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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 59, No. 367, May 1846
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 59, No. 367, May 1846" ***

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BLACKWOOD'S EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

NO. CCCLXVII. MAY, 1846. VOL. LIX

CONTENTS.

  THE STUDENT OF SALAMANCA. PART THE LAST,                             513

  SHAKESPEARE AND THE DRAMA,                                           534

  BIRBONIANA; OR, ITALIAN ANTIQUARIES AND ANTICHITÀ,                   543

  THE AMERICANS AND THE ABORIGINES. PART I.,                           554

  STATE OF IRELAND--ITS CONDITION--THE LIFE AND PROPERTY BILL--THE
  DEBATE, AND THE FAMINE,                                              572

  THE MODERN PILGRIM'S PROGRESS,                                       604

  THE ILIAD OF HOMER--BOOK THE FIRST. (IN ENGLISH HEXAMETERS,)         610

  PROSPECTUS,                                                          621

  TRUTH AND BEAUTY,                                                    624

  THE CAMPAIGN OF THE SUTLEJ,                                          625

EDINBURGH:

WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS, 45, GEORGE STREET; AND 37, PATERNOSTER ROW,
LONDON.

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

SOLD BY ALL THE BOOKSELLERS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM.

PRINTED BY BALLANTYNE AND HUGHES, EDINBURGH.



EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

NO. CCCLXVII. MAY, 1846. Vol. LIX.



THE STUDENT OF SALAMANCA.

PART THE LAST.


There was a crowd and a clamour in the principal coffee-house of
Pampeluna at nine o'clock on a July evening, that of the first day after
Don Baltasar's escape from the town. The numerous tables were surrounded
by officers of Cordova's army, still flushed with their recent victory,
and eager to enjoy to the utmost a period of relaxation, which, for
aught they knew, the next day might bring to a close. Great was the
clattering of glasses and the consumption of ices and _refrescos_,
rendered especially grateful by the extreme heat of the weather; long
and loud were the peals of laughter that echoed through the apartments,
and dense the clouds of tobacco smoke, which, in spite of open doors and
windows, floated above the heads of the jovial assembly. In one room a
party of monté-players, grouped round a baize-covered table, on which
were displayed piles of gold and silver coin, and packs of Spanish
cards, with their queer devices of horses, suns, and vases,
notwithstanding the numerous general orders prohibiting gambling in the
army, were busy in increasing or getting rid of a small and recently
made issue of pay. Here comparative stillness reigned, only broken by
the monotonous voices of the bankers, or by an occasional angry
ejaculation from some unlucky subaltern who saw his last dollar drawn
into the vortex, without any means occurring to him whereby to replenish
his empty pockets. The other apartments were thronged to suffocation;
even the balconies were filled with idlers, leaning over the balustrade,
puffing their cigars and listening to a band of amateur musicians, who
performed a serenade, in honour of his late victory, under the windows
of the commander-in-chief.

In a corner of the coffee-house two persons were seated, both of
remarkable appearance, although in very different styles. One was a
young man of about six-and-twenty years, low in stature and slightly
built; his features regular, without beard, and of an expression of
countenance rather pleasing than otherwise. His dress was a short
braided jacket, unbuttoned on account of the sultriness of the evening,
and disclosing a shirt of fine texture, and a coloured silk handkerchief
tied loosely about his throat, which was round and moulded as that of a
woman. His cavalry overalls were strapped and topped with leather, and
had rows of large bright buttons down the sides; double-rowelled spurs
were fixed to his boots, and on a chair beside him lay a foraging-cap
and a light sabre. Although his features were small and delicately
chiselled, there was great daring and decision in the thin compressed
lips, slightly expanded nostril, and keen grey eye; and when he smiled,
which was but rarely, certain lines around his mouth gave a cruel,
almost a savage expression to his otherwise agreeable physiognomy. A
Navarrese by birth, and of a roving and adventurous disposition, this
man, at the commencement of the civil war, had espoused the cause of Don
Carlos; but a violent quarrel with a superior officer, punished, as he
considered, with undue severity, soon induced him to transfer his
services to the Christinos. He raised a free corps, composed of Carlist
deserters, smugglers, and desperadoes of every description, and made war
upon his former friends with unbounded vindictiveness and considerable
success. At the period now referred to, he had already, by various
well-planned and boldly-achieved expeditions, accomplished chiefly in
the nighttime, gained a high reputation, and the _sobriquet_, by which
he was generally known, of El Mochuelo, or the Night Owl.

The man seated opposite to the partisan just described, was of a totally
different stamp. Several inches taller than his companion,
broad-shouldered and powerful, he had the careless weatherbeaten look of
an old campaigner, equally ready to do his devoir in the field, or to
enjoy a temporary repose in snug quarters. A bushy beard covered the
lower part of his face, which was further adorned with a purple scar
reaching completely across one cheek, the result of a sabre cut of no
very ancient date. He wore a dragoon's uniform: his right arm, which
rested on the table before him, was large and brawny, apparently well
fitted to wield the ponderous sword that hung from his hip; but his left
had been severed between wrist and elbow, and in its stead an iron hook
protruded from the empty coat-cuff. On his right shoulder a single
epaulet, with long silver bullion, marked his rank as that of lieutenant
of free corps.

"I tell you I'm sick of it, Velasquez," cried the Mochuelo, striking the
table impatiently with his fist. "Why are we idling in towns instead of
following up our late victory? When there's work to be done, do it at
once, say I. If there's no sign of a move to-morrow, I shall venture
something by myself, that I'm determined."

"Can't say I'm so impatient," returned his companion. "Fighting is very
well in its way, and I believe I take to it as kindly as most men; but a
feast after a fray, that's fair play and the soldier's privilege. But
you are never easy without your foot is in the stirrup. Give the poor
devils a day's rest; if it's only time to shake their feathers after
their last thrashing."

"Curse them!" cried the Mochuelo; "not an hour, if I could help it. They
treated me like a dog, and my debt of ill-usage is not half paid. No,
to-morrow I move out, come what may."

"And why not to-night, Mochuelo?" said a young staff-officer who had
approached the table and overheard the last words of the revengeful
guerilla. "It is yet early, the night is dark, why not at once?"

The Mochuelo sprang to his feet.

"Do you bring me orders, Señor Torres?" said he in a low eager tone to
the aide-de-camp. "So much the better! Whither to go? In half an hour my
men are ready."

"Not so fast, amigo," answered Mariano Torres, smiling at the guerilla's
impatience. "It's no ordinary or easy expedition that I propose to you,
nor need you undertake it unless you choose. I bring the general's
authorization, not his order. The risk is great, and the object a
private one; but by accomplishing it you will lay my friend Captain
Herrera, and consequently myself, under deep obligation.

"I would gladly oblige Captain Herrera," said the Mochuelo, bowing to
Luis, who accompanied Torres. "Velasquez once served in his squadron."
And he pointed to his one-handed companion.

"You have forgotten Sergeant Velasquez, captain," said the latter. "He
escaped the ambuscade in which you were taken prisoner. You see I've got
the epaulet at last."

"I remember you well," replied Herrera, cordially shaking the hand of
his former subordinate. "Your promotion has been dearly purchased,"
added he, glancing at the mutilated limb; "and I am sure well deserved."

"No time for compliments, señor," said the Mochuelo. "To business."

He again seated himself, and the others following his example, Herrera
in few words exposed to the guerilla the nature of the projected
expedition.

Notwithstanding the precautions taken to prevent Don Baltasar from
leaving Pampeluna, precautions which, as the reader already knows,
proved fruitless, Herrera, finding after a lapse of twenty-four hours
that no tidings were obtained of the fugitive, resolved not to trust to
the chance of his recapture, but at once to execute the plan he had
formed when first he became aware of Rita's state of durance. This plan,
it will be remembered, was to penetrate clandestinely and with a small
force into the enemy's country, to surprise the convent and rescue his
mistress. Impracticable when first devised at Artajona, the difficulties
besetting the scheme, although diminished by the comparative proximity
of Pampeluna to Rita's prison, still appeared almost insuperable. Could
the expedition have commenced and terminated between sunset and sunrise,
a party of active guerillas, well acquainted with the country and
accustomed to such enterprises, might have accomplished it without
incurring more than a moderate amount of danger; but, at that season of
the year especially, a great part of the march would have to be made in
broad daylight, through a district whose population was exclusively
Carlist, and which was occupied by detachments and garrisons of the
Pretender's troops. Indeed the risk was so great and manifest, and the
chances of success apparently so slender, that Cordova, when applied to
by Herrera, at first positively refused to allow him to go on so mad an
expedition. He at last yielded to the young man's reiterated entreaties,
and even permitted Torres to accompany his friend, but refused to give
them any troops of the line, saying, however, that the Mochuelo might
go, if willing. That he was so, the reader, after the glimpse that has
been given of the guerilla's daring character and impatience of
inaction, will have small difficulty in conjecturing. He acknowledged
that the proposed expedition was most difficult and dangerous; but
confident in his own resources, and in the men under his command, he by
no means despaired of its being successful. He should have liked, he
said, to postpone it for two or three days, in order to send out spies
and ascertain the exact position of the Carlist troops; but on learning
from Herrera how urgent it was to lose no time, and how fatal might be
the delay of even a single day, he made no further difficulties, but
agreed to start at once.

Although in the month of July, the night was overcast and dark when the
little band who undertook this perilous service left the town of
Pampeluna, and, passing through the outer fortifications, struck into
the open country. It consisted of four horsemen and two to three hundred
foot soldiers, the latter almost without exception young men between
twenty and thirty years of age, scarcely one of whom but might have been
cited as an example of the highest perfection of hardiness and activity
to which the human frame can be brought by constant exposure to climate,
by habit of exertion and endurance of fatigue. Long-limbed, muscular and
wiry, lightly clad in costumes remarkable for their picturesque and
fantastical variety; unencumbered by knapsacks, or by any baggage save a
linen bag slung across the back, and containing rations for two days;
their long muskets over their shoulders; belts, full of cartridges and
supporting bayonets, strapped tightly round their waists, they strode
over hill and dale at a pace which kept the officers' horses at an
amble. Fine studies were these for a painter desirous of depicting
banditti or guerillas. Their marked features and sunburnt cheeks were
shaded by broad flat caps, from beneath which shining ringlets of black
hair hung down to their bare bronzed necks. Contempt of danger and
reckless daring were legibly written on every one of their countenances,
accompanied, it is true, in some instances, by the expression of less
laudable qualities. In the plain and in a regular action, they might
have been no match for more highly disciplined troops; but it was
evident that as light infantry, and for mountain warfare, their
qualifications were unsurpassed, if not unequalled, by any troops of any
country.

Whilst a few of the guerillas acted as scouts, and, scattering
themselves over the fields on either side of the road which their
comrades followed, kept a sharp look-out for lurking foes and ambushed
danger, the remainder moved onwards in compact order and profound
silence. In front came Herrera and Torres, the former thoughtful and
anxious, the latter sanguine and _insouciant_ as usual, ambling along as
contentedly as if he were riding to a rendezvous with his mistress,
instead of on an expedition whence his return was, to say the least,
doubtful. Velasquez accompanied them, the bridle hooked on to his iron
substitute for a hand, and guiding his horse rather by leg than rein. At
starting, the Mochuelo, who had had little time to mature a plan of
operations, appeared grave and pre-occupied. For a while he rode in rear
of his men, talking in low tones with Paco the muleteer, who accompanied
the party, and with an old grim-visaged Frenchman, a sergeant in his
corps, who, on account of his having but one eye, went by the name of El
Tuerto. The result of his conversation with these two men seemed
satisfactory to him, and, on taking his place at the head of the column,
he told Herrera that he had good hopes of success. Silence, however, was
the order of the night, and he entered into no details. Paco and the
Tuerto kept near him, apparently as guides. The former had testified no
slight surprise on recognising his antagonist in the ball-court, and the
skirmish, in the new character of a commissioned officer; but respect
for the epaulet, and a few friendly words addressed to him by Velasquez,
dissipated his angry feelings, if such indeed he still harboured, and he
marched peaceably along beside the stirrup of his former opponent.

Steadily and silently the little party continued its march, winding like
some dark and many-jointed snake over the inequalities of the ground,
now disappearing in the hollow of a ravine, then toiling its way up
rugged mountain sides. The road had long been abandoned, and only here
and there the adventurous troop were able to avail themselves of a cart
track or country lane, whose deep ruts, however, rendered it but little
preferable to the fields and waste land over which they at other times
proceeded. After leaving the immediate vicinity of Pampeluna, and during
several hours' march, but few words were exchanged between any of the
party, and those few were uttered in a cautious whisper. Although the
pace was a killing one, no man had flagged or straggled; when at last,
after completing a tortuous and rugged descent, the Mochuelo commanded a
halt. The place where this occurred was in a narrow gorge between two
lines of hills, or it should rather be said of mountains; for although
their altitude was only here and there very considerable, their cragged
and precipitous conformation and rocky material entitled them to the
latter denomination. The passage between them continued narrow only for
a few hundred yards, after which, at either of its extremities, the
mountains receded, and the valley opened into plains of some extent. To
the right of the defile was a considerable tract of undulating and
wooded country; the level on the left extended to a less distance,
before the hills, closing in again, restricted it within narrow limits.

The thick clouds which had veiled the sky during the early part of the
night, had now broken and dispersed, the stars shone out and disclosed
the outline of surrounding objects, assuming in the dim light all manner
of fantastic forms. A cool wind, the forerunner of morning, swept across
the valley, bringing pleasant refreshment to the heated soldiery, as
they leaned upon their muskets and waited the orders of their chief. On
either hand videttes were advanced, keeping vigilant watch. El Mochuelo
exchanged a few words with Paco and the Tuerto, and then turned to
Herrera.

"We are now," said the guerilla, "within a short league of the convent.
It is in the valley beyond the mountains in our front. But we are also
within less than an hour of daybreak, and if we execute the surprise
now, our return to Pampeluna will be scarcely possible. The country in
our rear swarms with Carlists; the first shot will bring overpowering
numbers against us, and we shall be cut off. Our march has been rapid
and fatiguing, and we shall have little chance of escape from fresh and
unwearied troops. Hazardous as it may appear to you, Captain Herrera, I
have decided to pass the day in the neighbourhood of this spot, and to
defer our visit to the convent till nightfall. Under cover of the
darkness, and guided by these men," he pointed to Paco and the old
sergeant, "our retreat will be comparatively easy, even should the enemy
get the alarm, which, as we have no resistance to expect at the convent,
I trust may be avoided. What say you to my plan?"

"I am willing," replied Herrera, "to be guided by you in the matter; but
this arrangement strikes me as extremely hazardous. Where can three
hundred men conceal themselves during a whole day, even in this wild and
thinly peopled district, without imminent risk of discovery? Remember
that a glimpse obtained by a passing peasant of but one of our number,
ensures our destruction. The forests and mountain passes are traversed
by woodcutters and shepherds; the chances against us would be
innumerable. Is it not better, without loss of time, to proceed to the
convent, accomplish our object, and cut our way back to Pampeluna?"

"Not one of us would ever enter its gates," answered the Mochuelo. "It
would be certain death to us all. But my plan is not so desperate as it
seems. El Tuerto, here, is well acquainted with these mountains, and has
had many a narrow escape amongst them whilst pursuing a less honest
calling than the present. He has told me of a place of concealment,
where it is scarcely possible we should be discovered. At any rate we
must leave this spot, or some early-rising peasant will stumble upon us.
There is danger here."

At that moment, as if to confirm his last words, the note of a bugle,
sounded apparently at less than a mile off, was borne upon the breeze to
the ears of the adventurers.

"You hear," said the Mochuelo. "We must begone, and quickly. There are
cantonments of the enemy a little to our right. Call in the videttes."

The order was obeyed, and, turning to the left, the guerillas quitted
the defile and entered the smaller of the two valleys connected by it.
Guided by the Tuerto, they presently approached a projecting hill,
jutting out into the valley like some huge buttress placed there to
support the mountain wall. It was of small elevation, but its sides were
too perpendicular to be climbed, although that circumstance was
partially concealed by the trees growing at its base. Its summit also
was covered with trees, and its rocky flanks were clothed with ivy. The
guerillas turned into a wood extending to some distance along the foot
of the mountain, and made their way with some difficulty through the
closely planted trunks and thick brushwood. Presently the sound of
falling water was audible, increasing in loudness as they proceeded,
until its cause became visible in a cascade that splashed down the
mountain side. A rocky pool received the foaming element, and fed a
pellucid stream that soon disappeared amongst the trees, on its way to
irrigate and fertilize the neighbouring fields. The water fell from the
least elevated part of the mountain buttress above described, a height
of seventy or eighty feet.

"This is the place," said El Tuerto to the Mochuelo. The latter nodded,
and again ordering a halt, passed the word for the men to sit down upon
the grass and observe the strictest silence. Divesting themselves of
their belts and muskets, El Tuerto and Paco now approached a lofty tree
growing at a short distance from the cascade, and whose upper boughs
reached to the top of the precipice, and to the astonishment of Herrera
and Torres, and indeed of all who were sufficiently near to distinguish
their movements, began to climb its knotty and uneven trunk. In
obedience, however, to the order for silence, no one asked a question of
the Mochuelo, who alone seemed aware of the meaning of this
manoeuvre. Soon the two climbers reached the uppermost limits of the
gigantic tree, and creeping cautiously along one of them, landed safely
at the top of the precipice. For an instant they were visible like dark
shadows against the starry sky, and then they disappeared amongst the
trees.

Scarcely five minutes had elapsed, when Herrera and Torres, who were
nearest to the torrent, observed, to their great surprise, that the fall
of water seemed of less volume. They watched it, the diminution
continued, and presently its bed remained bare and dry, with the
exception of a slight trickling, which each moment lessened. At the same
instant, Paco and El Tuerto re-appeared on the summit of the precipice,
and began to descend the water-course. Herrera now perceived that the
latter was in fact a rude and irregular staircase, or rather a ladder of
steps cut in the rocky surface, some perhaps naturally indented, but
others evidently chiselled out by the hands of man. By means of these
steps, which afforded a slippery but sufficient footing, it was not
difficult for active men to ascend and descend in perfect safety. To
increase this facility, wooden pegs had in various places been driven
into the interstices of the rock; but when the water flowed, both these
and the steps were so far concealed as not to attract notice.

Whilst Herrera gazed in mute astonishment at this singular staircase,
the Mochuelo approached and tapped him on the shoulder.

"What say you to yonder hiding-place?" said he, pointing up to the
wooden platform above them. "Will they seek us there, think you? Could
we not lie hidden for a week instead of a day?"

"If that be the only road to it," said Herrera, indicating the
water-course, "we need hardly fear intruders. But can it not be
approached from the mountains in the rear?"

"Hardly," answered the Mochuelo, "as you shall see when there is light
enough. We shall be safe there, señor."

"And the horses?" said Herrera.

"Shall be cared for," replied the Mochuelo. "We must risk their loss,
although even that is not probable. But we shall have daylight here
directly. Time is precious."

It was as he said. Already a brightness was visible in the eastern sky,
and the stars in that quarter of the heavens began to fade and
disappear. A word from the Mochuelo brought his men to their feet, and,
slinging their muskets on their backs, they ascended the water-course.
Meanwhile the horses were stripped of their equipments, and, taking hold
of the halters, Paco and El Tuerto led them into the wood. A cord was
lowered from the top of the precipice, and the saddles were drawn up.
The men continued to ascend. Velasquez, on account of his mutilation,
had some difficulty in climbing; but by the aid of a powerful guerilla,
who went behind, and afforded him support, he succeeded in reaching the
top. The Mochuelo, after ascertaining by the report of his sergeants
that all the men who had left Pampeluna with him were present, still
stood with Herrera at the foot of the water-course, waiting for El
Tuerto and Paco, who in a few minutes made their appearance.

"You have disposed of the horses?" said the Mochuelo.

The answer was in the affirmative. The horses had been securely tethered
in the thickest part of the wood, and left with an ample feed of corn
before them. It was most improbable that they should be discovered
during the few hours they must remain there; but even if they were,
their presence in that retired spot, whatever surprise it might awaken,
could afford, owing to the absence of the saddles and trappings, no clue
to their owners. To obviate any risk of their hoof-prints being traced,
Paco had had the forethought to take them into the stream, and lead them
for some distance along its shallow bed.

Upon reaching the top of the precipice, the first care of the Mochuelo
was to assemble his men, and warn them of the necessity of perfect
silence and extreme caution, upon which the lives of all depended. Under
pain of severe punishment, he commanded them to avoid the slightest
noise, and forbade their walking about, or leaving the place he
assigned to them. This was under the shadow of some ancient trees, whose
bushy crowns and branches were mingled and interlaced, so as to form a
roof impervious to the sun, and almost to rain. Amongst them meandered
one of two small streams, which, rising at different points of the
adjacent mountains, flowed down to the platform, and uniting upon it,
dashed over its brink, and formed the waterfall already described. For
the present, at least, there was little need of the Mochuelo's command
to ensure silence. Wearied by their rapid and toilsome march, the
guerillas stretched themselves upon the grass, and seemed disposed to
make amends by a morning nap for the vigilance and fatigues of the
night.

The Mochuelo took Herrera's arm. "I will show you," he said, "that I
have not overrated the security of our hiding-place."

Following the course of the rivulet, he led him to a place where a
contrivance of great simplicity explained the sudden, and, as it had
seemed, miraculous cessation of the waterfall. Just above the confluence
of the two streams, which were of moderate width, and not deep, but
which received, even in the summer months, an abundant supply of water
from the mountain-springs, were a couple of rough-fashioned
sluice-gates, consisting of strong boards, sliding down between grooved
posts, and which the strength of two men sufficed to remove or return to
their places. Above these gates, trenches, now overgrown with grass and
bushes, had been cut; so that when the sluices were closed, and the
confined water rose to a certain height, it found a vent in another
direction, and the original channel remained dry. The gates had been
taken out and concealed amongst the brushwood, where Paco and El Tuerto
had found them, and, by forcing them down the grooves, had stopped the
waterfall. They were now busied in removing them, and the Mochuelo and
Herrera, on approaching the edge of the rock, found the torrent once
more plashing down its accustomed bed, and the strange staircase, by
which their ascent had been accomplished, concealed by its flow.

In reply to Herrera's enquiries as to the original authors of this
curious contrivance, and the manner in which he had discovered it, the
Mochuelo informed him that the Frenchman, Roche, or El Tuerto, as his
Spanish comrades styled him, had, previously to the war, been one of a
band of outlaws, smugglers avowedly, and on occasion, as it was
affirmed, something worse, who for a considerable period had carried on
their illegal avocations in the Navarrese Pyrenees and their contiguous
ranges. Exposed to frequent pursuit, they had discovered and contrived
hiding-places in various parts of the district they infested, and that
now occupied by the guerillas was the one on the ingenuity of which they
most prided themselves. In order to keep it secret, they resorted
thither only in extreme cases, usually contriving to arrive and depart
in the nighttime, and carefully avoided making any of the peasantry
aware of its existence. The scanty population of the district, which
consisted chiefly of rock and mountain, forest and waste land, favoured
the preservation of their secret. At the commencement of the war the
gang broke up, and its members joined various guerilla corps. Roche was
for some time with the Carlists, but finding pay and plunder less
plentiful than hard duty and long marches, he deserted, and put himself
under the orders of the Mochuelo. The latter knew something of his
previous history, and, on leaving Pampeluna, had consulted him as a
person likely to possess valuable information concerning the wild
district whither they were about to proceed.

It seemed probable, from the appearance of the platform, that it had
been unvisited, certainly unfrequented, since the dissolution of the
honourable society to which El Tuerto had belonged. The grass was long
and untrodden; no woodman's axe had been busy with the trees; save foxes
and birds, no living creature had left traces of its presence. Only in
one place Herrera and the Mochuelo discovered a number of sheep bones
scattered amongst the long grass, remnants doubtless of some former
banquet of the smugglers; and not far off, in the hollow of a tree,
serving as a niche, a small plaster figure of the Virgin and child, that
had once been painted, but of which the damp had long since strangely
confounded the colours, told of a lingering devotional qualm on the part
of the wild law-breakers.

Still keeping under shelter of the abundant trees, the Mochuelo led his
companion to the rear of the platform. There the mountains rose in
precipices, and the most careful examination only showed one path, that
being such as few besides a mountain-goat or a chamois-hunter would
willingly have ventured upon, by which the lurking-place of the
guerillas could on that side be approached. At the foot of this path,
concealed amongst the bushes, crouched two sentries. At another point
also, where, from the loftiest part of the platform, a view was obtained
over the tree-tops up the defile between the mountains, other two
watchers were stationed, stretched at full length amongst the fern, and
peering out through laurel bushes, with whose dark foliage their bronzed
physiognomies were confounded beyond a possibility of detection.

Fully satisfied of the security of their position, the Mochuelo and
Herrera returned to their companions. The soldiers were for the most
part asleep; some few, whose appetite was even greater than their
drowsiness, were breaking their fast with black ration-bread, seasoned
with an onion or sausage, and washed down, in the absence of better
beverage, with draughts from the diamond-bright stream that rushed and
tinkled past them. Torres, with his head on his saddle, was soundly
sleeping; his dreams, to judge by the smile on his pleasant countenance,
being of a more agreeable nature than the realities of his position.
Velasquez had followed his example, and snored in a key that almost
induced his chief to awaken him, lest his nasal melody should be heard
at too great a distance.

"Can you depend on your men?" said Herrera to the Mochuelo. "A desertion
would be ruin, and yet the temptation is great. What would the man get
who delivered the dreaded Mochuelo and his band into the hands of the
enemy?"

"Thanks and reward to-day, distrust and disgrace to-morrow," replied the
guerilla. "Even those who profit by treason, hate and despise the
traitor. Besides, most of my fellows have been with the Carlists, and
have little fancy to return thither. At the same time, as the majority
of them are infernal scoundrels, I neglect no precaution. There are only
two ways of leaving this platform without the certainty of breaking
one's neck; the mountain-path, where two of my most devoted followers
are on sentry, and the waterfall, where Paco and Roche have taken the
first turn of guard. You may go to sleep, therefore, in all security,
and it is what I would advise you to do; for if our last-night's work
was severe, you may be sure that our next will be far more so. And so
good-night, or rather good-morning." And, throwing himself on the grass,
the guerilla, accustomed to snatch sleep at all hours, had his eyes shut
in an instant.

Although not less in want of repose, Herrera was hardly in a frame of
mind to obtain it so easily. His reason, as well as the consciousness
that opposition would be unavailing, had induced him to agree to the
delay deemed necessary by the Mochuelo, but he was not the less
impatient and irritated at the inaction to which he saw himself
condemned. If Baltasar had succeeded in leaving Pampeluna, and the
fruitlessness of the minute search made for him caused Herrera to fear
that such had been the case, the twelve hours' delay might frustrate all
his hopes of liberating Rita. In the anticipation of a forward movement
of Cordova's army, it was highly probable that Baltasar would remove her
to some less accessible part of the Carlist country; perhaps, even,
exasperated by the severity with which he had been treated at Pampeluna,
and by the reproaches and menaces of the Count, he might proceed to
extremities, of which Herrera shuddered to think. The fevered and
excited imagination of Luis conjured up the most maddening visions. He
saw Rita dragged half-lifeless to the altar, compelled by atrocious
menaces to place her hand in that of her abhorred kinsman, whilst a
venal priest blessed the unholy union. He heard the cries of the
trembling victim imploring mercy from those who knew not the name, and
calling on him, by whom she deemed herself deserted, for succour in her
extremity. Tortured by these and similar imaginings, Herrera paced
wildly up and down in the gloom and silence of the forest, and accused
himself of indifference and cowardice for yielding to the
representations of the Mochuelo, plausible and weighty though they were,
and for not proceeding at once, alone even, and unaided, to the
assistance of the defenceless and beloved being, the uncertainty of
whose fate thus racked his soul. Cooler reflection, however, came to his
aid, dissipating, or at least unveiling, these phantoms of a diseased
fancy, and convincing him that precipitation could but ruin his last
chance of success. It would indeed, he felt, be impracticable to regain
the Christino lines in broad daylight. Had his own life alone been at
stake, that he had willingly set upon the hazard; or rather he would at
once and joyfully have sacrificed it to restore Rita to the arms of her
father. But the same conflict in which he perished, would also ensure
the return of Rita to her captivity and its terrible consequences.
Moreover, it would have been an ungenerous requital of the promptness
with which the Mochuelo had undertaken a most perilous enterprise,
solely to oblige Herrera, and without a chance of advantage to himself,
had he insisted upon his converting the risk into almost the certainty
of destruction. Patience, then, was the only alternative; and, feeling
the necessity of repose after the fatigues and agitation of the
preceding night, Herrera lay down upon the ground, and physical
exhaustion overcoming mental activity, he sank into an uneasy and broken
slumber.

It was afternoon, and the valley and mountains were glowing and
glittering in the ardent sun-rays, although within the bower of foliage
where the guerillas had established themselves, all was cool and dark,
when the Mochuelo awakened Herrera. With a vague fear of having slept
too long, Luis started to his feet.

"Is it time to move?" he hurriedly demanded.

"Hush!" said the guerilla. "Come with me."

One of the Mochuelo's men stood by: he led the way to that lofty part of
the platform whence a view of the defile was commanded. On approaching
it, the two guerillas threw themselves on their hands and knees, and
making signs to Herrera to imitate them, crept forward till they gained
the bushes fringing the precipice. Through these a small party of
cavalry was visible, riding along the mountain pass. By aid of his
field-glass, Herrera was enabled to distinguish almost the features of
the men. At the head of the detachment rode an officer, whose figure and
general appearance he thought he recognized. A second glance confirmed
his first impression. The leader of the troop was Baltasar de
Villabuena.

Utterly bewildered by what he saw, Herrera turned to the Mochuelo.

"What are they?" he demanded, "and whither going?"

"You see what they are," answered the partisan. "Carlist lancers. They
are going, I fear, to the convent."

"How, to the convent? Does that road lead to it?"

"It does. At some distance up this valley the mountains sink, and there
is a track over them practicable for horsemen; the same which we shall
follow. When they reach the other side of the mountain they are within
ten minutes' ride of the convent."

Herrera remained for a moment as if petrified by what he heard.

"There can be no doubt," he exclaimed, "they go to remove her. Baltasar
is with them. We shall come too late. Mochuelo, you will no longer
refuse to act, and that on the instant. We must surprise and destroy the
detachment, then at once attack the convent and make our way back to
Pampeluna as best we may. If we wait till evening, the expedition might
as well not have been attempted. It will be too late."

For an instant or two the Mochuelo stood silent and thoughtful,
endeavouring to reconcile in his mind compliance with Herrera's
passionately urged wishes, and the dictates of common prudence.

"It is impossible, Captain Herrera," said he. "If there were only one
chance in twenty in our favour I would attempt it, but there would not
be one in a thousand. If we leave this before evening, we shall never
see to-morrow's sun. Much against my will I must refuse your request."

The firm and decided tone of this refusal exasperated Herrera, already
almost frantic at the thoughts of the new peril to which Rita was to be
exposed. He lost all self-command, his lip curled with a smile of scorn,
his look and tone expressed the most cutting contempt as he again
addressed the Mochuelo.

"What!" cried he, "is this the renowned, the fearless guerilla, whose
deeds have made him the dread of his foes and the admiration of his
friends! This the daring soldier whom no peril deters, who now talks of
danger, and calculates chances like a recruit or a woman! Oh, no! It is
not the same, or if it be, his courage has left him, and cowardice has
replaced daring."

On hearing himself thus unjustly and intemperately reproached, the
Mochuelo turned very pale, and his left hand sunk down as though seeking
the hilt of his sabre. His two followers, on sentry among the bushes,
who had not lost a word of the brief dialogue, turned their heads and
glared savagely at the man who dared to accuse their leader of
cowardice. One of them muttered a half-audible oath, and was about to
spring to his feet, but a gesture from the Mochuelo checked him. The
Carlist cavalry had now passed the defile, and were no longer visible on
the platform. The Mochuelo turned away and walked in the direction of
the bivouac, and Herrera mechanically followed him, rage and despair in
his heart. When out of earshot of the sentries the guerilla paused, and,
leaning his back against a tree, folded his arms on his breast. His
features, still pale, had assumed an expression of calm dignity,
strongly contrasting with the hushed and agitated countenance of his
companion.

"Señor de Herrera," said the Mochuelo, "you have surprised me. Before
two of my men you have taxed me with cowardice--fortunately they know me
well enough to despise the accusation, and discipline will not suffer.
Of the outrage to myself I say nothing. I make all allowance for your
excited state. Many would think it necessary to repay your hard words by
a shot or a stab; I can afford to laugh at any who blame my forbearance.
When next we meet the enemy, look where the fire is hottest, and you
will be convinced that the names of coward and of the Mochuelo can never
be coupled."

Touched by this manly address, and already ashamed of the intemperate
words which mental suffering had wrung from him, Herrera held out his
hand to the Mochuelo.

"Pardon me," he said "pardon a man whose agony at seeing all he loves on
earth about to be snatched away, has made him forget what is due to you
and to himself. Misery is ever selfish; but believe me I am not
ungrateful for your willing aid. All that human courage can accomplish I
know you will do. But alas! alas! this fatal though unavoidable delay is
the ruin of all my hopes."

"Perhaps not," said the Mochuelo cheeringly, and cordially pressing
Herrera's hand. "The horses we saw pass must be wearied by their mid-day
march. Unsuspicious of danger, Baltasar will probably remain a while at
the convent. The case is by no means so hopeless as you imagine. At any
rate we will risk sending a scout to keep an eye upon their movements.
For that service Paco is the man."

Within ten minutes after this conversation, Paco left the platform and
commenced the ascent of the mountain. A contribution had been levied
amongst the motley habilimented guerillas to equip him in a manner
unlikely to attract suspicion, and it was in the dress of a peasant of
the province that he departed on his hazardous mission. Herrera would
fain have undertaken it, but for the arguments of the Mochuelo and
Torres, who convinced him how much more effectually it would be
performed by the muleteer. Stationing himself at the foot of the
mountain, he watched Paco, as, with extraordinary daring and activity,
he climbed its rugged sides, availing himself, with intuitive skill and
judgment, of every description of cover, creeping up water-courses and
amongst bushes; and when compelled to expose himself to observation from
the valley in his rear, bounding and striding along as if insensible
alike to fatigue and to the scorching heat of the sun. In half the time
that appeared necessary for the painful ascent, he disappeared over the
summit of the mountain.

An hour elapsed, and Herrera, who had not ceased to watch for Paco's
re-appearance, became impatient and uneasy. The muleteer had been
ordered to go no farther than was necessary to get a view of the
convent, and that, El Tuerto affirmed, he would obtain within a few
hundred yards of the mountain-top. The Mochuelo argued favourably from
his prolonged absence, which proved, he said, that Baltasar's party were
still at the convent, and that Paco was watching their movements. But
when a second hour lagged by with like result, the guerilla, in his
turn, became anxious; whilst Herrera made sure that Paco had ventured
too far, and fallen into the hands of the enemy. In that case the
Mochuela feared that, to save his life, he might betray their
hiding-place; but Luis's assurances of the stanch and faithful character
of the muleteer, partly dissipated his apprehensions. Nevertheless,
additional videttes were posted round the edge of the platform, the
guerillas looked to their arms, and every precaution was taken against a
sudden attack. If discovered, said the Mochuelo, they could none of them
hope to escape; but the natural fortress which they occupied would
enable them to sell their lives at a dear rate.

In this state of suspense we will temporarily leave Herrera and his
friends, to follow in the footsteps of the muleteer. So rapid had been
his ascent of the mountain, that when he reached its summit the Carlists
had not yet completed their circuit, and entered the valley where the
convent stood. With a feeling of huge satisfaction Paco looked down upon
his former prison, and chuckled at the thought that he should soon have
an opportunity of revenging himself for his sufferings within its walls.
To make the most of his time before the appearance of Baltasar, he
hastily descended the naked rock on which he stood, and sought shelter
amongst the bushes and straggling trees clothing the middle and lower
slopes of the mountain. Thence he commanded a near view of the convent.
No change was visible in the grey, ghostly-looking edifice; so still was
every thing about it, that it might have been deemed uninhabited but for
the portress, who sat knitting in the shadow of the gateway, and for the
occasional apparition of some ancient nun, showing her face, yellow and
shrivelled as parchment, at a casement, or flitting with bowed head, and
hands lost in the wide sleeves of her robe, across the spacious and
solitary court. The red moss mantled the old walls, the bright green
creepers dangled from their summits, the gardens and vineyard covering
the slope in front of the convent, teemed with vegetable life. From
where he stood Paco could discover the very point where he had entered
the forest after his escape from the dungeon. As he gazed, it suddenly
occurred to him that the same friendly shelter which had enabled him to
leave the neighbourhood of the convent unperceived, put it in his power
to return thither without detection. Bold to temerity, and forgetful of
the Mochuelo's injunctions to expose himself to no risk of discovery,
Paco no sooner conceived the project than he proceeded to execute it.
The convent, it will be remembered, was situated at the extremity of the
valley; the pass or rather dip in the surrounding hills, by which
Baltasar and his companions would approach it, was to the east of the
building; whereas Paco, by the short cut he had taken, found himself on
the contrary or western side. Concealed amongst the trees, he moved
stealthily but swiftly along, and was within a few hundred yards of the
spot whence he proposed to reconnoitre the enemy's proceedings, when he
heard the jingling noise of cavalry at the trot, and, looking through
the branches, he saw Baltasar and his party sweep round the base of the
little eminence on which the convent stood, and ascend the path leading
to its gate. Baltasar alone entered the court; the troopers, about
thirty in number, halted outside, and remained mounted. Paco plunged
deeper into the forest; five more minutes completed his circuit, and he
found himself, still concealed by the trees, within a few paces of the
convent wall. Opposite to him was the window whence Rita had held her
conversation with the gipsy; below it, Paco saw traces of the loophole
through which he had escaped. The long grass and bushes had been cleared
away, and the rusty grating which Paco had so easily removed was
replaced by solid masonry. At none of the casements on that side of the
convent was any person visible. Both shutters and windows were open; but
Venetian blinds masked the interior of the apartments from the view of
the muleteer, who stood still and listened. Scarcely a minute elapsed,
when a loud noise, as of a door dashed violently open, reached his ears.
This was succeeded by a burst of furious vociferation in a voice which
Paco knew to be that of Baltasar. Although his tones were loud, his
utterance was so rapid and incoherent, the effect apparently of passion,
that only a word here and there was intelligible to the muleteer, and
these words were for the most part execrations. He seemed to lash
himself into the most unbounded fury against some person who had entered
the apartment in his company, and from the epithets he made use of, it
was clear that that person was a woman. At first no reply was made to
his violence, although Paco could distinguish that he put questions, and
became more and more infuriated at the silence of her to whom they were
addressed. Presently there was a momentary pause, and a female voice was
heard. The accents were distinct though tremulous.

"Never!" it said, "never! You may murder me; but that, never!"

A blasphemy too horrible to transcribe, burst from the lips of Baltasar.
A blow followed--a heavy, cruel, unmanly blow; there was a faint cry and
the sound of a fall. Paco's blood grew cold in his veins, he ground his
teeth, and his hand played convulsively with the knife in his pocket. He
looked up at the window as though he would have sprung to the assistance
of the helpless victim of Baltasar's barbarity. Again the room-door
opened, and was again violently slammed. All was now silent in the
chamber.

With heavy heart, and a countenance pale with horror and suppressed
rage, Paco left the spot, and hastened to another, whence he could see
the front of the convent. The Carlist horsemen were filing in at the
gate. Looking around him, Paco selected a lofty tree, easy of ascent; in
an instant he was amongst its branches. Thence he commanded a view of
the interior of the court. Baltasar was there giving orders to his men,
who unbridled and watered their horses at a fountain in the centre of
the court. This done, they proceeded to feed them, and to cleanse the
legs and bellies of the wearied animals from the sweat and dust. Bread
and a skin of wine were presently brought out of the convent; and by
these and other indications, Paco became convinced that a halt of some
duration, for the purpose of rest and refreshment, was intended,
although, from the non-removal of the saddles, it was evident that the
Carlists would not pass the night there. Having now obtained all the
information he could hope for, and far more than he had expected to get,
the indefatigable muleteer set out on his return to the platform.

Meanwhile Paco's prolonged absence had caused Herrera and the Mochuelo
the most serious uneasiness; and as Luis knew him to be incapable of
treachery, and vouched for his fidelity, they could only suppose that he
had been taken prisoner, or had fallen and killed or maimed himself
amongst the precipices he had to traverse. Sunset was near at hand, when
Herrera, who continued to sweep the mountain ridge with his telescope,
saw a man roll off the summit and then start to his feet. It was Paco,
who now bounded down the mountain with a speed and apparent recklessness
that made those who watched his progress tremble for his neck. But the
hardy fellow knew well what he did; his sure foot and practised eye
served him well; and presently, reeking with sweat, and his hands and
dress torn by rocks and brambles, he again stood amongst his friends. He
was overwhelmed with enquiries concerning the result of his excursion,
and gave a brief but lucid account of all he had seen. Only, with a
delicacy and consideration hardly to be expected in one so roughly
nurtured, he suppressed the more painful details, merely saying that he
had heard a voice, which he believed to be that of Rita, in animated
conversation with Baltasar, who seemed endeavouring to persuade her to
something which she steadily refused to do.

"We may yet be in time," exclaimed Herrera, all his hopes revived by the
muleteer's intelligence. And he looked anxiously at the Mochuelo.

"We will move at once," said the latter, replying to his look rather
than to his words. "The sun is low. It will be dark before we reach the
convent."

The flow of the waterfall was again stopped, and with the same caution
that had marked all their movements since they left Pampeluna, the
guerillas descended from their eyrie. Avoiding the open part of the
valley, they kept within the forest, and reached the spot where the
horses were concealed. They had not been meddled with; it was probable,
indeed, that during the whole day Baltasar and his men were the only
persons who had passed through the solitary valley. With strength
restored by their long repose, the guerillas marched rapidly along, and
soon found themselves in the vicinity of the convent. The sun had
disappeared, leaving a red glow in the western sky; here and there a
star shone out, and the heavens were of a transparent blue, excepting in
the wind quarter, where the upper edge of a dense bank of cloud was
visible. This, and the vapours, the result of the day's heat, which
began to rise in the hollows and low grounds, the Mochuelo contemplated
with much satisfaction.

"'Tis a bright evening," he said, "but the night will be dark. The
better for our retreat, Captain Herrera; all is in our favour. Fortune
befriends us."

Halting his men, the guerilla dismounted and advanced on foot till he
came within sight of the convent. By the waning light he distinguished
the figures of two or three soldiers lounging outside the gate. He
returned to Herrera.

"They are still there," said he, "and cannot escape us. We will wait
till it grows somewhat darker, that the surprise may be more complete."

A few minutes were allowed to elapse, minutes that seemed hours to
Herrera's impatience, and then a small party, guided by Paco and under
command of Torres, moved off to gain the rear of the convent. At the
same time the remainder of the guerillas approached the building on the
eastern side, stealing along behind banks and trees. Unperceived they
had commenced the ascent of the uncultivated slope, when their foremost
files stumbled upon a Carlist soldier who had sneaked down to the garden
to make provision of the fruit growing there in abundance. So silent
were the movements of the guerillas, (Herrera, Velasquez, and the
Mochuelo going on foot, whilst their horses were led at some distance in
the rear,) that the Carlist was not aware of their approach till they
were close to him, and he himself, hidden amongst the fruit-trees, had
escaped their notice. He uttered a shout of surprise and terror; it was
his last. A blow from the sabre of Velasquez brought him to the ground;
the next instant three bayonets were in his body.

"Forward!" cried the Mochuelo, who saw that further caution was useless;
and, closely followed by his men, ran at the top of his speed towards
the convent. But the soldier's exclamation had given the alarm to a
second Carlist, who had been waiting his comrade's return from the
orchard. He saw the guerillas rush forward, sprang within the gate, shut
and barred it. The Mochuela came up in time to hear the last bolt drawn.

A great bustle and confusion were now audible in the court; the men
hurrying to their horses, and questioning each other as to the nature of
the alarm. The Mochuelo lost not an instant. Two of his men carried
axes; he took one, Herrera the other, and they dealt furious blows upon
the gate, which shook and splintered under their efforts. The voice of
Baltasar was heard loud in oath, and abusing his men for their cowardly
panic. Not conceiving it possible that a party of Christinos should have
advanced in broad daylight to so great a distance from their lines, he
at first attributed the attack to some roving banditti, who had expected
a rich, or, at any rate, an easy prey in the defenceless convent of
nuns. He advanced to the gate.

"Scoundrels!" he exclaimed,--"What means this violence? Desist, or I
fire upon you!"

A low laugh from the guerillas replied to his menace. With incredible
hardihood, he opened the wicket and looked out. The Mochuelo had
forbidden his men to fire, but nevertheless, at the sight of Baltasar, a
dozen muskets were raised.

"For your lives not a shot!" cried the Mochuelo.

With his axe, Herrera made a furious blow at Baltasar, but the wicket
was too small to admit the weapon, and the Carlist retreated into the
interior of the court. The gate began to yield, fairly hewn in pieces by
the axes; a few more blows and an opening was effected. The guerillas
rushed with fixed bayonets into the court. It was deserted save by the
horses. The doors and windows of the convent were closely shut, and not
a single Carlist was to be seen. Just then several shots, fired in rear
of the building, explained the solitude in its front. The besieged had
endeavoured to escape by the outer windows, but had been prevented by
Torres and his detachment. Foiled in this attempt, Baltasar now showed
himself, raging like a wolf at bay, at a window above the gate of the
convent. Some of his men accompanied him, and fired their carabines at
the assailants. By the Mochuelo's order, the fire was not returned. A
few shots, he thought, might be unheard or pass unnoticed by the Carlist
troops in the vicinity, but the fire of his men would inevitably attract
attention. In silence, therefore, and partly sheltered by a projecting
portico, he and Herrera assailed the convent door with their axes. The
obstacle was a slighter one than that which had already been overcome,
and its demolition seemed likely to be more speedy. There were other
doors in the wings of the convent that would perhaps have been yet more
easily broken down; but in the uncertainty of what the interior
partitions and defences night be, the Mochuelo preferred attacking the
principal entrance. The Carlists continued to fire, and several of the
guerillas were already killed; but soon, in anticipation of their
stronghold being speedily forced, the besieged ceased to defend
themselves, and left the windows to seek concealment from the first fury
of the foe. The door gave way, and the victorious Christinos, eager for
booty, poured into the building. Herrera was the first who entered. He
had ascertained from Paco the part of the convent where he might expect
to find Rita; he darted up the stairs and along a gallery which ran
completely round the first floor. The Mochuelo accompanied him. They
were passing an open window, whence the Carlists had fired, when a loud
shout was uttered by a detachment, who, in obedience to the orders of
their chief, remained formed up in the court. The shout was followed by
a few musket shots. The Mochuelo stopped and looked out: Herrera, all
his thoughts concentrated on one subject, still hurried on, but an
exclamation from his companion arrested his steps.

"Escaped!" cried the Mochuelo.

"Escaped!" repeated Herrera, in his turn looking out; "Who?"

The question was answered by what he saw. Whilst the guerillas in the
court-yard, resting upon their arms, gazed at the convent windows, now
rapidly becoming illuminated, and envied their more fortunate comrades,
who, to judge from the noise within, were using unsparingly their
privileges as victors, a door in one of the projecting wings suddenly
opened, and a man on horseback, with a woman before him on his saddle,
dashed into the court. His spurs plunged in his charger's flanks, he
rode through the astonished soldiers, and out at the gate. There was
still enough light for Herrera to catch a glimpse of his figure before
he disappeared below the brow of the slope. That glimpse told him that
his hopes were again blasted. The horseman was Baltasar. There could be
little doubt as to who was the companion of his flight.

In an instant Herrera was in the court. His horse stood near the gate;
he leaped into the saddle, and galloped madly down the hill. Three or
four of the guerillas had preceded him; but the captured horses of the
Carlists, on which they were mounted, were sorry beasts, and he soon
left them far in his rear. He saw Baltasar galloping at full speed up
the valley, the double burthen apparently unfelt by the vigorous animal
he bestrode. But Herrera also was well mounted, his horse fresh, and he
gained on the fugitive, gradually it is true, but still he gained on
him. Selecting the most favourable ground, and avoiding plantations or
whatever else might impede his progress, Baltasar spurred onwards,
stimulating his steed with his voice, occasionally even striking his
flanks with his sabre-flat. When dashing through the court, his
companion, or, it should rather be said, his captive, had been seen to
struggle, although the thick black veil in which her head was muffled
prevented her cries, if any she uttered, from being audible. She now
lay, as if insensible, on the left arm of the Carlist colonel. Behind
came Herrera bareheaded, with clenched teeth, his drawn sword in his
hand, in readiness to strike the very instant he should come within
reach of the ravisher. Unfortunately the distance between them
diminished but slowly, and Herrera trembled lest superior bone and
endurance on the part of his enemy's charger should yet enable him to
escape; when to his inexpressible relief he saw the horse stop, with a
suddenness that almost threw his rider on his neck, and then, on being
furiously spurred and urged forward, rear, turn round, and oppose all
the resistance of a horse brought to a leap which he is afraid or unable
to take. Whilst galloping down a rough and stony path, on one of whose
sides was a high bank, and on the other an abrupt fall in the ground,
Baltasar had come upon a deep trench or rivulet of considerable width,
and this his horse obstinately refused to cross. Casting a hasty glance
back at his pursuer, who was still far behind, Baltasar turned his
charger, and again rode him at the obstacle. Again the animal shyed, and
refused. His rider uttered a furious oath, and resolutely turned about,
as if resolved to fight now that he could no longer fly. Herrera's heart
beat quick with hope. At length, then, he should rescue and revenge his
Rita. He was within twenty yards of the Carlist, when the latter drew a
pistol and fired at him. His horse received the ball in his breast,
staggered forward, carried on by the impetus he had acquired, and fell,
with his rider partly under him. Before Herrera could extricate himself,
the sound of hoofs was heard, and another horseman galloped down the
lane. Again Baltasar rode at the ditch, but his steed, discouraged and
cowed by his violent treatment, made no effort to cross it. With a
fierce execration, Baltasar threw the woman violently to the ground, and
driving the point of his sword an inch or more into his horse's crupper,
the animal, relieved of part of his load, and maddened by the cruel and
unusual stimulus, cleared the ditch. As he did so, Herrera having
regained his feet, hurried to the unfortunate creature of whom Baltasar
had so brutally disencumbered himself. She lay upon her side, quite
motionless and the veil that wrapped her head was wet with blood.

"Rita!" exclaimed Luis; "Rita!"

Raising her on his arm, he drew the covering from her face. The features
disclosed were entirely unknown to him.

Just then Velasquez came up at speed, and, flying across the ditch,
continued the pursuit.

The person whom Herrera supported in his arms was of middle age, and had
the remains of great beauty, although her countenance was emaciated, and
as pale as the white nun's robe in which she was clad. In falling she
had received severe injury; her temple had struck against a sharp angle
of the granite of which the path was chiefly composed, and blood flowed
in abundance from a deep wound. Her eyes were closed, and her features
wore a suffering expression. Amidst the various and opposite emotions
that agitated Herrera when he found that it was not Rita whom he had
rescued, the dominant impulse was to return immediately to the convent,
there to seek his mistress. Nevertheless common humanity forbade his
abandoning the nun, at least till her senses returned, or till he could
leave her in proper care, and moreover he hoped to obtain from her some
information concerning Rita. Raising her in his arms, he carried her to
the bank of the little stream, laid her gently upon the grass, and,
fetching water in the hollow of his hands, sprinkled it upon her face.
It revived her, she opened her eyes, and by a convulsive movement
assumed a sitting posture, but instantly fell back again. She glanced at
Herrera's uniform in seeming surprise, and gazed around her with a
haggard and terrified look.

"Have no fear," said Herrera; "you are in safety. Do I mistake, or are
you Doña Carmen de Forcadell?"

The nun's lips moved, but no sound escaped then.

"And Rita?" said Herrera, unable to restrain the inquiry, "where is
she?"

"Rita!" repeated the nun in a hollow broken voice, "What of her? Where
am I? how came I here? Oh, oh!" she exclaimed in tones of anguish, "I
remember!"

She put her hand to her head with a suffering gesture; a strange wild
gleam shone in her eyes, her reason seemed departing. Herrera anxiously
watched her. Her features became more composed, and for a moment she
appeared to suffer less.

"And Rita?" he again asked.

She looked him full in the face, the fire of delirium in her eyes.
"Rita!" she repeated. She paused, and then burst out into a scream of
laughter that made Herrera shudder.

"Ha, ha!" she cried, "False! vile! faithless!"----

The laugh died away upon her convulsed lips, a deep sob burst from her
breast, her head fell back. She was a corpse.

Herrera had but just assured himself that life had indeed fled, when he
heard in two different directions the sound of horses' feet, and then
Torres galloped up, followed by three of the guerillas.

"What do you here? The Mochuelo is furious at the delay. You will be
left behind. Where is Rita? Who is this?" cried he, looking at the dead
body of the nun.

Before Herrera could reply, Velasquez cleared the ditch. His face was
covered with blood, his sabre, which dangled from his wrist, showed the
same sanguine signals, and he led Baltasar's horse by the rein.

"Mount!" cried he to Herrera, "and spur, all of you, like devils. We
have been here too long already."

"You overtook him?" cried Herrera, springing into the saddle.

For sole reply, Velasquez raised his crimsoned sword, and dashing away
with the back of his hand the blood that blinded him, and which flowed
from a cut on his head, he set forward at full speed towards the
convent.

The guerillas were already formed up in readiness to depart. The
Mochuelo, chafing with impatience, had ridden a short distance to meet
Herrera and Velasquez.

"By all the saints!" he exclaimed, as they came up, "this delay may cost
us our lives, Captain Herrera. But how is this, you come alone? He has
escaped then, and carried off the lady!"

"It was not her we seek," replied Luis; "she must still be in the
convent."

"Impossible!" said the Mochuelo. "We have rummaged every corner of it."

"She must be there!" cried Herrera. "I will find her."

"We march instantly," said the Mochuelo, laying his hand on Herrera's
bridle. "We have tarried too long."

"Go, then, without me," exclaimed Herrera. And, snatching his rein from
the guerilla's grasp, he spurred his horse up the slope.

"Go with him, Señor Torres," said the Mochuelo. "Every moment is a man's
life. Three minutes more and I march."

Torres rode after his friend.

"And Baltasar?" said the Mochuelo to his lieutenant.

"Lies yonder in the valley," was the reply of Velasquez, as he wiped
his sword on his horse's mane, and returned it to the scabbard. "Wolves'
meat, if they will have him."

The convent, when Herrera and Torres re-entered it, showed abundant
traces of the rough visitors by whom it had recently been occupied.
Doors broken down, windows smashed, the corridors and cloisters
encumbered with broken furniture, and lighted here and there by the
thick wax tapers used at the altar, some of which had fallen from the
places where the guerillas had stuck them, and lay flaming on the
ground, threatening the building with conflagration. Some of the nuns
had shut themselves in their cells, others sat weeping and moping in the
refectory; on all sides were desolation and the sound of lamentation.
Here and there lay the bloody and disfigured bodies of the slain
Carlists. Not one of them had been spared. The chapel had been
ransacked, and although the Mochuelo had forbidden his men to encumber
themselves with plunder, all the smaller and more valuable decorations
of the sacred edifice had been transferred to the haversacks of the
guerillas. He had been more successful in preserving the nuns from ill
usage, although, in moments of license and excitement, even his commands
did not always find obedience. But a few minutes, however, had been
granted to the reckless invaders to complete their work of spoliation,
before he cleared the convent, and, forming up his men outside the gate,
forbade their leaving their ranks. On Herrera's entrance, the terrified
nuns thought that the guerillas were returning, and with cries of terror
fled in all directions. He succeeded in calming their fears, and
enquired for the abbess, although nearly certain that she it was to
whose death he had been witness. None could tell him aught concerning
her; nor was he able, either by threats or entreaties, to obtain any
information with respect to Rita. Several of the nuns knew that she and
her attendant had occupied apartments contiguous to those of the abbess;
but they had none of them been admitted to see her, and knew nothing of
her fate. A rapid search instituted by Herrera and Torres was entirely
fruitless. Already two messengers had been sent by the Mochuelo to
hasten their movements, and at last Torres succeeded in dragging his
friend away. The guerillas had already marched with the exception of a
small party who still waited at the foot of the slope, and now hurried
after the main body.

Whilst traversing in silence and darkness the mountain in rear of the
convent, Herrera was at length able to collect his bewildered thoughts,
and with comparative calmness to pass in review the events of the
evening, and the unsatisfactory results of his ill-fated expedition.
Long used to disappointment, and aware of the difficulties environing
his project, he had approached the convent in no sanguine mood; but
still hopes he had, which were now blighted, and never, he feared, would
be realized. What had become of Rita, and how could he obtain tidings of
her? Had she already been removed from the convent by Baltasar? But why,
then, had he returned thither? His death, at least, was some
consolation. Wherever Rita might be, she no longer had his persecution
to dread. Against Herrera's will, and although he spurned the thought
and blamed himself for entertaining it, even for a moment, the ominous
words, the last the abbess had spoken, still rang in his ears, like the
judge's sentence in those of a condemned criminal. False, vile,
faithless! Could it be? Could Rita, by importunity, intimidation, or
from any other motive, have been induced to listen otherwise than with
abhorrence to Baltasar's odious addresses? Herrera could not, would not,
think so; and yet how was he to interpret the words of the abbess? Were
they the mere ravings of delirium, or had they signification? If Rita
was false, then indeed was there no truth upon earth. Confused,
bewildered, tortured by the ideas that crowded upon his heated brain,
Herrera sat like an automaton upon his horse, unmindful of where he was,
and utterly forgetting the dangers that surrounded him. He was roused by
the Mochuelo from his state of abstraction.

"We shall not reach Pampeluna without a skirmish," said the partisan, in
a low but cheerful and confident tone. "I am much mistaken or the enemy
have got the alarm, and are on the look-out for us."

The prospect of action was perhaps the only thing that could then have
diverted Herrera's thoughts from the painful subject pre-occupying them.
In his galled and irritated mood, driven to doubt of what he never
before had doubted, the idea of something to grapple with, of resistance
to overcome, an enemy to strive against, was a positive relief, and he
answered the Mochuelo quickly and fiercely.

"The better," said he. "Our expedition will not have been entirely
fruitless. Mochuelo, your men are brave and true. Night favours us. Let
the rebels come. We will give then a lesson they shall long remember."

"Nevertheless," replied the guerilla, "I would rather avoid them, for
they are twenty to one. One fight will not settle the matter, even
though we be victors. But they are gathering. Listen!"

Herrera listened, and from various quarters sounds that warned of
approaching danger reached his ears. On one hand, although at a
considerable distance, the clang of a cavalry trumpet was audible; on
the other, church and convent bells rang out a tocsin of alarm. The
sounds were taken up by other bells; in their rear, in front, on all
sides. The Mochuelo rode along the flank of the little column, which in
dead silence, and with rapid steps, followed El Tuerto, who, with Paco
and Velasquez, marched at its head. So dim and shadowy did the dark
figures of the guerillas appear, as they noiselessly strode along, that
they might have been taken for the spectres of the slain, risen from
some bloody battle field, and condemned to wander over the scene of
their former exploits. With words of praise and encouragement the
Mochuelo stimulated their progress.

"Forward, men," he said, "steady and silent! Every moment is worth a
million. There will be work for you before morning, but it is yet too
soon."

Full of confidence in their leader, undeterred by danger, but knowing
the necessity of speed and prudence in their perilous position, the
guerillas pressed on, keeping well together, and at a pace which it
seemed almost impossible they should be able to sustain. They did
sustain it, however; and, thanks to that circumstance, to the darkness,
and to the skilful guidance of El Tuerto, to whom each tree and rock of
that wild district was familiar, the Mochuelo's predictions were but
partially realized. More than once, indeed, the adventurous little band
were within a hair's-breadth of stumbling upon patrols and pickets of
the enemy; more than once, whilst they lay upon their faces in the long
fern, or stood concealed amongst trees, parties of cavalry rode by
within pistol-shot; but nevertheless all encounters were happily
avoided, and it was not till the first grey light of morning, and within
a short league of Pampeluna, that they fell in with a Carlist battalion,
occupied in posting the advanced pickets. Skirmishing ensued, and the
Carlists, superior in number, pressed their opponents vigorously, until
Herrera and the Mochuelo placed themselves at the head of the guerillas
and charged with the bayonet. The Carlists gave way and were pursued for
a short distance, when the Mochuelo, not deeming it prudent to follow
them further, ordered the recall to be sounded. A quarter of an hour
afterwards he and his men were safely under the cannon of Pampeluna.

The morning sun was brightly shining when Herrera entered the town. At
that early hour the streets had few occupants besides the market people,
who walked briskly along, balancing their vegetable stores upon their
heads, and chattering noisely in the Basque tongue; at a stable-door
some Andalusian dragoons groomed their horses, gaily singing in chorus
one of the lively seguidillas of their native province; here and there a
'prentice boy, yawning and sleepy-eyed, removed the shutters from his
master's shop. The dew lay in glistering beads upon the house-tops;
there was a crispness in the air, a cheerful freshness in the appearance
of all around him, that was in jarring discord with Herrera's gloomy
and desponding mood, as, with fevered pulse and haggard looks, he guided
his wearied horse towards Count Villabuena's quarters. He came in sight
of the house; its upper windows had just caught the first sunbeams; the
balconies were filled with plants, whose bright blossoms and fresh
contrasted pleasantly with the ancient stone-work of the heavy façade;
on a myrtle spray, a bird, capriciously deserting the greenwood for the
city, trimmed his feathers and carolled a lively note; every thing about
the dwelling seemed so gay and cheerful, that Herrera involuntarily
checked his horse, and felt inclined to turn back. For the second time a
messenger of evil, how could he break his sad intelligence to the
Count--by what arguments console his heart-broken old man under this new
and bitter disappointment? As he passed the angle of the house, he saw
that the jalousies of Count Villabuena's windows were open; doubtless he
was already up, looking anxiously for the arrival of his daughter;
perhaps, alarmed at the prolonged absence of Herrera, he had not been to
rest. Luis dreaded the effect of his painful tidings upon the Count's
feeble health, and he racked his imagination to devise a way of
gradually imparting them, but it was in vain; for his mere appearance,
unaccompanied by Rita, would be sufficient to make her father conjecture
even worse than the truth.

The family of Basilio, the cloth-merchant, were early in their habits,
and the house was already open. With heavy and reluctant step, Luis
ascended the stairs, and then paused, irresolute and unwilling to enter
the Count's apartment. At last, summoning resolution, he was about to
lift the latch, when it was raised, and Count Villabuena, completely
dressed, and pale as if from a sleepless night, stood before him. He
started on beholding Herrera, and his countenance was lighted up with
joy.

"Thanks be to God!" he exclaimed, clasping his hands with a gesture of
profound piety and gratitude--"thanks be to God, you are safe!"

"Alas!" cried Herrera, "my safety matters little. We have been
unsuccessful; Rita"----

He became suddenly mute, for at that moment the door of an inner room
opened, a voice, long unheard but well remembered, uttered his name, and
Rita, more lovely than ever, tears upon her cheeks and joy in her eyes,
threw herself into his arms.

We will leave to our readers' imagination the transports of the two
lovers, who after so long a separation, and sufferings of so many kinds,
found themselves thus happily, and, as far as one of them at least was
concerned, unexpectedly reunited, and will confine ourselves to an
explanation of the circumstances that led to so fortunate a result. It
may be given in a few words.

Although Baltasar's ascendancy over Doña Carmen, partly the consequence
of former complicity in crime, partly attributable to her dread of his
brutal and violent character, had induced her to accept the custody of
Rita, it was most unwillingly that she had done so, and with the full
determination to protect to the utmost of her power the defenceless
girl, of whom she was compelled to become the jailer. Rita's beauty and
amiable qualities, and the angelic sweetness and patience displayed by
her during the severe illness that followed her arrival at the convent,
soon endeared her to the abbess, who became confirmed in her resolve to
guard her interesting prisoner from harm. More than once, moved by
Rita's tears and entreaties, she was tempted to set her at liberty, but
was deterred by fear of Baltasar. The action of Mendigorria was
fought--news came to the convent that Colonel Villabuena had been
killed. The abbess hesitated no longer, but at once released Rita, who,
accompanied by her waiting-maid, was escorted by a couple of sturdy and
trustworthy peasants to the nearest town. Thence she safely reached the
French frontier, which was at no great distance. Once in France, she
learned to her unspeakable joy, from Spanish emigrants there resident,
that her father still lived, although a prisoner, and that he was then
at Logroño. At all risks she resolved to rejoin him, and proceeding to a
point of the frontier held by the Christinos, she re-entered Spain, and
arrived at Pampeluna twelve hours after Herrera had left it with the
purpose of rescuing her. She had friends in the town whom she hastened
to visit, and by them she was conducted to her astonished and delighted
father.

When Baltasar reached the convent, and found that Rita was no longer
there, his fury was unbounded, and he loaded the abbess with reproaches
and abuse. He became yet more violent when she refused to tell him the
direction in which Rita had gone. Owing to the disturbed state of the
country, and the recent movements of the Christino army, Doña Carmen
could not be certain that her late prisoner had succeeded in leaving
Spain, and she, therefore, resolutely refused to give Baltasar any
information concerning her. It was then that occurred the scene of which
Paco had overheard a part, when Baltasar struck and ill-treated the
unfortunate nun, who with heroic courage remained firm in her refusal,
submitting meekly to his cruelty, and trusting that her sufferings might
be accepted as a partial expiation of her former offences, which she had
long repented, if she could not atone them. Still, however, Baltasar did
not despair of compelling her to reveal what he so ardently desired to
know; and it was doubtless for that reason that he carried her with him
when he fled from the convent. It has already been seen how care for his
own preservation induced him to abandon her, although too late to save
himself. Within a few hundred yards of the place where he had so
brutally thrown her from his horse, he was overtaken by Velasquez, at
whose hand, after a brief but desperate conflict, he met a more
honourable death than he deserved. Upon the following day, his body and
that of his erring but repentant victim were brought to the convent by
peasants of the neighbourhood, and both found sepulture in the chapel.
The convent has since been abandoned and partly pulled down; but the
chapel still stands, and on its paved floor may still be read
inscriptions recording the date and manner of the death of Baltasar de
Villabuena and Carmen de Forcadell.

As if fortune, weary of persecuting Herrera, had on a sudden determined
to favour as much as she had previously slighted him, the same day that
dawned upon his return to Pampeluna brought despatches from Madrid,
announcing his promotion, and granting a free pardon to Count
Villabuena, on the sole condition of his remaining neutral in the
struggle between Carlists and Christinos. It was General Cordova, who,
out of friendship for Herrera, and compassion for the sufferings and
misfortunes of the Count, had exerted his influence, then almost
unlimited, in favour of the latter. To the prescribed condition, Count
Villabuena, already disgusted by the ingratitude of him whom he called
his king, and despairing, since the death of Zumalacarregui, of the
success of the Carlist cause, was without much difficulty induced to
give his adherence.

Less successful were the Count and Rita in prevailing upon Herrera to
leave the service, and, contenting himself with the laurels he had
already won, to retire into private life. Gladly, perhaps, would he have
done so, had he consulted only his inclinations; but he had not
forgotten his pledge to his dying father, never to sheath his sword till
the right cause had triumphed. In common with many of his party, he
believed that triumph to be near at hand. Their recent successes, and
the death of the only man amongst the Pretender's partisans who had
shown military talents of a high order, made the Christinos confident of
the speedy termination of a war which was yet to be prolonged for four
years. And when Herrera, in compliance with the Count's wishes, urged as
entreaties rather than commands, agreed to wait its conclusion before
claiming the hand of his daughter, he little dreamed how many
hard-fought fields he should be present at, how many tearful partings
and joyful meetings would occur, before peace should be restored to
Spain, and Rita could become his wife without risk of finding herself
the next day a widow. From summer to winter, from winter to spring, the
marriage was deferred, until at length the Count was about to withdraw
his opposition, well-founded though it was, and as Herrera felt it to
be, when the convention of Vergara took place, and removed the only
objection to the union of Rita and Luis. By that convention the war was
in fact concluded; for although Cabrera and other chiefs still waved the
banner of rebellion in the mountains of Catalonia and Arragon, there
could now be no doubt of their speedy subjugation. Deprived of the
support of Biscay and Navarre, and especially of the moral weight which
the adherence of those provinces gave to it, the Carlist rebellion was
virtually crushed.

On a bright autumnal afternoon of the year 1839, a travelling carriage,
of form and dimensions by no means incommodious, although its antique
construction, and the tawny tint of its yellow paint, might in London or
Vienna have subjected it to criticism, drove rapidly past the roadside
inn at which our story commenced. As it did so, a young man of military
appearance looked out of the window of the vehicle, and then turning his
head caught the eye of the coachman, who had also glanced at the inn,
and looked round at his master. Both smiled, although with a somewhat
melancholy expression; the driver touched his cap, cracked his long
whip, and the next instant the rapid gallop of the mules had taken the
carriage out of sight of the venta. The driver was Paco the muleteer,
the gentleman was General Herrera; and the sight of the inn, still
shaded by the huge tree in its front, and flanked by the broken wall,
had recalled to their recollection the famous game at ball played by
Paco and Velasquez, and which subsequently cost the one a horse and the
other a broken head. A ball of another description had since proved
fatal to the dragoon. He had fallen in one of the last actions of the
war, fighting gallantly by the side of the Mochuelo, whose fortunes he
had continued to share.

Accompanied by his bride and father-in-law, Herrera was on his way to
the villa near Tudela, now again the property of Count Villabuena.
Desirous to conciliate a nobleman of ancient name and high character,
and out of consideration for the great services which Herrera's zeal and
talents had rendered the cause, the queen's government had some time
previously restored to the Count his confiscated estates. At length the
clouds that had darkened the career of Louis Herrera were entirely
dissipated, and the long perspective of happiness before him appeared
the brighter, when contrasted with the misfortunes and sufferings that
had embittered the early manhood of the Student of Salamanca.



SHAKSPEARE AND THE DRAMA.


A LETTER TO T. SMITH, ESQ., SCENE-PAINTER AND TRAGEDIAN AT THE
AMPHITHEATRE.

MY DEAR SIR--or let me at once break through the formalities of a first
acquaintance, and say, dear Smith;--Dear Smith, I am delighted to have
been at last introduced to a real member of the theatrical profession--a
_bonâ fide_ flesh and blood, silk-stocking'd and tinsel-rapier'd "pride
of Astley's stage." If you unite in your own person the artist and the
player; if you occasionally handle the painter's brush as well as the
field-marshal's truncheon--for have I not seen you lead the British
troops with heroic valour through the awful passes of Cabul, which I had
seen you creating with lamp-black and grey chalks in the morning?--it
will only prove that your genius is universal, or, at least, not limited
to one mode of development; but that, as D'Israeli is an orator and a
statesman, you are a scene-painter and performer. But your qualities are
not of so confined a nature even as this. For have I not seen you, in
the intervals of your possessing the stage, employ your great strength
in pushing forward the ponderous woods of Bondy you have painted? Have I
not seen you dash off dungeon in the Castle of Udolpho with all the
vigour of Rembrandt, roll it forward on the stage with the strength of
Hercules, and then murder the turnkey in it with the power and elegance
of Thurtell? But it is not the multifariousness of your merits that
makes me proud of calling you my friend: no, it is the modesty with
which you bear your honours thick upon you--the ignorance, as it were,
of your own position, as compared with that of others infinitely your
inferiors--that shows you at once the man of genius and the gentleman.
Macready, you acknowledge, is perhaps your superior in such parts as
Lear and Hamlet; but did he ever paint a single side-scene in his life?
Beverley, they say, is equal to Stanfield in the poetry of his
landscapes; and you confess that in his airs and distances he surpasses
your noblest efforts. Ask yourself, my dear friend, if he ever fought a
terrific combat with a sword in each hand, with such courage as I have
seen you display in front of one of your own scenes? Ask him if he ever
painted his mother's cottage in one character, pushed it forward in
another, and poisoned her in it in a third? No, no, dear Smith, do not
try to hide from yourself that there is no man your equal in so many
different walks; that some may approach you in one branch and some in
another; but that, in the combination of high qualifications, you are
yourself your only parallel.

When we had the pleasure to spend an hour or two together after the
play, the last time I was in London, I ventured to make a few remarks on
theatrical subjects that seemed to meet with your approbation; and as,
in the midst of so much hiliarity as was raging round us in the tap-room
of the Ducrow's Head, you may have forgotten the purport of my
observations, I will repeat them here. You were reclining with your back
against the table, and a pewter pot of foaming beer resting on the knee
of the red stocking-breeches in which you had performed the Crimson
Fiend of the Haunted Dell, when, after some preliminary matter, I
expressed an opinion--unusual, I grant, but still conscientiously
entertained--of the immortal Shakspeare, on which you used language
stronger perhaps than the occasion justified, and reminding me, by its
conciseness and power, of some energetic M.P., against which I will
enter a short protest before proceeding further in this letter. No, my
dear Smith, Shakspeare was not "a bloody fool;" I should say he was very
far from it; and you also added, that Fitzball would kick his soul out
of his elbow in less than no time. What Mr Fitzball might be able to do
by dint of great kicking, I have no means of judging; but I have no
intention of placing the two authors in an antagonistic attitude on
the present occasion, and therefore I trust the soul of Shakspeare
will be left in peace.

What I stated was, as a general proposition, that Shakspeare has done
more harm than good to the English stage.

It has always struck me that the phrase, "There is a time for all
things," had a wider meaning than we usually attach to it. I think that
the seed of all discoveries, past and present, was scattered ages
ago--perhaps at the very creation of the world--in the mind of man; that
when it had rested there long enough, and the season of its ripening
came, up grew the stalk and the ear, and the harvest was gathered, and
mankind garnered it up as a provision for them and their heirs for ever.
The sense of beauty lay for generation and generation, germinating in
the intellects and hearts of men; and, when the time came, a whole
harvest of it was gathered at one time in the statues and pictures and
temples of ancient Greece. But it was only the greater and more
flourishing portion of the increase that grew in that birth-place of
gods and heroes. The seed was scattered over a wider surface; and, if we
could recover proofs of it, I should not at all fear to bet you two
half-pints to one, that there were sculptors and painters in Asia and in
Egypt, equal, in their several manners, to Phidias and Apelles. When
printing, in the same way, had lain in furrow the proper time, the first
blades of it began to appear in many regions at the same period. With
steam it is the same; and, when the next invention is brought into
practical use, it will be found that the thought of it had agitated
hundreds of minds by the Rhine, by the Thames, by the Hudson, and
perhaps by the sacred Ganges, or the still more sacred Nile.

I think I hear your deep sepulchral tones in the exclamation of, "All
that 'ere is rubbage--cut it short!" and it is my intention, my dear
Smith, to cut it short at once. When the drama's time was come, the
whole of civilized Europe saw the glorious birth. In Spain and in
England the soil was found most congenial; and the theatre in those
countries took at once its place as the best possible instructor--next,
of course, to the church--and its lessons were inculcated by the
inspired possessors of the art, Lope de Vega and Shakspeare. The
Spaniard was born in 1566--the Englishman two years earlier; so that,
allowing both to have reached the maturity of their powers at thirty
years of age, and to have retained them twenty years, the appointed hour
for the perfection of the drama was the end of the sixteenth century and
the beginning of the next. Now, my dear Smith, cast your luminous eye
over the state of society at that period. Lope was a volunteer on board
of the Spanish Armada. Shakspeare, perhaps, saw Elizabeth ride forth to
review the troops at Tilbury. Middle-aged men, with whom Shakspeare
conversed in his youth, had seen the execution of Anne Boleyn. Old
fellows, with whom both of them associated, had been present at the
Field of the Cloth of Gold. And, above all, they had both of them
watched, but with very different hopes, the ferocious progress of the
Duke of Alva, and heard the echoes of the battle-cry of liberty and
Protestantism beside the ditches and mounds of Holland; and the genius
of these two men bears impress of the awful period in the world's
history which had been reserved for their birth. They were both animated
by the struggle in which the whole earth was engaged. Lope did battle
for the church--the Pope--and, if need be, would have done so--for the
devil, if he had worn a mitre; he wrote plays where the heretics
required an immense quantity of rosin and blue lights to do justice to
their appalling situation. He preached, and prayed, and excommunicated,
and stirred up men's minds to enjoy the splendours of an _auto-da-fé_;
and, for all these, he was honoured by Pope and Cæsar; was created a
knight of Alcantara; and, as the acme to his glory, was made a
_familiar_ of the Holy Inquisition. Shakspeare no less felt the
influence of the time. The old oppressive bonds under which bone and
sinew were compressed in order to make jolly old England a footstool for
the gouty toes of a wicked old man at Rome, (unless you choose rather to
consider him an unfortunate female, clothed in scarlet, and sitting on
seven hills,) had been snapt asunder. Henry VIII. (to borrow your own
classical expression, my dear Smith, as applied to your stage manager,
"the regularest beast as ever was," but the most useful beast mentioned
in any natural history I have ever met with) had determined to sit on
the seven hills himself; and little Edward had built a nice villa on the
sunny slope of one of them; and Mary had tried to tumble it down again;
and Elizabeth had planted round it, and laid out the grounds for
national recreation and use--like the park at Battersea, whenever that
scheme is carried into effect; and all men's minds were in a flurry.
Some drank themselves to death; some took to privateering; and many took
to having visions and dreaming dreams; and, in the midst of it,
Shakspeare rushed in a fury to his pen, and wrote play after play--very
noble, very bright, very wonderful--but mad--decidedly mad--the whole
time. Every body was mad; Essex galloped through London streets,
thinking, by mere dint of hard riding, to rouse the peaceful citizens to
take up arms in his behalf, as if the very stones would rise and
mutiny--a very mad idea, you will grant; Raleigh set off to seize as
much wealth as would have bought the fee-simple of a moderate kingdom,
with scarcely a sufficient force to follow the heroic Widdicombe at the
battle of Waterloo--not a very wise proceeding, you will allow; and the
greatest proof of the universal insanity is, that nobody thought Essex
or Raleigh mad for doing as they did. Nor did the calmest observers--if
there were any "calm observers" in those days--perceive that Shakspeare
was labouring under an access of the most confirmed delirium. They
listened to _Hamlet_, and _Lear_, and _Othello_, and did not discover
that his inspiration was the effect of over-excitement; that his energy
was the preternatural strength bestowed on him by convulsion; and that,
in fact, instead of being a swan of Avon, he was neither more nor less
than a March hare.

Pardon me, my dear Smith, in the escapade in the last page or two--it is
a figurative mode of speech, and you will at once dissect the
_alligator_ through all its scales, and see every thing it is intended
to convey. It was a mad world, my masters; and, as you generally find an
inferior dauber magnify the peculiarities of a great man's style, so as
to give a better idea of his manner than you gather from his own
performances, let us see the prodigious insanity developed in the
imitators of Shakspeare. Never, till I saw the brass knocker on the door
of the Vizier's palace in Timor the Tartar, painted, you told me, by
Wilkins of the _Yorkshire Stingo_, did I know how you produced your
marvellous effects on the door of Billy Button, the tailor of Brentford.
The Vizier's knocker was a caricature; but it showed your style. So,
read the love-scenes of any dramatist during Shakspeare's period--or the
heroic passages of any poetaster copying his manner;--isn't that Bedlam,
my dear Smith? isn't that Hanwell? Read the rhapsodies of Nat Lee--(by a
stretch of truth-speaking which it would be wise to make more
common)--called mad Nat Lee. What do you see in him more indicative of
insanity than in any play of Shakspeare you like to name? Not,
understand me, that Shakspeare was mad according to the standard of
sanity in his own day. Far from it; he was infinitely wise compared to
any man in his century, except, perhaps, Bacon and Burleigh, and retired
to Stratford-on-Avon with a realized fortune equal to twelve or fifteen
hundred a-year. But all mankind run the risk of having a different
standard applied to them from that according to which they were measured
during life. Diocletian was thought an excellent emperor for persecuting
the Christians--we think him a considerable beast for doing so, now.
Cortez was thought the perfect image of a hero for slaughtering the
Mexicans, and the noblest of Christian missionaries for putting the
heretical Montezuma to death--we think Cortez not quite so respectable a
character as Greenacre or Burke. And it is most just that each century
should pass its predecessors in review, and apply its own lights to
bring every feature forward. What progress would there be open to the
human mind if we were for ever to go on viewing incidents exactly as
they were viewed when they occurred? Are we to go on believing Galileo
an infidel, because his discoveries were condemned by his
contemporaries? Are we to think all the butchers, conquerors, and
destroyers of mankind, great men, because their own age was terrified at
their power, and proclaimed them heroes? The time may come when the
great Bunn's efforts to make Drury-Lane into a squeaking, dancing, and
dirty imitation of the Italian Opera, will not be considered conducive
to the triumph of the legitimate English drama. Many things of this
sort, my dear friend, may take place, and most justly; for each present
generation is as the highest court of legislation--it can repeal all old
acts, but it cannot bind its successors. Now, do me the favour to finish
the pot of porter which, in my mind's eye, I see you dandling on your
crossed knee, while your left hand, with easy elegance, is supporting
the bowl of your pipe--and see how these observations apply to
Shakspeare. He has ruined the stage; he has fixed its taste for ever, by
establishing one unvarying standard for plot, language, and
character--and that is his own. There can be no progress--not merely
meaning, by progress, improvement, but, positively, no change. He blocks
up every access to the dramatic Parnassus--he has acquired an entire
monopoly of the heroines in Collins' Ode--and woe to the intruder into
the sacred precincts of his zenana. Well, he _was_ a tremendous Turk,
that old swan of Avon--there is no denying the fact; but what I complain
of is, that no other Leda should be looked at for a moment but only his.
No man can look at the Swan for an instant, and doubt that the king of
gods and men has disguised himself in that avatar of web-feet and
feathers. Jupiter is only enveloped, not concealed; but, at the same
time, is it possible to be blind to the fact, that he has degraded
himself to the habits of the flat-billed bird--that he waddles most
unmercifully when by chance he leaves the lake?--that he hisses and
croaks most unmusical, most melancholy?--and that he gathers all unclean
garbage for his food--newts, and frogs, and crawling worms? In short,
that though, in his pride, and grandeur, and passionate energy, he is
the Tyrant of Olympus, he is, in many other respects, an animal not
greatly to be admired--by no means comparable as a dish at Christmas to
a well-fed goose, or even a couple of ducks. For reading aloud to ladies
after tea, I prefer _Ion_ to _Othello_. And now, my excellent friend, I
will tell you the reason--not why I prefer _Ion_, which, though I have
introduced it in this flippant manner, I consider a very beautiful and
poetical drama--but why no play of Shakspeare is fit to be read to a
party of ladies after tea. It is this--that ladies, in one sense of the
word, were as unknown in Shakspeare's days as tea. There were certain
human beings that wore petticoats, and, in due course of time, fulfilled
the original command, and died; but, shades of Hannah More and Anne
Seward! to call them ladies would be as absurd as to call Dulcinea del
Tobosa a princess of the blood. A friend of mine--a well-known
non-commissioned officer in the Devil's Own--told me this story, which I
mention to you, my dear Smith, in strict confidence, in case the heroine
of the anecdote should find that her confession is made known. An old
lady--properly so called, both as respects the adjective and the noun,
for she was past eighty, and was refined and pure--astonished my friend,
by asking him one day to try and get a volume or two for her of the
works of Assa Behn. He did so--no little wondering at such a choice of
books--and in a day the novel was returned, "I send you back these
volumes," she said, "as I am unable to get through the first. Is it not
strange that I, an old woman, sitting in my own room, am positively
ashamed and disgusted at the scenes and conversations which were read
aloud to me in mixed companies, without a blush or shudder, when I was
eighteen?"

Now, in Shakspeare's time, there was no female in the land that would
have stumbled at the grossest passages in Assa Behn. The tenderness,
delicacy, and beauty of the feminine character were still in the future
tense; and, therefore, it is not a matter of surprise that the female
characters in Shakspeare were original _creations_, and not transcripts
from human life. For the time and the state of society when the plays
were written, they are instances of the most marvellous imagination. But
they were as purely fictitious as Caliban or Ariel. They borrowed from
the infinite riches of the poet their noble or tender thoughts; but
whenever he tried to make them more than abstractions--to unite them to
the sympathies of his audience--or to clothe them in real flesh and
blood--look at the means he takes--listen to the conversations of Miss
Juliet and the songs of Ophelia--and you will perceive what were the
lessons his experience in actual men and women had taught him.

It is impossible, my dear Smith, for a Frenchman to write an English
comedy--and why? Because the turn of his mind, and unacquaintance with
the peculiarities of our dispositions, unfit him for it. But not more
separated from us is the Parisian Feuilletonist by his language and
manners, not to mention the Channel, than the author of Elizabeth's and
James's days by the lapse of two hundred years, and the total alteration
of our modes of thought; and yet how frightfully you would be laughed at
for applying the remark to Shakspeare, though, between ourselves, my
dear fellow, he is the very man to call it forth! Oh, how vividly I can
fancy the exclamations of Jiggles of the Victoria, or Pumpkins of the
Stepney Temple of Thespis! "He is the poet of all time!" says Jiggles,
with a thump on the table that sets all the pewter pots dancing. "Do you
mean, Mr Bobson," cries Pumpkins, with a triumphant curl of his lip, "to
say, that the laws of nature are transitory as the fashion of a coat,
and that what was nature at one period will not be nature at another?"
If he should ask you this question, my dear sir, tell him at once that
that is decidedly your opinion, or, if it is not, tell him that it is
most unquestionably mine; for most assuredly the same train of thought
that would be natural among the chiefs of the Druids, would be most
absurdly out of character if attributed to the bench of Bishops. "Oho!"
exclaims Pumpkins, "what has the bench of Bishops to do with it? We
maintain that Shakspeare, or any one else, having written a play wherein
the sentiments of the Druids were once true to nature, those sentiments
will continue true to nature to the end of time."

By no means, Mr Pumpkins. Certain sentiments were _thought_ true to
nature by the critics and audience at the beginning of the seventeenth
century; but nature, like every thing else, assumes a different
appearance according to the point it is viewed from. At a time when
human life was not very highly valued, and woman's feelings were held in
no reverence or respect, it was, perhaps, thought "natural" that the
Prince of Denmark should stab old Polonius and bully his daughter to
death; but in this nineteenth century of time, no amount of insanity,
real or assumed, will make us think it in accordance with the high and
noble _nature_ of the philosophic prince, either to sneer at the poor
old whiteheaded courtier he has murdered, or taunt the little trusting
girl he has taught to love him. If it were not for the name of
Shakspeare, Hamlet would be set down as nearly the beau-ideal of a
snob--a combination of the pedantry of James and the unmanliness of
Buckingham. Read the play, with this key to the character, and you will
find it quite as true to nature as in the laborious glosses of Schlegel
and Göethe.

If I ever have the honour to meet you again at the Ducrow Arms, I will
enter more fully into this part of my view of the injuries inflicted on
the stage by Shakspeare. It will be sufficient, at the present time, to
condense my meaning into this one remark, that the nature of 1600 is not
necessarily the nature of 1846, and probably is as different as the
statesmanship of Sir Robert Cecil from that of Sir Robert Peel. If there
had been a controller of politicians as powerful as the controller of
the stage, we should have had the right honourable baronet making Popery
punishable with death, dressed in trunk breeches and silver
shoe-buckles--or taking measures to lessen the alarming power of Spain.

You think, perhaps, that I have let you off altogether, because I have
declined enlarging on this particular point; but no, my dear Smith, I
have not had half my say out yet. It is not only that things are
presented to us in Shakspeare's plays in a way that _was_ admirable,
because adapted to the feelings and fancies of the time, when they first
enriched the Globe, but not so admirable now: I have also to find fault
with the manner in which the characters--granting that they are true to
nature--are developed and made palpable to vulgar eyes. The fact is, my
benevolent friend, that every thing is gigantic in his conceptions. He
is like a sculptor who despises the easy flow of the resting figure, and
fills his studio with agonizing athletes--every muscle on the
stretch--the eyeballs projecting, and the hair on end. Even when he
carves a slumbering nymph, her proportions are tremendous--she is like a
sleeping tigress, calm and hushed, but giving evidence of preternatural
strength; her very softness is the softness of melted gold--when it
hardens it will kill like lead; or, if that is a bad image, her very
quiet is the quiet of the sea--let the wind blow, and then----! Don't
you see that Ophelia--Juliet--Imogen--all of them, are endowed with
tremendous _power_, as well as other qualities? And that, as to the
heroes, they are regular volcanoes every one of them? Is not this proved
by the fact, that there is no hero in Shakspeare who does not demand as
much bodily labour from his representative as would tire out a
coal-whipper on the Thames? Is there one leading part in any of his
plays that does not require an enormous outlay of voice? Now, can it be
possible that no deep passion can coexist with a weak thorax? Run over
the principal plays--_Macbeth_, _Richard_, _Romeo_, _Hamlet_ again,
_Lear_--and depend on it, that this loudness of exclamation is not stage
trick; it is part of the development of the character; and therefore I
shall always blame that infernal asthmatical tendency of mine for having
induced Mr Whibbler, of the Whitechapel Imperial, to decline my services
when I offered to act Coriolanus for my own benefit, gratis. The
consequence, however, of this Shakspearian fancy, of placing characters
of passion in positions where they must split the ears of the
groundlings, is, that it has become an English article of faith, that
without some prodigious explosions, calling out the whole strength of
the actor's lungs, the character falls dead. The Indian could not
believe the air-gun had killed the bird, because he did not hear the
report. We have reversed the Indian mode of reasoning, and always
believe it is the noise that kills the bird. Oh, Smith! think of the
bellowings of Sir Giles Overreach--and Barbarossa--and Zanga--and the
diabolical howlings of Belvidera, and Isabella, and the Mourning Bride.
Can people have no passion that don't disturb the whole neighbourhood
with their noise? Can a woman not find out she has been jilted without
risking a bloodvessel? Is this the way they do in common life? I
remember when that girl at Bermondsey hauled me up before David Jardine,
and produced all my letters, and the ring I had given her * * * * she
never spoke above her breath. And I was very glad to hush it up with
four-and-sixpence a-week.

Now the fault of Shakspeare is this, not that he puts tearing, ramping
language in the mouths of his heroes--for in their positions it is the
only language fit to use--but that, in accordance with the bullying,
blustering habits of his day, he has placed every one of his heroes in
such a situation, that blustering and bullying is the only thing he can
do. And therefore every man who writes plays at the present, and at any
future time, must have a hero first-cousin at least to Stentor. Who
would venture to place Louis the Eleventh on the boards? He probably
never spoke louder than a physician at a consultation--no, not when he
confronted the Duke of Burgundy. He would have to glide noiselessly from
scene to scene, a whisper here, a look there, and perhaps a shrug of the
shoulder or scarcely perceptible motion of the hand; yet, all through,
it would be evident that he was the snake on two legs, the anointed
Mephistopheles, the intellect without the feeling--and, with all that,
he could not be the hero of a play. Or, if he was made the hero, he
would be changed from the quiet self-contained character I have
supposed him, to a more _effective_ one. He would have sudden starts of
anger which would not be in keeping; outbursts of fiery imprecation
which would not be in keeping; or, if the poet was much put to it, he
might be shown, answering taunt for taunt, and threat for threat, with
the ferocious Charles, which would certainly not be in such keeping as
he himself was at the fortress of Peronne. So you see the fact of
Shakspeare covering the stage with Titans, and forming them with Titanic
thoughts, and endowing them with Titanic voices, has rendered it
indispensable for all the little fellows of the present time to be
prodigiously Titanic too. Did you ever hear the skipper of a steamer
bellowing and roaring through a speaking-trumpet, when his ordinary
voice could have had no effect amidst the awful noises of a hurricane,
and the sea and the breakers under his lee? Nothing could be fitter than
his attitude on the creaking paddle-box, and the thunderous sound that
issued from the tube. But wouldn't it be absurd for the commander of the
Hugh Frazer, amid the quiet waters of Loch-Lomond, to give orders to the
little boy that holds the helm, or point out the beauties of Inversnaid,
through an instrument that would startle all the cattle on the
surrounding hills? Just so with Shakspeare's kings and lovers. They have
"prave 'ords enough, look you," to fill the biggest speaking-trumpet
that ever was cast; but miserable is it for men who have not such "prave
'ords," to be forced to bellow their little ones through the portentous
instrument which they have not breath enough to fill.

Let me point out, my dear Smith, to your particular notice, a play which
I think you will agree with me illustrates all that I have said. In
_Othello_ you will find the nature of the seventeenth century still
forced upon us in this prodigious power--with which, unless by the magic
of the author's name, we should have no sympathy; and a decided proof of
how nearly allied his genius, like that of every body else worth
mentioning of his day, was to madness.

First, No man of the nineteenth century who knew the noble position in
which civilization and religion have placed woman, would have fixed on
such a subject. In the closet, when you only see the courage, fame, and
dignity of the hero, you can find some excuses for the girl who is won
by these attributes, and bestows her love on the possessor of them,
albeit he is fallen into the sere and yellow leaf. But look at him on
the stage--though the best and most intellectual of our actors represent
him, and this I can answer for, as the last I saw in the character was
Macready--your sympathy with Desdemona is at once at an end. The woolly
hair spoils all--the black face separates him as much from the pure and
trusting love of a girl of eighteen, as if he were an ourangoutang. We
agree at once with the sensible old gentleman her father, that no maid

          "So tender, fair, and happy,
  Would ever have to incur a general mock,
  Run from her guardage to the sooty bosom
  Of such a thing as he."

The sight of her endearments is nearly as horrid as those of Titania to
Bottom are absurd. They are not paired, and all through the play you
never can get quit of the disagreeable idea of the blubber lips. If he
could be made into a noble statue in mahogany, (not ebony,) a
Christianized Abdel Kader--a _real Moor_ and not a _blackâmoor_--the
matter would be infinitely better; but no--Shakspeare meant him for a
true specimen of the nigger, or why all the taunts about his colour, and
the surprise that was evidently excited among the gossips of Venice by
the match? The very refinement bestowed on Desdemona makes us have
greater horror at her fault, and less sorrow at her griefs. If she had
been a mere domestic piece of furniture, without any delicacy or
sentiment, we should not have been more revolted at _her_ wedding than
at the nuptials of Dyce Sombre. But Desdemona, a gentle lady, married to
a Sambo!--impossible! She was either not the fair and simple creature
she is painted to us, or she did not outrage humanity so abominably as
to follow the example of the brewer's maid in the charming song you
favoured us with in the skittle-ground, of which the burden is--

  "She ran away with a black man."

If she did, choking with a pillow is too good for her; she ought rather
to have been done to death in a bag of soot.

But passing over the incongruity of the lovers, is not the whole play
filled with convulsive energies and unhealthy bursts of passion? For my
part--but in this, my dear Smith, I will willingly yield to your better
judgment--I think Iago was intended for the hero of the play. He is the
mainspring of the whole plot; he pulls all the wires; and, to use an
elegant expression of your own, he twists them all round his thumb.
Critically, if superiority in mere intellect and strong self-will, or
even success in the object he designs, constitute a hero, the
clear-witted, audacious, subtle Ancient has entirely the upper hand of
the trusting, hood-winked pigeon, Othello--

  "That thinks men honest that but seem to be so,
  And will as tenderly be led by the nose
  As asses are."

The only fault is, that, for a clever fellow, Iago takes too much pains
to _show_ his cleverness. If he does not wear his heart upon his sleeve
for daws to peck at, it must be for two reasons; first, that no
gentleman wears his heart any where but inside of his chest; and
secondly, that hearts are not the favourite food of the bird mentioned;
but he lets slip no opportunity of displaying his wit, ingenuity, and
powers of acting--for Iago is a part in which the actor acts an
actor--and precisely in proportion as he shows he is acting, is he
successful in the character. The usual error is in showing too little of
the actor in his interviews with Cassio and Othello; his friendliness,
sycophancy, and good humour become too real, as if it were the
performer's cue to enact those qualities, whereas he is only to assume
them for the nonce--the real presentment of the man being a malicious,
revengeful, and astute villain. I think, also, my dear fellow, that our
friend Iago is too communicative, not only to such a noodle-pate as
Roderigo, but to the many-headed monster the Pit. He comes forward, and
exactly in the same way as M. Philippe informs his audience--"Now I vill
show you a ver' vonderful trick. I vill put de tea into dis canister--I
vill put de sugar into dat; and I vill put de cream into dis leetle jug,
and den you shall see dat you shall have de excellent cup of tea vidout
any vater." And, by shaking first one canister and then another, out
comes some capital tea, as hot as if you had seen the kettle boiling. So
does the insinuating Iago, and says--"You shall see what you shall see.
I will make Othello jealous of Cassio--I will make Cassio drunk, and get
him into a quarrel on guard--and I will make him apply to Desdemona for
her interest with her husband on his behalf;" and, _presto!_ first one
scene, and then another--Othello gets jealous--Cassio gets drunk--and
Desdemona pleads most innocently for his forgiveness. It strikes me to
be letting an audience too much into the secret. I prefer such a scene
as that in which the Demon of the Blood-red Glen creates an effect by
springing over the foot-lights, and landing (quite unexpected by boxes,
pit, or gallery) on the back of the flying Arabian, completely
apparelled as the American Apollo. I have seen the Kentucky voltigeur
introduce a fancy-dance on two wild steeds, and jump through a fiery
hoop in the character of Shylock; and I confess I liked him better in
those happy days at New York, than since he has proclaimed himself as
the great transatlantic tragedian, and has set up as an infallible
critic because he has proved himself a fallible actor.

And then the death of Desdemona! My dear Smith--I appeal to your own
noble feelings, as a husband and a Christian,--if you thought Mrs Smith
a little too fond of Cassio--or any other lieutenant,--if you even found
she had given him one of your best handkerchiefs to make him a
nightcap--nay, if you had determined even to achieve widowerhood with
your own hands, would you take the instrument Othello uses for the
purpose? I ask you as a man and a gentleman. You would borrow a
pistol--you would take up a knife--you would purchase arsenic--but you
would not undergo the personal fatigue of Burking her in her bed! But it
is not with you I have to do just now. I go back to Shakspeare and his
times--and I maintain that the manner of Desdemona's murder could only
be tolerable in the state of society at the time it was presented. I
suspect the very appliances of the modern stage bring the repulsiveness
of the incident more prominently forward. There is a beautifully
furnished room--a dressing-table beside the bed--nice curtains drawn all
round it--snow-white sheets, and a pair of very handsome bed-room
candles. The bed-room is brought too prominently forward; and when
Desdemona is discovered asleep, it needs all the magic of Shakspeare's
name, and the reverence that his genius has created and maintains, even
upon the shilling gallery, to prevent the tragic interest from turning
into another channel. The contrast is too great between the truthfulness
of the bed-curtains and easy-chair, and the horrid purpose--which ought
to be idealized, and not realized--for which the Moor enters the room.
It is a frightful, blackfaced murderer--designed in the seventeenth
century, and considered true to nature then, coming into the open
daylight of the nineteenth, casting his Elizabethan energies into forms
repulsive to the sentiments of our VICTORIAN time; and we should also
feel, if the play were presented to us for the first time, that an
Othello created by Shakspeare--if he had been left for these latter
times--would not have murdered his wife with a pillow--if he had
murdered her at all--and would not have brought forward on the stage the
bed-room of a jealous husband, with his wife expecting his approach. The
barrenness of the stage in Shakspeare's time was an advantage in a scene
like this;--when people were told to fancy that old bench was a bed, and
that the close-shaved stripling reclining on it was a woman--the
imagination was set down to a feast of its own: the scanty scenery
became an accessory--not a realization--all that was palpable was the
innocence and sacrifice of the heroine--and the awful and inexpressible
struggles of the man.

Do you see what I mean? Do you agree with me that it was a misfortune to
the British drama that the summit of its glory was reached by Shakspeare
so long ago;--a Shakspeare that knew the whole secrets of the human
heart, as the human heart existed before his time--or at least as it was
supposed in his time to exist;--a Shakspeare who was ignorant of the
Great Rebellion--of the Restoration--of the Revolution--of the glorious
First of June--of the Guillotine--of Napoleon--of Trafalgar--of
Waterloo;--a Shakspeare who had never seen a telegraph--a mail-coach--a
steam-boat--a railway. What sort of a man must this have been, that
still maintains possession of the stage--that keeps (as I maintain) the
British taste in a state of almost mediæval roughness, and chains the
dramatic art itself to the slab over his grave? Perhaps, my dear Smith,
the immortal Bunn is right after all. Perhaps, if all managers were to
follow his example for forty years--if for forty years mankind were
condemned to the wilderness of operas, and divertisements, and
farces--we should forget the flavour of the flesh-pots (furnished by
Shakspeare) which has so completely mastered our taste;--some Joshua
would lead us into a chosen land, and feed us with all manner of
delights;--the stage, I mean, would come, like the aloe, to a second
flower, only resembling its ancient crown in its life and beauty, but
smelling of the present time.

For no beer, you will grant, is so pleasant as that which has the froth
on. Its freshness even compensates for its want of strength. But if, in
addition to being fresher by two hundred years than the tap of William
Shakspeare of Stratford, it were as strong--as cunningly mixed of malt
and hops--and had as beautiful a flavour as his had when it was first
brewed--eh! Smith? What do you think, then? Isn't it worth while to live
forty years on the chance? isn't it worth while to be teetotallers in
the meantime? to live upon slops and gruel? Gentlemen, I propose the
health of Mr Lumley and Mr Bunn.

  I remain, my dear Smith,
  Your admirer and friend,
  G. BOBSON.



BIRBONIANA; OR, ITALIAN ANTIQUARIES AND ANTICHITÀ.

     "Birbone--a Jew, a cheat, a rogue, a vagabond, a liar, a coiner, an
     utterer of all things base and false--an Antiquary!"--BARETTI'S
     _Italian Dict_.

  "Ah me! it is a dangerous freak,
  When men _will_ dabble with Antique."--_Hudibras(?)_


SCENE I.--THE INTRODUCTION.

We will now introduce the reader to an antiquarian scene or two _chez
nous_, transcribed from our journal as we entered them therein at the
time. When it was currently understood throughout Naples--it did not
take long for the report to spread--that we were a professed purchaser
of antiquities, and "at home" to antiquaries, we were besieged all day
and every day by a host of dealers, jewellers and Jews, whom the waiters
were weary of announcing, and were still obliged to announce, who came
with bundles under their arms, filled with things "ugly and old
exceedingly," which they wished to dispose of as bargains, and hoped we
would purchase. They came early in the morning; they braved the fiery
heat of noon; they bided their time whilst we sat at dinner; and, on
returning from our moonlit drive, we are prepared for the announcement
that somebody still waits with something still unshown for us to see.
Sometimes one man will come alone, and if he finds us unassailable or
indifferent, he will take care to return next time in company with an
accomplice,--an honest, plain fellow in his dealings, who, actuated by
feelings of pure humanity, and in pursuance of his sturdy motto of
"_fiat justitia ruat coelum_," will, at the risk of offending his
friend, alter his prices, and propose others vastly more equitable and
advantageous for _us_. Enters one day a brace of these rogues at
breakfast--two such palpable rogues _in face_ that you needed no
proficiency in Lavater to know at once with whom you had to deal. One of
the pair, _par nobile fratrum_, gives a very respectful, the other, what
is meant for a very courtly, bow. "_This gentleman_," says one unknown
individual introducing the other--"_This gentleman_ has just landed from
Sicily, bringing with him a small collection of coins--_vergini
tutti_--all virgins, and on which no amateur's eye has yet rested even
for a moment." "_Non e vero, Cavaliere?_" "_Altro che vero!_" responds
the cavalier. "I, sir," resumes the other, "am, as you have doubtless
perceived, the poor _mezzano_, the mere umpire in this business; _I_
have no interest in the sale of any articles in that gentleman's
pockets; it was by the merest accident that I heard of his arrival an
hour ago; and, as I know he must have something _good_, I pounced upon
him at once--would not give him time even to shave, (_voyez un peu cette
barbe farouche_--it was so), but brought him hither in great haste, lest
others--_vous concevez qu'à Naples_." "To be sure we did; but did not
the Cavaliere understand French?" "Not a word." "What says the Signore?"
interrogates the unshaved Sicilian noble; "_Domanda se lei capisce il
Francese?_" "_Niente_," not a bit of it, returns he, shaking his head
guilelessly. "_Non importa_,--it's of no importance. You, Cavaliere,
will mention your prices to me, I will propose them to this
gentleman--he his; I will then give _my opinion_ as to what is _fair_
between you, and thus we shall, I trust, do a little business to the
satisfaction of both. Signor Cavaliere _s'accommodi_." Thus admonished
of _our_ breach of manners in having kept the Cavaliere standing, we
would fain atone for it on the spot, by begging the "mezzano" also to
take a chair; but he declines it with modest confusion of face. "_Come?
ma che?_" he has no pretension or business to place himself between
"_due illustrissimi signori_," whose poor interpreter he is. We overcome
his scruples, and all sit down, closely packed round a small table;
while the noble dealer was unshrouding what seemed, from the length of
time and material employed upon it, to be a _mummy_, and, from its size,
perhaps a _rat_. We were all eagerness and expectancy, forming, as we
sat, a _capo d'opera_ for Valentine or Caravaggio, well grouped, and
ripe and ready for the canvass. At length the "unwinding bout" draws to
its close; the last wrapping is unwrapped; and a small bronze Venus,
without a shift, falls on her haunches on the table. "What a beautiful
_pezzo_ have we here!" says the umpire, assuming the air of a man well
versed in such matters, and turning her round to admire her proportions;
"and where," asks he, in a manner that showed he had guessed the answer
before receiving it; "where might this have been _dug up_?" "_Nei
contorni di Lentine_," was the ready answer, and so _he_ "had expected
to hear it was; all the best _opere Greche_ now come from that
neighbourhood." We made no remark; there was a pause; we watched the
countenance of the _mezzano_; he seemed to be getting more and more
absorbed in the contemplation of the little Venus, till, after taking
his time, while he appeared oblivious of time, his pent-up enthusiasm at
the sight of charms which rivet his attention, but are beyond his powers
of expression, finds vent in the very convenient formula of "_Pare
impossibile!_" which, in the language of _English_ dilletanteism has no
equivalent; then suddenly recollecting himself, and fearing lest, if he
kept her too long, we might be jealous, he confided her gently to our
hands, and having done so, said a second time, "_Pare impossibile!_" We,
too, turned her round, and (one good turn tending to another) in the
absence of any better occupation at the moment, we turned her round a
second time; and having done so, put her down upon the table, without a
word of comment. It was a tolerably well-shaped little figure, in a very
_green modern gown_, and when _we_ were very green, three years ago, we
had purchased a twin-born sister of hers at Capua, which we now rose to
produce, and placed her side by side the other. Our visitors exchanged
glances; the Cavaliere would have said that _ours_ is a copy--_his_ the
original; but we remind him that a week ago his _model_ did not exist,
from which to have made such a copy; and the _mezzano_, seeing that the
game is up, says his friend must have been imposed upon! that there is
not a more honest man breathing than the Cavaliere! that, in fact, it
has been an awkward affair for _him_! _"Pare impossibile," thought_ we,
that rogues should be so bold! "Had he, the Cavaliere, any thing more to
show?" ask we of the _mezzano_ in French. "To what purpose," answers the
Cavaliere, _suddenly understanding French_; "to what purpose should I
waste that gentleman's time, and _my own_, in the long process of
unwrapping things, which, when unwrapped, he is sure to pronounce
modern?" and the Cavaliere went away in dudgeon, and quite "cavalierly."

It being generally understood that yesterday was to be our last day in
Naples, our friends the _antiquari_ flocked in from all quarters of the
town to pay valedictory visits, and to hope, each man for himself, that
_he_ at least had always given satisfaction in any little business we
might have occasionally transacted together. The visits of that day
began early, and ended--no, they never ended--till next morning after
passing the _barrière_. Coco's black beard, standing at the bedside with
a false "Augustus," was the first object that presented itself on
waking, and the last pull of the bell at night was followed by the
apparition of a mysterious figure in a cloak, with a small sack, full,
not of truffles, but of "Lucernæ," just exhumed, and still smelling
damp, from the lamp-teeming earth of Pozzuoli. All through that day the
dealers seemed to have no other employment upon earth than to wait upon
us, and accordingly backwards and forwards, and up and down stairs they
came and they went, till by mid-day they had permanently established, as
ants do when they forage, two counter-lines of communication between us
and the street, each dealer further imitating the ant community, in
stopping for a moment _en passant_, to touch antennæ, and to exchange
intelligences with his neighbour as he came up. All would kiss our hand
and "augur" us a prosperous journey, and each had some little
confidential revelation to make touching the Don Beppo, the Don
Alessandro, or the Don Carlo whom he had met at the doorway. Grateful
acknowledgments are due, of course, for so many proofs of their esteem;
though their caveats come all too late for us to profit by; and once or
twice, in the dearth of words to tell our feelings, we adopt that
Italian formula for modesty at a pinch, and beseech then, _per carita!_
not to speak so flatteringly of our attainments. At dinner, (an Italian
friend being at table with us,) Don Gaetano Sbano, whom we have not seen
for a twelvemonth, and who has been liberated purposely, as it should
seem, from St Angelo, only just in time to pay his respects before we
leave, stands smilingly behind our chair, talking over imaginary drafts
which he has received upon Roman bankers, in return for a very beautiful
set of objects of _virtù_ with which he has been lately, it seems,
enriching the Roman market!! After discanting on the moonlight beauties
of the Coliseum, and other _moonshine_ subjects which had kept him, he
averred, in Rome a week longer than he intended, he abruptly accosts our
Italian friend, assuring him that _we_ have now become such a knowing
proficient in all the tricks imposed upon travellers, and in all the
various guiles of antiquaries as practised at Naples, that it would be
difficult to impose upon us; and that, in fact, _he_ would back us now
against being cheated by the best of _them_--modest man! he might have
said of _us_, in place of presenting a false lamp of dirty device, which
threw the altering of this pronoun, and the substitution of the right
one, upon the party whom he had been so politely praising. Purposing to
start early next morning, most of our effects, both old and new, were
packed up already; a few of the former, however, still remained out, and
stood on a neighbouring side table. "What a beautiful _Ryton!_" said Don
G. Sbano sauntering across the room, and taking up a finely executed
stag's head in _terra cotta_, that had originally served for a
drinking-cup--a purchase we had that morning made at old Rossi's
curiosity shop. "Beautiful, indeed," replied we carelessly, and then
_sotto voce_ to our friend--"poor Rossi, pleased at our sincere sympathy
at his late sad bereavements--he has lost two charming daughters within
a month--insisted upon transferring it to us quite as a _regallo_ at
twenty piastres,"--these words were spoken in a low tone of voice, but
Don Gaetano made it a point to hear every thing. "Of course we knew,"
_enquired_ he maliciously, "that it was a forgery in all but the lips?"
"And if the lips be true, it by no means follows, Signor, that because
the _lips_ are true, the _vessel_ appended to them must be so." If any
man ought to know about _lying lips_, it was Sbano; so at once admitting
the truth of what indeed there was no gainsaying, we contended that the
indestructibility of the glaze, tested as it had been with aquafortis by
Rossi himself, proved the genuineness of its antiquity--it proved
nothing but that we had something still to learn! The nola varnish was
light as a soap-bubble, but this on the _Ryton_ was thick and
substantial. How he wished we had been to stay another week to have
taught us the difference! and how we wished him gone, lest he should
make some new revelations of a kindred character to the last, and betray
our ignorance in sundry other matters connected with other recent
purchases. The door has scarcely closed upon his coat-tails when in
comes a tall strapping fellow out of breath, who begs to take a chair,
and declares forthwith that he is "tutto bagnato di sudore,"--in our
service, and he hopes it may not be in vain! After administering to him
proper restoratives, (the remains of an _agro-dolce_, and half a bottle
of lachryma,) four battered pieces of lead are presented by him for
inspection, looking very much as if they had just been scraped from the
house-top, but which, when duly put together by our ingenuity, make up
the highly interesting inscription,--"_Imp: Cæs: Vespas: Aug: Pont: Max:
Opt; Princip: P. P._," and are no sooner so collocated than our
new-comer seems enchanted at a discovery which he would have us think as
important as any thing lately done in that way. After the making of
which, he expects that we are to carry over this leaden trophy to
England, and is much mortified accordingly at our disheartening remark,
that "it was so easy to write upon lead!" Upon seeing that we are
indisposed to be cheated, he resolved to humiliate us in the eyes of our
friend, which he does effectually by merely glancing at a small
_urceolus_ with a painting on it, and then proclaiming it to be
"_ristaurata_;" a most ungrateful return, as we think, for our
"_restoration_" of him. He has scarcely vanished when a third party,
"happy to catch us just at dinner-time," is announced; he comes with a
mouthful of lies, and a pocketful of trash, and seeing that we are
beginning to wince, is retiring, but suddenly recollecting himself,
pulls up at the door to ask whether it be true that we have _not_ bought
Coco's _Augustus_, since, if we have been so lucky as to purchase it,
Coco has in that case cheated him by pretending to have received nothing
for it. "Go to ----!" exclaimed we, losing all patience at the ignorance
thus plainly imputed to us, "do you think we were such a fool as to buy
_such a forgery_?" Then comes a very _douce_, quiet-mannered dealer,
wishing, if our friend will excuse him, to have a private interview with
us just for a moment, as he has something confidential to communicate.
"Signor mio," says he, "when we are in privacy," folding his hands over
his breast and looking very contrite, "I am bound to confess to you that
the man whom I have hitherto called 'cousin,' is not such, nor indeed
any relation or connexion of mine! I know you have been cheated _often_,
_sadly_, and _by him_; and, much as it has gone against my heart
whenever I have heard him and his crew plot against your ingenuousness,
I have long intended to be frank with you, as you have always treated me
with frankness. Believe me I have ever opposed your 'ingannazione,'
though without success; and, as I have no other shop in which to put my
_real_ antiques excepting this man's, I am glad to pay ten per cent to
interest him in their sale; but that _terra cotta_ cow that he sold you,
'twas a sad piece of business," and he looked at us as a Mackenzie might
have looked upon some artless victim to man's depravity! Whereupon a new
light seemed all at once to break in upon us, and we resolved to get at
the truth, if we could, by a _ruse_ which should throw him off his
guard; so, in place of appearing put out by the discovery, we merely
said--"Well, if all forgeries were but nearly as well executed as
_that_, who would care to buy antiques at all; and besides, as it _is_ a
forgery, we may have a good chance of _getting some more of the casts to
take home with us_, which we could not have done had the cow been
_ancient_. How beautifully she stood in her horns and hoofs! and how
well must _he_ have studied the antique, who could have conceived and
executed such a cow!" As we had imagined, there was no resisting such an
appeal, and Roderick Dhu stood confessed! He now owns himself an
extensive proprietor in these cows, and says they are by no means his
best productions--offering us the whole dairy at a very moderate price!

Comes Coco, a little later, with a lad who is to be forthwith forwarded
to buy an engraved stone at _Tiano_, where he is to sleep, in order to
meet our carriage to-morrow morning at Calvi, with the jacinth on his
finger! Lastly comes old Bonelli to kiss both cheeks, and to declare
that our loss will be felt by all the _honest_ men in Naples; and that,
as for himself, he does not know what he shall do, he had always such a
pleasure in coming to show us any thing. "It is not _interest_," says
he, putting his hand to his _side-pocket_, "but _affection_," placing it
over his _heart_, "that makes me so loth to lose you--_ah! caro lei!_"
and he kissed us again and withdrew. In the darkness of earliest
morning, while the stars are all glowing, and Aurora is still asleep, we
discern figures in cloaks, sitting over the rippling sea, on the wall of
Santa Lucia, and waiting to show us antiques by moonlight!--and then
comes the _barrière_. And now, gentlemen, we wash our hands of
you--and may you soon be consoled for the loss of us in the
acquisition of some noble lord, with more money to spend amongst you
than we ever had, and more time to devote to your winning manners and
versatile accomplishments. We hope you will speak of us kindly and
considerately; and, whilst you are busy in circulating our memoirs in
the Strada Santa Caterina, the Toledo, and the piazza of the
silversmiths, we are preparing yours, gentlemen, in a work which shall
leave those of Benvenuto Cellini far--very far behind!

We have now given the reader a very brief notice of a scantling of our
antiquarian acquaintance abroad, taking them nearly at random from the
pages of a common-place book, which abounds, we observe, in such
entries. Should he desire to know something more of the craft, we keep a
second batch of introductions by us, which are at his service; but to
give him even the shortest notice, nay, merely to attempt the
_nomenclature_, and furnish a "_catalogue raisonné_" of all that immense
body, would be as wide of our purpose as it would wholly transcend our
powers. Such a task would be as vain as--(but here, after the example of
Boileau, Corneille, and Pope, let us give _our_ paraphrase of the
well-known passage of the bard of Aquinum:--)

  "Vain as th' attempt on summer eve to count
  What dogs and beggars haunt the Pincian Mount.
  All Tuzzi's frauds, all Coco's falsehoods tell,
  And all the _Beckers_[1] all the rogues shall sell;
  How many sick some sapient quack at Rome
  Helps--not to England, but their _longer home_;[2]
  How many Couriers forge the scoundrel tale;
  How many Maids their mistress' fame assail;
  How many English girls, by foreign arts
  Seduced, have smiled on needy '_Knaves of Hearts!_'
  Or left our church, in spite of solemn 'caves,'
  To score off sins by rosaries and aves!
  Number the gnats that cloud the dewy lawn,
  Or flitting flies that light the sparkling corn;
  Or pirate hawks that haunt Rome's lawless sky,
  Or the fell fevers Pontine plains supply;
  The locust legions count; or say as soon
  What hoarse Cicadæ stun the sultry noon
  With ringing dissonance; what flow'rets fair
  In early spring inebriate the air:
  Or count the gems in every dazzling shower
  That Roman rockets detonating pour,
  Dropping their liquid light o'er Hadrian's glowing tower:
  Or tell what crowds on Easter-day repair
  To see their Pontiff-bird, in high-swung chair
  Upborne magnificent; when, rising slow,
  _Th' emerging figure stands, all white as snow_,
  Like some large albatross his arms outspreads,
  O'er all that mighty, silent, sea of heads!
  Thrice waves his wings, the voiceless blessing sends
  Far, far away to earth's remotest ends!
  The joyous news th' impatient cannon tells,
  Louder and louder, as the discord swells,
  Of clashing bands, and shouts, and drums, and loud-tongued bells!"

FOOTNOTES:

[1] Becker, a celebrated coiner from the antique, recently deceased in
Prussia,--_N.B._--His widow carries on the business.

[2] _Quot Themison oegros autumno occiderit uno._ Alas! and there are
many Themisons still in Rome; for whose address _vide_ the Guide-Books.



BIRBONIANA.


In England, we have our trades and our professions;--abroad, all
callings are trades; medicine is a trade; theology a trade; law no
better. With us, the title of professor carries with it something of
rank, being always conferred by authority, and not, as in Italy, a
dignity at once self-imposed and assumed by any party who chooses to
adopt it. Furthermore, at home it must be a grave subject indeed that is
entitled to the honour of being represented by a professor; whilst
abroad, the commonest accomplishments are raised to the dignity which we
restrict to science; and every private teacher of fencing, fiddling,
juggling, and dancing, affixes professor to his card. The art of
cheating, _ingannazione_, seems to be at present the only one in Italy
irrepresented, _eo nomine_, by a teacher. Whether it be that there is
properly no such art, but, as was formerly alleged of rhetoric, that
every man persuades best in the subject of his own craft, the principles
of cheating in like manner vary with the occupation of the cheater; or
because, where all men are more or less proficients, the instructions of
a professor may be dispensed with. Nevertheless, if mere pre-eminence in
the dark dexterity of imposing on one's neighbour deserved this coronal,
whose brows were fitter to wear it than yours, ye professors of natural
history and of _virtù_, with whom _ingannation_ is but a collateral
branch of these your severer studies? The very name of naturalist, which
in England falls so refreshingly on our ears, accustomed as we are to
link with it the memory of such men as White, Ray, Derham, Darwin,
Paley, and a host of others, there, is but too frequently bestowed on a
class of dishonest collectors, who fill their rooms (which they dub
their museum) with a collection of modern mummies, and study nature but
to jocky amateurs in the sale of her specimens! Nor is the man called
_antiquaro_ in Italy, a whit a better representative of him whom we so
designate, than is the _soi-disant_ professor of _taxidermy_ and seller
of embalmed pole-cats of our own naturalist. Not that our thoroughbred
antiquary at home stands high in our classification of English citizens.
It was not as a reward for tracing sites, by following the vestiges of
dry rubbish near a place ending in _chester_, that the mural crown
(probably a chaplet of wallflowers) was devised by the Romans; and we,
too, have a weakness for ranging the precedents of our fellow-citizens
according to their usefulness. We have no sympathy with soulless bodies;
with miserly old men of starved affections, who are too parsimonious
even for the gout; who prefer bronze _puttini_ to babies in flesh, and
marble mistresses to a fond and pleasing wife! But this is their affair,
not ours; if they choose thus to sacrifice to the cold manes of
antiquity the sweetest and most endearing sympathies of life, the
sacrifice and the loss is their own; whilst Englishmen must admit, that
in England at least they form a very learned body, much given up to the
prosecution of curious and prying researches. But in Italy, where all
the world pretend to be antiquaries, the ignorance and incapacity of by
far the larger portion of these pretenders is marvellous. No sooner has
the _adventurer_ who prints himself antiquary, begun to cheat his way on
a little, then he addresses himself boldly to some venal professor of
archæology too poor to refuse the bribe; who for a small consideration
undertakes to decipher his inscriptions for him, to teach him his
history, to furnish him with learned conjectures, and to praise his
goods, which last is generally the only part of these educational
acquirements which he retains, and recollects to profit by afterwards;
his ignorance, in all other matters appertaining to his craft, is
frequently absolute. Yet many of these men live to buy villas, to plant
vineyards, and to show how much more flourishing a thing in Italy
_virtù_ is than virtue. In character, or shall we not rather say in want
of character, they are all alike; and if any act of any of them bears
the external semblance of honesty about it, this is predetermined by
their fear of the _penal_ "code Napoleon" and its consequences, and not
by the code of moral necessity. Let your antiquarian acquaintance be
ever so extensive; be you in habits of pigeon-and-hawk-like intimacy
with scores of them, for years, you shall never meet one--from the
noble, well-lampooned prince of St Georgio, and the courtly Count of
Milan, to the poor starveling old man whose cotton pocket-handkerchief
contains all his stores, with no patent of nobility to stand him in
stead should he be detected in a fraud--one who will not cheat as much
as, and whenever he can. As the King of Naples said of his ministers, in
objecting to change them, _sono ladri tutti_. Woe, then, betide the
simple Englishman to whom some demon has whispered to have a taste, and
who thinks that he cannot better employ the time of his being abroad,
than in making purchases to satisfy it. Much will he have to pay for
each new apprenticeship in each new city where he sojourns for a season,
while he will learn by degrees to distrust the teaching of his volunteer
friends, as to what he may safely purchase, when every new acquisition
is a mistake, and proves the exception to some general rule formerly
taught him. It is only when they turn king's evidence and _peach_, that
they can be safely trusted; and on these occasions he really may pick up
some important hints for his future guidance; the most important of
which is _principiis obstare_, not to begin to buy, or, if he have
bought, to give over buying. How little is it generally known, by those
who don't purchase, what large sums are squandered in Italy upon heaps
of rubbish, palmed off and sold under the imposing names, _roba antica_,
_roba dei scavi_, and the like; and how little seems it known by those
who do, that of all markets for such acquisitions, the worst that an
uninitiated _dilettante_ can have to do with is the Italian! First,
because it abounds more than any other in trash; and secondly, because
when any thing really good comes into it, the dealers take care to put
their price upon it. The much prized and paraded object has in all
probability already been in England, (whence, on the death of its
connoisseur possessor, and the dispersion of his effects, it has again
returned to its natal soil,) and is now, it may be, to be had for twice
or three times as much, as you yourself might have procured it for in
Christie's auction-rooms a few months before, unless you possess an
accurate taste, and an intimate knowledge of what you buy. (Not, depend
upon it, to be acquired, as almost all other knowledge may now be, in
_six lessons_.) You must know that it is quite easy to spend
indefinitely large sums in the accumulation of coarse crockery, broken
glass, bits of mouldings, _scratched_ cornelians, and coins as smooth as
buttons, without being able to pick one pearl from out this ancient
dunghill. The peasant's ignorance, if you are also ignorant, can by no
possibility be turned to your account, and, in fact, turns very much
against it; for there is a prevailing tradition amongst them, that
things very rare and costly, now extant in kings' palaces and great
museums, have been grubbed up by the husbandman's hands; and as he
cannot possibly decide what, in the amateur's mind, constitutes a prize,
every fresh finding that may _possibly_ be such, is put up and priced
accordingly. Now it is a safe rule here never to buy a _may be_,
especially when you have to pay for it as though it were a _must be_;
and if you followed the contadino to the dealer, (who, after you,
becomes his next resource,) you would find that, though the former now
asks pauls for piastres, and is content to substitute baiocchi for
pauls, the dealer is obdurate, and leaves his wares still upon his
hands.

Some, ignorant of the ways of dealers, persuade themselves that if they
go to a well-recommended shop, they may, by paying somewhat higher than
they would elsewhere have done, secure themselves from all risk of
imposition; and this brings us to notice that, in accordance with this
well-known delusion of our countrymen, (for such we believe it to be,)
the "Antiquari" are fond of _dividing themselves_ into three classes,
whereof the first is supposed to consist entirely of _Galant' uomini_,
in which confessedly small class every one would place himself: the
second of _mezzo Galant' uomini_, or _half_ honest men, of whom the
first division reports, that it is a well-dressed, well-spoken, and
well-instituted order, _ma astuto assai_: and a third, which even they
will tell you is their larger body, constituted of a set of ill-dressed,
uneducated, ill-looking, unmannerly fellows, whom it would be unsafe to
meet with an antique ring on your finger after dark, and _without_ the
city walls. Of this _last_ class, number three, class number one is
particularly desirous to impress you with a salutary awe, lest you
should unfortunately become its victim. Its members, so they will tell
you, _have_ occasionally something pretty for sale; but then who, save
themselves and their ally the devil, knows out of what tomb it has been
plucked by night, or what conditions are annexed to its possession; and
whether, after it has been purchased, the police shall not come and
seize both it and its possessor? Thus one class of reputable
_shopkeeping_ rogues speaks of its _peripatetic_ rivals, who, as they do
not _purchase_, can afford to dispose of their things cheaper than those
who have to pay both purchase and warehouse dues, making them very
wrathful in consequence. The _number_ of antiquaries, as compared with
the whole population, would make a far greater statistical return than
most persons are aware of, who believe the race to be confined to that
half-dozen of shopkeepers who write their title over the door; these
being, in fact, but a small fraction of that large community which, like
the beetle called _necrobios_, preys both upon the living and the dead.
Beside the regular shopkeeper, _who sells the whole statue_, and
undertakes excavations on his own account, there is, in the next place,
the stall-keeper, whose commerce is in fragments, and who makes his
small profits upon toes and fingers, (he having received certain of the
unsaleable refuse from some richer antiquary, committed to his charge on
certain conditions, as the oranges that are offered in London in the
streets are consigned by the wealthier to the poorer Jews to traffic
in,) squats himself down in the neighbourhood of some piazza, church, or
other place of public resort, where, under favour of a shower, he is
enabled to dispose of his bits of _rosso antico_, and _pavonazzo_, which
then exhibit all their hues, polished and shining in the _rain_. There
is a third class who have two callings; a principal one--some petty
trade, a tobacconist, a printseller, or a chemist--to which they add
that of odds and ends. These they buy from the peasants on market-days;
and some there are, more active than their neighbours, who make a very
early start to _anticipate_ their arrival; and many a long and weary
mile will they trudge, far, far beyond the tomb of Cecilia Metella, or
the Ponte Molle, before it is day, each striving to outstrip the other,
and to be first to greet the _simple contadini_ on their road Romewards
from Tivoli, Frescati, Valmontone, or Veii. Alas! and notwithstanding
all the pains they take, they frequently make bad purchases, and are
duped by the superior cunning of other antiquaries at a distance, who
have been tampering with the peasants, and have given them counterfeits
to sell. Thus do antiquaries, like whitings, prey upon each other,
illustrating their own proverb, _Mercantia non vuol ni amici ni
parenti_. You become also, after a time, acquainted with a particular
set of dealers, not from themselves, for they have no direct
communication with the part of the town you inhabit, nor yet from the
_shop antiquaro_, who would gladly ignore the existence of such people,
but from certain fellows called _mezzani_ or _go-betweens_, whose office
it is to prowl about in quest of those who frequent old curiosity shops;
whom they will track to their hotels, and fish out presently from
couriers, or waiters, what class of things his Excellency buys. These
men are perhaps the greatest rogues in Christendom; sometimes they take
your side; sometimes gently hint that your most esteemed person is
somewhat hard upon their friend; they wink knowingly when you say
something _meant_ to be smart, and they will expostulate earnestly, and
make it quite a personal affair if their friend protests and refuses to
listen to their instances in your favour. Lastly, when the purchase has
been effected, they will stay to congratulate you on the bargain you are
sure to have made under their auspices; and to announce to you that they
have still some other ignoramuses _in petto_ for your excellency to
pigeon! Even when you don't buy, they suppress their disappointment; or,
showing it, try to convince you it is on your account solely that they
feel it. "You bargained," they tell you, "in style, showing at once your
perfect connoisseurship and tact; and though you were aware yourself
that your offers could not be entertained without a serious loss to the
proprietor, (who had not such articles every day to dispose of,) and
would soon find means of disposing of them, still, as the _donne_ say,
though they cannot _always_ accept, they consider _every offer_ a
compliment." These _mezzani_ get a per centage of eighteen per cent upon
every purchase from the _seller_; and, if you are not aware of this,
they will make a pretty per centage upon you besides. It is amusing to
get access through them into many interiors that you would not else have
heard of, and to have presented to you a new variety of wares, requiring
new vigilance on your part every day. Thus, one man's room (he has been
a soldier under Napoleon, hence his particular line of dealing) might
well be styled a hero's slop-shop, out of whose stores Sir Walter Scott
might have found fitting armour for every one of his heroes, from
Waverley to Quentin Durward. The owner visits _Thrasymene_ every summer,
and pretends that these iron harvests of the field, which he gleans each
year from near the banks of the "Stream of Blood," were sown there in
the time of Hannibal, with whose name he is perfectly familiar; and
should you, on questioning him, make out that he was not quite _au
courant_ as to dates, and not quite certain that every spear-head was as
old as the Punic war; his rule for sale is simple, (viz.) whenever there
appears to be a doubt, to give it not in your favour, but in favour of
his armour. Another man, who only deals in pictures, tries your skill
and knowledge in the _Madonna and Saint line_. This man is a collector
of coins; and woe betide you if you purchase there, and can't make out
the difference between a real Emperor S. C. and a pretender to the
laurel! Do you know any thing of "storied urns and animated busts?"
Then, and not till then, when you are _sure_ you do, visit A----'s
interior, where

  --"Curias jam dimidias, humeroque minorem
     Corvinum, et Galbam auriculis naroque carentem,"

you may easily find! Lastly, let no cinque-cento object of _virtù_ tempt
you to show your purse till you have taken advice from a learned friend,
to whom such exhibitions are familiar. Considering the vast preliminary
knowledge, both of men and things, necessary to the judicious completion
of each particular purchase, you will, unless you opine, with Hudibras,
that

            "The pleasure is as great,
  Of being cheated, as to cheat,"

be very slow in making any acquisition of _price_, from such a suspected
source as the cabinet of the antiquary. But if you have unfortunately
been made a dupe of--what remedy? That depends, if you have been led to
purchase any thing under a false impression of its antiquity; and can
_prove_ this. The law itself would step in, in such a case, to repossess
you of your purchase-money. If, indeed, the strong and pervading feeling
amongst the other _antiquari_, as in an _assize of crows_, were not of
itself sufficient to secure the condign punishment of the culprit, which
consists in compelling him to refund. But this redress only extends to
one particular kind of fraud, that, namely, included under the
rhetorical figure called metonymy, (_i.e._ the substitution of one thing
for another,) and does not extend beyond this; so that, though a dealer
were to sell an old hatchet for one hundred pounds, provided it had the
necessary _patina_ upon it to establish its antiquity--this not
constituting a case of cheating, (at least, in the antiquarian sense of
the term,) but merely one of superior tact--brother-dealers might
indeed condole with you in your mistake; but nobody has any right to
interfere!

When you do buy, you must take nothing for granted but that you will be
cheated; and get a written declaration from the dealer, that what he
sells you has been paid for, as genuine, on the score of antiquity.
There are, too easy purchasers, who rest satisfied with the man's word,
(as if a _dealer's_ words were aught but wind, or wind but air,) who
always professes to _believe_ that the object he has for sale is of
_sacrosanct_ antiquity, and the best of its kind, (if an onyx, for
instance, not Oriental only, but _Orientalissimo_,) though he observes,
in a sort of moralizing parenthesis, that he will not vouch for what the
_ignorant_ or the _malicious_ may _say_. Here you must, we fear, range
yourself on the side of malice and ignorance; _non vale niente_, the
object is good for nothing; and if you swallow such a bait, you are a
_bête_ for your pains. _Amici miei_ of Oxford and Cambridge, excuse the
informality of self-introduction; and pray keep your _caution_-money
till you have taken your Master-in-Arts degree _abroad_. If you pay it
on the initiatory matriculation of a first journey, you may depend upon
never getting any of it back; when on having studied anew the "art of
self-defence," to protect you against _another_ art, which you must
_also_ study, in close connexion with the "_belle arti_," you are become
really an adept, and duly qualified for that diploma. Study antiquities
in _public_ museums; so shall you learn to appraise at their true value
the gauds of dealers, which, if you have not educated your taste into a
wholesome fastidiousness, by a diligent study of the _real_ treasures of
antiquity, you may chance to find most dangerously attractive--[Greek:
mêden enarghes en tê psnchê echontes paradeigma, mêde dunamenoi ôsper
grapheis eis to alêthestaton apoblepontes chacheise aei anapherontes te
chai theômenoi hôs oion te, achribestata, ontô dê chai ta upo tôn
chapêlôn hechastote proseiomena orthôs diachrinein aph ôn dê chathaper
oi thallô tini ta probata epagomenoi tous amuetous periagousin].

Then you will hardly be induced to pay much for what you do not set much
store by, merely for the sake of calling it your own. Add to this the
further consideration, that in towns the _Antiquari_ keep their best
things for the resident collectors, so that you never see them; whilst
all hopes of finding sound windfalls on the road you are journeying, are
rendered futile, since Italy is now infested by lines of antiquarian
footpads, who tramp as regularly as a well-organized police, right
across its _instep_ from sea to sea, and measure it lengthways from
Milan to Otranto, sweeping up and carrying away every thing that is
worth the transport. After this, you need hardly feel nervous (as some
we have known were) lest, in the event of falling in with something
exquisitely beautiful, the government should interfere to prevent its
leaving Italy. Such an event not being in question, you need make no
provision to meet it. Of the brigands and brigandage of Italy, the
public has had enough; of her cheats and cheating--her _virtuosi_ and
their _virtù_--nobody has enlightened us. Nor, to say the truth, does
the subject, at first sight, appear to admit of more than a few not very
promising details of a not very pleasing picture of the Dutch
school--the romance of the waylaid carriage in the mountain defile; the
sudden report of fire-arms; the troop of gay-sashed cut-throats in
sugar-loaf hats; the "_faccia à terra!_" the escort to the robber's
cave; the life amongst the mountains; the ransom and the discharge--lend
themselves much more readily to the author's pen, and present themselves
much more forcibly to the reader's fancy, than the details into which we
are about to enter. Still _our_ subject has _its_ interest, both in
having a _practical_ bearing, and in being _new_; and, as we have
adopted it, we must make the best of it. Therefore, we propose to give a
series of _ana_, rambling like our last, (as all "_ana_" claim a right
to be,) but purporting to make some remarks, didactic and miscellaneous,
on coins, gems, marbles, bronzes, _terra cotta_, and glass, each in due
order of succession, our present lucubration confining itself to the
mere introduction of our reader to the _Antiquari_ themselves. Allusion
has already been made to the very large sums wasted every year on the
Continent by our countrymen in pursuit of the "antique," though it might
be difficult to determine to what extent pubic credulity is thus
annually imposed upon; difficult, because self-love is here at variance
with self-interest, (_silencing_ many a victim, who fears, lest if his
mistakes were blabbed abroad, the world might append some more
unflattering name to his own than that of _dupe_;) and difficult again,
because there are gulls that _will not_ be so called; and _gudgeons_ who
_won't_ believe in a pike till he swallows them up alive! Thus, while
the fraud practised is great, the stir it makes, in consequence of these
things, is small; and it becomes, therefore, the more necessary to
apprise amateurs, that the money laid out to _learn_ experience may come
to more than would purchase them a commission in the Guards!

  "Not to admire's the simplest art we know,
  To keep your fortune in its _statu quo_;
  Who holds loose cash, nor _cheques_ his changeling gold,
  Buy what he will, is certain to be _sold_."

Much more had we to say in the way of advice to the untutored, but we
refrain, for nobody has given us "salary, or chair;" and who, then, has
given us the right to lecture "_ex cathedrâ_?" We throw out, therefore,
no further "hints to freshmen," but proceed forthwith to describe a few
of the more noted and sly of our antiquarian acquaintances in Italy.
Some years back, we remember, all the English in Rome used to turn out a
fox-hunting; it was considered an exploit, and so perhaps it was, to
kill under the _Arc of Veii_, amidst the moist meadows of the Crembra;
and to teach the Sabine Echo to respond from her hills to the sound of
the British Tally-ho! Now, whilst the followers of the Chesterfield
kennel sought their foxes _without_ the walls, we always knew where to
look for ours _within_; and, whatever _their_ success, _we_ always
_found_; nay, what may sound somewhat paradoxical, but is true
nevertheless, the _more_ we hunted, the _more_ we found. Like their
brothers of the "_brush_," _our_ Reynards were sly fellows too, and
would double and dodge, and get away sometimes, just when we thought
ourselves most sure of coming up with them--a few only we were fortunate
enough to bag, and bring over in _our sack_ (_de nuit_) to England. We
purpose now to turn a few loose for the reader's diversion, apprising
him, however, that they are mostly _very old foxes_; and so cannot _run_
as far or as fast, or yield the same sport, that might have been
expected had they been younger. The greatest age demands respect and
precedency; and, as Venovali is the oldest, we will _dispatch_ him
first. So ho! Venovali!



THE AMERICANS AND THE ABORIGINES.

A TALE OF THE SHORT WAR. PART I.

     I tremble for my people, when I think of the unjust acts of which
     they have been guilty towards the aborigines.--JEFFERSON.


The numerous romances of Indian life and manners to which, during the
last twenty years, the busy pens of Cooper and of his disciples on both
sides of the Atlantic have given birth, would perhaps make us hesitate
to notice a work of a somewhat similar class, had it not, as we believe,
merits and interest peculiar to itself. The readers of _Blackwood_ who
have followed us through the varied and lively scenes so graphically
depicted by the author of "The Viceroy and the Aristocracy," will, we
are inclined to think, turn with pleasure to a notice of another book by
the same clever writer, one published previously to most of those from
which we have already made extracts, and of which the time, the
characters, and, partially, the scene, are different from those of any
of his other works. In the "Viceroy" are found an exposition of the
sufferings of the Mexican aborigines, and their half-blood descendants,
under the inhuman yoke of their Spanish oppressors. Of the book now
before us, one of the objects seems to be to illustrate the less
sanguinary, but still, in many respects, unjust and cruel treatment
received by the more northerly races of Indians at the hands of the
Americans. Barbarous tribes must recede and disappear before the advance
of civilisation;--doubtless it was not the intention of Providence that
a few scanty hordes of savages should occupy as their hunting grounds
vast tracts of land, which, by the application of industry and art,
would yield sustenance to millions of men. But whether, on the other
hand, the encroaching spirit of the inhabitants of the United States,
that restless, rambling propensity which has driven their settlers
southwards into Mexico, and westward to the Pacific, should be indulged
to the extent of exterminating and dispossessing the original owners of
the territory before the new occupants have real need of it, is a
question admitting of more discussion than we shall here enter upon.

We have already said so much about the author now referred to,
concerning the general scope of his talent, the many beauties and
occasional defects of his writings, that any further preamble would be
superfluous, and we will at once proceed to give specimens of his book.

Upon the road connecting the town of Coosa with Milledgeville, the
capital of Georgia, and near to the spot where, at the present day, a
convenient hotel invites the traveller to repose and refreshment, there
stood, towards the close of the last century, beneath a projecting rock,
crowned with a few red cedars and pine-trees, a rudely constructed, but
roomy block-house. In front of the building, and between two massive
perpendicular beams, connected by cross-bars, swung a large board, upon
which was to be distinguished a grotesque figure, painted in gaudy
colours, and whose diadem of feathers, tomahawk, scalping-knife, and
wampum, denoted the Indian chief. Beneath this sign a row of
hieroglyphical-looking characters informed the passer-by that he could
here find "Entertainment for man and beast." On that side of the house,
or rather hut, next to the road, was a row of wooden sheds, separated
from the path by a muddy ditch, and partly filled with hay and straw.
These cribs might have been supposed the habitations of the cows, had
not some dirty bedding, that protruded from them, denoted them to be the
sleeping apartments of those travellers whose evil star compelled them
to pass the night at the sign of the Indian King. A stable and pig-sty
completed the appurtenances of this backwood dwelling.

It as a stormy December night; the wind howled fiercely through the
gloomy pine-forest, on the skirt of which the block-house stood, and the
rapidly-succeeding crashes of the huge trees, as, with a report like
thunder, the storm bore them to the ground, proclaimed the violence of
one of those tornados that so frequently rage between the Blue Mountains
of Tennessee and the flats of the Mississippi, sweeping with them, in
their passage, trees, houses, and villages. Suddenly, in the midst of
the storm, a gentle tapping was heard at the window-shutter of the
block-house, to which succeeded, after a short interval, a series of
heavy blows, causing the timbers of the dwelling to quiver to their
foundations. Presently the door of the house was partially opened, and a
man's head protruded through the aperture, as if to reconnoitre the
cause of the uproar. At the same moment that this occurred, a tall, dark
figure stepped quickly forward, pushed the door wide open, and, stalking
into the dwelling, took his seat opposite the fireplace, followed, in
deep silence and with noiseless stride, by a line of similar
apparitions. When all had entered, the door was again closed, and a man
of almost colossal frame approached the hearth, where some embers were
still smouldering. Throwing on a supply of wood, he lit one of a heap of
pine splinters that lay in the chimney corner, and then producing a
tallow candle, lighted it, and placed it upon the table. By its
glimmering flame, and that of the reviving fire, the interior of the
hut, fully corresponding with the rough and inartificial exterior,
became visible. In the corner opposite the fireplace was the bar or
counter, behind whose wooden lattice stood a dozen dirty bottles, and
still dirtier jugs and glasses. Below these were three kegs daubed with
blue paint, and marked with the words, French Brandy, Gin, Monongahela.
On one side of the room a pile of deer hides, of beaver, bear, and fox
skins, denoted a frequent intercourse and active trade between the
inmates of the tavern and the red men. Near the skins stood a huge
tester-bed, surrounded by three small bedsteads, and a cradle, or rather
trough, made out of a fragment of a hollow tree, with boards nailed
across the ends. In these receptacles, to judge by the loud snoring that
proceeded from them, the family of the tavern-keeper were enjoying a
deep and uninterrupted repose. The walls of the apartment were of unhewn
tree-trunks, varied only by broad stripes of clay filling the
interstices.

On a stool in front of the fire sat the man who had first entered, a
bloodstained blanket thrown over his whole person, concealing both
figure and face. Behind him about twenty Indians squatted upon the clay
floor, their legs crossed, their faces shrouded in their blankets, the
crimson spots upon which seemed to indicate that the expedition whence
they returned had been other than a peaceful one. Notwithstanding the
presence of these strange guests, the master of the block-house now
busied himself with putting in order the stools and benches which the
intruders, upon their entrance, had unceremoniously knocked over, and
this he did with as cool and sturdy an air as if his nocturnal visitors
had been friends and neighbours, instead of a troop of savages on their
return from some bloody foray, and who might, as likely as not, add his
scalp and those of his family to the other trophies of their expedition.
When he had put the last stool in its place, he sat himself down next to
the Indian who appeared the chief of the band.

After the lapse of about a minute, the latter raised himself up, and
allowed the blanket to slip from over his head, which now appeared bound
round with a piece of calico, fringed with gouts of congealed blood. The
backwoodsman cast a side glance at the Indian, but it was only a
momentary one, and he allowed his gaze to revert to the fire.

"Has my white brother no tongue?" said the Indian at last, in a deep
guttural tone; "or does he wait in order the better to crook it?"

"He waits for the words of the chief," replied the American drily.

"Go, call thy wife," said the Indian, in the same bass voice as before.

The tavern-keeper got up, approached the bed, and opening the curtains,
spoke to his wife, who had listened, with curiosity rather than anxiety,
to what passed. A few sentences were exchanged between them, and the
lady made her appearance, a burly, broad-shouldered dame, with an
expression upon her somewhat coarse features, indicative of her not
being very easily disconcerted or alarmed. An upper petticoat of
linsey-woolsey, adapted both to daily and nightly wear, made her
voluminous figure look even larger and more imposing than it really was,
as with a firm step and almost angry mien she stepped forward by her
husband's side. But the menacing stillness of her visitors, and their
bloody heads and blankets, now fully revealed by the blaze of the fire,
seemed of such evil omen, that the good woman was evidently startled.
Her step, at first quick and confident, began to falter, and with an
involuntary shudder she approached her husband, who had resumed his
seat. A minute passed in gloomy silence. Then the Indian again raised
his head, but without looking up, and spoke in a harsh, severe tone.

"Listen, woman," said he, "to the words of a great warrior, whose hand
is open, and who will fill his brother's wigwam with many deer skins. In
return he asks but little of his sister, and that little she may easily
give. Has my sister," continued he, raising his voice and glancing at
the woman, "milk for a little daughter?"

The backwoodsman's wife stared at her interlocutor in great
astonishment.

"Will she," continued the redskin, "give a share of her milk to a little
daughter, who must else die of hunger?"

The countenance of the woman brightened as she discerned that the Indian
wanted something of her, and that it was in her power to grant or refuse
a favour. She took a step towards him, and impatiently awaited further
explanation of his singular demand. The Indian, without deigning to look
at her, opened the ample folds of his blanket, and drew forth a lovely
infant, wrapped in a pelisse of costly furs. For a few seconds the woman
stood in mute surprise; but curiosity to obtain a nearer view of the
beautiful child, and perhaps also a feeling of compassion and motherly
tenderness, speedily restored to her the use of her tongue.

"Good God!" cried she, stretching out her hands to take the infant;
"what a sweet little darling; and come of good parents too, I'll be
sworn. Only look at the fur, and the fine lace! Did you ever see such a
thing! Where did you get the child? Poor little thing! Feed it? To be
sure I will. This is no red-man's child."

The worthy lady seemed disposed to run on in this way for some time
longer, had not a significant sign from her husband stopped her mouth.
The chief, without vouchsafing her the smallest attention, unfastened
the pelisse of grey fox skin, stripped it off, and then proceeded to
divest the infant of the first of the coats in which it was enveloped,
like a silkworm in its cocoon. But when, after having with some
difficulty accomplished this, a third, fourth, and fifth wrapper
appeared, he seemed suddenly to lose patience, and drawing his knife,
he, with one cut, ripped the whole of the child's clothes from its body,
and handed it over stark naked to the tavern-keeper's wife.

"Incarnate fiend!" screamed the shuddering woman, as she snatched the
infant from his hands.

"Stop!" cried the Indian, his cold and imperturbable gaze fixed upon the
infant's neck, from which a small medal was suspended by a gold chain.
Without uttering a word, the woman stripped the chain over the child's
head, threw it into the face of the savage, and hurried to her bed.

"The devil's in the woman!" muttered her husband, apparently not a
little uneasy at her violence.

"The red warrior," said the Indian, with immovable calm, "will pay with
beaver skins for the milk that his little daughter drinks, but he will
keep what he has found, and the door must open when he comes for the
child."

"That's all very well," said the tavern-keeper, to whom it suddenly
appeared to occur that some farther explanation might not be altogether
superfluous; "and I'll keep the child willingly enough, though, thank
God, I've plenty of my own. But if the parents should come, or the white
father hear of the child, what then? The red chief knows that his hand
reaches far."

The Indian remained for a while silent, and then replied in a
significant tone--

"The child's mother will never come. The night is very dark, the storm
howls in the forest--to-morrow nothing will be seen of the red men's
footsteps. It is far to the wigwam of the white father. If he hears of
the child, my white brother will have told him. It he takes it, then
will the red chief take the scalps of his white brother's children."

"Then take your child back again," said the backwoodsman, in a decided
tone, "I'll have nought to do with it."

The Indian drew his knife, upon which fresh blood-stains were visible,
and cast an ominous glance towards the bed.

"We will take care of it; no one shall hear of it!" screamed the
horrorstruck woman. The Indian calmly replaced the knife in his girdle,
and again spoke.

"The throats of the red men are dry," said he.

A muttering was heard behind the curtains of the bed, sounding not
unlike the Christian wish, that every drop the bloodhounds swallowed
might prove poison to them; the host, however, whose humanity was less
vindictive than that of his wife, hastened to the bar to comply with his
guest's demand. The chief drank a half-gill of whisky at a draught, and
then passed the glass to his neighbour. When a sixth bottle had been
emptied, he suddenly rose, threw a Spanish gold piece upon the table,
opened the curtains of the bed, and hung a string of corals, which he
took from his wampum girdle, round the neck of the child.

"The red men will know the daughter of a warrior," said he, fixing his
eyes upon the infant, which now lay wrapped in flannel upon the bosom of
the hostess. He gave a second glance at woman and child, and then
passing silently out at the door disappeared with his companions in the
darkness.

"The hurricane is over," said the tavern-keeper, who had followed the
Indians with his eyes as they glided like dim shadows to their birch
canoes upon the Coosa.

"In heaven's name! who is that incarnate red devil?" cried his wife,
drawing a deep breath of relief, and shuddering as she spoke.

"Hush, woman!--hold your tongue! till the Coosa's between it and the
redskins. This is no joking matter, I can tell you."

As he spoke he closed the door; and, taking up the light, approached the
bed, where his wife was suckling the child.

"Poor little thing!" said he, "if you could speak you would tell us a
tale that might well make our hair stand on end. This affair may cost us
dear yet; those red devils are come from a scalping expedition; of that
there is no doubt. But in what direction, God alone knows. Well, if it
were only amongst the Spaniards," continued he, glancing alternately at
the child, and at the gold coin in his hand, "I should not much care
about it, but"--

And without finishing the sentence he resumed his place in the bed,
although some hours elapsed before the recollection of the strange scene
that had occurred allowed sleep to revisit his eyelids.

In defiance of the menaces of the savages, Captain John Copeland, the
rough but worthy host of the Indian King, institutes inquiries
concerning the parentage of the infant so unceremoniously imposed upon
him. Various obstacles are thrown in the way of his researches by the
disturbed state of the country, and by the Indians themselves, who
suspect his intentions, and keep a strict watch on his movements; and
when at last a more settled state of things enables him to prosecute his
inquiries, it is with small success, or at least he does not admit that
he has discovered any thing, although he suspects the child, which is a
little girl, to belong to one of the French or Spanish planters on the
Mississippi. Seven years elapse, during which the numbers of the
backwoodsman's family are doubled, and his worldly wealth augments in a
far larger proportion. The shores of the Coosa have become populous and
flourishing, the solitary block-house is now a roomy and convenient
dwelling, situated in the midst of smiling plantations, and Captain
Copeland is well to do, and much respected by his neighbours. One summer
evening, however, the Captain is disturbed at his supper, and his family
frightened from their propriety, by the appearance of a tall gaunt
Indian, who enters the room unannounced, and is recognised by a
missionary there present as Tokeah, the miko or king of the Oconees, the
principal tribe of the Creek Indians. This Tokeah is one of the most
deadly and persevering enemies of the white men, whom he detests with a
bitter hate, because they have driven his nation from its hunting
grounds. He it was who, seven years previously, gave the little girl in
charge to Copeland and his wife; since then he has regularly sent furs
and beaver-skins as payment for her maintenance, and he now comes to
claim her as his property. Resistance to his demand would be in vain,
for he is backed by an imposing force of Indian warriors; the entreaties
of Mrs Copeland and the missionary are insufficient to turn him from his
purpose, and he takes away the child, who has been christened by the
name of Rosa. The third chapter of the book, which we will now extract,
opens, after a second lapse of seven years, at the latter end of the
year 1814.

At the northern extremity of the Sabine lake, and in the midst of the
reed and cypress swamps that extend southwards to the sea, there lies,
between the rivers Sabine and Natchez, a narrow tongue of land, which,
widening in proportion as the rivers recede, forms a gently swelling
eminence, enclosed by the clear and beautiful waters of the two streams.
The latter flow through dark thickets of cypress and palmetto, to the
lake above named, which, in its turn, is united with the Gulf of Mexico,
and it would almost appear as if nature, in a capricious moment, had
chosen thus distinctly to mark the boundary of the two vast countries
which the Sabine severs. On the right bank of that river rises a black
and impenetrable forest, so thickly matted and united by enormous
thorns, that even the hunted deer or savanna wolf will rarely attempt an
entrance. The earth is overgrown by an impenetrable carpet of creeping
plants, under whose treacherous shelter innumerable rattlesnakes,
king's-heads, and copperheads, writhe themselves, or lie coiled up on
the watch for the wild pigeons, mockingbirds, parroquets, and black
squirrels, who share with them the shelter of the thicket. Rarely is the
maze broken by a clearing, and where it is so, is seen a chaos of
mouldering tree-trunks, uprooted by the frequent tornados, and piled up
like some artificial fortification. The wild luxuriance of the place
reaches its acme in the neighbourhood of the cypress swamp, but on the
further side of that it assumes a softer character, and the perplexed
wanderer through these beautiful scenes finds himself on a sudden
transported into one of the most enchanting of Mexican landscapes, where
the myrtle, the stately tulip-tree, and the palma-christi, alternate
with the dark-leaved mangrove, and on the rising grounds the cotton-tree
and sycamore spread their silver-green branches above a sward of the
tenderest verdure. The whole forest is interwoven, like a vast tent or
awning, with the jessamine and the wild vine, which, springing from the
ground, grapple themselves to the tree-trunks, ascend to the highest
branches, and then again descending, cling to another stem, and creeping
from mangrove to myrtle, from magnesia to papaw, from papaw to the
tulip-tree, form one vast and interminable bower. The broad belt of
land, in the centre of which the waters of the Natchez flow, presents to
the beholder a waving and luxuriant field of rustling palmettos,
extending from the forest a full half mile to the stream, in whose
waters the mangrove and cypress dip their drooping foliage.

It was an afternoon of that magnificent latter autumn known as the
Indian summer, and the sun, golden and glorious, as it is only to be
seen in that country and at that season, was declining behind the
summits of the trees which fringe the western shore of the Natchez. Its
beams already assumed that rich variety of tint, so beautiful to behold,
varying from bright green to golden, from purple to orange, as the rays
passed between the leaves of the myrtle, the palma-christi, or some
other variety of the surrounding foliage. Not a cloud was in the
heavens, the air was balm itself, the soft evening stillness was only
now and then broken by some babbling parroquet, by the whistling tones
of the mockingbird, or the sudden rising of a flock of waterfowl,
thousands of which floated on the broad bosom of the Natchez, and
dressed their plumage for their winter flight. Along a narrow path
between the forest and the palmetto field above referred to, a female
figure was seen tripping towards a small opening in the wood, formed by
the uprooting of a mighty sycamore. On reaching the prostrate tree she
leaned against a branch, apparently to take breath. She was a young girl
of about twenty years of age, whose complexion denoted Indian parentage,
but whose countenance had something in the highest degree interesting,
even noble, in its expression. Her forehead was well formed, her black
eyes had an arch, almost a roguish, glance, her finely cut lips, and the
whole contour of her physiognomy, betrayed a frank and joyous
disposition, whilst the slight curve of her Roman nose gave her an air
of decision and self-reliance, with which her bearing and costume
corresponded. This costume was far superior to the usual dress of Indian
girls, and as remarkable for simplicity as for good taste. She wore a
sleeveless calico gown, reaching to the ankles, and her hair, instead of
hanging long and straight down her back, as is customary with Indian
women, was twisted into a knot, and held together on the crown of the
head by an elegant comb. A pair of gold ear-rings, bracelets of the same
metal, and half-boots of alligator's skin and scarlet cloth, completed
her graceful exterior. From her girdle was suspended a pocket knife of
considerable length, and in her hand she carried an empty basket. Her
step could be called neither walking nor running; it was an odd sort of
frisking springing movement. After each ten or twelve paces she stopped,
looked back along the path, and then again sprang forward, again to stop
and look behind her.

"But, Rosa!" cried she at last, as she leaned panting against the
sycamore; "but, Rosa!" she repeated, in the Indian tongue, and in a tone
of slight impatience, retracing her steps, and hurrying to meet another
young girl who now advanced along the winding path, "why do you remain
behind, Rosa?" And so saying, she threw herself upon her knees before
the new-comer, and clasped her arms around her with a rapidity and
suppleness that almost resembled the coilings of a snake.

"Ah, the white Rose!" cried she, in a tone of melancholy reproach; "she
is no longer the same. See, the grass grows upon the path which her foot
used often to press. Why is my white Rose sorrowful?"

The complaining tones of the Indian maiden were so touching, her whole
posture so imploring, love and anxiety were so plainly depicted on her
countenance, that it seemed uncertain whether the interest she took in
her friend had its source in the ties of near relationship, or was
caused by the manifold charms and graces of the young girl whom she now
so tenderly caressed, and who had as yet scarcely emerged from
childhood. This was the same Rosa whose acquaintance we have already
made, seven years previously, at the tavern of the Indian King, and who
now stood in an attitude of enchanting and unstudied grace, her dark
eyes, shaded by their long and silky lashes, alternately reposing their
glances upon her kneeling friend, or gazing out into the distance with a
mournful, pensive look. The gently swelling breast, the cheeks
overspread with the most delicate tint of the rose, the airy and elastic
form, might have belonged to the goddess of love herself, in the days of
her freshest youth; but on the other hand, the childish innocent glance,
the nobly-formed forehead, the rosy mouth, of which the coral lips were
rather indicated than displayed, and an indescribable something in her
whole appearance, gave her an air of purity and dignified modesty
calculated to prevent her beauty from exciting the slightest sensual
thought. Her hair, of a dark gold colour, fell in long tresses around a
snow white and exquisitely moulded neck; a gown of green silk enveloped
her person, and reached to a pair of the minutest feet that ever
supported the form of woman. Her mocassins were similar to those of the
Indian girl, a white silk kerchief veiled her neck, and in her hand she
carried a straw hat.

A tear gathered in the eyes of Rosa as she gazed kindly, but mournfully,
at her friend, and then stooping down she folded her in her arms, and
pressed a kiss upon her lips. For a short time, no sound was audible
save the sobbing of the maidens. At last the Indian spoke, in a
plaintive tone.

"See," said she, "Canondah's bosom is open to the grief of Rosa."

"My dearest Canondah!" exclaimed the beautiful girl thus addressed; and
again a flood of tears gushed from her eyes.

"Oh!" implored the Indian, "tell thy Canondah the cause of this grief.
See," continued she, in tones melodiously mournful, "see, these arms
bore the white Rose when yet she was very little, on these shoulders did
she hang when we crossed the great river, on this bosom did she lie like
a waterfowl that suns itself on the broad mirror of the Natchez. Day and
night, like the doe after his fawn, did Canondah follow the steps of the
white Rose, to shield her from harm; and yet, now that she is a woman,
and has become the white Rose of the Oconees, she shuts her from her
heart. Tell thy Canondah what it is that makes thy bosom heave, and thy
cheek grow pale."

"Does not Canondah know?" replied Rosa in a gentle tone. "Poor Rosa has
good cause to be sad and heavy of heart."

"Is the great chief of the Salt Lake the cause of her grief?"

Rosa shuddered, took a step backwards, and, covering her face with her
hands, sobbed aloud. The Indian girl sprang to her feet, and throwing
her arm round her friend's waist, drew her gently towards a neighbouring
cotton-tree, up which a vine had crept and twined itself, and now
dangled its graceful festoons, tasselled with ripe grapes, from the very
top-most branches. "Sad is the path of an Oconee maiden," said Canondah,
after a long pause, during which she had filled her basket with the
grapes. "Whilst the warriors are absent at the hunting grounds, we sigh
away our days in the wigwam, or labour wearily in the fields. Would that
Canondah were a man!"

"And El Sol?" lisped Rosa with a melancholy smile. "Canondah should not
complain."

The Indian girl placed one hand upon the lips of her friend, whilst with
the other she playfully menaced her.

"Yes," said she, "El Sol is a great chief, and Canondah owes him her
life. She will cook his venison, and sew his hunting shirts, and follow
him with a light heart. Let the white Rose listen to the words of her
sister. Soon will El Sol visit the wigwam of the Oconees, and then will
Canondah whisper softly in his ear. He is a great warrior, and the miko
will hear his words, and return the presents to the chief of the Salt
Lake, and the white Rose shall never see his wigwam."

Rosa shook her head doubtingly.

"Does Canondah know her father so little? The storm may bow the feeble
reed, but not the silver stem of the mighty tree. It may be uprooted,
and broken in its fall, but never bent. The miko," continued she with a
desponding sigh, "sees the chief of the Salt Lake with the eye of a
warrior, not of a maiden. He has promised him Rosa for his wife, but
Rosa would rather die than"--

"No, no," interrupted Canondah, "Rosa must not die. El Sol loves
Canondah, and the miko of the Oconees knows that he is a far greater
warrior than the chief of the Salt Lake. But listen! what is that?"
cried she, "turning her head in the direction of the swamp, whence a
loud splashing was now audible.

"What is it?" repeated Rosa.

"Perhaps an alligator or a bear," replied the Indian girl.

The noise continued, although less loud than before. "Canondah!"
exclaimed Rosa with visible uneasiness, "you will not again hunt the
great water-snake?"

Her words were in vain. With the swiftness of a deer the Indian maiden
sprang through the reeds, and in a moment had disappeared. Rosa had no
choice but to follow. Whilst making her way through the innumerable
stems that barred her passage, she heard a loud cry, but it was not
Canondah's voice. A noise like that of a heavy body falling into the
water, immediately followed, accompanied by a short but violent
splashing and beating in the mud, and then all was again still.
Breathless and terrified, Rosa forced her way through the reeds, and at
length reached the river bank, where she descried her companion standing
among the cypresses and mangroves, which grew down into the water.

"Canondah!" she exclaimed, in a tone of bitter reproach, as her friend
pointed to an enormous alligator that lay beating the mud with its tail
in the agonies of death. "Why do you do these things? Must Rosa lose her
sister, because she foolishly wishes to be a man, and to fight the
water-snake?"

"See there!" replied Canondah, pointing to a deep wound in the neck of
the alligator, and triumphantly waving her bloody knife; "I plunged it
to the hilt in his throat. The daughter of the Miko of the Oconees knows
how to strike the water-snake. But," added she, indifferently, "this one
was young, and already benumbed, for the water begins to be cold.
Canondah is only a weak girl, but she could teach the young white man to
strike the water-snake." As she spoke the last words, she glanced in the
direction of a cypress-tree which sprang out of the shallow water at a
few paces from the bank.

"The young white man?" said Rosa enquiringly.

The Indian girl laid her forefinger significantly upon her lips, washed
the blood from her hands and knife, and approached the tree. Separating
the impending branches with her left hand, she held out her right, open
and with the palm upwards, in sign of friendship, and then pointed to
the shore, towards which she herself slowly advanced. The boughs were
put aside, and a young man appeared, walking cautiously and with
difficulty towards the bank, clutching for support at the reeds that
grew around him. Rosa gazed in astonishment at the stranger.

"How came he here?" said she softly to her friend.

The Indian girl pointed in silence to a boat entangled amongst the
reeds, through which an attempt had evidently been made to force it. The
stranger had now arrived within a few paces of the shore, when he began
to stagger, and Canondah, who hurried to his assistance, was but just in
time to prevent his falling back into the water. Supporting him in her
arms she assisted him to the bank, and the cause of his weakness became
apparent, in a stream of blood that flowed from his leg, severely
wounded by the jaws of the alligator. Canondah hastened to Rosa.

"Your white brother has been bitten by the water-snake," said she, "and
you see that Canondah has only her gown."

Whilst speaking, she untied the silk 'kerchief from her friend's neck,
then stooping down, she gathered, with the quickness of thought, a
handful of a certain herb, broke a young palma christi across her knee,
and took out the delicate, fleshy substance found under the bark of that
tree. Returning to the stranger, she filled the wound with the pith,
overlaid it with herbs, and bound it with the handkerchief. The whole
was the work of an instant, and so rapid and decided were Canondah's
movements, that Rosa's neckerchief was tied round the leg of the
stranger before the blush that its loss occasioned had faded from the
cheek of its owner.

When the bandaging of the wounded limb was completed to Canondah's
satisfaction, she again stepped into the water, and carefully examined
the boat in which the stranger had arrived; then returning to her
patient, she gazed steadfastly at him for a moment, returned a second
time to the boat, and finally, approaching Rosa, whispered in her ear a
few words which brought a paleness like that of death over the young
girl's countenance. In her turn, Rosa gazed earnestly at the stranger,
the contraction of whose features, and the dull glaze that overspread
his eyes, betrayed the highest degree of exhaustion. His ashy-pale
complexion, sunken cheeks, and hollow eyes, bespoke long privations and
severe suffering; he looked more like a corpse thrown up by the waves,
than a living creature. His hair, bleached by the action of seawater,
hung in tangled locks over his neck and forehead, and the original
colour of his apparel could only be guessed at. He appeared very young,
and his features, allowance made for their emaciation, were by no means
disagreeable, as he sat leaning against the trunk of a cypress-tree,
through the branches of which the sunbeams played upon his countenance,
and lit up its suffering expression.

"Our white brother's canoe," said Canondah, "is that of the chief of the
Salt Lake, but he is not one of his warriors."

"He is perhaps what they call a sailor," remarked Rosa.

"No," replied Canondah, in a decided tone. "Look at his hands, they are
small and delicate as those of a girl, though the seawater has stained
them brown."

"He may be a messenger," suggested Rosa doubtfully.

The Indian maiden again shook her head. "See," said she, "he comes from
the great salt lake which drinks the waters of our river, and yet he
knows not how to bring his boat through the thick grass. He took the
water-snake for a rotten tree, and stepped upon it, and it buried its
teeth in his flesh. Thy white brother has fled from the chief of the
Salt Lake."

She spoke these words with as much confidence and decision as if she had
herself accompanied the stranger on his adventurous voyage.

"And will Canondah," said Rosa, "leave her brother to perish of fever in
the cold night air--he who never harmed her or hers?"

"My sister speaks with the tongue of a white, but Canondah is the
daughter of the great Miko," replied the Indian girl, with some severity
of manner. The next moment her countenance again brightened, and she
took Rosa's hand.

"Canondah will listen to the words of her sister," said she, "and will
befriend her white brother. She will take him to the hollow tree."

The two maidens now raised the young man, and each taking one of his
arms, assisted him through the thick growth of reeds. It was a long and
wearisome task, for loss of blood, and previous privations, had rendered
the stranger nearly helpless, and they were hardly able, by the utmost
exertion of their strength, to keep him on his feet and convey him
along. At one moment, when half-way through the palmettos, he seemed
about to breathe his last; his strength left him, and it was only by the
most laborious and painful efforts that the young girls got him over the
rest of the field. Panting and trembling, they at last reached its
extremity, and Rosa sank upon the ground, incapable of further exertion.
By a last effort Canondah drew her burthen out of the palmettos, and
then threw herself down by the side of her friend.

The last rays of the sun still played upon the summits of the loftier
trees, of which the lower branches were dimly seen in the rapidly
thickening twilight, when Rosa approached the Indian maiden, and with
the words, "The sun is low," roused her from her state of exhaustion and
semi-unconsciousness. Canondah sprang to her feet, and the two girls
tripped side by side into the wood, until they at last paused before an
enormous cotton-tree. Several gigantic vines, in whose powerful and
enervating embrace the mighty trunk had perished, still clasped the
magnificent colossus with their shining red tendrils, whilst the
interior of the tree, hollowed by the tooth of time, was of a
fantastical configuration, not unlike a Gothic chapel, and sufficiently
spacious to contain twenty men. The care with which the hollow had been
swept out, and the neighbourhood of a salt spring, showed that it was
used by the Indian hunters as a resting-place and ambush. Canondah
cautiously approached the tree and returned to Rosa with the
intelligence that it was unoccupied. From the branches of a neighbouring
cypress, the two girls now stripped quantities of Spanish moss,
wherewith they speedily composed a soft and luxurious bed in the
interior of the cotton-tree. This done, they rolled blocks of wood and
fragments of trees to the entrance, apparently to form a rampart against
the nocturnal intrusion of bear or panther. These preparations
completed, they returned to the wounded man. Canondah passed her left
arm under his legs, and signed to Rosa to grasp her hand, whilst their
arms should serve as a support to his back. Rosa blushed and hesitated.

"Does the white Rose," said Canondah, "fear to touch her brother, for
whose life she was lately so anxious?"

For sole reply, the young girl took her friend's hand, and raising the
stranger from the ground, they carried him to the hollow tree, and laid
him down upon his mossy couch.

"When the earth is covered with darkness," said Canondah, bending over
him, "Canondah will visit her brother, and pour balsam into his wounds."

But her words were unmarked by the person addressed, who, with the
exception of a faint breathing, gave no sign of life. The two maidens
struck into the path by which they had first approached the river, and
along which we will now precede them in order to introduce the reader
into an entirely new world.

At a short distance from the scene of the adventure above narrated, was
a wide clearing, extending for about three miles along the shore. It had
originally been part of a palmetto field covering the bank of the river
for the breadth of half a mile, at which distance a limit was put to it
by the colossal stems of the aboriginal forest. The clearing had been
made by the burning of the palmettos, in whose place a carpet of
luxuriant grass had sprung up, dotted with groups of magnificent trees,
and intersected by natural hedges of myrtle, mangrove, palm, and tulip
trees, giving to the whole tract of land the appearance of a beautiful
artificial park. Here and there, through the branches of the sycamore
and cotton trees, small swirls of smoke were seen curling upwards,
telling of the presence of man, and on nearer inspection there became
visible, under various of the groups of trees, one or more huts,
surrounded by little plantations of Indian corn and tobacco, and forming
collectively a scattered hamlet of some fifty habitations.

No particular rule had been observed in the architecture of these modest
dwellings, whose builders had been more remarkable for indolence than
for refinement of taste, and had carefully avoided overworking
themselves during their construction. The simplest materials had
sufficed, and had been used in the same rough state in which nature
afforded them. The walls were constructed of the smaller boughs of the
cotton-tree, with Spanish moss stuffed into the interstices. Instead of
the clapboards, wherewith, to the west of the Alleghany range, the
dwellings of the poorer class of country people are usually roofed, the
palmetto reed had been made use of, a selection that gave the hamlet a
peculiar air of rustic simplicity. The houses were for the most part
without windows, and their interior received light through the chimney
or door, which latter, instead of being of wood, consisted of a buffalo
hide suspended in front of the doorway, and thrown back during the day
upon the low roof. The principal charm of the village, however, lay not
in its style of building, but in the manner in which the humble
dwellings seemed to nestle under the numerous clusters of trees. The
universal cleanliness and absence of all offal formed another remarkable
feature, and went far to increase the favourable impression made by the
delightful situation of the hamlet. It was truly a lovely spot, as its
ruins still show. The broad Natchez flowing majestically by, on its way
to the sea; the dark framework of cypresses and mangroves fringing its
shores, their tall shadows reflected in the clear waters; the
innumerable groups of trees, with huts peeping out of their shade like
so many hermitages; and finally, the spacious clearing itself, enclosed
at either end by the waving palmettos, and bounded on the third side by
a wall of gigantic and venerable trees, gave to the whole scene an air
of enchanting repose and seclusion.

The inhabitants of this retired spot, although offering fewer charms
than did their residence, were in many respects scarcely less
interesting. In front of the foremost hut was assembled a group of
creatures with dark shining skins, which, at a first glance, and owing
to their comical movements, might well have been taken for a herd of
apes. Now, like those animals, they leaped the hedges and bushes, and
then, like snakes, wound along the ground, or rolled down the river bank
with a rapidity of motion that the eye could scarcely follow. Further on
in the village were seen lads of a maturer age, practising warlike games
and exercises. They were performing the spy-dance. Whilst one party
crept stealthily over the grass, others lay upon the ground in a
listening posture, and with their ears pressed to the earth, strove to
distinguish the movements of their antagonists. At last, when the two
parties had approached each other, they sprang suddenly up, and forming
themselves in Indian file, commenced a combat in which they dealt
furious blows with their blunt wooden tomahawks, exhibiting in every
movement an extraordinary degree of activity and natural grace. Little
interest was shown in these evolutions by the adult inhabitants of the
village, whose extreme apathy and indifference contrasted curiously with
the display of violent exertion on the part of the young Indians. Before
the open doors of the huts sat the squaws and their daughters, stripping
the maize from the ear, beating hemp, or picking tobacco; the children,
who, according to Indian custom, are from their very birth kept in an
upright posture, hanging against the outer walls on long concave boards
or pieces of bark, to which their hands and feet were fastened by thongs
of buffalo hide, their only garment a strip of calico round the hips.

At a short distance from the upper part of the clearing stood two wooden
huts, which might have passed for two of the school or meeting-houses
often met with in the American backwoods. Like the other dwellings
composing the hamlet, they were propped against sycamore-trees, but they
were distinguished by their larger dimensions and more careful style of
building, by the bowers of palm and mangrove that surrounded them, and
the plots of smooth turf before their doors. In front of one of these
little houses, and in the centre of the lawn, about fifty men were
squatted upon the ground, enveloped in a thick cloud of smoke,
proceeding from tobacco-pipes, three to five feet in length, with which
all of them were provided. They were attired in hunting-shirts, open in
front, and showing the naked breast down to the wampum girdle, to which
a second garment, reaching to the knee, was attached. Instead of the
shaved head and scalping-tuft adopted by many Indian tribes, they wore
the whole of their hair. They appeared to have taken their places
according to their rank, the inner half-circle being composed of the
older warriors, whilst the young men formed a second and third line. In
the centre of the curve sat an old warrior, on whom the eyes of the
assembly were respectfully fixed, and whose remarkable exterior,
combined with the deference shown him, bespoke the chief of the tribe.
It would be difficult to imagine a more singular, and at the same time
interesting-looking person, than this old man, whose body seemed to
consist of nothing but skin and bone. All the coarse and fleshy portions
of his frame were dried up, and only veins and sinews remained. His open
hunting-shirt disclosed a breast far broader than that of any one of his
companions, resembling a board that had been chopped and hacked, so
covered was it with the scars of many wounds. The chief characteristic
of his countenance was a gloomy stoical gravity, mingled with a resigned
expression, telling a tale of many a fearful struggle, and of grievous
mental suffering. The fall of his tribe, and seven years' exile, had
brought about this change in the Miko of the Oconees.

This old man is Tokeah, who, driven by the Americans from his hunting
grounds, has taken refuge, with the remnant of his tribe, upon Mexican
territory. Canondah is his daughter, and the young man whom she rescued
from the jaws of the alligator is an English midshipman belonging to a
frigate employed in sounding the entrances of the Mississippi,
preparatory to the expedition against New Orleans. Whilst away from his
ship on a turtling party, he and two of his comrades have been captured
by Lafitte, the famous French pirate, whose chief haunt was on the
island of Barataria, in the Gulf of Mexico, whence, from amidst shoals
and swamps impenetrable to those unacquainted with their intricacies, he
issued forth to commit depredations on the high seas, and especially in
the Mexican Gulf. During an inland excursion, about two years previously
to the date of this tale, Lafitte discovered the Indian village on the
Natchez, and was at first about to attack and plunder it; but the
determined attitude of its defenders, and, still more, the reflection
that their alliance might be useful to him against the Louisianian
authorities, who had set a price upon his head, induced him to change
his intention, and to hold out the right hand of good fellowship to the
red men. Tokeah, whose ruling passion is hatred of the Americans, gladly
concluded an alliance with the pirate, who professed an equal
detestation of them. The Frenchman speedily ingratiated himself with the
old chief, with whom he bartered a portion of his plunder for provisions
of various kinds; and after a time, Tokeah, unsuspicious of the real
character of his disreputable ally, whom he believed the chief of an
independent tribe living on the sea-shore, promised him Rosa in
marriage, an arrangement to which, as has already been seen, the poor
girl was any thing but a consenting party.

Early upon the morrow of the arrival of the midshipman, upon whom our
author has bestowed the unromantic name of James Hodges, the Oconee
warriors depart on a hunting expedition, and the wounded man is removed
to a hut in the village. During their absence, Canondah, at the entreaty
of Rosa, between whom and the young Englishman a kindness has grown up
during the convalescence of the latter, and who fears for his life
should Tokeah discover him, disguises the midshipman in Indian paint and
apparel, supplies him with arms, and explains to him the road to New
Orleans, which he trusts to find occupied by British troops. She has
guided him through the swamp and ferried him across the Sabine, when
some words she lets fall apprise him of the peril she and Rosa will be
in from her father's anger, when he returns from his hunting party, and
is informed by the squaws of the evasion of one of the detested
Americans, to which nation he will naturally feel assured that the
English midshipman belongs. To avert all danger from the heads of his
deliverers, the young man then wishes to go back to the village, but
this the noble-minded girl refuses to allow, and pushes off her canoe
from the shore, to which all his entreaties are insufficient to induce
her to return. She retraces her steps to the hamlet, and shut up in her
wigwam with Rosa, awaits, in alarm and deep dejection, her father's
return from the chase.

Twenty-four hours had elapsed, during the whole of which time Canondah
had not left her hut, nor had any of the squaws been to visit her. At
last, towards morning, the voices of men were heard upon the shore. It
was the Miko and his hunters. His daughter rose, her knees trembling
under her, and looked out of the window. She saw the old squaws
whispering to the men, and pointing to the wigwam in which the
Englishman had dwelt. Presently the Miko entered his hut, followed by
several warriors, and Canondah stepped forward to welcome her father.
With hands folded upon her throbbing bosom, she silently awaited his
commands.

"The men of the Oconees," he began, after a pause, during which he
seemed to read his daughter's soul, "have told their Miko that a
messenger from the chief of the Salt Lake has reached his wigwam. Why do
not my eyes behold him?"

The trembling girl made no reply, but remained with her eyes fixed upon
the ground.

"Has Canondah so forgotten her father's blood as to bring a Yankee into
his wigwam, and to show him the path that leads to the villages of the
pale faces? The Miko thought he had a daughter," said the old man, with
the most cutting scorn; "but Canondah is not the daughter of the Miko of
the Oconees. Go," continued he, in an accent of unspeakable disgust; "a
miserable Seminole deceived her mother, and gave life to a traitress."

On hearing these terrible words, the maiden sank to the ground as if
struck by lightning, and, writhing like a worm, crept to her father's
feet, and laid hold of his garment. He pushed her from him with
loathing.

"Go," said he; "she sang in the ears of the Miko, and implored the Great
Spirit to protect him, whilst she cherished and concealed the foe of his
race. Therefore could not the White Rose sing the night-song, because
the spy was waiting for her in the forest. The Miko has nourished a
snake in his bosom, his beaver-skins have been thrown away, and the
White Rose has brought a spy into his wigwam to betray him to his foes.
In a few suns he and his will be hunted by their enemies like the wild
panther of the forests."

An angry howl escaped the Indians, and two of the most ferocious looking
glided towards the curtain of Rosa's apartment. Canondah was lying
speechless, apparently almost senseless, upon the ground, but hardly had
the red men taken a step, when she suddenly stood before them.

"It is I," she cried; "it is Canondah, who guided the pale face across
the swamp, and showed him the path he should follow. The White Rose
knows it not."

Scarcely had she spoken, when the curtain was lifted and Rosa appeared.
The Indian girl clasped her in her arms as if to shield her from harm,
and the two maidens stood with drooping heads before the incensed Miko.
The eyes of the chief had followed the rapid movement of his daughter,
and he appeared astounded at the boldness with which she interposed
between him and the intended sacrifice to his wrath. On beholding Rosa,
a grim smile distorted his features; he made a step forward, and raised
his knife.

"It was I!" cried the affrighted Canondah.

"No!" exclaimed Rose, in trembling tones; "I it was who brought the
white youth into the wigwam."

The Miko stood like one petrified. Gradually, however, the generous
rivalry and self-devotion of the two beautiful beings before him
produced its effect on his savage nature. The expression of his features
softened.

"Go," said he with bitter scorn; "does Canondah think the Miko a fool,
and that his eyes do not see who brought the white spy into the wigwam?
It was the foot of Canondah that opened the path, but the treacherous
tongue of the White Rose prevailed with her to do it."

"Will my father," said Canondah, folding her hands humbly on her
breast--"will my father loosen the tongue of his daughter?"

A long pause ensued, during which anger and paternal feeling held a
visible contest in the bosom of the deeply-moved chief. Finally, the
latter prevailed.

"Canondah may speak."

"My father, the white youth has sworn to me that he is no spy, and not
one of the Yengheese. He is from the island of the foolish chief, the
land of which you have told me that it is cold and icy. His people are
on the war-path against our foes, the Yengheese. It is but a few suns
since he and his friends came across the great salt lake; they will go
up the great river and burn the wigwams of our enemies. The chief of the
Salt Lake, he says, is a thief, who overpowered him and his brothers
whilst they caught oysters and turtle, and took them to his wigwam. He
escaped, and for eight suns he suffered hunger. His people will hang the
chief of the Salt Lake by the neck to a tree. See, father, thy daughter
delivered him from the jaws of the great water-snake, and he was already
nearly dead. He has returned to his brothers, to lift the hatchet
against your foes. He is no spy; his hands are soft and he was weak."

"Has Canondah more lies to tell her father?" said the old man, in a
milder tone. "Her tongue is very nimble."

The abashed maiden cast her eyes to the ground. Her words, however, had
visibly made a deep impression upon the Miko, and he remained for a
while sunk in reflection. Tokeah was a savage by birth, habit, and
education; but he was neither bloodthirsty nor cruel. Under other
circumstances, and in a civilized land, he might have been a hero, a
benefactor of thousands or millions of his fellow-creatures; but in his
wild condition, despised, goaded and insulted as he felt himself, his
better feelings blunted, and his whole nature soured by real and fancied
injuries, what wonder was it that he raised his knife even against his
own daughter, entering the hut as he did with the full persuasion that
the young man she had sheltered was a spy and emissary of his bitterest
foes?

The account given of himself by the midshipman, and the imputations cast
by him on the chief of the Salt Lake, as Lafitte is called by the
Indians, receive strong confirmation from two handbills, which Tokeah,
who has learned to read English in the course of his long intercourse
with the white men, has torn, during his recent expedition, from a wall
in one of the new Louisianian settlements. One of these papers is a
proclamation by the authorities of Louisiana, enumerating the crimes and
cruelties of the pirate of Barataria, and offering a reward of five
hundred dollars for his head. The other is an address to the citizens of
the state, summoning them to the defence of their country against the
British. Notwithstanding this corroborative evidence of the correctness
of his daughter's statement, Tokeah, unwilling to remain with the
smallest doubt upon his mind, or to risk the discovery of the nook in
which, for seven years, he has been unseen by an American eye, sets off
with a party of warriors in pursuit of the young Englishman. The ensuing
chapter, the last of the first volume, we will translate with small
abridgement, and therewith, for the present, conclude our extracts.

The mood of mind in which we left our young Englishman may aptly be
compared with that of the assassin neophytes, whom, according to the
tale, the Old Man of the Mountain was wont to introduce into an
enchanted garden, peopled with ravishing houris, whence, after a short
enjoyment of the most voluptuous delights, he again thrust them forth
into the dark and dismal night of the desert, with nothing remaining of
their past pleasures save a wild confusion of the senses, a chaos of
images and visions, and a burning desire to recover the lost paradise.
True it is, as our readers know, that the young sailor had no such
enjoyments to regret, and equally true that his own wish had driven him
from his Eden; but he nevertheless experienced the tumult and confusion
of thought, and the longing to return, above described. It seemed as if
the nobler and inferior qualities of his nature were striving within
him, the two principles alternately, as either got the upper hand,
impelling him onwards and calling him back. A full hour elapsed, during
which he several times walked away from the shore and then again
returned to it, until at last he was surprised by the first beams of the
sun, disclosing to him a scene whose sight assisted him to prompt
decision.

Agreeably with what Canondah had told him, he found the left bank of the
Sabine bare of trees, with the exception of a few stunted firs and
cedars growing along the shore. Before him was spread a landscape which
the most skilful pencil could but imperfectly sketch, the most powerful
fancy with difficulty conceive. It was an interminable tract of meadow
land, its long grass waving in the morning breeze, presenting an endless
succession of gentle undulations, whilst in the far distance isolated
groups of trees appeared to rock like ships upon the boundless ocean.
Nowhere was a fixed point to be seen, and the whole stupendous landscape
swam before his eyes, waving like the surface of the sea in a soft
tropical breeze. Towards the north, the plain rose gradually into
highlands, between whose picturesque clusters of trees his eye
penetrated to the extremity of the vast panorama, where the bright tints
of the landscape blended with those of the horizon. Eastward the huge
meadow sank down into bottoms, shaded by trees, and overgrown with reeds
and palmettos, shining, as the wind stirred them, like sails in the
sunshine. The profound stillness of the sky-bounded plain, only broken
by the plash of the waterfowl, or the distant howl of the savanna wolf,
and the splendour of the rising sun, imparted an indescribable solemnity
and grandeur to the scene. Lower down the river were detached groups of
trees, amongst which grazed deer, who, with wondering glances, seemed to
ask the wanderer whence he came; and after gazing at him for a while,
tossed their antlers proudly in the air, and, as if displeased at the
intrusion upon their territory, paced slowly back into the thicket. The
whole landscape was dotted with diminutive hillocks of a conical form,
the habitations of small brown animals, who sat in front of them with
their faces to the sun, making their breakfast on the tender grass.

The district just described is the western portion of Louisiana, which,
from the alluvial land of the Mississippi, Red River, Atchafalaya, and
other smaller but deep streams, swells gradually upwards towards the
west, and ends in these vast and magnificent savannas. The detached
pictures that we have laid before our readers, in the endeavour to
convey to them some idea of the whole, burst at once upon the young
Englishman; and their view put him in much the same state of mind with
the seaman, who, having left his ship during the night in a frail skiff,
finds himself in the morning alone upon the wide waters, and hesitates
whether he shall not, by one desperate plunge, avoid the misery and
suffering that await him. This feeling of isolation and helplessness,
like the last grain thrown into the balance, suddenly terminated the
young man's indecision, and induced him to take a step, which, whilst it
seemed to ensure his own destruction, attested the triumph of the better
principle within. Hastily stripping off his clothes, he tied then in a
bundle, and jumping into the chilly stream, in a quarter of an hour
reached the opposite shore. The parting words of the noble Indian girl
had decided him to return to the village, and give himself up to the
fury of the terrible Miko. Any other consideration was subordinate to
that generous motive.

Upon reaching the right bank of the river, Hodges proceeded to seek the
path through the thicket. But the difficulties he encountered were such
as might well deter the most persevering. The western side of the
Sabine, like that of the Natchez, is a gentle slope, ending in a ridge
which again sinks gradually and imperceptibly down to the swamp. The
black masses of cypress and cedar allowed him to penetrate a few hundred
paces through them, and to reach the summit of the rising ground; but as
soon as the descent began, he found it impossible to get a step further.
The slope was covered with a description of tree which he had never
before seen or heard of. The stems were not thicker than a man's body,
but they grew close together, and were covered with thorns as long as
his arm, presenting the appearance of millions of brown bayonets, so
thickly planted, and so manifold in their direction, as scarcely to
allow a squirrel to set foot upon the trees on which they grew. He tried
to call to mind the position of the path along which Canondah had
conducted him; he investigated every thicket and opening in the bushes,
but all in vain; hours passed away, and he had not found it. When he
detected the trace of footsteps, they invariably proved to be his own.
At last fortune seemed to smile upon him; he discovered the place where
the canoe was concealed. He had still long to look, however, before he
could find the track leading through the forest; and when he did hit
upon it, it was so intricate, and led in such a zigzag line, now up the
slope and then down again, that darkness came on, and he had not yet
reached the swamp. Hungry and fatigued, he returned to the Sabine, and,
fully determined to try his luck again next morning, he trusted with
better success, he loaded the canoe upon his shoulders, launched it upon
the water, and rowed to the opposite bank, where he had left the
provisions with which Canondah had supplied him. Taking them with him,
he recrossed the river, and after a short but hearty meal, busied
himself in the preparation of a sleeping place. In that heavenly region,
nature has supplied the means for a simple, but delightful bed, in the
tillandsea or Spanish moss, whose long, delicate, horsehair-like
threads, compose the most luxurious couch. With this moss Hodges now
filled the canoe, and carried it to the hiding-place where he had found
it. This had been selected between two cedars, whose lower boughs served
as rollers, upon which he only had to raise the boat to be secure from
observation. His gun at his side, and wrapped in his blanket, he fell
asleep.

The fatigues of the day procured the young Englishman several hours of
profound and untroubled slumber, but at the end of that time he was
tormented by a strange dream. He thought he saw the corpses of Rosa and
Canondah lying pale and bleeding before him, whilst over them strode a
fantastical-looking monster, a knife in its claws, levelled at his
heart. He turned round, he fought and wrestled, and strove to seize his
gun. The desperate struggle awoke him.

That which had been a dream had now become reality. A grim savage really
stood over him, one foot upon the canoe, in his hand a tomahawk, which
he waved above his head with a scowl of triumph. One blow, and all would
be over. Quick as thought the young Englishman raised his rifle, and
pointed it at the breast of the Indian, who started on one side. The
tomahawk descended, but, fortunately for Hodges, his sudden movement
overturned the canoe at the very moment that the blow fell. This saved
his life. Clasping the knees of the Indian with the strength of
desperation, he brought him to the ground, and threw himself upon him.
The deadly scalping-knife was about to pierce his heart, when he caught
the wrist of the savage in his right hand, and with his left clutched
his throat. For a moment the Indian struggled, glared at him with an
expression of inveterate hate, and then his breath left him, his
features became distorted, and he let the knife fall. The next instant
it glittered in the hand of Hodges, and the Indian lay defenceless, his
antagonist's knee on his breast, awaiting, with set teeth and staring
eyes, the death which he deemed inevitable. During one second, the young
man appeared to hesitate; then he sprang to his feet.

"Go," said he; "I will not sully myself with your blood."

"My young brother is really a friend of the red men," said a voice
behind him.

Hodges turned, and beheld another Indian, a scalping-knife in his hand,
which he seemed about to plunge into his back. Springing on one side, he
confronted this new foe.

"My brother need not fear," said the second Indian, behind whom the
other had now retreated, not unlike a dog, who, feeling himself guilty
of a misdeed, creeps, with tail between his legs, behind the back of his
master. The new-comer surveyed him with a severe glance.

"Milimach," said he, "would have taken a scalp from a sleeping man, but
he has to thank the white youth that his own is still upon his head.
Milimach has disobeyed the Miko."

"Are you the Miko?" cried Hodges--"the Miko of the Oconees?"

The old man fixed his calm and penetrating look upon his interrogator,
and replied with much dignity, "My young brother has said it. He has
nothing to fear; the Miko stretches out to him his hand, in peace and
friendship."

"You the Miko of the Oconees?" repeated Hodges, grasping the Indian's
hand, and heartily shaking it. "I am delighted to see you; and, to say
the truth, I was on my way to your village."

"The maidens," said the chief, "told the Miko that the son of the great
father who owns the two Canadas, had escaped from the chief of the Salt
Lake, and sought shelter in his wigwam. My eyes have seen, and my soul
believes what is true. But my brother has travelled very little of the
path leading to his people."

"I will tell you why," said the young man. "You have an excellent girl
for a daughter--Heaven bless her!--and she and that angel, Rosa, were
like sisters to me. I would gladly have remained longer, had not the
voice of duty called me away. But when your daughter left me upon the
other side of the river, something escaped her that made it my first
duty to return to your wigwam."

The chief had listened with much attention. "What did my daughter
whisper in the ear of my young brother?" said he.

"Few words," was the reply, "but weighty ones. I understood that the
poor girls would suffer for their goodness to me; and that, suspecting
they had brought a Yankee spy into your wigwam, you would perhaps kill
them."

"And my brother?" said the Miko.

"Held himself bound to return, to avert the danger from their innocent
heads."

The Indian stood for a while in silent reflection. Then his countenance
brightened, and once more he stretched out his hand to the Englishman,
to whom this sign of good-will was rendered the more welcome by the
appearance of a long line of savages who just then glided out of the
thicket, and ranged themselves behind their leader.

"Does my brother wish to go to the village of the whites?" said Tokeah
after a pause.

"I do wish," said Hodges, "to rejoin my ship as soon as possible. I am a
British officer, and must not be wanting at my post."

The Indian shook his head. "The Miko," said he, "knows the sons of the
great father of the Canadas; he has lifted the war-hatchet with them
against the Yankees. Great warriors are they, but in our forests blind
as the night-owl. My brother would never reach his people; he would
perish of hunger in the wide wilderness. See," continued he, pointing to
a group of trees that appeared like a black speck on the distant
horizon, "my brother will go to those trees, but when he gets there, his
head will dance and turn round, and he will wander in a circle, like a
dog pursuing his own tail. In a hundred suns he will not find his way
out of the meadows."

The comparison was not a very elegant one; but a single glance at the
vast plain before him, convinced the young man that the Indian spoke the
truth.

"Answer me one question," said he. "Have the maidens nothing to fear,
and will the Miko generously forgive them for having brought a stranger
into his wigwam?"

"The Miko will look upon his daughters with a well-pleased eye."

"Then I have nothing to do but to be off as quickly as possible. If I
can only get to the Mississippi, I shall find our ships there."

The Indian seemed to reflect. "My brother's path is very long," said he,
"and the canoes of his people are far away. His great father has many
warriors, but the Yankees have more. Will my brother listen to the words
of an old man, who has seen many summers, and whose hair is grey with
age and sorrow?"

Hodges bowed his head, perhaps even lower than he intended to do.

"Let my young brother return to the wigwam of the Miko. The warriors
will smoke with him, and the maidens will sing in his ears. In two suns
the chief of the Salt Lake will come. To him will the Miko whisper, and
he will take my brother in his canoe and restore him to his people."

"The chief of the Salt Lake! The pirate take me back to my people?"
exclaimed Hodges, shaking his head. "My dear Miko, you are vastly
mistaken. He will take good care not to do so, for his welcome would be
a halter."

"Is the chief of the Salt Lake also at war with my brother's tribe?"
inquired the Miko.

"Not at war; but he is a pirate, who robs and plunders wherever he goes,
and, if taken, will of course be hung."

The countenance of the Indian darkened, and Hodges feared that he had
touched a dangerous string.

"My brother is right," said Tokeah; "he must go. But, if he will remain,
the wigwam of the Miko is open to him; the White Rose will cook his
venison, and he shall be the son of Tokeah."

The Englishman took the old warrior's hand, and pressed it kindly.

"When the Oconees," said he, adopting the Indian phraseology, "have
sworn to their Miko to lift the war-hatchet in his behalf, they must
keep their word, or they are dogs. Even so must the son of the great
father of the Canadas observe the oath that he has taken. He must hasten
to his brothers, or he will be looked upon as a coward, and his name
will be spoken with contempt."

These words, uttered with feeling and emphasis, were decisive. The chief
nodded his approbation.

"The sun was low behind the hills," said he, "when my young brother
approached the wigwam of Tokeah, and the chief was buried in sleep. His
footsteps must not be seen by the white men. Will my brother swear by
Him whom the Oconees call the Great Spirit, and the pale-faces name
their God, that he will not betray Tokeah to his enemies?"

"I swear it solemnly."

"Will he promise never to say that the Miko and the chief of the Salt
Lake have been friends?"

"I promise that also," replied Hodges, after a brief pause.

"Then may the bones of his fathers moulder in peace," said the old man,
laying his hands on the shoulders of the Englishman. "The Miko will
clear his brother's path from thorns, and his runners shall show him the
way to the Coshattoes. But my brother is hungry," he added, "and his
path is a long one."

He made a sign to his followers, and one of them emptied a hunting-pouch
upon the grass; the Miko sat down, and, beckoning Hodges to do the same,
offered him some cold game, of which he himself sparingly partook. A
handful of roasted corn, and a calabash of tolerable wine, completed the
repast. The meal dispatched, Tokeah rose, nodded in a friendly manner,
and plunged into the forest, followed by all but one of the Indians.
Hodges cast a last glance after their dark figures, as they disappeared
between the trees, and then seized the canoe to carry it to the water.
Upon reaching the opposite shore, the Indian concealed the boat amongst
the bushes, and started off across the prairie at a pace with which the
young Englishman had some difficulty in keeping up.



IRELAND--ITS CONDITION--THE LIFE AND PROPERTY BILL--THE DEBATE, AND THE
FAMINE.


It is now some years since, in the pages of this Periodical, we pointed
out to Sir Robert Peel's government the necessity of adopting coercive
measures towards Ireland, in mercy to the peasantry themselves, and the
folly of permitting sedition to run its course, in the delusive hope
that the fallacy on which the arguments of the demagogues were founded
would at length be discovered by their dupes, and that the repeated
disappointment of their expectations would ultimately induce the deluded
people to withdraw the confidence which they reposed in their political
leaders. But our remonstrances, as well as the advice of others who
equally understood the Irish character, were disregarded; and the
consequences have been the destruction of property, the sacrifice of
life, and the increase of crime, to such an appalling extent, that very
shame compels the administration to propose _now_ (with small chance of
its efficiency, even should it be adopted) a measure, which, incomplete
though it be, might then have been attended with considerable success.

The coercion bill introduced by Lord St Germains, is, though much to be
approved of so far as it goes, perfectly inadequate to accomplish what
it is intended to effect; for while it recognises the fact, that the
action of the ordinary laws is inadequate to cope with the difficulties
and the dangers of the emergency, it stops far short of the limits which
would ensure its utility. It suspends the constitution, and incurs the
odium which must ever attach to the violation of popular rights, without
affording much hope of its being able to attain those results which
alone can render such a proceeding justifiable. The perpetrator of crime
is by it to be subjected to pains and penalties; while he who instigates
him to the commission of it, is to be left in the full enjoyment of the
liberty of action: the peasant is to be confined to his dwelling at
night, but the demagogue may hold his monster meetings by day, when the
law enacted "for the preservation of life and property" will be derided
and denounced, and his misguided followers taught how to violate its
provisions with safety, and to defeat its objects with success. But the
principal defect of the bill is, that it does not enact a law, under
which immediate and summary justice could be administered and the very
terror of which would go far to check the commission of crime, by
depriving the guilty of all hope of escape from the partisanship or the
fear of their judges.

In their speeches on Lord St Germains' bill, both the Home Secretary and
Mr O'Connell congratulated themselves that there was nothing of a
sectarian or political character in the Irish outrages, that the lives
and properties of Roman Catholics and Repealers were as much sought
after, as were those of persons who differed from them in doctrines and
opinions; yet this we consider the very worst feature in the case, for
it exhibits a loosening of those ties which bind society together, and
shows evidently enough that spoliation, and not redress, is the object
of the people in the disturbed districts. Mr Sidney Herbert tells us,
"men were there under the dominion of a power more irresponsible than
any of the powers conferred by this bill--a power exercised by persons
unseen, and for causes unknown, and exercised, too, in a manner not to
be foreseen, which no conduct, no character however excellent, no
virtue, no station, could avert." And it is while society is in such a
state, that persons are to be found ranting about the violation of the
constitution, and refusing to protect the lives of the virtuous and the
innocent, lest in their endeavours to do so they should intrench on the
liberties of the guilty. We cannot conceive how Christian men can, under
such circumstances, put party objects in competition with the obvious
dictates of duty, or seek to secure the triumph of their political
principles at the expense of the blood of their fellow-creatures. Yet
do we see a formidable opposition raised against what is represented to
be an impotent measure, and English gentlemen battling in defence of the
perpetrators of crime, under the banner of him who is morally
responsible in the eyes of God and man for the awful state of his
unfortunate country. But those protectors of anarchy will say--"In
following Mr O'Connell, we must be right; O'Connell and his party
represent the feelings of the Irish people"--ay, just as much as the
Terrorists of the Revolution did the sentiments and the feelings of the
people of France. His is indeed a reign of terror--of moral terror, if
you will--but of a terror quite as effectual, and more powerful than
that of the guillotine; a terror which pervades all classes of society,
which is "exercised by persons unseen, and for causes unknown," and
whose influence "no conduct, no character however excellent, no virtue,
no station, can avert;" a terror which seeks to regulate not only
political but private concerns, which causes even the Bishops of his own
faith who dare to oppose him without the means of support, and such men
as Sir William Somerville, to crouch under his denunciations, and at his
behest to violate what must be the dictates of their own consciences, in
order to purchase immunity from political defeat.

Judging from the tone of the debate, the admissions of the ministerial
speakers, and the delays which have been submitted to, we would almost
be inclined to doubt the sincerity of the government in wishing to pass
even this measure, imperfect as it is. There seems to exist an
extraordinary and ominous good feeling between the opposing parties. Sir
James Graham is described by Mr O'Connell as having "stated the case of
the promoters of the bill in a manner which could not dissatisfy any
one;" "so hard a measure had never a more moderate exponent," (and well
might the wily agitator pay the compliment, for his own share in
producing the lamentable state of things was entirely left out of
sight;) and, in detailing his budget of enormities, the minister seemed
actuated by the most delicate feelings towards the guilty. "There were
no indignant bursts of feeling;" and he even went the length of
declaring, that he would have suppressed one of the most atrocious cases
in the whole catalogue, "only that it had been previously alluded to by
Lord George Bentinck." Of a verity, "the convicted conspirator" and the
denounced "renegade" seem now to have a perfect understanding. But if
the mild manner of the Home Secretary on the introduction of the bill is
calculated to excite distrust in the minds of those who really wish for
the establishment of tranquillity in Ireland, the speech of the
Secretary at War is sufficient to convince them, that the government do
not care to go the necessary length for accomplishing that object, for
fear of coming in violent contact with the really guilty. Mr O'Connell
twitted them with the obvious fact, that they gave no protection under
their bill by day, although it was notorious that almost all the
assassinations were then perpetrated. Mr Sidney Herbert is reported,
with great naïveté, and innocently enough, to have offered the following
reasons for the omission:--"He could show from proofs before him, that
the murders which were committed in broad day were, generally speaking,
murders perpetrated against persons in the higher ranks of life; and
that, on the other hand, the night murders were committed on the poor
and defenceless; and for this reason,--the rich man lived in a house
carefully secured, with his servants well armed, his windows barricaded,
and every thing about it capable of standing a siege; _and when such a
man was murdered it was usually in the open day; perhaps fired at from a
hedge when he was returning from the quarter sessions, or some other
duty_. But the poor man, who lived in a wretched thatched cottage, with
the door and window ill secured--that man was attacked at night, shots
were fired into his house, and incendiarism was almost solely confined
to him, because he was poor and defenceless--he had no servants to repel
the invasion of what ought to be his castle; and, therefore, he
maintained that an obvious distinction must be made between the night
class of murders, which especially required their interference, and
those that were committed in broad day. The one class of victims
called much more loudly for protection than did the other."--(Hear.)
Here we have it unreservedly stated, that no restriction is sought to be
imposed upon the evil-disposed by day--merely because none are then
murdered but landlords, who cannot with convenience be come at by night;
but, as if more fully to show the little sympathy which exists between
the Irish proprietors and the government, the Secretary at War asks, in
a subsequent passage, "How many murders of landlords had there been? _Or
rather, he should say, how few had there been?_ God knew he was not
underrating the number who had thus lost their lives, but he asked the
House to consider how few landlords had been murdered, in comparison
with the whole number which had taken place in the five counties in
which outrage had been so conspicuous. In these five counties there had
been the following offences:--Firing at the person, 85; incendiarism,
139; threatening witnesses, 1043; firing into dwelling-houses, 93. Now,
of all these, how many were attacks on landlords? There was Mr Gloster,
Mr M'Leod, Mr Hoskins, Mr Carrick, Mr Booth, and some others; but they
formed no comparison to the number of poor and defenceless."

Far be it from us to impute improper motives to any man, much less to a
person of Mr Sidney Herbert's private character; but we would calmly ask
that gentleman, whether such admissions, coming from a minister of the
crown, are not likely to have the most pernicious effects upon the Irish
people? No man who understands the system pursued in Ireland, can doubt
but that they will be applied to the worst of purposes; the agitators
will tell their dupes that the reason government took no precautions to
protect life by day was, "because the only persons then murdered were
the gentry;" and it will be said, "let the poor alone, and you may shoot
as many landlords as you please--the opportunity is afforded you." A
hint on the subject will be found perfectly sufficient for such
intelligent persons.

"See," cries Mr Sidney Herbert, "the _few_, the _very few_, landlords
murdered--_only five, and a few others_!" If the honourable gentleman's
memory was not very fallacious, he might have greatly enlarged the list;
and if those persecuted men do survive, they certainly do not owe their
preservation to any extraordinary sympathy in their behalf, or any
exertions made to protect them, by the administration of which he is a
member. The very system of self-defence which they are compelled to
practise seems to be perfectly well known to the government, without
appearing to produce the slightest uneasiness in their minds; and a
measure which its advocates propose for the suppression of crime is
defended, not because the gentry are insecure under the operation of the
existing laws, "but because the peasantry, not being able to have
recourse to the same means of defence, are more easy victims to their
assailants;" as if the executive were only bound to protect the poor,
and had no responsibility imposed upon them as regards the rich. It
appears the old system, said to have so long prevailed in Ireland, is
still to be persevered in--with this difference only, that _now_ the law
is to be exclusively for the benefit of the poor, while the rich are
left to shift for themselves. "Turn about" is, no doubt, considered as
"_fair play_."

When we couple the delicacy of the Home Secretary with the admissions of
Mr Sidney Herbert; and, further, take into consideration the statement
of the O'Connor Don, that on his return from the Roscommon Assizes, in
July last, Sir Thomas Freemantle, then Chief Secretary for Ireland, told
him he was right in opposing a petition got up by the Grand Jury of his
county, praying government to cause the enactment of some coercive law,
"as ministers had no intention of introducing any such measure;" yet, at
that very moment, we find, according to Lord George Bentinck's
statement, that _the crimes committed in the five disturbed counties
greatly exceeded the number perpetrated now--when they find it
convenient to do so_. In the quarter ending 1st of August 1845, when we
are thus told the Chief Secretary declared to O'Connor Don that the
ministers would not interfere with the career of the assassins, the
number of outrages perpetrated was 1180--in the last three months, when
they profess an anxiety to do so, it amounted only to 806.

Sir Robert Peel affects to be embarrassed as to which of the two
measures--the Corn Bill or Coercion Act--he should most immediately
pass. On the one hand he says, "He wishes to prevent crime, but,
perhaps, he should first relieve destitution." Now, as far as the
present laws affect the introduction of food into Ireland, they are
virtually repealed already; for the Indian corn is being and has been
introduced duty free long since. We therefore humbly submit, that as no
persons are said to be starving in this country, the preservation of the
lives of our Irish fellow-subjects should first engross his attention.

But as if the open admission on the part of the government, that after
witnessing for years the operation of a system of assassination with
indifference, _because_ the victims were of the upper order, they are
now induced to apply a remedy, because latterly the peasantry were
subjected to the same sanguinary code, would not be sufficient to mar
the success of any measure they might introduce for the suppression of
crime in Ireland, they accompany their Coercion Act with scraps of
comfort to the discontented. On the one hand they hold out the terrors
of a penal law, while on the other the people are led to hope that some
of their wildest expectations may speedily be realized. Crime, they are
told, (at least so far as regards its commission on their own class,)
must be repressed; but they are left to infer that spoliation is to
follow.

There never was a period of our history at which the state of Ireland
formed a more important topic for the consideration of the British
people than at the present moment. The hard-won earnings of their
industry are applied to relieve her immediate wants, and to reduce her
local burdens; while a change in their commercial policy, pregnant with
the most momentous consequences, is sought to be effected, avowedly
based upon the necessity of rescuing her impoverished people from the
horrors of pestilence and famine. That there is much of what we should
call misery and wretchedness in Ireland, there can be no doubt. The
question is not, whether such is the case or not? for the fact is
admitted; but the problem to be solved is, from what cause does this
state of things arise? Is it from the misconduct of the landlords, or of
the people themselves?--from the severity or mal-administration of the
laws?--or from the absolute and total disregard of all social restraint
whatever? And it is important, beyond measure, to ascertain the truth,
not only because, upon the supposition that the people are blameless,
the rights of private property are threatened with invasion, and a
precedent established for legislative interference with personal
privileges, which may at no distant period, in those days of uncertainty
and change, be extended to ourselves; but because the disease being
mistaken, and a wrong remedy applied, the state of that unhappy country
must become worse, instead of better--her social condition more
complicated and inexplicable, and demoralization and discontent be still
further increased. In those days poverty and wretchedness appear to be
the best recommendations to sympathy and support; to be poor and of the
people, is sufficient to imply the possession of every virtue; to be
rich, and of the aristocracy, is, in the estimation of the majority,
proof "strong as holy writ" of hardness of heart and depravity of
disposition. And hence it is that all compassion is reserved for the
Irish people, because they are said to be poor, without duly inquiring
whether or not their own misconduct is the principal cause of the
misfortunes they suffer; and universal reprehension is heaped upon the
Irish landlords, because, the people being impoverished, they are
supposed to have neglected their duties;--and no inquiry is made as to
whether they are enabled, if inclined, to perform their parts; or
whether all their schemes to improve the condition of the people
entrusted to their care, are not thwarted and counteracted by designing
and unprincipled men, acting, from self-interested motives, on the
passions and the prejudices of an excitable and ignorant population. We
respect and would assist the poor man struggling with the difficulties
which Providence has imposed upon his condition; but that is no reason
why we should extend our kindly feelings to the degraded ruffian who
reels in rags from the gin-shop.

The Irish people have been so trained by the agitators in the art of
deception, that it is almost impossible for those who have not an
accurate and perfect knowledge of their objects, and their practices, to
fathom their intentions, or to detect their impositions. They are always
ready, always prepared, with arrangements to support their statements.
Perhaps a better instance to exemplify their disregard of truth, and the
lengths they will go to attain their objects, cannot be adduced, than
one which we select from a letter of the "_Times_ commissioner," who
visited the property of Mr O'Connell. After describing the general
wretchedness of the population, this gentleman proceeds--"A little apart
from these was the house of T. Sullivan, jun., who, with his twelve
children, a sick cow, and two pigs suffering under some grievous malady,
occupied the same room. In answer to our enquiries as to his condition,
he replied that the food of himself and family all the year round was
potatoes and buttermilk. 'Were the potatoes good?' 'Troth they were
not--bad as could be,' (and he proved the assertion by cutting open a
number of them taken at random from a heap, and showing us the extent of
the disease.) 'Had he plenty of potatoes?' 'Indeed he had not.' 'Of
milk?' 'Never--nor half enough--never had enough for either dinner or
breakfast.' All his children were as badly off as himself--not half
enough of potatoes, and often nothing to drink with them, as he could
only afford the milk of one stripper for his family.' He had no fish,
'and very little of any thing.' This was the substance of his story,
translated to us by an interpreter, Mr Connell; and yet he was a large
holder, though his bed was of straw--his cabin falling to pieces--and
the mud outside percolating to the interior, where it was trodden into a
filthy, adhesive, earthy glue, by the feet and hooves of the semi-naked
children, pigs, fowl, and cattle." Now, can there be a more perfect
picture of desolation and misery than this man's case presents? Could
any rational person raise a doubt as to the truth of the sufferer's
representations?--his potatoes were rotten, "and he proved it by taking
them _indiscriminately from a heap_." Nothing could be more
conclusive--"here there could be no deception"--and the graphic sketch
which the talented gentleman drew of this wretched wight, would no doubt
have formed the groundwork of many leading articles in the influential
journal for which he reported, had he not been undeceived before he had
time to forward his dispatch, and _undeceived, too, by no less an
authority than Mr Sullivan himself_. At the conclusion of the very
letter which contains this harrowing picture, we find the commissioner
writing--"Whilst sitting at the hotel at Cahirceveen, Mr Trant, a
magistrate of the county, entering the room, informed me that Thomas
Sullivan of Aaghenming, whose house I visited on the preceding day, and
whose testimony I have already given, was outside, and _wished to make
evidence on oath that he had quite misinformed me as to his condition_;
in other words, that he was desirous of swearing that he had been
telling me lies. Sullivan was called in, and it appeared that he was
quite ready to take an affidavit. I took from Mr Trant, who acted as
interpreter, the following explanation of Sullivan's previous
statements--'_He imagined that I and your commissioner were coming from
government to enquire into the state of the potato crop, and he
therefore exaggerated the badness of its condition and his own poverty,
as much as possible._' He now wished to say, '_That he was not nearly so
badly off as he had stated; that he had plenty of potatoes and
milk--that he had a bed-tick which was in the loft when we inspected his
cottage_.'"[3]

Now, had Professors Playfair and Lyndley entered this man's house
instead of the agents of the _Times_, no doubt his case would have been
before this on the table of the House of Commons. Nor could we be much
surprised that all should be taken as truth, when we consider his
admirable state of preparation. The diseased potatoes selected and
placed ready to be appealed to, as if they were the bulk of the crop.
The bed-tick stowed away, "and all clear for action." _We are indebted
for the discovery of the cheat solely to the fact, that his statements
would, if uncontradicted, have damaged Mr O'Connell._ "Neither,
unfortunately, can this be considered an isolated case; the bulk of the
population are actuated by the same motives; and are, we lament to say,
not only willing to deceive, but ready, no doubt, if need were, to
substantiate their assertions by their oaths."

Hence arises the difficulty of ascertaining the true state of things in
Ireland--hence the signal failures of the different commissions which
have from time to time been appointed by the government of the day, when
the truthfulness of their reports came to be tested by the working of
the legislative measures founded upon them--"hence it comes, that out of
2,800,000 Irish persons reported to be in a state of utter destitution
by the Poor-law Commissioners, _not more than 68,000 could in any one
year, since the establishment of the Poor-law, be induced to accept the
relief which Parliament provided for them_;" and for this reason it is,
that the condition of the most idle and indolent people in Europe is
compassionated, as if it resulted from the misconduct of others rather
than their own; and that "the patient endurance" of the most turbulent
and bloodstained peasantry on earth is pronounced, in Lord Devon's
report, "as deserving of the highest commendation, and as entitling them
to the best attention of the government."

It also most unfortunately happens, that in Ireland you can always find
men--ay, and sometimes men in respectable stations in life too--who not
only take the most opposite views of the same subjects, but who give a
totally different explanation of the same facts--even when bound by the
solemn obligations of an oath. Let any man look into Lord Devon's
blue-book, and he will find ample evidence in support of our assertion;
unhappily, the dicta of those least worthy of credit are generally
adopted, because they pander to the popular feeling; and the country is
called upon to decide a disputed point, and Parliament to legislate, on
evidence[4] to which no private individual would pay the slightest
attention, merely because it has been adopted and sanctioned by the
report of a government commission.

To explain the anomaly which the condition of Ireland presents to our
consideration, has often been attempted without success, chiefly because
we allow our feeling to overcome our judgment. We there see a people
holding the most fertile lands on infinitely cheaper terms than ground
of a much inferior quality is rented at in the other portions of the
kingdom, relieved by special enactments from almost all the local
burdens which press upon their fellow-subjects, and freed from
participation to a most incredible extent in the general taxation of the
country, enjoying the exclusive advantage of an easy access to the best
markets in the world; and yet, with all those advantages, we find them
in a continual state of destitution, a disgrace to our reputation, and
a drain upon our resources.[5]

In his opposition to the Life Preservation Bill, Mr O'Connell exhibited
his usual extent of craft, with more than his habitual amount of
exaggeration. With that cunning for which he is so remarkable, he kept
aloof from all topics which could bring his own political conduct before
the House, while there were no bounds, no limits, to his assertions. He
appealed to evidence taken before commissions which sat some twenty
years ago, to account for the present state of Ireland; while he
studiously avoided quoting that which was more recently taken before
Lord Devon's--contenting himself with adopting the oft-quoted
description of the sufferings of the peasantry, which is contained in
the report, and which has so often before been successfully pressed into
his service. Now his reason for pursuing this course was simply because
the passages on which he relied, were _opinions_ given by persons
supposed to be well informed as to the then condition of the country.
They were generalities, and therefore their errors were even at the time
difficult of detection, and are now wholly so; but the evidence taken
before Lord Devon's committee contained special accusations, which were
widely promulgated, and which, when they came to be substantiated, were
proved to be utterly groundless. And this merit at least is due to those
commissioners, that they gave each party an opportunity of being heard,
and placed fairly before the world their respective statements. Had Mr
O'Connell alluded to the charges, he must have also adverted to the
explanations, and this would not have suited him; for with all his
talent for perversion, and, until the appearance of Lord Devon's report,
we thought that in this respect he was unequalled, he never could have
made so good a thing out of the same materials as he found left cut and
dry to his hand, in the passage of the report which he so often appeals
to. He therefore most wisely left "well alone." May we not ask what
became of all the instances of tyranny which were brought to light by
"the committee of grievances" of the Association? why were they burked
now, "when they might legitimately be used?" why go back for a quarter
of a century, when the atrocities reported and disseminated by Mr Balfe,
might have served him as an unanswerable justification for the adoption
by his followers of the "wild justice of revenge?" It was because the
charges made against the proprietors were proved to have been
fabrications, and because the unblushing perjury of the peasantry would,
if investigated, have excited horror and disgust. Even the kind-hearted
and sympathizing commissioners, in speaking of the people whose
condition they so much commiserated, are obliged to admit, that "there
is frequently a readiness amongst these to attribute their own wretched
condition exclusively to the conduct of their landlords, _sometimes with
an utter disregard of truth_, and almost always without admitting,
perhaps without seeing, how much of it arises from their own indolence
or want of skill." With his usual disregard of truth, Mr O'Connell
attributes the assassinations which have taken place in Tipperary, to
the number of ejectments which have been carried into execution. "They
found that in Tipperary, where the greatest number of ejectments took
place, murders were most frequent. For that county, in one year, no less
than 5304 ejectments issued from the Civil Bill Court, to which there
were 14,816 defendants; and 1724 ejectments issued from the superior
courts, to which there were 16,503 defendants; making a total of 7028
ejectments, and 31,319 defendants. Within the last five years, upwards
of 150,000 persons had been evicted from their lands in the county of
Tipperary."

As an instance of the extraordinary ignorance of the laws, in which the
commissioners venture to propose amendments, and of the negligence with
which the report is drawn up, we quote the following passage from the
report:--"By the present practice, when a mesne lessee exercises his
power of redeeming under an ejectment for rent, the landlord may be
required to give up the land to him, without any occupiers upon it; and
it is _suggested_ that cases have occurred in which a mesne tenant has
permitted, or even encouraged, a process of ejectment against himself,
in order to throw upon the landlord the unpleasant task of removing a
number of sub-tenants, so that he himself might, upon redeeming, obtain
entire possession of the land. This requires alteration.

"The defendant, upon redeeming, is only entitled in justice to have the
land restored to him in the same state as to occupiers in which it was
when the ejectment was brought; and we recommend that the law should be
amended in this respect. The possession of the under-tenants, or
occupiers, who were upon the land when the process commenced, should,
for this purpose, be treated as the possession of the lessee."

It is almost unnecessary to say, that the restitution of the interest of
the mesne lessee by redemption, involves as a matter of course, as the
law now stands, the restitution of all the minor interests derived under
him--Who could have "suggested" such nonsense to the commissioners?--In
like manner, the notices which they suggest in cases of ejectment and
distress, are at this moment _absolutely indispensable to render either
proceedings valid_.

Now, in this statement, the learned gentleman has not given even the
particular year in which these evictions are said to have taken place;
neither did he specify the period within which a _third_ of the
population of that county are said to have been displaced; while the
land commissioners themselves admit, that the number of ejectment
decrees obtained in all parts of Ireland, bear no proportion to the
number of processes issued, and that those again are infinitely greater
than the numbers which are executed. This Mr O'Connell well knows to be
the case; because in a country where distress cannot be made available,
the landlords have recourse to ejectment as the only means by which they
can coerce their tenants into payment of the rent. All the assistant
barristers in their evidence bear testimony to this fact, and to the
comparatively few decrees under which possession is taken. Mr Tickell,
one of those gentlemen, states that, according to the clerk of the
peace's return made to him, the number of ejectments entered in the
years 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842, 1843, in his court, were 1753, and there
were decrees or dismissals in 1210 of those cases. He is asked--"10.
Have you any opportunity of knowing whether a considerable proportion of
those cases in which decrees are so made are carried into
effect?--"There is in the county of Armagh a very intelligent
sub-sheriff, Mr McKinstry, and he informed his brother, the deputy-clerk
of the peace, that the number of warrants signed by him as sub-sheriff
in the last five years was, according to the best of his knowledge and
computation, _about seventy in each year; and that of these seventy, he
thought not more then one-fourth was put_ in force; _so as to cause a
change of tenancy, certainly not more than one-third_."

So that out of 1765 processes issued in one of the most populous
counties within five years, only about 350 decrees were presented to the
sheriff for signature; and that officer declared, he thought that not
more than a fourth of the number (90) were put in execution--and this
gives an annual average of about 23. But had the number of ejectments in
Tipperary been as great as Mr O'Connell asserts, still the eviction of
the tenantry would have been fully justified; for we have the evidence
of Mr Sergeant Howley, the assistant barrister, to prove that no tenant
was so proceeded against who did not owe an enormous arrear. This
gentleman is asked--"6. In your experience, has it occurred to you to
observe whether, in the majority of cases, more than a year's rent has
been usually due, or just enough to found a suit?--My experience enables
me to say, that more than a year's rent, and frequently three years'
rent, is due before an ejectment is brought."

Mr Dillon O'Brien, a sessions attorney in that same county, and an
out-and-out follower of Mr O'Connell, admits--"That the landlords have
recourse to ejectment more as a means of getting the rent, than of
evicting the tenantry." The Liberator's reference to Tipperary is an
unfortunate one for his purposes; for not only have we it in our power
to prove, by the most unimpeachable evidence, that comparatively few
evictions or consolidations of farms have taken place there, but we can
demonstrate most satisfactorily, that the tenantry in this bloodstained
district hold on the most moderate terms as regards rent, in general by
a lease, and that they are in the full enjoyment of "the tenant-right,"
the honourable gentleman's most favourite panacea.--Mr Thomas O'Brien,
an extensive land-valuator, in a letter written to Mr Colles, the
superintendent of Trinity College estates, (which was laid before the
land commissioners,) writes--"I will say that Kerry tenants pay the
highest rents I have met with in any part of Ireland, _and Tipperary men
the lowest_."

Mr Griffith, the able engineer under whose superintendence the
government valuation is being made, and who, as he states himself, has
walked over nearly every part of Ireland, and has personal knowledge of
almost every locality, is asked--"In the county of Tipperary, can you
say whether the tenant-right prevails there?"--"_The tenants generally
hold under leases there_; but the tenant-right does prevail to such an
extent, that few are bold enough to take the land where a tenant has
been dispossessed."

Mr Nicolas Maher, the Repeal member for the county, replies to the
question--"Do you understand at all in Tipperary what is known in the
north of Ireland as the tenant-right, by which a tenant, without a
lease, expects a sum of money for giving up the possession of the land,
either from the landlord if taking possession, or from another tenant to
whom he may give up the farm?"--"That is expected in Tipperary. I have
offered myself for fourteen Irish acres to a tenant-at-will who held at
thirty shillings an acre; and if that land was to be let to-morrow, I
would not charge more for it; so much so do I look on this land as
fairly set, that last year and this year I gave this tenant fifteen per
cent abatement upon his rent from the fall of agricultural produce, and
conceived he had a right to it; and, though there is no lease, I offered
him £200 for his interest, which he refused." Without _one solitary
exception_, every witness examined in Tipperary, both at Roscrea and
Nenagh, touching the point, by the Land Commissioners, bears testimony
to its universal prevalence.

Mr O'Brien Dillon is asked--"73. Does the sale of the good-will of farms
prevail much in the district?--Very much, I should say."

Mr Digan.--"39. Is the sale of the good-will of farms the custom of that
district?--Yes, for small spots it is.

"40. Is it recognised by the landlord?--It is recognised by the agent.
If there is a poor fellow who wishes to go to America, he gets £8 or £10
for his plot of ground, and he will let him go off if he gets a better
tenant.

"41. Do they generally ask the agent's permission?--Sometimes, and
sometimes not."

The Rev. William Minchin.--"73. Is the sale of the good-will of farms
prevalent in the district, and recognised by the landlords?--Yes; it is
quite recognised.

"74. Is the value of it increasing or diminishing?--I do not see any
thing to make land decrease, though of course the purchase of the
good-will will bear a proportion to the rent that the land bears.

"75. Suppose the landlord requires the land for himself, to add to his
demesne, does he pay the usual price?--Yes, in general he does.

"76. Has there been any consolidation of farms?--No, not in the
neighbourhood; nothing to any extent worth speaking of."

George Heenan, Esq., after stating the existence of the practice, is
asked--"88. Does it take place in reference to lands held at will?--Yes;
and for lands held at will the sum is altogether disproportioned to the
apparent value of the interest given.

"89. Does a man purchase without knowing whether he will be recognised
as the tenant?--Yes; I have known many instances of that.

"90. In case of a landlord taking land himself from a tenant, would he
be expected to pay him for the possession of it?--Certainly, provided
the rent of it was clear and the land was taken up, it would be expected
he should pay him liberally for it;" and he further says, "in
confirmation of the correctness of a former part of my evidence relating
to the sale of the good-will of the land, I beg to produce a document
which has recently come into my hands. The farm in question consists of
fourteen acres Irish, which but three years ago was set by me to a
tenant from year to year. The purchase to which the document refers, was
effected without the consent of the proprietor, or of his agent. [_The
witness delivered in the following paper_:--]

     "Received from Michael Scully, £34 for all my land in Ballywilliam,
     containing fourteen acres, with all my wheat, dung, manure, &c.;
     and Michael Scully pledges himself to pay Ford Ross one half-year's
     rent of the said lands, now due--amount, £5:11:8. Given under our
     hands, at Ballywilliam, this 11th day of March 1843.

         "£34.

           his
      "JOHN X HORAN.
           mark.

                her
      "CATHERINE X HORAN.
                mark.

         "Present, PATRICK SCULLY."

     "Received from Michael Scully, the sum of £10 sterling, being the
     consideration for one and one-half acre of the lands of
     Ballywilliam, for seven years, commencing 1st November last 1842,
     and ending 1st November 1849. Dated this 19th December 1842.

         "£10.

           his
      "JOHN X HORAN.
           mark.

                her
      "CATHERINE X HORAN.
                mark.

         "Present, PATRICK SCULLY."

Mr John Kennedy, who denies altogether the existence of any such system,
admits--"That though the landlords _never, in any instance, give
remuneration for improvements, they always give money for subsistence
and support_;" and with regard to the incoming tenant he naïvely
observes--"How they dispose of it is this: another tenant proposes to
come and get it, and the other tenant is sure to be murdered if he does
not give him something, and he gives him something; or, however long he
has been out of possession, he will be either murdered or burnt, or his
stock maimed, if he does not do something in that way."

Neither is the assertion that evictions of the tenantry, to any extent,
have taken place, borne out by the evidence; and where such have
occurred, it is admitted, or proved in the explanations of the accused,
that non-payment of rent, and general misconduct, were the causes to
which they might be attributed.

Mr Dennis Kennedy is asked--"56. Has there been any consolidation of
farms in the district?--No, not in my district."

Mr Michael Digan--"46. Has there been any consolidation of farms in the
district with which you are acquainted in the county of Tipperary?--No.
In my immediate neighbourhood the cottier system of having five or six
acres is more practised than in the county of Clare."

And where any instances have been adduced, on turning to the
explanations we find they were fully merited; while many alluded to by
the priests and agitators will give some idea of the lengths those
persons go, and the distance of time they are compelled to travel back
to support their assertions. One man, Mr John Moylan, refers to
"exterminations" which occurred just thirty years ago "on the estate of
Mr Kinahan;" and was replied to by that gentleman's son, who states
"that his father paid the then tenants £10,000 for their interest."

All the witnesses bear testimony to the mild manner in which those
removals, necessary for the good of all parties, have been effected.

Mr Edward Byrne is asked--"35. Does the landlord, in general, remove
for any other reason than considering that the lands are too thickly
populated?--I never heard of the landlords putting them out, except that
the land was too much divided, or too much devoted to the support of
those families, that nothing would be left to pay the rent."

And Mr John Meagher--"27. When there is a large number of tenants upon a
townland, what do they do when the middleman's lease expires?--I never
knew them to do any thing harsh to them; they let them pull on one with
another, except where some of their lands are mixed with their own, and
they get some of the land to themselves.

"28. Do they give the tenants any thing in that case?--Yes, they forgive
them what is due; and I knew one landlord to give a man £24 for leaving
four acres, and forgave him what was due, and he was tenant-at-will."

Mr O'Brien Dillon, who has been proved to be very inaccurate in his
statements, and who most probably, if asked to name the instances, could
not adduce one, is forced to admit the paucity of their numbers--"67.
Have tenants who have made improvements been ejected in order to get in
fresh tenants, or been charged a higher rent themselves?--I do not know
of any having been ejected on that estate for that reason; but there are
some few instances in which they have been so treated: I should say, not
generally; very few instances indeed."

Now, touching the disputed point of want of tenant-right, and insecurity
of tenure, and displacement of the tenantry, we have quoted only the
evidence of small farmers and some few agents, with one exception Roman
Catholics, and _to a man devoted followers of Mr O'Connell_; if they
have not heard of those dispossessions, and prove on oath the existence
of that which he denies, what value should we place upon his
statements--"that the enormous extent of the evictions in Tipperary, and
the want of security in possession, have been the active causes of the
state of crime in that county?" We have the sworn testimony of reluctant
witnesses against the honourable gentleman's whole assertions. What
becomes, then, of the one hundred and fifty thousand "men in buckram?"
Could a third of the population have been dispossessed unknown to their
neighbours?

It is not only proved that the Tipperary men in general hold by lease;
but that, in some instances, when leases are offered them, they refuse
to accept them.

Mr Maher, M.P., (then agent for his relative Mr Valentine Maher,)
states, "that some four years ago, his principal ordered him to grant
leases to any one who wished for them; that he announced this to the
tenantry, and that on an estate containing 19,000 acres only six or
seven parties made application, and not one of these afterwards took
them out." We could adduce other testimony. We have selected Mr Maher's,
because he will not be suspected of any undue leaning against the
people, and because his estate is admitted to be most reasonably let. It
is further proved, and every man who has any knowledge of Ireland knows
the fact, that the most comfortable and improving tenantry hold at will.
Mr Guinness, the extensive agent, holding employments in twenty-seven
counties, and himself a proprietor in Tipperary, confirms the fact of
leases being generally granted in that county; and contrasts the state
of the inhabitants with that of Wexford, one of the most improved
districts in Ireland, where the land is much worse in quality, the rents
much higher, and the tenantry peaceable and independent, and _almost
universally tenants-at-will_. And Mr Kincaid, the head of one of the
largest agency houses in the kingdom, says in his examination--"I may
state generally, that I never knew a case of a tenant inclined to
improve, who declined making such improvements for want of a lease." But
if the causes to which Mr O'Connell assigns the state of the disturbed
counties be untenable as regards Tipperary, they are still more so as
regards the others. It is admitted by all the witnesses who have been
examined before the land commission touching the condition of Clare,
Limerick, and Roscommon, that the tenant-right or "good-will" is
recognized in these districts; that the evictions of the tenantry, or
consolidation of the farms, have not been carried to any extent; and
that, when such have taken place, most liberal allowances were given by
the landlords.--Our space will not permit us to give extracts. But as
regards Leitrim, the county next in criminality to Tipperary, there is
not a shadow of any such excuses for agrarian disturbance in that
district. There have been neither evictions nor consolidation, even to
the most trifling extent;[6] and yet in this county, in which there is
nothing to qualify agrarian outrage, we find, according to Sir James
Graham's statement, the number of crimes committed in 1844 to be 226,
and in 1845, 922. Amongst those who have spoken to the condition of this
county, and who reside in the most disturbed parts, is the Rev. George
Geraty, parish priest, who is asked--"30. Has there been any
considerable consolidation of farms in your neighbourhood?--No; the
population is as dense as it was formerly: there may be a few isolated
cases."

Mr G. H. Peyton.--"22. Has there been any consolidation of farms in that
neighbourhood?--No, I have not known of any for some years past."

Major Jones.--"44. Has the consolidation of farms taken place to any
extent in the district?--No; no man is ever ejected if he pays his rent.
It does not signify who he is, or what he is."

Touching the tenant-right, which is admitted to exist by Mr Geraty, the
priest, Mr Burchall Lindsay is asked--"49. Is the sale of the good-will
of farms prevalent in the district, and to whom is the purchase-money
paid?--It is; and the money is paid to the tenant."

Mr Little, in answer to the same question, says, "Yes." He is further
asked--"42. How far is it recognised by the landlords?--The landlord
merely consents to the party coming in: he does not interfere with the
tenant disposing of his interest, if he gets a decent man and an honest
man for a tenant, whose character is recommended. He has no objection to
the tenant disposing of his farm to the best advantage."

If we test the amount of rent by making the usual addition of 25 per
cent to the government valuation, it will appear that in this county the
tenantry pay for good land not more than _seven_ shillings the acre; and
this certainly is not a price which should produce either poverty or
outrage. But it may be said, perhaps, the landlords are non-resident and
negligent: the people have no example set them; they have no knowledge
of a proper system of cultivation; and hence the poverty which generates
crime. It so happens, however, that there are not better or more
painstaking landlords in England than are to be found in this very
district, and in the adjoining and equally disturbed county of Cavan.
The Lord Primate has a large estate in Leitrim, and in the most
disorganized part, on which he has had a Scotch agriculturist for the
last sixteen years, merely for the purpose of instructing his tenantry.
His grace is a model in every position of life; but as a landlord he is
most conspicuous. Mr Latouche has an immense tract of land. He, too, has
a Scotch steward for the same purpose; and his brother, who is his agent
and resides on the estate, was regularly qualified by an agricultural
education. The Earl of Leitrim has a Scotch steward: so has Mr White, Mr
Simpson, Mr Crofton, and a host of minor proprietors who reside in the
neighbourhood; and it is an important fact, that for the last three
years, during which crime has so awfully increased, a great additional
source of employment has been given the people by the improvement of the
navigation of the Shannon.

"The _Times_ Commissioner" has fallen into a great error in attributing
the disturbances in Leitrim to evictions and non-resident landlords. He
asserts--"There are no resident landlords in the neighbourhood of
Balnamory," where the direct contrary is the truth, all the proprietors
to any considerable extent being resident Irish landlords. Again he
writes--"Nearly the same thing may be said of the parish of Cloone, the
headquarters of Molly Maguire. In the Appendix to the Report of the Land
Commission, Part II., page 90, _Henry Smith, of Kells, in this county_,
swears to ejectments served on twenty-eight families, consisting of one
hundred and fifty. He swears to seven families being ejected there in
1843, and of sixty-four people being ejected out of Irishtown, who owed
no rent and received no compensation." Now Kells, where those evictions
_were said_ to have taken place, is in the county Meath, about fifty
Irish miles from Cloone, where the commissioner states they occurred. We
have only to refer our readers to the evidence of Mr Sergeant, the agent
of the Marquis of Headfort, to show how unfounded the charge was, that
so many people were ejected even there. The evidence of this gentleman
was before the commissioner, and he should have attended to it.

The Gerrard case, of which we heard so much, ought to be a caution to
those who put faith in the statements of the Repeal press, or of the
Irish agitators. Yet the explanation given by Mr Gerrard does not seem
to satisfy the _Times_. That journal indignantly asks, "Why did he
suffer beggars to be bred upon his estate?" How could he prevent it? "He
remonstrated; but because the people held under a lease, (or a written
agreement, which was of equal value,) he could do no more." But suppose
he had power to prevent "this propagation of beggars," how could he
exercise it in the present state of Ireland? The same system of abuse
and execration would have met him at every step he took. If his tenants
were tenants-at-will, with the utmost vigilance, squatters would most
likely have been admitted on his land, and have been living under the
same roof with the holder of the farm, long before he was able to
discover it; and when he did, his only resource would have been to serve
notice to quit, and eject. He must then put out all parties; and the cry
of extermination would have been then raised as loudly as it is now, and
the Punishment of Death would, if there were but an opportunity to
execute it, as inevitably have followed. Having granted a lease, the
only power Mr Gerrard could exercise he did. If Irish landowners give
leases, they cannot prevent "the propagation of beggars;" and if they
refuse to do so, for the very purpose of guarding against this evil,
they are denounced as men who keep their tenantry in dread of being
dispossessed, and who effectually prevent the improvement of the
country, by not giving to the tillers of the soil security of tenure. To
talk of clauses against subletting is sheer nonsense. How are such
clauses to be enforced? The penalties can only be levied by distress. No
man can make distress available for the recovery of rent, much less so
for a penalty inflicted on an occupier, because he gave one-third of his
farm to a son, another to a married daughter, and thus planted three
families on that portion of his estate which the landlord designed for
the comfortable support of one.

We are told those persons have been turned out to starve. They have the
poor-house to go to, if they wish; but, if they had not this resource,
their condition should not excite much sympathy. They had the landlord's
property for _four years, without paying any rent--they took all their
crops away with them_; and if they were so improvident as to spend all
they made, they were entitled to but little of our commiseration. It so
happens that Mr Gerrard is a very rich man, and can afford this loss;
but hundreds of cases are there where poor men, with large families, and
with heavy encumbrances put on their properties by their ancestors, are
similarly treated. They are compelled, by the dishonesty of the
tenantry, _to sell_ the "homes of their fathers," and emigrate to
foreign lands. But there is no expression of sympathy for them. No;
"they belong to the upper classes;" "they can suffer nothing on such
occasions." 'Tis only the people who can feel, "only the people who
ought to be compassionated." Strange as it may appear to those who
choose to indulge in remarks on subjects with which they are perfectly
unacquainted, and who put forward their nostrums for diseases of which
they do not understand the nature, not only is it proved, that
generally, in Ireland, the tenantry without leases, and holding at fair
rents, are in better circumstances than those occupying under old
leases, and paying very low rents; but it is made manifest, by undoubted
testimony, that the possession of a farm, at an under rent, and for a
long tenure, almost universally leads to poverty and ruin; and any
person who knows the Irish character can easily account for this seeming
anomaly. The love of display and the spirit of ambition which pervade
all classes in Ireland, leads every one to assume a station, and incur
an expenditure, far beyond what his circumstances would entitle him to.
The shopkeeper styles himself a merchant, and must have a car and a
country-house; the man who has a long lease of fifty or sixty acres at
an under rent, sets up at once for what is significantly termed a "_half
sir_;" he will be quite above doing any thing for himself, and will keep
two or three servant-maids, while he has four or five "_young ladies_"
walking about doing nothing. The time which should be devoted to
business, is by all classes consumed in pleasure or in politics; and the
consequences are to be seen in the embarrassments of the gentry, the
bankruptcy of the tradesmen, and the poverty of the people.

"I have found by experience," says Mr Wilson--a large proprietor and
most painstaking landlord of the county Clare, who was examined before
the commission--"that leases are positive bars to improvement, _however
low the rent_; and I hand in several cases as proving my assertion."
Amongst them was one statement furnished by Mr Fitzgerald, the agent of
Mr Vandeleur, of the condition of the tenantry on a large farm of that
gentleman's estate which had lately fallen out of lease. "This tract of
land was divided into seven parts, six of which were originally let to
persons who under-let at very _considerable profit-rents to others; on
those divisions the occupying tenantry were, in general, in comfortable
circumstances_." The seventh portion had been leased to persons in the
rank of cotters or small farmers, "and their families are still in
possession, _all of them in a state of poverty_, although there were
only eight holdings on a hundred and seventeen plantation acres, and
they paid but £27: 10s: 2 for that extent of land, which was valued
under the poor-law valuation at £68, and in addition to which they had a
considerable extent of mountain and bog." Mr Lambert, an extensive
farmer in Mayo, declares--"I see among the poor people having land, that
those who have leases are much less inclined to make improvements than
those who have not." Mr Kelly of Galway, a large proprietor, is
asked--"What effect has tenure at will upon the tenants, or the
improvement of their farms?" and he answers--"I think it makes exactly
this difference: The man who has a fixed tenure considers that he cannot
be put out; he immediately mismanages the farm--he sublets, divides, and
the whole thing is lost." Mr Fetherston of Westmeath states the
particulars of a farm of which he holds a division at £2 an acre, and
small tenants hold the other parts on _lease at eighteen shillings_ an
acre, in divisions of from ten to twelve acres, "and they are in want.
Those men will work ten hours a-day for him at tenpence, yet they won't
till their own lands; and when they do any thing, they never commence to
work before nine o'clock in the morning." And he gives an instance of a
labourer of his own to whom he gave two and a half acres of the same
land, which was a perfect waste, at his own rent, (two pounds an acre;)
and by his industry this man supports a large family on this small and
dear spot, while those about him who have good-sized farms of better
land, at less than half rent on lease, "are starving."

Mr Spottiswood, who holds many extensive agencies, including Lord
Londonderry's and Sir Robert Bateson's, states that part of the
properties with which he is connected have been leased in perpetuity in
small quantities; and he adds, that such mode of letting "has not a good
effect at all." He is asked--"Do you find that the tenants are less
industrious?" "Yes, they are paying the present proprietor, in many
instances, not more than two-and-sixpence or five shillings an acre;
they are quite independent of their landlords, who have no control over
them."--"How do you suppose that their poverty arose?" "I think it
arose from the subdivision of the properties; and the parties feeling a
sort of independence, they do not think it necessary to become
industrious, depending upon their farms for their support, and paying
these very small rents;" and Mr Fagoe says--"I must admit that there are
tenants who hold old leases, whose farms are very badly cultivated."

We have now quoted authorities from all quarters of Ireland, to show
that the want of tenure cannot be the cause of the poverty of the
people, or the bad cultivation of the land; but that, in point of fact,
it has directly the contrary effect. Almost the whole of Earl
Fitzwilliam's tenantry hold at will; and Mr Furlong, the agent, swears
that _two-thirds_ of the Devon estate "is set from year to year;" if
this be a bad system, why do those noblemen practise it?--if a good one,
why condemn others for acting as they do themselves?

By the agitators, the deplorable state of the Irish people is, on all
occasions, attributed to the want of security in possession, and to the
exorbitance of the rents. We have already, we trust, disposed of the
former, more particularly as regards the disturbed counties. We shall
now apply ourselves to ascertain the truth of the latter assertion; and
the evidence taken before Lord Devon's Committee, strange as it may
appear from the nature of the report, proves to a demonstration, that in
those parts of the country _where the land is worst and highest rented,
the people live in contentment and affluence; and that those parts in
which the rents are lowest, and the soil richest, are stained with the
commission of the most abominable atrocities_; and yet, with those facts
staring them in the face, we find the government ready to adopt the
suggestions of men who live by levying tribute on the people whose
wretchedness they affect to deplore, because the opinions of those
persons happen to be backed by a report _utterly at variance with the
evidence on which it purports to be founded_.

As if there must be blunders in every thing connected with Ireland, Mr
Griffith, the government engineer, was sent forth to make his valuation,
according to a scale of prices furnished him, of the principal
agricultural productions of the country, from which two of the most
important--namely, flax and wool--were altogether omitted; and by this
means he found himself obliged to exclude from his consideration the
staple crop of the country when he was valuing the land in the north,
and the clip of the grazier when he was estimating the rich pastures of
the west. "Previous to commencing the valuation of the counties of Derry
and Antrim, in the year 1830," (says Mr Griffith in his examination,) "I
ascertained that the general average prices for agricultural produce
throughout the principal markets of Ireland, for the preceding five
years, _were one-eighth, or two-and-sixpence in the pound, higher than
those contained in the Act_; and, consequently, the amount of valuation,
according to the Act prices, should be in each case _one-eighth less
than if the valuation were made according to the then prices_." Now, we
beg to impress upon the minds of our readers, that this valuation, by
which the fairness of the rents in Ireland is to be tested, was made
when the ascertained value of those productions on which it was to be
based were 12-1/2 per cent _above_ the prices according to which Mr
Griffith _was compelled by Act of Parliament to make it_; and that the
prices of butter, pigs, and cattle, are now, and have been, at least 20
per cent higher since 1830 than before that period; while corn has
varied but little, if any thing, from the price it then bore: in short,
that almost all the productions on which Mr Griffith's valuation is
founded, are now at least 33 per cent higher than they were taken to be
in the schedule by which he was guided. We must submit, then, that if
the rents paid come within 30 per cent of the government valuation, the
amount is less than the circumstances would warrant. And such is the
view Mr Griffith himself has taken; for he says--"I have uniformly
replied to applications from the guardians of Poor-law Unions, in
different parts of the country, respecting the addition that should be
made to the amount contained in the printed schedules of the general
valuation, to bring it to a rent value, that _if one-third be added_,
the result will give very nearly the full rent-value of the land under
ordinary proprietors." But if, on the other hand, we ascertain that the
actual rents paid assimilate in a great majority of instances to the
government valuation, in those parts of the country where destitution
and lawless violence prevail, we must acquit the landlords in those
districts of inhumanity and extortion; and this, too, on proofs adduced
by an individual whose competency and whose impartiality are alike
unimpeachable. "In regard to the difference between the valuation of
land adopted by me," (continues Mr Griffith,) "I have to observe, that
our valuation is about _twenty-five_ per cent under the full rent-value,
_but very near that of many of the principal landed proprietors in the
country_. * * * The foregoing observations will apply to all lands to
the eastward of the Shannon; _but within the last year, in comparing the
valuation made in the county Roscommon with the average letting prices
of land in that county, I find that our valuation is not more than 2s.
6d. in the pound, or 12-1/2 per cent, under the letting rents_. This
does not arise from any change in the relative scale of valuation, but
is owing to the poverty of the people, and the injurious system which
prevails of burning the upland soils for the purpose of raising crops
without the aid of ordinary manure, or new lime, which is abundant in
the country; hence the land, though intrinsically of equal value with
similar land in the counties of Longford and Westmeath, on the east side
of the Shannon, does not bring so high a rent, and yet the people, on an
average, are not nearly so well off as those of Westmeath or
Longford--their houses, as well as their food and clothing, being
inferior. * * * * * _On going into the west of Ireland, I found my
valuation nearer to the rents than it was near the east coast. I
consider that the circumstance arose from want of industry in the
people, and their ignorance of the ordinary principles of agriculture,
as practised in the districts to the eastward of the Shannon._ For these
reasons, the small farmers of Roscommon, Mayo, and Galway, do not, on an
average, raise the same quantity of produce from land of similar quality
and circumstances as do the farmers to the eastward; and hence the rents
are necessarily lower, and at the same time the people are not so well
off." And on being asked to account for the vast difference between the
rents paid in the county Down and his valuation, in answer to the
question--"You have stated that the rental in parts of Down is _fifty
per cent higher than your valuation_: is it your opinion that rents in
that county are high according to the ability of the people to pay
them?" "I think the rentals of the county Down, in proportion to the
_industry of the people_, are not higher than they are in other
counties. The people are better off."

"_So that the people in the county of Down, paying fifty per cent higher
than your valuation, are able to pay that, and yet be comfortable?_"
"Certainly; they are amongst the most comfortable tenantry in Ireland."

Mr James Clapperton, a Scotchman, agriculturist to the Ballinasloe
Farming Society, being asked--"What is the rent here compared with the
rent in Berwickshire?" replies, "It is not one-third what some are
there." "What would the lands you have described as let here for
twenty-one shillings be let for?" "_They would be considered cheap at
four pounds the acre. The land that lets at one pound an acre here,
would give three pounds an acre in the county of Antrim and the north of
Ireland._"

Mr Andrew Muir and Mr William Milne, Scotch farmers employed by Lord
Erne in Fermanagh, after describing the bad cultivation, say:--"They
think the land of the same quality in Scotland would fetch £4 the Irish
acre." "You think the Scotch farmer could afford to pay £4 an acre,
corresponding with this, under the Scotch system?"[7] "Yes, and if he
had the advantage of the Scotch markets here."

We have thus proved, we trust, to the satisfaction of our readers, and
solely by the evidence of _impartial and most competent witnesses_, that
the exorbitance of the rent cannot possibly be the cause of Irish
discontent, because, as we before stated, the most respectable and
comfortable tenantry are to be found on the worst and highest-priced
lands; and we shall conclude our remarks upon this subject by a
quotation from "the _Times_ commissioner" as to the quality of the soil
thus moderately rented:--"In no part," says that gentleman, writing from
Enniskillen, "have I seen the natural capabilities of the soil and
climate surpass those of Ireland, and in no part have I seen those
natural capabilities more neglected, more uncultivated, more wasted,
than in Ireland. It is now the middle of the hay harvest in Ireland--the
meadows, for the most part, are wholly unmanured, and yield simply a
natural crop of grass. I speak with confidence when I say, that the
quantity of hay cut appears to the eye to be, in proportion to the land,
_nearly double the amount which ordinary land in England well manured
produces; and it is certainly one-fourth more than the best land in
England yields_; but this is the produce of the unassisted soil and
climate. I have seen such crops of potatoes growing as I never saw
before."

Security of tenure is amply attained in every part amongst the lower
classes, and in their favour--where leases do not exist, the
tenant-right, and the system of terror, protects the occupier; and this
tenant-right, or "good-will," is admitted to exist in every part of the
country--the only difference being found in the persons by whom it is
paid, and the purposes to which it is appropriated. In the north, the
incoming tenant invariably pays, and the arrears are deducted from the
purchase-money, for the benefit of the landlord; while in the west and
south it comes direct from the purse of the landlord himself, who never
dreams of being allowed what is due him, and is swelled in amount by the
conditions of the succeeding holder, who pays for liberty "to occupy and
live." Mr O'Connell himself bears testimony to the fact; for although he
on all other occasions absolutely denied the existence of any such
compact, yet when writhing under the exposures of the "_Times_
commissioner," he claimed merit for having "introduced and extended all
over the south the benefit of the tenant-right."[8]

But if the northern tenantry can and do thrive under the double
infliction of much higher rents than are paid in other provinces, and of
a money outlay for merely getting into the possession of land which
would purchase the fee-simple elsewhere, surely this fact furnishes the
strongest argument against the truth of the assertion, that the misery
and distress which we are told prevail in the west and south, may be
attributed to the exactions of the owners of the soil.

Does not the condition of Mr O'Connell's own tenantry bear out our
assertions, that indolence, inattention, and want of industry, are the
real blights of Irish prosperity? _They_ have no dread of being
dispossessed or deprived of the benefit of their improvements; _they_
don't, we are told, pay rack-rents; yet the security which he must feel
upon living under the protection of "the Liberator" cannot induce Mr
Sullivan, of whose cabin we have given the description, to remove the
filth "which has percolated from the cess-pool before his door, and
which is trodden into a glutinous substance by the feet and hooves of
the semi-naked children and animals who occupy his floor;" nor "to
devote so much of his _unoccupied time_ as would be necessary to render
waterproof his cabin, which was falling into pieces." Surely, if
security of tenure and moderation of rent were alone necessary to ensure
happiness, among the tenantry of Mr O'Connell, if any where, comfort and
respectability ought to be visible; yet, if we are to credit "the
_Times_ commissioner," "_on the estates of Daniel O'Connell are to be
found the most wretched tenants that are to be seen in all Ireland_."

Not only are the southern tenantry averse to taking out leases, as Mr
Maher and others state, but they are unwilling to receive, at the hands
of their landlords, those comforts of which gentlemen here so feelingly
deplore the want; for when a proprietor attempts to give them domestic
conveniences or suitable homesteads, he finds that, instead of
conferring a favour, he inflicts what is considered a hardship. Mr
Maher, M.P., (from whose evidence we have before quoted,) having had the
covenants of a lease granted by the Grocers' Company read over to him,
in which it is stipulated, "That the tenant shall have slates, tiles,
bricks, timber, and lime, delivered _free of expense_, on condition that
he makes use of such materials as are furnished him within a certain
period, and under the advice of an appointed agent, and that fences, and
quicks, and hay-seed, necessary to complete them, and drains, should be
allowed for at a certain rate,"--is asked, "What is your opinion of such
a clause as that applied to Tipperary? _I apprehend that much in a
clause of this kind could not be carried into effect in
Tipperary._"--"In what do you think it deficient?--what is there which
would prevent its being carried into practice? _The dispositions of the
people do not lead them to look for the comfort which buildings of this
kind would give._"

"Do you know of any estates in Tipperary in which there are such
covenants in leases?--No, I do not. I have heard from the agent of Baron
Pennefather, with whom I am intimate, that he has succeeded in some
measure in getting slated houses built by the tenants: he advanced the
money to the tenants for the houses, charging as rent five per cent upon
the money so expended in building." "That is in the case of a
lease?--Yes."

"Can you state from your own knowledge, whether in those cases the
tenants seem to feel the advantage of having money lent to them on those
terms?--_I am told that they feel it a hardship, that they look upon it
as a hardship to pay this charge_, and that they do it with great
reluctance." "Does that arise from their inability to pay, or from not
appreciating the advantages?--_My own opinion is, that it arises not so
much from their inability to pay, as their not appreciating the
advantages._"

"Are the farmers of a respectable class?--Yes, they are a very
comfortable class of farmers. I have passed through the estate, and they
appeared to me to be so."

"From your knowledge of the state of farming in Tipperary, do you
conceive that the produce of the land might be considerably improved by
a better system of farming?--I have no doubt of it."

"Would not a better system of farming in some degree be promoted by an
improvement in the farm buildings as one means?--Yes, I think so; _but I
do not think that those men wish for it. In fact, they have not in
reality a desire for it--even those that can afford it. I know farmers
who could afford to build or make their houses comfortable, and they
have no disposition to do it._"

Mr Collis, the superintendent of the Trinity College estates, says,
"When I spoke to them (the tenants) about improvements, they said as
much as that _they did not want any, if they would only let them remain
as they were_."

And Mr Walker, an extensive agent, says--"I have induced some of Mr
Stafford O'Brien's tenantry to engage in raising green crops, but, when
left to themselves, they have invariably gone back to their old system,
even although satisfied that it was remunerating while they followed it,
_but it gave them too much trouble_." Yet these are the people who are
said to want employment while they refuse to cultivate their own
farms--"are so loudly compassionated on account of the huts in which
they live"--and who consider it a hardship "to be compelled to have
better."

What an incomprehensible set of men are the Irish patriotic members! In
the extracts which we have given from Lord Devon's _Blue-Book_, we have
Mr Maher, one of the most respectable of them, _swearing an oath_ that
clauses in a lease, by means of which "_all the materials for building,
clearing, and fencing, are proposed to be given for nothing provided the
tenantry only used them, could not be carried into effect in Tipperary
because the dispositions of the people don't lead them to wish for the
comforts which buildings of this kind would give_." And we find the same
gentleman one of the party of declaimers against the tyranny of Irish
landlords, who state in the House of Commons that the peace of "Ireland
can only be secured by giving the tenant '_contingent compensation_,'
for improvements which, _he swears, they cannot be induced to make, even
where the materials are furnished for nothing, and where the labour is
immediately paid for_."

The same man, who supports O'Connell in his assertions that exorbitant
rents are the cause of Irish poverty, gave before the commissioners the
following opinion under the obligation of an oath--"54. If the occupiers
are not prosperous, do you attribute that more to the mismanagement of
their farms, rather than to the rate of rents?--Yes, indeed I do; to
their badly farming the land in many instances."

And it is undoubtedly true that it is not improvement in their
condition, or their comforts, which the Irish tenantry desire, if those
are to be acquired at the cost of labour and exertion; what they wish
for are low rents, which they can easily discharge, without restricting
their pleasures or their amusements; _and the fact is, that from the
exertions lately made by the landlords to better the condition of their
estates, arises all the outcry_ which has been _raised against them_.
Had the old system been persevered in, it would have been much more
agreeable to the people. In their operations the proprietors were
necessarily compelled to dispossess some, because the ground they had to
dispose of could not possibly, if even given rent-free, support the
numbers of inhabitants upon it; but this distressing task has been
performed in almost all cases with the most extraordinary kindness; and
we venture to assert, that in the whole of the evidence laid before Lord
Devon's committee, _five_ well substantiated instances cannot be adduced
in the rural districts, in which rent-paying and well-conducted tenantry
were evicted; and _not one_ in which any tenant has been removed without
receiving some compensation--while what is pompously denounced as
consolidation of farms, amounts to having increased the holdings of the
occupants, in many cases, from a rood to two acres, "and in others to
the enormous extent of eight." But was not this change unavoidable?
Could the old system have been longer persevered in? Let us see the
opinion of the late Dr Doyle, Roman Catholic Bishop of Carlow, a man of
extraordinary talents, and perfect knowledge of the situation of
Ireland. Speaking of the necessity of preventing subdivision, and of
increasing the holdings to such a size as would afford employment and
adequate support to the occupiers, Dr Doyle says--"Had the evil gone
much further, the misery would of necessity have increased. It was,
indeed, essentially necessary to the good of the country that the system
should be corrected, and every wise man applauds those measures which
were taken for the correction of it."

As regards the humanity of the affair, sure we are that it is more to
the interest of the dispossessed to be afforded the means of going to
countries where land is plenty, and labour well remunerated, than to be
allowed to remain at home in squalid misery and idleness. Advantage was
taken of the dispossession of the people _under any circumstances_ by
the agitators--it was found to be a good subject by means of which the
passions of the sufferers could be excited; and they have made a
handsome harvest of it.

But it is not enough for our purpose to show that the tenantry are
averse to have improvements thrust upon them--it is necessary that we
should exhibit their conduct towards those who have endeavoured to
improve their condition, or to set them examples by following which they
would be sure to profit; and above all we wish to place before the
public, in its true light, the behaviour of the labouring classes which
has called forth so fully the approbation of the Devon Commissioners,
and to prove that it is principally the misconduct of those very men
which tends to their own disadvantage, and to the ruin of their country;
and again we have recourse to the _Blue-Book_.

Mr Quin, whose good conduct as a landlord was borne testimony to by his
neighbours, and _approved of after a public investigation by Lord
Ebrington_, wished to occupy some of his own lands to build a mansion,
and give employment to the people; _he determined not to turn off a
single man, and this he told them personally_. To provide for those he
must dispossess of their present holdings, he purchased the good-will of
another part of his own property, sold by the executors of a deceased
tenant, where he purposed to locate them, and there he sent his steward
(Mr Powell) down to commence improvements. The wretched man was murdered
in the arms of his daughter, and the first who struck him was a monster
he was forbidden to employ, but to whom he had given work from
compassion. "I saw the man," said he to his master in explanation of his
conduct, "living in such a wretched hovel; I had pity on him, and could
not help employing him." An anonymous letter, written to the unhappy
victim previous to his murder, and warning him of his fate, is
characteristic of the cool barbarity with which _those "patient people"_
undertake a murder--of the sordid calculations which retard or
accelerate its commission--and of the gratitude which they evince to
those who, following the recommendation of the Commissioners, "endeavour
to introduce an improved system of agriculture, and thereby extend the
employment of the agricultural population:"--

"Honoured Sir,--I take the liberty on myself in sending you these few
lines, informing your honour that you and Mr Quin, Esq., is to be shot
the first opportunity, _and if you had paid the men that worked at the
drain when it was done, you were killed long ago_. Now they have sat on
it, there are some of them that would wish to have it done at where you
live at present.... They have made a collection, and the man that kills
you will go to America... They have heard that you are one of the
skilfullest men in Ireland for planting and making drains; and they are
saying _that if they had you killed, he (Mr Quin) would never come to
the country_. If you don't take my advice, your daughter will cry salt
tears. And be God you will be killed."

Mr Armstrong, the history of whose persecutions is well worth the
trouble of reading, says--"In the same summer I was fallowing and
preparing at considerable expense a field for wheat. Every one exclaimed
at the folly of sowing wheat in that country; but finding that this
would not dissuade me from my plan, one of the most respectable men in
the neighbourhood told me, that 'the country' thought it a bad example
to bring in new plans, and that he had himself 'declined to sow wheat,
rather than get the ill-will of the people.' I said I really could not
see 'what offence this could give to any man.' 'Oh,' said he, 'you know
if the landlords saw the ground producing wheat and good crops, they
would raise the rent.' Determined, however, that nothing less than a
failure after trial should convince me of 'the folly of sowing wheat,' I
ventured to do so, and it turned out very fine, producing thirteen
barrels to the acre; but I was obliged to keep a guard watching for two
months, as a man who lived close to the spot told me, that it would 'be
mowed down in the shot-blade; bekase the country did not like whate
there at all at all.'"

Many similar instances could we adduce from the same source, did our
limits permit; but we have only to refer to what is daily occurring in
Ireland, to show the utter impossibility of the gentry making any
efforts to improve their own estates, or the condition of the tenantry,
under existing circumstances. Men here talk flippantly of the evils of
absenteeism, while they are the very first to object to measures which
would render it possible for landlords to reside at home. A coercion act
is opposed, while Sir Francis Hopkins, a resident and admirable
landlord, is fired at at his own hall door, and for what? because, six
years ago, he dispossessed an insolvent tenant, "_forgiving his arrears,
and paying him his own valuation for his interest_;" while the life of
Sir David Roche is attempted, _because "he refused to assist a tenant to
turn out his brother's widow while her husband lay on his bed of death,
hardly allowing the body to get cold, when he insisted that he should
help him to add the widow's holding to his own."_[9]

Mr Wilson of Clare, a gentleman whose exertions to improve the
condition of his tenantry are fully detailed in the Devon _Blue-Book_;
who allowed the entire cost for subsoiling and fencing; who provided all
the materials for his tenants' houses, requiring only that they should
perform the labour, for which they were subsequently to be allowed on
their rents; who founded an agricultural school and benevolent fund, and
visited and inspected the improvements which he paid for; while, we say,
Mr Wilson, (a Roman Catholic, too,) who performed all his duties as well
as we could wish them performed, is threatened with death, and obliged
to desert his property, and fly his country, and for what? why, simply
because he dared, in the distribution of a farm containing one hundred
and forty acres, to reserve four for the use of a faithful servant,
whose honesty and attachment he wished to reward; and because, as we are
told by the member for Ennis, "_he was fond of a draining and subsoiling
system, which he wished to have practised, but which his tenants did not
like_." "The fact was," (the candid, if not discreet, Mr Bridgeman is
reported to have said,) "_the people who sent those notices had no
intention to assassinate Mr Wilson at all--they sent the notices,
thinking to frighten him out of his subsoiling_." Now, we have the
admission of this favourite "Joint off the Tail," that the people are
not anxious for those improvements, which we are told here they so much
long for; that they do not wish to improve the condition of their land
or their homesteads, even when they are paid for doing so; and that the
recompense which those men meet with who endeavour to induce them to be
industrious, by paying them for doing their own business, and who seek
to procure them employment at home, instead of sending them to England
or Scotland to seek it, is notice of assassination to frighten them from
giving employment, and, no doubt, death if they persevere. But is Mr
Bridgeman reported to have expressed any condemnation of the conduct of
those men?--Not a bit of it; and yet he is one of the set of brawlers
against the evils of absenteeism, one of the persons who attribute the
poverty of the peasantry to the neglect of their landlords, and one of
those who will strenuously oppose the enactment of laws which would give
security to the gentry and protection to the farmer, and, by restraining
the violence of the labouring classes, lead to the pacification and
prosperity of the country. But such a condition of things is just what
Mr Bridgeman, and those like him, wish to avoid. In a wholesome state of
society, men of his station in life could never have been pitchforked
into Parliament. If agitation ceased they must again betake themselves
to the tillage of their farms, according to ministerial doctrine, and
_be compelled to become industrious when they ceased to be_ PROTECTED.

Mr Clarke is shot in Tipperary, because he came to reside on his land;
and his murder was plotted and executed, not because he did harm or
injustice to any one, but because he ventured to do what Lord Grey and
others, who "pick their teeth" in safety here, insist that Irish
gentlemen should do--he dared to live on his own land. The approver--in
whose house the assassination was planned, and in which the assassins
resided while waiting an opportunity to destroy their victim--declared,
in his examination on their trial, "that he was a good friend to him,"
and that he never knew him to distrain any man for rent, and yet he gave
him no notice; and the intended murder was openly spoken of before a
numerous family of children--ay, _girls_ of fifteen years of age were
privy to it; and yet no compunctious feelings touched their hearts. One
of them, in giving her testimony, admitted that she knew what the men
meant to do when they were leaving the house; and that, when she heard
the shot, she was convinced that her landlord had been murdered.

In passing sentence on two of the persons convicted of this dreadful
outrage at Nenagh, on the 3d, Judge Ball said--"With regard to you,
Patrick Rice, I have searched in vain through the evidence for something
that might suggest a motive for joining in the conspiracy. There was no
evidence that you had any dealing or transaction with the unfortunate
murdered man. There was no connexion between you in any way, and not the
slightest ground for resentment or provocation that could be traced. As
for you, Hayes, (the other prisoner,) your case is much the same. You
were a tenant of Mr Clarke's; there is evidence that he expressed some
wish that you or your mother should give up a house; and he offered you
every facility to build a house elsewhere, and to supply you with
materials, and the means of removing them, with his own horses and
drags. It has been said that this desire of his might have suggested a
motive for the murder; but when the evidence comes to be given, I find
that you and your mother, instead of expressing displeasure, expressed a
readiness to give up the house after harvest." Here is a man murdered
for merely proposing change of locality, which must be accompanied, as a
matter of course, by better accommodation. This is his only crime, and
yet it is sufficient to secure his destruction. What a grateful people
are the Irish!--how patiently they endure wrong!--and what a picture of
their morality do the details of this horrid assassination afford!

But it is not alone the landlords who become obnoxious to the peasantry,
when they seek to do them good by giving them profitable employment. The
same hostility is extended to others who attempt the same object, if
they endeavour to get "a fair day's work for a fair day's wages." Mr
M'Donald, the superintendent of the Killaloe Slate Quarries, was shot at
and desperately wounded in the presence of three men, who refused to
arrest the assassin, for no other reason than because he endeavoured to
have justice done his employers; and the following extract from the
report of the Irish Mining Company of Ireland, contains the particulars
of as wanton an outrage as can well be conceived:--

     "At Earlshill Colliery, possession of which was recovered on 4th of
     April last, considerable progress had been made in sinking two
     engine-pits, one of which was sunk forty-four yards, the other
     twenty-six yards, on the 20th October, when the steward in charge
     of the works, Martin Morris, was shot at and severely wounded on
     his return from the colliery to his house; and although large
     rewards have been offered for information that might lead to the
     conviction of the authors and perpetrators of the outrage, they
     have not been made amenable to justice. And your board having
     reason to believe that the outrage was contemplated with a view to
     impede free action by your agents in the proper management of the
     works, and having been satisfied, on minute inquiry, that there was
     no cause of complaint on the part of the men employed against the
     steward or manager of the works; and some of the men employed on
     contract, subsequent to the outrage committed on Martin Morris,
     having received threatening notices to resign their contracts on
     pain of death, your board deemed it advisable, means not having
     been yet devised for affording due protection to the men employed,
     to order that the works should be suspended on the 20th December;
     and the works have been suspended accordingly. The working of South
     Balinaslick Colliery has been suspended for the same reason--Martin
     Morris having had charge of the underground works in both
     collieries. If your board and its agents in the management of those
     works had neglected the moral duties of such an establishment as
     yours in this important district, some excuse might be offered by
     the Guild for the outrage committed--the first, however, your board
     has had to complain of during twenty years that your works have
     been in operation; but the following facts prove that the company's
     duties have been duly and literally attended to. The men are
     promptly paid weekly--contractors as well as daily labourers. The
     contractors at Earlshill, at the period in which the outrage was
     committed, earned on an average 2s. 6d. per day, some so much as
     3s. The average rate earned at the entire of the company's works at
     the same period was 2s. 1d. per day, whilst the customary rate of
     wages paid to farm labourers in the district is but from 8d. to
     10d. per day. When circumstances admitted, houses of a better
     description than usual in the district have been erected for the
     men; schools have been provided at the principal works, and several
     of the children and adults educated. They are now employed as
     stewards and clerks. When it has been necessary to levy fines for
     inattention, the amount has been uniformly applied, at this season
     of the year, in providing comforts for the deserving men's
     families. In times of scarcity, good and cheap food has been
     provided, and distributed at low prices; and at all times the men
     and their families have the advantage of good medical aid when
     required. Under those circumstances your board feel confident that
     the perpetrators of the outrage on Martin Morris--a man deservedly
     raised from the ranks to a place of trust in his native
     village--will not be permitted to remain unpunished; and that the
     projected extension of the works will soon be resumed, with
     advantage to the well-disposed workmen, and through them to the
     company and the country."

Neither is this a solitary instance. The contractors on the Shannon
improvements and many of the railroads, where the labourers earned 9s.
a-week, were compelled to suspend their operations because those
turbulent people turned out for wages so exorbitant that no contractor
could afford to pay them; and not only stopped working themselves, but
forced those who were anxious to earn a livelihood to give up also. We
are told that the Irish peasantry wish for employment on any terms; yet,
when it is offered them at their very doors, and when they can earn
wages such as never before were paid them, they shoot the stewards, and
compel the abandonment of the undertakings.

Mr Collis, a gentleman who entertains very strong opinions in favour of
the peasantry, is obliged to admit, in his evidence before Lord Devon's
Committee, what is borne testimony to by many others, the existence of a
reign of terror exercised by the labourers over their employers.
Alluding to a visit which he paid to the College estates, and an
interview he had with the people, he says--"I must also mention that I
heard that day from respectable occupying tenants, one in particular in
the lower class of life, and also from his wife when he was absent, that
she was dread of her life; that her husband was in distress, and set
part of his farm, and that he could not with safety take it into his
hands again; that the labourers he employed could not be
controlled--they would work as they pleased; and if a new man was
engaged, he might do well at first, but would soon fall into their ways;
and that if he, or the farmers generally, were to dismiss the parties,
they would be revenged in some way or other."

To show the state of intimacy which subsists between this gentleman and
the peasantry, and how implicitly they confide their feelings and
intentions to him, and how competent he must be to speak to both, and
how unlikely to misrepresent them, we copy the following passage, which
to our countrymen may exhibit a rather extraordinary state of society.
Mr Collis and the neighbours had been discussing the conduct of a
certain gentleman, and the question is put--"Did they say any thing
about the landlord?" "They did; from the statements made _I said
something about his being shot. They said he had been fired at three
times; and when I said I thought Tipperary boys were better marksmen,
some person in the crowd said, 'he would get it yet.'_" We should be
glad to know if this gentleman did afterwards "get it," or if Mr Collis
thought it necessary to communicate his own charitable suggestion, or
the benevolent intentions of his tenantry. How coolly they answer and
talk over those _little_ matters in "virtuous and religious Ireland!"
All the witnesses who have spoken to the point bear proof to the
idleness of the labourers, and their desire to work as little as they
can. Even Mr Balfe, the chairman of O'Connell's "Grievance Committee,"
acknowledges "that they expect to give labour for it (con-acre rent),
and they do not think they are bound to work well when that labour goes
to pay for their potato rent." While Mr Beere, after stating that
poverty is not the cause of crime in Tipperary, as respectable persons
are engaged in it, answers to the question--"What do you think is the
reason for those farmers having to do with every thing that is bad?" "I
think that many of them are driven to that line of conduct in order to
protect their property."--"Do you think that those farmers you speak of,
holding fifty or sixty acres, are compelled to encourage those
proceedings for fear of damage to their own property?" "I do,
positively."--"Does that lead them to give protection frequently to
known offenders?" "Yes, it does; they dare not refuse them."--"By what
class of persons are those outrages generally committed?" "They are
generally committed by the servant boys." And the Irish papers present
every day repeated instances of the same spirit:--

     "On Tuesday evening last, a large armed party came to the house of
     a farmer named Connolly on the lands of Ballinderry, county
     Westmeath, within _a mile of the town of Moats_, and demanded why
     he had turned away two servant boys he had, and directed him to
     send off the two boys he had since. They then ordered the two men
     in his employment to be off, or it would be worse for them--an
     order, such is the state of the country, which was promptly
     obeyed."

     "On Wednesday night last, a threatening notice was posted on the
     gate of a respectable farmer named Egan, ordering him at once to
     dismiss two Connaught men he had employed, and to take back his
     former labourers, whom he was obliged to dismiss for idleness."

     "On the morning of the 16th, an armed party attacked the house of
     Pat Leray, of Stratlanstoun, and beat Leray and his son in a severe
     manner. The only reason assigned for this is, that Leray went to
     plough some land for his landlord, Captain Robinson of Rossmead."

     "The same morning, the house of Pat Woods was attacked by the same
     party, and for the same cause of offence. Woods and _his mother_
     were severely beaten."

       *       *       *       *       *

Now, those outrages have been perpetrated, not in any of the five
condemned counties, but in Westmeath, where almost every proprietor is
resident. What a state of society do they exhibit? Ruffians assailing
men because they dared to change their servants, and beating _old women_
solely because their sons were on good terms with their landlords. And
those daring violations of the law were enacted in the open day by a
party of thirty men, well armed with both pistols and bludgeons. A tithe
of the outrages committed in Ireland are not only never heard of in this
country, but never even reported to the police. Such is the power of
those banded assassins--such the terror which they inspire--that their
victims submit to their decrees in silence rather than bring further
misfortunes upon their families. Sir James Graham, in his statement,
mentioned the case of a man dying of his wounds, who refused to identify
his murderers out of regard for the safety of his relatives and friends.
A person of the name of Gleeson, who came into his land twenty years
ago, was dreadfully beaten, and ordered to give up his farm; and,
although five of his sons were present, not one of them informed the
police. "Had they done so," says Sir James, "there is but little doubt
the perpetrators would have been arrested. I have heard it said, and I
do believe," (continued the most moderate of exponents,) "that, in the
five counties, the great body of the people are tainted. I believe the
bands are small, though perfectly organized; but the number of persons
comprising these lawless bands is small compared with the great body of
the people. But still evidence cannot be obtained, and the law is by
reason of this inoperative. And if these small bands prevent the
exercise of the law, these outrages remaining unchecked, the bulk of the
population will not heed the law." And whose fault is it that those
counties are tainted, and that the law in Ireland has ceased to be
respected? Why, chiefly the fault of the government, of which the right
honourable gentleman is so prominent a member. Had they acted as they
should have done when they were placed in power, the state of that
wretched country would be now widely different from what it is. Lord
Normanby's jail deliveries, and the arrangements of his law-officers in
regard to the formation of the juries, laid the foundation of the system
of terror. Convicted malefactors were enlarged by "the gracious
Viceroy," and the guilty received effectual protection from their
accomplices in crime, who were admitted to the jury-box by his patriotic
officials--the laws were rendered inoperative, and combination spread,
and outrages multiplied. When the Conservative government were placed in
power, the well-disposed expected that crime would have received a
check; and the turbulent and seditious were prepared to submit to the
blow, had it been immediately and fearlessly dealt them; but the
opportunity was allowed to pass. The disaffected recovered from their
temporary panic--atrocities became again the order of the day, and the
assailed submitted in silence, because they saw no hope of obtaining
redress. The Ministers permitted monster processions, after they had
suppressed monster meetings. The friends of order and of the British
constitution were disheartened and discountenanced; and, as a necessary
consequence, the opinions of the agitators gained ground. Their
organization became complete, and their power irresistible.

The uncalled-for contest in which the Peel administration have chosen to
engage with the agricultural interest of England, has added to the
mischief. Their unexampled political tergiversation has deprived them of
the support of almost all their former adherents; and now, when they see
the evil consequences of the vacillating policy which they have pursued
with regard to Ireland, and are desirous of repressing the enormities
which they have permitted to accumulate around them, their mouthpiece is
obliged to recount a mass of horrors sufficient to curdle the blood of
the most unfeeling, without daring to give utterance to one burst of
honest indignation, lest by doing so he should deprive his government of
the only assistance by means of which they can hope to accomplish their
free-trade projects; and with a full knowledge that neither life nor
property are secure in Ireland, they are compelled to succumb to the
threats of their temporary allies, and virtually to abandon even the
emasculated measure which they dared to introduce, by consenting to
postponements which must deprive it of all moral weight, and still
further encourage vexatious opposition. But can the ministers suppose
that the Irish liberals support them for any other purpose than that of
attaining their own ends? Whatever may be their ultimate effects upon
the condition of this country, it is clear that the repeal of the
corn-laws, and the alterations in the tariff, must be most hurtful to
Ireland.

No one can entertain a doubt but that pork will be raised, and bacon
cured, to such an extent in America, as to deprive the Irish cotter of
the assistance he has heretofore derived from his pig, and that foreign
butter will supplant his in the English market: and that, in
consequence, Irish lands must greatly fall in value, unless they be
applied to the rearing and fattening of cattle; and such being the case,
what a prospect have both the Irish gentry and the Irish people before
them,--ruin, if the small farmers are allowed to continue in occupation;
and desolation and insurrection if they be removed. The government
express an anxiety to secure the employment of the people on the
reclamation of waste lands, and they propose to advance the money to
enable the proprietors to pay them; but, at the same moment, by removing
protection, they render it certain that such proceedings must be
attended with a total loss. Whatever may be said by theorists, the
profit to be derived from reclamation of waste lands in Ireland is at
least but problematical. The repeal of the corn-laws must render any
such attempt ruinous; and, as if it were not enough to expose the Irish
farmer to foreign competition, the ministry are now trying, and "they
hope with success," to destroy the home market; by substituting Indian
corn, which can never be raised in the country, in place of oats and
potatoes, which have hitherto constituted the food of the people. Now,
putting out of consideration the interest of the gentry, what, we may
ask, is to become of the Irish farmer and of the Irish labourer, if the
crops which yield profit to the one, and employment to the other, were
to be superseded by a species of grain which their climate cannot
produce.

The Irish Radicals are quite aware of the misfortunes which the
ministerial measures will inflict upon their country; yet they urge the
government to their adoption, in the hope of being able to profit by
means of the discontent and ruin which they must effect.

But if we are surprised at the conduct of the government in complacently
witnessing, for four years, the existence of a state of things in a
portion of the United Kingdom itself, which was a "serious disgrace to
the age, and to the government, and the country in which we live,"
without endeavouring, by the enactment of more stringent laws, to
correct it, the evasions, by means of which they now seek to palliate
their neglect, and the strange want of perspicacity which they display
in not being able to discover the real source of mischief, or their
timidity in not daring to denounce it, must naturally excite our
astonishment. Let any man read the reported speech of the Home
Secretary, and from it he would never be able to discover that there
existed at this moment, in that portion of the empire, so disgraced by
crime and distracted by dissensions, an Association whose whole
occupation is to disseminate falsehood and preach sedition--an organized
band of men who levy tribute on their dupes, and who, in return for
their pence, administer political poison to the minds of their
victims--a political body, whose interest it is that acrimony, and
ill-will, and civil strife, should prevail; because in the storm of
passions which they evoke, they reap the harvest of pelf on which they
live--whose acts have been pronounced by the tribunals of their country
to be illegal, and whose leaders have been denounced by this individual
minister as "convicted conspirators"--an Association whose doctrines,
preached by a political priesthood and enforced by a sanguinary mob,
have rendered life and property insecure, and the quiet existence of
independence and industry impossible.

The ministry admitted the extent of this evil, when they prosecuted "the
political martyrs;" yet now, when the power of the Conciliation Hall
conspirators is more dangerous, because more time has been given them to
consolidate their strength--in laying before Parliament the condition of
Ireland, and in referring to the causes by which it has been produced,
her Majesty's servants affect an utter ignorance of the existence of a
body which they heretofore thought it necessary to arraign, and by their
silence tacitly exculpate from all blame those men at whose doors they
formerly, and with justice, laid all the blood which has been shed, and
all the crime which has been committed in Ireland.

See the quibbles by which the Home Secretary seeks to make the coercion
measure which he advocates a sort of collateral support to the corn-law
question, which he desires to pass:--"Now, sir, in reference to this
measure which I am about to propose, painful as it is, and
unconstitutional as I admit it to be, I must say that I, for one,
foreseeing some time ago that the necessity for some such measure would
shortly arrive, felt that I could not reconcile it to my conscience and
sense of duty to be a party to it, when, at the same time, with the
great increase of crime, I saw the extreme physical distress of the
people of Ireland, arising from a deficiency of that which they had been
accustomed to make their principal food. I felt, I say, that it was of
vital importance that provision should first be made, by an effort on
the part of the government, to relieve the physical wants of the people
before this measure should be brought forward; and I resolved that I
could not be a party to the measure unless I had the sanction of my
colleagues to a bill which would have the effect of opening the corn
trade, and placing articles of the first necessity within the reach of
the people of Ireland." But this cannot avail the right honourable
gentleman; for his own returns show that the amount of crime was
_infinitely greater up to the month of August 1845_, when provisions
were most abundant, and the prospects of the new harvest most cheering,
than now, when _it suits his convenience to notice its existence_, or to
sustain the potato panic. "When the greatest increase of crime existed,"
he could not possibly have anticipated "the extreme physical distress of
the people," because no such distress was then heard of. But because his
object was to make the suppression of crime auxiliary to other measures
of the government, he takes no step to accomplish it until he comes
backed by the exaggerations of political knaves, and the reports of
philosophical quacks, to prove his case, in order that the humanity of
his auditory may be excited; and that, before he is called upon to
coerce, he may be permitted to repeal the corn-laws, on the pretence of
relieving "the physical wants of the people."

We are far from denying that a great loss has been sustained in the
potato crop; but that loss does not in reality affect the food of the
people so much as would appear at first sight; for the cattle and pigs
which used to get sound potatoes in other years, were exclusively fed on
diseased ones in this: neither has the rot been attended with pecuniary
loss to any considerable extent; for the diseased part being removed,
the remainder was as fit to use as the soundest potato; and more pigs
were reared and fatted than usual on the rotted portions, and they never
fatted better or bore a higher price. But, (and this fact has been
studiously suppressed by Sir Robert Peel,) even admitting that the loss
has been great, there could be no famine. The crop of oats exceeded by
_a third_ any crop known in the memory of man, and the price of oats in
October last exceeded the average price at that season for many years
past by nearly _one-half_. Consequently rather more than _half the
quantity_ which the tenantry required to sell in other years to make up
a given sum, answered the same purpose on this; and even such of the
tenantry as paid their rents had an unusual quantity left after
disposing of what enabled them to meet their engagements; and this has
been converted into meal and stored in their houses, or remains in stack
in their haggards. Now, oatmeal always constitutes a principal
ingredient in the food of _every Irish peasant_ from this season
forward; and yet the ministers never once alluded to the great quantity
of oats which they must know to be in the country, nor to the fact that
there has been, as the season advanced, _a steady and progressive
decline in its price_. In the Dublin market, on the 18th November 1845,
oats brought from fourteen to sixteen and sixpence the barrel; on the
28th of March 1846, it sold from _twelve to fifteen_ shillings; while at
the same period in the last year, when no famine was anticipated, it
fetched twelve shillings; and there can be no doubt but it will
experience a still further fall as the season advances, for potatoes now
are, on the whole, lower than they were a month ago; and the holders of
meal will soon begin to perceive that they cannot realize the prices
which the exaggerations of the government led them to expect, and they
will supply the markets more freely.

It is extraordinary to see how people here can be humbugged. Mr
O'Connell, some time since, produced in the House a return from a
priest, which professed to give the state of his parishioners, as
regarded the amount of food each family possessed. In this document it
was stated, (and the announcement was received with loud cries of "hear,
hear,") that a certain number of families had not a week's provisions;
and no doubt this was true; and the same reverend gentleman, or any
other in any part of Ireland, might make just the same report at the
same period in any year, even when potatoes sold for eightpence the
cwt.:--All the class of small cotters have generally used the produce of
their con-acres at this season, and they commence to buy--the work which
they always have in abundance in the spring enabling them to pay. They
purchase weekly; and the fact that a certain number of them had not a
week's provisions, at the time this return was made, in their
possession, no more implies the presence of famine in that particular
locality, than the fact, that the labourers in London have generally no
greater supply proves the existence of a scarcity in the metropolis.
Both parties purchase weekly, and consequently have never more than a
week's provisions by them.

No doubt, there is a deficiency of provisions in particular
neighbourhoods; but, take the kingdom all over, there is a sufficiency;
and if the government had not, for their own purposes, magnified the
danger, the pressure on the people would now be less than it is.

We express surprise that the assertions of Mr O'Connell and the
agitators continue to be credited by the people, although they have been
a thousand times rejected and belied; but her Majesty's ministers
exhibit a still greater extent of gullibility, _if they really, as they
affect to do_, believe in the statements made by the Radical members and
their organs of the press, after the repeated instances in which those
statements have been proved to be erroneous. On the 20th November, the
Mansion-house Committee proclaimed to all the inhabitants of the British
empire, and in the presence of an all-seeing Providence, "That in
Ireland famine of a most hideous description _must be immediate and
pressing, and pestilence of the most frightfull kind, and not remote_,
unless immediately prevented." And on the 17th of December, Mr O'Connell
announced, that "Some say the crop will last till April. Even those most
sanguine admit that _we will have a famine in April_--others say the
crop will last till March--others that it will not last beyond
February--others that a famine will come on before the month of January
is over--_for my own part, I believe the last_;" yet, here we are,
thanks to a beneficent Providence, now approaching the 1st of May,
neither suffering from famine nor from pestilence, with almost all the
crops sown, and with well-supplied and steadily-falling markets; and yet
the Premier eagerly grasps at any new exaggeration of those men, for the
purpose of supporting his own overdrawn pictures of fresh distress.

But there is, in reality, neither that distress nor that scarcity in
Ireland which we are taught to believe exist there. The people are fond
of coarse food, which we think unfit for men, but they prefer
it--witness the various insinuations of the paupers against the use of
Indian corn flour.

That the Irish consider the constant use of "bread and meat" as an
infliction, is proved by a rather ludicrous account given of their
feelings on this head in his evidence before Lord Devon's Committee, by
Mr Thomas Glennon, No. 418, part second. After telling the Commissioners
that many persons had emigrated from his neighbourhood to South America,
"that they had succeeded there, and sent large remittances to their
friends through his hands," he is asked--"Have they sent any statement
how the climate agrees with them?" "It agrees very well with them, _and
the only difficulty they find is, that they have not potatoes to eat;
the bread and meat, and constant eating, is what disagrees with them_."
Now, surely, if we ought to consult the political prejudices of the
Irish people when legislating for them, as the Premier says we should
do, we ought not altogether to disregard their culinary tastes, or force
them to eat a diet which they dislike, only because we prize it
ourselves.

The extraordinary blunders which some of those enthusiastic men who
undertake to legislate on Irish subjects so frequently commit, would
excite feelings of ridicule, if the observations in which they see fit
to indulge were not calculated to produce mischief in quarters where
their insignificance is not known, and where their flippant fallacies
may be mistaken for facts. Thus, Mr Poulett Scrope exclaims,--"What! are
130 work-houses, capable of containing 100,000 people, to be considered
sufficient to supply accommodation for 2,800,000 destitute paupers?" If
the honourable gentleman took the trouble of consulting documentary
evidence, he would have found that they were much more than sufficient.
It is true that the commissioners _reported_ that there were in a
population of 8,000,000, 2,800,000 in a state of destitution, and they
proposed that 100, subsequently they suggested that 130 houses, capable
of containing 100,000 persons, should be built for their accommodation.
In the 9th report of those gentlemen, we find that, in the quarter
ending December 1842, eighty-six houses, built to contain 73,960
paupers, were in operation in Ireland, and that on the average, only
_27,000 persons availed themselves of the relief they afforded_, "_about
one-third the number they were capable of accommodating_." In the report
for 1843, we see that in _ninety-two houses, built to contain 78,160_,
in which relief had been administered from the 10th January 1844, the
average number of inmates _was_ 31,578, and the gross number to whom
relief had been afforded during the year, was 53,582. And in the 11th
report, the last published, "in 105 houses which were open from January
1844 to January 1845, the gross number relieved was 68,371, _and the
average number of inmates 37,780, although those 105 houses were capable
of accommodating 84,000 individuals_."[10] Thus we have it clearly
proved, that those houses never at any time contained _one-half, and
very seldom more than one-third of the numbers they were constructed to
accommodate_--and yet Mr Scrope waxes furious because more houses are
not built, while those already erected are not half occupied.

Lord George Bentinck, to whose opinions and to whose statements great
weight is deservedly attached, expresses his dissatisfaction at the
working of the Irish Poor-law, because while £5,000,000 is expended
annually in this country in succouring 16,000,000, only £250,000 is
spent in Ireland in giving relief to 8,000,000 of the people. But if his
lordship took time to consider, he would see that the disproportionate
expenditure was not caused by any restrictions which the Irish law
imposed, but _by the unwillingness of the Irish people to take advantage
of its enactments_. If he had recourse to the returns of the
commissioners, he would have found, that while in the year ending
January 1844 the gross number of those who received parochial relief in
Ireland was 53,582, the number of those who received similar relief in
England amounted to 4,279,565, considerably more than one-fourth of the
population, of whom 958,057 _actually entered the Bastiles_. Thus we
have _nearly the sixteenth part of the population seeking in-door relief
in England and Wales, and not the one hundred and twentieth part in
Ireland_. But the small numbers admitted in Ireland, and the small
expenditure incurred in succouring the poor in that country, is not the
fault of the law. It sets no limit to the benevolence of the guardians.
Neither is it the fault of those who administer it; for the guardians
being almost all thorough-paced patriots, of whom the great majority pay
under ten shillings annually to the tax, never reject applicants, and
frequently solicit persons to become candidates for admission. And when
we consider that those who, we are told, "dwell in ditches and live on
weeds," and to whom "beds and blankets are rare luxuries," have only to
apply for shelter where they can have good beds and better diet than the
commissioners assure us they are even accustomed to at home, we cannot
but express surprise at the taste of our neighbours, who prefer dirt and
starvation to cleanliness and abundance; and our sympathy for persons
who bewail their sufferings, and yet will not accept the proffered
relief, must be greatly diminished.

The truth is, and facts such as those prove it, that though there is
more squalid filth and raggedness in Ireland, (for those are national
tastes,) there is much less of real misery or distress in that country
than exists in England.

To make their coercive policy palatable to their present supporters, the
ministry announce the immediate introduction of a bill to regulate the
arrangements between landlord and tenant, and to secure the latter
adequate compensation for any improvements he may have effected. It is
always better for governments to leave the adjustment of private rights
to the parties concerned in them. But if they are to be guided in their
legislation by _the evidence_ given before the land-commissioners, _and
not by the report which it pleased those gentlemen to adopt_, there
never was a case in which such interference was less called for. We do
not find in the whole mass a solitary well substantiated instance in
which an improving and rent-paying tenant was dispossessed by the
landlord for the purpose of availing himself of the additional value
which had been given to his land. And Mr Stewart, an extensive agent and
land-valuator, declared in his examination, "that he considered
improving tenants had, at the expiration of their tenures, a just claim
upon the consideration of their landlords--_a claim_," he continues,
"_which, in a great number of instances coming under my own observation,
I never yet knew to be disregarded._" Can the government believe that
contingent and trifling rewards for levelling old ditches, and for
building ill-constructed houses, will be sufficient to satisfy men who,
according to Mr Maher's sworn testimony, "_desire no such improvements,
even when they are paid promptly for their execution_;" or that drainage
will be effected, in the hope of their being allowed a paltry
consideration in case they are dispossessed, "_by persons who threaten
with death those who are willing to give them at once the full value of
their labour_?" Not a bit of it. Any attempt to legislate on the subject
will only increase the present difficulties. If you give the tenant a
right to execute such improvements as he pleases, and guarantee him
remuneration, who is to be the umpire between the occupier and the
landlord?--"a commissioner." Well, where are you to get respectable men
to act in such a capacity, with the certainty that if they decided
honestly, they would become unpopular, and secure the reward of death?
And if you take those commissioners from the class of small farmers, and
pay them by the business they transact, why, then, there will be no
limit to jobbing and dishonesty--each of them will bid for popularity
and increase of income, by deciding in favour of the tenant, and against
the landlord, in all instances--and litigation and confusion without end
will be the consequence. As to Mr O'Connell's other remedies--extension
of municipal reform, and increase of representation--grant them, and
what could the change effect? No extension of municipal reform can
possibly make the corporations more revolutionary than they are--with
one solitary exception (Belfast), his influence and his principles
prevail in all. They are all at his beck, "good men and true." What more
would he have? What more could any alteration in the law effect for him?
And as to the increase in the Irish representation, what benefit could
that be to the country, when, admitting that the number of members were
increased, the additional ones would only swell the amount of those who
altogether, and purposely, absent themselves from their duties, under
the sanction of their constituents, and by the express dictation of
their leader.

With the facts which we have laid before them--with the proofs which we
have adduced from their own authorities, to show that there is neither
injustice nor oppression practised on the Irish people, that their
distress is to a great extent simulated, and their poverty the fruits of
their own misconduct--we ask the government, will they continue to allow
themselves to be misled by the mistatements of interested and designing
men, who, while accounting for the state of Ireland, _assert_ one thing
and _swear_ another; will they legislate for that country on the
suggestions of persons who make a boast of their hatred of England, and
openly express their desire for her humiliation--who, with loyalty on
their lips, seek Repeal because they know it must produce separation;
and who hesitate not to advocate measures which they feel must be
ruinous to all classes of their fellow-countrymen, because they hope to
accomplish, through the agency of the British ministry, what they have
hitherto been unable to effect by flattery or by force--the alienation
of the loyal and well-disposed from the British connexion?

There is a remedy for the ills of Ireland, and a simple and an
efficacious remedy it will be found to be, if adopted. Enforce obedience
to the laws, and establish security of life and property, no matter at
what sacrifices or by what means. The more severe and uncompromising the
measure by which those objects shall be sought to be effected, the more
prompt will be the success, and the more merciful the operation. Freedom
of action once attained, you may safely leave the gentry and the people
to make their own arrangements, and count with certainty on the rapid
improvement of the country, and the full development of its resources,
provided only you maintain that fair degree of protection which can
alone enable Ireland to compete with more favoured countries.

The Association must be suppressed: it will be folly to expect peace or
tranquillity while that pestilent body is in existence; smite it "hip
and thigh," and you at once cut off the fruitful sources of discontent
and crime. Stop the rent, and at one blow you annihilate the profligate
press, which turns the minds of the people from their legitimate
avocations, which panders to their prejudices, and excites them to
outrage. Of what use will it be to confine the peasant to his house by
night, if you allow him to be beset during the day by the noxious
publications which contain the treason of the Conciliation Hall?

Will it be just to tax the unfortunate farmers when they are compelled
to become participators in crime, and to shelter the guilty for the
purpose of obtaining that protection from outrages which the government
are too negligent or too impotent to afford them? The plan which it is
proposed to adopt, of recompensing those who suffer in person or
property by a tax levied on the locality in which the crime was
committed, _has been long in operation,[11] and found to be utterly
inefficacious_. What is the use of an additional police force, when all
the exertions of those men will be rendered ineffectual by the
insufficiency of the laws which you refuse to strengthen? The guilty
cannot be affected by taxation, for they hold no land; they cannot be
punished by the ordinary laws, for they have established a system which
baffles their operation; but once enact effective Law, and proclaim down
the Association--show the people that you are determined to maintain
social order and to suppress insubordination--then, _but not till then_,
will you rally the good in defence of justice, and deter the guilty from
the commission of crime.

FOOTNOTES:

[3] _Times_, December 25, 1845.

[4] It is a curious fact, that the only witnesses whose
testimony the Earl of Devon ventured to use in support of Lord Stanley's
bill, were those of Mr Balfe, chairman of the "committee of grievances;"
a _discharged dragoon_, who was contradicted in almost every statement
he made by the most respectable persons on their oaths, and who was
obliged to retract some voluntarily; and of Mr Byrne, of the value of
whose opinion, or whose statements, we can form some estimate, from the
following extract from the evidence of Nicholas Maher, Esq.

  Appendix B., No. 1097.

He is asked, has he read a particular statement of Mr Byrne's? And his
answer is:--"I _have_ read the evidence, and I must just state that Mr
Byrne is a person to whose evidence I would not give any weight."

[5]

  IRELAND--LAND IS EXEMPT FROM

  Assessed taxes,            £4,204,855
  Income tax,                 5,158,470
  Malt tax,                   4,998,130
                             ----------
                            £14,361,455

This is the _net_ amount of those taxes. The _gross_ amount which is
levied off the people will be about fifteen millions and a half, or
nearly one third of the total amount of the income of the country,
towards which Ireland does not contribute a single shilling.

[6] According to the Government survey, Leitrim contains
375,992 acres; the valuation, including the houses of the gentry and
shopkeepers, is L.120,000: add 25 per cent, or L.30,000, and we have the
fair rent at L.150,000, or under eight shillings an acre.

[7] Mr Reade, an extensive landowner, and a gentleman who
appears to be perfectly competent to form a correct opinion on the
subject, laid before the commissioners, as the result of his own
experience, the following statement:--

     Comparative Valuation of the Barony of Carberry, co. Kildare, all
     situated between twenty and thirty miles of Dublin; with two canals
     passing through it, and consisting of 45,000 acres of good feeding
     and tillage land, with a similar quantity of equally good land, or
     nearly so, in England, Scotland, France, and Belgium, originally
     made in 1828, and since corrected:--

  ------------------------------+------------+------------+------------+------------+------------
                                | England.   | Scotland.  |   Belgium. |  France.   |  Ireland.
                                +------------+------------+------------+------------+------------
                                |    £  s. d.|    £  s. d.|    £  s. d.|    £  s. d.|    £  s. d.
  Gross contents, 48,278 acres,}|            |            |            |            |
    rent calculated on 42,000  }|55,650 0  0 |75,600 0  0 |55,650  0  0|41,938 0  0 |31,500 0  0
    acres,                     }|            | (Taxation  |            |            |
                                |            | included.) |            |            |
  Tithe and direct taxation,    |17,955 0  0 |    0  0  0 | 7,481 0  0 | 5,962 0  0 |    0  0  0
  Poor-rate, one half,          |    0  0  0 |    0  0  0 |    0  0  0 |    0  0  0 |  325  7  6
  County Cess. 1s. 8d. in the } |            |            |            |            |
    pound, on Mr Griffth's    } |    0  0  0 |    0  0  0 |    0  0  0 |    0  0  0 | 2,266 13 4
    valuation,                } |            |            |            |            |
                                +------------+------------+------------+------------+-----------
  Total,                        | 73,605 0 0 | 75,600 0 0 | 63,131 0 0 | 47,900 0 0 |34,092 0 10
  ------------------------------+------------+------------+------------+------------+------------


  Total to landlord,                               L.31,500  0 0
  Deduct landlord's half, poor-rate,    L.325 7 6
  Rent-charge, 4d. in the pound,          563 6 0
                                        ---------       888 13 6
                                                     -----------
  Total to landlord in Ireland, net,               L.30,611  6 6
                                                     -----------


     OBSERVATIONS.

     The rent in Ireland was _averaged_, from _personal_ knowledge and
     inquiry, at 25s. the Irish acre, equal to 15s. the statute acre. It
     has not varied essentially since 1828.

     In Scotland, the rent was calculated at L.2, 5s. the Scotch acre,
     equal to L.1, 16s. the statute acre.

     In England, the rent was calculated at L.1:6:6 per statute acre.

     In Belgium, the rent-value of land is taken as equal to England.
     The taxation being considerably less than half that of England.

     In France, the land is valued at one-fourth less than Belgium. The
     taxation bearing a near proportion in both countries.

     The taxation in Ireland and Scotland is nearly on a par: rather
     heavier in Ireland.

     Taxation in England, including tithes, 8s. 7d. per acre. I believe
     below the reality.

  Government valuation of same land, exclusive of houses,     L.25,843 0 0
     --   --   --                                with houses,   27,208 0 0

[8] Speech at the Conciliation Hall, in reply to the charges of
the _Times_ Commissioner.

[9] The following letter, written by Sir David Roche to a Cork
agitator of the name of Denny Lane, who accused him of having turned out
three hundred families, and said his life had been _five_ times
attempted, will show the value which should be set on the assertions of
such people, and the treatment which the very best Irish landlords
receive:--

"I have bought out a few who were tenants-at-will, forgiving them large
arrears of rent, and making them in every instance a present of their
year's crop, stock, &c., and either finding them other farms, or giving
them money to enable them to enter into other pursuits: such, sir, have
been my transactions with the small number who have left my land, none
of whom, I dare say, every charged me with harshness or injustice. As
you have thought proper to turn public accuser, I beg to refer you to Mr
Charles Seegrue, the only gentleman in Cork with whom I have had any
transactions regarding tenants, and he will inform you on the
determination of his interest in a large farm, how many of his
under-tenants I dismissed, and what arrangements were made on that
occasion. If I don't mistake, he will state that all were continued on
their farms, and that the arrears _of rent due, to have been compromised
by me, and the tenants forgiven the amount, and a reduction of one-third
made on their respective rents, besides building houses for all that
required them, and for which no charge was made_; and in every other
place where I had any arrangements to make with tenants, that similar
consideration had been shown; and although I have had large transactions
connected with land in the counties of Limerick, Clare, and Kerry, in
all of which counties the Devon Commission sat, you will not find a
single instance of oppression, or any complaint having been made, much
less to the extent of turning out three hundred families, which you have
thought proper to charge me with. As to your assertion, that my life has
been attempted five times within the last year, I can assure you that no
attempt was ever made on my life before the last assizes, and then not
for turning out a tenant, _but because I refused to assist a tenant to
turn out his brother's widow while her husband lay on his bed of death,
hardly allowing the body to get cold, when he insisted that I should
help him to add the widow's holding to his own_."

[10] The Appendix to the 10th Report affords some curious and
important information as to the classes in which destitution is to be
found. The commissioners directed the clerks of the unions to furnish
them with lists of the severest cases of destitution which were relieved
in the different houses, and the occupations which they had previously
followed, and accordingly 870 cases are given in the Appendix by them.
It appears the number of males above fifteen years of age relieved in
the quarter ending 9th April 1844, was _only_ 11,224.

      Of Peasants.            Of Servants.             Of Mendicants.
  Male labourers,  4599    Male servants,  585        Male,           1473
  Female,           924    Female,        4653        Female,         3745
                   ----                   ----                 ----
            Total, 5523            Total, 5238          Total, 5218

         _Of farmers who had held, or were still in occupation of land, 79_

Thus we see, that the number of servants and vagrants requiring relief,
amounted to within three hundred of the numbers of the agricultural
labourers, and that the number of those _connected with the possession
of land, and who had sought relief on account of termination of leases,
non-payment of rent, expulsion because they were tenants-at-will, or
temporary distress, amounted to the incredibly small number of
seventy-nine_.

We ought also to add, that in every instance in which a labouring man is
stated in those reports to have entered the houses in a state of ill
health, he was discharged _at his own request_ when his health had been
re-established. How are the _assertions_ which we hear made every day to
be reconciled with _facts_ such as those?

[11] The only difference is that the power heretofore vested in
and exercised by the Grand Juries, will, by this bill, be transferred to
the Lord-Lieutenant.



THE MODERN PILGRIM'S PROGRESS.

THE FRAGMENT OF A DREAM.


CHAPTER I.

How SCAPEGRACE first made acquaintance with SCRIP.

As I walked through the wilderness of 'Change Alley, I lighted on a
certain coffee-house, where there was a box in the corner, and, falling
asleep therein, I dreamed a dream.

I dreamed, and behold I saw a man bearing a burden on his back, walking
up and down the Alley in grievous plight; and ever and anon he put his
hands into his breeches pockets, as if in search of something, but drew
out nothing. Then he turned his pockets inside out, and cried--"Wo is
me! what shall I do?"

And, as he turned his back to me, I saw his burden, which was large and
heavy; and thereon was writ, in large characters, the word "Debt:" and
drawing near, methought the bag was stuffed quite full of mortgages,
bonds, bills, post-obits, and suchlike, wherewith he appeared to be
weighed down even to the ground.

And, as he made his moan, and strove to unloose his burden from his
back, behold another man came up to him, who also bare his burden upon
his back; but, though it seemed larger and heavier than his fellow's, he
wore a smiling countenance, and skipped along as lightly as if his pack
had been filled with feathers; and, drawing near to the first man, he
thus accosted him:--

"How now, neighbour SCAPEGRACE, wherefore so in the dumps? Thou seemest
to have a sore struggle with thy load, which, sooth to say, seems a
heavy one. Can I lend thee a helping hand?"

"In good faith, neighbour STAGMAN," answered Scapegrace, "so long as
this burden sticks to my back, I shall have no peace or rest, by night
or by day, for I know not how long I may be left at large; and men say
that, even now, one Gripeman hath a writ out against me, at the suit of
Mr Legality, and that I shall be hauled away to prison incontinently.
Bail, as thou knowest, I can find none; for Easyman, who stood surety
for me aforetime, is bankrupt, and thou, Stagman, hast not a penny in
thy purse--if thou wert ever so much inclined to befriend me."

"Nay, not so fast, friend," replied Stagman; "matters have gone better
with me of late than thou wouldst suppose; and perchance, if thou wilt
listen to me, I can put thee on a way to get quit of this thy
burden!--or, if thou wouldst rather do as I do, to fill thy pockets,
keep thy burden still, and yet dance under it as lightly as if it were
no burden at all."

"Of a truth," said Scapegrace, "I long to hear how these things may be."

"Know then," said Stagman, "that of late all the world have gone crazed
after a new fashion of travelling, or rather flying, discovered by Mr
Ironman, by means of which the traveller reacheth his journey's end ere
he well knoweth that he hath begun it, smoking his pipe, or reading the
newspaper all the way, as he skimmeth along over hills and valleys,
sloughs and morasses."

"These be pleasant tidings," cried Scapegrace.

"And profitable likewise," answered Stagman, "for all that are concerned
in these new highways; for now-a-days none will take the old roads,
which are fast becoming full of ruts and pitfalls, fearful to behold,
and all must soon resort per force to those made by Mr Ironman, who
levieth a heavy toll on all passengers at various wicket-gates which he
hath set up along the road. Now, as Ironman required some friends to
assist him with money in making his roads, he hath formed various goodly
companies, who lend him their money in the mean time, and share
thereafter in the tolls levied from the pilgrims that use the road. If
thou couldst but be joined to one of these companies, as I have been,
thy burden might soon be lighter. And even now there is a new road about
to be begun, which I doubt not would make thee rich in brief space, if
thou wert but a sharer therein."

"Whither goeth this road?" asked Scapegrace.

From the town of LITTLE-GO, by HAP-HAZARD, towards CENT-PER-CENT, and
thence to the great city of ELDORADO," answered Stagman. "Thereafter, if
the traffic answer, we contemplate a branch rail to UTOPIA."

"But methought," said Scapegrace, "that road of which thou speak'st was
full of rocks, and deep pits, and swamps, and quagmires, and other
frightfuls. I do remember me of a certain SLOUGH OF DESPOND, Wherein
Sundry Travellers Were Bemired to purpose, and some hardly escaped with
their lives."

"The Slough of Despond, quotha!" cried Stagman; "a certain man, called
in the vulgar tongue a Contractor, undertakes to fill it up, and to lay
a double line of rails, with sidings, across it in a fortnight."

"Truly, we live in strange times, neighbour," said Scrapegrace. "But
then the HILL OF DIFFICULTY?"

"Is no difficulty after all," interrupted Stagman; "we pass right
through the centre of it by a tunnel in two minutes, so that you need
never know there was a hill there. The strata are all clay and
sandstone, exceeding well fitted for boring."

"Then the VALLEY OF HUMILIATION, and the road which leads
there-through?" asked Scapegrace.

"We go slap across it in the twinkling of a bedpost, by a handsome
viaduct of thirty arches on the skew principle," said Stagman.

"Lo, you now!" said Scapegrace, marvelling--"Surely, however, the road
is rugged and hilly?"

"Thou wouldst say, the gradients are bad; not so, there is none worse
than one in the hundred--quite as good as the Caledonian."

"I know not that road," said Scrapegrace.

"So much the better for thee," answered Stagman gravely.

"But, neighbour, how do you contrive to carry your road through other
men's grounds?" said Scapegrace.

"We promise to share the profits with them," said Stagman, "and so keep
them quiet; or put them on the Provisional Committee, with power to
audit their own accounts. Sometimes, no doubt, we are put to our shifts
for a time, as was the case with Squire Despair of Doubting Castle, who
opposed us on the standing orders, and threatened to throw us out in
committee; but, as it ended in our buying Doubting Castle at his own
price, and paying him handsomely for intersectional damage besides, he
soon withdrew his opposition, and is now an active promoter of the line.
Indeed, I know not any one who can give us further trouble, except it be
old Pope, who says the road will ruin his villa, and be the death of any
of his bulls that get upon the line; but as we know that he is as poor
as a church rat, and will never show face in the committee, we mind him
not, and, in truth, I have no doubt the committee will find the preamble
proved."

"Find what?" enquired Scapegrace;--"methinks, Stagman, thou dealest in
strange words, and usest a jargon hard to be understood of men."

"Find the preamble proved," answered Stagman; "which means we shall be
empowered to make the road."

"I suppose then, neighbour," said Scapegrace, "there will be great
resort of travellers to this same CENT-PER-CENT, and much toll levied
thereat?"

"The passenger traffic, the prospectus says, will be enormous," answered
Stagman; "and the minerals along the line are of course inexhaustible."

"But tell me, neighbour, is this same mode of travel as pleasant for the
wayfarers as thou sayest?"

"Exceedingly pleasant for the survivors," answered Stagman. "Doubtless
it sometimes happens that a carriage or two will run over a precipice,
or the down-train from Little-go may run into the up-train from
Hap-hazard, whereby some dozen lives may go amissing; but such accidents
are unavoidable, and it is satisfactory to know that on these occasions
there never yet has been the slightest blame imputable to any one
concerned--the stoker being invariably a most respectable man, and the
utmost attention paid to the signals."

"Nay now, neighbour Stagman," said Scapegrace; "all this is mighty
comfortable and encouraging, and I long much to have share with thee in
this same business."

"I know not," said Stagman, "whether that may be; for the way is narrow,
and many there be that would go in thereat. But look you, neighbour, I
have promised to do you service if I can, and I will tell you how to set
about it. There is an ancient friend of mine, who hath stood me in good
stead before now, his name is Mr Scrip; he hath holpen many a one in
worse plight than thou art; so that by his aid, from being poor and
needy, they have become well to do in the world in a short space. Let us
go together to him; he dwelth in Paper Buildings hard by; it may be that
he will stand thy friend, and help thee out of this thy difficulty."

So methought the men went both together, and, knocking at the door of Mr
Scrip, they were shown into his apartment, which was all garnished with
slips of paper, whereon were strange figures and characters written,
which no man could read or understand. He wore a coat of many colours,
the pockets of which appeared to be stuffed with papers, bearing the
like figures; he was always looking either up or down, and he moved to
and fro continually, as if he could not sit still in one place for a
moment.

"Mr Scrip," said Stagman, "you must know here is a friend of mine who is
presently sore bestead, and lacketh thine aid. He would fain have of
thee some of those wonderful papers of thine, whereby so many have
become so suddenly rich; and, for the sake of our old acquaintance, I
pray you pleasure him in this matter."

Then methought Mr Scrip looked fixedly upon Scapegrace, and shook his
head consumedly. "The applications," said he, "are so numerous, that the
Provisional Committee have been compelled to decline many from the most
respectable quarters, and in all cases greatly to restrict the amount
allocated." But observing that Scapegrace appeared much discomfited at
these words, he said, after a time--"Howbeit, as the man is a friend of
thine, and this is the first time he hath come to me, I will for this
once do for him according to his wish." So, putting his hand into his
nether raiment, he pulled out certain slips of paper, and put them into
Scapegrace's hand, saying--"Take these, and put them into the purse thou
bearest with thee; they are called after my name: a fortnight hence thou
wilt pay to me a deposit of twenty crowns thereon, but thereafter thou
mayst sell them for ten times that sum."

"Alas," cried Scapegrace, "for now I am utterly undone! I have not a
crown in the world, and how can I pay the deposit?"

"Nay, neighbour, have a good heart," cried Stagman, drawing him into a
corner; "long before the fortnight comes, we shall have sold these
papers to some other man, who will pay the twenty crowns for thee, and
give thee a hundred beside for thy pains. At the worst, thou hast but to
burn thy papers and be seen no more of men, which, if Gripeman should
lay hold on thee, would happen in any wares. Take the papers, be of good
comfort, thank Mr Scrip for his kindness, and tell him thou wilt call
another day with the twenty crowns."

So Scapegrace took the papers, and they thanked Mr Scrip, and went their
way.


CHAPTER II.

How Scapegrace, losing sight of Premium, was mocked at Vanity Fair.

And as they journeyed, methought the two men had much conversation
together.

"Now, neighbour Scapegrace," said Stagman, "if thou wouldst sell this
scrip of thine to advantage, we must betake ourselves to the great
market at Vanity Fair, where all the fools in the world be gathered
together, and not a few knaves besides. But the fair is a perfect maze,
full of blind alleys, courts, and winding passages, among the which thou
wouldst assuredly lose thy way if thou didst enter them without a
guide; and with such confusion of wares in the shops and windows, that
thou mightst walk about from morning to eventide without finding what
thou wert in search of. I remember me well, that when I first resorted
thither, I more than once went into the wrong shop, and bought many
articles which turned out naught. Therefore must we get Interpreter to
go along with us."

"Who is this same Interpreter?" asked Scapegrace.

"Interpreter," answered Stagman, "is a stockbroker, who knoweth all the
ups and downs of the place, the abodes of sellers and customers, and the
booths where the best bargains are to be had. He hath his living by
directing travellers through the Fair, and showing them where to buy and
sell to good purpose. For a small consideration he will go along with
us, and help us in this business."

But Scapegrace, who had waxed foolhardy, replied--"Not so, friend
Stagman. I fear not I shall find my way easily enough through the Fair,
and bring my hogs to a good market without him, and save my money at the
same time. Already, methinks, I feel the burden at my back lighter. Let
us push on, I beseech thee, to our journey's end."

"Neighbour Scapegrace," said Stagman, "thou art somewhat rash in this
matter, for Interpreter's fee is but a trifle; and I can tell thee, that
if by mischance thou shouldst come to lose thy way in the Fair, thou
mayst chance to be very roughly handled. There is always a scum of
villains there on the outlook to decoy strangers, and, if they will not
consent to be cheated, to flout and mock them with gibes and scurril
jests. 'Twas but the other day they put Truepenny into the STOCKS, and
kept him there till he thought he should never get out again; and he
only did get out by parting with all the ready money he had. I pray
thee, neighbour, take warning, and be advised."

As he spake, behold a third man came towards them from behind, and
shortly overtook them.

"Whither so fast, neighbors?" said he.

"Nay, Mr Littlefaith," said Stagman, "we be all journeying, as I take
it, the same road. We are bound for Vanity Fair; and, from that little
bundle which I see in thy hand, it should seen thou art on the same
errand. Is it not so?"

"It is even so," said Littlefaith. "I would fain turn a penny, like
other men. Men say, in our village of Lovegain, that my neighbours,
Plausible, and Saveall, and Worldly-wiseman, by their dealings at the
fair have made a mint of money; and so would Obstinate, too, for that
matter, if he had not asked too much for his wares, and so lost his
market, and returned as he went. More fool he! I shall take the first
good offer I get, I promise you."

"Well, now," said Scapegrace, joining in their talk, "since Littlefaith
is going along with us to the Fair, surely we can do without
Interpreter. Come, pluck up a good heart, and let us be jogging."

Then Stagman shook his head, and said nothing; but the three continued
to walk on.

After a time said Stagman--"Since thou will not take Interpreter with
thee, there is but one further advice which I can give. Not far from
Vanity Fair dwelleth a certain man, called PREMIUM; but his house is not
easily found, for he liveth next door to Discount, and many strangers,
thinking to find the one, have landed at the door of the other. In
truth, it is said there is a passage between their dwellings, and that
the two play into each others hands; for oftentimes, when Premium see'th
visitors coming, and liketh not their look--for he is a shy man, and
easily frightened--he will disappear of a sudden, and send Discount to
open the door to them, and to say he is gone out, and won't be home for
a fortnight. This man Premium is almost always to be found hankering
about the Fair; and so long as thou canst keep close upon him, thou art
sure to go right. Follow in the direction he goeth: he will guide thee
to a good customer; but having made thy market, bestir thyself, and go
thy way quickly, lest evil overtake thee. But take care thou lose not
sight of the man, for he often vanisheth when least expected; and
shouldst thou fall into the hands of his neighbour, who is ever close
behind him, then wert thou utterly undone."

And about mid-day, as they journeyed, they came in sight of the Fair,
which was of goodly extent, with many lanes and alleys, through which
great crowds were ever moving, and the din and hubbub of their voices,
as they called out the names of their wares, was such, that at first the
pilgrims were mightily confused. Littlefaith spake of turning back, but
being encouraged of Stagman, he took heart again, and went on.

And as they gazed about them, and marvelled at the multitudes that were
wandering up and down the rows, cheapening the wares, "Now are we in
good-luck," cried Stagman; "for yonder, on the outskirts of the market,
if I mistake not, is Mr Premium. Let us step up boldly to him at once
and take his arm--for if we approach him timidly, he will disappear
under one of the booths incontinently."

"But do you think we may venture?" said Littlefaith.

"Yea, verily," said Stagman; so, hurrying up to him, they laid hold of
him gently, but with a firm grasp, and saluted him. He was a portly
person, attired in a gold-coloured suit, and put on a smiling
countenance when the pilgrims laid hold of him; but methought he looked
about him on every side to see whether he could dodge away, and escape.
Finding, however, that they clung to him tightly, he made as if he were
much pleased to meet them, and returning their salutation--

"How now, old friend," said he to Stagman; "what wouldst thou have me to
do?"

"Only to show us through the Fair," said Stagman. "These, my friends,
are new to the place, and they would fain know how to sell their wares
to the best bidder. I pray thee, go with us, for thou knowest all the
outs and ins of this Babel."

So, keeping fast hold of Mr Premium's arm, they entered the Fair; and if
at a distance they were confused with the clamour and din of the crowd,
they were beyond measure astonished when they got into the thick of it.
Here was French row, Dutch row, Belgian row, Irish row, English row, and
Scotch row; the chief crowd, however, was in the English row, which was
so choked up at times with buyers and sellers, that it was not possible
to move along at all. But as most people were glad to make way for
Premium, who was well known there and much respected, the pilgrims got
along the rows better than they thought.

"What will you buy, worthy gentlemen--what will you buy?" exclaimed many
voices as they passed.

"Buy any Pennsylvanians, gents?" said a man in the raiment of a Quaker.

"Heavy stock, heavy stock, Jonathan!" cried another.

"Buy my Mexicans--best Mexicans!" said a third.

"Would not take a present of them gratis," cried a fourth.

"Spanish three's reduced--who'll buy?" said a fifth.

"Reduced to nothing," said a sixth.

"Portuguese deferred annuities?" said a seventh.

"Deferred to the day of judgment," answered an eight.

"Glenmutchkins--guaranteed stock, 5 premium, _ex div._," said a ninth.

"Won't do, Sauley," said a tenth--"won't do at any price."

And so on it went, all the dealers bawling and squabbling together, and
trying to depreciate one another's wares.

But, in the meantime, a certain one came up to Littlefaith in the crowd,
and seeing him in company with Premium, he asked him if he were inclined
to sell his scrip.

Whereupon Littlefaith, turning round, saw that it was his old neighbour,
Plausible, and answering, said, "Of a truth such was my errand hither,
but what with the din and bustle about me, I doubt I shall never pluck
up heart to find a purchaser."

"I fear, neighbour Littlefaith," said Plausible, "thou art in the right,
and let me tell thee that same scrip of thine is little in favour here;
howbeit, for the sake of old acquaintance, I would not have thee return
empty--I will buy thy wares of thee. Thou canst not expect of me much
profit, but here are twenty crowns, which will defray thy travelling
charges--and leave thee a something over beside. Mayhap I may be able
some time or other to find a purchaser. There is the money. Give me the
scrip quickly; for I see a certain friend of mine, Mr By-ends, who
beckoneth to me, and cannot wait."

Then did Littlefaith take the crowns, and give unto Plausible the scrip,
which when he had put into his bosom, he smiled and hastened away. When
Littlefaith came back to Stagman, he told him what he had done.

"Thou faint-hearted fool!" said Stagman, "knowest thou not thy wares
were well worth a hundred crowns, which, I warrant thee, Plausible will
make of them before the market is over. Out upon thee for a crazed
coxcomb! get thee gone, and trouble us no more in this matter."

"Better is a bird in the hand than two in the bush," said Littlefaith;
and so saying, he departed.

But while Stagman was thus gibing Littlefaith for throwing away his
wares, suddenly Scapegrace uttered a cry, and said--

"Mercy on us, what hath become of Mr Premium! I only turned my head for
a moment to look at yonder Prospectus of the Grand Equatorial and
Tropical Junction, and, lo! he slips his arm from mine, and I saw him no
more."

"Oh, woe is me!" cried Stagman; "what I foretold has come to pass, and
now I fear a worse thing will yet befall us."

And, as he spake, behold there drew near a lean and ill-favoured person,
clad in ragged and sad-coloured attire, whose doublet was much out at
the elbows, and who looked ever towards the ground; and no sooner did
Stagman see him drawing nigh, than he threw his scrip on the ground,
and, hurrying through the crowd, he was seen no more. Then I knew that
the man's name was DISCOUNT.

And when the men of the Fair saw that Premium was gone, and that Stagman
had fled as Discount drew nigh, they seized upon Scapegrace, and began
to flout him, at first with fair words and pretences, but at last more
rudely and openly. "So, friend!" cried one, "you will buy nothing of us,
it seems? Mayhap you have something to sell."

"I have in my scrip a few Eldorados, for which I expected a premium,"
answered Scapegrace.

"Don't you wish you may get it?" said the other sympathetically.

"Does your mother," said a third, with a look of sympathy--"your
venerable mother, know that you are abroad at the Fair?"

"Perfectly well," answered Scapegrace; "it was mainly in consequence of
her pecuniary distress that I came hither."

"Distress, indeed!" answered the other; "thou wouldst not have us
believe that she has sold her mangle yet?"

"I said not that she had," replied Scapegrace; "but she would gladly
have parted with it if she could."

"How are you off for soap?" said another in a compassionate tone.

"Very indifferently, friend," answered Scapegrace; "for my lodging has
been but poorly supplied of late, and I think of changing it."

"Lodging, quotha! You shan't lodge here, Mr Ferguson, I promise you."

"My name is not Ferguson," said Scapegrace meekly; "neither have I the
least intention of lodging here."

"What a shocking bad hat!" cried a voice from behind, and in a trice was
Scapegrace's hat knocked over his eyes, and his pockets turned inside
out; but finding nothing therein but scrip, they were enraged, and
falling upon Scapegrace, they kicked, and cuffed, and hustled him up one
row and down another, through this alley and across that court, till at
last, being tired of mocking him, they cast him out of the Fair
altogether, and shut the gate against him.



THE ILIAD OF HOMER--BOOK THE FIRST.

IN ENGLISH HEXAMETERS.


[The author of the version of the Last Book of the _Iliad_, in the
Number for March, has been requested by the editor of this Magazine to
give another specimen; and, as he happens to have the First Book
completed, he is happy to comply.

In case any one unacquainted with the original, and familiar with Homer
only through the brilliant _rifacimento_ of Pope, should complain of the
redundancies and repetitions which he meets here, let the writer remind
him that the attempt is to render the ancient poet, not only in a
measure framed on the basis of his own, but as nearly as possible with a
literal fidelity. Moreover, be it remembered, that the poem was not
composed for readers, but to be sung with the accompaniment of the harp
in festive assemblies of wholly illiterate soldiers; and that, in all
probability, the various speeches introduced were not all chanted by the
main voice; but that brother minstrels from time to time relieved the
master, as he himself describes the Muses at the Olympian banquet, "with
sweet voice singing alternate."

The writer received from Messrs Blackwood, with the proof-sheet of the
following contribution, two books of the _Iliad_, the second and the
seventh, done in English hexameters, "by Launcellot Shadwell, formerly
Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge," with the imprint of Mr
Pickering, London, 1844. This gentleman is probably a son of the
Vice-Chancellor of England, and, if so, has been trained in a good
school of taste as well as scholarship. But whether his hexameters have
been _published_, does not appear: the writer had not heard of them
before; and he begs to thank Mr Shadwell for his polite attention.

  LONDON, _April 6th._]

  N. N. T.

  Sing, O Goddess! the wrath unblest of Peleian Achilleus,
  Whence the uncountable woes that were heapt on the host of Achaia;
  Whence many valorous spirits of heroes, untimely dissever'd,
  Down unto Hades were sent, and themselves to the dogs were a plunder
  And all fowls of the air; but the counsel of Zeus was accomplish'd:
  Even from the hour when at first were in fierceness of rivalry sunder'd
  Atreus' son, the Commander of Men, and the noble Achilleus.
    Who of the Godheads committed the twain in the strife of contention?
  Leto's offspring and Zeus'; who, in anger against Agamemnon,
  Issued the pestilence dire, and the leaguer was swept with destruction;
  For that the King had rejected, and spurn'd from the place in dishonour
  Chryses, the priest of the God, when he came to the warrior-galleys,
  Willing to rescue his daughter with plentiful gifts of redemption,
  Bearing the fillet divine in his hands of the Archer Apollo
  Twined on the sceptre of gold: and petition'd the host of Achaia,
  Foremost of all the Atreidæ, the twain that were chief in dominion:--
  "Hear, ye Atreidæ! and hear, ye Achaians, resplendent in armour!
  Be it vouchsaf'd unto you of the Gods who inhabit Olympus,
  Priamus' city to storm, and return to your dwellings in gladness!
  But now yield me my daughter belov'd, and accept of the ransom,
  Bearing respect to the offspring of Zeus, Far-darting Apollo."
    Then had it voice of approval from all the array of Achaians
  Duly to honour the priest and accept fair gifts of redemption;
  Only displeas'd in his mind was the King Agamemnon Atreides:
  Stern the rejection from him, and ungentle his word at the parting:--
  "Let me not see thee again, old man, at the station of galleys,
  Lingering wilfully now, nor returning among us hereafter,
  Lest neither sceptre of gold nor the wreath of the God may avail thee.
  Her will I never surrender, be sure, until age has attain'd her
  Far from the land of her birth, in our own habitation of Argos,
  Plying the task of her web and attending the couch of her master.
  Hence with thee! Stir me no more: the return to thy home were the safer."
    So did he speak; and the elder, in terror, obey'd the commandment.
  Silent he went on his way, where the sea-waves roar'd on the sand-beach,
  Till at a distance remote, when the voice of his strong supplication
  Call'd on Apollo the King, that was born of the ringleted Leto:--
  "Hear me, Protector divine, both of Chrysa and beautiful Killa,
  God of the silvery bow, over Tenedos mightily reigning!
  Smintheus! Hear, if my hand ever garnish'd thy glorious temple,
  Crowning the horns of the altar with beauty, and burning before thee
  Fatness of bulls or of goats: hear now, and fulfill my petition.
  Oh, let the Argives atone for my tears by the shafts of thy quiver!"
    So did he speak; and Apollo gave ear to the prayer of his servant.
  He from the peaks of Olympus descended, his bosom in anger,
  Bearing on shoulder the bow and the well-fenc'd girth of his quiver.
  Rattled the arrows therein on the back of the Deity wrathful,
  Step upon step as he moved; but he came like the darkness of Nightfall.
  Then did he seat him apart from the ships, and discharging an arrow,
  Fearful afar was the clang of the silvery bow of Apollo.
    Mules, at the first, were his aim, and the swiftness of dogs was
      arrested;
  But on themselves, right soon, with the sure-wing'd darts of destruction
  Smote he, and wide on the shore was the flame of continual death-fires.
  Nine days' space, on the leaguer the shafts of the Godhead were flying;
  Then, on the tenth, were the people convok'd by the noble Achilleus,
  Mov'd unto this, in his mind, by the Goddess majestical Hera,
  For she was griev'd in her heart at the sight of the dying Achaians.
  But when the host were conven'd, thus spake swift-footed Peleides:--
  "Wand'ring again is our doom, as it seems to my mind, Agamemnon!
  Home to escape as we may, unless death be the issue to welcome,
  Since not the battle alone, but the pestilence wastes the Achaians.
  Come, without witless delay, let some prophet or priest be consulted,
  Yea, or expounder of dreams, (for the dream, too, comes from Kronion,)
  Who may interpret the wrath unrelenting of Phoebus Apollo;
  Whether for forfeited vow we are plagu'd, or for hecatomb wanting:
  If peradventure by savour of lambs or of goats without blemish
  Anger divine may be sooth'd, and the pestilence turn'd from the people."
    He, having spoke, sat down; and arose Thestorian Calchas,
  Prophet supreme among all, in the secrets of augury foremost;
  He that to Ilion's borders conducted the ships of Achaia,
  Such was the lore of the Seer by the blessing of Phoebus Apollo.
  He, with the counsel of wisdom, arose in the midst to address them:--
  "Favour'd of Zens!" he began, "thou commandest me, noble Achilleus,
  Here to interpret the wrath of the King, Far-darting Apollo.
  That will I therefore declare; but vouchsafe me, and swear to confirm it,
  Promptness and constancy true in the word and the hand of protection;
  For when I utter the cause, unto anger, I know, will be kindled
  He that of Argos is lord and obey'd in the host of Achaia.
  Heavy the hand of a king when the humble provokes his resentment;
  Say that he masters his mood, and the day of offending be scatheless,
  Yet shall he nurture the wrath thenceforth, till he perfect the
    vengeance,
  Deep in his bosom within. Speak thou, if the will be to save me."
    This was the answer he had, without pause, from the noble Peleides:--
  "Speak with a confident heart whatsoever thy scrutiny reaches;
  For by Apollo I swear, by the Son of the Highest Kronion,
  None to whom thou shalt discover the truth of prophetical warning,
  Calling the Gods to attest--while I live, and mine eyes are undarken'd,
  None shall, for that revelation, lay hand of oppression upon thee;
  None of the Danäids all that are camp'd by the station of galleys--
  Even if thou name Agamemnon, the first of the host in dominion."
    Then the unblamable Seer took heart, and bespake the Assembly:--
  "Neither for forfeited vow is he wroth, nor for hecatomb wanting;
  But for the sake of his priest, who, dishonour'd by King Agamemnon,
  Pray'd for his daughter in vain, and the gifts that he brought were
    rejected;
  Therefore, the Archer Divine has afflicted, and more will afflict us,
  Nor shall the weight of his hand be remov'd in the pestilence wasting,
  Not till the Dark-eyed Maid is restor'd to the love of her father,
  Free, without ransoming price--and a hecatomb holy to Chrysa
  Sent for atonement of wrong: peradventure we then may appease him."
    He, having spoke, sat down: and anon, in the midst of the princes,
  Rose the heroic Atreides, the wide-sway'd lord, Agamemnon:
  Troubled in visage he rose, for the heart with the blackness of anger
  Swell'd in the breast of the King, and his eyes had the blaze of the
    firebrand.
  First to the Seer did he turn, and austere was the scowl when he nam'd
    him:
  "Prophet of evils! to me never word of thy mouth has been grateful;
  Gladness it sheds ever more on thy spirit to prophesy mischief.
  Never had good its announcement from thee, its accomplishment never!
  Here, then, art thou, with thy sanctified lore, in the leaguer
    proclaiming
  All the afflictions we bear from the anger of Archer Apollo
  Only from this to have sprung, that I gave not the damsel Chrysëis
  Back for the gifts that were brought:--for I valued her more than the
    ransom,
  Will'd her to stay in my home, and preferr'd her before Clytemnestra,
  Her that I wedded a maid--nor in aught would comparison harm her,
  Neither for form nor for face, nor for mind nor the skill of her fingers.
  Yet even so am I willing to yield her, if this be the better:
  Weal I desire for the people, and not their calamity lengthen'd.
  But on the instant make ready a guerdon for me, that of Argives
  I be not prizeless alone--methinks that of a truth were unseemly--
  All of ye witnessing this, that the prize I obtain'd is to leave me."
    Thus to him instantly answer'd the swift-footed noble Peleides:--
  "Foremost in fame, Agamemnon, in greediness, too, thou art foremost.
  Whence can a prize be assign'd by the generous host of Achaia?
  Nowhere known unto us is a treasure of common possessions:
  All that we took with a town was distributed right on the capture;
  Nor is it seemly for states to resume and collect their allotments.
  Render the maid to the God, and expect from the sons of Achaia
  Threefold recompense back, yea fourfold, soon as Kronion
  Grants us to waste and abolish the well-wall'd city of Troia."
    So the Peleides--and thus, in reply, said the King Agamemnon:--
  "Good as thou art in the dealings of battle, most noble Achilleus,
  Try not the engines of craft; to come over me thus is beyond thee.
  This the suggestion forsooth that, thyself being safe with thy booty,
  I shall sit down without mine! I am bid to surrender the damsel:
  This is the word--and 'tis well, if the generous host of Achaia
  Yield me a prize in her stead that is fair and affords me contentment;
  But if ye grant me not this, be it known, I will do myself justice--
  Seizing what Aias obtain'd, or despoiling the tent of Odysseus;
  Yea, peradventure, thine own--whatsoever the rage of the loser.
  These, of a surety, are things to be duly consider'd hereafter;
  Meantime, down to the deep let a black-hull'd galley be hauser'd,
  Oarsmen selected and rang'd, and the hecatomb stow'd for the temple--
  Mine be the care to accomplish the freight with the rosy Chrysëis.
  Last, be some counsellor-chief for command of the galley appointed--
  Whether Idomeneus be it, or Aias, or noble Odysseus,
  Yea, or, Peleides, thyself, among terrible warriors foremost!
  So shall by thee be achiev'd the appeasing of Archer Apollo."
    Dark was the scowl of Achilles the rapid, as thus he made answer:--
  "Oh! thou in impudence clothed! O heart, that is ever on lucre!
  How can the words of thy mouth stir zeal in a single Achaian
  Either to march in thy train, or to stand in the fierceness of onset?
  Truly I came not, for one, out of hate for the spearmen of Troia,
  Hither to battle with them--neither feud nor offence was between us.
  Never Dardanian foray had plunder'd my beeves nor my horses,
  Never on Phthia descending, in Thessaly's bountiful borders,
  Ravag'd the fruits of the field--since betwixt there was many a barrier,
  Shadowy mountains enow, and the roaring expanses of ocean.
  Only to gratify thee, Dog-face! and avenge Menelaus,
  Mov'd us to war upon Troy; and with thee it is counted for nothing!
  Masterful menace instead that by thee my reward shall be ravish'd,
  Won with the sweat of my brow, and assign'd by the sons of Achaia!
  Truly my share of the booty was never with thine to be measur'd
  When the Achaians had sackt any populous town of the Troad:
  Only when shock upon shock the turmoil of the battle was raging,
  Greater the work of my hands; but whenever we reacht the division
  Far did thy portion surpass. Nor has grudging been mine or complaining:
  Weary with warring, and pleas'd with a little, I went to my galley.
  Homeward to Thessaly, now!--I shall profit, I think, by departing--
  Nor if I stay in dishonour, will heaping of plunder oppress thee."
    Thus on the instant replied the Commander of Men, Agamemnon:--
  "Flee, if to that thou be minded: expect not from me a petition
  Here for my service to stop. Beside thee I have some to befriend me
  Now and hereafter: in chief, the Olympian's counselling foresight.
  Hatefullest ever to me hast thou been of the kings of Achaia;
  Nothing delighted thee e'er but contention and battle and bloodshed;
  And if thy strength be unmatcht, it is due to the gift of a Godhead.
  Hence with thee!--hence to thy home flee thou with thy ships and thy
    comrades!
  There over Myrmidons lord it; with me there is small estimation
  Either of thee or thy wrath; and take this for completing my menace:
  Since I am reft of Chrysëis for pleasing of Phoebus Apollo,
  Now, in a ship of mine own, and with men of mine own for attendance,
  Her will I send; but anon will I go and, within thy pavilion,
  Seize on the rosy Brisëis, thy guerdon--instructing thee clearly
  How I surpass thee in power, and that others beside may be cautious
  Neither to match them with me, or confront with the boldness of equals!"
    So did he speak: and the word had a sting; and the heart of Achilleus,
  Under the hair of his bosom, in tearing perplexity ponder'd,
  Whether unsheathing the sword from his thigh, to disperse interveners,
  Clearing the way at a swoop, and to strike at the life of Atreides,
  Or to control his resentment and master the fury within him.
  But as he struggled with thought and the burning confusion of impulse,
  Even as he mov'd in the scabbard his ponderous weapon, Athena
  Stood by, darting from heaven: for the white-arm'd Hera had sent her,
  She that had eyes on them both with a loving and equal concernment.
  Lighting behind him, she graspt at the thick fair curls of Peleides,
  Visible only to him, undiscover'd by all that surrounded.
  Fear on Achilleus fell, and he turn'd to her, instantly knowing
  Pallas Athena, for awful the eyes of the goddess apparent--
  And he address'd her, and these were the air-wing'd words that he
    utter'd.
  "Why hast thou come, O child of the Ægis-bearing Kronion?
  Is it to see me contemn'd by the insolent pride of Atreides?
  This do I promise beside, and thine eyes shall behold it accomplish'd,
  Here where he sits Agamemnon shall pay for his scorn with his
    life-blood."
    This was the answer to him of the blue-eyed Pallas Athena:--
  "Willing to temper thy mood, (if perchance thou be ready to listen,)
  Down from the heavens have I come at the call of majestical Hera,
  Her who has eyes on you both with a loving and equal concernment.
  Therefore from violence cease, nor persist in unsheathing the weapon:
  Wound him with words at thy pleasure--in that let it fall as it chances.
  Only of this be assur'd, for thyself shall behold it accomplish'd,
  Threefold yet shall the King in magnificent gifts of atonement
  Pay for the scorn of to-day; but restrain thee and yield to my warning."
    Thus, in reply to Athena, said instantly noble Achilleus:--
  "Me of a surety beseems it, O Goddess, to bend to thy counsel,
  Fierce as mine anger may be; it is wiser to keep the commandment.
  They that submit to the Gods shall be heard when they make supplication."
    Press'd on the silvery hilt as he spake was the weight of his right
    hand,
  Back to the scabbard returning the terrible blade; nor obedience
  He to Athena refus'd; and she sprang from his side to Olympus,
  Up to the mansion of Zeus, to rejoin the assembly of Godheads.
  Then did Achilles begin to reproach Agamemnon Atreides,
  Hotly with venomous words, for as yet unappeased was his anger:--
  "Bloated with wine! having eyes like a dog, but the heart of a she-deer!
  Never with harness on back to be first when the people were arming,
  Never in dark ambuscado to lie with the few and the fearless,
  Courage exalted thy soul; this seems to thee courtship of death-doom.
  Truly 'tis better by far in the wide-spread Danäid leaguer
  Robbing of guerdon achiev'd whosoe'er contradicts thee in presence!
  People-devouring king! O fortunate captain of cowards--
  Else, Agamemnon, to-day would have witness'd the last of thine outrage!
  But I proclaim it before thee, and great is the oath that shall bind it--
  Now by this rod, which can never put forth or a twig or a leaflet,
  Since it was parted for aye from the root of its growth in the mountains,
  Never to germinate more, in the hour when the brass of the woodman
  Sever'd the bark and the sap: but the chiefs that administer judgment,
  Guarding the law of the Gods, as a sign to the sons of Achaia
  Bear it in hand:--upon this do I swear, and severe is the sanction!
  Rue for Achilles hereafter shall rise in the Danäid leaguer:--
  Bitter the yearning shall be--nor in thee, howsoever afflicted,
  Succour be found at their need--but remorse shall be raging within thee,
  Tearing thy heart that by thee was the best of Achaians dishonour'd."
    Speaking he dash'd on the ground, in the midst of the people, his
    sceptre,
  Garnish'd with circles of gold; down sat thereafter Peleides.
  Opposite rose Agamemnon in wrath; but before he could open,
  Upsprang Nestor between them, the sweet-ton'd spokesman of Pylos:
  Sweeter the speech of his tongue in its flow than the sweetness of honey.
  Two generations complete of the blood of articulate mankind,
  Nurtur'd and rear'd in his view, unto death in their turn had been
    gather'd;
  Now he was king for a third in the bountiful region of Pylos.
  He, with beneficent thoughts, in the midst of them rose and address'd
    them:--
  "Woe to me! great is the grief that has come on the land of Achaia!
  Great of a surety for Priam the joy and the children of Priam!
  Ilion holds not a soul in her bounds but will leap into gladness,
  Soon as the tidings go forth that ye two are divided in anger,
  Foremost in council among us and foremost of all in the battle!
  Hear me while yet there is time: ye are both of ye younger than I am.
  I in the days that are past have in fellowship mingled with heroes
  Mightier even than you, yet among them I never was slighted.
  Never their like did I see, nor shall look on their equals hereafter--
  Such as Perithöus was, or as Dryas the shepherd of people,
  Kaineus, Exadius too--the compeer of the bless'd, Polyphemus;
  Ægeus' glorious son, as a God in his countenance, Theseus.
  These of a truth were in might the supreme of the children of mankind;
  Mightiest they upon earth and with mightiest foes they contended,
  Centaurs nurs'd in the hills, whom in terrible ruin they trampled.
  These, the allies of my youth, when I first adventur'd from Pylos,
  Far from the Apian land, being call'd of themselves for a comrade.
  With them I fought as I could--but against them of earth's generation
  None is there breathing to-day that could stand in the tempest of battle;
  Yet they admitted me near and attended the words of my counsel.
  Hear too, ye, and be sway'd; for in yielding to counsel is wisdom.
  Neither do thou, though surpassing in station, lay hand on the damsel;
  Leave her, as giv'n at the first by the voice of the sons of Achaia.
  Nor let thy spirit, Peleides, excite thee to stand in contention,
  Scornfully facing the King:--for of all that inherit the sceptre
  He is the highest, and Zeus with pre-eminent glory adorns him.
  Be it, thy strength is the greater, thy birth from the womb of a Goddess,
  Still is his potency more because more are beneath his dominion.
  Thou, Agamemnon, give pause to thine anger; myself I entreat thee:
  Master the wrath, O King, that divides thee from noble Achilleus,
  Ever in murderous war great bulwark for all the Achaians."
    These were the answering words of the chief in the host, Agamemnon--
  "Verily, elder rever'd, there is grace in whatever thou speakest,
  But this man is resolv'd to be first over all and in all things;
  All to his dictating word must submit themselves--all to his kingship--
  He with his nod to command--which I think will have scanty approval.
  Might in his spear if there be by the gift of the Gods everlasting,
  Do they uphold him for that in the measureless railing of insult?"
    Him, with a sidelong glance, thus answer'd the noble Achilleus:--
  "Worthless I well might be call'd, of a surety, and cowardly caitiff,
  Yielded I all at a word whensoever it pleas'd thee to dictate.
  Such be thy lording with others, but not as to me, Agamemnon!
  Waste not thy masterful signs: they shall never command my obedience.
  This will I tell thee at once, let my fixt resolution be ponder'd--
  Never a hand will I lift to resist for the sake of the damsel,
  Neither on thee nor another--ye take what ye formerly granted!
  But of whatever besides I possess in the camp of the galleys,
  Nothing against my consent shall by thee or another be taken.
  Come now--try it thyself, that the test may for all be sufficient,
  Seeing how right from thy bosom the black blood streams on my
    spear-head."
    They, having battled it thus in the striving of proud contradiction,
  Rose and disperst the assembly of men at the ships of Achaia.
  Then to his tents and the line of his galleys, the noble Peleides
  Went with Menoetius' son and the rest of his comrades attending;
  While from the beach to the water, a galley surpassing in swiftness
  Drew Agamemnon the king, and selected a score for her oarsmen.
  Then in the depth of her hull was the hecatomb placed for Apollo,
  And he conducted himself to embark with them, rosy Chrysëis;
  Lastly, to govern the voyage, ascended sagacious Odysseus;
  Then being rang'd in the galley they sail'd on the watery courses.
    But the Atreides commanded the people to purification,
  And when they all had been cleans'd, and the sea had receiv'd the
    pollutions,
  Hecatombs whole to Apollo of bulls and of goats without blemish
  Bled for the purified host, on the margin of harvestless ocean,
  Sending the savour to heaven in the wreaths of the smoke from the altar.
    Busied herein was the leaguer--yet not in the King Agamemnon
  Enmity ceas'd, nor the pride to fulfil what his anger had menaced.
  He to Talthybius now and Eurybates spake his commission,
  Heralds of royal command, ever near him in ministry watchful:--
  "Pass, ye twain, to the right to the tent of Peleian Achilleus,
  Enter and take with your hands, and conduct to me hither Brisëis.
  If he refuses to yield her, myself will accomplish the seizure,
  Following swiftly with more, which may chance to embitter his grudging."
    Loth, they obey'd him; and pass'd by the rim of the harvestless ocean,
  On to the Myrmidon tents and the black-hull'd ship of Peleides.
  Near to his tent and his galley they found him seated; nor truly,
  Viewing the twain as they came, did the sight bring joy to Achilleus.
  Fearful were they meanwhile--and, in awe of the kingly Peleides,
  Halted in silence, nor spake to salute him, nor utter'd the message,
  But in his mind it was clearly discover'd; and thus he address'd them:--
  "Hail to ye, heralds! of Zeus and of men the ambassadors holy!
  Freely advance; ye are blameless before me; alone Agamemnon
  Guilty, that sends ye to me for demand of the damsel Brisëis.
  Noble Patroclus, I pray thee bring forth and surrender the damsel
  Here to their guidance--but they--let the heralds themselves be my
    witness,
  Both before Gods ever-blest and the Earth's generation of mortals,
  Yea, and the insolent King.--If there ever arises hereafter
  Need of my presence to ward the disgrace of impending disaster
  Off from the rest--Yea, truly, the insolent raves to his ruin;
  Neither the past he recalls, nor has wisdom to judge for the future,
  Whence were salvation alone for his host in the war of the seaboard."
    So did he speak; and Patroclus, obeying the word of his comrade,
  From the pavilion within led forth Brisëis the rosy,
  Yielding her up to the twain; and they turn'd again back by the galleys.
  Not with her will did the woman attend on their path; but Achilleus
  Sat by himself, as the tears roll'd down, and apart from his comrades,
  Hard by the surf-white beach, overlooking the blackness of ocean.
  There then, lifting his hands, to his mother he urg'd his petition:--
  "Since I was born of thee, mother, with fewness of days for my fore-doom,
  Surely Olympian Zeus, who is heard in the thunder of Æther,
  Owed me in honour to live; but to-day he decrees my abasement.
  Open contempt is my portion--for now wide-ruling Atreides
  Tramples upon me himself, and has seiz'd and possesses my guerdon."
    Thus amid tears did he speak, and the mother majestical heard him,
  Sitting afar in the deep by her father the Ancient of Ocean.
  Nimbly anon from the foam of the waves like a cloud she ascended,
  And she was near to him soon, and she sat by him where he lamented,
  Softly caress'd with her hand on his cheek, and address'd him and nam'd
    him:--
  "Why art thou weeping, my child? what has burthen'd thy soul with
    affliction?
  Speak to me, nothing conceal, that we both may have knowledge in
    fulness."
    Heavily groaning, to her thus answer'd the rapid Achilleus:--
  "Mother, already thou knowest, and why should it all be recounted?
  We in our progress assailing Aëtion's hallowèd city,
  Conquer'd and sack'd it, and hither conducted the plunder of Theba.
  Then when the sons of Achaia assembled to make the division,
  They to Atreides allotted for guerdon the comely Chrysëis.
  But to the galleys anon of the brass-clad sons of Achaia,
  Journey'd in sorrow her father, the grayhair'd priest of Apollo,
  Eager to ransom the maiden, and bearing a bountiful ransom.
  Holding the fillet divine in his hands of the Archer Apollo,
  Twin'd on the sceptre of gold, he petition'd the host of Achaia--
  Foremost of all the Atreidæ, the twain that are chief in dominion.
  Then had it audible greeting from all the array of Achaians
  Duly to honour the priest and accept fair gifts of redemption;
  Only displeased in his mind was the King Agamemnon Atreides--
  Stern the rejection from him and ungentle his word of dismissal.
  Wrathful the elder departed, and pray'd in his wrath to Apollo;
  Nor was the prayer unheard, for the priest was belov'd of the Godhead.
  Swiftly the arrow of death was discharg'd on the host of the Argives;
  More and yet more did he slay, for the terrible darts of his vengeance
  Spared not a spot of the camp; till at last, when the people were
    gather'd,
  Rose up a seer well skill'd and reveal'd the decree of the Archer.
  Foremost was I in exhorting to bend to the God for atonement--
  This the offence that enrag'd Agamemnon, who, instantly rising,
  Utter'd the menacing word which his insolence now has accomplish'd.
  Home at the last unto Chrysa the quick-eyed oarsmen of Argos.
  Now are conducting the maiden, with plentiful gifts for Apollo;
  But in the selfsame hour have his messengers left my pavilion,
  Leading Brisëis away, my award from the host of Achaia.
  Therefore I call upon thee, if with thee be the power to assist me,
  Up to Olympus to go, and to supplicate Zeus for thine offspring,
  If, or by word or by deed, thou hast pleasur'd the heart of the Highest:
  And I have heard thee of old, full oft, in the halls of my father,
  Boast how of all the immortals thy ministry only avail'd him
  Then when the rest of the Gods were combin'd for his humiliation,
  Hera herself at the head, with Poseidon and Pallas Athena,
  All in conspiracy swearing to fetter the Lord of the Black Cloud;
  But thou, Goddess, approaching, wast able to rescue from bondage,
  Summoning swiftly to join thee, and leading to lofty Olympus,
  Him who is Briareus nam'd among men, by Immortals, Ægeon,
  Him of the hundred hands, who surpasses his father[12] in puissance;
  And by Kronion he sat in the pride of his glory rejoicing,
  Filling with terror the Blest; for they saw and desisted from binding.
  Sit by the side of the God, and remind him of this, and entreat him,
  Grasping his knees, if perchance it may please him to succour the
    Trojans,
  Granting them back on the galleys to trample the sons of Achaia,
  Scatter'd in dread, till they all have contentment enough of their
    Captain--
  Yea, till Atreides himself, Agamemnon, the chief in dominion,
  Rues the infatuate pride that dishonour'd the best of Achaians."
    Sad was the mother at hearing, and thus amid weeping she answer'd:--
  "Woe to me! why did I bear thee, my child, in an hour of misfortune?
  Would I could see thee nor harm'd by injustice nor yielding to sadness,
  Here by the ships, since the days of thy doom are the few and the
    fleeting!
  Woe to me! both to a death premature and a sorrowful lifetime
  Thee, in the darkness of Fate, did I bear in the house of thy father!
  Surely thy word will I carry to thunder-delighting Kronion,
  Up unto snowy Olympus, and prayer may prevail for persuasion.
  Thou meanwhile for a season lie still by the Myrmidon galleys,
  Hating the Danäid host, and abstaining entirely from battle.
  Yesterday forth-far'd Zeus to a feast with the Æthiops blameless,
  Far over ocean's stream, and the rest of the Gods in attendance;
  Twelve are the signified days ere again he returns to Olympus.
  Instantly then will I pass to the brass-built dome of the Highest,
  There will I cling to his knees, and I think he will hear my petition."
    So having said she departed, and left him to sit as aforetime,
  Bitterness swelling his breast at the thought of the slender Brisëis
  Forcefully torn from his side. Meanwhile ever-prudent Odysseus
  Safe into Chrysa had come with the hecatomb vow'd to Apollo.
  They, when at last they arrived in the spacious recess of the harbour,
  Furl'd with alertness their sail, and bestow'd in the depth of the
    galley,
  Loosen'd the ropes from the mast, and depress'd it to fix in the
    mast-hold,
  Push'd with their oars to the landing, and anchor'd and fasten'd the
    hausers;
  Then with the hecatomb laden, the mariners stept on the sea-beach.
  Lastly, Chrysëis was led by Odysseus himself from the galley,
  Straight to the altar of Phoebus, and placed in the hand of her father.
  "Take her, O Chryses," he said; "I am sent by the King Agamemnon,
  Charg'd to restore her to thee, with a hecatomb fair for Apollo,
  Vow'd on behalf of the host, if perchance it may work our atonement,
  Press'd with afflictions severe by the far-shot darts of the Godhead."
    So did he speak, and deliver'd the daughter belov'd to her father:
  Glad was the old man's heart to receive her. And now the Achaians,
  Ranging the hecatomb goodly around the magnificent altar,
  Cleansèd with water their hands, and besprinkled the victims with barley.
  Lifting his hands in the midst, then Chryses made supplication:--
  "Hear me, Protector divine both of Chrysa and beautiful Killa,
  God of the silvery bow, over Tenedos mightily reigning--
  Hear me, if ever before there was favour to crown my petition.
  Greatly to honour thy priest, hast thou humbled the host of Achaia;
  Now I beseech thee to hear, and again let my prayer be accepted--
  Hence be the pestilence stay'd that is wasting the Danäid leaguer!"
    So did he speak in his prayer, nor regardless was Phoebus Apollo;
  Also the Danäids pray'd, and again they besprinkled with barley;
  Then were the necks turn'd back, and they slaughter'd the victims, and
    skinn'd them.
  And when the bones of the thighs were extracted, and wrapt in the fatness
  Doubled upon them around, and the raw flesh added in fragments,
  Over the split wood then did the old man burn them, and black wine
  Pour'd, while with five-prong'd forks, at his side, were the youthful
    attendants.
  But when the bones and the fat they had burn'd, and had tasted the
    entrails,
  All that remain'd was divided and fix'd on the spits of the striplings,
  Roasted with skill at the fire, and in readiness moved from the altar:
  Then was the labour complete, and the banquet prepared for the people,
  And they were banqueted all, nor had one to complain of his portion.
    But when of meat and of drink the desire from them all had departed,
  Duly the goblets were mantled with wine by the youths of the temple,
  Handed in order to all, and the round of libation accomplish'd.
  Then through the livelong day the Achaians, in melody gracious,
  Chanted the pæan divine to the glory of Phoebus Apollo,
  Hymning the might of the King; and the voice of the harmony pleased him.
  Then, when the sun went down, and the darkness around them was gather'd,
  All to the haven departed, and slept on the beach by their hausers;
  Till as the roseate Eos, the daughter of Morning, ascended,
  Back was their voyage ordain'd to the wide-spread host of Achaia.
    Fair was the breeze that attended their going from Phoebus Apollo;
  Upward they hoisted the mast, and the white sail spread to receive it;
  Full on the canvass it smote, and the dark-blue swell of the waters
  Echo'd around at their coming, and groan'd to the plunge of the galley,
  Onward advancing apace, as it sever'd the path of the billows.
  But when the course had been run, and the galley arriv'd at the leaguer,
  High on the sands of the beach was it hawl'd, and secur'd with the
    staybeams,
  And they dispers'd on the shore, and return'd to the tents of their
    kinsmen.
    Gloomily wrapt in his wrath, still sat by the strand of the galleys
  High-born Peleus' son: unappeas'd was the rapid Achilleus.
  Neither 'mid chieftains again to the honour-conferring assembly,
  Nor to the battle he came; but his heart was consuming in fierceness,
  There where he rested aloof, for he yearn'd for the charge and the
    war-shout.
  But when his wrath had endur'd to the twelfth resurrection of morning,
  Back to Olympus return'd over ocean the blessed Immortals,
  All the attendance of Zeus: nor had then the command of Peleides
  Pass'd from the mind of his mother, but rising anon from the sea-wave,
  She, at the dawning of day, to the great heaven went and Olympus.
    Far from the rest of the Gods, wide-seeing Kronion was seated,
  Lone on the loftiest peak of the manifold-crested Olympus.
  Silently Thetis approach'd him and sate by his side; and the Goddess,
  Grasping his knees with her left, and caressing his chin with the right
    hand,
  Earnestly lifted her voice, and petition'd the King Everlasting:--
  "Father! if ever of old I was helpful to thee among Godheads,
  Either in word or in deed, let the boon that I crave be conceded--
  Honour deny not to him whom I bore to mortality fore-doom'd
  Earliest far of mankind; for the Sov'reign of men, Agamemnon,
  Basely dishonours my son, and has seiz'd and possesses his guerdon.
  Lift him to honour thyself, O Zeus, All-wise of Olympus!
  Strengthen the hand of the Trojans for victory, till the Achaians
  Honour the worth of my son, and exalt him with worshipful increase."
    So did she speak: nor to her did the high Cloud-gatherer answer.
  Long in his silence he sat; but as first by his knees she had held him,
  So did she earnestly cling, and repeated anew her petition:--
  "Grant me the pledge of thy word, and confirm with the nod of acceptance,
  Else let refusal be spoken, (for fear cannot dwell with the Highest,)--
  Give me to know of a truth that with thee I am last of the Godheads."
    Vex'd was the spirit of Zeus, as at last he made answer to Thetis:--
  "Plagueful indeed is the hour which to strife and contention with Hera
  Sees me committed by thee, and her words of reproach are a torment;
  Ever, when cause there is none, she upbraids me before the Immortals,
  Saying I favour the Trojans, and succour the press of their battle.
  Quickly depart from me now, lest thy coming be noted of Hera;
  Go, and the care be with me henceforth till it all is accomplish'd.
  See now, here will I nod with my head, to complete thy reliance,--
  Since in the circle of Gods Everlasting, whenever I yield it,
  This is the mightiest sign; for a clear irrepealable purpose
  Waits an accomplishment sure, when the nod of my head is the token."
  So did he speak, and, at pausing, he sign'd with his shadowy eyebrows,
  And the ambrosial curls from the Head Everlasting were shaken,
  And at the nod of the King deep-trembled the lofty Olympus.
    They from their communing parted; and she, on the instant descending,
  Plung'd to the depth of the sea from the height of resplendent Olympus.
  Zeus to his mansion return'd; and the company all of the Godheads
  Rose at their Father's approach from their seats, nor did any adventure
  Sitting his aspect to meet, but they all stood up at his coming.
  Thus on his throne did he seat him; but not unobservant had Hera
  Been, while in secret he spake with the child of the Ancient of Ocean;
  Now with the words of reproach she was ready, and turn'd to Kronion:--
  "Crafty and close! what God has been with thee in privacy plotting?
  Ever it pleases thee well to be working apart and in darkness,
  Willingly never to me has a word of thy counsel been open'd."
    Instantly thus by the Father of Gods and of Men was she answer'd:--
  "Hera, indulge not the hope to be partner in each of my counsels;
  Wife as thou art, there are some it can never be thine to discover.
  That which is fit for thine ear of the things I have settled in purpose,
  None or of Gods or of Men shall in that be partaker before thee;
  But whensoever my will is apart from the Gods to determine,
  Cease from a prying unmeet, nor with rash curiosity question."
    Haughtily glancing on Zeus, thus answer'd majestical Hera:--
  "Oh, ever dark and austere! What a word hast thou utter'd, Kronion!
  When was it ever my custom to pry or torment with a question?
  Only it now is my fear that the white-footed daughter of Nereus,
  Thetis, has led thee astray with the craft of her secret persuasion:
  Early she sat by thy side, and was grasping thy knees in entreaty--
  Nor did she leave thee, I think, without pledge of revenge for Achilleus,
  And of destruction anon and of woe at the Danäid galleys."
    Thus to the Goddess again spake Cloud-compelling Kronion:--
  "Pestilent! Ever the spy! not a motion is safe from thy peering!
  Yet shall it profit thee nothing, unless to estrange and remove me
  Further away from thy love, which perchance may have worse for its
    upshot.
  Now, if it be as thou say'st, thou hast strengthen'd the zeal of my
    purpose.
  Hear me, and seat thee in silence, nor vain be the word of my warning,
  Lest were the Gods of Olympus united, it nothing avail thee,
  Shrinking before my approach, and the hand irresistible lifted."
    So did he speak, and in fear was the heart of majestical Hera;
  Silent before him she sat amid bitterness curbing her spirit.
  Griev'd in the mansion of Zeus thereat were the heavenly Godheads;
  Then in the midst of them all the artificer famous, Hephæstus,
  Spake with a kindly intent toward white-armed Hera, his mother:--
  "Plagueful to me is the sight, and already it passes endurance!
  Sure it is folly that thus ye should strive and contend about mortals
  Till there is tumult in heaven, nor the least satisfaction awaits us,
  Banqueting wholly forgot, and the pestilent rivalry upmost!
  This my advice to my mother, and wise though she be, let her hear it.
  Kindly approaching his throne, let her promise our Father obedience,
  Never to vex him again, and disturb the enjoyment of meal-time.
  If the Olympian Lord of the Thunder be minded against us,
  Down from our seats go we, for in might he surpasses us wholly.
  Come, if with softness of speech thou remove the Olympian's anger,
  Grace is at hand for us all, and returning benignity cheers us."
    So said Hephæstus, and sprang from his place, and a plentiful goblet
  Reach'd to the hand of his mother, and thus, as she took it, address'd
    her:--
  "Patience! my mother! whatever the smart, be it borne with submission.
  Dear as thou art to my soul, let it never be mine to behold thee
  Under his chastising hand, for, however my will might incline me,
  Service were none--the Olympian's grasp is not easy to strive with.
  Once on a time my resistance avail'd not, when seizing me tightly,
  Here by the foot, I was hurl'd sheer down from the heavenly threshold!
  Down through the livelong day was I borne from the dawn to the sunset,
  Till upon Lemnos I fell, and but little of breath was remaining,
  When of the Sintian men I was kindly received at my falling."
    So did he speak, and with smiles was he heard by majestical Hera,
  And from the hand of her son with a smile she accepted the goblet;
  Then to the rest of the Gods, from the right of the circle beginning,
  Pass'd he the cup, ever pouring the nectar divine from the pitcher:
  But in the Gods ever-blest there was stirr'd an unquenchable laughter,
  Seeing Hephæstus advance in his ministry round the assembly.
    Thus through the livelong day till the sun into ocean descended,
  Feasted the Gods, nor to any was wanting his share of the banquet,
  Nor of the beautiful harp that was touch'd by the hand of Apollo,
  Nor of the song of the Muses with sweet voice singing alternate.
  But when the glorious light of the sun had gone down into darkness,
  All to their dwellings departed, desiring the softness of slumber--
  Each to the separate dome, in the skill of his prudent contrivance
  Rear'd by the halting Hephæstus, artificer fam'd of the Godheads.
  Zeus, the Olympian Lord of the Thunder, also retiring,
  Pass'd to the couch where of old to the sweetness of sleep he resign'd
    him;
  This he ascended and slept: and beside him was Hera the Gold-throned.

  N. N. T.

FOOTNOTES:

[12] Poseidon=Neptune.



PROSPECTUS.


It is proposed to establish a new Society or Association, under the
style and title of the "Fogie Club."

To the myriads of railway adventures that of late years have on every
side invited the lovers of gain or of gambling, and that now seem
abandoned with the same desperate eagerness with which they were
embraced, the Fogie Club will form a remarkable contrast. But it has
recommendations of its own, which may compensate for others of which it
cannot boast. It does not seek to promote rapid locomotion; but it
presents a terminus of quiet and creditable rest. It does not promise
dividends; but it does not contemplate calls. The stock is not expected
to rise; but neither is it likely to fall. A solvent and sagacious
public will judge on which side the advantage lies.

The meaning of the term "Fogie" is rather to be furnished by description
than by definition. But we may bestow a few words on the
lexico-graphical learning connected with the word.

Dr Jamieson, an authority every way entitled to attention on such a
subject, gives a double signification of Fogie:--"1. A term used to
denote an invalid or garrison soldier. 2. A man pithless and infirm from
advanced age." He derives it, with his usual accuracy and acuteness,
from the Suio-Gothic, in which the word "fogde," he tells us, meant
"formerly one who had the charge of a garrison, but is now much declined
in its meaning, as being applied to stewards, beadles," &c. The worthy
doctor seems unconscious of the aid he might have derived from the fact,
that the foreign term Fogde, or Vogt, is a corruption of the Latin
_advocatus_; but he struggles with a laudable and natural feeling to
maintain the dignity of the Fogie, as originally indicating among
ourselves some important officer, such as the governor of a garrison,
and we trust that further research may bring to light some confirmation
of that conjecture. Indeed it may be observed, that there are instances
among us where Fogies are in use to be termed Governors. But we are
bound to say, that there are other linguists who refer the word to a
less elevated source--some connecting it with the term _fog_ or foggage,
meaning a second grass or aftermath, not quite so rich or nourishing as
the first growth; others, pointing at a kind of inferior bee, which
receives the name of _Foggie_ from its finding its nest among fog or
moss; and others uncivilly insinuating that the Latin _fucus_, a drone,
is the origin of the appellation.

While we protest against a supposed acquiescence in these more
derogatory etymologies, we feel that it would be improper and premature
at this stage to attempt the solution of so important a question as that
at which we have thus glanced, and of which the elaborate discussion may
form one of the earliest subjects for a prize essay to be proposed by
the Club, and will doubtless fill many a learned page of the Fogie
Transactions.

The character of the Fogie admits of less doubt than his etymology. It
belongs confessedly to one of the most amiable and interesting classes
of the species. It sets before us an individual, possessed at one time
at least of respectable talents, generally developed at an early period
of life, but of which the meridian splendour has now softened into the
more tolerable radiance of declining day. The light is nearly alike, but
the heat is considerably less. We still, perhaps, see in the Fogie the
same imposing features of the face, the same dignity of gesture and
attitude, and even a larger disc of body than before. The very voice
often is much what it was, and the manner is almost unchanged. But when
we carefully attend to the matter of what is said, we begin to perceive
a difference. A certain pleasing irrelevancy, an interesting tendency to
parenthesis, a longing, lingering look cast back on the events of former
times, in preference to the passing topics of the day, and a pardonable
increase in the use of the first person singular, become from time to
time progressively conspicuous. Nothing can be more instructive,
abstractly speaking, then the maxims which fall from the Fogie's lips;
but, somehow or other, they often appear as having less immediate
bearing on the matter in hand than we should have expected; and we
labour under occasional impressions of having met with some of them
before, either in Scripture, or in that valuable code of morality which
the writing-master proposes to youth as the pattern of their imitation.
"I have sometimes observed," he will say, "that vicious intercourse has
a tendency to undermine good morals;" and he illustrates his position by
the fate of an early friend, who went to the dogs from keeping bad
company. Or again, "It may be safely affirmed," he observes, "that a
conciliatory reply will frequently allay irritation in an angry
assailant;" and he entertains us with a really good story of a choleric
old gentleman who challenged him once for poaching on his grounds, but
who was gradually talked over till he asked him to dinner. If our friend
has been a wit in his youth, the propensity to jocularity still
survives; but the jests are generally such as you meet with in the very
earliest editions of Mr Joseph Miller, though, for the sake of variety,
they are often ascribed to the late facetious Mr Joseph Jekyll, or Mr
Henry Erskine, or to some other of the Fogie's early contemporaries, if
indeed the Fogie himself is not the hero of the tale.

It is unnecessary to say that the Fogie is always an amiable and almost
always a happy person. "Happiness," says the judicious Paley, "is found
with the purring cat no less than with the playful kitten; in the
arm-chair of dozing age, as well as in either the sprightliness of the
dance, or the animation of the chase." The Fogie is generally attached
in moderation to the pleasures of the table, and is a Conservative and
Protectionist in his politics; though, since the introduction of Sir
Robert Peel's last measure, several of the class have been rubbing up
their Adam Smith, and quoting some of the enlightened maxims of
free-trade which they used to hear at the Speculative Society, or in
some other arena of juvenile discussion.

It is a proud thing to remember that the delineation of the Fogie has
employed the genius of the greatest poets. The character of Nestor in
the _Iliad_ must be regarded as one of the masterpieces of the Homeric
gallery. The eloquent drivel that distils from his tongue, the length
and general inapplicability of his narratives, the judicious and
imposing triteness of his counsels, the vigorous imbecility of his
exhortations--all reveal the heroic Fogie in proportions suitable to the
other colossal figures with which he is surrounded. In Polonius, again,
Shakspeare has given us a different form of the species, equally perfect
in its kind. The tenderness of the old man's heart, the sagacity of his
discoveries, the self-pleasing estimate of his own importance, and the
sounding vacuity of his moral maxims, afford a model by which, in all
time coming, the courtly or paternal Fogie may regulate his life and
conversation, though, we trust, he may generally meet with a happier
termination to his career than that of the luckless father of Ophelia.
Another great master, pursuing a course of his own, has made a more
ambitious attempt to elevate the Fogie's poetical position, and has been
eminently successful. We allude to the immortal Virgil, whose hero, the
pious Æneas, may be considered as a perfect Fogie, developed with a rare
precocity of power, so as to afford an illustration of the important
truth, that, though Fogyism generally waits for old age, its maturity is
not servilely dependent upon the progress of years, but in some
fortunate natures--_pauci quos æquus amavit Jupiter_--may be brought to
perfection at almost any period of life.

But, after all that has been done, there is something yet to do. The
_Fogiad_ is still to be written; and we trust soon to see it
successfully accomplished by a member of the Club.

The science of self-knowledge is one of those acquirements which the
Fogie, like the rest of mankind, loudly commends, but rarely possesses
or practises. A few of the tribe, from habits of philosophical analysis,
are partially cognizant of their intellectual condition, and will
frankly come forward and enrol themselves in the Club. A good many
others, aware that they are suspected of an approach to Fogyism, will
think to disarm the suspicion by a pretended show of candour in joining
our ranks, hoping, no doubt, to be rejected as not yet qualified. But we
must intimate to such parties that their stratagem will be unsuccessful,
and that they will be written down Fogies as requested, and duly found
guilty, in terms of their own confession. The greater number of Fogies,
however, with that modesty which often attends merit, are wholly
unconscious of their real proficiency in this great mystery, and are not
likely to give us their countenance of their own accord. This
consideration will lead to a peculiarity in the constitution of the
Club, which is intended to embrace not only the Fogies who apply for
admission, but all of any note who possess the qualification, whether
they apply or not. Correspondents will be established in every
considerable town, and travellers on every important circuit, who will
not fail to report to us the earliest appearance of confirmed Fogyism in
every district. Many, indeed, of those who, in reading this article, are
chuckling at the reflection it may be supposed to throw upon their
neighbours, are already down in our list. Our Society, in this way, will
be composed of two compartments--a Voluntary and an Involuntary; or, if
we may be allowed the expression, a Visible and an Invisible club--the
one embracing avowed Fogies, who boldly claim the privileges of their
order, and the other the whole body of unconscious Fogyism throughout
the world. Every where it may be held certain, that to be a reputed
member of the Club, on whatever footing, will be a sure passport to
respect and reverence.

Persons of diffident temperaments, who are doubtful of their
qualifications, or disturbed in their minds as to their intellectual
state, are encouraged to submit their case to consideration, and will be
enabled to meet with the chaplain of the Club, who will administer to
them such ghostly counsel as circumstances may require. In no instance,
it may be mentioned, will any applicant be rejected; as, in the worst
event, his claims will merely be superseded till a future day.

It may be satisfactory to learn that the promoters of the Club are in
treaty for purchasing the advowson of the perpetual curacy of Humdrum
_cum_ Haverill, to which the chaplain will _ex officio_ be presented.
Candidates for the appointment are invited to apply early, as the
clerical portion of the Club list is rapidly filling up, and the
chaplainship can only be held by a member.

It is proposed, as soon as possible, to establish in the metropolis a
spacious edifice for the reception of Fogies, conducted on the principle
of the British and Foreign Institute, or of such other of the clubs as
may be preferred.

Hobbyhorses will be dispersed throughout the various parts of this
building, suitable to the several tastes and equestrian habits of
individual Fogies. Fogies in a more advanced stage of development, will
find provided for them the playthings, pinafores, and other
paraphernalia of their first childhood. In a special apartment, to be
called the "Nursery," the cradle (or crib) of reposing age will be
rocked successfully by skilful nurses or experienced Fogies, instructed
on the Mainzerian system in the most soporific lullabies.

On a future occasion, a list of the Provisional Committee will be
published. It may be mentioned, that the offices of Preses and
Vice-Preses are not at present to be filled up, as it is expected that
they will eventually be conferred on His Grace the Duke of Wellington
and Christopher North, Esq., though we regret to say that our latest
accounts give us no assurance that these distinguished persons are
likely very soon to join us.

Further particulars may be learned by application to Messrs Grandam and
Garrulous, Cripplegate, or any other sharebrokers in London or the
provinces; to whom also communications (prepaid) may be sent of the
names and private history of illustrious Fogies, with likenesses of
their persons, or any other information calculated to promote the
interests of the Club.



TRUTH AND BEAUTY.


  Beauty and Truth, in Heaven's congenial clime,
  Inseparate seen beside the Almighty throne,
  Together sprung, before the birth of time,
  From God's own glory, while he dwelt alone;--
  These, when creation made its wonders known,
  Were sent to mortals, that their mingling powers
  Might lead and lure us to ethereal bowers.

  But our perverse condition here below
  Oft sees them severed, or in conflict met:
  Oh, sad divorce! the well-spring of our woe,
  When Truth and Beauty thus their bond forget,
  And Heaven's high law is at defiance set!
  'Tis this that Good of half its force disarms,
  And gives to Evil all its direst charms.

  See Truth with harsh Austerity allied,
  Or clad in cynic garb of sordid hue:
  See him with Tyranny's fell tools supplied,
  The rack, the fagot, or the torturing screw,
  Or girt with Bigotry's besotted crew:
  What wonder, thus beheld, his looks should move
  Our scorn or hatred, rather than our love?

  See Beauty, too, in league with Vice and Shame,
  And lending all her light to gild a lie;
  Crowning with laureate-wreaths an impious name,
  Or lulling us with Siren minstrelsy
  To false repose when peril most is nigh;
  Decking things vile or vain with colours rare,
  Till what is false and foul seems good and fair.

  Hence are our hearts bewilder'd in their choice,
  And hence our feet from Virtue led astray:
  Truth calls imperious with repulsive voice
  To follow on a steep and rugged way;
  While Beauty beckons us along a gay
  And flowery path, that leads, with treacherous slope,
  To gulfs remote from happiness or hope.

  Who will bring back the world's unblemish'd youth
  When these two wander'd ever hand in hand;
  When Truth was Beauty, Beauty too was Truth,
  So link'd together with unbroken band,
  That they were one; and Man, at their command,
  Tasted of sweets that never knew alloy,
  And trod the path of Duty and of Joy?

  Chiefly the Poet's power may work the change:
  His heavenly gift, impell'd by holy zeal,
  O'er Truth's exhaustless stores may brightly range,
  And all their native loveliness reveal;
  Nor e'er, except where Truth has set his seal,
  Suffer one gleam of Beauty's grace to shine,
  But in resistless force their lights combine.



THE CAMPAIGN OF THE SUTLEJ.


Of the whole wonderful annals of our Indian Empire, the campaign of the
Sutlej will form the most extraordinary, the most brilliant, the most
complete, and yet the briefest chapter. It is an imperishable trophy,
not less to the magnanimity of British policy, than to the
resistlessness of British valour. The matchless gallantry, felicity, and
rapidity of the military operations against a formidable foe of
desperate bravery and overpowering numbers, through a tremendous
struggle and terrific carnage--the blaze of four mighty and decisive
victories won in six weeks--proudly seal our prowess in arms. The
spotless justice of the cause; the admirable temper of its management;
the almost fastidious forbearance which unsheathed the sword only under
the stern compulsion of most wanton aggression; and the generous
moderation which has swayed the flush of triumph--nobly attest our
wisdom in government. The character of a glorious warrior may fitly
express the character of a glorious war, which has been _sans peur et
sans reproche_. To record in our pages memorable deeds which have added
lustre even to the dazzling renown of Britain, would be at any time, but
at present, we conceive, is peculiarly, a duty. The cordiality of the
public interest in these important events dwindles and shrinks, like
paper in the fire, before the intensity of that more domestic sympathy
which has been every where awakened by individual calamities. The
frightful cost at which we have purchased success, may be heard and seen
in the wail and the gloom round a multitude of hearths. No dauntless
courage was more conspicuous,--alas! no gallant life-blood was poured
out more copiously,--than that of the sons of Scotland. The eternal
sunshine of glory which irradiates the memory of the fallen brave, may
be yet too fierce a light for the aching eye of grief to read by; but we
thought that a simple consecutive recital of the recent exploits of our
army in India would be unwelcome to none. Designedly we mean to write
nothing more than a narrative; and, in doing so, to use, as far as it is
possible, the very words of the official reports of those distinguished
men, who leave us sometimes in doubt whether the pen or the sword is the
more potent weapon in their hands. A few reflections and remarks will
probably inweave themselves with the tissue of the story, just because
such things cannot be told or heard without a quickening of the pulse, a
glow upon the cheek, a beating in the heart. Otherwise we shall attempt
to be "such an honest chronicler as Griffith." It is indispensable,
however, not only to preface the details of the campaign with a concise
description of the condition of the disordered and degraded people whom
our enmity and vengeance smote so heavily; but likewise to explain, with
some degree of minuteness, the views and purposes which, from first to
last, influenced our Indian government in its conduct of these delicate,
and ultimately momentous transactions, in order fully to appreciate the
union of moderation and energy which, under the auspices of Sir Henry
Hardinge as governor-general of India, and Sir Hugh Gough as commander o
the army of the Sutlej, has satisfied the world that right and might
were equally on the side of Britain.

Since the death, in 1839, of the famous Runjeet Singh, when the sacred
waters of the Ganges received the ashes of the greatest of the Sikhs, it
is impossible for language to exaggerate the anarchy, the depravity, the
misery of the Punjaub. Tigers, and wolves, and apes, have been the
successors of the "Old Lion." The predominant spirit of that energetic
and sagacious ruler bridled the licentious turbulence which for the last
seven years has rioted in the unrestrained indulgence of all abominable
vices, and in the daily perpetration of the most atrocious crimes. Five
Maharajahs in this brief period, "all murdered," have been sacrificed to
the ambition of profligate courtiers, or the rapacity of a debauched
soldiery. Kurruck Singh, the son of Runjeet Singh, and the inheritor
of an overflowing treasury and a disciplined and numerous army, was an
uneducated idiot, and easily induced to frown upon his father's able
favourite, the Rajah Dhyan Singh, and to invest his own confidential
adviser, the Sirdar Cheyk Singh, with the authority, if not the title,
of his prime-minister. But the humiliated Rajah found the ready means of
revenge in the family of his incapable sovereign. The Prince Noo Nehal
Singh lent a willing ear to the tempting suggestions of a counsellor who
only echoed the inordinate desires of his own ambition. At midnight, in
the private apartment and at the feet of the Maharajah, the Sirdar Cheyk
Singh was assassinated by his rival. The murder of the favourite was
rapidly followed by the deposition of Kurruck Singh, and the elevation
to the throne of the prince, his son. The court of Lahore was now
convulsed by dark intrigues, and debased by brutal sensuality. The
ineradicable spirit of hatred against every thing British, vented itself
harmlessly in the bravadoes of the tyrant; but was more dangerously
inflamed among many of the native powers of India, by the secret
diffusion of a project for a general and simultaneous insurrection. A
double mystery of villany saved us, probably, at that time from the
shocks and horrors of war in which we have been recently involved. The
deposed Kurruck Singh suddenly expired--a victim, it was whispered, to
the insidious efficacy of slow and deadly poison, intermingled, as his
son knew, in small quantities every day with his food. The
lightning-flash of retribution descended. On the return from the funeral
of Kurruck, the elephant which bore the parricidal majesty of Noo Nehal
Singh pushed against the brick-work of the palace-gates, when the whole
fabric fell with a crash, and so dreadfully fractured the skull of the
Maharajah that he never spoke afterwards, and died in a few hours.

The power or the policy of Dhyan Singh then bestowed the perilous gift
of this bloody sceptre upon Prince Shere, a reputed son of Runjeet,
Singh. His legitimacy was immediately denounced, and his government
opposed by the mother of his predecessor, who actively assumed, and for
three or four months conducted, the regency of the state. The capricious
attachment of the army, however, to the cause of Shere Singh turned the
current of fortune; and the Queen-Mother might seem to have laid aside
the incumbrance of her royal apparel, to be more easily strangled by her
own slave girls. The accession of Shere Singh opened the floodgates of
irretrievable disorder; for the troops, to whom he owed his success, and
on whose venal steadiness the stability of his sway depended, conscious
from their position, that, however insolently exorbitant in their
demands, they were able to throw the weight of their swords into the
scale, clamoured for an increase of their pay, and the dismissal of all
the officers who were obnoxious to them. The refusal of their imperious
request had a result we are fortunately not obliged to depict; nor,
without a shudder, can we barely allude to it. The ruffian and
remorseless violence of lawless banditti occupied and ravaged the city
and the plain. The story of their plunder of Lahore is rendered hideous
by every outrage that humanity can suffer, and by a promiscuous carnage,
for which the ferocity of unreasoning animals might pant, but which the
untiring fury of the wildest of brutes, the human savage, alone could
protract beyond satiety. The finger of their murderous rage pointed to
every assailable European officer, of whom some were assassinated, some
very narrowly escaped. Months rolled on under the terrible dominion of
these uncontrollable miscreants, while the length and the breadth of the
land were scourged by their cruelty, polluted by their lust, and
desolated by their rapine. The pestilence was partially arrested by a
glut of gold. A treasure of many lacs of rupees being intercepted on its
way to Lahore, enriched and mollified its captors. But at last, gorged
with slaughter, and surfeited with excess, they modified their claims
within limits to which the government intimated its willingness to
accede. The incurable evil was consummated. Henceforward the army has
been its own master, and the master of the government and the country.
A transitory _mirage_ of internal tranquillity and subordination
refreshed the Punjaub; the fiery elements of discord and ruin smouldered
unextinguishably behind it, awaiting the necessity or the opportunity of
a fresh eruption. The volcano was not permitted to slumber. Shere Singh,
liberated from the imminent oppression of the soldiery, plunged headlong
into a slough of detestable debauchery. But in our annals his memory
must survive,

  "Link'd with one virtue and a thousand crimes."

Influenced by what good genius, or by what prescient timidity, it may be
difficult to discover, he was true to the British interest, and remained
obstinately deaf to the seductive animosity of the Sikh council, which
was prone to take advantage of the disasters in Caubul, and to attack
the avenging army of Sir George Pollock in its passage to Peshawer.
Loyalty to England was little less than an act of treason to the Sikh
chieftains and the Sikh soldiery, which, added to the Maharajah's total
neglect of public business, accelerated a fatal conspiracy by his
brother-in-law Ajeet Singh, and Dhyan Singh, "the close contriver of all
harms." Shere Singh, being invited to inspect his brother-in-law's
cavalry at a short distance from Lahore, was there shot by Ajeet. The
assassin, riding quietly back to the city, met on the way the carriage
of Dhyan Singh, dismounted, and, seating himself beside his accomplice
in guilt, stabbed him to the heart. Now came confusion worse confounded.
The nobles were divided; while the troops, as their inclinations or
their hopes of pillage prompted them, flocked to the conflicting
standards. Ajeet, after murdering the whole of the late Maharajah's
family, including an infant one day old, fortified himself in the
citadel of Lahore, from which he was dislodged to be immediately
beheaded by Heera Singh, the son of the Rajah Dhyan Singh.

Then it was, that, under the auspices of Heera Singh, the present
Maharajah, Dhuleep Singh, a mere boy, and the alleged offspring of old
Runjeet Singh, was raised to the throne of the Sikhs. The army again
renewed the formidable pretensions which had formerly distracted and
wasted the Punjaub, and with which Heera Singh was now forced to comply.
But the powers of the throne were prostrate. The infant Maharajah, a
puppet in the hands of intriguing kinsmen, or of the ungovernable army,
passively witnessed the slaughter of a succession of his principal
rajahs who aspired to be his ministers, and each of whom raised himself
a step nearer the summit of his desire upon the butchered body of his
predecessor. A glow, perhaps, of undefinable pleasure may have warmed
the heart of the child, who wore

        "upon his baby brow the round
  And top of sovereignty,"

when he saw the horrible drama apparently closed by his mother taking
upon herself the responsibility and duties of the administration of
affairs. She was a more helpless slave than himself. There was but one
man in the Punjaub who could have aided her in her extremity. Neither of
them could trust the other. Goolab Singh, a brother of Dhyan Singh, had
been playing a safe game throughout the complicated troubles in which so
many were overwhelmed. Bad as the worst, unscrupulously villanous,
profoundly treacherous, detestably profligate and exciting behind the
scenes discontent, mutiny, tumult, and massacre, he appeared
occasionally on the stage to check or perplex the plot, as it suited his
purposes. His arm never visibly reached to any point from which it could
not be safely drawn back; but his hand was stirring every mischief. He
was well aware of the insane and unappeasable passion for a war with the
British which had long infected the whole Sikh army. He saw, we believe,
the inevitable collision and the inevitable issue. With an infant on the
throne, and a woman as prime-minister, the barrier to the torrent was a
shadow. And so it happened. The voice of authority was drowned by the
thundering tread of thousands and tens of thousands on their march to
the Sutlej. Goolab Singh, folding himself in the cloak of neutrality,
crouched, cat-like, to watch the vicissitudes of the contest.

The condition of the Punjaub necessarily attracted the anxious attention
of our Indian government. The horizon grew blacker every hour, as the
total inability of the authorities at Lahore to subdue or restrain the
refractory and warlike spirit of the Sikh army, was made more and more
manifest in unmistakable characters of blood and violence. Upon the 22d
of last November, the Governor-General of India, while moving from Delhi
to join the Commander-in-Chief in his camp at Umballah, received from
the political agent, Major Broadfoot, an official despatch, dated the
20th November, detailing the sudden intention of the Sikh army to
advance in force to the frontier, for the avowed purpose of invading the
British territories. This despatch was succeeded by a private
communication of the following day, stating the same facts, and
inclosing news, letters, and papers of intelligence received from
Lahore, which professed to give an account of the circumstances which
had led to the movement, which would appear (if these papers are to be
depended upon) to have originated with the Ranee and certain of the
sirdars, who felt the pressure of the demands of the army to be so
urgent, and its present attitude and temper so perilous to their
existence, that they desired to turn the thoughts of the troops to
objects which might divert their attention from making extortionate
demands for higher pay, by employing their energies in hostile
operations against the British government.[13]

We shall quote the substance of Major Broadfoot's letters, presenting,
as they do, a curious picture of the chaos of matters on the other side
of the Sutlej, and forming, likewise, important links in the narrative.
The following extracts are taken from his communications on the 20th and
21st of November to the Governor-General and the Commander-in-Chief:--

     "I have received Lahore letters of the 18th instant (morning).

     "During the night of the 17th the chiefs had agreed on, and the
     Durbar had ordered in writing, the following plan of operations:--

     "The army was to be divided into seven divisions, one to remain at
     Lahore, and the rest to proceed against Roopar and our hills,
     Loodianah, Hurreekee, Ferozepore, and Seinde, while one was to
     proceed to Peshawer; and a force under Rajah Goolab Singh was to be
     sent to Attock.

     "Each division was to be of 8,000 to 12,000 men against Ferozepore,
     under Sham Singh Attareewallah, whose estates adjoin the place
     against which it was to act. Against Hurreekee is to go Rajah Lal
     Singh; against Loodianah, Sirdar Tej Singh, the new
     commander-in-chief; and against Roopar, a brother of Sena Singh
     Mujeeteea.

     "The force under Sham Singh is to be 4,000 horse, and two brigades
     of infantry, with guns; under Raja Lal Singh, 4,500 horse, and two
     infantry brigades; under Sirdar Tej Singh, four brigades of
     infantry (one of them irregulars, and one new levies) and 1,000
     horse, &c; but till the plans of the Durbar are in actual
     execution, they cannot be considered fixed, and therefore I do not
     trouble our Excellency with further details.

     "With respect to the probability of their actually moving, I must
     say that my correspondents in Lahore seem to doubt it, though they
     are perplexed."

            *       *       *       *       *

     "The Durbar of the forenoon of the 18th was protracted till 2
     o'clock, but I have not the details of the afternoon Durbar.

     "11 A.M. was the hour found by the astrologers as auspicious for
     the march of the troops; not a chief stirred from his house. The
     officers and punchayets of the troops, regular and irregular, to
     the number of a couple of thousand, crowded to the Durbar and
     demanded the reason; the Ranee tried to soothe them, saying, that
     the fortunate hour being passed, the march could not be undertaken
     till the astrologers found another. The crowd demanded that this
     should be instantly done, and the court astrologer was ordered into
     their presence to find the proper time. He pored through his tables
     for two or three hours, while the Ranee sought to divert the
     attention of the military mob; at length he announced that the
     most favourable day was not till the 15th Mujsur (28th November).
     The military were furious, and declared that he was an impostor,
     and that they had to get from him two crores of rupees which he had
     made from the public money; the pundit implored mercy, and said the
     7th Mujsur (20th) was also a good day; the military were still
     angry, and the poor pundit left amidst their menaces.

     "They proposed that the Ranee and her son should march, and
     intimated that till they made an example of some chief no march
     would take place.

     "The Ranee complained that whilst the troops were urging the march,
     they were still going home to their villages as fast as they got
     their pay; and Sirdar Sham Singh Attareewallah declared his belief,
     that unless something was done to stop this, he would find himself
     on his way to Ferozepore with empty tents. The bait of money to be
     paid, and to accompany them, was also offered, and at length the
     Durbar broke up at 2 P.M. Great consultations took place in the
     afternoon, but I know only one result, that the Ranee had to give
     to her lover his formal dismissal, and that he (Rajah Lal Singh)
     actually went into the camp of the Sawars he is to command, and
     pitched his tent.

     "What the Ranee says is quite true of the sepoys dispersing to
     their houses; the whole affair has so suddenly reached its present
     height, that many of the men themselves think it will come to
     nothing, and still more who had taken their departure do not
     believe it serious enough to go back. On the day after this scene
     took place, _i. e._, the 19th, the usual stream of sepoys, natives
     of the protected states, who had got their pay, poured across the
     Sutlej, at Hurreekee, on their way to their homes. Every
     preparation, however, for war is making with probably more energy
     than if it had been a long-planned scheme; for every person of
     whatever party must show his sincerity by activity and virulent
     professions of hatred to the English."

It is proper to add, that Major Broadfoot also announces, that when the
Sikh intrigues and commotions assumed a serious form, he had addressed
an official letter of remonstrance through the proper channel to Lahore.
Five days after these letters were written, on the 26th of November, the
Commander-in-Chief and Major Broadfoot joined, at Kurnaul, the
Governor-General, who shall be the exponent of his own impressions,
intentions, and plans:--

     "I had the satisfaction of concurring in all the orders which his
     Excellency had given, to hold the troops in readiness to move at
     the shortest notice, and in the instructions which he had sent to
     the officers in command of the stations at Ferozepore and
     Loodianah. The force at the former post consists of one European
     regiment, seven regiments of native infantry, two regiments of
     native cavalry, and twenty-four field-guns, exclusive of heavy
     ordnance. The force at Loodianah consists of one regiment of
     Europeans, five regiments of native infantry, one regiment of
     native cavalry, and two troops of horse artillery.

     "After a full and satisfactory consultation with his Excellency,
     and taking into consideration the improbability of the Sikh army
     crossing the Sutlej, I determined that no movement should be made
     towards the river by the forces from Umballah and Meerut, and I
     postponed for further consideration with his Excellency any change
     in the present distribution of the troops; eventually some
     alterations will be made, which, when they have been finally
     determined upon between me and the Commander-in-Chief, will be
     reported to you. At the present moment, his Excellency coincides
     with me, that no forward movement is required.

     "In the midst of much hesitation and irresolution, the enterprise
     ordered by the Sikh government does not appear to have been
     formally abandoned; the intelligence received by Major Broadfoot on
     the day of his joining my camp, showed that the three brigades of
     the Sikh force had actually left Lahore a few miles in advance, to
     be followed the next morning by three other brigades including one
     of artillery. This was on the 24th ultimo. The intelligence
     received from that date has been communicated to me by Major
     Broadfoot each day, as it arrives.

     "It is said they intend, in reply to Major Broadfoot's
     remonstrance, to allege that the fact of our having collected so
     large a force, with all the munitions of war, on the frontier, is
     the cause of the concentration of their forces on the Sutlej; that
     they intend to demand the reasons of our preparations; to insist on
     the surrender to the Lahore government of the treasure which
     belonged to the late Rajah Soocheyt Singh; the restoration by the
     Rajah of Nabba of the village of Mowran, escheated by the Rajah,
     and the escheat confirmed by us; and henceforth the free passage of
     their troops into the Lahore possessions on this side the Sutlej.

     "I need only remark, on the first and most essential point, that
     the Sikh army did in the beginning of last January prepare to move
     to the Sutlej. The political agent remonstrated, and the troops
     were withdrawn; the reason then assigned for the movement being the
     same as that now intended to be brought forward, namely, the state
     of our military preparations on the frontier. The Governor-General
     in Council, in a despatch to Major Broadfoot of the 25th January
     1845, entered into very full explanations, which were conveyed to
     the Lahore Vakeel.

     "As regards the past, it is clear that no cause of complaint has
     been given by the government of India. If it should be asserted
     that our military preparations this autumn have given offence, the
     assertion is equally unfounded, and is a mere pretext for hostile
     proceedings, which have originated in the political weakness and
     the internal dissensions of the Lahore government; and, above all,
     in their desire to be released, on any terms, from the terror which
     the ferocity of their own troops has inspired. The proof is to be
     found in the fact, that at the time these disorderly movements
     commenced, no additional British troops had reached our frontier
     stations. The additional regiment of native infantry, destined for
     the reinforcement of Ferozepore, had not arrived. At Loodianah one
     of the two regiments of native cavalry had actually marched for
     Scinde before it was relieved, leaving that post, as it is at
     present, with one regiment, instead of the usual complement of two
     regiments of cavalry. At the other stations no alterations had been
     made, and the troops which had marched were peaceably engaged in
     completing the annual reliefs according to custom at this season.

     "Such is the state of affairs at the present moment, and although
     my conviction is strong that the Sikh army will be deterred from
     acts of aggression, on account of the state of our military
     preparation, yet it is by no means impossible that we may be forced
     at any moment into war, and that operations, on a very extended
     scale, may be immediately necessary.

     "My views and measures will be anxiously directed to avoid a
     recourse to arms, as long as it may be possible. On this point my
     determination is fixed. At the same time it is very apparent, from
     the general aspect of affairs, that the period is fast approaching
     when further changes will take place at Lahore, and that the weak
     government of the regent will be subverted by the violence of the
     troops, instigated by the intrigues of the party favourable to the
     Rajah Goolab Singh.

     "I shall not consider the march of the Sikh troops in hostile array
     towards the banks of the Sutlej as a cause justifying hostilities,
     if no actual violation of our frontier should occur. The same
     privilege which we take to adopt precautionary measures on our side
     must be conceded to them. Every forbearance shall be shown to a
     weak government, struggling for assistance against its own soldiers
     in a state of successful mutiny."[14]

A week later, no act of open hostility having yet been committed, the
Governor-General, then in the camp at Umballah, was informed that the
authorized agent of the court of Lahore had joined the camp. Major
Broadfoot was immediately directed to see the Vakeel, and to require
from him a reply to the remonstrance, which, as we have said, had been
previously made against the proceedings that had taken place at the time
it was written. At this conference the Vakeel asserted that he had
received no reply from the Durbar at Lahore. The Governor-General acted
with the utmost temperance:--

     "When Major Broadfoot reported to me, in the evening, the result of
     this interview, I immediately directed him to address to the Vakeel
     the written communication, a copy of which is inclosed.

     "I considered that it was absolutely necessary, on my arrival at
     Umballah, to take decided notice of the extraordinary proceedings
     that had taken place, and were stated to be still in progress. It
     was evident I could not permit the political agent's
     communications, in the face of what was going on at Lahore, to be
     treated with disregard. I took the mildest course in my power,
     consistently with the dignity, position, and interests of the
     British government. I purposely left an opening to the Lahore
     government to remedy, through its Vakeel, the discourtesy it had
     shown, by affording to that government the facility of making any
     explanation it might desire. The plain construction to be put on
     the silence of the Lahore government, in reply to the demand for
     explanation, evidently was, that the intentions of that government
     were hostile, in which case I did not deem it to be expedient to
     give to that government the leisure to complete their hostile
     preparations; whilst, on my part, I had abstained from making any
     movement, expressly for the purpose of avoiding any cause of
     jealousy or alarm; thus according to the Maharajah's government the
     strongest proof of the good faith and forbearance of the British
     government.

     "I am satisfied that the course I have adopted was imperatively
     required; and before I authorize any precautionary movements to be
     made, I shall give full time for a reply to be received from
     Lahore."

The letter which narrates these proceedings concludes thus:--

     "This morning, news up to the 1st inst. has been received. The
     Ranee and sirdars are becoming more and more urgent that the army
     should advance to the frontier, believing that, in the present
     posture of affairs, the only hope of saving their lives and
     prolonging their power is to be found in bringing about a collision
     with the British forces. The Sikh army moves with evident
     reluctance, and is calling for Goolab Singh, who is collecting
     forces at Jumboo, and is watching the progress of events.

     "My own impression remains unaltered. I do not expect that the
     troops will come as far as the banks of the Sutlej, or that any
     positive act of aggression will be committed; but it is evident
     that the Ranee and chiefs are, for their own preservation,
     endeavouring to raise a storm, which, when raised, they will be
     powerless either to direct or allay.

     "I shall, as I have before said, await the reply from Lahore to
     Major Broadfoot's last communication to the Vakeel.

     "If the reply from the ostensible government, acting under the
     control and at the discretion of the army, is hostile, I shall at
     once order up troops from Meerut, and other stations, to the
     support of our advanced positions, persevering up to the last
     moment in the sincere desire to avoid hostilities."[15]

We cannot, with any honesty, suppress our conviction that forbearance
was here pushed to the very verge of safety. The sullen silence of the
Lahore government, as its only answer to our most legitimate demand for
an explanation of its menacing attitude, it seems to us, would have been
a complete justification of such a movement of our forces as might have
concentrated them, by a march of one day, instead of six days, on the
banks of the Sutlej, and in the face of the enemy. Had such a step
hastened the rupture, who could righteously blame us for the result?
But, as it happened, the trumpet of the Sikhs which summoned us to the
dreadful appeal of battle could not have sounded sooner than it did, and
we should have entered the mortal lists every way at less disadvantage,
without the odds against us, which the disparity of numbers rendered
formidable enough, being multiplied an hundred-fold by the physical
exhaustion of each individual soldier in our ranks.

The disbelief in the probability of any serious hostility still filled
the mind of the Governor-General, when, upon the 6th of December, he
moved from Umballah towards Loodianah, peaceably prosecuting his
visitation of the Sikh protected states, according to the usual custom
of his predecessors. "In common with the most experienced officers of
the Indian government," he writes,

     "I was not of opinion that the Sikh army would cross the Sutlej
     with its infantry and artillery.

     "I considered it probable that some act of aggression would be
     committed by parties of plunderers, for the purpose of compelling
     the British government to interfere, to which course the Sikh
     chiefs knew I was most averse; but I concurred with the
     Commander-in-Chief, and the chief Secretary to the Government, as
     well as with my political agent, Major Broadfoot, that offensive
     operations, on a large scale, would not be resorted to.

     "Exclusive of the political reasons which induced me to carry my
     forbearance as far as it was possible, I was confident, from the
     opinions given by the Commander-in-Chief and Major-general Sir John
     Littler, in command of the forces at Ferozepore, that that post
     would resist any attack from the Sikh army as long as its
     provisions lasted; and that I could at any time relieve it, under
     the ordinary circumstances of an Asiatic army making an irruption
     into our territories, provided it had not the means of laying siege
     to the fort and the intrenched camp.

     "Up to this period no act of aggression had been committed by the
     Sikh army. The Lahore government had as good a right to reinforce
     their bank of the river Sutlej, as we had to reinforce our posts on
     that river.

     "The Sikh army had, in 1843 and 1844, moved down upon the river
     from Lahore, and, after remaining there encamped a few weeks, had
     returned to the capital. These reasons, and above all my extreme
     anxiety to avoid hostilities, induced me not to make any hasty
     movement with our army, which, when the two armies came into each
     other's presence, might bring about a collision.

     "The army had, however, been ordered to be in readiness to move at
     the shortest notice; and, on the 7th and 8th December, when I heard
     from Lahore that preparations were making on a large scale for
     artillery, stores, and all the munitions of war, I wrote to the
     Commander-in-Chief, directing his Excellency, on the 11th, to move
     up the force from Umballah, from Meerut, and some other stations in
     the rear.

     "Up to this time no infantry or artillery had been reported to have
     left Lahore, nor had a single Sikh soldier crossed the Sutlej.
     Nevertheless, I considered it prudent no longer to delay the
     forward movement of our troops, having given to the Lahore
     government the most ample time for a reply to our remonstrance."

During the four days following the 8th of December, the fluctuating
intelligence from Lahore, although, on the whole, more cloudy than
formerly, was not of a character to shake the prevalent opinion that no
Sikh movement, on a large scale, was intended, and that the Sikh army
would not cross the Sutlej. On the 13th, the Governor-General first
received precise information that the Sikh army had crossed the Sutlej,
and was forming in great force on the left bank of the river, in order
to attack Ferozepore, which was occupied by a British force of little
more than five thousand men. He immediately issued a proclamation, on
the part of the British government, which set forth, that--

     "In the year 1809 a treaty of amity and concord was concluded
     between the British government and the late Maharajah Runjeet
     Singh, the conditions of which have always been faithfully observed
     by the British government, and were scrupulously fulfilled by the
     late Maharajah.

     "The same friendly relations have been maintained with the
     successors of Maharajah Runjeet Singh by the British government up
     to the present time.

     "Since the death of the late Maharajah Shere Singh, the
     disorganized state of the Lahore government has made it incumbent
     on the Governor-General in council to adopt precautionary measures
     for the protection of the British frontier; the nature of these
     measures, and the cause of their adoption, were at that time fully
     explained to the Lahore Durbar.

     "Notwithstanding the disorganized state of the Lahore government
     during the last two years, and many most unfriendly proceedings on
     the part of the Durbar, the Governor-General in council has
     continued to evince his desire to maintain the relations of amity
     and concord which had so long existed between the two states, for
     the mutual interests and happiness of both. He has shown on every
     occasion the utmost forbearance, from consideration to the helpless
     state of the infant Maharajah Dhuleep Singh, whom the British
     government had recognised as the successor to the late Maharajah
     Shere Singh.

     "The Governor-General in council sincerely desired to see a strong
     Sikh government re-established in the Punjaub, able to control its
     army and to protect its subjects. He had not, up to the present
     moment, abandoned the hope of seeing that important object effected
     by the patriotic efforts of the Sikhs and people of that country.

     "The Sikh army recently marched from Lahore towards the British
     frontier, as it was alleged by the orders of the Durbar, for the
     purpose of invading the British territory.

     "The Governor-General's agent, by direction of the
     Governor-General, demanded an explanation of this movement, and no
     reply being returned within a reasonable time, the demand was
     repeated. The Governor-General, unwilling to believe in the hostile
     intentions of the Sikh government, to which no provocation had been
     given, refrained from taking any measures which might have a
     tendency to embarrass the government of the Maharajah, or to induce
     collision between the two states.

     "When no reply was given to the repeated demand for explanation,
     and while active military preparations were continued at Lahore,
     the Governor-General considered it necessary to order the advance
     of troops towards the frontier to reinforce the frontier posts.

     "The Sikh army has now, without a shadow of provocation, invaded
     the British territories.

     "The Governor-General must, therefore, take measures for
     effectually protecting the British provinces, for vindicating the
     authority of the British government, and for punishing the
     violators of treaties, and the disturbers of public peace.

     "The Governor-General hereby declares the possessions of Maharajah
     Dhuleep Singh on the left or British banks of the Sutlej
     confiscated, and annexed to the British territories."

In the mean time the Umballah division of our troops had been in
movement towards the Sutlej for three days; but as this force, if
intercepted by a large Sikh army, was not considered sufficiently strong
to force its way to the relief of Ferozepore, the Governor-General
directed the whole garrison, amounting to five thousand men and
twenty-one guns, of Loodianah, even at the risk of leaving that town and
its cantonments exposed to capture and plunder, to effect a junction
with the Umballah division. By a rapid march the Loodianah troops formed
the advanced column of the army, and secured the supplies which had been
laid in at Busseean, an important point, where the roads from Umballah
and Kurnaul meet. On the 18th of December the British forces, having
moved up by double marches on alternate days, reached, and, with the
exception of two European and two native regiments, were concentrated at
MOODKEE, twenty miles from Ferozepore. How easy it is for us to
describe, in a single sentence, the results of the irrepressible spirit
and indefatigable exertions of those gallant men! In seven days they had
traversed, over roads of heavy sand, a distance of upwards of one
hundred and fifty miles, while their perpetual toil allowed them
scarcely leisure to cook what scanty food they could procure, and hardly
an hour for sleep. Four-and-twenty hours had elapsed since their parched
lips were moistened by a single drop of water, when these exhausted but
indomitable troops, a little after mid-day, took up their encamping
ground in front of Moodkee. But their toil had not begun. Never, surely,
were the harassing fatigues of so laborious a march alleviated by a more
terrible refreshment. The way-worn warriors had not halted two hours,
and were engaged in cooking their meals, when they were startled by a
sudden order to get under arms, and move to their positions. The Sikh
army was at hand in battle array. Instantly our horse artillery and
cavalry pushed forward, while the infantry, accompanied by the
field-batteries, advanced to their support, and, scarcely two miles off,
confronted the enemy, nearly forty thousand strong, with forty guns,
preparing for action. To resist the attack, and to cover the formation
of the infantry, the cavalry, dashing rapidly to the front in columns of
squadrons, occupied the plain, and were speedily followed by the troops
of horse artillery, who took up their position with the cavalry on their
flanks.

     "The country," writes the Commander-in-Chief, "is a dead flat,
     covered at short intervals with a low, but in some places thick
     jhow jungle, and dotted with sandy hillocks. The enemy screened
     their infantry and cavalry behind this jungle, and such undulations
     as the ground afforded; and, whilst our twelve battalions formed
     from echelon of brigade into line, opened a very severe cannonade
     upon our advancing troops, which was vigorously replied to by the
     battery of horse artillery under Brigadier Brooke, which was soon
     joined by the two light field-batteries. The rapid and
     well-directed fire of our artillery appeared soon to paralyse that
     of the enemy; and as it was necessary to complete our infantry
     dispositions without advancing the artillery too near to the
     jungle, I directed the cavalry under Brigadiers White and Gough to
     make a flank movement on the enemy's left, with a view of
     threatening and turning that flank, if possible. With praiseworthy
     gallantry, the 3d light dragoons, with the 2d brigade of cavalry,
     consisting of the body-guard and 5th light cavalry, with a portion
     of the 4th lancers, turned the left of the Sikh army, and, sweeping
     along the whole rear of its infantry and guns, silenced for a time
     the latter, and put their numerous cavalry to flight. Whilst this
     movement was taking place on the enemy's left, I directed the
     remainder of the 4th lancers, the 9th irregular cavalry under
     Brigadier Mactier, with a light field-battery, to threaten their
     right. This manoeuvre was also successful. Had not the infantry
     and guns of the enemy been screened by the jungle, these brilliant
     charges of the cavalry would have been productive of greater
     effect.

     "When the infantry advanced to the attack, Brigadier Brooke rapidly
     pushed on his horse artillery close to the jungle, and the
     cannonade was resumed on both sides. The infantry, under Major
     Generals Sir Harry Smith, Gilbert, and Sir John M'Caskill, attacked
     in echelon of lines the enemy's infantry, almost invisible amongst
     wood and the approaching darkness of night. The opposition of the
     enemy was such as might have been expected from troops who had
     every thing at stake, and who had long vaunted of being
     irresistible. Their ample and extended line, from their great
     superiority of numbers, far outflanked ours; but this was
     counteracted by the flank movements of our cavalry. The attack of
     the infantry now commenced; and the roll of fire from this powerful
     arm soon convinced the Sikh army that they had met with a foe they
     little expected; and their whole force was driven from position
     after position with great slaughter, and the loss of seventeen
     pieces of artillery, some of them of heavy calibre; our infantry
     using that never-failing weapon the bayonet, whenever the enemy
     stood. Night only saved them from worse disaster; for this stout
     conflict was maintained during an hour and a half of dim starlight,
     amidst a cloud of dust from the sandy plain, which yet more
     obscured every object."

The more awful combats of Ferozeshah and Sobraon must not eclipse the
brightness of Moodkee, which revealed so vividly, even under that "dim
starlight," the elastic vigour of the British spirit.

Hunger, and thirst, and weariness vanished at once, as, with the
alacrity and precision of a peaceful parade, our enthusiastic regiments
moved into their positions, and impetuously advanced to encounter an
enemy who mustered his host in myriads. On they swept like a hurricane.
"The only fault found," are the words of an officer present in the
engagement, "was, that the men were too fresh, and could not be kept
from running at the enemy." Outflanking us by masses of infantry and
swarms of cavalry--tearing us to tatters by the swift destruction from
their immense and beautiful artillery--it fared with the Sikhs, before
the stemless tide of British ardour, as with the Philistines before
Samson--

  "When unsupportably his foot advanced,"
  --"In scorn of their proud arms and warlike tools,"
  "Spurn'd them to death by troops."--

The moral effect upon our soldiers of this battle, we may believe to
have been decisive of the campaign. The prodigious preponderance of the
Sikhs in numerical strength; the weight, and celerity, and accuracy of
their batteries; their stanch and obstinate courage, which often went
down only before the intolerable contact of the bayonet, had been made
undeniably manifest. What had they availed against our imperturbable
intrepidity, under circumstances and at a moment in which we might have
thrown, almost without dishonour, the blame of discomfiture upon
physical infirmities, that overmaster the brave and the strong as
relentlessly as the timid and feeble? What would they avail, when the
chances were fairer for us--the collision more even? When the fight at
Moodkee was done, there was not, of the surviving victors, a Queen's
soldier or a sepoy who had not already settled to his own satisfaction
the whole campaign of the Sutlej, in the pithy but comprehensive
conviction, that he should drub the Sikhs whenever he met them. The
logician smiles at the vulnerable reasoning; the soldier smiles, too,
and feels himself clad in better armour than steel or brass. There had
been a reciprocal amicable emulation every where prevalent throughout
the battle, between the officers and the men, between our Indian and our
European troops. The Governor-General shared all the perils of the
field; Sale and M'Caskill "foremost fighting fell;" while our native
regiments vied with, and were not excelled by, their British comrades in
active daring or unswerving steadiness. One temper, one will, and a
universal mutual confidence, thrilled through, cemented, and fired the
whole mass.

On the day after the battle, the Sikhs having retired upon their
intrenchments at Ferozeshah, orders were sent to direct Sir John
Littler, with the Ferozepore force, to join as soon as possible the main
army. The relief of Ferozepore--threatened, according to the first
reports received by the Governor-General, by the Sikh army _en
masse_--had been his primary object in those rapid marches which brought
him to Moodkee. It now appears that, on the 13th of December, Sir John
Littler had moved out of Ferozepore into camp, and on the 15th took up a
strong position at a village about two miles to the southeast of his
encampment, in order to intercept the anticipated attack on the city.
The Sikh camp was distinctly visible, and supposed to contain 60,000
men, with 120 guns. Three days passed without even a demonstration of
active hostility; and on the night of the 17th, the Sikhs were moving
away to meet the Governor-General. On the evening of the 20th,
therefore, Sir John Littler had no difficulty in instantly obeying the
orders from Moodkee, and in arriving next morning at headquarters in
time to share the peril and the glory of one of the most dreadful
contests in which we were ever engaged in Europe or in Asia. The
inaction of the Sikhs at Ferozepore is, in the present state of our
information, unintelligible; but it would be an idle waste of time and
space to speculate upon the consequences of a peril which did not assail
us, or harrow our minds with the probability of disasters and
difficulties from which we never suffered.

At Moodkee, our army, for most needful repose, and fully to prepare for
a more gigantic effort, rested two days. In this interval the
Governor-General took a step which has not escaped comment, in offering
to the Commander-in-Chief his services as second in command of the army.
He did right. Battalions and brigades could hardly have strengthened the
hands of the general, and invigorated the spirits of the troops, so much
as the active accession of Hardinge. Prim etiquette may pucker its thin
lips, and solemn discretion knit its ponderous brows; but neither
discipline nor prudence ran any risk of being injured or affronted by
the veteran of the Peninsula. What the exigency required, he knew; what
the exigency exacted, he performed. That those who censure would not
have imitated his conduct, in defiance of the admonitions of the
hundred-throated Sikh ordnance, we may allowably imagine. Such critics,
being themselves governors-general, would probably have received beneath
the cool verandas of Calcutta the news of the tempestuous bivouacs of
Ferozeshah. For ourselves, we learn with pride and satisfaction, that
when offensive operations were resumed on the morning of the 21st of
December, the charge and direction of the left wing of the army was
committed to Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Hardinge.

     "Breaking up on that morning from Moodkee, our columns of all arms"
     (so writes the Commander-in-Chief) "debouched four miles on the
     road to Ferozeshah, where it was known that the enemy, posted in
     great force and with a most formidable artillery, had remained
     since the action of the 18th, incessantly employed in intrenching
     his position. Instead of advancing to the direct attack of their
     formidable works, our force manoeuvred to their right; the second
     and fourth divisions of infantry in front, supported by the first
     division and cavalry in second line, continued to defile for some
     time out of cannon-shot between the Sikhs and Ferozepore. The
     desired effect was not long delayed: a cloud of dust was seen on
     our left, and, according to the instructions sent him on the
     preceding evening, Major-General Sir John Littler, with his
     division, availing himself of the offered opportunity, was
     discovered in full march to unite his force with mine. The junction
     was soon effected, and thus was accomplished one of the great
     objects of all our harassing marches and privations, in the relief
     of this division of our army from the blockade of the numerous
     forces by which it was surrounded.

     "Dispositions were now made for a united attack on the enemy's
     intrenched camp. We found it to be a parallelogram, of about a mile
     in length, and half a mile in breadth, including within its area
     the strong village of Ferozeshah; the shorter sides looking towards
     the Sutlej and Moodkee, and the longer towards Ferozepore and the
     open country. We moved against the last-named face, the ground in
     front of which was, like the Sikh position in Moodkee, covered with
     low jungle.

     "A very heavy cannonade was opened by the enemy, who had dispersed
     over their position upwards of one hundred guns, more than forty of
     which were of battering calibre: these kept up a heavy and
     well-directed fire, which the practice of our far less numerous
     artillery, of much lighter metal, checked in some degree, but could
     not silence; finally, in the face of a storm of shot and shell, our
     infantry advanced and carried these formidable intrenchments; they
     threw themselves upon their guns, and with matchless gallantry
     wrested them from the enemy; but when the batteries were partially
     within our grasp, our soldiery had to face such a fire of musketry
     from the Sikh infantry, arrayed behind their guns, that, in spite
     of the most heroic efforts, a portion only of the intrenchment
     could be carried. Night fell while the conflict was every where
     raging.

     "Although I now brought up Major-General Sir Harry Smith's
     division, and he captured and long maintained another point of the
     position, and her Majesty's 3d light dragoons charged and took some
     of the most formidable batteries, yet the enemy remained in
     possession of a considerable portion of the great quadrangle;
     whilst our troops, intermingled with theirs, kept possession of the
     remainder, and firmly bivouacked upon it, exhausted by their
     gallant efforts, greatly reduced in numbers, and suffering
     extremely from thirst, yet animated by an indomitable spirit. In
     this state of things the long night wore away.

     "Near the middle of it, one of their heavy guns was advanced, and
     played with deadly effect upon our troops. Lieutenant-General Sir
     Henry Hardinge immediately formed her Majesty's 80th foot and the
     1st European light infantry. They were led to the attack by their
     commanding-officers, and animated in their exertions by
     Lieutenant-Colonel Wood, (aide-de-camp to the Lieutenant-General,)
     who was wounded in the outset. The 80th captured the gun, and the
     enemy, dismayed by this counter-check, did not venture to press on
     further. During the whole night, however, they continued to harass
     our troops by a fire of artillery, wherever moonlight discovered
     our position."[16]

The ghastly horrors of that awful night we should hopelessly struggle to
describe. The attack began about three o'clock in the afternoon, and was
urged incessantly for six hours in the face of the devastating storm of
the Sikh batteries, which, with one continuous roar of thunder, blurted
forth agony, and mutilation, and death upon their assailants. On the
bare cold earth--the night was bitterly, intensely cold--with no food
and no water--the living and the dying, in their exhaustion and torture,
lay with the dead in their tranquillity. Broadfoot, with a happier fate,
had already yielded up his spirit; Somerset, sensible, but helplessly
benumbed, was lingering through the tedious hours, to die in the
morning, knolled by the shouts of victory. All night long "the havoc did
not cease." In the very noon of darkness, a sleepless rest was invaded
and broken by such extraordinary efforts as those to which the
Governor-General in person excited the 80th and 1st European light
infantry. And it well merits remembrance, what we know from other
sources, that in these midnight charges, the men fell into the ranks so
noiselessly and swiftly, that they were ready to advance before their
officers were aware of their commands being generally understood.

     "But with daylight of the 22d came retribution. Our infantry formed
     line, supported on both flanks by horse artillery, whilst a fire
     was opened from our centre by such of our heavy guns as remained
     effective, aided by a flight of rockets. A masked battery played
     with great effect upon this point, dismounting our pieces, and
     blowing up our tumbrils. At this moment Lieutenant-General Sir
     Henry Hardinge placed himself at the head of the left, whilst I
     rode at the head of the right wing.

     "Our line advanced, and, unchecked by the enemy's fire, drove them
     rapidly out of the village of Ferozeshah and their encampment;
     then, changing front to its left, on its centre, our force
     continued to sweep the camp, bearing down all opposition, and
     dislodged the enemy from their whole position. The line then
     halted, as if on a day of manoeuvre, receiving its two leaders,
     as they rode along its front, with a gratifying cheer, and
     displaying the captured standards of the Khalsa army. We had taken
     upwards of seventy-three pieces of cannon, and were masters of the
     whole field.

     "The force assumed a position on the ground which it had won; but
     even here its labours were not to cease. In the course of two
     hours, Sirdar Tej Singh, who had commanded in the last great
     battle, brought up from the vicinity of Ferozopore fresh battalions
     and a large field of artillery, supported by 30,000 Ghorepurras,
     hitherto encamped near the river. He drove in our cavalry parties,
     and made strenuous efforts to regain the position at Ferozeshah:
     this attempt was defeated; but its failure had scarcely become
     manifest, when the Sirdar renewed the contest with more troops and
     a large artillery. He commenced by a combination against our left
     flank, and when this was frustrated, made such a demonstration
     against the captured village as compelled us to change our whole
     front to the right. His guns during this manoeuvre maintained an
     incessant fire, whilst, our artillery ammunition being completely
     expended in those protracted combats, we were unable to answer him
     with a single shot.

     "I now directed our almost exhausted cavalry to threaten both
     flanks at once, preparing the infantry to advance in support, which
     apparently caused him suddenly to cease his fire, and abandon the
     field.

            *       *       *       *       *

     "The loss of this army has been heavy; how could a hope be formed
     that it should be otherwise? Within thirty hours this force stormed
     an intrenched camp, fought a general action, and sustained two
     considerable combats with the enemy. Within four days it has
     dislodged from their positions, on the left bank of the Sutlej,
     60,000 Sikh soldiers, supported by upwards of 150 pieces of cannon,
     108 of which the enemy acknowledge to have lost, and 91 of which
     are in our possession.

     "In addition to our losses in the battle, the captured camp was
     found to be every where protected by charged mines, by the
     successive springing of which many brave officers and men have been
     destroyed."[17]

Was there ever harder fighting? No--not even a month afterwards at
Sobraon. For two-and-twenty hours, from three o'clock on the afternoon
of the 21st till one o'clock after mid-day of the 22d, the
combat--unremitted, as we have seen, even beneath the shade of
night--endured, and deepened as it endured, having raged with appalling
fury in its very termination. The intrenched Sikh camp was literally a
fortress, occupied by a great army not untutored in European discipline,
and protected by enormous batteries of heavy ordnance, which were served
so rapidly, and pointed so truly, as to elicit the unqualified
admiration of the victims of their efficiency. Against this bristling
rock, while, wave after wave, our sea of battle surged and reverberated,
dark clouds of Sikh cavalry, hovering on all sides, sent forth at
opportune conjunctures their sweeping whirlwinds, which either destroyed
those ranks, whose compact array was broken by eagerness and the nature
of the ground, or more frequently forced our infantry suddenly to form
into squares beneath the iron tempest of a demolishing artillery. With
difficulty and labour our heroic soldiers had but breached, and
surmounted, and gained footing within the fortifications, when the
earth, heaving and opening with the successive explosion of charged
mines, hurled into fragments scores of those who had passed unscathed
through the ordeal of manly warfare with confronting foes. But moat and
mound, cannon and cavern, were at length overleapt, silenced and
exhausted. Still was it "double, double, toil and trouble." With fresh
reinforcements of men, backed as ever by a massive artillery, the enemy
repeatedly attempted to retrieve his loss, and regain his camp. To his
incessant fire, _we could not answer with a single shot_; our ammunition
was gone. Frustrating his manoeuvres, what else remained to do was
done with the hard steel of the bayonet, and hand to hand with the good
sword. And thus were earned the laurels of Ferozeshah.

Over the carnage of such battle-fields, we would glance hastily. At
Moodkee, of the British, fell two hundred and fifteen; at Ferozeshah,
six hundred and ninety-four, gallant men and faithful soldiers. The long
lists, also, of the wounded, which catalogue six hundred and fifty-seven
sufferers at Moodkee, and swell to one thousand seven hundred and
twenty-one at Ferozeshah, painfully attest the severity of the struggle,
and the deadly precision of the foe. But the foe! who has numbered his
dead? None; nor ever will. The pall of a decent oblivion has been
tacitly cast upon the incalculable amount of his loss, which has
exceeded the utmost extent of British loss, as much as his hordes of
living warriors outnumbered by tens of thousands the British force at
the dawn of the eventful day which looked on Moodkee--the Agincourt of
India. "Is it not lawful," asks honest Fluellen, "to tell how many is
killed?" "Yes," is the answer of our Fifth Harry--"Yes, captain; but
with this acknowledgment, that God fought for us."

The route of the Sikhs at Ferozeshah was succeeded by nearly a month
employed, as we are now aware, by both sides in making preparations,
offensive and defensive, for further serious exertions. The Sikh army,
upon its overthrow, retired, not in confusion and haste, but steadily
and easily, towards the Sutlej, which they crossed about the 27th of
December. They recrossed, however, soon after, and worked indefatigably
in rearing those magnificent and powerful fortifications at Sobraon,
with which we are yet destined in the course of our narrative to come
into rude collision. The Governor-General, on the other hand, was busy
in collecting and amassing the munitions of war of every description,
for the purpose of forcing, if opposed, the passage of the Sutlej, and
carrying his victorious standard into the heart of the Punjaub. But
fortune was now about to shower her smiles upon a peculiar favourite.
Pressed for supplies on their own bank, the Sikhs were endeavouring to
draw them from the British side of the Upper Sutlej. In the fort and
town of Dhurrumkote, which were filled with grain, they maintained a
small garrison. Against this place, Major-General Sir Harry Smith was
ordered, on the 18th of January, to move, with one brigade of his
division, and a light field-battery. In the mean time, the
Commander-in-Chief received information that the Sirdar Runjoor Singh,
crossing from Philour at the head of a numerous force of all arms, had
established himself between the old and new sources of the Sutlej, and
threatened the rich and populous city of Loodianah. Sir Harry Smith was
accordingly directed to advance by Jugraon towards Loodianah, with the
brigade which had accompanied him to Dhurrumkote, while his second
brigade, under Brigadier Wheeler, moved on to support him. "Then
commenced," we learn from the Commander-in-Chief, "a series of very
delicate combinations."

     "The Major-General, breaking up from Jugraon, moved towards
     Loodianah; when the Sirdar, relying on the vast superiority of his
     forces; assumed the initiative, and endeavoured to intercept his
     progress, by marching in a line parallel to him, and opening upon
     his troops a furious cannonade. The Major-General continued coolly
     to manoeuvre; and when the Sikh Sirdar, bending round one wing
     of his army, enveloped his flank, he extricated himself, by
     retiring, with the steadiness of a field-day, by echelon of
     battalions, and effected his communication with Loodianah, but not
     without severe loss.

     "Reinforced by Brigadier Godby, he felt himself to be strong; but
     his manoeuvres had thrown him out of communication with Brigadier
     Wheeler, and a portion of his baggage had fallen into the hands of
     the enemy. The Sikh Sirdar took up an intrenched position at
     Budhowal, supporting himself on its fort; but, threatened on either
     flank by General Smith and Brigadier Wheeler, finally decamped, and
     moved down to the Sutlej. The British troops made good their
     junction, and occupied the abandoned position of Budhowal; the
     Shekawattee brigade and her Majesty's 53d regiment, also added to
     the strength of the Major-General, and he prepared to attack the
     Sikh Sirdar on his new ground. But, on the 26th, Runjoor Singh was
     reinforced from the right bank with four thousand regular troops,
     twelve pieces of artillery, and a large force of cavalry.

     "Emboldened by this accession of strength, he ventured on the
     measure of advancing towards Jugraon, apparently with the view of
     intercepting our communications by that route."[18]

The audacity of the Sikhs was doomed to meet a rough check. Wheeler
having joined Sir Harry by long marches on the 26th of January, the
troops required one day's rest. And now we have our hand upon the most
delightful official despatch, and the most admirable picture of a
battle, which has stirred our blood for many a day. Not a sentence of
explanation do the words of Sir Harry Smith need, nor with a syllable of
observation shall we rashly dare to gild his gold. Let us hear Cæsar
dictating his commentary.

     "At daylight on the 28th, my order of advance was, the cavalry in
     front, in contiguous columns of squadrons of regiments; two troops
     of horse artillery in the interval of brigades; the infantry in
     contiguous columns of brigades at intervals of deploying distance;
     artillery in the intervals, followed by two eight-inch howitzers,
     on travelling carriages, brought into the field from the fort of
     Loodianah by the indefatigable exertions of Lieutenant-Colonel
     Lane, horse artillery. Brigadier Godby's brigade, which I had
     marched out from Loodianah the previous evening, on the right, the
     Shekawattee infantry on the left, the 4th irregular cavalry and the
     Shekawattee cavalry considerably to the right, for the purpose of
     sweeping the banks of the wet mullah on my right, and preventing
     any of the enemy's horse attempting an inroad towards Loodianah, or
     any attempt upon the baggage assembled round the fort of Budhowal.

     "In this order the troops moved forward towards the enemy, a
     distance of six miles, the advance conducted by Captain Waugh, 16th
     lancers, the Deputy-assistant Quartermaster of cavalry; Major
     Bradford of the 1st cavalry, and Lieutenant Strachey of the
     engineers--who had been jointly employed in the conduct of patrols
     up to the enemy's position, and for the purpose of reporting upon
     the facility and points of approach. Previously to the march of the
     troops, it had been intimated to me by Major Mackeson, that the
     information by spies led to the belief the enemy would move,
     somewhere at daylight, either on Jugraon, my position of Budhowal,
     or Loodianah. On a near approach to his outposts, this rumour was
     confirmed by a spy, who had just left his camp, saying the Sikh
     army was actually in march towards Jugraon. My advance was steady,
     my troops well in hand; and if he had anticipated me on the Jugraon
     road, I could have fallen upon his centre with advantage.

     "From the tops of the houses of the village of Poorein, I had a
     distant view of the enemy. He was in motion, and appeared directly
     opposite my front on a ridge, of which the village of Aliwal may be
     regarded as the centre. His left appeared still to occupy its
     ground in the circular intrenchment; his right was brought forward
     and occupied the ridge. I immediately deployed the cavalry into
     line, and moved on. As I neared the enemy, the ground became most
     favourable for the troops to manoeuvre, being open and hard grass
     land. I ordered the cavalry to take ground to the right and left by
     brigades, thus displaying the heads of the infantry columns, and
     as they reached the hard ground I directed them to deploy into
     line. Brigadier Godby's brigade was in direct echelon to the rear
     of the right--the Shekawattee infantry in like manner to the rear
     of my left. The cavalry in direct echelon on, and well to the rear
     of both flanks of the infantry. The artillery massed on the right,
     and centre, and left. After deployment, I observed the enemy's left
     to outflank me; I therefore broke into open columns and took ground
     to my right. When I had gained sufficient ground, the troops
     wheeled into line; there was no dust, the sun shone brightly. The
     manoeuvres were performed with the celerity and precision of the
     most correct field-day. The glistening of the bayonets and swords
     of this order of battle was most imposing, and the line advanced.
     Scarcely had it moved forward 150 yards, when at 10 o'clock the
     enemy opened a fierce cannonade from his whole line. At first his
     balls fell short, but quickly reached us. Thus upon him, and
     capable of better ascertaining his position, I was compelled to
     halt the line, though under fire, for a few moments, until I
     ascertained that by bringing up my right and carrying the village
     of Aliwal, I could with great effect precipitate myself upon his
     left and centre. I therefore quickly brought Brigadier Godby's
     brigade, and with it and the 1st brigade under Brigadier Hicks,
     made a rapid and noble charge, carried the village, and two guns of
     large calibre. The line I ordered to advance--her Majesty's 31st
     foot and the native regiments contending for the front, and the
     battle became general. The enemy had a numerous body of cavalry on
     the heights to his left, and I ordered Brigadier Cureton to bring
     up the right brigade of cavalry; who, in the most gallant manner,
     dashed in among them, and drove them back upon their infantry.
     Meanwhile a second gallant charge to my right was made by the light
     cavalry and the body-guard. The Shekawattee brigade was moved well
     to the right, in support of Brigadier Cureton. When I observed the
     enemy's encampment, and saw it was full of infantry, I immediately
     brought upon it Brigadier Godby's brigade, by changing front, and
     taking the enemy's infantry _en reverse_. They drove them before
     them, and took some guns without a check.

     "While these operations were going on upon the right, and the
     enemy's flank was thus driven back, I occasionally observed the
     brigade under Brigadier Wheeler, an officer in whom I have the
     greatest confidence, charging and carrying guns and every thing
     before it, again connecting his line and moving on in a manner
     which ably displayed the coolness of the brigadier, and the
     gallantry of his irresistible brigade--her Majesty's 50th foot, the
     48th native infantry, and the Sirmoor battalion, although the loss
     was, I regret to say, severe in the 50th. Upon the left, Brigadier
     Wilson, with her Majesty's 53d and 30th native infantry, equalled
     in celerity and regularity their comrades on the right, and this
     brigade was opposed to the 'Aieen' troops, called Avitabile's, when
     the fight was fiercely raging.

     "The enemy, well driven back on his left and centre, endeavoured to
     hold his right to cover the passage of the river and he strongly
     occupied the village of Bhoondee. I directed a squadron of the 16th
     lancers, under Major Smith and Captain Pearson, to charge a body to
     the right of the village; which they did in the most gallant and
     determined style, bearing every thing before them, as a squadron
     under Captain Bere had previously done, going through a square of
     infantry, wheeling about and re-entering the square in the most
     intrepid manner with the deadly lance. This charge was accompanied
     by the 3d light cavalry, under Major Angelo, and as gallantly
     sustained. The largest gun upon the field, and seven others, were
     then captured; while the 53d regiment carried the village by the
     bayonet, and the 30th N.I. wheeled round to the rear in a most
     spirited manner. Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander's and Captain
     Turton's troops of horse artillery, under Major Lawrenson, dashed
     almost among the flying infantry, committing great havoc, until
     about eight hundred or one thousand men rallied under the high bank
     of a nullah, and opened a heavy but ineffectual fire from below the
     bank. I immediately directed the 30th native infantry to charge
     them, which they were able to do upon their left flank, while in a
     line in rear of the village. This native corps nobly obeyed my
     orders, and rushed among the Avitabile troops, driving them from
     under the bank, and exposing them once more to the deadly fire of
     twelve guns within 300 yards. The destruction was very great, as
     may be supposed from guns served as these were. Her Majesty's 53d
     regiment moved forward in support of the 30th N.I., by the right of
     the village. The battle was won--our troops advancing with the most
     perfect order to the common focus, the passage of the river. The
     enemy, completely hemmed in, were flying from our fire, and
     precipitating themselves in disordered masses into the ford and
     boats, in the utmost confusion and consternation. Our eight-inch
     howitzers soon began to play upon their boats, when the 'debris' of
     the Sikh army appeared upon the opposite and high bank of the
     river, flying in every direction, although a sort of line was
     attempted to countenance their retreat, until all our guns
     commenced a furious cannonade, when they quickly receded. Nine guns
     were on the verge of the river by the ford. It appears as if they
     had been unlimbered to cover the ford. These, being loaded, were
     fired once upon our advance. To others were sticking in the river;
     one of them, we got out. Two were seen to sink in the quicksands;
     two were dragged to the opposite bank and abandoned. These, and the
     one in the middle of the river, were gallantly spiked by Lieutenant
     Holmes, of the 11th irregular cavalry, and Gunner Scott, of the 1st
     troop 2nd brigade horse artillery, who rode into the stream, and
     crossed for the purpose, covered by our guns and light infantry.

     "Thus ended the battle of Aliwal, one of the most glorious
     victories ever achieved in India. By the united efforts of her
     Majesty's and the Hon. Company's troops, every gun the enemy had
     fell into our hands, as I infer from his never opening one upon us
     from the opposite bank of the river, which is high and favourable
     for the purpose; 52 guns are now in the ordnance park, two sank in
     the bed of the Sutlej, and two were spiked on the opposite
     bank--making a total of 56 pieces of cannon captured or
     destroyed.[19] Many jingalls, which were attached to Avitabile's
     corps, and which aided in the defence of the village of Bhoondee,
     have also been taken. The whole army of the enemy has been driven
     headlong over the difficult ford of a broad river; his camp,
     baggage, stores of ammunition, and of grain--his all, in
     fact--wrested from him by the repeated charges of cavalry and
     infantry, aided by the guns of Alexander, Turton, Lane, Mill,
     Boileau, and of the Shekawattee brigade, and by the eight-inch
     howitzers--our guns literally being constantly ahead of every
     thing. The determined bravery of all was as conspicuous as noble. I
     am unwont to praise when praise is not merited, and I here most
     avowedly express my firm opinion and conviction, that no troops in
     any battle on record ever behaved more nobly. British and native
     (no distinction) cavalry all vying with her Majesty's 16th lancers,
     and striving to head in the repeated charges. Our guns and gunners,
     officers and men, may be equalled, but cannot be excelled, by any
     artillery in the world. Throughout the day no hesitation--a bold
     and intrepid advance; and thus it is that our loss is comparatively
     small, though I deeply regret to say severe. The enemy fought with
     much resolution; they maintained frequent rencounters with our
     cavalry hand to hand. In one charge of infantry upon her Majesty's
     16th lancers, they threw away their muskets, and came on with their
     swords and targets against the lance."[20]

"There was no dust, the sun shone brightly." Unquestionably, not a
particle of dust, and all bright sunshine, from the first paragraph to
the last of this unrivalled production. It is a diorama and a panorama
of the battle. Truly, oh reader!

  "Duller shouldst thou be than the fat weed
  That rots itself in ease on Lethe wharf,--
  Would'st thou not stir in this!"

In the luminous rays of such a description, we are made eye-witnesses of
the stirring dashing scene in all its circumstantial variety and general
grandeur. What a sight it is, that steady advance with his "troops well
in hand!" But for a peculiar flashing of the eyes, and sternness in the
features, of the men, we should have fancied them in the Home Park at
Windsor, encircled, not by ferocious Sikhs in the horrid harness of war,
but by the graceful array of gentler--though, in sooth, more
irresistible--foes. Sir Harry Smith has disappeared--very likely hidden
himself behind a baggage waggon or a huge drum. Sapient speculator!
behold him yonder on the house-top, darting his eagle vision down into
the centre of the distant enemy, and unmasking and anticipating their
movements with unerring foresight. Many serious things his vigilance
must watch; but, without distracting his attention, the "glistening of
the bayonets and swords of his order of battle," fills his heart with
boyish glee. The fierce cannonade from the whole hostile line has begun,
and, although the balls fall short at first, quickly reaches us. Under
this murderous shower, he _halts his line_ for a minute's pregnant
reflection, as an elderly gentleman, playing golf on a rainy day, takes
his spectacles from his nose, and wipes the water-drops away, before
venturing the decisive stroke of the game. Nothing escapes him; every
thing is done in the nick of time. Infantry, cavalry, and artillery,
charge to the right or the left, or straight before them, dash through
the enemy's front, or scour the flanks, or sweep the rear, perambulate
squares, and perforate encampments, just as if the serried ranks of the
Sikhs had been unsubstantial creatures of the imagination, or
mist-wreaths from the "wet nullah," which a lively fancy had invested
with human form and warlike panoply. But one hundred and fifty-one
gallant men killed, and four hundred and thirteen wounded, sufficiently
proved that "one of the most glorious victories ever achieved in India,"
had not been won in a combat with phantoms.

The current of the Sutlej hurried melancholy and portentous tidings from
Aliwal to the Sikhs at Sobraon. The bodies of their slaughtered
countrymen rolling down in hundreds, announced, in terms too dismally
unequivocal, another tremendous blow of British might. In the breasts of
such a people--ay, or of any people--these ominous visitations could
hardly be the harbingers of hope, to cheer them in the final
death-struggle, which they knew to be hourly approaching. The
fortifications at Sobraon had been repeatedly reconnoitred by the
Commander-in-Chief, who satisfied himself that not fewer than thirty
thousand men, the best of the Khalsa troops, were covered by these
formidable intrenchments, guarded by seventy pieces of cannon, and
united by a good bridge to a reserve on the opposite bank, where the
enemy had a considerable camp and some artillery, commanding and
flanking his fieldworks on the British bank. On the 8th of February, Sir
Harry Smith's triumphant division having rejoined headquarters, it was
resolved to attack, on the morning of the 10th, the Sikh intrenchments.

     "The battering and disposed field artillery was then put in
     position in an extended semicircle, embracing within its fire the
     works of the Sikhs. It had been intended that the cannonade should
     have commenced at daybreak; but so heavy a mist hung over the plain
     and river, that it became necessary to wait until the rays of the
     sun had penetrated it and cleared the atmosphere. Meanwhile, on the
     margin of the Sutlej on our left, two brigades of Major-General Sir
     R. Dick's division, under his personal command, stood ready to
     commence the assault against the enemy's extreme right. His 7th
     brigade, in which was the 10th foot, reinforced by the 53d foot,
     and led by Brigadier Stacey, was to head the attack, supported, at
     two hundred yards' distance, by the 6th brigade, under Brigadier
     Wilkinson. In reserve was the 5th brigade, under Brigadier the Hon.
     T. Ashburnham, which was to move forward from the intrenched
     village of Kodeewalla, leaving, if necessary, a regiment for its
     defence. In the centre, Major-General Gilbert's division was
     deployed for support or attack, its right resting on and in the
     village of the little Sobraon. Major-General Sir Harry Smith's was
     formed near the village of Guttah, with its right thrown up towards
     the Sutlej. Brigadier Cureton's cavalry threatened, by feigned
     attacks, the ford at Hurreekee and the enemy's horse, under Lall
     Singh Misr, on the opposite bank. Brigadier Campbell, taking an
     intermediate position in the rear, between Major-General Gilbert's
     right and Major-General Sir Harry Smith's left, protected both.
     Major-General Sir Joseph Thackwell, under whom was Brigadier Scott,
     held in reserve on our left, ready to act as circumstances might
     demand, the rest of the cavalry.

     "Our battery of nine-pounders, enlarged into twelves, opened near
     the little Sobraon with a brigade of howitzers formed from the
     light field-batteries and troops of horse artillery, shortly after
     daybreak. But it was half-past six before the whole of our
     artillery fire was developed. It was most spirited and
     well-directed. I cannot speak in terms too high of the judicious
     disposition of the guns, their admirable practice, or the activity
     with which the cannonade was sustained; but notwithstanding the
     formidable calibre of our iron guns, mortars, and howitzers, and
     the admirable way in which they were served, and aided by a rocket
     battery, it would have been visionary to expect that they could,
     within any limited time, silence the fire of seventy pieces behind
     well-constructed batteries of earth, plank, and fascines, or
     dislodge troops covered either by redoubts or epaulements, or
     within a treble line of trenches. The effect of the cannonade was,
     as has since been proved by an inspection of the camp, most
     severely felt by the enemy; but it soon became evident that the
     issue of this struggle must be brought to the arbitrament of
     musketry and the bayonet.

     "At nine o'clock Brigadier Stacey's brigade, supported on either
     flank by Captains Horsford's and Fordyce's batteries, and
     Lieutenant-Colonel Lane's troop of horse artillery, moved to the
     attack in admirable order. The infantry and guns aided each other
     correlatively. The former marched steadily on in line, which they
     halted only to correct when necessary. The latter took up
     successive positions at the gallop, until at length they were
     within three hundred yards of the heavy batteries of the Sikhs;
     but, notwithstanding the regularity, and coolness, and scientific
     character of this assault, which Brigadier Wilkinson well
     supported, so hot was the fire of cannon, musketry, and zumboorucks
     kept up by the Khalsa troops, that it seemed for some moments
     impossible that the intrenchments could be won under it; but soon
     persevering gallantry triumphed, and the whole army had the
     satisfaction to see the gallant Brigadier Stacey's soldiers driving
     the Sikhs in confusion before them within the area of their
     encampment. The 10th foot, under Lieutenant-Colonel Franks, now for
     the first time brought into serious contact with the enemy, greatly
     distinguished themselves. This regiment never fired a shot till it
     got within the works of the enemy. The onset of her Majesty's 53d
     foot was as gallant and effective. The 43d and 59th N.I., brigaded
     with them, emulated both in cool determination.

     "At the moment of this first success, I directed Brigadier the Hon.
     T. Ashburnham's brigade to move on in support, and Major-General
     Gilbert's and Sir Harry Smith's divisions to throw out their light
     troops to threaten their works, aided by artillery. As these
     attacks of the centre and right commenced, the fire of our heavy
     guns had first to be directed to the right, and then gradually to
     cease, but at one time the thunder of full 120 pieces of ordnance
     reverberated in this mighty combat through the valley of the
     Sutlej; and as it was soon seen that the weight of the whole force
     within the Sikh camp was likely to be thrown upon the two brigades
     that had passed its trenches, it became necessary to convert into
     close and serious attacks the demonstrations with skirmishers and
     artillery of the centre and right; and the battle raged with
     inconceivable fury from right to left. The Sikhs, even when at
     particular points their intrenchments were mastered with the
     bayonet, strove to regain them by the fiercest conflict, sword in
     hand. Nor was it until the cavalry of the left, under Major-General
     Sir Joseph Thackwell, had moved forward, and ridden through the
     openings of the intrenchments made by our sappers, in single file,
     and re-formed as they passed them, and the 3d dragoons, whom no
     obstacle usually held formidable by horse appears to check, had on
     this day, as at Ferozeshah, galloped over and cut down the
     obstinate defenders of batteries and fieldworks, and until the full
     weight of three divisions of infantry, with every field artillery
     gun which could be sent to their aid, had been cast into the scale,
     that victory finally declared for the British. The fire of the
     Sikhs first slackened and then nearly ceased; and the victors then
     pressing them on every side, precipitated them in masses over the
     bridge, and into the Sutlej, which a sudden rise of seven inches
     had rendered hardly fordable. In their efforts to reach the right
     bank, through the deepened water, they suffered from our horse
     artillery a terrible carnage. Hundreds fell under this cannonade;
     hundreds upon hundreds were drowned in attempting the perilous
     passage. Their awful slaughter, confusion, and dismay, were such as
     would have excited compassion in the hearts of their generous
     conquerors, if the Khalsa troops had not, in the early part of the
     action, sullied their gallantry by slaughtering and barbarously
     mangling every wounded soldier whom, in the vicissitudes of attack,
     the fortune of war left at their mercy. I must pause in this
     narrative especially to notice the determined hardihood and bravery
     with which our two battalions of Goorkhas, the Sirmoor and
     Nusseree, met the Sikhs wherever they were opposed to them.
     Soldiers of small stature, but indomitable spirit, they vied in
     ardent courage in the charge with the grenadiers of our own nation,
     and, armed with the short weapon of their mountains, gave a terror
     to the Sikhs throughout this great combat.

     "Sixty-seven pieces of cannon, upwards of two hundred camel
     swivels, (zumboorucks,) numerous standards, and vast munitions of
     war, captured by our troops, are the pledges and trophies of our
     victory. The battle was over by eleven in the morning, and in the
     forenoon I caused our engineers to burn a part and to sink a part
     of the vaunted bridge of the Khalsa army, across which they had
     boastfully come once more to defy us, and to threaten India with
     ruin and devastation."[21]

This stupendous battle--the climax and the close of a campaign
unparalleled in many of its circumstances in modern history--was in
itself an epitome of every thing most dreadful and most imposing, most
destructive and most heroic, which had distinguished its predecessors.
Here fell gloriously, at the moment of victory, DICK, the veteran of the
Peninsula and Waterloo, "displaying the same energy and intrepidity as
when, thirty-five years ago, in Spain, he was the distinguished leader
of the 42d Highlanders." No better man--no better soldier--sleeps the
sleep of the brave. The lists of our loss show 320 dead, while 2063
wounded bear additional testimony to the desperation and havoc of this
sanguinary action. Ancient times involuntarily rush back upon us,
recalling the youthful Conqueror of Macedon, who, radiant with the
triple glories of the Granicus, of Issus, and of Arbela, vanquished
Porus at the Hydaspes, and paused in his career, with a sigh, not far
from the banks of the Sutlej. He was wont, and justly, to attribute his
Asiatic triumphs to his faithful Macedonians. Does not Britain attribute
her Asiatic triumphs to her faithful sons? Yes; with the important
explanation, that Europeans and Indians are alike British. Between them
no demarcation was made, or seen, or felt, in the majestic spectacle of
the campaign of the Sutlej. Their toil and their perils were in
common--so shall be their honours and their fame: and while all men
agree that every excellence which can illuminate and dignify the
character of a British soldier, was displayed in stainless brightness by
our European regiments on these colossal battle-fields, all men will
also agree that the exact and cloudless counterpart of such merit shone
in the indefatigable hardihood, the indomitable valour, the immoveable,
incorruptible fidelity of our native Indian troops.

The banners of our country have crossed the Sutlej, and advanced to
Lahore. But our present task is done. The policy which has now to
regulate the internal condition of a great country, will be better
discussed hereafter. We have simply narrated the course of a terrible
necessity, which, against the desires of this country, has made the
ravages of war a bloody but unavoidable prelude to the beneficent
functions of peace. The conflict was not of our seeking. Be the
consequences what they may, the Sikhs will have themselves to blame,
should it so happen, for the illustration of the maxim, that "when
lenity and cruelty play for a kingdom, the gentler gamester is the
soonest winner."

FOOTNOTES:

[13] Governor-General to the Secret Committee, 2d December 1845.

[14] Governor-General to the Secret Committee, 2d December 1845.

[15] Governor-General to the Secret Committee, 4th December 1845.

[16] Commander-in-Chief to the Governor-General, December 22, 1845.

[17] Commander-in-Chief to Governor-General, 22d December 1845.

[18] Commander-in-Chief to Governor-General, 1st February 1846.

[19] Eleven guns since ascertained to be sunk in the river--total 67; 30
odd jingalls fell into our hands.

[20] Sir Harry Smith to the Adjutant-General, 30th January 1846.

[21] Commander-in-Chief to Governor-General, 13th February 1846.

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





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