"The services of Captain Hane of the artillery, serving on board this
vessel, are too well known on every former occasion to make it
necessary for me to say more than that I am equally indebted to him
now as on other occasions."

Ibrahim Pasha was at Navarin with an immense fleet, when he heard of
the destruction of his ships in the bay of Salona. Sir Edward
Codrington and Admiral de Rigny had, on the 25th of September, entered
into convention with him to suspend all hostilities against the Greeks
until he should receive answers from Constantinople and Alexandria to
the communications made on the part of the three allied powers; but
neither Hastings nor the Turkish commodore in the Gulf of Lepanto were
aware of this circumstance. The rage of Ibrahim when he heard of the
result of the affair at Salona knew no bounds, and he determined to
inflict the severest vengeance on Hastings, whose little squadron he
thought he could easily annihilate.

Sir Edward Codrington, after arranging the terms of the convention,
had repaired to Zante to wait the arrival of several vessels he
expected, and Admiral de Rigny had left Navarin to collect the French
force in the Archipelago. Ibrahim, seeing that there were no ships of
the allies at Navarin capable of stopping his fleet, ordered
twenty-six men-of-war to put to sea on the 30th of September. He
embarked himself with this division of his fleet, determined to
witness the destruction of the Greek squadron. A violent gale,
however, compelled him to put back on the 3d of October; but a part of
his fleet, under the command of the Patrona Bey, persisting in its
endeavours to enter the Gulf of Lepanto, was pursued by Admiral
Codrington, who forced it to return to Navarin, but not until he had
found himself obliged to fire into several of the Ottoman ships. As
the English admiral had at the time a very small force at Zante, many
of the Turkish ships might, in spite of all his exertions, have
escaped into the gulf, unless he had been aided in arresting their
progress by a succession of gales which blew on the 4th, 5th, and 6th
of October. These gales assisted Sir Edward Codrington in compelling
the whole of the dispersed fleet of the Patrona Bey to seek refuge in
the port of Navarin.

In the mean time the position of Captain Hastings was one of extreme
danger, and Lord Cochrane, who addressed his last official
communication to him on the 12th of October, conveys his parting words
of praise and confidence in the following terms:--"You have done so
much good, and so much is anticipated from your keeping open the
communications between the shores of the gulf, that I think you would
do well to remain for a while where you are. You occupy, however, a
position of risk, if the reports are true regarding the fleet being
off Patras; and therefore I leave you to act in all things as you
judge best for the public service." Hastings, as soon as he was
informed of Ibrahim Pasha's intention to attack him, and before he had
received the news of his deliverance by the movement of Sir Edward
Codrington's squadron, had selected the spot in which he hoped to be
able to defy the attacks of the whole fleet sent against him. He chose
a small bay at the eastern extremity of the Gulf of Corinth, formed in
the rocky precipices of Mount Geranion, and open to the Alcyonian sea.
This little bay or port is called Stravá. Its entrance is protected by
two rocky islands, and it is bounded on the continent by a succession
of precipices covered by pine woods, which render the debarkation of a
large force in the neighbourhood very difficult. Hastings proposed to
defend this position by landing four of his guns on the mainland and
the islands; and he made every preparation for receiving the Egyptians
with a well-sustained fire of hot shot, while a number of Greek troops
were assembled to man the rocks around.

There can be no doubt that Ibrahim Pasha committed a blunder in
violating the convention into which he had just entered, and his
attempt at taking vengeance into his own hands, instead of appealing
to the three allied powers, created great distrust on the part of the
admirals. They naturally enough conceived that he would always hold
himself ready to take every advantage of their absence, and their only
method of effectually watching the immense fleet assembled at Navarin
was by bringing their own squadrons to an anchor in that immense
harbour. The battle of Navarin, on the 20th of October, was the
natural consequence of the distrust on the one side, and the eager
desire of revenge on the other, which rendered the proximity of the
different fleets necessary. The affair of Captain Hastings at Salona,
as one of the proximate causes of this great naval engagement,
acquires an historical importance far exceeding its mere military
results. In the eyes of the Greeks and Turks it very justly occupies a
prominent place in the history of the Greek war, as it is by them
always viewed as the link which connects their military operations
with the celebrated battle of Navarin.

The destruction of the Turkish and Egyptian fleets delivered Greece
from imminent peril; but in the exultation created by the assurance
that their independence was firmly established, the Greek government
began to forget the services which the Karteria had rendered in the
days of their despair. No supplies of any kind were forwarded to
Captain Hastings, who remained in the gulf; both Lord Cochrane and the
government allowed him to remain without provisions, and his crew
would have in great part quitted him, unless he had paid the men their
wages from his own fortune. On the 17th of November he wrote to Lord
Cochrane, urging the necessity of sending him some assistance. This
letter, which remained unanswered, contains the following
passages:--"I am now seven thousand pounds out of pocket by my
services in Greece, and I am daily expending my own money for the
public service. Our prizes are serving as transports for the army, and
we must either shortly abandon this position or be paid. Without money
I cannot any longer maintain this vessel. I will do all I can; but I
must repeat, that it is not quite fair I should end a beggar, after
all the labour, vexation, and disappointment I have experienced for so
many years."

The only body of troops available for any national purpose, which had
been kept together after the loss of Athens, with the exception of the
corps of regular troops under General Fabvier, was that assembled by
General Church on the southern shores of the Gulf of Lepanto. As soon
as the battle of Navarin had paralysed the movements of the Turks,
General Church determined to transport his troops from the Morea into
Acarnania, where the Greek captains, who had submitted to the Turks,
offered again to take up arms, if an adequate force appeared in the
province to support them. The principal object which detained the
Karteria in the gulf had been to assist the movements of General
Church, who now resolved to cross over to Acarnania from Cape Papas.
On the evening of the 17th of November, Captain Hastings received a
communication from General Church, requesting him to appear off Cape
Papas next day.

In order to arrive at the rendezvous in time, Hastings was compelled
to quit the gulf in the daytime, and consequently to expose his own
ship and the three prizes to the fire of the castles of the Morea and
Romelia--an act of rashness of which he would not willingly have been
guilty. The castle of the Morea mounted about sixty guns, and that of
Romelia twenty-seven; those commanding the straights were of large
calibre. As their fire crossed, the passage of the Dardanelles of
Lepanto was always considered a dangerous enterprise; and certainly,
if the batteries had been served by good artillerymen, no ship could
have ventured under their fire without being destroyed. Even with the
gunners of Ibrahim Pasha's army, the passage was attended with
considerable risk.

The little squadron of Captain Hastings approached the castles about
noon on a beautiful day. The Karteria, leading with a favourable wind,
and spreading an immense extent of canvass from her four low masts,
glided along with the aid of her steam at an amazing rate. Her three
prizes, followed with every sail set, and two Greek misticos availed
themselves of the opportunity of quitting the gulf in order to cruise
as privateers between Patras and Missolonghi. The moment the Karteria
came within gun-shot of the Turkish castles, they opened their fire;
and for some time the balls fell thick around her--those of both
castles passing over her hull, and falling beyond their mark. Several
shot, however, struck her sails, and the slow and regular manner in
which each gun was discharged as it came to bear, indicated that the
passage was not likely to be effected without some loss. Fortunately
very few shot struck the hull of the Karteria, yet the damage she
received was not inconsiderable. The funnel was shot through, a patent
windlass was broken to pieces, and the fragments of the iron wheels
scattered about the decks like a shower of grape. Several paddles were
wrenched off the starboard paddle-wheel, and one shot passed through
the side near the water's edge. Two of the best sailors on board were
killed by a twenty-four pound shot while working a gun on the
quarter-deck. The hand of a boy was carried away by another, and yet
all this loss was sustained ere the Karteria had reached the centre of
the passage. At the moment when every shot was taking effect, the
Turks suddenly lost the range. Every succeeding shot passed over the
steamer, and she proceeded along under the fire of more than half the
guns, without receiving any additional damage. The Turks were only
able to reload a few guns to discharge at the rest of the squadron,
which escaped uninjured.

The loss of two men killed and one wounded, distressed Captain
Hastings. He was sure the Turks at Patras would soon receive an
exaggerated account of the damage he had sustained, from their spies
at Zante; and as this would embolden those who furnished their camp
with provisions, he was extremely anxious to destroy any vessels that
might be anchored at Patras, in order to convince the enemy that the
Karteria was to be dreaded, even after receiving the greatest injury.
A favourable opportunity fortunately offered itself of displaying the
power of the steamer to Ibrahim Pasha's camp at Patras. On approaching
the roadstead, a brig heavily laden was seen at anchor, which had
evidently arrived the preceding night, little expecting that the Greek
squadron would quit the gulf in the daytime. Hastings immediately
made every preparation for cutting her out, but the Austrian consul
was seen approaching in a small boat, with a flag like the ensign of a
three-decker. The following dialogue took place between him and
Hastings alongside the Karteria, while the Austrians in the brig were
actively engaged in getting every thing ready to haul their vessel, at
a moment's warning, under a battery of Turkish field-pieces placed on
the beach.

_Hastings._--"As Austrian consul, you must be aware that the Greek
government have been blockading Patras for some time, and that there
is now a gun-boat cruising off the port."

_Austrian Consul._--"My government acknowledges no such authority as a
Greek government, and, consequently, does not admit the validity of
its acts."

_Hastings._--"My orders, however, are to enforce those acts. I must,
therefore, request you to proceed immediately to the Austrian brig at
anchor in the Harbour, and order the master to come on board with his

_Austrian Consul._--"I believe I am speaking to an Englishman; and
neither Austria nor Turkey being at war with England, you are bound to
respect the Austrian flag."

_Hastings._--"You are speaking, sir, to an officer in the Greek
service, commanding the squadron blockading Patras; and if the
Austrian brig does not place itself under my protection in five
minutes, I shall fire into the Turkish camp, and it will be

In saying this, Captain Hastings took out his watch and left the
consul, who vainly endeavoured to renew the conversation in order to
gain time. When he quitted the Karteria, he pulled towards the shore,
instead of proceeding to communicate Hastings' orders to the master of
the brig. This being, apparently, a concerted signal, the greatest
exertions were suddenly commence to haul the Austrian vessel under the
guns of the battery.

Hastings allowed the Austrian consul five minutes to reach the shore;
and as he was not inclined to expose his crew to any loss in taking
possession of a prize which he could easily destroy without danger, he
directed his fire against the Austrian brig. As soon as he found that
he was approaching the range of the Turkish battery, he fired a few
shells into it and the Austrian vessel. One of these exploding in her
hull near the water's edge, tore out great part of her side, and she
sank almost instantaneously, barely leaving time for the crew to
escape in the long-boat.

On the 28th of November, General Church reached Cape Papas with the
first division of his army, consisting of only six hundred men, which
was embarked and transported to Dragomestré. Two days after, the
squadron returned, and conveyed over to Romelia the remainder of the
Greek troops, not exceeding seven hundred soldiers; so that General
Church opened his winter campaign in Acarnania, which led to the
conquest of that province, with a force of only one thousand three
hundred fighting men.

While the Greek army was engaged in fortifying its position at
Dragomestré, Captain Hastings resolved to attack Vasiladhi--the small
insular fort commanding the entrance into the lagoons of Missolonghi
and Anatolikon, which Lord Cochrane had attempted in vain to capture
about three months before. On the 22d of December he anchored about
three thousand yards from the fort, finding that it was impossible to
bring the Karteria any nearer. For nearly a mile round Vasiladhi, the
depth of the water does not exceed three feet, and the fort itself
rises little more than six feet above the level of the sea. The
bombardment of such a place was a delicate operation, requiring the
most favourable weather, and the very best artillery practice. The
first day the attempt was made, two hundred shells were fired without
producing any effect. When fired _en ricochet_, they diverged to the
right and left in a manner which gave Vasiladhi the appearance of an
enchanted spot. Captain Hastings conjectured that this singular
circumstance was owing to the shallowness of the water; the mud
approaching the surface close to the fort, afforded so much more
resistance to the shells which fell in its immediate vicinity, as to
cause a more marked deviation in the line of their primary direction.

At the same time it was found that those shells which were fired with
a charge of eight pounds of powder, at twenty-three degrees of
elevation--the highest elevation that could be given to the long
guns--all varied to the right, though the day was perfectly calm. This
variation appeared to be caused by a strong current of air at some
height above the earth's surface; but it was so irregular that it was
found impossible to make any correct allowance for it; and it was
singular, that any wind perceptible on the deck of the Karteria blew
in the contrary direction.

For some days after this unsuccessful attempt, the weather was too
stormy to think of renewing the attack; but on the 29th of December
the day was perfectly calm, and the atmosphere of that transparent
clearness which characterises the climate of Greece. Hastings
determined to bombard Vasiladhi a second time. The first shell fired
indicated that the circumstances were now favourable; and the fourth,
which Captain Hastings fired with his own hand, exploded in the
powder-magazine. All the boats were instantly ordered out to storm the
place; but the Turks were thrown into such a state of confusion by the
explosion of the powder, and the fire which burst out in their huts,
that they were unable to offer any resistance; and the assailants,
commanded by Captain Hane of the artillery, entered the place, seized
the arms of the Turks, and set them to work at extinguishing the fire,
which was spreading to the magazine of provisions, as if they had only
arrived to assist their friends. There were fifty-one Turks in the
fort; twelve had been killed by the explosion.

Captain Hastings ordered all the prisoners to be transported on board
the Karteria; and as he could ill spare any of his provisions, and
could not encumber his vessel with enemies who required to be guarded,
he resolved to release them immediately. He therefore informed the
Turkish commandant that he would send him to Missolonghi in a
monoxylon, or canoe used in the lagoons, in order to procure two large
flat-bottomed boats to take away the prisoners. The Turk, who
considered this was only a polite way of letting him know that he was
to be drowned or suffocated in the mud, showed, nevertheless, no signs
of fear or anger. He thanked Captain Hastings for the soldier-like
manner in which he had been treated, and said that, as a prisoner, it
was his duty to meet death in any way his conqueror might determine.
The scene at last began to assume a comic character;--for Hastings was
the last person on board to perceive that his prisoner supposed that
he was about to be murdered by his orders; and the Turkish commandant
was the only one who did not understand that it was really Hastings'
intention to send him to Missolonghi in perfect safety. When the Turk
was conducted to the monoxylon, in which one of his own men was
seated, in order to paddle the boat through the lagoon, he was
convinced of his error, and his expressions of gratitude to Hastings
were warm, though as dignified as his previous conduct.

The flat-bottomed boats arrived next day, and took away the prisoners.
They brought a sheep and a sabre as a present to Captain Hastings from
the Turkish commandant, accompanied by a letter expressing his regret
that the commander-in-chief in Missolonghi would not allow him to come
himself to visit his benefactor.

The conquest of Vasiladhi did not diminish the difficulties with which
Hastings was surrounded, nor remove any of the disagreeable
circumstances attendant on the neglect with which he was treated by
Lord Cochrane and the Greek government. On the 7th of January 1828, he
wrote to a friend in the following desponding terms:--"I am full of
misery. I have not a dollar. I owe my people three months' pay, and
five dollars a man gratuity for Vasiladhi. I have no provisions. I
have lost an anchor and chain. If I can get out of my present
difficulties, I may perhaps go into the gulf."

On the 16th of January he wrote to the Greek government, stating all
the difficulties of his position, and complaining of the manner in
which the Karteria had been left entirely dependent on his private
resources. He wrote: "It has become an established maxim to leave
this vessel without any supplies. Dr Goss has just been at Zante, and
has left three hundred dollars for the Helvetia, now serving under my
orders--but not one farthing, no provisions, and not even a single
word, for me. Five months ago, I was eight thousand dollars in advance
for the pay of my crew; and, since that time, I have only received one
thousand dollars from the naval chest of Lord Cochrane, and six
hundred from the military of General Church. This last sum is not even
sufficient to pay the expenses incurred by the detention of our prizes
in order to serve as transports for the army. I have, in addition to
the ordinary expenses of this vessel, been obliged to purchase wood
for our steam-engine, and provisions for the gun-boat Helvetia--to
which I have also furnished two hundred dollars in money to pay the
crew. The capture of Vasiladhi has cost me two thousand dollars; yet I
have not taken the brass cannon in that fort, and replaced them with
the iron guns of our prizes, in order to assist me in meeting my

About this time Count Capo d'Istrias arrived in Greece to assume the
presidency of the republic; and Captain Hastings, as soon as he was
informed of his arrival, transmitted him a very valuable letter, in
which he gave a luminous picture of the state of affairs in Western
Greece. This letter is particularly instructive, as it gives an
admirable summary of the line of conduct which gained Hastings his
great reputation in Greece. "From the hour of my receiving the command
of the Karteria, I determined to break down the system existing in the
navy of paying the sailors in advance, as such a practice is
destructive of all discipline. The Greek government and Lord Cochrane,
however, did not adopt this rule. They paid their own equipages in
advance, and they left mine unpaid."

Count Capo d'Istrias, though a very able diplomatist, was not a
military man; and he paid no attention to Hastings' letter. Lord
Cochrane, who had long ceased to hold any communication with Captain
Hastings, had, a short time previous to the arrival of Count Capo
d'Istrias, suddenly disappeared from Greece, in the English yacht in
which he arrived, without giving the Greek government any notice of
his intention. In this state of things, it was not wonderful that the
naval affairs of the country fell into the most deplorable anarchy;
and the disorder became so painful to Captain Hastings, that he
resigned the command of the Kateria and resolved to quit Greece.

The importance of preventing so distinguished a Philhellene from
quitting Greece so shortly after his own arrival, struck Count Capo
d'Istrias very forcibly, and he resolved to do every thing in his
power to retain Captain Hastings in his service. To effect this, he
invited him to a personal interview at Poros, in order, as he said, to
avail himself of the valuable experience of so tried a friend to the
cause of his country. When they met, it was easy for Capo d'Istrias to
persuade Hastings to resume the command of the naval division in the
Gulf of Corinth; particularly as the president promised to adopt the
principles which Hastings laid down as necessary for the formation of
a national navy, and engaged to follow his advice in organizing this
force. Nothing, indeed, could have gratified the ambition of Captain
Hastings so much as being employed in this way, since he could thus
hope to raise a durable monument of his naval skill, and a lasting
memorial of his service in Greece.

After commencing the formation of a naval arsenal at Poros, and laying
the foundation for some superstructure of order in the naval
administration, Hastings again assumed the command of the Karteria;
and on the 9th of May 1828, anchored off Vasiladhi, in order to
co-operate with the troops under General Church. The united forces had
been directed by the president to act against Anatolikon and
Missolonghi, which, it was hoped, would easily be compelled to
surrender. After reconnoitring the approaches to Anatolikon, which
General Church had resolved to attack first, Captain Hastings, with
his usual activity, prepared rocket-frames, and brought all his boats
into the lagoons. On the 15th, an attempt was made to set fire to the
town by the discharge of a number of six and twelve-pound rockets;
but, though many entered the place, no conflagration ensued, and the
attack failed. It was then determined to bombard Anatolikon; and,
under the cover of a heavy fire of shells from the batteries, and
grenades from the gun-boats, to make an attempt to carry the place by

The 25th of May was fixed for the assault; and Captain Hastings, who
felt the necessity of enforcing order, and setting an example of
courage in so important a crisis, determined to direct the attack of
the naval forces in person. Unfortunately, a division of the land
forces, which were totally destitute of all discipline, and not even
officered in a regular manner, had been embarked in the boats of some
Greek privateers, for the purpose of assisting in the attack. The real
object of these troops was to try to get first into the place in order
to pillage. Before the artillery had produced any effect, and before
Captain Hastings had made all the necessary dispositions for the
assault, these irregular troops advanced to the attack. Two officers
of the marine, who commanded the gun-boats at the greatest distance
from the boats of the Karteria, seeing the attack commencing, and
supposing that the signal had been given by Captain Hastings, pushed
forward. No alternative now remained between carrying the place, or
witnessing a total defeat of a considerable part of the force under
his command; Hastings, therefore, without a moment's hesitation,
endeavoured to repair the error already committed, by rendering the
attack as general as possible. Making the signal of attack, he led the
boats of the Karteria to the assault.

The ardour of the troops who rashly commenced the attack abated, as
soon as they found that the Turks received them with a well-directed
fire of musketry. After some feeble attempts to approach the enemy, in
which they sustained no loss, they kept their boats stationary far out
of musket-shot of Anatolikon. On the other side, the boats of the
Greek squadron advanced with great gallantry and steadiness; but the
Turks had assembled a powerful force, which was posted in a
well-protected position, and opened a severe fire on the assailants.
The shallow water, and intricate channel through the lagoon, retarded
the progress of the two gun-boats; and Captain Andrea, who commanded
that in advance, having been killed, and some of his men wounded, his
crew was thrown into disorder. Captain Hastings, pushing forward in
his gig to repair this loss, was almost immediately after struck by a
rifle-ball in the left arm, and fell down. His fall was the signal for
a general retreat.

When the boats returned to the Karteria, the wound of Captain Hastings
was examined and bandaged. By a most unfortunate accident, there was
no surgeon attached to the ship at the time; one surgeon having left a
few days before, and his successor not having arrived. A medical man
had, however, without any loss of time, been procured from the camp on
shore; and after he had dressed the wound, he declared that it was not
alarming, and that the arm was in no danger. Though he suffered great
pain, Captain Hastings soon began to turn his attention to repairing
the loss the Greek arms had sustained. On the 28th of May, he wrote a
report of the proceedings before Anatolikon, addressed to the minister
of the marine; and in it he expressed the hope, that in a few days his
wound would be so far healed as to allow him again to assume the
direction of the operations against Anatolikon in person.

But, in spite of the favourable opinion expressed by the surgeon of
the troops, it became evident that the wound was rapidly becoming
worse; and it was decided that amputation was necessary. In order to
entrust the operation to a more skilful surgeon than the one who had
hitherto attended him, it was necessary that Captain Hastings should
proceed to Zante. This decision had unfortunately been delayed too
long. Tetanus had ensued before the Karteria reached the port; and, on
the 1st of June, Frank Abney Hastings expired at Zante, on board the
Karteria, which he had so gloriously commanded.

The moment his death was known in Greece, the great value of his
services was universally felt. All hope of organizing the Greek navy
perished with him; and notwithstanding the advice and assistance of
the European powers, and the adoption of many plans prepared by the
allies of Greece, the naval force of that country is in a much worse
condition to-day than it was at the time of Captain Hastings' death in
1828. Every honour was paid to his memory. The president of Greece,
Count Capo d'Istrias, decreed that his remains should receive a public
funeral; and by an ordinance addressed to Mr Alexander Maurocordatos,
the minister of the marine, and Mr George Finlay and Mr Nicholas
Kalergy, the personal friends of the deceased, he charged these
gentlemen with this sacred duty. Mr Tricoupi pronounced the funeral
oration when the interment took place at Poros; and he concluded his
discourse with the following words, as the prayer of the assembled
clergy in the name of the whole Greek nation:--"O LORD! IN THY

But nations are proverbially ungrateful. Nearly seventeen years have
now elapsed since the death of Hastings, the best and ablest
Englishman who, even to the present hour, has been connected in any
way with the public affairs of Greece; yet neither the Greek
government nor the Greek people, though often revelling in millions
rashly furnished them by their injudicious friends, have ever thought
of paying their debt of gratitude to the memory of Frank Abney
Hastings. While stars and ribands have been lavishly conferred on
those whose power was supposed to influence the arrival of expected
millions, the heirs of Hastings were forgotten. We are bound, however,
to absolve a considerable portion of the nation from the charge of
ingratitude and avarice, which we only thereby concentrate against the
government, and the leading statesmen of the country.

When the numerous Greek sailors who had served under the orders of
Hastings heard of his death, many of them happened to be at Egina.
They immediately collected a sum of money among themselves, and
engaged the clergy at Egina to celebrate the funeral service in the
principal church, with all the pomp and ceremony possible in those
troubled times. Never probably was a braver man more sincerely mourned
by a veteran band of strangers, who, in a foreign land, grieved more
deeply for his untimely loss.

It may appear surprising to many of our readers that we should give to
the name of Hastings so very prominent a position in the history of
the latter days of the Greek Revolution, when that name is
comparatively unknown at home. To make this apparent, we shall
endeavour to explain the manner in which the Greeks carried on their
warfare with the Turks; and it will then appear that European officers
were not generally likely to form either a correct or a favourable
opinion of the military affairs of the country. It is not, therefore,
surprising that false ideas of the state of Greece have prevailed, or
indeed that they still continue to prevail, even among the foreigners
long resident in the new Greek kingdom. The military operations of the
Greeks, both at sea and on shore, were remarkable, not only for a
total want of all scientific knowledge, but also for the absence of
every shadow of discipline, and the first elements of order and
subordination. The troops consisted of a number of separate corps,
each under its own captain, who regulated the movements, and provided
for the supply of his men, from day to day. Every soldier joined his
standard, and left it, when he thought fit, unless when it happened
that he had received some pay in advance; in which case, he was bound
in honour to remain in the camp for the term he was engaged. With such
an army, any systematic plan of campaign, and all strategetical
combinations, were clearly impossible; and when they have been
attempted by the different European officers who have commanded the
Greeks, they have invariably ended in the most complete defeats the
Greeks have ever sustained. So entirely were the operations of the war
an affair of chance, that the mountain skirmishes, in which the Greek
troops excelled, were usually brought on by accident.

In such an army, it is evident that the services of many an able
officer would be useless. A Greek general could only acquire and
maintain a due influence over his troops by taking a rifle in his
hand, and bounding over the rocks in advance of his soldiers. The best
general, therefore, in the estimation of the soldiers, was the officer
who could run fastest, see furthest, and fire with truest aim from
behind the smallest possible projection of a rock. In cases where it
became absolutely necessary to enforce obedience to an order, the
captain required to be both able and willing to knock down the first
man who dared to show any signs of dissatisfaction with the butt of
his pistol. Many excellent European generals were not competent to
emulate the fame to be gained in such a service.

Matters were very little better in the fleet. The sailors were always
paid in advance, or they refused to embark; if on a cruise, when the
term for which they had been paid expired, they always returned home,
unless prevented by an additional payment. While at sea, they
frequently held councils to discuss the movements of their ships, and
repeatedly compelled their captains to alter the plans adopted by the
admiral; and sometimes they have been known to carry their ships home
in defiance of their officers. Even the brilliant exploits of the
fire-ships which destroyed the Turkish three-deckers, were entirely
performed by volunteers, and are rather due to the daring courage of
Kanaris, and a few other individuals, than to the naval skill of the
Greek fleet. In the latter years of the war, when the Turks and
Egyptians had, by the exertions of Sultan Mahmoud and Mohammed Ali,
made some small progress in naval affairs, the fire-ships of the
Greeks failed to produce any important results.

Captain Hastings, observing the total difference between Greek and
European warfare, avoided the error into which foreigners generally
fell, of allowing their authority to be mixed up with that of others,
over whose actions they could not exercise any efficient control.
Instead of seeking a command, the imposing title of which might
flatter his vanity, and impose on the rest of Europe, Hastings
steadily refused to accept any rank, or place himself in any command,
where he would have been unable to enforce obedience to his orders. By
this means, and by the sacrifice of very large sums of money from his
private fortune, in paying not only the men, but even all the officers
who bore commissions on board the Karteria, he was enabled to maintain
some order and discipline in that vessel. Though he was at the head of
the smallest detached force commanded by a foreigner in Greece, there
can be no doubt that, of all the foreigners who have visited Greece,
he rendered the greatest service to the cause of her independence. At
the same time, it is not wonderful that all other foreigners have felt
but little inclined to give the due meed of praise to a line of
conduct which they have never had strength of mind to imitate.

It may be observed here, that the naval operations of Captain Hastings
possess considerable interest in connexion with the modern history of
maritime warfare in Europe. The Karteria was the first steam-vessel
armed with long sixty-eight pounders; she was the first vessel from
which eight-inch shells and hot shot were used as ordinary
projectiles. And this great change in the employment of destructive
elements of warfare was introduced by Captain Hastings among a people
where he had to teach the first principles of military discipline. Yet
he overcame every difficulty; and with very little assistance, either
from the Greek government, or the officers who were his superiors in
the Greek navy, he succeeded in giving all the naval powers of Europe
a valuable practical lesson in marine artillery. Great Britain is
especially called upon to acknowledge her obligations to Captain
Hastings. She has imitated the armament of the Greek steam-frigate
Karteria in several vessels; and though the admiralty have doubtless
added many improvements in our ships, we are only the more explicitly
bound to recognise the debt of gratitude we owe. By rendering naval
warfare not only more destructive, but at the same time making it more
dependent on a combination of good gunnery and mechanical knowledge
with profound naval skill, he has increased the naval power of Great
Britain, where all these qualities are cultivated in the highest
degree. At the same time, the civilized world is indebted to him for
rendering battles so terrible as to be henceforth less frequent; and
for putting an end to naval warfare as a means of amusing kings, and
gratifying the ambition of princely admirals, or vain-glorious states.

In concluding this sketch of the biography of Hastings, we regret that
we have to record the death of Colonel Hane of the Greek army, so long
his companion during the war, and who is so often and so honourably
mentioned in his despatches as Captain Hane of the artillery. His
death is another blot on Greece, and on what is called the English
party in Greece, by whom he was treated with the greatest neglect.
Colonel Hane was removed from active employment in 1842, when King
Otho placed many Philhellenes and Greeks on a trifling pittance of
half-pay, in order to retain a number of Bavarian officers in his
service, who were richly endowed with staff-appointments. As a
Philhellene, a constitutionalist, and an Englishman, it was natural
that Colonel Hane should be treated with the utmost severity by the
court and the Bavarian administration.

The adoption of the constitution on the 15th September (3d O.S.) 1843,
caused all the Bavarians to be dismissed from the Greek service; but
there were so many Greeks more eager in their solicitations for
appointments than Colonel Hane, and ministers are always so much more
ready to listen to the claims of their party than their country, that
the title of a stranger to the gratitude of Greece was easily
forgotten. When Mr Alexander Maurocordatos, however, became
prime-minister, his subserviency to English diplomacy was supposed by
many to indicate a feeling of attachment to English views, and an
esteem for the English character. Under this impression, Mr
Bracebridge, Dr Howe, and Mr George Finlay, solicited Sir Edmund Lyons
to exert his influence to prevent an Englishman, who, for twenty-three
years, had served Greece with courage and fidelity, from dying of
absolute want. Mr Maurocordatos gave Sir Edmund Lyons some promises,
but those promises were never fulfilled; and Colonel Hane died of a
broken heart at Athens, on the 18th of September 1844, leaving a young
wife and three children in the most destitute condition.

It was well known to every body in Athens, from King Otho to the
youngest soldiers in the army, that Colonel Hane had for some time
suffered the severest privations of poverty, which he had vainly
endeavoured to conceal. That his last hours were soothed by the
possession of the necessaries of life, was owing to the delicacy with
which Dr Howe and Mr Bracebridge contrived to make the assistance they
supplied as soothing to his mind, as it was indispensable for the
comfort of his declining health.

Frank Abney Hastings, the hero who commanded the Karteria, and John
Hane, the gallant officer who fought by his side, now rest in peace.
Two volunteers, their friends and companions in many a checkered scene
of life, still survive to cherish the memory of the days spent
together on board the Karteria. One has acquired a wide-extended
reputation in America and Europe, by the intelligence, activity, and
we may truly say genius, with which he has laboured to alleviate the
sufferings of humanity. But for an account of Dr Howe's exertions to
extend the blessings of education to the blind, the deaf, and the
dumb, we must refer to Dickens' _American Notes_. The other still
watches the slow progress of the Greeks towards that free and
independent condition of which these friends of their cause once
fancied they beheld the approaching dawn. We may, therefore, allow the
names of Hastings, Hane, Howe, and Finlay, to stand united on our

    "As in this glorious and well foughten field
    They stood together in their chivalry."

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


[1] An offspring created without a mother.

[2] "There is no one now thinks of reading Montesquieu," said the
Marquis of Mirabeau, author of _L'Ami des Hommes_, and a distinguished
economist, to the King of Sweden, in 1772, at Paris.--See _Biog.
Univ._ xxix. 89.

[3] This is still the case in some parts of England, according to the
custom called Borough-English, Blackstone, ii. 93. Duhalde mentions
that a similar rule of descent prevails among some of the Tartar
tribes whom he visited on the frontiers of China: a curious indication
of the justice of Montesquieu's speculation as to its origin.

[4] We were once told by Mr West, the president, that the reading of
Richardson, (to use his own words,) "lighted up a fire in his breast
that had never been extinguished; and that he had in consequence, and
contrary to the wishes of his friends and relatives, who were Quakers
at Philadelphia, resolved to become a painter." By a very curious
circumstance, this identical volume is now in our possession, the
legacy of the very man, whose history is worth relating, who lent it
to Mr West when a boy.

[5] Fuseli objects that the principal figures and chief action in the
_Raising of Lazarus_, by Sebastian del Piombo, are crowded into a
corner. He would have had them "pyramid;" so does received quackery
overpower the judgment of men of sense, and acute reasoning.

[6] CHANT.

    The Theatines' commandments ten
    Have less to do with saints than men.

              _Chorus_.--Tra lara, tra lara.

    1--Of money make sure. Tra lara, &c.
    2--Entrap rich and poor.
    3--Always get a good dinner.
    4--In all bargains be winner.
    5--Cool your red wine with white.
    6--Turn day into night.
    7--Give the bailiff the slip.
    8--Make the world fill your scrip.
    9--Make your convert a slave.
    10--To your king play the knave.

    _Chorus._--Those ten commandments make but _two_--
         All things for _me_, and none for _you_.
                          Tra lara, tra lara.


    Breeders of all foreign wars,
    Breeders of all household jars,
    Snugly 'scaping all the scars.

    Worshipp'd, like the saints they make;
    Tyrants, forcing fools to quake;
    Grasping all we brew or bake.

    All our souls and bodies ruling,
    All our passions hotly schooling,
    All our wit and wisdom fooling.

    Lords of all our goods and chattels,
    Firebrands of our bigot battles.
    When you see them, spring your rattles.

    Shun them, as you'd shun the Pest;
    Shun them, teacher, friend, and guest;
    Shun them, north, south, east, and west.

    France, her true disease has hit;
    France has made the vagrants flit;
    France has swamp'd the Jesuit.

[8] _The Discovery of the Science of Languages._ By MORGAN KAVANAGH.
London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans. 1844.

[9] The poets are a little at variance, and do not all celebrate the
_same_ wine--(as some of us like Port, and some Madeira)--some,
doubtless, dealt with better wine-merchants than others. Poets have
the privilege of celebrating plain women, and wine that nobody else
can drink. Redi talks of Monte Fiascone and Monte Pulciano--both
_raisin_ wines to English or French stomachs. _Florence_ had no fame
in those days, and _now_ makes by far the best wine in Italy--give
_us_ good _Chianti_, and none of your Aleatico or Vino Santo. At Rome,
there is not a flask of any thing fit to drink; and we recollect when
bad _Spanish wine_ was brought up the Tiber to meet the deficiency.
_Orvieto_ is far from wholesome; yet, in Juvenal's time, _Albano_
furnished a wine of superlative quality.

    "_Albani_ veteris pretiosa senectus;"

the same passage denouncing _Falernian_ by the epithet of _acris_--a
wine, he says, to _make faces at_. Again, _Cuma_ and _Gaurus_--the
privilege of drinking those wines was for the _rich only_--are now the
common drink of the peasants who cultivate them.

    "_Te_ Trifolinus ager _fecundis vitibus_ implet,
    Suspectumque jugum _Cumis_, et _Gaurus inanis_."

The _vinum Setinum_, wine fit for patriots to drink "on the birthdays
of Brutus and Cassius," was never heard of by a subject of the _Pope_,
nor would be worth above a _paul_ a flask. But the day is far off when
Italy will quaff a generous goblet on any such solemnity, or pour out
a cup

    "Quale coronati Thrasca, Helvidiusque bibebant,
    Brut rum et Cassî natablibus."

[10] During the dissensions of the Regency and the _corps
diplomatique_, old Kolocotroni, who was then confined in the fortress
above the town of Nauplia, once remarked--"These Franks abuse us for
quarrelling, but"--and here he threw out his right hand with the
fingers wide apart towards the town of Nauplia below him, exclaiming,
[Greek: na], with true Greek energy--"they worry one another like
dogs--to unshame us." [Greek: Trôgountai san schulia dia na mas

[11] Published by RIDGWAY. 1828.

[12] In a description of the engagement, forwarded by the Austrian
consul at Patras to the consul-general in the Ionian islands, which
was captured by the Greeks, the following is the account given by the
Austrians:--"Il commandante della flottiglia Ottomana con terzo del
Vapore andò per aria, avendogli questo gettato una granata in Santa

Transcriber's Note:
  The original text included Greek characters. For this text version these
    letters have been replaced with transliterations set off by [Greek: ]

  Misprints corrected:
    "Lairisse" corrected to "Lairesse" (page 429)
    "sb ject" corrected to "subject" (page 464)
    unnecessary leading "ac-" removed (page 466)
    "head" to "heard" (page 480)
    "ruler" corrected to "rule" (page 497)

  Additional spacing after some of the poetry and block quotes is
  intentional to indicate both the end of a quotation and the beginning
  of a new paragraph as is in the original text.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 58, Number 360, October 1845" ***

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