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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 60, No. 369, July 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 60, No. 369, July 1846" ***

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



                BLACKWOOD'S

                 Edinburgh

                 MAGAZINE.


                 VOL. LX.

            JULY-DECEMBER, 1846.


              [Illustration]


    WILLIAM BLACKWOOD & SONS, EDINBURGH
                    AND
       37, PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON.


                   1846


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


BLACKWOOD'S EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.


No. CCCLXIX. JULY, 1846. VOL. LX


CONTENTS.


    PERU,                                               1

    LETTERS ON ENGLISH HEXAMETERS. LETTER I.,          19

    MARLBOROUGH'S DISPATCHES. 1708-1709,               22

    THE AMERICANS AND THE ABORIGINES. PART THE LAST,   45

    THE DEATH OF ZUMALACARREGUI,                       56

    NEW SCOTTISH PLAYS AND POEMS,                      62

    ELINOR TRAVIS. CHAPTER THE SECOND,                 83

    MORE ROGUES IN OUTLINE,                           101

    THE LAST RECOLLECTIONS OF NAPOLEON,               110


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.



PERU.[1]


A clever book of travels, over ground comparatively untrodden, is in
these days a welcome rarity. No dearth is there of vapid narratives by
deluded persons, who, having leisure to travel, think they must also
have wit to write: with these we have long been surfeited, and
heartily grateful do we feel to the man who strikes out a new track,
follows it observantly, and gives to the world, in pleasant and
instructive form, the result of his observations. Such a traveller we
have had the good fortune to meet with, and now present to our
readers.

We take it that no portion of the globe's surface, of equal extent,
and comprising an equal number of civilized, or at least
semi-civilized, states, is less known to the mass of Europeans than
the continent of South America. Too distant and dangerous for the
silken tourist, to whom steam-boats and dressing-cases are
indispensable, it does not possess, in a political point of view, that
kind of importance which might induce governments to stimulate its
exploration. As a nest of mushroom republics, continually fighting
with each other and revolutionizing themselves--a land where
throat-cutting is a popular pastime, and earthquakes, fevers more or
less yellow, and vermin rather more than less venomous, are amongst
the indigenous comforts of the soil--it is notorious, and has been
pretty generally avoided. Braving these dangers and disagreeables, a
German of high reputation as a naturalist and man of letters, has
devoted four years of a life valuable to science to a residence and
travels in the most interesting district of South America; the ancient
empire of the Incas, the scene of the conquests and cruelties of
Francisco Pizarro.

"The scientific results of my travels," says Dr Tschudi in his brief
preface, "are recorded partly in my _Investigation of the Fauna
Peruana_[2] and partly in appropriate periodicals: the following
volumes are an attempt to satisfy the claim which an enlightened
public may justly make on the man who visits a country in reality but
little known."

We congratulate the doctor on the good success of his attempt. The
public, whether of Germany or of any other country into whose language
his book may be translated, will be difficult indeed if they desire a
better account of Peru than he has given them.

Bound for the port of Callao, the ship Edmond, in which Dr Tschudi
sailed from Havre-de-Grace, was driven by storms to the coast of
Chili, and first cast anchor in the bay of San Carlos, on the island
of Chiloe. Although by no means devoid of interest, we shall pass over
his account of that island, which is thinly peopled, of small
fertility, and cursed with an execrable climate; and accompany him to
Valparaiso, his next halting place. There he found much bustle and
movement. Chili was at war with the confederation of Peru and Bolivia,
and an expedition was fitting out in all haste. Sundry decrees of the
Peruvian Protector, Santa Cruz, had excited the ire of the Chilians,
especially one diminishing the harbour dues on vessels arriving direct
from Europe and discharging their cargoes in a Peruvian port. This had
damaged the commerce of Chili; and already one army under General
Blanco had been landed on the Peruvian coast to revenge the injury. It
had signally failed in its object. Outmanœuvred and surrounded, it was
taken prisoner to a man. On this occasion the behaviour of Santa Cruz
was generous almost to quixotism. He sent back the soldiers to their
country, and actually paid for the cavalry horses, which he kept. The
Chilian government showed little gratitude for this chivalrous
conduct. The treaty of peace concluded by Blanco was not ratified; but
a second armament, far more powerful than the first, was got ready and
shipped from Valparaiso during Dr Tschudi's stay in that port. His
account of the Chilian army and navy is not very favourable. His ship
had hardly anchored when several officers of the land forces came on
board, and inquired if there were any swords to be sold, as they and
their comrades were for the most part totally unprovided with such
weapons. Swords formed no part of the cargo of the Edmond, but one of
the ship's company, acquainted, perhaps, from previous experience,
with the wants of these South American warriors, had brought out an
assortment as a private spec., and amongst them was a sort of
falchion, about five feet long, which had belonged to a cuirassier of
Napoleon's guard. The officer who bought this weapon was a puny
half-cast lad, who could hardly lift it with both hands, but who
nevertheless opined that, in case of a charge, it would play the devil
amongst the Peruvians. "Ten months later," says Dr Tschudi, "I met
this hero on the march, amongst the mountains of Peru. He had girded
on a little dirk, scarce larger than a toothpick, and behind him came
a strapping negro, laden with the falchion. I could not help inquiring
whether the latter arm had done much mischief in the then recent
battle of Yungay, and he was honest enough to confess that he had not
used it, finding it rather too heavy." The Chilian fleet, twenty-seven
transports and nine men-of-war, was, with one or two exceptions, in
bad condition; short of guns and hands, and manned in great part by
sailors who had run from English, French, or North American ships. The
officers were nearly all English. The shipment of the horses was
conducted in the most clumsy manner: many were strangled in hoisting
them up, others fell out of the slings and were drowned, and those
that were embarked were so badly cared for, that each morning previous
to the sailing of the fleet, their carcasses were thrown overboard by
dozens. The Chilian troops had no stomach for the campaign, and, in
great part, had to be embarked by force. "I stood on the landing
place," writes the doctor, "when the Santiago battalion went on board.
Ill uniformed, and bound two and two with cords, the soldiers were
actually driven into the boats." With such an army, what besides
defeat and disaster could be expected? But treachery and discord were
at work in Peru, and success awaited the reluctant invaders.

With unpardonable imprudence the captain of the Edmond had manifested
an intention of selling his ship to the Peruvians to be converted into
a man-of-war. A Yankee captain was suspected of a similar design; and
the consequence was an embargo laid upon all ships in the port of
Valparaiso, until such time as the Chilian army might be supposed to
have reached its destination and struck the first blow. A delay of
five-and-forty days was the consequence, particularly wearisome to Dr
Tschudi, as he was unable to absent himself for more than twenty-four
hours from the town, lest the embargo should be suddenly raised and
the ship sail without him. He found few resources in Valparaiso, whose
population, especially the numerous foreigners, have their time fully
occupied by commercial pursuits. The town itself, closely built and
dirty, is divided by _quebradas_ or ravines into three parts,
extending along the side of a hill, and designated by the sailors as
foretop, maintop, and mizentop. These quebradas, close to whose edge
run the badly lighted streets, are particularly dangerous in the
winter nights; and many a sailor, on shore for a "spree," finds his
grave in them. The police is good, better probably than any other
South American town; and although assassinations occasionally occur,
the perpetrators rarely escape. One curious institution is the
travelling house of correction, which consists of waggons, not unlike
those in which menagerie keepers convey their beasts. Each of these
contains sleeping accommodation for eight or ten criminals. Behind
stands a sentry, and in front of some of them is a sort of kitchen.
The prisoners draw the waggons themselves; and as they for the most
part work upon the roads, often at some distance from the city, there
is an evident gain thus in their conveying their dwelling with them.
The plan answers well in a country where there is, properly speaking,
no winter.

A common article of sale on the Valparaiso market is live condors,
which are taken in traps. A fine specimen is worth a dollar and a
half. In one court-yard, Dr Tschudi saw eight of them, fettered after
a peculiar fashion. A long narrow strip of untanned leather was run
through their nostrils, tied tight, and the other end fastened to a
post fixed in the ground. This allowed the birds liberty to move about
in a tolerably large circle, but as soon as they attempted to fly,
they were brought down by the head. Their voracity is prodigious. One
of them ate eighteen pounds of meat in the course of a day, without at
all impairing his appetite for the next morning's breakfast. Dr
Tschudi measured one, and found it fourteen English feet from tip to
tip of the wings.

Most joyfully did our traveller hail the arrival of the long-looked
for permission to sail. With a favouring breeze from the east, the
Edmond soon made the islands of Juan Fernandez, and Dr Tschudi was
indulging in pleasant recollections of Alexander Selkirk, Defoe, and
Robinson Crusoe, when the cry "a man overboard" startled him from his
reverie. Over went the hen-coops and empty casks; the ship was brought
to, and a boat lowered. It was high time, for a shark had approached
the swimmer, who defended himself with remarkable courage and presence
of mind, striking out with his fists at his voracious pursuer. So
unequal a combat could not last long, and the lookers-on thought him
lost, for the shark had already seized his leg, when the boat came up;
a rain of blows from oars and boat-hooks forced the monster to let go
his hold, and the sailor was snatched, it might truly be said, from
the jaws of death. His wounds, though deep, were not dangerous, and in
a few weeks he was convalescent. Without other incident worthy of
note, Dr Tschudi arrived in the bay of Callao. There the first news he
heard was that the Chilians had effected a landing, taken Lima by
storm, and were then besieging Callao. This magnificent fort, the last
place in South America that had held out for the Spaniards, and which
General Rodil defended for nearly eighteen months against the
patriots, had since been in great measure dismantled, and
three-fourths of the guns sold. Those that remained were now
wretchedly served by the Peruvians, whilst the fire of the besiegers,
on the other hand, did considerable damage. The siege, however, was
pushed nothing like so vigorously as it had been by the patriots. Both
the land and sea forces were too small. To the latter the Peruvians
had unfortunately no fleet to oppose. Several men-of-war had been
treacherously taken from them by the Chilians in time of peace, and
the only two remaining were sunk upon the approach of the enemy.

"One Sunday afternoon," says Dr Tschudi, "the Chilian brig-of-war,
Colocolo, sailed close in under the walls of the fort, and threw in a
few balls. The batteries immediately returned the fire with every gun
they could bring to bear; but all their shots went too high, and fell
amongst the merchantmen and other neutral vessels. Meanwhile the
Colocolo sailed to and fro in derision of the batteries. At last the
French commodore, seeing the danger of the merchant ships, sent a boat
to the fort, menacing them with a broadside if they did not instantly
cease firing. This the garrison were compelled to do, and to submit
patiently to the insults of the Chilians. Another instance of the
great prejudice which the vicinity of neutral shipping may be to
besieged or besiegers, was witnessed on the night of the 5th November
1820, in the bay of Callao, when Lord Cochrane and Captain Guise, with
a hundred and fifty men, boarded the Spanish forty-four gun corvette
Esmeralda. Between the Esmeralda and the fort lay a North American
frigate, the Macedonia, which completely hindered the castle from
covering the corvette with its guns. So enraged were the garrison at
this, that the next morning an officer of the Macedonia was murdered
with his whole boat's crew, the very instant they set foot on shore."

We shall not accompany Dr Tschudi through his "fragment of the modern
history of Peru;" for although lucid and interesting, it might become
less so in the compressed form which we should necessarily have to
adopt. We find at one time six self-styled presidents of Peru--each
with his share of partizans, more or less numerous, and with a force
at his command varying from one to five thousand men--oppressing the
people, levying contributions, shooting and banishing the adherents of
his five rivals. Let us examine the probable causes of such a state of
things, of the revolutions and rebellions which have now lasted for
twenty years--since the birth of the republic, in fact--and which must
finally, if a check be not put to them, bring about the depopulation
and total ruin of Peru. These causes Dr Tschudi finds in the want of
honour and common honesty exhibited by the majority of the Peruvian
officers. With the army all the revolutions have begun. As soon as an
officer reaches the rank of colonel, and if he can only reckon upon
the adherence of some fifteen hundred or two thousand soldiers, he
begins to think of deposing the president and ruling in his stead. In
so doing, he is actuated by avarice rather than by ambition. During
their short-lived power these dictators levy enormous contributions,
of which they pocket the greater part, and let the soldiers want.
After a while they abandon the helm of government, either voluntarily
or by compulsion, and take with them their ill-gotten wealth. When the
chiefs set such examples, it cannot be wondered at if, amongst their
inferiors, insubordination and mutiny are the order of the day. These,
however, are most prevalent amongst the subaltern officers, scarcely
ever originating with the soldiers, although their treatment, we are
informed, is inhumanly cruel, and their privations and sufferings of
the severest. There appears to be a great similarity in character
between the Peruvian infantry and the Spanish troops of the present
day; although the former are not of Spanish descent, but consist
chiefly of Indians from the interior and mountainous districts of
Peru. Dr Tschudi describes them as obedient, willing, and courageous;
unparalleled in their endurance of hunger and fatigue, capable of
sustaining for several days together marches of fourteen or sixteen
leagues. The officers, however, must be good, or the men are useless
in the field. If not well led, they throw away their arms and run, and
there is no possibility of rallying them. Moreover, no retrograde
movement must be made, although it be merely as a manœuvre--the
Indians looking upon it as a signal for flight. The cavalry, for the
most part well mounted, is worthless. It consists of negroes--a race
rarely remarkable for courage. As cruel as they are cowardly, a
defeated foe meets with barbarous treatment at their hands.

With every Peruvian army march nearly as many women as it comprises
men. Unpalatable as such a following would be to European commanders,
it is encouraged and deemed indispensable by Peruvian generals. The
Indian women, as enduring and hardy as their husbands, set out two or
three hours before the troops, and precede them by about the same
time at the halting place. They immediately collect wood for fires,
and prepare the rations, which they carry with them, for their
husbands, sons, and brothers. Without them, in the more desolate and
mountainous districts, the soldiers would sometimes risk starvation.
They are no impediment to the rapid march of a column, which they, on
the contrary, accelerate, by saving the men trouble, and affording
them more time for repose. During a battle they remain in the vicinity
of the troops, but far enough off not to impede their movements; the
fight over, they seek out the wounded and take care of them. The lot
of these poor women, who go by the name of _rabonas_, is any thing but
an enviable one; for besides their many privations and hardships, they
meet with much ill usage at the hands of the soldiery, to which,
however, they submit with incredible patience.

The manner in which most of the officers treat the soldiers is
perfectly inhuman, and the slightest offences meet with terrible
chastisement. Every officer has a right, at least in war time, to
inflict, without a court-martial, any punishment he pleases. Some of
the chiefs are celebrated for the refinement of their cruelties; and
many soldiers prefer death to serving under them. During General
Gamarra's campaign against the Bolivians in 1842, several score of
soldiers sprang one day from the bridge of Oroya, to seek death in the
torrent that flows beneath it. With the scornful cry of "_Adios,
capitan!_" they took the fatal leap, and the next instant lay mangled
and expiring upon the rocks through which the stream forces its way.
"I myself have witnessed," continues Dr Tschudi, "how soldiers who on
the march were unable to keep up with the column, were shot dead upon
the spot. On the road from Tarma to Jauja, a distance of nine leagues,
I passed seven Indians who had thus lost their lives. It is true that
the commandant of that battalion, an officer whose sword was as yet
unstained with any blood save that of his own men, was accustomed to
call out when he saw a soldier straggling from fatigue--'_pegale un
tiro!_' Shoot him down! And the order was forthwith obeyed." When the
troops reach the halting-place, and the _rabonas_ learn the fate of
their sons or husbands, they mournfully retrace their weary footsteps,
and amidst tears and lamentations dig a last resting place for these
victims of military tyranny.

The sick are scarcely better treated. When they can no longer drag
themselves along, they are placed upon mules, and, through the
severest cold or most burning heat, are driven after the army. When
they die, which is most frequently the case, they are dropped at the
next village, to be buried by the alcalde.

"The major of a squadron of light cavalry," says our traveller, "once
asked me, during my stay at Tarma in the year 1842, to take charge for
a few days of his sick men. Of one hundred and twenty soldiers
composing the squadron, sixty-eight lay huddled together in a damp
dark hole, ill of the scarlet fever. Fourteen more were suffering from
the effects of punishment. What a horrible sight they presented! Their
backs were nearly bare of flesh and covered with the most frightful
wounds. A mutiny had taken place, and the major had shot six men, and
caused eighteen others to receive from one hundred to three hundred
lashes, with broad thongs of tapir hide--a punishment so severe, that
some of them died under its infliction. The survivors were compelled
immediately to mount their horses and follow the squadron. For nine
days they rode on in the most terrible agony, and during that time had
to cross the Cordilleras. Several of them refused to have their wounds
dressed; and it was necessary to use force to compel them. One man
implored me with tears to do nothing to improve his state, for that he
longed to die. Before they were nearly cured, a march was ordered, and
they again had to mount and ride. The consequences of this barbarity
were easy to foresee. Before another eight days had elapsed, the
squadron was scarcely sixty men strong."

Turn we from such horrors to a more pleasing theme. "Could I suppose,"
says Dr Tschudi, "that my readers are acquainted with the excellent
description of Lima which Stevenson gives in his Travels in South
America,[3] I would willingly abstain from any detail of the houses,
churches, squares, and streets of that capital. But as that esteemed
work was published twenty years ago, and is now almost entirely
forgotten, I may venture, without danger of repeating things
universally known, to give a sketch of the city of Lima." And
accordingly, the doctor devotes his fifth chapter to an account of the
capital of Peru--an account over which we shall pass lightly, for the
double reason, that our readers may be better acquainted with
Stevenson's work than Dr Tschudi's countrymen can be supposed to be,
and because, if we linger wherever we are tempted so to do in this
very pleasant book, our paper will run out beyond any reasonable
length. We must glance at the cathedral founded by Pizarro, and which
took ninety years in building. Its magnificence and riches are
scarcely to be surpassed by those of any other existing church. The
high altar boasts of seven silver pillars of the Ionic order, twelve
feet high, and a foot and a-half thick; the shrine is seven and a-half
feet high, carved in gold, and studded with countless diamonds and
emeralds; the silver candlesticks weigh one hundred and twelve pounds
each. In connection with the convent of San Pedro, a curious anecdote
is told. It belonged to the Jesuits, and was their "Colegio Maximo;"
it was known to possess immense wealth, for the richest plantations
and finest houses belonged to the order. In the year 1773, the king of
Spain, supported by the famous bull of the 21st June of that year,
"Dominus ac redemptor noster," sent orders to his South American
viceroys to arrest all the Jesuits in one night, ship them off to
Spain, and confiscate their wealth. The greatest secresy was observed,
and no one but the viceroy, and those in his entire confidence, was
supposed to know any thing of the plan. But the same ship which
conveyed to the viceroy the king's instructions in his own
handwriting, brought to the vicar-general of the Jesuits in Lima the
needful instructions from the general of the order at Madrid, to whom
his Majesty's designs had become known. In all silence, and with every
precaution the needful preparations were made; at ten o'clock on the
appointed night, the viceroy summoned his council, and communicated to
them the royal commands. No one was allowed to leave the room till the
blow had been struck. At midnight trusty officers were sent to arrest
the Jesuits, of whose names the viceroy had a list. It was expected
that they would be surprised in their sleep. The patrole knocked at
the door of the San Pedro convent, which was immediately opened. The
commanding officer asked to see the vicar-general, and was forthwith
conducted into the principal hall, where he found the whole of the
order assembled, waiting for him, and ready to depart. Each man had
his portmanteau packed with whatever was necessary for a long voyage.
In all the other convents of Jesuits similar preparations had been
made. The astonishment and vexation of the viceroy may be imagined. He
immediately sent off the whole fraternity to Callao, where ships were
ready to receive them. Inventories were then taken, and search made
for the Jesuits' money. But great was the surprise of the searchers
when instead of the millions which the order was known to possess, but
a few thousand dollars were to be discovered. All the keys, including
that of the strong box, were found, duly ticketed, in the
vicar-general's room. The Jesuits could hardly have taken a better
revenge for the treachery that had been used with their order.

It was supposed that the money was buried, partly in the plantations,
and partly in the convent of San Pedro. An old negro, in the service
of the convent, told how he and one of his comrades had been employed
during several nights in carrying, with bandaged eyes, heavy sacks of
money into the vaults beneath the building. Two Jesuits accompanied
them, and helped them to load and unload their burdens. The researches
hitherto made have been but superficial and imperfect; and Dr Tschudi
opines, with some naïveté, that the hidden hoard may yet be
discovered. We cannot partake his opinion. The cunning Jesuits who
concealed the treasure will have found means to recover it.

Lima was the principal seat of the Inquisition upon the west coast of
South America, and in severity the tribunal was but little surpassed
by that of Madrid itself. The building in which it was held still
exists, but was gutted by the populace when the institution was
abolished by the Cortes, and few traces of its internal arrangements
and murderous engines are now to be seen. More visible ones are yet to
be noticed in the persons of some unfortunate Limeños. "A Spaniard,"
Dr Tschudi tells us, "whose limbs were frightfully distorted, told me,
in reply to my inquiries, that he had fallen into a machine which had
thus mangled him. A few days before his death, however, he confided to
me that in his twenty-fourth year he had been brought before the
tribunal of the Holy Inquisition, and by the most horrible tortures
had been compelled to confess a crime of which he was not guilty. I
still shudder when I remember his crushed and twisted limbs, at the
thoughts of the agonies which the unhappy wretch must have endured."

Now and then, however, the most holy ruffians of the Inquisition met
their match, as the following anecdote serves to show. The Viceroy,
Castel-Fuerte, once expressed, in presence of his confessor, certain
opinions regarding religion which the good monk did not find very
catholic, and which he accordingly, as in duty bound, reported to the
Inquisitors. The latter, confident of their omnipotence, joyfully
seized this opportunity to increase its _prestige_, by proving that
their power extended even to the punishment of a viceroy. But
Castel-Fuerte was not Philip of Spain. At the appointed hour, he
repaired to the Inquisition at the head of his body-guard and of a
company of infantry, with two pieces of artillery, which he caused to
be pointed at the building. Entering the terrible hall, he strode up
to the table, drew out his watch, and laid it before him. "Señores,"
said he, "I am ready to discuss this affair, but for one hour only. If
I am not back by that time, my officers have orders to level this
building with the ground." Astounded at his boldness, the Inquisitors
consulted together for a few moments, and then, with eager politeness,
complimented the resolute Castel-Fuerte out of the house.

Lima was founded by Pizarro in the year 1534, on the 6th of January,
known amongst Roman Catholics as the Day of the Three Kings. From this
latter circumstance it has frequently been called the City of the
Kings. Like some tropical flower, urged into premature bloom and
luxuriance by too rich a soil and too ardent a sun, its decay has been
proportionably rapid, and the capital of Peru is already but the ghost
of its former self. Some idea of its rapid growth may be formed from
the circumstance that a wall built in 1585, only fifty years after its
foundation, includes, with the exception of a small portion of the
northern extremity and the suburb of San Lazaro, the whole of a city
capable of containing one hundred thousand inhabitants, and measuring
ten English miles in circumference. The dates of foundation of the
principal public buildings further confirm the fact of Lima's rapid
arrival at the size as well as the rank of a metropolis. The number of
inhabitants, which in 1810 was estimated at eighty-seven thousand, in
1842 was reduced to fifty-three thousand. It must be observed,
however, that the manner of taking the census is loose and imperfect,
and these numbers may need rectification. At the same time, there can
be no doubt that the population has long been, and still is, daily
diminishing. Of this diminution the causes are various, and may easily
be traced to the physical and political state of the country. Terrible
earthquakes have buried thousands of persons beneath the ruins of
their dwellings; the struggle for independence also swept away its
thousands; and banishment and emigration may further account for the
decrease. Epidemics, the natural consequence of an imperfect police,
and an utter neglect of cleanliness, frequently rage in the city and
its environs; and Dr Tschudi proves, by interesting tables and
statements, that the average excess of deaths over births has been,
since the year 1826, no less than five hundred and fifty annually.
Without entering into all the causes to which this may be attributed,
he pronounces the criminal, but, in Lima, too common, practice of
causing abortion to be one of the most prominent. So large a yearly
decrease menaces the Peruvian capital with a speedy depopulation, and
already whole streets and quarters of the city are desolate,--the
houses falling in,--the gardens run to waste. To the country, not less
than to the town, many of the above facts are applicable; and the once
rich and flourishing region, that extends from the third to the
twenty-second degree of southern latitude, and which, at the time of
its conquest by Pizarro, contained an enormous population, now
possesses but one million four hundred thousand inhabitants.

One can really hardly grieve over the possible extinction of a race
which, according to Dr Tschudi's showing, is in most respects so
utterly worthless and undeserving of sympathy. We refer now more
especially to the white Creoles,[4] who constitute about a third, or
rather more, of the population of Lima, where there are comparatively
few Indians of pure blood, but, on the other hand, a large number of
half-casts of every shade, and about five thousand negroes, chiefly
slaves. These white Creoles, with few exceptions the descendants of
Spaniards, seem to have clung to, and improved upon, the vices of
their progenitors, without inheriting their good qualities. Both
physically and morally they have greatly degenerated. Weak, indolent,
and effeminate, a ten hours' ride seems to them an exploit worthy of
registration in the archives of the country. Sworn foes of any kind of
trouble, if their circumstances compel them to choose an occupation,
they set up some retail shop, which gives them little trouble, and
allows them abundance of leisure to gossip with their neighbours and
smoke their cigar. The richer class pass their time in complete
idleness,--lounging in the streets, visiting their acquaintances, and
occasionally taking a lazy ride to their plantations near the city.
The afternoon is got rid of in the café, the gaming-house, or the
cock-pit--cock-fighting being a darling diversion with the Creoles.
Their education is defective, and the majority of them are ignorant
beyond belief. Dr Tschudi tells us of a Peruvian minister of war who
knew neither the population nor the area of his country, and who
obstinately maintained that Portugal was the eastern boundary of Peru,
and could be reached by land. Another Peruvian, high in place, was
heard to give an exact account of how Frederick the Great had driven
Napoleon out of Russia. There have been some brilliant exceptions to
this general darkness, but the list of them is very brief, and may be
comprised in a few lines. In their habits the Creoles are dirty,
especially at table; and the disgusting custom of spitting is carried
to an extent that would make even a Yankee stare. Their principal good
qualities are abstinence from strong drinks, hospitality to strangers,
and benevolence to the poor.

The ladies of Lima, we learn, are in most respects far superior to the
men. Tall and well made, with regular features, magnificent eyes and
hair, beautiful teeth, and exquisitely small feet, they are spoken of
by Dr Tschudi in terms almost of enthusiasm. Their dress is very
original; one usual part of it being a silk petticoat, made so narrow
at the ankles as to prevent rapid walking, and to render their kneeling
down in church and getting up again a matter of some difficulty.
During the revolution, when Lima was held alternately by the Spaniards
and the Patriots, a party of the former, in order to ascertain the real
sentiments of the Limeños, disguised themselves as Patriots, and
approached the city. As soon as their coming was known, a crowd went
out to meet them, and in the throng were many women with these narrow
_sayas_. When sufficiently near, the disguised Spaniards drew their
swords, and cut right and left amongst the defenceless mob. The men
saved themselves by flight, but the women, impeded by their absurd
petticoats, were for the most part sabred.

The Limeñas are good mothers, but bad housekeepers. Most ladies have
an unnecessarily numerous establishment of servants and slaves, each
of whom does just what he pleases, and is rarely at hand when wanted.
Smoking is pretty general amongst Peruvian women, but is on the
decline rather than the increase. They are passionately fond of music,
and most of them sing and play the guitar or piano, although, for want
of good instruction, their performance is usually but middling. Many
of them are skilled in needle-work; but they rarely occupy themselves
in that manner--never in company or of an evening. "Happy city!"
exclaims Dr Tschudi, thinking doubtless of his own fair countrywomen
and their eternal knitting needles, "where stocking making is unknown
in the social circle!" We do not find, however, that the doctor
supports his assertion of the moral superiority of the Creole ladies
over their _worser_ halves, by any very strong proofs. That assertion,
on the contrary, is followed by the startling admissions, that they
are confirmed gluttons, and ruin their husbands by their love of
dress; that they gamble considerably, and intrigue not a few, favoured
in this latter respect by a certain convenient veil of thick silk,
called a _manto_, which entirely conceals their face, having only a
small triangular loop-hole, "through which a great fiery eye flashes
upon you." We fear that these "flashes," frequently repeated, have a
little dazzled our learned traveller, and induced him to look
leniently on the sins of the lovely Limeñas. We do not otherwise know
how to reconcile the evidence with the eulogium.

Ardent politicians, and endowed with a degree of courage not often
found in their sex, these Peruvian dames have frequently played a
prominent part in revolutions, and by their manœuvres have even
brought about changes of government. Conspicuous amongst them was Doña
Francisca Subyaga, wife of the former president, Gamarra. When, in
1834, her cowardly and undecided husband was driven out of Lima by the
populace, and stood lamenting and irresolute what to do, Doña
Francisca snatched his sword from his side, put herself at the head of
the troops, and commanded an orderly retreat, the only means by which
to save herself and the remainder of the army. A bystander having
ventured to utter some insolent remark, she rode up to him, and
threatened that when she returned to Lima she would make a pair of
riding-gloves out of his skin. She died in exile a few months later,
or else, when her husband went back to Peru four years afterwards, at
the head of a Chilian army, she would have been likely enough to keep
her word.

So much for the Limeñas, although Dr Tschudi gives us a great deal
more information concerning them; and very amusing this part of his
book is, reminding us considerably of Madame Calderon's delightful
gossip about Mexico. "Lima," says the Spanish proverb, "is a heaven to
women, a purgatory to husbands, and a hell to jackasses." The latter
unfortunate beasts being infamously used by the negroes, who,
especially the liberated ones, are the most cruel and vicious race in
Peru. In this latter category must be included the Zambos and Chinos,
half-casts between negroes and mulattos, and negroes and Indians. We
turn a few pages and come to the carnival; during which, judging from
the account before us, we should imagine that Lima became a hell not
only to ill-treated donkeys, but to man woman, and child. The chief
sport of that festive season consists in sprinkling people with water,
concerning the purity of which the sprinklers are by no means
fastidious. From nearly every balcony, liquids of the most various
and unsavoury description are rained down upon the passers by; at the
street corners stand negroes, who seize upon all who are not of their
own cast, and roll them in the gutter, unless they prefer paying a
certain ransom, in which case they get off with a trifling baptism of
dirty water. Troops of young men force their way into the houses of
their acquaintances and attack the ladies. First they sprinkle them
with scented water, but when that is expended, the pump, and even
worse, is had recourse to, and the sport becomes brutality. The
ladies, with their clothes dripping wet, are chased from room to room,
become heated, and are frequently rendered dangerously ill. Diseases
of the lungs, and other rheumatic complaints, are the invariable
consequences of the carnival, to whose barbarous celebration many fall
victims. Besides this, every year murders occur out of revenge for
this brutal treatment. One favourite trick is to fill a sack with
fragments of glass and earthenware, and fasten it to the balcony by a
cord, the length of which is so calculated, that when let down the
sack hangs at about seven feet from the ground. The sack is kept on
the balcony till somebody passes, and is then suddenly thrown out,
but, thanks to the cord, remains at a safe distance above the heads of
those below. Although it is tolerably well known that in most streets
there is at least one of these infernal machines; yet the sudden shock
and alarm are so great, that persons have been known to fall down
senseless on the spot. Horses are thus made to shy violently, and
frequently throw their riders. The practice is each year forbidden by
the police, but the prohibition is disregarded.

Heaven preserve us from a Lima carnival! If compelled to choose we
should infinitely prefer a campaign against the Chilians, which, we
apprehend, must be mere barrack-yard duty comparatively. No wonder
that the city is becoming depopulated, when the fairer portion of its
inhabitants are annually subjected to such inhuman treatment. In some
respects the Peruvians appear to be perfect barbarians. Their
favourite diversions are of the most cruel order; cock-fighting and
bull-fights--but bull-fights, compared to which, those still in vogue
in Spain are humane exhibitions. Peru is the only country in South
America where this last amusement is kept up as a matter of regular
occurrence. Bull-fighting in Spain may be considered cruel, but in
Peru it becomes a mere torturing of beasts, without honour or credit
to the men opposed to them, who are all negroes and zambos, the very
dregs of the populace. There seems a total want of national character
about the Peruvians. They are bad copies of the Spaniards, whose
failings they imitate and out-herod till they become odious vices. Add
to what has been already shown of their cruel and sensual
propensities, the fact that their habitations, with the exception of
the two rooms in which visits are received, bear more resemblance, for
cleanliness and order, to stables than to human dwellings, and it will
be acknowledged that not a little of the savage seems to have rubbed
off upon the Peruvian.

Ice is a necessary of life in Lima, and is brought from the
Cordilleras, a distance of twenty-eight leagues. So essential in that
ardent climate is this refreshment, that the lack of it for a few days
is sufficient to cause a notable ferment among the people; and in all
revolutions, therefore, the leaders cautiously abstain from applying
the mules used for its carriage, to any other purpose. The Indians hew
the ice out of the glaciers in lumps of six arrobas (150 pounds) each,
and lower it from the mountains by ropes. Other Indians receive and
carry it a couple of leagues to a depot, where it is packed upon
mules. Two lumps form a mule load, and thirty of these loads are sent
daily to Lima, where, by means of frequent relays, they arrive in
eighteen or twenty hours. During the journey the ice loses about the
third of its weight, and what remains is just sufficient to supply the
city for a day. It is chiefly used in making ices, composed for the
most part of milk or pine-apple juice.

The want of good roads, and, in many directions, of any roads at all,
renders carriage travelling in the neighbourhood of Lima exceedingly
difficult and expensive. Only southwards from the city is it possible,
at an enormous cost, to get to a distance of forty leagues. Sixty or
eighty horses are driven by the side of the carriage, and every half
hour fresh ones are harnessed, as the only means of getting the
vehicle through the sand, which is more than a foot deep. A Peruvian,
who was accustomed to send his wife every year on a visit to his
plantation, at thirty-two leagues from Lima, told Dr Tschudi that the
journey there and back cost him fourteen hundred dollars, or somewhere
about three hundred pounds sterling. In former days, during the
brilliant period of the Spanish domination, enormous sums were
frequently given for carriages and mules; and the shoes of the latter,
and tires of the wheels, were often of silver instead of iron. Even at
the present day the Peruvians expend large sums upon the equipments of
their horses, especially upon the stirrups, which are ponderous boxes
carved in wood, and lavishly decorated with silver. A friend of Dr
Tschudi's, a priest from the Sierra, had a pair made, the silver about
which weighed forty pounds! The saddle and bridle were proportionably
magnificent, and the value of the silver employed in the whole
equipment was more than 1500 dollars. Spurs are of enormous size.
According to the old usage they should contain three marks--a pound
and a half--of silver, and be richly chased and ornamented. The rowels
are one and a half to two inches in circumference. Besides the saddle,
bridle, and stirrups above described, the unfortunate Peruvian horses
are oppressed with sheepskin shabrack, saddle-bags, and various other
appliances. "At first," says our traveller, "the Peruvian
horse-trappings appear to a stranger both unwieldy and unserviceable;
but he soon becomes convinced of their suitableness, and even finds
them handsome." _We_ should not, nor, we dare be sworn, do the horses,
whose many good qualities certainly deserve a lighter load and better
treatment than they appear to get. Dr Tschudi speaks highly of their
endurance and speed, although their usual pace is an amble, at which,
however, they will outstrip many horses at full gallop. One variety of
this favourite pace, the _paso portante_, in which the two feet on the
same side of the body are thrown forward at the same time, is
particularly curious, and peculiar to the Peruvian horse. The giraffe
is the only other animal that employs it. In Peru a horse is valued
according to the goodness of his amble. Beauty of form is a secondary
consideration, and the finest trotters are thought nothing of, but are
sold cheap for carriage work. It is considered a serious defect, and
greatly depreciates a horse's value, if he has the habit of flapping
or lashing himself with his tail when spurred, or at any other time.
As this habit is found incurable, the sinews of the tail are sometimes
cut through, which, by crippling it, hinders the obnoxious flapping.

The breaking of a Peruvian horse occupies two years. The
horse-breakers are, for the most part, free negroes, of powerful
build, and they understand their business perfectly, only that they
ill-treat the animals too much, and thereby render them shy. They
teach them all sorts of ambles and manège tricks, one of the latter
consisting in the horse pirouetting upon his hind legs. This they do
when at full gallop, on the slightest signal of the rider. A
well-known Limeño, says Dr Tschudi, rode at full speed up to the city
wall, which is scarcely nine feet broad, leaped upon it, and made his
horse repeatedly perform this _volte_, the fore feet of the beast each
time describing the arc of a circle beyond the edge of the wall. He
performed this feat with every one of his horses. Further on in the
book, the doctor relates an incident that occurred to himself, proving
the more valuable qualities of these horses, their strength, courage,
and endurance. "I had occasion to go from Huacho to Lima," he says,
"and wished to accomplish this journey without halting. The distance
is twenty-eight leagues, (at least eighty-four miles,) and I left
Huacho at two in the afternoon, accompanied by a negro guide. At one
in the morning we reached the river Pasamayo, which had been greatly
swoln by the recent rains, and thundered along with a fearful uproar.
Several travellers were bivouacked upon the shore, waiting for
daylight, and perhaps for the subsiding of the waters. My negro
shrugged his shoulders, and said he had never seen the river so high;
and the travellers agreed with him, and denied the possibility of
crossing. But I had no time to lose, and made up my mind to risk the
passage on my good horse, who had often served me in similar dilemmas.
I cautiously entered the stream, which, at each step, became deeper
and stronger. My horse soon lost his footing, and, in spite of his
violent efforts, was swept down by the force of the current, until we
were both dashed against a rock in the middle of the river. Just then
the moon became clouded, and I could no longer distinguish the group
of trees on the opposite shore, which I had fixed upon to land at.
Luckily my horse had again found a footing; I turned his head, and
plunging into deep water, the noble beast swam back, with incredible
strength, to the bank whence we had come. After some search I found a
more favourable place, and my negro and I succeeded in crossing. Three
travellers, who were anxious to do the same, but did not dare venture
alone, called to us for assistance. I sent back the negro on my own
horse, and one by one he brought them over. Seven times did the good
steed achieve the dangerous passage, and then carried me without a
halt to Lima, where we arrived at the hour of noon."

Such horses as these are indeed valuable in a country where carriage
roads there are none, or next to none. The mules, whose price varies
according to their qualities, from 100 to 1000 dollars, also perform,
in spite of indifferent usage, scanty care, and frequently poor
nourishment, journeys of great length over the arid sandy plains of
Peru. They are also amblers, and often as swift as the horses. Dr
Tschudi tells us of a priest at Piura, who, when he had to read mass
at a sea-port town, fourteen leagues from his residence, mounted, at
six in the morning, a splendid mule belonging to him, and reached his
destination at nine o'clock. At four in the afternoon he set off on
his return, and was home by seven or half-past. The whole of the road,
which led across a sandflat, was gone over at an amble. The priest
refused enormous sums for this beast, which he would on no account
sell. At last Salaverry, then president of Peru, heard of the mule's
extraordinary swiftness, and sent an aide-de-camp to buy it. The
officer met with a refusal; but no sooner had he turned his back, than
the priest, who knew Salaverry's despotic and violent character, cut
off his mule's ears and tail. As he had foreseen, so it happened. The
next morning a sergeant made his appearance, bearing positive orders
to take away the animal in dispute, with or without the owner's
sanction. This was done; but when Salaverry saw the cropped condition
of poor _mulo_, he swore all the oaths in the language, and sent him
back again. The priest had attained his end, for he valued the beast
less for his beauty than for his more solid qualities.

The Peruvian _cuisine_ has, not unnaturally, a considerable similarity
with the Spanish. The puchero or olla is the basis of the dinner, and
of red pepper, capsicums, and other stimulating condiments, abundant
use is made. The Limeños have some extraordinary notions respecting
eating and drinking. They consider that every sort of food is either
heating or cooling, and is opposed to something else. The union in the
stomach of two of these contrary substances is attended, according to
their belief, with the most dangerous consequences, and may even cause
death. A Limeño, who has eaten rice at dinner, omits the customary
glass of water after the sweetmeats, because the two things _se
oponen_, are opposites. To so absurd an extent is this carried, that
servants who have eaten rice refuse to wash afterwards, and the
washer-women never eat it. "I have been asked innumerable times," says
Dr Tschudi, "by persons who had been ordered a foot-bath at night,
whether they might venture to take it, for that they had eaten rice at
dinner!"

The market at Lima was formerly held upon the Plaza Mayor, and was
renowned for the great abundance and variety of the fruits,
vegetables, and flowers brought thither for sale. But it is now on the
Plazuela de la Inquisicion, and its glory has in great measure
departed. Along the sides of the gutters sit the fish and sausage
sellers, who may be seen washing their wares in the filthy stream
before them. The butchers exhibit good meat, but only beef and mutton,
the slaughtering of young beasts being forbidden by law. On the flower
market are sold Lima nosegays--_pucheros de flores_, as they are
called. They are composed of a few specimens of the smaller tropical
fruits, esteemed either for fragrance or beauty, laid upon a banana
leaf, and tastefully intermingled with flowers. The whole is sprinkled
with lavender water and other scents, and is very pretty to look at,
but yields an overpoweringly strong perfume. The price depends on the
rarity of the flowers employed, and some of these pucheros cost seven
or eight dollars. They rank amongst the most acceptable presents that
can be offered to a Peruvian lady.

"The city of earthquakes," would be a far more appropriate name for
Lima, than the city of the kings. On an average of years,
five-and-forty shocks are annually felt, most of which occur in the
latter half of October, in November, December, January, May, and June.
January is the worst month, during which, in many years, scarcely a
day passes without convulsions of this kind. The terrible earthquakes
that play such havoc with the city, come at intervals of forty to
sixty years. Since the west coast of South America is known to
Europeans, the following are the dates:--1586, 1630, 1687, 1713, 1746,
1806; always two in a century. It is greatly to be feared that ten
more years will not elapse without Lima being visited by another of
these awful calamities. Dr Tschudi gives a brief account of the
earthquake of 1746. It was on the 28th of October, St Simon and St
Jude's day, that at 31 minutes past 10 P.M., the earth shook with a
fearful bellowing noise, and in an instant the whole of Lima was a
heap of ruins. Noise, earthquake, and destruction were all the affair
of _one_ moment. The few buildings whose strength resisted the first
shock, were thrown down by a regular horizontal motion of the earth,
which succeeded it and lasted four minutes. Out of more than three
thousand houses only twenty-one remained uninjured. Nearly all the
public buildings were overthrown. At the port of Callao the
destruction was even more complete; for scarcely was the earthquake
over, when the sea arose with a mighty rushing sound, and swallowed up
both town and inhabitants. In an instant five thousand human beings
became the prey of the waters.[5] The Spanish corvette San Fermin,
which lay at anchor in the harbour, was hurled far over the walls of
the fortress, and stranded at more than five hundred yards from the
shore. A cross marks the place where she struck. Three heavily laden
merchantmen met the same fate, and nineteen other vessels foundered.
The town had disappeared, and travellers have related how, even now,
when the sky is bright and the sea still, the houses and churches may
be dimly seen through the transparent waters. Such a tale as this is
scarce worth refuting, seeing that the houses were overturned by the
earthquake before they were overwhelmed by the sea, whose action must
long since have destroyed their every vestige. But the old sailors
along that coast love to tell how on certain days the people are seen
sitting at the doors of their houses, and standing about in the
streets, and how, in the silent watches of the night, a cock has been
heard to crow from out of the depths of the sea.

Meteors frequently appear as forerunners of the earthquakes, amongst
whose consequences may be reckoned the sudden sterilizing of districts
previously fruitful, but which, after one of these convulsions of
nature, refuse for many years to put forth vegetation. No frequency of
repetition diminishes the alarm and horror occasioned by the shocks.
The inhabitants of Lima, although accustomed from their earliest
childhood to the constant recurrence of such phenomena, spring from
their beds at the first quivering of the earth, and with cries of
"misericordia!" rush out of their houses. The European, who knows
nothing of earthquakes but the name, almost wishes for the arrival of
one, and is sometimes inclined to laugh at the terror of the
Peruvians; but when he has once felt a shock, any disposition to make
merry on the subject disappears, and his dread of its recurrence is
even greater than that of the natives. The deeply unpleasant
impression left by an earthquake, is in Lima heightened by the
_plegarias_ or general prayers that succeed it. The shock has no
sooner been felt, than a signal is given from the cathedral, and
during ten minutes all the bells in the town toll with long, measured
strokes to call the inhabitants to their devotions.

A pleasant country to live in! Those who may feel tempted by the
doctor's commendation of the fascinating Limeñas--the delightful,
although not very healthy, climate--the luscious fruits, and gorgeous
flowers, and manifold wonders of Peru--to gird up their loins and
betake themselves thither, will perhaps think twice of it when they
learn that an earthquake might, and probably would, be their welcome.
Descriptions of tropical countries remind us of those pictures of
Italian festivals, where nymph-like damsels and Antinöus-looking
youths are gracefully dancing round grape-laden cars; whilst some fine
old Belisarius of a grandpapa, white bearded and benignant, sits upon
the shaft and smiles upon his descendants. One sees the graceful
forms, the classic features, the bursting grapes, and the bright
sunshine; all of which, like enough, are depicted to the life, but one
sees nothing of the filth, and nastiness, and crawling vermin, that
would awfully shock us in the originals of the picture. Not that we
mean to accuse Dr Tschudi of painting Peru in rose-colour, or
remaining silent as to its defects. He is a conscientious traveller,
and gives us things as he finds them. Besides the great nuisance of
the earthquakes, and the lesser one of dirt, already adverted to;
besides the armies of fleas, which render even the Lima theatre almost
unvisitable--not mild European fleas, but sanguinary Spanish-American
ones; besides the malaria in the swamps, the _piques_, _chinches_,
mosquitos, and other insect tormentors, he favours us with some
agreeable details touching the highwaymen who infest the whole coast
of Peru, but especially the neighbourhood of Lima and Truxillo. They
are usually runaway slaves, _simarrones_, as they are called, or else
free negroes, zambos, and mulattos. Now and then Indians are found
amongst them, who make themselves conspicuous by their cold-blooded
cruelties, and occasionally even a white man takes to this infamous
trade. In 1839 a North American, who had served on board of a
man-of-war, was shot for highway robbery. Shooting, it must be
observed, appears to be the usual way of inflicting capital punishment
in Peru. These banditti, well mounted and armed, are very bold and
numerous, and most of them belong to an extensive and well organised
band, which has branches in various directions. Sometimes they
approach the city in parties of thirty or forty men, and plunder all
travellers who leave it. They prefer attacking foreigners, and usually
spare the richer and more influential Peruvians, which may be one
cause that stronger measures are not adopted against them. Shortly
before Dr Tschudi's departure from Lima, they attacked the feeble
escort of a sum of one hundred thousand dollars, which were on their
way to the mines of Cerro de Pasco, and carried off the money. The
silver bars sent from the mines to the city they allow to pass
unmolested, as being too heavy and cumbersome. The unfortunate
peasants who come in from the mountains on jackasses, with eggs and
other produce, are marked for their particular prey, on account of the
money which they usually carry with them to make purchases in the
town. If no dollars are found on them, they are killed or terribly
maltreated. We pass over some stories of the cruelties exercised by
these bandits. Here is one of another sort. "One night that I found
myself at Chancay," says the doctor, "an Indian told me the following
anecdote: About half a mile from the village, he said, he had been met
by a negro, who approached him with carbine cocked, and ordered him to
halt. The Indian drew a large pistol, and said to the robber, 'You may
thank heaven that this is not loaded, or it would be all over with
you.' Laughing scornfully, the negro rode up and seized the Indian,
who then pulled the trigger of his pistol and shot him dead on the
spot."

When attacked by the police or military, the robbers display desperate
courage in their defence. Sometimes they take shelter in the bush or
thicket, to which, if the space of ground it covers be not too
extensive, the pursuers set fire on all sides; so that the bandits
have no choice but to perish or yield themselves prisoners. In the
latter case their trial is very short, and after they have been left
shut up with a priest for the space of twelve hours, they are brought
out and shot. They are allowed to choose their place of execution, and
must carry thither a small bench or stool upon which they sit down.
Four soldiers stand at a distance of three paces; two aim at the head
and two at the heart. A few years ago a Zambo of great daring was
sentenced to death for robbery, and he demanded to be shot upon the
Plaza de la Inquisicion. He sat down upon his bench--the soldiers
levelled and fired. When the smoke of the discharge blew away, the
Zambo had disappeared. He had watched each movement of the soldiers,
and at the very moment that they laid finger on trigger, had thrown
himself on one side and taken refuge amidst the crowd, some of whom
favoured his escape. In time of war a corps is formed composed chiefly
of these banditti, and of men who have made themselves in some way
obnoxious to the laws. They go by the name of Montoneros, and are
found very useful as spies, skirmishers, despatch-bearers, &c., but
are generally more remarkable for cruelty than courage. They wear no
uniform; and sometimes they have not even shoes, but strap their spurs
on their naked heels. In the year 1838, the Anglo-Peruvian general,
Miller, commanded a thousand of these montoneros who were in the
service of Santa Cruz. When war is at an end, these wild troops
disband themselves, and for the most part return to their former
occupation.

Abandoning Lima and its environs, Dr Tschudi takes us with him on a
visit to the various towns and villages along the coast, proceeding
first north and then south of the capital. In a coasting voyage to the
port of Huacho, he has the honour to reckon amongst his fellow
passengers, Lord Cochrane's friend, the celebrated Padre Requena, then
cura of that town. Of this ecclesiastic, of whom he, after his
arrival, saw a good deal, he draws a picture which may be taken as a
general type of the Peruvian priesthood, and is by no means creditable
to them. Requena's chief passion is coursing, and his greatest
annoyance, during Dr Tschudi's stay in Huacho, was, that ill health,
brought on by his excesses, prevented him from indulging it. He had
several magnificent horses, and a numerous pack of greyhounds, some of
which latter had cost him one hundred and fifty and two hundred
dollars a-piece. His seraglio was almost as well stocked as his
kennel, and the number of children who called him _tio_, or _uncle_,
the usual term in Peru in such cases, was quite prodigious. He took
great pride in talking of his friendship with Lord Cochrane. He died a
few weeks after his return to Huacho, and delayed so long to send for
a confessor that the Indians at last surrounded the house with
frightful menaces, and sent in a priest to render him the last offices
of the church. He had great difficulty in making up his mind to death,
or, as he expressed it, to a separation from his greyhounds and
horses. At almost the last moment, when his hands began to grow cold,
he made his negro put on them a pair of buckskin gloves.

This respectable priest was by no means singular in his love of the
chase, of which frequent examples are to be found in Peru. On reaching
Quipico, the most easterly plantation in the beautiful valley of
Huaura, Dr. Tschudi had scarcely entered the courtyard when he was
surrounded by upwards of fifty greyhounds, whilst from every quarter
others came springing towards him. They were the remains of a pack
that had belonged to one Castilla, recently the owner of the
plantation, and whose usual establishment consisted of two to three
hundred of these dogs, with which he every day went coursing. The
strictest discipline was kept up amongst this lightfooted multitude.
At stated hours a bell summoned them to their meals, and in the kennel
stood a gibbet, as a warning to the lazy or perverse. One day, when
Castilla was out hunting, an Indian came up, with an ordinary-looking
crossbred dog. In spite of his looks this dog out-stripped the whole
pack, and pulled down the roebuck. Castilla immediately purchased him
at the enormous price of three hundred and fifty dollars. A few days
afterwards he again went out with his best hounds and his new
acquisition. The leashes were slipped, and the greyhounds went off
like the wind, but the crossbreed remained quietly by the horses. The
same afternoon he was hung up to the gallows, an example to his
fellows.

The whole extent of the Peruvian coast, from its northern to its
southern extremity, presents nearly the same aspect; vast deserts of
sand, varied by fruitful valleys, with their villages and plantations;
seaport towns there where nature or commerce has encouraged their
foundation; alternate insupportable heat and damp fog; scarcity of
men; crumbling monuments of a period of riches and greatness. In the
sandy plains it is no unusual occurrence for travellers to lose their
way and perish for thirst. In that fervent and unhealthy climate,
human strength rapidly gives way before want of food and water. In the
year 1823 a transport carrying a regiment of dragoons, three hundred
and twenty strong, stranded on the coast near Pisco. The soldiers got
on shore, and wandered for thirty-six hours through the sand-waste,
out of which they were unable to find their way. At the end of that
time they were met by a number of horsemen with water and food, who
had been sent out from Pisco to seek them, but already one hundred and
fifty of the unfortunates had died of thirst and weariness, and fifty
more expired upon the following day. Forty-eight hours' wandering in
those arid deserts, deprived of food and drink, is certain death to
the strongest man. Rivers are scarce, and even where the bed of a
stream is found, it is in many instances dry during the greater part
of the year. The traveller's danger is increased by the shifting
nature of the sand, which the wind raises in enormous clouds, and in
columns eighty to one hundred feet high. The _medanos_ are another
strange phenomenon of these dangerous wilds. They are sandhills in the
form of a crescent, ten to twenty feet high, and with a sharp crest.
Their base is moveable, and when impelled by a tolerably strong wind,
they wander rapidly over the desert; the smaller ones, more easily
propelled, preceding the large. The latter, however, after a time,
prevent the current of air from reaching the former--take the wind out
of their sails, it may be said--and then run over and crush them,
themselves breaking up at the same time. In a few hours, what was
previously a level, is often covered with ranges of hillocks,
hindering a view of the horizon, and bewildering the most experienced
wanderers through these perilous regions. In November the summer
begins. The scorching rays of the sun break through the grey covering
of the heavens, and threaten to consume, by their intensity, the
entire vegetable and animal creation. Not a plant finds nourishment,
nor a beast food upon the parched and glowing soil; no bird or insect
floats upon the sultry air. Only in the upper regions is seen the
majestic condor, flying towards the ocean. All life and movement is
now confined to the coast. Troops of vultures assemble around the
stranded carcases of sea monsters; otters and seals bask beneath the
cliffs; variegated lizards scamper over the sand-heaps, and busy crabs
and sea-spiders dig into the damp shore. In May the scene changes. A
thin veil of mist spreads over sea and coast, gradually thickening,
until in October the sun again dispels it. At the beginning and end of
this winter, as it is called, the fog generally rises at nine or ten
in the morning, and is again dissipated at three in the afternoon. It
is thickest in August and September, when, for weeks together, it does
not lift. It never changes into rain, but only into a fine penetrating
mist, called the _garua_. On many parts of the Peruvian coast, it
never rains, excepting after a very violent earthquake, and even then
not always. The usual height of the fog from the ground is seven or
eight hundred feet. It never exceeds a height of twelve hundred feet,
nor is found at all beyond a few miles from the coast, at which
distance it is replaced by violent rains. The boundary line between
rain and fog may be determined with almost mathematical accuracy. Dr
Tschudi visited two plantations, one about six leagues from Lima, the
other in the neighbourhood of Huacho, one half of which was annually
watered by the _garuas_, and the other half by rain. A wall was built
upon the line where one mode of irrigation ceased and the other began.

The province of Yca, whose soil is sandy, and to all appearance
incapable of producing any description of vegetation, is devoted to
the culture of the vine, which perfectly succeeds there. The young
plants are set half a foot deep in the sand, and left to themselves;
they speedily put forth leaves, and yield a luxuriant crop of grapes,
remarkable for flavour and juiciness. These are mostly used for
brandy, with which the whole of Peru and great part of Chili are
supplied from the valley of Yca. It is of excellent quality,
especially a sort made from muscatel grapes, and called _aguardiente
de Italia_. Very little wine is made, except by one planter, Don
Domingo Elias, who has attempted it after the European fashion. The
result has been a wine resembling Madeira and Teneriffe, only much
more fiery, and containing a larger proportion of alcohol. The brandy
was formerly conveyed to the coast in huge earthen _botijas_, capable
of containing one hundred and fifty to one hundred and seventy-five
pounds weight of the liquor; but these were continually broken,
chiefly by the thirsty mules across which they were slung like
panniers, and who, when rushing in crowds to the watering-places,
invariably smashed a number of them against each other. To remedy this
the brandy-growers have adopted the use of goat-skins; and the manner
in which, upon many plantations, these are prepared, is as frightful a
piece of barbarity as can well be imagined. A negro hangs up the goat,
alive, by the horns, makes a circular cut through the skin of the
neck, and strips the hide from the agonized beast, which is only
killed when completely flayed. The pretext for this execrable cruelty
is, that the skin comes off more easily, and is found more durable. It
is to be hoped that the planters will have sufficient humanity
speedily to do away with so horrible a practice.

The negro carnival, which Dr Tschudi witnessed at Yca, appears to us,
of the two, a more civilized performance than the Creole carnival at
Lima. In various of the streets large arches, tastefully decorated
with ribands, are erected; the negresses and zambas dance beneath
then; whilst the allotted task of the men is to gallop through without
being stopped. If the women succeed in checking the horse, and pulling
the rider out of the saddle, the latter has to pay a fine, and gets
laughed at to boot. It is difficult to know which to admire most; the
speed of the horses, the skill of the riders, or the daring of the
women, who throw themselves upon the horse as he comes on at full
gallop. As the horsemen approach, they are pelted with unripe oranges,
which, thrown by a strong-armed zamba, are capable of inflicting
tolerably hard knocks. Dr Tschudi saw one negro who, during a whole
hour, galloped backwards and forwards without being stopped, and
concluded by giving an extraordinary proof of muscular strength. At
the very moment that he passed under the arch, he stooped forward over
his horse's neck, caught up a negress under each arm, and rode off
with them!

Opposite to the ports of Pisco and Chincha, lie a number of small
islands, noted for their large deposits of guano, or _huanu_, as Dr
Tschudi corrects the orthography of the word. The doctor gives some
very interesting particulars concerning this efficacious manure,
which, although but recently adopted in Europe, appears to have been
used in Peru as far back as the time of the first Incas. The Peruvians
use it chiefly for the maize and potato fields; their manner of
employing it is peculiar, and but little known in Europe. A few weeks
after the seeds have begun to germinate, a small hole is made beside
each plant, filled with huanu and covered up with earth. Twelve or
fifteen hours later the whole field is laid under water, and left so
for a few hours. The effect of the process is incredibly rapid. In a
very few days the plants attain double their previous height. When the
operation is repeated, but with a smaller quantity of the huanu, the
farmer may reckon upon a crop at least threefold that which he would
obtain from an unmanured soil. Of the white huanu, which is much
stronger than the dark-coloured, less must be used, and the field must
be watered sooner, and for a longer time, or the roots will be
destroyed. When the land is tolerably good, seven hundred and fifty to
nine hundred pounds of huanu are reckoned sufficient for a surface of
fourteen thousand square feet; with poor soil a thousand to twelve
hundred pounds are required.

The waters that wash the coast of Peru swarm with fish, upon many of
which nature has amused herself in bestowing the most singular and
anomalous forms. For a period of six weeks, Dr Tschudi took up his
abode at the port of Huacho, with a view to increase his
ichthyological collection. Every morning at five o'clock he rode down
to the beach to await the return of the fishermen from their nocturnal
expeditions. From as far as they could distinguish him, the Indians
would hold up to his notice some strange and newly captured variety of
the finny race. He succeeded in getting together many hundred
specimens of about a hundred and twenty species of sea and river fish;
but ill luck attended this valuable collection. Through the negligence
of the people at the port of Callao, a cask of brandy, in which the
fish were preserved, was left for months upon the mole in the burning
sun, till its contents were completely spoiled. A second cask, in
spite of the most careful packing, arrived in Europe, after a fifteen
months' voyage, in a similar condition. This, however, was not the
only instance, during the doctor's stay in Peru, of the fruits of
great industry, and trouble, and heavy expense, being snatched from
him by untoward accidents. But nothing seems to have discouraged a man
actuated by a sincere love of science and thirst for information, and
possessed, as is made manifest by many parts of his modest and
unegotistical narrative, of great determination and perseverance.
Steadily he continued his researches, in defiance of difficulties and
sufferings that would have driven ordinary men over and over again on
board the first ship sailing for Europe.

We have as yet scarcely referred to those portions of the volume
dedicated to natural history, although the doctor rarely dismisses a
province or district without giving a brief but interesting account of
its most remarkable animals, fruits, and plants. His description of
some of these is very curious. Amongst others, he tells us of a small
bird called the _cheucau_, (Pteroptochus rubecula Kittl,) in connexion
with which the people of Chiloë, of which island it is a native,
entertain a host of superstitious fancies, foretelling good or bad
luck according to the various modulations of its song. "I was one
day," says the doctor, "out shooting with an Indian guide, when we
came upon one of these birds, sitting on a bush and piping out a
shrill _huit-huit-ru_. I had already taken aim at it, when my
companion seized my arm, and begged me not to shoot it, for that it
was singing its unlucky note. Wishing to obtain a specimen, I
disregarded his entreaty and fired. I had leaned my gun against a
tree, and was examining the little bird, when a vicious mule,
irritated probably by the report, came charging down upon us, so that
we had only just time to run behind a hedge in order to escape his
attack. Before we could find means to drive the enraged animal away,
he had thrown down my gun, bitten it furiously, and stamped on it with
his fore-feet. The Indian gravely said that it would be well if no
worse came of it, for that he had told me the bird was whistling bad
luck." There is another bird, about the size of a starling, which
passes its time, and finds its food, upon the backs of the cattle, and
chiefly of horses and jackasses, picking out the insects which there
abound. The beasts seem to feel that he is doing them a service, and
allow him to walk unmolested over their backs and heads. Of the beasts
of prey, the ounce is the most dangerous and bloodthirsty. It attains
a very large size, and Dr Tschudi saw the carcass of one that measured
eight feet and three inches from the nose to the extremity of the
tail. The tail was two feet and eight inches long. It had been killed
after a two days' hunt, during which, three negroes had been
dangerously wounded by it. Of Peruvian fruits, the most delicious is
the chirimoya. It is of a round form, sometimes heart-shaped or
pyramidal, its rind thick and tough, of a green colour streaked with
black. The inside is snow-white, soft and juicy, with black pips or
seeds. Near Lima, they are small and of inferior quality, sometimes
not larger than a man's fist; but in the interior, and especially in
the province of Huanuco, they attain their full perfection, and often
weigh fourteen or sixteen pounds. Their smell is most fragrant, and
their delicious flavour, Dr Tschudi says, he can compare to nothing,
for it is incomparable.

We perceive, on glancing over what we have written, that we have
occupied ourselves chiefly with the lighter portions of this book,
and, by so doing, may have given the reader an erroneous idea of its
value. Although, as already mentioned, the more important and
scientific results of Dr Tschudi's travels are to be found in others
of his works, the one before us must not be set down as a mere amusing
and ephemeral production. It contains a great deal of curious
information, and will be found useful as a book of reference by all
who are interested in the commerce, natural history, and general
statistics of Peru.

Notwithstanding our endeavours to "go a-head," we have got no further
than the conclusion of the first volume. In the second, which is also
the final one, the doctor abandons the coast and the city, and
penetrates into what may be termed the Peruvian back-woods, amongst
the snow-covered Cordilleras and aboriginal forests, the silver mines
and Indians. Of what he there saw and heard we shall give an account
in our next Number.

FOOTNOTES:

[1] _Peru. Reiseskizzen aus den Jahren 1838-1842._ _Von_ J. J. VON
TSCHUDI. St Gall: 1846.

[2] _Untersuchungen über die Fauna Peruana._ St Gall: 1846.

[3] An Historical and Descriptive Narrative of Twenty Years' Residence
in South America. Containing Travels in Arauco, Chili, Peru, and
Columbia; with an account of the Revolution, its rise, progress, and
results; by W. B. STEVENSON. London: 1825.

[4] Europeans are apt to attach the idea of some particular colour to
the word Creole. It is a vulgar error. Creole (Spanish, Criollo) is
derived from _criar_, to breed or produce, and is applied to native
Americans descended from 'Old World' parents. Thus there are black
Creoles as well as white, and a horse or a dog may be a Creole as well
as a man, so long as the European or African blood is preserved
unmixed.

[5] The day and the event strangely coincide with the passage in
Schiller's "Wilhelm Tell"--

                    "'s ist Simon und Judä
    Da rast der See und will sein Opfer haben."



LETTERS ON ENGLISH HEXAMETERS.

LETTER I.


DEAR MR EDITOR--I perceive, by your having requested a second specimen
of N.N.T.'s English hexameters, that you feel an interest in the
question, whether that form of verse can be successfully employed in
our language. Certainly the trial has never yet been made under any
moderate advantages. Sidney, and the other Elizabethans, in their
attempts, hampered themselves with Latin rules of the value of
syllables, which the English ear refuses to recognise, and which drive
them into intolerable harshness of expression and pronunciation.
Stanihurst's _Virgil_ is so laboriously ridiculous in phraseology,
that every thing belonging to it is involved in the ridicule.
Southey's _Vision_ is a poem so offensive in its scheme, that no
measure could have made it acceptable. Yet the beginning of that poem
is, as you, Mr Editor, have remarked, a very happy specimen of this
kind of verse; and would, I think, by a common English reader, be
admired, independently of classical rules and classical recollections.
Now, if we can reach this point, and at the same time give a good
English imitation of the Epic mode of narration in Homer, we shall
have a better image of Homer in our language than we yet possess. Your
contributor appears to me to have advanced a good way towards the
execution of this kind of work; and I should be glad if he, or you,
would allow me, as a reader of English hexameters, to offer a few
remarks on his first book of the _Iliad_, with a view to point out
what appear to me the dangers and difficulties of the task. I do not
say any thing of my general admiration of N.N.T.'s version, for mere
praise you would hardly think worth its room.

I should be glad to discuss with you, Mr Editor, the objections which
are usually made to English hexameters. There is one of these
objections which I will say a few words about at present. It proceeds
upon a misapprehension, now, I hope, pretty generally rectified; I
mean the objection that we cannot have hexameters, "because we have so
few spondees the language." Southey says we have but one, _Egypt_; and
gives this as a reason why the spondees of classical hexameters are
replaced by trochees in German and English. As to Southey's example,
_Egypt_ is no more a spondee than _precept_ or _rescript_; but the
fact is, that we have in English spondees in abundance; and these
spondees have tended more than any thing else to spoil our hexameters.
The universal English feeling of rhythm rejects a spondee at the end
of the verse; and if the syllables there placed are such as would, in
the natural course of pronunciation, form a spondee, we nevertheless
force upon them a trochaic character. This may be worth proving. Read,
then, the following lines of Sidney:--

  "But yet well do I find each man most wise in his _own case_."

  "And yet neither of ūs great ōr blest deemeth his _own self_."

  "Shall such morning dews be an ease to heat of a _love's fire_?"

  "Tush, tush, said Natūre, this is all but a trifle; a _man's self_
   Gives haps or mishaps, ev'n as he ord'reth his heart."

Now, here you have four endings which are naturally spondees; but the
verse compels you to pronounce them as trochees--_ōwn căse_, _ōwn
sĕlf_, _lōve's fĭre_, _mān's sĕlf_. If you still doubt whether the
last foot of English hexameters is necessarily a trochee, consider
this:--that if you make them rhyme, you must use double rhymes, in
order that the rhyme may include the strong syllable. Thus take any of
the examples given in _Maga_ for April last:--

  "See, O citizens! here old Ennius's image pre_sented_.
   Honour me not with your tears; by none let my death be la_mented_."

The ear would not be satisfied with a rhyme of one syllable such as
this--

  "But yet well do I find each man most wise in his own _case_:
   Wisely let each resolve, and meet the event with a calm _face_."

Now, so long as men retain the notion that the most perfect English
hexameters are those which have spondees in the classical places, they
are led to admit such verses as those just quoted; and this being
done, the common reader, and indeed every reader, is compelled to do
some violence to the language in reading. This, more than any thing
else, has made an English hexameter frequently sound forced and
unnatural. N.N.T. has a few such in his first _Iliad_.

  "Pressed on the silvery hilt as he spake was the weight of his
      _right hand_."

  "Two generations complete of the blood of articulate _mankind_."

  "Over the split wood then did the old man burn them, and _black wine_
   Pour'd."

These forms of English hexameter are to be avoided, if you would
commend the verse to the common ear. And we may exclude them with a
good conscience. Their forced and uneasy movement does not arise from
any imperfection in our English spondees; but from the spondee in
these cases being so perfect, that it cannot without some violence be
made a trochee, which the English verse requires. I do not think you
will find this bad trick in Southey. His habitual feeling of English
rhythm preserved him from it.

But there is another blemish, which Southey, forgetting his classical
rhythm too much, for it ought to have guided his English practice, has
often incurred. It is, the writing lines without a _cæsura_, so that
they divide themselves into half lines. Such as these:--

  "Washington, said the monarch, | well hast thou spoken and truly."

  "Evil they sow, and sorrow | will they reap for their harvest."

  "That its tribute of honour, | poor though it was, was witholden."

  "Pure it was and diaphanous. | It had no visible lustre."

N.N.T. has a few of these. One is the last line I quoted from him.

The essential point in English hexameters, especially while they are
imperfectly naturalized, is, that the rhythm should be _unforced_.
Without this, they will always repel and offend the English reader.
And hence, though our rhythm is to be constructed by stress, and not
by Latin rules of long and short, still, if it do not destroy it mars
the verse, to have, for short syllables, those which have long vowels,
clustered consonants, or special emphasis.

Such are the dactyls at the beginning of these lines of Southey:--

  "Thōu, tŏo, dĭdst act with upright heart as befitted a sovereign."

  "Hēaven ĭn thĕse things fulfilled its wise though inscrutable
        purpose."

  "Heār, Heăv'n! y̆e angels hear! souls of the good and the wicked."

Except you prefer to read it thus--

      "Hear, Heav'n! yē ăngĕls hear!"

which is no better. Perhaps the worst of Southey's lines in this way
is this--

    "Flōw'd thĕ lĭght ūncrēātĕd; lĭght all sufficing, eternal."

And as examples of weak syllables harshly made strong, take these--

  "Fabius, Ātrides, and Solon and Epamininondas."

  "Here, then, āt the gate of Heaven we are met! said the Spirit."

  "Thē desire of my heart hath been alway the good of my people."

N.N.T. has some examples of this. As a slight one, I notice at the end
of a line, _hārvĕstlĕss ocean_. And these, which are spoiled by the
violation of emphasis:--

  "Trūly _Ĭ_ came not, for one, out of hate for the spearmen of Troja."

  "Mightier even than you, yet amōng _thĕm_ Ĭ never was slighted."

Here we have an emphatic _I_ and an emphatic _them_ which are made
short in the rhythm.

N.N.T. has one dactyl which I can hardly suppose was intended--

  "Under his chāstĭsĭng hand."

It appears to me that we shall never bring the lovers of English
poetry to like our hexameters, except we can make the verses so that
they _read themselves_. This the good ones among them do. N.N.T. has
whole passages which run off without any violence or distortion.

But the phraseology of English hexameters requires great care, as well
as the rhythm, and especially in such a work as the translation of
Homer. The measure has the great advantage of freeing us from the
habitual chain of "poetical diction." But we must take care that we
are not led, by this freedom, either into a modern prose style, or
into mean colloquialities; or in translating, into phrases which,
though expressive and lively, do not agree with the tone of the poem.
The style must be homely, but dignified, like that of our translation
of the Old Testament. Perhaps you will allow me, for the sake of
example, to notice some of N.N.T.'s expressions:--

  "Try not the engine 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."

The phrase to "_come over me_" is colloquial, and too low even for a
letter. "Your _suggestion_" is a phrase for a letter, not for an epic
poem. "_Forsooth_" would be good in construing, but not in a poem.
Again, is this passage serious English:--

  "Opposite rose Agamemnon in wrath, but before he could _open_?"

I could notice other blemishes of style, as they seem to me; and,
indeed, I could the more easily find them, on account of the very
severe standard of good English, serious and dignified, yet plain and
idiomatic, which I think the case requires. Every phrase should be the
very best that can be found both for meaning and tone. I know that
this requirement is difficult; but I think the thing may be done; and
I do not see why N.N.T. should not do it, and thus give us a better
English Homer than we have yet.

If you can find room for me, I have a few more words to say on this
same matter of English hexameters another day. It appears to me that
there are still very erroneous notions current upon the subject. In
the mean time I subscribe myself your obedient

            M. L.



MARLBOROUGH'S DISPATCHES.

1708-1709.


The fall of the external walls of Lille did not terminate the struggle
for that important fortress. Marshal Boufflers still held the citadel,
a stronghold in itself equal to most fortresses of the first order. No
sooner, however, were the Allies in possession of the town, than the
attack on the citadel commenced with all the vigour which the
exhausted state of the magazines would furnish. Detached parties were
sent into France, which levied contributions to a great extent, and
both replenished the stores of the Allies and depressed the spirits of
the French, by making them feel, in a manner not to be misunderstood,
that the war had at length approached their own doors. To divert, if
possible, Marlborough from his enterprise, the Elector of Bavaria, who
had recently returned from the Rhine, was detached by Vendôme, with
fifteen thousand men against Brussels; while he himself remained in
his intrenched camp on the Scheldt, which barred the road from Lille
to that city, at once stopping the communication, and ready to profit
by any advantage afforded by the measures which the English general
might make for its relief. The governor of Brussels, M. Paschal, who
had seven thousand men under his orders, rejected the summons to
surrender, and prepared for a vigorous defence; and meanwhile
Marlborough prepared for its relief, by one of those brilliant strokes
which, in so peculiar a manner, characterize his campaigns.

Giving out that he was going to separate his army into
winter-quarters, he dispatched the field artillery towards Menin, and
he himself set out with his staff in rather an ostentatious way for
Courtray. But no sooner had he lulled the vigilance of the enemy by
these steps, than, wheeling suddenly round, he advanced with the bulk
of his forces towards the Scheldt, and directed them against that part
of the French general's lines where he knew them to be weakest. The
army, upon seeing these movements, anticipated the bloodiest battle,
on the day following, they had yet had during the war. But the skill
of the English general rendered resistance hopeless, and gained his
object with wonderfully little loss. The passage of the river was
rapidly effected at three points; the French corps stationed at
Oudenarde, vigorously assailed and driven back on Grammont with the
loss of twelve hundred men, so as to leave the road uncovered, and
restore the communication with Brussels. Having thus cleared the way
of the enemy, Marlborough sent back Eugene to resume the siege of the
citadel of Lille; while he himself, with the greater part of his
forces, proceeded on to Brussels, which he entered in triumph on the
29th November. The Elector of Bavaria was too happy to escape, leaving
his guns and wounded behind; and the citadel of Lille, despairing now
of succour, capitulated on the 11th December. Thus was this memorable
campaign terminated by the capture of the strongest frontier fortress
of France, under the eyes of its best general and most powerful
army.[6]

But Marlborough, like the hero in antiquity, deemed nothing done while
any thing remained to do. Though his troops were exhausted by marching
and fighting almost without intermission for five months, and he
himself was labouring under severe illness in consequence of his
fatigues, he resolved in the depth of winter to make an attempt for
the recovery of Ghent, the loss of which in the early part of the
campaign had been the subject of deep mortification. The enemy, after
the citadel of Lille capitulated, having naturally broken up their
army into cantonments, under the belief that the campaign was
concluded, he suddenly collected his forces, and drew round Ghent on
the 18th December. Eugene formed the covering force with the corps
lately employed in the reduction of Lille. The garrison was very
strong, consisting of no less than thirty battalions and nineteen
squadrons, mustering eighteen thousand combatants.[7] The governor had
been instructed by Vendôme to defend this important stronghold to the
last extremity; but he was inadequately supplied with provisions and
forage, and this event signally belied the expectations formed of his
resistance. The approaches were vigorously pushed. On the 24th the
trenches were opened; on the 25th a sortie was repulsed; on the 28th
December, the fire began with great vigour from the breaching and
mortar batteries; and at noon, the governor sent a flag of truce,
offering to capitulate if not relieved before the 2d January. This was
agreed to; and on the latter day, as no friendly force approached, the
garrison surrendered the gates and marched out, in such strength that
they were defiling incessantly from ten in the morning till seven at
night! Bruges immediately followed the example; the garrison
capitulated, and the town again hoisted the Austrian flag. The minor
forts of Plassendall and Leffinghen were immediately evacuated by the
enemy. With such expedition were these important operations conducted,
that before Vendôme could even assemble a force adequate to interrupt
the besiegers' operations, both towns were taken, and the French were
entirely dispossessed of all the important strongholds they had gained
in the early part of the campaign in the heart of Brabant. Having
closed his labours with these glorious successes, Marlborough put the
army into now secure winter-quarters on the Flemish frontiers, and
himself repaired to the Hague to resume the eternal contest with the
timidity and selfishness of his Dutch allies.[8]

Such was the memorable campaign of 1708--one of the most glorious in
the military annals of England, and the one in which the extraordinary
capacity of the British general perhaps shone forth with the brightest
lustre. The vigour and talent of Vendôme, joined to the secret
communication which he had with those disaffected to the Austrian
government in Ghent and Bruges, procured for him, in the commencement
of the campaign, a great, and what, if opposed by less ability, might
have proved a decisive advantage. By the acquisition of these towns,
he gained the immense advantage of obtaining the entire command of the
water communication of Brabant, and establishing himself in a solid
manner in the heart of the enemy's territory. The entire expulsion of
the Allies from Austrian Flanders seemed the unavoidable result of
such a success, by so enterprising a general at the head of a hundred
thousand combatants. But Marlborough was not discouraged; on the
contrary, he built on the enemy's early successes a course of
manœuvres, which in the end wrested all his conquests from him, and
inflicted a series of disasters greater than could possibly have been
anticipated from a campaign of unbroken success. Boldly assuming the
lead, he struck such a blow at Oudenarde as resounded from one end of
Europe to the other, struck a terror into the enemy which they never
recovered for the remainder of the campaign, paralysed Vendôme in the
midst of his success, and reduced him from a vigorous offensive to a
painful defensive struggle. While the cabinet of Versailles were
dreaming of expelling the Allies from Flanders, and detaching Holland,
partly by intrigue, partly by force of arms, from the coalition, he
boldly entered the territory of the Grand Monarque, and laid siege to
its chief frontier fortress, under the eyes of its greatest army and
best general. In vain was the water communication of the Netherlands
interrupted by the enemy's possession of Ghent and Bruges; with
incredible activity he got together, and with matchless skill
conducted to the besiegers' lines before Lille, a huge convoy eighteen
miles long, drawn by sixteen thousand horses, in the very teeth of
Vendôme at the head of an hundred and twenty thousand men. Lille
captured, Ghent and Bruges recovered, the allied standards solidly
planted on the walls of the strongest fortress of France, terminated
a campaign in which the British, over-matched and surrounded by
lukewarm or disaffected friends, had wellnigh lost at the outset by
foreign treachery all the fruits of the victory of Ramilies.

The glorious termination of this campaign, and, above all, the
addition made to the immediate security of Holland by the recovery of
Ghent and Bruges, sensibly augmented Marlborough's influence at the
Hague, and at length overcame the timidity and vacillation of the
Dutch government. When the English general repaired there in the
beginning of 1709, he quickly overawed the adherents of France,
regained his wonted influence over the mind of the Pensionary
Heinsius, and at length succeeded in persuading the government and the
States to augment their forces by six thousand men. This, though by no
means so great an accession of numbers as was required to meet the
vast efforts which France was making, was still a considerable
addition; and by the influence of Prince Eugene, who was well aware
that the principal effort of the enemy in the next campaign would be
made in the Netherlands, he obtained a promise that the Imperial
troops should winter there, and be recruited, so as to compensate
their losses in the preceding campaign. Great difficulties were
experienced with the court of Turin, which had conceived the most
extravagant hopes from the project of an invasion of France on the
side both of Lyons and Franche Comté, and for this purpose required a
large subsidy in money, and the aid of fifty thousand men under Prince
Eugene on the Upper Rhine. Marlborough was too well aware, by
experience, of the little reliance to be placed on any military
operations in which the Emperor and the Italian powers were to be
placed in co-operation, to be sanguine of success from this design;
but as it was material to keep the court of Turin in good-humour, he
gave the proposal the most respectful attention, and sent General
Palmer on a special mission to the Duke of Savoy, to arrange the plan
of the proposed irruption into the Lyonnois. With the cabinet of
Berlin the difficulties were greater than ever, and in fact had become
so urgent, that nothing but the presence of the English General, or an
immediate agent from him, could prevent Prussia from seceding
altogether from the alliance. General Grumbkow was sent there
accordingly in March, and found the king in such ill-humour at the
repeated disappointments he had experienced from the Emperor and the
Dutch, that he declared he could only spare _three battalions_ for the
approaching campaign.[9] By great exertions, however, and the aid of
Marlborough's letters and influence, the king was at length prevailed
on to continue his present troops in the Low Countries, and increase
them by fourteen squadrons of horse.[10]

But it was not on the Continent only that open enemies or lukewarm and
treacherous friends were striving to arrest the course of
Marlborough's victories. His difficulties at home, both with his own
party and his opponents, were hourly increasing; and it was already
foreseen, that they had become so formidable that they would cause, at
no very remote period, his fall. Though he was publicly thanked, as
well he might, by both houses of parliament, when he came to London on
1st March 1709, yet he received no mark of favour from the Queen, and
was treated with studied coldness at court.[11] Envy, the inseparable
attendant on exalted merit--ingratitude, the usual result of
irrequitable services, had completely alienated the Queen from him.
Mrs Masham omitted nothing which could alienate her royal mistress
from so formidable a rival; and it was hard to say whether she was
most cordially aided in her efforts by the open Opposition, or the
half Tory-Whigs who formed the administration. Both Godolphin and the
Duke speedily found that they were tolerated in office merely: while,
in order to weaken their influence with the people, every effort was
made to depreciate even the glorious victories which had shed such
imperishable lustre over the British cause. Deeply mortified by this
ingratitude, Marlborough gladly embraced an offer which was made to
him by the government, in order to remove him from court, to conduct
the negotiation now pending at the Hague with Louis XIV. for the
conclusion of a general peace.[12]

The pride of the French monarch was now so much humbled that he sent
the President Rouillé to Holland, with public instructions to offer
terms to the Allies, and private directions to do every thing possible
to sow dissension among them, and, if possible, detach Holland from
the alliance. His proposals were to give up Spain, the Indies, and the
Milanese to King Charles; and cede the Italian islands, reserving
Naples and Sicily for his grandson. In the Netherlands and Germany, he
offered to restore matters to the state they were at the peace of
Ryswick; and though he was very reluctant to give up Lille, he offered
to cede Menin in its place. These terms being communicated to the
court of London, they returned an answer insisting that the whole
Spanish monarchy should be restored to the house of Austria, the title
of Queen Anne to the Crown of England, and the Protestant succession
acknowledged, the Pretender removed, the harbour of Dunkirk destroyed,
and an adequate barrier secured for the Dutch. In their ideas upon
this barrier, however, they went much beyond what Marlborough was
disposed to sanction, and therefore he maintained a prudent reserve on
the subject. As the French plenipotentiary could not agree to these
terms, Marlborough returned to England, and Lord Townsend was
associated with him as plenipotentiary. They were instructed to insist
that Furmes, Ipres, Menin, Lille, Tournay, Condé, Valenciennes, and
Maubeuge, should be given up to form a barrier, and that Newfoundland
and Hudson's Bay should be restored. Alarmed at the exaction of such
rigorous terms, Louis sent M. de Torcy, who made large concessions;
and Marlborough, who was seriously desirous of bringing the war to a
conclusion, exerted all his influence with the States to induce them
to accept the barrier offered. He so far succeeded, that on the very
day after his return to the Hague, he wrote both to Lord Godolphin and
the Duchess of Marlborough, that he had prevailed on the Dutch
commissioners to accede to the principal articles, and that he had no
doubt the negotiation would terminate in an honourable peace.[13]

These flattering prospects, however, were soon overcast. The Dutch
renewed their demand of having their barrier strengthened _at the
expense of Austria_, and insisted that the Flemish fortresses of
Dendermonde and Ghent, forming part of the _Imperial_ dominions,
should be included in it. To this both Eugene and Marlborough
objected, and the Dutch, in spite, refused to stipulate for the
demolition of Dunkirk. So violent an altercation took place on the
subject between the Pensionary Heinsius and Marlborough, that it had
wellnigh produced a schism in the grand alliance. M. de Torcy at first
endeavoured to mitigate the demands of the Dutch government; but
finding them altogether immovable, he addressed himself privately to
Marlborough, offering him enormous bribes if he could procure more
favourable terms for France. The offers were 2,000,000 livres
(£80,000) if he could secure Naples and Sicily, or even Naples alone,
for the grandson of the King of France; and 4,000,000 livres
(£160,000) if, in addition to this, he could save Strasburg, Dunkirk,
and Landau, for France. Marlborough turned away from the disgraceful
proposal with coldness and contempt;[14] but enforced in the most
earnest manner on the French king, the prudence and even necessity of
yielding to the proffered terms, if he would save his country from
dismemberment, and himself from ruin. His efforts, however, to bring
matters to an accommodation with France proved ineffectual; and after
some weeks longer spent in proposals and counter-proposals, the
ultimatum of the Allies was finally delivered to the French
plenipotentiary by the Pensionary of Holland.[15]

By this ultimatum, Charles was to be acknowledged King of Spain and
the Indies, and the whole Spanish monarchy was to be ceded by France.
All the conquests of Louis in the Low Countries were to be given up;
the Duke of Anjou was to surrender Spain and Sicily in two months, and
if not delivered, Louis was to concur with the Allies for his
expulsion. The barrier towns, so eagerly coveted by the Dutch, were to
be given up to them. Namur, Menin, Charleroi, Luxembourg, Condé,
Tournay, Maubeuge, Nieuport, Fismes, and Ipres, were to be put into
the possession of the Allies. De Torcy objected to the articles
regarding the cession of the whole Spanish monarchy in two months;
though he declared his willingness to go to Paris, in order to
persuade the French monarch to comply with them, and actually set off
for that purpose. On the way to the French capital, however, he was
met by a messenger from the French king, who rejected the proposals.
"If I must continue the war," said Louis, with a spirit worthy his
race, "it is better to contend with my enemies than my own family." So
confidently had it been believed, both at the Hague and in London,
that peace was not only probable, but actually concluded, that letters
of congratulation poured in on the duke from all quarters, celebrating
his dexterity and address in negotiation not less than his prowess in
arms. So confident, indeed, was Marlborough that peace would be
concluded, that he was grievously disappointed by the rupture of the
negotiations; and never ceased to strive, during the whole summer, to
smooth away difficulties, and bring the Allies to such terms as the
French king would accept. He was overruled, however, by the ministry
at home, who concluded the celebrated barrier treaty with the Dutch,
which Marlborough refused to sign, and was accordingly signed by
Townsend alone, without his concurrence! And it is now decisively
proved by the publication of his private correspondence with Lord
Godolphin, that he disapproved of the severe articles insisted upon by
the Allies and his own cabinet; and that, if he had had the
uncontrolled management of the negotiation, it would have been brought
to a favourable issue on terms highly advantageous to England, and
which would have prevented the treaty of Utrecht from forming a stain
on its annals.[16]

The rigorous terms demanded, however, by the Allied cabinets, and the
resolute conduct of the King of France in rejecting them, had an
important effect upon the war, and called for more vigorous efforts on
the part of the confederates than they had yet put forth, or were even
now disposed to make. Louis made a touching appeal to the patriotic
spirit of his people, in an eloquent circular which he addressed to
the prelates and nobles of his realm. He there set forth the great
sacrifices which he had offered to make to secure a general peace;
showed how willing he had been to divest himself of all his conquests,
abandon all his dreams of ambition; and concluded by observing, that
he was now compelled to continue the contest, because the Allies
insisted upon his descending to the humiliation of joining his arms to
theirs to dispossess his own grandson. The appeal was not made in vain
to the spirit of a gallant nobility, and the patriotism of a brave
people. It kindled a spark of general enthusiasm and loyalty: all
ranks and parties vied with each other in contributing their property
and personal service for the maintenance of the war; and the campaign
which opened under such disastrous auspices, was commenced with a
degree of energy and unanimity on the part of the French people which
had never hitherto been evinced in the course of the contest.[17] As
afterwards, in the wars of the Revolution, too, the misfortunes of the
state tended to the increase of its military forces. The stoppage of
commerce, and shock to credit, threw numbers out of employment; and
starving multitudes crowded to the frontier, to find that subsistence
amidst the dangers of war which they could no longer find in the
occupations of peace.

Skilfully availing themselves of this burst of patriotic fervour, the
ministers of Louis were enabled to open the campaign with greater
forces than they had yet accumulated since the beginning of the war.
The principal effort was made in Flanders, where the chief danger was
to be apprehended, and the enemy's most powerful army and greatest
general were to be faced. Fifty-one battalions and forty-nine
squadrons were drawn from the Rhine to Flanders; and this great
reinforcement, joined to the crowds of recruits whom the public
distress impelled to his standards, enabled the renowned Marshal
Villars, who had received the command of the French, to take the field
at the head of 112,000 men. With this imposing force, he took a
position, strong both by nature and art, extending from Douay to the
Lye; the right resting on the canal of Douay, the centre covered by
the village of La Bassie, the left supported by Bethune and its
circumjacent marshes. The whole line was strengthened by redoubts and
partial inundations. Marlborough was at the head of 110,000 men, and
although his force was composed of a heterogeneous mixture of the
troops of different nations, yet, like the _colluvies omnium gentium_
which followed the standards of Hannibal, it was held together by the
firm bond of military success, and inspired with unbounded confidence,
founded on experience, in the resources and capacity of its chief.
Events of the greatest and most interesting kind could not but be
anticipated, when two armies of such magnitude, headed by such
leaders, were brought into collision; and the patriotic ardour of the
French nation, now roused to the uttermost, was matched against the
military strength of the confederates, matured by so long and
brilliant a series of victories.[18]

Though relying with confidence on the skill and intrepidity of his
troops, Marlborough, according to his usual system, resolved if
possible to circumvent the enemy by manœuvring, and reserve his hard
blows for the time when success was to be won in no other way. His
design was to begin the campaign with a general battle, or the
reduction of Tournay, which lay on the direct road from Brussels by
Mons to Paris, and would break through, in the most important part,
the barrier fortresses. To prepare for either event, and divert the
enemy's attention, strong demonstrations were made against Villars'
intrenched position, and if it had been practicable, it would have
been attacked; but after a close reconnoitre, both generals deemed it
too hazardous an enterprise, and it was resolved to besiege the
fortress. On the 23d June, the right under Eugene crossed the lower
Dyle below Lille; while the left, with whom were the whole English and
Dutch contingents, crossed the upper Dyle, and Marlborough fixed his
headquarters at the castle of Looz. So threatening were the masses
which the Allies now accumulated in his front, that Villars never
doubted he was about to be attacked; and in consequence he
strengthened his position to the utmost of his power, called in all
his detachments, and drew considerable reinforcements from the
garrisons of Tournay and other fortresses in his vicinity. Having thus
fixed his antagonist's attention, and concentrated his force in his
intrenched lines between Douay and Bethune, Marlborough suddenly moved
off to the left, in the direction of Tournay. This was done, however,
with every imaginable precaution to impose upon the enemy. They
decamped at nightfall on the 27th in dead silence, and advanced part
of the night straight towards the French lines; but at two in the
morning, the troops were suddenly halted, wheeled to the left, and
marched in two columns, by Pont à Bovines and Pont à Tressins, towards
Tournay. So expeditiously was the change in the line of march managed,
and so complete the surprise, that by seven in the morning the troops
were drawn round Tournay, and the investment complete, while a half of
the garrison was still absent in the lines of Marshal Villars, and it
was thereby rendered incapable of making any effectual defence.
Meanwhile, that commander was so deceived, that he was congratulating
himself that the enemy had "fixed on the siege of Tournay, which
should occupy them the whole remainder of the campaign; when it is
evident their design had been, after defeating me, to thunder against
Aire la Venant with their heavy artillery, penetrate as far as
Boulogne, and after laying all Picardy under contribution, push on
even to Paris."[19]

Tournay is an old town, the ancient walls of which are of wide
circuit; but it had a series of advanced works erected by Vauban, and
its citadel, a regular pentagon, was considered by the great Condé as
one of the most perfect specimens of modern fortification in
existence. So little did the governor expect their approach, that many
of the officers were absent, and a detachment of the garrison, sent
out to forage, was made prisoners by General Lumley, who commanded the
investing corps. The fortifications, however, were in the best state,
and the magazines well stored with ammunition and military stores. It
was the ancient capital of the Nervii, so celebrated for their valour
in the wars with Cæsar; and an inscription on its walls testified that
Louis XIV., after taking it in four days, had assisted in the
construction of the additional works which would render it
impregnable. The attempt to take such a place with a force no greater
than that with which Villars had at hand to interrupt the operations,
would have been an enterprise of the utmost temerity, and probably
terminated in disaster, had it not been for the admirable skill with
which the attention of the enemy had been fixed on another quarter,
and the siege commenced with half its garrison absent, and what was
there, imperfectly supplied with provisions.[20]

The heavy artillery and siege equipage required to be brought up the
Scheldt from Ghent, which in the outset occasioned some delay in the
operations. Marlborough commanded the attacking, Eugene the covering
forces. By the 6th, however, the approaches were commenced; on the
10th, the battering train arrived and the trenches armed; repeated
sallies of the enemy to interrupt the operations were repulsed, and
several of the outworks carried, between that time and the 21st, on
which last occasion the besiegers succeeded in establishing themselves
in the covered ways. The breaching batteries continued to thunder with
terrible effect upon the walls; and on the 27th, a strong horn-work,
called of the Seven Fountains, was carried, and the Allies were
masters of nearly the whole line of the counterscarp. Meanwhile,
Villars made no serious movement to interrupt the besiegers,
contenting himself with making demonstrations between the Scarfe and
the Scheldt to alarm the covering forces. Eugene, however, narrowly
watched all his proceedings; and in truth the French marshal, far from
really intending to disquiet the Allies in their operations, was
busied with an immense army of pioneers and labourers in constructing
a new set of lines from Douay along the Scarfe to the Scheldt near
Condé, in order to arrest the progress of the Allies in the direction
they had now taken. Seeing no prospect of being relieved, the governor
on the 29th surrendered the town, and retired with the remains of the
garrison, still four thousand strong, into the citadel.[21]

On the surrender of the town, no time was lost in prosecuting
operations against the citadel, and the line of circumvallation was
traced out that very evening. But this undertaking proved more
difficult than had been expected, and several weeks elapsed before any
material progress was made in the operations, during which Villars
made good use of his time in completing his new lines to cover
Valenciennes and Condé. The garrison of the citadel, though unequal to
the defence of the town of Tournay, was quite adequate to that of the
citadel: and the vast mines with which the whole outworks and glacis
were perforated, rendered the approaches in the highest degree
perilous and difficult. The governor, M. De Surville, proposed, on the
5th August, to capitulate in a month if not relieved; and to this
proposition, Marlborough and Eugene with praiseworthy humanity at once
acceded: but the King of France refused to ratify the terms proposed,
unless the suspension of arms was made general to the whole
Netherlands, to which the allied general would not accede. The
military operations consequently went on, and soon acquired a degree
of horror hitherto unparalleled even in that long and bloody contest.
The art of countermining, and of counteracting the danger of mines
exploding, was then very imperfectly understood, though that of
besieging above ground had been brought to the very highest degree of
perfection. The soldiers, in consequence, entertained a great and
almost superstitious dread of the perils of that subterraneous
warfare, where prowess and courage were alike unavailing, and the
bravest, equally as the most pusillanimous, were liable to be at any
moment blown into the air, or smothered under ground, by the
explosions of an unseen, and therefore appalling, enemy. The Allies
were inferior in regular sappers and miners to the besieged, who were
singularly well supplied with that important arm of the service. The
ordinary soldiers, how brave soever in the field, evinced a repugnance
at engaging in this novel and terrific species of warfare: and it was
only by personally visiting the trenches in the very hottest of the
fire, and offering high rewards to the soldiers who would enter into
the mines, that men could be got who would venture on the perilous
service.[22]

It was not surprising that even the bravest of the allied troops were
appalled at the new and extraordinary dangers which now awaited them,
for they were truly of the most formidable description. What rendered
them peculiarly so, was, that the perils in a peculiar manner affected
the bold and the forward. The first to mount a breach, to effect a
lodgement in a horn-work, to penetrate into a mine, was sure to
perish. First a hollow rumbling noise was heard, which froze the
bravest hearts with horror: a violent rush as of a subterraneous
cataract succeeded; and immediately the earth heaved, and whole
companies, and even battalions, were destroyed with a frightful
explosion. On the 15th August a sally by M. De Surville was bravely
repulsed, and the besiegers, pursuing their advantage, effected a
lodgement in the outwork: but immediately a mine was sprung, and a
hundred and fifty men were blown into the air. In the night between
the 16th and 17th, a long and furious conflict took place below ground
and in utter darkness, between the contending parties, which at length
terminated to the advantage of the besiegers.[23] On the 23d a mine
was discovered, sixty feet long by twenty broad, which would have
blown up a whole battalion of Hanoverian troops placed above it; but
while the Allies were in the mine, congratulating themselves on the
discovery, a mine below it was suddenly sprung, and all within the
upper one buried in the ruins. On the night of the 25th, three hundred
men, posted in a large mine discovered to the Allies by an inhabitant
of Tournay, were crushed by the explosion of another mine directly
below it; and on the same night, one hundred men posted in the town
ditch were suddenly buried under a bastion blown out upon them. Great
was the dismay which these dreadful and unheard-of disasters produced
among the allied troops. But at length the resolution and energy of
Marlborough and Eugene triumphed over every obstacle. Early on the
morning of the 31st August the white flag was displayed, and a
conference took place between the two commanders in the house of the
Earl of Albemarle; but the governor having refused to accede to the
terms demanded--that he should surrender prisoners of war--the fire
recommenced, and a tremendous discharge from all the batteries took
place for the next three days. This compelled the brave De Surville to
submit; and Marlborough, in consideration of his gallant defence,
permitted the garrison to march out with the honours of war, and
return to France, on condition of not serving again till exchanged. On
September 3d the gates were surrendered; and the entire command of
this strong fortress and rich city, which entirely covered Spanish
Flanders, was obtained by the Allies.[24]

No sooner was Tournay taken than the allied generals turned their
eyes to Mons, the next great fortress on the road to Paris, and which,
with Valenciennes, constituted the only remaining strongholds that lay
on that line between them and Paris. So anxious was Marlborough to
hasten operations against this important town, that on the very day on
which the white flag was displayed from the citadel of Tournay, he
dispatched Lord Orkney with all the grenadiers of the army, and twenty
squadrons, to surprise Ghislain, and secure the passage of the Haine.
On the 3d, the Prince of Hesse-Cassel was dispatched after him with
4000 foot and 60 squadrons. Lord Orkney, on arriving on the banks of
the Haine, found the passage so strongly guarded that he did not deem
it prudent to alarm the enemy by attempting to force them. The Prince
of Hesse-Cassel, however, was more fortunate. He marched with such
extraordinary diligence, that he got over forty-nine English miles in
fifty-six successive hours; a rapidity of advance, for such a
distance, that had never been surpassed at that, though it has been
outdone in later times.[25] By this means he reached the Haine on the
other side of Mons, and surprised the passage near Obourg, at two in
the morning of the 6th, and at noon he entered the French lines of the
Trouille without opposition, the enemy retiring with precipitation as
he advanced. He immediately extended his forces over the valley of the
Trouille, fixed his headquarters at the abbey of Belian, and with his
right occupied in strength the important plateau of Jemappes, which
intercepted the communication between Mons and Valenciennes. It was on
this height that the famous battle was fought between the French
Republicans under Dumourier in 1792: another proof among the many
which history affords how frequently the crisis of war, at long
distances of time from each other, takes place in the same place. By
this decisive movement Marlborough gained an immense advantage;--Mons
was now passed and _invested on the side of France_; and the
formidable lines, thirty leagues in length, on which Marshal Villars
had been labouring with such assiduity during the two preceding
months, were turned and rendered of no avail.[26]

While the Prince of Hesse-Cassel, with the advanced guard of the army,
gained this brilliant success, Marlborough was rapidly following with
the main body in the same direction. The force besieging Tournay
crossed the Scheldt at the bridge of that town, and joined the
covering force under Eugene. From thence they advanced to Sirant,
where they were joined by Lord Orkney with his detachment, which had
failed in passing the Haine. On the 6th, having learned of the success
of the Prince of Hesse-Cassel, who had turned the enemy's lines, and
got between Mons and France, the allied generals pushed on with the
utmost expedition, and leaving their army to form the investment of
Mons, joined the prince in the abbey of Belian. Both commanders
bestowed on him the highest compliments for the advantages he had
gained; but he replied, "The French have deprived me of the glory due
to such a compliment, since they have not even waited my arrival." In
truth, such had been the celerity and skill of his dispositions, that
they had rendered resistance hopeless, and achieved success without
the necessity of striking a blow. Meanwhile Marshal Boufflers, hearing
a battle was imminent, arrived in the camp as a volunteer, to serve
under Villars, his junior in military service; a noble example of
disinterested patriotism, which, not less than the justly popular
character of that distinguished general, raised the enthusiasm of the
French soldiers to the very highest pitch.[27] Every thing announced
a more sanguinary and important conflict between the renowned
commanders and gallant armies now arrayed on the opposite sides, than
had yet taken place since the commencement of the war.[28]

During these rapid and vigorous movements, which entirely turned and
broke through his much-vaunted lines of defence, Villars remained with
the great body of his forces in a state of inactivity. Aware he was to
be attacked, but ignorant where the blow was first likely to fall, he
judged, and probably rightly, that it would be hazardous to weaken his
lines at any one point by accumulating forces at another. No sooner,
however, did he receive intelligence of the march of the Prince of
Hesse-Cassel, than he broke up from the lines of Douay, and hastily
collecting his forces, advanced towards that adventurous commander. At
two in the morning of the 4th, he arrived in front of him with his
cavalry; but conceiving the whole allied army was before him, he did
not venture to make an attack at a time when his great superiority of
force would have enabled him to do it with every chance of success.
The movement of Villars, however, and general _feux-de-joie_ which
resounded through the French lines on the arrival of Marshal
Boufflers, warned the allied leaders that a general battle was at
hand; and orders were in consequence given to the whole army to
advance at four o'clock on the afternoon of the 7th. A detachment of
Eugene's troops was left to watch Mons, the garrison of which
consisted only of eleven weak battalions and a regiment of horse, not
mustering above five thousand combatants; and the whole remainder of
the allied army, ninety thousand strong, pressed forward in dense
masses into the level and marshy plain in the middle of which Mons is
situated. They advanced in different columns, headed by Marlborough
and Eugene; and never was a more magnificent spectacle presented, than
when they emerged from the woods upon the plain, and ascended in the
finest order, with their whole cavalry and artillery, as well as
infantry, the undulating ground which lies to the south of that town.
They arrived at night, and bivouacked on the heights of Quaregnon,
near Genly, and thence on to the village of Quevy, in a line not three
miles in length, and only five distant from the enemy; so that it was
evident a general battle would take place on the following day, unless
Villars was prepared to abandon Mons to its fate.[29]

The French marshal, however, had no intention of declining the combat.
His army was entirely fresh, and in the finest order; it had engaged
in no previous operations; whereas a bloody siege, and subsequent
fatiguing marches in bad weather, had sensibly weakened the strength,
though they had not depressed the spirits, of the allied soldiers. The
vast efforts of the French government, joined to the multitude of
recruits whom the public distress had impelled into the army, had in
an extraordinary degree recruited his ranks. After making provision
for all the garrisons and detached posts with which he was charged, he
could bring into the field no less than a hundred and thirty
battalions, and two hundred and sixty squadrons; and as they had all
been raised to their full complement, they mustered sixty-five
thousand infantry, and twenty-six thousand horse, with eighty guns; in
all, with the artillery, ninety-five thousand combatants. This vast
array had the advantage of being almost entirely of one nation,
speaking one language, and animated with one spirit; while the allied
force was a motley array of many different faces and nations of men,
held together by no other bond but the strong one of military success
and confidence in their chief. Both armies were of nearly equal
strength, under the command of the ablest and most intrepid commanders
of their day; the soldiers of both had acted long together, and
acquired confidence in each other; and both contained that
intermixture of the fire of young, with the caution of veteran troops,
which is of the happiest augury for military success. It was hard to
say, between such antagonists, to which side the scales of victory
would incline.[30]

The face of the country occupied by the French army, and which was to
be the theatre of the great battle which was approaching, is an
irregular plateau, interspersed by woods and intersected by streams,
and elevated from a hundred and fifty to two hundred feet above the
meadows of the Trouille. Mons and Bavay, the villages of Quevrain and
Giory, formed the angular points of this broken surface. Extensive
woods on all the principal eminences both give diversity and beauty to
the landscape, and, in a military point of view, added much to the
strength of the position as defensible ground against an enemy. Near
MALPLAQUET, on the west of the ridge, is a small heath, and
immediately to the south of it the ground descends by a rapid slope to
the Hon, which finds its way by a circuitous route by the rear of the
French position to the Trouille, which it joins near Condé. The
streams from Malplaquet to the northward all flow by a gentle slope
through steep wooded banks to the Trouille, into which they fall near
Mons. The woods on the plateau are the remains of a great natural
forest which formerly covered the whole of these uplands, and out of
which the clearings round the villages and hamlets which now exist,
have been cut by the hands of laborious industry. Two woods near the
summit level of the ground are of great extent, and deserve particular
notice. The first, called the wood of Louvière, stretches from
Longueville in a north-easterly direction to Cauchie; the second,
named the wood Taisnière, of still larger size, extends from the
Chaussée de Bois to the village of Bouson. Between these woods are two
openings, or Trouées as they are called in the country--the Trouée de
la Louvière, and the Trouée d'Aulnoet. Generally speaking, the ground
occupied by the French, and which was to be the theatre of the battle,
may be described as a rough and woody natural barrier, stretching
across the high plateau which separates the Haine and the Trouille,
and pervious only by the two openings of Louvière and Aulnoet, both of
which are in a very great degree susceptible of defence.[31]

The allied army consisted of one hundred and thirty-nine battalions,
and two hundred and fifty-three squadrons, with one hundred and five
guns; mustering ninety-three thousand combatants. The two armies,
therefore, were as nearly as possible equal in point of military
strength--a slight numerical superiority on the part of the French
being compensated by a superiority of twenty-five guns on that of the
Allies. Among the French nobles present at the battle, were no less
than twelve who were afterwards marshals of France.[32] The son of
James II., under the name of the Chevalier of St George, who combined
the graces of youth with the hereditary valour of his race, was there;
St Hilaire and Folard, whose works afterwards threw such light on
military science, were to be found in its ranks. The Garde-du-corps,
Mousquetaires gris, Grenadiers _à cheval_, French, Swiss, and Bavarian
guards, as well as the Irish brigade, stood among the combatants. The
reverses of Louis had called forth the flower of the nobility, as well
as the last reserves of the monarchy.[33]

Early on the morning of the 9th, Marlborough and Eugene were on the
look-out at the Mill of Sart, with a strong escort, consisting of
thirty squadrons of horse. From the reports brought in, it was soon
ascertained that the whole enemy's army was in march towards the plain
of Malplaquet, on the west of the plateau, and that Villars himself
was occupying the woods of Lasnière and Taisnière. His headquarters
were at Blaugnies, in the rear of the centre. The two armies were now
only a league and a half separate, and Marlborough and Eugene were
clear for immediately attacking the enemy, before they could add to
the natural strength of their position by intrenchnents. But the Dutch
deputies, Hooft and Goslinga, interfered, as they had done on a
similar occasion between Wavre and Waterloo, and so far modified this
resolution as to induce a council of war, summoned on the occasion, to
determine not to fight till the troops from Tournay were within reach,
and St Ghislain, which commanded a passage over the Haine, was taken.
This was done next day, the fort being carried by escalade, and its
garrison of two hundred men made prisoners; and on the day following,
all the reserves from Tournay came up. But these advantages, which in
themselves were not inconsiderable, were dearly purchased by the time
which Villars gained for strengthening his position. Instead of
pushing on to attack the allies, as Marlborough and Eugene had
expected, to raise the siege of Mons, that able commander employed
himself with the utmost skill and vigour in throwing up intrenchments
in every part of his position. The nature of the ground singularly
favoured his efforts. The heights he occupied, plentifully
interspersed with woods and eminences, formed a concave semicircle,
the artillery from which enfiladed on all sides the little plain of
Malplaquet, so as to render it literally, in Dumont's words, "une
trouée d'enfer." Around this semicircle, redoubts, palisades, abattis,
and stockades, were disposed with such skill and judgment, that,
literally speaking, there was not a single inequality of ground, (and
there were many,) which was not turned to good account. The two
_trouées_ or openings, in particular, already mentioned, by which it
was foreseen the Allies would endeavour to force an entrance, were so
enfiladed by cross batteries as to be wellnigh unassailable. Twenty
pieces of artillery were placed on a redoubt situated on an eminence
near the centre of the field; the remainder were arranged along the
field-works constructed along the lines. Half the army laboured at
these works without a moment's intermission during the whole of the
9th and 10th, while the other were under arms, ready to repel any
attack which might be hazarded. With such vigour were the operations
conducted, that by the night of the 10th, the position was deemed
impregnable.[34]

During these two days, which were passed in inactivity, awaiting the
coming up of the reinforcements from Tournay, which the council of war
had deemed indispensable to the commencement of operations,
Marlborough and Eugene had repeatedly reconnoitred the enemy's
position, and were fully aware of its growing strength. Despairing of
openly forcing such formidable lines, defended by so numerous and
gallant an army, they resolved to combine their first attack with a
powerful demonstration in rear. With this view, the rear-guard, which
was coming up from Tournay under General Withers, of nineteen
battalions and ten squadrons, received orders not to join the main
body of the army, but, stopping short at St Ghislain, to cross the
Haine there, and, traversing the wood of Blangris by a country road,
assail the extreme left of the enemy at the farm of La Folie, when the
combat was seriously engaged in front. Forty battalions of Eugene's
army, under Baron Schulemberg, were to attack the wood of Taisnière,
supported by forty pieces of cannon, so placed that their shot reached
every part of the wood. To distract the enemy's attention, other
attacks were directed along the whole line; but the main effort was to
be made by Eugene's corps on the wood of Taisnière; and it was from
the co-operation of the attack of Schulemberg on its flank, that
decisive success was expected.[35] All the corps had reached their
respective points of destination on the evening of the 10th.
Schulemberg was near La Folie; Eugene was grouped, in four lines, in
front of Taisnière; and the men lay down to sleep, anxiously awaiting
the dawn of the eventful morrow.[36]

At three in the morning of the 11th, divine service was performed,
with the utmost decorum, at the head of every regiment, and listened
to by the soldiers, after the example of their chief, with the most
devout attention. The awful nature of the occasion, the momentous
interests at stake, the uncertainty who might survive to the close of
the day, the protracted struggle now to be brought to a decisive
issue, had banished all lighter feelings, and impressed a noble
character on that impressive solemnity. A thick fog overspread the
field, under cover of which the troops marched, with the utmost
regularity, to their appointed stations: the guns were brought forward
to the grand battery in the centre, which was protected on either side
by an _épaulement_ to prevent an enfilade. No sooner did the French
outposts give notice that the Allies were preparing for an attack,
than the whole army stood to their arms, and all the working parties,
who were still toiling in the trenches, cast aside their tools, and
joyfully resumed their places in the ranks. Never, since the
commencement of the war, had the spirit of the French soldier been so
high, or so enthusiastic a feeling infused into every bosom. With
confidence they looked forward to regaining the laurels, under their
beloved commander, Marshal Villars, which had been withered in eight
successive campaigns, and arresting the flood of conquest which
threatened to overwhelm their country. No sooner did he mount on
horseback at seven, than loud cries of "Vive le Roi!" "Vive le
Maréchal de Villars!" burst from their ranks. He himself took the
command of the left, giving the post of honour on the right, in
courtesy, to Marshal Boufflers. On the allied side, enthusiasm was not
so loudly expressed, but confidence was not the less strongly felt.
They relied with reason on the tried and splendid abilities of their
chiefs, on their own experienced constancy and success in the field.
They had the confidence of veteran soldiers, who had long fought and
conquered together. In allusion to the numerous field-works before
them, and which almost concealed the enemy's ranks from their view,
the sarcastic expression passed through the ranks, "We are again about
to make war on moles." The fog still lingered on the ground, so as to
prevent the gunners seeing to take aim; but at half-past seven it
cleared up; the sun broke forth with uncommon brilliancy, and
immediately the fire commenced with the utmost vigour from the
artillery on both sides.[37]

For about half an hour the cannon continued to thunder, so as to reach
every part of the field of battle with their balls, when Marlborough
moved forward his troops in échelon, the right in front, in order to
commence his projected attack on the French centre and left. The
Dutch, who were on the left, agreeably to the orders they had
received, halted when within range of grape, and a violent cannonade
was merely exchanged on both sides; but Count Lottum, who commanded
the centre of twenty battalions, continued to press on, regardless of
the storm of shot and grape with which he was assailed, and when well
into the enemy's line, he brought up his left shoulders, and in three
lines attacked the right of the wood of Taisnière. Schulemberg, at the
same time, with his forty battalions to the right of Lottum, advanced
against the wood of Taisnière in front; while Lord Orkney, with his
fifteen battalions, as Lottum's men inclined to the right, marched
straight forward to the ground they had occupied, and attacked the
intrenchment before him in the opening. Eugene, who was with
Schulemberg's men, advanced without firing a shot, though suffering
dreadfully from the grape of the batteries, till within pistol-shot of
the batteries. They were there, however, received by so terrible a
discharge of all arms from the intrenchments--the French soldiers
laying their pieces deliberately over the parapet, and taking aim
within twenty yards of their opponents--that they recoiled above two
hundred yards, and were only brought back to the charge by the heroic
efforts of Eugene, who exposed his person in the very front of the
line. Meanwhile, three battalions brought up from the blockade of Mons
stole unperceived, amidst the tumult in front, into the south-eastern
angle of the wood of Taisnière, and were making some progress, when
they were met by three battalions of French troops, and a vehement
fire of musketry soon rang in the recesses of the wood.

Meanwhile, Marlborough in person led on D'Auvergne's cavalry in
support of Lottum's men, who speedily were engaged in a most terrific
conflict. They bore without flinching the fire of the French brigade
_du Roi_, and, crossing a ravine and small morass, rushed with fixed
bayonets, and the most determined resolution, right against the
intrenchment. So vehement was the onset, so impetuous the rush, that
some of the leading files actually reached the summit of the parapet,
and those behind pushing vehemently on, the redoubt was carried amidst
deafening cheers. But Villars was directly in rear of that work; and
he immediately led up in person a brigade in the finest order, which
expelled the assailants at the point of the bayonet, and regained the
work. Marlborough upon this charged at the head of D'Auvergne's
cavalry; and that gallant body of men, three thousand strong, dashed
forward, entered the intrenchments, which were, at the same time,
surmounted by some of Lottum's battalions. While this desperate
conflict was going on in front and flank of the wood, Withers, with
his corps brought up from Tournay, was silently, and with great
caution, entering the wood on the side of La Folie, and had already
made considerable progress before any great efforts were made to expel
them. The advance of this corps in his rear rendered it impossible for
Villars any longer to maintain the advanced line of works in the front
of the wood; it was therefore abandoned, but slowly, and in admirable
order--the troops retiring through the trees to the second line of
works in their rear, which they prepared to defend to the last
extremity.

While this bloody conflict was raging in and around the wood of
Taisnière, the half-hour during which the Prince of Orange had been
directed to suspend his attack had elapsed, and that gallant chief,
impatient of inactivity when the battle was raging with such fury on
his right, resolved to move forward in good earnest. The Scotch
brigade, led on by the Marquis of Tullibardine, headed the column on
the left; to their right were the Dutch, under Spaar and Oxenstiern;
while the Prince of Hesse-Cassel, with twenty-one squadrons, was in
reserve to support and follow the infantry into the works, when an
opening was made. On the word "march" being given, the troops of these
various nations, with rival courage, advanced to the attack. The
Scotch Highlanders, headed by the gallant Tullibardine,[38] rushed
impetuously forward to the attack, despite a tremendous fire of grape
and musketry which issued from the works, and succeeded in reaching
the top of the intrenchment. But before they could deploy, they were
charged by the French infantry in close order, and driven out.
Tullibardine met a glorious death in the redoubt he had won. Equally
gallant was the assault, and unpropitious the result, of the Prince of
Orange's attack on the right towards the French centre. There, too,
by a vehement rush the intrenchment was carried; but the troops which
surmounted it had no sooner penetrated in than they were attacked by
Boufflers, at the head of fresh troops in close order in front, while
a powerful battery opened with grape on their flank. This double
attack proved irresistible; the assailants were pushed out of the
works with dreadful slaughter. Spaar lay dead on the spot; Hamilton
was carried off wounded. Seeing his men recoil, the Prince of Orange
seized a standard, and advancing alone to the slope of the
intrenchment, said aloud, "Follow me, my friends; here is your post."
But it was all in vain. Boufflers' men from the French second line had
now closed up with the first, which lined the works, and a dense mass
of bayonets, six deep, bristled at their summit behind the embrasures
of the guns. A dreadful rolling fire issued from them; their position
could be marked by the ceaseless line of flame, even through the
volumes of smoke which enveloped them on all sides; and at length,
after displaying the most heroic valour, the Prince of Orange was
obliged to draw off his men, with the loss of three thousand killed,
and twice that number wounded. Instantly the brigade of Navarre issued
with loud shouts out of the intrenchments. Several Dutch battalions
were driven back, and some colours, with an advanced battery, fell
into the enemy's hands. Boufflers supported this sally by his
grenadiers _à cheval_; but the Prince of Hesse-Cassel came up with his
well-appointed squadron on the other side, and, after a short
struggle, drove the French back into their works.

Hearing that matters were in this precarious state on the left,
Marlborough galloped from the right centre, accompanied by his staff,
where Lotturn's infantry and D'Auvergne's horse had gained such
important advantages. Matters erelong became so alarming, that Eugene
also followed in the same direction. On his way along the rear of the
line, the English general had a painful proof of the enthusiastic
spirit with which his troops were animated, by seeing numbers of the
wounded Dutch and Hanoverians, whose hurts had just been bound up by
the surgeons, again hastening to the front, to join their comrades,
though some, faint from the loss of blood, yet tottered under the
weight of their muskets. The reserves were hastily directed to the
menaced front, and by their aid the combat was in some degree restored
in that quarter; while Marlborough and Eugene laboured to persuade the
Prince of Orange, who was burning with anxiety at all hazards to renew
the attack, that his operations were only intended as a feint, and
that the real effort was to be made on the right, where considerable
progress had already been made. Order was hardly restored in this
quarter, when intelligence arrived from the right that the enemy were
assuming the initiative in the wood of Taisnière, and were pressing
hard both upon the troops at La Folie and in front of the wood. In
fact, Villars, alarmed at the progress of the enemy on his left in the
wood, had drawn considerable reinforcements from his centre, and sent
them to the threatened quarter. Marlborough instantly saw the
advantage which this weakening of the enemy's centre was likely to
give him. While he hastened back, therefore, with all imaginable
expedition to the right, to arrest the progress of the enemy in that
quarter, he directed Lord Orkney to advance, supported by a powerful
body of horse on each flank, directly in at the opening between the
two woods, and if possible force the enemy's intrenchments in the
centre, now stripped of their principal defenders.

These dispositions, adopted on the spur of the moment, and instantly
acted upon, proved entirely successful. Eugene galloped to the extreme
right, and renewed the attack with Schulemberg's men, while Withers
again pressed on the rear of the wood near La Folie. So vigorous was
the onset, that the Allies gained ground on both sides of the wood,
and Villars hastening up with the French guards to restore the combat
near La Folie, received a wound in the knee, when gallantly heading a
charge of bayonets, which obliged him to quit the field. In the
centre, still more decisive advantages were gained. Lord Orkney there
made the attack with such vigour, that the intrenchments, now not
adequately manned, were at once carried; and the horse, following
rapidly on the traces of the foot soldiers, broke through at several
openings made by the artillery, and spread themselves over the plain,
cutting down in every direction. The grand battery of forty cannon in
the allied centre received orders to advance. In the twinkling of an
eye the guns were limbered up, and moving on at a quick trot. They
soon passed the intrenchments in the centre, and facing to the right
and left, opened a tremendous fire of canister and grape on the dense
masses of the French cavalry which there stood in the rear of the
infantry, who were almost all in front among the works. These noble
troops, however, bore up gallantly against the storm, and even charged
the allied horse before they had time to form within the lines; but
they were unable to make any impression, and retired from the attack
sorely shattered by the allied artillery.

The battle was now gained. Villars' position, how strong and gallantly
defended soever, was no longer tenable. Pierced through in the centre,
with a formidable enemy's battery thundering on either side, in the
very heart of his line, on the reserve squadrons, turned and menaced
with rout on the left, it was no longer possible to keep the field.
Boufflers, upon whom, in the absence of Villars in consequence of his
wound, the direction of affairs had devolved, accordingly prepared for
a retreat; and he conducted it with consummate skill, as well as the
most undaunted firmness. Collecting a body of two thousand chosen
horse yet fresh, consisting of the _élite_ of the horse-guards and
garde-du-corps, he charged the allied horse which had penetrated into
the centre, and was by this time much blown by its severe fatigues in
the preceding part of the day. It was accordingly worsted and put to
flight; but all the efforts of this noble body of horsemen were
shattered against Orkney's infantry, which, posted on the reverse of
the works they had won, poured in, when charged, so close and
destructive a fire, as stretched half of the gallant cavaliers on the
plain, and forced the remainder to a precipitate retreat. Still the
indefatigable Boufflers made another effort. Drawing a large body of
infantry from the works on his extreme right, which had been little
engaged, he marched them to the left, and reforming his squadrons
again, advanced to the charge. But Marlborough no sooner saw this,
than he charged the garde-du-corps with a body of English horse which
he himself led on, and drove them back, while the infantry staggered
and reeled like a sinking ship under the terrific fire of the allied
guns, which had penetrated the centre. At the same time the Prince of
Orange and the Prince of Hesse-Cassel, perceiving that the
intrenchments before them were stript of great part of their
defenders, renewed the attack; in ten minutes these works were
carried; a tremendous shout, heard along the whole line, announced
that the whole left of the position had fallen into the hands of the
Allies.

In these desperate circumstances, Boufflers and his brave troops did
all that skill or courage could suggest to arrest the progress of the
victors, and withdraw from the field without any additional losses.
Forming his troops into three great masses, with the cavalry which had
suffered least in rear, he slowly, and in perfect regularity,
commenced his retreat. The Allies had suffered so much, and were so
completely exhausted by the fatigue of this bloody and protracted
battle, that they gave them very little molestation. Contenting
themselves with pursuing as far as the heath of Malplaquet, and the
level ground around Taisnière, they halted, and the men lay down to
sleep. Meanwhile the French, in the best order, but in deep dejection,
continued their retreat still in three columns; and after crossing the
Hon in their rear, reunited below Quesnoy and Valenciennes, about
twelve miles from the field of battle.[39]

Such was the desperate battle of Malplaquet, the most bloody and
obstinately contested which had yet occurred in the war, and in which
it is hard to say to which of the gallant antagonists the palm of
valour and heroism is to be given. The victory was unquestionably
gained by the Allies, since they forced the enemy's position, drove
them to a considerable distance from the field of battle, and hindered
the siege of Mons, the object for which both parties fought, from
being raised. The valour they displayed had extorted the admiration of
their gallant and generous enemies.[40] On the other hand, these
advantages had been purchased at an enormous sacrifice, and never
since the commencement of the contest had the scales hung so even
between the contending parties. The Allies lost, killed in the
infantry alone, five thousand five hundred and forty-four; wounded and
missing, twelve thousand seven hundred and six; in all eighteen
thousand two hundred and fifty, of whom two hundred and eighty-six
were officers killed, and seven hundred and sixty-two wounded.
Including the casualties in the cavalry and artillery, their total
loss was not less than twenty thousand men, or nearly a fifth of the
number engaged. The French loss, though they were worsted in the
fight, was less considerable; it did not exceed fourteen thousand
men--an unusual circumstance with a beaten army, but easily accounted
for, if the formidable nature of the intrenchments which the Allies
had to storm in the first part of the action, is taken into
consideration. In proportion to the numbers engaged, the loss to the
victors was not, however, nearly so great as at Waterloo.[41] Few
prisoners, not above five hundred, were made on the field; but the
woods and intrenchments were filled with wounded French, whom
Marlborough, with characteristic humanity, proposed to Villars to
remove to the French headquarters, on condition of their being
considered prisoners of war--an offer which that general thankfully
accepted. A solemn thanksgiving was read in all the regiments of the
army two days after the battle, after which the soldiers of both
armies joined in removing the wounded French on two hundred waggons to
the French camp. Thus, after the conclusion of one of the bloodiest
fights recorded in modern history, the first acts of the victors were
in raising the voice of thanksgiving, and doing deeds of mercy.[42]

No sooner were these pious cares concluded, than the Allies resumed
the investment of Mons: Marlborough, with the English and Dutch,
having his headquarters at Belian, and Eugene, with the Germans, at
Quaregnon. The Prince of Orange, with thirty battalions and as many
squadrons, was intrusted with the blockade. Great efforts were
immediately made to get the necessary siege equipage and stores up
from Brussels; but the heavy rains of autumn set in with such
severity, that it was not till the 25th September that the trenches
could be opened. Boufflers, though at no great distance, did not
venture to disturb the operations. On 9th October, a lodgement was
effected in the covered way; on the 17th, the outworks were stormed;
and on the 26th, the place surrendered with its garrison, still three
thousand five hundred strong. By this important success, the conquest
of Brabant was finished; the burden and expense of the war removed
from the Dutch provinces; the barrier which they had so long sought
after was rendered nearly complete; and the defences of France were so
far laid bare, that by the reduction of Valenciennes and Quesnoy, in
the next campaign, no fortified place would remain between the Allies
and Paris. Having achieved this important success, the allied generals
put their army into winter-quarters at Ghent, Bruges, Brussels, and on
the Meuse; while fifty battalions of the French, with one hundred
squadrons, were quartered, under the command of the Duke of Berwick,
in the neighbourhood of Maubeuge, and the remainder of their great
army in and around Valenciennes and Quesnoy.[43]

During the progress of this short but brilliant campaign, Marlborough
was more than ever annoyed and disheartened by the evident and
increasing decline of his influence at home. Harley and Mrs Masham
contrived to thwart him in every way in their power; and scarcely
disguised their desire to make the situation of the Duke and Godolphin
so uncomfortable, that out of spleen they might resign; in which case,
the entire direction of affairs would have fallen into their
hands.[44] Influenced by these new favourites, the Queen became cold
and resentful to the Duchess of Marlborough, to whom she had formerly
been so much attached; and the Duke, perceiving this, strongly advised
her to abstain from any correspondence with her Majesty, as more
likely to increase than diminish the estrangement so rapidly growing
between them. The Duchess, however, was herself of too irritable a
temper to follow this sage advice; reproaches, explanations, and
renewed complaints ensued on both sides; and as usual in such cases,
where excessive fondness has been succeeded by coldness, all attempts
to repair the breach only had the effect of widening it. Numerous
events at court, trifles in themselves, but "confirmation strong" to
the jealous, served to show in what direction the wind was setting.
The Duchess took the strong and injudicious step of intruding herself
on the Queen, and asking what crime she had committed to produce so
great an estrangement between them. This drew from her Majesty a
letter, exculpating her from any fault, but ascribing their alienation
to a discordance in political opinion, adding, "I do not think it a
crime in any one not to be of my mind, or blamable, because you cannot
see with my eyes, or hear with my ears." While this relieved
Marlborough from the dread of a personal quarrel between the Duchess
and Royalty, it only aggravated the precarious nature of his
situation, by showing that the split was owing to the wider and more
irremediable division on political subjects.[45]

Encouraged by this powerful support at court, Harley now openly
pursued his design of effecting the downfall of Marlborough, and his
removal from office, and the command of the armies. The whole campaign
which had terminated so gloriously, was criticised in the most unjust
and malignant spirit. The siege of Tournay was useless and expensive;
the battle of Malplaquet an unnecessary carnage. It was even
insinuated the Duke had purposely exposed the officers to slaughter,
that he might obtain a profit by the sale of their commissions. The
preliminaries first agreed to at the Hague were too favourable to
France; when Louis rejected them, the rupture of the negotiations
rested with Marlborough. In a word, there was nothing done by the
English general, successful or unsuccessful, pacific or warlike, which
was not made the subject of loud condemnation, and unmeasured
invective. Harley even corresponded with the disaffected party in
Holland, in order to induce them to cut short the Duke's career of
victory by clamouring for a general peace. Louis was represented as
invincible, and rising stronger from every defeat: the prolongation of
the war was entirely owing to the selfish interests and ambition of
the allied chief. These and similar accusations, loudly re-echoed by
all the Tories, and sedulously poured into the royal ear by Harley and
Mrs Masham, made such an impression on the Queen, that she did not
offer the smallest congratulation to the Duchess on the victory of
Malplaquet, nor express the least satisfaction at the Duke's escape
from the innumerable dangers which he had incurred.[46]

An ill-timed and injudicious step of Marlborough at this juncture, one
of the few which can be imputed to him in his whole public career,
inflamed the jealousy of the Queen and the Tories at him. Perceiving
the decline of his influence at court, and anticipating his dismissal
from the command of the army at no distant period, he solicited from
the Queen a patent constituting him Captain-general for life. In vain
he was assured by the Lord Chancellor that such an appointment was
wholly unprecedented in English history; he persisted in laying the
petition before the Queen, by whom it was of course refused. Piqued at
this disappointment, he wrote an acrimonious letter to her Majesty, in
which he reproached her with the neglect of his public services, and
bitterly complained of the neglect of the Duchess, and transfer of the
royal favour to Mrs Masham. So deeply did Marlborough feel this
disappointment, that on leaving the Hague to return to England, he
said publicly to the deputies of the States--"I am grieved that I am
obliged to return to England, where my services to your republic will
be turned to my disgrace."[47]

Marlborough was received in the most flattering manner by the people,
on landing on 15th November, and he was greeted by the thanks of both
Houses of Parliament for his great and glorious services. The Queen
declared in her speech from the throne, that this campaign had been at
least as glorious as any which had preceded it; and the Chancellor, in
communicating the thanks of the House of Lords, added--"This high
eulogium must be looked upon as added to, and standing upon the
foundation already laid in the records of this House, for preserving
your memory fresh to all future times; so that your Grace has also the
satisfaction of seeing this everlasting monument of your glory rise
every year much higher." Such was the impulse communicated to both
Houses by the presence of the Duke, and the recollection of his
glorious services, that liberal supplies for carrying on the war were
granted by both Houses. The Commons voted £6,000,000 for the service
of the ensuing year, and on the earnest representation of Marlborough,
an addition was made to the military forces.

But in the midst of all these flattering appearances, the hand of
destruction was already impending over the British hero. It was mainly
raised by the very greatness and inappreciable nature of his services.
Envy, the invariable attendant on exalted merit, had already singled
him out as her victim: jealousy, the prevailing weakness of little
minds, had prepared his ruin. The Queen had become uneasy at the
greatness of her subject. There had even been a talk of the Duke of
Argyll arresting him in her name, when in command of the army. Anne
lent a ready ear to the representations of her flatterers, and
especially Mrs Masham, that she was enthralled by a single family;
that Marlborough was the real sovereign of England, and that the
crown was overshadowed by the field-marshal's baton. Godolphin,
violently libelled in a sermon by Dr Sacheverell, at St Saviour's,
Southwark, the Doctor was impeached before the House of Lords for the
offence. The government of the Tower, usually bestowed on the
recommendation of the commander-in-chief, was, to mortify Marlborough,
bestowed without consulting him on Lord Rivers. At length matters came
to such a pass, and the ascendency of Mrs Masham was so evident, while
her influence was exercised in so undisguised a manner to humiliate
him, that he prepared the draft of a letter of resignation of his
commands to her Majesty, in which, after enumerating his services, and
the abuse which Mrs Masham continued to heap on him and his relations,
he concluded with saying--"I hope your Majesty will either dismiss her
or myself."[48]

Sunderland and several of the Whig leaders warmly approved of this
vigorous step; but Godolphin, who foresaw the total ruin of the
ministry and himself, in the resignation of the general, had influence
enough to prevent its being sent. Instead of doing so, that nobleman
had a long private audience with her Majesty on the subject; in which,
notwithstanding the warmest professions on her part, and the strong
sense she entertained of his great and lasting services, it was not
difficult to perceive that a reserve as to future intentions was
manifested, which indicated a loss of confidence. Marlborough declared
he would be governed in the whole matter by the advice and opinion of
his friends; but strongly expressed his own opinion, "that all must be
undone if this poison continues about the Queen."[49] Such, however,
was the agony of apprehension of Godolphin at the effects of the
duke's resignation, that he persuaded him to adopt a middle course,
the usual resource of second-rate men in critical circumstances, but
generally the most hazardous that can be adopted. This plan was to
write a warm remonstrance to the Queen, but without making Mrs
Masham's removal a condition of his remaining in office. In this
letter, after many invectives against Mrs Masham, and a full
enumeration of his grievances, he concludes with these words--"This is
only one of many mortifications that I have met with, and as I may not
have many opportunities of writing to you, let me beg of your Majesty
to reflect what your own people and the rest of the world must think,
who have been witnesses of the love, zeal, and duty with which I have
served you, when they shall see that, after all I have done, it has
not been able to protect me against the malice of a bed-chamber
woman.[50] But your Majesty may be assured that my zeal for you and my
country is so great, that in my retirement I shall daily pray for your
prosperity, and that those who serve you as faithfully as I have done,
may never feel the hard return I have met with."

These expressions, how just soever in themselves, and natural in one
whose great services had been requited as Marlborough's had been, were
not likely to make a favourable impression on the royal mind, and,
accordingly, at a private audience which he had soon after of the
Queen, he was received in the coldest manner.[51] He retired in
consequence to Blenheim, determined to resign all his commands,
unless Mrs Masham was removed from the royal presence. Matters seemed
so near a rupture, that the Queen personally applied to several of the
Tories, and even Jacobites, who had long kept aloof from court, to
support her in opposition to the address expected from both Houses of
Parliament on the duke's resignation. Godolphin and Somers, however,
did their utmost to bend the firm general; and they so far succeeded
in opposition to his better judgment, and the decided opinions of the
Duchess, as to induce him to continue in office without requiring the
removal of Mrs Masham from court. The Queen, delighted at this victory
over so formidable an opponent, received him at his next audience in
the most flattering manner, and with a degree of apparent regard which
she had scarcely ever evinced to him in the days of his highest
favour. But in the midst of these deceitful appearances his ruin was
secretly resolved on; and in order to accelerate his departure from
court, the Queen inserted in her reply to the address of the Commons
at the close of the Session of Parliament, a statement of her
resolution to send him immediately to Holland, as "I shall always
esteem him the chief instrument of my glory, and of my people's
happiness." He embarked accordingly, and landed at the Brill on March
18th, in appearance possessing the same credit and authority as
before, but in reality thwarted and opposed by a jealous and ambitious
faction at home, which restrained his most important measures, and
prevented him from effecting any thing in future on a level with his
former glorious achievements.

The year 1709 was signalized by the decisive victory of the Czar Peter
over Charles XII. at Pultowa, who was totally routed and irretrievably
ruined by the Muscovite forces, commanded by the Czar in person on
that disastrous day. This overthrow was one of the most momentous
which has occurred in modern times. Not only was a great and dreaded
conqueror at once overturned, and erelong reduced to captivity; but a
new balance of power was established in the north which has never
since been shaken. Sweden was reduced to her natural rank as a
third-rate power from which she had been only raised by the
extraordinary valour and military talents of a series of warlike
sovereigns, who had succeeded in rendering the Scandinavian warriors,
like the Macedonians of old, a race of heroes. Russia, by the same
event, acquired the entire ascendency over the other Baltic powers,
and obtained that preponderance which she has ever since maintained in
the affairs of Europe. Marlborough sympathised warmly with the
misfortunes of the heroic sovereign, for whose genius and gallantry he
had conceived the highest admiration. But he was too sagacious not to
see that his disasters, like those of Napoleon afterwards in the same
regions, were entirely the result of his own imprudence; and that if
he had judiciously taken advantage of the terror of his name, and the
success of his arms, in the outset of his invasion, he might have
gained all the objects for which he contended without incurring any
serious evil.[52]

Peter the Great, who gained this astonishing and decisive success, was
one of the most remarkable men who ever appeared on the theatre of
public affairs. He was nothing by halves. For good or for evil he was
gigantic. Vigour seems to have been the great characteristic of his
mind; but it was often fearfully disfigured by passion, and not
unfrequently misled by the example of more advanced states. To elevate
Russia to an exalted place among nations, and give her the influence
which her vast extent and physical resources seemed to render within
her reach, was throughout life the great object of his ambition; and
he succeeded in it to an extent which naturally acquired for him the
unbounded admiration of mankind. His overthrow of the Strelitzes, long
the Prætorian guards and terror of the czars of Muscovy, was effected
with a vigour and stained by a cruelty similar to that with which
Sultan Mahommed a century after destroyed the Janissaries at
Constantinople. The sight of a young and despotic sovereign leaving
the glittering toys and real enjoyments of royalty to labour in the
dockyards of Saardem with his own hands, and instruct his subjects in
shipbuilding by first teaching himself, was too striking and
remarkable not to excite universal attention. And when the result of
this was seen: when the Czar was found introducing among his subjects
the military discipline, naval architecture, nautical skill, or any of
the arts and warlike institutions of Europe, and in consequence long
resisting and at length destroying the terrible conqueror who had so
long been the terror of Northern Europe, the astonishment of men knew
no bounds. He was at once the Solon and Scipio of modern times: and
literary servility, vying with great and disinterested admiration,
extolled him as one of the greatest heroes and benefactors of his
species who had ever appeared among men.

But time, the great dispeller of illusions, and whose mighty arm no
individual greatness, how great soever, can long withstand, has begun
to abate much from this colossal reputation. His temper was violent in
the extreme; frequent acts of hideous cruelty, and occasional
oppression, signalized his reign. More than any other man, he did evil
that good may come of it. He compelled his people, as he thought, to
civilisation, though, in seeking to cross the stream, hundreds of
thousands perished in the waves. "Peter the Great," says Mackintosh,
"did not civilize Russia: that undertaking was beyond his genius,
great as it was; he only gave the Russians the art of civilized war."
The truth was, he attempted what was altogether impracticable. No one
man can at once civilize a nation: he can only put it in the way of
civilisation. To complete the fabric must be the work of continued
effort and sustained industry during many successive generations. That
Peter failed in rendering his people on a level with the other nations
of Europe in refinement and industry, is no reproach to him. It was
impossible to do so in less than several centuries. The real
particular in which he erred was, that he departed from the national
spirit, that he tore up the national institutions, violated in
numerous instances the strongest national feelings. He clothed his
court and capital in European dress; but men do not put off old
feelings with the costume of their fathers. Peter's civilisation
extended no further than the surface. He succeeded in inducing an
extraordinary degree of discipline in his army, and the appearance of
considerable refinement among his courtiers. But it is easier to
remodel an army than change a nation; and the celebrated _bon-mot_ of
Diderot, that the Russians were "rotten before they were ripe," is but
a happy expression, indicating how much easier it is to introduce the
vices than the virtues of civilisation among an unlettered people. To
this day the civilisation of Russia has never descended below the
higher ranks; and the efforts of the real patriotic czars who have
since wielded the Muscovite sceptre, Alexander and Nicholas, have been
mainly directed to get out of the fictitious career into which Peter
turned the people, and revive with the old institutions the true
spirit and inherent aspirations of the nation. The immense success
with which their efforts have been attended, and the gradual, though
still slow descent of civilisation and improvement through the great
body of the people, prove the wisdom of the principles on which they
have proceeded. Possibly Russia is yet destined to afford another
illustration of the truth of Montesquieu's maxim, that no nation ever
yet rose to durable greatness but through institutions in harmony with
its spirit. And in charity let us hope that the words of Peter on his
death-bed have been realized: "I trust that, in respect of the good I
have striven to do my people, God will pardon my sins."

FOOTNOTES:

[6] Marlborough to Mr Secretary Boyle, 17th December 1708. _Disp._ iv.
362.

[7] _Disp._ iv. 315, 323, 345. Marlborough to Duke de Mole, 10th Dec.
1708. _Ibid._ 346. COXE, iv. 278.

[8] Marlborough to Mr Secretary Boyle, 3d January 1709, _Disp._ iv.
389.

[9] "'Can I do more than I do now?' said the King. 'I make treaties,
but the Emperor breaks his word with me, as well as Holland, every
moment. Besides it is impossible, without great inconvenience, _to
give more than three battalions_; and he is a wretch who would advise
me otherwise.' I said he was a wretch who should advise him not to do
it. He replied, 'You speak very boldly, and may perhaps repent it, if
your arguments are not conclusive.'"--General Grumbkow to Marlborough,
March 9, 1709. COXE, iv. 341.

[10] King of Prussia to Marlborough, March 9, 1709. COXE, iv. 346.

[11] In communicating the thanks of the House of Lords, the Chancellor
said,

"I shall not be thought to exceed my present commission, if, being
thus led to contemplate the mighty things which your Grace has done
for us, I cannot but conclude with acknowledging, with all gratitude,
the providence of God in raising you up to be an instrument of so much
good, in so critical a juncture, when it was so much wanted." COXE,
iv. 375.

[12] COXE, iv. 352, 366, 377.

[13] "M. de Torcy has offered so much, that I have no doubt it will
end in a good peace." Marlborough to Godolphin, 19th May 1707.

"Every thing goes on so well here, that there is no doubt of its
ending in a good peace. Government have in readiness the sideboard of
plate, and the chairs of state and canopy; and I beg it may be made so
as to form part of a bed when I am done with it here, _which I hope
may be by the end of this summer_, so that I may enjoy your dear
society in quiet, which is the greatest satisfaction I am capable of
having." Marlborough to the Duchess, 19th May 1709. COXE, iv. 393.

[14] _Mémoire, M. de Torcy_, ii. 104-111.

[15] SWIFT'S _Conduct of the Allies_, 72; COXE, iv. 395-415.

[16] "I have as much mistrust for the sincerity of France as any body
living can have; but I will own to you, that in my opinion, if France
had delivered the towns promised by the plenipotentiaries, and
demolished Dunkirk and the other towns mentioned, they must have been
at our discretion; so that if they had played tricks, so much the
worse for themselves." Marlborough to Lord Godolphin, June 10, 1709.
COXE, iv. 405.

[17] COXE, iv. 401.

[18] _Ibid._ v. i. 5.

[19] _Mém. de Villars_, ii. 63. Marlborough to Godolphin, June 27,
1709. COXE, iv. 5, 6.

[20] Marlborough to Mr Secretary Boyle, 27th June 1709. _Disp._ iv.
520. COXE, v. 7, 8.

[21] Marlborough to Lord Galway, 4th July 1709; and to the Queen, 29th
July 1709. _Disp._ iv. 530 and 556. COXE, v. 8, 13. Marlborough's
private letters to the Duchess at this period, as indeed throughout
all his campaigns, prove how he was tired of the war, and how ardently
he sighed for repose at Blenheim. "The taking of the citadel of
Tournay will, I fear, cost us more men and time than that of the town;
but that which gives me the greatest prospect for the happiness of
being with you, is, that certainly the misery of France increases,
which must bring us a peace. The misery of the poor people we see is
such, that one must be a brute not to pity them. May you be ever
happy, and I enjoy some few years of quiet with you, is what I daily
pray for." Marlborough to the Duchess, July 30, 1709. COXE, v. 12.

[22] DUMONT'S _Military History_, ii. 104. COXE, v. 15, 16.

[23] A very striking incident occurred in the siege, which shows to
what a height the heroic spirit with which the troops were animated
had risen. An officer commanding a detachment, was sent by Lord
Albemarle to occupy a certain lunette which had been captured from the
enemy; and though it was concealed from the men, the commander told
the officer he had every reason to believe the post was undermined,
and that the party would be blown up. Knowing this, he proceeded with
perfect calmness to the place of his destination; and when provisions
and wine were served out to the men, he desired them to fill their
calashes, and said, "Here is a health to those who die the death of
the brave." The mine in effect was immediately after sprung; but
fortunately the explosion failed, and his comrades survived to relate
their commander's noble conduct.

[24] Marlborough to Mr Secretary Boyle, 31st August and 3d September
1709. _Disp._ iv. 585, 588. COXE, v. 14, 18. DUMONT'S _Military
History_, ii. 103.

[25] Mackenzie's brigade, which joined Wellington's army after the
battle of Talavera, marched sixty-two English miles in twenty-six
hours. NAPIER, ii. 412.

[26] COXE, v. 20, 25. Marlborough to Mr Secretary Boyle, 7th September
1709. _Disp._ iv. 590.

[27] A similar incident occurred in the British service, when Sir
Henry, now Lord Hardinge, and Governor-general of India, served as
second in command to Sir Hugh Gough, his senior in military rank, but
subordinate in station, at the glorious battles of Ferozepore and
Sobraon, with the Sikhs. How identical is the noble and heroic spirit
in all ages and countries! It forms a freemasonry throughout the
world.

[28] COXE, v. 24, 25. _Disp._ iv. 588, 595.

[29] Marlborough to Mr Secretary Boyle, 7th and 11th September 1709.
_Disp._ iv. 591, 592. COXE, v. 25, 26.

[30] _Mém. de Villars_, ii. 167, 184. COXE, v. 26, 28.

[31] COXE, v. 29, 30. The author has passed over the ground, and can
attest the accuracy of the description here given.

[32] Viz. Artagnan, Maréchal de Montesquieu; De Guiche, Maréchal de
Grammont; Puysegur, Montmorenci, Coigny, Broglio, Chaulnes, Nangis,
Isenghien, Duras, Houdancourt, and Sanneterre. The monarchy never sent
forth a nobler array.

[33] COXE, v. 32. _Mém. de Villars_, ii, 280.

[34] COXE, v. 34, 37; DUMONT'S _Military History_, ii. 381-7.

[35] Marlborough's General Orders, Sept. 10, 1709.

[36] COXE, v. 40, 44.

[37] LEDIARD, _Life of Marlborough_, ii. 172, 180. COXE, v. 45, 47.

[38] The regiments of Tullibardine and Hepburn were almost all Atholl
Highlanders.

[39] COXE, v. 54, 63; _Disp._ v. 592, Marlborough to Mr Secretary
Boyle, Sept. 11, 1709, and to Mr Wauchope, same date, v. 598.

[40] "The Eugenes and Marlboroughs ought to be well satisfied with us
during that day; since till then they had not met with resistance
worthy of them. They may now say with justice that nothing can stand
before them; and indeed what shall be able to stay the rapid progress
of these heroes, if an army of one hundred thousand men of the best
troops, strongly posted between two woods, trebly entrenched, and
performing their duty as well as any brave men could do, were not able
to stop them one day? Will you not then own with me that they surpass
all the heroes of former ages?"--_Letter of a French Officer who
fought at Malplaquet_; COXE, v. 65.

[41] At Waterloo, there were sixty-nine thousand six hundred and
eighty-six men in Wellington's army, and the loss was twenty-two
thousand four hundred and sixty-nine, or one in three nearly; at
Malplaquet, it was one in five; at Talavera, one in four--five
thousand being killed and wounded out of nineteen thousand eight
hundred engaged.--SIBORNE'S _Waterloo_, ii. 352 and 519.

[42] Marlborough to Marshal Villars, 13th September 1709, and to Mr
Secretary Boyle, 16th September 1709; _Disp._ v. 596, 599.--COXE, v.
64.

[43] Marlborough to Mr Secretary Boyle, October 21, 1709. _Disp._ v.
617, 621.

[44] "Be assured that Mrs Masham and Mr Harley will, underhand, do
every thing that can make the business uneasy, particularly to you the
Lord Treasurer, and me, for they know well that if we were removed
every thing would be in their power. This is what they labour for,
believing it would make them both great and happy; but I am very well
persuaded it would be their destruction." _Marlborough to Godolphin_,
Nov. 1, 1709; COXE, v. 105.

[45] COXE, v. 105, 111.

[46] COXE, v. 115, 116.

[47] SWIFT, _Mem. on Queen's Change of Ministry in 1710_, p. 37. COXE,
v. 117-118.

[48] COXE, v. 124, 133.

[49] Duchess of Marlborough to Maynwaring, January 18, 1710. COXE, v.
134

[50] Marlborough to Queen Anne, January 19, 1710.

[51] "On Wednesday sennight I waited upon the Queen, in order to
represent the mischief of such recommendations in the army, and before
I came away I expressed all the concern for her change to me, that is
natural to a man that has served her so faithfully for many years,
which made no impression, nor was her Majesty pleased to take so much
notice of me as to ask my Lord Treasurer where I was upon her missing
me at Council. I have had several letters from him since I came here,
and I cannot find that her Majesty has ever thought me worth naming;
when my Lord Treasurer once endeavoured to show her the mischief that
would happen, she made him no answer but a bow." Marlborough to Lord
Somers, January 21, 1710.

[52] "If this unfortunate king had been so well advised as to have
made peace the beginning of this summer, he might in a great measure
have influenced the peace between France and the Allies, and made
other kingdoms happy. I am extremely touched with the misfortunes of
this young king. His continued successes, and the contempt he had of
his enemies, have been his ruin." Marlborough to Godolphin, August 26,
1709. _Disp._ v. 510.



THE AMERICANS AND THE ABORIGINES.

A TALE OF THE SHORT WAR.


PART THE LAST.


It may be present to the memory of some of our readers, that when the
British troops, under Sir Edward Pakenham, menaced New Orleans, the
constitution of Louisiana was temporarily and arbitrarily suspended by
General Jackson, commanding the American forces in the south, with a
view to greater unity in the defensive operations. This suspension
excited great indignation amongst the Louisianians, who viewed it as a
direct attack upon their liberties, unjustified by circumstances.
Meetings were called, and the general's conduct was made the subject
of vehement censure. When the news of the peace between England and
the United States, concluded in Europe before the fight of New Orleans
took place, arrived, judicial proceedings were instituted against
Jackson; he was found guilty of a violation of the Habeas Corpus act,
and condemned to a fine of two thousand dollars. This fine the
Louisianian Creoles were anxious to pay for him; but he preferred
paying it himself, and did so with a good grace, thereby augmenting
the popularity he had acquired by his victories over the Creek
Indians, and by the still more important repulse of Pakenham's
ill-planned and worse-fated expedition. In the book which forms the
subject of the present article, this historical incident has been
introduced, rather, however, to illustrate American character and
feelings, than in connexion with the main plot of the tale. Captain
Percy, a young officer of regulars, brings the announcement of the
suspension of the Louisianian constitution to a town on the
Mississippi, then the headquarters of the militia, who, at the moment
of his arrival, are assembled on parade. The general commanding reads
the despatch with grave dissatisfaction, and communicates its contents
to his officers. The news has already got wind through some passengers
by the steam-boat which brought the despatch-bearer, and discontent is
rife amongst the militia. The parade is dismissed, the troops
disperse, and the officers are about to return to their quarters, when
they are detained by the following incident:--

From the opposite shore of the river, two boats had some time
previously pushed off; one of them seeming at first uncertain what
direction to take. It had turned first up, then down stream, but had
at last pulled obliquely across the river towards the bayou or creek,
on the shore of which the little town was situated. It was manned by
sailors, judging from their shirts of blue and red flannel; but there
were also other persons on board, differently dressed, one of whom
reconnoitred the shore of the bayou with a telescope. It was the
strange appearance of these persons that now attracted the attention
of the officers. They were about twelve in number; some of them had
their heads bound up, others had their arms in slings; several had
great plasters upon their faces. They were of foreign aspect, and,
judging from the style of their brown, yellow, and black
physiognomies, of no very respectable class. As if wishing to escape
observation, they sat with their backs to the bayou. At a word from
General Billow, an officer stepped down to meet them.

The boat was close to shore, but as soon as the suspicious-looking
strangers perceived the approach of the militia officer, it was turned
into the creek and shot rapidly up it. Suddenly it was brought to
land; one of the better dressed of the men stepped out and approached
the captain of regulars, who just then came out of the guard-house.
With a military salute he handed him a paper, saluted again, and
returned to his companions in the boat. After a short time the whole
party ascended the bank of the bayou, and walked off in the direction
of the town. The captain looked alternately at the men and at the
paper, and then approached the group of officers.

"What do those people want?" inquired General Billow.

The officer handed him the paper.

"Read it yourself, general. I can hardly believe my eyes. A passport
for Armand, Marceau, Bernardin, Cordon, &c., planters from
Nacogdoches, delivered by the Mexican authorities, and countersigned
by the general-in-chief.

"Have you inquired their destination?"

Captain Percy shrugged his shoulders. "New Orleans. Any thing further,
the man tells me, is known to the general-in-chief. A most suspicious
rabble, and who seem quite at home here."

"Ah, Mister Billow and Barrow, how goes it? Glad to see you. You look
magnificent in your scarfs and plumes."

This boisterous greeting, uttered in a rough, good-humoured voice,
proceeded from our friend Squire Copeland, who had just landed from
the second boat with his companions and horses, and having given the
latter to a negro to hold, now stepped into the circle of officers,
his broad-brimmed quaker-looking hat decorated with the magnificent
bunch of feathers, for which his daughters had laid the tenants of the
poultry-yard under such severe contribution.

"Gentlemen," said he, half seriously and half laughing, "you see Major
Copeland before you. To-morrow my battalion will be here."

"You are welcome, major," said the general and other officers, with a
gravity that seemed intended as a slight check on the loquacity of
their new brother in arms.

"And these men," continued the major, who either did not or would not
understand the hint, "you might perhaps take for my aides-de-camp.
This one, Dick Gloom, is our county constable; and as to the other,"
he pointed to the Englishman, "I myself hardly know what to call him."

"I will help you then," interrupted Hodges, impatient at this singular
introduction. "I am an Englishman, midshipman of his Majesty's frigate
Thunderer, from which I have, by mishap, been separated. I demand a
prompt investigation of the fact, and report to your headquarters."

The general glanced slightly at the overhasty speaker, and then at the
written examination which the squire handed to him.

"This is your department, Captain Percy," said he; "be pleased to do
the needful."

The officer looked over the paper, and called an orderly.

"Let this young man be kept in strict confinement. A sentinel with
loaded musket before his door, and no one to have access to him."

"I really do not know which is the most suspicious," said the general;
"this spy, as he is called, or the queer customers who have just
walked away."

Squire Copeland had heard with some discontent the quick decided
orders given by the captain of regulars.

"All that might be spared," said he. "He's as nice a lad as ever I
saw. I was sitting yesterday at breakfast, when a parcel of my
fellows, who are half horse, half alligator, and a trifle beyond, came
tumbling into the house as if they would have pulled it down. Didn't
know what it meant, till Joe Drum and Sam Shad brought the younker
before me, and wanted to make him out a spy. I had half a mind to
treat the thing as nonsense; but as we sat at table he let out
something about Tokeah; and when the women spoke of Rosa--you know who
I mean, Colonel Parker; Rosa, whom I've so often told you of--he got
as red as any turkey-cock. Thinks I to myself, 'tisn't all right;
better take him with you. You know Tokeah, the Indian, who gave us so
much trouble some fifteen years ago?"

"Tokeah, the chief of the Oconees?"

"The same," continued the squire. "I chanced to mention his name, and
the lad blurted out, 'Tokeah! Do you know him?' and when Mistress
Copeland spoke of Rosa"----

"But, my dear major, this circumstance is very important, and I see no
mention of it in your report," said the general reprovingly.

"I daresay not," replied the loquacious justice of peace; "he'd hardly
be such a fool as to put that down. I had my head and hands so full
that I asked him just to draw up an account of the matter himself."

The officers looked at each other.

"Upon my word, squire," said the general, "you take the duties of your
office pretty easily. Who ever heard of setting a spy to take down his
own examination, and a foreigner too? How could you so expose yourself
and us?"

The squire scratched himself behind the ear. "Damn it, you're right!"
said he.

During this dialogue, the officers had approached one of the five
taverns, composing nearly a third part of the infant town, towards
which the ill-looking strangers had betaken themselves. The latter
seemed very anxious to reach the house first, but owing to the
tardiness of some of their party, who walked with difficulty, they
were presently overtaken by the prisoner and his escort. When the
foremost of them caught a sight of the Englishman's face, he started
and hastily turned away. Hodges sprang on one side, stared him full in
the face, and was on the point of rushing upon him, when one of his
guards roughly seized his arm and pointed forwards.

"Stop!" cried the midshipman, "I know that man."

"Maybe," replied the orderly dryly, "Forward!"

"Let me go!" exclaimed Hodges, "It is the pirate."

"Pirate?" repeated the soldier, who had again laid hold of his
prisoner. "If you cut any more such capers, I'll take you to prison in
a way that your bones will remember for a week to come. This young man
says," added he to the officers, who just then came up, "that yonder
fellow is a pirate."

"Obey your orders," was the sole reply of the general; and again the
orderly pushed his prisoner onwards.

"And you?" said the militia general, turning to the foreigners--"Who
may you be?"

One of the strangers, half of whose face was bound up with a black
silk bandage, whilst of the other half, which was covered with a large
plaster, only a grey eye was visible, now stepped forward, and bowed
with an air of easy confidence.

"I believe I have the honour to address officers of militia, preparing
for the approaching conflict. If, as I hope, you go down stream
to-morrow, we shall have the pleasure of accompanying you."

"Very kind," replied the general.

"Not bashful," added the squire.

"We also are come," continued the stranger in the same free and easy
tone, "to lay our humble offering upon the altar of the land of
liberty, the happy asylum of the persecuted and oppressed. Who would
not risk his best blood for the greatest of earth's blessings?"

"You are very liberal with your best blood," replied the general
dryly. "How is it that, being already wounded, you come so far to seek
fresh wounds in a foreign service?"

"Our wounds were received from a party of Osages who attacked us on
the road, and paid dearly for their temerity. We are not quite
strangers here; we have for many years had connexions in New Orleans,
and some of the produce of our plantations will follow us in a few
days."

"And this gentleman," said Colonel Parker, who, after staring for some
time at one of the adventurers, now seized him by the collar, and in
spite of his struggles dragged him forward: "does he also come to make
an offering upon liberty's altar?"

With a blow of his hand he knocked off the man's cap, and with it a
bandage covering part of his face.

"By jingo! dat our Pompey, what run from Massa John in New Orlean,"
tittered the colonel's black servant, who stood a little on one side
with the horses.

"Pompey not know massa. Pompey free Mexican. Noding to massa,"
screamed the runaway slave.

"You'll soon learn to know me," said the colonel. "Orderly, take this
man to jail, and clap irons on his neck and ankles."

"You will remain here," said the general in a tone of command to the
spokesman of the party, who had looked on with an appearance of
perfect indifference during the detection and arrest of his black
confederate.

"It will be at your peril if you detain us," was the reply. "We are
ordered to repair to headquarters as speedily as possible."

"The surgeon will examine you, and if you are really wounded, you
will be at liberty to fix your temporary abode in the town. If not,
the prison will be your lodging."

"Sir!" said the man with an assumption of haughtiness.

"Say no more about it," replied the general coldly--"the
commander-in-chief shall be informed of your arrival, and you will
wait his orders here."

The stranger stepped forward, as if he would have expostulated, but
the general turned his back upon him, and walked away. A party of
militia now took charge of the gang, and conducted them to the
guard-house.

This scarred and ill-looking crew are Lafitte and the remnant of his
band, come, according to a private understanding with General Jackson,
to serve the American artillery against the British, (an historical
fact.) Their bandages and plasters being found to cover real wounds,
they are allowed to quarter themselves at the _estaminet_ of the Garde
Imperiale, kept by a Spaniard called Benito, once a member of
Lafitte's band, but now settled in Louisiana, married, and,
comparatively speaking, an honest man. Benito is greatly alarmed at
the sight of his former captain and comrades, and still more so when
they insist upon his aiding them that very night to rescue Pompey the
negro, lest he should betray their real character to the militia
officers. Lafitte promises to have the runaway slave conveyed across
the Mississippi; but as this would require the absence, for at least
three hours, of several of the pirates, who, although at liberty, are
kept under a species of surveillance, the real intention is to make
away with the unfortunate Pompey as soon as the boat is at a certain
distance from land. The negro is confined in a large building used as
a cotton store, built of boards, and in a dilapidated condition; the
militia on guard leave their post to listen to the proceedings of a
meeting then holding for the discussion of General Jackson's
unconstitutional conduct, and, profiting by their absence, Benito and
four of the pirates, Mexican Spaniards, contrive the escape of a
prisoner whom they believe to be Pompey. In the darkness they mistake
their man, and bring away Hodges, who is confined in the same
building. This occurs at midnight. The meeting, which absorbs the
attention of the militia, is not yet over, when the four pirates,
Benito, and the rescued prisoner, arrive at the junction of the creek
and the Mississippi, and, unmooring a boat, prepare to embark.

At this moment a second boat became visible, gliding gently down the
bayou towards the stream.

"_Que diablo!_" muttered the Mexicans. "What is that?"

The boat drew near; a man was in it.

"Who is that?" whispered the pirates, and then one of them sprang
suddenly into the strange skiff, whence the clanking of chains was
heard to proceed. The Mexican stared the unwelcome witness hard in the
face.

"Ah, massa Miguel!" cried the new-comer with a grin: "Pompey not stop
in jail. Pompey not love the ninetail."

"The devil!" exclaimed the Mexican--"it is Pompey. Who is the other
then? We are seven instead of six. What does all this mean?"

"Santiago!" cried the pirates: "Who is he?" they whispered,
surrounding the seventh, and, as it seemed, superfluous member of
their society.

"No Spanish. Speak English," was the reply.

"Santa Virgen! How came you here?"

"You ought to know, since you brought me."

The men stepped back, and whispered to each other in Spanish. "Come,
then!" said one of them at last.

"Not a step till I know who you are, and where you go."

"Fool! Who we are matters little to you, and where we go, as little.
Any place is better for you than this. Stop here and I would not give
a real for your neck."

"Leave him! Leave him!" muttered the others.

"Be off, and back again quickly," whispered the tavern-keeper, "or you
are all lost."

"Stop!" cried the Englishman. "I will go with you."

The negro had already jumped into the Mexicans' boat, and, with the
heedlessness of his race, had left his own adrift.

"Ingles!" said one of the pirates, "sit you here." And he showed him
his place in the bow of the boat next to a young Mexican. "And Pompey
in the middle, and now let's be off."

"Stop!" cried Hodges. "Had we not better divide ourselves between the
two boats?"

"Ah, massa never rowed across the Sippi," tittered the lazy negro.
"Massa not get over in six hours, and come to land at Point Coupé."

"Hush, Pompey," muttered his neighbour, and the boat, impelled by six
pair of hands, darted swiftly out into the stream.

"Ah, Massa Manuel, let Pompey file off him chains," grumbled the
black. "Pompey been in upper jail--been cunning," laughed he to
himself; "took file and helped himself out. Massa Parker stare when he
see Pompey gone."

"Hold your tongue, doctor," commanded a voice from the hinder part of
the boat, "and let your chains be till you get across."

The negro shook his head discontentedly. "Massa Felipe wouldn't like
to be in the collars," said he; but nevertheless he put away his file,
and whilst with one hand he managed the oar, with the other he held
the chain connecting the ankle irons with the collar, and which had
been filed in too close to the latter. This collar consisted of a ring
two inches broad, and as thick as a man's finger, encircling the neck,
and from which three long hooks rose up over the crown of the head.
With a sort of childish wonder he weighed the chain in his hand,
staring at it the while, and then let it fall into the bottom of the
boat, which now advanced towards the middle of the stream.

"Poor Lolli!" said the negro after a short silence--"she be sad not to
see Pompey. She live in St John's, behind the cathedral."

"Pompey!" cried the Mexican who sat forward on the same bench with
Hodges, "your cursed chain is rubbing the skin off my ankles."

"Sit still, Pompey," said the negro's neighbour. "I'll take it out of
the way."

"Ah! massa hurt poor Pompey," cried the black to his next man, who had
wound the chain round his feet, and now gave it so sudden a pull that
the negro let go his oar and fell back in the boat. The young
Englishman became suddenly attentive to what passed.

"What are you about?" cried he; "what are you doing to the poor
negro?"

"Gor-a-mighty's sake, massa, not joke so with poor Pompey," groaned
the negro. "Massa strangle poor nigger."

"It's nothing at all, Pompey; think of your fat Lolli behind the
cathedral, and don't forget the way to Nacogdoches," said the man on
the sternmost bench, who had taken the chain from his comrade, passed
it through the neck-iron, and, violently pulling it, drew the unhappy
negro up into a heap.

"Massa, Massa, Ma----!" gasped the negro, whose breath was leaving
him.

The whole had been the work of a moment, and the stifled groans and
sobs of the agonized slave were nearly drowned by the rush of the
waters and splash of the oar-strokes.

"The devil!" cried the Englishman, "what is all this?"

At that moment the board on which he sat was lifted, his fellow-rower
threw himself against him with all his force, and nearly succeeded in
precipitating him into the stream. Hodges staggered, but managed to
regain his balance, and turning quickly upon his treacherous
neighbour, dealt him a blow with his fist that knocked him overboard.

"_Buen viage á los infiernos!_" cried the other Mexicans with a burst
of hellish laughter, hearing the splash, but misapprehending its
cause.

"Go to hell yourself!" shouted the Englishman, grasping his oar, and
dealing the man in front of him a blow that stretched him by the side
of the negro.

"Santa Virgen! who is that?" cried the two sternmost pirates.

"The Englishman!" exclaimed one of them, pressing forwards towards
Hodges, but stumbling over the men at the bottom of the boat, which
now rocked violently from the furious struggle going on within it.

"Ma---- Ma----!" groaned the negro again, now seemingly in the death
agony--His eyes stood out from their sockets, and glittered like
stars in the darkness; his tongue hung from his mouth, swollen and
convulsed.

"By the living God! if you don't unfasten the negro, I'll knock you
all into the river."

"_Maldito Ingles! Picaro gojo!_"

"Let him go! Let him go! Holy Virgin!" yelled the three Mexicans, as
one of them who had approached the Englishman was knocked bellowing
into his place by a furious blow of the oar. "It's the devil himself!"
cried the pirates, and one of them pushed the negro towards Hodges.

"Stand back!" cried the midshipman, "and take off his neck-iron. If
you strangle him, you are all dead men."

One of the Mexicans laid hold of the negro, who was coiled up like a
ball, and drew the chain out of the collar. The poor slave's limbs
fell back, dead and powerless as pieces of wood. A gasping, rattling
noise in his throat alone denoted that life was still in him.

"Stand back!" repeated Hodges, stooping down, and endeavouring, by
vigorous friction with a blanket, to restore the negro to
consciousness. During this life-and-death struggle, the boat, left at
the mercy of the waters, had been borne swiftly away by the stream,
and was now floating amongst a number of the enormous trees which the
Mississippi carries down by thousands to the sea. The Mexicans resumed
their places, and with their utmost strength began to pull up-stream.
Not far from the frail skiff, beneath the mantle of fog covering the
river, a huge tree-trunk was seen coming directly towards the
boat--Hodges had barely time to bid the Mexicans be careful, when it
shot by them. As it did so, a strange, unnatural cry saluted their
ears, and straining his eyes through the darkness, the young
Englishman saw a head and a hand appearing above one of the limbs of
the forest giant.

"_Misericordia!_" cried the voice--"_Socorro! Por Dios!_"

It was the Mexican whom Hodges had knocked into the water, and who, by
means of the tree, had saved himself from drowning.

"Turn the boat!" cried Hodges, "your countryman is still alive."

"_Es verdad!_" exclaimed the desperadoes, and the boat was
turned--Meanwhile the negro had come gradually to himself, and now
crouched down at the feet of his deliverer. He peered over the gunwale
at the half-drowned Mexican.

"Gor-a-mighty, Massa!" cried he, seizing the Englishman's oar--"dat
Miguel--trike him dead, Massa; Miguel very bad mans."

"Keep still, Pompey!" answered Hodges, pulling with might and main to
the assistance of the Mexican. The boat shot alongside the floating
tree, and the half-drowned wretch had just sufficient strength left to
extend his hand, which the Englishman grasped.

"Take care, Massa! the pirates will kill us both," cried the negro.

At that moment the boat received a violent shock, a wave dashed over
it, and threw the Mexican on the gunwale, across which he lay more
dead than alive.

"Lay hold of him!" said Hodges to the negro.

"Ah, Pompey not such dam' fool--Pompey lub Massa too much. The others
don't row. Look, Massa, they only wait to kill Massa."

"Hark ye!" cried Hodges to the Mexicans, at the same time giving the
nearest to him a blow with his oar--"the first who leaves off
rowing--you understand me?"

The boat rocked on the huge sheet of water, in the midst of the
floating trees, menaced each moment with destruction from the latter,
or with being swallowed up by the troubled and impetuous stream; the
Mexicans cowered upon their benches--thirst of blood, and rage,
suppressed only by fear, gleaming in their black, rolling eyes and
ferocious countenances. The negro now twisted the boat rope round the
body of the rescued man, who, still groaning and imploring mercy, was
dragged on board.

"Ah, Massa! Miguel good swimmer; bath not hurt him, Massa," mumbled
the restless black: "Massa not forget to take his oar with him out of
the boat."

"And Pompey not forget to handle his own a little more diligently,"
was the reply of Hodges.

For a time the negro obeyed the injunction, and then looked at the
young Englishman, who appeared to listen attentively to some distant
sound.

"Massa never fear, militiaman sleep well--only Sippi's noise. Pompey
know the road, Massa Parker not catch him."

A quarter of an hour passed away, and the strength of the rowers began
to diminish under their continued and laborious efforts.

"Massa soon see land--out of the current already," cried the negro.

Another quarter of an hour elapsed, and they reached the shore; Hodges
jumped out of the boat, and was followed by the negro, still loaded
with his fetters. The Mexicans sprang after them.

"Stop by your boat!" cried Hodges in a threatening tone. Instead of an
answer, a knife, thrown by a sure and practised hand, struck him on
the breast. The deerskin vest with which Canondah had equipped him,
proved his protection. The weapon stuck in it, and remained hanging
there.

"Vile assassins!" cried Hodges, who now broke off the flat part of his
oar, and grasping the other half, was about to rush upon the bandits,
when the negro threw his arms round him.

"Massa not be a fool! pirates have more knives, and be glad if he go
near them. Kill him then easy."

"You are right, Pompey," said Hodges, half laughing, half angry, at
the negro, who was showing his white teeth in an agony of fear and
anxiety. "The dogs are not worth the killing."

For a moment the three assassins stood undecided; then yelling out a
"Buen viage á los infiernos," got into their boat and speedily
disappeared in the fog and darkness.

Hodges is pursued and recaptured, but Tokeah and Rosa, who, with their
companions, are brought in by a party of militia, and the latter of
whom is joyfully recognised and welcomed by the worthy Squire
Copeland, clear him of the charge of spying, and he remains a prisoner
of war. The troops take their departure for New Orleans, and the
Indians are detained at the town, whence, however, Tokeah and El Sol
depart in the night-time, and continue their journey. The old chief
accomplishes his object, disinters his father's bones, and returns to
fetch Rosa, and proceed with her to his new home in the country of the
Comanches. Meanwhile the action of New Orleans has been fought, and he
finds, to his grief and astonishment, that Lafitte, whose life he had
spared in the expectation of his meeting punishment at the hands of
the Americans, has actually been fighting in their ranks, and has
received, as a reward for his services, a free pardon, coupled,
however, with an injunction to quit the territory of the United
States. Through an advertisement in an old newspaper, traces have been
discovered of Rosa's father, who, as the reader is given to
understand, is a Mexican of high rank. She had been stolen by a tribe
of Indians with whom Tokeah was at war, and from whose hands he
rescued her. Tokeah has an interview with General Jackson, who
cautions him against the further indulgence of his inveterate
hostility to the Americans, and permits him to depart. Rosa now goes
to take leave of the old chief, who is as yet unaware that she is not
to accompany him.

When Rosa, Squire Copeland, and Hodges entered the estaminet of the
Garde Imperiale, they found the two chiefs and their followers seated
in their usual manner upon the floor of the room, which had no other
occupants. El Sol rose at their entrance, and, advancing a few steps,
took Rosa's hand and conducted her to a chair. She did not sit down,
but ran to the Miko and affectionately embraced him. The old chief
gazed at her with a cold and inquiring look.

"Miko," said the squire, "Miss Rosa has come to take leave of you, and
to thank you for the kindness you have shown her. You yourself shall
fix the sum that will compensate you for your expenses on her
account."

"Tokeah," replied the Indian, misunderstanding Major Copeland's words,
and taking a leather bag from his wampum belt, "will willingly pay
what the white chief claims for food and drink given to the White
Rose."

"You are mistaken," replied the squire; "payment is due to you.
Strictly speaking, the amount should be fixed by a jury, but you have
only to ask, and any reasonable sum shall be paid at once."

"The white chief," said the Indian, "may take whatever he pleases."

"I tell you it is I, and not you, who have to pay," returned the
squire.

"Has my daughter bid farewell to her foster-father?" said the Indian
to Rosa, who had listened to this dialogue with some uneasiness. "Rosa
must leave the wigwam of the white men; the Miko's path is a long one,
and his spirit is weary of the palefaces."

"And must the Miko go?" said Rosa. "Oh! father of my Canondah! remain
here; the white men will love thee as a brother."

The Indian looked at her with astonishment.

"What means the White Rose?" said he,--"the palefaces love Tokeah? Has
the White Rose----?" He paused, and surveyed her gloomily and
suspiciously. "Tokeah," continued he, at last, "is very weary of the
white men; he will be gone."

"Miko," said Rosa, timidly--for it was evident that the chief was
still in error as to the motive of her visit--"Rosa has come to beg
you to remain a while with the white men; but if you must go, she
will"----

"The Miko is the father of his people," interrupted Tokeah; "they call
him; he must go, and the Rose of the Oconees shall also be the Rose of
the Comanches, the squaw of a great chief."

The young girl blushed, and stepped back.

"Miko," said she, "you are the beloved father of my dear Canondah; you
saved my life and maintained me, and I thank you heartily; but, Miko,
I cannot, I must not, do as you wish. I no longer belong to you, but
to my father, my long-lost father."

"Rosa speaks truth--she belongs to her father," said the Miko, not yet
undeceived; "my daughter's feet are weak, but she shall sit in a canoe
till she reaches the wigwams of the Pawnees, and they have many
horses."

"By G--!" cried the squire, "here is a mistake; the Indian thinks to
take Rosa with him. My dear boy," continued he to Hodges, "run as
quick as you can to Colonel Parker, and bring a party of men. Bayonets
are the only things these savages respect. Rosa, say no more to him,
he is getting wild."

A change had taken place in the Indian, although it was one which only
a keen observer could detect. He began to have an inkling that Rosa
was to be taken from him, and his gloomy inanimate physiognomy
betrayed a restless agitation, which alarmed the major.

"The White Rose," resumed Tokeah, after a while, "is a dutiful
daughter. She will cook her father's venison."

"That would I willingly do for the father of my Canondah," said the
young girl; "but a higher duty calls me. Father of my Canondah! Rosa
has come to take leave of thee."

The Indian listened attentively.

"Miko," continued the maiden, "the father who gave me life, is found.
Rosa must hasten to him who for fourteen years has wept and sought
her."

"Tokeah gave Rosa her life; he saved her from the tomahawk of
Milimach; he paid with skins for the milk she drank."

"But Rosa has another father who is nearer to her, whom the Great
Spirit bestowed upon her; to him must she go. I _must_ leave you,
Miko," said she, with increased firmness of manner.

Upon the countenance of the Indian all the bad passions of his nature
were legible. The scales had at last fallen from his eyes; but even
now his cold and terrible calmness did not desert him, although the
violence of the storm raging within showed itself in the play of his
features and the variation of his complexion.

"Miko," said the squire, who foresaw an approaching outburst of
fury--"Miko, you heard the words of the great warrior of the
palefaces?"

The Indian took no notice of the caution; his whole frame was agitated
by a feverish trembling; his hand sought his scalping-knife; and he
cast so terrible a look at Rosa, that the horrorstruck squire sprang
to her side. To Major Copeland's astonishment, the young girl had
regained all her courage, and there was even a certain dignity in her
manner.

"Miko," said she, extending her arms, "I must leave you."

"What says my daughter?" demanded the Indian--who even yet seemed
unable to believe his ears--his voice assuming so shrill and unnatural
a tone, that the tavern-keeper and his wife rushed terrified into the
room. "Tokeah is not her father? she will not follow the Miko?"

"She cannot," answered Rosa firmly.

"And Rosa," continued the Indian, in the same piercing accents, "will
leave the Miko; will let him wander alone on his far and weary path?"

The words were scarcely uttered, when, by a sudden and unexpected
movement, Tokeah sprang to his feet, caught Rosa in his arms, and with
a like rapidity retreating to the side door of the room, came in such
violent contact with it, that its glass panes were shivered into a
thousand pieces.

"And does the white snake think," he exclaimed, with flashing eyes,
"that the Miko is a fool?" He held the maiden in his left arm, whilst
his right raised the glittering scalping-knife. "Does the white snake
think," continued the raging Indian, with a shrill laugh of scorn,
whilst the foam gathered round his mouth, "that the Miko fed and
cherished her, and gave skins for her, that she might return to the
white men, the venomous palefaces, whom he spits upon?" And he spat
with loathing upon the ground.

"By the God who made you, hold! Hurt the child, and you are a dead
man!" cried the squire, who seized a stool and endeavoured to force
his way to Rosa, but was repulsed by the Comanches and Oconees.

"Therefore did the white snake accompany me!" yelled Tokeah. "Does my
son know," cried he to El Sol, "that the White Rose has betrayed her
father--betrayed him for the palefaces? Will the white snake follow
her father?" screamed the frantic savage.

"I cannot," was the reply. "The voice of my white father calls me."

An expression of intense hatred came over the features of the Indian,
as he gazed at the beautiful creature who lay half-fainting on his
arm.

"Tokeah will leave the White Rose with her friends," said he, with a
low deadly laugh, drawing back his hand and aiming the knife at her
bosom.

"Gracious God! he is killing her!" cried the major, breaking furiously
through the opposing Indians. But at this critical moment the young
Comanche was beforehand with him. With a bound he interposed himself
between the chief's armed hand and intended victim, tore Rosa from the
grasp of Tokeah, and hurled him back against the door with such force
that it flew into fragments.

"Tokeah is indeed a wild cat!" cried he with indignant disgust. "He
forgets that he is a chief amongst his people, and brings shame upon
the name of the Red men. El Sol is ashamed of such a father."

These words, spoken in the Pawnee dialect, had an indescribable effect
upon the old savage. He had partly raised himself after his fall, but
now again sank down as if lifeless. Just then several file of militia
entered the room with bayonets fixed.

"Shall we take the Indian to prison?" said Lieutenant Parker.

The major stood speechless, both his arms clasped round Rosa.

"Lieutenant Parker," said he, "support Rosa for a moment: the Almighty
himself has protected her, and it beseems not us to take vengeance."
He approached the old Indian, who still lay upon the floor, lifted him
up, and placed him against the wall. "Tokeah," he said, "according to
our laws your life is forfeited, and the halter the least you deserve;
nevertheless, begone, and that instantly. You will find your
punishment without receiving it at our hands."

"He was my father, my unhappy father!" exclaimed Rosa, and tottering
to the Indian, she threw her arms around him. "Father of my Canondah,"
cried she, "Rosa would never leave you, but the voice of her own
father calls. Forgive her who has been a daughter to you!"

The Indian remained mute. She gazed at him for a while with tearful
eyes; then turned to El Sol, and bowing her head modestly and
respectfully, took leave of him, and left the house with her
companions.

The young chief of the Comanches remained as in a dream, till the
major, with Rosa and the militia, were already far from the estaminet.
Suddenly he came bounding after them, and placing himself before Rosa,
took her hands, pressed them to his breast, and bowed his head so
mournfully, that the witnesses of the scene stood silent, sympathizing
with his evident affliction.

"El Sol," whispered he, in a scarcely audible tone, "has seen Rosa: he
will never forget her."

And without raising his eyes to her face, he turned away.

"As I live," exclaimed the squire, with some emotion, "the noble
savage weeps!"

       *       *       *       *       *

An hour subsequently to this scene, the party of Indians left the
bayou in a canoe, and ascended the Mississippi. Upon reaching the
mouth of the Red River, they turned into it, and continued their route
up-stream. On the tenth day from that of their departure, they found
themselves upon the elevated plain where the western district of
Arkansas and Louisiana joins the Mexican territory. To their front
were the snowy summits of the Ozark range, beyond which are immense
steppes extending towards the Rocky Mountains. The sun sank behind the
snow-capped peaks, as the Indians landed at the western extremity of
the long table-rock, which there stretches like a wall along the left
bank of the Red River. Leaving their canoe, they approached a hill, or
rather a mass of rock, that rises not far from the shore in the barren
salt steppe, and in whose side exists a cave or grotto, resembling, by
its regularity of form, an artificial archway. Here, upon the
imaginary boundary line separating the hunting grounds of the Pawnees
of the Toyask tribe from those of the Cousas and Osages, they took up
their quarters for the night. El Sol ordered a fire to be made; for
Tokeah, who had just left the warm climate of Louisiana, shivered with
cold. Their frugal meal dispatched, the Miko and his Oconees stretched
themselves upon the ground and slept. El Sol still listened to a
legend related by one of the Comanches, when he was startled by a
distant noise. In an instant the three warriors were upon their feet,
their heads stretched out in the direction of the breeze which had
conveyed the sound to their ears.

"The dogs!" murmured the young Comanche; "they bay after a foe in
whose power it once was to crush them."

The Oconees were roused from their slumber, and the party hurried to
the place where they had left the canoe. The Miko and his warriors got
in and descended the stream; whilst El Sol and the two Comanches crept
noiselessly along the water's edge in the same direction. After
proceeding for about half a mile, the canoe stopped, and the young
chief and his followers entered it, previously breaking the bushes
growing upon the shore, so as to leave unmistakable marks of their
passage. They continued their progress down the river to the end of
the table-rock, and then, leaving the old man in the boat, El Sol and
the four warriors again landed, and glided away in the direction of
their recently abandoned bivouac. In its vicinity were stationed a
troop of twenty horses. Of the Indians to whom these belonged, ten
remained mounted, whilst the remainder searched the cave, and followed
the trail left by its late occupants. Crouching and crawling upon the
ground, the better to distinguish the footmarks dimly visible in the
moonlight, it might almost have been doubted whether their dark forms
were those of men, or of some strange amphibious animals who had
stolen out of the depths of the river for a midnight prowl upon the
shore.

His ear against the rock, and motionless as a statue, El Sol observed
each movement of the foe. Suddenly, when the Indians who followed the
trail were at some distance from the cave, he made a sign to his
companions, and, with a noiseless swiftness that defied detection, the
five warriors approached the horses. A slight undulation of the plain
was all that now separated them from their enemy. El Sol listened,
gazed upwards at the moon's silver disk, just then emerging from
behind a snow-charged cloud, raised himself upon his knee, and taking
a long and steady aim, nodded to his warriors. The next instant five
savages, pierced by as many bullets, fell from their horses to the
ground; a terrible yell shattered the stillness of the night; and with
lightning swiftness El Sol sprang upon the terrified survivors, who,
answering his war-whoop by cries of terror, fled in confusion from the
place. It needed all the surprising rapidity and dexterity of the
young chief and his followers to secure six of the half-wild horses,
whose bridles, so swift and well-calculated had been the movements of
the Comanches, might be said to fall from the hands of their slain
riders into those of the assailants. The remaining steeds reared in
extreme terror, and then, with neigh and snort, dashed madly across
the wide waste of the steppe.

Springing upon the backs of the captured animals, the Comanches
galloped to the shore. Scarcely had they entered the canoe, astern of
which the horses were made to swim, when the bullets and arrows of the
pursuing foe whistled around them.

"Will my son promise the Miko to be a good father to the Oconees?"
said the old chief in a hollow voice, as they pulled out of range of
the fire.

"A father and a brother," answered the Comanche. "But why does my
father ask? He will dwell long and happily with his children."

"Will El Sol swear it by the Great Spirit?" repeated the old man,
earnestly, but in a fainter voice.

"He will," replied the young chief.

"Will he swear to bury Tokeah and his father's bones in the grave of
the warriors of the Comanches?"

"He will," said El Sol.

"So shall the white men not scoff at his ashes nor at those of his
father," groaned the Miko. "But it is the will of the Great Spirit
that Tokeah should not see the hunting-grounds of the Comanches; he is
doomed to die in the land of the palefaces."

A rattling in his throat interrupted the old man; he murmured a few
broken words in the ears of his Oconees, who broke out into a wild
howl of lamentation. Still clasping to his breast the coffin
containing his father's bones, he sank back in the boat in the agonies
of death. El Sol raised him in his arms, but life had already fled. A
bullet had struck him between the shoulders, and inflicted a mortal
wound. In silent grief the young chief threw himself upon the corpse,
and long after the boat had reached the opposite shore, he lay there,
unmindful of all but his sorrow. Roused at length by the whispers of
his companions, to a sense of the danger of longer delay, he laid the
body across a horse, and himself mounting the same animal, took the
road to the village of the Pawnees. There, upon the following day, to
the wild and mournful music of the death-song, the little party made
its sorrowful entrance.

At this point the narrative ceases. We turn the page, expecting at
least another chapter, or some notice of Rosa's restoration to her
father, and subsequent marriage with Hodges, which the previous
portion of the novel certainly led us to anticipate. But our author,
with his usual eccentric disregard of the established routine of
romance writers, contents himself with a postscript, consisting of an
advertisement extracted from the Opelousas county paper, and dated
March 1816, announcing the marriage of the amiable and accomplished
Miss Mary Copeland, daughter of the Honourable John Copeland, of James
county, to Mr James Hodges, formerly of H.B.M. Navy, and now of
Hodges' Seat in the same state. The reader is left to complete the
denouement for himself, if he so pleases, and to conjecture that
Rosa's father, a Mexican grandee, takes back his daughter to her
native country, and that the incipient attachment between her and the
young Englishman is mutually forgotten.

We here finally conclude our extracts from the already published work
of our German American friend--extracts comprising, as we believe, the
cream of the twenty volumes, or thereabouts, which he has given to the
world. The incognito behind which this clever and original writer has
so long shrouded himself, is at length abandoned; and to a new edition
of his works, now in course of publication, stands prefixed the name
of Charles Sealsfield.



THE DEATH OF ZUMALACARREGUI.

BY COLONEL LORD HOWDEN, K.ST.F., K.C.S.


     "Ac sane, quod difficilimum, et prælio strenuus erat et bonus
     in consilio; quorum alterum ex providentiâ timorem, alterum
     ex audaciâ temeritatem, adferre plerumque solet. In Jugurthâ
     tantus dolus, tantaque peritia locorum et militiæ erat, ut
     absens aut præsens perniciosior esset in incerto
     haberetur."--SALLUST.


The siege of Bilbao was undertaken against the will, and strongly
expressed counsel of Zumalacarregui. He was not only aware of the risk
of the enterprise, with the insufficient means at his disposal for
attempting it, but he had other plans. His plans, however, were
undervalued, and his counsels were slighted, at the court of the
Pretender. The little empty politicians there, were dazzled by the
idea of possessing an important town, not deeming it their business to
calculate the means by which it was to be obtained; the incompetent
military advisers who directed from afar, thought that this bold
attempt, proceeding from them, would contrast in bright relief with
the hitherto wary and waiting policy of the commander-in-chief; and
the wish, not an unnatural one, of the wandering prince, to find
himself for once in comfortable quarters, was not the least among the
motives which decided the operation. Though at this moment the
Christino army was in a state of great discouragement from a long
series of advantages that had been gained by the Carlists, the funds
of the latter were entirely exhausted; and the idea of a forced loan
upon the rich inhabitants of Bilbao was too seducing to be coldly
examined by those little acquainted with the real difficulties of the
war. Zumalacarregui wished to attack Victoria, and, profiting by the
prestige of his late successes, to throw himself on the fertile and
virgin ground of the Castiles. This was doubtlessly the right course,
but the project was overruled.

Independently of what thus gave rise to these ambitious aspirations,
there was a personal feeling which had long been busy, either in
attempting new and unexpected combinations on the part of the
Camarilla, or in mutilating or rendering ineffectual those that had
been imagined by Zumalacarregui. There was no passion, bold or mean,
no jealousy, no intrigues, vegetating ever so rankly or rifely in the
oldest and largest court of Europe, which did not flourish in that of
Don Carlos.

There was not a Christino general more disliked by the hangers-on of
Don Carlos than Zumalacarregui. They feared him, they respected him,
but they hated him.

When the Pretender first made his appearance in Navarre,
Zumalacarregui was in his favourite retreat of the Amescuas. He was
far from insensible to the advantage which the presence of the chief
actor in the drama might produce, if his personal bearing should be
such as to create an enthusiasm for his cause, and if those who
accompanied him should bring each his personal contingent of
enlightened advice and honest activity. But with all these hopes,
Zumalacarregui was not without his fears; his sagacity foresaw what
his experience soon confirmed, that the royal chief was worse than a
nullity, and that the royal suite were actively in the way. Lord Bacon
says, "it is the solecism of princes to think to command the end, and
yet not to endure the means." Dr Carlos was always commanding the end,
while his general was left to find the means as best he could. A large
portion of his small army was absorbed in protecting the prince, and
could rarely be counted on in a combined movement; and the
non-combatants, under every denomination of title and rank, drew more
rations for their consumption than would have sufficed for the support
of a large body of soldiers.

Zumalacarregui, personally, was never very enthusiastic in the cause.
It is true that his feelings had always had a tendency to absolutism,
or rather he entertained the conviction that a strong government was
necessary to the happiness of Spain, and that the greater the unity of
that government, the greater was its chance of stability, and its
power of favourable action; but when he left Pamplona to put himself
at the head of the insurgent Navarrese, he was influenced far more by
pique against the existing state of things, than by enthusiasm for
the new one which he sought to establish. He had been treated both
brutally and unjustly by Quesada, at that time inspector of infantry;
and, with his active spirit, a condemnation to inactivity was the
severest sentence that could be passed upon him. Rest to his unquiet
bosom was a hell from which he was determined to emerge; and,
confident in his powers, he seized the first opportunity which enabled
him to bring them into action.

The meeting between Zumalacarregui and the prince was respectful, but
not warm; the first was unaccustomed to have any feelings, the second
was unaccustomed to conceal those he had. The new importation had
brought no new ideas, no plans, no accession of science; above all,
_no money_; at least no more than was to be applied to its own wants.
Don Carlos was evidently under the constraint that a strong mind
imposes on a weak one. He saw that the servant was the master, as much
in commanding intellect as in actual power. They were both
uncomfortable; Zumalacarregui neither flattered the prince, nor his
chances of success; he laid before him his difficulties, almost
insuperable in his own opinion--for let it be known as a fact, _that
he always in his heart despaired of the ultimate upshot of the war_.
In conversational phrase, he had made himself thoroughly disagreeable;
for he had spoken calmly, coldly, truly--and the hopes of an immediate
march to Madrid had been rudely shaken. Zumalacarregui left the
prince's headquarters with a discouragement and a contempt which he
was at no pains to conceal. From that moment he was an object, often
of admiration, but never of affection; and it was evident that the
effort to esteem him was too painful to ensure a continuance of
confidence.

Among those who consider Zumalacarregui solely as the able chief of a
devoted army, putting aside all the circumstances of political
partisanship, there can be little difference of opinion, if that
opinion be fairly formed and honestly given. By those who remark upon
the comparatively small number of his troops, and the relatively
confined scale of his operations, and who therefore refuse him the
name of a great general, it must be remembered, that if this principle
of applying reputation be pushed further in its expression--if
military praise and appreciation are to be awarded strictly according
to the size of the theatre and the magnitude of the numbers, and not
according to the spirit which moves over the one, and directs the
others--by such geometrical logic, our own great hero would be deemed
immeasurably inferior to the French emperor.

Zumalacarregui possessed great courage, but he made no show of it. It
would have been more brilliant if he had had more vanity; and the
exposure of his person was always subservient to some object of
utility. He had a comprehensive view of military movements, but he
never forgot the peculiar nature of his warfare; and he never
ambitiously allowed himself to be carried away by plans or manœuvres
beyond the exigencies of his position. As an administrator in forming
reserves, in procuring supplies, in discovering resources, in bringing
raw battalions to a state of rough efficiency in the shortest possible
time, he was unrivalled; yet his mind was not cramped by detail, and
when he descended to minute matters, it was because they were really
important. He was severe and inflexible, even taciturn and morose; yet
he was extremely loved by his troops. At the time that he was
commander-in-chief, commissary-general and treasurer, and that all the
sums of money, raised or sent, passed through his hands without a
check or a receipt, there never was a breath raised against the purity
of his moral character. These certainly are the elements out of which
great generals are made; and it is not irrational to think that, under
other circumstances, the same man, this Navarrese Guerrillero, far
superior as such to the brave but improvident Mina, or the active but
dull Jauregui, might have expanded into a European hero, and have left
a less perishable name.

When the siege of Bilbao was decided on, Zumalacarregui threw his
objections to the winds, and set about it with his constitutional
ardour. He arrived before it with fourteen battalions, and a miserable
battering-train, composed of two twelve-pounders, one six-pounder, two
brass four-pounders, two howitzers and a mortar, and with a great
penury of corresponding ammunition. The town was garrisoned by a force
of four thousand men, well armed, without counting the national guard,
and was protected by forty pieces of artillery, mostly of large
calibre, mounted on different forts thrown up in favourable positions.
But what was of chief advantage to the besieged, and what almost
rendered success hopeless, was the free communication from without
kept up by French and English vessels of war stationed in the Nervion,
a river that runs alongside the town, and joins the sea at some seven
or eight miles' distance.

Zumalacarregui fixed his headquarters at a spot called Puente Nuevo,
in a small straggling village, just at this side of the town of
Bilbao, and under one of its most fashionable and frequented walks.
Eraso had begun the investiture of the place a few days previously,
and both these chiefs lodged in a small inn named the Three Sisters.
Puente Nuevo was completely commanded by an eminence called the Morro,
just outside the gates of Bilbao; but the garrison, either from
motives of prudence or others, gave the Carlists no inconvenience from
that point.

At a short distance to the right of the Durango road, and on a height
immediately over the town of Bilbao, is a church, called Our Lady of
Begoña; and not far from it is a house, which, from its comparative
size and solidity, and from its commanding view of the country around,
goes by the name of the Palace. On the second day of the siege, two
serious misfortunes befell the besiegers: eighty of the best muskets
they possessed were piled in the portico of the church of Begoña, and
were all entirely destroyed by a grenade that took them horizontally,
killing the two sentinels that were mounting guard over them. The same
evening the two largest of the guns, already half-worn out, burst from
continued firing, just as something like an impression appeared on the
spot it was proposed to breach.

Don Carlos, during this time, was at Durango, a distance of five or
six hours. Zumalacarregui, seeing the hopelessness of the operation,
and, above all, the discouragement of the men, sent an express to the
prince to say, "that he would be obliged infallibly to raise the siege
and retire, unless some means were immediately taken to raise the
drooping spirits of his army; that they were without clothes, without
food, and almost without ammunition; that it was absolutely necessary
that a sum of money should be procured and sent to him, which would
enable him to pay the troops a part of what was due to them; and that
then, as the means of prolonging a siege was out of the question, he
would endeavour to carry out his majesty's wishes, and try to take the
place by assault."

Cruz-Mayor, the lead of the Camarilla, loved to humiliate
Zumalacarregui, and no answer was returned to this letter; but
Zumalacarregui was not idle, nor did he allow inaction to dispirit
still more the minds of his men. He even attempted an assault, which
failed, with the loss of all those who were ordered on this service.
Unfortunately for the attacking column, lots were drawn for the troops
that were to compose it; and they fell upon a regiment of Navarrese,
entirely ignorant of the localities, who, getting confused in
cross-paths and lanes at the foot of the walls, were cut off to a man.
It was thought that the result of this attack might have been
otherwise had it been undertaken by the Biscayan companies, who knew
every inch of the ground. The hour, too, was ill judged, for it was at
the beginning of nightfall, when it was just dark enough to embarrass
those who were attempting the assault, without being sufficiently so
to induce the inhabitants and national guards to retire from the
walls.

On the 15th June 1835, Zumalacarregui proceeded to the palace of
Begoña, not far from the church of the same name, as the best spot for
observing the repairs made, and the additional means of defence raised
by the enemy during the night. He passed through the middle room on
the first story, and, throwing open the window, went out on the iron
balcony overlooking the town. The balls were flying so thick and fast
that he desired all those who accompanied him to remain within; but,
notwithstanding their supplications, he himself remained leaning on
the railing of the balcony, his knees nearly touching the ground. The
telescope which he used, showing the marksmen in the enemy's works
that he was probably a personage of importance, occasioned a general
discharge from the nearest battery. It was now exactly eight o'clock
in the morning, and a ball from this discharge struck Zumalacarregui
in the upper and anterior part of the right leg, on the inner side,
about two inches below the knee. From the position in which he was
struck, the ball took a downwards direction, and, as no part of the
intricate machinery of the knee was injured, there was every reason to
suppose that no serious consequences could ensue.

Either from the extreme pain of the wound, or the shock given to the
nervous system, Zumalacarregui fainted. His secretary, Zaratiegui, and
the rest of his staff, picked him up in a state of insensibility, and
placed him on a chair. The surgeon, Grediaga, a man of considerable
acquirements, who was then practising in the sacristy of the church of
Begoña, which had been converted into an hospital, was immediately
sent for, as well as a young English surgeon of the name of Burgess,
belonging to a small body of cavalry called the "Holy Squadron," or
the "Squadron of Legitimacy."

This young man, a person of great respectability, and well informed in
his profession, has been since as grossly as ridiculously accused of
having been bought by the English government to hasten the end of
Zumalacarregui, if ever his services enabled him to do so; and it is
still said, and believed by many, that the death of the general was
owing to poison put into the bandages with which Mr Burgess first
dressed the wound. In a country like Spain, where there is much
ignorance and deep prejudice, it does not suffice to laugh to scorn
accusations of any sort: it is better to meet them seriously, and
disprove them by a fact. _Mr Burgess never dressed Zumalacarregui's
leg at all._ He spoke no Spanish, and while he was endeavouring to
make himself understood and to learn what had happened, Grediaga
arrived and put on the first application.

On being asked whither he should be carried, Zumalacarregui
immediately said to Cegama, a town three days' journey off, situated
in a solitary neighbourhood, and entirely unprovided with any thing
like comfort, medicines, or professional assistance. The surprise of
all was manifest, but the general was too accustomed to be obeyed not
to be so in this instance. He was placed upon an old sofa from which
the legs were sawed, and which was carried by eight guides of Navarre,
with twenty-four others as a reserve. Neither he nor the chief of his
staff and secretary, Zaratiegui, had a single peseta in their pockets,
and he received from Mendigana, the paymaster-general, twenty ounces
of gold, as a part of the pay that was due to him.

The reason which induced Zumalacarregui to go to Cegama, was indeed a
strange one, and a fatal one. It was one he never expressed, but which
prompted this revelation from the very instant that he received his
wound. There lived in this district a quack of the very lowest
capacity, of the name of Petriquillo--a man entirely unimbued with the
slightest tincture of medical science, but whose chance cures of
gunshot wounds during the time of the Army of the Faith in 1822, had
astonished and taken possession of the mind of Zumalacarregui. He even
refused to allow the ball to be extracted at a moment when the
operation presented no danger, and his only anxiety was to put himself
into the hands of this ignorant adventurer.

When the party arrived at Durango, Don Carlos sent word that he would
next morning pay a visit to his wounded chief; the frame of mind of
the latter may be collected from an exclamation he made on the road,
heard by all, and commented on by many--"Truly this is a happy day for
the court of the king!"

As announced, Don Carlos came, and the following remarkable
conversation took place:--"Well, Thomas, how could'st thou do so
foolish a thing as to get wounded?" (The Spanish royal family always
use the second person singular.) "Sir, I exposed myself, because it
was my duty to do so--besides, I have lived long enough, _and I am
firmly convinced that we shall all have to die in your majesty's
service_." "Well, but where do'st thou intend going?" "To Cegama,
sir." "No, don't go there, it is a long way off: stay here, I'll have
thee taken care of." "Sir, I have said I would go to Cegama, and to
Cegama will I go: your majesty knows me well enough to be convinced
that what I say, I do." "Oh yes! Thomas, that is certain--well, go
with God, and take care of thyself."

After this interview, Zumalacarregui instantly set off, as if it was a
relief to him to get out of the atmosphere of the court. Between
Durango and Bergara he was met by the quack Petriquillo and the cura
Zabala. Besides the above-mentioned Grediaga, Don Carlos had desired
two other nominal physicians, Gelos and Voloqui, to accompany the
general; but these two men were, in fact, as ignorant, and as rash,
and as opinionated as Petriquillo himself. Petriquillo took off the
dressing from the wound; he made two men rub the patient for four
hours from the hip to the ankle, with an unctuous substance known only
to himself. He then put on a bandage dipped in some medicament of his
own composition. Zumalacarregui suffered extremely during the night.

Next morning a violent fever manifested itself. Mr Burgess, frightened
at this treatment, returned to Bilbao, and Zumalacarregui continued
his journey, arriving at Cegama on the evening of the 17th.

The surgeon Grediaga still continued, not his services, but his
useless advice. As the fever increased, he recommended quiet, diet,
and blood-letting. Petriquillo objected to venesection or leeches; he
administered food in large quantities, to support the general's
strength, and kept the room full of company to keep up the general's
spirits.

Five days passed in this way with this treatment, or rather absence of
treatment, only diversified by various attempts to extract the ball,
though the leg, by the progress of the fever, and the continued
application of the knife and probe, was swollen to twice its size, and
was in a state of the highest exacerbation.

In the middle of the night of the 23d, a great idea struck Gelos and
Petriquillo, the former was sleeping in the same room with Grediaga,
and, fearful lest the latter should prevent its accomplishment, rose
stealthily at one o'clock in the morning, proceeded with Petriquillo
to the room of the general, and they there together _did_ extract the
ball.

At daylight, the joy in the house was extreme; the ball was passed
through the hands of every inhabitant in Cegama, and was then
dispatched in a box to Don Carlos. Petriquillo and Gelos announced,
that in fifteen days the general would be at the head of his army
before Bilbao.

At six o'clock, Zumalacarregui began to complain of insupportable
thirst, and of pains all through the body; shortly afterwards, general
shiverings came on, with convulsions at times. During an interval
between these, he received the last consolations of religion; for
though far from being a bigot, or even a devotee, Zumalacarregui
respected, and practised reverentially, the religion of his country.
At eleven o'clock in the morning of the 24th of June 1835, he expired.

On examining the body, it was found that two cuts had been made
completely through the calf of the leg in order to get at the ball:
Their length was about three inches, and their depth was as great as
it could be; for they reached the bone. The whole of the integuments
had been divided by Petriquillo, and the sheets of the bed were one
mass of blood.

About three hours before the general's death, Petriquillo, unseen,
went into the stable, saddled his mule, and departed.

As the dead chief never possessed the uniform of a general, his body
was laid out in borrowed garments belonging to the attorney of the
place. It was dressed in a black coat and black pantaloons, with a
white waistcoat, and over the shoulder was put the riband of the fifth
class of St Ferdinand, without the star, for he never had one.
Zumalacarregui had troubled himself little about external decorations;
and his ordinary dress, a black sheep-skin jacket, red overalls, and a
flat scarlet boyna, or cap of the country, which he thought
sufficiently good for his body when living, was deemed unworthy of him
when he became dust. It was an apt type of what had preceded, and what
was to follow: the rude neglected warrior during life--the Duke, the
_King's friend_, the grandee of Spain after death.

One word about the cruelty of Zumalacarregui. He _was_ cruel, and what
is about to be said is a reason, but it is not put forth as either an
excuse or a justification. His cruelty proceeded from no innate or
idiosyncratic ferocity. In a less cruel atmosphere he would have
breathed a milder spirit. There is an indifference to life in all
Spaniards, which, on one side, prompts great deeds, and, on the other,
readily ripens into inhumanity. They care little about their own
lives, and speedily learn to care still less about the lives of
others. In this melancholy warfare there was cruelty on all sides;
and, from the execution of Santos Ladron, there followed a series of
bloody atonements, each producing each, which strewed the highways
with as many bodies as had fallen in the field.

Though the temptation of straying into any thing like a biography has
been studiously avoided, there is one anecdote so curious, and not
only so explanatory of what has just been said, but so illustrative of
the character of both the man and the country, that it will hardly be
deemed out of place.

A young grandee of Spain, the Count of Via-Manuel, had been taken
prisoner. Zumalacarregui was anxious to save his life, though the
circumstance of his rank seemed to make his death the more certain, as
being a fitter expiation for many executions which had lately taken
place on the Christino side. Zumalacarregui addressed a letter to
Rodil, the commander-in-chief of that army, saying that he was anxious
to exchange his prisoner for a subaltern officer, and some soldiers
that had been lately seized sick in a farm-house, and that he awaited
the answer. The distance between the armies was short, and, some hours
after, Via-Manuel requested permission to see the general and learn
his fate. Zumalacarregui received him in the room when he was just
going to dinner, and, in that oriental style so interwoven in the
whole web of Spanish customs, offered him a part of the repast that
was before him. In ordinary times, this is but a courteous form, and
it is rarely accepted; but Via-Manuel, thinking perhaps of the Arab's
salt in this Moorish compliment, accepted the invitation, and sat down
at the table. They eat, and at the end of dinner an orderly entered
and gave a letter to the general. It was from Rodil, and contained
only these words--"The rebels were shot this morning." Zumalacarregui,
without saying a word, handed the paper to Via-Manuel, rose from
table, and went out of the room. The unfortunate count was that night
placed, according to custom, in the chapel of the village, and was
shot next morning.

This happened in Lecumberri, which was entered shortly afterwards by
the troops of the Queen. On leaving it the following day, two Carlist
officers were pinioned and shot through the back, on the very spot
where Via-Manuel fell. Such was the frightful mode of reciprocal
expiation carried on on both sides; but the writer of this notice has,
at least, among those painful recollections, the consolation of
reflecting, that in this, as in other instances more fortunate, he did
all in his power to save the victims.

This little sketch has swelled beyond its intended bulk, but when
those who love Spain have passed the Pyrenees, it is difficult not to
linger there, even on paper. Amid dangers and difficulties, and even
the horrors of civil war, Spain has an attraction which it would be as
difficult to explain to those who do not feel it, as to describe the
sound of a trumpet to a deaf man. To those who have passed their early
years there, Spain is like the shining decoration in a play, which
still continues haunting the slumbers of the child that has seen one
for the first time.

After the death of Zumalacarregui, Don Carlos took command of the
army, with Moreno for chief of his staff, but the latter exercised all
real authority. The Pretender was utterly deficient of every thing
like military talent, and from the day of Zumalacarregui's death, his
cause was not only hopeless, but felt to be so by the queen's party,
who shortly regained the large portion of occupied territory which
they had recently lost.

Zumalacarregui, from the 1st May 1835 to the 11th of June of that
year, had made upwards of three thousand soldiers and a hundred
officers prisoners. He left for all inheritance to his wife and
daughters something less than forty pounds and four horses.



NEW SCOTTISH PLAYS AND POEMS.[53]


We suspect that in this railway age poetry is at a greater discount
than ever. The reason is obvious. Not only the public, who are the
readers, but even the poets themselves, have been largely infected by
the current mania of speculation. Had the possession of capital been
requisite for a participation in any of the thousand defunct schemes
which have caused so unprecedented an emigration to the breezy shores
of Boulogne, our poetical friends might have claimed for their
vocation the credit of a rare morality. But unfortunately, the
national gaming-table was open to men of every class. Peer and
peasant, count and costermonger, millionaire and bankrupt, were alike
entitled to figure as allottees, or even as committee-men, for the
simple subscription of their signatures; and amidst the rush and
squeeze of the crowd, who thronged towards the portal of Plutus, we
were less surprised than pained to observe some of the most venerated
votaries of Apollo. We shall not affect to disguise the purpose for
which we were there ourselves. But much may be permitted to the
prosaic writer which is forbidden to the canonized bard. Ours is a pen
of all work--equally ready to concoct a prospectus, or to expose a
literary charlatan. We are intensely fond of lucre, and expect, some
day or another, to be in possession of the moiety of a plum. We have
therefore no vain scruples regarding the sanctity of our calling, but
carry our genius like a hooded falcon upon our wrist, ready to let it
fly at any manner of game which may arise. We, however, deny in
absolute terms the right of a poet to any such general license. He has
no business whatever to trespass one foot beyond the limits his own
domain. He ought to be thoroughly ignorant of the existence of bulls
and bears, stags and ducks, and the rest of the zoology of the
Exchange. Consols should be to him a mystery more impenetrable than
the Sibylline verses, and the state of the stocks as unaccountable as
the policy of Sir Robert Peel. The mischief, however, is done, and we
fear it is irremediable. The example of the Poet-Laureate may indeed
serve as a kind of excuse for the minor professors of the art. His
well-known attempt to _bear_ the Kendal and Windermere line, by a
series of ferocious sonnets, is still fresh in the memory of the
public, and we trust the veteran has, long ere this, realized a
handsome profit. We ourselves made a little money out of the Perth and
Inverness, by means of an indignant tirade against the desecration of
the Pass of Killiecrankie; and we should, to a certainty, have made
more, had not the Parliamentary Committee been weak enough to believe
us, and, in consequence, to reject the bill. Yet it may be long before
the literary market can recover its healthy tone--ere sonnets once
more resume their ancient ascendency, and circulate from hand to hand
in the character of intellectual scrip.

We suspect that very few of the poets backed out of the scrape in
time. Their sanguine and enthusiastic temperament led them to hold, at
all risks and hazards; and they did not, as a body, take warning from
the symptoms of a declining market. An amiable friend of ours who
belongs to the Young England party, and who has issued a couple of
duodecimos in laudation of Bishop Bonner, found himself at the period
of the crash in possession of two thousand Caithness and Land's End
scrip, utterly unsaleable at any discount, though a fortnight before
they were quoted at fifteen premium. He meditates, as we are
informed, a speedy retirement to the penal solitudes of La Trappe, as
there now seems to be little hope that Louis Philippe will provide a
proper refuge for chivalrous misfortune by resuscitating the Order of
Malta. The weaver-poet of Camlachie has gone into the Gazette in
consequence of an unfortunate speculation in Caledonians. His lyre is
as silent as his shuttle; and we fear that in his hours of despondency
he is becoming by far too much addicted to drink. A clever young
dramatist confessed to us some time ago that he found himself utterly
"goosed;" and the last hope of the school of Byron has been forced to
deny himself the luxury of inverted collars, as his uncompromising
laundress peremptorily refused to accept of payment in characteristic
Cemetery shares.

In the gross, this state of things seems deplorable enough; and yet,
when we analyse it, there is still some room for comfort. Never, since
we first had the honour of wielding the critical lash--for the Crutch
is a sacred instrument--in the broad amphitheatre of letters, do we
recollect a year less fertile in the product of verse than the
present. Our young friends are not possessed with the same supreme and
sublime contempt of gold which formed so disinterested a feature of
the poets of the by-gone age. They have become corrupted by the
manufacturing and utilitarian tenets of the day; and--we shudder to
record it--divers of them are violent free-traders. They have all
fallen into the snare of the man Broker; and at the very outset of
life, in the heyday and spring of their existence, they can count both
sides of a shilling with the acuteness of a born Pennsylvanian. Hence
it is, we presume, that they have attained to a knowledge of the
fact--long ago notorious among the Trade--that poetry will not pay.
They look upon genius through the glasses of Adam Smith, weigh the
probability of an adequate demand before they venture on the
production of a supply, and cut short the inchoate canto upon
principles of Political Economy. In a few years, we fear, poetry will
be no longer extant, save for the commercial purposes of the
advertisements of Messrs Moses and Hyam; unless, indeed, some Welsh or
Highland railway company should take the matter up, and double their
dividends by bribing a first-rate poet to produce another _Lady of the
Lake_. Hence the sparseness of our library table, which renders our
old vocation comparatively a sinecure, and leaves us, without the
necessity of immolation, to the undisturbed enjoyment of our chair.

We might indeed, were we savagely inclined, discover some Volscians
worth our fluttering in the ranks of Young England, or the more sombre
group of poetical Oxonian divines. But we look with a kindly eye upon
the eccentricities of the one school, and we listen to the drowsy
strains of the other with no more active demonstration of disapproval
than a yawn. We have high hope of George Sydney Smythe, Lord John
Manners, and others, who have already produced some things of evident
promise--not mere beaten tinsel, such as the resuscitated Cockneys are
again beginning to vend in the literary market--but verses of true and
genuine originality. Could we but ensure them against the vitiating
effects of politics, it were a light hazard to predict for either of
the above gentlemen a far higher reputation than has been achieved by
the united efforts of the whole canorous crew which constituted the
Melbourne administration. We must indeed except Mr Macaulay, a better
poet than a politician, but--the brilliant ballad-writer being
removed--what soul could have been contented to fatten upon the spongy
lyrics of a Spring Rice, or the intolerable tragedies of a Russell!
What food to sweeten the tedium of a solitary imprisonment for life!

As for the Oxford school, we fairly confess that its votaries are
beyond our comprehension. Amiable they are, no doubt, although ascetic
in principle; but they are likewise insufferably tedious. We have
attempted at various times, and during different states of the
barometer, to make ourselves master of the compositions of Mr Williams
and his principal followers. We failed. After skimming over a page or
two of mellifluous blank verse, we began to experience a strange
sensation, as if a bee were humming through the room. At each
evolution of the imaginary insect, our eyes felt heavier and heavier.
We made a strong effort to rally ourselves at the description of a
crystalline stream, meandering, as we rather think, somewhere through
the confines of Paradise; but the hue of the water gradually changed.
It became dark and treacly, purled with a somniferous sound, as though
the channel had been filled with living laudanum; and in three minutes
more we were unconscious of the existence of the income-tax, and as
relieved from the load of worldly cares as though we had joined
company with the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus.

Surely we have a right to expect something better from Oxford than
this. The old nurse of learning must bestir herself once more,
forswear morphia, and teach her pupils to strike a manlier chord, else
men will cease to believe in the ancient magic of her name. What we
want is, power, energy, pathos--not mere vapid sentiment, so
diligently distilled that scarce a flavour of the original material is
left to enable us to discover its origin. If poetry be a copy or a
reflex of life, let it show out lifelike and true; if it be the
representation of a dream, at all events let us have the vision, as in
the mirror of Agrippa, well defined, though around its edges rest the
clouds of impenetrable mystery. Above all things, let us have meaning,
not vague allegorical phrases--power if not passion--sense if not
sublimity. If the classics cannot teach us these, let us go back to
the earlier ballads, and see how our fathers wrote without the aid of
metaphysical jargon.

Our present purpose is to deal with Scottish writers, and fortunately
we have material at hand. Last month we were in London, engaged in
divers matters connected with the state of the nation and our own
private emolument, which latter pursuit we as seldom as possible
neglect. The cares of a railway witness, in which capacity we had the
honour to act, are but few. A bountiful table was spread for us, not
in the wilderness, but in an excellent hotel in St James's; breakfast,
luncheon, dinner, and supper, followed one another with praiseworthy
regularity; the matutinal soda-water was only succeeded by the iced
hock and champagne of the vespers, and a beneficent Fairy of seventeen
stone, in the guise of a Writer to Her Majesty's Signet, was courteous
enough not only to defray the whole of the attending expenses, but to
furnish us with certain sums of gold, which we disseminated at our own
proper pleasure. In return for the attentions of our legal Barmecide,
we submitted to ensconce ourselves for a couple of days in a hot room
somewhere about the Cloisters, in the course of which sederunt we held
an animated conversation with several gentlemen in wigs, for the
edification--as we were given to understand--of five other gentlemen
in hats, who sat yawning behind a green table. We take this
opportunity of tendering our acknowledgments to the eminent and
raucous Queen's Counsel who was kind enough to conduct our
cross-examination, and who so delicately insinuated his doubts as to
the veracity and candour of our replies. As his knowledge of the
localities about Braemar--the district then under question--was about
equal to his cognizance of the natural history of Kamschatka, we felt
the compliment deeply; and should we ever have the pleasure of
encountering our beetle-browed acquaintance during a vacation ramble
on the skirts of Schehallion, we pledge ourselves that he shall carry
back with him to Lincoln's Inn some lasting tokens of our regard. In
the mean time we sincerely hope he has recovered from that distressing
fit of huskiness which rendered his immediate vicinity by no means a
seat of comfort to his solicitor.

As a matter of course, we relieved the monotony of our duties by
divers modes of relaxation. Greenwich--in the glory of its whitebait,
its undeniable Thames flounders, its dear little ducklings enshrined
in their asparagus nest, and its flagons, wherein the cider cup shows
sparklingly through the light blue _Borage_--was not unfrequented by
us in the course of the sultry afternoon. At Richmond, likewise, we
battened sybaritically; and more than once essayed to resuscitate our
appetite, and awake within us the dormant sense of poetry, by a stroll
along the breezy heath of Hampstead, preparatory to a dive into the
Saracen, where, doubtless, in the days of yore, Leigh Hunt, Keats, and
Hazlitt used to make wild work among the eggs and spinach. Our
attendance at the theatres, however, was a matter of rarity. We have
no fancy to undergo martyrdom by means of a slow stewing, when the
sole palm we can win, in exchange for the sudorific pangs, is the
enjoyment of some such shabby-genteel comedy as _The Beggar on
Horseback_, or a travestie like that of the _Birds_ of Aristophanes,
the only peculiarity of which is its utter want of meaning. As a
general rule, we prefer the spectacles on the Surrey side, to those
exhibited in the Metropolitan or Westminster districts. There, the
nautical drama still flourishes in its pristine force. The old British
tar, in ringlets, pumps, and oil-skin castor, still hitches up his
trousers with appropriate oath; revolves the unfailing bolus of
pigtail in his cheek--swims to shore across a tempestuous sea of
canvass, with a pistol in each hand and a cutlass in his teeth, from
the wreck of the foundering frigate--and sets foot once more on the
British soil, just in time to deliver Pretty Poll of Portsmouth, his
affianced bride, (who has a passion for short petticoats and crimson
stockings,) from the persecutions of that bebuttoned pirate with the
whiskers, who carries more pistols in his girdle than the scalps of an
Indian chief, and whose fall, after a terrific combat with
basket-hilts and shower of fiery sparkles, brings down the curtain at
the close of the third act amidst roars of unmitigated joy. Also we
delight to see, at never-failing Astley's, the revived glories of
British prowess--Wellington, in the midst of his staff, smiling
benignantly upon the facetious pleasantries of a Fitzroy
Somerset--Sergeant M'Craw of the Forty-Second, delighting the _élite_
of Brussels by his performance of the reel of Tullochgorum at the
Duchess of Richmond's ball--the charge of the Scots Greys--the single
combat between Marshal Ney and the infuriated Life-guardsman Shaw--and
the final retreat of Napoleon amidst a volley of Roman candles, and
the flames of an arseniated Hougomont. Nor is our gratification less
to discern, after the subsiding of the shower of saw-dust so
gracefully scattered by that groom in the doeskin integuments, the
stately form of Widdicomb, cased in martial apparel, advancing towards
the centre of the wing, and commanding--with imperious gestures, and
some slight flagellation in return for dubious compliment--the
double-jointed clown to assist the Signora Cavalcanti to her seat upon
the celebrated Arabian. How lovely looks the lady, as she vaults to
her feet upon the breadth of the yielding saddle! With what inimitable
grace does she whirl these tiny banners around her head, as winningly
as a Titania performing the sword exercise! How coyly does she dispose
her garments and floating drapery to hide the too maddening symmetry
of her limbs! Gods!--She is transformed all at once into an
Amazon--the fawn-like timidity of her first demeanour is gone. Bold
and beautiful flushes her cheek with animated crimson--her full
voluptuous lip is more compressed and firm--the deep passion of the
huntress sparkles in her lustrous eye! Widdicomb becomes excited--he
moves with quicker step around the periphery of his central
circle--incessant is the smacking of his whip--not this time directed
against Mr Merryman, who at his ease is enjoying a swim upon the
saw-dust--and lo! the grooms rush in, six bars are elevated in a
trice, and over them all bounds the volatile Signora like a panther,
nor pauses until, with airy somersets, she has passed twice through
the purgatory of the blazing hoop, and then, drooping and exhausted,
sinks like a Sabine into the arms of the herculean Master, who--a
second Romulus--bears away his lovely burden to the stables, amidst
such a whirlwind of applause as Kemble might have been proud to earn!

"So," in the language of Tennyson--

  "So we triumph'd, ere our passion sweeping through us left us dry,
  Left us with the palsied heart, and left us with the jaundiced eye."

"Dryness," however, according to our creed and practice, is not
altogether unappeasable, and by the help of Barclay, Perkins, and
Company, we succeeded in mitigating its rage. But we confess to the
other miseries of the palsied heart and jaundiced eye, so soon as we
were informed by the above-mentioned scribe, that our bill had been
thrown out upon committee, and that, if we tarried longer in London,
it must be upon our own proper charges. We had been so used for the
last twelve months to voyage, and to subsist at the expense of
joint-stock companies--so habituated to dine with provisional
committees, and to hold sweet supper consultations in the society of
salaried surveyors--that a reference to our private resources appeared
a matter of serious hardship. However, there was no help for it. Some
mean and unreasonable share-holders were already growling about a
return of some portion of the deposits, and even, to the infinite
disgust of the directors, hinted at a taxation of accounts. The
murmurs of these slaves of Mammon broke up our little Eden. The Irish
egg-merchant, who had been fed for three weeks upon turtle to induce
him to give testimony touching the importation of eerocks--the tollman
from Strathspey, who nightly meandered to the Coal-hole, in company
with the intoxicated distiller--the three clerks who did the dirty
work of the committee-room, and were therefore, with wise precaution,
stinted in their allowance of beer--the northern bailie, who stuck
strenuously to toddy, and the maritime provost, who affected the
vintage of the Rhine--the raw uncouth surveyor from Dingwall, who,
guiltless of straps, and rejoicing in a superfluity of rig-and-fur
over a pair of monstrous brogues, displayed his native symmetry every
afternoon in Regent Street, and reciprocated the gaze of the wondering
milliners with a coarse guffaw, and the exhibition of his enormous
teeth;--All these worthies vanished from the house in a single day,
like spirits at the crowing of the cock, and returned to their native
hills in a state of comparative demoralization. For our own part, we
packed our portmanteau in gloomy silence, and meditated a speedy
retreat to the distant solitudes of Loch Awe.

We were eating, as we thought, our last muffin, when our eye was
accidentally caught by an advertisement in the _Times_, purporting
that a new play was to be immediately produced at the Princess's
theatre, and that its title was _The King of the Commons_. A spasm of
delight shot through us. We were aware, some time before, that a dear
friend, and distinguished fellow-labourer of ours, whose contributions
have always been of sweetest savour in the nostrils of fastidious
Christopher, had turned his attention to dramatic poetry, and was
resolved, for once at least, to launch an experimental shallop upon
the stage. Nor did we doubt that this was the enunciation of his
attempt. We divined it at once from the subject, so akin to his genius
and deep national feelings--we knew the fervour of his love to
Scotland, and his earnest desire to illustrate some page of her varied
annals--and we resolved accordingly to postpone our departure, and be
present at the success or discomfiture of our bold and adventurous
brother.

The first night of a new play is always attended with some agreeable
excitement. If the author is a known man upon the boards--a veteran of
some six comedies, all of which have found their way into the
provinces, and are usually selected by the leading Star on the
occasion of his or her benefit--the general audiences are desirous to
ascertain whether his new effort is equal in point of merit to the
rest. The critics, most of whom have failed in their own proper
persons, are by no means indisposed to detect the occurrence of
blemishes--friends hope that it may succeed, and unsuccessful rivals
devoutly trust it may be damned. If the author is unknown, and if no
very flagrant efforts have been made to pre-puff his performance, he
has at all events the chance of an impartial hearing. Let the play go
on smoothly to the middle; let no very glaring absurdities appear; let
the actors really exert themselves, and display any thing like
interest or talent in their business, and young Sophocles is generally
sure of a favourable verdict. Our dear friends, the public, are always
well disposed towards a winning man. One cheer elicits another, and
applause, once commenced, goes on at a multiplied ratio. No doubt, the
case may be reversed, and the sound of a solitary catcall from the pit
awake the slumbering serpents, and become the signal for universal
sibilation.

The danger is, that an unknown author, unpuffed, may be ruined for
want of an audience. We have no great faith in the panacea of free
tickets, issued by the lessee for the simple purpose of getting up a
house. The worth of a production is usually estimated by its current
value, and we doubt if a favourable bias can be produced in the minds
of any, by means of gratuitous pasteboard. Puffing, again, often
defeats its own object. It creates doubt in the anticipations of some,
jealousy in those of others and is also apt to create a _prestige_
which the result may not justify. When we are told, on the authority
of newspaper paragraphs, that _Bianca Franconi, or the Seven Bloody
Poignards of Parma_, is to take the town by storm,--that nothing equal
to it in merit has been produced since the days of Shakspeare,--that
the critic who had the privilege of attending the first rehearsal,
emerged from the theatre with his blood in a state of congelation,
owing to the sepulchral tones and vehement gestures of Mr Charles
Kean, who represents the part of Giacomo degli Assassinazioni, the
Demon Host of the Abruzzi;--when we listen to this preliminary
flourish of trumpets, we are apt to screw our imaginations a peg too
high, and may chance to derive less rapture than we had anticipated
from the many scenes of murder which garnish the _dénouement_ of the
drama.

A greater virtue than fidelity is not in the celestial catalogue. We
should at all times be ready to accompany a friend, either in a
triumphal ovation or in a melancholy march to the scaffold,--to place
the laurel on his head, or the funereal handkerchief in his hand. It
was an exuberance of this feeling which determined us to be present at
the first representation of _The King of the Commons_; and being
firmly convinced of the truth of the adage, that there is safety in a
multitude of councillors, we sent round the fiery cross to such of our
fellow-contributors as were then in London, requesting them to favour
us with their company to an early dinner at the Parthenon, as a proper
preliminary to the more serious business of the evening.

Some half-dozen of the younger hands responded punctually to our call.
They came dropping in in high glee, with a rather mischievous
expression of countenance, as though they anticipated fun; nor had
they been five minutes in the room, before we discovered, to our
unspeakable consternation, that every man was furnished, either with a
catcall or a railway whistle! Here was a proper business! We knew very
well that the articles which our dramatic friend contributes to Maga,
have found more favour in the eyes of the public than the lucubrations
of all the rest of us put together, and yet we had been foolish enough
to assume, that, after the manner of the brethren, we had been
convoking a literary Lodge. In fact, we had made no allowance for that
indescribable delight which prompts you irresistibly, and without
thought of succour, to cram your horse at the ditch into which, six
seconds before, the friend of your bosom has been pitched from the
back of his runaway mare, and wherein he is now lying with his head
fixed inextricably in the mud, and his legs demonstrating in the air a
series of spasmodic mathematical propositions. Not that, in the
slightest degree, the dispositions of the lads were evil. If the play
turned out well, we knew that they would be found cheering with the
most uproarious, and probably raving for the next week about the
merits of their fortunate compeer;--but if, on the contrary, it should
happen that our brother had overestimated his powers, little doubt
existed in our mind, that each contributor would exert himself on his
peculiar instrument as vigorously as Herr Kœnig, on the
cornet-à-piston, nor seek to excuse himself afterwards on any more
elaborate plea, than the right of every Briton to participate in a
popular amusement.

The dinner went off well. We were, however, cautious to confine each
man to his solitary pint, lest their spirits should prove too
exuberant at the moment of the rising of the curtain. Coffee over, we
wended our way to the theatre, where we arrived just in time to hear
the expiring crash of the overture. The first glimpse of the
well-filled house assured us that there was no fear of the play
falling still-born for want of an adequate audience. Boxes, pit, and
gallery were equally crammed. We took our seat in the midst of the
band of catcallers and whistlemen, and proceeded to the inspection of
the bill as diligently as though it were an exponent of the piece. It
must be confessed that our friend has not been very fortunate in the
selection of his names. Early associations with the neighbourhood of
Mid-Calder, a region abounding in cacophonous localities, seem to have
led him a little astray. Adam Weir, Portioner in Laichmont, is a name
which may be found figuring in the _Cloud of Witnesses_, or in that
very silly book, Mr Simpson's _Traditions of the Covenanters_. It
might sound admirably in a tale of the "hill-folk," but we totally
repudiate and deny the propriety of enrolling Sir Adam Weir of
Laichmont in the list of King James's Bannerets. Buckie of Drumshorlan
likewise, though he may turn out on further acquaintance to be a
fellow of infinite fancy, appears to us in print the _eidolon_ of a
Bathgate carter. Madeleine we acknowledge to be a pretty name, but it
loses its effect in conjunction with a curt patronymic. However, these
are minor matters. It may be allowable to us, who drew our first trout
from the Linnhouse Water, to notice them, but English ears may not be
so fastidious. Tomkins, to the Chinese, is probably a name as terrible
in sound as Wellington.

But see!--the curtain rises, and displays an interior in Holyrood.
James White--you are a lucky fellow! That mechanist is worth his
weight in gold; for, what with stained windows and draperies and
pilasters, he has contrived to transform our old gloomy palace, where
solemnity sits guardian at the portal, into as gay a habitation as
ever was decked out for a southern potentate. Francesco and
Bernardo--that is, Buckie and Mungo Small--have some preliminary talk,
for which we care not; when suddenly the folding-doors fly open, and
enter James the Fifth of Scotland, surrounded by his nobles.

Unquestionably the greatest of living British actors, Macready, has
never wanted honours. This night he has them to the full, if deafening
applause can testify the public goodwill; and of a truth he deserves
them all, and more, were it but for that king-like bearing. There is
no mock majesty in his aspect. Admirably has he appreciated the
chivalrous character of James, who in many points seems to have borne
a strong resemblance to the English Richard--as gallant and fearless,
as hasty and bountiful--more trusting perhaps, but yet not more
deceived. There is now a cloud on the royal brow. Some of the nobles
have delayed, upon various pretexts, to send their vassals to the
general muster on the Borough Muir, preparatory to an inroad upon
England, and James cannot urge them on. Somerville and some others,
who have no mind for the war, are pleading their excuse, greatly to
the indignation of the King, who considers the honour of Scotland more
bound up with the enterprise than his own.

  "I was the proudest king--too proud perhaps--
  I thought I was but foremost in a band
  Of men, of brothers, of true-hearted Scots;
  But pshaw!--it shall not move me."

He thus reproaches his nobles, who would fain instigate him to peace,
but who on this occasion, as on many others, were opposed to the
opinions, not only of the clergy, but of the people.

                                "What! to hear
    His threats, and worse than threats--his patronage?
    As if we stoop'd our sovran crown, or held it
    As vassal from the greatest king alive!
    No; we are poor--I know we are poor, my lords;
    Our realm is but a niggard in its soil,
    And the fat fields of England wave their crops
    In richer dalliance with the autumn winds
    Than our bleak plains;--but from our rugged dells
    Springs a far richer harvest--gallant hearts,
    Stout hands, and courage that would think foul scorn
    To quail before the face of mortal man.
    We are our people's king. For you, my lords,
    Leave me to face the enemy alone!
    I care not for your silken company.
    I'll to my stalwart men--I'll name my name,
    And bid them follow James. They'll follow me--
    Fear not--they'll follow!"

After some more such dialogue, the nobles promise obedience and
retire, leaving James convinced of their lukewarmness, though
unsuspicious of their treason, and more determined than ever to trust
implicitly to the devotion of the people.

  "Will they be traitors still? and play the game
   Was play'd at Lauder Bridge? and leave their king
   Unshielded to the scorn and laugh of England?
   I will not think so meanly of them yet!
   _They are not forward, as their fathers were
   Who died at Flodden, as the brave should die,
   With sword in hand, defiance in their hearts,
   And a whole land to weep and honour them._
   If they desert me--well, I can but die,
   And better die than live a powerless king!"

Some good passages had occurred before, but this was the first
palpable hit in the play. The word Flodden came home like a
cannon-shot to the heart of every Scotsman in the house, and a yell
arose from the pit, as though the general body of bordering surveyors
who packed it, were ready for another insurrection.

Buckie of Drumshorlan, who, it seems, is a notorious reiver, or, as he
phrases it--"an outcast--a poor Scottish Ishmaelite,"--a fact,
however, unknown to the king, whom he had rescued from the waters
while attempting to cross the Avon in a spate--now comes forward, and
gives information against Sir Adam Weir of Laichmont, as an agent of
the English court, and a corrupter of the treacherous nobility. James
determines to expiscate the matter in person; and accordingly, in the
next scene, we are transported to a wood near Laichmont, where
Madeleine Weir, the grandchild of the knight, and Malcolm Young, her
cousin, are apparently bird-nesting, but in reality, though they know
it not, making love. For poor Malcolm is an orphan, dependent entirely
on Sir Adam, who will not let him become a soldier, but has condemned
him to holy orders. It is, in short, the story--nearly as old as the
world--of disappointed hope and love; though Madeleine, with a sweet
innocence which we suspect is rarely to be found save on the stage,
seems unconscious of the true state of her feelings with reference to
her early playmate. Their _tête-à-tête_ is interrupted by the entrance
of King James, of course in disguise, and now beset by sundry ruffians
who have left their mark on the royal costard; and Malcolm, like a
tight St Andrews student, springs to the rescue. This effects the
introduction of the King to the house of Laichmont, where we find Sir
Adam--a hoary, calculating traitor--in great anxiety to find a
messenger to communicate an English dispatch to the disaffected lords
of Scotland. We pass over his colloquy with his neighbour, Laird
Small--an elderly idiot, whose son Mungo holds the post of usher at
Holyrood, and who now agrees with Sir Adam to unite the two estates by
a marriage between the said Mungo and Madeleine. This scene, which is
pure dramatic business, is pleasantly enough conducted, although in
point of probability, and considering the ambition of the knight, he
might have looked for a better match for his daughter than a coxcomb
of an usher, heir though he was of some plashy acres in the
rush-covered confines of Mid-Calder. We have observed, however, that
love of district is as deep a passion in the human mind as love of
country; and the intense yearning of the Switzer for his clear
Lucerne, may not transcend the tide of parochial patriotism which
swells the bosom of the native of the Kirk of Shotts.

In the second act, Sir Adam somewhat incautiously selects James
himself as the messenger to the nobles; and here we cannot altogether
acquit our friend from the charge of great improbability. That blemish
excepted, the scene is a good one, especially in the part where James,
with the true vanity of a poet, becomes ruffled at the account of the
common criticism on his verses. In the next scene, James extracts the
secret of his love from Malcolm--a character which, by the way, was
admirably performed by Mr Leigh Murray--and the whole mystery of the
sadness of her cousin is revealed to the agitated Madeleine. We have
an idea that dramatic love-scenes must be very ticklish in
composition; at least of this we are aware, that in real life they are
peculiarly perplexing. We never felt so like a booby as when we first
attempted a proposal; and, to our shame be it said, we experienced far
less pain from the positive refusal of Jemima, than from the
consciousness that, at that moment, we must have appeared
inexpressibly absurd. And so it is, we apprehend, with the great
majority of lovers. They keep beating about the bush for months, and
never seem absolutely to know what they would be at. The great
majority of marriages are the result of accident. We have known
several proposals follow the overturning of a chaise. A sharp race
from the pursuit of an infuriated bull--the collision of a
steam-boat--even a good rattling thunder-storm, will bring to a proper
understanding parties who, under ordinary circumstances, and with no
such pretty casualties, might have dawdled out years of unprofitable
courtship, and finally separated for ever in consequence of some
imaginary coldness, for which neither one nor the other of them could
have assigned a plausible reason. Now, within the limits of a five-act
play, there is no space for dawdling. The flirtation must always be of
the warmest, and the engagement consequent thereon. A friend to whom
your hero can tell his story, is of immense advantage in the drama,
more especially when the young gentleman, as in this case, is under
difficulties, and the young lady playfully concealed behind a
whinbush, for no other purpose than that of learning the cause of his
secret sorrow. Let us see how our friend manages this.

    "JAMES.--You know not--but--enough! Poor Malcolm Young!
  Tell me what weighs so heavy on your heart.

    MADELEINE. (_behind._)--Now I shall hear what makes poor Malcolm sad.

    MALCOLM.--Sir,'tis but three weeks since that I came home--
  Home! no, I dare not call it home,--came here,--
  After long tarrying at St Andrew's schools,
  By order of my kinsman, at the last,
  A month since,--'tis one little month ago----

    JAMES.--Go on, go on!

    MADELEINE.--Now comes the hidden grief.

    MALCOLM.--He forced me by deceitful messages
  To vow me to the priesthood, when my soul
  Long'd more for neighing steeds than psalteries.
  Oh, what a happy fortune had been mine
  To draw the sword 'neath gallant James's eye,
  And rouge it to the hilt in English blood!

    JAMES.--God bless you, boy!--your hand again--your hand!
  Would you have served the king?

    MALCOLM.--Ay! died for him!

    JAMES.--And he'd have cherish'd you, believe me, boy,
  And held you to his heart, and trusted you--
  And you'd ha' been true brothers;--for a love
  Like yours is what poor James has need of most.
  Is this your grief?

    MALCOLM.--Alas, my grief lies deeper!
  I might have bent me to my cruel fate
  With prayers that our brave king find Scots as true,
  And worthier of his praise than Malcolm Young.
  When I came back, I had not been a day
  'Mid well-known scenes in the remember'd rooms,
  Till to my heart, my soul, the dreadful truth
  Was open'd like a gulf; and I--fool! fool!
  To be so dull, so blind--I knew too late
  That I was wretched--miserable--doom'd,
  Like Tantalus, to more than hellish pains--
  To feel--yet not to dare to speak, or think;
  To love--and be a priest!

    MADELEINE.--To love! to love!
  How strange this is!

    JAMES.--How found you this, poor friend?

    MALCOLM.--By throbbings at the heart, when I but heard
  Her whisper'd name; thoughts buried long ago
  'Neath childish memories--we were children both--
  Rose up like armed phantoms from their grave,
  Waving me from them with their mailèd hands!
  I saw her with the light of womanhood
  Spread o'er the childish charms I loved so well--
  I heard her voice sweet with the trustful tones
  She spoke with long ago, yet richer grown
  With the full burden of her ripen'd thoughts.

    MADELEINE.--My head goes round--my heart will burst!

    MALCOLM.--I saw
  A world lie open--and an envious spell
  Fencing it from me; day by day, I felt
  Grief and the blackness of unsunn'd despair
  Closing all round me.

    JAMES.--And the maiden's name?

    MALCOLM.--Was Madeleine Weir."

Obedient to dramatic rule, Madeleine faints away at the discovery; and
the good-natured king, without however discovering himself, determines
to secure the happiness of the youthful couple.

This brings us to the third act, where the accusing Buckie again makes
his appearance, and denounces Sir Adam Weir, not only as a traitor,
but as a plunderer of his own kin. He avers the existence of a nephew,
who, were a multiplepoinding instituted, would be found to have good
right to a considerable slice of Laichmont, not to mention divers
other dividends; and he pledges himself to compear at Holyrood on an
early day, at the peril of his head, to prove the truth of his
allegations. With reference to the correspondence with the nobility,
James speaks thus:--

              "Your words are strong
  As if they sprang from truth. I came to prove
  Sir Adam Weir; through him to reach the hearts
  Of higher men. _The saddest heart alive
  Would be as careless as a lark's in June
  Compared to mine, if what my fear portends
  Proves true._ Sir Adam Weir has wealth in store--
  Is crafty, politic, and is of weight--
  The words are his--with certain of our lords.

    BUCKIE.--I told you so. I know he has deep dealings
  With----

    JAMES.--Name them not; from their own lips I'll hear
  Their guilt; no other tongue shall blot the fame
  Of James's nobles. If it should be so;
  If the two men I've trusted from my youth--
  If Hume--If Seton--let the rest go hang!
  But Seton, my old playmate!--if he's false,
  Then break, weak heart! farewell, my life and crown!----
  I pray you meet me here within an hour
  This very night; I shall have need of you.
  And as you speak as one brave man should speak
  To another man, albeit he is a king,
  I will put trust in you; and, ere the morn,
  You shall impeach Sir Adam in our court:
  And woe betide the guilty! Say no more;
  I meet you here again."

Sir Adam Weir delivers the important packet to the king to be conveyed
to the traitors, and James immediately hands it over to Buckie, with a
strict charge that it shall be produced that evening in the court at
Holyrood. His majesty having no further business at Laichmont, departs
in hot haste for Edinburgh.

It is now full time for old Sir Adam to exercise his parental
authority over Madeleine in the matter of her nuptials with Mungo
Small, who has at last arrived at Laichmont. The aged reprobate having
already sold his king and country, cannot be expected to have any
remorse about trafficking with his own flesh and blood; and
accordingly he shows himself, in this interview, quite as great a
brute as the elder Capulet. Nay, to our apprehension, he is
considerably worse; for he not only threatens the meek-eyed Madeleine
with starvation, but extends his threats of vengeance to the
unoffending Malcolm in case of her refusal to wed with the gentle
County Mungo. Madeleine is no Juliet, but a good Scots lassie--brought
up, we hope, in proper knowledge of her breviary, if not of her
catechism, and quite incapable of applying to the Friar Laurence of
Mid-Calder for an ounce of deceptive morphia. She has a hankering for
St Ninian's and the holy vocation of a nun.

    "MADELEINE--I'll hie me to the monastery door,
  And ask the meek-eyed nuns to take me in;
  And it shall be my grave; and the thick walls
  Shall keep me from the world; and in my heart
  I'll cherish him, and think on all his looks,
  Since we were children--all his gentle tones;
  And when my weary breast shall heave no more,
  I'll lay me down and die, and name his name
  With my last breath. I would we both were dead
  For we shall then be happy; but on earth
  No happiness for me--no hope, no hope!"

But Madeleine is not yet to get off quite so easily. Young Master
Small is introduced to ensnare her with his manifold accomplishments,
and certainly he does exhibit himself as a nincompoop of the first
water. With all respect and affection for our brother, we hold this
character to be a failure. There is, we maintain, a vast difference
between vanity, however preposterous, and sheer undaunted drivel,
which latter article constitutes the staple of Master Mungo's
conversation. Not but what a driveller may be a fair character for a
play, but then he ought to drivel with some kind of consistency and
likelihood. Far are we from denying that there are many fools to be
found in Scotland; we even consider it a kind of patriotism to claim
our just quota of national idiocy. Our main objection to Mungo is,
that he represents, so far as we have seen, no section of the Scottish
Bauldy. If he resembles any thing, it is a Cockney of the Tittlebat
Titmouse breed, or one of those absurd blockheads in the plays of Mr
Sheridan Knowles who do the comic business, wear cock's feathers in
their hats, and are perpetually inquiring after news. There is a dash
of solemnity, a ludicrous assumption of priggism, about the Scottish
fool which Mr White has entirely evaded. Ass though he be, the
northern dunderhead is neither a man-milliner nor a flunky; and yet
Mungo Small is an arrant compound of the two. We put it to the public
if the following scene is facetious:--

    "MUNGO.--She curtseys with an air; though, for my part,
  I like the Spanish swale, as thus, (_curtseys,_) low, low;
  Not the French dip, as thus, (_curtseys,_) dip, dip.
  Which think you best?

    MADELEINE.--Sir! did you speak to me?

    MUNGO.--Did I? 'pon honour--yes, I think I did:
  Some like the Austrian bend, (_curtseys,_) d'ye like it so?
  Our girls, the Hamiltons, have got it pat;
  No sooner do I say, 'Sweet Lady Jane,'
  And draw my feather so, and place my hand
  Here on my heart, 'Fair Lady Jane, how are ye?'
  But up she goes, and bend, (_curtseys;_) but if an ass,
  Some fribble she don't like, comes near her, lo!
  A swale! (_curtseys,_) 'tis very like this gentlewoman.
  I hope there's no one near you you don't like?
  For if there is, 'fore gad! an 'twere my father,
  I'd cut him into slices like cold ham,
  As thin as that.

    LAIRD.--Gadso! pray gad it ain't;
  I hope it ain't his father--he would do it!
  He's such a youth!"

Fancy such a capon as this holding office at the court of James the
Fifth!

The mock account of the tournament which follows, would be pleasant
reading were it not for the total incongruity of the narrator with the
scene which he describes. The actor who performed this part was
evidently quite at home in the representation of the smallest Cockney
characters. He brought out Mungo as the most pitiful little reptile
that ever waddled across the stage, and in consequence the audience,
for the first and only time, exhibited some symptoms of
disapprobation. What had gone before was really so good--the
performers had so ably seconded the efforts of the author--the
interest excited by the general business of the play was so
great--that this declension, which might otherwise have been
overlooked, was felt to be a positive grievance. Our chosen band of
contributors had hitherto behaved with great decorum. They had cheered
lustily at the proper places, pocketed their whistles, and although
the house was remarkably warm, not a man of them had emerged between
the acts for the sake of customary refreshment. All at once, in the
middle of the tournament scene, the shrill sharp squeak of a catcall
greeted on our ear, and turning rapidly round, we detected a Political
Economist in the act of commencing a concerto. It was all we could do
to wring the instrument from the villain's hand. We threatened to make
a report of his contumacious conduct to head-quarters, and menaced him
with the wrath of Christopher; but his sole reply to our remonstrance
was something like a grumbled defiance; and very glad were we when the
offending Mungo disappeared, and a pretty scene between Madeleine and
Malcolm, made the audience forget the ill-omened pleasantries of the
Cockney.

The fourth act is remarkably good. Of all the Scottish nobles, Lord
Seton and Hume have ever been the dearest to James; his belief in
their enduring faith and constancy has enabled him to bear up against
the coldness and disaffection of the others; but the time has now
arrived when his confidence in the honour of at least one of them is
destined to be shaken. One of the bishops--Mr White does not specify
his diocese--accuses Lord Seton of holding correspondence with the
leader of the English host. The charge is not believed--nay, hardly
entertained--until Seton himself being sent for, to some extent admits
the fact of having received a messenger.

    "BISHOP.--And he sent a message back to Dacre,
  And gave the envoy passage and safe conduct.

    JAMES.--Is all this true?--Oh, Seton, say the word,
  One little word--tell me it is not true!

    SETON.--My liege,'tis true.

    JAMES.--Then by the name we bear
  You die!--a traitor's death! Sirrah! the guard.
  I will not look again on where he stands.
  Let him be taken hence--and let the axe
  Rid me of----Seton! is it so in truth,
  That you've deceived me--join'd my enemies?
  You--you--my friend--my playmate!--is it so?
  Sir, will you tell me wherein I have fail'd
  In friendship to the man who was my friend?
  I thought I loved you--that in all my heart
  Dwelt not a thought that wrong'd you.

    SETON.--You have heard
  What my accuser says, and you condemn me--
  I say no word to save a forfeit life--
  A life is not worth having, when't has lost
  All that gave value to it--my sovereign's trust!

    JAMES (_to the_ BISHOP.)--You see this man, sir--he's the selfsame age
  That I am. We were children both together--
  We grew--we read in the same book--my lord,
  You must remember that?--how we were never
  Separate from each other; well, this man
  Lived with me, year by year; he counsell'd me'
  Cheer'd me, sustained me--he was as myself--
  _The very throne, that is to other kings
  A desolate island rising in the sea--
  A pinnacle of power, in solitude,
  Grew to a seat of pleasance in his trust._
  The sea that chafed all round it with its waves
  This man bridged over with his love, and made it
  A highway for our subjects' happiness--
  And now! for a few pieces of red gold
  He leaves me. Oh, he might have coin'd my life
  Into base ingots--stript me of it all--
  If he had left me faith in one true heart,
  And I should ne'er have grudged him the exchange.
  Go, now. We speak your doom--you die the death!
  God pardon you! I dare not pardon you--
  Farewell.

    SETON.--I ask no pardon, sir, from you.
  May you find pardon--ay, in your own heart
  For what you do this day!

    BISHOP.--Be firm, my liege.

    JAMES.--Away, away, old man!--You do not know--
  You cannot know, what this thing costs me."

After all, it turns out that Seton is perfectly innocent--that the
message he has dispatched to English Lord Dacre is one of scorn and
defiance--and that the old Cacofogo of the church, who might have
belonged to The Club, has been rather too hasty in his inferences.
Macready--great throughout the whole scene--outshone himself in the
reconciliation which follows; and we believe our friend the Political
Economist was alone in his minority when he muttered, with
characteristic adherence to matter of fact--"Why the plague didn't
that fellow Seton clear himself at once, and save us the whole of the
bother?" We return for a moment to Laichmont, where there is a regular
flare-up between old Sir Adam and Malcolm, the latter pitching it into
the senior in superior style. An officer from the court arrives, and
the whole family party are ordered off _instanter_ to Holyrood.

The last act shows us King James vigilant, and yet calm, in the midst
of the corrupted barons. It is some weeks since the latter have seen a
glimpse of an English rouleau, and their fingers are now itching
extremely for an instalment. They are dismissed for the moment, and
the king begins to perform his royal functions and redeem his
promises, by procuring from the Cardinal-Legate letters of dismission
from the church in favour of Malcolm Young. The court is then
convoked, and Buckie--public prosecutor throughout--appears with a
pair of wolf's jaws upon his head, which we hold to be a singular and
somewhat inconvenient substitute for a wig. The indictment is twofold.
The first charge is against Sir Adam for falsehood, fraud, and wilful
imposition; in consequence of which, his nephew, described as a lad of
considerable early promise, has been compelled to betake himself to
the king's highway, in the reputable capacity of a cutpurse. This
missing youth turns out to be identical with the cateran of
Drumshorlan. The second charge is more serious. It relates to the
public treachery of Weir; in proof of which, Buckie produces the
packet containing the dispatches to the Lords. All is confusion and
dismay.

    "SOMERVILLE.--'Tis some foolishness,
  I'll take the charge.

    JAMES.--Bring me the packet, lord!
  Here, Maxwell! break the seal--but your hand shakes.
  Hume! lay it open. (HUME _opens the packet_.) Blessings on you, Hume!
  Oh, what a thing is truth! Here, give it me!
  Now, by my soul, this is a happy time!
  I hold a score of heads within my hands--
  Heads--noble heads--right honourable heads--
  Stand where you are! ay, coroneted heads--
  Nay, whisper not! What think you that I am?
  A dolt--a madman? As I live by bread,
  I'll show you what I am! You thought me blind,
  You called me heedless James, and hoodwink'd James--
  You'll find me watchful James, and vengeful James!

      (HUME _marches in the Guard, with Headsman;
        They stand beside the Lords, who form a group_.)

  One little word, and it will conjure up
  The fiend to tear you. One motion of this hand--
  One turning of the leaf--Who stirs a foot
  Is a dead man! _If I but turn the leaf,
  Shame sits like a foul vulture on a corse,
  And flaps its wings on the dishonor'd names
  Of knights and nobles._

      (_A pause; the_ LORDS _look at each other_.)

            Nay, blench not, good my lords;
  I mean not _you_; the idle words I say
  Can have no sting for you! You are true men--
  True to your king! You'll show your truth, my lords,
  In battle; pah! we'll teach those Englishmen
  We are not the base things they take us for;
  They'll see James and his nobles side by side--
  (_Aside._) If they desert me now, then farewell all!
  (_Aloud._) There!--(_gives the packet back to Somerville_)
  I know nothing!"

After this act of magnanimity, our readers will readily believe that
all the other personages in the drama are properly disposed of--that
pardon and reconciliation is the order of the day--and that the lovers
are duly united. So ends one of the most successful dramas which has
been produced for a long time upon the stage. Our own judgment might
possibly have been swayed by partiality--not so that of the thousands
who have since witnessed its repeated and successful representation.
Were we to venture upon any broad criticism, after a careful perusal
of this play, and of _The Earl of Gowrie_, we should be inclined to
say that Mr White sins rather upon the side of reserve, than that of
abandonment. We think he might well afford to give a freer rein to his
genius--to scatter before us more of the flowers of poesy--to elevate
the tone of his language and the breadth of his imagery, more
especially in the principal scenes. It may be--and we almost believe
it--that he entertains a theory contrary to ours--that his effort
throughout has been to avoid all exaggeration, and to imitate, as
nearly as the vehicle of verse will allow, not only the transactions,
but the dialogue of actual life. But, is this theory, after all,
substantially correct? A play, according to our ideas, is not intended
to be a mere daguerreotype of what has passed or is passing around us;
it is also essentially a poem, and never can be damaged by any of the
arts which the greatest masters in all times have used for the
composition of their poetry. Much must be said in a play, which in
real life would find no utterance; for passion, in most of its phases,
does not usually speak aloud; and therefore it is that we not only
forgive, but actually require some exaggeration on the stage, in order
to bring out more clearly the thoughts which in truth would have
remained unspoken. In the matter of ornament, much must be left to the
discretion and the skill of the author. We are as averse as any man
can be to overflowing diction--to a smothering of thoughts in
verbiage--to images which distract the mind by their over-importance
to the subject. But the dramatic author, if he carefully considers the
past annals of his craft, can hardly fail to remark that no play has
ever yet achieved a permanent reputation, unless, in addition to
general equable excellence, it contains some scenes or passages of
more than common beauty and power, into the composition of which the
highest species of poetry enters--where the imagination is allowed its
unchecked flight, and the fancy its utmost range. Thus it was, at all
events, that Shakespeare wrote; and if our theory should be by any
deemed erroneous, we are contented to take shelter under his mighty
name, and appeal to his practice, artless as it may have been--as the
highest authority of the world.

But, after all, we are content to take the play as we find it. Of _The
Earl of Gowrie_, Mr White's earlier production, we have left ourselves
in this article little room to speak. In some points it is of a higher
and more ambitious caste than the other--written with more apparent
freedom; and some of the characters--Logan of Restalrig for
example--are powerfully conceived. It is not, however, so well adapted
for the stage as the other drama. James the Sixth, according to our
author's portraiture, is a far less personable individual than his
grandsire; and the quaint mixture of Scots and Latin with which his
speeches are decorated, would sound strangely and uncouthly in modern
ears, even could a competent actor be found. We would much rather see
this play performed by an amateur section of the Parliament House,
than brought out on the boards of Drury Lane. If the Lords Ordinary
stood upon their dignity and refused participation in the jinks, we
think we could still cull from the ranks of the senior bar, a fitting
representative for the gentle King Jamie. We have Logans and Gowries
in abundance, and should the representation ever take place, we shall
count upon the attendance of Mr White, who shall have free permission
for that evening to use the catcall to his heart's content.

Not less pleased are we with the delightful book of Highland
Minstrelsy from the pen of Mrs David Ogilvy, and so characteristically
illustrated by our friend R. R. M'Ian, which now claims our attention.
We are glad to find, in one young writer at least, a return to a
better and a simpler style than that which has been lately
prevalent--a strong national feeling not warped or perverted by
prejudice, and a true veneration for all that is great and glorious in
the past. These poems are, as the authoress informs us in her preface,
intended to bear upon "the traditions, the sentiments, and the customs
of a romantic people"--they are rather sketches of the Highlanders,
than illustrations drawn from history--they are well conceived, and
clearly and delicately executed.

Indeed, notwithstanding the mighty harvest which Sir Walter Scott has
reaped, there is a wide field still open to those who comprehend the
national character. It is, however, one into which no stranger may
hope to enter with the slightest prospect of success. A more
lamentable failure than that committed by Mr Serjeant Talfourd in his
attempt to found a tragedy upon the woful massacre of Glencoe--a
grosser jumble of nonsense about ancestry and chieftainship--was, we
verily believe, never yet perpetrated. At the distance of six years,
we can vividly remember the tingling of our fingers for the pen when
we first detected the Serjeant upon his northern poaching expedition;
nor assuredly should he have escaped without exposure, had not the
memory of _Ion_ been still fresh, and many graceful services to
literature pled strongly within us in his behalf. But our authoress,
if not born, has been bred in the heart of the mountains--she knows,
we are sure, every rood of great Strath-Tay from Balloch to the
roaring Tummel--she has seen the deep pass of Killiecrankie alike in
sunshine and storm, and sweet must have been the walks of her
childhood in the silent woods of Tullymet. It is among such scenes as
these--in the midst of a brave, honest and an affectionate
people--that she has received her earliest poetical impulse, and
gratefully has she repaid that inspiration with the present tribute of
her muse.

We hardly know to which of her ballads we should give precedence. Our
favourite--it may be from association, or from the working of Jacobite
sympathies of which we never shall be ashamed--is the first in order,
and accordingly we give it without comment:--


  "THE EXILE AT CULLODEN.

  "There was tempest on the waters, there was darkness on the earth,
  When a single Danish schooner struggled up the Moray Firth.
  Looming large, the Ross-shire mountains frown'd unfriendly on its track,
  Shriek'd the wind along their gorges, like a sufferer on the rack;
  And the utmost deeps were shaken by the stunning thunder-peal;--
  'Twas a sturdy hand, I trow ye, that was needed at the wheel.

  "Though the billows flew about them, till the mast was hid in spray,
  Though the timbers strain'd beneath them, still they bore upon their way,
  Till they reach'd a fisher-village where the vessel they could moor--
  Every head was on its pillow when they landed on the shore;
  And a man of noble presence bade the crew "Wait here for me.
  I will come back in the morning, when the sun has left the sea."

  "He was yet in manly vigour, though his lips were ashen white,
  On his brow were early furrows, in his eyes a clouded light;
  Firm his step withal and hasty, through the blinding mist so sure,
  That he found himself by dawning on a wide and lonesome muir,
  Mark'd by dykes and undulations, barren both of house and wood,
  And he knew the purple ridges--'twas Culloden where he stood.

  "He had known it well aforetime--not, as now, so drear and quiet;
  When astir with battle's horror,--reeling with destruction's riot;
  Now so peacefully unconscious that the orphan'd and exiled
  Was unmann'd to see its calmness, weeping weakly as a child;
  And a thought arose of madness, and his hand was on his sword--
  But he crush'd the coward impulse, and he spake the bitter word;--

  "'I am here, O sons of Scotland--ye who perish'd for your king!
  In the misty wreaths before me I can see your tartans swing--
  I can hear your slogan, comrades, who to Saxon never knelt;
  Oh! that I had died among ye, with the fortunes of the Celt!

  "'There he rode, our princely warrior, and his features wore the same
  Pallid cast of deep foreboding as the First one of his name;
  Ay, as gloomy as his sunset, though no Scot his life betray'd;
  Better plunge in bloody glory, than go down in shame and shade.

  "'Stormy hills, did ye protect him, that o'erlook Culloden's plain,
  Dabbled with the heather blossoms red as life-drops of the slain?
  Did ye hide your hunted children from the vengeance of the foe?
  Did ye rally back the flying for one last despairing blow?
  No! the kingdom is the Saxon's, and the humbled clans obey,
  And our bones must rot in exile who disdain usurper's sway.

  "'He is sunk in wine's oblivion for whom Highland blood was shed,
  Whom the wretched cateran shelter'd, with a price upon his head,
  Beaten down like hounds by scourging, crouching from their master's
    sight;
  And I tread my native mountains, as a robber, in the night;
  Spite of tempest, spite of danger, hostile man and hostile sea,
  Gory field of sad Culloden, I have come to gaze on thee!'

  "So he pluck'd a tuft of heather that was blooming at his foot,
  That was nourish'd by dead kinsmen, and their bones were at its root;
  With a sigh he took the blossom, and he strode unto the strand,
  Where his Danish crew awaited with a motley fisher band;
  Brief the parley, swift his sailing, with the tide, and ne'er again
  Saw the Moray Firth the stranger or the schooner of the Dane."

"Eilan Mohr" and the "Vow of Ian Lom," the renowned Seannachie of the
Highlands, are both fine poems, but rather too long for extract; and
as we do not doubt that this volume will erelong be found in the
boudoir and drawing-room of many of our fair countrywomen, we have
less hesitation in leaving them to a more leisurely perusal.

The young authoress will, we trust, forgive us if we tender one word
of advice before parting with her on the heights of Urrard--a spot
which was once--and we hope will be again--the home of more worth,
beauty, and excellence, than is often to be found within the circle of
a single family. She ought to be very cautious in her attempts to
write in the Scottish dialect. Few, even of those who have habitually
heard it spoken from their childhood, can discern the almost
indefinable line which exists between the older and purer phraseology,
and that which is more corrupt. The very spelling of the words is a
matter of considerable difficulty, and when not correctly written, the
effect is any thing but pleasing. With this hint and another extract
we shall return the volume to better keeping than our own, with our
sincere approval of its contents, and our admiration for the genius of
the writer.


    "THE OLD HOUSE OF URRARD.

  "Dost fear the grim brown twilight?
    Dost care to walk alone,
  When the firs upon the hill-top
    With human voices moan?
  When the river twineth restless
    Through deep and jagged linn,
  Like one who cannot sleep o' nights
    For evil thoughts within?
  When the hooting owls grow silent,
    The ghostly sounds to hark,
  In the ancient house of Urrard,
    When the night is still and dark.

  "There are graves about old Urrard,
    Huge mounds by rock and tree;
  And they who lie beneath them
    Died fighting by Dundee.
  Far down along the valley,
    And up along the hill,
  The fight of Killicrankie
    Has left a story still.
  But thickest show the traces
    And thickest throng the sprites,
  In the woods about old Urrard,
    On the gloomy winter nights.

  "In the garden of old Urrard,
    Among the bosky yews,
  A turfen hillock riseth
    Where latest lie the dews;
  Here sank the warrior stricken
    By charmèd silver ball,
  And all the hope of victory
    Fell with him in his fall.
  Last stay of exiled Stuart,
    Last heir of chivalrie,
  In the garden of old Urrard
    He died, the brave Dundee!

  "In the ancient house of Urrard,
    There's many a hiding den;
  The very walls are hollow,
    To cover dying men;
  For not e'en lady's chamber
    Barr'd out the fierce affray;
  And couch and damask curtain
    Were stain'd with blood that day
  And there's a secret passage,
    Whence sword, and skull, and bone,
  Were brought to light in Urrard,
    When years had pass'd and gone.

  "If thou sleep alone in Urrard,
    Perchance in midnight gloom
  Thou'lt hear behind the wainscot
    Of that old haunted room,
  A fleshless hand that knocketh,
    A wail that cries on thee;
  And rattling limbs that struggle
    To break out and be free.
  It is a thought of horror!--
    I would not sleep alone
  In the haunted rooms of Urrard,
    Where evil deeds were done.

  "Amidst the dust of garrets
    That stretch along the roof,
  Stand chests of ancient garments
    Of gold and silken woof.
  When men are lock'd in slumber,
    The rustling sounds are heard
  Of dainty ladies' dresses,
    Of laugh and whisper'd word,
  Of waving wind of feathers,
    And steps of dancing feet,
  In the haunted halls of Urrard,
    When the winds of winter beat."

We cannot altogether dismiss the book without bearing testimony to the
merits of M'Ian, a rising artist and thorough Highlander, already
favourably known to the public by his Sketches of the Clans, and other
admirable works. Few pictures have ever affected us more than his
Highland prisoner, exhibited last year in the Royal Academy, into
which he has thrown a far deeper feeling, both of poetry and romance,
than is at the command of many of his brethren, whose names are more
widely bruited than his own. We send him across the Border our cordial
greeting, and our best wishes for his continued success and
prosperity.

And here we should have concluded this article in peace and amity with
all men--haunted by no other thoughts save those of sweet
recollection--and as innocent of blood as our terrier pup, who, we are
gratified to observe, is at this moment vainly attempting to enlarge a
casual fracture in our slipper. But our eye has accidentally lighted
upon a fugitive volume, half smothered beneath a heap of share-lists;
and mindful of our duty, however painful, we drag forth the impostor
to his doom. _Morning and other Poems, by a Member of the Scotch Bar!_
Why, the very name of the book is enough to betray its spurious
origin. The unfortunate person who has rashly attempted to give
currency to his verses by assuming a high and honourable position, to
which, we believe from the bottom of our soul, he has not the remotest
pretension--has not even taken the pains to ascertain the corporate
name of the body with which he claims affiliation, and bungles even in
the title-page. With the members of the SCOTTISH BAR we have some
acquaintance--nay, we think that--from habitual attendance at the
Parliament House, being unfortunately implicated in a law-plea as
interminable as that of Peebles against Plainstanes--we know almost
every one of them by headmark, from the Pet of the Stove, whose
snuff-box is as open as his heart, to the saturnine gentleman who is
never seen beyond the precincts of the First Division. We acquit every
one of them of participation in this dreary drivel.

It may be that the gods have not made all of them poetical--and, for
the sake of the judges, we opine that it is better so--yet some rank
amongst our dearest and most choice contributors; nor, we believe, is
there one out of the whole genuine fraternity of educated and
accomplished gentlemen who could not, if required, versify a summons,
or turn out a Lay of the Multiplepoinding, equal, if not superior, to
Schiller's Song of the Bell. It is rather too much that the literary
character of the bar of Scotland is to be jeopardied by the dulness of
the author of _Morning and other Poems_. Why has he not the courage,
instead of sheltering himself under a legal denomination common to
some three hundred gentlemen, to place his own name upon the
title-page, and stand or fall by the bantlings of his own creation?
Does he think, forsooth, that it is beneath the dignity of a barrister
to publish verses, or to hold at any time a brief in the court of
Apollo? If so, why does he attempt to thrust forward his vocation so
wantonly? But he knows that it is no disgrace. The literary reputation
of the bar is so high, that he actually assumes the title for the
sake of obtaining a hearing, and yet merges his own individuality, so
that he may be enabled to slink away in silence and obscurity from the
ridicule which is sure to overwhelm him.

Morning, and other Poems! It was impossible for the author to have
stumbled upon a more unfortunate subject in support of his
pretensions. Of all imaginable themes, that of morning is least likely
to inspire with enthusiasm the soul of a Scottish barrister. Few are
the associations of delight which that word awakens in his mind. It
recalls to him the memory of many a winter, throughout which he has
been roused from his comfortable nap at half-past seven, by the shrill
unquellable voice of Girzy, herself malignant and sullen as the
bespoken warning of the watchman. He recollects the misery of shaving
with tepid water and a blunt razor by the light of a feeble dip--the
fireless study--the disordered papers--the hasty and uncomfortable
breakfast, and the bolting of the slippery eggs. Blash comes a sheet,
half hail half slush, against the window--the wind is howling without
like a hurricane, and threatens to carry off that poor shivering
lamplighter, whose matutinal duty it is to extinguish the few
straggling remnants of gas now waning sickly and dim, in the dawn of a
bad December morning. What would he not give if this were a Monday
when he might remain in peace at home! But there is no help for it. He
is down for three early motions on the roll of the most punctual
Ordinary that ever cursed a persecuted bar; so he buttons his
trot-cosey around him, and, without taking leave of the wife of his
bosom--who, like a sensible woman as she is, never thinks of moving
until ten--he dashes out, ankle-deep in mud and melting snow, works
his way up a continuous hill of a mile and a half in length, with a
snell wind smiting him in the face, his nose bluemigating like a plum,
and his linen as thoroughly damped as though it had been drawn through
the wash-tub. Just as he begins to discern through the haze the
steeple of Knox's kirk, nine strokes upon the bell warn him that his
watch is too slow. He rushes on through gutter and dub, and arrives in
the robing-room simultaneously with ten other brethren, who are all
clamorously demanding their wigs and gowns from the two distracted
functionaries. Accomodated at last, he hurries up the stairs, and
when, through the yellow haze of the house, he has groped his way to
the den where early Æacus is dispensing judgment by candle-light, he
finds that the roll has been already called without the appearance of
a single counsel. Such, for half the year--the other half being varied
by a baking--are the joys which morning brings to the member of the
Scottish bar. Few, we think, in their senses would be inclined to sing
them, nor, indeed, to do our author justice, does he attempt it. His
notions of morning occupations are very different. Let us see what
sort of employment he advises in an apostrophe, which, though
ostensibly addressed to Sleep, (a goddess with two mothers, for he
calls her "Daughter of Jove and Night, by Lethe born,") must, we
presume, have been intended for the edification of his fellow-mortals.

                  "Nor then, thy knees
    Vex with long orisons. The morning task,
    The morning meal, or healthful morning walk
    Demand attention next. Thy hungry feed,
    Among thy stall, if lowing herds be thine;
    Drain the vex'd udders, set the pail apart
    For the wean'd kid; the doggish sentinel
    Supply, nor let him miss the usual hand
    He loves. Then, having seen all full and glad,
    Body and soul with food thyself sustain.
    If wedded bliss be yours, the fruitful vine
    Greet lovingly, and greet the olive shoots,
    The gifts of God!"

Here is a pretty fellow! What! First breakfast, then a walk, then the
byre, the ewe-bught, the pig-stye, and the kennel, and after all
that, without wiping the gowkspittle of the tares from your jacket,
or the stickiness of Cato's soss from your fingers, you would sit down
to a second breakfast, like a great snorting gormandizer, and never
say good-morning to your wife and children until you have finished
your third roll, and washed down that monstrous quantity of fried ham
with your fifth basin of bohea! But no--we turn over a couple of
pages, and find that we have done our friend injustice. He is a poet,
and, according to his idea of that race, they subsist entirely upon
porridge or on sowens.

    "But what becomes the rustic, little suits
    The poet and the high Æonian fire----
    His toils I mean; sacred the morning prime
    Is still to song, and sacred still the grove;
    No fields he boasts, no herds to grace his stalls,
    The muse has made him poor and happy too,
    She robs him of much care and some dull coin,
    Stints him in gay attire and costly books,
    But gives a wealth and luxury all her own,
    _And, on a little pulse, like gods they diet._"

Our theory is, that this man is a medical student. We have a high
regard for the healing faculty; nor do we think that, amongst its
ranks, there is to be found more than the ordinary proportion of
blockheads. But the smattering of diversified knowledge which the
young acolytes are sure to pick up in the classes, is apt to go to
their heads, and to lead them into literary and other extravagances,
which their more sober judgment would condemn. They are seldom able,
however, to disguise their actual calling; and even their most
powerful efforts are tinctured with the flavour of rhubarb or of
senna. This youth has been educated in obstetrics.

    "Three months scarce had thrice increased
    Ere the world with thee was blest."

He is an adept in the mysteries of gestation--an enthusiast so far in
his profession, and cannot even contemplate the approach of morning
without the feelings of a genuine Howdie. Mark his exordium--

      "The splendid fault, solicitude of fame,
    Which spurs so many, me not moves at all
    To sing, but grateful sense of favours obtain'd
    By many a green-spread tree and leafy hill:
    The MORNING calls, escaped from dewy sleep
    And Tithon's bed to celebrate her charms,
    What sounds awake, what airs salute the dawn!
      "That virgin darkness, loveliest imp of time,
    Is, to an amorous vision, nightly wed,
    And made the mother of a shining boy,
    By mortals hight the day, let others tell,
    In livelier strains, and to the Lydian flute
    Suit the warm verse; but be it ours to wait
    In the birth-chamber, and receive the babe,
    All smiling, from the fair maternal side,
    By pleasant musings only well repaid."

It is a great pity that one so highly gifted should ever have been
tempted to forsake the muse for any mere mundane occupation. But in
spite of his modest request that sundry celestial spirits--

    "Will to a worthier give the bays to Phœbus dear,
    And crown MY WORDSWORTH with the branch _I must not wear_"--

we are not altogether without hopes that he will reconsider the
matter, avoid too hard work, which, in his own elegant language, might
make him

    "Wan as nun who takes the vows,
    Or primrose pale, or _lips of cows_!"--

and not only delight us occasionally with a few Miltonic parodies as
delectable as these, but be persuaded in time to assume the laureat's
wreath. As for the pretext that he is getting into practice--whether
legal or medical--that is all fudge. He informs us that "the following
pages were written, during the author's leisure hours, some years ago,
before the superior claims of professional occupations interfered to
make such pursuits unlawful, and would probably have remained
unpublished, but for the accident of a talented friend's perusal."
Moreover, he says that "his conscience will not reproach him with the
hours which the preparation of these poems for the press has filched
from graver business--

    'The tedious forms, the solemn prate,
    The pert dispute, the dull debate.'"

We assure him that it need not do so. No man who has glanced at this
volume will accuse him of knowing the difference between a process of
Ranking and Sale and a Declarator of Legitimacy; and he may comfort
himself with the conviction that his literary pursuits are quite as
lawful at the present time as they were some years ago. No importunate
solicitor will ever interfere to divert him from them. The man who
cannot compass an ordinary distich will never shine in minutes of
debate; nor have we the slightest expectation that a three-guinea
fee--even were he entitled to receive it--would ever supply the place
of that unflinching principle of honour, which he thus modestly, and
not unprophetically acknowledges to be the mainspring of his
inspiration--

    "'Tis this which strings, in time, my feeble harp,
    And yet shall ravish long eternal years!"

The following imprecation, which we find in "Morning," inspires us
with something like hope of the continuance of his favours:--

    "When I forget the dear enraptured lay,
    May this right hand its wonted skill forego,
    And never, never touch the lyre again!"

We dare not say Amen to such a wish. On the contrary, in the name of
the whole Outer-House, we demand a supplementary canto. Let him submit
it to the perusal of his "talented friend," and we dare answer for it
that the publishers will make no objection to stand sponsors for a new
volume on the same terms as before.

FOOTNOTE:

[53] _The Earl of Gowrie_; a Tragedy. By the Rev. JAMES WHITE. London:
1845.

_The King of the Commons_; a Drama. By the Same. 1846.

_A Book of Highland Minstrelsy._ By Mrs D. OGILVY. Illustrated by R.
R. M'IAN. London: 1846.

_Morning, and other Poems._ By a Member of the Scotch Bar. London:
1846.



ELINOR TRAVIS.

A TALE IN THREE CHAPTERS.

CHAPTER THE SECOND.


So far have I spoken of what I saw and witnessed. Much of what follows
came to me, years afterwards, authenticated by the chief performer in
the eventful drama which I write, and by others no less worthy of
belief. After what has been already narrated, it will not be supposed
that I suffered the life of my friend to pass away unnoticed. We
corresponded, but fitfully, and at long intervals. Here and there we
met, often strangely and by accident, and I became now the depositary
of his heart's dearest secrets, now the reluctant adviser, and now the
bold and earnest remonstrant. Our intimacy, however, ceased abruptly
and unhappily a year or two subsequently to his marriage. Sinclair, it
will be seen, then went abroad, and I returned to my duty at the
university. I recur to the memoranda of his history which lie before
me, and proceed with my text.

It would appear that General Travis overtook the fugitives, but, as
good or ill fortune would have it, not until the knot was tied, and
his presence profited nothing. I have been told that the desperate
father, at one period of the chase, was within an easy stage of the
runaways, and, had he been so disposed, might have laid hands on the
delinquents without ruinously bribing the postilions, who prudently
husbanded their strength in full expectation of additional largess.
But, at the very moment of victory, as it were, the general
unfortunately was seized with illness, and compelled to pass a day and
night under the hands of a village doctor in a roadside inn. He was
very angry and rebellious, you may be sure, and oftener than once
asserted with an oath--so that there could be no doubt whatever of his
sincerity--that he would give the world (if he had it) to be allowed
to proceed; at the same time that he unreasonably accused the
practitioner, whom he had never seen before, of conspiring with his
enemies to bring his gray hairs with sorrow to the grave. The worthy
apothecary, guilty of nothing but the venial offence of making the
most of a visitation of Providence, merely shook his head dolefully at
every exclamation of his patient, hinted at gastric fever, and rubbed
his palms, intimating by that act that so he proposed to wash his
hands of all responsibility. Whereupon the general prudently gave in,
held out his massive fist, was prescribed for, went to bed and put out
his candle, just two minutes after he had put out the basket of physic
which had been sent to prolong his stay in the inn for at least a week
to come.

The interview between the disconsolate parent and the youthful
offenders is adverted to in the letter which I received from Rupert
Sinclair in London early in the honeymoon. It is many years since it
was written: the paper is discoloured, and the ink fading. It is the
effusion of a fond and enthusiastic youth; but it looks mournful and
dried up, more like the decaying writing on the rolls of a mummy than
the ardent outpourings of a recent passion. Alack for the mutability
of life! I have no apologies to make for giving the letter as it
stands. It speaks for itself: its publication cannot harm the dead.

    "DEAREST WALTER--Congratulate me! wish me joy! But no greater
    joy than I experience at this hour, with the sunny and smiling
    heaven above, and in the possession of a treasure of which no
    man living can rob me: of which I am prouder than Alexander
    could have been of all his conquered worlds. She is mine! I
    have ventured much for the prize; yet little--for I feel I
    could have parted with every thing in life for her who is to
    me--life, every thing. She is mine! Oh the comprehensiveness
    of that one little word! Mine whilst existence lasts--mine to
    cherish and uphold--mine for earth and heaven! We walked this
    morning to the placid lake which lies hidden in the heart of
    the mountains, to which we have retreated for a season away
    from the envious eyes of men. The waters were as calm as at
    the dawn of the first sabbath! The sky that overarched us
    looked down upon them in unutterable love. The slightest
    breath that crept amongst the trees was audible. Her arm was
    upon mine. Nature had attuned my soul to the surrounding
    harmony--the gentlest pressure of her confiding hand oppressed
    me with joy and moved me to tears. Laugh at me if you will.
    You answer to all this--that I dream. Be it so:--That I must
    soon awake. It is possible. Nay, I grant you that this
    foretaste of heaven, now vouchsafed to me, must pass away and
    leave behind it only the remembrance of this golden epoch.
    Still the remembrance is mine, the undying memory of a vision
    unparalleled by all other dreams of life.

    "I have written to my father, but he replies not. He has no
    sympathy for attachments such as mine, and cannot understand
    the bitterness of life caused by a blighted hope. But he will
    relent. He has a noble nature, and will take no delight in my
    unhappiness. My mother's influence is unbounded. She loves me,
    and will plead my cause with him, when the first paroxysm of
    anger has passed away, and has left him open to her sway. I
    will take my Elinor to her; her innocence and beauty would
    melt a stubborn heart to pity. Shall it not prevail with her
    whose heart is ours already by the ties of holiest nature?
    Believe me, I have no fear of Lord Railton's lasting anger.

    "The general reached us the day after we were married. Happily
    for me that he arrived not before. Elinor, as I have told you
    often, reveres her father, and has a chivalric sense of filial
    obligations. Had he commanded her to return to his roof whilst
    the right to command remained with him, she would have deemed
    it her paramount duty to obey him. His rage was terrible when
    we met; I had never seen a man so plunged in grief before. He
    accused me of treachery--of having betrayed his
    confidence--and taken advantage of his daughter's simplicity
    and warm affection. The world, he said, would reproach him for
    an act which he would have moved heaven and earth to prevent,
    and the reputation of the family would be blasted by the
    conduct of one, who, but for his own base deed, should have
    remained for ever a stranger to it. What could I reply to
    this? For my dear Elinor's sake, I bore his cruel words, and
    answered not. Her gentle spirit has already prevailed. He
    quitted us this morning reconciled to our union, and resolved
    to stand by us in all extremities. There was no resisting the
    appeal of beauty such as hers. The old man wept like a child
    upon her neck as he forgave and blest her. Urgent business
    carries the general abroad for a season, but he returns to
    England shortly, to make arrangements for the future.
    Meanwhile, in obedience to his earnest request, I shall seek
    an interview with my father, and in person entreat his
    forgiveness and aid. My plans are unsettled, and necessarily
    depend upon the conduct of Lord Railton. Let me hear from you,
    dearest Wilson. Once more wish me joy. I ask no better fate
    for you than happiness such as mine.

        "Your faithful and devoted

            "RUPERT SINCLAIR."

The honeymoon over, Rupert Sinclair repaired to his father's house.
Since his marriage he had received no tidings of his parents: he had
written to his father and mother, but from neither came one syllable
of acknowledgment or reply. It was strange, but he relied with
unshaken confidence upon his power over the fond mother's heart, and
upon the magic influence of that loveliness which he himself had found
resistless and invincible. The blissful dream was a short one; he was
about to be roused from it. Elinor and he were in town: upon the
morning of his visit to Grosvenor Square, they sat together in their
hotel and weaved their bright and airy plans in syllables more
unsubstantial than the gossamer.

"You will love my mother, my dearest Elinor," said Sinclair. "The
great world, in which she acts no unimportant part, has not spoiled
her affections. She is indulgent and fond almost to a fault."

"I shall love her for your sake, Rupert," answered the lovely wife.
"How like she is!" she exclaimed, looking at a miniature which she
wore around her neck, and then comparing it with the living
countenance that beamed upon her. "Yet," she continued with a sigh,
"she owes me no return of love."

"And wherefore?"

"Have I not stolen her most cherished treasure?"

"Have you not added to her treasures? She will rejoice in her
new-found daughter. I know her well. She will not even suffer my
father to frown upon us. When he would be most stern, she will lead
you to him, and melt him into tenderness and pardon."

"I hope, dear Rupert, that it may be so. I would my father were with
us!"

"Lord Railton will be a father to you till his return. Trust me for
it. You shall find a happy home with him, until arrangements are made
for our settlement here or elsewhere."

"Oh, elsewhere, dear Rupert, if it be possible! Let us go abroad; I
was never happy in London, and strange to say, never felt at home in
England. Yet London was my birth-place."

"You love blue sky, dearest!"

"Yes, and happy people. Men and women who are not mere slaves to form
and fashion: who breathe free air and imbibe a sense of freedom. Oh
Venice! dear Venice!--we shall go to Venice, shall we not? It is the
land of enchantment, dearest Rupert, there is nothing like it in the
world--the land of love and of romance."

"You shall visit it, sweetest, and abide there if you wish it. To me
all spots are alike that find you happy and at my side. When you are
tired of Venice, you shall lead me whithersoever you will."

"Will you always say so?"

"Always. But that our departure may not be delayed, let us attend to
the pressing business of the hour. All our movements depend upon my
father's sanction. Once reconciled to him, and the world is before us,
to minister, sweet Elinor, to your every wish."

"What if he should punish you for my offence?"

"For your offence, dear girl! and what is that? Think not of it. I go
to remove your fears and seal our happiness!"

With these and similar words of confidence and hope, the youth
departed on his errand. Not without some misgiving and apprehension,
however, did he present himself at that door which heretofore had
flown open at his approach, always offering to his view the forms of
obsequious lackeys, only too willing to anticipate his pleasure. The
establishment of Lord Railton in a striking manner represented the
sentiments and feelings of the noble proprietor. There was not a
servant in the house who did not know, and that most accurately, the
opinions, public and private, of "my lord," and the relative regard he
had for all who approached his noble person, and who, moreover, did
not give evidence of this knowledge in his conduct towards mankind. A
stranger might have formed a just opinion of the influence of a
visitor by simply remarking the bearing of Mister Brown the butler, as
he ushered that visitor into the sublime presence. Smiles of
welcome--a sweet relaxation of the features--greeted "the favoured
guest;" cold rigidity, withering politeness, if not the stern
expression of rebuke itself, were the undisguised acknowledgments of
one who was "a bore" in his lordship's study, and consequently "a
rejected" in the steward's room. During the boyhood of Rupert
Sinclair, and whilst his mamma was known to be affectionately disposed
to spoil her offspring by every kind of cruel indulgence, the regard
entertained for the young scion, from Mister Brown downwards, was
beautiful to contemplate. If he appeared in the hall, one sickening
and hollow smile pervaded the cheeks of every individual; the tongue
that was still wet with slander and abuse, became, as if by magic,
sugary with choice phrases; and not a soul of all the lying crew, but
sought to surpass the rest by the profuseness of its palpable and
unmeaning flattery. Rupert Sinclair, worldly wise though he was not,
would have been stolid indeed had he not gathered from the porter's
air something of the reception that awaited him from his offended
sire, when the wide portal opened to receive the unforgiven prodigal.

"His lordship?"----began Rupert inquiringly.

"Not at home, sir," said the flunkey, with all imaginable coolness
interrupting him.

"Lady Railton?"

"Not at home, sir."

"She is in town?"

"In town, sir?--yes, sir."

"I will wait," said Sinclair, moving towards the inner hall.

He had not spoken before the porter pulled with all his might at a
bell-wire that communicated with the steward's room. As though the
signals were preconcerted, Mister Brown was in the hall in no time,
and confronting the intruder upon the thresh-hold of the sanctuary. "I
beg your pardon, Mr Sinclair," said Mister Brown, half respectfully,
half confidentially. "Lord Railton is par_tic_ularly engaged this
morning, and has given orders to that effect. It is the painfulest
thing to communicate, but I am but an agent."

Rupert coloured up, and hesitated for a moment.

"I must see Lady Railton, then?" he continued hastily.

"Her ladyship is ill, sir--really very ill. She is not suffered to see
any body. My lord has forbidden any one to approach her but her maid.
I hope no offence, but I heard Doctor Bennett tell her ladyship that
it was of the highest consequence to keep Mr Sinclair away for the
present."

"Is she really so ill, sir?" asked Rupert, turning pale, and with a
quivering lip.

Mister Brown drew his handkerchief from his pocket, and applied it to
his eyes.

"She is indeed, sir," said that hoary hypocrite; "we have had a
dreadful time of it. I thought his lordship would have blown his
brains out. My lady was given over for a week. For my own part, I may
say that duty and feeling have struggled in my bosom till I am quite
worn out, and it's quite impossible for me to say who will be laid up
next."

"I _must_ see my father, Mr Brown," said Sinclair, advancing a step or
two, to the great discomfort of the butler, who was evidently sadly
perplexed by the conflicting emotions of his mind; for whilst he
acknowledged Lord Railton for his master, he respected Mr Sinclair as
his heir, and felt how important it was to obey his present lord
without declining to serve the youth whom he hoped to make his future
lord. "I _must_ see him. Go to him, I beg of you, and tell him I am
here."

So saying, Mr Sinclair advanced a few steps further, and found himself
unhindered in the dining-room--moreover, to his surprise and
agitation, in the presence of his father. Mister Brown vanished. To
behold his parent, to fall on his knees before him, and to grasp his
hand, was the work of a moment. Lord Railton recoiled as though a
serpent, and not his child, had wound about him. He was livid with
rage, and an unnatural hate was settled in his cold, yet piercing eye.

"Your pardon, father!" cried the youth.

"Never, so help me"----

"Oh, do not say it, father!" exclaimed the son, interrupting him
before the awful word was spoken; "for heaven's sake, do not call that
name to witness such a fearful sentence--do not drive me to
distraction!"

"You have driven me mad; you have blasted every hope of mine. You have
been a traitor and a shame to the name you bear, and of which I would
it were in my power to deprive you as easily as it is to attach to it
the curse with which you shall receive from me your title and your
inheritance. Begone! I never knew what it was to hate till now."

Rupert arose and burst into tears. His father looked at him unmoved
except by scorn.

"You have not seen her," exclaimed Rupert, when the first burst of
grief had passed away; "you do not know the value of the child whom
you reject."

"No, but I have heard. The _world_ has heard of our disgrace. Mark me,
you are no longer child of mine. I disown and discard you. I will
enter into no particulars. From this moment I will hold no further
intercourse with you. At my death you will obtain my name, and all
that the law allows you. Until my death, you will receive from my man
of business more than a sufficient sum for your support. Let me not
hear from you again. I shall struggle to forget you and your
ingratitude. Neither in health nor sickness, neither by letter nor in
person, let me know any thing of you or yours. You have forsaken your
natural ties for new associations. They have made you a traitor to
your blood--let them make the most of the adoption."

"Father, you cannot mean it!" cried Rupert in an agony of sorrow.

"Father!" said the old lord, repeating the word; "in virtue of what
filial act do you claim such a kindred with me? Call that man father
whose bankrupt fortune and reputation have had such marvellous power
to wean you from your duty. Mark me, Sinclair--you were the first to
violate the tie between us, I will be the last to restore or reunite
it. Leave me. I cannot bear to look upon you."

"My mother!" inquired Sinclair, in a voice that dared not rise above a
whisper.

"Name not that poor broken-hearted woman," replied Lord Railton:
"spare me and her the pang of that inquiry. You have killed her."

"Oh, no, no, impossible!" ejaculated Sinclair. "Let me see her, and
obtain her forgiveness, if I am driven afterwards from your door."

"She lies upon a bed of sickness, placed there by yourself. She will
never rise again. Your wife must be fair indeed, if her beauty can
atone for such a murder."

"Oh, you are unjust, most cruel and unjust!"

"You have taught us such injustice and cruelty as we practise. Begone,
sir! As long as we live, we must not meet again. If you remain in
England, I shall go abroad. If you travel, I remain in England. The
sea shall be between us. I reproach myself with nothing. I denied you
nothing. I knew my duty towards you, and performed it. Your mother
lived only for your happiness. We have been cursed and disappointed. I
forget you from this hour. Had I received intelligence this morning of
your death, it would have given me no pain, evoked no sorrow. You are
dead to me. Come not again across this threshold and I will endeavour
to forget that I was not always childless."

And so saying, Lord Railton put an end to the interview by quitting
the apartment. Grief, in the bosom of Rupert, had already given place
to offended pride and resentment--such resentment, at least, as his
mild nature understood. Whatever might have been his offence, he felt
that it did not, could not deserve the vindictive hatred which burned
no less in his father's countenance than in his terrible
denunciations. What! was it a crime to link one's fate with virtuous
innocence and beauty, such as hers who called him husband? If it was a
fault to carve one's own way to happiness, did it deserve a harsher
condemnation than that apportioned to the felon? The image of Elinor
rose for the protection of the youth, and armed him with courage for
the trial of that hour. He came a suppliant; but he returned in
triumph: he came acknowledging his offence and suing for forgiveness;
he returned justified and self-acquitted. Deprived of love and
friendship at the hearth and home of his youth, he appreciated at even
more than their value the joys that had been created for him in the
palace of his own bright home, where a divinity presided as queen. The
punishment he received for her dear sake, rendered her, if that were
possible, the object still more of his passionate regard. He would
have made any sacrifice to appease the anger of his father and the
offended pride of his mother--he did not believe in the dangerous
illness of the latter--but repulsed like a dog from their side, he
deemed himself absolved from further trials of their tenderness,
additional exercise of his own forbearance and filial duty.

It was during the day of his visit to Grosvenor Square that Sinclair
was honoured with a return visit from the attorney of Lord Railton.
That gentleman had received instructions that very morning to pay to
the order of Mr Rupert Sinclair the sum of one thousand pounds per
annum, in quarterly payments of two hundred and fifty pounds each:
"But really," as the legal gentleman said to Rupert, upon breaking the
matter to him, "he could not reconcile it to his sense of duty, and to
the esteem which it was natural for him to entertain towards every
member of Lord Railton's family--to perform his very unthankful
office without using all his humble efforts to bring about a
reconciliation, which in every respect was so very desirable. God
forbid that business should ever prevent him from doing his duty as a
Christian."

It need hardly be said that Mr Crawly, the attorney in question, was
too keen a judge of things in general to throw dirt in the face of the
rising sun, simply because he had worshipped the setting luminary a
few hours before. Like all who depended more or less upon the estates
of the Railton family for their support, it was of the highest
consequence to maintain a good understanding with either party. If
Lord Railton fed Mr Crawly now, Rupert Sinclair was expected to feed
by and by Crawly's son and heir, who was preparing himself for the
paternal stool by a short round of folly and extravagance at the
university. Who could tell? Lord Railton might die to-morrow--he had
had a squeak or two--and Crawly had been called to make his will: or
he might forgive his son--or twenty things might happen to remove
present differences, and restore the divided interest to its first
integrity. Crawly had boasted to his relations and friends for the
first twenty years of his official career, that he had never made one
enemy; and when he set up his carriage in the prime of life, he
invented his own arms and crest, and assumed for his motto the words,
"always agreeable."

"It really is, my dear Sinclair," said Crawly, "a thousand pities that
we cannot bring about a more satisfactory state of things; but I do
hope that time will do wonders. Some excuses must be made for Lord
Railton. Remember his age."

[He had said the same thing to Lord Railton in the morning: "Some
excuses must be made for Mr Sinclair, my lord. Remember his _youth_!"]

"I cannot but think, Mr Crawly," answered Rupert, "that I have been
treated with unmerited harshness."

"I cannot say, Mr Sinclair--I do not think it would become me to
reply--that you have been treated handsomely."

[Crawly, Crawly! you spoke those words in Grosvenor Square!]

"I accept the allowance, sir, and will make the most of it. You may
assure my father that I shall not prefer any further claims upon his
bounty, or force myself again into his presence."

"As for bounty, my dear Mr Sinclair, you must permit me to state that
the expression is hardly a correct one. The property of his lordship
descends to you, and you are perfectly justified in spending freely
what is your own."

["Mr Crawly," said Lord Railton, in Grosvenor Square that morning,
foaming with rage, "I will deprive him of every shilling that is not
his own. I have been economical for his sake; I will be extravagant to
spite him."

"_My lord_," replied Crawly, "_you are perfectly justified in spending
freely what is your own_."]

"May I take the liberty, Mr Sinclair," said the lawyer after a pause,
"to inquire what your present views may be?"

"I am undecided, sir. I know not whether I shall remain here or go
abroad. My father's reception of me has staggered and confounded me. I
would have consulted his wishes had he received me as his son. I have
now to satisfy only my own convenience."

"I shall pay your annuity, Mr Sinclair, into your banker's regularly
every quarter-day. The first payment will be made in advance. I need
not assure you, I trust, that I act in this most painful business
rather as a mediator and a friend than a hired agent. There may be a
time when an additional advance may be both convenient and acceptable.
I have known you long, Mr Rupert. I know you to be a man of honour. I
have only to add, that at such times you will confer a favour upon me
by making me your banker, and commanding my purse."

I wonder if this was the reason why Mr Crawly suggested to Lord
Railton the propriety of grinding Mr Sinclair down to as small a sum
as possible. If so, if it were merely to give himself the opportunity
of acting like a second father to the castaway, the recommendation
cannot be too highly applauded.

"Thank you, sir; I shall not trouble you. I know my income, and I
shall take care to keep my ambition within its bounds. I have had but
few desires, I have now fewer than ever. A humble cottage and
contentment are to be prized far beyond a palace and its harassing
cares. I do not want the world to administer to my happiness. I am the
happiest of men at home. To have that home invaded by the vulgar
pleasures of life, would be to rob me of its charm!"

Now nothing could have been more satisfactory than this sentiment, had
it but been responded to by her upon whom not only the annual expenses
of Mr Rupert Sinclair's household depended, but his every movement,
wish, and thought. Unfortunately for the domestic husband, the wife
understood the bliss of love in a cottage no more than a nightingale
may be supposed to appreciate the advantages of imprisonment in a cage
of gold. She was born, and had been educated, in the world. It was the
scene of her triumphs, the home of her affections. She had played no
unimportant part in it; her sway had been acknowledged, her beauty had
gained its victory _there_. _Home!_ she had never known any other, and
what right had Sinclair to suppose that she was adapted for a
narrower? He had met her in dissipation, but had he won her from it?
Hardly; since a few days only had intervened between the hour of their
meeting, and the still more luckless hour of their union. Was it to be
imagined, could it in fairness be expected, that this young creature,
all life all fascination and vanity, with her heart attuned to the
joys of fashion, with the object of her life attained--with power and
position now, and wealth and rank to come, would forego all the
advantages within her reach, all the influence that she felt, and all
the pleasure that it was simply to ask for, in order to obtain "Love
in a cottage?" Rupert Sinclair! pull down the thatch, and build some
marble hall for the fairy you have caught--not chained!

Within six months of his marriage, the Honourable Rupert Sinclair was
living at the rate of--not one--but five thousand a-year. Persuaded by
his wife, (who learnt any thing but quiet submission from the tyranny
of Lord Railton, and whose determination to go abroad was relinquished
the moment she discovered her absence from England would be agreeable
to her husband's family,) Rupert had taken a mansion in town, and Mrs
Rupert Sinclair was the admired of all admirers, a leader of fashion,
and the proclaimed beauty of her day. Rupert had been dragged into the
vortex, with no power to hold back, even had he been willing to
interfere with those delights which gained him a smile of approbation,
and expressions of gratitude, cheaply purchased at any cost or
sacrifice of his. True he was fearfully in debt; true Mr Crawly had
been summoned oftener than once to the rescue; true that wily
gentleman had advanced heavy sums of money, taking particular care,
however, to be amply secured by legal documents, and more than amply
repaid by the exaction of illegal interest. It was perhaps natural for
Sinclair to believe, as debts accumulated upon debts, that the hour of
his estrangement from his parents was drawing rapidly to a close, and
that, although his way of living could not but aggrieve and offend his
stern and angry father, yet it was impossible nature could suffer him
much longer to withhold his paternal and forgiving hand. Mental
reasoning of this character is the last resource of the culpable and
the self-deluded. Lord Railton, faithful to his threat, went abroad;
Lady Railton was sufficiently recovered to accompany him; and both
quitted England without deigning to notice the spend-thrifts, whose
extravagance and need were soon the common talk of scandalmongers,
dissatisfied tradesmen, and spiteful serving-men. Yet there was no
flinching on the part of Rupert. A cloud of anxiety might sit
temporarily on his brow, a sigh now and then escape him; but he
uttered no remonstrance, and took no pains to stem the tide of folly
and prodigality that flowed unceasingly within his walls. His love for
Elinor had increased rather than diminished since their marriage. He
was proud of the homage of mankind, and knew her worthy of the
highest. Why should he seek to restrain the innocent pleasures of a
woman for whose gratification and happiness he lived? Why curtail the
joys in which she had participated almost from infancy? why prevent
her from crowning a scene, for the adornment of which she was created
and eminently fitted?

And where was General Travis during this brief season of intoxication
and wanton waste? At Calais, whither his liabilities had banished him,
and were likely to detain him for some time to come. There was no
doubt of his ruin. He lived with his melancholy-looking wife and
younger daughter, upon a pittance secured upon the life of the former,
but hardly sufficient to support them in decency. Yet they maintained,
even in their reverses, a style that to a degree reflected on the
scene of their exile the brilliancy of their brighter years. Could it
be that the substance of poor Rupert Sinclair was ministering here
also to the vices of this unhappy family? I fear there is no doubt of
it. The general was as huge a braggart as ever. He insisted upon
drawing a line midway between the highest and the lowest of the
swindling fraternity to which he belonged, and by whom he was
surrounded, and suffered intercourse to exist only with the favoured
members of the upper class. He was prating for ever of his son-in-law,
his connexions, his influence with the ministry through the potent
Lord Railton, and was most lavish of his promises of preferment to any
credulous individual whom he could persuade to favour him with the
eternal loan of a five-pound note. General Travis had, not
unaccountably perhaps, acquired much power over the mind of Sinclair.
Expelled from his natural counsellors, who, in their best days, had
been any thing but faithful advisers,--harassed and tormented by
growing cares, it is not to be wondered at, that he should seek
counsel and aid from one whom he believed to be a thorough man of the
world--who was bound to him by the closest ties, and of whose
integrity and honour he had not the remotest suspicion. It was General
Travis who instructed Sinclair in the recondite science of raising
money--and of staving off the attacks of tradesmen with the weapons of
generous usurers: who taught him that still more marvellous art of
civilized life, of living upon one thousand a-year more sumptuously
than your neighbour with ten; and who day after day persuaded him, by
arguments which I cannot attempt to recite, that by forestalling his
inheritance in his youth, he would not materially affect the property
which must accrue to him in his age. It may be that the arguments
would have been more severely tested had they come from any other than
Elinor's father--had they not been employed to increase the comforts
and desires of Elinor herself. But whether this be so or not, it is
certain that Rupert Sinclair, for a long time, was a helpless victim
in the hands of a bold and ruthless destroyer.

Chance, I have hinted at the beginning of this chapter, brought Rupert
and myself together at singular times and places, and made me an actor
in his history whether I would or not. Since his first letter to me, I
had heard from him but once; _of_ him, alas! I had heard too much. He
was in the height of his giddy career, when I passed through London
for the first time since his marriage, and resolved to pay him a
visit. I arrived late in the evening, and I had but a few hours at my
command, for early in the morning I was to start for France by the
Calais packet. When I reached my hotel, I sent my card to the
residence of my friend, who instantly invited me to his too hospitable
roof. There was a gay and brilliant assembly in his house that
evening, and, as usual, Elinor outshone the multitude in beauty and
animation. She received me cordially, and kindly held out her
snow-white hand at my approach, and greeted me with a smile of
fascination that robbed me of whatever displeasure I had brought with
me on account of her proceedings. How could I reproach Sinclair for
submitting to the spell that governed him, when it was impossible for
me--a stranger, and one certainly not prepossessed in her favor--to
resist it?

Sinclair was much altered in appearance. He looked jaded and unhappy.
There was nothing in his countenance harmonizing with the scene around
him. He seldom spoke, and to all my questions he returned evasive
answers, seeking rather to direct his discourse to matters in which
neither of us found a personal interest, than to his own affairs,
which at the time had far more interest for me than my own.

"I am glad you are here to-night, Wilson," said Rupert, as we sat
together. "To-morrow I leave town for a few days, and we should not
have met had you arrived a day later."

"I am off to France myself to-night for a week or more, and----"

As I spoke, I saw the colour in Sinclair's cheek rapidly changing. He
was evidently surprised and chagrined by the intelligence.

"Can I serve you," said I at once, taking advantage of my opportunity,
"by remaining in town?"

"No, no, I thank you. What route do you take?"

"By packet to Calais, and from Calais to Paris by the formidable
diligence. Can I help you at the seat of politeness and art?"

"No, I thank you," replied Sinclair, changing colour again. "You are
aware that my father is in Paris?"

"So I have heard. It is said that his lordship"----

"Do not speak of it," he said, mildly interrupting me. "Whatever may
happen to me, I cannot but think that the blame must rest ultimately
there."

"Do you fear evil, then?" I eagerly inquired.

Mr Crawly came up at this moment, with his lady upon his arm, and
Crawly, junior, lounging in his immediate rear. The latter was an
Adonis in his way--got up with a perfect contempt of expense and all
propriety. Crawly beckoned to Sinclair, who at once quitted my side
and walked over to him, whilst I was left in possession of Mrs Crawly
and the hopeful. I escaped as soon as I could, and seeing no more of
Sinclair, took my departure at a comparatively early hour.

Three nights after this, I was roused from sleep in my bed at the
Hotel Louis Seize, (a comfortable hotel in those days, bordering on
the marketplace in Calais,) by a murmuring sound which at first I
believed to be nothing more than a portion of an unsatisfactory dream
in which I had once again found myself with Rupert and his lady in
London. Satisfying myself that the dream and the sound were distinct,
I was already again midway between the lands of life and death, when
the tones of a voice roused me almost like a cannon-shot from my
couch, and caused me seriously to inquire whether I was sleeping or
waking, dreaming or acting. I could have sworn that the voice I had
heard belonged to Rupert Sinclair. I jumped from my bed, and struck a
light. It was twelve o'clock by my watch. For a few seconds all was as
silent as the grave; then I heard most distinctly a step along the
passage, into which my bed-room conducted--the sound of a door
opening, closing, and immediately a heavy tread in the adjoining room.
Two chairs were then drawn close to a table; upon the latter a
rough-voiced man knocked with his fist, and exclaimed at the same
moment--

"There are the papers, then!"

Surely I had heard that voice before. To whom could it belong? Whilst
I still puzzled my brains to remember, another voice replied. It was
impossible to mistake _that_. Most assuredly it was Rupert Sinclair's.

"I see them!" it said; every syllable bringing fresh perspiration on
my brow.

How came he here? what was his business? and with whom? A thin
partition merely divided my bed-room from that in which the speakers
were. Had I been inclined to close my ears against their words, it
would have been difficult. Anxious, and even eager, to obtain
knowledge of the movements of my friend, I made no scruple of
listening most attentively to every word. Who knew but he was in the
hands of sharpers, and might I not have been providentially sent to
his rescue? At all events I listened, and not a syllable did I suffer
to escape me.

"I know, my dear young friend," began the rougher voice--whose but
General Travis's?--"that you are anxious to do what is best for us
all. Your interest, you know, is my daughter's, and my daughter's is,
of course, mine. We are all in one boat."

"Yes, undoubtedly," said Rupert.

"These debts are very large," continued the general.

"Yes," replied Sinclair; "and some of them must be discharged
forthwith. Crawly is impatient and angry, and accuses me of having
used him ill."

"Crawly is a villain," said the general hurriedly; "he has made a
fortune out of you, and now wishes to back out. The interest alone
that he has exacted has been enough to ruin you."

"Your messenger, you say, failed to see my father?"

"Yes. His lordship closed his doors upon him, and took no notice of
his letter, in which he asked that some amicable arrangement might be
made with respect to the property that must evidently come to you."

There succeeded to this a few sentences in an under tone from either
party, which I could not make out.

"Then what is to be done?" murmured Sinclair again in a tone of
entreaty.

"Don't be advised by me, my friend," said the general in a subdued
voice, which I strained my ears to catch; "God forbid that you should
reproach me hereafter for advice which I tender solely with a view to
your peace of mind and comfort. Heaven knows you have had little peace
of late!"

Rupert sighed heavily.

"I have for the last week been turning the matter over and over
seriously. As I said before, I can have no object but your well-doing,
and--naturally--my child's--my child's, Sinclair--your loving, and I
know, beloved wife."

"I believe it," said Rupert.

"Is any one aware of your visit here?"

"Not a creature."

"Crawly?"

"Was with me the very night I started, but he does not suspect. He
believes that I am now in England."

"Now, my dear friend, I don't think I ought to say what"--

As ill luck would have it, I coughed. The general ceased upon the
instant, and opened his door hastily. I blew out my light, and held my
breath.

"What was that?" asked the general in a whisper.

Both listened for a few seconds, and then the general proceeded, still
whispering.

"There was a man in London whom I found in my reverses faithful and
considerate; an honest man in a world of dishonesty and knavery. He is
well to do in life, and he has visited me here. Nay, he is here
now--has been here some days; is in this very hotel."

"What of him?" asked Rupert.

"We are as brothers, and I have entrusted him with the history of your
affairs. He is willing to assist and relieve you; and he can do it,
for he has a mint of money."

"I must borrow no more, sir," eagerly interposed Sinclair. "My
liabilities are even now greater than I can bear. My income will not
pay the interest of the money that has been advanced."

"And therefore comes my friend in the very nick of time to save you. I
agree with you that it would be ridiculous to think of further loans.
Your only plan now is to sell out and out. This you may do
advantageously, relieve yourself of every incumbrance, and retain
sufficient for the future, if you will be but moderately careful, and
invest your capital with caution."

"How do you mean?" inquired my friend.

The general whispered lower than ever, as though ashamed that even the
bare walls should witness his heartless proposition. I gathered his
suggestion from the quick and anxious answer.

"What!" exclaimed Sinclair, "sell my inheritance, part with my
birth-right?"

"No! neither sell nor part with it--but forestall and enjoy it."

I heard no more. There came a gentle knock at the door of the room in
which Rupert and his father-in-law were speaking; the door softly
opened, and another visitor arrived. Sinclair's name was mentioned by
way of introduction; then the stranger's, which escaped me; and
shortly afterwards the whole party quitted the apartment, as it
seemed, maintaining a dead silence--for, listen as eagerly as I would,
not a syllable could I gather. Repose was impossible that night. After
keeping my position for about half an hour, I hastily dressed, and
sallied forth in quest of information. I descended, and inquired of
the first servant whom I could summon, the names of the English
gentlemen who were then staying in the house. My answer was very
unsatisfactory.

"There was Milor Anglais," said the man who was the great referee of
the house in all matters pertaining to the English tongue, "friend of
Mons. le General; the gentleman as come to-morrow; Monsieur Jones who
vos arrive yesterday; Monsieur Smith, his ami, and Monsieur Sir John
Alderman, Esquire, vith his madame and petite famille. There vos none
more."

With this imperfect information, I returned to my couch, not to sleep,
but to form some plan that would save my unhappy friend from the fangs
of the sharks who were about to sacrifice him to their rapacity. He
stood upon the very verge of destruction. There could be no doubt of
it. How to get sight of him--how to warn him of his danger--how to
help him out of the difficulties into which extravagance and
wickedness had brought him? These were some of the questions that
crowded upon my disturbed mind during the whole of the anxious
night--questions that easily came--were less easily dismissed, and
still less easily answered with comfort to myself, or with prospect of
salvation to my friend.

The first individual I saw, upon leaving my apartment on the following
morning, was General Travis himself. He was walking hastily
down-stairs, evidently about to quit the hotel. I called his name. He
started more like the thief "who fears each bush an officer," than the
traveller "who fears each bush a thief," and turned his restless eye
upon me. At first he pretended not to know me--then he bowed, and
continued his way.

"One moment, general," said I, stopping him. "I have a word to say to
you."

"I am somewhat pressed for time this morning--but a moment is easily
spared," replied the general very collectedly. He followed me
up-stairs, and entered my room. I closed the door.

"You have seen my friend lately?" I asked in nervous haste.

"Your friend?" rejoined General Travis. "To whom have I the honour to
speak?"

His effrontery was amusing. I looked at him hard--but his countenance
in no way betrayed him.

"My name is Wilson," said I; "that of my friend, Rupert Sinclair."

"O--h! I remember!" exclaimed the cunning master, with all the
affectation of extreme surprise. "And how did you leave Sinclair--gay,
giddy, and happy as ever?"

I gazed upon the man with a view to shame him into blushing. I was
grievously disappointed. He returned me gaze for gaze, and looked
unconscious innocence itself. I resolved to bring our business to a
crisis without further parley.

"General Travis," I began, "I was last night, I will not say the
unwilling, but certainly the unintentional listener to the plan
propounded by you to my inexperienced friend, your son-in-law, of
whose presence in this town you seem so lamentably ignorant."

The general _did_ change colour now. He was about to speak, when I
stopped him.

"Hear me!" I continued aloud and sternly. "I know the man with whom I
have to deal. It is but fair that we should be on equal terms. I go
this day to London to denounce your conspiracy, and to prevent its
success. Your scheme for beggaring your children, and enriching
yourself, clever as it is, is killed in the bud. Attempt to carry it
out, and the law shall reach you even here."

"My dear Mr"----interposed the general.

"Let us have no argument," I proceeded in the same loud tone; "my
business is to prevent the havoc you would bring about, and rest
assured I will. Make no new attempts upon the credulity of your
victim, and you are safe. Take another step in the nefarious business,
and I solemnly vow to heaven that I will not leave you till I have
exacted a fearful penalty for your crime."

"You really, Mr Wilson, do"----stammered the general, with increasing
awkwardness at every word.

"Where is Mr Sinclair now?" I vehemently asked.

"Gone," replied the general.

"Whither?"

"To England."

"Satisfy me of the truth of this--give me your solemn promise to urge
him no more to the commission of an act which insures his ruin, and I
leave you. Refuse me, and I will expose your designs, and brand you to
the world as the unnatural and cruel destroyer I have found you."

The general manifestly believed me to be in possession of more than I
knew. He fairly quailed beneath my impetuosity and anger. I had
expected resistance and battle. I met with mean capitulation and fear.
He shuffled out apologies--entreated me to believe that he was
actuated only by the sincerest wishes for his children's
welfare--indeed, how could it be otherwise?--and assured me that
although he might have been mistaken in the plans he had formed for Mr
Sinclair's extrication, his motives were unquestioned, and as pure as
could be. Still I might see these things with different eyes, and a
better remedy might suggest itself to me. For his part, he should be
glad to listen to it, and to recommend it to Sinclair's attention. At
all events, he was prepared to engage to proceed no further with the
transaction of which I had obtained knowledge, and all he asked in
return was, that I should not wait upon Lord Railton, and acquaint him
with what had transpired. To communicate the matter to his lordship,
would be to shut out finally and for ever the last hopes of the
unhappy children.

My promise was given, as soon as I learned for certain that Rupert had
set sail for London by the packet that quitted Calais harbour at an
early hour that morning. My own business urged me to proceed forthwith
to Paris, but I could not be easy until I had secured the fulfilment
of General Travis's engagement by another interview with Rupert.
Accordingly, I returned to England. My task with Sinclair was an easy
one. He had already had the good sense to discover that to part with
all that he had in the world for a sum that must be dissipated in a
few years at the most, would be an act of madness which no amount of
pressing difficulty could warrant. Moreover, the sum of money that was
offered by the gentleman whose honesty and generosity had been so
highly lauded by the general, had been so shamefully small, that
Rupert retreated with horror from the abyss towards which he had so
incautiously advanced. I received a full assurance from the harassed
man that he would suffer any extremity rather than listen again to
similar propositions, and then I recommenced my journey with an easier
conscience. So far, a tremendous blow had been averted. But what would
happen next--what scheme the general would next suggest--what measures
the very critical condition of Sinclair's affairs would make
absolutely necessary--it was impossible to guess--to foresee, or to
think of without deep anxiety and great alarm.

Six months elapsed, and Rupert Sinclair was still rapidly descending.
With increased and increasing liabilities, there was more profuseness
and greater recklessness. No one knew better than Rupert himself the
folly and even sinfulness of his mode of life, yet any body would have
found it easier than himself to put a stop to it. He was absorbed in
the existence of his wife. As I have already said, her life was
his--her wishes, her thoughts, and aims. She could not desire, and he
not gratify; she could not ask to be a queen amidst the throng in
which she moved, and he not place her on the throne at any sacrifice,
however costly; at any risk, however desperate. This was the secret of
his misery. And then from day to day, he lived bankrupt-like, on hope.
Something would happen. He had faith in the love of his mother, in the
natural goodness of a father's heart. Time would heal the wound that
had been inflicted; and incline them to look with commiseration on
youthful errors easy to repair.

A glimmering of promise stole forth at this crisis of the history. The
critical position of the ministry for the time being, had brought Lord
Railton and his wife back to England; and I resolved, in my eagerness
to serve my unhappy pupil, to see her ladyship, and to make an
attempt at reconciliation, even if it should be repulsed with the
insult I had met with at her husband's hands. I could not suffer
Sinclair to sink, so long as one effort might save him. I had heard
that, cold and selfish as Lady Railton was, love for her child had
been a redeeming point in her character from the moment of his birth.
Feeling surely was not dead within her! Could I but gain an interview,
would it not be easy to recall in her heart natural emotions, which,
though deadened, might never be entirely hushed, and to extract
sympathy from a bosom already inclined to pity by love? The attempt
was a bold one--but the prize, in the event of success, was not small;
and surely worth a venture. I took courage, and was not wholly
disappointed.

His lordship, I had heard upon inquiry, was generally absent from home
during the forenoon. One morning, at ten o'clock precisely, I
presented myself at Grosvenor Square, and sent my card to her
ladyship. I was admitted at once. In an elegantly furnished boudoir,
surrounded by all the luxuries that money could furnish, or the
pampered sense demand, I beheld Lady Railton, for the first time since
the marriage of her son. She sat behind an open screen, through which
she spoke to me, with her eyes bent to the table on which her arms
rested. She had been writing at the moment of my announcement; and
though excited by my presence, her countenance betrayed more
satisfaction than displeasure at my visit. A visible change had taken
place in her. She was much thinner than when I saw her last; her eyes
were sunken, and her cheek was very pale; she was evidently suffering
from the shock which I had occasioned her, for her thin lips were
tightly pressed together, and quivering at the corners. I felt deep
pity for the slave of fashion; but gathered courage also from the
pleasing exhibition of sensibility in one whom God had made a mother
to save her from heartlessness.

"Shut the door, Mr Wilson," said Lady Railton in an under tone, "and
pray be seated."

I complied with her request.

"You have been somewhat tardy, methinks, in finding your way hither,"
proceeded her ladyship.

I informed her of my visit to Lord Railton, and its disagreeable
termination. She had not heard of it.

"Lord Railton," she continued, "has requested me to hold no
intercourse with my son, and his lordship's requests have ever been
commands to me. I have not disobeyed him. But I have looked for you. I
made no promise to deny admittance to you. You were his friend. When
did you see him?"

"Very lately, madam," I answered.

"He is in great difficulty and trouble--is he not?"

I shook my head.

Kind nature pleaded for poor Rupert. The mother attempted to
speak--once--twice: her lips trembled: she could not: a flood of tears
saved her from choking.

"He is well?" she asked at length.

"Well," I answered, "but for his trials--which are severe indeed."

"What can be done?" inquired Lady Railton.

"To bring him peace of mind--to repair the mischief that has
happened--to secure prudence for the future--to save him from utter
ruin, I know no remedy save reconciliation with his parents."

Lady Railton sighed deeply, and exclaimed--

"Impossible!"

"Indeed!" said I, as if surprised.

"Lord Railton is inexorable. He has listened to my appeals unmoved: he
will listen to them no longer. Unhappy Rupert!"

"Unhappy indeed!" said I.

"His wife is very fair, they say?"

"Lovely, madam!"

"But wilful and extravagant?"

"Wayward, perhaps, but young. Oh Lady Railton, do not revenge too
harshly upon a spoiled child of nature and the world, the sins of the
world's committing. Mrs Sinclair has a warm and affectionate heart;
she is devoted to her husband. Your ladyship's friendship and advice
would at once render her all you could hope to find in the wife of
your son. Permit me to say that the absence of your countenance has
alone been sufficient to"----

"Alas! you urge in vain. I dare not see them!"

"It is a hard saying, madam," I rejoined: "may you not live to repent
it!"

Lady Railton rose from her seat, came from behind the screen, and
paced her small chamber with perturbation. She suddenly stopped before
a cabinet--a drawer of which she unlocked, and produced from it a
pocket-book.

"Take this, Mr Wilson," she said in a hurried and faltering voice. "I
dare not see him--must not correspond with him. I am his mother, and I
feel bitterly, most bitterly for him. But I am Lord Railton's wife,
and I know my duty. He has disgraced us--irreparably, irrecoverably.
You cannot understand how deep the stain is which our name has
suffered; you cannot calculate the wrong inflicted on my husband.
Reconciliation is hopeless!"

"And this pocket-book, madam?" I coldly asked.

"Contains an order on my banker for three thousand pounds--all that I
have been able to hoard up for my unhappy boy since he deserted us.
The sum, I know, is trifling, compared with his exigencies. But what
can I do? His own conduct has rendered me helpless."

Poor Lady Railton, to do her justice, suffered much from the struggle
between maternal feeling and her mistaken sense of duty. Her eyes
filled with tears again, and she sat before me sobbing bitterly.

"Let me entreat your ladyship," I exclaimed with animation, "to make
one effort for the redemption of the children whom you may lose for
ever by the stern course you now adopt. Your influence with Lord
Railton is naturally and deservedly very great. I cannot bring myself
to believe that he will be insensible to your appeals, if you will but
urge them with the earnestness and tenderness which so well become
you. I an satisfied that the difficulties of Mr Sinclair would cease
at once, and his happiness as well as your own be secured, if he could
find parents and advisers in those to whom he has a right to look for
advice and aid. Whatever his extravagance may have been, whatever his
youthful follies, I do implore your ladyship to bear in mind, that not
he alone is answerable for them, but they also in part who deserted
him in the hour of his greatest need. You may save him now--when I
next meet your ladyship, the time will have passed away."

"Spare me this anguish," said her ladyship with assumed calmness. "I
repeat--it is impossible. The hour may come when it shall be permitted
me to satisfy the promptings of my heart. Till that hour arrives, it
is but torture to be reminded of my inability and weakness."

"Pardon me, Lady Railton--I have done."

I was about to rise, when her ladyship checked me.

"In that pocket-book, Mr Wilson," she continued, "you will find a
correspondence respecting the sale of Sinclair's commission."

"His commission!" said I with surprise, for I had not heard of his
desire to sell out before.

"Yes. He now awaits a purchaser of his commission to be gazetted out.
I have prevented the sale hitherto. Assure him--not from me, but from
yourself, that however slender is the hope now of his father's
ultimate forgiveness, he cuts it off entirely by that act. Let the
commission be withdrawn at once from the Horse-guards; the draft that
accompanies the correspondence will make up to him the sum he loses.

"Am I to present it as a gift from your ladyship?"

"No--yes--as you will; but let him not write or communicate with me in
any way. I have engaged to hold no intercourse with him, and I cannot
disobey the injunctions of Lord Railton." I rose; her ladyship gave me
her hand with an expression of good will, and then suffered me to
depart without another word.

Things were really mending. In Lady Railton we had unquestionably a
friend, time and opportunity serving. It was of the highest consequence
to be assured of that. With her upon our side, I had no fear of
eventual peace and harmony, provided measures could be taken for
present difficulties; whilst, without her, every effort would have been
purposeless, and even worse. Nor was this our only gleam of sunshine.
When I returned to Rupert, the glad messenger of good tidings, I found
that another friend had been sent by Providence to the rescue. Amongst
the many high-born and eminent individuals whom the beauty and genius
of Elinor had attracted to the gay habitation of Rupert Sinclair, was
one who enjoyed, in an especial degree, the favour of his sovereign,
and who was intimately connected by ties of blood and friendship with
the commander-in-chief of his majesty's forces. The Earl of Minden had
little to recommend him beyond his influence with the court and the
powers that were. He belonged to an old family, of which he was the
last lineal representative; was master of unbounded wealth, but was
selfish, grasping, and mean to the last degree. He had a small body,
but still smaller mind. Generation after generation, the head of the
family to which he belonged, had held high office in the state, and had
helped to govern the country without genius for statesmanship, or the
ordinary ability of their humble business men. Office came to them as a
matter of right, and custom had induced a people, slow to interfere
with prescription, to regard the Earls of Minden as divinely appointed
rulers, whom it would be sacrilege to depose. By marriage, the Earl of
Minden was connected with the chief families of England: he had
represented his king and country at the principal courts of Europe,
where his magnificence and prodigality--for meanness itself may be
lavish--had gained for him, as a matter of course, inordinate
admiration and regard. Powerful with the ministry--the owner of four
boroughs--the acknowledged friend, and even associate of royalty--what
commoner did not feel honoured by his patronage?--what noble not
gratified by his esteem? Lord Minden had but few of the weaknesses
common to mankind. Proud and self-sufficient, he acknowledged no
supremacy but that of woman. The only graceful infirmity of which his
contemporaries could accuse his lordship, and to which posterity might
point, was the infirmity of the best and bravest--that of a facile
heart in the affairs of love.

Lord Minden, charmed by the bewitching grace of Elinor Sinclair, had,
as it were, gladly resigned himself to its sweet influence. He was
never happier, after what were deemed the fatigues of office, than in
the brilliant assembly which she could summon at her bidding; never so
gay as when listening at her side to the arch sallies which drew
smiles of approval from lips that seldom cared to relax. The
overbearing peer was content to play the humblest part in the scene of
which she was the heroine, and to which she imparted a life and spirit
that were sought in vain elsewhere. The intervention of Lady Railton
had been already superseded by the generosity of one far more
influential. The Earl of Minden himself had taken Rupert under his
all-powerful wing. Not only was the commission restored, but promises
of advancement were made, and the most flattering assurances of
friendship and regard liberally offered. Lady Railton's draft, at her
own request, was applied to the payment of a pressing debt. I
contrived to make her acquainted with the new and incalculable
acquisition that had been made. The information had all the effect I
could desire; her ladyship, dazzled by the brilliancy of the prospect,
and eager to make as much of it as she could, to my great astonishment
sent for me, and actually opened negotiations for an interview between
herself and her so recently discarded son. Oh world! world!

Before these negotiations, however, could lead to any satisfactory
result, a new colour was given to the state of things, by some
incidents of a most disagreeable and painful character. I was sitting
in my room one morning, conning in my mind the most advisable means to
adopt for the presentation of Sinclair at the parental abode, when a
modest knock at my door announced a visitor of humble rank. My request
to "walk in" was timidly responded to by a very old friend, in the
shape of John Humphrys, the valet of Sinclair, and the oldest servant
in his establishment. John had nursed his master on his knee, having
been himself nursed in the house of Lord Railton's father, whose
coachman had acknowledged John for his son. John had never been
married, but he loved his master as faithfully as though he had been
his own child, and had resigned as good a situation as any in the
kingdom to follow the fortunes of the exile, whatever they might be.
With this unbounded reverence for Rupert, Humphrys regarded Rupert's
former instructor in the light of a demigod.

"Ah, John, is it you?" said I. "Step in, old friend, and be seated."

John obeyed awkwardly, twirled his hat about, coughed and hemmed, but
said nothing.

"Well, Humphrys, what news?" I continued, to give him confidence.

Humphrys shook his head despondingly.

I grew alarmed. "Any thing amiss?" I exclaimed. "Mr Sinclair ill,
or"----

"All well--in health, sir," stammered John--"all well there. I--I am
going, sir."

"Going!"

"Yes, sir," said Humphrys in a whisper, and getting up to close the
door. "My heart's broke."

"Don't desert your master now, John," said I encouragingly. "You have
weathered the storm hitherto. Things are mending. Take my word for it,
we shall be in smooth water presently."

Humphrys shook his head again.

"Never, sir!" said he with emphasis, "as sure as my name's John."

"Explain yourself, Humphrys. What is it you have learned?"

"Too much, sir. I can bear it no longer. It is the common talk of the
servants! I would have stayed with him for a crust till death, but I
cannot hear him so spoken of."

"You frighten me. Go on."

"I ask your forgiveness, Mr Wilson," proceeded Humphrys, mumbling on,
"but there are strange things said, and I didn't believe them at
first,--and I was ready to knock the man down that hinted them to
me--and I would have done it,--but I have seen, sir--with my own
eyes--I wish I had been blind!" suddenly and passionately exclaimed
the good fellow, his eyes overflowing with honest tears.

"Man, man!" said I hastily and vexed. "You talk in riddles. What is it
you drive at?"

"Can't you guess, sir?" he answered meaningly.

"Guess?"

"Yes, sir,--Mrs Sinclair!"

"Mrs Sinclair?"

"And Lord Minden."

"Lord Minden! For God sake"--

"Hush, sir!" said John, putting his finger to his lips. "I wouldn't
have any body overhear us for the world. But it's true, it's true, as
I am a living man."

"It is a lie!" I cried--"an infamous and slanderous lie! Some tale of
a discharged and disappointed servant--a base conspiracy to destroy a
good man's character. For shame, John Humphrys--for shame!"

"I don't wonder at you, sir," continued Humphrys. "They were my own
words; and, until I was satisfied with my own eyes of the truth of
what I had heard, I wouldn't have believed an angel from heaven. God
knows, Mr Wilson, it is too true. We have lived to see terrible
things, sir."

I entreated Humphrys to be still more explicit, and he was so. His
communication went to show that the interference of Lord Minden in the
affairs of his master was far from being disinterested, and that the
price to be exacted for the preferment was much too great to make
preferment or even life desirable to Rupert Sinclair. If I was
horrorstruck at this announcement, how shall I describe my feelings
when he further stated, with a serious and touching earnestness, that,
as he hoped for salvation hereafter, he firmly believed that Rupert
Sinclair was a party to his own dishonour. I was about to strike the
fellow to the earth for his audacity; but I reflected for a moment,
and was relieved of a load of oppression. I could have laughed
outright, so overjoyed did I at once become, with the sudden upsetting
of this tremendous fabrication. Sinclair a party to his own dishonour!
Any thing short of that might have found me credulous. That accusation
would have destroyed the unimpeached evidence of saints. I recovered
myself and spoke.

"You are an honest man, John Humphrys," said I, "a good servant, and
faithful, I believe. But go your ways, and let not the wicked impose
upon you more. Your tale is too good by half. Tell your informants,
that, if they look for success, they must be less ambitious: if they
desire to bring conviction to their listeners, they must not prove so
much. And beware"--I proceeded in a more serious tone--"how you give
currency to the slander you have brought to me. You love your master.
Show your fidelity by treating this calumny with the scorn it merits."

"Sir," answered Humphrys, "if I were to be called from this world
to-night, I could not retract the words I have spoken. I have not
hinted to another what, alas! I know to be true. You may be sure I
have no desire to circulate Mr Sinclair's infamy. I shall leave his
service, for with him I can no longer live,--and you will soon learn
whether or not I have uttered the truth. Oh dear! oh dear!" he added,
with a sigh of despair,--"what will the world say?"

I dismissed John Humphrys, and turned to my own affairs. It was
neither prudent nor becoming to listen further to the revelations of
such a person; I would not even permit him to explain to me how he had
arrived at the convictions which no doubt he honestly entertained. It
was sufficient to hear the charges he brought against poor Rupert, to
be convinced that the man was grossly deceived; that he had been
cruelly imposed upon by vicious and vindictive men. But, could I be
otherwise than deeply aggrieved by the rumour which had arisen, and
which was not likely to lose on the lips of those who would be too
eager to give it currency? It was a new and unexpected element in the
complicated misfortunes of Lord Railton's house. _Unexpected?_ What,
Walter Wilson, and had not suspicions crossed your mind before, of the
probability of such slander? Had you not many times angrily repulsed
intruding thoughts that savoured of uncharitableness towards the
volatile and beauteous wife? Had not prejudice before her marriage
rendered you cruel; and experience since--did it not tend, if not to
foster cruelty, to sustain alarm? _But Rupert a party to his own
dishonour!_ Monstrous! Ridiculous! Absurd!

Either the perseverance of Lady Railton, or the magic power of Lord
Minden's name, had achieved a miracle. The stony and stubborn heart of
Lord Railton was mollified. True, he hesitated to forgive his son;
true, he would not see him; but he graciously submitted to be spoken
to on his son's affairs, and even went so far as to admit me to an
audience, in order that I might explain, as well as I knew them, the
difficulties under which Mr Rupert Sinclair at present laboured. The
doors of Lord Railton's house opened wide on the auspicious morning.
The sun shone brilliantly in Grosvenor Square. The porter was a living
smile from head to foot. The under butler all blandness and honied
words. He rubbed his hands when he received me, bowed patronisingly
and preceded me to his lordship's study with the air of one who knew
which way the wind was, and that it was blowing pleasantly. There was
a frozen air about the house when I had visited his lordship
before--now it was summer-like and warm. Then every thing seemed bound
with iron clasps,--men's mouths, and hearts, and minds; and even doors
and windows. Now, every thing looked free and open, pleasant,
hospitable, inviting. Could it be that I had changed,--or was it only
that Lord Railton's note was different, and that the universal heart
of that great house had pitched itself to the prevailing key?

No word of apology was offered for former rudeness. His lordship, as
before, presented me with his finger, and then proceeded to our
business. He had heard, he said, of Lord Minden's kind interference on
behalf of his son, who was indeed most unworthy of his lordship's
favourable notice; nay, he had been spoken to by Lord Minden himself,
and desirous as he was at all times to comply with the wishes of any
member of His Majesty's government, he could not but feel, that when
their wishes pointed to the advancement of his own flesh and blood,
there was additional reason for listening, to all they had to urge.
For his part, if Lord Minden should feel justified in extending his
patronage to Mr Sinclair, he, Lord Railton, on his side, should deem
it a matter of grave consideration, whether it would not be advisable
to extricate the object of Lord Minden's favor from the liabilities
which he had thoughtlessly incurred. Not that Mr Sinclair must look
for pardon--or reconciliation--yet; that is to say, until Lord Minden
should be satisfied that his protégé had deserved the gracious favour
of His Majesty, and had shown himself worthy of the condescension, &c.
&c. &c.

The upshot of the long harangue was, that as soon as Lord Minden
should aid in promoting Sinclair, Lord Railton would be ready to pay
his debts--and to receive terms for peace, provided the patronage of
the commander-in-chief continued to rest upon the fortunate
scapegrace, and His Majesty thought him still a fit object for the
exercise of his royal favour. Translated into honest English, Lord
Railton's proposition was neither more nor less than this,--"I will
forgive my son, as soon as circumstances render my forgiveness not
worth a button to him. I will withhold it so long as it is necessary
to save him from ruin, and to restore him to tranquillity." A right
worldly proposition too!

Lord Railton requested, as a preliminary step, to be informed of the
exact state of his son's affairs; and I, as mediator, undertook to lay
it before his lordship. I quitted the mansion in Grosvenor Square to
procure at once the necessary documents from Sinclair. Approaching the
house of the latter, I perceived standing before the door two horses
and a groom. I advanced, knocked, and was informed that groom and
horses were the property of the Earl of Minden, who was then with Mrs
Sinclair, and that Mr Sinclair himself was from home. I had no right
to feel uncomfortable at this announcement, yet uncomfortable I was,
in spite of myself. "When does Mr Sinclair return?" I asked.

The two lackeys who listened to my question exchanged an almost
imperceptible smile, and replied, that "they could not tell." That
smile passed like a dagger to my heart.

I hesitated for a moment--left my card--and then withdrew.

I had not proceeded to the corner of the street before I turned round
instinctively, and without a thought. To my joy I perceived Rupert
making his way from the other extremity of the street to his own door.
I moved to meet him. He came nearer and nearer--approached within
sight of the horses and groom--and then turned back. What did it mean?
Why did he not go home? I grew giddy with coming apprehensions. Whilst
I stood motionless on the path, I felt a touch upon my shoulder. I
perceived John Humphrys.

"Here, sir," said the man, "you have seen with your own eyes what I
have seen every day for the last month. As soon as Lord Minden
arrives, Mr Sinclair goes out, and never returns until he takes his
departure. If he should by chance return whilst his lordship's horse
is standing there, he walks away, and does not think of coming back
until"----

"It is a lie! a dream!" I exclaimed, almost bewildered. "It cannot
be!"

"I wish to say nothing, sir," proceeded Humphrys. "You have seen, you
have seen!"

"I have! I have!" I cried, coming to myself. "I wash my hands of him
and his. Father of Heaven! can such wickedness exist--and in _him_, in
_him_? But I have done with him for ever!"

And so saying, I fled maniac-like from the accursed spot, and vowed in
my excitement and indignation to return no more. I kept my word.



MORE ROGUES IN OUTLINE.


THE SICK ANTIQUARY.

  "Aspettar e non venire,
  Star in letto e non dormire.
  Son' due cose da morire."

        _Italian Proverb._

Three years are passed since we last visited Herr Ascherson, and we
once more find ourselves, with considerably improved tact and
knowledge, both as to virtuosi and virtu, ringing at the well-known
bell! On the door being unbarred to us, we are sorry to hear that he
is now a great invalid, and confined to bed. "I hope we don't disturb
you, Mr Ascherson," said we, as a half-witted slattern of fifty opened
the door of the sick man's room, and discovered to us something
alarmingly like Cheops redivivus, reclining on a Codrus-looking couch,
which was too short to receive his whole body save diagonally, in
which position he accordingly lay. Upon hearing these words, the
much-swathed object suddenly draws itself up in bed; and after looking
keenly to make us out in the dusk, (as if he suspected a visit of
cajoling rather than condolence.) his eye lost its anxious look, and
his features gradually expanded, when he saw at a glance that we were
come, not to cheat, but to cheer him. The first words he uttered
were--"_Ja, ja_; dat is mein nobil freund the Doctor;" and then,
falling back, he resigned himself to his pains, like a man who has
been long trained to suffer. We ask after his health. The poor invalid
shakes his head, and tells us, groaning, that he was "sehr krank, very
ill indeed; had much dolors but no slipp;" apologising also for having
sent for some 10 pi. which we owed him, and which "it was need," so he
told us, "to pay his medicine mit." Really concerned to see one whom
we had so recently known under worldly circumstances so unlike the
present, so suffering, so poor, and so solitary, we told him that we
had been intending to call on him that very day for that very
purpose--observing, by way of consoling his feelings, that it was not
to be expected "that a man who had laid out so much money of the
_present_ currency to procure fine specimens of one that was out of
date, could be quite so well off in ready cash as those whose money
was all in hard coin at their bankers. "_Ja, ja_," it was even so; and
then, his pains remitting for a moment, he proceeded to explain, for
our satisfaction, how he had become so short of the needful supplies.
"Tis three monate seyne mein freund Vinhler went to Paris--(an honest
and heart-good man, Mr Vinhler)--to whom this commission I
consign:--'See you give a careful _eye-blink_ to this 9000 ducats,
which you must take mit you to Paris. There in the house of Furet you
shall _become_ some moneys, which you shall send to me directly; and
mit these ducats you shall also pay their consignment.' Well, it was a
simple _direct_, als any childer might do. So Vinhler takes my money,
gets to Paris, calls and _pays_ Mr Furet, and writes that he will be
back in _Neapoli_ in a week. So I stay! Drei monate I stay, and no Mr
Vinhler come! Then lastly, when I hav begin to _scold myself_, two
days seyne, comes _eine briefe_, and says, 'I hav been stopt here for
three weeks by what I then foresaw not when I did write you lastly. I
am promised to marry Herr Furet's daughter, and we mak the marriage in
eine monate. I am sorry for the delay about your monete, but shall
bring them mit Mrs Vinhler and myself to Neapoli, when we arrive!" So,
while he is happy mit his Julia in Paris, I cannot _become_ my Julias
that I hav bought; and I hav lost much by this man's delay. Ah!
(continued he,) _whenever_ he had felt mein dolors," (the poor man had
now wrought himself up into a painful excitement,) "my no slipp, this
_unendlich_ irritation, this torment to pay the Doctor, for no
gute--my loss of practice, my loss of friends, my physique so bad,
_mein eine samkeit_ so dull--he should surely have sent me that
_cassetta_ of coins to make me a little more gay." Being obliged to
quit Naples suddenly, we left him in the midst of his pains, which had
been wholly unrelieved by our medication; fretting more and more daily
at the non-arrival of his friend; with nobody to _visit_ him but the
needy Leech, who, having asked himself--

    "And will my patient _pay_?
    And _can_ he swallow draughts until his dying day?"

thinks no further _self_-interrogatory needful; with none to _inquire_
after him, save only the peasants, whose findings he is too ill to
look at, and too poor to purchase; and Death's grim _auctioneer, who
undertakes_ for the district; and who, when he has made the daily
inquiry at his door, not to lose further time, begins to ply his small
hammer, and is tap-tap-tapping away for somebody else, till _wanted_.
Oh! who would change places with a sick antiquary, whose _conscience_,
though he sleeps, is awake to torment him, and whose dreams, if he
dream, are of rifled tombs, profaned temples, Charon and his boat!

    "Nocte, brevem si forte indulsit cura soporem,
    Et toto versato toro, jam membra quiescunt,
    Continuo _templum et violati numinis aras_,
    Et quod præcipuis mentem sudoribus urget,
    Se _vidit_ in somnis!"


OLD IGNAZIO.

  "Oh dear! what can the matter be?
  Oh dear! what shall I do?
  Nobody coming to Jockey, and
  Nobody coming to _Jew_!"

What quondam collector at Rome but must recollect that snuffy and
gruffy old fellow, Ignazio Vesconali, who lives at the bottom of
_Scalirata_, and has grown old with the Piazza itself! Go down at any
hour of the day, and there he was sure to be, either blinking away
through his blue goggle glasses, with his cap on, at his door, or at a
little shabby table fumbling over curiosities; or creeping over to the
coffee-house opposite, to toddle back again, with his cotton
pocket-handkerchief, his snuff-box, and his key in hand, to re-arrange
his treasures, and utter lamentations that nobody any longer comes to
buy. On such occasions we have sometimes entered; and after a "_buon
giorno_," and a remark on the weather, (which, if you abused it,
however injuriously, always secured you his assent; for he quarrels now
even with the calendar,) he expected you to _hope_ he had sold
something lately, to afford him an opportunity to say, "_Ma ché, ma
niente_;" and then you had to sit and listen while he told you all his
grievances--how once "a dozen English noblemen had stood _all of a row
there_," and he showed you where, in his shop, fighting for his wares,
and buying them almost quicker than he could register the purchases
they made; and how sometimes he could sell 500 scudi worth of property
before breakfast, and get an appetite by doing so! No! there was not a
man of note in England, that had not some day or other been _booked_ by
him. All _their_ kindness, no doubt--and then they came not to tease
poor Ignazio, but to buy of him. Now a different set of customers dropt
in one by one to look at his gems, and to find nothing good enough for
them; some tumbling over his antiques, and offering a scudo for his
best onyxes; "_uno scudo, Santissima Maria Virgine!_" others
adventuring a whole paul! a price for his best Consular coins!--_ah!
gli avari!_ The earth too, once so bountiful, was now as avaricious of
parting with her treasures as the English themselves. The fields had
ceased to yield their former supplies; and the peasants about Rome
would scarce stoop to picking up rubbish, for which, however, they
always wanted Ignazio's money. "Ah, poor old man!--_che vecchio?_ old
man forsooth! say rather an old dotard, who is unfit to buy, to
bargain, or to live!" And then he would ventriloquize once more to
himself. "Ah, poor Ignazio! ah, poor old man! your day is indeed gone
by." Such appeals were irresistible. So, whenever we had a few scudi to
spare, (and it was not quite discreet to go into his shop without,) we
used to beg to see some of his boxes of engraved stones; and having
pored for a time over wares that had been examined by the most cunning
eyes in Rome, would find one of better workmanship, and stop to inquire
its price. "_Quanto_, Signor Ignazio?" and while Signor Ignazio was
recollecting himself, we glanced on from one to the other, (the great
rule in bargaining being never to appear to know what you are
bargaining for!) "_Per cinque scudi vi lo do._" Viewed thus in the
light of a donation, we would think it too high, and tell him so. "Take
it for four, then--_pigliate lo per quattro_;" and at this fresh
concession he would grunt a little, like a tame seal in a water-tub!
Still we would hesitate, and dare to offer two. "For every body else,
he had said _impossible_,--for us we were _padronissimi_ to take it, as
the old man's gift, on our own terms." So we would put it up, and then,
elated at our _bargain_, and at his respect for us, we would remove
another "_intaglio_" from the box; and this time, naming our own price,
say with perfect nonchalance, "_due scudi_." The old fellow would then
fumble it up in his snuffy old gloves, and bring it near his snuffy old
nose; and having wiped his snuffy old magnifier, would bend his blue
goggle glasses over it--and having _screamed_--"_Che! due scudi?_ what
do you mean by two scudi? A stone of this beauty! a living head of
Medusa--a front face, too--for two scudi! The serpents in the hair were
worth more money--one-half of such a head, were the stone in _two_,
would be worth more money." And then would come in the antistrophe as
before--"_Ah, povero Ignazio! povero vecchio!_"--and we would be
shocked, and declare with compunction that we had no intention to cheat
him; and he, already "_persuasissimo_ of that," would beg us to say no
more, but to put it into our pocket for _three_. After these
preliminaries were settled and paid for, we would be contented to hear
him once more recount the tale of his younger days, when he had the
antiquity business all to himself; when he married his first wife; had
dealings with Demidoff; and knew all that were worth knowing in
Rome--both buyers and sellers. "Old age, Signor, is preparing me fast
to give up both my business and my life! Buy, buy, now's your time,
_eccomi_! an old man who wants to sell off every thing! name your
prices! Don't be afraid, you may offer me any thing _now_." "Three
scudi?" "Impossible I should let you have it for that. It cost me five;
but never mind! there's the mask at three scudi. Take it! Any thing
else?" "This intaglio?" "You are a capital judge, or you would not have
thus picked out my _best_ intaglio--will no colonnati suit?" "No."
"Will you be pleased if I prove my friendship for you by sacrificing it
at fifteen?" No! "There, take it as our third gift for twelve; but, oh
that I should have lived to sell it for that, _even to you_! But you
will come and see me again; I know you will, _Dottore mio!_ And sure
you might contrive to spend a few more _fees_ with me than you do, and
be all the richer for it into the bargain--what fine opportunities
_you_ must have of selling things to your patients, especially to the
_donne_! I wish I was a doctor, that I might carry on my business for a
year or two longer!"


SIGNOR DEDOMENICIS.

"I have a hundred questions to ask," said we, turning into
Dedomenicis' curiosity-shop, and casting a furtive glance behind his
old armour and arras hangings, to see that there was no other
confidant to whom we might be betraying our ignorance. "_Dunque_--well
then, one at a time; _è s'accommodi_--make yourself at home," said the
old dealer, pushing us a chair, and looking humanely communicative,
as he adjusted to his temples a huge pair of spectacles, and stood at
our side ready to be interrogated.

An old dealer, like a young beauty, when you are together, expects
something flattering to be said about his eyes, so "we wished ours
were as good as his." He said, "they were younger." "But what was the
use of young eyes, or of any eyes," said we, disparaging our own,
"that could not make out the wholesomeness of a coin, nor distinguish
the patina of antiquity from vulgar verdigris?"

Dedomenicis' _cough_ convinced us that this sentiment of ours was not
very far from what he himself believed to be the truth, only he was
too polite to _say_ so.

"There!" said we, "look at these bronze bargains of ours, these two
_counterfeit_ coins, which have not been a week in our possession, and
which C---- has already declared to be false! Oh! would _you_ not have
deemed it a happier lot to put up with a blameless blindness, and all
its evils, rather than, having eyes in your head, to have disgraced
them by such a purchase?" Dedomenicis glances one glance at the false
Emperors, and then passes a sentence which banishes them for ever from
the society of the Cæsars; while he _wonders_ how we could have hoped
to buy a real Piscennius and a Pertinax in the same adventure, and
both so well preserved too?

"Were we ignorant of the prices usually set upon the heads of all
those emperors who had enjoyed but a few weeks' reign?" Did not every
body, for instance, know that the African Gordians, both father and
son, were, in _bronze_, worth their weight in gold? that a Vitellius
in bronze was cheap at six pounds? and that he might be considered
fortunate indeed who could convert his spare ten-pound notes into as
many Pertinax penny-pieces, or come into the possession of a
half-penny or a second module, as it is called, of Pescennius Niger,
at the same price? Did not every body know that Domitia was coy at
£20, and stood out for £25? That Matidia, Mariana, and Plotina smiled
upon none who would not give £40 to possess them, and that Annia
Faustina was become a priceless piece? Had we been so long returned to
Rome and not yet heard of the Matidia now in the keeping of our
gallant countryman, General A----, who was jealous (at least so B----
had told him) of showing her even to his best friends, lest she should
prove too much for their virtue to withstand, and slept with her, and
could not snore securely unless she was by his side? Well, he had paid
£40 for her at Thomas's sale in London, and Rollin, on seeing her in
Paris, would have gladly detained her there for £50, but the general
was not to be bribed; "so you see, _dottore mio_, it costs a good deal
to collect coins even in the baser metal." "So it would appear,
indeed, Dedomenicis; and the next time a Pertinax in bronze turns up,
we will most _pertinaciously_ refuse to bid for him; or if another
Pescennius should ever again cross our path, we will mutter 'Hic
_Niger_ est,' and remember to have nothing to do with him."

"And I think," said the old fellow, slily taking off his spectacles,
and placing them on the table,--"I think you will not lose much if you
adhere to your present intention."

"And yet it is annoying not to know the difference between the works
of those _Paduan_ brothers, of a recent century, and such as really
belong to the old Roman mint;" saying which we began to study them
afresh, as a policeman would do to a rogue, whom he expected to meet
again. "Is this knowledge, dear Dedomenicis, to be acquired 'per
càrita?' let us not waste our time, if it be not." "_Lei lo sapra!_ it
will come in good time. _Pazienza!_ be patient! you know our
proverb--'time and straw ripen medlars,' and your judgment will mature
in time, _just as the medlars do_."

Crude as an unripe medlar though our judgment certainly then _was_,
still the prospect of its _mellowing into unsoundness at last_ was by
no means consolatory; and so we told him, pocketing our false coins,
and going home to consult the memorandum of their price,--here it is!
_Eccola!_ as it was most ingeniously registered by us at the
time--"Nov. 7, 1840--Bought to-day of a peasant on his way from Ricci
to Rome, two _beautiful coins_, a Pertinax and a Pescennius Niger, in
_perfect preservation_! only paid £5 for the two!! the _simple_
contadino, who can't read the epigraphes, asks whether they are not
Nero's!!"[54]

A ring at the bell, and our courier has announced Signor Dedomenicis.
"By all means, show him in then,"--for he had come, a year later, to
see coins we had picked up during our summer trip to Sicily. "There,"
said we gaily, and to put him in a good humour at once, (for the remark
showed we had made ourselves master of his physiognomy),--"there,
Dedomenicis, is a Ptolemy Evergetes, who was, to judge by his coins,
your very prototype--it is your nose--your chin--your"----

"Suppose you make it mine altogether then," said he slily; but we
"prized it too much, on this very account, to part with it!" After
which we go to the nearest cabinet in the room--unlock the door, take
out drawer No. 1, marked Sicilian, and _rare_; and in the pride of our
young beginnings, and little knowing what we were to bring upon
ourselves in so doing,--

    "Midst hopes, and fears that kindle hopes.
    A pleasing anxious throng;
    And shrewd suspicions often lull'd,
    But now returning strong,"--

we hand over the tray to Dedomenicis, whose running commentary, as
soon as he had brought it into the field of his spectacles, was really
appalling; and he plied it as destructively as a Sikh battery, or a
Perkins's steam gun.

Prepared to see him take out the first coin in the row, to subject it
to his magnifier, to turn it round, now on this side, now on that, and
then to pause, ere he could decide upon it, little could we have
supposed that in a second his battery was to commence fire; and that
in less than a minute, he would have passed a summary sentence upon
every coin of the lot.

"_One--two--three._"--Thus it began; "_roba commune_--common as
blackberries; (four, five, six,) _niente di buono_--good for what you
can get for them; (seven, eight, nine,) _Idem_; (ten, eleven, twelve,)
_Idem_; thirteen, _not_ of Messina, as it pretended to be; and here
had sold us a _Neapolitan cat_ in place of a _Sicilian hare_!"
"_Come!_ a cat?" (for we called to mind what each of puss's _nine_
lives had cost us, and determined to die game for it), "_that_ coin a
_counterfeit_?" "Sī--Sīg-nō-rĕ!" in that sort of sing-song gamut twang
in which one Roman answers another's incredulity--"_anzi falsīssimo_,"
with a most provoking lengthening out of the second syllable of that
most provoking superlative; he knew all about its fabrication; the
_gentleman_ who made these coins was an acquaintance--not a _friend_
of his; the original coin being in request, and somewhat expensive, he
had contrived to get up a new issue of the Messina Hare,[55] which was
much in vogue, and seemed, like Gay's Hare, to court an extensive
acquaintance, and many friends. "That _Himera_[56] hen is of a brood
that never lays golden eggs, and the sooner you can get rid of her the
better. Time was when such poultry fetched its price; now, thanks to
the prolific process of our modern hatchings, we see her as often in
the market as widgeon, snipe, or plovers. _That's_ a fine lion; 'tis
a pity you've no lioness to match him; but one such real _Rhegium
leone_ is worth a host of counterfeits,--'_unus, sane, at Leo_'. As to
your Ptolemies' eagles here, at least they are well preserved, and
that always should give a coin some claim to a place in a _beginner's_
collection; though to us dealers, who see many of them, these eagles
at last become somewhat uninteresting and vulgar birds. What a
collection is here of Hieros[57] on horseback, all in good plight too!
Well, I might have bought _in_ or _out_ of these ranks myself; but _I_
should not, I think, like you, have purchased the whole troop--of
course you paid but little for them." "Yes," said we timidly, "not
overmuch, not more than they were worth perhaps, six pauls a-piece,"
and we coughed nervously, and expected him to speak encouragingly; but
he said nothing, and proceeded with his scrutiny of our box. "_Per
Bacco!_ What a quantity of cuttlefish! Methinks Syracuse has rather
overdone you with her _Lobigo_, but _that_ at least is genuine, for
'tis too cheap to make money of by imitation. This of _Naxos_ will do.
_This_ of Tarentum, _va bene!_ this of _Locri, corresponde_." A faint
"bravo!" escapes him on taking up an Athenian Tetradrachm, with the
_Archer's_ name on the field; but he takes no note, has no "winged
words" to throw away upon our winged horses, though every nag of them,
we know, came from Corinth or from Argos.

The bearded corn of Metapontus, with Ceres or Mars on the reverse:
Arion on his dolphin--that beautiful, most beautiful of coins--were,
together with sundry others, all too common for his antiquarian eye to
take pleasure in; he sought something less frequently presented to it,
and at last he found it in a Croton coin with a rare reverse, which,
"would we sell him, he would take at twenty dollars, and pay us in
_living_ silver." A bow told him we were not disposed to part with it.
And now he comes to what we consider to be our finest piece,--our
Lipari bronze! And on it is a fat _dolphin_ sporting on a _green_ sea.
Dedomenicis' manner is vastly discouraging, and we are prepared for
new disappointment, yet we could have sworn that _that_ coin was
genuine. But if false, as he believes it to be, why then not have done
with it? why put it down to take it up _again_? why ask whether _we_
don't repute it false, when he knows we know nothing of the matter?
And why _mouse_ it so closely under his keen eye, and look round the
rim of it, and examine the face of it, and appear as if he would
penetrate into its very soul,[58] and get at its history? Oh! 'tis all
right, then; if "he may be mistaken," doubtless he _is_ so: and this
is confirmed by his now proposing--thinking an exchange no robbery, of
course--to exchange it for us. Ingenuous man! who hadst twice invoked
the saints and the Madonna in our behalf when thou heardest the price
we paid for our unlucky Hare; and when thou knewest how C---- had
beguiled us into taking, and paying for a _Roman_, the price of an
_Etruscan_ "As;" and now thou wouldst have robbed us of our best coin,
have deprived us of the very _Delphin classic_ of our collection; it
won't do! Our Messenian hare is welcome, but, old æruscator, we cannot
let you swim away on our dolphin; and we rise to _replace him_ in our
_monetaro_ accordingly.

A third interview with Dedomenicis is recorded in our entry-book of
such matters.--"Here are the coins, Signor, which you gave me to clean
last week: they are ten in number, for which you owe me as many
pauls.--_Eccole!_" "Ah," said we, "you have not made much of them, I
fear." "Look and see," was the laconic reply. By which time we had
taken up the first, and were pleased to find that an Augustus, whose
lineaments we could hardly recognise, when we gave him to Dedomenicis
to _scale_, had come back to us perfectly restored. "Why,
Dedomenicis," said we, "this is a restitution better than Trajan's, of
this very Emperor's coinage; for that, after all, was but the
_imitation_ of an old mint; but yours the _restoration_ of the old one
itself. Henceforth I prefer _Dedomenicis' restituit_ to _Trajan's
restituit_." "Well, then, when you have looked over the others, you
will, I dare say, pay these and them at the same rate, as if they had
been the issues of that Emperor."[59] We were indeed surprised at what
we saw, so much had all our coins gained by the process to which
Dedomenicis had subjected them. The second we took up represented the
_Ostian harbour_, (Portus Ostiensis.) We had given it to him with a
_foul bottom_--it was restored to us with its basin cleared out, and
with all its shipping, just as it used to look in the days of Nero; in
another, the whole arena of the Colosseum had been disencumbered; in
another, Antonine's column shone bright from top to bottom; here we
saw _Honos et Virtus_ (honour and military prowess) again taking the
field; here the scales of Justice once more appeared, and librated
freely in her hand; here Hope resumed her green trefoil; Pudicity
_un_veils her face; and there sat Fecundity on a curule seat, with all
her family about her; lastly, there were those three scandalous
sisters of Caligula--the Misses _Money_ (Moneta,)[60]--standing
together with their arms intertwined, and their names at their backs.
All these ten restitutions cost only ten pauls! "And how did you
manage to clean then so well, Dedomenicis?" "_Col tempo ed il
temperino_,"--with time and a penknife: "_Ma ci vuo il genio_,"--you
must have a talent for it.


SCALING A COIN.

"_Ci vuo il genio_,"--he was right; and think you 'tis so easy or
simple a thing to clean a coin? to unmask an empress, pertinacious in
her disguise, or to _scrape_ acquaintance with emperors? Try it;--not
that you will succeed; but that the difficulties which you are thus
made to encounter in the attempt, will dispose you the more readily to
do justice to the skill of those who succeed in this delicate process,
which, like the finer operations of surgery, requires at once
precision and address, great nicety in the handling of your
instrument; while the importance attached to the operation itself
makes the successful performance of it not a little desirable. The
penknife, guided by a _dexterous_ hand, may light upon a discovery
that has been buried for ages; and a pin's point may make revelations
sufficient to adjust some obscure point in history. Who knows what
face may now lie hid (_facies dicatur an ulcus?_) under some obscure
coating of paste? What an it be a Vitellius; what if a Pertinax should
reveal himself? or suppose, when you have removed the foul _larvæ_,
you _undermine_ a Matidia! a Plotina!! an Annia Faustina!!! and your
fortune is made! 'Tis a lottery, we admit. But the very principle of
the excitement--the charm is, that you know not what _may_ turn up;
for a less chance, you may possibly have bought a "Terno" in a
Frankfort lottery, the chance of an estate on the Moselle! But there
are small prizes to be picked up occasionally--and here's a case in
point:--"I was one day sauntering," said our friend C----, "by the
tomb of Cecilia Metella, when a peasant came up with a handful of very
dirty-looking coins, so firmly encrusted with mortar, that it seemed
absurd to attempt its removal. Having nothing particular to do, and
liking the wild quiet of the spot, I gave some 'baiocchi' to the man;
and taking my seat on a bit of the old aqueduct, I opened my penknife,
and began to scrape away. At first I saw the _trace_ of a letter; and
digging round it, I at length disinterred a large M----a Roman M! It
was probably Maximin, or his son Maximus, that I then had under my
thumb; but it _might_ be a Marinus, in which case it was a valuable
coin; so I wrought on with renewed vigour, and presently an _L_ was in
the _field_. A better prospect this than the last; for if it turned
out to be an Æmilianus, I should have made a good morning's work of
it--and it was so! Little by little, line by line, grain by grain, I
opened the field, till _C. Julius Æmilianus, Pontif: Max: in a full
epigraphe, shone forth with the imperial_ head in full relief, all in
a bright emerald patina. I have seen several Æmilianuses, but none
like that; and it cost me only a penny."

Now, touching the difficulties in your way--should you still fancy
them to be imaginary--take any dirty coin _nigra moneta sordibus_, and
try to clean it; oil it, and scrub it as you may; pick into, poke at,
finally, waste your whole morning over it, till your back aches, and
your penknife is blunted; you will have to confess at last that your
labour has been lost! Your only chance, then, is the fire; and if the
_actual cautery_ fails, there is no longer any hope. As in learning to
scale properly, you must come to sacrifice _a great many coins_ before
you can hope to succeed, _fiat experimentum in corpore vili_--begin
with those that are worthless. Never mind scratching a Faustina's
face; set no store by Nero; you may, if you like, mutilate as many
_Domitians_ as that emperor mutilated flies. For why?--they cost
nothing; unless, indeed, there were something to be gained by
_reversing_ the picture. But this only while learning, and to learn;
for when you _know_ how to clean a coin properly, you will hardly
waste your time in adding new Trajans to the ten thousands already in
existence; nor whet your curiosity or steel upon an empress, known to
be as common in bronze as she was wont to be in the flesh! When you
have a really valuable coin, on which your pains will not be thrown
away, your mode of procedure is, first to scrape, with extreme
caution, on some small spot by the margin, till you have taken your
proper soundings, and come down to the _patina_. Your next step must
be, to ascertain whether that patina is hard, or soft and friable; in
which latter case you will have to use all diligence not to poke your
penknife in Crispina's eyeball, nor to wound her husband, with a few
days' beard upon his chin. No _healing process_ can help you here to
undo your clumsy surgery and want of skill. He will remain
_cicatrised_, and she _lippa_ for life. Each separate feature requires
renewed care. When your minute manipulations have brought out the
eyeball _unspecked_, then comes the nose; and to remove the closely
sticking plaster from its side, and expose uninjured the curling
nostril underneath, requires more than Taliacotian sleight of hand to
manage properly. You must not trifle with Faustina's _hair_, nor with
Philip's _beard_. The "_flava coma_," which we do not consider as
ornamental at any time, looks far worse in _brass_ than in _golden_
tresses. You must be an aurist when you come to the ear. Deal with the
ear, and remember that it has its _portio mollis_ as you gently probe
your way into its tube. Need we insist upon the necessity of
respecting a lady's _lips_? and yet you will wound them, unless you
are careful. And when all is done, you may find that your coin is no
sooner cleaned, than it is seized with the _smallpox_,[61] which will
become _confluent_ and spread, unless properly instructed. You have
probed each cicatrix to the bottom, and filled the minute holes with
_ink_. Thus you will see that patience, tact, and care are all
required in scaling a coin; or, as Dedomenicis said, _ci vuo il
genio_!

The collecting coins is a pleasant way of learning the chronology of
the royal families of antiquity; and if you are culpably negligent in
their arrangement, the first dealer who sees your cabinet takes care
to apprize you of your mistakes, and will generally rate you soundly
as he does so. The first time Dedomenicis visited our collection of
the Roman emperors, he was in a great taking on detecting (which he
did not fail to do at a glance) various anachronisms in our
arrangement. "By all that should be, if here is not Agrippina the wife
of Germanicus, and Claudius's Agrippina, in next-door neighbourhood!
the two Faustinas (_che scandalo, dottore mio!_) lying side by side
with _strange husbands_! Philip junior deposing his own father--_ci
avevano questa consuetudine_, so let that pass; but here is a more
serious affair. Pray separate all these Julias a little, my dear sir,
_caro lei_, (looking at us very reproachfully;) here, in this one
tray, you have mixed, introduced, and confounded together all the
Julias of the Roman empire! Julia, the daughter of Titus, alone in her
right place beside her first consort Domitian. But Julia Pia and Julia
Domna are but the _aliases_ of the same empress, the wife of Septimius
Severus; and here you have placed by mistake Julia Paula, the wife of
Eliogabalus, after Julia Mammæa, who you _must_ remember married
Maximin. Pray attend to these things; and whenever your series is
deficient, leave vacant spaces in your trays to mark the deficiencies.
Don't crowd your emperors thus together, when time has separated them
in history," &c. &c. &c. We promised faithfully to attend to these
hints; but it was all to no purpose, for in one week our friends, to
whom we used to show our collection properly arranged, would again
involve our chronology in inextricable confusion, especially certain
dear young ladies of our acquaintance, who, by no means showing the
same respect for old Time that old Time continued to demonstrate
towards them, would make light of whole centuries; and we have known
them so regardless of all dates, except perhaps their own, as to bring
up a Constantine or Maxentius, and to place them under the very nose
of Augustus!

FOOTNOTES:

[54] It is worth noting, because one does not see why it is so, that
the only imperial _birbone_ of the lot universally known and execrated
at Rome is _Nero_. One is much better able to understand (with Capri
in front of one's windows) why a like exclusive and unenviable
popularity at Naples attaches to _Tiberius_.

[55] The _hare_ was first introduced into Sicily by Anaxilaus of
Rhegium, and was adopted by the Messenians on their coins, as was also
the _chariot_, in commemoration of his victory in the _mule_ races at
Olympia.

[56] On the urbic coins of Aquinum, Suessa, and Tiano, which are
generally of bronze, the _cock_ figures on one side, the subject on
the other varying; on those of Himera (a silver currency,) chanticleer
is always confronted on the reverse by Dame Partlett.

[57] Hiero the Second, tyrant of Syracuse, who flourished 216 B.C.,
and was contemporary with Archimedes. The face is one expressive of
refinement, and the coin of a very fine style of art, as indeed are
all those that ever issued from the old and original mint of Sicily;
but alas! there are now many small and illicit mints to which the
travelling public that buys coins, is, without always knowing it,
vastly more indebted. "Roba Siciliana"--Sicilian trash, exclaims the
indignant Neapolitan, when you show him a modern forgery by which you
have been duped. "Sciochezza di Napoli" retorts the dealer at Messina
or Palermo, vindicating at once his own honour, which seems aspersed,
and that of his Trinacrian associates. To reconcile these two
statements, which are both true, the reader has only to be informed
that there are mints every where, and coiners as cunning at Pozzuoli
as at Palermo.

[58] By the word _anima_, or _soul_ of a coin, numismatists designate
the interior of the metal, as opposed to its superficies or _field_.

[59] The _restitution_ of the coinage of one Emperor by his successor,
consisting of a smaller issue of pieces than the original from which
it is taken, has become comparatively scarce; hence such
_restitutions_ fetch a much _higher price_ than those of the earlier
currency, and Dedomenicis's remark was not without its meaning.

[60] Moneta, one of the many epithets or _aliases_ of Juno, borrowed
by the Emperor Caligula for his three sisters, Agrippina, Drusilla,
and Livilla, who are represented standing in a row, each with her
cornucopia and scales, and her name behind her back.

[61] "_La petite verole_" is the name employed by French numismatists
to designate this _disease_. They could not have hit upon a happier. A
finely characteristic specimen of it is to be seen at present in the
bronze impersonation of George IV. which stands on the Steym at
Brighton, where the whole face looking seaward has become _balafré_
and pock-marked. It is strange that under the epithet of _pustular_,
as applied to _silver_, the ancients appear to have meant the purest
and most refined quality of that metal, when it is the alloy mixed
with the bronze that makes it pustular.



THE LAST RECOLLECTIONS OF NAPOLEON.[62]


There are few things more striking than the analogy in civil and
physical changes of the world. There have been in the history of man
periods as distinctive as in the history of nations. From these
periods society and nations have alike assumed new aspects, and the
world has commenced a new career. The fall of the Roman Empire was the
demarcation between the old world and the new. It was the moral
deluge, out of which a new condition of man, new laws, new forms of
religion, new styles of thought, almost a totally new configuration of
human society, were to arise. A new settlement of the civil world took
place: power absorbed by one race of mankind was to be divided among
various races; and the development of principles of government and
society, hitherto unknown, was to be scarcely less memorable, less
unexpected, or less productive, than that voyage by which Columbus
doubled the space of the habitable globe.

The Reformation was another mighty change. It introduced civil liberty
into the empire of tyranny, religion into the realm of superstition,
and science into the depths of national ignorance. The French
Revolution was the last, and not the least powerful change within
human experience. Its purpose is, like its operation, still dubious.
Whether it came simply for wrath, or simply for restoration--whether,
like the earthquake of Lisbon, it came only to destroy, and leave its
ruins visible for a century to come; to clear the ground of
incumbrances too massive for the hand of man, and open the soil for
exertions nobler than the old, must be left to time to interpret. But
there can be no question, that the most prominent agency, the most
powerful influence, and the most dazzling lustre, of a period in which
all the stronger impulses of our being were in the wildest activity,
centred in the character of one man, and that man--Napoleon.

It is evidently a law of Providence, that all the great changes of
society shall be the work of individual minds. Yet when we recollect
the difficulty of effecting any general change, embracing the infinite
varieties of human interests, caprices, passions, and purposes,
nothing could seem more improbable. But it has always been the course
of things. Without Charlemagne, the little principalities of Gothic
Europe would never have been systematised into an empire;--without
Luther, what could have been the progress of the Reformation?--without
Napoleon, the French Revolution would have burnt itself out, vanished
into air, or sunk into ashes. He alone collected its materials,
combined them into a new and powerful shape, crowned this being of his
own formation with the imperial robe, erected it in the centre of
Europe, and called the nations to bow down before a new idol, like the
gods of the Indian known only by its mysterious frown, the startling
splendour of its diadem, and the swords and serpents grasped in its
hands.

That the character of Napoleon was a singular compound of the highest
intellectual powers with the lowest moral qualities, is evidently the
true description of this extraordinary being. This combination alone
accounts for the rapidity, the splendour of his career, and the sudden
and terrible completeness of his fall. Nothing less than pre-eminent
capacity could have shot him up through the clouds and tempests of the
Revolution into the highest place of power. A mixture of this force of
mind and desperate selfishness of heart could alone have suggested and
sustained the system of the Imperial wars, policy, and ambition; and
the discovery of his utter faithlessness could alone have rendered all
thrones hopeless of binding him by the common bonds of sovereign to
sovereign, and compelled them to find their only security for the
peace of Europe in consigning him to a dungeon. He was the only
instance in modern history of a monarch dethroned by a universal
conviction; warred against by mankind, as the sole object of the war;
delivered over into captivity by the unanimous judgment of nations;
and held in the same unrelaxing and judicial fetters until he died.

It is another striking feature of this catastrophe, that the whole
family of Napoleon sank along with him. They neither possessed his
faculties, nor were guilty of his offences. But as they had risen
solely by him, they perished entirely with him. Future history will
continually hover over this period of our annals, as the one which
most resembles some of those fabrications of the Oriental genius, in
which human events are continually under the guidance of spirits of
the air; in which fantastic palaces are erected by a spell, and the
treasures of the earth developed by the wave of a wand--in which the
mendicant of this hour is exalted into the prince of the next; and
while the wonder still glitters before the eye, another sign of the
necromancer dissolves the whole pageant into air again. Human
recollection has no record of so much power, so widely distributed,
and apparently so fixed above all the ordinary casualties of the
world, so instantly and so irretrievably overthrown. The kings of
earth are not undone at a blow; kingdoms do not change their rulers
without a struggle. Great passions and great havoc have always
preceded and followed the fall of monarchies. But the four diadems of
the Napoleon race fell from their wearers' brows with scarcely a touch
from the hand of man. The surrender of the crown by Napoleon
extinguished the crowns actually ruling over millions, and virtually
influencing the whole Continent. They were extinguished, too, at the
moment when the Imperial crown disappeared. It had no sooner been
crushed at Waterloo, than they all fell into fragments, of
themselves;--the whole dynasty went down with Napoleon into the
dungeon, and not one of them has since returned to the world.

The name of General Count Montholon is well known to this country, as
that of a brave officer, who, after acquiring distinguished rank in
the French army by his sword, followed Napoleon to St Helena; remained
with him during his captivity; and upon his death was made the
depositary of his papers, and his executor. But his own language, in a
letter dated from the Castle of Ham in June 1844, gives the best
account of his authority and his proceedings.

"A soldier of the Republic, a brigadier-general at twenty years of
age, and minister-plenipotentiary in Germany in 1812 and 1813, I
could, like others, have left memoirs concerning the things which I
saw; but the whole is effaced from my mind in presence of a single
thing, a single event, and a single man. The thing is Waterloo; the
event, the fall of the Empire; and the man, Napoleon."

He then proceeds to tell us, that he shared the St Helena captivity
for six years; that for forty-two nights he watched the dying bed of
the ex-monarch; and that, by Napoleon's express desire, he closed his
eyes. But to those duties of private friendship were affixed official
services, which looked much more like tyranny than the tribute of
personal regard, and which we should think must have worn out the
patience, and tried the constitution, of the most devoted follower of
this extraordinary captive.

Napoleon, though apparently contemptuous of the opinions of mankind,
evidently felt the strongest anxiety to make out a favourable
statement for himself. And all his hours, except the few devoted to
exercise on horseback and to sleep, and to his meals, were employed in
completing the narrative which was to clear up his character to
mankind.

During the last years passed in St Helena, Napoleon sent for the Count
every night at eleven o'clock, and continued dictating to him until
six in the morning, when he went into the bath, dismissing the count
with--"Come, my son, go and repose, and come to me again at nine
o'clock. We shall have breakfast, and resume the labours of the
night." At nine, he returned, and remained with him till one, when
Napoleon went to bed. Between four and five, he sent for the count
again, who dined with him every day, and at nine o'clock left him, to
return at eleven.

The world little knew the drudgery to which these unfortunate
followers of the Ex-Emperor were thus exposed, and they must all have
rejoiced at any termination of a toil so remorseless and so
uncheering.

Napoleon was fond of the Turkish doctrine of fatality. Whether so
acute a mind was capable of believing a doctrine so palpably
contradicted by the common circumstances of life, and so utterly
repugnant to reason, can scarcely be a question; but with him, as with
the Turks, it was a capital doctrine for the mighty machine which he
called an army. But the count seems to have been a true believer. He,
too, pronounces, that "destiny is written," and regards himself as
being under the peculiar influence of a malignant star, or, in his own
words: "In fact, without having sought it, my destiny brought me into
contact with the Emperor in the Elysée Bourbon, conducted me, without
my knowing it, to the shores of Boulogne, where honour imposed upon me
the necessity of not abandoning the nephew of the Emperor in presence
of the dangers by which he was surrounded. Irrevocably bound to the
misfortunes of a family, I am now perishing in Ham; the captivity
commenced in St Helena."

Of Count Montholon, it must be acknowledged, that he was unstained by
either the vices or the violences which scandalized Europe so
frequently in the leaders of the French armies. He appears to have
been at all times a man of honourable habits, as he certainly is of
striking intelligence. But we have no faith in his doctrine of the
star, and think that he would have acted much more wisely if he had
left the stars to take care of themselves, avoided the blunder of
mistaking the nephew of Napoleon for a hero and a genius, and stayed
quietly in London, instead of risking himself with an invasion of
valets to take the diadem off the most sagacious head in Europe.

The narrative commences with the return of Napoleon to Paris after his
renown, his throne, and his dynasty were alike crushed by the British
charge at Waterloo. He reached Paris at six in the morning of the
21st. It is now clear that the greatest blunder of this extraordinary
man was his flight from the army. If he had remained at its head, let
its shattered condition be what it might, he would have been powerful,
have awed the growing hostility of the capital, and have probably been
able to make peace alike for himself and his nation. But by hurrying
to Paris, all was lost: he stripped himself of his strength; he threw
himself on the mercy of his enemies; and palpably capitulated to the
men who, but the day before, were trembling under the fear of his
vengeance.

Nobleness of heart is essential to all true renown; and perhaps it is
not less essential to all real security. Napoleon, with talents which
it is perfectly childish to question, though the attempt has been made
since the close of his brilliant career, wanted this nobleness of
heart, and through its want ultimately perished. Of the bravery of him
who fought the splendid campaigns of Italy, and of the political
sagacity of him who raised himself from being a subaltern of artillery
to a sovereign of sovereigns, there can be no doubt. But his
selfishness was so excessive that it occasionally made both
contemptible, and gave his conduct alike the appearance of cowardice,
and the appearance of infatuation. His flight from Egypt, leaving his
army to be massacred or captured, disgraced him in the face of Europe.
His flight from Russia, leaving the remnant of his legions to be
destroyed, was a new scandal; but hitherto no evil had been produced
by this gross regard of self. The penalty, however, must be paid. His
flight from the army in Belgian, leaving it without counsel or
direction, to be crushed by a victorious enemy, was the third instance
of that ignoble preference of his own objects which had characterised
and stained his Egyptian and Russian career. But retribution was now
come, and he was to be undone. The slaughter of Waterloo had been
tremendous, but it was not final. The loss of the French army had been
computed at forty thousand men, killed, wounded, and dispersed. He had
come into the field with seventy-two thousand men, independent of
Grouchy. He had thus thirty thousand remaining. Grouchy's force of
thirty thousand was still untouched, and was able to make its way to
Paris. In addition to these sixty thousand, strong garrisons had been
left in all the fortresses, which he might without difficulty have
gathered upon his retreat. The Parisian national guard would have
augmented this force, probably, on the whole, to one hundred thousand
men. It is true that the allied Russian and Austrian forces were on
the frontier. But they had not yet moved, and could not prevent the
march of those reinforcements. Thus, without reckoning the provincial
militia of France, or calculating on a _levée en masse_, Napoleon
within a fortnight might have been at the head of one hundred and
fifty thousand men, while the pursuing army could not have mustered
half the number. He would thus have had time for negotiation; and time
with him was every thing. Or let the event be what it might, the
common sense of the Allies would have led them to avoid a direct
collision with so powerful a force fighting on its own ground under
the walls of the capital, and knowing that the only alternatives were
complete triumph or total ruin.

Count Montholon makes a remark on the facility with which courtiers
make their escape from a falling throne, which has been so often
exemplified in history. But it was never more strikingly exemplified
than in the double overthrow of Napoleon. "At Fontainbleau, in 1814,"
says the Count, "when I hastened to offer to carry him off with the
troops under my command, I found no one in those vast corridors,
formerly too small for the crowd of courtiers, except the Duke of
Bassano and two aides-de-camp." His whole court, down to his Mameluke
and valet, had run off to Paris, to look for pay and place under the
Bourbons. In a similar case in the next year, at the Elysée Bourbon,
he found but two counts and an equerry. It was perfectly plain to all
the world but Napoleon himself that his fate was decided.

There certainly seems to have been something in his conduct at this
period that can scarcely be accounted for but by infatuation. His
first act, the desertion of his army, was degrading to his honour, but
his conduct on his arrival was not less degrading to his sagacity.
Even his brother Lucien said that he was blinded with the smoke of
Waterloo. He seems to have utterly lost that distinct view and fierce
decision which formerly characterised all his conduct. It was no more
the cannon-shot or the thunder-clap, it was the wavering of a mind
suddenly perplexed by the difficulties which he would once have solved
by a sentence and overwhelmed by resistance--which he would have once
swept away like a swarm of flies. The leader of armies was crushed by
a conspiracy of clerks, and the sovereign of the Continent was sent to
the dungeon by cabal of his own slaves.

While Napoleon was thus lingering in the Elysée Bourbon, the two
chambers of the Legislature were busily employed between terror and
intrigue. The time was delicate, for the Bourbons and the Allies were
approaching. But, on the other hand, the fortunes of Napoleon might
change; tardiness in recognising the Bourbons might be fatal to their
hopes of place, but the precipitancy of abandoning Napoleon might
bring their heads under the knife of the guillotine. All public life
is experimental, and there never was a time when the experiment was of
a more tremulous description.

At length they began to act; and the first precaution of the Chamber
of Deputies was to secure their own existence. Old Lafayette moved a
resolution, that the man should be regarded as a traitor to the
country who made any attempt to dissolve the Chamber. This was an
obvious declaration against the authority of the Empire. The next
motion was, that General Beker should be appointed commandant of the
guard ordered to protect the Legislature. This was a provision against
the mob of Paris. The Legislature was now safe on its two prominent
perils. In the mean time, Napoleon had made another capital blunder.
He had held a council of the ministers, to which he proposed the
question, whether he should proceed in person to the Chamber of
Deputies, and demand supplies, or send his brothers and ministers to
make the communication. Three of the ministers approved of his going
in person, but the majority disapproved of it--on the plea of its
being a dangerous experiment, in the excited state of the public
passions. If Napoleon had declined this counsel, which arose from
either pusillanimity or perfidy, it is perfectly possible that he
might have silenced all opposition. The known attachment of the
troops, the superstition connected with his fortunes, the presence of
the man whom they all so lately worshipped, as the Indians worship the
serpent for the poison of its fang, might have produced a complete
revulsion. Napoleon, too, was singularly eloquent--his language had a
romantic splendour which captivates the artificial taste of the
nation; and with an imperial figure before them, surrounded with more
powerful incidents than the drama could ever offer, and threatening a
fifth act which might involve the fate of France and Europe, the day
might have finished by a new burst of national enthusiasm, and the
restoration of Napoleon to the throne, with all his enemies in the
Legislature chained to its footstool.

But he sent his brother Joseph to the Chamber of Peers, and received
the answer to his mission next morning, in a proposal which was
equivalent to a demand for his abdication.

A council of ministers was again held on this proposal. The same three
who had voted for his presence in the Chamber, now voted for his
rejection of the proposal. The majority, however, were against them.
Napoleon yielded to the majority. He had lost his opportunity--and in
politics opportunity is every thing. He had now nothing more to lose.
He drew up an acknowledgment of his abdication; but appended to it the
condition of proclaiming his son, Napoleon Second, emperor of the
French. This was an artifice, but it was unworthy even of the art of
Napoleon. He must have been conscious that the Allies would have
regarded this appointment as a trick to ensure his own restoration.
His son was yet a child; a regent must have been appointed; Napoleon
would have naturally been that regent; and in six months, or on the
first retreat of the Allies, he would as naturally have reappointed
himself emperor. The trick was too shallow for his sagacity, and it
was impossible to hope that it could have been suffered by the Allies.
Yet it passed the Chamber, and Napoleon Second was acknowledged within
the walls. But the acknowledgment was laughed at without them; the
Allies did not condescend to notice it; and the Allies proceeded to
their work of restoration as if he had never existed. In fact, the
dynasty was at an end; a provisional government was appointed, with
Fouché at its head, and the name of Napoleon was pronounced no more.

Count Montholon gives a brief but striking description of the
confusion, dismay, and despair, into which Waterloo had thrown the
Bonapartists. He had hurried to the Elysée a few hours after the
arrival of Bonaparte from the field. He met the Duke of Vicenza coming
out, with a countenance of dejection, and asked him what was going on.
"All is lost," was the answer. "You arrived to-day, as you did at
Fontainbleau, only to see the emperor resign his crown. The leaders of
the Chambers desire his abdication. They will have it; and in a week
Louis XVIII. will be in Paris. At night on the 19th, a short note in
pencil was left with my Swiss, announcing the destruction of the army.
The same notice was given to Carnot. The last telegraphic dispatch had
brought news of victory; we both hastened to the Duke of Otranto; he
assured us with all his cadaverous coldness that he knew nothing. He
knew all, however, I am well assured. Events succeeded each other with
the rapidity of lightning; there is no longer any possible illusion.
All is lost, and the Bourbons will be here in a week."

The Count remained forty-eight hours at the palace. The fallen Emperor
had now made up his mind to go to America, and the Count promised to
accompany him. A couple of regiments, formed of the workmen of the
Faubourg St Germain, marching by the palace, now demanded that
Napoleon should put himself at their head, and take vengeance on his
enemies. But he well knew the figure which the volunteers of the mob
would make in front of the bayonets which had crushed his guard at
Waterloo, and he declined the honour of this new command. A few
courtiers, who adhered to him still, continued to talk of his putting
himself at the head of the national force. But Waterloo had
effectually cured him of the passion for soldiership, and he
constantly appealed to his unwillingness to shed the blood of
Frenchmen. It was at least evident that he intended to tempt the field
no more, but after being the cause of shedding the blood of two
millions of the people, his reserve was romantic.

The Count was sent to dismiss the volunteers, and they having
performed their act of heroism, and offered to challenge the whole
British army, were content with the glory of the threat, and
heroically marched home to their shops.

But Montholon, on returning again, addressed Napoleon on the
feasibility of attacking Wellington and Blucher with the battalions of
the Messrs Calicot, upon which the Ex-Emperor made the following
solemn speech: "To put into action the brute force of the masses,
would without doubt save Paris, and ensure me the crown, without
having recourse to the horrors of a civil war. But this would be also
to risk the shedding of rivers of fresh blood. What is the compressive
force which would be sufficiently strong to regulate the outburst of
so much passion, hatred, and vengeance? No, I never can forget one
thing, that I have been brought from Cannes to Paris in the midst of
cries for blood, 'Down with the priests!' 'Down with the nobles!' I
would rather have the regrets of France than possess its crown."

There is no country in the world, where Napoleon's own phrase, that
from the sublime to the ridiculous is but a step, is more perpetually
and practically realised than in France. Here was a man utterly
ruined, without a soldier on the face of the earth, all but a
prisoner, abandoned by every human being who could be of the slightest
service to him, beaten in the field, beaten on his own ground, and now
utterly separated from his remaining troops, and with a hundred
thousand of the victors rushing after him, hour by hour, to Paris. Yet
he talks as if he had the world still at his disposal, applauds his
own magnanimity in declining the impossible combat, vaunts his own
philosophy in standing still, when he could neither advance nor
retreat, and gives himself credit as a philanthropist, when he was on
the very point of being handed over to the enemy as a prisoner. Some
unaccountable tricks of a lower description now began to be played on
the goods and chattels of the Elysée Bourbon. A case containing
snuff-boxes adorned with portraits set in diamonds, was laid by
Bertrand on the mantel-piece. He accidentally turned to converse with
General Montholon at the window. Only one person entered the room. The
Count does not give his name,--he was evidently a person of rank. On
turning to the mantel-piece again, the case was gone.

One of the ministers had brought some negotiable paper to the amount
of several millions of francs into the Emperor's chamber. The packet
was placed under one of the cushions of the sofa. Only one person, and
that one a man of rank who had served in Italy, entered the chamber.
Napoleon went to look for the money, calculated a moment, and a
million and a half of francs, or about £60,000 sterling, had been
taken in the interim. Those were times for thievery, and the
plunderers of Europe were now on the alert, to make spoil of each
other. The Allies were still advancing, but they were not yet in
sight; and the mob of Paris, who had been at first delighted to find
that the war was at an end, having nothing else to do, and thinking
that, as Wellington and Blucher had not arrived within a week, they
would not arrive within a century, began to clamour _Vive l'Empereur!_
Fouché and the provisional government began to feel alarm, and it was
determined to keep Napoleon out of sight of the mob. Accordingly they
ordered him to be taken to Malmaison; and on the 25th, towards
nightfall, Napoleon submissively quitted the Elysée, and went to
Malmaison. At Malmaison he remained for the greater part of the time,
in evident fear of being put to death, and in fact a prisoner.--Such
was the fate of the most powerful sovereign that Europe had seen since
Charlemagne. Such was the humiliation of the conqueror, who, but seven
years before, had summoned the continental sovereigns to bow down to
his footstool at Erfurth; and who wrote to Talma the actor these words
of supreme arrogance--"Come to Erfurth, and you shall play before a
pit-full of kings."

From this period, day by day, a succession of measures was adopted by
the government to tighten his chain. He was ordered to set out for the
coast, nominally with the intention of giving him a passage to
America. But we must doubt that intention. Fouché, the head of the
government, had now thrown off the mask which he had worn so many
years. And it was impossible for him to expect forgiveness, in case of
any future return of Napoleon to power. But Napoleon, in America,
would have been at all times within one-and-twenty days of Paris. And
the mere probability of his return would have been enough to make many
a pillow sleepless in Paris. We are to recollect also, that the
English ministry must have been perfectly aware of the arrest of
Napoleon; that St Helena had been already mentioned as a place of
security for his person; and that if it was essential to the safety of
Europe,--a matter about which Fouché probably cared but little; it was
not less essential to the safety of Fouché's own neck,--a matter about
which he always cared very much, that the Ex-Emperor should never set
foot in France again.

The result was, an order from the minister at war, Davoust, Prince of
Eckmuhl, couched in the following terms. We give it as a document of
history.

     "General, I have the honour to transmit to you the subjoined
     decree, which the commission of government desires you to
     notify to the Emperor Napoleon: at the same time informing
     his majesty, that the circumstances are become imperative,
     and that it is necessary for him immediately to decide on
     setting out for the Isle of Aix. This decree has been passed
     as much for the safety of his person as for the interest of
     the state, which ought always to be dear to him. Should the
     Emperor not adopt the above mentioned resolution, on your
     notification of this decree, it will then be your duty to
     _exercise the strictest surveillance_, both with a view of
     preventing his majesty from leaving Malmaion, and of guarding
     against any attempt upon his life. You will station guards at
     all the approaches to Malmaison. I have written to the
     inspector-general of the gendarmerie, and to the commandant
     of Paris, to place such of the gendarmerie and troops as you
     may require at your disposal.

     "I repeat to you, general, that this decree has been adopted
     solely for the good of the state, and the personal safety of
     the Emperor. Its prompt execution is indispensable, as the
     future fate of his majesty and his family depends upon it. It
     is unnecessary to say to you, general, that all your measures
     should be taken with the greatest possible secresy.

            (Signed) "PRINCE OF ECKMUHL,
                Marshal and Minister of War."

     Those documents, which have now appeared, we believe, for the
     first time authentically, will be of importance to the
     historian, and of still higher importance to the moralist.
     Who could have once believed that the most fiery of soldiers,
     the most subtle of statesmen and the proudest of sovereigns,
     would ever be the subject of a rescript like the following?
     It begins with an absolute command that "Napoleon Bonaparte"
     (it has already dropped the emperor) "shall remain in the
     roads of the Isle of Aix till the arrival of passports." It
     then proceeds:--"It is of importance to the well-being of the
     state, which should not be indifferent to him, that he should
     remain till his fate, and that of his family, have been
     definitively regulated. French honour is interested in such
     an issue; but in the mean time every precaution should be
     taken for the personal safety of Napoleon, and that he must
     not be allowed to leave the place of his present sojourn.

            (Signed) "THE DUKE OF OTRANTO.
                THE PRINCE OF ECKMUHL."

A similar document was issued to General Beker, signed by Carnot and
Caulaincourt. Count Montholon remarks, with sufficient justice, on the
signature of Caulaincourt to this paper, that the Emperor would have
been extremely astonished to see that name subscribed to a letter in
which he was called Napoleon--if any thing could have astonished the
former exile of Elba, and the future exile of St Helena.

This must have been a period of the deepest anxiety to the imperial
prisoner. He evidently regarded his life as unsafe; thought that he
discovered in the project of his journey a determination to throw him
either into the hands of assassins or of the French king, and formally
announced his refusal to leave Malmaison "until informed of his fate
by the Duke of Wellington." He was now reduced to the lowest ebb. He
acknowledged himself powerless, hopeless, and utterly dependent on the
will of his conqueror. The bitterness of heart which dictated such
words must have been beyond all description. He was now abandoned by
the few who had followed him from the Elysée.

But time was pressing; Wellington was advancing with rapid steps, and
there was a possibility that he might capture Napoleon at Malmaison.
Troops were sent to burn the neighbouring bridge, and precautions were
taken to prevent the catastrophe. A division of the army coming from
the Vendée halted before the palace, and insisted on seeing Napoleon,
and on being led by him to battle. This was rodomontade, with the
advanced troops of the whole army now within sight of Paris. But it
was enough to betray him into the absurdity of proposing to try
another chance for his crown. Beker was dispatched to Paris to try the
effect of this communication. Fouché gave for answer, the simple fact
that the Prussians were advancing on Versailles. The sitting of the
provisional government would have been worth the hand of a great
painter. Fouché, after sharply rebuking the general for bringing in
his proposal from Malmaison, made him sit down at his side, while he
wrote a peremptory and decided refusal. Carnot was walking gloomily up
and down the room. Caulaincourt, Baron Quinette, and General Grenier,
sat silently around the table. Not a word was uttered except by the
Duke of Otranto. The general received his dispatch and departed. On
passing through the anterooms, he found them filled with generals and
high civil officers, who all expressed but one opinion on the
necessity of getting rid of Napoleon. "Let him set off, let him go,"
was the universal cry. "We can undertake nothing for either his
personal good or Paris." There was now no alternative. Napoleon must
either remain and fall into the hands of Louis XVIII., who had already
proclaimed him a traitor and an outlaw, or he must try to make his
escape by sea. On the 29th of June, at five o'clock in the evening, he
entered the carriage which was to convey him to the coast, leaving
Paris behind, to which he was never to return alive, but to which his
remains have returned in a posthumous triumph twenty-six years after,
on the 15th of September 1840.

On his arrival at Rochfort, all the talent of the French for projects
was immediately in full exercise. Never were there so many castles in
the air built in so short a time. Proposals were made to smuggle the
prisoner to the United States in a Danish merchant vessel, in which,
in case of search, he was to be barrelled in a hogshead perforated
with breathing holes.

Another project was, to put him on board a kind of fishing-boat manned
by midshipmen, and thus escape the English. A third project proposed,
that the two French frigates anchored under the guns of the Isle of
Aix should put to sea together; that one of them should run alongside
Captain Maitland's ship, and attack her fiercely, with the hope of
distracting her attention, even with the certainty of being destroyed,
while the other frigate made her escape with Napoleon on board. This
is what the French would call a _grande pensée_, and quite as heroic
as any thing in a melodrama of the Porte St Martin. But the captain of
the leading frigate declined the distinction, and evidently thought it
not necessary that he and his crew should be blown out of the water,
as they certainly would have been if they came in contact with the
Bellerophon; so this third project perished.

After a few days of this busy foolery, the prisoner, startled by new
reports of the success of the Allies every where, and too sagacious
not to feel that the hands of the French king might be the most
dangerous into which the murderer of the Duc D'Enghien could fall;
looking with evident contempt upon the foolish projects for his
escape, and conscious that his day was done, resolved to throw himself
into the hands of Captain Maitland, the commander of the Bellerophon,
then anchored in Basque roads. On the night of the 10th, Savary and
Las Cases were sent on board the English ship, to inquire whether the
captain would allow a French or neutral ship, or the frigates with
Napoleon on board, to pass free? Captain Maitland simply answered,
that he had received no orders except those ordinarily given in case
of war; but that he should attack the frigates if they attempted to
pass; that if a neutral flag came in his way, he would order it to be
searched as usual. But that, in consequence of the peculiar nature of
the case, he would communicate with the admiral in command.

A circumstance occurred on this occasion, which brought M. Las Cases
into no small disrepute afterwards. The captain hospitably asked Las
Cases and Savary to lunch with him, and, while at table, inquired
whether they understood English. He was answered that they did not;
and the captain, though of course relying upon the answer, made his
observations in English to his officers, while he addressed the
Frenchman in his own tongue. It was afterwards ascertained that Las
Cases, who had been an emigrant for some years in England, understood
English perfectly. Nothing could therefore be more pitiful than his
conduct in suffering the captain to believe that he was ignorant on
the subject, and thus obtain a confidence to which he had no right.
The circumstance, as Count Montholon says,--"was afterwards made a
bitter reproach against Las Cases; the English charging him with a
violation of honour; because, as they affirmed, he had positively
declared that he was unacquainted with their language, when the
question was put to him at the commencement of the conference. This,
however," says Count Montholon, "is not correct." And how does he show
that it is not correct? "The question," says he, "was put
collectively, that is, to both alike, and Savary alone answered in the
negative." Of course the answer was understood collectively, and
comprised M. Las Cases as well as M. Savary. In short, the conduct was
contemptible, and the excuse not much better. Las Cases, of course,
should not have allowed any other person's word to be taken, when it
led to a delusion. It is _possible_ that Savary was unacquainted with
his companion's knowledge of English,--though when we recollect that
Savary was minister of police, and that Las Cases was about the court
of Napoleon, it is difficult to conceive his ignorance on the subject.
But in all instances, there could be no apology for his
fellow-Frenchman's sitting to hear conversations of which he was
supposed, on the credit of Savary's word, and his own silence, to
comprehend nothing.

It happily turns out, however, that all this _dexterity_ had only the
effect of blinding the parties themselves.

"This mystification and piece of diplomatic chicanery"--we use the
language of the volume--"proved, in fact, rather detrimental than
useful; for, no doubt, the information thus gained by _surprise_ from
Captain Maitland and his officers, contributed to induce the Emperor
to decide on surrendering himself to the English." The captain was too
honourable a man to think of practising any chicane on the subject;
but if the two _employés_ overreached themselves, so much the better.

But events now thickened. On the 12th, the Paris journals arrived,
announcing the entrance of the Allies into Paris, and the
establishment of Louis XVIII. in the Tuileries! All was renewed
confusion, consternation, and projects. On the next day Joseph
Bonaparte came to the Isle of Aix, to propose the escape of his fallen
brother in a merchant vessel from Bordeaux, for America, and remain in
his place. This offer was generous, but it could scarcely be accepted
by any human being, and it was refused. But delay was becoming doubly
hazardous. It was perfectly possible that the first measure of the new
government would be an order for his seizure, and the next, for his
execution. On that evening he decided to accept the offer of the
_chasse-marées_, to go on board before morning, and trust to the young
midshipmen and chance for his passage across the Atlantic.

We know no history more instructive than these "last days" of a
fugitive Emperor. That he might have escaped a week before, is
certain, for the harbour was not then blockaded; that he might have
made his way among the channels of that very difficult and obstructed
coast even after the blockade, is possible; that he might have found
his way, by a hundred roads, out of France, or reached the remnant of
his armies, is clear, for all his brothers escaped by land. But that
he still hesitated--and alone hesitated; that this man--the most
memorable for decision, famed for promptitude, for the discovery of
the true point of danger, daring to the height of rashness, when
daring was demanded--should have paused at the very instant when his
fate seemed to be in his own hand, more resembles a preternatural loss
of faculty than the course of nature. His whole conduct on the shore
of France is to be equalled only by his conduct among the ashes of
Moscow,--it was infatuation.

Again the man of decision hesitated; and at four in the morning
General Lallemand and Las Cases were sent on board the Bellerophon
under the pretext of waiting for the admiral's answer, but in reality
to ascertain whether the captain would express _officially_ any pledge
or opinion relative to Napoleon's favourable reception in England;
which Las Cases had conceived him to express in his conversation with
his officers, and of which this M. Las Cases was supposed not to have
understood a syllable.

Captain Maitland's answer was distinct and simple. It was, "that he
had yet received no information, but hourly expected it; that he was
authorized to receive Napoleon on board, and convey him to England,
where, according to his own opinion, he would receive all the
attention and respect to which he could lay any claim." But, to
prevent all presumptions on the subject, adding--"I am anxious that it
should be well understood, that I am expressing only my personal
opinion on this subject, and have in no respect spoken in the name of
the government, having received _no_ instructions from either the
admiralty or the admiral."

It is almost painful to contemplate these scenes. What agonies must
have passed through the heart of such a man, so humbled! What
inevitable contrasts of the throne with the dungeon! What sense of
shame in the humiliation which thus placed him at the disposal of his
own few followers! What sleepless anxiety in those midnight
consultations, in those exposures to public shame, in this sense of
utter ruin, in this terrible despair! If some great painter shall
hereafter rise to vindicate the pencil by showing its power of
delineating the deepest passions of our nature, or some still greater
poet shall come to revive the day of Shakspeare, and exhibit the
tortures of a greater Macbeth, fallen from the highest elevation of
human things into a depth of self-reproach and self-abasement to which
all the powers of human language might be pale,--what a subject for
them were here!

The theatrical habits of the French are singularly unfortunate for a
nation which assumes to take an influential rank in the world. They
deprive them of that capacity for coping with real things which is
essential to all substantial greatness. With them the business of the
world must be all melodrame, and the most commonplace, or the most
serious actions of life, must be connected with scene-shifting,
trap-doors, and the mimic thunders of the stage. Napoleon was now in a
condition the most deeply calculated to force these stern realities of
life on the mind. Yet even with him all was to be dramatic; he was to
throw himself on the clemency of his conqueror, like one of the heroes
of Corneille. England was to stand in admiration of his magnanimous
devotedness. The sovereign was to receive him with astonishment and
open arms, and, after an embrace of royal enthusiasm, he was to be
placed in secure splendour, cheered by the acclamations of a people
hastening to do him homage. In this false and high-coloured view of
things, he wrote the famous and absurd note, in which he pronounced
himself another Themistocles, come to sit by the hearth of the British
people. A manlier, because a more rational view of things, would have
told him that a war, expressly begun with a determination to overthrow
his dynasty, could not be suffered to conclude by giving him the power
of again disturbing the world--that his utter faithlessness prohibited
the possibility of relying on his pledges--the security of the Bourbon
throne absolutely demanded his being finally disabled from disturbing
its authority--England owed it to her allies to prevent a repetition
of the numberless calamities which his reign had inflicted upon
Europe, and owed it to herself to prevent all necessity for the havoc
of a new Waterloo.

The national passion for a _coup de théâtre_ rendered all this
knowledge of no avail, and he flung himself at the feet of the Prince
Regent, with the flattering phraseology of claiming protection "from
the most powerful, the most constant, and the most generous of his
enemies."

The step was now taken. On the 15th of July, at daybreak, he left the
Isle of Aix, and entered one of the boats which was to convey him on
board the Bellerophon. He had still a parting pang to undergo. As he
looked round the shore, a white flag was flying on all the ships and
batteries. All the rest of this curious narrative has been already
given to the world. We have no desire to repeat the details.

Count Montholon, in his fondness for excitement, here states that a
privy council was held on the question, whether the terms of the
Congress of Vienna prevented England from giving up Napoleon to the
vengeance of Louis XVIII., adding that "the dispatches of the Duke of
Wellington urged them to adopt bloody and terrible determinations."
This we utterly disbelieve; and, if we required additional reasons for
our disbelief, it would be in the Count's telling us that the
energetic opposition of the Duke of Sussex alone prevented the
delivery of the prisoner--there not being perhaps any prince, or any
individual of England, less likely to have weight in the councils of
the existing government.

Without presuming to trace the steps of Providence, it is natural and
not unwise to follow them in those leading transactions which give
character to their times, or which complete events decisive of the
fates of eminent men or nations. One of the most characteristic and
abhorred acts of the entire life of the French Emperor, was his
imprisonment of the English who were travelling in his country at the
commencement of his reign. The act was the most treacherous within
human record--it was perfidy on the largest scale. Europe had been
often scandalised by breaches of political faith, but the agents and
the sufferers were sovereigns and nations. But in this instance the
blow fell upon individuals with the most sudden treachery, the most
causeless tyranny, and the most sweeping ruin. Twelve thousand
individuals, travelling under the protection of the imperial laws,
wholly incapable of being regarded by those laws as prisoners, and
relying on the good faith of the government, were seized as felons,
put under duress, separated from their families in England, suddenly
deprived of their means of existence, stopt in the progress of their
professions, plundered of their property, and kept under the most
vigilant surveillance for eleven years.

The retribution now fell, and that retribution exactly in the form of
the crime by which it was drawn down. We give a few extracts of the
document by which Napoleon protested against his detention, as a most
complete, though unconscious indictment against his own act eleven
years before.

Protest at sea, on board the Bellerophon, August 1815--"In the face of
God and man, I solemnly protest against the injury which has been
committed upon me, by the violation of my most sacred rights, in
forcibly disposing of _my person and liberty_.

"I came freely on board the Bellerophon, and _am not a prisoner_,--I
am the _guest of England_.

"I presented myself in good faith, and came to place myself under the
protection of the laws of England. As soon as I set my foot on board
the Bellerophon, I felt myself on the soil of the British people. If
the orders issued by the government to receive myself and my suite
were merely intended as a snare, then they have _forfeited their
bond_. If such an act were really done, it would be in vain for
England in future to speak of her faith, her laws, and her liberty.

"She pretended to offer _the hand of hospitality_ to an enemy, _and
when he had trusted to her fidelity_, she immolated him."

If the _detenus_ at Verdun, and scattered through the various
fortresses of France, had drawn up a petition against the desperate
act which had consigned them to captivity, they might have anticipated
the language with which Napoleon went to the dungeon, that was never
to send him back again amongst mankind.

There was but one preliminary to his departure now to take place. It
was the execution of an order from the Government to examine the
baggage in the strictest manner, and to require the surrender of all
money or jewels of value in the possession of Napoleon and his suite.
Necessary as this act was, for the prevention of bribery, and attempts
to escape from St Helena, not for any undue seizure of private
property, for a most ample allowance was already appointed by the
government for the expenses of the prisoner, this duty seems to have
been most imperfectly performed. As the Count tells us, "the
grand-marshal, gave up 4000 Napoleons, as constituting the Emperor's
chest. We kept secret about 400,000 francs in gold--from three to four
hundred thousand francs in valuables and diamonds, and letters of
credit for more than four million of francs." Whether this immense sum
was overlooked by the extraordinary negligence of those whose duty it
was to fulfil the orders of government, or whether their search was
baffled, the narrative does not disclose. But there can be no question
that the suite were bound to deliver up all that they possessed; and
that there can be as little question that with such sums of money at
his disposal, Napoleon's subsequent complaints of poverty were
ridiculous, and that the subsequent sale of his plate to supply his
table was merely for the purpose of exciting a clamour, and was
charlatanish and contemptible.

We pass rapidly over the details of the voyage. Napoleon spent a
considerable part of his time on the quarter-deck, took opportunities
of conversing affably with the officers, and even with the crew. On one
occasion, after some conversation with the master, he invited him to
dine at the admiral's table. The master declined the invitation, as a
sin against naval etiquette. "Oh! in that case," said Napoleon, "you
must come and dine in my own cabin." The admiral, however, had the good
sense to tell Napoleon, that any one invited by him to the honour of
sitting at his table, was, by that circumstance alone, placed above all
rule of etiquette, and that the master should be welcome to dinner next
day. This conduct, of course, made him very popular on board; but the
chief interest of these important volumes is in the conversations which
he held from time to time with the officers, and especially in the long
details of his military and imperial career, which he dictated at St
Helena, and which make the true novelty and value of the work. In one
of those conversations which he had with them, he referred emphatically
to his own efforts to make France a great naval power. "Unfortunately,"
said he, "I found nobody who understood me. During the expedition to
Egypt, I cast my eyes on Decrés. I reckoned on him for understanding
and executing my projects in regard to the navy. I was mistaken; his
passion was to form a police, and to find out, by means of the
smugglers, every web which your ministers, or the intriguers of
Hartwell, were weaving against me. He had no enlarged ideas; always the
spirit of locality and insignificant detail--paralysing my views." He
then proceeded to state the hopeless condition of the French navy when
he assumed the throne. The navy of Louis XVI. was no longer in
existence; the Republic possessed but four ships of the line; the
taking of Toulon, the battle of the river Jenes in 1793--of Rochefort
in 1794, and finally, the battle of Aboukir, had given the death-blow
to the navy. "Well, notwithstanding the disaster of Trafalgar, which I
owe entirely to the disobedience of Admiral Villeneuve, I left to
France one hundred ships of the line, and 80,000 sailors and marines,
and all this in a reign of ten years." The truth is, that the attempt
to make the French navy was one of the pre-eminent blunders of
Napoleon. France is naturally a great military power, but her people
are not maritime. England is not naturally a great military power, but
her people are maritime. France has an immense land frontier which can
be defended only by a land force. England has no land frontier at all.
The sea is her only frontier, and it, of course, can be defended only
by a fleet. A fleet is not a necessary of existence to France. A fleet
is a necessary of existence to England. It is therefore self-evident
that France only wastes her power in dividing it between her fleet and
her army; and may be a great power, without having a ship; while
England is compelled to concentrate her strength upon her fleet, and
without her fleet must be undone. Thus the law of existence, which is
equivalent to a law of nature, gives the naval superiority to England.
There are symptoms in France at the present day, of falling into
Napoleon's blunder, and of imagining the possibility of her becoming
the naval rival of England. That she may build ships is perfectly
possible, and that she may crowd them with a naval conscription is
equally possible. But the first collision will show her the utter folly
of contending with her partial strength against the power on which
England rests her defence--a struggle between a species of volunteer
and adventurous aggression, and the stern and desperate defence in
which the safety of a nation is supremely involved.

On crossing the Line, the triumph of Neptune was celebrated in the
usual grotesque style. The Deity of the Sea requested permission to
make acquaintance with Napoleon, who received him graciously, and
presented him with five hundred Napoleons for himself and the crew,
upon which he was rewarded with three cheers, and "Long live the
Emperor Napoleon!"

On the 16th of October 1815, the Northumberland cast anchor in the
roads at St Helena. The Count remarks that the 17th, the day on which
he disembarked, reminded him of a disastrous day. It was the
anniversary of the last day of the battle of Leipsig. If distance from
all the habitable parts of the globe were to be the merits of
Napoleon's prison, nothing could have been more appropriate than the
island of St Helena. It was two thousand leagues from Europe, twelve
hundred leagues from the Cape, and nine hundred from any continent. A
volcanic rock in the centre of the ocean.

In the month of April, the frigate Phaeton anchored in the roads,
having the new governor, Sir Hudson Lowe, with his family, on board.
Sir Hudson is now where neither praise nor blame can reach him, but
the choice was unfortunate in the very point for which probably he had
been chosen;--he had been colonel of the Corsican regiment in our
service, had served much in the Mediterranean, and had already been
(as far as we remember) the object of Napoleon's bitterness in some of
his Italian manifestoes. There can be no doubt that the mildest of
governors would have been no favourite with the prisoner of Longwood.
But in the present instance Napoleon's blood boiled at the idea of
being placed under the jurisdiction of the colonel of the Corsican
rangers; and he, accordingly, took every opportunity of exhibiting his
indignation--a sort of feeling which, in a foreigner, and especially
one of southern blood, always amounts to fury.

We pass over a multitude of minor circumstances, though all
characteristic, and all invaluable to the historian of the next
century; but which would retard the more interesting conversations of
the extraordinary captive. On the communication of the convention
signed at Paris in August 1815, declaring him the prisoner of the four
allied powers, and the announcement of the commissioners under whose
charge he was to be placed, Napoleon burst out into a passionate
remonstrance, which, however, he addressed only to the people around
him. On those occasions he always adopted that abrupt and decisive
style which in a Frenchman passes for oracular.

"The expenses of my captivity will certainly exceed ten millions of
francs a-year. It has not been the will of fate that my work should
finish by effecting the social reorganisation of Europe." He then ran
into his old boasting of his probable triumph in his great collision
with the British army. "At Waterloo I ought to have been
victorious--the chances were a hundred to one in my favour; but Ney,
the bravest of the brave, at the head of 42,000 Frenchmen, suffered
himself to be delayed a whole day by some thousands of Nassau troops.
Had it not been for this inexplicable inactivity, the English army
would have been taken _flagrante delicto_, and annihilated without
striking a blow. Grouchy, with 40,000 men, suffered Bulow and Blucher
to escape from him; and finally, a heavy fall of rain had made the
ground so soft that it was impossible to commence the attack at
daybreak. Had I been able to commence early, Wellington's army would
have been trodden down in the defiles of the forest before the
Prussians could have had time to arrive. It was lost without resource.
The defeat of Wellington's army would have been peace, the repose of
Europe, the recognition of the interests of the masses and of the
democracy."

Napoleon was always fluent on this subject; but the only true matter
of surprise is, that so clever a personage should have talked such
nonsense. In the first place, he must have known that Ney with his
40,000 men had been soundly beaten by about half that number, and was
thus unable to move a step beyond Quatre-Bras. In the next, that
Grouchy, instead of suffering the Prussians to escape him, was
gallantly fought by their rear-guard, was unable to make any
impression whatever on them, and if he had not made his escape in the
night, would unquestionably have been crushed to pieces the next day;
and thirdly, as to the English armies being saved by the rain, the
Duke of Wellington fought the French from eleven in the forenoon till
seven in the evening without being driven an inch from the ground. If
the French could not beat him in eight hours, they could not beat him
in as many days. It was not until seven in the evening that the
Prussian guns were heard coming into the field. Even then they were a
mile and a half from Wellington's position. The British then charged,
swept the French before them, Napoleon himself running away amongst
the foremost, leaving 40,000 of his troops on the field or in the
hands of the enemy. It would have been much wiser to have said not a
syllable upon the battle, or much manlier to have acknowledged that he
was more thoroughly beaten than he had ever seen an army beaten
before; and that with 72,000 French veterans in the field, he had been
routed and ruined by 25,000 British, three-fourths of whom had never
fired a shot before in their lives.

We have from time to time some curious acknowledgments of the
political treacheries which formed the actual system of Napoleon's
government, whether consular or imperial. On dictating a note relative
to St Domingo to Count Montholon, he elucidated this policy in the
most unequivocal manner. It will be remembered that, on the peace of
Amiens, he had sent out a powerful fleet and an army of thirty
thousand men to the West Indies. It will also be remembered, that in
reply to the remonstrance of the British government, who naturally
looked on so formidable an armament with considerable suspicion, the
First Consul disclaimed in the most solemn manner all sinister views,
pronounced, with every appearance of sincerity, that his sole object
was the subjection of a French island then in revolt, and when this
object was effected his whole purpose would be accomplished. But in St
Helena, where candour cost nothing, he amply acknowledged the
treachery. "I had two plans," said he, "for St Domingo. The first was
that of acknowledging the power of the blacks, making Toussaint
L'Ouverture governor, and, in fact, making St Domingo a West Indian
vice-royalty. This plan was my favourite, and why? The French flag
would acquire a great development of power in the American waters,
and a variety of expeditions might have been undertaken against
Jamaica and all the Antilles, and against South America, with an army
of thirty thousand blacks trained and disciplined by French officers."

We are to remember that at this time he was at peace with both England
and Spain, whose territories he was thus about to dismember; for we
cannot believe that the affairs of St Domingo were suffered greatly to
occupy his mind. In the busy days from Marengo to the loss of Egypt,
and the conclusion of peace, he had intended to have raised an
universal negro insurrection in our islands. Upon the colours of his
negro army he was to have inscribed "Brave blacks, remember that
France alone recognises your liberty"--which would have been, in fact,
a manifesto, calling upon all the negroes of the West Indies to revolt
without delay. But the negroes of St Domingo, having formed plans of
liberty for themselves, dispatched one of their colonels with a demand
of independence. The chance, therefore, of invading Jamaica through
their means was extinguished at once, and France was punished by the
loss of her greatest colony for ever.

In a conversation with Colonel Wilks, the ex-governor, on taking his
leave, he told him that India had been constantly an object of his
policy--that he had constantly assailed it by negotiations, and would
have reached it by arms, had he been able to come to an understanding
with the Emperor of Russia on the partition of Turkey. He then talked
of his constant wish for peace--a declaration which the colonel
probably received with a smile; and next disclosed a transaction,
which, on any other authority, would have been incredible, but which
amounted to perhaps the boldest and broadest piece of bribery ever
attempted with a distinguished minister.

While the French army was still on the right bank of the Elbe, the
offer of the Austrian mediation was brought by Prince Metternich,
demanding, as a preliminary, the abandonment of the great German
fortresses which still remained in French hands.

"I said to Metternich with indignation," are the words of this
singular conference--"Is it my father-in-law who entertains such a
project? Is it he who sends you to me? How much has England _given
you_, to induce you to play this game against me? Have I not done
enough for your fortune? It is of no consequence--be _frank_--what is
it _you wish_? If _twenty millions_ will not satisfy you, say _what
you wish_?"

He adds, that on this scandalous offer of corruption, Metternich's
sudden sullenness and total silence recalled him to a sense of what he
had just expressed, and that thenceforth he had found this great
minister wholly impracticable. Who can wonder that he did so, or that
the offer was regarded as the deepest injury by a man of honour? But
Napoleon's conception of the matter, to the last, was evidently not
that he had committed an act of bribery, but that he had "mistaken his
man." "It was," as Fouché observed, "_worse_ than a crime, it was a
_blunder_."

One of the absurdities of the crowd who collected anecdotes of
Napoleon, was a perpetual affectation of surprise that he should not
have terminated his imprisonment by his own hand. He was conscious of
the imputation, and it seems to have formed the occasional subject of
his thoughts. But his powerful understanding soon saw through the
sophistry of that species of dramatic heroism, by which a man escapes
"with a bare bodkin" all the duties and responsibilities of his being.

"I have always regarded it," said he, "as a maxim, that a man exhibits
more real courage by supporting calamities, and resisting misfortunes,
than by putting an end to his life. Self-destruction is the act of a
gambler who has lost all, or that of a ruined spendthrift, and proves
nothing but a want of courage."

The attempts to prove that Napoleon wanted personal intrepidity were
at all times childish. His whole career in his Italian campaigns was
one of personal exposure, and from the period when he rose into civil
eminence, he had other responsibilities than those of the mere
general. His life was no longer his own; it was the keystone of the
government. Whether as consul or as emperor, his fall would have
brought down along with it the whole fabric on which the fate of so
many others immediately depended. It is, however, certain, that his
courage was not chivalric, that no gallant fit of glory ever tempted
him beyond the necessary degree of peril, and that he calculated the
gain and loss of personal enterprise with too nice a view as to the
balance of honour and advantage. A man of higher mind--an emperor who
had not forgot that he was a general, would never have deserted his
perishing army in Poland; an emperor who had not forgot that he was a
soldier, would never have sent his Imperial guard, shouting, to
massacre, and stayed himself behind. But to expect this devotion of
courage is to expect a spirit which Napoleon never exhibited; and
which is singular among the military exploits of the south. Napoleon
might have commanded at Platea, but he would never have died at
Thermopylæ.

In days like ours, which begin to familiarize men with the chances of
political convulsion, it may be well worth while to listen to the
conceptions of one who better knew the nature of the French Revolution
than perhaps any among the great actors of the time. Napoleon was
sitting by his fireside, in St Helena, on the 3d of September:--

     "To-day," said he, "is the anniversary of a hideous
     remembrance, the St Bartholomew of the French Revolution--a
     bloody stain, which was the act of the Commune of Paris, a
     rival power of the Legislature, which built its strength upon
     the _dregs of the passions of the people_. * *

     We must acknowledge, that there has been no political change
     without a fit of popular vengeance, as soon as, _for any
     cause whatever_, the mass of the people _enter into action_.
     * *

     General rule:--_No social revolution without terror!_ Every
     revolution is in principle a _revolt_, which time and success
     ennoble and render legal; but of which terror has been one of
     the _inevitable phases_. How, indeed, can we understand, that
     one could say to those who possess fortune and public
     situations, 'Begone, and leave us your fortunes and your
     situations,' without first intimidating them, and rendering
     any defence impossible? The Reign of Terror began, in fact,
     on the night of the 4th of August, when privileges, nobility,
     tithes, the remains of the feudal system, and the fortunes of
     the clergy, were done away with, and _all those remains of
     the old monarchy_ were thrown to the people. Then only did
     the people understand the Revolution, because they gained
     something, and wished to keep it, even at the expense of
     blood."

This language is memorable. It ought to be a lesson to England.
Napoleon here pronounces, that the great stimulant of political
revolution is public robbery. Privileges may be the pretence, but the
real object is plunder; and the progress of reason may be alleged as
the instrument, but the true weapon is terror. In England, we are
preparing the way for a total change. The groundwork of a revolution
is laid from hour to hour; the Aristocracy, the Church, the landed
proprietors, are made objects of popular libel, only preparatory to
their being made objects of popular assault. The League has not yet
taken upon it the office of the Commune of Paris, nor have the nobles,
the clergy, and the bankers, been massacred in the prisons; but when
once the popular passions are kindled by the hopes of national
plunder, the revolution will have begun, and then farewell to the
constitution. The habits of England, we willingly allow, are opposed
to public cruelty; and in the worst excesses, the France of 1793 would
probably leave us behind. But the principle in every nation is the
same--the possessors of property will resist, the plunderers of
property will fight; conflicting banners will be raised, and, after
desperate struggles, the multitude will be the masters of the land.

There can be nothing more evident, than that some of the leaders in
these new movements contemplate the overthrow of the monarchy. There
may be mere dupes in their ranks, the spirit of money-making may be
the temper of others; but there are darker minds among them which
scarcely condescend to conceal their intentions. The presidentship of
a British republic would be not without its charms for the demagogue;
and the bloody revolution of 1641, might rapidly find its still more
sanguinary counterpart in the revolution of the nineteenth century. We
have the history in the annals of France, and the commentator is the
"child and champion of Jacobinism"--Napoleon.

His impression that revolution always fixed its especial object in
plunder, found another authority in one of the peculiar agents of
public disturbance. "Barrère," said Napoleon, "affirmed, and truly,
_Le peuple bat monnaie sur la place Louis XV._" ("The people coin
money in the square of Louis XV.")--alluding to the guillotine, which
enriched the treasury by the death of the nobles, whose wealth became
the property of the nation.

He proceeded, with equal decision and truth: "A revolution is always,
whatever some may think, one of the greatest misfortunes with which
the Divine anger can punish a nation. It is the scourge of the
generation which brings it about; and for a long course of years, even
a century, it is the misfortune of all, though it may be the advantage
of individuals."

Napoleon spent the chief portion of his time in dictating the
recollections of his government, and general defences of his conduct.
Those dictations were sometimes written down by Montholon, and
sometimes by Las Cases. But in November 1816, an order was issued for
the arrest of Las Cases, and his dismissal from the island, in
consequence of his attempting to send, without the knowledge of the
governor, a letter to Prince Lucien, sowed up in the clothes of a
mulatto. This arrest made a prodigious noise among the household of
Napoleon, and was turned to good advantage in England, as an instance
of the cruelty of his treatment. Yet it seems perfectly probable that
the whole was a trick of the Ex-emperor himself, and a mere
contrivance for the purpose of sending to Europe Las Cases as an agent
in his service.

The security of Napoleon's imprisonment was essential to the peace of
Europe; and no precaution could be justly regarded as severe, which
prevented an outbreak so hazardous to the quiet of the world. Among
those precautions, was the strictest prohibition of carrying on any
correspondence with Europe, except through the hands of the governor.
The whole household were distinctly pledged to the observance of this
order, and any infraction of it was to be punished by instant arrest
and deportation from the island.

An order had been sent from England to reduce the number of the
household by four domestics; and it seems not improbable that
Napoleon's craft was suddenly awakened to the prospect of establishing
a confidential intercourse with the faction whom he had left behind.
But the four domestics were obviously inadequate to this object, and
some person of higher condition was necessary. Las Cases some time
before had attempted to send a letter to Europe by the mulatto. The
fellow had been detected, and was threatened with a flogging if he
repeated the experiment; yet it was to this same mulatto that Las
Cases committed another letter, which the mulatto immediately carried
to the governor, and Las Cases was arrested in consequence. Napoleon
was instantly indignant, and vented his rage against the cruelty of
the arrest, at the same time expressing his scorn at the clumsiness of
Las Cases in delivering his letter to so awkward a messenger. But,
whatever might be his pretended wonder at the want of dexterity in the
Count, it was exceeded by his indignation at the conduct of the
governor. "Longwood," he writes in a long and formal protest against
his detention, "is wrapped in a veil which he would fain make
impenetrable, in order to hide _criminal_ conduct. This peculiar care
to conceal matters gives room to suspect the most _odious
intentions_." This was obviously a hint that the governor's purpose
was to put him secretly to death: a hint which neither Napoleon nor
any other human being could have believed.

But in alluding to the arrest of the Count, he touches closely on the
acknowledgment of the intrigue.

     "I looked through the window," he said, "and saw them taking
     you away. A numerous staff pranced about you. I imagined I
     saw some South Sea Islanders dancing round the prisoners
     whom they were about to devour!" After this Italian
     extravaganza, he returns to his object. "Your services were
     necessary to me. You alone could read, speak, and understand
     English. Nevertheless, I request you, and in case of need,
     command you, to require the governor _to send you to the
     Continent_. He _cannot refuse_, because he has no power over
     you, except through the voluntary document which you signed.
     It would be great _consolation to me_ to know that you were
     on your way to more happy countries."

This letter was carried by Bertrand to the governor for Las Cases, and
"the wished-for effect was produced on Sir Hudson Lowe, as soon as he
saw the terms in which the Emperor expressed his regret." We are
fairly entitled to doubt the sincerity of the wish; for on Sir
Hudson's offering to let Las Cases remain at Longwood, a new obstacle
instantly arose,--the Count declared that "to remain was utterly
impossible;" his honour was touched; he absolutely must go; or, as
Count Montholon describes this happy punctilio,--"Unfortunately, Las
Cases, influenced by extreme susceptibility of honour, thought himself
_bound to refuse_ the governor's offer. He felt himself too deeply
outraged by the insult; he explained this to the grand-marshal, and we
were obliged to renounce the hope of seeing him again." Then came the
finale of this diplomatic farce. "It was in vain that the Emperor sent
Bertrand and Gourgaud to persuade him to renounce his determination;
_he was resolved to leave the island_; and on the 29th of December
1816, he quitted St Helena."

We have but little doubt that the whole was a mystification. The gross
folly of sending a secret dispatch by the same man of colour who had
been detected by the governor, and threatened with punishment for the
attempt to convey a letter; the bustle made on the subject at
Longwood; the refusal of Las Cases to comply with Napoleon's request
to remain, which, if it had been sincere, would have been equivalent
to a command; and the conduct of Las Cases immediately on his arrival
Europe, his publications and activity, amply show the object of his
return. But a simple arrangement on the governor's part disconcerted
the whole contrivance. Instead of transmitting Las Cases to Europe,
Sir Hudson Lowe sent him to the Cape; where he was further detained,
until permission was sent from England for his voyage to Europe. On
his arrival, Napoleon's days were already numbered, and all dexterity
was in vain. We have adverted to this transaction chiefly for the
credit which it reflects on the governor. It shows his vigilance to
have been constantly necessary; it also shows him to have been willing
to regard Napoleon's convenience when it was possible; and it further
shows that he was not destitute of the sagacity which was so fully
required in dealing with the _coterie_ at Longwood.

Napoleon's habits of dictating his memoirs must have been formidable
toil to his secretaries. He sometimes dictated for twelve or fourteen
hours, with scarcely an intermission. He spoke rapidly, and it was
necessary to follow him as rapidly as he spoke, and never to make him
repeat the last word. His first dictation was a mere revival of his
recollections, without any order. The copy of his first dictation
served as notes to the second, and the copy of this second became the
subject of his personal revision; but he, unfortunately for his
transcribers, made his corrections almost always in pencil, as he thus
avoided staining his fingers--no woman being more careful in
preserving the delicacy of her hands.

Those dictations must be regarded as the studied defences of Napoleon
against the heavy charges laid against his government.

We have now given a general glance at the career of the French
Emperor, as exhibited to us in these Recollections. He strikingly
showed, in all the details of his government, the characteristics of
his own nature. Impetuous, daring, and contemptuous of the feelings of
mankind, from the first hour of his public life, his government was,
like himself, the model of fierceness, violence, and disregard of
human laws. Whatever was to him an object of ambition, was instantly
in his grasp; whatever he seized was made the instrument of a fresh
seizure; and whatever he possessed he mastered in the fullest spirit
of tyranny. He was to be supreme; the world was to be composed of
_his_ soldiery, his serfs, courtiers, and tools. The earth was to be
only an incalculable population of French slaves. There was to be but
one man free upon the globe, and that man Napoleon.

We find, in this romance of power, the romance of his education. It
has been often said, that he was Oriental in all his habits. His plan
of supremacy bore all the stamp of Orientalism--the solitary pomp, the
inflexible will, the unshared power, and the inexorable revenge. The
throne of the empire was as isolated as the seraglio. It was
surrounded by all the strength of terror and craft, more formidable
than battlements and bastions. Its interior was as mysterious as its
exterior was magnificent; no man was suffered to approach it but as
soldier or slave; its will was heard only by the roaring of cannon;
the overthrow of a minister, the proclamation of a war, or the
announcement of a dynasty crushed and a kingdom overrun, were the only
notices to Europe of the doings within that central place of power.

But, with all the genius of Napoleon, he overlooked the true
principles of supremacy. All power must be pyramidal to be secure. The
base must not only be broad, but the gradations of the pile must be
regular to the summit. With Napoleon the pyramid was inverted--it
touched the earth but in one point; and the very magnitude of the mass
resting upon his single fortune, exposed it to overthrow at the first
change of circumstances.

Still, he was an extraordinary being. No man of Europe has played so
memorable a part on the great theatre of national events for the last
thousand years. The French Revolution had been the palpable work of
Providence, for the punishment of a long career of kingly guilt,
consummated by an unparalleled act of perfidy, the partition of
Poland. The passions of men had been made the means of punishing the
vices of government. When the cup was full, Napoleon was sent to force
it upon the startled lips of Prussia, Austria, and Russia. The three
conspirators were crushed in bloody encounters--the capitals of the
three were captured--the provinces of the three were plundered--and
the military pride of the three was humiliated by contemptuous and
bitter conditions of peace.

But, when the destined work was done, the means were required no more.
When the victims were broken on the wheel, the wheel and the
executioner were alike hurried from the sight of man. The empire of
France was extinguished by the same sovereign law which had permitted
its existence. The man who had guided the empire in its track of
devastation--the soul of all its strength, of its ambition, and its
evil--was swept away. And as if for the final moral of human
arrogance, France was subjected to a deeper humiliation than had been
known in the annals of national reverses since the fall of Rome; and
the ruler of France was plunged into a depth of defeat, a bitterness
of degradation, an irreparable ruin, of which the civilized world
possesses no example. His army destroyed in Russia by the hand of Him
who rules the storm--the last forces of his empire massacred in
Belgium--his crown struck off by the British sword--his liberty
fettered by British chains--the remnant of his years worn away in a
British dungeon, and his whole dynasty flung along with him into the
political tomb, were only the incidents of the great judicial process
of our age. The world has been suffered to return to peace; while the
sepulchre of this man of boundless but brief grandeur has been
suffered to stand in the midst of that nation which most requires the
great lesson--that ambition always pays for its splendour by its
calamities; that the strength of a nation is in the justice of its
councils; and that he "who uses the sword shall perish by the sword!"

FOOTNOTE:

[62] _History of the Captivity of Napoleon at St. Helena._ By GENERAL
COUNT MONTHOLON. 2 vols. London: Colburn.



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





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