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Title: The American Quarterly Review, No. 17, March 1831
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 "The American Quarterly Review, No. 17, March 1831" ***

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MARCH, 1831.






MARCH, 1831.

ART. I.--_France in 1829-30._ By LADY MORGAN. _Author of_ "_France in
1816_," "_Italy_," _&c. &c. &c._ 2 vols. J. & J. Harper: New-York.

It was that solemn hour of the night, when, in the words of the poet,
"creation sleeps;"--a silence as of the dead reigned amid the streets
and alleys of the great city of Dublin, interrupted, ever and anon, only
by the solitary voice of the watchman, announcing the time, and the
prospects of fair or foul weather for the ensuing day. Even the noise of
carriages returning from revels and festive scenes of various kinds, was
no longer heard--

    "The diligence of trades and noiseful gain,
    And luxury more late, asleep were laid:
    All was the night's:"

All! save the inhabitants of one mansion, situated in Kildare street,
who were still invading nature's rest. Why were they alone up and
stirring? Why were they debarred from taking their needful repose, and
obliged to employ the time which should have been devoted to it, in
active occupation? The reason is easily understood. Early in the
morning, the master and mistress were to set off on a trip to Paris, and
there was no small quantity of "packing up" yet to be done. Trunks
innumerable lay scattered about a romantically furnished bed-chamber;
some were partly filled with different articles of female habiliment;
others seemed to be appropriated to literary purposes, and books without
number, and of all descriptions, were lying around them--here was a pile
of novels, amongst which, the titles of "The Novice of St. Dominick,"
"Ida of Athens," "The Wild Irish Girl," &c. &c. could be
discerned--there was a heap of "Travels," composed of "Italy," "France
in 1816," and others:--a couple of volumes, entitled "Life and Times of
Salvator Rosa," were reposing in graceful dignity on the open lid of a
portmanteau. Several maids were exerting all their activity to get every
thing properly arranged; all was bustle and preparation.

Adjoining the chamber was a boudoir, furnished likewise in the most
romantic manner, in which sat a lady of even a more romantic appearance
than that of either of the apartments. How shall we describe her? She
certainly (we must tell the truth, and shame you know whom) did not seem
to be of that delightful age, in which a due regard to veracity would
allow us to apply to her the line of the poet, "Le printemps dans sa
fleur sur son visage est peint." Her cheeks, to be sure, were deeply
tinged with a roseate hue, but it was not that with which nature loves
to paint the face of spring; the colour proved too palpably, that it had
been placed there by the exercise of those "curious arts" with which the
sex are enabled to revive dim charms, "and triumph in the bloom of
fifty-five." Her dress was romantic in the extreme. Of the unity of
_time_, at all events, it was in direct violation, for its "gay rainbow
colours," and modish arrangement, were out of all keeping with her
matronly age. One would easily have inferred from it that she was fully
impressed with the conviction, that the years which had glided over her
head, were not of the old-fashioned kind that contain twelve months, or
at least, that she did not consider the lapse of time as at all
calculated to impair the attractions of her physiognomy, however
prejudicial its effect might be upon the faces of the rest of the female
part of the creation. In her countenance there was such an expression of
blended affectation and self-complacency, that it was impossible to look
upon it without feeling an inclination to smile. She was sitting near a
prettily ornamented writing-desk, surmounted by a mirror (in which, by
the way, she always found her greatest admirer), with her head reclining
on her open hand, her elbow resting on a volume which bore on its back
the appropriate title of "The Book of the Boudoir," and her eyes
directed, we need hardly say where,--for who does not love to be
admired? Her _reflections_ were suddenly disturbed by a knock at the
door, which she answered by an "Entrez!" "_Ah, Sir Charles, c'est
vous_," she lisped, as the door opened, and a person in male attire
entered, "_eh bien_, is every thing _prêt_ for our _voyage_?" "Yes, my
dear"--we presume, from this appellation, that the gentleman was her
_caro sposo_, as she might say,--"or at least every thing will be ready
shortly; but let me essay again to dissuade you from this foolish
expedition"--"_de grâce_, Sir Charles, _ayez pitié de moi_; do not
pester me with your _bétises_; I am determined to _faire une autre
visite_ to my _cher_ Paris, so that all you may say will be _tout à
fait inutile_." "Well," sighed the _caro sposo_, "just as you please,"
and he returned to direct the "packing up," while she began to revel in
the anticipations of triumphs, both personal and intellectual, which she
intended to gain in the fashionable and literary capital of the world.
Alas! "oft expectation fails, and most oft there where most it

Who is this lady? Had she lived in the days of Juvenal, it might have
been supposed that he had her in his eye, when he drew, in his sixth
satire, the picture of the "greatest of all plagues"--had her existence
been cast in the time of the prince of French comic writers, she would
undoubtedly have been presumed to be the prototype of the heroine in one
of his most exquisite comedies; we need hardly say, therefore, that she
is, in the words of Boileau, "_une précieuse_,

    "Reste de ces esprits jadis si renommés
    Que d'un coup de son art Molière a diffamés."

Pity, then, kind reader, pity the lot of the unfortunate gentleman whom
we have just introduced to your acquaintance. A further account of this
dame may prove not unacceptable.

Her father was an honest actor, accustomed to afford great delight to
those deities who inhabit the one shilling galleries of English and
Irish theatres, and to receive, himself, vast gratification from
worshipping at the shrine of Bacchus. The daughter having given early
indications of quickness and pertness, came to be considered quite a
genius by her family and friends, whose natural partiality soon induced
her to entertain the same opinion. Determined, accordingly, not to hide
her light under a bushel, she made her appearance before the world as an
authoress, from which it may very reasonably be inferred that she had
not yet attained the years of discretion. Her _début_, of course, was as
a wanderer in the realms of imagination, alias, a novel-writer, and in
this capacity she continued to make the public stare for a series of
years. We say stare, for we can find no more appropriate word for
expressing the feelings which her fictions are calculated to excite.
With plots of almost incomprehensible absurdity, they combine a style
more inflated than any balloon in which Madame Blanchard ever sailed
through the regions of air--a language, or rather jargon, composed of
the pickings of nearly every idiom that ever did live, or is at present
in existence, and sentiments which would be often of a highly
mischievous tendency, if they were not rendered ridiculous by the manner
in which they are expressed. The singularity of these productions
excited a good deal of sensation, and, if we believe her own words, she
was placed by them "in a _definite_ rank among authors, and in no
undistinguished circle of society." In some of the principal journals,
however, the lady was severely taken to task, at the same time that she
was counselled to obtain for herself a partner in weal and wo, by which
she might be brought down from her foolish vagaries, to the sober
realities of domestic duty. Wonderful to relate, she followed the advice
of those whom her vanity must have taught her to consider as her
bitterest foes, namely critics,--and as

    "Nought but a genius can a genius fit,
    A wit herself, Amelia weds a wit."

This wit was a regular knight of the pestle and mortar--a physician,
whose pills and draughts had acquired for him the enviable right of
placing that dignified appellation, Sir, before his Christian name, by
which our authoress became entitled to be addressed as "Your Ladyship,"
as much as if she had married an Earl or a Marquis. Oh! how delighted
the ci-devant plain "Miss" must have been at hearing the servants say to
her, "Yes, my lady,"--"No, my lady."--The year in which the ceremony was
performed that gave her a lord and master, we cannot precisely
ascertain; but as the happy pair favoured the capital of France with
their presence in 1816, it may not be unreasonable to suppose, that they
went there to spend the honeymoon. Miraculous as are the changes which
matrimony sometimes operates, it was powerless in its influence upon her
Ladyship's propensities, and, consequently, not very long after
returning to her "_maison bijou_" in Dublin, she put forth a quarto!
with the magnificent title of "France." There are phenomena in the
physical world, in the moral world, in the intellectual world, but this
book was a phenomenon that beat them all. It was absolutely wonderful
how so much ignorance, nonsense, vanity, and folly, could be compressed
within the compass even of a quarto. All the sense that could be
discerned in it, was contained in four or five essays, upon Love, Law
and Physic, and Politics, contributed by Sir the husband. Being anxious
that "France" should have a companion, she subsequently made an
expedition to the land of the Dilettanti, in company with the dear man
who had made her, "she _trusts_, a respectable, and she is _sure_, a
happy mistress of a family," and forthwith "Italy" appeared to sustain
her well-earned reputation for qualities, which she has the singular
felicity of possessing without exciting envy. But her "never ending,
still beginning" pen, was not satisfied with two volumes as the fruits
of her Italian campaigning, especially as there happened to be a goodly
quantity of memoranda in the "diary" which had not yet been turned to
any use. Some subject, therefore, was to be hit upon for another
publication, in which they could be inserted, when beat out into a
sizeable shape; and what could be better adapted for that purpose than
the biography of a great Italian artist? The life of poor Salvator Rosa
was, in consequence, attempted. Just think of making one of the
greatest geniuses that ever lived, a peg to hang notes upon! The next
offspring of her Ladyship's brain, was, we believe, another novel, which
was as like its predecessors as possible. In the period that elapsed
between this birth, and the moment in which we have had the honour of
introducing her to our readers, her literary family was increased by
another child, with the delightful name of "The Book of the Boudoir."

We hope we have not been understood as meaning to insinuate, that
because her Ladyship is the mother of a couple of dozen of volumes, she
is on that account a _précieuse ridicule_. This was far, very far from
our intention. None can take more pleasure than ourselves in rendering
all homage to genuine female talent, employed for useful and honourable
purposes, or be more willing to acknowledge the peculiar excellence by
which its productions are frequently marked. Were it our pleasant duty
at present to notice the works of an Edgeworth, a Hemans, a Mitford, a
Sedgwick, or of any others of that fair and brilliant assemblage, who
reflect so great a lustre upon the literature of this age, we should use
language as eulogistic as their warmest admirers could desire. But we
have to do now with a person of a very different description from those
bright ornaments of their sex--with one in whose mind, whatever flowers
Nature may originally have planted, have been almost completely choked
by the rank weeds of ignorance, presumption, frivolity, and vanity
beyond measurement--who, in a list of works as long, to use one of her
own delicate illustrations, as "Leporello's catalogue of Don Juan's
mistresses," has given little or no aid to the cause of virtue
generally, or evinced the slightest anxiety to improve and benefit her
sex, but has devoted all her faculties to the erection of an altar on
which she might worship herself, and only herself--who has even afforded
cause, by the frequently extreme levity of her expressions, for the
charge of lending countenance to licentiousness and impiety--whose
writings, in fine, are calculated to inflict serious injury upon the
tastes, the understandings, and the hearts of her youthful female
readers, by accustoming them to a vicious and ridiculous style, by
filling their minds with false and perverted sentiments and wrong
impressions upon some of the most important matters, and by setting
before them the example of a woman who boasts of being a member of no
undistinguished circle of society, and yet constantly violates those
laws of delicacy and refinement, the full observance of which is
indispensable for every female who aspires to the name and character of
a lady.

Pale Aurora began now to appear, "_Tiphoni croceum linquens cubile_," in
vulgar parlance, day began to break. Behold our couple setting forth on
their Parisian expedition. Some months afterwards, the "_maison
bijou_," in Kildare street, again was illumined by the presence of our
fair traveller, whose pen was soon mended, dipped in ink, and busily
employed. In due time its labours were brought to a termination, and two
goodly volumes were ushered into the light of day, purporting to contain
an account of "France in 1829-30." These are the identical volumes which
it is our design in this article to notice.

"_Facit indignatio versus_," exclaimed the old Roman satirist, and
"indignation makes us write," would we exclaim, in assigning our motives
for devoting a number of our pages to "France in 1829-30," could we for
a moment be persuaded that our readers would credit the assertion. It
seems to us, that we already behold every one of them smiling in
derision, and giving an incredulous shake of the head, at the bare idea
of a cold-blooded reviewer being actuated by indignant feelings to place
his critical lance in rest, and run a course against an unfortunate
author. We must, nevertheless, be permitted to protest, that we do feel
a considerable quantity of very honest and virtuous indignation against
the trash last put forth by _Miladi_--quite as much, we are sure, as
impelled Juvenal to the composition of his searing satires. We may be
told, however, that we are waging battle with a lady, and that we should
be upon our guard not to give fresh cause for the exclamation, that "the
age of chivalry is gone." A lady, true; but, when in your boasted "age
of chivalry," persons of her sex buckled on armour and rushed into the
_melée_, were they spared by the courteous knights with whom they
measured swords? Did not Clorinda receive her death wound from the hand
of Tancred? And why should the Amazon who wields the pen, be more gently
dealt with than she who meddles with cold iron? In literature, as in
war, there is no distinction of sex. We hope, therefore, we shall not be
accused of ungallant, or anti-chivalric bearing, on account of the blows
we may inflict upon the literary person of a most daring Thalestris,
especially as her vanity is a panoply of proof.

In her preface, Lady M. says, that a second work on France from her pen
could only be justified by the novelty of its matter, or by the merit of
its execution. Then do we pronounce this second work, this "France in
1829-30," to be the most unjustifiable imposition on the good nature of
the reading community that ever was practised. Its matter is nothing
more nor less than Miladi herself; and is she a novelty? Something less
than half a century ago, her Ladyship undoubtedly was a novelty, and one
too of an extraordinary kind. As to the "merit of its execution," it is
quite sufficient to know that it is the work of Lady Morgan, to form an
idea of that requisite for its "justification." Out of thine own mouth
have we condemned thee. The fact is, that "France in 1829-30," is
almost, the counterpart of "France in 1816," and the same remarks may
be made concerning it which we have already applied to the latter. All
the information we could discover we had obtained from it on finishing
its perusal, was that its author had improved in neither wisdom,
knowledge, nor modesty, since her first visit to the land after which
both of these productions have been christened. France! and what right
have they to that name? Would it not induce one to suppose, that their
author had at least travelled through the greater portion of that
beautiful country, and eked out a number of her pages from the notes,
such as they might be, made during the tour? And yet her Ladyship, on
both occasions, went to Paris by the high road of Calais, remained in
the capital a few months, and then returned by another high road. Even
"Paris in 1816," "Paris in 1829-30," would be titles with which these
publications would possess scarcely more affinity, than that by which
children, on whom the preposterous fondness of their parents has
bestowed the high-sounding appellations of warriors and monarchs, are
connected with those worthies. Their only appropriate names would be,
"Lady Morgan in 1816," "Lady Morgan in 1829-30;" for what information do
they give about France or Paris, and what information do they _not_ give
about Lady Morgan? they even let us into the secrets of her Ladyship's
wardrobe. It was Paris that saw Lady Morgan, and not Lady Morgan that
saw Paris, in the same way as, according to Dr. Franklin, it was
Philadelphia that took Sir William Howe, and not Sir William Howe that
took Philadelphia.

To collect materials for a book of travels, it is necessary to be all
eyes and ears with regard to every thing but one's self. Her Ladyship,
however, was just the reverse throughout the whole period of her absence
from Kildare street,--it seems always to have been her object to
attract, and not to bestow, attention. In the volumes before us, it is
her perpetual endeavour to win admiration by making known the admiration
she entertains for herself, as well as that which she supposes she
excites in others. They are consequently, in great measure, filled with
what was said to Lady Morgan, and what Lady Morgan did and said during
her last visit to Paris. While discoursing about anything else than
herself, she appears to be on thorns until she gets back to that all
absorbing subject, and no matter what is the title of the chapter, she
generally contrives, by hook or by crook, to bring herself into it as
the main object of interest. The poor reader is thus often sadly
disappointed in the expectations he may form of deriving pleasure or
information from various parts of her work, in consequence of the
promises held out by their "headings." He almost always eventually
discovers, that however he may have been induced to anticipate a meeting
with other persons or matters, it is still "Monsieur Tonson come
again." We must confess, that it is rather too bad to be _Morbleued_ in
this way; though it is but fair to acknowledge, that her Ladyship is not
an intentional tormentor, like the malicious wags by whom the
unfortunate Frenchman was teased out of house and home. On the contrary,
her design is one altogether consonant to the general benevolence of her
character. It is to give pleasure; and as her greatest delight arises
from the contemplation of herself, she has presumed, naturally enough if
we may believe the philosophers, that the same cause will produce the
same effect upon the rest of the world. All her pictures, therefore,
like those of the painter who doated upon his mistress to such a degree
as to introduce her face into every one of his works, contain the object
of her idolatry, either prominently in the foreground, or so ingeniously
placed in the background, as to be quite as well fitted to draw
attention.--But it is time to follow her in some of her peregrinations.

On a certain day of the year 1829, which she has not had the goodness to
designate, she arrived at Calais. She was accompanied by an Irish
footman,--not, we presume, the "_illiterate literatus_," whom she has
immortalized in her first "France,"--and by a person whom she once or
twice alludes to in her volumes; first, by acknowledging her obligations
to a "Sir C. M." for some articles which had been contributed by him to
swell the dimensions of her work; and, secondly, by mentioning that
somebody sent a "flask of genuine _potteen_," to her Ladyship's great
delight, "with Mr. Somebody's compliments to Sir C. M." As there is an
individual designated once or twice also as "my husband," we have shrewd
suspicions that he and this Sir C. M. are one and the same being. The
first thing that Miladi does at Calais, is to experience a "burst of
agreeable sensations;" and the next, to feel a considerable degree of
surprise at being delighted again with that renowned place--renowned for
having been several times visited by Lady Morgan, besides other minor
causes of celebrity, such as its sieges, and its having been the place
where Yorick commenced his sentimental journey; but these have been
completely forgotten since the year 1816. After her "little heart" had
been fluttered by those agreeable and wonderful sensations, the nature
of its palpitations was unfortunately changed by the indignation with
which it was filled on her discovering "how English" every thing
appeared. "English carpets, and English cleanliness; English delf and
English damask," with various other _Englishiana_, gave such a John Bull
aspect to the room of the hotel into which she was ushered, that she was
on the point of swooning, when her ears were suddenly assailed by a loud
sound--Gracious heavens! What noise is that? Her delicate little head
is in a twinkling thrust out of the window, and she beholds,--oh horror
of horrors--she beholds a mail-coach, built on the regular English plan,
cantering into the yard, with all its concomitants completely _à
l'Anglaise_--"horses curvetting, and not a hair turned--a whip that
'tips the silk' like a feather--'ribbons,' not ropes--a coachman, all
capes and castor--a guard that cries 'all right,'" and who was at that
moment puffing most manfully into a "reg'lar mail-coach horn." This was
too much, and her Ladyship would inevitably have been driven distracted,
or, at least, have gone into hysterics, had not a most delicious idea
interposed its aid, and she exclaimed, "What luck to have written _my_
France, while France was still so French!"--and what luck, say we, to
have so commodious a safety-valve as vanity, by means of which to let
off the superabundant steam of one's ire!

Now, as to her Ladyship's having written her "France," while _France_
was still "so French," this we do not deny; but we do deny that _her_
France itself is "so French." It would be an affair of some considerable
difficulty, in our humble opinion, to find any thing French either about
it or the "France" we are now reviewing, except their titles, and
innumerable scraps of the French language, not unfrequently so expressed
and so applied that they would do honour to Mrs. Malaprop herself.

Lady M.'s fondness for generalizing, has led her to relate this
apparition of the "Bang-up" in such a way as would induce any one who
did not know better, to suppose that the "Coach" had entirely superseded
the "Diligence" upon the French roads. Truly would such a change be a
cause of regret; for the traveller in France would thus be deprived of a
fruitful source of amusement. But we have the pleasure of announcing,
for the satisfaction of such of our readers as may entertain the design
of paying a visit to that country, that the coach which Lady Morgan saw,
was the only vehicle of the kind with which her eyes could have been
annoyed. We speak _understandingly_ on the subject, as we happened to be
in France about the same time as her Ladyship. This coach, which, if we
recollect aright, was called the Telegraph, and not the "Bang-up," was a
speculation of some Englishman, who ran it for a short time between
Boulogne and Calais, but without much success. The old national vehicle
had too strong a hold upon the affections of the most national people in
the world, to be pushed from the field by any foreign opponent, and the
slow, sure, and comfortable Diligence kept on the even tenor of its way,
while the dashing, rapid Telegraph arrived prematurely at the end of its

We do not deem ourselves competent to decide upon so momentous a subject
as the respective merits of the English and French stages, to give them
our technical appellation; but it may be remarked as perhaps somewhat
singular, that with regard to comfort--a matter respecting which the
French are as noted for their general heedlessness as the English are
for their almost uniform concern--the Diligence can lay claim to
unquestionable superiority over the coach. On the other hand, the coach
is constructed in such a way as to possess far greater facilities for
rapidity of locomotion,--a quality which it might be supposed the quick
vivacious temperament of the French would especially prize in their
conveyances. As to appearance also, the English vehicle is certainly a
good deal better off than the French. Nothing, indeed, that a stranger
may have heard or read about the latter, can prepare him for it
sufficiently, to prevent him on first beholding it from giving way to
something more than a smile. It is not, however, so much the mere
machine itself that operates upon his risible faculties, as the whole
equipage, or _atalage_,--the scare-crow horses, that seem to have been
once the property of the keeper of some museum by whom their bones have
been linked together and covered with skin as well as they might be,
without inserting something between as a substitute for flesh; the
non-descript gear by which these living anatomies are kept together and
attached to the vehicle, composed of rope, leather, iron, steel, brass,
and every thing else that could by any possibility be used for the
purpose; the queer-looking postillion, with his long cue, huge boots,
and pipe, all combine with the grotesque appearance of the Diligence
itself, to form an _ensemble_ irresistibly ludicrous.

What a difference, too, there is in the facility with which they get
"under weigh." One crack of the coachman's whip, causes his fine animals
to give "a long pull, a strong pull, and a pull together," and away you
whirl in an instant. But the traveller in France does not find starting
so easy a matter. He gets into the Diligence; every thing seems ready.
The passengers are all in their places, and have saluted each other with
true French politeness, except some gruff John Bull sitting in a corner
seat and eyeing his associates with mingled scorn and distrust--the five
or six apologies for horses are standing in an attitude of the greatest
patience, waiting for the signal to make an attempt at putting one foot
before the other--the _conducteur_, a person who has the supreme
direction of the movements of the Diligence, is in his place on the
top--the boots in which the legs of the postillion are buried, are
dangling on both sides of the wheel horse on the left--crack! goes his
whip--a jingling sound responds, caused by the endeavours of the
"cattle" to advance--"mais que diable"--crack! crack! crack!--something
like motion is experienced, when there is a sudden stop, and the
conducteur is seen descending from his eminence, muttering sundry
expressions of no very gentle nature--"what the devil's the matter now,"
growls a more than bass voice out of one window--"qu'est ce que c'est,
conducteur," simultaneously demand a treble and a tenor from another
window--"rien, Madame," the answer is always addressed to the lady,
"rien du tout," he replies whilst endeavouring to repair some part of
the "rigging" that could not stand the efforts of the poor beasts to
move from their position. At length, however, you get fairly under
weigh, with about a four knot breeze, and continue to make some progress
for an hour or two amidst a noise caused by the rumbling of the vehicle,
the creaking, jingling, rattling, and clanking, of the _atalage_, the
unceasing crack of the whip, and the chattering of your companions, to
which the sounds at Babel were music. The movement then becomes
_adagio_, and soon afterwards the conducteur's voice is heard, begging
the passengers in all parts of the vehicle to descend. Wondering what is
the matter, you get out with the rest, and find the cause of this
commotion to be a _grande Montagne_--anglicè, a little hill--in mounting
which, the tender care that is taken of the animals upon the road,
however much the state of their flesh shows it is diminished in the
stable, renders it indispensable that they should be relieved of every
possible weight. To this inconvenience you are subjected on approaching
almost every little elevation, the like of which in England or the
United States, would not cause the slightest diminution of speed. But it
must be confessed, that occasionally, a hill is to be passed of a
magnitude which the steeds could never surmount without diminishing
their load, and then the notice that is said to have been affixed to one
of the Diligences, may very well be appended to all. "MM. les voyageurs,
sont priés, quand ils descendent, de ne pas aller plus vite que la
voiture:" passengers are requested, when they descend, not to go faster
than the vehicle. A most necessary request! La Fontaine, when he wrote
the fable in which he gives an account of a vehicle ascending a steep
eminence, and the exertions of a fly to assist the horses, must have
just returned from some excursion in a Diligence, during which he was
witness to the creeping, toiling, panting of the animals pulling it up a
hill. Pauvres diables! as the women are constantly exclaiming, a fly
might really lend them some aid in their efforts. About every eight
miles, fresh horses are in readiness, but the change is rarely for the
better,--for the worse it cannot be.

It is only on the road that the postillions drive slowly; when they
enter a town it is a sort of signal for them to dash on at a furious
rate, notwithstanding the danger of going rapidly through streets which
are little better than alleys, and in which there are no side-pavements
to mark the limits for pedestrians. We never before experienced such
philanthropic alarm for the safety of our fellow-mortals, as on the
evening of our arrival in Paris, whilst whirling at a furious rate
through its narrow streets, which were thronged with people, when it was
so dark that their ears alone could give them warning to get out of the
way. No accident, however, occurred. The French drivers, it must be
confessed, though not very elegant or stylish "whips," are very sure;
they contrive to guide the immense Diligences through the crowded
labyrinths of a large city with wonderful safety, notwithstanding the
swiftness with which they generally pass through them, and the loose
manner in which the horses are linked together.

But where did we leave our Ladyship? Oh, with her head out of the window
of the hotel, saying something about _her_ France and the other France.
We really beg her pardon for keeping her so long in such a situation,
and hasten to relieve her from it, by placing her, together with Sir C.
M. and the Irish footman, in a,--but here again we are at fault. She has
not had the kindness to inform us what was the species of conveyance
that she consecrated to eternal veneration by employing for her journey
to Paris, and as we have neither time nor space for an adequate
investigation of this important point, we must leave it to be mooted by
other commentators, contenting ourselves with the knowledge that the
illustrious trio arrived safely at the capital.

On reaching the hotel in the Rue de Rivoli, which she had resolved upon
immortalizing by residing in it during her sojourn in Paris, she was
again fearfully agitated by that dreadful fondness for things English,
in France, by which her nervous system had before been so greatly
discomposed. Woful to relate, she was received by "a smart, dapper,
English-innkeeper-looking landlord," and conducted to apartments "which
were a box of boudoirs, as compact as a Chinese toy." "There were
carpets on every floor, chairs that were moveable, mirrors that
reflected, sofas to sink on, footstools to stumble over; in a word, all
the incommodious commodities of my own cabin in Kildare street." Poor
Miladi! this was really too provoking, to have all the trouble and
expense of journeying from Dublin to see just what was to be seen there;
but no matter, it will serve for the subject of some twenty pages in
your intended book. But then the change, so trying to the nerves of a
romantic lady, which had taken place since 1816. In that year, she
remembered, on driving into the paved court of the hotel d'Orleans, she
had seen "an elderly gentleman, sitting under the shelter of a vine, and
looking like a specimen of the restored emigration. His white hair,
powdered and dressed _à l'oiseau royale_; his Persian slippers and _robe
de chambre, à grand ramage_, (we hope, reader, you have a French
dictionary near you) spoke of principles as old as his toilet. He was
reading, too, a loyal paper, loyal, at least, in those days,--the
_Journal des Débats._ Bowing, as we passed, he consigned us, with a
graceful wave of the hand, to the care of Pierre, the _frotteur_. I took
him for some fragment of a _duc et pair_ of the old school; but, on
putting the question to _the frotteur_, who himself might have passed
for a _figurante_ at the opera, he informed us that he was '_Notre
bourgeois_,' the master of the hotel." It is quite wonderful to us how
Miladi could have survived to relate so shocking a metamorphosis. Ovid
has nothing half so strange and heart-rending.

The instances we have mentioned are far from being the only ones in
which her Ladyship was "put out of sorts" by the Anglomania, which, she
would make us believe, is operating at present as great a revolution in
the social, as was effected in '98 in the political condition of France.
All along the road from Calais to Paris, she sees nothing but "youths
galloping their horses in the cavalry costume of Hyde Park," "smart gigs
and natty dennets," "cottages of gentility, with white walls and green
shutters, and neat offices, rivalling the diversified orders of the
Wyatvilles of Islington and Highgate," in short, nothing but "English
neatness and propriety on every side," with one terrible exception,
however, "an Irish jaunting car!" of which she chanced, to her infinite
dismay, to catch a glimpse. The second appearance that she makes in the
streets of Paris, is for the purpose of buying some "_bonbons_,
_diablotins en papillotes_, _Pastilles de Nantes_, and other sugared
prettinesses," for which Parisian confectioners are so renowned.
Accordingly, she goes into a shop where she supposes that "fanciful
idealities, sweet nothings, candied epics and eclogues in spun sugar, so
light, and so perfumed as to resemble (was there ever such nonsense)
congealed odours, or a crystallization of the essence of sweet flowers,"
are to be sold, but on inquiry she is told by a "demoiselle behind the
counter, as neat as English muslin and French (what a wonder it wasn't
English) _tournure_ could make her," that 'we sell no such a ting,' but
that she might have 'de cracker, de bun, de plom-cake, de spice
gingerbread, de mutton and de mince pye, de crompet and de muffin, de
gelée of de calves foot, and de apple dumplin.' Reader, Lady Morgan "was
struck dumb!" She purchased a bundle of crackers, "hard enough to
_crack_ the teeth of an elephant," and hurried from the shop. But
misfortunes never come single, and her ladyship, though an exception to
most other general rules, was not destined to prove the correctness of
that one in this instance, for just as she was escaping from the place
where she had experienced the serious inconvenience of being "struck
dumb," she was struck in another way--viz. on the left cheek, by the
explosion of a bottle of "Whitbread's entire," the consequence of which
was, that the exterior of her head became covered with precisely the
same thing with which its interior is filled--"froth."--

Foaming with rage and brown-stout, her Ladyship was hastening home as
fast as her "little feet" could carry her, when a perfumer's shop
"caught the most acute of all her senses."--What a delightful mode, by
the way, her ladyship has, of imparting knowledge _en passant_, as it
were; here we have the important information communicated to us, that
her "acutest sense" is situated in her nose, just because she happened
to pass by a perfumery store; but what a nose her ladyship's nose must
be, since it is endowed with more wonderful faculties than her eyes,
which possess such miraculous powers as to enable her to see things in
France perceptible by no other mortal optics! But to proceed with our
dismal story. Her ladyship's olfactory nerves, as we have already
mentioned, having made her aware of the proximity of a perfumer's shop,
she was induced to go into it by the desire of procuring something which
might relieve them from the torture produced by the exhalations of
'Whitbread's entire.' But here again she was doomed to disappointment.
She asked for various "_eaux_, _essences_, and _extraits_," and was
presented with bottles of "_lavendre vatre_, _honey vatre_, and _tief
his vinaigre_;" she asked for _savons_, and was shown cakes of "_Vindsor
soap_," and "_de Regent's vashball_." In an agony of despair, she rushes
from the shop, first taking care, however, to "gather up her purse and
reticule," and soon arrives at her--alas! English furnished apartments.
After stumbling over a footstool, and being incommoded by other
"incommodious commodities," she at length sinks exhausted upon a sofa,
just opposite to a "mirror that reflected." But what other singular
looking object, besides Miladi's face, is it that forms a subject of
that glass's reflections, and is lying on a table just behind her? It is
a little basket, the contents of which her ladyship soon begins to
investigate,--and what do you suppose she finds?--"A flask of _genuine
potteen_!!" This time she is struck loquacious, and she shrieks out,
"this is too much! was it for this we left the snugness and economical
comfort of our Irish home, and encountered the expensive inconveniencies
of a foreign journey, in the hope of seeing nothing British, 'till the
threshold of that home should be passed by our feet;'--to meet at every
step with all that taste, health, and civilization (exemplified by
'lavendre vatre,' 'vindsor soap,' and 'a flask of _potteen_,') we cry
down at home, as cheap and as abundant abroad," &c. &c. The piercing key
on which her Ladyship pitched her voice while declaiming this
magnificent soliloquy, brought Sir C. M., the Irish footman, and the
English-looking landlord into the room, in a terrible flurry. "My
dearest dear what is the matter?"--"Och! my leddy, what is it now that
ails you?"--"_Ah! madame, mille pardons, qu'est ce que c'est?_"
simultaneously issue from the mouths of the three worthies. "Avaunt! get
out of my sight, you _maudit imitateur_; and you Sir Charles, _et vous_,
Patrick, see that _tout est preparé_ for returning to Dublin _dans
l'heure même_," meekly responds Miladi. But a sudden change comes over
her countenance--sudden as that which took place in the aspect of Juno
when she beheld the waves raised to the very heavens by the power of
Neptune, and supposed that they had overwhelmed the bark which carried
Æneas and his companions, the objects of her eternal hatred. She smiled,
as the face of Nature smiles when the clouds that have long covered it
with gloom, have disappeared before the potent influence of the
"glorious orb that gives the day," and at length she rapturously cried
out, "How lucky to have written _my_ France, while France was still so
French!"--Lady Morgan was herself again.

Now we beg leave to observe, that this Anglomania bugbear, by which her
ladyship pretends to have been so much distressed, is the merest piece
of nonsense and affectation in the world. We will not be so ungallant as
to suppose that Lady Morgan has intentionally related what is not
altogether so true as might be, but she has been accustomed for such a
length of time to roam about the varied realms of fancy, that it would
be impossible for her ever to descend to the flat regions of fact.
Besides, as we have already stated, she has been gifted with powers of
vision more surprising than those of the lynx or the seer--the first can
only see through a stone, the second can only see things which may exist
at a future day, when they will be visible to every one else--but she
sees things existing at present, that defy the ken of all other animals,
rational and irrational. While reading her account of the English
vehicles, English cottages, &c. &c. which she observed in her journey
from Calais to Paris, we could not help asking ourselves, where were our
eyes during the time we travelled that road? We are satisfied, however,
that they were in their right place, and tolerably well employed; and
that if they did not encounter the signs of Anglomania mentioned by her
Ladyship, it was because these were to be perceived by no one but
herself. Wide indeed is the difference between travelling in France and
England! The poet Grey, in one of his charming letters, affirms, that in
the former country it would be the finest in the world, were it not for
the terrible state of the inns; but it must have greatly deteriorated
there, or have improved in his native isle since his time, for there can
not be the slightest question as to the superior delights of journeying
in the latter at present. The inns in France are still bad enough, in
all conscience, and offer but a dreary welcome to one who has been
accustomed to the neatness and comforts of English hostels. There are,
however, various other particulars of importance for a traveller's
enjoyment, which Shakspeare's "sea-walled garden" furnishes in by far
the greater abundance. In France the roads are comparatively much
inferior, and the general appearance of the country is less pleasing.
You meet there with few or none of those detached farm-houses, with
their little dependencies of cottages, which everywhere greet the eye in
England, bespeaking the honest and well-conditioned yeoman, and
presenting a picture of prosperity and contentment,--the villages
through which you pass, mostly wear a decayed and squalid
appearance--the magnificent country-seats, with their parks and other
appurtenances, whose frequent recurrence in England constitutes so rich
a feast for the gaze of the stranger, are rarely rivalled in France--the
landscape here, also, is much seldomer able to borrow that venerable
grace and romantic charm which the remains of feudal ages alone can
lend. This last circumstance is one greatly to be regretted; for perhaps
the most exquisite gratification to be derived from travelling through a
country, where for centuries civilization in a greater or less degree
has exercised sway, arises from the contemplation of the various
monuments of by-gone days, some slowly mouldering into dust, others
still proudly defying the assaults of the great destroyer. The mind
dwells upon them with a species of pensive delight, and that peculiar
charm which their association with the fictions and annals of times past
inspires. It would seem, that France should be especially rich in the
relics of that feudalism of which for a long time it was the chief seat,
but a reason for their scantiness may be found in the policy which
caused Louis XI., and which was subsequently pursued by Richelieu, and
completed by Louis le Grand, to call the nobles from their estates,
where they exercised almost sovereign authority, to the capital, and
convert them into mere hangers on of the court--in the destructive
hostilities which have almost incessantly desolated the kingdom--and
especially in the determined war that was made upon castles by the
patriots of the Revolution. These, at all events, are the causes which
Sir Walter Scott, in his "Paul's Letters to his Kinsfolk," assigns for
the circumstance we are lamenting. The first one of them had also been
previously intimated by that worthy personage, the father of Tristram
Shandy,--"Why are there so few palaces and gentlemen's seats, (he would
ask with some emotion, as he walked across the room,) throughout so many
delicious provinces in France? Whence is it that the few remaining
_chateaux_ amongst them are so dismantled, so unfurnished, and in so
ruinous and desolate a condition?--Because, sir, (he would say,) in that
kingdom no man has any country-interest to support:--the little interest
of any kind which any man has anywhere in it, is concentrated in the
court, and the looks of the Grand Monarch; by the sunshine of whose
countenance, or the clouds which pass across it, every Frenchman lives
or dies." This, however, is certainly not the case with Frenchmen of the
present day.

But the principal drawback upon the pleasure of travelling in France, is
decidedly the multitude of mendicants by whom you are continually
annoyed, and whose miserable appearance offends the eye, while it
sickens the heart. Scarcely ever does the vehicle stop without being
immediately surrounded by the most distressing objects that the mind can
conceive, in such numbers as to render it impossible for any one except
the possessor of Fortunatus's or Rothschild's purse, to bestow alms,
however inconsiderable, upon them all. A humane individual, who should
attempt to do it, with a pocket of but moderate dimensions, would soon
be reduced to the necessity of enrolling himself in the mendicant band,
and crying out with the rest of them, in their peculiar tone, "_Donnez
un sous, à un pauvre malheureux, pour l'amour de Dieu, et de la Sainte
Vierge_." "Give a sous to a poor unfortunate, for the love of God and of
the Holy Virgin." The crowds of these beggars upon the French roads,
lead the stranger to apprehend that in Paris they will swarm to such an
extent as to mar in a degree the pleasure of his residence there; he is,
however, agreeably disappointed at finding in his perambulations through
its streets, that they are completely free from them, in consequence of
the admirable regulations of the police. It is worthy of remark, that
the reverse of this is the case in England. There the roads and villages
rarely afford cause for the tear of compassion, or the exclamation of
disgust, elicited by scenes of misery; but in walking about London, one
must be made of sterner stuff than was sentimental Yorick, who can avoid
endeavouring to repeat "Psha! with an air of carelessness," at almost
every step, after being obliged to refuse infinitely stronger claims
upon charity than those which were advanced by the poor Franciscan.

We have thus enumerated most of the reasons why travelling in England is
preferable to that in France, yet there is one circumstance to be
remarked in favour of the latter, which almost counterbalances every
consideration of an unfavourable kind. We allude to the facility with
which a stranger can make acquaintance with his fellow passengers, in
the "gay, smiling land of social mirth and ease." In England he may
journey from Plymouth to Berwick without speaking more than ten words to
any persons who chance to be his companions in the coach, or hearing ten
words spoken by them if they happen not to know each other; but in a
French public conveyance, only a short time elapses before all its
occupants are as much at ease, and upon as good terms with each other,
as if they were familiar acquaintances. Many a pleasant hour have we
spent in a diligence, in consequence of the conversations we have fallen
into with individuals whom we have there encountered, some of which were
of a highly ludicrous character. We shall never forget a series of
interrogatories put to us by a loquacious fellow next to whom we were
seated in the diligence in going from Rouen to Paris, and who was about
as ignorant as he was garrulous. Hearing us say, in answer to a question
of another person, that we were from the United States, he asked us how
we liked Italy; and on our telling him we had never been there, inquired
with a face of great surprise, whether the United States was not on the
other side of Italy? After endeavouring to give him an idea of the
situation of our country, he asked successively, if we had crossed the
ocean in a steam-boat, if the United States belonged to England or to
France, and if Philadelphia was not the place where the great revolt of
the Negroes took place. But we must return to her Ladyship, with the
wish that she would contrive to render her company more agreeable, that
we might have less temptation to wander from her at this rate.

With regard to the English furniture of her Ladyship's apartments, and
the English confectionaries and perfumeries which gave rise to the
memorable adventures we have related above, we may remark that it may
have been so ordained by fate that she should light upon one of the very
few hotels, one of the very few confectionary shops, and one of the very
few perfumery stores in Paris, in which matters are ordered in the
English style; but to give us to understand, in consequence, that all
the hotels are furnished in the same way, and that _bonbons_,
_extraits_, &c. are not to be procured, is like the proceeding of the
Hon. Frederick de Roos, R. N. who affirms, in his sapient work on the
United States, that all the inhabitants in Philadelphia take tea on the
steps before their doors in summer evenings, because, forsooth, he saw a
family sitting on those of the house in which they lived, in order to
enjoy a July twilight.

One of the first things that her Ladyship does on the morning subsequent
to her arrival, is to give notice to her friends of that important
event,--a gratuitous piece of kindness altogether, as it seems to us,
for it must doubtless have been announced by as many portentous signs as
accompanied the birth of Owen Glendower. Nevertheless, in order to make
assurance doubly sure, she despatched 'cards to some, and notes to
others, after the Parisian fashion,' but previously indulged in a very
pretty sentimental fit. This was caused by the first name that met her
eye as she opened her 'old Paris visiting book for 1818'--that of Denon,
"the page, minister, and _gentilhomme de la chambre_ of Louis XV., the
friend of Voltaire, the intimate of Napoleon, the traveller and
historian of Modern Egypt, the director of the _Musée_ of France," &c.
&c., who, we are informed, used always to be so particularly delighted
with her Ladyship's visits to Paris, that he was wont to hail them with
his hand, and welcome them with a cordial smile. Alas! death had
overtaken him, notwithstanding his friendship with Lady Morgan; and she
could no longer expect his salutations. "Other hands were now extended,
other smiles beamed now as brightly; but his were dimmed for ever!" How
kind her Ladyship is! Fearing her readers might be distressed by the
idea, that, in consequence of the decease of Denon, she might have been
in some want of welcoming, she has taken the precaution of setting them
at ease upon that point, by the above ingenious sentence. In mentioning
the reasons of her intimacy with Denon, she employs language of a very
singular kind, which, if maliciously interpreted to the letter, might
subject her to uncomfortable remarks, though we are sure it is nothing
but an effusion of gurgling vanity. It is an instance, however, to what
a degree that sentiment, when extreme, gets the better of all sense of
propriety and decorum. She says, that even if Denon had not been such a
person as she describes him, "still, _he suited me, I suited him_. There
was between us that sympathy, in spite of the disparity of years and
talents, which, whether in trifles or essentials,--between the frivolous
or the profound,--makes the true basis of _those ties, so sweet to bind,
so bitter to break_!" It is well for Sir Charles Morgan's peace of mind,
that he is acquainted, as he must be, with his wife's frivolity and
egotism. How, indeed, he could have allowed her to come before the world
with such phraseology in her mouth, we cannot imagine, unless on the
supposition that he is such a husband as La Bruyère has described. "_Il
ne sert dans sa famille qu' à montrer l'exemple, d'un silence timide et
d'une parfaite soumission. Il ne lui est dû ni douaire ni conventions;
mais à cela près, et qu'il n'accouche pas, il est la femme, et elle le

After her Ladyship had "shuddered," and "felt as if she was throwing
earth upon Denon's grave whilst drawing her pen across his precious and
historical name," she spent about half an hour in weeping, "like a fair
flower surcharged with dew," over the names of others of her departed
friends, Guinguené, Talma, Langlois, Lanjuinais, &c., until she
fortunately recollected that the climate of Paris is one that "developes
a sensibility prompt, not deep." Lucky thought! She immediately threw
down the visiting-book, threw up the window to let in the climate, wiped
from her eyes the tears "which parted thence, as pearls from diamonds
dropp'd," and began to think of "all that death had left her, of the
'greater still behind,'--of friends, each in his way, a specimen of that
genius and virtue, which, in all regions, and in all ages, make the _ne
plus ultra_ of human excellence." Admire the delicacy of the method by
which Miladi lets us into the secret of her being a _ne plus ultra_; it
is not by a bold assertion, but by a modest inuendo. She keeps company
with _ne plus ultras_--birds of the same feather flock together--ergo,
she is a _ne plus ultra_ herself. And so she is, but in her own way.
"_Il y a malheureusement_," observes a French writer of the present day
"_plus d'une manière de se rendre célèbre_,"--"there is, unfortunately,
more than one method of becoming celebrated,"--and as this writer is an
acquaintance of Lady Morgan, we are half inclined to think he committed
that sentence to paper after returning from a visit to _her_

We may as well cite here a few more instances of her ingenuity in
communicating, obliquely, how distinguished a personage she is,--a
quality she possesses in a degree that we do not recollect ever to have
seen rivalled. We copy _verbatim_.

     "The other day I dined in the Chaussée d'Antin, in that house
     where it is always such a privilege to dine; where the wit of
     the host, like the _menus_ of his table, combines all that is
     best in French or Irish peculiarity; _and where the society is
     chosen with reference to no other qualities than merit and

Speaking of the weekly assemblies at an eminent individual's house, at
which she was a constant attendant, she says, they

     "Are among the most select and remarkable in Paris.
     Inaccessible to _commonplace mediocrity and pushing
     pretension_, their visitor must be _ticketted_ in some way or
     another" (by writing a "France," or an "Italy," for instance,)
     "to obtain a presentation."

With regard to another circle of which she was a large segment, she

     "It is sufficient to have merit, agreeability, or the claims of
     old acquaintance to belong to it, but, truth to tell, it is
     still so far exclusive, that what Madame Roland calls
     _l'universelle mediocrité_, gains no admission there."


     "I happened one night at Gen. La Fayette's to say that I should
     remain at home on the following morning, and the information
     brought us a numerous circle of morning visitors; others
     dropped in by chance, and some by appointment. From twelve till
     four, my little salon was a congress composed of the
     representatives of every vocation of arts, letters, science,
     _bon ton_," (the Congress of Vienna was nothing to this,) "and
     philosophy, in which, as in the Italian opera-boxes of Milan
     and Naples, the comers and goers succeeded each other, as the
     narrow limits of the space required that the earliest visitor
     should make room for the last arrival."

We might fill pages with similar specimens of her modesty, but we must

The notes and cards being all despatched, authentic intelligence is at
length diffused throughout Paris of her arrival, and such a commotion is
forthwith excited as had never been seen even in that city of
commotions, since the time the Giraffe made her entrée into it, and said
to the gaping multitude, "_Mes amis, il n'y a qu'une bête de plus._"
Perhaps the sensation might be excepted which was created by "Messieurs
les Osages," the American deputation whose "France" has not yet, we
believe, appeared in either hemisphere. The Rue de Rivoli was instantly
crowded with "old friends" and "intimate acquaintances," _ne plus
ultras_ included, besides various others anxious for the honour of an
introduction, all striving who should get first into the "_Hôtel de la
Terrasse_;" and such was the press of visits, dinner-parties, suppers,
balls, &c. &c. that for a period her Ladyship could not, as she says,
"find leisure to register a single impression for her own amusement, or
haply for that of a world, which, it must be allowed, is not very
difficult to amuse." In this sentiment we request leave, before going
further, to record our unqualified concurrence, and also to state, that
we know of no one from whom it could proceed with more propriety and
weight than from Miladi. It has been, doubtless, expressed before, by
various other book-makers, but never, we feel confident, by one whose
career affords fuller evidence of its correctness, or who could adduce
more forcible proofs in support of it, should they be required. In such
case, the simple fact need only be cited, that "France in 1830" is the
work of the same hand which indited "Ida of Athens," some twenty years
previous, and which, during that interval, has furnished the world
almost annually, with quartos, octavos, or duodecimos.

The accounts that her Ladyship gives of the various festive
entertainments of which she partook, constitute the matter of a large
number of her pages. If it be true, however, that in order to observe
well, one ought to screen one's self from observation, she could have
had little opportunity of obtaining acquaintance with the constitution
of French society; for, if we believe her own story, there was no social
assemblage of any kind to which she went, where she was not the observed
of every one, the centre of attraction, the nucleus of excellence. And
what information is to be derived from her relation of a ball here, or a
_soirée_ there, beyond the very interesting, highly important, and most
credible intelligence, that as soon as the announcement of Lady Morgan's
name falls upon the ears of the company, everything else is forgotten; a
dead silence instantaneously takes place of the conversational hum that
before prevailed; all eyes are directed towards the door; LADY MORGAN
ENTERS; a buzz of admiration succeeds; she advances with a dignified air
towards the hostess, or rather the hostess runs eagerly forward to meet
her; she drops a romantic curtesy; she sits down; and thenceforward
nothing is thought of by any of the guests but Miladi, and the pearls
that fall from her lips. As the French are fond of forming _queues_, or
files, for the purpose of avoiding confusion, when there is any great
earnestness among a large collection of persons with regard to any
object of curiosity, we can imagine the whole assemblage falling into
one as soon as she takes her seat, and thus enjoying, each in turn, the
coveted delight.--But we mistake; other information respecting French
society is communicated, unwittingly however, by her Ladyship. It is
this: that they are as fond of ridicule in 1830, as they were in 1816,
and as they have ever been. We have little difficulty in believing, that
her Ladyship received a vast deal of attention in Paris; still, we must
confess, that it appears to us impossible not to be convinced, from her
own story, that it was owing to a very different reason from the one to
which it is attributed by her self-love. If there is any feature in the
French character peculiarly salient or prominent, it is the love of
ridicule. "Take care," said a lady to her son, who was on the eve of
departure for his travels, "of the Inquisition at Madrid, of the mob at
London, and of ridicule at Paris." Nothing that is at all calculated to
excite an ironical smile or a sarcastic remark, escapes a "fasting
Monsieur's" observation, and even the greatest virtues and genius, if
combined with any quality which can afford matter for a joke, will
scarcely prevent their possessor from being made a laughing-stock.
Napoleon was so well aware of this propensity of his subjects, that he
was prevented by it from placing his own figure in the car which
surmounts the triumphal arch erected between the Court of the Tuileries
and the Place du Carousal, being apprehensive that the wags would avail
themselves of the opportunity thus afforded of punning at his
expense--_le char le tient_--_le charlatan_. What a delectable tit-bit,
consequently, for this appetite of the Parisians, must be a darling
little philosopher in petticoats, (not quite sexagenary,) who dabbles in
all sciences and arts, and is at the same time a pretender to the pretty
affectations and hoydenish manners of a youthful belle! Such a person,
especially if she possess that happy opinion of herself, which prevents
her from having the slightest suspicion that she can be the object of
anything but admiration with all, is regarded by them as a legitimate
subject for a _mystification,_ which, in our vernacular, means
_hoax_,--_elle se prête au ridicule_, as they say, she lends herself, as
it were, to ridicule; and to be convinced that they know how to take
consummate advantage of the loan, it is only necessary to glance over
"France in 1830." Every one who does so will, we feel confident,
understand in the same manner as ourselves, the meaning of that
"brilliant welcome," which Miladi, with so much complacency, informs us
she received "in the capital of European intellect." From beginning to
end, these volumes afford almost continued specimens of perfection in
the art of "quizzing," and may therefore be particularly indicated to
such as are anxious to acquire proficiency in that way. We are glad
that we have at length discovered a description of persons to whom we
can conscientiously recommend the work we are reviewing, as calculated
to afford desirable information.

There is another cause, besides this fondness for ridicule, to which the
_mystification_ of her Ladyship may be attributed. Whoever is at all
acquainted with her writings, must be aware that she pretends to be a
great republican, and to entertain a most orthodox horror of royalism
and the appendages thereof, and that she has called the royalist party
in France all the hard names she could find in the most approved
collection of opprobrious epithets. This circumstance, it is easy to
imagine, may have excited a slight desire of revenge in the breasts of
some of the younger members of that party.

In her very preface, we have an evidence of her having been the victim
of as well concerted and admirably conducted a hoax, as was ever played
off upon any one--it surpasses that which was put upon poor Malvolio in
"Twelfth Night." After making the remark upon which we have already
commented, that a second work on France from her pen could "alone be
justified by the novelty of its matter, or by the merit of its
execution," she says--

     "It may serve, however, as an excuse, and an authentication of
     the attempt, that I was called to the task by some of the most
     influential organs of public opinion, in that great country.
     They relied upon my impartiality (for I had proved it, at the
     expense of proscription abroad, and persecution at home); and,
     desiring only to be represented as they are, they deemed even
     my humble talents not wholly inadequate to an enterprise whose
     first requisite was the honesty that tells the truth, the whole
     truth, and nothing but the truth."

Oh you wicked wags! If the abolition of capital punishment be effected
in France, we hope you will be specially excepted as unworthy of mercy
for this cruel plot to make Miladi Morgan expose herself thus to the
sneers of an ill-natured world. We think we see you in conclave,
laughing and joking over an epistle you have just concocted and signed
with the names of half a dozen of the leaders of the liberals, in which
her Ladyship is earnestly conjured to cross the Irish and the English
channels and hasten to Paris, in order to dispel by the effulgence of
her intellectual rays, the mists and darkness that the fiend of ultraism
had spread over the political horizon. Seriously speaking, we cannot
divine any other than this or a similar manner of accounting for her
Ladyship's assertion, that "she was called to the task by some of the
most influential organs of public opinion in France;"--she would not
certainly affirm what she knew to be false, and the idea that she did
receive a bonâ fide request of the above purport from such individuals,
is too absurd to command belief for a moment. Would any one in his
senses, who is "desirous of being represented as he is," put in
requisition the pencil of an artist by which he would be sure to be

The "persecution at home," that her Ladyship affects to have suffered,
refers, we suppose, to sundry articles in the Quarterly Review and other
Journals, in which she was rather roughly handled. We all know, however,
what a pleasant thing it is to deem ourselves the objects of
persecution, when it does not interfere with our profit--it is a
flattering unction we love to lay to the soul, as it seems to augment
our importance--and Miladi appears to have been highly delighted with
the persecutions she has encountered. She is continually alluding to the
attacks of the Quarterly, and whenever an opportunity occurs, favours us
with extracts from them, and now and then she slips in some satirical
observation concerning herself from the _Journal des Débats_. The
different manner in which she has been treated by the Edinburgh and
Quarterly Reviews, is an exemplification of the potent influence which
party spirit exercises over those journals. In the latter, one or two of
her works have been criticised with overwhelming power, and in a tone
and spirit superlatively bitter. In the former, on the contrary, she is
spoken of with studied lenity, although the Reviewer is obliged to
confess that he is not one of her particular admirers, and seems to be
perpetually restraining himself from indulging in the language of
raillery and sarcasm. We need hardly add that the political principles
which her Ladyship professes to entertain, are the main cause of this
discrepancy. For our own part, we conscientiously believe that the
English journal has not gone half so far beyond the truth as its Scotch
rival has fallen short of it, in their respective strictures. With
regard to the republican bursts of Lady Morgan, we cannot help
suspecting that there is more affectation and cant in them than
sincerity:--she is too anxious to let it be known that she is caressed
every where by the _ne plus ultras_ of aristocracy and rank, as well as
by those of intellect, and, at the same time, there is too much parade
and ostentatious vehemence in her explosions against the royalist party.

As to the other article which her Ladyship says she has received in
exchange for her _impartiality!_--"proscription abroad,"--we feel pretty
confident that it exists no where but in her own imagination. There it
has, doubtless, been engendered by the malice of some ultra in disguise,
who has made her Ladyship believe, that the Emperor of Austria, the
Grand Signior, the King of Owyhee, and the other despots of the earth,
have forbidden, on pain of racking, roasting, and every kind of torture,
the importation of her books into their dominions, lest these should be
revolutionized by them forthwith. Heaven defend us! we are very much
afraid that Lady Morgan will set this world of ours on fire, somewhere
about the time when it comes in contact with the comet. It is not mere
supposition on our part that her Ladyship deems herself an object of
dread to the Austrian government at least;--read what she says àpropos
of the entrée of its ambassador into a ball-room where she was making
all the lamps and candles hide their diminished heads. "When his
Austrian excellence was announced, how I started, with all the weight of
Aulic proscription on my head! The representative of the long-armed
monarch of Hapsburg so near me,--of him, who, could he only once get his
fidgetty fingers on my _little_ neck, would give it a twist, that would
save his custom-house officers all future trouble of breaking carriages
and harassing travellers, in search of the pestilent writings of 'Ladi
Morgan.' I did not breathe freely, till his excellency had passed on
with his glittering train, into the illumined conservatory, and was lost
in a wilderness of flowering shrubs and orange trees." Ought not this
ambassador to be recalled for his negligence, his want of loyalty, in
not attempting to get his fingers about Miladi's 'little neck,' in order
to restore his Imperial master to peace and tranquillity of mind? Poor
Francis! still are you doomed to be _fidgetty_ on your throne. We think
we see you receiving intelligence of the appearance of this last
emanation from Ladi Morgan's untiring pen--a mortal paleness overspreads
your face, as Metternich rushes into your presence with terror depicted
in his countenance, articulating only "Ladi Morgan, Ladi Morgan," having
just obtained himself a knowledge of the dreadful fact from an almost
breathless courier--in an agony of suspense you gaze wildly at your
faithful counsellor, until he has recovered composure sufficient to
unfold to you the whole tale of horror. It is told! The monarch in whose
hands are the lives of fifty millions of subjects, lies himself, to all
appearance, deprived of existence. But see! he revives--his lips
move--what are the words which fall faintly upon the ears of the
bewildered attendants who have been called into the apartment by the
cries of the prime minister? They are words of malediction, of the same
purport as those which Henry II. of England uttered against his
servants, for their want of zeal in allowing him to be so long tormented
by Thomas à Becket, and which caused that prelate's death. But alas! for
your repose, Imperial Cæsar, it is not so easy at the present day, as in
former times, for de Luces and de Morevilles to gratify the vengeful
wishes of their masters, and Lady Morgan yet breathes the breath of life
(although it is true she did not do it "freely," according to her own
account, while in the vicinity of your ambassador in Paris,) to keep
your nervous system in disorder, and for the continued vexation of the
rational part of the reading world.

Multifarious are the other instances we might cite of the manner in
which her simple Ladyship was _mystified_ by the ironical propensities
of some, and the malicious ultraism of others, during her visit to Paris
in 1829-30. "There are certain characters," observes M. Jouy, "who may
be considered as the scourges of whatever is ridiculous (_les fleaux du
ridicule_;) they discover it under whatever form it may be hid, and
pitilessly immolate it with the weapon of irony," and into the hands of
persons of this merciless tribe she seems to have been perpetually
falling. We must content ourselves, however, with referring to but one
example more; a conversation between herself and a young Frenchman,
about Romanticism and Classicism, which she has detailed in her first
volume. This is a subject, which, as every one must know, has set all
Paris by the ears, and attracts almost as much attention there as the
overthrow of one dynasty and the creation of another. Lady Morgan, of
course, is a thorough-going _romantique_, and demonstrates the greater
excellence of the school of which she deems herself the chief support
and brightest ornament, in pretty much the same way as the superiority
of modern writers over the ancients used to be proved by the advocates
of the former, viz. by two methods, reason and example, the first of
which they derived from their own taste, and the second from their own
works. At the time she was delivered of her quarto about France in 1810,
Paris was still immersed in classical darkness, and it may therefore be
fairly inferred that the romantic light with which it has since been
illumined, radiated from that same tome. What can be more natural? When
she left France, "the word '_Romanticism_' was unknown (or nearly so) in
the circles of Paris; the writers _à la mode_, whether ultra or liberal,
were, or thought themselves to be, supporters and practisers of the old
school of literature;" in the interval of her absence she published a
work in which she told the Parisians that Racine was no poet, and gave
them other valuable information of the kind, calculated to dispel their
classical infatuation:--when she returned, every thing was changed;
poets and prosers were vieing with each other in gloriously offending
against all rules and canons; Romanticism, in short, was, as she
asserts, completely the order of the day. The classical wrath of one man
was the source of unnumbered woes to ancient Greece, and why may not the
romantic wrath of one woman--a woman too, who keeps autocrats and
sultans _fidgetty_ on their thrones, be the cause of a change in the
literature of a country? This change, at all events, however it may have
been operated, seems to have inspired her with additional courage in her
assaults, and additional fury in her anathemas upon the poor French
authors whom the ignorant world has hitherto been in the habit of
regarding as objects of admiration. She now asserts, in "France in
1829-30," that the whole classic literature of that country is "feeble
and unuseful," nay, even fitted to "enervate and degrade;" and in a
wonderfully luminous chapter about modern literature, she has shown as
clearly as Hudibras could have proved by "force of argument" that "a
man's no horse," that Classicism is the ally of despotism, and that it
was the policy of arbitrary power to encourage a fondness for the
ancient authors!

Fiercely romantic, however, as her Ladyship is, she is mild as a cooing
dove in comparison with the male interlocutor in the famous conversation
to which we have alluded. This personage completely out-herods Herod;
but that he was an ultra in disguise, endeavouring to make her Ladyship
write down absurdities, is a conviction which 'fire and water could not
drive out of' us;--even she, herself, at one period of the dialogue, can
not help doubting whether she "is or is not the subject of what in
England is called a hoax, and in France a _mystification_," and when
_she_ doubts upon such a point, it would be extremely difficult for any
one else not to deem it a matter of certainty. Had we space sufficient,
we should transcribe the whole of this colloquy, as it deserves
repetition; but we can only give a small specimen of it for the
amusement of our readers. The gentleman having informed Miladi, that
Racine, Corneille, and Voltaire, are "dethroned monarchs," and no longer
tolerated at the Theatre, she asks him what is to be seen or heard
there, to which he answers:--

     "'Our great historic dramas, written not in pompous
     Alexandrines, but in prose, the style of truth, the language of
     life and nature, and composed boldly, in defiance of Aristotle
     and Boileau. Their plot may run to any number of acts, and the
     time to any number of nights, months, or years; or if the
     author pleases, it may take in a century, or a millennium: and
     then, for the place, the first scene may be laid in Paris, and
     the last in Kamschatka. In short, France has recovered her
     literary liberty, and makes free use of it.'

     "'_Oui da!_' I rejoined, a little bothered, and not knowing
     well what to say, but still looking very wise, 'In fact, then,
     you take some of those liberties, that you used to laugh at, in
     our poor Shakspeare?'

     "'Your _poor_ Shakspeare! your divine, immortal Shakspeare, the
     idol of new France!--you must see him played _textuellement_ at
     the _Français_, and not in the diffuse and feeble parodies of

     "'Shakspeare played _textuellement_ at the _Français_!" I
     exclaimed--'_O, par exemple!_'

     "'Yes, certainly. Othello is now in preparation; and Hamlet and
     Macbeth are stock pieces. But even your Shakspeare was far from
     the truth, the great truth, that the drama should represent the
     progress, development, and accomplishment of the natural and
     moral world, without reference to time or locality. Unknown to
     himself, his mighty genius was mastered by the fatal prejudices
     and unnatural restrictions of the _perruques_ of antiquity.
     Does nature unfold her plots in five acts? or confine her
     operations to three hours by the parish clock?'

     "'Certainly not, Monsieur; but still....'

     "'_Mais, mais, un moment, chère Miladi._ The drama is one great
     illusion of the senses, founded on facts admitted by the
     understanding, and presented in real life, past or present.
     When you give yourself up to believe that Talma was Nero, or
     Lafont Britannicus, or that the Rue Richelieu is the palace of
     the Cæsars, you admit all that at first appears to outrage
     possibility. Starting, then, from that point, I see no
     absurdity in the tragedy, which my friend Albert de S---- says
     he has written for the express purpose of trying how far the
     neglect of the unities may be carried. The title and subject of
     this piece is "the Creation," beginning from Chaos (and what
     scenery and machinery it will admit!) and ending with the
     French revolution; the scene, infinite space; and the time,
     according to the Mosaic account, some 6000 years.'

     "'And the protagonist, Monsieur? Surely you don't mean to
     revive the allegorical personages in the mysteries of the
     middle ages?'

     "'_Ah ça! pour le protagoniste, c'est le diable._ He is the
     only contemporaneous person in the universe that we know of,
     whom in these days of _cagoterie_ we can venture to bring on
     the stage, and who could be perpetually before the scene, as a
     protagonist should be. He is particularly suited, by our
     received ideas of his energy and restlessness, for the
     principal character. The devil of the German patriarch's
     _Faust_ is, after all, but a profligate casuist; and the high
     poetical tone of sublimity of Milton's Satan is no less to be
     avoided in a delineation that has truth and nature for its
     inspiration. In short, the devil, the true romantic devil, must
     speak, as the devil would naturally speak, under the various
     circumstances in which his immortal ambition and ceaseless
     malignity may place him. In the first act, he should assume the
     tone of the fallen hero, which would by no means become him
     when in corporal possession of a Jewish epileptic, and
     bargaining for his _pis aller_ in a herd of swine. Then again,
     as a leader of the army of St. Dominick, he should have a
     fiercer tone of bigotry, and less political _finesse_, than as
     a privy councillor in the cabinet of the Cardinal de Richelieu.
     At the end of the fourth act, as a guest at the table of Baron
     Holbach, he may even be witty; while as a minister of police,
     he should be precisely the devil of the schoolmen, leading his
     victim into temptation, and triumphing in all the petty
     artifices and verbal sophistries of a bachelor of the Sorbonne.
     But as the march of intellect advances, this would by no means
     be appropriate; and before the play is over, he must by turns
     imitate the _patelinage_ of a Jesuit _à robe courte_, the
     pleading of a procureur général, the splendid bile of a deputy
     of the _côté droit_, and should even talk political economy
     like an article in the 'Globe.' But the author shall read you
     his piece--'_La Création! drame Historique et Romantique_, in
     six acts, allowing a thousand years to each act. _C'est l'homme
     marquant de son siècle._''

     "'But,' said I, 'I shall remain in Paris only a few weeks, and
     he will never get through it in so short a time.'

     "'_Pardonnez moi, madame_, he will get through it in six
     nights--the time to be actually occupied by the performance; an
     act a night, to be distributed among the different theatres in
     succession, beginning at the _Français_ and ending at the

It is here that her Ladyship begins to doubt whether this romantic
gentleman was not hoaxing her, and certes it was time; but 'melt and
disperse ye spectre doubts!' an attempt to hoax Lady Morgan, impossible!
They do quickly pass away, and the conversation is pursued in the same
strain, until "Monsieur de ---- one of the conscript fathers of
classicism" is announced. No sooner has his name passed the lips of the
servant, than the romantic gentleman snatches up his hat, and endeavours
to make an exit from the room, in as much consternation as if the
"protagonist" himself were about to appear. But Monsieur de ---- the
classicist, enters before he can escape; "he draws up." The two then
"glanced cold looks at each other, bowed formally, and the romanticist
retired, roughing his wild locks, and panting like a hero of a tragedy."
What a picture! We venture to affirm, however, that had an attentive
observer been present, he would have seen something like a wink or a
covert glance passing between the two worthies as they enacted the above
scene, which might have led him to suspect that they knew each other
better than Miladi supposed: it was only on the previous evening, be it
stated, on her own authority, that she had made the acquaintance of the
romanticist, whom she describes as having "something of an exalté in his
air, in his open shirt collar, black head, and wild and melancholy
look." The dialogue that ensues with the classicist after the
disappearance of the other, is quite as ridiculous as the foregoing one,
and quite as well calculated to give her Ladyship a fit of the "doubts,"
though it does not appear that she suffered by them a second time. We
may mention, before leaving this subject, that when the romanticist told
her, in the extract we have just made, that Othello was in preparation
for the _Theâtre Français_, he told her truth; but, if we are not very
much mistaken, the other piece of information he communicated--that
Hamlet and Macbeth are stock-tragedies at that theatre--could only have
been related by a gentleman of great fertility of imagination. Othello,
we know, was actually performed, and went off tolerably well until the
final scene, but then the nerves of the Frenchmen were put to a trial
they could not by any possibility endure. The sight of a Moor and an
Infidel, endeavouring to smother a lady and a Christian, so completely
aroused all the gallant and religious sensibilities of the audience,
that shouts of _terrible, abominable_, resounded from every part of the
house, and Monsieur Othello was (theatrically) damned for his
wickedness. As far as we know, he never showed his copper-coloured
visage again at the _Theâtre Français_, but contented himself
thenceforward with running after poor Desdemona, and stabbing her behind
the scene at the opera, where this minor exhibition of cruelty is
tolerated in consideration of the _roulades_, with which he smooths her
passage into the other world.

Speaking of theatres puts us in mind, as the story-tellers say, of a
remark made by her Ladyship in the chapter she has devoted to the
theatres of Paris, which we wish to notice. She says, "it is strange,
that among the many men of genius who have treated the subject of the
unities, none should have clearly laid it down, that the great object of
dramatic composition is the satisfaction of the audience, no matter by
what means." What a fine thing it is to be endowed with uncommon powers
of original thought! It is so delightful to be able to belie the
assertion, that it is too late now to think of propounding any new idea,
every thing having already been said that can be said about any thing!
Here, ye croakers about modern degeneracy, here is something that should
cover you with confusion and shame. Lady Morgan, after having read all,
aye, all, that has been written about a certain subject by all the
"many men of genius" who have treated it--which it would only require
the lifetime of a Methuselah to do--has discovered an idea relating to
it, which is to be found in none of the works of those "many men of
genius," and this she has revealed for the edification and astonishment
of the world, in the sentence we have quoted above. How every lover of
new ideas now living, should bless his stars for having cast his
existence in the same period as that of her Ladyship! It is, however,
our melancholy duty, to be obliged to deprive our generation of the
glory which would be shed upon it by such an intellectual invention as
the foregoing. Though it has undoubtedly never been adverted to in any
way, since she so asserts the fact, by any of the "many men of genius"
who have exercised their minds upon the topic of the unities, yet by a
singular chance we have fallen upon something very much like it in the
petty effusions of two or three subordinate scribblers, who have
presumed to hint at what was not excogitated by their betters. One of
those effusions is a paper called a "Preface to Shakspeare," written
about fifty years ago, as we have discovered, after long research and a
great deal of trouble, by a certain Samuel Johnson, who dubbed himself
Doctor, and published likewise, if our investigations have informed us
rightly, other works, under the titles of "The Rambler," "Rasselas,"
"Biographies of the British Poets," &c., and tradition even says that he
attempted a dictionary of the English language. Another of those
effusions is an "Essay upon the Drama," by a person called Walter Scott,
who, it is affirmed, is still in the land of the living, but where he
dwelleth, and what other productions he hath printed, we have been able
to obtain no clue for finding out. It must indeed be confessed, that
neither of those individuals has so "clearly laid it down" as her
Ladyship, that the audience should be pleased, "_no matter by what
means_," though they certainly have intimated that its gratification
ought to be one of the principal objects of a dramatic author. They were
foolish enough to think, that to pander to the tastes of an audience, if
corrupt and vitiated, is paltry, is despicable; that to consult its
inclinations when at war with sound taste or proper decorum, is to do
the work of those who are influenced only by a love of sordid gain,
reckless of every pure and elevated feeling--that "the end of all
writing is to instruct, the end of all poetry, _to instruct by
pleasing_." This is the difference between the sentiment of the authors
and that of the authoress; but were that same Samuel Johnson now alive,
sooner than maintain an opinion in any the slightest manner at variance
with one expressed by her Ladyship, he would,--as he was ready to do,
according to his own avowal, when asserting something that was denied by
persons scarcely more important than himself,--"sink down in
reverential silence, as Æneas withdrew from the defence of Troy, when he
saw Neptune shaking the wall, and Juno heading the besiegers."

We do not wish to insinuate that her Ladyship has derived any advantage
from consulting the pages of either the Preface or the Essay to which we
have alluded. By no means. Nothing would be more unjust; for how could
she be indebted for any thing to what may be contained in a couple of
insignificant pamphlets, whose scarcity is such, that we might almost
suppose our copies of them to be the only ones in existence? How they
came into our hands, is a point we leave for elucidation to those who
find pleasure or profit in unravelling mysteries. There is, to be sure,
a wonderful similitude throughout, between her reflections upon the
classical and romantic drama, and those which may be read in the Essay;
but this circumstance must unquestionably be considered one of those
"remarkable coincidences" that every now and then prompt the cry of "a
miracle!" It must, else, be accounted for, by supposing that the author
of the Essay is gifted with a power over future operations of mind,
similar to that which was possessed over future events, by the wizard
who warned Lochiel against the fatal day at Culloden, and that he is
thus enabled, by his "mystical lore," to make

    "Coming _ideas_ cast their shadow before."

Seriously, however, the observations of her Ladyship on this head,
furnish as nice an instance of plagiarism as we recollect. The best of
the matter is, that after filling nearly a couple of pages with remarks,
amongst which not a single original idea is to be found, save perhaps
the rather novel one, that "in Macbeth the interest is suspended at the
death of Duncan, and does not revive until that of the tyrant is at
hand;" she winds up with saying, "obvious as this train of reasoning
appears, _it has been overlooked equally by the opponents and the
sticklers for the old canons of criticism_; a lamentable instance of the
influence of authority, and of the spirit of party, on the judgments of
the most cultivated minds." This is a sample of modest assurance in
perfection. There is another "remarkable coincidence" in these volumes,
between the biography they contain of General Lafayette, and an article
about "the Nation's Guest" in a number of the North American Review for
1825. But we leave it to our contemporary to take her Ladyship to task
for this appropriation of his property.

In our foregoing remarks we have confined ourselves, in great measure,
to some of those portions of the volumes before us, which are most
susceptible of ridicule, though we have adverted to only a few even of
those--there are others, however, that would require a graver tone. The
sickly sentimentalism about Ninon de l'Enclos, La Vallière, Madame
d'Houdetot, and other strumpets--such "free" conversations as those
which are detailed at page 138, in the first volume, and page 108, in
the second; especially as they were held in the presence of a young
girl, her Ladyship's niece, who was doubtless one of the chief causes
why so many gentlemen came "_pour faire leurs hommages_" to the
aunt--and various expressions upon matters appertaining to religion,
deserve reprehension in no measured terms. But we have not space enough
at our disposal to bestow any further notice upon these, or to glance at
other parts of "France in 1829-30," although we have reaped but a small
portion of the harvest which it contains.

And this is the writer who pretends to enlighten the world upon the
"state of society" in one of the greatest countries of the earth! This
is the work by means of which she flatters herself that such an object
is to be effected,--and this too, (_proh pudor!_) is the kind of work
that can be republished in our country with a certainty of success!
Should the fact come to the knowledge of posterity, what will be thought
of the literary taste of this generation? We have, however, a cause for
consolation--if that can be termed consolation which ministers only to
selfish vanity, and is a source of pain to every better feeling--in the
assurance that the literary history of future times, judging from the
experience of the past, will present similar instances of depravity of
intellectual appetite. We wonder now, how our ancestors could have
relished what we regard with indifference if not with disgust, in the
same way that our taste in some respects will be a matter of surprise
with our descendants, and as theirs will be with those by whom they may
be succeeded on the stage of life. Every age, since books have been
written and books have been read, has furnished, and we may therefore
assert, every age will furnish, reason upon reason for making the remark
of the philosophic author of the "Caractères," that not to hazard
sometimes a great deal of nonsense, is to manifest ignorance of the
public taste--"_c'est ignorer le goût du peuple, que de ne pas hasarder
quelquefois de grandes fadaises_." We do not wish to deny that Lady
Morgan has been gifted with a modicum of talent; even in the work before
us, there is occasional evidence of natural ability, which, had it been
properly cultivated and modestly employed, might have earned for her
honourable fame. But what advantage--we speak, of course, with reference
to reputation; as to pecuniary profit we have no doubt that she has
found her account in her '_fadaises_,' or else they would not have been
multiplied to such an extent--what advantage, we ask, has she derived
from her faculty of scribbling, except that she has made herself pretty
widely known, and ridiculed wherever she is known? Presumptuous
ignorance, and overweening conceit, have, in her case, completely
_nullified_, nay worse, have converted into a curse, in some respects,
what was intended every way for a blessing. If Lady Morgan would forego
her mongrel idiom, and use the English language; if she would confine
herself to subjects with which she has some acquaintance; if she would
substitute a simple in the stead of her inflated style; and above all,
if she could forget herself, she might write tolerably well; but there
are too many _ifs_ to render it probable, or even possible, that the
defects to which they relate will ever be overcome. This being the case,
we take leave of you, Miladi, not with the _au revoir_ of which you are
so fond, but with the parting salutation of Louis the Fourteenth to
James the Second, when sending him with an army to recover his forfeited
crown, "Adieu, and may we never meet again."

ART. II.--_Physiologie des Passions, ou nouvelle Doctrine des Sentimens
Moraux_; par J. L. ALIBERT. Chapitre XI. de l'Ennui. _Physiology of the
Passions; or a New Theory of Moral Sentiments._ Chap. XI. of Ennui.

This book is neither exact nor eloquent. The thoughts are not precise;
the expressions are vague; and, of consequence, the reasonings of no
value. The attempts at rich displays of imaginative power are contrasted
with a want of invention; and illustrative stories, of feeble execution,
are lavished abundantly in lieu of physiological facts. The volumes are
too insipid to cheat an idle hour of its weariness; they rather engender
fatigue than relieve it. The author will never enter the true elysium of
glory; he has not substance enough to proceed straight up the ascent;
but will certainly be "blown transverse into the devious air." Like most
of the literature of the day, this new Theory of Moral Sentiments is
essentially transient. It will pass, like anti-masonry, without
producing an era.

Yet the chapter on Ennui is tolerably sensible. It is neither brilliant
nor acute; but gives a superficial sketch of that state of being with
considerable accuracy. To be sure, it is not from a Frenchman, that the
best account of ennui should be expected. Of all nations of Europe, the
French have the least of it, though they invented the word; while the
Turks, with their untiring gravity, their lethargic dignity, their blind
fatalism, their opium-eating, and midnight profligacies, have
undoubtedly the largest share. But the Turks are only philosophers in
practice; the theory they leave to others. Now next to the Turks, the
English suffer most from ennui. Do but hear the account which their
finest poetical genius of the present century gives of himself, when he
was hardly of age.

    "With pleasure drugged he almost longed for wo,
    And e'en for change of scene would seek the shades below."

The complaints of a young man in the bloom of life and the vigour of
early hope, cannot excite much sympathy. But he interests all our
feelings, when in the fullest maturity to which Lord Byron was permitted
to attain, he still draws from his own bosom the appalling picture of
unalleviated feelings, and describes the horrors of permanent ennui, in
language that was doubtless but the mournful echo of an unhappy mind.

    "'Tis time this heart should be unmoved,
    Since others it has ceased to move;
    Yet, though I cannot be beloved,
              Still let me love.

    My days are in the yellow leaf;
    The flowers and fruits of love are gone;
    The worm, the canker, and the grief,
              Are mine alone.

    The fire that in my bosom preys
    Is like to some volcanic isle;
    No torch is kindled at his blaze--
              A funeral pile.

    The hope, the fears, the jealous care,
    The exalted portion of the pain
    And power of love I cannot share,
              But wear the chain."

Such was the harassed state of Lord Byron's mind, at the epoch of his
life which seemed to promise a crowded abundance of exciting sensations.
He had hastened to the consecrated haunts of classic associations; he
was struggling for honour on the parent soil of glory; he was surrounded
by the stir and tumult of barbarous warfare; he had the consciousness,
that the eyes of the civilized world were fixed upon his actions; he
professed to feel the impulse of enthusiasm in behalf of liberty; and
yet there was not irritation enough in the new and busy life of a
soldier, to overcome his apathy, and restore him to happy activity. He
only sought to give away his breath on the field, and to take his rest
in a soldier's grave.

The literature of the day is essentially transient. The rapid
circulation of intelligence enriches the public mind by imparting and
diffusing every discovery; and the active spirit of man, quickened by
the easy possession of practical knowledge, rightly claims the instant
distribution of useful truth. But with this is connected a feverish
excitement for novelty. The world, in the earliest days of which
accounts have reached us, followed after the newest strains; and now
the lessons of former ages, though they have a persuasive eloquence for
the tranquil listener, are as blank and as silent as the grave to the
general ear. The voice of the past, all musical as it is with the finest
harmonies of human intelligence, is lost in the jangling din of
temporary discussions. Philosophy steals from the crowd, and hides
herself in retirement, awaiting a better day; true learning is
undervalued, and almost disappears from among men. It would seem, as
though the wise men of old frowned in anger on the turbulence of the
petty passions, and withdrew from the noisy and contentious haunts,
where wisdom has no votaries, and tranquillity no followers. In the days
of ancient liberty, the public places rung with the nervous eloquence of
sublime philosophy; and the streets of Athens offered nothing more
attractive than the keen discussions, the piercing satire, and the calm
philanthropy of Socrates. But now it is politics which rules the city
and the country; the times of deep reflection, of slowly maturing
thought, are past; and now that erudition is a jest, ancient learning an
exploded chimera, and elaborated eloquence known chiefly by
recollection, the ample gazette runs its daily career, and heralds, in
ephemeral language, the deeds of the passing hours. The age of
accumulated learning is past, and every thing is carried along the
rushing current of public economy, or of private business.--Life is
divided between excited passions and morbid apathy.

And is this current so strong, that it cannot be resisted? Are we borne
without hope of rest upon the ebbing tide? Can we never separate
ourselves from the theory, and with the coolness of an observer, watch
the various emotions, motives, and passions by which the human world is
moulded and swayed? Can we not trace the influence of the changes and
chances of this mortal state on the character and minds of mortal men?

Life is a pursuit. The moralists, who utter their heathenish oracles in
the commonplace complaints of a heathenish discontent, tell us, that we
are born but to pursue, and pursue but to be deceived. They say, that
man in his career after earthly honours, is like the child that chases
the gaudy insect; the pursuit idle; the object worthless. They tell us,
that it is but a deceitful though a deceptive star, which beams from the
summit of the distant hill; advance, and its light recedes; ascend, and
a higher hill is seen beyond, and a wider space is yet to be traversed.
And they tell us, that this is vanity; this the worthlessness of human
desire; this the misery and desolation of the human heart. But how
little do they know of the throbbings of that heart! How poorly have
they studied the secrets of the human breast! How imperfectly do they
understand the feebleness and the strength of man's fortitude and will!
If the bright object still gleams in the horizon, if the brilliancy of
glory is still spread on the remotest hill, if the distant sky is still
invested with the delicate hues of promise, and the gentle radiance of
hope, pursuit remains a pleasure; and the pilgrim, ever light-hearted,
passes heedlessly over the barren wastes, and climbs with cheerful
ardour each rugged mountain. But suppose that brilliant star to be
blotted out of the sky; suppose the lustre of the horizon to have faded
into the dank and gloomy shades of a cloudy evening; suppose the pursuit
to be now without an object, and the blood which hope had sent merrily
through the veins, to gather and curdle round the desponding heart. Then
it is, that life is abandoned to persecuting fiends, and the springs of
joy are poisoned by the demons of listlessness.

The scholar and the Christian have theirs guarantied against despair.
The desire for intelligence is never satisfied but with the attainment
of that wisdom which passes all understanding; and the eye discerning
the bright lineaments of its perfect exemplar, can set no limits to the
sacred passion, which recognises the connexion of the human mind with
the divine, and places before itself a career of advancement, to which
time itself can never prescribe bounds. But it is not with these high
questions that we are at present engaged. We have thrown open the book
of human life; we are to read there of this world and its littleness, of
the springs of present action, of the relief of present restlessness.

We have said, that the pursuit of a noble object is in itself a
pleasure. It is to the mind which holds up no definite object to its
wishes, that the universe seems deficient in the means of happiness, and
joy becomes a prey to the fiend of ennui.

Let us develop this principle more accurately. Let us examine into the
nature of _ennui_, and fix with exactness its true signification. Let us
see if it be a principle of action widely diffused. Let us ascertain the
limits of its power; let us trace its influences on individual
character. Perhaps the investigation may lead us to a more intimate
acquaintance with our nature.

_Ennui_ is the desire of activity without the fit means of gratifying
the desire. It presupposes an acknowledgment of exertion as a duty, and
a consciousness of the possession of powers suited to making an
exertion. It is itself a state of idleness, yet of disquiet. It is
inert, yet discontented.

Such is ennui in itself. In its effects, it embraces a large class of
human actions, and its influences are widely spread throughout every
portion of mental or physical effort. To trace these effects, and to
prescribe their limits, will be a part of our object; at present we
would observe, that wherever a course of conduct is the result of
physical want, of a passion for intelligence, a zeal for glory, or to
sum up a great variety of theories in one, of a just and enlightened
self-love, there there is no trace of ennui. But when the primary
motives of human conduct have failed of their effect, and the mind has
become a prey to listlessness, the career, then pursued, let it be what
it may, is to be ascribed to the pain of ennui. When the mind gnaws upon
itself, we have ennui; the course which is pursued to call the mind from
this self-destructive process, is to be ascribed to the influence of
that passion.

Are our definitions indistinct? Let us attempt illustration. When the
several powers and affections of man are, in the usual course of
existence, called into healthy exercise, on objects sufficient to
interest and satisfy them; this is happiness. When those powers and
affections are exercised by objects sufficient to excite them in their
highest degree, but where, being thus excited, there exists no harmony
between the mind and its pursuits, where the affections are aroused
without being soothed, where the chime is rung, but rung discordantly,
there is misery. Where the powers of the mind are vigorous but
unoccupied; where there exist a restless craving, an inquiet mobility,
yet without any definite purpose or commensurate object, there is ennui.

The state of mind is strongly delineated in the language of the sacred

     "I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on
     the labour that I had laboured to do; and behold all was vanity
     and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.
     And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly;
     for what can the man do that cometh after the king? Even that
     which hath already been done. Then I saw that wisdom excelleth
     folly, as far as light excelleth darkness. The wise man's eyes
     are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness; and I
     perceived also, that one event happeneth to them all. Then I
     said in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth
     even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my
     heart, that this also is vanity. For there is no remembrance of
     the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now
     is, in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth
     the wise man? As the fool. Therefore, I hated life; because the
     work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me; for all
     is vanity and vexation of spirit."

Or, to take an example from the earliest monument of Grecian genius.
Achilles, in the pride of youth, engaged in his favourite profession of
arms, making his way to an immortality secured to him by the voice of
his goddess mother, sure to gain the victory in any contest, and
selecting for his reward the richest spoils and the fairest maid.
Achilles, the heroic heathen, was then fully and satisfactorily
employed, and according to his semi-barbarous notions of joy and right,
was happy within his own breast, and was happy in the world around him.
When the same youthful warrior was insulted by the leader under whose
banners he had rallied, when the private recesses of his tent were
invaded, and his domestic peace disturbed, his mind was strongly
agitated by love, anger, hatred, the passion for strife, and the intense
effort at forbearance; and though there was here room enough for
activity, there was nothing but pain and misery. But when the dispute
was over, and the pupil of the Centaur, trained for strife, and victory,
and glory, separated from the army, and gave himself up to an inactive
contemplation of the struggle against Troy, his mind was abandoned to
the sentiment of discontent, and his passions were absorbed in the
morbid feeling of ennui. Homer was an exact painter of the human
passions. The picture which he draws of Achilles,[1] receiving the
subsequent deputation from the Greeks, illustrates our subject exactly.
It was in vain for the hero to attempt to sooth his mind with the
melodies of the lyre; his blood kindled only at the music of war; it was
idle for him to seek sufficient pleasure in celebrating the renown of
heroes; this was but a vain effort to quell the burning passion for
surpassing them in glory. He listens to the deputation, not tranquilly,
but peevishly. He charges them with duplicity, and avows that he loathes
their king like the gates of hell.[2] He next reverts to himself: The
warrior has no thanks, he exclaims in the bitterness of
disappointment--"The coward and the brave man are held in equal honour."
Nay, he goes further, and quarrels with providence and fixed
destiny.--"After all, the idler, and the man of many achievements, each
must die."[3] To-morrow, he adds, his vessels shall float on the
Hellespont. The morning dawned; but the ships of Achilles still lingered
near the banks of the Scamander. The notes of battle sounded, and his
mind was still in suspense between the fiery impulse for war and the
haughty reserve of revenge.

When Bruce found himself approaching the sources of the Nile, a thousand
sentiments of pride rushed upon his mind; it seemed to him, that destiny
had marked out for him a more fortunate and more glorious career, than
for any European, kings or warriors, conquerors or travellers, that had
ever attempted to penetrate into the interior of Africa. This was a
moment of exultation and triumphant delight. But when that same
traveller had actually reached the ultimate object of his research, he
has himself recorded the emotions which were awakened within him. At the
fountain-head of the Nile, Bruce was almost a victim to sentimental

In this anecdote of the Abyssinian traveller, we have an example of the
rapidity with which ennui treads on the heels of triumph, and banishes
the feelings of exulting joy. We will cite another, where misery was
followed and consummated by ennui. The most eloquent of the Girondists
was Vergniaud. It was he that in the spirit of prophecy compared the
French revolution to Saturn, since it was about to devour successively
all its children, and finally to establish despotism with its attendant
calamities. The rivalship of the Mountain in the Convention, the
unsuccessful attack on Robespierre, the trial and condemnation of Louis
XVI., the defection of Dumourier and its consequences, had doubtless
roused the mind of the fervent but unsuccessful orator to the highest
efforts which the decline of power, and the consciousness of wavering
fortunes, and the menace of utter ruin, patriotism, honour, and love of
life, could call forth. At last came the day, fraught with horrors, when
the clamours of a despotic and inexorable mob, claimed of the convention
Vergniaud and his associates, the little refuse of republican sincerity,
to be the victims of their fiendish avidity for blood. Who will doubt,
that during that fearful session the mind of Vergniaud was agitated in
the extreme, that the highest possible excitement called him into the
highest possible activity? Here there was no room for listlessness, and
quite as little for happiness. The guarantees of order were failing, and
the friends of order were to be buried under the same ruins with the
remains of regular legislative authority. Vergniaud retired from the
scenes where the foulest of the dogs of war were howling for their prey,
and when Gregoire found him out in his hiding-place, the republican
orator, though robbery and massacre were triumphant in the city, was
discovered reading Tacitus. Why? From affectation? Surely not;
Gregoire's visit was unexpected. From cool philosophy? still less, for
it was the season of peril for an irritable man. The studies of
Vergniaud on that day were the studies of one suffering from ennui.

Ennui was the necromancer which conjured up the ghost of Cæsar on the
eve of the battle of Philippi. And when Brutus esteemed that battle
lost, which in truth had been won, he had yet to wrestle with that
unseen enemy, and enter on a new contest, where he was sure to be
overthrown. The execution of Madame Roland was a scene, as far as she
was concerned, of intense and unmitigated suffering; but when Brutus
dared to despair of virtue, the atrocious sentiment was dictated, not by
the spirit that had dared to plan the liberties of the world, but by the
demon of ennui, which in an evil hour had possessed himself of the
patriot's soul.

Finally, for we have surely made ourselves intelligible, if it is
possible for us to do so--the timid lover, whose affections are moved,
yet not tranquillized, who gazes with the eyes of fondness on an object
that seems to be of a higher world, and admires as the stars are
admired, which are acknowledged to be beautiful yet are never possessed;
the timid lover, neither wholly doubting, nor wholly hoping, the sport
alternately of joy and of sorrow, full of thought and full of longing,
feeling the sentiment of rapture yield to the faintness of uncertain
hope, is half his time a true personification of ennui.

That ennui is a principle of action widely diffused, will hardly be
denied by any careful observer of human nature. No individual can
conscientiously claim to have been always and wholly free from its
influences, except where there has been a life springing from the purest
sources, sanctified by the early influence of religious motives, and
protected from erroneous judgments by the constant exercise of a
healthful understanding. For the rest, though few are constantly
afflicted with it as an incurable evil, there are still fewer who are
not at times made to suffer from its influence. It stretches its heavy
hand on the man of business and the recluse; it makes its favourite
haunts in the city, but it chases the aspirant after rural felicity,
into the scenes of his rural listlessness; it makes the young
melancholy, and the aged garrulous; it haunts the sailor and the
merchant; it appears to the warrior and to the statesman; it takes its
place in the curule chair, and sits also at the frugal board of old
fashioned simplicity. You cannot flee from it; you cannot hide from it;
it is swifter than the birds of passage, and swifter than the breezes
that scatter clouds. It climbs the ship of the restless who long for the
suns of Europe; it jumps up behind the horseman who scours the woods of
Michigan; it throws its scowling glances on the attempt at present
enjoyment; it scares the epicurean from his voluptuousness, and when the
ascetic has finished his vow, it compels him once more to repeat the
tale of his beads.

To the influence of ennui must be traced the passion for strong
excitement. When life has become almost stagnant, when the ordinary
course of events has been unable to excite any strong interest, ennui
assumes a terrific power over the mind, and clamours for emotion, though
that emotion is to be purchased by scenes of horror and of crime. "What
a magnificent spectacle," said the Parisian mob, "how interesting a
spectacle to see a woman of the wit and courage of Madame Roland on the
scaffold!" And it is precisely the same power, which excites the
sensitive admirer of works of fiction to ransack the shelves of a
library for works of thrilling and "painful" interest.

To the same kind of restless curiosity we have to ascribe the passionate
declamations of the tragic actor, and the splendid music of the opera;
the cunning feats of the village conjuror, and the lascivious pantomime
of the city ballet-dancers; the disgusting varieties of bull-fights, and
the celebrated feats of pugilism; the locomotive zeal of the great
pedestrians, and the perfect quiescence of the "pillar saints."

The habits of ancient Rome illustrate most clearly the extent to which
this passion for strong sensations may hurry the public mind into
extravagances, and repress every sentiment of sympathy and generosity.
Ambition itself is not so reckless of human life as _ennui_; clemency is
the favourite attribute of the former; but ennui has the tastes of a
cannibal, and the sight of human blood, shed for its amusement, makes it
greedy after a renewal of the dreadful indulgence. No one need be
informed, that the shows of ancient gladiators were attended by an
infinitely more numerous throng than is ever gathered by any modern
spectacle. And let it not be supposed, that the life of one of these
combatants was the more safe, because it depended on the interposition
of the Roman fair. The fondness for murderous exhibitions finally raged
with such vehemence, that they were at length introduced as an
attraction at a banquet, and the guests, as they reclined at table in
the luxury of physical ease, have been wet by the life-blood from the
veins of the wounded gladiators.

    Quinetiam exhilarare viris convivia cæde
    Mos olim, et miscere epulis spectacula dira
    Certantum ferro, sæpe et super ipsa cadentum
    Pocula, _respersis non parco sanguine mensis_.

Time would fail us were we to illustrate the various horrors which
attended these amusements, designed to entertain the most refined
population of Rome. Time would fail us were we to enumerate the various
classifications in the art of murder on the stage, the signals which
were made by the multitude in token of relenting clemency, the more
usual signal, made by virgins and matrons, demanding the continuance of
the combat unto death. Do we not call Titus the delight of the human
race? Do we not praise his commonplace puerility, _perdidi diem_, the
exclamation of conceit, rather than of manliness? And yet it was this
philanthropist, this favourite of humanity, who caused the vast
amphitheatre to be erected, as it were a monument to all ages of the
barbarous civilization of the capital of his empire. And as to the
numbers who appeared on these occasions, do we suppose it was a pair? or
a score? We will not ask after the horrors commended and consummated by
a Tiberius or a Caligula. Was not Trajan a moderate prince? Was he not
disposed to introduce habits of a reasonable industry? Yet the active
Trajan kept up a succession of games to cheat the population of Rome of
ennui, during a hundred and twenty-three days, in which time ten
thousand gladiators were decked for sacrifice.

Thus the vehemence of this passion is evident from the atrocity of the
resources by which its cravings are satisfied. We may also remark, that
superstition itself, interwoven as it is with all the fears and
weaknesses of humanity, subjects the human mind to a bondage less severe
and less permanent than that of the terrific craving after something to
dissipate the weariness of the heart. At Rome the sacrifices to the
heathen deities were abolished before the games of the gladiators were
suppressed; it was less difficult to take from the priests their spoils,
from the altars their victims, from the prejudices of the people their
religious faith, than to rescue from ennui the miserable wretches whose
lives were to be the sport of the idle. The laws already forbade the
offering the bull to Jove, when the poet still had to pray that none
might perish in the city under the condemnation of pleasure,

    Nullus in urbe cadat, cujus sit poena voluptas.

Philosophy itself offers no guarantee against the common infirmities of
listlessness. Many a stoic has resisted the attacks of external evils
with an exemplary fortitude; and has yet failed in his encounters with
time. Strange indeed that time should be an encumbrance to a sage!
Strange indeed, that, when life is so short, and philosophy boundless,
and time a gift of the most precious nature, dealt out to us in
successive moments, a possession which is most coveted, and can the
least be hoarded, which comes, but never returns, which departs as soon
as given, and is lost even in the receiving,--strange indeed that such a
gift, so precious, so transient, so fleeting, should ever press severely
upon a philosopher!

And yet wisdom is no security against ennui. The man who made Europe
ring with his eloquence, and largely contributed to the spirit of
republican enthusiasm, wasted away for months in a state of the most
foolish languor, under the idea that he was dying of a polypus at his
heart.[4] Nay, this philosopher, who presumed to believe himself skilled
in the ways of man, and an adept in the character of women, who dared to
expound religion and proposed to reform Christianity, who committed and
confessed the meanest actions,--and yet, as if in the presence of the
Supreme Arbiter of life and before the tribunal of Eternal Justice,
arrogated to himself an equality with the purest in the innumerable
crowd of immortal souls,--he, the proud one, would so far yield to
ennui, as to put the final and eternal welfare of his soul at issue on
the throw of a stone. La Harpe, no correct writer, nor sound critic,
affirms, that Rousseau undertook to decide the question of a
Superintending Providence by throwing stones at a tree. That would have
been not merely an imbecile but a blasphemous act. As the case stood,
Jean Jacques must be acquitted of any charge worse than that of
excessive and even ridiculous weakness. "_Je m'en vais_," he says to
himself, "_je m'en vais jeter cette pierre contre l'arbre qui est
vis-a-vis de moi: si je le touche, signe de salut; si je le marque,
signe de damnation._"

But Jean Jacques passes for an inspired madman. What shall we say to the
temperate Spinoza, whose life was not variegated by the brightness of
domestic scenes, and who, being cut off from active life and from social
love, necessarily encountered a void within himself. It was his
favourite resource against the visits of ennui, to catch spiders and
teach them to fight; and when he had so far made himself master of the
nature of these animals, that he could get them as angry as game cocks,
he would, all thin and feeble as he was, break out into a roar of
laughter, and chuckle to see his champions engage, as if they, too, were
fighting for honour.

Poor Spinoza! It may indeed be questioned, whether his whole philosophy
was not a sort of pastime with him. It may be, that after all he was
ingenious because he could not be quiet, and wrote his attacks on
religion from a want of something to do. At any rate it has fared
strangely with his works. The world had well nigh become persuaded, that
Spinoza was but a name for a degraded atheism, and now we have him
zealously defended, and in fact we have seen him denominated a saint.[5]
So near are extremes: the ridiculous borders on the sublime; and the
same man is denounced as a parricide of society, and again extolled as a
model of sanctity.

But we have a stronger example than either of these. The very
philosopher, who first declared experience to be the basis of knowledge,
and found his way to truth through the safe places of observation, gives
in his own character some evidences of participation in the common
infirmity. He said very truly, that there is a foolish corner even in
the wise man's brain. Yet, if there has ever appeared on earth, a man
possessed of reason in its highest perfection, it was Aristotle. He had
the gift of seeing the forms of things, undisturbed by the confusing
splendour of colours; his mind, like the art of sculpture, represented
objects with the most precise outlines and exact images; but the world
in his mind was a colourless world. He understood and has explained the
secrets of the human heart, the workings of the human passions; but he
performs all these moral dissections with the coolness of an anatomist,
engaged in a delicate operation. The nicety of his distinctions, and his
deep insight into the nature of man, are displayed without passion,
while his constant effort after the discovery of new truth, never for
one moment betrays him into mysticism, or tempts him to substitute
shadows for realities. One would think, that such a philosopher was the
personification of self-possession; that his unruffled mind would always
dwell in the serene regions of intelligence; that his step would be on
the firm ground of experience; that his progress to the sublime temple
of truth and of fame, would have been ever secure and progressive; that
happiness itself would have blessed him for his tranquil and
dispassionate devotedness to exalted pursuits.

But perhaps the clear perception of the realities of life is not the
secret source of contentment. Many a scholar has shrunk from the contest
of transient interests, and sought happiness rather in the world of
contemplation; and perhaps the studies of antiquity derive a part of
their charm, from their affording us a place of refuge against the
clamours and persecutions which belong to present rivalries. If the view
of human nature, adopted by a large portion of our theologians, is a
just one, the heart must recoil with horror from the true consideration
of the human world in its natural unmitigated depravity, and throw
itself rather into the hopes that belong to the future, and the mercies
that attach to the Supreme Intelligence, for relief against the apathy
which so cold a contemplation of unmingled evil might naturally produce.

In the mouth of Pindar, life might be called a dream, and it would but
pass for the effusion of poetic melancholy. But when the sagacious
philosopher asserts it, that all hope is but the dream of waking man, a
latent discontent broken from the concealment of an unsatisfied
curiosity, a baffled pursuit; when his mind had arrived at that state,
nothing but its remarkable vigour could have preserved him from settled

Again the venerable sage examined into the sources of happiness. It does
not consist, he affirms, in voluptuous pleasures, for they are
transient, brutalizing, and injurious to the mind; nor in public
honours, for they depend on those who bestow them, and it is not
felicity to be the recipient of an uncertain bounty; nor yet does
happiness consist in riches, for the care of them is but a toil; and if
they are expended, it is plainly a proof, that contentment is sought for
in the possession of other things. In the view of the Stagyrite,
happiness consists in the pursuit of knowledge, and in the practice of
virtue, under the auspices of mind, and nature, and fortune. He that is
intelligent, and young, and handsome, and vigorous, and rich, is alone
the happy man. Did the world need the sublime wisdom, the high mental
endowment of the Stagyrite, to learn, that neither the poor, nor the
dull, nor the aged, nor the sick, can share in the highest bounty of
the Universal Father? When it is remembered that Aristotle was favoured
above all his contemporaries in intellectual gifts, we ask the reader to
draw an inference as to the state of his mind, which still demanded the
beauties of personal attractions, and the lavish liberality of fortune.

When asked what is the most transient of fleeting things, the
philosopher made but a harsh answer, in naming "gratitude;" but his mind
must have been sadly a prey to ennui, when he could exclaim, "my
friends! there are no friends."

He could not be content to sit or stand, when he gave lessons in moral
science, but walked to and fro in constant restlessness; and, indeed, if
tradition reports rightly, he could not wait the will of Heaven for his
release from weariness, but in spite of all his sublime philosophy, and
all his expansive genius, he was content to die as the fool dieth.

But ennui kills others beside philosophers. It is not without example,
that men have committed suicide, because they have attained their utmost
wishes. The man of business, finding himself possessed of a sufficient
fortune, retires from active life; but the habit of action remains, and
becomes a power of terrific force. In such cases, the sufferer sits away
listless hours of intense suffering; the mind preys upon itself, and
sometimes madness ensues, sometimes suicide is committed.

Saul went out to find his father's asses. With the humble employment he
seems to have been reasonably pleased, and probably made search with a
light heart and an honest one. But, seeking asses, he found a kingdom;
and contentment fled when possession was full. In him, the reproofs of
conscience and discontent with the world produced a morbid melancholy,
and pain itself would have been to him a welcome refuge from ennui.

We detect the same subtle spirit at work, in the slanders in which
gossips find relief. Truth is not exciting enough to those who depend on
the characters and lives of their neighbours for all their amusement;
and if a story is told of more than common interest, ennui is sure to
have its joy in adding a few embellishments. If time did not hang heavy,
what would become of scandal? Time, the common enemy, must be passed, as
the phrase is, and the phrase bears its own commentary; and since the
days of gladiators are passed, where can be the harm of blackening the
reputation of the living? To the pusillanimous and the idle, scandal is
the condiment of life; and while back-biting furnishes their
entertainment abroad, domestic quarrelling fills up the leisure hours at
home. It is a pretty general rule, that the _médisante_ is a termagant
in her household; and, as for our own sex, depend upon it, in nine cases
out of ten, the evil tongue belongs to a disappointed man. In the tenth
case, the man is an _imbécile_.

Fashion, also, in its excess, is but a relief against ennui; and it is
rather strong evidence of the universal prevalence of listlessness, that
a change in dress at Paris, can, within a few months, be imitated in St.
Louis. Yet, in the young and the fair, a milder sentiment influences
conduct. In them, the latent consciousness of beauty, the charm of an
existence that is opening in the fulness of its attractions, the
becoming loveliness of innocence and youth, the simple cheerfulness of
inexperience, lead to a modest and decorous display. Broadway, the
unrivalled Broadway, is not without its loungers; yet the young and the
gay are not discontented ones. They move in the strength of their own
beauty, like the patriot statesman, neither shunning, nor yet courting
admiration; and tripping along the brilliant street, half coveting half
refusing attention,

    "They feel that they are happier than they know."

From Broadway we pass to the crowded haunts of business. Is there ennui
there? Do the money changers grow weary of profits? Is business so dull
that bankers have nothing to do? Are doubtful notes so uncommon, that
there is no latitude for shaving? Have the underwriters nothing at sea
to be anxious about? Do the insurers on life omit to look after those
who have taken out policies, and exhort them to temperance and exercise?
These are all busy enough; too much engaged, and too little romantic to
be much moved by sentimental regrets. But there are those, who plunge
headlong into affairs from the restlessness of their nature, and who
hurry into bold speculations, because they cannot endure to be idle.
Now, business, like poetry, requires a tranquil mind. But there are
those, who venture upon the career of business, under the impulse of
ennui. How shall the young and haughty heirs of large fortunes rid
themselves of their time, and acquit themselves in the eye of the public
of their imagined responsibilities? One writes a tale for the Souvenirs,
another speculates in the stocks. The former is laughed at, yet hoards
an estate; the latter is food for hungry sharks. Then comes bankruptcy;
sober thought repels the fiend that had been making a waste of life, or
the same passion drives its possessor to become a busy body and zealot
in the current excitement of the times; or absolute despair, ennui in
its intensity, leads to insanity.

For the mad house, too, as well as the debtor's gaol, is in part peopled
by the same blighting power, and nature recovers itself from a state of
languid apathy, only by the terrific excitement of frenzy. Or a passion
for suicide ensues; the mind revels in the contemplation of the grave,
and covets the aspect of the countenance of death as the face of a
familiar friend. The mind invests itself in the sombre shades of a
melancholy longing after eternal rest--a longing which is sometimes
connected with unqualified disbelief, and sometimes associates itself
with an undefined desire of a purely spiritual existence.

We might multiply examples of the very extensive prevalence of that
unhappy languor of which we are treating. Let us aim rather at observing
the limit of its power.

It was a foolish philosophy, which believed in ennui as an evidence and
a means of human perfectibility. The only exertions which it is capable
of producing, are of a subordinate character. It may give to passion a
fearful intensity, consequent on a state of moral disease; but human
virtue must be the result of far higher causes. The exercise of
principle, the generous force of purified emotions, cheerful desire, and
willing industry, are the parents of real greatness. If we look through
the various departments of public and of intellectual action, we shall
find the mark of inferiority upon every thing which has sprung from
ennui. In philosophy, it might produce the follies of Cynic oddity, but
not the sublime lessons of Pythagoras or Socrates. In poetry, it may
produce effusions from persons of quality, devoid of wit, but it never
could have pointed the satire of Pope. In the mechanic arts it may
contrive a balloon, but never could invent a steam-boat. In religion, it
stumbles at a thousand knotty points in metaphysical theology, but it
never led the soul to intercourse with heaven, or to the contemplation
of divine truth.

The celebrated son of Philip was a man of exalted genius; and political
wisdom had its share in his career. Ennui could never have produced
Macedonia's madman, but it may well put in its claim to the Swede. Or
let us look rather for a conqueror, who dreamed that he had genius to
rival Achilles, and yet never had a settled plan of action. The famous
king of Epirus has seemed to be an historical puzzle, so uncertain was
his purpose, so wavering his character. Will you know the whole truth
about him? Pyrrhus was an _ennuyé_.

When a painter, in the pursuit of his vocation, is obliged to give a
likeness of a person that has neither beauty nor soul, he may perhaps
draw figures in the air, or spoil his picture by an inconsiderate
flourish of his pencil. He dislikes his task, and his work will show it.

When a poet writes a song for hire, or solely to be sung to some
favourite air, it is more than probable his verses will be languid, and
his meaning doubtful. Thus, for example,--

    "The smiles of joy, the tears of wo
    Deceitful shine, deceitful flow."

This is sheer nonsense. Joy smiles in good earnest, and many an aching
heart knows too well the deep truth of distress.

The fervent eloquence of true piety springs from conviction, and reaches
the heart; but we have sometimes listened to a dull sermon, which
proceeded from weariness more than from zeal, and belonged to ennui more
than to the stirring action of eloquent religion. The lawyer, too, is
sometimes overborne in his plea by disgust with his work, and in his
tiresome repetitions you may plainly see how he loathes--

              "To drudge for the dregs of men,
    And scrawl strange words with the barbarous pen."

The life of Napoleon, in its busiest period, presents a remarkable
instance of ennui. While the allies were collecting around him in their
utmost strength, he was himself wavering in his purposes, and reluctant
to decide on the retreat to Leipsic. Strange, that at such a time he
should have given way to an overwhelming and almost childish languor.
Yet an eyewitness relates, "I have seen him at that time, seated on a
sofa, beside a table on which lay his charts, totally unemployed, unless
in scribbling mechanically large letters on a sheet of white paper."
Such was the power of ennui over Napoleon, at a time, when, in his own
language, nothing but a thunderbolt could save him.

It is dangerous for a man of superior ability to find himself thrown
upon the world without some regular employment. The restlessness
inherent in genius being thus left undirected by any permanent
influence, frames for itself occupations out of accidents. Moral
integrity sometimes falls a prey to this want of fixed pursuits; and the
man who receives his direction in active life from the fortuitous
impulse of circumstances, will be very apt to receive his principles
likewise from chance. Genius, under such guidance, attains no noble
ends; but resembles rather a copious spring, conveyed in a falling
aqueduct; where the waters continually escape through the frequent
crevices, and waste themselves ineffectually on their passage. The law
of nature is here, as elsewhere, binding; and no powerful results ever
ensue from the trivial exercise of high endowments. The finest mind,
when thus destitute of a fixed purpose, passes away without leaving
permanent traces of its existence; losing its energy by turning aside
from its course, it becomes as harmless and inefficient as the
lightning, which, of itself irresistible, may yet be rendered powerless
by a slight conductor.

These remarks apply perhaps in some measure even to Leibnitz, whose
sublime intelligence and mental activity were the wonder of his age. He
attained a celebrity of reputation, but hardly a contented spirit; at
times he descended to the consideration of magnitudes infinitely small,
and at times rose to the belief that he heard the universal harmony of
nature; for years he was devoted to illustrating the antiquities of the
family of a petty prince; and then again he assumed the sublime office
of defending the perfections of Providence. Yet with all this variety of
pursuit, the great philosopher was hardly to be called a happy man; and
it almost fills us with melancholy to find, that the very theologian who
would have proved this to be absolutely the best of all possible worlds,
died after all of chagrin.

Yet the name of Leibnitz is one which should rather excite unmingled
admiration; for the rich endowments of Heaven distinguished him as one
of the most favoured in that intellectual superiority which is the
choicest gift of God. Our subject is more fully illustrated in the case
of a less gifted, though a notorious man; one whose qualities have been
recently held up to admiration, yet for whom we find it impossible to
conceive sentiments of respect. We mean Lord Bolingbroke.

His talents as a writer have secured to him a very distinguished place
in the literature of England; and his political services, during the
reign of Queen Anne, have rendered him illustrious in English history.
But though he was possessed of wit, eloquence, family, wealth, and
opportunity, he never displayed true dignity of character, nor real
greatness of soul. He seemed to have no fixed principles of action; and
to have loved contest more than victory. Wherever there was strife,
there you might surely expect to meet St. John; and his public career
almost justifies the inference, that apostacy (if indeed a man who has
no principles can be called an apostate) would have seemed to him, after
his defeat, a moderate price for permission to appear again in the
lists. But as he had always coveted power with an insatiable avidity, he
never could rest long enough to acquire it. On the stormy sea of public
life, he was for ever struggling to be on the topmost wave; but the
waves receded as fast as he advanced; and fate seemed to have destined
him to waste his life in fruitless efforts and as fruitless changes.

In early life he sought distinction by his debaucheries; and from the
accounts of his biographer, it would seem, that he succeeded in becoming
the most daring profligate in London. Tired of the excess of
dissipation, he attempted the career of politics, and found his way into
Parliament under the auspices of the whigs. When politics failed, he put
on the mask of a metaphysician. Tired of that costume, he next attempted
to play the farmer. Dissatisfied with farming, he wrote political
pamphlets. Still discontented with his condition in the world, he strove
to undermine the basis of religion.

He began public life as a whig; but as the tories were in the ascendant,
he rapidly ripened into a tory; he ended his political career by
deserting the tories and avowing the doctrines of staunch and
uncompromising whigs. He tried libertinism, married life, politics,
power, exile, restoration, the House of Commons, the House of Lords, the
city, the country, foreign travel, study, authorship, metaphysics,
infidelity, farming, treason, submission, dereliction,--but ennui held
him with a firm grasp all the while, and it was only in the grave that
he ceased from troubling.

To an observer who peruses his writings with this view of his character,
many of his expressions of wise indifference and calm resignation, have
even a ludicrous aspect. The truth breaks forth from all his attempts at
disguise. The philosopher's robes could not hide the stately wrecks of
his political passions. They say, that round Vesuvius, the lava of
former eruptions has so entirely resolved itself into soil, that
vineyards thrive on the black ruins of the volcano; and that the ancient
devastation could hardly be recognised, except for an occasional dark
mass, which, not yet decomposed, frowns here and there over the
surrounding fertility. Something like this was true of St. John; he
believed his ambition extinct, and attempted to gather round its ruins
all the beauties and splendour of contented wisdom; but his nature was
still ungovernably fierce; and to the last, his passions lowered angrily
on the quiet scenes of his literary retirement.

There is no clue to his character, except in supposing him to have been
under the influence of ennui, which was perpetually terrifying him into
the grossest contradictions. He could not be said to have had any
principles, or to have belonged to any party; and to whatever party he
rallied, he was sure to become utterly faithless. He was not less false
to the Pretender than to the King, to Ormond than to Walpole. He was
false to the tories and false to the whigs; he was false to his country,
for he attempted to involve her in civil war; and false to his God, for
he combated religion. He was not swayed by a passion for glory, for he
did not pursue it steadily,--nor by a passion for power, for he
quarrelled with the only man by whose aid he could have maintained it.
He was rather driven to and fro by a wild restlessness, which led him
into gross contradictions "for his sins." Nor was his falsehood without
its punishment. What could be more pitifully degrading, than for one who
had been a successful British minister of state, and had displayed in
the face of Europe his capacity for business and his powers of
eloquence, to have finally stooped to accept a seat in the Pretender's
cabinet, where pimps and prostitutes were the prime agents and

There exists a very pleasant letter from Pope, giving an account of
Bolingbroke's rural occupations, during his country life in England,
after the reversal of his attainder. He insisted on being a farmer; and
to prove himself so, hired a painter to fill the walls of his parlour
with rude pictures of the implements of husbandry. The poet describes
him between two haycocks, watching the clouds with all the apparent
anxiety of a husbandman; but to us it seems, that his mind was at that
time no more in the skies than when he quoted Anaxagoras, and declared
heaven to be the wise man's home. His heart clung to earth, and to
earthly strife; and his uneasiness must at last have become deplorably
wretched, since he could consent to pick up stale arguments against
Christianity, and leave a piece of patchwork, made up of the shreds of
other men's scepticism, as his especial legacy to posterity, in proof of
the masterly independence of his mind.

Thus we have endeavoured to explain the nature of that apathy which is
worse than positive pain, and which impels to greater madness than the
fiercest passions,--which kings and sages have not been able to resist,
nor wealth nor pleasures to subdue. We have described ennui as a power
for evil rather than for good; and we infer, that it was an absurd
philosophy which classed it among the causes of human superiority, and
the means of human improvement. It is the curse pronounced upon
voluptuous indolence and on excessive passion; on those who decline
active exertion, and thus throw away the privileges of existence; and on
those who live a feverish life, in the constant frenzy of stimulated
desires. There is but one cure for it: and that is found in moderation;
the exercise of the human faculties in their natural and healthful
state; the quiet performance of duty, in meek submission to the
controlling Providence, which has set bounds to our achievements in
setting limits to our power. Briefly: our ability is limited by
Heaven--our desires are unlimited, except by ourselves--ennui can be
avoided only by conforming the passions of the human breast to the
conditions of human existence.

In pursuing this investigation, which we now bring to a close, we have
not attempted to exhaust the subject; we refer it rather to the calm
meditations of others, who will find materials enough within themselves.
And lest the impatient should throw aside our essay with the disgust of
satiety, or the persevering should by our prolixity be vexed with the
very spirit which we would rather teach them to exorcise, we here take a
respectful leave, with our sincerest wishes, that life may be to the
reader a succession of pleasant emotions, and death a resting place
neither coveted nor feared.


[1] Iliad, ix. 187-190.

[2] Iliad, ix. 310-320.

[3] Iliad. Pope renders this--Alike regretted in the dust he lies. But
it is an expression of discontent with destiny, which sets a common
limit to life, and not to men, whose regrets may be unequal.

[4] Jean Jacques Rousseau. Confessions, p. 1. l. vi.

[5] We remember perfectly well the beginning of an apostrophe to the
Jewish philosopher; "Du _heiliger_ Spinoza." Herder, too, has a good
deal to say in defence of him.

ART. III.--_Travels in Kamtchatka and Siberia; with a Narrative of a
Residence in China._ By PETER DOBELL. 2 vols. 12mo. 1830.

Mr. Dobell, the author of these volumes, is an American gentleman, who
formerly resided in the city of Philadelphia, where he was known as an
enterprising and intelligent merchant. Commercial business led him to
make several voyages, beyond the Cape of Good Hope; and circumstances at
length induced him to prolong his residence in Asia. He established
himself at Canton, where he lived for some years, and undertook, from
time to time, trading expeditions to various ports on the shore of the
Pacific Ocean. In the course of these, frequent opportunities were
afforded of noticing the manners, country, and state of society in
China, superior to such as occur to ordinary travellers; and much too of
the remote people of Eastern Russia, who are very little known to those
inhabiting the civilized portions of the world. These voyages were
succeeded by more than one journey across the country to St. Petersburg,
in which he observed, with an attentive eye and inquisitive disposition,
the extensive regions forming the _penetralia_ of that vast empire. His
intelligence and exertions were noticed and rewarded by the confidence
of the government, who conferred on him the office of Consul at some
Eastern port, and he was subsequently raised to the post of "Counsellor
of the court" of his Imperial Majesty, a rank which he still retains,
having probably relinquished the intention of returning to his own

The account of China, which, in the natural order, would form the first
portion of his narrative, is comprised in a sort of supplement to the
travels in Siberia, and contains in a more compendious form, a good
sketch of the manners and state of society in that singular country. The
means of observation, and of obtaining information, are indeed greatly
diminished, by the well known jealousy of the Chinese towards strangers,
and the extreme vanity and exaggeration with which they speak of
themselves and their country; but the pursuits of Mr. Dobell, together
with the recurrence of the opportunities by which he profited, give to
his account a considerable degree of novelty, and certainly entitle it
to more than ordinary confidence.

On his first arrival at Canton, he was struck with the new and
interesting scene that presented itself. Islands, hills, canals, and
rivers, were scattered around. The verdure was lively, the population
excessive, the vegetation and general appearance of the country totally
different from those he had elsewhere beheld, and the waters glittered
with innumerable fleets of boats of various sizes and descriptions. The
boatmen and pilots addressed him in a language which he afterwards
found to prevail extensively at Canton, and which was called English; it
is, in truth, a bad dialect of that language, the composition and
pronunciation of which are so curious and difficult, that a residence of
a year or two is necessary for its acquisition. None of the Chinese,
rich or poor, understand those who speak plain English. The first
intercourse of a foreigner with the natives, displays that imposition
and venality which are more strongly exhibited, during every month of
his residence among them. He is at once surrounded by persons, called
_compradors_, who offer their assistance in supplying him with
provisions of every description; they serve him without wages, although
they are obliged to pay the Mandarins for the privilege of affording
their generous aid to strangers; the consequence is, they take especial
care to remunerate themselves handsomely at the expense of those to whom
they extend their kindness. Besides this, as they bribe the custom-house
officers, they are able to offer many facilities, and to carry on an
extensive contraband commerce. Those officers are sent to a vessel
immediately on her arrival, and their boats, called hoppoo-boats are
constantly attached to her stern while she remains in port; their
consciences, however, are easily satisfied by the liberality of the
comprador, and they pass their time in smoking, sleeping, and playing at
cards; indeed, if any extraordinary smuggling is desired to be
accomplished, they protect the offender against the officious
interference of other officers: they keep shops on board of their boats,
where they exercise their expertness in cheating, and, as every thing is
sold by weight, it is necessary to weigh for yourself what you buy, to
avoid the tricks which they always endeavour to play.

Undoubtedly, the venality of the Chinese has been increased by the
introduction of commerce from beyond the Cape of Good Hope; but there is
no doubt also, that its existence is of very old date, and that it is
owing to the nature and conduct of the government, more than to the
character of the people. There are so many prohibitions and enormous
duties to tempt their prevailing passion, avarice, that vast numbers
engage in the contraband trade, as being the most profitable; moderate
duties, and freedom of importation, would destroy the temptation, and
render smuggling dangerous and unprofitable; at present it has become an
organized system of plunder, protected by the Mandarins themselves.

     "The opium trade," says Mr. Dobell, "with the exception of ten
     chests of that pernicious drug, that are allowed to be imported
     into Macao, for medicinal purposes, is entirely conducted by
     smugglers. In defiance of an annual edict from the Emperor,
     making it death to smuggle opium, the enormous quantity of
     nearly _four thousand chests_ is imported every year to Macao
     and Whampoa; the greater part, however, goes to the former
     place. When I inform my readers that each chest weighs a
     _pecul_, that is to say, 133-1/3 English pounds, and that it
     sells for twelve to fifteen hundred, and sometimes two thousand
     Spanish dollars a chest, they may form some judgment of the
     value and extent of smuggling in China. It is a business that
     all the inferior Mandarins, and some of the higher ones, their
     protectors, are engaged in; so that opium is carried through
     the streets of Macao, in the most bare-faced manner, in the
     open day. The opium dealers at Whampoa, formerly took it away
     by night, but latterly I have seen them go to the ship, with
     the linguist of the Whampoa custom-house officer, and take it
     out in the day time. Sixty Spanish dollars is the bribe paid
     for each chest of opium sold at Macao; and if it goes to
     Canton, it pays sixty more on its arrival there. Large boats
     armed, and having from thirty to forty men, called opium boats,
     ply between Macao and Canton, when that market offers an
     advantage in price. These boats carry this drug, and are
     sanctioned by the custom-house officers, who, of course,
     receive for this business likewise, a good bribe."

The only attempts made to suppress this practice, are on the initiation
into office of new _foo-yunes_, or governors, who have not yet perfectly
learned the established usages, or who have not been propitiated by the
necessary gratuities. In these cases, a terrible revolution occurs in
the peaceful and quiet frauds of the smugglers; their shops are broken
up, their property confiscated without mercy, and all the terrors of the
law invoked upon the persons of such, who indeed are few, as have not
alertness and foresight enough to keep out of the way. This excess of
virtue does not endure long however; and the liberal generosity of the
traders generally contrives, in a month, to overcome the scruples of the
most resolute.

     "During my residence, however," says Mr. Dobell, "a _foo-yune_
     arrived, who proved incorruptible, and he almost destroyed the
     smugglers, as well as the profits of his colleagues; which
     latter, becoming tired of his persecutions, united together,
     and by their intrigues had him advanced to a much higher
     station. Being a man of talent, he got another step again in a
     short time, and at length came back to Canton as Tsan-tuk or
     viceroy. The opium dealers and smugglers were greatly alarmed,
     shut up their shops, and secreted themselves for some time. It
     appeared their fears were groundless. This artful man, who
     formerly persecuted them from political motives, to insure his
     advancement, was now as mild and propitious as possible. Having
     arrived at an elevated station, with the certainty of rising
     still higher, he sought to enrich himself, in order to be more
     sure of gratifying his ambition. Accordingly, he proved kind to
     his colleagues, and polite to Europeans; and by his affability
     of deportment, contrived to amass the largest fortune that ever
     fell to the share of a viceroy of Canton. He was afterwards
     made a member of the emperor's council at Pekin."

The robbery of the government, if conducted with sufficient skill and
boldness, seems to be as successful as smuggling--indeed, it is a maxim
with those in power, never to risk a defeat, and that it is best to
accomplish their ends, by a crafty and cautious delay until a favourable
moment for executing them arrives. The salt trade is one of the most
lucrative, important, and extensive, and is conducted entirely under
special licenses from Mandarins, appointed by the crown. Some years
since, the pirates on the coast intercepted the salt-junks, and
compelled the monopolists to negotiate with them, and pay a certain sum
for the safe passage of every vessel. After a while, this intercourse
led to a regular trade, by which the captains of the salt-junks supplied
the pirates with arms and ammunition, and the government discovering it,
an entire stop was put to the salt trade. The pirates, however, were not
to be so easily frightened or defeated; their admiral, Apo-Tsy,
forthwith commenced an offensive warfare; assembled an immense fleet of
junks and a force of upwards of twenty thousand men, invaded the country
near Macao, cut all the ripe rice, and carried it off, as well as a
great number of women, whom he presented to his followers. In vain did
the viceroy attack the piratical fleet,--he was defeated in every
engagement, and the affair was only terminated by making Apo-Tsy
governor of the province of Fokien, and pardoning all his followers!
Matters however did not stop here; in some of his battles, Apo-Tsy had
taken prisoner an admiral nearly related to the heir to the crown, and
cut off his head; as soon as the relative ascended the throne, he
despatched a polite message to the governor of Fokien, to say, that the
laws of the empire required blood for blood, and that his excellency's
head was therefore required instead of the admiral's. There was no
excuse to be made, and the twenty thousand pirates were no longer at
hand, so that Apo-Tsy's head was conveyed to Pekin.

This salt trade is very extensive; no less than twenty thousand tons of
shipping being occupied in it alone. Indeed the great commerce of the
Chinese appears to be that carried on by their own junks to the
Indo-Chinese islands. One of these vessels will carry a cargo of from
three to five thousand dollars value, in earthenware, silks, nankeens,
ironmongery, tea, and other productions and manufactures of the Chinese.
They have settlements on all these islands, and are certainly invaluable
colonists, as they have sufficiently proved wherever they are
established. They work the mines, plant cotton, make indigo and sugar,
and acquire large fortunes among the slothful and careless Malays.
Though they intermarry with these people, they never adopt their habits
or religion, but remain, as well as their descendants, a distinct race;
and wherever found, their settlements present a complete miniature
picture of China. It is indeed a gross error to consider China a country
wholly agricultural and manufacturing; on the contrary, the Chinese are
one of the most commercial nations of the globe. It is true, they affect
themselves to hold the trade which they carry on with distant nations,
as comparatively unimportant, and assert that with the contiguous
islands to be infinitely more lucrative; yet this is to be ascribed to
their habit of decrying other countries; and it is not to be doubted
that the revenue derived from the commerce they thus contemn, is very
great. The importations into Canton from England, America, Holland,
France, Sweden, Denmark, Manilla, and India, in European and American
ships, in money and merchandise, must be annually from thirty to forty
millions of dollars. The bad policy which occasions the immense
contraband trade in opium, deprives the government of duties, annually,
to the amount of four or five millions of dollars. Their commercial
system with foreigners, shows a great deal of deep cunning, but it is
repulsive to wisdom and good policy, and by no means calculated to
afford them the advantages they might derive from that intercourse.

The highly wrought principles and moral maxims, which abound in the
writings of the lawgivers and philosophers of China, have been sometimes
cited to prove the existence of a superior system of institutions and
laws. Theoretical speculations, vanity, and self adulation, are one
thing; wise administration, and practical justice, are another. The
doctrines of Confucius are worthy to be placed with those of Solon; the
rescripts of the celestial emperor, abound in common-places of unbending
integrity and the sternest equity; but notwithstanding all this, the
morals of the people are debased, the very foundations of virtue are
sapped by bribery and corruption, with all their concomitant vices; the
sword of justice is arrested; and license is widely given to the
violation of public and private rights. Some instances of this
unblushing venality are mentioned by Mr. Dobell.

     "By the law of homicide, life must atone for life; and, if a
     person dies suddenly, the master of the house is treated in the
     same manner as if he had been guilty, until he proves the fact.
     This keeps the Chinese always on their guard, and ready to
     deceive the mandarins, or to bribe them, if necessity should
     require. A person of my acquaintance related to me, that he had
     a large garden, where there were some nice fruits, which were
     often stolen; and although his servants had frequently watched,
     they could not detect the offender. He therefore determined to
     watch with them; and, having armed himself with a pike,
     accompanied his two servants in the night, to try and detect
     the thief. Not long after he had placed himself at his post, he
     saw a naked man approach the trees near where he stood. He
     called to him to stand still or he would kill him. The fellow,
     frightened at this summons, made off with all speed; and the
     master of the house, seeing him about to escape, threw his pike
     at him, which killed him on the spot. He was much alarmed at
     the accident; but recollecting himself, he promised his
     servants a handsome present to keep the affair secret; and with
     their assistance, threw the dead body over the wall, into his
     neighbour's garden. This, too, was managed in so careful
     manner, as to render it impossible to discover whence the body
     came. His neighbour, who was a very rich tea-merchant, felt no
     less alarmed than astonished, on the following morning, when
     his servants informed him that a dead man had been found in the
     garden, who to all appearance had been murdered. The story soon
     reached the mandarin of the district, who proceeded, in all due
     form, to execute the duties of his office, and examine the
     body; not a little delighted to have to deal with such a man as
     the rich tea-merchant. A corpse found in this way cannot be
     touched or removed until the police-mandarin of the district
     comes and inquires into the manner of the person's death; and
     if there is any thing suspicious, he will not suffer the dead
     man to be taken away, before he has had some satisfactory
     proofs of the cause of his death. As none such could be
     elicited from the merchant, who, conscious of his innocence,
     thought the mandarin could do him no harm, the latter
     commenced a regular process, and made him daily visits, besides
     sending for him frequently, and thus perplexed him exceedingly.
     All this time the dead man was left in the garden, which being
     near the house, and the body beginning to putrefy, such an
     odour was caused as became almost insupportable. At length, the
     merchant, overpowered by the bad smell, and alarmed by the
     measures the mandarin was preparing to prove him culpable, was
     happy to compromise the affair, and have the dead body removed,
     on paying the sum of four thousand five hundred Spanish

Nor was this the end of the adventure, which reminds one of the story of
the Little Hunch-back, in the Arabian Nights Entertainments:--

     "A few years after, the person who put the dead man into the
     merchant's garden, had himself a disagreeable affair, though it
     cost him less trouble and money to get rid of it. In the street
     where he lived, and not far from his house, was an eating house
     for the lower classes. A beggar, who had been half-starved,
     receiving from some compassionate person enough to purchase
     himself a very ample repast, repaired to this eating house, and
     called for several things at the same moment, which he ate most
     voraciously. The owner of the eating house requested him to
     stop a while before he ate again, as he perceived it must have
     been some time since he had satisfied his hunger. The beggar,
     however, would not listen to reason; he demanded food for his
     money till it was all expended, and then dropped down dead.
     This happened towards evening; and when the host perceived that
     it was dark, he and his servants took up the dead mendicant,
     and placed him at the door of the person before mentioned. On
     the following morning, the beggar-mandarin of the district came
     to him, and was very troublesome, declaring the beggar had been
     killed by some of his family, and that he should institute a
     process against him immediately. The accused, however, had the
     good fortune to find a witness, who had seen the keeper of the
     eating house and his servants put the body at his door.
     Although the beggar-mandarin could now do nothing against him
     in law, he refused to take the corpse away; and he was obliged
     to pay him two hundred dollars to have it removed before it
     became offensive. No doubt he got a good fee likewise from the
     master of the eating house."

The accounts we have of the population of China, greatly exaggerate it
in the opinion of Mr. Dobell. The persons by whom these statements are
given, have been generally ambassadors, missionaries and others, who
were, from political motives, as well as convenience of travelling,
conducted in boats on the canals and rivers which intersect the richest,
best cultivated and most populous parts of the empire. But it is
ridiculous to calculate the number of inhabitants, by assuming, as the
basis, the population of a square league so settled, and to imagine that
all the land is equally well cultivated. The truth is, that all the rice
grounds of the empire--and the whole population eats rice--would be
utterly insufficient to afford the necessary quantity, for any thing
approaching to the numbers which it is currently asserted to contain.

The system of husbandry, too, is defective, though the cultivators of
the soil are industrious; about Canton and Macao, they transplant every
stalk of rice by hand with great regularity, and make two crops in the
year; one in July, the other in October. In the cultivation of
vegetables of all sorts, they are not surpassed by any nation of the
globe. Rents are usually paid in cattle, hogs, fowls, rice, and the
various productions of the soil, and the tenure is a species of feudal
one, derived primarily from the emperor, who is considered theoretically
as the actual proprietor of all the soil.[6] Fruits are so plentiful,
that there is less attention paid to them than in colder climates;
almost every month of the year has its peculiar fruits; but those most
esteemed are the oranges, mangoes, and lichees. Of the productions of
the soil, however, that most prized by foreigners, as well as most used
and esteemed in China, is tea. To the history of this celebrated plant,
Mr. Dobell has devoted a whole chapter, but we confess that we have
found it less perspicuous, except as to the commercial value of the
various qualities offered for sale, than we desired or expected, after
the opportunities of observation which he possessed. We infer, that he
agrees with the prevailing opinion, that there is but one species of the
tea plant. He speaks of four _stocks_, by which he seems to mean the
varieties arising from a difference of cultivation, soil, or
temperature. These four stocks are _Bohea_, _Ankay_, _Hyson_, and
_Singlo_--names derived from the places in which they are particularly
cultivated. From the two former are prepared what we call _black_ teas,
from the two latter _green_ teas. According to the season at which the
leaves are gathered, and the manner in which they are subsequently
prepared, is the excellence of each kind. Of _black_ teas, the Bohea
kinds are superior to the Ankay; thus, the simplest or commonest sort of
the first, sells at Canton for twelve to fourteen taels per pecul,[7] of
the other for eight to ten; and the finest sort of the first, Bohea
Pecho, brings from forty to one hundred and twenty taels; but of the
latter, Ankay Pecho, only thirty-two to forty-two taels. In like manner
of _green_ teas, the Hyson kinds are superior to the Singlo; thus the
commonest sort of the first, called Hyson Skin, sells for twenty-six to
thirty taels, while that of the latter, called Singlo Skin, sells at
twenty-two to twenty-five taels; and the finest sort of the first, or
Hyson Gunpowder, brings eighty to one hundred and twenty taels, while
Singlo Gunpowder brings only fifty to eighty taels. As the subject is
one of considerable interest, we have condensed into a short table the
comparative qualities and values of the different kinds of teas, so far
as we can do so from the remarks of Mr. Dobell:--the value is reduced to
our own currency, and the quantity to our own weights; the price is that
of the Canton market.

_Black Teas._

Common Bohea,           21 dollars per 133-1/3 pounds
Bohea Congou,           33    "     "             "
Bohea Campoi,           34    "     "             "
Bohea Souchong,         60    "     "             "
Bohea Pecho,           133    "     "             "
Common Ankay,           15    "     "             "
Ankay Congou,           27    "     "             "
Ankay Campoi,           38    "     "             "
Ankay Souchong,         41    "     "             "
Ankay Pecho,            61    "     "             "

_Green Teas._

Hyson Skin,             46 dollars per 133-1/3 pounds
Hyson Young-hyson,      63    "     "             "
Hyson,                  91    "     "             "
Hyson Gunpowder,       166    "     "             "
Singlo Skin,            39    "     "             "
Singlo Young-hyson,     47    "     "             "
Singlo Hyson,           78    "     "             "
Singlo Gunpowder,      108    "     "             "

Tea is the common beverage of all classes, and is always drunk warm,
even in the hottest weather, and at all hours of the day. It is prepared
by putting a small quantity of the leaves in a fine porcelain cup;
boiling water is then poured on it, and it is covered immediately with
another cup fitting closely: as soon as the flavour of the tea is
slightly extracted, it is sipped hot, as it is, great strength being
avoided; the cup is then filled again with boiling water, until all the
flavour of the herb is exhausted. Mechanics and labourers, who cannot
afford to drink it in this manner, draw it in a large block-tin tea-pot,
cased with wood, and having cotton wool put between the wood and the
vessel to preserve the warmth longer. The extreme heat of the tea, as
preferred by the Chinese, is one of the causes, perhaps, that tend to
produce the relaxation, weakness of digestion, and languor of nerve,
with which they are much afflicted.

The perfection of many of the mechanic arts in China, which cannot be
denied in some instances, results less from any scientific skill, than
from the laboured experience of ages brought slowly to a certain point.
Beyond that, no discoveries of modern knowledge have led them. Thus, the
brightness and permanence of colouring in their silk manufactures, are
not produced by any secret mordents or process, but derived from a very
nice experience of the climate, and certain concurrent circumstances.
For instance, great numbers of persons are employed, so that great
rapidity in the execution of the process is assured. The north wind,
called Pak-fung, is the only period at which the silks are dried. And
when they are packed up for exportation, great care is taken to avoid a
time when there is the slightest dampness.

Nothing has ever been more exaggerated, than the state of civilization
and social advancement among the Chinese. They are, in general, a
frugal, sober, and industrious people; but the accounts of their
government, sciences, religion, public institutions, and improvement in
morals and arts, are both false and ridiculous. The administration of
public affairs, is such as would disgrace any country on the globe; and
the code of laws which is expressed in such high flown metaphors, and
boasts such wonderful wisdom in its doctrines, serves, in truth, but as
a cloak to hide injustice and oppression. In former times, the mandarins
or nobles were said to be chosen from amongst the best of the nation, by
wise men sent for that purpose by the emperor; at present, money wins
its way more easily than talent or virtue, to the hearts of these
electors. The poorer classes live in a state of extreme wretchedness;
their houses are low, confined, and filthy, and they crowd together in
great numbers; on the coasts, those who live in boats,--and they are
stated to amount at Canton to sixty or eighty thousand souls,--have much
cleaner and more commodious habitations. There is said to be more
deformity among them than among any other people; and all classes are
subject to the complaints which result from debauchery and the use of
opium. In the latter, they appear to find an almost inexpressible
delight. The Chinese have no surgeons, and are almost totally ignorant
of anatomy; the first physicians of Canton, have none but the most
confused notions of the circulation of the blood; they believe it flows
differently on the right and left sides of the body, and they therefore
feel both pulses when they visit a patient.

At Canton, during the summer months, the thermometer varies from 82° to
92°. There is but little frost in winter, and not much rain. The streets
are only made for foot passengers. The mandarins ride in sedan-chairs of
large size, with glass windows, carried on the shoulders of four, six,
ten, or twelve men; several fellows run before with whips, which they
apply without mercy to any one obstructing the way; others beat gongs to
warn the crowd; whilst some cry out, with a shrill voice, like the
howling of dogs. The Chinese, indeed, though supposed to be a grave
nation, are remarkably fond of personal display; few countries abound
more with fops. The dress of an exquisite is very expensive, being
composed of the most costly crapes or silks; his boots or shoes are of a
particular shape, and made of the richest black satin of Nankin, with
soles of a certain height; his knee caps are elegantly embroidered; his
cap and button are of the neatest cut; his pipes elegant and
high-priced; his tobacco of the best manufacture of Fokien; an English
gold watch; a tooth-pick hung at his button, with a string of valuable
pearls; and a fan from Nankin, scented with _chulan_ flowers--such are
his personal appointments. He is attended by servants in costly
liveries; and, when he meets an acquaintance, his studied manners and
ceremonial are as carefully displayed, as the airs of the most
accomplished dandy in Christian countries.

All amusements are anxiously sought after. Theatrical exhibitions
constantly take place after dinner in the houses of the rich. Cards and
dice abound every where. Besides these, they have many other sports and
games of chance, peculiar to the country. Cricket fighting and quail
fighting are very common. To make two male crickets fight, they are
placed in an earthen bowl, about five or eight inches in diameter; the
owner of each, tickles his cricket with a feather, which makes them both
run round the bowl different ways, frequently jostling one another as
they pass. After several meetings in this way, they at length become
exasperated, and fight with great fury until they literally tear each
other limb from limb.

Quails for fighting are prepared with great care. Every one has a
separate keeper, who has his bird confined in a small bag, which he
carries with him wherever he goes. The poor prisoner is rarely permitted
to see the light, except when he is fed, or it is deemed necessary for
his health; he is then held by the keeper on his hand, sometimes for
hours. When two quails are brought to fight, they are placed in a thing
like a large sieve, in the centre of a table, round which the spectators
stand to witness the battle and make their bets. Some grains of millet
seed are put into the sieve, and the quails are taken from the bags and
placed near it, opposite to each other. If they are birds of courage,
the moment one begins to eat he is attacked by the other, and they fight
hard for a few minutes. The quail that is beaten flies up, and the
conqueror remains to eat the seed. The best fights seldom last more than
five minutes. Immense sums of money are lost and won on them, for they
are very uncertain; sometimes one quail has been known to win several
hundred battles, and then suddenly to be beaten by a new and untutored

Next to quail fighting, the flower-boats occupy most of a Chinese
gentleman's leisure hours. They are the residence of women, generally of
agreeable conversation and lively manners, but not of the purest
character. The vessels are so called, from having the sides, windows,
and doors, carved in flowers, and painted green and gilded. They are
divided into rooms, which are well ventilated and fitted up with
verandas, galleries, and all the conveniences of comfort, luxury, and
dissipation. The gentlemen go to them in the afternoon; parties are
formed; they all sit round a large table, well furnished, and eat,
drink, sing, and play, until morning. It is said that from forty to
fifty thousand dollars are spent daily in the flower-boats of Canton. By
an ancient custom, the Hong-merchants there, when making their contracts
for tea, (which is generally done a year in advance,) are obliged to
invite the persons with whom they wish to contract, to partake of a
repast in one of those boats. The bargain is always easy in proportion
to the sumptuousness and splendour of the supper, during which it is
concluded; and although very expensive, is fully repaid by the
advantages gained in the contract.

When a Chinese gives a ceremonious dinner, it is done with great
splendour. Several days before, a large red paper is sent to the guests,
on which the invitation is written in the politest terms of the
language. On the day preceding the party, another invitation is sent on
rose coloured paper, to remind them of it, and to ascertain whether they
are coming. Again, on the next day, a short time before the hour
appointed, the invitation is repeated, to inform them that the feast is
prepared and awaits them. A great number of dishes are served on small
ebony tables, and dressed in the most piquant manner; there are several
courses; and, in addition to various wines, cordials of a fiery nature
are offered from time to time. When two persons wish to pledge one
another, they leave the tables, go into the middle of the room, and take
care to place the cups to their lips exactly at the same instant. They
are not apt to become intoxicated. Between the courses they rise from
the table and walk about. The most expensive delicacy they can offer is
_birds' nest soup,_ with pigeons' or plovers' eggs floating on it. The
birds' nests, so used, are formed of a mucilage supposed to be collected
from certain weeds floating on the sea, by the swallows of the Indian,
Chinese, and Pacific oceans; some of the best come from Batavia and the
Nikobar Islands; they are sold by weight, and a catty (one pound and
three quarters) of the best parts, sells for the enormous price of
forty-five to sixty dollars.

The Chinese do not appear to be governed by fixed and solid principles
of religion, such as the Christian faith, produced by conviction or
reason. They have a superstitious reverence for certain ceremonies,
rights, and ancient customs, which have prevailed for ages; and these
serve, in many respects, to cover various vices and habits which are
prevalent. They seem, however, to believe in a Supreme Being, called the
_Great Joss_, or _Yook-Chee_, represented only to the mind, and not
allowing his image to be made on earth; and they say, should any one be
rash enough to make a statue of him, he would be immediately struck
dead. He is, however, described on paper, holding the little finger of
his right hand across the first joint of the middle finger, the
fore-finger resting on the point of the little finger, and the third
finger bent round it, whilst the thumb is also bent upwards, a very
curious and difficult position to place the fingers in. They believe
that when he opens his hand, the world and mankind are to be destroyed;
and they consider all the other deities and spirits, to whom, however,
they do not pay a very great adoration, as sent by him to the world.
These are supposed to preside over rain, crops, dreams, &c., and have
various attributes, which it would require volumes to explain. The
Chinese have no regular priesthood, supported by the government; it
depends on voluntary contributions and endowments of the rich; it has
its monasteries, where numbers of both sexes devote themselves to
celibacy; but, in general, it seems, as a body, to have less influence
than in most countries. In all rich families, there is a shing-shang, or
astrologer, who is consulted on all occasions; he is the tutor, and
generally the writer; and thus becomes a man of much importance. The
funerals are objects of great attention; and, where it is possible,
great expense is bestowed on them; every care is taken to choose a lucky
spot for interment, and the tombs are made very splendid.

These are a few of the facts we have noted with regard to the Chinese,
in perusing Mr. Dobell's volumes; and but a very few. Those who are
desirous to obtain a fuller account of the country, manners, and state
of society of that singular people, than our limited space will permit
us to give, may turn to them with great profit. He has evidently devoted
much attention to the collection of information; and, resulting as it
does, from the observations of a number of years, with an opportunity of
correcting and comparing accounts and impressions, received at various
times and under various circumstances, we believe that just and great
reliance may be placed on it. We must now leave China, however, and
follow him on his expedition to the north of Asia.

Leaving Canton, and proceeding along the western shore of the Pacific
ocean, he landed at the harbour of St. Peter and St. Paul, on the 25th
of August, 1812. He describes the bay of the Avatcha, which forms the
port, as forty versts in circumference, encompassed by forest-covered
mountains and extensive meadows. It is so capacious and safe, that large
fleets may securely lie there; and it affords a combination of
picturesque beauty, grandeur, and security, rarely equalled in other
parts of the globe. Immense tracts of low ground extend along the outlet
of the river Avatcha, which present the appearance of having been banked
out in former times, to prevent their being overflowed. So numerous,
indeed, are these embankments, and so far beyond the necessities or
ability of such a population as the present, to erect, that they are by
many of the inhabitants supposed to be natural mounds. This conjecture,
however, Mr. Dobell was convinced was incorrect, from repeated

     "Evident marks remain," he observes, "where the earth has been
     dug out and thrown up; the holes, which were very deep, are now
     ponds, whilst the shallower ones have been filled up with soft
     mud, and have a thick surface of turf upon them, resembling
     what is called a shaking bog. There is no doubt of their being
     the work of man; but when and how it was performed was what I
     could not discover. The Kamtchatdales themselves could have had
     no inducement to undertake such a laborious task; as, when they
     were first known, they had neither horned cattle nor horses.
     They were probably made after the conquest of that country by
     the Russians, when domestic animals were introduced; as they
     are evidently intended to preserve the low lands for hay and
     pasture. This has been so well accomplished, that the greater
     part of them are still actually in good order."

After passing a few days at Avatcha, and gratifying the inhabitants with
a ball on board of his vessel, Mr. Dobell set out, on the first of
September, for Nijna Kamtchatsk, a town seven hundred and fifty miles
distant, the residence of the governor, whom it was necessary for him to
see, in order to make the commercial arrangements he desired. He
ascended the Avatcha river, the banks of which are for the most part
composed of fine meadow land, or hills thickly covered with birch. Early
on the following day, the party left their boats, and proceeded on
horseback over two or three very steep mountains, and amid clouds of
mosquitoes, which tormented them exceedingly. The houses at which they
stopped, from time to time, were in general black, smoky, and dirty, but
the inhabitants kind and hospitable beyond measure, though poor. The
universal food is fish--men, dogs, bears, wolves, and birds of prey, all
live upon them, and indeed they abound, in quantities fully sufficient
to supply all; they are seen in the streams sporting about by thousands,
and even the shores are covered with dead ones thrown up by the current.

The dwelling of the Kamtchatdales is of two kinds--for the summer and
the winter. The former, which is called a _ballagan,_ is a building of a
conical form, composed of poles fourteen or fifteen feet long, laid up
from the edge of a circle, ten or twelve feet in diameter, the tops
meeting at the centre, and tied there by ozier twigs or ropes. The
outside of these is covered with birch or pine bark, over which there is
sometimes a thatching of coarse grass, fastened down by other poles and
oziers. This kind of hut is generally erected in the centre of a square
platform, elevated ten or twelve feet, upon large posts planted deep in
the ground. Poles are again placed in rows under the building and
between the posts, where they dry their fish, which the hut serves to
cover from the weather, as well as to store and preserve them when
dried. The door of the ballagan is always opposite to the water; the
fire-place on a bed of earth outside, at one corner of the platform. A
large piece of timber, with notches cut in it instead of steps, and
placed against the platform at an angle of forty-five degrees, is the
method of ascending and descending, particularly unsafe and inconvenient
for those not accustomed to so uncouth a staircase.

The winter house, or _jourta_, is a sort of subterranean dwelling. It
generally consists of a frame of timber, put into a square hole four or
five feet deep, and within the frame a quantity of stakes are set close
together, inclining a little inwards, and the earth thrown against them.
The stakes are left round on the outside, but hewn within, and the top
is framed over in the same manner and arched and supported by
stanchions. In the centre of the roof is a square hole, which serves the
double purpose of a door and a chimney, the inhabitants passing in or
out by means of a piece of timber with notches cut in it, such as we
have before described. The top and sides of the jourta are covered
outside with a quantity of earth and sodded. At one end, there is a
large hole with a stopper to it, which is opened when the oven is
heating, to force the smoke out at the door. When once heated, and the
stopper closed, jourtas are warm, and, were it not for the smoke, would
be comfortable. The description of such subterranean habitations, and of
the lives led by these rude people during their long and bitter winters,
cannot be read without reviving in the memory those lines of Virgil,
which describe a race similar in all respects--even to the acid liquors
they distil; but dwelling in regions far less remote from the warm skies
of Italy.--

    "Ipsi in defossis specubus secura sub altâ
    Otia agunt terrâ; congestaque robora, totasque
    Advolvêre focis ulmos, ignique dedêre.
    Hic noctem ludo ducunt, et pocula læti
    Fermento atque acidis imitantur vitea sorbis.
    Talis hyperboreo septem subjecta trioni
    Gens effræna virûm Riphæo tunditur Euro
    Et pecudum fulvis velantur corpora setis."

The increase of civilization, wealth, and intercourse with other
nations, has however effected a great change in the mode of life among
this remote people. Cottages, made generally of logs, are substituted
for these ruder mansions, especially in the neighbourhood of the
sea-ports; and a traveller occasionally meets with much that reminds him
of fairer climes, and a state of society less primitive.

     "On reaching Sherrom, a cottage was pointed out to us as the
     habitation of the Toyune, the outward appearance of which was
     too engaging not to excite anticipations of good cheer within.
     As it was a low building, I put my head into one of the windows
     that was open, and was quite surprised to see so neat and
     clean a dwelling in that country. The name of the owner, who
     was Toyune of Sherrom, was Conon Merlin. He and his wife were
     absent fishing, but we were not less hospitably received by his
     daughter and daughter-in-law, two clean dressed pretty young
     women, who welcomed us with their smiles, and made us imagine,
     that, instead of Kamtchatka, we had got into the land of
     enchantment. Every thing about them seemed in unison with their
     appearance. The tables and stools were of poplar white as snow;
     no vermin was to be seen on the walls, which were hewn smooth
     and whitened; and the whole presented a picture of neatness,
     cleanliness, and comfort, such as we had not yet seen in
     Kamtchatka. In fifteen minutes after our arrival, a refreshing
     cup of tea was prepared, with fresh butter, cream, and milk;
     and their being served up in so neat a manner, made them taste
     more delicious than usual. Our hostess being a well-behaved
     young woman, we requested her to do the honours of the table,
     which she performed with the utmost cheerfulness and
     politeness, just as if she had been bred in a city. In the
     evening the old Toyune and his wife returned from fishing, and
     seemed quite overjoyed to see us, as such guests, they said,
     were not common; and they certainly took uncommon pains to
     treat and to please us. The old man appeared between sixty and
     seventy years of age, with a long white beard and moustachios,
     which, added to a mild, sensible, and prepossessing
     countenance, gave him a most sage and respectable appearance,
     and personified to my imagination the wise enchanter whose name
     he bore. Conon Merlin had been educated by the famous Mr.
     Evashkin, a Russian nobleman, who was banished to Kamtchatka
     during the reign of Catharine II., and is since dead; but who
     was well known to former travellers in Kamtchatka. Our Toyune,
     therefore, could write and read Russian well, knew most of the
     dialects of Kamtchatka, and was certainly the most intelligent
     man I ever met among the natives."

On the morning of the 13th, soon after leaving the village of Klutchee,
they beheld the majestic volcano of Klootchefsky, rearing its awful and
flaming head far above the clouds. This huge mountain, towering to the
skies, is a perfect cone, decreasing gradually from its enormous base to
the summit; its top is whitened by perpetual snow, and the flame and
smoke, for ever issuing from its crater, are seen shading the sky at the
distance of many miles. Sometimes quantities of ashes are thrown out, so
fine as to impregnate the atmosphere, and be inhaled in breathing; and,
it is said, that occasionally a white clammy substance, resembling,
perhaps, the honey dew elsewhere observed, has flowed from the crater,
sweet to the taste, and very adhesive when touched. Altogether, this
mountain is one of the most picturesque and sublime of the volcanoes
described by travellers, though from its remote situation it has been,
and probably long will be, visited but by few.

Mr. Dobell reached Nijna Kamtchatsk on the 14th of September, and was
most kindly received and treated by the governor, General Petrowsky,
with whom he made all the arrangements he desired, and, after a visit of
six days, returned to St. Peter and St. Paul. He describes the town of
Nijna Kamtchatsk as one of eighty or ninety houses, and between four and
five hundred inhabitants. Its situation is not good, the ground being
low and moist. It is on the bank of the river Kamtchatka, about
thirty-five versts from the sea. Since the period we allude to, the
seat of government has been removed to St. Peter and St. Paul, and the
town has lost nearly all its population, there being but five or six
families left there.

On his way back he again visited his kind host, the Toyune of Sherrom,
whom he found laying in his winter stock of provisions, which offered a
good example of the economy, wants, and supplies of a Kamtchatdale
family. He assured Mr. Dobell that himself and his sons had killed
twelve bears, eleven mountain sheep, several reindeer, a large number of
geese, ducks, and tiel, and a few swans and pheasants. "In November,"
said he, "we shall catch many hares and partridges; and I have one
thousand fresh salmon, lately caught, and now frozen for our winter's
stock. Added to this, in my cellar there is a good supply of cabbages,
turnips, and potatoes, with various sorts of berries, and about thirty
poods of sarannas, the greater part of which we have stolen from the
field mice, who collect them in large quantities for the winter." In the
spring, the Kamtchatdales supply themselves with the skins of the hair
seals and other sea animals, from whose fat also they obtain oil. The
hunting of these is therefore a matter of no small importance, and
carries many of the Kamtchatdales down to the coast. It is accompanied
with great fatigue and occasional risk.

     "The Toyune of Malka," says Mr. Dobell, "related to me a
     curious adventure that occurred to him and two of his friends.
     They repaired in the latter part of April to their usual
     hunting place, where they found the sea still covered with ice
     for a considerable extent. Each had a sledge and five dogs, and
     although the wind blew strongly off shore, they did not
     hesitate to go on the ice in search of seals, as it seemed
     firmly attached to the shore, and they observed some
     Kamtchatdales hunting on it farther up the coast. They
     discovered some seals at a considerable distance out, and
     repaired thither to kill them. Already had they killed two, and
     were preparing to tie them with thongs on their sledges, when
     one of the party, who staid a little behind, came to them of a
     sudden, crying that the ice was moving, and that all the other
     Kamtchatdales had gone to the shore! This news alarmed them so
     much, that they left their seals on the ice, and seating
     themselves on their sankas or sledges, pushed their dogs at
     full speed to regain the shore. Unfortunately they arrived too
     late; the ice had already separated from the land to the extent
     of a hundred yards; and as it began to break into pieces, they
     were obliged to return to the part that appeared to them the
     strongest and thickest. As the wind now blew extremely hard,
     they were soon driven out to sea, where the swell being very
     heavy, the ice began to break again all round them, leaving
     them at last on a solid clump, from forty to fifty feet in
     circumference, that was of great thickness and kept entire.
     They were now out of sight of land, driven before a gale of
     wind and a heavy sea, and their icy vessel rolled so dreadfully
     that they had much difficulty to keep themselves on its
     surface. However, being furnished with ostals, (poles pointed
     with iron,) they made holes and planted them firmly in the ice;
     and then tied themselves, their dogs, and sankas, fast to them.
     Without this precaution, the Toyune said they would all have
     been thrown into the sea. They were sea-sick and disheartened;
     but nevertheless, said Spiridon, (the Toyune,) 'I had hopes,
     and I told my comrades I thought we should be thrown on some
     coast.' It was now two days they had been at sea, and towards
     evening the wind abated a little, the weather cleared off, and
     they saw land not far off, which one of them, who had been
     formerly at the Kurile islands, knew to be Poromochin, and
     they now fully expected to be drifted on its shores. However,
     as the night approached, the wind changed to the very opposite
     direction, and blew even more violently than before. The clump
     of ice was tossed about in a most uneasy manner, and several
     times the ostals and the thongs were in danger of being broken
     by the violent concussion of the waves against the ice.

     "All that night and all the next day the storm continued with
     unceasing violence. On the morning of the fourth day, before
     daylight, they found that their clump had been driven amongst
     other cakes of ice, and was closely surrounded on all sides.
     When the day broke, how great was their joy and astonishment to
     perceive themselves near the land, and within about twenty
     versts of the place whence they had been driven! They had
     suffered much from thirst, as they found the ice salt as well
     as the water. Not having either eaten or drunk during all the
     time, they found themselves so weak that they had the greatest
     difficulty in preparing their sledges, and in getting from the
     ice to the land. The moment they landed, they offered up their
     prayers and thanks to God. Spiridon charged his companions not
     to eat snow or drink much water at a time, although they were
     almost dying with thirst; as they could soon get to an ostrog
     that was only about twenty or thirty versts distant. They had
     not proceeded far before Spiridon saw the tracks of some
     reindeer; he therefore made his companions stop, and, taking
     his gun, walked gently round a high bluff on the coast, whither
     the deer had gone, and had the good fortune to shoot one of
     them. His companions no sooner heard the noise of the gun than
     they came to him. They cut the throat of the deer immediately,
     and drank his blood while warm. Spiridon said that they felt
     their strength revived almost immediately after drinking the
     blood. Having given some of the meat to the dogs, they rested
     themselves about an hour, and then set off for the ostrog,
     where they arrived safely. One of them, who indulged too much
     in eating at first, died a short time after; the other two
     survived; but Spiridon said he had ever since been afflicted
     with a complaint in his breast and shortness of breath."

On the 21st of October the winter set in, and made the travelling much
more difficult and uncomfortable. The cold, however, in Kamtchatka, is
by no means so severe as is generally supposed. About the sea coast, the
thermometer rarely passes 15° to 20° of Reaumur, and in the interior,
seldom exceeds 20° to 25°; and even this but for a short time. The
ordinary cold is about 8° to 10°.

After remaining nearly three months at St. Peter and St. Paul, Mr.
Dobell set out on his expedition to Russia. He left the former place on
the 15th of January, with the determination to proceed along the
Aleuters or north-east coast of the peninsula of Kamtchatka, thence
cross over to Kammina at the head of the sea of Ochotsk, and proceed
along the eastern shore of that large bay to the town of Ochotsk itself.
He was accompanied by two Chinese servants, and proceeded in sledges
drawn by dogs. He had frequent occasions to confirm the sentiments he
had previously entertained of the hospitable and honest character of the
inhabitants of the peninsula of Kamtchatka; and he found the climate and
natural resources of the country far superior to what he had been led to
expect. He combats the opinion, long prevalent, that it is a barren and
desolate country, depopulated of the aborigines through the extreme
poverty of its resources; and contends that few parts of the world would
more amply repay the industry of the inhabitants, if well peopled and
wisely governed.

The dogs displayed all the sagacity, perseverance, and swiftness for
which they have been celebrated by travellers in northern regions, and
he had frequent opportunities of observing the instinct or skill with
which they pursued their way in the midst of the most violent storms,
when every trace of the road had disappeared. He gives them a decided
preference over the reindeer, though he states that the latter are more
fleet, when put to their full speed. They are not docile however. When
the snows are deep, and the roads difficult, if the reindeer be pressed
to exert himself he becomes restive and stubborn, and neither beating
nor coaxing will move him. He will lie down and remain in one spot for
several hours, until hunger presses him forward; and if at the second
attempt he is again embarrassed, he will lie down and perish in the snow
for want of food. Reindeer consequently require a great deal of care and
management, and should never be treated too roughly, or they become
totally unmanageable. Besides, great attention must be paid to them in
summer, and their pastures often changed, or they contract diseases and
die fast.

At Veyteway, the most northern point on the eastern coast visited by Mr.
Dobell, he found a Toyune who had come a hundred and fifty versts, from
motives of curiosity, to meet him. Though he had never before seen any
one adopting the customs of civilized life, he behaved with great
propriety, and did not seem in the least embarrassed. Some of the trunks
which were covered with lackered leather and full of brass nails,
excited his astonishment, and indeed proved a fund of amusement for the
natives on all the road. Bets were made constantly as to the number of
nails on each trunk, and they were counted over and over, a hundred
times, with the greatest care. From this point Mr. Dobell struck across
the peninsula, and reached Kammina, at the head of the sea of Ochotsk,
on the 24th of March.

In proceeding southwardly along the coast, the hardiness of his dogs was
strongly put to the test. An insufficient supply of provisions had been
laid in, and some time before they reached Igiga, the first town where a
fresh stock could be obtained, they were reduced to an allowance of half
a fish each, daily. When the dried fish were consumed, they were fed on
reindeer meat and biscuit, of which but a very small supply was left;
but it refreshed and strengthened them, so that one of the party, whose
dogs were strongest, was enabled to go on more rapidly to Igiga, to beg
from the commandant assistance and food for the rest of the party. When
the poor creatures who were left perceived the dogs coming to assist
them, nothing could exceed their joy. They sprang into the air, barked
aloud, and set forward with such eagerness to meet them, that restraint
was impossible. When they came up, they jumped and fawned upon them, and
licked them with an expression of pleasure and satisfaction which it was
impossible to mistake. As they approached the town, it was utterly in
vain to hold them back, they set off at full speed, and if it had not
been for the assistance of several of the inhabitants, who ran and
caught hold of them, the sledges would have been upset, and every thing
broken to pieces.

Leaving Igiga, Mr. Dobell continued his journey by Yamsk and Towisk,
through the country of the Tongusees. He found these people active,
persevering, and obliging; those whom he employed performing every sort
of service with cheerfulness. They are men of small stature, slightly
made, and resembling the northern Chinese in features. Their
countenances generally were indicative of a tractable mild disposition,
and bore a strong Asiatic cast of character, which is indeed found
amongst all the natives throughout Siberia. Their fidelity, however, was
not on an equality with their other good characteristics, as our
travellers had soon an opportunity of learning, by an event which placed
their lives in most imminent peril. The provisions laid in at Towisk
were nearly consumed, and the time at which they should have reached the
next town had arrived, when the native guides confessed that they had
mistaken the road, and there was every prospect of the whole party
perishing in the desert. What were the feelings of Mr. Dobell, when
awaking one morning, in this situation, he found that the Tongusees were
no longer with him; the rascals had gone off in the night, not leaving a
single deer for food, and deserting a party of five in number, all
strangers, on one of the highest mountains of Siberia, in a wild and
uninhabited country! In this emergency Mr. Dobell displayed great
firmness, resolution, and all the energy and resources of an experienced
traveller; indeed the portion of his volumes which contains the account
of his escape from the perilous situation in which he was left, and of
the sufferings he endured, and the expedients to which he was obliged to
resort, is peculiarly and highly interesting. With the aid of a partial
map of Kamtchatka, and a pocket compass, he set out to regain the sea
coast, from which they were, as he supposed, not very far distant.
Leaving all their clothes, and every article with which they could
possibly dispense, they put the rest of their baggage on two sleds,
which they dragged with them. They limited their nourishment to the
least possible quantity of food, drinking tea, of which they had a small
supply, twice in twenty-four hours, and in the morning taking some thin
rice water, with a small lump of chocolate each, to make it palatable.
They were obliged to construct bridges of logs over numerous rivulets,
swelled with the snows, which crossed their path, and they were exposed
to a succession of furious storms. On the twentieth day they arrived at
what they supposed a long narrow lake, and determined there to pass the
night. Having left his companions to make what preparations for so doing
their wretched situation afforded, Mr. Dobell went to examine the lake.
On approaching the bank, he discovered two small ducks, quite near the
shore, and had the good fortune to shoot them both at one shot. "Running
to the water to pick them up," he says, "God only knows the
inexpressible joy that filled my heart, at beholding the water move, and
finding that we were on the banks of a large river." They all set to
work actively the next day, and had soon completed a raft on which they
embarked, and trusted themselves to the current to reach the ocean, so
long and eagerly desired.

     "We had" says Mr. Dobell, "a most unpleasant time, but anxious
     to arrive at the ocean, would not lie by--particularly as the
     stream increased greatly in rapidity, and hurried us along with
     considerable swiftness. About one o'clock on the 10th of June,
     although we were nearly in the middle of the river, which was
     here upwards of a verst wide, we were suddenly seized by a
     whirlpool, and in spite of our utmost efforts, having nothing
     but poles to guide the raft, were drawn violently towards the
     left bank, and forced under some large trees which had been
     undermined by the water and hung over the surface of the
     stream, the roots still holding them fast to the shore. I
     perceived the danger to which we were exposed, and called out
     to every one to lie flat on his face and hold fast to the
     baggage. The branches were so thick it was impossible for all
     to escape, and there being barely room to admit the raft under
     them, they swept off the two Chinese, the Karaikee, my tin-box
     with all my papers and valuables, our soup-kettle, &c. Nothing
     now remained but a small tea-kettle, and a few other things
     that happened to be tied fast with thongs. The Karaikee and one
     of the Chinese seized hold of the branches that swept them off,
     and held their heads above water, but the youngest of the
     Chinese having floated away with the current, the Cossack and
     myself had the greatest difficulty in paddling the raft up to
     him. We came just in time to poke our poles down after him as
     he sunk for the third time, which he fortunately seized, and we
     drew him upon the raft half drowned. As the current was running
     at the rate of six or seven miles an hour, we were carried more
     than half a verst down before we gained the shore; the other
     Chinese and the Karaikee crying out for assistance. I ran up
     the shore as quickly as possible, taking a long pole with me,
     and leaving the Cossack to take care of the raft and the young
     Chinese. When I arrived at the spot, my Chinese cook informed
     me he had seized my tin-box with one hand, and was so tired of
     holding with the other, that if I did not come soon to his
     assistance he must leave it to the mercy of the current. Whilst
     I attempted to walk out on the body of the tree whose branches
     they were holding, one of the roots broke and very nearly
     separated it from the shore; I was therefore obliged to jump
     off and stride to one that was nearly two feet under water,
     hauling myself along by the branches of the others, and at
     length I got near enough to give the Chinese the pole. He
     seized fast hold and I pulled him between two branches,
     enabling him to get a leg over one and keep his body above
     water. Thus placed he tied the tin-box with his handkerchief to
     the pole, and I got it safely ashore. I was now obliged to
     return and assist the Karaikee, who held by some branches far
     out, and where there were no others near enough for him to
     reach in order to draw himself in. After half an hour's labour
     I got them both on the bank, neither of them knowing how to
     swim, and both much exhausted by the cold, and the difficulty
     of holding so long against a rapid current."

They continued for several days longer buffeting with the stream, and
exposed to all the inclemencies of the weather. Their food depended on
the scanty supplies of wild fowl they could shoot, and their stock of
cooking utensils was reduced to a small tea-kettle and the lid of the
tin box saved by the Chinese.

Between two and three o'clock in the afternoon of the seventh day since
they had embarked on board their frail vessel, and nearly a month since
they had been deserted on the mountains by the treacherous Tongusees,
they found themselves in a fine wide channel, with a moderate current,
and on a beach not far below descried a man and two boys mending a
canoe. The effect the sight of human beings had upon them was deeply
interesting. Every soul shed tears of joy, and when the natives
approached to assist them in landing, they were unable for some minutes
to reply to their inquiries, and could only answer by hasty signs. The
elder person proved to be a Yakut who had seen Mr. Dobell before; as
soon as he recognised him, he sprung into the raft, clasped him in his
arms, and shed tears in abundance, exclaiming "thank God, thank God! you
are all saved!" He informed them that the Tongusees having returned and
confessed their treachery, an old chief living near Towisk had
despatched his son with a party in search of them, but that every one
there had given them up for lost, knowing how difficult it was to
procure food on those deserted plains and mountains in the spring of the
year. The miraculous escape of the party, after having been left in such
a wilderness, was indeed a matter of surprise to every one; and they had
particular reason to rejoice in having taken the route they did, as they
found on inquiry that had they pursued any other they must infallibly
have perished.

After remaining three days with the hospitable people whom they so
fortunately encountered, and recovering their baggage which had been
left on the mountain, by means of the party sent in search of them from
Towisk, they resumed their journey, and reached Ochotsk without further
accident, on the 4th of July.

Ochotsk, the capital of the Russian province of the same name, which
embraces the most easterly portion of that vast empire, is a town
composed of between two and three hundred houses, and about two thousand
inhabitants. It is situated in north latitude 59° 20' 22", and east
longitude from Greenwich 143° 20' 23", on a small island or sand bank,
three versts and three hundred paces in length, and two hundred in
breadth, where the town stands. The admiralty, marine stores, magazines,
and workshops, were examined by Mr. Dobell, and found to be disposed in
perfectly good order, and prepared for service in the best possible
manner. In the admiralty, there are a school, and shops for coopers,
turners, and blockmakers. There are also large forges, ropewalks, and
all the establishments necessary for a complete naval arsenal. Whilst
Mr. Dobell was there, a large cable was prepared for the frigate Diana,
in the course of four or five days, and appeared quite as well made as a
European cable. The flour magazines are large, and well supplied by
Yakut convoys, which constantly arrive and discharge their loads there.
These convoys consist generally of ten to thirteen horses, having seldom
more than two men to take care of them. Each horse carries on his back
six pood weight of rye flour, packed in two leathern bags, called in
Russian _sumas_, impenetrable to all sorts of weather, and extremely
convenient for carriage, hanging one on each side of the horse. These
bags are of green hide, without the hair; the flour is forced as tightly
as possible into them while they are damp, and when dry the surface is
as hard as stone. On opening them, the flour, for about half an inch
deep, is attached in a hard cake to the bag, and, if originally good, is
preserved in a very perfect state, and will keep for a great length of
time. Some of them have been known to remain all the winter under the
snow without being damaged; nor does it seem possible to carry over land
this important article of life, by any other method so safely and
conveniently as in sumas. Notwithstanding, however, all the attention
which is thus exhibited on the part of the Russian government to make
Ochotsk a complete and valuable naval station; and the care paid to its
arrangement and furnishing supplies, there yet exists an insuperable
obstacle to all their efforts, from the fact that it has not a good
port. No vessel of any great burthen, carrying guns, can enter or be
wintered there, without incurring the risk of being bilged by the ice of
the river Ochota, which flows into or forms the harbour.

On the 19th of July Mr. Dobell left Ochotsk. He now turned inland, and
leaving the shores of the Pacific ocean, directed his course westerly to
Yakutsk, which was distant six hundred and fifty miles. He was
accompanied a short distance by a young officer named Ivan Ivanovitch
Kruz, who was forest-master at the first station called Maitah,
fifty-four versts off. Such a companion was not less unexpected than
agreeable, in so remote a corner of the world. He was a very good
botanist, and understood French and Latin; a modest, sensible, genteel
young man, and what must appear a little singular, perfectly happy and
satisfied with his situation. Even in those wild regions he filled up
his leisure hours with study and the chase, and said that he never found
the time hang heavy on his hands.

On the road they met many convoys of horses carrying provisions to
Ochotsk; and were obliged to keep a strict watch, in order to guard
against the depredations of the Yakuts, by whom they were conducted.
These people are in the habit of stealing horses for food, whenever a
good opportunity offers on the road, being fonder of horse flesh than of
any other. When they get possession of a horse, they contrive to decamp
suddenly, and ride several versts off, where they kill the animal, bury
his bones, and conceal the flesh in their bags, before the person robbed
discovers the theft. They are men generally of small stature, light, and
very active when they choose to exert themselves; indefatigable on the
road, and surpassing every other people in conducting and taking care of
horses. In features they resemble strongly the Chinese of Nankin. The
Tongusees, on the other hand, bear a striking resemblance to the Tartars
who conquered China. The Yakuts and Tongusees however wear very much the
same costume. The hair of the women, which hangs in two or three braids
behind, is stuck over with small copper or silver plates, more or less
rich in proportion to the fortune of the wearer. Sometimes a silver or
copper plate is placed on the forehead. They occasionally wear a close
cap, adorned likewise with plates and beads, and often ornament their
boots with beads of various colours, having much the appearance of the
work on the wampum belts of our Indians. The dress of the Tongusee men
is a close coat, fitting tight round the body, with skirts reaching half
way down the legs, and resembling a frock coat. It is composed of deer
or dog skin, with the hair inward. In very cold weather they wear a
shorter coat over this, as well as parkas and kokclankas or riding
coats, which are nothing more than loose jackets or cloaks of skin, with
sleeves reaching below the knees. The Yakut dress is made in the same
way, but usually of horse or cow hide.

On the 25th, the party crossed the ridge of mountains which extends from
the great central chain of Asia, towards the north-east, and divides the
waters falling into the sea of Ochotsk, from those flowing through the
more central parts of Siberia, towards the west and the north. On the
western side of the ridge they passed a large lake, the source of the
river Udama, surrounded by mountains, and three or four versts in
length. The Udama is a fine river, and though not abounding either with
fish or water in summer, is plentifully supplied with both in spring and
autumn, and then navigable for boats of a considerable size. It falls
into the Maia; the Maia into the Aldan; the Aldan into the Lena, one of
whose branches ascends to within three hundred and fifty versts of
Irkutsk, and which flows into the Northern ocean. A navigation is thus
afforded through the very centre of Siberia for more than two thousand
miles. It is also well adapted to the introduction of steam navigation;
and flat bottomed boats drawing little water might be successfully used
on most of these streams during a considerable portion of the year. The
adoption of such a system would tend immensely to the improvement of a
vast country, where the population is thin, but of which the natural
resources and advantages are very great. It is a mistake to suppose, as
is usually done, that it is an ungrateful wilderness, fit only for the
reception of criminals, or the home of wandering savages; no where is
nature more profusely grand and magnificent than in Siberia; and she has
offered many attractions to human industry and improvement in those
remote regions. It cannot be denied that there are some parts totally
incorrigible, owing to the severity of climate, bad soil, and other
causes; but there is ample testimony that by far the largest portion of
that country possesses resources, soil, and climate, very superior to
what is generally believed, and that it would advance rapidly if well
governed and better peopled.

On the 5th of August Mr. Dobell reached the river Aldan, one of the
principal tributaries of the Lena, and found it a very deep stream,
about a verst and a half wide, abounding with fish. On the western shore
he saw several jourtas beautifully situated, and on inquiry was informed
they contained a colony of banished men, sent there by order of the
government. They appeared very well off, having comfortable houses, with
cattle, an abundant supply of fish, and good pastures, so that they
could never suffer from want, unless too indolent to secure the
necessaries of life. They call themselves Possellencies or colonists,
but are stiled Neshchastnie Loodie, or unfortunate people, by the
natives, who avoid, even by a name, to remind them of their unhappy

     "Banishment, then," remarks Mr. Dobell, "to such a country as
     Siberia, is certainly no such terrible infliction, except to a
     Russian, who, perhaps, of all beings upon earth, possesses the
     strongest attachment to the soil on which he grows--taking root
     like the trees that surround him, and pining when transplanted
     to another spot, even though it should be a neighbouring
     province, better than his own. Too much praise cannot be
     bestowed on the humane system adopted by the Russian government
     in saving the lives of criminals without distinction, and
     transporting them to Siberia, to augment the population of a
     fine country, much in want of inhabitants, where their morals
     are strictly watched, and where they soon become useful, good
     people. Death, in fact, is so transitory a punishment, that
     unless a man has religion, and a perfect idea of rewards and
     penalties in a world to come, it may have no terrors for him,
     nor will its anticipation ever prevent the commission of crimes
     so well as the idea of banishment and long suffering. I would
     not be thought to be the advocate of cruelty; on the contrary,
     I warmly espouse the principle of producing a perfect
     contrition and change of sentiments and actions in the
     criminal, ere we send him into the presence of his God. To
     bring about this in an effectual manner, and be satisfied it
     springs from a thorough conviction of his error, we must not
     confine him in chains, with a priest praying at his side, until
     the moment he is launched into eternity. He should be made, as
     he generally is in Siberia, so far a free agent, as to have the
     power of again doing wrong; else his firmness and resolution
     are never put to the test; nor can that repentance be called
     sincere, which springs from the imperious necessity of
     immediately making his peace with his offended God, before
     whose awful tribunal his merciless government sends him
     suddenly to appear, with all his crimes fresh upon him. There
     are certainly instances in Siberia, where convicts have again
     committed crimes, and some of them even murder, and such are
     confined to the mines for life; but there are few examples of
     this sort, and the majority of the convicts acquire habits of
     industry and good conduct superior to the same class of people
     in Russia. Having seen the good effects of the Russian penal
     code, what I say on the subject is no more than what truth and
     justice demand; and I wish, that for humanity's sake, so bright
     an example, which sheds a ray of unsullied glory on her
     sovereignty, may be followed with equal success by every nation
     of the earth."

The route of Mr. Dobell continued to lead him through the country of the
Yakuts, a pastoral and industrious people, sufficient in numbers to
relieve his mind from the painful idea that so fine a country should be
destitute of inhabitants. Their whole attention is turned to the rearing
of horned cattle and horses. Milk, prepared in various ways, is their
principal sustenance; fish and water-fowl they obtain in abundance,
except in the depth of winter; but pigs, sheep, or poultry, are never
seen. On the 14th of August, he descended into an immense and fertile
plain, through which he beheld the noble Lena flowing along, and reached
the town of Yakutsk early in the evening.

This town was, at that time, composed of two hundred and seventy houses,
and two thousand five hundred Russian inhabitants, besides a very
considerable population of Yakuts, in and about it; since then, however,
it is much increased and improved in every way. As regards climate, it
is in winter the coldest spot in all Siberia, the frost often exceeding
40° of Reaumur; the average heat of summer is not beyond 16°, though
there are periods at which it is as hot as in the torrid zone. The
public buildings are well constructed, and kept in excellent order.
There is an ancient citadel of wood, built by the Cossacks nearly two
hundred years ago, which still forms a strong and good defence; and
affords evidence of the courage, perseverance, and intelligence, of the
conquerors of Siberia, who, with a handful of men, could erect such a
fortress in the heart of an enemy's country, and during their daily

At Yakutsk, Mr. Dobell fell into the track of the carrying trade over
land, which is pursued to so immense an extent through the Russian
empire. The equipage, consisting of the pack-saddles, mats, girths, &c.,
is the manufacture of the Yakuts themselves, for the most part, and
though exceedingly light, is not so constructed as to enable the horse
to carry his burthen with ease. From this circumstance, great numbers of
horses are lost in their long journeys. The Yakuts, however, are
themselves excellent grooms, and, in general, kind and attentive to
their animals. They seldom beat them, and many instances are exhibited
of strong attachment between them. It is so much so, that a herd of
horses will not proceed without their master, should he stop and leave
them. They are turned out to feed at night, and are always collected in
the morning by hallooing to them. Should any of them get out of
hearing, the Yakut jumps on one of the others, who is sure to find his
companions in a very short time. When the Yakut calls, the first horse
that hears answers by neighing, and immediately the whole herd begin to
neigh and run to the keeper.

Mr. Dobell speaks of the society of Yakutsk as hospitable, kind, and
gay. He was at several balls; found the belles well-mannered, and their
dress, like that of their fair countrywomen farther west, an object of
peculiar study. He describes the ceremonies of a Siberian wedding, which
may amuse the votaries of Hymen, whose matrimonial customs are varied by
half the circumference of the globe.

     "In the evening, the Governor waited on me, and invited me to
     accompany him to a house, to see a ceremony performed,
     previously to a wedding that was to take place the next day. We
     repaired to the house, where we found a large party of
     gentlemen and ladies assembled. The bride and her attendants
     occupied one end of the room, near a large table, on which were
     placed fruits, cakes, wines, &c. Tea and coffee were then
     served. Afterwards, I was called to look at a procession from
     an opposite building or store, called in this country an
     _anbar_, where every sort of provisions, effects, &c. are kept.
     I saw several low, four-wheeled vehicles, each drawn by a
     single ox, loaded with furniture, bedding, clothing, &c. &c.
     for the new married couple. Lights were carried before them,
     and a number of young girls, assembled near the door of the
     anbar, sang in concert, as each vehicle was loaded with the
     effects of the bride. This ended, the party returned to the
     house, when dancing commenced, and was kept up with spirit the
     whole night. Before quitting the house, the parents of the
     young bridegroom requested me to come the following morning,
     and witness the ceremony of his taking leave of them,
     previously to his going to church. At twelve o'clock, on the
     22d, we attended at the father's house, where a number of the
     friends of the bridegroom were collected: several large tables
     were laid for dinner, and at the principal one, near the
     images, which in a Russian house are always at the eastern
     corner of the room, sat the bridegroom and his attendants. A
     female relative, representing the bride, was placed in the
     chair on the left hand of the bridegroom; and the father and
     mother sat at the opposite side of the table. Three dishes of
     cold meat were placed before the principal attendant, and wine
     and watky being at the same time handed round, he cut a large
     cross on the first one, placing it aside; then the second, then
     the third, in the same way; and, at the cutting of each, wine
     and watky were handed round to the company, who rose, and drank
     to the wedding party. Nothing was eaten, this being merely a
     ceremony to prepare the feast for the young couple when they
     should return from the church. After this, the bridegroom went
     round to the opposite side of the table, holding the image of
     the Virgin in his hand, and crossed himself on his knees, and
     bowed his head three times to the ground, before his father,
     who, when he rose, took the image from him, kissed him, and
     crossed him with it on his head. The same homage was paid to
     his mother, on which she delivered the image to another person,
     who preceded the bridegroom and his party to the church, where
     they met the bride and her attendants; and the couple were then
     led to the altar, and united in the holy bands of wedlock, by
     the Protopope, or Chief of the Clergy. The ceremony resembles
     that of the Catholic church, except that, towards the close,
     the priest places a hymeneal crown on the heads of the man and
     woman, and they walk three times round a table, where lie the
     cross and the Bible. This part of the proceeding is regarded as
     alternately binding them in strict allegiance to each other
     during the rest of their lives. There are also two rings used,
     which are exchanged, from the man to the woman, during the
     ceremony. The whole party now returned to the house of the
     bridegroom's father, where a repast was prepared for them,
     resembling all large entertainments of this sort. The healths
     of the principal persons of the place were drunk, and followed
     by a salute of three guns after each toast. The evening was
     crowned with an illumination, and a ball, at which, as a
     stranger, I had the honour of leading off the bride."

At Yakutsk Mr. Dobell embarked in a large covered boat on the Lena,
which he ascended on his way to Irkutsk. He left the former place on the
29th of August, being drawn by horses, with the assistance of six
peasants, whom he hired to go fifteen hundred versts to Kiringee, and
who were employed at places where it was difficult for the horses. The
banks of the river were varied and picturesque; sometimes steep cliffs
and uncouth heaps of rock, in the most fantastic shapes, rose to a great
height; sometimes the shores sloped away into mountains covered with
thick forests of pine and spruce.

On the 5th of October he arrived at Olekma, a town six hundred versts
above Yakutsk, in latitude 60° 22', and east longitude 89° 15' from St.
Petersburg. He found it to contain four or five hundred inhabitants. It
was, in former times, the place whence the Cossacks set out, when they
waged their wars against the Chinese, and carried their depredations as
far as the Amour. It is said, that three hundred and fifty of these
barbarian warriors were once besieged in a fortress by twenty-two
thousand Chinese, and held out against them a whole year, until a
capitulation was agreed upon, at a period when their force was reduced
to one hundred and fifty men.

At Olekma, the season had become so cold, and there was so much floating
ice in the Lena, as to render it impossible to proceed any longer by
water. The road lay along the shores of the river, frequently obstructed
by half frozen torrents rushing into it, and occasionally cut off by
points and precipices which compelled the party to venture on the ice.

     "At Matcha, I found a clean, comfortable dwelling, and a
     hospitable reception from the hostess, an old woman, who said
     she had been seventeen years in Siberia, having been sent by
     the Government from Archangel, to assist in increasing the
     population; but she thanked God, at the same time, that she had
     not been banished for misconduct. She told me she had always
     lived much better than she did in Russia, and had been so
     happily situated as to have never felt a wish to return. Having
     received from her a fine fat fowl, some cream, vegetables, &c.
     I asked her in the morning what I must pay for them. She
     replied, 'a little tea and sugar, a piece of soap, and above
     all, a few glasses of watky--though I would not have you
     suppose I am addicted to liquor, for I only take a little now
     and then to preserve my health.' Her emaciated frame and sallow
     countenance belied her assertion. Complying with her request, I
     begged her to preserve her health by using as little of the
     spirit as possible, as it often had the opposite effect to that
     of assisting the health. She laughed, and drinking a bumper to
     my advice, wished me a safe journey."

Passing Veeteem and Kiringee, two considerable towns on the Lena, Mr.
Dobell found the country improve gradually, and the post-houses
throughout comfortable, clean, and convenient; much more so than could
have been expected in remote Siberia. The horses were also furnished
with great alacrity, and the inhabitants generally were kind and
hospitable. On the 30th of October he passed Katchuk, the place where
all the merchandise is embarked in the spring for Yakutsk and other
towns on the Lena. The river is generally free enough from ice by the
5th to the 12th of May, and but fourteen days are required for the
voyage. From Katchuk to Irkutsk, the road leaves the Lena, and passes
through a fine extensive plain, bounded on either side by well
cultivated hills, and having villages and farm houses dispersed over it
in all directions. This plain is principally inhabited by a horde called
Burettas, who are, for the most part, Christians, and have taken to
agriculture with a great deal of industry and zeal. The richer class
live in log houses, but the great part dwell in cabins, similar to the
winter jourtas of the more eastern hordes. Their clothing consists of a
pelisse of dressed goat or sheep skin, with the wool inside, trimmed
with fur, and painted in black and white stripes round the shoulders.

Irkutsk, the capital of eastern Siberia, is in latitude 52° 16' 41", and
east longitude from St. Petersburg, 73° 51' 48". It is built on the
margin of the river Angarra, and contains a population now probably
exceeding twenty thousand souls. The markets are good, the society is
pleasant, and a traveller finds in the very heart of Siberia almost all
the luxuries of life. In visiting the public works, the governor took
Mr. Dobell to an immense brick building, where he found the workshops of
the exiles.

     "In that large range, one sees joiners, carpenters,
     carriage-makers, saddlers, blacksmiths, and in short, all sorts
     of tradesmen, busily occupied, and all provided with
     comfortable apartments, clean clothing, and wholesome food.
     From this we passed to the cloth factory, the contemplation of
     which afforded me much pleasure, when I recollected that those
     beings before me, who were once the victims of depravity,
     exhibited no longer any thing to inspire me with the idea of
     their having been criminals. All was gaiety and cheerfulness.
     There I saw men, women, and children, all industriously
     employed in weaving, spinning, carding, picking wool, &c. They
     were arranged in several large, clean, warm, and comfortable
     apartments; and they really appeared as contented as any
     labourers I ever saw; for they looked fat and healthy.

     "The cloth is made from the wool and hair of the Buretta sheep,
     camels, and goats. It stands the Government in about a rouble
     the arshin, and sells for two roubles. This profit, after
     paying the expenses of the manufactory, leaves a surplus that
     is used to furnish the hospitals, and for other laudable
     purposes. Such an institution does honour to any country; nor
     can there be a more praiseworthy application of the industry of
     those exiles than that which operates to relieve the sick, the
     fatherless, and the widow.

     "There is every reason to conclude, from the examples which
     have been furnished by those countries which have adopted this
     system, that the idea of confinement and hard labour is a more
     powerful preventive of the commission of crimes than the fear
     of death."

At the public ship yard, Mr. Dobell saw a brig on the stocks, destined
to navigate the Baikal. The vessels generally used on that sea are built
on its shores, on account of the difficulty of ascending against the
current of the Angarra. Those belonging to the government are employed
principally to carry convicts and stores to Nerchinsk, where there are
mines of silver, gold, and precious stones, as well as a fine grain
country. The neighbourhood of Irkutsk is fertile and prolific, and the
population increasing. The climate is the mildest of Siberia, the
thermometer of Reaumur seldom exceeding 30° to 34° of cold, and that but
for short intervals.

On the 25th of November, having taken leave of his hospitable
acquaintances, Mr. Dobell left Irkutsk on his journey towards St.
Petersburg. He had fresh occasion to notice the kindness and simplicity
of the people, which his subsequent visits to the country tended to
confirm. On one occasion, at the village of Krasnoyesk, in this
province, he took, at the recommendation of the governor, instead of the
usual Cossack guides, two soldiers, one a grenadier of the guards of the
regiment of Moscow, and the other of the Semenofsky, who, having been
allowed a certain time to go and see their friends in Siberia, from whom
they had been absent eleven years, were anxious to return to St.
Petersburg, and had not money to hire a conveyance.

     "They had travelled from Russia on foot, near five thousand
     versts, to see their relations. The elder of the two had a wife
     and two children. He related to me that when he returned to his
     family, his wife, who knew him immediately, was so frightened
     that she fell into a swoon; and it was nearly an hour before
     she recovered her senses. His parting with his wife and
     children again affected us exceedingly; but he seemed to bear
     it with firmness, and said, 'God bless you, put your trust in
     God: I shall return to you.' Both those men, but particularly
     the married one, were the most faithful, obedient, well-behaved
     men I ever saw, and proved of infinite service to me on the
     road, as I travelled not with the post-horses, but with those
     of the common peasants. This gives me an opportunity of
     expatiating again on the moral and religious character of the
     Siberians, as well as their intelligence, generosity, and
     hospitality. I found on the road, even amongst the peasants, a
     sympathy, a kindness and attention to the wants of my family
     and myself, and a disinterestedness, that I have no where else
     experienced. Many times it occurred that we lodged in a house
     for the night, were furnished with bread, milk, cream, and a
     supper for four servants, and I had a difficulty to make the
     man of the house accept of a couple of roubles. The demand was
     fifty to seventy kopeks; and sometimes payment was refused
     altogether. I met a carrier who was conveying goods from Tumen
     to Tomsk, a distance of about one thousand five hundred versts,
     for two and a half roubles per pood! On questioning him, how he
     could possibly afford to take merchandise at so cheap a rate,
     he said, 'the people of my country are kind and hospitable. I
     live about Tomsk, so that I must return thither; and I get a
     man and a horse found a whole day for fifteen kopeks.' The
     grenadier also assured me that the only expense his journey on
     foot to see his family had cost him, was about twenty-five
     roubles; and those were spent between St. Petersburg and
     Ecatherineburg. 'After getting fairly into Siberia,' said he,
     'no one would ever receive a kopek from me for either food or

     "After we got into Russia, and began to suffer certain
     impositions which are put upon travellers on the great roads in
     every country, he would often exclaim, 'God be with me and my
     beloved Siberia! There people have their consciences and their
     hearts in the right place!'"

Tomsk is fifteen hundred versts from Irkutsk, and four thousand five
hundred from St. Petersburg, being in latitude 56° 29' 6", and longitude
54° 50' 6" from the latter place. Its population is about ten thousand.
It has many manufactories, and a number of handsome houses, with a
pleasant though small society. After leaving it, the traveller passes
the vast and fertile plain of Baraba, where he is whirled along at the
rate of two hundred and seventy versts a day.

The first place of importance which he reaches after crossing it, is
Tobolsk, the chief town of the province of that name, and formerly of
Siberia. Its latitude is 55° 11' 14", and its longitude 37° 46' 14" east
from St. Petersburg, from which, and from Irkutsk, it is distant three
thousand versts. Fourteen years ago its population amounted to thirty
thousand inhabitants, since when it has in all probability very much
increased. Its manufactories are numerous; its society is agreeable, and
gives evidence of the same hospitality which is witnessed so generally
and so gratefully by the traveller, in those remote regions; but has it
not in its very name a charm to the reader who peruses an account of it,
in its connexion with those incidents, fictitious or true, which have
been formed into one of the most simple, beautiful, and touching tales,
that have ever flowed from the imagination or the heart?

From Tobolsk, Mr. Dobell passed rapidly through the surrounding district
of the same name, visited Ecatherineburg, where he admired, so far
beyond the ordinary limits of the arts, works in marble, agate, and
precious stones, which would have done honour to Italian artists; and
arriving at the geographical boundary that divides Siberia from Russia,
closes the narrative of his travels, which we would willingly have seen
continued to the gates of the imperial capital of the north.

     "I assure the reader," he says at the close of his truly
     interesting account, "that in my humble attempt to describe
     what I have seen and experienced, I have been governed by no
     partial motives whatever. On the contrary, I have laboured to
     represent every object faithfully as it has affected my senses.
     I am, however, conscious at the same time, that it requires an
     abler pen than mine to delineate adequately the sublime and
     majestic works of nature in the regions I have been describing,
     and to portray them to the imagination in all their simplicity,
     beauty, and grandeur. Siberia does not possess the climate of
     Italy, nor the luxurious productions of India; but she
     possesses a fertile soil, a climate much better than is
     generally believed, and natural resources of the highest value;
     and she presents to the traveller such a magnificent picture of
     natural objects, as is no where to be equalled except on the
     immense continent of America. There is no longer any doubt but
     the greater part of her territory is susceptible of high
     cultivation, having a strong fertile soil, covered with superb
     forests, and intersected by fine rivers, or watered by numerous
     lakes, many of which may fairly be called seas.

     "The race of men produced there, are uncommonly tall, stout,
     and robust; certainly the best looking people I have ever seen,
     particularly those of the Western parts. My readers will now, I
     am sure, agree with me, that this country, hitherto considered
     the _Ultima Thule_, or the _finis mundi_, has been highly
     gifted by its Creator, and only wants population and
     improvement to render it the most valuable portion of his
     Imperial Majesty's dominions."


[6] The old English lawyers puzzled themselves greatly in tracing the
origin of the feudal tenures. The truth is, they may be found in the
incipient stages of society in nearly every nation. They existed, in
fact, in Hindostan, China, and many other countries, for centuries
before the time of the _comites_ of the German princes, mentioned by
Tacitus, who are supposed to have founded them. The services of the
tenant varied according to the character and condition of the
people--the principle was every where the same.

[7] The tael is $1.66; the pecul, 133-1/3 pounds.

ART. IV.--_Précis de la Geographie Universelle ou Description de toutes
les parties du Monde, sur un plan Nouveau D'aprês les grandes divisions
Naturelles du Globe, &c._ Par MALTE-BRUN: Bruxelles, 1829.

We place at the head of our article, which we mean to devote to Physical
Geography, the title of the latest edition that we have seen of the
great work of Malte-Brun. This, which has already become well known to
our American public in translation, has received some additions from its
Belgian editors, but has not been fully brought up to the present state
of Science, nor does it contain all the new discoveries which have been
made in that part, namely, physical geography, to which our attention is
more immediately directed. We shall, however, endeavour to supply these
deficiencies so far as lies in our power.

Physical geography stands in immediate connexion with subjects which
have already been presented to the readers of this journal, namely with
Celestial Mechanics,[8] and with the Phenomena of our Atmosphere.[9] It
shall be our endeavour to proceed from the facts laid down in the first
of the two articles to which we have referred, to the more particular
consideration of the state, the structure, and the condition of the
globe we inhabit.

The earth is a planet of the solar system, the third in distance from
the sun, revolving upon its own axis, and around that central body
attended by a satellite; circumstances which affect in a most important
manner the phenomena that are observed upon its surface. Composed of
material substances that mutually attract each other, each particle of
which has a greater or less centrifugal force in proportion to its
distance from the axis of rotation, it has a figure that is consistent
with a state of equilibrium under the joint action of these two forces,
and which is such as would have been assumed by a fluid body actuated by
them. The figure that fulfils these conditions is an oblate spheroid,
the axis of the generating ellipse coinciding with the polar diameter of
the body. Had the earth a figure absolutely spherical, or less flattened
than is consistent with the conditions of equilibrium, the ocean, by
which so large a part of its surface is covered, would have arranged
itself in a meniscoid zone around its equatorial regions; were the
figure, on the other hand, one of greater oblateness, the waters would
have been divided and accumulated at either pole, leaving the
equatorial regions dry. But did its figure fulfil the conditions of
equilibrium, the fluid mass would tend to distribute itself equally over
the whole surface, unless prevented by irregularities in the solid mass.
The last is the actual state of things; the ocean occupies a bed formed
of cavities, lying below the mean surface of the spheroid, and the land
presents to us those asperities and elevations, which rise, although to
a comparatively small height, above the general level.

Was then the earth originally in a fluid state, and has it assumed its
present form under the strict action of mechanical laws, on a body of
that class? are the bed of the ocean and the continents merely crusts
formed upon the surface of a liquid globe? Does the interior still
remain liquid, or has the induration proceeded until the whole internal
mass has become solid? Nay, may not the interior be hollow, as we have
recently seen gravely maintained, and heard sage legislatures recommend
to the public attention?

Mathematical investigations of incontrovertible evidence, show us that
were the earth of equal density throughout, the flattening at the poles
would be 1/234 of the equatorial diameter; that in the hypothetical case
of infinite density at the centre, and infinite rarity at the surface,
the flattening would be no more than 1/578; while, were the surface more
dense than the interior, or did a cavity exist within, the oblateness
must be greater than 1/234. Actual measurements of portions of the
surface, the variation in the length of the pendulum which beats seconds
in different latitudes, and the effect of the earth's figure on the
lunar motions, show us that the earth cannot be flattened more than
1/289, nor less than 1/312, or may, at a mean, be considered as a
spheroid, whose polar and equatorial diameters are in the relation of
299 to 300.

Astronomers have ascertained the deflection of plumb lines from the
vertical, by the action of mountains. The attraction of a projecting
mass of known bulk and density, with one whose bulk alone is known, is
thus determined, and hence the density of the latter may be calculated.

Even comparatively small masses of matter may be placed under such
circumstances at the surface of the earth, that their mutual action can
be observed uninfluenced by the preponderating attraction of the earth,
and thus a new means of comparison obtained.

The pendulum whose vibrations ought to vary according to a definite law,
as we recede from the surface of the earth, has that law affected by the
elevated ground on which it is placed, and here again a comparison may
be instituted between the general and local attractions.

All these modes of investigation concur in, and confirm the general
result, that the mean density of the earth is about five times as great
as that of water. Now as a great portion of the surface is composed of
that fluid, and as the general density of the land is little more than
twice as great as that of water, it follows incontestably that the
interior of the earth is far more dense than its outer covering.

All material substances are capable of assuming, under proper
modifications of latent heat, either the solid, the liquid, or the
gaseous form; yet all are beyond doubt composed of atoms, solid, hard,
and incapable of further division. Under their own mutual attraction
these particles tend to unite, and cohere in solid masses, and to this
attractive force the repulsive power of heat is constantly opposed,
tending to prevent their aggregation, and retaining them, according to
its intensity, in the gaseous or liquid form.

The heat necessary to maintain these states of existence in bodies, may
be produced in various ways. Our usual experience leads us to consider
it as more generally arising from two causes, radiation from the sun,
and the chemical action causing combustion. The former could never have
produced the temperature known to exist at present upon the surface of
the globe, for the earth radiates as well as the sun, and is constantly
throwing off heat into the surrounding space. We know that these two
actions have for twenty centuries exactly balanced each other, and that
the mean temperature of the earth has neither increased nor diminished
in all that period. Had the solar radiation been, previously to that
epoch, in excess, it must at the more recent periods, counted backwards,
have been but slightly so, and ages unnumbered must have elapsed, before
the state of equilibrium which now exists could have been reached. The
earth too, at distant periods, must have been colder than at present,
while that the contrary is true is shown by numerous observations.

Neither could chemical action have had any great agency in establishing
the present temperature of the earth. The substances which burn are but
a small portion of the crust of the earth, and their combustion, if all
fired at a time, would cause no perceptible effect on the sensible heat
of the surface of our globe. Were combustible bodies even infinitely
more abundant, the supporters are insufficient to keep up their
combustion for any length of time, without sensible diminution, and this
would be the case, even were the whole of the oxygen that now exists as
a component of the waters of the ocean added to their present amount. It
is indeed possible that the outer shell of the earth, which is no more
than a crust of oxidated matter, may have existed at first in the
metallic state, but that crust has long intervened, and prevented any
contact between the air or ocean, and the metallic bases of the earths,
that in this case must lie beneath.

In spite of these obvious objections to their theory, some geologists
have madly fancied to themselves a great internal fire, maintained by
actual combustion, a fancy but little more rational than that which
seeks, in the present order of things, precipitation from some vast
quantity of a liquid menstruum, every trace of whose existence has now

There is, however, yet another source of heat, if indeed solar heat be
not a mere case of its general action, far more general and universal,
which has its origin in the bodies themselves, and has no reference to
any extrinsic cause. All bodies are sensibly heated when condensed, and
lose sensible heat when they expand, so that their temperatures vary
with the greater or less distance of their particles. The atmosphere of
the earth furnishes a marked illustration of this fact. Of nearly
uniform chemical composition throughout, its elastic nature, conflicting
with its gravity, renders it more dense in its lower than in its higher
regions. The former are in consequence warmer than the latter, and the
mean temperature of our climates is in fact due to this character of our
atmosphere. But this mean temperature could not be maintained, were not
that of the earth itself in harmony with it. The surface might, no
doubt, be cooled or heated by the adjacent air, but the heat, if given
out from an earth warmer than the atmosphere, would be rapidly replaced
from within, and a constant accumulation ensue in the air, while, if the
earth were cooler, a diminution, equally constant, of the temperature of
the atmosphere, must take place. The earth is, however, itself subject
to the same law. All the materials of which it is composed, are capable
of compression, in a greater or less degree, and of being heated by
compression. The tendency of all material substances to the centre of
attraction, loads the parts nearest to that centre with the whole weight
of the superincumbent mass. And in the depth of four thousand miles,
which intervenes between the centre and the surface, the heat must be
far more than equal to that obtained by the compound blow-pipe or
galvanic deflagrator, under whose intense energies the most refractory
substances liquefy. Hence it may be inferred as a fact, as certain as
any in physical science, that the interior of the earth is at present in
a state resembling igneous fusion, not produced, however, by any of the
more familiar sources of heat, but by the intense pressure the upper
masses exert upon those nearer to the centre.

Here, then, we find the reason of the earth's having assumed a figure
consistent with the equilibrium of a fluid mass, whose particles are
endued with a mutual attraction, and which has a motion around an axis.

Let us suppose all the particles which now constitute the earth, to have
been originally disseminated throughout a vast space, and to have
approached their common centre of gravity by the force of mutual
attraction; the consideration thus caused would have produced the state
of intense heat that is now kept up within by pressure; and the
conducting power of the bodies would have propagated the heat nearly
equal throughout the mass. The surface would then have existed in a
liquid state as well as that beneath. But as the radiation from the
surface of a heated body is in exact proportion to its temperature, this
cause of cooling would have been intense, and a crust must soon have
formed upon the outer surface; this crust would have increased in
thickness so long as the heat thrown off by radiation exceeded that
received from the sun. When this state of equilibrium was finally
attained, all the great phenomena which a body thus heated could
exhibit, would cease, and the subsequent changes would become due only
to forces such as we now see acting upon the surface, or would be the
completion of actions commenced during the previous state.

We know, from astronomical investigations, that this state of
equilibrium has existed for upwards of twenty centuries, while analogy
would lead us to infer that it must have been attained at no long period
after the last great catastrophe to which our planet was subjected.

Let us now see whether the fact of the interior of the globe being more
intensely heated than its surface, can be inferred in any other manner
than from the course of reasoning whose principles are here cited. The
feeble power of man, feeble at least compared to the size of the globe
he inhabits, has been able to penetrate to but small depths in its outer
shell, but even at these small depths, an increase of temperature has
been remarked, and so frequently and carefully observed, as to leave no
doubt of its being a general law. This increase, too, appears exactly
consistent with that which it might be inferred ought to take place. But
we, even to the present day, occasionally see the igneous fluid from
beneath forced up to the surface, and spreading from volcanic craters
over great regions. Observation shows us that at remote epochs such
phenomena were much more frequent than at present. We want no more
positive proofs that the interior of the earth is still intensely
heated, and that the bed of the ocean and the solid land are mere crusts
formed upon the surface of a mass in a state analogous to that of
igneous fusion.

Were the surface, as we have inferred it must have been, ever itself
intensely heated, the volatile and gaseous matters which now constitute
our atmosphere and oceans, must have united to form an atmosphere of far
greater extent than it is at present. The aqueous matter rising into
regions where the rarity of the air would cause cold sufficient to
condense it, would have been in a state of constant motion, boiling in
the lower regions, being precipitated in the higher, and acting most
energetically to promote the general cooling. And so soon as the surface
became cooler than 212°, the water would begin to settle upon its
surface, forming at first lakes in its basins or cavities, and finally
extending itself into one vast ocean, covering the whole or parts of the
solid crust according to its greater or less degree of uniformity.

The conversion of the igneous liquid surface into solid matter, could
only have taken place in successive shells or concentric layers; hence
would arise a stratified character. And as the cooling proceeded,
lowering the mean temperature of the whole mass, a consequent diminution
of bulk must have taken place, according to the well known law of
expansion by heat and contraction on cooling. Such diminution in bulk
must have broken the strata into fragments, through the fissures of
which, according to the laws of hydrostatics, the fluid mass beneath
would rise until the equilibrium of rotation would have been obtained,
and the strata, originally concentric, would be dislocated and turned in
every possible direction, pierced with veins and dikes of all possible
magnitude, from slender threads to mountain masses, caused by the
cooling and consolidation of the rising fluid, and occasionally
spreading in overlying currents, congealed and fixed in ridges and
chains. These veins and dykes would present different characters,
according to the dates of their elevation. If raised at a period when
the surface was still of high temperature, they must have crystallized
slowly, and in a perfect manner; at diminished temperatures, the
crystallization would be less complete; if raised into the mass of
ocean, they would assume one character; if coming in contact with air,
another. A breaking of the bed of the ocean, and bringing its waters in
contact with the liquid mass beneath, might produce consequences
extending in their action to districts of the globe, the most remote
from those in which the convulsion occurred; for the water, rising into
vapour, would tend to extend itself in one uniform atmosphere over the
whole surface of the globe, and might be precipitated in unusual
abundance wherever causes of condensation existed. Thus, partial, or
even total deluges, may have occurred, great portions of the ocean being
hurried in vapour from its bed, and precipitated upon the land whose
temperature is not affected by the distant catastrophe.

The waters might, in some cases, flow directly back to the ocean, in
others might accumulate in basins and form lakes, fresh at first, and
gradually becoming saline. These in turn might burst their bounds,
carrying ruin and devastation in their course, or might by evaporation
be dried up, and be again filled by a recurrence of the original cause
of supply.

Such violent and rapid action would finally be exhausted by the gradual
cooling of the earth, but the outer crust would still press on the
igneous fluid beneath, and although far less liable to rupture, its
fluid action might yet enable it to force its way occasionally to the
surface, but at distant intervals, and with diminished energy. Now, a
new series of phenomena must occur, similar to the more familiar of
those we see acting at present; at first more intense, but finally, when
the state of equilibrium of temperature is reached, exactly such as we
now find them both in kind and in energy.

To see how far such a view of what might have occurred, under the action
of well known causes, in case of a certain original order of things, is
correct, let us examine the appearances our globe actually presents.

To a systematized and general examination, it presents the appearance of
a great ocean, covering about three-fourths of its whole surface, and
surrounding two great, and a number almost infinite of smaller islands.
The two great islands are the old and the new continents; the largest of
those that remain is New-Holland. To exhibit this great ocean in its
most general aspect, take an artificial globe, raise the south pole 50°
above the horizon, and bring New-Zealand to the meridian. The hemisphere
above the horizon will now be wholly of water, with the exception of the
southern part of South America on the one side, and New-Holland, with
the Indian archipelago, on the other. These bear, when united, but a
small proportion to the entire hemisphere. The opposite hemisphere
contains more land than water; and when it is in its turn placed above
the horizon, the Atlantic will be seen lying almost wholly on the
western side of the meridian, and forming, with the Arctic ocean, a
species of channel, narrowing from the latitude of the Cape of Good Hope
towards the northern pole, and communicating with the great ocean which
lies principally in the opposite hemisphere by Behring's straits. On
this hemisphere are also seen parts of the Pacific and Indian oceans,
which are considerably more than equal in surface to the lands which
project into the opposite one.

If we turn our attention to the land, we find it unequal in its surface;
and although compared with the whole diameter of the earth, the
inequalities be very small, yet, compared with our own stature, they
often present an imposing magnitude. These greater elevations are
mountains; and we find them sometimes united in chains, sometimes
isolated, and at other times uniting to form elevated plains or table
lands. These table lands sometimes slope outwards, at others they are
surrounded by eminences that prevent the efflux of the waters, or only
admit them to pass through apertures made by their own action. Upon our
continent, table lands of the latter description are to be found of
great magnitude, entering as parts of the great system of the
Cordilleras or Andes; in Europe they are rare, but in Tartary, Persia,
and in central Africa, they occur, forming regions of great extent. In
general, the greater part of the mountains of a continent appear to have
a connexion more or less obvious; it has even been conceived that they
form the skeleton upon which the rest of the land has been deposited,
and which has determined the form of the continent. Thus we speak
habitually of chains of mountains. Mountains, however, do not always
present a continuous ridge, from which the peaks or more elevated
summits rise, but occasionally, the groups we call chains, are composed
of separate mountains divided by valleys; such are the mountains of
Scotland, of Sweden, and Norway; and such is the general structure of
the chain of mountains called in the state of New-York the Highlands, of
whose connexion and grouping we shall hereafter speak.

This being understood, namely, that by a chain or ridge of mountains we
do not necessarily intend a continuous elevation, the term may be
conveniently used in order to express the configuration of mountains.
These chains surround or border upon greater or less basins, which are
each distinguished by the name of the principal stream that conveys its
surface waters to the ocean, or they may, as has been stated, envelop a
table land, whence there is no issue for the waters, or no more than a
mere passage sufficient to afford them an outlet. Even if a map contain
no expression of the position of mountains, we can, by mere inspection
of the courses of rivers, determine the lines in which the chains are
directed, and, from the size of the rivers, judge in some measure of the
elevation of the district. Thus, on inspection of the map of Europe, we
find four of its greatest rivers rising at no great distance from each
other, the Rhine, the Rhone, the Danube, and the Po; here, then, we
might infer a great elevation, and here we accordingly find its highest
mountains, the Alps. In another part of this continent, we see the
Dwina, the Nieper, and the Volga, diverge from points not far distant
from each other, and here accordingly we find an elevated table land,
two hundred miles in length by fifty in breadth, marked however by no
mountain summits. In central Asia, we see a vast space inclosed by lines
joining the sources of a number of mighty rivers, the Indus, the Ganges,
the Barrampooter, the Irrawaddy, the Houng Ha, and Kiang Ku, the Amour,
the Lena, the Yermisir, and the Oby; accordingly, here we find the
greatest table land surrounded by the highest mountains of the globe.
Still, however, the instance we have cited of the rivers of Russia
shows, that the land whence great rivers take their rise, is not
necessarily mountainous; in this case the ascent is almost
imperceptible, and the summit offers the aspect of a level and marshy
plain. Such also occurs in the famous boundary between the United
States and Canada, where the highlands that figured in two successive
treaties have disappeared, and in their supposed place has been found a
series of swamps.

Attempts have been made to arrange the chains of mountains into
connected systems. Of these the most successful is that of Malte-Brun.

     "If we draw a line from the centre of Thibet, across Chinese
     Mongolia towards Ochotsk, and thence towards Cape Tchutscki,
     the eastern promontory of Asia, this line will in general
     coincide with a great chain of mountains which runs from the
     south-west to the north-east, and which every where descends
     rapidly towards the Indian and Pacific oceans, while on the
     contrary, it extends itself towards the Frozen ocean in high
     plains and secondary hills. It is probable that we may some day
     refer to the same rule the chain of Lapata, called the backbone
     of the world, in Africa; at any rate this chain runs from the
     Cape of Good Hope to that of Gardafui, in a direction
     south-east and north-west, and therefore in nearly the same
     direction as the great chain of Asia, but we are ignorant of
     the disposition of the slopes of these mountains. We may regard
     the mountains of the Happy Arabia, which are both steep and
     lofty, as the link that connects the mountains of Lapata with
     the table lands and mountains of Persia, which proceed from the
     mountains of Thibet.

     "If we follow the western coasts of America, from Behring's
     straits, which hardly form a sensible interruption, to Cape
     Horn, we find an uninterrupted chain of mountains. From time to
     time this chain retires a little into the interior, but more
     frequently it immediately borders upon the great ocean, in
     immense cliffs, and often by frightful precipices. On the other
     side of it, the manner in which the lakes discharge themselves,
     and the direction of the great rivers, show sufficiently, that
     the surface of America inclines gently towards the Atlantic

     "It results from a combination of these observations, that the
     greatest chains of mountains on our globe, are ranged in an arc
     of a circle around the great ocean, and the sea of India; that
     they seem to present rapid descents towards the immense basin
     they surround, and gentle slopes on their opposite sides; in
     fine, from the Cape of Good Hope to Behring's straits, and
     thence to Cape Horn, the eye of the most timid observer cannot
     fail to see some trace of an arrangement, as surprising from
     its uniformity, as from the vast extent of ground which it

     "Let us pause for an instant to consider this great fact of
     physical geography. If we conceive ourselves placed in New
     South Wales, with our face turned towards the north, we have
     America on our right hand, Africa and Asia on our left. These
     continents, which we hardly before ventured to approach in our
     imagination, considered in this point of view, form a
     consistent system, whose structure, as far as we are acquainted
     with it, presents in its great features an astonishing
     symmetry. A chain of enormous mountains surrounds an enormous
     basin; this basin, divided into two by a vast collection of
     islands, often bathes with its waves the feet of this great
     primary chain of the earth."

In this chain lie the greatest mountains of the globe. One peak of the
Himmalayah rises nearly five miles above the level of the sea; another
has a height of 25,500 feet; and a third of 22,217 feet. In South
America are Soratu, in height 25,250 feet.

    Illimani,   24,000
    Chimborazo, 21,400

not to mention Antisana, Mauflos, Chillau, Cotopaxi, all of which exceed
in height any mountains that do not lie in this great system. Nay, did
not the great Volcano of Owyhee enter into the order with a height of
18,000 feet, the list of those surpassing the other mountains of the
globe, might be very much extended.

We shall have occasion hereafter to speak of the volcanic energies still
exerted in this vast stony girdle, and shall therefore confine ourselves
strictly to mere external form.

The arms and branches of mountain chains enclose as has been seen,
basins marked by rivers which convey their surface waters to the ocean.
The rains which fall on the sides of mountains and hills, unite in
torrents and streams, which follow the lines of most rapid slope in
their course to the sea.

The greater rivers mark the lowest part of a principal basin, on each
side of which, at a greater or less distance, are to be found rising
grounds, themselves hollowed out into lateral secondary basins,
containing courses of water less considerable than the first, into which
they cast themselves, and whose branches they are. The borders of these
secondary basins are again hollowed out into basins of a third order,
whose slopes also contain water courses less considerable than the
preceding, into which they in turn discharge themselves. This
ramification continues until we reach the smallest ravines of the
boundary mountains, and the map appears, as it were, covered with a net
work of rivers and lesser streams. The great valley of the Mississippi
and Missouri, forms perhaps the most striking instance of this sort,
upon the surface of our globe.

Rivers and streams are constantly exerting a mechanical action on the
surfaces over which they run; abrading and tearing off fragments even of
the hardest rocks, they roll them in their course until the velocity
becomes insufficient to transport them farther. At diminished velocities
they move fragments of less size, down to the smallest pebbles; at still
less velocities, they transport sand, and finally earthy matter, in the
most minute division. These are deposited in succession in positions
corresponding to the rapidity of the stream, and hence the beds of
rivers present at each of their different sections, materials of
magnitude and quality corresponding to the rate at which the stream
usually flows. The increase in the magnitude of streams, due to violent
rains and the melting of the snows, changes the position of the
substances that compose their bed, and the more easily suspended
materials are often held until the stream actually meets the ocean. In
such sudden increases, the streams often overflow their usual banks, and
make their deposits laterally, until the constant succession of such
deposits raises the adjacent ground high enough to set bounds to the
further spreading of the stream. This deposit is remarkable for its
taking place in greatest quantity close to the usual bed of the stream;
and thus it speedily opposes natural dykes to its own redundant waters.
This action is most conspicuous at points where marked changes take
place either permanently or periodically in the rapidity of running
water: when streams descend from mountains into lines of less descent, a
deposit uniformly takes place, forming _flats_ or _intervals_, as they
are styled in the United States, of which we have such beautiful
instances in the valleys of the Connecticut and Mohawk, and that part of
the Hudson near Albany; again, where rivers meet the sea, they are
interrupted in their course by the rise of the tides of the ocean, and
here again deposits take place, sometimes forming shoals and banks in
the ocean itself; at other times, bars and obstructions at their own
mouths; and again, deltas of solid land, constantly encroaching upon the
sea. This action, which is continually going forward, is called
alluvial. The delta of greatest fame, and from which the others have
derived their generic name, is that of the Nile; this we have evidence,
almost historic, to prove to be wholly the gift of the river. And if it
no longer increase as rapidly as in former ages, the cause is obvious,
for the alluvion has been pushed so far forward as to meet a strong
current that sweeps along the African coast, and must carry off much of
the earth the Nile discharges into the Mediterranean. The great rivers
of Asia and of America carry still greater quantities of solid matter,
but we have not the same distant traditions to refer to for the amount
of the increase they have caused; still, however, we know that the mouth
of the Mississippi has been advanced into the Gulf of Mexico several
leagues since the settlement of Louisiana; and that islands of great
extent are frequently formed, in the course of a single year, by the
deposits of the Ganges.

We however find traces of aqueous action far more extensive and powerful
than those which are now taking place under our eyes by fluviatile
action. There is no part of the globe that has been examined, which does
not show that it has been subjected to the action of water, in floods
far more powerful than any we now are in the habit of seeing. Every
where, except in the case of rocky cliffs, and steep mountains, or where
we see obvious evidence of a recent elevation, we find the surface
strewn with the deposits of water: boulders of greater or less size,
beds of gravel, sand, and clay, form the present outer coating of the
greatest part of the land. These deposits were long confounded with the
alluvial, but have at length been proved, by incontrovertible evidence,
to be the results of an action, which if not contemporaneous, must have
been universal. We have seen an able attempt to show that this species
of deposit did not take place at one and the same period, but was merely
the general consequence of similar causes acting at different epochs.
Our impression, we must however confess to be, that the action was not
only co-extensive with the globe, but contemporaneous. It at any rate
exhibits proofs the most satisfactory, that the last great and
extensive change which our earth has undergone, was effected by the
agency of water, in a state of rapid and violent motion. Ascribing this
deposit to a single flood, it has been styled diluvial.

There are cases where alluvial deposits rest upon the diluvium, and from
the depth of these it has been attempted to calculate the time that has
elapsed since the former of these actions was resumed. The diluvium has
also been found in caverns lying upon an ancient stalagmite, and covered
again with a new formation of that modification of carbonate of lime.
The thickness of the latter deposit has also been made the basis of a
calculation, and although neither of these methods is to be considered
as approaching to an accuracy more perfect than some hundreds of years,
the two methods confirm each other in the general result, which is,
that, at a date not more remote than fifty or sixty centuries, there
must have taken place a total submersion of all the land, except,
perhaps, the tops of high mountains, did they then exist. We have in the
sacred volume, a record of such a catastrophe, the flood of Noah, and
from that time to the present, no convulsion, equally extensive in its
influence, has devastated the globe. Have not then the geologists who
have seen in these indications the convincing evidence of that
occurrence, been warranted in their inference, of the identity of an
event pointed out by undeniable physical evidence, with one recorded in
a history to which one of the most confirmed sceptics has recently
admitted the merit of truth?

The diluvial deposits are found not only in the lower grounds, but on
the tops and sides of lofty mountains; we have ourselves noted them
distinctly characterized at high elevations upon the Kaatskills; they
are found among the Alps at Valorsine, 6000 feet above the level of the
sea, and in another place at more than 7000 feet. The excavations made
in the extension of the city of New-York at Corlaer's Hook, have laid
open a vast mass of diluvium, and afforded means for studying it with
great facility. It in fact presented the appearance of a great cabinet
of specimens of primitive and transition rocks, and it was possible in
many cases to determine the very mountain whence the fragments had been
torn. The most remarkable boulder, for instance, of a weight of at least
an hundred tons, was distinctly recognisable as identical in every
respect with the granitic syenite of Schooley's mountain, distant at
least forty miles. Others had no known type nearer than Connecticut, in
the opposite direction, while the gneiss and mica slate of the island of
New-York, with their various embedded minerals, the serpentine and many
of the magnesian minerals of Hoboken, with sandstone and trap of the
Pallisadoc range, were distinctly recognisable. In this great
excavation, where a region of a mile square was wholly removed, to a
depth, in many places, of thirty feet, no animal remains, as far as can
be learnt, were detected; thus marking a most important difference
between these deposits and those of the Old continent. Such is the
remark of an intelligent geologist, whom we are proud to reckon as our
_collaborateur_, and to whom that branch of Natural History is under no
small obligations.

     "Fragments of granite and other primitive rocks, cast here and
     there upon stratified formations, and interpersed in
     diluvium,[10] present a fact as certain as it is astonishing.
     All the chains of Mount Jura, all the mountains that precede
     the Alps, the hills and plains of Germany and Italy, are strewn
     with blocks of granite, often of a great dimension, and always
     of a composition as pure, and as perfect a crystallization, as
     the granites of the higher Alps. The same phenomenon is
     repeated in the plains of Russia, of Poland, of Prussia, of
     Denmark, and of Sweden. From Holstein to Eastern Prussia,
     diluvial[11]grounds, sand and clay, are covered with an immense
     number of blocks of granite. Near the island of Usedom, several
     points of granite rock rise from the bottom of the Baltic. We
     see in like manner, Scania and Jutland so filled with these
     fragments, that they construct of them enclosures, houses and
     churches. In the Lymfiord, a gulf of Jutland, and at some
     places on the western side of that peninsula, great points of
     granite rise from the bottom of the waters. But what is still
     more remarkable, is to see immense masses of granite lying on
     the tops of Roeduburg and Osmond, which are more than 6000
     feet in height, and are therefore among the highest mountains
     in the North of Europe."

Beneath the diluvial deposit, we find beds and strata of substances of
different character, and which appear on a cursory view to be involved
in inextricable confusion. Long and careful examination has at length
been efficient in ascertaining that in this apparent disorder are to be
seen the traces of an order, as perfect as that of any other mechanism
of nature, and of a succession of changes by which the earth has been
finally fitted for the habitation of man. These strata have been finally
arranged into five distinct classes, differing in their characters and
position. These have been so fully described in a former article in this
Journal, by the distinguished associate whom we have already quoted,
that no more remains for us to say, than what is merely necessary to
keep up the connexion of our subject.

These stratified rocks or formations are remarkable for the regular
order in which they succeed and overlie each other, furnishing distinct
and indisputable evidence of their having been formed in succession. The
first set of strata, which are never covered by any of the others, and
hence are conceived to be of most recent formation, lie inclined at a
small angle to the horizon. In many cases they do not assume the
character of rocks, but although distinctly stratified, are often soft
and friable, presenting beds of marle and clay, and thick deposits of
sand. In some cases their appearance is so similar to diluvial or even
alluvial deposits, that they might be mistaken for them, were it not
for their more regular stratification. These are the tertiary formations
of the German school, the superior order of Coneybeare and Philips.

Issuing from beneath these, and forming in their turn a considerable
portion of the surface of the earth, rising occasionally into
considerable hills, are strata of less uniform and regular inclination,
forming basins and cavities in which the tertiary deposits are often
found to lie, curved to conform to the bottoms of these basins.

The third and fourth series issue in their turn from beneath the
preceding, as does the fifth from beneath the fourth. Each is marked in
succession, by a greater degree of confusion or distortion in the
stratification, until the last, which is apparently upheaved and thrown
about without any regularity, its strata being occasionally found in
positions almost vertical. Not only is the succession of the five
different orders of rocks constant, but so is that in which the several
rocks of each series overlie each other. This regularity of succession
is, however, subject to this law; namely, that rocks of particular
orders, or even the whole order itself, may be wanting in particular
districts; thus, tertiary formations may be directly upon the lower
order, and the second, third, and fourth, may not be present; or any one
of the higher orders may lie directly upon any one of those we have
stated to be inferior to it; but it has never been observed that the
arrangement itself has been inverted, or that a rock which is in one
place inferior, becomes, in its turn, superior in another.

The fifth, or inferior order, is uniformly found beneath one or all of
the others; and, we may infer, that it in fact underlies the whole
surface of the globe, forming not only the foundation of the solid land,
but the original bottom on which the present bed of the sea is
deposited. The rocks that compose this series are all highly crystalline
in their character, are mostly composed of substances wholly or nearly
insoluble in water, are wholly devoid of organic remains, and are in
fact such substances as might be supposed to have been formed by slow
cooling, from a state of igneous fusion. Is it then assuming too much to
infer, that they are in fact the crust which has been first formed upon
the surface of the earth, intensely heated by its own condensation,
under the action of the gravitating force, that, communicated to it by
the hand of the Creator, determined its figure, and still maintains its
equilibrium. We do not include in this class, as is usually done, the
crystalline rocks not stratified, as we conceive them to have been
formed in another manner, to which we shall hereafter refer. All the
four higher series of strata show, in the most evident manner, that
their formation has been due to the action of water; the grauwacke is,
perhaps, the only rock that exists among them, in which the question
could, even on simple inspection of specimens, appear doubtful; but this
rock lies at the base of the old red sandstone, and upon the limestone
of the submedial order, or transition, as it is styled by the
Wernerians, and is equally regular in its stratification with either; we
cannot, therefore, admit any other cause of its formation than what is
common to them.

Some of these strata are obviously mechanical, others chemical deposits;
thus, the sandstones and conglomerates are certainly the products of the
disintegration of older rocks by a violent abrasion of running water,
and have settled when the currents have ceased to flow; all calcareous
rocks, except the limestones of the inferior or fifth order, the
primitive of Werner, on the other hand, appear to have been products of
chemical precipitation; while there are a few cases, as in the beds of
rock salt, where the deposit must have been due to evaporation.

Of all these rocks and formations, the primitive, as has already been
stated, and the sandstones, are wholly devoid of organic remains. And
even the last rule is to be received as not wholly free from exception;
for vegetable impressions have been found, as we are credibly informed,
in sandstone, at Nyack on the Hudson, and near Belleville in New-Jersey,
besides some other similar cases we shall hereafter note. All the other
strata present a greater or less abundance of the traces of the organic
kingdoms, from the slate, which lies lowest of the fourth order, to the
most recent beds of the tertiary, and to so much of the diluvium as has
been examined in the old continent. And although in the isolated case of
the diluvium at New-York, no fossil remains have been found, we are yet
unprepared to admit this as more than an exception, and are inclined to
think that the remains of the mastodon, for instance, must be diluvian,
or pre-diluvian. In this opinion, however, we know that we are opposed
by high authority, and therefore do not express it without hesitation.

     "Organized fossil remains belong to three different classes:
     the remains that have preserved their natural state, at least
     in part; petrifactions; and impressions.

     "The remains of the first class are principally bones, and even
     entire skeletons, which, after having been stripped of the skin
     and flesh that covered them, have remained, some buried in the
     earth, others hidden in deep caverns. They are, sometimes,
     calcined in whole or in part, without having lost their
     configuration; they at others preserve, not only their texture,
     but even some traces of their hair and skin. They are also
     occasionally seen covered with a calcareous crust.

     "Petrifactions, to use this word in its familiar sense, include
     all stony bodies that have the figure of an organized body.
     There are cases in which a strong solution has penetrated into
     a cavity formed by an organic body that has disappeared. Then
     the strong substance has occupied the cavity that has been left
     empty, and has taken the external form of the body that
     formerly existed there. If this body were, for instance, a
     branch or trunk of a tree, the stone will have at its surface
     its knots and asperities; but within, it will present all the
     characters of a true stone; it will be no more, to use the
     language of Hauy, than the statue of the substance that it has

     "At other times, a vegetable or animal substance, while
     undergoing decomposition in a successive manner, and by obvious
     degrees, is pressed by the petrifying liquid that already
     surrounds it. As soon as an organic particle has disappeared,
     its place is occupied by one of stone."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "Metallized bodies, and those which have been changed into
     bitumen or carbon, belong to this system of formation; thus,
     the turquoises, for instance, are the teeth of a great marine
     animal; a metallic substance has penetrated them, and has
     gradually replaced the softer parts of the bones.

     "Impressions are often found between the plates of slaty rocks;
     they are relievos or intaglios representing the skeletons of
     animals, particularly fish, leaves, seeds, and entire plants,
     of which the most common kind belong to the forus."

The impressions of vegetables are most abundant in the shales that
accompany coal formations; those of leaves and branches are the most
common, but there are a few instances in which they retain the delicate
structure of the flowers. All analogy leads to the inference, that those
now found in temperate climates, are of such a character as could only
exist in tropical regions; and when, as in some of the newer formations,
the species are identical with those which now exist, the living type is
only found within the torrid zone. A still more curious fact, is their
identity in similar formations in different parts of the world. At the
present day, the same soil in Pennsylvania and England produces plants
of very different characters, and those which are native to each are of
wholly distinct genera and species, while the fossils that accompany the
coal in the two countries are precisely similar. But even those brought
by Parry from the polar region of Melville island, are identical with
those of England, and of course with those of this distant part of the
same hemisphere in which the former are formed, although the character
of the climate is so diverse. At the epoch of the coal formation, there
existed plants, of genera, which, in temperate climates, at present
rarely rise to more than a few inches in height, and which were at that
remote period of enormous size. Thus, the forus must have attained the
height of from fifty to sixty feet. At present, the forus assume the
size of a tree only in the very warmest climates, and even there, are
far inferior in magnitude to those of the coal formation. Now, it is
well known, that the large size of the living species is due to great
and constant heat, and copious moisture. Hence we may fairly infer that
similar circumstances existed even at Melville island, where, at the
present time, for the greater part of the year, the thermometer is below
the freezing point.

As further instances of the same kind, we may quote the following facts.
Faujas St. Fond found, in a marly slate, covered by lava, in France, the
tree cotton, the liquid amber styrax, the cassia fistula, and other
plants of tropical regions. The same observer found the fruit of the
arcea palm near Cologne. The elastic bitumen of Derbyshire in England,
is identical with the caoutchouc, which now grows only in the warmer
parts of South America; and the amber of Prussia appears to be a fossil
gum, similar to the Copal.

Among the more recent in formation of fossil vegetables, are the
bituminized woods; these are often buried to great depths by diluvian
action, but are never found in perfect rock. The most remarkable
instance of this kind is at Bovey-Heathfield, in England, and beneath is
found the retinasphaltum, that seems to be no more than the expressed
viscorous juice of the trees. Coal is a similar formation, but due to a
more ancient period. The mines of Pennsylvania occasionally furnish
specimens, in which the fibre of the wood is as distinctly visible as in
recently prepared charcoal. However these vast beds may have been
formed, no doubt whatever can exist in respect to their vegetable

Among animal remains found in the fossil state, shells and zoophytes are
the most abundant. They form the principal parts of rocks which often
occupy considerable districts. They are most frequent in calcareous
strata, from the transition limestones to the highest of the marles. A
remarkable fact is observed in respect to these shells, and the other
fossils which accompany them; those which are found in the oldest, or
transition formations, are more different from those that now exist,
than those in the more modern deposits. Thus the transition limestones
and slates contain terrebratulites, with encrinites, pentacrinites, and
trilobites; in those of the submedial and medial series we find
belemnites and the cornu ammonis; many of which are extinct genera, and
some of which are of families that are no longer found living on our
globe, while even where the genus is now to be met with, the species at
least has become extinct; while in the latest of the tertiary or
superior formations, we find ostracites, pectinites, buccinites,
chamites, and many other genera that are still abundant, and even types
of living species.

By far the greater part of the animals whose remains are found in the
older strata are aquatic, and the vast extents over which they are
distributed, show, that the waters must at one time have covered a very
great proportion of what is now dry land. Nor has this change been
produced by any gradual subsidence, for we find no coincidence in the
levels of those portions of the land that contain similar fossils; some
for instance are still lower than the level of the present ocean;
others, again, of similar character, rest upon the tops or sides of the
highest mountains. In Europe, the tops of the highest of the Pyrenees,
rising 11000 feet above the level of the sea, are of limestone,
containing numerous fossil remains, while Humboldt found a rock,
similarly characterized, among the Andes, at the height of 14000 feet.

The ancient philosophers, who, in other departments of physical science,
were far behind the moderns, seem in this alone to have pursued a
process of inductive reasoning, which led to results far more accurate
than any attained by the moderns, until within a very few years. The
dogmatism which determined to find in every fossil aquatic remain a
proof of the particular Noachic deluge, and the timidity of those whose
researches had made them better informed, left the world wholly in the
dark as to the real inferences to be drawn from a study of the structure
of the earth; but what modern geologist could better express what are
now admitted opinions, than the words which the Roman poet puts in the
mouth of Pythagoras.

    "Vidi ego, quod quondam fuerat solidissima tellus,
    Esse Fretum. Vidi factas ex æquore terras:
    Et procul a pelago conchæ jacuere marinæ;
    Et vetus inventa est in montibus anchora summis.
    Quodque fuit campus, vallem decursus aquarum
    Fecit: et eluvie mons est deductus in æquor:
    Eque paludosa siccis humus aret arenis;
    Quæque sitim tulerant, stagnata paludibus hument.
    Hic fontes Natura novos emisit, at illie
    Clausit: et antiquis concussa tremoribus orbis
    Flumina prosiliunt; aut exæcata resident."

The order in which fossil remains are found to succeed each other in the
successive formations that are to be traced from the oldest rocks to the
diluvial deposit, are well illustrated in the words of a late
distinguished philosopher, whom we shall quote.

     "In those strata which are deepest, and which must consequently
     be supposed to be the earliest deposited, forms, even of
     vegetable life, are rare; shells and vegetable remains are
     found the next in order; the bones of fishes and oviparous
     reptiles exist in the following class; the remains of birds,
     with those of the same genera mentioned before, in the next
     order; those of quadrupeds of extinct species in a still more
     recent class; and it is only in the loose and slightly
     consolidated strata of gravel and sand, and which are usually
     called diluvial formations, that the remains of animals such as
     now people the globe are found, with others of extinct species.
     But in none of these formations, whether called secondary,
     tertiary, or diluvial, have the remains of man, or any of his
     works, been discovered: and whoever dwells upon this subject,
     must be convinced that the present order of things, and the
     comparatively recent existence of man as the master of the
     globe, are as certain as the destruction of a former and
     different order, and the extinction of a number of living
     forms, which have types in being. In the oldest secondary
     strata there are no remains of such animals as now belong to
     the surface; and in the rocks which may be regarded as most
     recently deposited, these remains occur but rarely, and with
     abundance of distinct species;--there seems, as it were, a
     gradual approach to the present system of things, and a
     succession of destructions and creations preparatory to the
     existence of man."

We have stated that the zoophytes and shell-fish have left the most
numerous fossil remains. Those of other families are not however rare.
Fish, for instance, are found in great abundance, near Glarus in
Switzerland, in clay slate; in Germany, at Papenheim, in a slaty marle,
in the cupriferous slate of Eisleben, in the fetid limestone of
Oehningen. They are also found in Egypt, and we have specimens of the
same sort from Lyria, in a limestone apparently belonging to the oolitic
or Jura formation. China and the coast of Coromandel have also fossils
of this sort, but by far the greatest quantity have been procured from
Mount Bolea, near Verona. A splendid suite from the last locality are to
be seen in the Gibbs' Cabinet at New-Haven. Besides the impressions of
entire fish, separate portions are very abundant, and perhaps the most
frequent of these are the teeth of sharks, which are sometimes of a
magnitude vastly greater than those of any living species. Animals of
the class of amphibia appear not to have existed until after the æra
that gave birth to fish. The oldest are probably the tortoises, of which
a specimen has been found in sandstone near Berlingen. They have also
been found in England, in the Netherlands near Brussels, at Aix in
Provence, and in the quarries near Paris. The most remarkable fossils of
this class belong, however, to the lizard family. Of these the most
remarkable are the plesiosaurus, the megalosaurus, the iguanodon, and
the crocodile of Maestricht, all belonging to extinct species.

The marine animals that are met with in a fossil state, are in great
part foreign to the climates in which they are found buried. It has been
shown that the fish of Bolea have their nearest living prototypes in the
seas of Otaheite. The perpites of Gothland have been supposed to be
petrifactions of the medusæ of India. The madrepores, so abundant in
Russia and in the frozen deserts of Siberia, only live now in seas
within the tropics. Shells analogous to a great part of those found
fossil in England, are only to be seen in the Atlantic, in a living
state, on the coasts of Florida and Cuba. A shell-formed fossil at Havre
is only to be met with recent at Amboyna.

Of the shells found in Italy, fossil in the sub Appenine hills, many are
common to the Mediterranean and the Indian oceans. But while those in
the fossil slate and the recent specimens from the tropics correspond in
size, individuals of the same species from the Mediterranean are
dwarfish and degenerate.

Thus then the remains of aquatic and amphibious animals appear to
confirm the conclusion drawn from vegetable fossils, that a climate of
temperature as elevated as that now found in the tropics, once extended
into high northern latitudes. It has been seen that the fossil remains
and impressions of shells have been found at great heights upon the
sides, and even upon the tops of mountains; and that in the older of the
strata no trace is to be found of any but aquatic animals. Thus before
our existing mountains and the minerals they contain had arisen above
the general surface; before diluvial and alluvial deposits, or even the
great formations of sandstone and conglomerate had arisen from their
disintegration, the globe was covered, in a great degree, and as it
appears from considerations we have not space to enter into, by various
successive eruptions, with waters, sometimes fresh, sometimes saline.
These waters have, it could be readily made to appear, often rested long
on the surface in a quiet state, after having been in violent agitation;
and long ages of tranquillity have been succeeded and closed by
convulsions of the most violent character.

In all the regularly stratified formations, animals of the mammiferous
or cetaceous classes are wholly wanting; at least we have no proof that
can be relied upon of any having been found in formations which took
place prior to the last great deluge, that covered so much of the land
with diluvium. In this last formation, however, they are often found in
great abundance. Some of them are of recent, others of extinct species.
Among the most remarkable of the latter are, the palæotherium, and
anoplotherium, found near Paris; the megalonyx, an animal of the sloth
genus, but of the size of an ox, found in Virginia; a still larger
sloth, called the megatherium, found near Buenos Ayres; the fossil
elephant, as different from the living elephants of India or Africa, as
the horse is from the ass, and which has been found in Europe, in Asia,
and in America. The mastodon, of which several species have been
discovered on the banks of the Hudson, in Kentucky, in Louisiana, in the
plains of Quito, in France, and finally on the borders of the Irrawaddy.

The bones of rhinoceroses, bears, elephants, and hyænas, have been found
mixed in confusion in caverns; and it has been shown by Buckland that
the latter animal had inhabited these caverns, and drawn thither the
carcasses of the others as his prey, in one of the most perfect
inductive arguments which has been produced, since Bacon propounded the
rules of that species of reasoning.

     "The moveable earths that fill the bottoms of valleys, and
     which cover the surface of great plains, have furnished us in
     the above two orders, of pachidermata and elephants, the bones
     of twelve species, to wit: one rhinoceros, two hippopotami, two
     tapirs, an elephant, and six mastodons. All these twelve
     species are now absolutely extinct in the climates in which
     their bones are found. The mastodons alone may be considered as
     forming a separate genus, now unknown, but closely approaching
     to the elephant. All the others belong to genera now existing
     in the torrid zone. Three of these living genera are now found
     only in the ancient continent, to wit: the rhinoceros, the
     hippopotami, and the elephant; the fourth, that of the tapirs,
     only exist in the new. The distribution of the fossil species
     is different; the tapirs have been found only upon the old
     continent, while elephants have been discovered in the new."

The fossil species, although belonging to known and existing _genera_,
are essentially different in _species_ from those which now live upon
the earth. The former are not mere varieties, but have marked specific
differences. This at least is beyond all doubt in respect to the
smaller of the hippopotami, and the gigantic tapir, as well as the
fossil rhinoceros, and is extremely probable in respect to the elephant
and the smaller tapir. If there be any question of the fact, it is only
in respect to the greater hippopotamus.

     "These different bones are buried in all different places in
     beds that resemble each other. They are often mixed
     indiscriminately with those of other animals, identical with
     those which exist at present. These beds are generally
     moveable, sandy, or marly, and always within a short distance
     of the surface. It is therefore probable that these bones have
     been enveloped by the last catastrophe of the globe. In a great
     number of places, they are accompanied by the accumulated
     spoils of marine animals; in other places, but these are less
     numerous, the remains of marine animals are not found, and
     sometimes the sand or marle that covers them contains only
     fresh-water shells. Although a small number of shells attached
     to fossil bones indicate that, they have remained some time
     under water, yet is there no authentic account of their having
     been found covered with regular stony beds, filled with marine
     remains, nor, in consequence, is there any proof of the sea
     having made a long and peaceable stay above them.

     "The catastrophe that has covered them, would appear then to
     have been a great marine inundation, of no long duration, were
     it not that they are found upon the tops of high mountains,
     whither the waters of our present ocean could never have
     reached in their most violent agitations. On the other hand,
     these bones presenting no appearance of having been rolled,
     being occasionally only fractured, as the remains of our
     present domestic animals may occasionally be, and being
     sometimes found in entire skeletons, and accumulated as if in a
     common cemetery, demonstrate that the living beings to which
     they have belonged, must have met their fate in the very parts
     of the globe in which we now find the fossil monuments of their

All the animals of which we have particularly spoken, are of genera now
only found in the torrid zone, and the abundance of food which their
great size would have caused them to require, renders their existence in
numbers only possible in a warm climate. Their remains are, however,
found in almost polar regions, whence we obtain a third link in the
chain of evidence, that before the last great catastrophe to which the
globe was subjected, its surface must have been warmer than at present.

We have seen in a former place, that such a change of temperature may
have gradually occurred in consequence of a cooling of the external
surface of the globe by an excess of its radiation above the quantity of
heat received from the sun. The final cooling of its solid crust, down
to the mean temperature at which we now find it, might, as is obvious,
have been effected by a great irruption of waters, like that of which we
have distinct evidence in the diluvial deposits, and the animal remains
upon its surface. From that time, a state of equilibrium in the action
of solar and terrestrial radiation having been attained, while the mean
temperature still continues to depend upon the internal structure and
nature of the globe, the distribution of heat upon the surface, and the
vicissitudes of the seasons, have been solely influenced by the varying
relation between these two radiations, which if equal to each other in
their total amounts, differ in every different latitude, for every
successive day in the year, and during each varying hour of the day.

It has been attempted to explain this change that has unquestionably
taken place in the temperature of climate, by conceiving a change in the
situation of the earth's axis. This hypothesis, however, is shown to be
untenable by the calculations of physical astronomy: no other cause then
remains but an actual change in the condition of the earth itself.

The most remarkable of all the phenomena which the earth presents, are
the great changes of weight that have taken place in identical
formations which must have arisen from the prevalence of water, and
therefore nearly if not exactly upon the same level. The primitive or
lowest stratified rocks, probably had not water for their cause; still,
however, they must have been in the fluid state, and these are not only
found beneath all other rocks, and in the lowest places to which the
industry of man has penetrated, but they also rise and form the greatest
part in bulk of many of the highest mountains; indeed, if we except
volcanic mountains, of all the more elevated masses. The transition and
secondary formations are subject to similar although less changes of
level, rising, as has been seen, to the tops of the Pyrenees, and to
even a greater height on the sides of the Andes. The tertiary or
superior formations are found in Italy and Sicily, forming mountains
several thousand feet in height, while the latest of all, the diluvial
with its embedded mammalia, exists in the lofty table land of Quito. The
inference is irresistible, that we do not now find these deposits at the
levels where they were left by the ocean, as in the case of the
primitive rocks by their own crystallization from a fluid state, but
that they have been altered in their positions by actions of a character
totally distinct from that by which they were originally formed.

This inference is still further confirmed by the great and sudden
changes of level that are frequently to be seen in similar strata,
faults, as they are styled by miners, in which the same bed has its
level sometimes changed hundreds, nay even thousands of feet. These
faults, if in greatest abundance in the more ancient rocks, are to be
found even in the newest, and sometimes affect several formations
incumbent on each other, of ages the most different. Thus, then, we have
distinct and conclusive evidence, that as we inferred from theory, the
solid crust of the globe has been shattered and fractured repeatedly,
and at all the different epochs of its history. This fracturing and
cracking we have shown, must, in conformity with strict mechanical laws,
have been attended with the rise of the molten liquid from beneath,
which ought in some cases to have formed veins and dykes, in the places
where the fractures occurred. It is however possible, that the rise of
the fluid from beneath, may not have taken place where the pressure
occurred; but it would then have been compelled by hydrostatic pressure,
to issue at some other point, breaking and tearing the weaker parts of
the solid crust, in order to afford itself a vent.

The latter class of phenomena are still in action, and we have evident
traces of their occurrence in all the different stages of the world's
existence; of the former it will also be seen there is conclusive

The visible effects of a subterranean heat, are most frequently met with
at the present day in the form of volcanoes. Of these, there are not
only a great number in activity, but there are still more that have been
certainly active since the last great change that the surface of the
earth has undergone.

That part of the great group of mountains which we have before
described, which lies in the new continent, contains many active
volcanoes, and others but recently extinct. Terra del Fuego, as its very
name imports, is the seat of many; Chili has several; in Peru are to be
noted Arequipa, Pichinca, and Cotapaxi; while Chimborazo is obviously
one that has become extinct at a period not remote. Passing the Isthmus
of Panama, we find the volcanoes of Guatimala and Nicaragua almost
infinite in number. In Mexico, are Orezaba, Popocatepetl, and Jorullo;
the last of which first rose from beneath the surface in 1759.
California has five active volcanoes; and we know, from the observations
of La Perouse and Cook, that they also exist along the north-western
coast of America. Mount St. Elias, in particular, was seen in a state of
eruption. These mountains connect those of Mexico with the volcanoes of
the Aleutian islands and of the peninsula of Alaska, which continue the
system towards Kamtschatka, in which peninsula there are three of great
violence. We have seen some proofs, that there are active volcanoes to
the north-west of China, but none now exist in Thibet; and the action
that once took place there has sought new vents, in regions more near to
the present bed of the ocean. Thus, Japan has eight volcanoes, Formosa
several, and, in proceeding to the south, the land of volcanic action
widens, and becomes of immense extent. It embraces the Philippine,
Marian, and Molucca islands, Java, Sumatra, Queen Charlotte's islands,
and the New-Hebrides. The active volcanoes of Europe and western Asia
are few in number; but those that are extinct form a great system, in
which the active ones are included, and which seems to spread in the
form of a belt, from the Caspian sea to the Atlantic. Volcanic action
still occurs on the shores of the Caspian. In the chain of Elburg is a
lofty mountain that still emits smoke, and around whose base are several
distinct craters. Syria and Palestine abound in volcanic appearances, of
which the great crater that has swallowed up the waters of the Jordan,
and forms the Dead sea, is the most remarkable. Greece and the Grecian
Archipelago have been, almost within historic times, the seat of a
volcanic action, of great extent and violence, and which has not wholly
exhausted itself. In Sicily, Ætna has burnt for 3300 years, and is yet
surrounded by extinct craters of more ancient date. The Lipari islands
are wholly volcanic. Vesuvius, that had long before intermitted its
eruptions, and broke forth again in the great one that destroyed
Herculaneum and Pompeii, is not the only volcanic mountain of Naples. An
extinct one of much greater size is to be found near Roccafina. The
catacombs of Rome are excavated in lava, and Tuscany contains strong
evidences of volcanic action. Volcanic indications can be traced near
Padua, Verona, and Vicenza, extending into Dalmatia. A district of
Hungary was suspected of containing the seeds of subterranean fire, and
the suspicion has been confirmed by an actual eruption. Germany and
Bohemia contain a great number of extinct volcanoes, as does the south
of France, and particularly Auvergne. In Spain, too, the proofs of a
volcanic agency are clear and decisive.

Greenland and Iceland present a third group of volcanoes; in the latter
island, a single volcano was in a state of continuous eruption for five
or six years. The Azores, the Canaries and Madeiras, also contain
numerous volcanoes, both active and extinct, as do the Caribbean

In comparing together volcanoes that are in present activity, and others
in which the crater and the streams of emitted lava are too distinct to
permit a doubt of their having arisen from the same cause, differences
are observed that only have arisen from great differences in the
circumstances under which the eruption has taken place. In many of the
ancient volcanoes, we find the emitted streams are arranged in prismatic
forms, constituting basalt, and frequently passing into what under other
circumstances would be styled _trap_ by the Wernerians. Now, we know
that when streams of lava enter the sea, they spontaneously assume the
prismatic structure. Hence we may infer, that these ancient volcanoes
originally gave vent to their craters beneath the level of the sea, at a
time when the rocks through which they penetrated, and over which their
streams have passed, were beds of the primitive ocean. The trap rocks
themselves may have been formed in a similar manner, by upward pressure
of the igneous fluid beneath, through the veins and fissures formed on
the breaking of the solid crust. Trap traverses, in dykes of unknown
depth, many formations, and is occasionally seen forming beds between
successive strata. It frequently occurs in faults, and sometimes in
extensive overlying masses. Close observation, and a just course of
analogy, lead to the irresistible conclusion, that all the trap rocks,
however situated or arranged, grow out of the same great cause, the
rising of the liquid interior of the earth to its surface. An action
sometimes taking place through veins and fissures in the solid crust,
and sometimes by the eruption of volcanoes, both occurring during the
pressure of water upon the surface. One of the most extensive groups of
trap-rocks is to be seen in the north-eastern part of the state of
New-Jersey. The Hudson is bordered for nearly forty miles by a great
ridge of columnar rock, lying upon sandstone. When this is surveyed with
an eye to its analogy to volcanic action, it appears as if it were the
outpourings of a crater, whose basin is now occupied by the lake in
which the Hackensack river takes its rise, and whence a great stream of
lava has run over the sandstone rock, as far as the strait that
separates Staten Island from the main land. The two Newark mountains are
ridges of the same description, of even greater extent; other smaller
ridges of the same kind are also distinctly visible, and the whole of
this last system appears to have proceeded from a crater now filled by
the alluvion of the Passaic, but which is bordered by a ridge still
occupying two-thirds of a circle, and showing conclusive marks of
igneous action, that goes by the name of the Hook mountain. The
phenomenon of a dyke of trap is well exhibited in the quarries near
Hartford in Connecticut, where this rock has been laid bare for a
considerable depth, as it rises through a sandstone rock, instead of
overlying it, as it is seen to do on the Hudson.

The trap-rocks, which are, generally speaking, of the character called
by mineralogists greenstone, vary in this district of New-Jersey, from a
compact basalt of homogeneous structure, to one of regular and distinct
crystallization, not distinguishable in hand specimens from primitive
syenite. A rock of this last character is to be found in the mountain
that extends from Morristown to Mount Kemble, which is columnar in its
structure, but almost identical, in mere external characters, with
stratified rocks of gneiss containing hornblende, that are found in the
primitive ridges within a few miles.

Thus then the older volcanic rocks gradually pass in character into
those which, under the general name of granitic, form the apparent
nucleus of gneiss and mica slate mountains, and penetrate them, and the
primitive limestones, in veins. One of the best instances of veins of
granite with which we are acquainted, are those which occur in the
quarries of white marble at Kingsbridge, which are traversed in every
direction by thin veins of a rock, principally composed of a white fetid
felspar, mixed with spangles of silvery mica, and small grains of
quartz, interspersed with occasional masses of tourmaline. The famous
locality of chrysoberyl, beryl, and other interesting minerals, at
Haddam, in Connecticut, is said to occur in a granitic vein passing
through strata of gneiss.

In all these cases we cannot fail to see evidence of igneous eruptions,
taking place, however, under circumstances widely different from those
of our present terrestrial volcanoes, or of the submarine craters of
more remote dates, but which can be readily explained by supposing,
either that the penetration took place when the surface of the earth was
so intensely heated as to admit of the injected veins being slowly
cooled, and therefore more perfectly crystallized; or that the issuing
mass was so great as to retain its heat for a great length of time.

It might at first sight appear difficult to explain how volcanic
energies should still continue in activity, now that the mean
temperature of the earth has become constant, and the outer crust can be
no longer subject to the shrinking, and consequent cracking which it
must have undergone while cooling. The phenomena that attend volcanic
eruptions furnish a full explanation of this, for they are attended in
almost all cases with the evolution of great quantities of gaseous
matters, and steam, which must therefore exist in a state of intense
compression, and at elevated temperatures, in the mass whence the
volcanic flood issues. Their elastic energies are sufficient to account
for all the striking effects that attend the action of volcanoes.

The earthquake is a phenomenon connected with volcanic eruptions, and
arising from the same great cause; but while the latter are confined to
certain mountains, and restricted within narrow limits at the present
day, an earthquake is sometimes found to prevail over a very large
portion of the earth's surface. To omit the more usual phenomena of
earthquakes, we shall speak of but one, which has in some cases been
observed, that throws a great light upon the manner in which the
stratified rocks have had their levels changed, and been dislocated and
distorted in the manner we now find them. We allude to the sudden
raising of countries of greater or less extent. Of this we shall quote
three several instances from a paper of Arago's.

     "During the night of the 28th September 1759, a district of
     three or four square miles, situated in the Intendency of
     Valladolid, in Mexico, was raised up, like an inflated bladder.
     The limits where the elevation ceased may still be determined
     at the present day, by the fracture of the strata. At these
     limits the elevation of the ground above its primitive level,
     or that of the surrounding plain, is no more than thirty-seven
     feet; but towards the centre of the lifted district, the total
     elevation is not less than five hundred feet.

     "This phenomenon had been preceded by earthquakes that lasted
     nearly two months; but when the catastrophe occurred, all
     seemed tranquil; it was announced only by a horrible
     subterranean noise, that took place at the moment when the
     ground was lifted. Thousands of little cones, of from six to
     ten feet in height, called by the natives ovens, arose in every
     direction; finally six great projections were suddenly formed
     along a great crevice lying in a north-east and south-west
     direction, all of which were elevated from 1200 to 1600 feet
     above the adjacent plains. The greatest of these small
     mountains has become a true volcano, that of _Jorullo_, and
     vomits forth lava.

     "It will be seen that the most evident and well characterized
     volcanic phenomena accompanied the catastrophe of Jorullo; that
     they were perhaps its cause; but this did not prevent an
     extensive plain, old and well consolidated, upon which the
     sugar-cane and indigo were cultivated, from being, in our own
     days, suddenly raised far above its primitive level. The escape
     of inflamed matter, the formation of the ovens and of the
     volcano of Jorullo, far from having contributed to produce this
     effect, must on the contrary have lessened it; for all these
     openings must have acted like safety valves, and permitted the
     elevating cause to have dissipated itself, whether it were a
     gas or a vapour. If the ground had opposed a greater
     resistance; if it had not given way in so many points, the
     plain of Jorullo, instead of becoming a simple hill five
     hundred feet in height, might have acquired the relief of the
     neighbouring summits of the Cordilleras.

     "The circumstances that attended the formation of a new island
     near Santorin, in the Greek Archipelago, seem to me also well
     fitted to prove that subterranean fires not only contribute to
     elevate mountains by the aid of ejections furnished by the
     craters of volcanoes, but that they also sometimes lift the
     already consolidated crust of the globe.

     "On the 18th and 22d May 1707, there were slight shocks of an
     earthquake at Santorin.

     "On the 23d, at sun-rise, there was seen between the great and
     little Rameni (two small islands) an object that was taken for
     the hull of a shipwrecked vessel. Some sailors proceeded to the
     spot, and on their return reported, to the great surprise of
     the whole population, that it was a rock that had risen from
     the waves. In this spot the sea had formerly a depth of from
     400 to 500 feet.

     "On the 24th, many persons visited the new island, and
     collected upon its surface large oysters that had not ceased to
     adhere to the rock. The island was seen sensibly to increase in

     "From the 23d May until the 13th or 14th June, the island
     gradually increased in extent and elevation, without agitation
     and without noise. On the 13th June it might be about half a
     mile in circuit, and from 20 to 25 feet in height. Neither
     flame nor smoke had issued from it.

     "From the first appearance of the island, the water near its
     shores had been troubled; on the 15th June it became almost

     "On the 16th, seventeen or eighteen black rocks rose from the
     sea between the new island and the little Rameni.

     "On the 17th they had considerably increased in height.

     "On the 18th smoke arose from them, and great subterranean
     noises were heard for the first time.

     "On the 19th all the black rocks had united and formed a
     continuous island, totally distinct from the first; flames,
     columns of ashes, and red-hot stones arose from it.

     "The volcanic phenomena still continued on the 23d May 1708.
     The black island, a year after its appearance, was five miles
     in circuit, a mile in breadth, and more than 200 feet in

     "On the 19th November 1822, at a quarter past ten in the
     evening, the cities of Valparaiso, Melipilla, Quillota, and
     Casa Blanca, in Chili, were destroyed by a terrible earthquake
     that lasted three minutes. The following day several observers
     discovered that the coast, for an extent of thirty leagues, had
     been visibly elevated, for upon a coast where the tide never
     rises higher than five or six feet, any rise in the land is
     easily detected.

     "At Valparaiso, near the mouth of the Coucon, and to the north
     of Quintero, rocks were seen in the sea, near the bank, that no
     person had before perceived. A vessel that had been stranded on
     the coast, and whose wreck had been visited by the curious, in
     boats, at low water, was left, after the earthquake, perfectly
     dry. In traversing the shore of the sea, for a considerable
     distance near Quintero, Lord Cochran, and Mrs. Maria Graham,
     found that the water, even at high tide, did not reach rocks,
     on which oysters, muscles, and shells still adhered, the
     animals inhabiting which, recently dead, were in a state of
     putrefaction. Finally the whole banks of the lake of Quintero,
     which communicates with the sea, had evidently mounted
     considerably above the level of the water, and in this locality
     the fact could not escape the least attentive observers.

     "At Valparaiso the country appeared to be raised about three
     feet, near Quintero about four. It has been pretended, that at
     a distance of a mile inland, the rise had been more than six
     feet; but I do not know the particulars of the measures that
     led to this last inference.

     "In this case there was no volcanic eruption, no lava poured
     forth, no stones or ashes projected, into the atmosphere, and
     unless it be maintained that the level of the ocean have
     fallen, it must be admitted that the earthquake of 19th.
     November 1822, has raised the whole of Chili. Now the last
     consequence is inevitable, for a change of level in the ocean
     would have manifested itself equally along the whole extent of
     the coast of America, while nothing of the kind was observed in
     the ports of Peru, such as Paytu and Callao.

     "If this discussion had not already carried us so far, the
     preceding observations, from which it results, that in a few
     hours, and by the effect of a few shocks of an earthquake, an
     immense extent of country rose above its former level, might
     have been compared with those which show, that there exists in
     Europe, a great country (Sweden and Norway) whose level is also
     rising, but in a gradual manner, and by a cause that acts
     unceasingly, but which cause is unknown."

Thus, then, to whatever portion of the earth's surface we turn our eyes,
we find the proofs of igneous action; our existing volcanoes, protruding
themselves through the newer stratified formations, and even the
diluvium, being in some cases more recent in their origin than the last
great catastrophe to which the earth has been subjected; those of more
ancient date forcing their way through the upper and lower secondary and
transition formations, which are also cut and intersected by dykes of
trap, while granite from the size of mountain masses down to their
veins, has upheaved and penetrated the oldest stratified rocks. We also
find great extents of country rising, sometimes gradually, sometimes
suddenly, above their former level.

Mountains, then, are not the nucleus on which our continents and islands
have been deposited, but are of subsequent origin, and have in their
rise elevated the land to such a height as to be no longer accessible to
the waters of the ocean. We may, even by examining through what strata
the mountains have been raised, or those which compose their sides and
crests when the elevating agent has not pierced through to the surface,
infer the geological age which gave them birth. A research of this sort
has been recently attempted and conducted with great ability by M. E. De

We shall quote an abstract of his reasoning from the "_Annuaire,"_ for
1830, in the words of Arago, which will also serve to illustrate various
other points upon which we have touched.

     "Among the formations of so many different kinds that form the
     crust of our globe, there is a class which has been called
     sedimentary (_terrains de sediment_). Those formations to which
     this name is properly applied, are composed wholly, or in part,
     of _detritus_, carried by water like the mud of our rivers, or
     the sands of the beaches of the sea. These sands, in a state
     of greater or less division, and agglutinated by siliceous or
     calcareous cements, form the rocks called sandstones.

     "Certain calcareous formations may also be reckoned in the same
     class, even when they are wholly soluble, as is however rare,
     in nitric acid; for the fragments of shells which they contain,
     show, in another and perhaps better manner, that their
     formation has also taken place in the bosom of the waters.

     "Sedimentary formations are always composed of successive
     layers, that are very distinctly marked. The more recent of
     them may be arranged into four great divisions, which, in the
     order of their antiquity, are

     "The oolitic series or limestone of Jura;

     "The system of greensand and chalk;

     "The tertiary series; and finally

     "The diluvian deposits.

     "Although all these formations have been deposited by water,
     and although they may all be found in the same locality lying
     upon each other, the passage from the one to the other is never
     made by insensible gradations. A sudden and marked change is
     always to be perceived in the physical nature of the deposit,
     and in that of the organized beings whose remains are found in
     it. Thus it is evident, that between the epoch at which the
     limestone of Jura was deposited, and that of the precipitation
     of the system of greensand and chalk which covers it, there has
     been upon the surface of the globe a complete change in the
     state of things. The same may be said of the epoch that
     separates the precipitation of the chalk from that of the
     tertiary formations; as it is also evident that in every place
     the state or nature of the liquid, whence the earths were
     precipitated, must have changed completely between the time of
     the formation of the tertiary strata, and that of the diluvium.

     "These considerable variations, sudden, and not gradual, in the
     nature of the successive deposits formed by the waters, are
     considered by geologists as the effects of what they call '_The
     Revolutions of the Globe_.' And even although it is very
     difficult to say exactly in what these revolutions consisted,
     their occurrence is not the less certain on that account.

     "I have spoken of the chronological order in which these
     different sedimentary strata have been deposited: I must
     therefore state that this order has been determined by
     following, without interruption, each different formation, to
     those regions in which it could be ascertained beyond question,
     and over a great horizontal space, that some particular layer
     was above some other. Natural excavations, such as the cliffs
     that border the sea, common wells, and Artesian fountains, with
     the excavation of canals, have furnished powerful aid in this

     "I have already remarked, that all these sedimentary formations
     are stratified. In level countries, as might be expected, the
     disposition of the layers is nearly horizontal. In approaching
     mountainous countries, this horizontality, generally speaking,
     ceases; finally, on the sides of mountains, some of these
     layers are very much inclined; they even sometimes attain a
     vertical direction.

     "May not the inclined deposits that we see upon the slopes of
     mountains, have been deposited in inclined or vertical
     positions? Or is it not more natural to suppose, that they
     originally formed horizontal beds, like the contemporaneous
     beds of the same nature with which the plains are covered, and
     that they have been lifted up and assumed new directions at the
     moment of the elevation of the mountains on whose sides they

     "As a general principle, it does not appear impossible that the
     crests of mountains may have been incrusted _in place_, and in
     their actual position, by sedimentary deposits, since we daily
     see the vertical sides of vessels, in which waters charged with
     sulphate of lime evaporate, covered with a saline crust, whose
     thickness is continually augmented; but the question before us
     does not present this general aspect, for it is merely required
     to determine whether the _known_ sedimentary formations can
     have been thus deposited. To this question we must reply in the
     negative, as can be shown by two species of considerations,
     wholly different from each other.

     "Incontestable geological observations have shown, that the
     calcareous layers which constitute the summits of Buet in
     Savoy, and Mount Perden in the Pyrenees, elevated 11,000 or
     12,000 feet above the level of the sea, have been formed at the
     same time with the chalk of the cliffs that border the British
     channel. If the mass of water whence these strata were
     precipitated had risen 11,000 or 12,000 feet, the whole of
     France would have been covered, and analogous deposits must
     have existed upon all heights not exceeding 9,000 or 10,000
     feet; now, it is found, on the contrary, that in the north of
     France, where these deposits appear to have undergone little
     change, the chalk never reaches a height of more than 600 feet
     above the level of the present sea. They present precisely the
     disposition of a deposit formed in a basin filled with a liquid
     whose level has never reached any points that are at the
     present day elevated more than 600 feet.

     "I pass to the second proof, borrowed from Saussure, and which
     appears even more convincing.

     "Sedimentary formations often contain pebbles rounded by
     attrition, and of a figure more or less elliptical. In the
     places where the stratification is horizontal, the longer axes
     of these pebbles are all horizontal, for the same reason that
     an egg cannot stand upon its point. But where the strata are
     inclined at an angle of 45°, the greater axes of many of these
     pebbles form this same angle with the horizon; and when the
     layers become vertical, the greater axes of many of the pebbles
     become vertical also.

     "This observation, in respect to the position of the axes of
     the pebbles, _demonstrates,_ that the sedimentary formations
     have not been deposited in the position they now occupy; they
     have been raised in a greater or less degree, when the
     mountains, whose sides they cover, have arisen from the bosom
     of the earth.

     "This being proved, it is evident that these sedimentary
     formations, whose strata present themselves upon the slopes of
     mountains, in inclined or vertical directions, existed before
     these mountains arose. The formations of the same class that
     are prolonged horizontally, until they meet the same slopes,
     must be on the contrary of a date posterior to the formation of
     the mountain; for it cannot be conceived, that, in rising from
     the mass of the earth, it should not have elevated at the same
     time all previously existing strata.

     "Let us introduce proper names into the general and simple
     theory which we have developed, and the discovery of M. de
     Beaumont will be announced.

     "Of the four species of sedimentary formations that we have
     distinguished, three, and these are the uppermost, the nearest
     to the surface of the globe, or the most modern, extend in
     horizontal layers, from the Cote d'Or and from Forez, to the
     mountains of Saxony; and only one, which is the oolite or
     limestone of Jura, shows itself elevated within this district.

     "Therefore the Hartz, the Cote d'Or, and Mount Pilus of Forez,
     have risen from the globe since the formation of the Jura
     oolite, and before the deposit of the three other formations.

     "On the slopes of the Pyrenees and Appennines, two of the
     formations are raised up, namely, the oolite and the greensand
     and chalk; the tertiary formations, and the diluvium that
     covers them, have preserved their primitive horizontality. The
     Pyrenees and Appennines are, therefore, more modern than the
     limestone of Jura, and the greensand which they have raised,
     and more ancient than the tertiary strata and the diluvium.

     "The western Alps, and among them Mount Blanc, have, like the
     Pyrenees, raised the limestone of Jura, and the greensand, but,
     in addition, they have also raised the tertiary formations; the
     diluvium is alone horizontal in the vicinity of these

     "The date of the elevation of Mount Blanc must, therefore,
     inevitably be placed between the epoch of the formation of the
     tertiary strata and the diluvium.

     "Finally, upon the sides of the central Alps, (Mount St.
     Gothard,) and of the mountains of Ventorix and Liberon, near
     Avignon, no one of the sedimentary formations is horizontal;
     all the four have been raised up. When these mountains arose,
     the diluvium itself must have already been deposited."

     "The sedimentary formations appear, from their nature, and the
     regular disposition of their layers, to have been deposited in
     times of tranquillity. Each of these formations being
     characterized by a particular system of organized beings, both
     vegetable and animal, it is indispensable to suppose, that
     between the epochs of tranquillity, corresponding to the
     precipitation of two of these overlying formations, there must
     have been a great physical revolution upon the globe. We now
     know that these revolutions have consisted in, or at least been
     characterized by, the raising of a system of mountains. The two
     first liftings-up pointed out by M. de Beaumont, not being by
     any means the greatest of the four he has succeeded in
     classing, it will be seen that we cannot infer that the globe,
     in growing older, becomes less fit to experience this species
     of catastrophe, and that the present period of tranquillity may
     not be terminated like those that have preceded it, by the
     elevation of some immense mountain chain."

M. de Beaumont next attempted, by a fancied arrangement of zones and
parallels to great circles, to classify the mountains he had not an
opportunity of examining, with those in respect to which he had obtained
the above satisfactory conclusions. We fear, however, that he has
proceeded to theorize too speedily, and before he had obtained a
sufficient number of facts. We are certain, that in respect to the great
Alleghany group of the United States, which he classes with the Pyrenees
and Appennines, he must be mistaken, for no formations later than the
transition limestone are to be found in their vicinity. In respect to
the highlands of the state of New-York, and their branch of primitive
rocks, which extends along the Hudson to the island of New-York, the
sandstone of New-Jersey appears to continue horizontally until it
reaches their bases, and no rocks appear to have been raised on the
south-eastern side of the highlands, which are the easternmost of the
five parallel ridges of the Alleghanies, older than the slate; but on
their north-western side the transition limestone appears to have been
raised. They therefore are older than any mountains examined by M. de
Beaumont, and were we to hazard a conjecture, we should class them with
the Grampians of Scotland, and the mountains of Wales, in both of which
slate is the only rock of the transition series that appears to have
been elevated.

To complete our subject, it would be necessary that we should enter into
a discussion of the manner in which the ocean is now acting, by its
currents and tides, to distribute and deposit in its bed the sediment
which rivers and streams are constantly hurrying into it; and that we
should form some estimate, from what occurs within our reach, of the
effects produced in these deposits by the vast number of organized
beings that must people them, the deposits of vegetable matter, and the
exuviæ, of animals. Such discussion would, however, be in a considerable
degree purely conjectural, and we therefore shall not enter into it. It
is sufficient to say, that formations analogous to those which the
elevation of the continents has exposed to our view, must be now taking
place in the bed of the ocean, whence they may be in their turn raised,
to task the ingenuity of future races of reasoning beings.

       *       *       *       *       *

Inquiries into the history of the changes which our earth has undergone,
as they lead with infallible evidence to the proof of an existence of
this globe at a period almost infinitely more remote than that at which
man became its inhabitant, have been stigmatized as impious. The
intolerant theologian, adhering with pertinacity to his own system of
interpretation, fulminates anathemas against all who find in natural
appearances convincing evidence, that the earth was not suddenly and by
a single fiat called into existence in the exact, state in which we now
find it. Timid geologists have bent to the storm, and have endeavoured
to reconcile natural appearances with the arbitrary interpretations that
have been deduced from scripture. But neither is the inquiry itself less
holy than any of those which consider natural phenomena, exhibiting in
their progress convincing proofs of infinite wisdom and power in the
Creator, justifying the ways of God to man; nor is any one of the
results of the inquiry in the slightest degree opposed to the texts of
the sacred volume. The impiety rests with the interpreter, and not with
the physical inquirer. The former unwisely links to his spiritual belief
an interpretation at variance with natural appearances; and the latter,
if he do not inquire for himself, and believe on the evidence of the
former, that the truth or falsehood of the two distinct propositions are
inseparably connected, must, as he sees the one to be inconsistent,
hesitate with respect to the other. Some geologists, then, may have been
sceptics; but could the secrets of the heart be laid open, we cannot
help believing, that those who have most earnestly endeavoured to
reconcile the phenomena we know to exist, with the interpretation of
scripture, from which they appear to vary, have been at bottom the least
sincere in their religious faith.

For ourselves, we see no difficulties, no discrepancies between the
record of direct revelation, and the sublime passages of the book of
nature. We believe that "in the beginning God created the heavens and
the earth;" that he called at once into existence the whole material
world; but we also believe that he then impressed matter with laws,
under the action of which that material world must maintain its
existence, and secure its permanence, until the same almighty power
shall annihilate it. We are not of those who judge of the works of the
Deity from the conditions of the works which can alone be effected by
the power of man. However perfect or complete be human mechanism, it can
only move by the application of some power inherent in matter; did not
an elastic spring expand itself after being coiled, the chronometer
would be a dead and lifeless mass; did not fluids obey the force of
gravitation, and currents in the atmosphere the expansive power of heat,
the water-wheel and wind-mill would be useless; did not water form
vapour at elevated temperatures, and condense when cooled, the still
more powerful agency of steam would be wanting. Not only are machines of
no value unless impelled by natural agents, but they themselves are
subject to rapid decay, and require perpetual attention. Such is not the
case with the machinery of the universe; its motions are perpetually
varying, but yet in their variations invariable; continually oscillating
on each side of mean rates, yet never losing or gaining in intensity.
Such too is the case on the surface of our globe; the seasons
alternately clothe the forests with verdure, and strip them of their
leaves; seed time and harvest recur with invariable precision; the whole
of existing vegetables perish, and animals die and decay, yet the race
is perpetuated. Shall we set bounds to the exertion of almighty power,
and say, that races, that families, that species and genera, nay that
whole natural kingdoms may not in their turn decay and die, after
providing for the repeopling of the earth by new inhabitants? The
catastrophes of our planet are not yet at an end; the time will and must
come, as we may guess from natural appearances, and as we find predicted
in scripture, when the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll, and the
earth shall melt with fervent heat; and in the new system of
appearances, the new heaven and earth shall succeed--the corruptible
bodies that are now sown in dishonour, shall be raised in honour and

The present surface of our globe is to our limited views slowly
changing; to him who compares time with the immeasurable duration that
has preceded and must succeed our existence, it is rapidly hastening to
apparent ruin. The waters raised from the ocean, falling in greatest
abundance on the land, tear and wear away the surface, and deposit it in
the bed of the sea. Deltas form at the mouths of rivers by this action;
the basin of the ocean is gradually elevated, and, in addition, islands
and archipelagos are raised from its bed. The surface of the sea is for
the present lessening under the influence of these causes, but the time
must come, unless it be prevented by some catastrophe, when the ocean
must in its turn encroach upon the land, when the plains and valleys
shall become bays and gulfs, or even unite in continuous expanses of
water, and the greater mountains alone, diminished in bulk by continued
abrasion, shall stand as islands in the vast abyss. The earth would then
again be without form and void of inhabitants, as it was before the
creation of man. Such, however, will not be the termination of the
present order of things; we are taught to look for this in an igneous
eruption, the source of which now slumbers almost quiescent beneath our

Not only does revelation, but science, teach us that the earth must have
been covered with water, and void of animate life, previous to its
becoming the habitation of man. But they read their scriptures
differently from us who think that this state of things was the actual
beginning. There is no necessary connexion between the first verse of
Genesis and the succeeding. The beginning of the existence of matter,
and the state of vacuity and darkness whence the present order of things
emerged, may have been, so far as the text is concerned, and were, as we
know from appearances, separated from each other by unnumbered ages.

Neither is it necessary that we accept the literal meaning of the
passage, and conceive the Deity speaking with human voice, and calling
creation forth by audible fiat. The voice of the Deity is that unheard
and silent command which nature hears and obeys throughout all his
works. The pious and sincere believer sees an overruling providence
preserving him in kindness when it saves him from shipwreck, or
chastening him in mercy when it deprives him of friends or relations, as
distinctly as if he beheld the prince of the air stayed in his furious
course, or the angel of destruction taking his visible stand beside the
pillow of departing life. No miracles are necessary to him who sees in
the rising and setting of the sun, in the order and beauty of the
universe, in the absolute perfection of its mechanical laws, in his own
fearful and wonderful structure, the evidence of infinite wisdom in
design, and infinite power in execution; and the examination of the
structure and character of our globe, is as well calculated as any other
physical study to exhibit in full and brilliant light these attributes
of the Deity.


[8] See American Quarterly, Vol. V.

[9] See American Quarterly, Vol. III.

[10] Our author has "alluvion."

[11] Alluvial in our author.


1.--_The American Trenck; or the Memoirs of Thomas Ward, now in
confinement in the Baltimore Jail, under a sentence of ten years'
imprisonment for robbing the United States Mail._ Baltimore. 18mo: 1829.

2.--_Memoirs of James Hardy Vaux, a Swindler and Thief, now transported
to New South Wales, for the second time, and for life. Written by
himself._ London. 18mo: 1829.

3.--_Memoirs of Vidocq, principal Agent of the French Police, until_
1827, _and since, Proprietor of the Paper Manufactory at St. Maudé.
Written by himself. Translated from the French._ London. 4 vols. 18mo:

"One half of the world does not know how the other half lives:"--so says
the adage, and says truly. Men of reading, however, who direct their
attention to biography, and especially to auto-biography, and who
combine with their reading attention to the varied pursuits of mankind,
may attain tolerably correct notions of the habits, modes of reasoning,
and peculiarities of others, though living in evidently different
stations, and engaged in occupations the most various. In this view, the
volumes above announced are valuable. They furnish a remarkably clear
insight of the ways and actings of professional thieves, and of the men
with whom they often become connected,--police officers and jailers. But
what assurance have we, it may be inquired, that they speak the truth?
How can the evidence of such characters be received? These queries must
be answered by considering several particulars. In the first place,
then, the verity of a narrative may be partly established by its
coherence and probability. When the events related have a manifest
correspondence with each other, and are such as may be credited, we
necessarily attach to them a degree of belief, which we cannot extend to
those of an opposite character. The evidence from this source is,
however, exceedingly imperfect, since many narratives, almost entirely
fictitious, appear so natural, as to impose upon the reader with all the
strength of unvarnished truth. Robinson Crusoe has deceived thousands,
and Damberger's Travels in Africa were not suspected to be otherwise
than true, for a considerable time after their publication; but they
were at length proved to be a complete fabrication. Accordingly, in
judging of doubtful works, we must resort to additional means; one of
which is a comparison of works of a similar description with each other.

When an account appears to be too wonderful for credence, we are, of
course, disposed to rank the author with romance-writers; but when we
find that divers accounts, equally extraordinary, are related by others
as happening under similar circumstances, we then begin to suppose that
we may have judged erroneously. Captain Riley's Narrative of his
Captivity in Africa was rejected by many as half-fictitious: his
sufferings were greater than human nature could bear, and the Arabs of
the desert could never lead the life described. But since it has been
found that the sufferings undergone by the crew of the French frigate,
the Medusa, were no less horrible, and of the same kind, and that
Clapperton and others who have subsequently crossed the Sahara,
confirmed his statements respecting the Arabs,--he has been regarded
very differently. And it may be supposed, that if Sir Walter Scott had
known of the remarkable confirmation given by Benyouski, to Drury's
account of Madagascar, he would not have expressed his doubts of the
latter's veracity.[12] When writers, unacquainted with each other's
productions, are found, by incidental allusions, to agree in minute
particulars, the evidence is almost irrefutable. Paley has made an
admirable use of this species of proof in his _Horæ Paulinæ_.

Another mode of judging of an author's credibility is sometimes
furnished, by learning whether any of his alleged facts have been
contradicted by persons acquainted with them, especially if they are
such as these persons would be glad to contradict. If a person is
charged with being an accomplice in a crime, and he fails to rebut the
accusation, we may infer that he is unable to do so. Or, if the narrator
give place and date to certain memorable transactions, which, if false,
might easily be shown to be so, a similar inference may be deduced, when
it can be shown that others are interested in such exposure.

Now, on bringing the works under notice to these different tests, we
shall have tolerably strong presumptive evidence of their being, in the
main, worthy of credence. Vaux's Memoirs contain nothing that may not be
credited on the score of probability, while the circumstances detailed
are remarkably coherent; they seem to arise naturally from each other.
Vidocq's, on the contrary, contain so many marvellous escapes from
prisons, so many perils from contests with ruffians and bravoes, and
such varied turns of fortune, that the reader is necessitated to
ask,--can this be true? Here, however, both Vaux and Ward offer him some
assistance; the similarity of their accounts, though destitute of so
many wonders, corroborating the probability of his. The three narratives
are quite in keeping. We find in each the same restlessness, the same
blind passion impelling to deeds of vice and desperation, and the same
proofs of treachery amongst their companions. Each, too, has furnished
so many means of detection, by names of persons, dates, and places,
that,--no attempt at refutation having been made by persons
implicated,--we are to believe that they must, at any rate, contain much
that is true. Neither Ward's nor Vidocq's Memoirs are so connected as
Vaux's; but in Ward's case, this may be attributed to a want of
scholarship, as he is evidently an ignorant man; and in Vidocq's, to a
fondness for the marvellous, in consequence of which he has introduced
many episodes. These episodes, accordingly, detract from the merit of
the work, considered as a veritable narrative, they being garnished with
more of the romantic than the regular account of his own performances.

After all, a degree of suspicion will attach to each of them, from the
consideration that they are all avowed liars. If, indeed, there was
proof, either external or internal, that they had become reformed
characters, and, of course, abhorrers of deceit, we might value their
self-condemnation as evidence of truth; for what man of moral feeling
would proclaim that he had been an habitual liar, except conscious that
the avowal was incumbent on him to substantiate the truth? This was done
by Bunyan, the author of the Pilgrim's Progress, and by Cowper, the
truly Christian poet:--they are respected accordingly. But in these
narratives, except a little cant in Ward's, we find nothing approaching
to a sense of shame or remorse. Vidocq, like Homer's Ulysses, has a lie
ready for every occasion, and appears, like that hero, to regard himself
as "the man for wisdom's various arts renowned." Vaux is almost equal to
him in this respect, and exults in the success of his deceptions. If
cunning were wisdom, Ulysses, Vidocq, and Vaux, would form a trio of
eminently wise men. But this sort of wisdom, how much soever valued by
pagans, must be regarded by Christians, enlightened by the Gospel, as
utterly unjustifiable, even when employed as a means for the attainment
of some good; since they are never to do evil that good may come.
Accordingly, those persons who make lies their refuge, must be liable to
be doubted, even when they speak the truth. Still, it is possible, that
a man's conscience may be so obdurate, as not to perceive the pravity of
mendacity, when exercised for his supposed benefit, while he yet retains
a regard for truth when engaged in relating his exploits to others.
This, we think, is partly the case with our heroes. Their acknowledgment
of their disregard of truth, while prosecuting illegal measures, is,
indeed,--so inconsistent is human nature,--some guarantee for the
fidelity of their narratives. A solitary vice is a thing unknown; as
Lillo expresses it, in his tragedy of George Barnwell,--"One vice as
naturally begets another, as a father begets a son." Who, then, could
believe a practised villain, if he professed himself untainted by
mendacity? But if, after a plain avowal of his constant resort to it, we
find nothing contradictory in his relation, we may reasonably yield a
qualified assent to it; since, as Lord Bacon remarks in his Essays,
which "come home to men's business and bosoms," a liar had need possess
a good memory to prevent his contradicting himself. Where he is
consistent throughout a long narrative, the natural deduction is, that
he has mainly depended on his memory, rejecting, for the occasion, his
temptation to beguile.[13]

After these preliminary considerations, the relevancy of which is
obvious, we proceed to furnish our readers with a few extracts; not
doubting, that to such of them as lead domestic, retired lives, it will
afford gratification to learn something of the ways of others, who are
entirely opposite in their habits,--as opposite as the two electric
poles, and, like them, "repelling and repelled." One of the most
observable points in these volumes, is the contamination of jails. When
men are thrown together in a place where reputation is valueless, they
have no inducement to conceal their vices. What is the consequence? They
delight in recounting to each other their nefarious exploits: thus
conscience is more and more corrupted, and the young and inexperienced
are initiated into the skilful manoeuvres of adepts. Whoever has read
the _first_ edition of Ellwood's Life, (for the subsequent editions do
not contain the passage,) may remember the amusing account he has given
of the state of the common side of Newgate in the reign of Charles II.
Ellwood was imprisoned in that persecuting reign, for adherence to his
religious convictions as a Quaker, and had an opportunity of becoming
acquainted with the ordinary behaviour and conversation of thieves in
jail. He saw and lamented the evils incident to a promiscuous assemblage
of old and young, of hardened villains and juvenile delinquents; but the
remedy was reserved for the present age. That the remedy ought not to
have been so long deferred, will be evident to every one who attends to
Vaux's account of his first incarceration.

     "On entering the gates of the gloomy receptacle to which I was
     now consigned, and which, on many accounts, has not been
     unaptly named the Bastile, the sensations I felt may be more
     easily felt than described. Besides that this was the first
     prison I had ever entered, every thing around me had an air of
     unspeakable horror. After being viewed and reviewed by the
     surly Cerberuses of this earthly Hell, I was conducted up some
     stairs to a long gallery, or passage, six feet wide, having on
     either side a number of dismal cells, each about six feet by
     nine, formed entirely of stone, but having a small grated
     window near the roof, at the further end, which admitted a
     gloomy light, and overlooked a yard, in which other prisoners
     were confined; there was also a similar grate over the door;
     but, owing to their height, both these apertures were very
     difficult of access. The cells on the other side the passage
     were exactly similar, but overlooking another yard, and the
     doors were immediately opposite to each other. The only
     furniture of these dreary apartments was an iron bedstead, on
     which were a bed, blanket, and rug, but all of the coarsest
     kind. My conductor having given me a pitcher of water, without
     vouchsafing a word, locked the door, and left me in utter

     "In order to amuse my mind during this solitary week, I climbed
     up to the grated aperture over the door of my cell, and
     listened to the conversation of the neighbouring prisoners;
     and, from their discourse, I acquired a more extensive
     knowledge of the various modes of fraud and robbery, which, I
     now found, were reduced to a regular system, _than I should
     have done in seven years, had I continued at large_. I was
     indeed astonished at what I heard; and I clearly perceived
     that, instead of expressing contrition for their offences,
     their only consideration was, how to proceed with more safety,
     but increased vigour, in their future depredations. And here I
     was struck with the fallacious notions entertained by the
     projectors of this prison, which was reputed to be upon the
     plan of the benevolent and immortal Howard, who had recommended
     the confinement of offenders in separate cells, in order to
     prevent the effects of evil communication among persons who had
     not all attained an equal degree of depravity. This object,
     however, was not effected here; for, being within hearing of
     each other, they could, by sitting up over the door as I have
     described, converse each with his opposite neighbour, and even
     form a line of communication, where the discourse became
     general, from one end of the gallery to the other. As a proof
     of what I have advanced, I knew several of the prisoners, then
     confined with me in this passage, who were at that time but
     striplings, and novices in villainy, and who, after several
     years continuance in their evil courses, at length became
     notorious offenders, and, having narrowly escaped a shameful
     death, are now prisoners for life in this colony."

As this subject is of great importance, we shall give a few more
extracts connected with it. Crime, as Mr. Buxton has shown in his
valuable Inquiry, is promoted, instead of being repressed, by such
indiscriminate association. Corruption spreads by it, as surely as
decomposition is assisted by heat and moisture. Ward thus describes the
Baltimore jail:--

     "About this time, I was ordered by the sheriff to be put into
     the criminal apartment, along with untried prisoners, hardened
     offenders, debtors, and among characters of the most abandoned
     and vicious stamp;--men of all nations and all colours. Among
     this mass of vile and depraved men, I had to take up my abode.
     There was no example of moral rectitude here exhibited _but
     that of my own_! No restraint was put by our keepers, on their
     profane and vile language and conduct. Every one indulged to an
     excess in every species of the most disgusting practices,
     profaning and scandalizing every thing holy."

Vidocq's description of the Bagne at Brest, corresponds with the

     "The Bagne is situated in the bosom of the bay; piles of guns,
     and two pieces of cannon, mounted at the gates, pointed out to
     me the entrance, into which I was introduced, after having been
     examined by the two guards of the establishment. The boldest of
     the condemned, however hardened, have confessed, that it is
     impossible to express the emotions of horror, excited by the
     first appearance of this abode of wretchedness. Every room
     contains twenty night camp couches, called bancs (benches,) on
     which lie six hundred fettered convicts, in long rows, with
     red garbs, heads shorn, eyes haggard, dejected countenances,
     whilst the perpetual clank of fetters conspires to fill the
     soul with horror. But this impression on the convict soon
     passes away, who, feeling that he has here no reason to blush
     at the presence of any one, soon identifies himself with his
     situation. That he may not be the butt of the gross jests and
     filthy buffoonery of his fellows, he affects to participate in
     them; and soon, in tone and gesture, this conventional
     depravity gets hold of his heart. Thus, at Anvers, an ex-bishop
     experienced, at first, all the outpourings of the riotous jests
     of his companions; they always addressed him as _monseigneur_,
     and asked his blessing in their obscenities; at every moment
     they constrained him to profane his former character by
     blasphemous words, and, by dint of reiterating these impieties,
     he contrived to shake off their attacks. At a subsequent
     period, he became the public-house keeper at the Bagne, and was
     always styled _monseigneur,_ but he was no longer asked for
     absolution, for he would have answered with the grossest

To complete the picture, we shall now transcribe Vaux's account of his
being on board a prison-ship, with what he witnessed there.--

     "I had now a new scene of misery to contemplate; and, of all
     the shocking scenes I had ever beheld, this was the most
     distressing. There were confined in this floating dungeon,
     nearly six hundred men, most of them double ironed; and the
     reader may conceive the horrible effects arising from the
     continual rattling of chains, the filth and vermin naturally
     produced by such a crowd of miserable inhabitants, the oaths
     and execrations constantly heard amongst them; and above all,
     from the shocking necessity of associating and communicating
     more or less with so depraved a set of beings. On arriving on
     board, we were all immediately stripped, and washed in large
     tubs of water; then, after putting on each a suit of coarse
     slop-clothing, we were ironed and sent below; our own clothes
     being taken from us, and detained, till we could sell, or
     otherwise dispose of them, as no person is exempted from the
     obligation to wear the ship-dress. On descending the hatchway,
     no conception can be formed of the scene which presented
     itself. I shall not attempt to describe it; but nothing short
     of a descent to the infernal regions, can be at all worthy of a
     comparison with it. I soon met with many of my old Botany Bay
     acquaintances, who were all eager to offer me their friendship
     and services; that is, with a view to rob me of what little I
     had; for, in this place, there is no other motive or subject
     for ingenuity. All former friendships and connexions are
     dissolved; and a man here will rob his best benefactor, or even
     messmate, of an article worth one half-penny. If I were to
     attempt a full description of the miseries endured in these
     ships, I could fill a volume; but I shall sum up all by
     stating, that, besides robbery from each other, which is as
     common as cursing and swearing, I witnessed, among the
     prisoners themselves, during the twelvemonth I remained with
     them, one deliberate murder, for which the perpetrator was
     executed at Maidstone, and one suicide."

These horrible accounts must, we suppose, convince every one of the
necessity of keeping criminals separate from each other. In vain do you
hope by classification, labour, discipline, and moral instruction, to
reclaim men from their vices in prison, so long as you allow them to
associate freely together. No compromise will do, short of preventing
their conversing with each other. Whether solitary confinement, as
practised in Pennsylvania, or public labour in silence, as in New-York,
be the better mode of punishment, may admit of argument; but that either
is incomparably superior to promiscuous intercourse, is unquestionable.
And we do conjure magistrates and legislators in every part of the
United States, to rouse themselves from apathy on this momentous
subject. It is due to their country and to posterity, to strive to
remove an evil, which, like the Upas, extends its pestiferous influence
in every direction. Let them reflect that the object of punishing
criminals is to protect society. This object may be promoted by the
reformation of the transgressor; but if he is placed in a situation
where contagion is inevitable, the punishment, however severe, is not
conducive to that result. A severe punishment may, indeed, be
influential in deterring others from pursuing similar courses; but if
he, on obtaining his release, instead of being disposed to conform to
regularity of conduct, is only determined to practise more skilfully the
very crime that was the cause of his commitment; or if, from his moral
sense being deadened, in consequence of having heard others boast of
their villainous exploits, he is ready to engage in new and more
desperate attempts, the influence which his punishment may have had on
others, is in danger of being overbalanced. What, in such a case, does
society gain by the severity of the law? Is it not clear, that all the
expense, trouble, and loss of time attendant on the prosecution, are
almost fruitlessly bestowed? And here, it is impossible not to lament
the accumulated evils arising from the slow operation of law. A man is
charged, perhaps innocently, with petty larceny. The tribunal before
which he is to be arraigned is not in session; accordingly, unable to
procure bail, he is committed to jail, there to lie for three, or
perhaps six months, and all the time uncertain whether he is to be
acquitted or condemned. In the mean time, his character has deteriorated
while his enjoyment has been abridged. Can such a method be consistent
with civilization? Would it not be preferable, at the hazard of some
injustice, to revert to the summary process of barbarism? Can it be
right, that a magistrate shall be empowered to incarcerate a man for
months, while he is debarred from pronouncing definitively on his guilt
or innocence? There is an incongruity in all this, of which savages
might be ashamed. We trust that the time is approaching when a better
system will be established. Consolatory is it to consider, that in
various countries of Europe, as well as in America, the subject of
prison discipline, and of criminal jurisprudence, occupies the attention
of philanthropists and statesmen to a degree never before witnessed, as
from their simultaneous exertions much good may be anticipated. One of
the causes assigned by Dr. Robertson and other historians, for the
resuscitation of Europe from the intellectual degradation of the middle
ages, is the discovery at Amalfi, in the twelfth century, of the
Pandects of Justinian. Would it not then be irrational to conclude, that
the improvements now taking place in law, will not be followed by a
correspondent amelioration in society, since it is obvious that a much
higher degree of civilization is attainable by man, than any country has
yet exhibited?

To those who wish for information on the subject of prison discipline,
we recommend a perusal of the correspondence between Mr. R. Vaux of
Philadelphia, and Mr. Roscoe of Liverpool; also of the account of the
Auburn prison contained in Captain Hall's travels in the United States.
In reference to the latter work, it gives us satisfaction to say, that
the chapter referred to is unexceptionable. We wish we could say as much
for the rest.

We now proceed to furnish some specimens of the modes of life which
thieves and swindlers fall into, that our _honest_ readers may have an
opportunity of contrasting them with their own. In so doing, they will
doubtless congratulate themselves on the possession of moral principle,
satisfied that predatory propensities would have disturbed that calm
which belongs only to virtue. The following is Ward's account of his
first act of dishonesty.--

     "Finding it impossible, as I thought, to withstand the
     impetuosity of my inclinations and desires for freedom and
     pleasure, I resolved, even against my better judgment, to leave
     Mr. Pusey and seek my fortune. My hopes were raised to the
     highest and most pleasing prospects of independence, ease, and
     affluence; and having in my earliest life cultivated the
     principle, that in all cases which require secrecy, we should
     never divulge to a friend what we wish to conceal from an
     enemy, I concealed my intentions from every body, determining
     to embrace the first opportunity favourable for prosecuting my
     first, long-cogitated, and, as I thought, exceedingly cunning
     plan. Accordingly, during the autumn of 1806, on a Sabbath
     afternoon, I determined to execute my scheme. Near home, there
     was a store kept by Mr. Kinsey, in copartnership with Mr.
     Pusey. I was on terms of the greatest harmony and friendship
     with Mr. Kinsey; and, taking advantage of this confidence, I
     had ascertained where his cash was kept. I entered the store,
     and found no difficulty in obtaining every cent. All the family
     being from home, I concluded to let the house take care of
     itself, as, having done thus much, I must inevitably make my
     departure. Having saddled Mr. Pusey's best horse, I mounted,
     and, with saddle-bags and clothing, started from the house.
     Being certain I should be pursued as soon as the robbery was
     discovered, I thought it would be proper to take a course, on
     which I could most advantageously travel by night as well as by
     day. I accordingly took my way towards Lancaster; but about
     four miles from home, I was seen by some person who knew me.
     Now I was likely to be defeated in all my calculations. At
     dark, I arrived at Witmer's Bridge, within two miles of
     Lancaster, having ridden sixteen miles in two hours. I stopt
     there only a few minutes to water and feed my horse, and,
     remounting, I rode to near daylight next morning, when I
     arrived at Anderson's Ferry on the Susquehanna. There I was
     detained some time by the negligence of the boatmen; and I had
     not proceeded more than half way across the river, when I heard
     the horn blow as a signal for them to hurry back. Although I
     trembled at the dread sound and alarm of the approach of my
     pursuers, I vainly hoped it was impossible for them to be so
     close after me. However, I determined now that I would give
     them every trouble, let them take me or not. I did not stop for
     breakfast, and as I had ridden the whole night, my horse became
     fatigued and slow, so that about noon I was overtaken by
     another horseman, whom I found to be my own cousin. He desired
     me to stop immediately and return, he himself having been
     suspected of the very act I had committed. As my horse was
     tired down, I sprang with all my might, to secure myself by
     taking to the woods. Here again my hopes were frustrated; for
     my foot caught in the stirrup, and I was forced to yield to
     superior strength. On our way back, he explained the cause of
     his overtaking me. Having ridden his horse down, he had hired
     fresh ones at regular distances. This mode of pursuit I had not
     thought of; but, alas! I was told of it now, when it was too
     late! Every measure that I had thought most fitly adapted for
     my clearance, seemed now only to aggravate my folly. Shame for
     my guilt filled my mind with the keenest remorse.

     Mr. Pusey sent for a constable, and informed me I must go to
     jail. Attended by the constable, and another as an assistant, I
     started with a heavy heart. We travelled on foot, and very
     slowly, so that when night came on, we had eight or nine miles
     yet to go. The constable being negligent, permitted me at times
     to be twenty or thirty yards from him; and of these
     opportunities I designed to avail myself. Accordingly, on
     reaching a place where the road made a short turn, I dashed
     from them into the bushes, where I hid myself. After they had
     passed me unnoticed, I cut a large club, and travelled my own
     way a short distance, when I met a man who eyed me in a
     scrutinizing manner. I immediately asked him, whether he had
     seen a fellow running that way from the constables who were
     taking him to jail? He answered that he had, and that he
     believed I was the very fellow! 'Well,' said I, 'if you think
     so, you are welcome to take me.' But fearing my large club, he
     left me to pursue my journey. Travelling a little distance, I
     came to a tavern, and looking through the window, saw the
     constable and his assistant eating their supper. Their horses
     resting under a shed, I was about to take one; but seeing a
     barn at a short distance from me, I abandoned my intention. I
     went into it, and retired to rest for the night. I arose next
     morning after a refreshing sleep, and pursued my journey to my
     father's, and arrived at Strasburgh about breakfast time. On
     entering the tavern, I saw an elderly lady who had lived with
     Mr. Pusey. She asked me how I was, and where I was going? I
     told her to visit my parents. She answered, that she really
     believed I was running away! Apprehensive of danger, I resumed
     my journey towards my father's, and on the road I met him. From
     my relation of the affair, he gave it as his opinion that it
     would be imprudent in me to return again; for he had not the
     least doubt that I should be arrested, and dealt with according
     to my offence; so, after remaining at his house a short time, I
     bent my course to Reading. I confidently believe, to this very
     day, that if I had not escaped punishment for this crime, I
     never should have committed another in my whole life."

Another of his escapes we shall here insert, premising that he had been
apprehended for stealing a horse.

     "He brought with him a blacksmith, who had a load of chains
     upon his shoulder. The smith put a collar round my neck, and
     shackles on my ankles. Between these was a small chain for the
     purpose of making me fast to any thing by a padlock. Mounted on
     horseback, this chain was passed to the one attached to my
     collar, and there locked; besides this I was hand-cuffed. Thus
     equipped, we repaired towards Georgia, through a country mostly
     inhabited by Indians. On arriving within two days' journey of
     home, we took lodging at a public house, the first we had seen.
     Dismounting, my chain was in part wrapped round one of my legs,
     and the others around my neck. In this situation we took supper
     with the family, and sat a considerable time after the table
     was removed. As it was determined we should remain here for the
     night, which was dark and rainy, I had hopes that I could some
     way or other make my escape. Having called to a servant to
     bring me a basin of water to wash my feet, I took care to wind
     the chain closely around my leg. I then asked her to open the
     front door for me, as though I intended only to throw out the
     dirty water; this I did, and finding there were no fears of my
     going out, I walked a few times across the floor. This gave me
     a chance to put on my hat unnoticed, when, taking the advantage
     of a minute, I dashed out and jumped the yard fence; but in so
     doing, I lost my hat. Having no time to lose, I made a straight
     course from the house. I soon heard them all in confusion, and
     saw some of them out of doors with a light. The landlord having
     a large dog, they brought him in pursuit of me. He took my
     track, and had nigh taken me when I just reached a creek, into
     the waters of which I waded some distance, turning with the
     stream from the place I entered at. Here I stood, leg deep, for
     some time, hearing all their conclusions respecting me.
     Thinking I had crossed there, they gave me up, and returned to
     the house again. I immediately made my retreat from a place
     surrounding and threatening me with so many dangers. After
     running and walking about four miles, fatigued and lost, I lay
     down and slept till morning. I then steered my course across
     the country, avoiding houses and settlements, hoping to see
     some slaves in the fields to help me to take off my irons, but
     could see none. Near noon, I came in sight of an old house
     which I discovered was inhabited. I approached it at the side
     where there was no window. I went to a wagon, and taking from
     it an iron bolt and a linchpin, I made to the woods, where,
     with much difficulty, I succeeded in extricating myself from my
     collar and chains. I placed them in a pile at the root of a
     large tree, near which I lay down and slept till evening, being
     afraid to travel in the day-time. At dark I arose, and made my
     way towards South Carolina, walking the whole night, and by
     morning was thirty miles from where I started. My greatest
     difficulty was having no hat. Coming, however, to a river, I
     saw a bridge that crossed it a little below me. I went on it,
     and stood leaning over its wall, till I saw a traveller coming
     the other way. As soon as he approached me, I told him, with
     much concern, that I had met with bad luck; for I had just been
     looking over the wall when my hat fell off, and went rapidly
     down the stream, the sides of which were so dangerous I could
     not possibly get it again:--would he be so kind as to tell me
     where I could buy another? He told me he would conduct me to a
     store; I went with him and purchased one."

The life of a thief is one of perpetual anxiety, yet with many it
becomes a sort of passion. The earnings of honest industry, even when
sufficient to keep them in comfort, are not sufficient to keep them
satisfied. The recollection of dangers escaped, the chance of similar
fortune again, the prurience of activity,--all urge to a renewal of
their lawless pursuits; and as a thoroughbred sportsman despises the
practice of catching game by snares, deeming it unworthy of a skilful
marksman, so, we suspect, do thieves regard the reward of industry, when
compared with the booty of a dangerous encounter. In Vaux's Memoirs we
find much to lead us to this conclusion. Several times was he well
settled in the way of obtaining, not only an honest livelihood, but of
participating in elegancies, luxuries, and agreeable society. Still, as
if impelled by destiny, he continually risked the loss of all, to
gratify his bad propensity. Ward, on the contrary, had been perpetually
unfortunate in realizing his visionary hopes; he was entreated by his
wife to forsake his evil courses; but it was all in vain. "Resorting
occasionally," he says, "to the company of some adepts in crime, _it
seemed to afford me pleasure_." And in the narratives of the other two,
we find evident delight manifested at the success of a hazardous,
fraudulent undertaking, while the guilt of the action, and the pain and
misery it may have occasioned, are overlooked or lightly regarded, just
as a military hero, exulting in a victory, laments the loss of neither
friends nor foes. Human happiness, in truth, is connected in the minds
of different persons with the most opposite deeds and qualities.
Diogenes in his tub, and Alexander at the head of an army, was each
pursuing his gratification; and who shall decide which was the more
successful? Hume, in one of his Essays, remarks, that there is no
question that a boarding-school miss has often experienced as exquisite
delight on finding herself the idol of a ball-room, as an orator when
receiving the rapturous applauses of a delighted audience; and Colley
Gibber says, that on hearing an old actor express admiration at one of
his early performances on the stage, he felt so proud of the
commendation, that he doubted whether "Alexander himself, or Charles
XII., when at the head of their first victorious armies, could feel a
greater transport in their bosoms." After reading this, some may perhaps
think that Pope's epigram on Cibber[14] was not unmerited; but when they
consider that thieves feel a similar exultation, they may rather be
inclined to pity poor human nature. In exemplification of what we have
advanced, we request attention to the following extract from Vaux. Some
of his acquaintances in Newgate had informed him that Mr. Bilger, a
jeweller and goldsmith, was a _good flat_.

     "About 5 o'clock in the evening, I entered his shop, dressed in
     the most elegant style, having a valuable gold watch and
     appendages, a gold eye-glass, &c. I had posted my old friend
     and aid-de-camp, Bromley, at the door, in order to be in
     readiness to act as circumstances might require, and
     particularly to watch the motions of Mr. Bilger and his
     assistants on my quitting the premises. On my entrance, Mrs.
     Bilger issued from a back parlour behind the shop, and politely
     inquiring my business, I told her I wished to see Mr. Bilger;
     she immediately rang a bell, which brought down her husband
     from the upper apartments. He saluted me with a low bow, and
     handed me a seat. I was glad to find no other person in the
     shop, Mrs. Bilger having again retired. I now assumed the air
     of a Bond-street lounger, and informed Mr. Bilger, that I had
     been recommended by a gentleman of my acquaintance to deal with
     him, having occasion for a very elegant diamond ring, and
     requested to see his assortment. Mr. Bilger expressed his
     concern that he happened not to have a single article of that
     description by him, but if I could without inconvenience call
     again, he would undertake in one hour to procure me a selection
     from his working-jeweller, to whom he would immediately
     despatch a messenger. I affected to feel somewhat disappointed;
     but, looking at my watch, after a moment's reflection, I said,
     'Well, Mr. Bilger, I have an appointment at the Cannon
     coffee-house, which requires my attendance, and if you will,
     without fail, have the articles ready, I may probably look in a
     little after six.' This he promised faithfully to do, declaring
     how much he felt obliged by my condescension; and I sauntered
     out of the shop, Mr. Bilger attending me in the most obsequious
     manner to the outer door. After walking a short distance,
     Bromley tapped me on the shoulder, and inquired what conduct I
     meant next to pursue; for he had viewed my proceedings through
     a glass-door in the shop, and saw that I had not executed my
     grand design. I related to Bromley the result of my
     conversation with Mr. Bilger, and added that I meant to retire
     to the nearest public-house, where we could enjoy a pipe and a
     glass of negus, until the expiration of the hour to which I had
     limited myself. We accordingly regaled ourselves at a very snug
     house, nearly opposite Bilger's, until about half after six,
     when I again repaired to the scene of action, leaving Bromley,
     as at first, posted at the door. Mr. Bilger received me with
     increased respect, and producing a small card box, expressed
     his sorrow that his workman had only been enabled to send three
     rings for my inspection, but that if they were not to my taste,
     he should feel honoured and obliged in taking my directions for
     having one made, and flattered himself he should execute the
     order to my satisfaction. I proceeded to examine the rings he
     produced, one of which was marked sixteen guineas, another nine
     guineas, and the third six guineas. They were all extremely
     beautiful; but I affected to consider them as too paltry,
     telling Mr. Bilger that I wanted one to present to a lady, and
     that I wished to have a ring of greater value than the whole
     three put together, as a few guineas would not be an object in
     the price. Mr. Bilger's son, who was also his partner, now
     joined us, and was desired by his father to sketch a draught in
     pencil of some fancy rings, agreeable to the directions I
     should give him. The three rings I had viewed, were now removed
     to the end of the counter next the window, and I informed the
     young man that I wished to have something of a cluster, a large
     brilliant in the centre, surrounded with smaller ones; but
     repeated my desire that no expense might be spared to render
     the article strictly elegant, and worthy a lady's acceptance.
     The son having sketched a design of several rings on a card, I
     examined them with attention, and appeared in doubt which to
     prefer, but desired to see some loose diamonds, in order to
     form a better idea of the size, &c. of each ring described in
     the drawing. Mr. Bilger, however, declared he had not any by
     him. It is probable he spoke truth, or he might have lost such
     numbers by showing them, as to deter him from exhibiting them
     in future. Without having made up my mind on the subject, I now
     requested to see some of his most fashionable brooches, or
     shirt-pins. Mr. Bilger produced a show-glass, containing a
     great variety of articles in pearl, but he had nothing of the
     kind in diamonds. I took up two or three of the brooches, and
     immediately _sunk_ a very handsome one, marked three guineas,
     in my coat sleeve. I next purloined a beautiful clasp for a
     lady's waist, consisting of stones set in gold, which had the
     appearance and brilliancy of real diamonds, but marked only
     four guineas. I should probably have gone still deeper, but at
     this moment a lady coming in, desired to look at some
     ear-rings, and the younger Mr. Bilger immediately quitted his
     father to attend upon her at the other end of the shop. It
     struck me that now was my time for a decisive stroke. The card
     containing the diamond rings, procured from the maker, lying
     very near the show-glass I was viewing, and many small articles
     irregularly placed round about them, the candles not throwing
     much light on that particular spot, and Mr. Bilger's attention
     being divided between myself and the lady, to whom he
     frequently addressed himself, I suddenly took the three rings
     from the card, and committed them to my sleeve, to join the
     brooch and lady's clasp; but had them so situated, that I
     could, in a moment, have released and replaced them on the
     counter, had an inquiry been made for them. I then looked at my
     watch, and observing that I was going to the theatre, told Mr.
     Bilger that I would not trouble him any further, as the
     articles before me were too tawdry and common to please me, but
     that I would put the card of draughts in my pocket-book, and if
     I did not meet with a ring of the kind I wanted, before Monday
     or Tuesday, I would certainly call again, and give him final
     directions. I was then drawing on my gloves, being anxious to
     quit the shop while I was well; but Mr. Bilger, who seemed
     delighted with the prospect of my custom, begged so earnestly
     that I would allow him to show me his brilliant assortment of
     gold watches, that I could not refuse to gratify him, though I
     certainly incurred a great risk by my compliance. I therefore
     answered,--'Really, Mr. Bilger, I am loath to give you that
     unnecessary trouble, as I have, you may perceive, a very good
     watch already, in point of performance; though it cost me a
     mere trifle, only twenty guineas; but it answers my purpose as
     well as a more valuable one. However, as I may probably, before
     long, want an elegant watch for a lady, I dont care if I just
     run my eye over them.' Mr. Bilger replied, that the greater
     part of his stock were fancy watches, adapted for ladies, and
     he defied all London united, to exhibit a finer collection. He
     then took from his window a show-glass, containing about thirty
     most beautiful watches, some ornamented with pearls or
     diamonds, others elegantly enamelled, or chased in the most
     delicate style. They were of various prices, from thirty to one
     hundred guineas, and the old gentleman, rubbing his hands with
     an air of rapture, exclaimed,--'There they are, sir,--a most
     fashionable assortment of goods; allow me to recommend them;
     they're all a-going, sir--all a-going.' I smiled inwardly at
     the latter part of this speech, and thought to myself,--'I wish
     they were going, with all my heart, along with the diamond
     rings.' I answered, they were certainly very handsome, but I
     would defer a minute inspection of them till my next visit,
     when I should have more time to spare. These watches were
     ranged in exact order, in five parallel lines, and between each
     watch was placed a gold seal or other trinket appertaining to a
     lady's watch. It was no easy matter, therefore, to take away a
     single article without its being instantly missed, unless the
     economy of the whole had been previously deranged. I contrived,
     however, to displace a few of the trinkets, on pretence of
     admiring them, and ventured to secrete one very rich gold seal,
     marked six guineas. I then declared I could stay no longer, as
     I had appointed to meet a party at the theatre; but that I
     would certainly call again in a few days, and lay out some
     money in return for the trouble I had given. Mr. Bilger
     expressed his thanks in the most respectful terms, and waited
     upon me to the door, where he took leave of me with a low
     _congé, à la mode de France_, of which country he was a native.
     I now put the best foot foremost, and having gained a remote
     street, turned my head, and perceived Bromley at my heels, who
     seized my hand, congratulating me on my success, and
     complimenting me on the address I had shown in this exploit;
     for he had witnessed all that passed, and knew that I had
     succeeded in my object, by the manner in which I quitted the
     shop. He informed me that Mr. Bilger had returned to his
     counter, and without attending to the arrangement of the
     articles thereon, had joined his son, who was still waiting
     upon the lady, and that he, Bromley, had finally left them both
     engaged with her."

Who can fail to perceive, in the above narrative, the satisfaction of
the author in displaying his adroitness? His vanity seems to be as much
gratified, as if he had been relating some performance meriting
approbation. The feeling of shame is altogether alien to him. And thus,
by Vidocq's account, it always is with thieves, they glorying as much in
detailing their successful exploits, as if no ignominy could attach to
them. Amongst his confederates too, and all of the same class, his
reputation is proportionate to his daring and skill. Of this, take the
following instance related by Vidocq.--

     "The incredible effrontery of Beaumont, almost surpasses
     belief. Escaped from the Bagne at Rochefort, where he was
     sentenced to pass twelve years of his life, he came to Paris,
     and scarcely had he arrived there, where he had already
     practised, when, by way of getting his hand in, he committed
     several trifling robberies, and when, by these preliminary
     steps, he had proceeded to exploits more worthy of his ancient
     renown, he conceived the project of stealing a treasure. No
     one will imagine that this was in the Central Office, now the
     Prefecture of Police!! It was already pretty difficult to
     procure impressions of the keys, but he achieved the first
     difficulty, and soon had in his possession all the means of
     effecting an opening; but to open was nothing; it was necessary
     to open without being perceived, to introduce himself without
     fear of being disturbed, to work without witnesses, and go out
     again freely. Beaumont, who had calculated all the difficulties
     that opposed him, was not dismayed. He had remarked that the
     private room of the chief officer, M. Henry, was nigh to the
     spot where he proposed to effect his entrance; he espied the
     propitious moment, and wished sincerely that some circumstance
     would call away so dangerous a neighbour for some time, and
     chance was subservient to his wishes. One morning, M. Henry was
     obliged to go out. Beaumont, sure that he would not return that
     day, ran to his house, put on a black coat, and in that
     costume, which, in those days, always announced a magistrate,
     or public functionary, presents himself at the entrance of the
     Central Office. The officer to whom he addressed himself,
     supposed of course that he was at least a commissary. On the
     invitation of Beaumont, he gave him a soldier, whom he placed
     as sentinel at the entrance to the narrow passage which leads
     to the depôt, and commanded not to allow any person to pass. No
     better expedient could be found for preventing surprise. Thus
     Beaumont, in the midst of a crowd of valuable objects, could,
     at his leisure, and in perfect security, choose what best
     pleased him; watches, jewels, diamonds, precious stones, &c. He
     chose those which he deemed most valuable, most portable, and
     as soon as he had made his selection, he dismissed the sentinel
     and disappeared.

     "This robbery could not be long concealed, and the following
     day was discovered. Had thunder fallen on the police, they
     would have been less astonished than at this event. To
     penetrate to the very sanctuary! The holy of holies! The fact
     appeared so very extraordinary, that it was doubted. Yet it was
     evident that a robbery had taken place, and to whom was it to
     be attributed? All the suspicions fell on the clerks, sometimes
     on one, sometimes on another, when Beaumont, betrayed by a
     friend, was apprehended, and sentenced a second time. The
     robbery he had committed might be estimated at some hundred
     thousand francs, the greater part of which were found on him.

     "Beaumont enjoyed amongst his confraternity a colossal
     reputation; and even now, when a rogue boasts of his lofty
     exploits,--'Hold your tongue,' they say, 'you are not worthy to
     untie the shoe-strings of Beaumont!' In effect, to have robbed
     the police was the height of address."

We now proceed to make the reader acquainted with the habits and
exertions of police-officers, who perform exploits equal in craft and
danger to those of thieves. In order to detect the latter, they often
resort to the vilest places, and associate with the vilest of mankind;
assume various characters and occupations; and sometimes,
perhaps,--stimulated by the hope of reward,--lead others to commit
crimes in order to entrap them. Vidocq, however, professes in every case
to have acted without any desire to entice. He says that he himself
never proposed any scheme of robbery; but took care to concur in such as
were proposed by others. This declaration must, we suppose, be received
with some qualification, as without an occasional suggestion, he would
probably have been suspected in his designs. Be that as it may, he was
eminently successful in securing villains; for having practised villainy
himself, he knew their ways and devices, thus verifying the propriety of
the maxim,--"Set a thief to catch a thief." Some of the convicts at
Botany Bay make the best police-officers. Of this we have an instance
in Barrington, the famous London pick-pocket, who rendered such
essential services to the colony, that in his old age he was pensioned
by the government. By what means Vidocq, after all his devotion, came to
lose his office, he has not mentioned; an omission rather singular,
which lays his character open to suspicion, especially as he has given
the circumstances that first led him to offer himself to the police.
These circumstances it may be proper to glance at, as they exhibit a
view of the dangers attendant on a lawless course of life.

     "At this period, it seemed as if the whole world was leagued
     against me; I was compelled to draw my purse-strings at every
     moment, and for whom? For creatures who, looking on my
     liberality as compulsory, were prepared to betray me as soon as
     I ceased to be a certain source of reliance. When I went home
     from my wife's, I had still another proof of the wretchedness
     affixed to the state of a fugitive galley-slave. Annette and my
     mother were in tears. During my absence, two drunken men had
     asked for me, and on being told that I was from home, they had
     broke forth in oaths and threats, which left me no longer in
     doubt of the perfidy of their intentions. By the description
     which Annette gave me of these two individuals, I easily
     recognised Blondy, and his comrade, Deluc. I had no trouble in
     guessing their names; and besides, they had left an address,
     with a formal injunction to send them forty francs, which was
     more than enough to disclose to me who they were, as there were
     not in Paris any other persons who could send me such an
     intimation. I was obedient, very obedient; only in paying my
     contribution to these two scoundrels, I could not help letting
     them know how inconsiderately they had behaved. 'Consider what
     a step you have taken,' said I to them; 'they know nothing at
     my house, and you have told them all. My wife, who carries on
     the concern in her name, will perhaps turn me out, and then I
     must be reduced to the lowest ebb of misery.'--'Oh! you can
     come and rob with us,' answered the two rascals. I endeavoured
     to convince them, how much better it was to owe an existence to
     honest toil, than to be in incessant fears from the police,
     which, sooner or later, catches all malefactors in its nets. I
     added, that one crime generally leads to another; that he would
     risk his neck who ran straight towards the guillotine; and the
     termination of my discourse was, that they would do well to
     renounce the dangerous career on which they had entered. 'Not
     so bad!' cried Blondy, when I had finished my lecture, 'not so
     bad.' 'But can you, in the mean time, point out to us any
     apartment that we can ransack? We are, you see, like Harlequin,
     and have more need of cash than advice;' and they left me,
     laughing deridingly at me. I called them back, to profess my
     attachment to them, and begged them not to call again at my
     house. 'If that is all,' said Deluc, 'we will keep from
     that.'--'Oh yes, we'll keep away,' added Blondy, 'since that is
     unpleasant to your mistress.' But the latter did not stay away
     long: the very next day, at night-fall, he presented himself at
     my ware-house, and asked to speak to me privately. I took him
     into my own room. 'We are alone?' said he to me, looking round
     at the room in which we were; and when he was assured that he
     had no witnesses, he drew from his pocket eleven silver forks,
     and two gold watches, which he placed on a stand. 'Four hundred
     francs for this would not be too much--the silver plate and the
     gold watches.--Come, tip us the needful.'--'Four hundred
     francs!' said I, alarmed at so abrupt a total,--'I have not so
     much money.'--'Never mind; go and sell the goods.'--'But if it
     should be known!'--'That's your affair; I want the ready; or if
     you like it better, I'll send you customers from the
     police-office;--you know what a word would do;--come,
     come,--the cash, the chink, and no gammon.' I understood the
     scoundrel but too well: I saw myself denounced, dragged from
     the state in which I had installed myself, and led back to the
     Bagne. I counted out the four hundred francs."

Considering the danger in which Vidocq was placed, his offer to serve
the police was judicious. What could be more trying than to lie at the
mercy of rascals? Obliged to be continually supplying them with
hush-money, and yet always afraid of being betrayed by them, he was in
perpetual torment; but, his services once accepted by the police, all
this was at an end. He must have felt himself like a man escaped from a
wreck, and from the horrors of contending elements; like Ulysses, to
whom we have before compared him, when, having accepted the mantle
offered him by Leucothea, he reached the friendly shore of Pheacia. Like
him, too, his toils were to be renewed. He had enemies to cope with and
subdue, and who required to be encountered with as much subtlety and
resolution as Penelope's suitors. The following is his account of his
first capture.--

     "One morning I was hastily summoned to attend the chief of the
     division. The matter in hand was to discover a man named
     Watrin, accused of having fabricated and put in circulation
     false money and bank-notes. The inspectors of the police had
     already arrested Watrin, but, according to custom, had allowed
     him to escape. M. Henry gave me every direction which he deemed
     likely to assist me in the search after him; but,
     unfortunately, he had only gleaned a few simple particulars of
     his usual habits and customary haunts. Every place he was known
     to frequent was freely pointed out to me; but it was not very
     likely he would be found in those resorts, which prudence would
     call upon him carefully to avoid: there remained, therefore,
     only a chance of reaching him by some bye-path. When I learnt
     that he had left his effects in a furnished house, where he
     once lodged, on the boulevard of Mont Parnasse, I took it for
     granted, that, sooner or later, he would go there in search of
     his property; or, at least, that he would send some person to
     fetch it from thence; consequently I directed all my vigilance
     to this spot; and after having reconnoitred the house, I lay in
     ambush in its vicinity, night and day, in order to keep a
     watchful eye upon all comers and goers. This went on for nearly
     a week, when, weary of not observing any thing, I determined
     upon engaging the master of the house in my interest, and to
     hire an apartment of him, where I accordingly established
     myself with Annette, certain that my presence could give rise
     to no suspicion. I had occupied this post for about fifteen
     days, when, one evening, at eleven o'clock, I was informed that
     Watrin had just come, accompanied by another person. Owing to a
     slight indisposition, I had retired to bed earlier than usual;
     however, at this news I rose hastily, and descended the
     staircase by four stairs at a time; but whatever diligence I
     might use, I was only just in time to catch Watrin's companion;
     him I had no right to detain, but I made myself sure that I
     might, by intimidation, obtain further particulars from him. I
     therefore seized him, threatened him, and soon drew from him a
     confession, that he was a shoemaker, and that Watrin lived with
     him, No. 4, _Rue des Mauvais Garçons_. This was all I wanted to
     know: I had only time to slip an old great coat over my shirt,
     and, without stopping to put on more garments, I hurried on to
     the place thus pointed out to me. I reached the house the very
     instant that some person was quitting it: persuaded that it was
     Watrin, I attempted to seize him; he escaped from me, and I
     darted after him up a staircase; but at the moment of grasping
     him, a violent blow, which struck my chest, drove me down
     twenty stairs. I sprung forward again, and that so quickly,
     that, to escape from my pursuit, he was compelled to return
     into the house through a sash-window. I then knocked loudly at
     the door, summoning him to open it without delay. This he
     refused to do. I then desired Annette, who had followed me, to
     go in search of the guard; and, whilst she was preparing to
     obey me, I counterfeited the noise of a man descending the
     stairs. Watrin, deceived by this feint, was anxious to satisfy
     himself whether I had actually gone, and softly put his head
     out of the window, to observe if all was safe. This was exactly
     what I wanted. I made a vigorous dart forwards, and seized him
     by the hair of his head: he grasped me in the same manner, and
     a desperate struggle took place: jammed against the
     partition-wall which separated us, he opposed me with a
     determined resistance. Nevertheless, I felt that he was growing
     weaker; I collected all my strength for a last effort; I
     strained every nerve, and drew him nearly out of the window
     through which we were struggling; one more trial, and the
     victory was mine; but in the earnestness of my grasp, we both
     rolled on the passage floor, on to which I had pulled him. To
     rise, snatch from his hands the shoemaker's cutting knife with
     which he had armed himself, to bind him and lead him out of the
     house, was the work of an instant. Accompanied only by Annette,
     I conducted him to the prefecture, where I received the
     congratulations, first of M. Henry, and afterwards those of the
     prefect of police, who bestowed on me a pecuniary recompense."

The next account we shall transcribe, is one of his freeing the
community of a receiver of stolen goods. This man had been long watched
by the police; but all attempts to convict him had failed. Accordingly
M. Henry was desirous that Vidocq should use his endeavours, which he
readily did as follows.

     "Posted near the house of the suspected dealer in stolen
     property, I watched for his going out; and, following him when
     he had gone a few steps down the street, addressed him by a
     different name to his own. He assured me I was mistaken; I
     protested to the contrary; he insisted upon it I was deceived;
     and I affected to be equally satisfied of his identity,
     declaring my perfect recognition of his person, as that of a
     man who, for some time, had been sought after by the police
     throughout Paris and its environs. 'You are grossly mistaken,'
     replied he warmly; 'my name is so and so, and I live in such a
     street.' 'Come, come, friend,' said I, 'excuses are useless; I
     know you too well to part with you so easily.' 'This is too
     much,' cried he, 'but, at the next police station, I shall
     probably be able to meet with those who can convince you, that
     I know my own name better than you seem to do.' This was
     exactly the point at which I wished to arrive. 'Agreed,' said
     I, and we bent our steps to the neighbouring guard-house. We
     entered, and I requested him to show me his papers; he had none
     about him. I then insisted upon his being searched, and, on his
     person, were found three watches, and twenty-five double
     Napoleons, which I caused to be laid aside till he should be
     examined before a magistrate. These things had been wrapped in
     a handkerchief, which I contrived to secure, and, after having
     disguised myself as a messenger, I hastened to the house of
     this receiver of stolen goods, and demanded to speak with his
     wife. She, of course, had no idea of my business, or knowledge
     of my person, and seeing several persons besides herself
     present, I signified to her, that my business being of a
     private nature, it was important that I should speak to her
     alone; and in token of my claims to her confidence, produced
     the handkerchief, and inquired whether she recognised it?
     Although still ignorant of the cause of my visit, her
     countenance became troubled, and her whole person was much
     agitated, as she begged me to let her hear my business. 'I am
     concerned,' replied I, 'to be the bearer of unpleasant news;
     but the fact is, your husband has just been arrested, every
     thing found on his person has been seized, and, from some words
     which he happened to overhear, he suspects he has been
     betrayed; he therefore wishes you to remove out of the house
     certain things, you are aware would be dangerous to his safety
     if found on the premises. If you please, I will lend you a
     helping hand, but I must forewarn you that you have not one
     moment to lose.' The information was of the first importance.
     The sight of the handkerchief, and the description of the
     objects it had served to envelope, removed from her mind every
     doubt as to the truth of the message I had brought her; and she
     easily fell into the snare I had laid to entrap her. She
     thanked me for the trouble I had taken, and begged I would go
     and engage three hackney coaches, and return to her with as
     little delay as possible. I left the house to execute my
     commission, but on the road, I stopped to give one of my people
     instructions to keep the coaches in sight, and to seize them,
     with their contents, directly I should give the signal. The
     vehicles drew up to the door, and, upon re-entering the house,
     I found things in a high state of preparation for removing. The
     floor was strewed with articles of every description;
     time-pieces, candelabra, Etruscan vases, cloths, cachemires,
     linen, muslin, &c. All these things had been taken from a
     closet, the entrance to which was cleverly concealed by a large
     press, so skilfully contrived, that the most practised eye
     could not have discovered the deception. I assisted in the
     removal, and, when it was completed, the press having been
     carefully replaced, the woman begged of me to accompany her,
     which I did; and no sooner was she in one of the coaches, ready
     to start, than I suddenly pulled up the window, and, at this
     previously concerted signal, we were immediately surrounded by
     the police. The husband and wife were tried at the assizes,
     and, as may be easily conceived, were overwhelmed beneath the
     weight of an accusation, in support of which there existed a
     formidable mass of convicting testimony."

We must extract one more account from Vidocq, to show the desperate
hazards which police-officers sometimes run, in capturing criminals;
hazards which, when surmounted, they naturally exult in. Information had
been received at the police-office, that one Fossard, who had several
times effected escapes from jail, was living with his mistress in a
certain district of Paris; that the windows of his apartment had yellow
curtains; and that a hump-backed seamstress lived in the same house.
This was very indefinite; for neither the street, nor the number of the
house was known, and curtains might be changed. However, Vidocq was not
deterred from undertaking a search; accordingly, disguised as an
old-fashioned gentleman, he began the enterprise. He went from street to
street; ascended staircase after staircase till his limbs ached; called
at the doors of scores of seamstresses, but no hump-backed damsel
appeared;--all were as straight as arrows! Not more ardently, he says,
did Don Quixote pant for Dulcinea, than he for Humpina. Days rolled on
unsuccessfully: he began to despair. At length he resolved to change his
measures, and, instead of clambering up flights of steps, to station
himself near the stand of a gossiping milk-woman, and watch her
customers. Numbers of women came to buy their milk in the morning, but
not one adorned with the delectable hump. At length, in the evening, he
caught sight of one whose back had the desired ornament. He followed her
from the milk-woman's to the grocer's, from the grocer's to the
tripe-shop, and, finally, to her home; but when he got there, no yellow
curtains were to be seen. What was to be done? He resolved to speak to
her at all events; so, feigning himself to be a deserted husband, he
inquired of her whether Fossard and his mistress were occupants of any
part of the house? Her reply was disheartening:--they had quitted their
lodgings, and were gone, she knew not where. Still, the case did not
appear hopeless. He had employed a porter to carry his goods, and might
not that porter be found? A new search was requisite, and it terminated
successfully, by his tracing Fossard to a vintner's. Considering, then,
that it was advisable to have the vintner on his side, he called on him
in his usual dress, and informed him, from the police, that his lodgers
meditated robbing him. He and his wife were in consternation at the
intelligence; but Vidocq having pacified them, arranged his plans. The
grand difficulty to be overcome, arose from Fossard's always carrying a
loaded pistol in his hand, and which, they knew from his character, he
would assuredly discharge at the first man that laid hands on him. Here
Vidocq must tell his own tale, we premising, that Fossard's mistress
styled herself Madame Hazard.--

     "At an early hour, on the 29th of December, I betook myself to
     my station. It was desperately cold; the watch was a protracted
     one, and the more painful as we had no fire. Motionless,
     however, and my eyes fixed against a small hole in the shutter,
     I kept my post. At last, about three o'clock, he went out. I
     followed gladly, and recognised him; for, up to that period, I
     had my doubts. Certain now of his identity, I wished, at that
     moment, to put into execution the order for his apprehension;
     but the officer who was with me, said he saw the terrible
     pistol. That I might authenticate the fact, I walked quickly
     and passed Fossard, and then returning, saw clearly that the
     agent was right. To attempt to arrest him would have been
     useless, and I resolved to defer it. On the 31st of December,
     at eleven o'clock, when all my batteries were charged and my
     plans perfect, Fossard returned, and, without distrust,
     ascended the staircase shaking with cold; and, twenty minutes
     after, the disappearance of the light indicated that he was in
     bed. The moment had now arrived. The commissary and gend'armes,
     summoned by me, were waiting at the nearest guard-house until I
     should call them, and then enter quietly. We deliberated on the
     most effectual mode of seizing Fossard, without running the
     risk of being killed or wounded; for they were persuaded, that,
     unless surprised, this robber would defend himself desperately.
     My first thought was, to do nothing till daybreak, as I had
     been told that Fossard's companion went down very early to get
     the milk; we should then seize her, and, after having taken the
     key from her, we should enter the room of her lover; but might
     it not happen that, contrary to his usual custom, he might go
     out first? This reflection led me to adopt another expedient.
     The vintner's wife, in whose favour, as I was told, M. Hazard
     was much prepossessed, had one of her nephews at her house, a
     lad about ten years of age, intelligent beyond his years, and
     the more desirous of getting money, as he was a Norman. I
     promised him a reward, on condition that, under pretence of his
     aunt's being taken suddenly ill, he should go and beg Madame
     Hazard to give him some Eau de Cologne. I desired the little
     chap to assume the most piteous tone he could; and was so well
     satisfied with the specimen he gave me, that I began to
     distribute the parts to my performers. The dénouement was near
     at hand. I made all my party take off their shoes, doing the
     same myself, that we might not be heard whilst going up stairs.
     The little snivelling pilot was in his shirt; he rang the
     bell;--no one answered: again he rang;--'Who's there,' was
     heard.--'It is I Madame Hazard; it is Louis: my poor aunt is
     very bad, and begs you will be so very obliging as to give her
     a little Eau de Cologne.--Oh! she is dying!--I have got a
     light.' The door was opened; and scarcely had Madame Hazard
     presented herself, when two powerful gend'armes seized on her,
     and fastened a napkin over her mouth to prevent her crying out.
     At the same instant, with more rapidity than the lion when
     darting on his prey, I threw myself upon Fossard; who,
     stupified by what was doing, and already fast bound and
     confined in his bed, was my prisoner before he could make a
     single movement, or utter a single word. So great was his
     amazement, that it was nearly an hour before he could
     articulate even a few words. When a light was brought, and he
     saw my black face and garb of a coalman, he experienced such an
     increase of terror, that I really believe he imagined himself
     in the devil's clutches. On coming to himself, he thought of
     his arms,--his pistols and dagger,--which were upon the table;
     and, turning his eyes towards them, he made a struggle, but
     that was all; for, reduced to the impossibility of doing any
     mischief, he was passive."

From the above extracts, a tolerably correct idea may be formed of
thieves and police-officers;--men who co-exist in every civilized
community, but who lead lives requiring the cunning and personal bravery
of savages. The thief exults in the success of a daring exploit, and
prides himself on his skill in avoiding the meshes of magistrates and
lawyers: the police-officer is no less vain of his skill, in detecting
and dragging to justice the man who boasts of his superiority in
artifice, while he almost defies the arm of vengeance. In order that the
number of such characters may be reduced, all reasonable attempts should
be made to reclaim juvenile delinquents; prisons should be not only
places of terror, but places where the spread of corruption is
effectually prevented, by the prohibition of intercourse amongst the
inmates; and, above all, education, founded on a moral and religious
basis, should be extended throughout society. Facts bear us out in
asserting, that crimes of the greatest magnitude, such as murder,
burglary, and arson, considerably diminish with the spread of
civilization, which operates, like the circle formed by the pebble
thrown into water, in extending its influence in proportion to its
circumference. As philanthropists in many different countries are
labouring simultaneously to promote this great end, we are justified in
considering the present age as the harbinger of a better; and we may
rejoice in the anticipation. The progressive improvement of the human
family is a delightful subject for meditation, giving us, perhaps, a
prelibation of the joys of futurity, and animating us to contribute our
aid, trifling as it may be, to the melioration of the condition of our

Before closing this article, we can scarcely forbear remarking, that the
translator of Vidocq has used various words which have been considered
by English writers as Americanisms; such as _to progress_, _to
approbate_, and _lengthy_; also _chicken-fighting_ for cock-fighting.
Whether he is an American or an Englishman we know not; but certain we
are, that nearly every one of the alleged peculiarities in language,
adopted by Americans, may be found either in old English authors, or are
known to have been used in one or other of the provincial brogues of
England. Captain Basil Hall notices the substitution of _fall_ for
Autumn; but he might have known, that though nearly obsolete in England,
it is still current in the west of England amongst the vulgar.[15] Even
the much laughed at _I guess_, is in vogue in Lancashire; so that with
the exception of _to tote_ for to carry, which, as Dr. Webster remarks,
was introduced by the negroes into the southern states, we do not know
whether a single word or expression supposed to be peculiar to the
United States, may be found, which cannot be traced to Great Britain or
Ireland. In the volume on Insect Architecture, issued by the Society for
the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, we notice the word _sparse,_ which,
till then, we had supposed to be of American formation; and a late
writer in Blackwood's Magazine says, that the New-England word
_tarnation_, is current in the county of Suffolk in old England. The
probability of its being introduced into Massachusetts from that part of
England, is confirmed by the great number of towns in Massachusetts
bearing the same names as towns in the counties of Suffolk and Essex,
and by the correspondence remarked by travellers between the dialects of
the two districts. Every one may have observed, that the
New-Englanders,--many even of the educated amongst them,--pronounce the
participle _been_, as if written _ben_; and this peculiarity, we are
assured, is prevalent in the part of England just mentioned.


[12] See the second series of Tales of a Grandfather.

[13] Since the above was written, we have met with an old schoolfellow
of Vaux's, and who also knew him in after life; and from him we have
learnt that Vaux's Memoirs have strong claim to credence, from the
circumstance that the account of his early life appears to be correctly
given, as also that part of his subsequent career which is known to our
informant. He added, that his manners were quite fascinating.

[14] As many of our readers may not recollect it, we here insert it.
Cibber, it should be borne in mind, was poet-laureate.

"In merry old England, it once was a rule, That the king had his poet,
and also his fool; But the times are so altered, I'd have you to know
it, That Cibber will serve both for fool and for poet!"

Cibber seems so little to have minded this, and the rest of Pope's
satire on him in the Dunciad, that he wrote another epigram nearly as
pungent on himself! We give the following stanzas as a specimen of it.

     "When Bayes thou play'st, thyself thou art;
        For that by nature fit,
      No blockhead better suits the part,
        Than such a coxcomb wit.

      In Wronghead, too, thy brains we see
        Who might do well at plough;
      As fit for Parliament was he,
        As for the laurel thou."

[15] See A Summary View of America. By an Englishman. 8vo. London: 1824.


1.--"_Counterblaste to Tobacco._" By KING JAMES I. _of England._ Works,
fol. from 214 to 222.

2.--_A Dissertation on the Use and Abuse of Tobacco._ By The Rev. ADAM
CLARKE. pp. 32. October: 1798.

3.--_Observations upon the influence of the habitual use of Tobacco upon
Health, Morals, and Property._ By BENJAMIN RUSH, M.D. Essays. p. 263 to
274. 1798.

4.--_Notices relative to Tobacco._ By DR. A. T. THOMSON. _Appendix (Note
B) to Mrs. A. T. Thomson's Life of Sir Walter Ralegh._ pp. 24: 1830.

The annals of literature furnish abundant examples of authors, who,
through wantonness, whimsicality, a desire to say something, where many
could say nothing, and few could say much, or from some other impulse,
(for which it were now unprofitable to search,) have adopted themes
either insignificant in themselves, or repugnant to truth; subjects
barren, or improbable, or laborious, or palpably absurd. Thus Homer has
celebrated the battle of the Frogs and Mice; Virgil sung of Bees;
Polycrates commended Tyranny; Phavorinus sets forth the praises of
Injustice; and Cardan pronounced the eulogy of Nero. The Golden Ass of
Apulcius is well known; Henry Cornelius Agrippa has employed his wit and
learning on an elaborate "Digression in praise of the Asse." Other
authors have discovered virtues and excellencies in this animal, though
the generality of mankind have agreed in supposing it possessed nothing
remarkable but dulness and obstinacy. Lucian exercised his genius on a
fly; and Erasmus has dignified Folly in his _Encomium Moriæ_, which, for
the sake of the pun, he inscribed to Sir Thomas More. The subject of
Michael Psellus is a Gnat; Antonius Majoragius took for his theme Clay;
Julius Scaliger wrote concerning a Goose; Janus Dousa on a Shadow; and
Heinsius (_horresco referens_) eulogized a Louse. This last animal
elicited some fine moral verses from Burns; Libanus thought the Ox
worthy of his pen; and Sextus Empiricus selected the faithful Dog.
Addison composed the Battle of the Pigmies and Cranes; Rochester
versified about Nothing; and Johannes Passeratius made a Latin poem on
the same subject, which is quoted at full length by Dr. Johnson at the
end of his Life of Rochester. The Jeffreidos were written to commemorate
the perils to which Sir Jeoffrey Hudson was exposed; Sir William Jones
thought Chess worthy of the epopee; and at the foot of this list of
egregious triflers, we place Dr. Raphael Thorius, who wrote a much and
often praised Latin poem on the Virtues of Tobacco.

Now, to most of our readers, this last theme would seem to offer fewer
inducements to the poet's pen than any of those thus enumerated; and
genius could scarcely have selected one, which seemed less ennobling in
itself, or rather, which at once presented such palpable
discouragements, from the coarse associations connected with it, and the
cureless vulgarity and nauseousness with which the whole subject appears
to be invested. In opposition to so many obstacles and dissuasives, this
great man yielded to the impulse of his muse, and obtained an
immortality to which no other action of his life would have entitled
him. It is with unaffected regret that we are compelled to state, that,
to procure a sight of this celebrated poem, we have ransacked our
libraries without the least success. How painful is the reflection, that
perhaps this work has never yet reached the United States! What a
reproach to our republic, that a poem whose object was to celebrate the
virtues of the most incomparable of all our native plants, should be
totally unknown in that new world, with whose discovery it was nearly
contemporaneous! But perhaps our Jeremiad may be premature; for in some
obscure corner in Virginia, (the garden of this weed,) a copy of the
poem may at this very moment exist, like unobtrusive merit, disregarded
and despised. For the honour of our country, we hope this may prove
true; since it may lessen the odium with which men habitually load poor
republics, a name which has long been the by-word and synonime of

We are fully aware of the contemptuous manner in which Doctor Clarke
speaks of this production, and its English translation by the Rev. W.
Berwick, declaring them to be "of equal merit, and that they scarce
deserve to be mentioned." But to the merit of this work we have
testimony infinitely higher than the opinion of the Reverend Doctor.
Thus, Howell, in his inimitable "Familiar Letters," a book which cannot
be too highly commended, or too often read, says, "if you desire to read
with pleasure all the virtues of this modern herb, you must read Dr.
Thorius's Potologis, an accurate peece, couched in a strenuous heroic
verse, and continuing its strength from first to last; insomuch that for
the bignes it may be compared to any piece of antiquity, and in my
opinion is beyond [Greek: Batzachomnomachia] or [Greek:
Galeômnomachia]."[16] The learned Mr. Bayle speaks of the same
production in very commendatory language.[17] Bayle tells an excellent
story of Thorius, which, as it illustrates the character of the great
tobacco poet, deserves to be read. He was extremely fond of his glass of
wine, and had, beside, that hydrophobic distaste, which has been
imagined essential to the true poet. Being one day seated at the dinner
table, in company with the celebrated Peireskius, in the festivity of
the occasion, he was urging the latter to quaff off a bumper of wine,
and after the most importunate intreaties, Peireskius at last agreed to
do it upon one condition, which was, that Thorius should immediately
afterwards drink a bumper himself. No condition could be more
acceptable, no penalty more easy; but what was the surprise and horror
of Thorius, when his turn came, to find that he was called upon to drink
a bumper, not of wine, but of water!--which insipid and unaccustomed
beverage, after sundry efforts and awry faces, he contrived to get down,
amidst peals of laughter from his hilarious and learned friends.

We classed Thorius's poem among the extravagant vagaries of genius; but
the more we reflect upon the subject matter of this poem, the more the
conviction fastens upon our minds, that it is by no means a trivial or
undignified topic; that considered in what light it may, tobacco must be
regarded as the most astonishing of the productions of nature, since,
although unsightly, offensive, and, perhaps, in every way pernicious, it
has, in the short period of about three centuries, subdued not one
particular nation, but the whole world, Christian and Pagan, into a
bondage more abject and irremediable than was ever known to tyranny or
superstition. Kings have forbidden it; popes have anathematized it; and
physicians have warned against it. Even ministers of the gospel have
lifted up their voices, and thundered their denunciations from the
pulpit; but all has been in vain; its use has increased, is increasing,
and will increase, as long as the earth continues to yield this
miraculous vegetable to the unnatural appetite of man.

That what is persecuted should thrive the more in consequence of
persecution, can excite no surprise in any one at all skilled in the
history of human nature; but this is altogether inadequate to account
for that preternatural eagerness with which men seek after this
wonderful plant. In fact, there appears to be some occult charm
connected with it--some invisible spirit, which, be it angel, or be it
devil, has never yet been, and perhaps never will be, satisfactorily
explained. To those who have never revelled in this habit, and
consequently can neither comprehend its nature or strength, the
hyperbolical language which most authors use when they speak of tobacco,
must appear, in an eminent degree, burlesque and overstrained.
"Tobacco," says the Anatomist of Melancholy, "divine, rare,
superexcellent tobacco, which goes far beyond all their panaceas,
potable gold, and philosophers' stones, a soveraign remedy to all
diseases--A good vomit, I confess, a vertuous herb, if it be well
qualified, opportunely taken, and medicinally used; but as it is
commonly abused by most men, which take it as tinkers do ale, 'tis a
plague, a mischief, a violent purger of goods, lands, and health;
hellish, devilish, and damned tobacco; the ruine and overthrow of body
and soul."[18] So in his valedictory to tobacco, Mr. Lamb is not less
extravagant and contradictory. The health of the poet it appears had
suffered seriously from the immoderate use of tobacco, which had been in
consequence interdicted by his physician. Compelled to surrender his
favourite enjoyment, he vents his feelings in a very spirited "Farewell
to Tobacco," which exhibits a singular mixture of opposite sentiments,
and of violent struggles between his propensity to the habit and his
acquiescence in the necessity which severs him from it, together with
feeble attempts to curse that, without which, life to the unhappy poet
seemed scarcely endurable.

    "Stinking'st of the stinking kind,
    Filth of the mouth and fog of the mind,
    Africa that brags her foyson,
    Breeds no such prodigious poison,
    Henbane, nightshade, both together,
    Hemlock, aconite----
              ----Nay, rather
    Plant divine, of rarest virtue;
    Blisters on the tongue would hurt you;
    'Twas but in a sort I blamed thee,
    None e'er prospered who defamed thee."

But tobacco has had enemies of exalted station, whose persecution has
been uniform, and whose hatred has been unmixed. Such was James the
First of England, who is not less remarkable for his sagacity in
discovering the gunpowder plot, and having supported the divine right of
kings, than for having written a "Counterblaste to Tobacco."[19] But let
the king speak for himself:--

     "Tobacco," says he, "is the lively image and pattern of hell,
     for it hath, by allusion, all the parts and vices of the world
     whereby hell may be gained; to wit. 1. It is a smoke; so are
     all the vanities of this world. 2. It delighteth them that take
     it; so do all the pleasures of the world delight the men of the
     world. 3. It maketh men drunken and light in the head; so do
     all the vanities of the world, men are drunkards therewith. 4.
     He that taketh tobacco can not leave it; it doth bewitch him;
     even so the pleasures of the world make men loath to leave
     them; they are for the most part enchanted with them. And,
     farther, besides all this, it is like hell in the very
     substance of it, for it is a stinking loathsome thing, and so
     is hell."

The mythological fable which existed among the Indians as to the manner
in which this plant was first bestowed upon mankind, is extremely
whimsical, somewhat discreditable, and withal of such a nature as to
preclude the propriety of our introducing it in this place to the
acquaintance of our readers. But writers are not wanting who have
carried the original of tobacco into the Grecian fabulous ages, and
attributed to Bacchus the glory of having discovered and disclosed to
mortals its virtues. Thorius, as Dr. Clarke tells us, very ominously
ascribes the discovery and first use of this herb to Bacchus, Silenus,
and the Satyrs, (drunkenness, gluttony, and lust,) and yet, continues
the Doctor, with a sneer, this poem was written in praise of it. Mr.
Lamb, in the poem before quoted, has the same thought, and he farther
adds a belief, that the tobacco plant was the true Indian conquest for
which the jolly god has been so celebrated. He moreover intimates, that
the Thyrsus of that deity was afterwards ornamented with leaves of
tobacco, instead of ivy. Even the name of the plant has been derived
from Bacchus. This is particularly mentioned by Mr. Joseph Sylvester,
quoted by Dr. Clarke, who wrote a poem on tobacco which he inscribed to
Villiers, Duke of Buckingham. The title of this tirade is very quaint,
viz. "Tobacco battered, and the Pipes shattered (about their Ears who
idly idolize so base and barbarous a Weed; or at least-wise overlove so
loathsome a Vanity) by a Volley of holy Shot from Mount Helicon."

    "For even the derivation of the name
    Seems to allude and to include the same;
    Tobacco as [Greek: tôBakchô] one would say
    To cup-god Bacchus dedicated ay."

Nor should all this appear so extraordinary, when we consider that
Charlevoix, with the utmost seriousness, discusses the question, whether
the calumet of the North American Indians was the same as the caduceus
of Mercury.[20] It is however beyond all doubt, that tobacco has always
been regarded by the Indians with religious veneration, and employed by
them in all religious ceremonies. Mr. Stith informs us, that they
thought this plant "of so great worth and virtue that the gods
themselves were delighted with it; and therefore they sometimes made
sacred fires, and instead of a sacrifice, threw in the dust of tobacco;
and when they were caught in a tempest, they would sprinkle it into the
air and water--upon all their new fishing nets they would cast some of
it, and when they had escaped any remarkable danger, they would throw
some of this dust into the air, with strange distorted gestures,
sometimes striking the earth with their feet in a kind of time and
measure, sometimes clapping their hands and throwing them up on high,
looking towards the heavens, and uttering barbarous and dissonant
words."[21]--Sir Hans Sloan tells us, also, that the Indians employ
tobacco in all their enchantments, sorceries, and fortune-tellings; that
their priests intoxicate themselves with the fumes, and in their
ecstacies give forth ambiguous and oracular responses.[22]

A few words will now be devoted to the subject of the numerous names
which have belonged to tobacco; many persons conceiving the title of any
thing, to be of equal importance with the christening of a person; and
surely where the etymology of a name of either person or thing can throw
any light upon their respective histories, the time employed thereon can
hardly be looked upon as either lost or misspent. But it unfortunately
happens, as is almost always the case in regard to persons and things
belonging to mythological eras, that the greatest confusion and
perplexity exist in regard to the Indian titles which have been bestowed
upon tobacco; and as we frankly confess ourselves utterly unversed in
Occidental philology, we shall, with whatever reluctance, be obliged to
omit even the mention of many appellations, whose true meaning and value
have passed into obscurity, with the languages and nations from which
such appellations were derived.[23]

Sir Hans Sloan informs us, that the name was originally picielt, and
that tobacco was given it by the Spaniards.[24] Several authors say,
that it was called by the inhabitants of the West India islands
yoli--but that on the continent they gave it the name of pætum, peti,
petunum, or petun.[25] Some say it was sent into Spain from Tabaco, a
province of Yucatan, where it was first discovered, and from whence it
takes its common name. Pourchot declares, that the Portuguese brought it
into Europe from Tobago, an island in North America; but the island
Tobago, says another, was never under the Portuguese dominion, and that
it seems rather to have given its name to that island. The inhabitants
of Hispaniola call it by the name cohiba, or pete be cenuc, and the
instrument by which they smoke it tabaco, and hence, say they, it
derived its name. Stith, in his History of Virginia, speaks of one Mr.
Thomas Harriot,[26] a domestic of Sir Walter Ralegh, a man of learning,
who was sent by Ralegh to Virginia chiefly to make observations, which
were afterwards published. Now this Harriot, speaking of tobacco, says
it was called, by the Indians of Virginia, uppowoc.[27] But the
principal names by which this article is now known, either in common
parlance or scientific discourse, are three, viz.--pætum, which seems to
be its poetical title--tobacco, its vulgar and most intelligible
name--and nicotiana, its scientific and botanical name; which latter we
will explain more fully hereafter.[28]

The Abbot Nyssens thought it was the Devil who first introduced tobacco
into Europe. We do not design to discuss so important a question,
concerning which there must needs be a contrariety of opinions; but we
cannot forbear to observe, that to give the Devil more than his due, is
by no means new or uncommon in ecclesiastical inquiries. We have
something parallel to this in the history of Hercules, though springing
most probably from a very different source; for to him the ancients were
wont to attribute any great action for which they could not find a
certain author. We are informed that this plant was first seen smoked by
the Spaniards, under Grijalva, in 1518. In 1519, the illustrious Cortez
sent a specimen of it to his king, and this was the date of its
introduction into Europe. Others say, one Roman Pane carried it into
Spain. By the Cardinal Santa Croce it was conveyed to Italy. It should
be observed, however, that the ancestors of the Cardinal already enjoyed
the reputation of having brought into Italy the true cross, and the
double glory which attaches to the Santa Croce family in consequence, is
well described in the following Latin lines, taken from Bayle's
Dictionary.[29] These verses are valuable in another respect, since they
contain a full enumeration of the real or supposed virtues of the herb.
They are also copied by the Reverend Dr. Clarke; and the English verses
which accompany them, are by the Dr. attributed to M. de Maizeaux.--

    "Nomine quæ sanctæ crucis herba vocatur ocellis
    Subvenit, et sanat plagas, et vulnera jungit,
    Discutit et strumas, cancrum, cancrosaque sanat
    Ulcera, et ambustis prodest, scabiemque repellit,
    Discutit et morbum cui cessit ab impete nomen,
    Calefacit, et siccat, stringit, mundatque, resolvit,
    Et dentium et ventris mulcet capitisque dolores;
    Subvenit antiquæ tussi, stomachoque rigenti
    Renibus et spleni confert, ultroque, venena
    Dira sagittarum domat, ictibus omnibus atris
    Hæc eadem prodest; gingivis proficit atque
    Conciliat somnum: nuda ossa carne revestit;
    Thoracis vitiis prodest, pulmonis itemque,
    Quæ duo sic præstat, non ulla potentior herba.
    Hanc Sanctacrucius Prosper quum nuncius esset,
    Sedis Apostolicæ Lusitanas missus in horas
    Huc adportavit Romanæ ad commoda gentis,
    Ut proavi sanctæ lignum crucis ante tulere
    Omnis Christiadum quo nunc respublica gaudet,
    Et Sanctæ crucis illustris domus ipsa vocatur
    Corporis atque animæ nostræ studiosa salutis."

We subjoin the following "faithful but inelegant translation," which is
given by M. de Maizeaux in his translation of Bayle.

    "The herb which borrows Santa Croce's name
    Sore eyes relieves, and healeth wounds; the same
    Discusses the king's evil, and removes
    Cancers and boils; a remedy it proves
    For burns and scalds, repels the nauseous itch,
    And straight recovers from convulsion fits.
    It cleanses, dries, binds up, and maketh warm;
    The head-ach, tooth-ach, colic, like a charm
    It easeth soon; an ancient cough relieves,
    And to the reins and milt, and stomach gives
    Quick riddance from the pains which each endures;
    Next the dire wounds of poisoned arrows cures;
    All bruises heals, and when the gums are sore,
    It makes them sound and healthy as before.
    Sleep it procures, our anxious sorrows lays,
    And with new flesh the naked bone arrays.
    No herb hath greater power to rectify
    All the disorders in the breast that lie
    Or in the lungs. Herb of immortal fame!
    Which hither first by Santa Croce came,
    When he (his time of nunciature expired)
    Back from the court of Portugal retired;
    Even as his predecessors great and good,
    Brought home the cross, whose consecrated wood
    All Christendom now with its presence blesses;
    And still the illustrious family possesses
    The name of Santa Croce, rightly given,
    Since they in all respects resembling Heaven,
    Procure as much as mortal men can do,
    The welfare of our souls and bodies too."

It is agreed on all hands, that tobacco was introduced into France by
John Nicot, (whence it obtains its common name Nicotiana) Lord of
Villemain and Master of Requests of the household of Francis the Second.
He was born at Nismes, and was sent as embassador to the Court of
Portugal in 1559, from whence, on his return, he brought to Paris this
herb. From Nicot, it was also called the embassador's herb. The
question, whether it was known in France before it was carried into
England, was long agitated, and is perhaps not settled yet, since the
precise epocha of its introduction into any particular country, cannot
with absolute certainty be fixed. The French writers, generally, are of
opinion that Sir Francis Drake conveyed it to England before Nicot made
it known in France. Thevet, who has discussed the subject, is thought by
them to have settled it in favour of the English. A French writer, Jean
Liebault, says tobacco grew wild in France long before the discovery of
the New World. Mr. Murray inclines to the belief, that tobacco existed
in Europe before the discovery of America, but he thinks it proceeded
from Asia.[30] Mr. Savary asserts, that among the Persians it was known
at least five hundred years since, but that they obtained it from Egypt,
and not from the East Indies, where its cultivation was but recent. But,
what has not been said of this extraordinary plant? It has often been
called a Nepenthe, and we are under belief that some have even imagined
that the tobacco leaf forms a principal ingredient in the wondrous and
potent mixture which Helen prepares for her guests in the fourth

              [Greek: "Phazmachon
    Nêpendes t' acholon te kakôn epilêthon apantôn."]

              "Of sovereign use to assuage
    The boiling bosom of tumultuous rage;
    To clear the cloudy front of wrinkled care,
    And dry the tearful sluices of despair."

In the same passage, Homer tells us that Helen learned the nature of
drugs and herbs from the wife of Thone, King of Egypt. Now, by
considering this latter fact, in conjunction with what is asserted by
Mr. Savary, some verisimilitude seems to be imparted to the hypothesis
of the tobacco plant having sprung originally from Egypt. We are not
aware of any author (though we think it not improbable that such may
exist) who has carried matters so far as to assert that tobacco was the
tree of Paradise, "whose mortal taste brought death into the
world,"--nor would this appear for a moment extravagant, if one only
calls to mind the strange traditions which the Rabbinnical writers have
handed down upon theological points of far more importance, or the
equally absurd and monstrous notions which the modern history of
sectarianism furnishes. From what has been said, however, it appears
very clear, that Satan has had too much to do with tobacco. If it be
verily the tree of knowledge, it must be admitted that he has preserved
it with infinite care, as if grateful for the mighty mischief which was
wrought in Eden, and as a fit instrument for those injuries in future to
the human family, which so many authors assure us it is producing at the
present day. How tobacco ever got to America is a difficulty of very
little moment, when we remember that writers are not agreed in what
manner America was even peopled. Even were we to admit that the
aboriginal Americans were not descended from Adam and Eve, still if we
concede that Satan has had the especial care of tobacco, we cannot be
surprised at his finding the means, if he had the desire, of introducing
it into America. We have before alluded to what the Abbot Nyssens says,
and if in addition we call to mind what others have uttered about its
diabolical nature, and that the American Indians were wont to propitiate
the powers of darkness by making offerings to them of tobacco, we cannot
help thinking that King James was nearer truth and propriety than he
imagined, when he declared that if he were to invite the Devil to dine
with him, he would be sure to provide three things,--1. a pig,--2. a
poll of ling and mustard,--3. a pipe of tobacco for digestion.

It is not certainly known whether tobacco grew spontaneously in
Virginia, or whether it came originally from some more southern region
of America. At all events, the English who first visited Virginia
certainly found it there, and Harriot is of opinion, that it was of
spontaneous growth. Mr. Jefferson thinks it was a native of a more
southern climate, and was handed along the continent from one nation of
savages to another.[31] Dr. Robertson informs us, that it was not till
the year 1616 that its cultivation was commenced in Virginia.[32]
However this may be, the gallant and unfortunate Sir Walter Ralegh has
the credit of bringing it into fashion in England.[33] It is well known
that the colony planted in Virginia by Sir Walter, suffered many
calamities, and we are told, that Ralph Lane,[34] one of the survivers
who was carried back to England by Sir Francis Drake, was the person who
first made tobacco known in Great Britain. This was in the 28th year of
Queen Elizabeth, A. D. 1585.[35] Sir Walter himself is said to have been
very fond of smoking, and many humorous stories have been recorded
concerning it, particularly of a wager he made with Queen Elizabeth,
that he would determine exactly the weight of the smoke which went off
in a pipe of tobacco. This he did by first weighing the tobacco which
was to be smoked, and then carefully preserving and weighing the ashes,
and the queen paid the wager cheerfully, being satisfied that what was
wanting to the prime weight must have been evaporated in smoke. Every
one remembers the story of the alarm of one of Sir Walter's servants,
who, coming into a room and beholding his master enveloped in smoke,
supposed him to be on fire.

To the devout and genuine worshippers of this weed, it may be
satisfactory to know, that a tobacco-box and some pipes, belonging
formerly to Sir Walter, are still in existence, and all smokers who may
feel so disposed may perform a pilgrimage to them when they visit
England, they being in the museum of Mr. Ralph Thoresby of Leeds,
Yorkshire.[36] We shall conclude our remarks upon Sir Walter, by a
poetical tribute to his memory, which is both apposite and eloquent.

    "Immortal Ralegh! were potatoes not,
      Could grateful Ireland e'er forget thy claim?[37]
    'Were all thy proud historic deeds forgot,'
      Which blend thy memory with Eliza's fame;
    Could England's annals in oblivion rot,
      Tobacco would enshrine and consecrate thy name."

We cannot forbear to make a quotation concerning the Virginia colony, at
a more flourishing subsequent period, which, as it records a historical
fact, cannot fail to be interesting, while at the same time it is
sufficiently comic. "The adventurers," says Malte-Brun, "who increased
from year to year, were reduced, in consequence of the scarcity of
females, to import wives by order, as they imported merchandise. It is
recorded, that ninety girls, 'young and uncorrupt,' came to the Virginia
market in 1620, and sixty in 1621; all of whom found a ready sale. The
price of each at first was one hundred pounds of tobacco, but afterwards
rose to one hundred and fifty. What the prime cost was in England is not

In whatever manner tobacco found its way into Europe, it met with a very
hostile reception from several crowned heads. Elizabeth published an
edict against its use. James imposed severe prohibitory duties, and
Charles, his successor, continued them.

     "In 1590," says Dr. Thomson, "Shah Abbas prohibited the use of
     tobacco in Persia, by a penal law; but so firmly had the luxury
     rooted itself in the minds of his subjects, that many of the
     inhabitants of the cities fled to the mountains, where they hid
     themselves, rather than forego the pleasure of smoking. In
     1624, Pope Urban VIII. anathematized all snuff-takers, who
     committed the heinous sin of taking a pinch in any church; and
     so late as 1690, Innocent XII. excommunicated all who indulged
     in the same vice in Saint Peter's church at Rome. In 1625,
     Amurath IV. prohibited smoking as an unnatural and irreligious
     custom, under pain of death. In Constantinople, where the
     custom is now universal, smoking was thought to be so
     ridiculous and hurtful, that any Turk, who was caught in the
     act, was conducted in ridicule through the streets, with a pipe
     transfixed through his nose. In Russia, where the peasantry now
     smoke all day long, the Grand Duke of Moscow prohibited the
     entrance of tobacco into his dominions, under the penalty of
     the _knaut_ for the first offence, and death for the second;
     and the Muscovite who was found snuffing, was condemned to have
     his nostrils split. The Chambre au Tabac for punishing smokers,
     was instituted in 1634, and not abolished till the middle of
     the eighteenth century. Even in Switzerland, war was waged
     against the American herb: to smoke, in Berne, ranked as a
     crime next to adultery; and in 1653, all smokers were cited
     before the Council at Apenzel, and severely punished."[39]

We shall see hereafter what a host of enemies tobacco found also among
medical writers. We speak here particularly of the moderns; for many of
the older physicians extolled its healing virtues to the skies, and they
were giants in knowledge; but as an old author says, "Pigmei gigantum
humeris impositi plusquam ipsi gigantes vident." Indeed it must be
admitted, as a very powerful argument against the efficacy of tobacco as
a medicine, that the physicians of our day have in many cases abandoned
its use, and in others adopted some less dangerous succedaneum.

It may not be unamusing to the curious reader to know in what manner
this subject is handled by King James. The "Counterblaste" commences by
denouncing tobacco, because "the vile and stinking custome comes from
the wilde, godlesse, and slavish Indians," by whom it was used as an
antidote against the most dreadful of all diseases. Its use was
introduced "neither by a king, great conqueror, nor learned Doctor of
Physicke, but by some Indians who were brought over;" they died, but the
"savage custome" survived. King James contents himself by examining only
four of the principal grounds or arguments upon which tobacco is used,
two founded "on the theoricke of a deceivable appearance of reason," and
two "upon the mistaken practicke of generall experience." Thus, "1. An
aphorisme in the Physickes that the brains of all men being naturally
cold and wet, all dry and hote things should be good for them." Ergo,
this "stinking suffumigation."--2. The argument grounded on a show of
reason, is "that this filthy smoke, as well through the heat and
strength thereof, as by a natural force and quality, is able and fit to
purge both the head and stomach of rhewmes and distillations, as
experience teacheth by the spitting and avoiding fleame immediately
after the taking of it."--3. That "the whole people would not have taken
so general a good liking thereof, if they had not by experience found it
very soveraigne and good for them."--4. That "by the taking of tobacco,
divers and very many doe finde themselves cured of divers diseases; as
on the other hand no man ever received harme thereby." The King after
having, as he trusts, sufficiently answered "the most principal
arguments" that are used in defence of this "vile custome," proceeds "to
speake of the sinnes and vanities committed in the filthy abuse
thereof." And 1. As being a sinneful and shameful lust.--2. As a branch
of drunkennesse.--3. As disabling both persons and goods. His majesty
concludes the "Counterblaste" by calling the smoking of tobacco "a
custome loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmeful to the
brain, dangerous to the lungs, and in the blacke and stinking fume
thereof, nearest resembling the horrible Stigian smoke of the pit that
is bottomlesse."[40]

Let it not be supposed that tobacco has been without friends, wise,
learned, and distinguished; but space forces us to pretermit the mention
of many who have ascribed to it as many virtues as were ever ascribed to
the grand elixir of Alchemy. We shall content ourselves with two or
three miscellaneous testimonies.--Thus Acosta tells us it is a plant,
"which hath in it rare virtues, as amongst others it serves for a
counterpoison--for the Creator hath imparted his virtues at his
pleasure, not willing that any thing should grow idle."[41] Lord Bacon
speaks of its "cheering and comforting the spirits," and that it
relieves in lassitude.[42] Again he says, "doubtless it contributes to
alleviate fatigues and discharge the body of weariness. 'T is also
commonly said to open the passages, and draw off humours; but its
virtues may be more justly attributed to its _condensing_ the
spirits."[43] "It is a good companion," says Howell, "to one that
converseth with dead men, for if one hath bin poring long upon a book,
or is toiled with the pen, or stupified with study, it quickeneth him,
and dispels those clouds that usually oreset the brain. The smoke of it
is one of the wholesomest sents that is against all contagious airs, for
it oremasters all other smells; as _King James_ they say found true,
when being once a hunting, a showr of rain drave him into a pigsty for
shelter, where he caused a pipe full to be taken of purpose."[44] It
were easy to multiply quotations both in prose and verse, but it is to
the latter, most especially, that we must look for the most glowing
ascriptions--to poetry which has ever delighted.[45]

    "To sing the praises of that glorious weed--
    Dear to mankind, whate'er his race, his creed,
    Condition, colour, dwelling, or degree!
    From Zembla's snows to parched Arabia's sands,
    Loved by all lips, and common to all hands!
    Hail sole cosmopolite, tobacco, hail!
    Shag, long-cut, short-cut, pig-tail, quid, or roll,
    Dark Negrohead, or Orinooka pale,
    In every form congenial to the soul."

Before we proceed to consider the use of tobacco as a habit, which
modern physicians are pleased to consider so pestiferous and baleful,
let us attend for a few moments to what has been said concerning its
culture and manufacture. Mr. Jefferson, in his Notes, says that its
culture is productive of infinite wretchedness; that it is found easier
to make 100 bushels of wheat than 1000 pounds of tobacco, and that they
are worth more when made.[46] Davies, in his History of the Carriby
Islands, after giving an account of the culture and preparation of
tobacco, adds, "that if the people of Europe who are so fond of it, had
themselves seen the poor servants and slaves who are employed about this
painful work, exposed the greatest part of the day to the scorching heat
of the sun, and spending one half of the night in reducing it to that
posture wherein it is transported into Europe; no doubt they would have
a greater esteem for, and think much more precious that herb which is
procured with the sweat and labours of so many miserable creatures."[47]

Numerous medical writers, of the justest celebrity, have assured us,
that endless and dreadful evils are the portion of all who are engaged
in the manufacture of tobacco; that the workmen are in general meagre,
jaundiced, emaciated, asthmatic, subject to colic, diarrheas, to
vertigo, violent headach, and muscular twitchings, to narcotism, and to
various diseases of the breast and lungs.[48] They have also declared
that some of these evils have befallen families from the fact alone of
being in the neighbourhood of a tobacco manufactory.[49] Ramazzini says
that even the horses employed in the tobacco mills are most powerfully
affected by the particles of the tobacco. Now if these things be true,
when we call to mind the countless multitudes employed in this "dreadful
trade," what a throng of evils present themselves upon the very
threshold of our subject.[50] In this view of the case, one could not
pass such a manufactory without an involuntary shudder, regarding it as
a charnel house, or rather as a Pandora's box, to those wretched beings
who are doomed to work or dwell within its pestilential precincts.[51]
But in spite of the various and respectable testimony which has been
produced by writers opposed to the use of tobacco, we cannot help
regarding their statements as exceedingly exaggerated. We have not space
to enter into a more minute examination of this portion of our subject,
but to such of our readers as may feel desirous of prosecuting the
inquiry, we take great pleasure in recommending a very able memoir by
Messieurs Parent-Duchatelet and D'Arcet,[52] in which the whole subject
of the effects of tobacco upon the persons connected with its
manufacture, is most satisfactorily discussed, and the opinions and
assertions of those who have gone so far as to declare that it was even
necessary to the public health that the manufactories of tobacco should
be removed out of large towns because of their great insalubrity, shown
to be either without any just grounds, or the results of prejudice and

The fecundity of this plant is marvellous. Linnæus has calculated that a
single plant of tobacco contains 40,320 grains, and says that if each
seed came to perfection, the plants of tobacco in vegetation in the
course of four years, would be more than sufficient to cover the whole
surface of the earth. We are elsewhere informed that these seeds
preserve their germinative properties for six years and even longer.
"Sir Thomas Browne observes," says Mather, "that of the seeds of
tobacco, a thousand make not one grain, (though Otto de Guericke, as I
remember, says, fifty-two cyphers with one figure would give the number
of those which would fill the space between us and the stars,) a plant
which has extended its empire over the whole world, and has a larger
dominion than any of all the vegetable kingdom."[53] Our readers may
very easily amuse themselves by making calculations on the immense
consumption and value of this plant. The following account from a French
medical writer,[54] will be sufficient. On a rough calculation, the
tobacco sold yearly in France amounts to 40,000,000 pounds weight, which
at three francs per pound, the ordinary price, will make the enormous
annual sum of 120,000,000 francs. One-fourth of the French population
use tobacco, so that of 8,000,000 of human beings, each individual
consumes annually, in the various forms of snuffing, chewing, and
smoking, about six pounds. This quantity may seem too great for some
persons, but it should be remembered that there are many who use a dozen
or twenty pounds in the course of the year.

If we contemplate man in connexion with tobacco as a necessary, the
juxtaposition cannot fail to strike us as exceedingly ludicrous. From
the earliest ages of philosophy, it has been a favourite employment of
the wise to propose such definitions of man as should fully distinguish
him from the rest of animated nature, and yet no definition of ancient
times will, we are satisfied, appear so excellently discriminative as
one which grows out of our present subject, and which denominates him
the only tobacco loving animal, for (to pass over the tobacco-worm) the
only creature known beside man, whose nature does not abhor tobacco, is,
as Dr. Rush informs us, the solitary rock goat of Africa, one of the
wildest and most filthy of animals. "Were it possible," says he, "for a
being who had resided on our globe, to visit the inhabitants of a planet
where reason governed, and to tell them that a vile weed was in general
use among the inhabitants of the globe it had left, which afforded no
nourishment; that this weed was cultivated with immense care, that it
was an important article of commerce, that the want of it produced real
misery, that its taste was extremely nauseous, that it was unfriendly to
health and morals, and that its use was attended with a considerable
loss of time and property, the account would be thought incredible."[55]
It is idle to speak of tobacco, as being "extremely nauseous," that it
is the "meanest and most paltry of all gratifications," &c. Had not man
discovered in it a delight and comfort which was to be derived from few
other sources, the habitual use of tobacco would long since have been
neglected. To say man uses tobacco for no other reason but its
offensiveness, is a solecism; scarcely would it be more absurd to adopt
the habitual use of castor oil as a cordial, or assafoetida as a
perfume. On this subject Mr. Chamberet[56] has a very interesting
passage, which, as it is so well expressed by the author, we take the
liberty of offering to our readers in his own language.

     "Observons," says he, "que l'homme, en vertu de son
     organization a sans cesse besoin de sentir, que presque
     toujours il est malheureux, soit par les fleaux que la nature
     lui envoie, soit par les tristes resultats de ses passions
     aveugles, de ses erreurs de ses prejugés, de son ignorance, &c.
     Le tabac exercant sur nos organes une impression vive et forte,
     susceptible d'etre renouvelée frequemment et a volonté, on
     s'est livré avec d'autant plus d'ardeur a l'usage d'un
     semblable stimulant qu'on y a trouvé a la fois le moyen de
     satisfaire le besoin imperieux de sentir, qui caracterise la
     nature humaine, et celui d'etre distrait momentanément des
     sensations pénibles ou douloureuses qui assiégent sans cesse
     notre espèce, que le tabac aide ainsi a supporter l'accablant
     fardeau de la vie. Avec le tabac, le sauvage endure plus
     courageusement la faim, la soif, et toutes les vicissitudes
     atmospheriques, l'esclave endure plus patiemment la servitude,
     &c. Parmi les hommes qui se disent civilisés, son recours est
     souvent invoqué contre l'ennui, la tristesse; il soulage
     quelquefois momentanément les tourmens de l'ambition déçues de
     ses esperances, et concourt a consoler, dans certains cas les
     malheureuses victimes de l'injustice."

Dr. Walsh says that tobacco used with coffee, after the Turkish
fashion, "is singularly grateful to the taste, and refreshing to the
spirits; counteracting the effects of fatigue and cold, and appeasing
the cravings of hunger, as I have often experienced. Hearne, I think, in
his journey to the mouth of the Coppermine river, mentions his
experience of similar effects of tobacco. He had been frequently
wandering without food for five or six days, in the most inclement
weather, and supported it all, he says, in good health and spirits, by
smoking tobacco, &c."[57] Willis, as quoted by Mons. Merat, recommends
the use of tobacco in armies, as able to supply the necessaries of life
to a great extent, and also as an excellent preventive against various
diseases.[58] And Dr. Rush relates that he was informed by Colonel Burr,
that the greatest complaints of dissatisfaction and suffering which he
heard among the soldiers who accompanied General Arnold in his march
from Boston to Quebec through the wilderness, in the year 1775, were
from the want of tobacco. This was the more remarkable, as they were so
destitute of provisions as to be obliged to kill and eat their dogs.[59]

Tobacco possesses narcotic powers in common with many other substances,
of which neither time nor space will permit us to make mention.
Narcotics, when used to a due extent, become poisons, and hence tobacco
holds a very high rank in toxicology. A thousand experiments, as well as
accidents, show that it is a most deadly poison.[60] It has also been
called a counterpoison, but those who have asserted this have been
contradicted by numerous writers. Dr. Rush affirms that repeated
experience in Philadelphia has proved, that it is equally ineffectual in
preserving those who use it from the influenza and yellow fever. In the
plague, it was said to be useful, but what has been advanced on this
subject is now shown to be without much foundation. Still it may be said
of tobacco, that though it does not contain any specific antidote to
contagion, or possess antiseptic properties, it may nevertheless, as a
powerful narcotic, by diminishing the sensibility of the system, render
it less liable to contagion. It also moderates anxiety and fear, which
we are told quicken the activity of contagion. "Thus," says Cullen, "the
antiloimic powers of tobacco are upon the same footing with wine,
brandy, and opium."[61]

Dr. Fowler has written a treatise upon the effects of tobacco in the
cure of dropsies and dysuries. The Doctor seemed determined to discover
virtue in this plant, because he tells us in his preface, that he was
nowise discouraged in his inquiries into the medicinal effects of
tobacco, although the generality of writers on the materia medica have
spoken of it with great caution and reserve, and for the most part have
declared it either _obsolete_, or so _uncertain_, _violent_, and
_deleterious_ in its effects, as to render its exhibition _unadvisable_.
Dr. Cullen says that he employed tobacco in various cases of dropsy, but
with very little success.[62] Even those who advocate the medicinal use
of tobacco, admit that it is one of those violent remedies, which
nothing but the most skilful management can render beneficial; such as
arsenic, prussic acid, and many other deadly poisons, which, if
cautiously and properly administered, become excellent medicines. Thus
the liniment of tobacco, which has formerly been called one of the best
in the dispensatory, is said, in a case mentioned by Mr. Murray, to have
caused the deaths of three children, who expired within twenty-four
hours in convulsions, in consequence of its application for scald head.
Innumerable instances are given of its deleterious effects, even when
used medicinally, and with the greatest caution. In some cases it has
entirely failed to give the anticipated relief, and in others been
followed by the most deplorable consequences. We believe, however, that
eminent practitioners still continue to employ it, and find it
serviceable in some diseases. We have indeed heard it remarked, by a
distinguished physician, that much of the medicinal effect which might
otherwise be derived from tobacco, is often lost by the habitual use of
the article, which renders the system less sensible to its influence.

As a vulnerary, tobacco was used by the Indians, and physicians say that
it promotes the cicatrization and healing of inveterate ulcers. It has
been used in most cutaneous disorders, and its smoke has been considered
useful in rheumatisms, gout, chronic pains, &c.; but in all these cases
its virtue has also been denied, or it has been asserted that many other
medicines possess more certain efficacy. As an emetic it is considered
dangerous, being extremely violent, and succeeded by too much distress
and sickness. That it has been found useful in destroying insects, and
in preserving old clothes laid by against the inroads of vermin, there
can be no doubt; but on the mosquito and fly, two pests to whose cruel
torments we are most exposed, it will be within the painful remembrance
of many of our readers, that no quantity of tobacco smoke appears to
have the least effect.

Even though we admitted and could prove tobacco to be a useful medicine,
still this fact would afford no argument in favour of its habitual use
in a state of health. On the contrary, it would be the very reason for
its non-use; for the habitual use will in time weaken and destroy its
medicinal powers. Many, after finding or fancying relief from its
occasional, have fallen into its habitual use, and the remedy has thus
virtually proved worse than the disease. Besides, by this course,
persons take away the hope of future benefit from the application, in
case of a recurrence of their disorder.

That this habit is entirely unevangelical, Dr. Clarke attempts to show
with much zeal. Let those who profess to renounce the lusts of the flesh
read his tract, and determine, conscientiously, how far his arguments
are worthy of attention. That the devout "roll this sin as a sweet
morsel under the tongue," is fully evinced by every day's experience;
and the following anecdote from Dr. Clarke forms a good illustration of
this text.

     "An eminent physician," says he, "gave me the following
     account:--'When I was at L----, in the year 1789, a certain
     religious people at one of their annual meetings made a rule,
     or rather revived one which had been long before made and
     established among them by their venerable founder, but had been
     in a great measure lost sight of, viz.--That no minister in
     their connexion should use snuff or tobacco, unless prescribed
     by a physician. This rule at once showed their prudence and
     good sense. Towards the conclusion of the meeting, having
     offered my assistance to as many as stood in need of medical
     help, several of them consulted me on the subject of taking
     tobacco in one form or other; and with very little variation
     their mode of address was as follows:--'Doctor, I am troubled
     frequently with such a complaint, (naming it,) I take tobacco,
     and have found great benefit from the use of it; I am sure were
     I to give it up I should be very ill indeed; and I am certain
     that you are too wise and too skilful a man to desire me to
     discontinue a practice which has been so beneficial to me.'
     After such an address what could I say? It was spoken with
     serious concern, and was properly _argumentum ad hominem_: I
     knew they were sincere, but I knew also they were deceived:
     however, to the major part of them I ventured to speak thus:
     'gentlemen, you certainly do me honour in the confidence you
     repose in my skill, but you have brought me into a dilemma from
     which I cannot easily extricate myself; as I find I must either
     say as you say on the subject, or else renounce all pretensions
     to wisdom and medical skill. However, I cannot in conscience
     and honour prescribe to you the continued use of a thing which
     I know does many of you immense hurt.'"

But the anti-christian nature of this habit is placed in a very strong
light, in a curious passage, by Dr. Rush.[63] "What reception," says he,
"may we suppose, would the apostles have met with, had they carried into
the cities and houses to which they were sent, snuff-boxes, pipes,
segars, and bundles of cut, or rolls of hog, or pigtail tobacco?"

The effects of tobacco upon the morals have been often animadverted
upon, and in no particular more frequently, and with greater emphasis,
than in its obvious tendency to promote temulency. Charlevoix intimates
the near connexion which exists between intemperance and smoking, when
he assures us, that amongst many nations, to smoke out of the same pipe
in token of alliance, is the same thing as to drink out of the same

"Smoking and chewing tobacco," says Rush, "by rendering water and simple
liquors insipid to the taste, dispose very much to the stronger stimulus
of ardent spirits. The practice of smoking segars has, in every part of
our country, been more followed by a general use of brandy and water as
a common drink, more especially by that class of citizens who have not
been in the habit of drinking wine or malt liquors."[65] "One of the
greatest sots I ever knew," says the same author, "acquired a love for
ardent spirits by swallowing cuds of tobacco, which he did to escape
detection in the use of it; for he had contracted the habit of chewing,
contrary to the advice and commands of his father. He died of a dropsy
under my care, in the year 1780."[66] On this subject, a very late
writer is still more express. "We consider tobacco," says he, "closely
allied to intoxicating liquors, and its confirmed votaries as a species
of drunkards." Again. "I have observed that persons who are much
addicted to liquor, have an inordinate liking to tobacco in all its
different forms; and it is remarkable, that in the early stages of
ebriety, almost every man is desirous of having a pinch of snuff. This
last fact it is not easy to explain; but the former may be accounted for
by that incessant craving after excitement, which clings to the system
of the confirmed drunkard."[67]

The limits of our article will not allow us to embrace all the
considerations which belong to this subject, and which have been
bestowed upon it by various writers. We will therefore proceed to the
few remarks which we have to make upon the three chief modes of using
tobacco, viz., snuffing, smoking, and chewing. Catherine de Medicis, the
personage said to have prompted the horrible massacre of St.
Bartholomew's day at Paris, is commonly regarded as the inventress of
snuff-taking. In Russia and Persia the penalty of death was annexed to
the use of tobacco in every form except that of snuff. For this lighter
offence, the punishment was softened down to simple mutilation, no
greater severity being deemed necessary than that of cutting off the
nose. We doubt exceedingly whether either penalty would deter the
inveterate snuff-takers of the present day. Indeed, we are told
somewhere that it was very common among the Persians to expatriate
themselves, when they were no longer allowed to indulge in tobacco in
their native country. One of the first effects of snuff is to injure the
nerves of the nose, which are endowed with exquisite sensibility, and of
which an incredible number are spread over the inner membrane of the
nostrils. This membrane is lubricated by a secretion, which has a
tendency to preserve the sense. By the almost caustic acrimony of snuff,
the mucus is dried up, and the organ of smelling becomes perfectly
callous. The consequence is, that all the pleasure we are capable of
deriving from the olfactory organs, the _omnis copia narium_, as Horace
curiously terms it, is totally destroyed. Similar effects are also
produced upon the saliva, and hence it is that habitual snuff-takers are
often unable to speak with proper distinctness; and the sense of taste
for the same reason is very much obtunded. A snuffer may always be
distinguished by a certain nasal twang--an asthmatic wheezing--and a
sort of disagreeable noise in respiration, which is nearly allied to
incipient snoring. Snuff also frequently occasions fleshy excrescences
in the nose, which, in some instances, end in polypi. Individuals have
oftentimes a predisposition to cancer in little scirrhous
intumescencies, which, if kept easy and free from every thing of an
irritating character, will continue harmless, but which the use of snuff
sometimes frets into incurable ulcers and cancers. By the use of snuff,
tumours are also generated in the throat, which obstruct deglutition,
and even destroy life. Dr. Hill saw a female die of hunger, who could
swallow no nourishment because of a polypus which closed up the stomach,
the formation of which was attributed to the excessive use of snuff.
Some portion of the snuff will involuntarily find its way into the
stomach, where its pernicious properties soon manifest themselves, being
frequently followed by nausea, vomitings, loss of appetite, and impaired
digestion. The drain of the juices has a tendency to injure the muscles
of the face, to render them flaccid, to furrow and corrugate the skin,
and to give a gaunt, withered, and jaundiced appearance to "the human
face divine."

We are also informed that it embrowns the complexion, by withdrawing
those peculiar secretions which communicate the fine vermillion hue of
beauty. In our country, however, women do not abandon themselves to this
impure habit, till they are married, and have no farther desire to
please, or till they are somewhat _passées_, and find their faculties of
pleasing impaired. What a death-blow does snuffing give to all that
romance with which it is the interest of refined society to invest the
fair sex! How vulgar the thought "that a sneeze should interrupt a
sigh!"--How unpoetical is snuff! The most suitable verses which a lover
could address to a snuff-taking mistress, would be imitations of
Horace's lines to the Sorceress Canidia. What sylph would superintend
the conveyance of this dust to the nostrils of a belle? What Gnome would
not take a fiendish delight in hovering over a pipe-loving beauty?

"The only advantage," says Dr. Leake, "of taking snuff, is that of
sneezing, which, in sluggish phlegmatic habits, will give universal
concussion to the body, and promote a more free circulation of the
blood; but of this benefit snuff-takers are deprived, from being
familiar with its use." When the stimulus of snuff ceases to be
sufficient, recourse is immediately had to certain admixtures, by which
the necessary excitement is procured; thus pepper, euphorbium,
hellebore, and even pulverised glass, are made use of to give it
additional pungency. Snuffing is also a frequent cause of blindness.
Nature has appointed certain fluids to nourish and preserve the eye,
which, if withdrawn, cause the sight to become prematurely old, impaired
by weakness, and sometimes totally destroyed. We are also told that it
dries up and blackens the brain, and gives the stomach a yellow hue;[68]
that it injures the moral faculties, impairs the memory, and, indeed,
debilitates all the intellectual powers, and that it taints the breath
"with the rank odour of a tobacco cask." "We read in the Ephemerides des
Curieux de la Nature, that a person fell into a state of somnolency, and
died apoplectic, in consequence of having taken by the nose too great a
quantity of snuff."[69] In fine, snuffing is said to bring on
convulsions, promote pulmonary consumption, and to cause madness and
death! Napoleon is thought to have owed his death to a morbid state of
stomach, superinduced by snuffing to excess. Dr. Rush relates that Sir
John Pringle was afflicted with tremors in his hands, and had his memory
impaired by the use of snuff; when, on abandoning the habit, at the
instance of Dr. Franklin, he found his power of recollection restored,
and he recovered the use of his hands.[70]

When the habit of snuffing is once contracted, it becomes almost
impossible to divest ourselves of it. It becomes as necessary as food,
or any of those first wants of life "quibus negatis natura doleat." The
following story we translate from a French medical writer:--

     "I recollect, about twenty years since, while gathering simples
     one day in the Forest of Fontainebleau, I encountered a man
     stretched out upon the ground; I supposed him to be dead, when,
     upon approaching, he asked in a feeble voice if I had some
     snuff; on my replying in the negative, he sunk back
     immediately, almost in a state of insensibility. In this
     condition he remained till I brought a person who gave him
     several pinches, and he then informed us that he had commenced
     his journey that morning, supposing he had his snuff-box with
     him, but found very soon he had started without it; that he had
     travelled as long as he was able, till at last, overcome by
     distress, he found it impossible to proceed any farther, and
     without my timely succour he would have certainly

The consumption of time and great expense of this artificial habit,
almost surpass belief. "A man who takes a pinch of snuff every twenty
minutes," says Dr. Rush, "(which most habitual snuffers do), and snuffs
fifteen hours in four-and-twenty, (allowing him to consume not quite
half a minute every time he uses the box,) will waste about five whole
days of every year of his life in this useless and unwholesome practice.
But when we add to the profitable use to which this time might have been
applied, the expenses of tobacco, pipes, snuff, and spitting boxes--and
of the injuries which are done to the clothing, during a whole life, the
aggregate sum would probably amount to several hundred dollars. To a
labouring man this would be a decent portion for a son or daughter,
while the same sum saved by a man in affluent circumstances, would have
enabled him, by a contribution to a public charity, to have lessened a
large portion of the ignorance or misery of mankind." But Lord Stanhope
makes a far more liberal estimate than Dr. Rush; "Every professed,
inveterate, and incurable snuff-taker," says he, "at a moderate
computation, takes one pinch in ten minutes. Every pinch, with the
agreeable ceremony of blowing and wiping the nose, and other incidental
circumstances, consumes a minute and a half. One minute and a half out
of every ten, allowing sixteen hours to a snuff-taking day, amounts to
two hours and twenty-four minutes out of every natural day, or one day
of every ten. One day out of ten amounts to thirty six days and a half
in a year. Hence, if we suppose the practice to be persisted in forty
years, two entire years of the snuff-taker's life will be devoted to
tickling his nose, and two more to blowing it." The same author proposes
in a subsequent essay to show, that from the expense of snuff,
snuff-boxes, and handkerchiefs, a fund might be formed to pay off the
English National debt!

The subject of snuffing having employed more of our time than we
anticipated, the two following heads of smoking and chewing will be more
briefly noticed. On the subject of smoking, Mr. Beloe has preserved the
following old epigram.[72]

    "We buy the dryest wood that we can finde,
    And willingly would leave the smoke behinde:
    But in tobacco a thwart course we take
    Buying the herb only for the smoke's sake."

Smoking was the earliest mode of using tobacco,[73] (as might be
inferred from the epigram) and for a long time the only mode in which it
was used in Europe. Certainly in our day it is the most general, and at
the same time the most expensive, and although several rivals contend
with Sir Walter Ralegh for the praise of having introduced tobacco into
England, yet the "bright honour" of having taught his countrymen to
imitate the Indians, in this particular, he "wears without corrival."
Almost all the arguments which have been employed against the use of
tobacco as a sternutatory, are more or less applicable to it when used
in the way of fumigation.[74] Good old Cotton Mather, who was fully
aware of the disadvantages as well as sinfulness of this habit,
deprecates it with a qualification at which it is impossible to repress
a smile. It savours so much of "beating the Devil round a bush." Thus he
says--"May God preserve me from the indecent, ignoble, criminal slavery,
to the mean delight of smoking a weed, which I see so many carried away
with. And _if_ ever I should smoke it, let me be so wise as to do it,
not only with moderation, but also with such employment of my mind, as I
may make that action afford me a leisure for!"[75]

The effects of smoking on the breath, clothes, hair, and indeed the
whole body, are most offensive. What is more overpowering than the stale
smell remaining in a room where several persons have been smoking? When
the practice is carried to excess, it causes the gums to become lax and
flabby, and to recede from the discoloured teeth, which appear long,
unsightly, and at length drop out. Dr. Rush, in his "Account of the life
and death of Edward Drinker," tells us that that individual lost all his
teeth by drawing the hot smoke of tobacco into his mouth. By the waste
of saliva, and the narcotic power of tobacco, the digestive powers are
impaired, and "every kind of dyspeptic symptoms," says Cullen, "are
produced."[76] King James does not forget to note this habit as a breach
of good manners. "It is a great vanitie and uncleannesse," says he,
"that at the table, a place of respect, of cleanlinesse, of modestie,
men should not be ashamed to sit tossing pipes, and puffing of the smoke
of tobacco one to another, making the filthy smoke and stinke thereof to
exhale athwart the dishes and infect the aire, when very often men that
abhorre it, are at their repast."

We come now to the subject of chewing. Whether the rock goat, the filthy
animal to which we have before adverted, or the tobacco worm, first
taught imitative man to masticate tobacco, we are ignorant. One thing,
however, is most certain, that of all modes of using it, chewing seems
most vulgar and ungentlemanlike, and it is worthy of particular remark,
that in our country it is more used in this manner, among the better
class of society, than in any other part of the world.[77] All the worst
effects which have been ascribed to it in the two former modes of using
it, are, with increased severity, imputed to chewing. But tobacco used
in this form is said to diminish hunger. "We have been told," says Dr.
Leake, "that tobacco, when chewed, is a preservative against hunger; but
this is a vulgar error, for in reality it may more properly be said to
destroy appetite by the profuse discharge of saliva, which is a powerful
dissolving fluid, essential both to appetite and digestion." In the use
of the quid, or cud, accidents sometimes happen from swallowing
portions, which must needs be very hurtful. Chewers are often taken by
surprise, and rather than be detected in the unclean practice, they
will, with Spartan fortitude, endure the horrible agonies of swallowing
the juice, and sometimes even the quid itself. But we must close our
remarks upon this vile habit, which we do by the following quotation
from a French writer. "Quant a la coutume de chiquer le tabac, elle est
bornée, je crois, à un petit nombre d'individus grossiers, et le plus
souvent voués a des habitudes crapuleuses, du moins si j'en juge par
ceux que j'y vois livrés." We take the liberty of referring tobacco
chewers to Dr. Clark's treatise, (p. 24,) for a quotation he makes from
Simon Paulli, physician to the King of Denmark, who wrote a treatise on
the danger of using this herb, and also to a note at the foot of the
page, both which we are unwilling to repeat.

We are almost prepared to assert, that there is scarcely a conceivable
mode of applying tobacco to the human body, which has not been thought
of and practised. In former times, it was used by the oculists. Howell
says "that it is good to fortify and preserve the sight, the smoak being
let in round about the balls once a week, &c." We have even known snuff
to be blown into the eyes to cure inflammation. This latter remedy
should be somewhat perilous, if what Sauvages relates be true, that a
female was thrown into a catalepsy by a small portion of snuff which had
accidentally entered her eye. The Rev. S. Wesley, speaking of the abuse
of tobacco, intimates an apprehension that the human ear will not long
remain exempted from its application.

    "To such a height with some is fashion grown,
    They feed their very nostrils with a spoon,[78]
    One, and but one degree is wanting yet,
    To make their senseless luxury complete;
    Some choice regale, useless as snuff and dear,
    To feed the mazy windings of the ear."

Now, as a medicine, at least, it has been used for the ear; for Sir Hans
Sloan positively affirms that the "oyl or juice dropped into the ear is
good against deafness."[79] Another mode of using tobacco, and not very
common we hope, is what is called plugging, that is, thrusting long
pellets or rolls of tobacco up the nose, and keeping them there during
the night. As a dentifrice it is used in many parts of the world. We
have had an opportunity of witnessing this fact in various parts of
South America, but especially in Brazil, where respectable women do not
scruple openly to use tobacco for this purpose. We have known several
very respectable individuals of both sexes in our own country, who use
snuff as a tooth powder, and with them its employment was just as much a
habit as any other mode of using tobacco. These have been generally West
Indians, or persons who have resided much in the West India islands. In
some of our southern states, tobacco is much used among the ladies as a
dentifrice. Indeed there appears to prevail generally, a very strong
opinion, that it is an excellent preservative of the teeth, which is
certainly an error; though we think it probable that the stimulus of
tobacco, to those who use it in excess, may become in a certain degree
necessary to their preservation.

Tobacco is truly a leveller. It equalizes the monarch and the hind, and
is acceptable to the sage as well as the sailor. "Its smoke," says
Thomson, "rising in clouds from the idolatrous altar of the native
Mexican, opened the world of spirits to his delirious imagination,"
while it has "even assisted in extending the boundaries of intellect, by
aiding the contemplations of the Christian philosopher." If we advert
to the irrefragable proofs of the virulent properties of this plant, and
the various arguments which have been urged against its habitual use, we
cannot fail to be struck with the extraordinary fact, that so large a
portion of mankind should voluntarily struggle through its repugnant
qualities, both of taste and effect, until by habit its stimulus grows
pleasurable, and the system becomes mithridated against its poison! It
would almost seem as if the use of some substance of this class were
necessary to the intellectual and physical economy of man, since no
nation nor age, of which we have any account, has been found without. Of
the various masticatories which have been in general use, if we except
opium, tobacco is unquestionably the most pernicious. Although its
moderate use may not shorten life, or prove perceptibly hurtful to
health, yet its excessive employment certainly generates many formidable
disorders, particularly of the nerves and stomach, and subjects its
votary to innumerable inconveniences and sufferings. Our space will not
permit us to expatiate any further; and we shall therefore conclude our
article by relating from Rush a very interesting anecdote of Dr.
Franklin, which places the common-sense view of this matter in the
strongest possible light. _A few months before Franklin's death, he
declared to one of his friends, that he had never used tobacco in the
course of his long life, and that he was disposed to believe there was
not much advantage to be derived from it, for that he had never known a
man who used it, who advised him to follow his example._


[16] Epistolæ Hoelianæ, p. 405.

[17] Critical and Historical Dictionary, article Thorius.

[18] Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, fol. p. 235.

[19] King James's Works, fol. p. 214.

[20] Hist. North America, vol. i. p. 322.--See also Hennepin's Voyages,
p. 93 et seq.

[21] Stith's Hist. of Virginia, p. 19.

[22] Sloan's Nat. Hist. Jamaica, vol. i. p. 147.

[23] This hiatus we are in some measure able to supply from a note in
the Appendix to Mrs. Thomson's Life of Ralegh, (Note B. Notices
concerning Tobacco by Dr. Thomson,) p. 458. "In the Mexican or Aztuk
tongue, it is called _yetle_; in Algonkin, _sema_; in the Huron,
_ayougoua_; in the Peruvian, it is _sayri_; in Chiquito, _pais_; in
Vilela, _tusup_; Albaja, _nalodagadi_; Moxo, _sabare_; Omagua, _potema_;
Tumanac, _cavai_; Mayhure, _jema_; and in the Cabre, _sena_. The other
synonymes are, _tabac_, in French; _tabak_, in German, Dutch, and
Polish; _tobak_, in Swedish and Danish; _tobaco_, Spanish and
Portuguese; and _tobacco_ in the Italian. In the Oriental languages,--it
is _tambacu_, in Hindostanee; _tamracutta_, in Sanscrit; _pogheielly_,
in Tamool; _tambracco_, in the Malay tongue; _tambracco_, in Javanese;
_doorkoole_, in Cingalese; and _bujjerhony_, in Arabic."

[24] Nat. Hist. Jam. vol. i. p. 147.

[25] Dr. Tobias Venner, in his "Treatise of Tobacco," at the end of his
curious old work, entitled, "Via recta ad longam vitam," says
humorously, that petum is the "fittest name that both we and other
nations may call it by, deriving it of peto, for it is far-fetched and
much desired." p. 386.

[26] This Harriot, or Herriot, was a distinguished mathematician, and
the instructer of Ralegh, in whom both himself and the celebrated
Richard Hakluyt, the industrious and indefatigable compiler of voyages,
found a liberal friend and patron.--Mrs. A. T. Thomson's Life of Sir W.
Ralegh, pp. 46 and 48.

[27] Stith, p. 17.

[28] "Le Cardinal de Sainte Croix, nonce en Portugal, et Nicholas
Tornabon, legat en France, l'introduisent en Italie ou elle reçut les
noms d'herbe de Sainte Croix, et de Tornabonne; elle a encore porté
d'autres noms fondés sur des proprietés vraies ou supposées, ou sur la
haute idée qu'on avait de ses vertus: c'est ainsi qu'on l'a appelée
Buglose ou Panacée Antarctique, Herbe Sainte ou Sacrée, Herbe a tous
maux, Jusquiame du Peron," &c. &c. Dictionnaire des Sciences Medicales,
Art. Tabac, par Mons. Merat.

[29] Article Santa Croce, where they are attributed to Victor Duranti.

[30] M. Merat ut supra.

[31] Jefferson's Notes on Virginia, p. 62.

[32] Robertson's Hist. of America, vol. iv. p. 97.

[33] It is said that Ralegh used to give smoking parties at his house,
where his guests were treated with nothing but a pipe, a mug of ale, and
a nutmeg.--Thomson's Life of Ralegh, p. 471.

[34] Ralph Lane was lieutenant of the fleet of Sir Richard Grenville,
which had been sent to Virginia by Sir Walter Ralegh, in 1585, where he
was made governor.--Hakluyt's Voyages, vol. iii. p. 251.

[35] Camden has the following passage: "Et hi reduces," speaking of
those survivers who were carried home by Drake, "Indicam illam plantam,
quam tabaccam vocant et nicotiam, qua contra cruditates, ab Indis
edocti, usi erant, in Angliam primi quod sciam, intulerunt. Ex illo sane
tempore usu coepit esse creberrimo, et magno pretio, dum quamplurimi
graveolentem illius fumum, alii lascivientes, alii valetudini
consulentes, per tubulum testaceum inexplebili aviditate passim hauriunt
et mox e naribus efflant; adeo ut tabernæ tabacanæ non minus quam
cervisiariæ et vinariæ," beer-houses and grog-shops, we presume, "passim
per oppida habeantur. Ut Anglorum corpora (quod salse ille dixit) qui
hac planta tantopere delectantur in barbarorum naturam degenerasse
videantur; cum iisdem quibus barbari delectentur et sanari se posse
credant."--Camdeni Ann. Rer. Anglican. p. 415.

[36] These valuables are thus described in a note to Cayley's Life of
Sir Walter Ralegh, vol. i. p. 81. "Among Thoresby's artificial
curiosities, we have Sir W. Ralegh's tobacco-box, as it was called, but
is rather the case for the glass wherein it was preserved, which was
surrounded with small wax candles of various colours. This is of gilded
leather, like a muff-case, about half a foot broad and thirteen inches
high, and hath cases for sixteen pipes in it.--Ducatus Leodensis, fol.
1715, p. 485."

[37] Ralegh is believed to have introduced the culture of the potato, as
well as tobacco, into Ireland. The latter on his own estate at Youghal,
in the county of Cork.

[38] Universal Geography, vol. iii. p. 223.

[39] Appendix, p. 466.

[40] King James's Works, fol. from page 214 to 222.

[41] Naturall and Morall Historie of the Indies, p. 289.

[42] Silva Silvarum--Lassitude.

[43] History of life and death. Lord Bacon's Works, vol. iii. p. 377.

[44] Howell's Epist. Hoel. or Familiar Letters, p. 405.

[45] In the TEXNODAMIA or Marriage of the Arts, by Barten Holiday, 1680,
there is a singular poem on the subject of Tobacco, where, in successive
stanzas, if is compared to a musician, a lawyer, a physician, a
traveller, a crittike, an ignis fatuus, and a whyffler. Beloe's
Sketches, vol. ii. p. 10.

[46] Notes on Virginia, pp. 278, 279.

[47] Davies' Hist. of the Carriby Islands, fol. p. 192.

[48] Ramazzini also says that the breath of those who labour at tobacco
is intolerably offensive, "efficit, ut tabacariarum semper foeteant

[49] "Tanta enim ex illâ tritura partium tenuim," says Ramazzini,
"æstate præsertim, diffunditur exhalatio, ut tota vicinia tabaci odorem,
non sine querimonia, et nausea persentiat."

[50] Puellam hebræam novi, quæ tota die explicandas placentas istas ex
tabaco incumbens, magnum ad vomitum irritamentum sentiebat, et
frequenter alvi subductiones patiebatur, mihique narrabat, vasa
hemorroidalia multum sanguinis profudisse, cum super placentas illas

[51] Tourtel, in his Elémens d'Hygiène tom. ii. p. 410, assures us it is
very dangerous to sleep in tobacco magazines. He cites an observation of
Buchoz, who says that a little girl, five years old, was seized with
frightful vomitings, and expired in a very short time from this sole

[52] This memoir is entitled "Influence du tabac sur la santé des
ouvriers," and is published in the "Annales d'hygiène publique et de
medecine legale," first volume, April, 1829--p. 169.

[53] Mather's Christian Philosopher, p. 128.

[54] M. Merat.

[55] Rush's Essays, p. 261.

[56] Flore Medicale, tom. six. p. 205.

[57] Journey from Constantinople to England, p. 4.

[58] Dictionnaire des Sciences Medicales. Art. Tabac.

[59] Essays, p. 267.

[60] Brodie, Macartney, &c. See also Nancrede's Orfila, p. 289.

[61] Materia Medica, vol. ii. p. 197.

[62] Mat. Med. vol. ii. p. 198.

[63] Essays, p. 271.

[64] Hist. N. America, vol. i. p. 322.

[65] Rush's Works, vol. i. p. 167.

[66] Essays, p. 270.

[67] Macnish's Anatomy of Drunkenness, p. 83.

[68] "Qu'on ne pense pas, malgré l'usage immense et presque general du
tabac, qu'il n'y ait aucun inconvenient a s'en servir. Les auteurs
rapportent des faits qui prouvent le contraire, et sans ajouter foi a ce
que raconte Borrichius (dans un lettre ecrite a Bartholin) d'une
personne qui s'etait tellement desséché le cerveau a force de prendre du
tabac, qu'aprés sa mort, on ne lui trouva dans le crâne, au lieu
d'encephale, qu'un petit grumeau noir; ni meme à ce que dit Simon Pauli,
que ceux qui fument trop de tabac ont le cerveau et la crâne tout noirs,
nonplus qu'a l'assertion de Van Helmont qui a vu, affirme-t-il, un
estomac teint enjaune par la vapeur du tabac; tout le monde sait qu'il
affaiblit l'odorat par suite de ses irritations répétées sur la membrane
olfactive, qu'il nuit a l'integrité du gout, parce qu'il en passe
toujours un peu dans la bouche et jusque sur la langue. Ce que l'on
n'ignore pas nonplus c'est qu'il dérange la memoire, la rends moins
nette, moins entière; il produit de plus des vertiges, des céphalées et
meme l'apoplexie."--_Dictionnaire des Sciences Medicales, art. Tabac._

[69] Orfila's Toxicology, p. 291.

[70] Essays, p. 265.

[71] M. Merat.

[72] Sketches of Literature and Scarce books, vol. ii. p. 130.

[73] Mr. Brodigan, in his treatise on the tobacco plant, quotes
Herodotus, Strabo, Pomponius Mela, and Solinus, to prove that _tobacco_
was smoked in very ancient times, but the passages merely go to show
that the smoking of _herbs_ was common.

[74] Venner gives ten precepts on the manner in which tobacco is to be
used, and afterwards summarily rehearses the consequences to all who use
it contrary to the order and way he sets down; viz. that "it drieth the
brain, dimmeth the sight, vitiateth the smell, dulleth and dejecteth
both the appitite and stomach, destroyeth the concoction, disturbeth the
humours and spirits, corrupteth the breath, induceth a trembling of the
limbs, exsiccateth the wind-pipe, lungs, and liver, annoyeth the milt,
scorcheth the heart, and causeth the blood to be adusted. Moreover it
eliquateth the pinguie substance of the kidneys, and absumeth the
geniture. In a word, it overthroweth the spirits, perverteth the
understanding, and confoundeth the sences with a sudden astonishment and
stupiditie of the whole body." Via recta ad longam vitam. p. 404.

[75] Christian Philosopher, p. 136.

[76] Materia Medica, vol. ii. p. 196.

[77] In many parts of Europe it is almost impossible for a tobacco
chewer to be regarded as a gentleman.

[78] The fashionable snuff-taker was formerly accustomed to dip up the
snuff with a little spoon or ladle, "which ever and anon he gave his

[79] Natural Hist. Jam. vol. i. p. 147.

ART. VII.--_Voyages and Discoveries of the Companions of Columbus._ By
WASHINGTON IRVING: Philadelphia: Carey & Lea: 1831.

When we noticed, three years since, a former production of Mr. Irving,
we took occasion to express an opinion of its merits, which has been
fully confirmed. No work of the present era appears to have afforded
more general and unmingled gratification to its readers, than his Life
of Columbus; and he has received, in the approbation, not only of his
own countrymen, but of Europeans, the most gratifying reward an author
can desire. The fame which he had acquired, and that most justly, by the
happy works of fiction in which he was introduced to the public, is now
changed into one of higher character; and he becomes entitled to take
his stand among those writers who have done more than amuse the fancy,
or even gratify the heart. He is to be classed with the historians of
great events; for if the period of which he has treated is limited, or
the persons whose actions he has described are not numerous, yet the one
included within it, short as it was, circumstances that have produced an
effect which long ages have not always surpassed in importance or
wonderful consequences; and the others embrace individuals whose actions
have more deeply affected the human race than many of the revolutions of
great and populous nations.

Having these feelings in regard to the former work of Mr. Irving, we
open the present volume with mingled apprehension and pleasure. We
rejoice that we are to follow again the same guide in adventurous
voyages among the clustering Antilles; but we almost fear that the
narrative may want much of that interest, novelty, and beauty, which
make the story of Columbus among the most attractive ever recorded. The
followers of the Admiral were, it is true, brave, adventurous, gallant
men; the skies beneath which they sailed were as blue, clear, and
tranquil as when he first admired their delightful serenity; the islands
they visited were as flowery and as fertile as when they first blessed
the sight of the enterprising sailor; if the iron hand of Christian
civilization had, here and there, broken down the gentle and benevolent
spirit of the naked beings who wandered through a life of inglorious
bliss, in their remote and peaceful regions, there were yet haunts
undiscovered where they might roam in undisturbed security--there were
yet bays over which they might dart unobstructed their light
canoes--green and shady forests beneath which they might chant their
songs, and rich valleys not yet searched for gold. But yet with all
this, he, the master spirit, is no longer among the voyagers. There is
no longer the novelty of a vast discovery. The way has been opened by
the daring pioneer, and we are now only to follow in the plain track his
genius conceived, discovered, and marked out. We can merely watch the
footsteps of those who followed the triumphal chariot; the hero of the
ovation has already passed along, and our eyes are still dazzled with
his splendour--our minds are still filled with admiration of his genius,
his enterprise, his undaunted and noble spirit. We are to turn from
those loftier efforts of human intellect and perseverance, which mark,
now and then, a human being, as a beacon in the midst of his fellow men,
to the more common, though it is true, the bold and spirited adventures
which attend the fortunes of many in the career of life. The story of
these adventures is indeed full of interest, but it is an interest less
in degree; and we can no more venture to compare it with that which
attends the actions and fortunes of him who seeks and finds a new world,
than we can compare the patient inquirer, who nightly searches through
his telescope for new stars in the vast firmament, with him who
proclaimed and proved the theory of the universe--than we can see in
every military exploit of Parmenio and Seleucus, the master spirit that
planned and effected the subjugation of the world.

Yet the pen which has described with so much felicity the life of
Columbus, cannot fail to impart great attraction to an account of those
who followed in the career they had commenced with him; who were
emboldened by the energy they had witnessed, and the success in which
they had partaken; and who completed the discovery of those regions,
which he was permitted scarcely to see, and of whose vast extent he had
no conception. While they were yet his associates, these voyagers had
become acquainted with the pearl fisheries of Paria and Cubaga; they
learned to believe that they had approached the confines of the golden
regions of the east, described by the ancients in glowing colours; and
they had heard something of a vast ocean to the south, in which they
expected to find the oriental islands of spice and perfumes. All that
they thus collected from tradition or partial observation, they
treasured up to form the groundwork of schemes for future adventures,
which they might pursue for the purposes of individual gain, or from
motives of individual ambition, when no longer sailing under the ensign
of their great commander. The more selfish objects of these exploits,
their want of connexion with the lofty views that inspired Columbus, the
comparatively small scale on which they were conducted, gave to them a
sort of daring and chivalrous character, which much resembles the
warfare of the predatory nobles of Europe during the middle ages. While
they were as far removed from the treacherous rapine of the buccaneers,
as the inroads of the armed bands of knights were from the secret
attacks of the robber and assassin; they were yet the offspring of
personal interest, and were distinguished by innumerable incidents of
personal valour. They offered new fields where the burning desire for
romantic achievement might be gratified; and the old spirit of Castile,
which no longer found scope among the fastnesses of Andalusia, or the
rich valleys of Granada, was delighted to embark on the waves of an
ocean scarcely known, and to seek beyond it wealth and glory in golden
regions, of which the discovery had already made one man the object of
unmingled admiration and applause.

Of these voyagers, the first to whom Mr. Irving directs our attention is
_Alonzo de Ojeda_--a man whose daring exploits, enterprising spirit, and
headlong valour, cannot be forgotten by those who have already read the
History of Columbus. He was his companion in the second voyage, and, it
may be remembered, attracted the admiration of the bold cacique Caonabo,
who paid that reverence to his undaunted prowess, which he refused to
the superior rank of Columbus. Whether his restless and ambitious spirit
could not bear the control of a superior, or whether he had formed,
during the voyage he had made, some plan of individual enterprise, he
did not accompany the admiral in his subsequent expeditions. He could
not, however, long endure the irksome life of a courtier; and he could
less bear to hear, without desiring to partake of the discoveries which
were announced by every returning vessel, of new coasts and islands,
abounding with drugs, spices, precious stones, and pearls, said to
surpass in size and clearness those gathered in the East. Through the
influence of a relative, he obtained the patronage of the bishop Don
Juan Rodriguez Fonseca, who had the chief management of the affairs of
the Indies, and was permitted to fit out an expedition to visit any
territories in the new world, except such as appertained to Portugal, or
such as had been discovered in the name of Spain previous to the year
1495. The latter part of the exception being craftily intended to leave
open to him the coast and pearl fisheries of Paria, notwithstanding the
rights reserved to Columbus. Destitute of wealth, the young adventurer
contrived, by his reputation for boldness and enterprise, and by his
confident promises of rich rewards, to obtain money from the merchants
of Seville. He united with him as associates, _Juan de la Cosa_, a hardy
veteran who had already navigated the new seas with the admiral, and
_Amerigo Vespucci_, who seems then to have been distinguished by little
but a roving disposition and a broken fortune, but who is now known from
the accident which has forever attached his name to the discoveries of

Ojeda sailed from Port St. Mary on the 20th of May 1499; he reached land
on the coast of Surinam; thence he steered along the shore of South
America, passed and beheld with wonder the mouths of the mighty rivers
that there flow into the Atlantic, and first landed among the natives on
the island of Trinidad. He then kept his course along the coast of Terra
Firma, until he arrived at Maracapana, where he unloaded and careened
his vessels, and built a small brigantine. He found the natives
hospitable and well disposed, but differing greatly in character from
the gentle and peaceful inhabitants of the islands within the gulf. They
were tall, well made, and vigorous; expert with the bow, the lance, and
the buckler, and ready for the wars in which they delighted to engage.
The martial spirit of Ojeda was soon roused, and he readily proffered
his aid to the savages, in an expedition against a hostile tribe of
cannibals, in a neighbouring island. As soon as his ships were refitted,
he attacked and defeated, with great slaughter, the savage warriors,
who, decorated with coronets of gaudy plumes, their bodies painted, and
armed with bows, arrows, and lances, gallantly met and resolutely fought
him on the beach. He then pursued his voyage along the coast, passed the
island of Curacoa, and penetrated into the deep gulf to the south. On
the eastern shore he found an Indian village which struck him with
surprise. The houses were built on piles, and the communication was
carried on in canoes. From these resemblances to the Italian city, he
called it Venezuela, or little Venice, a name it still bears, and which
is now extended to the bay and the province around. The natives made a
treacherous attack on Ojeda, but manning his boats, the gallant Spaniard
charged among the thickest of the enemy, and soon drove them to the
shore, whence they fled into the woods. Not desiring to cause useless
irritation, he continued his voyage as far as the port of Maracaibo,
which still retains its Indian name. In the territory beyond, called
Coquibacoa, he found a gentler race of inhabitants, who received the
Spaniards with delight, and solicited them to visit their towns.

     "Ojeda, in compliance with their entreaties, sent a detachment
     of twenty-seven Spaniards on a visit to the interior. For nine
     days they were conducted from town to town, and feasted and
     almost idolized by the Indians, who regarded them as angelic
     beings, performing their national dances and games, and
     chanting their traditional ballads for their entertainment.

     "The natives of this part were distinguished for the symmetry
     of their forms; the females in particular appeared to the
     Spaniards to surpass all others that they had yet beheld in the
     new world for grace and beauty; neither did the men evince, in
     the least degree, that jealousy which prevailed in other parts
     of the coast.

     "By the time the Spaniards set out on their return to the ship,
     the whole country was aroused, pouring forth its population,
     male and female, to do them honour. Some bore them in litters
     or hammocks, that they might not be fatigued with the journey,
     and happy was the Indian who had the honour of bearing a
     Spaniard on his shoulders across a river. Others loaded
     themselves with the presents that had been bestowed on their
     guests, consisting of rich plumes, weapons of various kinds,
     and tropical birds and animals. In this way they returned in
     triumphant procession to the ships, the woods and shores
     resounding with their songs and shouts.

     "Many of the Indians crowded into the boats that took the
     detachment to the ships; others put off in canoes, or swam from
     shore, so that in a little while the vessels were thronged with
     upwards of a thousand wondering natives. While gazing and
     marvelling at the strange objects around them, Ojeda ordered
     the cannon to be discharged, at the sound of which, says
     Vespucci, the Indians 'plunged into the water like so many
     frogs from a bank.' Perceiving, however, that it was done in
     harmless mirth, they returned on board, and passed the rest of
     the day in great festivity. The Spaniards brought away with
     them several of the beautiful and hospitable females from this
     place, one of whom, named by them Isabel, was much prized by
     Ojeda, and accompanied him in a subsequent voyage."

Leaving these friendly Indians, Ojeda pursued his way along the coast to
the westward, until he reached cape de la Vela. During his long voyage
he had been disappointed in finding the ready treasures of gold and
pearls which he had expected, and now, wearied with his fruitless
efforts, and embarrassed by the crazy state of his vessels, he resolved
reluctantly to return to Spain. On his way, he stopped, in spite of the
clause in his commission, at Hispaniola, to cut dye-wood, but was
prevented by the governor, and obliged to set sail. He then cruised
among the islands, and seizing the natives, carried them home to sell
for slaves. He reached Cadiz in June, 1500, but so unproductive was his
expedition, that it is said, after the expenses were paid, but five
hundred ducats remained to be divided among fifty-five adventurers.

The private enterprise of Ojeda did not fail to excite the same spirit
among other followers of Columbus, who remained in Spain. He had been
scarcely a month gone, before _Pedro Alonzo Niño_, who had been the
pilot of the admiral on his first voyage, set out from Palos with
_Christoval Guerra_, the brother of a Sevillian merchant who supplied
the outfit. The vessel of these bold adventurers was but a bark of fifty
tons, the crew but thirty-three men--yet with the daring spirit of the
Spanish sailors of those days, they embarked fearlessly and joyfully to
explore barbarous shores and unknown seas. Reaching the coasts of Paria
and Cumana, they carried on for some time a profitable commerce with the
natives, from whom they obtained pearls and gold in exchange for glass
beads and other trinkets; but falling in at length with tribes less
peaceful, and not, like Ojeda, enjoying warlike renown as much as
profitable traffic, they returned to Spain after an absence of ten
months, and making fewer discoveries but more profit than had yet
resulted from any voyage across the Atlantic.

In the month of December of the same year, 1499, _Vicente, Yañez
Pinzon_, one of the three brave men of that family who aided Columbus in
his first voyage, but who had since remained in Spain, owing to the
difference that arose between his brother and the admiral, embarked with
two of his nephews, sons of Martin Alonzo, in an armament consisting of
four caravels, from the port of Palos, the cradle of American discovery.
Carried by a storm south of the equator, they were perplexed with the
new aspect of the heavens, and it was not till the 28th of January,
1500, that they were consoled by the sight of land. The headland they
saw, now known as cape St. Augustin, the most prominent point of Brazil,
they named Santa Maria de la Consolacion. They found the natives warlike
and inhospitable, treating with haughty contempt the hawks' bills and
trinkets which were exhibited to them; and Pinzon and his weary
messmates were fain to pursue their voyages, amid occasional conflicts
whenever they landed, along the shores that stretched to the north. He
discovered the mouth of the vast river of the Amazons, visited a number
of fresh and verdant islands lying within it, and thence passing the
gulf of Paria, made his way directly to Hispaniola. From there, sailing
to the Bahamas, he encountered a violent storm, and sustained so much
damage that he returned to Spain.

Scarcely had Pinzon sailed from Palos, when he was followed by his
townsman _Diego de Lepe_. Of his voyage, however, but little is known,
except that he doubled cape St. Augustin, and enjoyed for ten years the
reputation of having extended his discoveries farther south than any
other voyager.

In October following, soon after the return of Ojeda, a wealthy notary
of Seville, by name _Rodrigo de Bastides_, desirous of speculating in
the new El Dorado, engaged the services of the veteran pilot and
companion of Ojeda, Juan de la Cosa, and set out with two caravels in
quest of gold and pearls. They continued the discoveries along Terra
Firma, from cape de la Vela, where Ojeda had stopped, to the port
afterwards called Nombre de Dios; they treated the natives kindly, and
acquired rich cargoes; but unfortunately their vessels were cast away on
the coast of Hispaniola, and the crews were forced to travel on foot to
the city of St. Domingo, provided only with a small store of trinkets
and other articles of Indian traffic, with which to buy provisions on
the road. The moment Bastides made his appearance, he was seized as an
illicit trader by the governor Bobadilla, the oppressor and superseder
of Columbus, and sent for trial to Spain. He was there acquitted, and
his voyage was so lucrative, that he had considerable profit after all
his misfortunes.

The reports of these successive adventures were not heard by Ojeda, who
had continued to linger about the bishop of Fonseca, without reanimating
his bold spirit. He found numbers ready to listen to his wonderful
stories, and embark in his wild expeditions; he found others who desired
to increase their wealth, by aiding him with the means to renew them.
The king made him governor of the province of Coquibacoa, which he had
discovered; and in 1502 he again set sail, with four vessels well fitted
out. Arriving at his new government, he selected a bay which he named
Santa Cruz, but which is supposed to be that now called Bahia Honda, as
the site of a settlement, and commenced at once the erection of a
fortress. Before long, however, dissensions broke out between him and
some of his principal companions, which ended in his being seized by the
latter, accused as a defaulter to the crown of Spain, and thrown into
irons. The whole community then set sail with their former chief for St.
Domingo. They arrived at the island of Hispaniola, and while at anchor
within a stone's throw of the land, Ojeda, confident of his strength and
skill as a swimmer, let himself quietly down the side of the ship during
the night, and tried to gain the shore. His arms were free, but his feet
were shackled, and the weight of the irons threatened to sink him. He
was obliged to call for help; a boat was sent from the ship; and the
unfortunate governor, half drowned, was restored to captivity. He was
tried at San Domingo and condemned, but appealing to the sovereign, was
afterwards acquitted. The long litigation, however, exhausted his
fortune, and he again found himself a ruined man.

If ruined, however, he was yet in the vigour of his years, and his
spirit was undaunted. He still yearned for the gold of Terra Firma. All
he wanted was money to fit out an armament. In this difficulty he was
aided by an old and tried friend. Juan de la Cosa, the hardy pilot of
Columbus, and the companion of Ojeda in his first voyage, and
subsequently of Rodrigo de Bastides, had remained in Hispaniola, and
contrived to fill his purse in subsequent cruises among the islands. The
friends united together, and applied to the crown of Spain for a grant
of territory and command on Terra Firma. A similar application was made
about the same time by Diego de Nicuesa, an accomplished courtier of
noble birth.--

     "Nature, education, and habit, seemed to have combined to form
     Nicuesa as a complete rival of Ojeda. Like him he was small of
     stature, but remarkable for symmetry and compactness of form,
     and for bodily strength and activity; like him he was master at
     all kinds of weapons, and skilled, not merely in feats of
     agility, but in those graceful and chivalrous exercises, which
     the Spanish cavaliers of those days had inherited from the
     Moors; being noted for his vigour and address in the jousts or
     tilting matches after the Moresco fashion. Ojeda himself could
     not surpass him in feats of horsemanship, and particular
     mention is made of a favourite mare, which he could make caper
     and carricol in strict cadence to the sound of a viol; beside
     all this, he was versed in the legendary ballads or romances of
     his country, and was renowned as a capital performer on the
     guitar! Such were the qualifications of this candidate for a
     command in the wilderness, as enumerated by the reverend Bishop
     Las Casas. It is probable, however, that he had given evidence
     of qualities more adapted to the desired post; having already
     been out to Hispaniola in the military train of the late
     Governor Ovando."

King Ferdinand found some difficulty in deciding between the claims of
candidates whose merits were so singularly balanced; he ultimately
divided that part of the continent lying along the isthmus, and
extending from cape de la Vela to cape Gracias à Dios, into two
provinces, separated by the bay of Uraba, which is at the head of the
gulf of Darien. Of these provinces, the eastern was assigned to Ojeda,
the western to Nicuesa.

The armaments of the rival governors met in the port of St. Domingo. It
was not long before cause of collision arose between two men, both
possessed of such swelling spirits. They quarrelled about the boundaries
of their governments, and the province of Darien was boldly claimed by

     "Their disputes on these points ran so high, that the whole
     place resounded with them. In talking, however, Nicuesa had the
     advantage; having been brought up in the court, he was more
     polished and ceremonious, had greater self-command, and
     probably perplexed his rival governor in argument. Ojeda was no
     great casuist, but he was an excellent swordsman, and always
     ready to fight his way through any question of right or dignity
     which he could not clearly argue with the tongue; so he
     proposed to settle the dispute by single combat. Nicuesa,
     though equally brave, was more a man of the world, and saw the
     folly of such arbitrament. Secretly smiling at the heat of his
     antagonist, he proposed as a preliminary to the duel, and to
     furnish something worth fighting for, that each should deposit
     five thousand castillanos, to be the prize of the victor. This,
     as he foresaw, was a temporary check upon the fiery valour of
     his rival, who did not possess a pistole in his treasury; but
     probably was too proud to confess it."

How long the poverty of Ojeda could have kept down his fiery spirit, we
may doubt. Fortunately he had in his companion, the brave Juan de la
Cosa, a friend who could control him, as well as follow and support him.
Juan reconciled, at least for a time, the quarrel of the rival
governors, and it was agreed that the river Darien should be the
boundary of their provinces. Things being thus arranged, Ojeda was
anxious to set sail; he still, however, wanted pecuniary assistance to
complete his equipment; though careless of money himself, he seems to
have had a facility in commanding the purses of his neighbours; and on
this occasion he found, in a quarter, where perhaps he could scarce have
expected it, both personal and pecuniary aid. There lived at San
Domingo, the bachelor _Martin Fernandez de Enciso,_ a shrewd lawyer, who
had contrived to accumulate a considerable fortune by the litigation
which already flourished in the New World. He was dazzled by the visions
of unbounded wealth, he was promised the lofty office and title of
Alcalde Mayor, and in an evil hour the worthy bachelor united in the
enterprise of Ojeda, in search of fame and fortune. It was determined
that he should stay at St. Domingo till he could collect a larger store
of provisions and more men; and then follow his partner, who set sail
without delay. The armament of Nicuesa still remained in port; for that
gallant cavalier, notwithstanding his challenge to his rival, had
exhausted all the money he could raise; he was even threatened with a
prison; and it was not till some time after his rival had sailed, that
he was enabled by unexpected assistance to embark.

In the month of November 1509, Ojeda reached the harbour of Cartagena,
in his new province. In addition to Juan de la Cosa, he had as a
companion _Francisco Pizarro_, who afterwards conquered Peru. The
former, knowing from previous voyages the savage character of the
natives, advised Ojeda not to stop there, but to proceed to the bay of
Uraba. Such advice was useless to a proud warrior, who despised a naked
and a savage foe. Having failed to keep his commander from danger, the
faithful Juan could only stand by to aid him. Ojeda, who was a good
Catholic, thought that he performed a pious duty in reducing the savages
to the dominion of the king and the knowledge of the true faith. He
carried as a protecting relic a small painting of the Holy Virgin; he
summoned the Indians in the name of the Pope, and he assured them in
the most solemn terms that they were the lawful subjects of the
sovereigns of Castile.

     "On landing, he advanced towards the savages, and ordered the
     friars to read aloud a certain formula, which had recently been
     digested by profound jurists and divines in Spain. It began in
     stately form. 'I, Alonzo de Ojeda, servant of the most high and
     mighty sovereigns of Castile and Leon, conquerors of barbarous
     nations, their messenger and captain, do notify unto you, and
     make you know, in the best way I can, that God our Lord, one
     and eternal, created the heaven and the earth, and one man and
     one woman, from whom you and we, and all the people of the
     earth proceeded, and are descendants, as well as all those who
     shall come hereafter.' The formula then went on to declare the
     fundamental principles of the Catholic Faith; the supreme power
     given to St. Peter over the world and all the human race, and
     exercised by his representative the pope; the donation made by
     a late pope of all this part of the world and all its
     inhabitants, to the Catholic sovereigns of Castile; and the
     ready obedience which had already been paid by many of its
     lands and islands and people to the agents and representatives
     of those sovereigns. It called upon those savages present,
     therefore, to do the same, to acknowledge the truth of the
     Christian doctrines, the supremacy of the pope, and the
     sovereignty of the Catholic King, but, in case of refusal, it
     denounced upon them all the horrors of war, the desolation of
     their dwelling, the seizure of their property, and the slavery
     of their wives and children. Such was the extraordinary
     document, which, from this time forward, was read by the
     Spanish discoverers to the wondering savages of any newly-found
     country, as a prelude to sanctify the violence about to be
     inflicted on them."

The pious manifesto was uttered in vain to the warlike savages: they
brandished their weapons, and Ojeda, after a short prayer to the Virgin,
had to discard the parchment, brace up his armour, and charge the foe at
the head of his followers. He was not long in defeating his naked
enemies, who fled into the forests. Juan de la Cosa again tried his
influence with his commander, and urged him to desist from pursuit. It
was in vain. Ojeda, with Juan faithfully at his side, rushed madly on
through the mazes of unknown woods. The Indians rallied and waylaid the
imprudent Spaniards. It was in vain that Ojeda inspired them with fresh
courage by the example of his undaunted prowess. Numbers prevailed; the
weapons of the savages were steeped in a deadly poison; and one after
one the invaders were left dead. Among those who fell was the brave Juan
de la Cosa; and a Spaniard, who was near him when he died, was the only
surviver of seventy that had followed Ojeda in his rash and headlong

For days those who remained at the ships waited the arrival of their
companions. They searched the woods and shouted along the shore, but
they could hear no signal from them. What was their surprise one day, at
catching in a thicket of mangrove trees, a glimpse of a man in Spanish
attire. They entered, and found the unfortunate Ojeda; he lay on the
matted roots of the trees; he was speechless, wan, and wasted; but his
hand still grasped his sword. They restored him with wine and a warm
fire; he recounted the story of his rash expedition; of his struggles
among rocks and forests to reach the shore; and he bitterly reproached
himself with the death of his faithful companion. While the crowd of
Spaniards were yet on the beach administering to the recovery of their
commander, they beheld steering into the harbour, a squadron of ships,
which they soon recognised as that of Nicuesa. Ojeda recollected at once
his quarrel; his valiant spirit was quelled by the hardships he had
suffered; he feared to meet his rival; and he directed his followers to
leave him concealed in the woods until the disposition of Nicuesa should
be known.--

     "As the squadron entered the harbour, the boats sallied forth
     to meet it. The first inquiry of Nicuesa was concerning Ojeda.
     The followers of the latter replied, mournfully, that their
     commander had gone on a warlike expedition into the country,
     but days had elapsed without his return, so that they feared
     some misfortune had befallen him. They entreated Nicuesa,
     therefore, to give his word, as a cavalier, that should Ojeda
     really be in distress, he would not take advantage of his
     misfortunes to revenge himself for their late disputes.

     "Nicuesa, who was a gentleman of noble and generous spirit,
     blushed with indignation at such a request. 'Seek your
     commander instantly,' said he; 'bring him to me if he be alive;
     and I pledge myself not merely to forget the past, but to aid
     him as if he were a brother.'

     "When they met, Nicuesa received his late foe with open arms.
     'It is not,' said he, 'for Hidalgos, like men of vulgar souls,
     to remember past differences when they behold one another in
     distress. Henceforth, let all that has occurred between us be
     forgotten. Command me as a brother. Myself and my men are at
     your orders, to follow you wherever you please, until the
     deaths of Juan de la Cosa and his comrades are revenged.'

     "The spirits of Ojeda were once more lifted up by this gallant
     and generous offer. The two governors, no longer rivals, landed
     four hundred of their men and several horses, and set off with
     all speed for the fatal village. They approached it in the
     night, and, dividing their forces into two parties, gave orders
     that not an Indian should be taken alive."

Dreadful indeed was the carnage, and fierce the vengeance the two
commanders wreaked upon the natives. Having sacked the village, they
left it a smoking ruin, and returned in triumph to their ships. The
spoil, which was great, was divided among the followers of each
governor, and they now parted with many expressions of friendship,
Nicuesa proceeding westward to his province.

Ojeda did not long continue at a spot so fatal. He proceeded along the
coast, and at length selected a height on the east side, at the entrance
of the gulf of Darien, as the place for his town, which he named St.
Sebastian. He immediately erected a fortress to defend himself against
the natives, and considering this as his permanent seat of government,
despatched a ship to Hispaniola, with a letter to the bachelor Enciso,
requesting him to join the colony with the provisions and men he had
collected. In the meanwhile, those who remained soon exhausted the
stores they had, and were reduced to great want. They were fortunately
relieved by the arrival of a vessel commanded by _Bernardo de_
_Talavera_, a reckless adventurer, who being threatened with
imprisonment by his creditors in St. Domingo, had persuaded a set of
men, as reckless as himself, to seize by force a vessel, lying off shore
loaded with provisions, and join the new colony. While the supply
brought by Talavera lasted, Ojeda was able to pacify his murmuring
companions, and to persuade them peacefully to await the arrival of
Enciso. When this however was exhausted, and famine threatened them,
they became outrageous in their clamours, and Ojeda was compelled, as
the only means of appeasing them, to agree to go himself to St. Domingo
for aid, leaving those who stayed under the command of Francisco
Pizarro, as his lieutenant. Talavera, already tired of the hardships he
had encountered, was willing enough to return, and set sail with the
commander in his vessel. The ill luck which had attended Ojeda during
this expedition still continued. The vessel was cast on the island of
Cuba, and completely wrecked; and the unhappy Spaniards had no choice
but to perish on the beach, or to traverse the wide morasses that spread
along the coast, until they reached some place where they could obtain
aid. These morasses, as they proceeded, became deeper and deeper, the
water sometimes reaching to their girdles; and when they slept, they had
to creep up among the twisted roots of the mangrove trees, which grew in
clusters in the waters. Of all the party, Ojeda alone kept up his spirit
undaunted. He cheered his companions; he shared his food among them;
whenever he stopped to repose in the mangrove trees, he took out his
treasured picture of the Virgin, which he had carefully preserved
through all his troubles, and placing it before him, commended himself
to the Holy Mother; and by persuading his companions to join him, he
renewed their patience and courage. It was on one of these occasions
that he made a vow to erect a chapel and leave his relic in the first
Indian town to which he came. At length, after incredible sufferings,
they reached a village; the natives gathered round the poor wanderers,
and gazed at them with wonder; they treated them with humanity, and
after restoring them to health and strength, aided and accompanied them
till they reached the point of land nearest Jamaica. At that spot they
procured canoes, arrived at a settlement of their countrymen, and thence
returned to St. Domingo.

Ojeda was too pious a Catholic to forget the vow he had made in his
distress, though it must have sorely grieved him to part with the relic
to which he attributed his safety in so many perils. At the village,
however, where he had been so kindly succoured, he faithfully performed

     "He built a little hermitage or oratory in the village, and
     furnished it with an altar, above which he placed the picture.
     He then summoned the benevolent cacique, and explained to him,
     as well as his limited knowledge of the language, or the aid of
     interpreters would permit, the main points of the Catholic
     faith, and especially the history of the Virgin, whom he
     represented as the mother of the Deity that reigned in the
     skies, and the great advocate for mortal man.

     "The worthy cacique listened to him with mute attention, and
     though he might not clearly comprehend the doctrine, yet he
     conceived a profound veneration for the picture. The sentiment
     was shared by his subjects. They kept the little oratory always
     swept clean, and decorated it with cotton hangings, laboured by
     their own hands, and with various votive offerings. They
     composed couplets or areytos in honour of the Virgin, which
     they sang to the accompaniment of rude musical instruments,
     dancing to the sound under the groves which surrounded the

     "A further anecdote concerning this relique may not be
     unacceptable. The venerable Las Casas, who records these facts,
     informs us that he arrived at the village of Cuebás some time
     after the departure of Ojeda. He found the oratory preserved
     with the most religious care, as a sacred place, and the
     picture of the Virgin regarded with fond adoration. The poor
     Indians crowded to attend mass, which he performed at the
     altar; they listened attentively to his paternal instructions,
     and at his request brought their children to be baptized. The
     good Las Casas having heard much of this famous relique of
     Ojeda, was desirous of obtaining possession of it, and offered
     to give the cacique in exchange, an image of the Virgin which
     he had brought with him. The chieftain made an evasive answer,
     and seemed much troubled in mind. The next morning he did not
     make his appearance.

     "Las Casas went to the oratory to perform mass, but found the
     altar stripped of its precious relique. On inquiring, he learnt
     that in the night the cacique had fled to the woods, bearing
     off with him his beloved picture of the Virgin. It was in vain
     that Las Casas sent messengers after him, assuring him that he
     should not be deprived of the relique, but, on the contrary,
     that the image should likewise be presented to him. The cacique
     refused to venture from the fastnesses of the forest, nor did
     he return to his village and replace the picture in the
     oratory, until after the departure of the Spaniards."

The fate of Ojeda was that of a ruined man. He lingered for some time at
San Domingo, but he no longer appeared there as the governor of a
province. He was a needy wanderer. His health was broken down by wounds
and hardships, and he died at last so poor that he did not leave money
enough to pay for his interment; and so broken in spirit, that he
entreated with his last breath, that his body might be buried at the
portal of the Monastery of St. Francisco, in humble expiation of his
past pride, "so that every one who entered might tread upon his grave."

When the gallant and generous minded Nicuesa left Ojeda, he sailed to
the west to encounter perils still greater than his rival endured. His
squadron arrived safely on the coast of Veragua. He there embarked
himself in a small caravel belonging to it, that he might the better
explore the inlets and places along the shore, committing the charge of
the other vessels to his lieutenant Lope de Olano. One night, shortly
after making this arrangement, a violent storm came on, and when day
dawned, Nicuesa was left without one of the squadron in sight. Taking
refuge in a river, his caravel was wrecked, and the unfortunate
commander was left on the desert shore with the crew of the vessel, and
nothing remaining to them but the boat, which was accidentally cast on
the beach. Day after day they hoped for the arrival of their
companions, until they began to suspect that the lieutenant had
determined to profit by the absence of Nicuesa, assume his power, and
leave him to perish. They wandered along shore, in the direction, as
they supposed, of the place where they had been separated from the
squadron. They crossed the rivers and sailed to the islands near the
coast in their boat. At length, to complete their misfortunes, at one of
the latter, four of the party deserted, took with them the boat, and
left their commander and the rest of the party, without food,
assistance, or means to regain the land. In this sad situation they
remained for weeks; many of them died, and those who lived envied,
instead of mourning over, their fate. At length one of the brigantines
of the squadron appeared; it had been sent by Lope de Olano, who had
been found by the four mariners in the boat; and Nicuesa and the
survivers were conveyed to their companions, who had made a settlement
at the mouth of the river Belen. Finding that spot unhealthy, Nicuesa
broke up the settlement, and established the remnant of his once large
colony, now reduced to a hundred emaciated wretches, at "El Nombre de
Dios." "Here let us stop," exclaimed the weary commander to his
companions, "in the name of God (en el nombre de Dios,)"--whence the
port derived its name.

While the two governors were thus struggling to establish their
colonies, the bachelor Enciso, whom we have mentioned as having enlisted
with Ojeda, set out from St. Domingo to join that adventurer with the
men and provisions he had collected. Among his recruits was _Vasco Nuñez
de Balboa_, another name destined to become famous on these seas. The
bachelor had hardly reached Terra Firma before he fell in with Francisco
Pizarro, and the small remains of the colony left by Ojeda at St.
Sebastian. He heard the story of their misfortunes and the departure of
their commander, but nothing daunted, the worthy gentleman of the robe
assumed the courageous bearing of a knight errant, and determined to
pursue the adventures on which he had embarked. Having heard of a great
sepulchre not far in the interior, where the natives were said to be
buried with all their ornaments of gold, he determined at once to pounce
on so valuable a mine. He held it no sacrilege to plunder the graves of
pagans and infidels, and he took care to secure the law on his side, by
causing to be read and interpreted to all the caciques, a declaration,
informing them of the nature of the Deity, the supremacy of the pope,
and the undoubted validity of his grant of their country to the Catholic

     "The caciques listened to the whole very attentively, and
     without interruption, according to the laws of Indian courtesy.
     They then replied, that, as to the assertion that there was but
     one God, the sovereign of heaven and earth, it seemed to them
     good, and that such must be the case; but as to the doctrine
     that the pope was regent of the world in place of God, and
     that he had made a grant of their country to the Spanish king,
     they observed that the pope must have been drunk to give away
     what was not his, and the king must have been somewhat mad to
     ask at his hands what belonged to others. They added, that they
     were lords of those lands, and needed no other sovereign, and
     if this king should come to take possession, they would cut off
     his head and put it on a pole; that being their mode of dealing
     with their enemies.--As an illustration of this custom, they
     pointed out to Enciso the very uncomfortable spectacle of a row
     of grisly heads impaled in the neighbourhood."

On hearing this answer, the bachelor at once discarded the legal, and
assumed the warlike character. He charged the Indians, and routed them
with ease. He forthwith plundered the sepulchres, but whether he
obtained the expected booty is not recorded. After this exploit, the
worthy bachelor set about establishing the provincial government as
Alcalde Mayor of Ojeda. St. Sebastian being in ruins, and the scene of
so many misfortunes, was speedily deserted, and by the advice of Vasco
Nuñez he seized on the village of Darien, drove out the inhabitants,
collected at it great quantities of food and golden ornaments, and
established his capital under the sounding title of Santa Maria de la
Antigua del Darien.

It so happened that this new town was on the western shore of the river
Darien, and consequently within the province of Nicuesa, not of Ojeda.
Some discontented or ambitious persons in the colony took advantage of
this, and attacked the alcalde in his own way, with legal weapons,
questioning his right to rule. Among these Vasco Nuñez and one Zamudio
were the leaders, and aspired to the bachelor's post. It was however at
last determined to seek for the rightful head of the colony, Nicuesa;
and bring him to the new capital. That woe-worn commander accepted with
delight the unexpected proffer; foolishly however he assumed at once the
haughty airs of a governor, and before he had seen his new colony, spoke
of the punishment he would inflict on the disturbers of its harmony. The
inhabitants of Darien heard of this language, and repented of their
hasty measure. Placing Vasco Nuñez at their head, they awaited the
arrival of Nicuesa on the beach, and when they saw his vessel enter the
bay, refused him permission to land. It was in vain that the unfortunate
cavalier entreated, promised, and explained. Even Vasco Nuñez, who was
of a generous spirit, supplicated for his reception as a private
individual, without effect. The determination of the populace was made
up; and sad to tell, Nicuesa was driven to sea in his crazy bark, and
never heard of more.

The bachelor Enciso now again claimed his right to command the colony.
The people, however, were all on the side of Vasco Nuñez; he had become
a great favourite, from his frank and fearless character, and his
winning affability; in fact, he was peculiarly calculated to manage the
fiery and the factious, yet generous and susceptible nature of his
countrymen, and in addition to this he was in the vigour of his age,
tall, well formed and hardy. After a fruitless struggle, Enciso left the
colony, and Vasco Nuñez, well aware of the appeal he would make to the
Spanish government, sent at the same time Zamudio to represent and
defend him before the same tribunal. Vasco Nuñez at once exerted himself
to prove his capacity as governor. His first expedition was against
Careta, the neighbouring cacique of Coyba, for the purpose of obtaining
supplies. By a stratagem he made captives of the cacique, his wives, and
children, and many of his people. He discovered also their store of
provisions, and returned with his booty and his captives to Darien.

     "When the unfortunate cacique beheld his family in chains, and
     in the hands of strangers, his heart was wrung with despair;
     'What have I done to thee,' said he to Vasco Nuñez, 'that thou
     shouldst treat me thus cruelly? None of thy people ever came to
     my land that were not fed, and sheltered, and treated with
     loving kindness. When thou camest to my dwelling, did I meet
     thee with a javelin in my hand? Did I not set meat and drink
     before thee, and welcome thee as a brother? Set me free
     therefore, with my family and people, and we will remain thy
     friends. We will supply thee with provisions, and reveal to
     thee the riches of the land. Dost thou doubt my faith? Behold
     my daughter, I give her to thee as a pledge of friendship. Take
     her for thy wife, and be assured of the fidelity of her family
     and her people!'

     "Vasco Nuñez felt the force of these words, and knew the
     importance of forming a strong alliance among the natives. The
     captive maid, also, as she stood trembling and dejected before
     him, found great favour in his eyes, for she was young and
     beautiful. He granted, therefore, the prayer of the cacique,
     and accepted his daughter, engaging, moreover, to aid the
     father against his enemies, on condition of his furnishing
     provisions to the colony.

     "Careta remained three days at Darien, during which time, he
     was treated with the utmost kindness. Vasco Nuñez took him on
     board of his ships and showed him every part of them. He
     displayed before him also the war horses, with their armour and
     rich caparisons, and astonished him with the thunder of
     artillery. Lest he should be too much daunted by these warlike
     spectacles, he caused the musicians to perform a harmonious
     concert on their instruments, at which the cacique was lost in
     admiration. Thus having impressed him with a wonderful idea of
     the power and endowments of his new allies, he loaded him with
     presents and permitted him to depart.

     "Careta returned joyfully to his territories, and his daughter
     remained with Vasco Nuñez, willingly for his sake giving up her
     family and native home. They were never married, but she
     considered herself his wife, as she really was, according to
     the usages of her own country, and he treated her with
     fondness, allowing her gradually to acquire great influence
     over him. To his affection for this damsel, his ultimate ruin
     is, in some measure, to be ascribed."

Vasco Nuñez did not neglect the favourable occasion these circumstances
offered, of extending his power among the neighbouring Indians. Those
who were hostile he attacked; those who were friendly he conciliated.
From all he obtained supplies of provisions and gold, to support and
enrich his colony. It was in one of his excursions to a friendly chief,
the cacique of Comagre, that he obtained the information which gave
greater scope to his adventurous spirit, and enabled him to place
himself in the same degree with Pizarro and Cortez among the
discoverers who succeeded the great admiral. The cacique had made a
present or tribute of a large quantity of gold, and the followers of
Vasco Nuñez quarrelled as they were dividing among them their respective
shares in the presence of the Indian chief.

     "The high minded savage was disgusted at this sordid brawl
     among beings whom he had regarded with such reverence. In the
     first impulse of his disdain he struck the scale with his fist,
     and scattered the glittering gold about the porch. Before the
     Spaniards could recover from their astonishment at this sudden
     act, he thus addressed them: 'Why should you quarrel for such a
     trifle? If this gold is indeed so precious in your eyes, that
     for it alone you abandon your homes, invade the peaceful lands
     of others, and expose yourselves to such sufferings and perils,
     I will tell you of a region where you may gratify your wishes
     to the utmost.--Behold those lofty mountains,' continued he,
     pointing to the south; 'beyond these lies a mighty sea, which
     may be discerned from their summit. It is navigated by people
     who have vessels almost as large as yours, and furnished, like
     them, with sails and oars. All the streams which flow down the
     southern side of those mountains into that sea abound in gold;
     and the kings who reign upon its borders eat and drink out of
     golden vessels. Gold, in fact, is as plentiful and common among
     those people of the south as iron is among you Spaniards.'

     "Struck with this intelligence, Vasco Nuñez inquired eagerly as
     to the means of penetrating to this sea and to the opulent
     regions on its shores. 'The task,' replied the prince, 'is
     difficult and dangerous. You must pass through the territories
     of many powerful caciques, who will oppose you with hosts of
     warriors. Some parts of the mountains are infested by fierce
     and cruel cannibals, a wandering lawless race: but, above all,
     you will have to encounter the great cacique Tubanamá, whose
     territories are at the distance of six days journey, and more
     rich in gold than any other province; this cacique will be sure
     to come forth against you with a mighty force. To accomplish
     your enterprise, therefore, will require at least a thousand
     men armed like those who follow you."

The effect of this intelligence, on the enterprising spirit of Vasco
Nuñez, may be well imagined. The Pacific ocean and its golden realms
seemed to be at his feet. He beheld within his power an enterprise which
would at once elevate him from a wandering and desperate man, to a rank
among the great captains and discoverers of the earth. He lost no time
in making every preparation to realize the splendid vision. With this
object he sent for aid to Don Diego Columbus, who then governed at St.
Domingo; and in the mean time endeavoured to strengthen himself with the
surrounding tribes of natives, and to quiet the spirit of
insubordination which would occasionally break out at Darien. At length,
on the 1st of September, 1513, he set out with one hundred and ninety
Spaniards, and a number of Indians. At Coyba he left half his company
with the cacique Careta, to await his return, and with the residue, on
the sixth of the month, struck off towards the mountains. By some of the
Indian tribes he was kindly received, by others hostile intentions were
displayed. These were soon overcome by the use of fire arms and blood
hounds, which terrified the natives and put them at once to flight. On
the evening of the 25th of September, the party, now reduced to
sixty-seven Spaniards, arrived at the foot of the last mountain, from
whose top they were told they would command the long sought prospect.
Vasco Nuñez obtained fresh Indian guides, and ordered his men to retire
early to repose, that they might be ready to set off at the cool and
fresh hour of daybreak, so as to reach the summit of the mountain before
the noontide heat.

     "The day had scarcely dawned, when Vasco Nuñez and his
     followers set forth from the Indian village and began to climb
     the height. It was a severe and rugged toil for men so wayworn,
     but they were filled with new ardour at the idea of the
     triumphant scene that was so soon to repay them for all their

     "About ten o'clock in the morning they emerged from the thick
     forests through which they had hitherto struggled, and arrived
     at a lofty and airy region of the mountain. The bald summit
     alone remained to be ascended, and their guides pointed to a
     moderate eminence from which they said the southern sea was

     "Upon this Vasco Nuñez commanded his followers to halt, and
     that no man should stir from his place. Then, with a
     palpitating heart, he ascended alone the bare mountain-top. On
     reaching the summit the long-desired prospect burst upon his
     view. It was as if a new world were unfolded to him, separated
     from all hitherto known by this mighty barrier of mountains.
     Below him extended a vast chaos of rock and forest, and green
     savannahs and wandering streams, while at a distance the waters
     of the promised ocean glittered in the morning sun.

     "At this glorious prospect Vasco Nuñez sank upon his knees, and
     poured out thanks to God for being the first European to whom
     it was given to make that great discovery. He then called his
     people to ascend: 'Behold, my friends,' said he, 'that glorious
     sight which we have so much desired. Let us give thanks to God
     that he has granted us this great honour and advantage. Let us
     pray to him that he will guide and aid us to conquer the sea
     and land which we have discovered, and in which Christian has
     never entered to preach the holy doctrine of the Evangelists.
     As to yourselves, be as you have hitherto been, faithful and
     true to me, and by the favour of Christ you will become the
     richest Spaniards that have ever come to the Indies; you will
     render the greatest services to your king that ever vassal
     rendered to his lord; and you will have the eternal glory and
     advantage of all that is here discovered, conquered, and
     converted to our holy Catholic faith.'

     "The Spaniards answered this speech by embracing Vasco Nuñez,
     and promising to follow him to death. Among them was a priest,
     named Andres de Vara, who lifted up his voice and chanted _Te
     Deum laudamus_--the usual anthem of Spanish discoverers. The
     people, kneeling down, joined in the strain with pious
     enthusiasm and tears of joy; and never did a more sincere
     oblation rise to the Deity from a sanctified altar than from
     that wild mountain summit. It was indeed one of the most
     sublime discoveries that had yet been made in the New World,
     and must have opened a boundless field of conjecture to the
     wondering Spaniards. The imagination delights to picture forth
     the splendid confusion of their thoughts. Was this the great
     Indian Ocean, studded with precious islands, abounding in gold,
     in gems, and spices, and bordered by the gorgeous cities and
     wealthy marts of the East? Or was it some lonely sea, locked up
     in the embraces of savage uncultivated continents, and never
     traversed by a bark, excepting the light pirogue of the Indian?
     The latter could hardly be the case, for the natives had told
     the Spaniards of golden realms, and populous and powerful and
     luxurious nations upon its shores. Perhaps it might be bordered
     by various people, civilized in fact, but differing from Europe
     in their civilization; who might have peculiar laws and customs
     and arts and sciences; who might form, as it were, a world of
     their own, intercommuning by this mighty sea, and carrying on
     commerce between their own islands and continents; but who
     might exist in total ignorance and independence of the other

     "Such may naturally have been the ideas suggested by the sight
     of this unknown ocean. It was the prevalent belief of the
     Spaniards, however, that they were the first Christians who had
     made the discovery. Vasco Nuñez, therefore, called upon all
     present to witness that he took possession of that sea, its
     islands, and surrounding lands, in the name of the sovereigns
     of Castile, and the notary of the expedition made a testimonial
     of the same, to which all present, to the number of sixty-seven
     men, signed their names. He then caused a fair and tall tree to
     be cut down and wrought into a cross, which was elevated on the
     spot from whence he had at first beheld the sea. A mound of
     stones was likewise piled up to serve as a monument, and the
     names of the Castilian sovereigns were carved on the
     neighbouring trees. The Indians beheld all these ceremonials
     and rejoicings in silent wonder, and, while they aided to erect
     the cross and pile up the mound of stones, marvelled
     exceedingly at the meaning of these monuments, little thinking
     that they marked the subjugation of their land."

From the summit of the mountain Vasco Nuñez cheerfully pursued his
journey to the coast; when he tasted the water and found it salt, he
felt assured that he had indeed discovered an ocean; he again returned
thanks to God, and drawing his dagger from his girdle, marked three
trees with crosses in honour of the Trinity and in token of possession.

He remained on the shore of the Pacific ocean till the 3d of November.
In the interval, he conciliated by his good management the kind feelings
of the natives; he visited some of the neighbouring islands; he was
shown the valuable pearl fisheries; and was loaded when he left there
with pearls and gold. On his return he had several hostile rencounters
with the natives, and reached Darien on the 19th of January, 1514.

     "Thus ended one of the most remarkable expeditions of the early
     discoverers. The intrepidity of Vasco Nuñez in penetrating,
     with a handful of men, far into the interior of a wild and
     mountainous country, peopled by warlike tribes; his skill in
     managing his band of rough adventurers, stimulating their
     valour, enforcing their obedience, and attaching their
     affections, show him to have possessed great qualities as a
     general. We are told that he was always foremost in peril, and
     the last to quit the field. He shared the toils and dangers of
     the meanest of his followers, treating them with frank
     affability; watching, fighting, fasting and labouring with
     them; visiting and consoling such as were sick or infirm, and
     dividing all his gains with fairness and liberality. He was
     chargeable at times with acts of bloodshed and injustice, but
     it is probable that these were often called for as measures of
     safety and precaution; he certainly offended less against
     humanity than most of the early discoverers; and the unbounded
     amity and confidence reposed in him by the natives, when they
     became intimately acquainted with his character, speak strongly
     in favour of his kind treatment of them.

     "The character of Vasco Nuñez had, in fact, risen with his
     circumstances, and now assumed a nobleness and grandeur from
     the discovery he had made, and the important charge it had
     devolved upon him. He no longer felt himself a mere soldier of
     fortune, at the head of a band of adventurers, but a great
     commander conducting an immortal enterprise. 'Behold,' says old
     Peter Martyr, 'Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, at once transformed from
     a rash royster to a politic and discreet captain:' and thus it
     is that men are often made by their fortunes; that is to say,
     their latent qualities are brought out, and shaped and
     strengthened by events, and by the necessity of every exertion
     to cope with the greatness of their destiny."

While Vasco Nuñez was thus exulting in his successful expedition,
fortune was preparing for him a sad reverse. The bachelor Enciso had
arrived in Spain, and notwithstanding the statements of Zamudio, had
made an unfavourable impression in regard to Vasco Nuñez. The result
was, that a new governor of Darien was appointed, in the person of Pedro
Arias Davila, commonly called Pedrarias, a brave warrior, but little
fitted to command in a colony such as that to which he was sent. A
number of young Spanish nobles and gentlemen determined to accompany
him, having heard wild stories of the wealth and adventures which the
new world offered. Pedrarias was also attended by his heroic wife, Doña
Isabella de Bobadilla, and by the bishop Quevedo, a just and benevolent
priest. Scarcely had the new expedition left the shores of Spain, when
news arrived there of the splendid discoveries of Vasco Nuñez, and the
king repented that he had so hastily superseded him.

In the month of June, the squadron of Pedrarias anchored before Darien.
When the hardy veterans of the colony heard that their beloved commander
was to be thus removed, they were loud in their murmurs, and eagerly
desired to resist the newly arrived governor. Not so Vasco Nuñez; he
bowed at once to the mandates of the king, and acknowledged the
authority of Pedrarias. This frank and honourable conduct was ill repaid
by the new chief; he took advantage of the unsuspecting confidence of
Vasco Nuñez, and directed him to be prosecuted for usurpation and
tyrannical abuse of power. Fortunately, the bishop was opposed to the
conduct of the governor, and even his wife ventured to express her
respect and sympathy for the discoverer. This alone saved him from being
sent in irons to Spain. In the mean time, the gallant Spanish cavaliers
sunk beneath the fatal climate, to which they were unaccustomed, and the
affairs of the colony became distracted. Pedrarias, to engage them,
fitted out an expedition for the Pacific, but it ended in disappointment
and disaster, and had little result but to change some of the friendly
Indian tribes into implacable enemies.

While things were in this state, despatches arrived from Spain. In a
letter addressed to Vasco Nuñez, the king expressed his high sense of
his merits and services, and constituted him adelantado of the South
Sea, though subordinate to the general command of Pedrarias. That
governor, still envious of the renown of his rival, refused to confer on
him the powers belonging to his new office, and all that Vasco Nuñez
could obtain was the recognition of the title. Still further to thwart
the honourable plans of the discoverer, he determined to explore, under
his own auspices, the pearl fisheries and islands discovered by Vasco
Nuñez on the Pacific, and for this purpose fitted out an expedition
under the command of his own relative Morales; he sent with him,
however, Francisco Pizarro, who had accompanied Vasco Nuñez on his first
expedition. These explorers were kindly received by the caciques, who
willingly gave them pearls for hatchets, beads, and hawks' bills, which
they valued much more. An incident occurred on their visit to Isla
Rica, which, connected with the future history of Pizarro, was
singularly interesting.

     "Finding that pearls were so precious in the eyes of the
     Spaniards, the cacique took Morales and Pizarro to the summit
     of a wooden tower, commanding an unbounded prospect. 'Behold
     before you,' said he, 'the infinite sea, which extends even
     beyond the sun-beams. As to these islands which lie to the
     right and left, they are all subject to my sway. They possess
     but little gold, but the deep places of the sea around them are
     full of pearls. Continue to be my friends, and you shall have
     as many as you desire; for I value your friendship more than
     pearls, and, as far as in me lies, will never forfeit it.'

     "He then pointed to the main land, where it stretched away
     towards the east, mountain beyond mountain, until the summit of
     the last faded in the distance, and was scarcely seen above the
     watery horizon. In that direction, he said, there lay a vast
     country of inexhaustible riches, inhabited by a mighty nation.
     He went on to repeat the vague but wonderful rumours which the
     Spaniards had frequently heard about the great kingdom of Peru.
     Pizarro listened greedily to his words, and while his eye
     followed the finger of the cacique, as it ranged along the line
     of shadowy coast, his daring mind kindled with the thought of
     seeking this golden empire beyond the waters."

On their way back through the mountains, the Spaniards were attacked by
the savages with great ferocity; and when they reached Darien their
party was greatly diminished, though the spoil they brought with them
was great.

In the mean time, the disagreement between Pedrarias and Vasco Nuñez
continued, to the great regret of the bishop Quevedo, and the
mortification of Doña Isabella. At length a plan was suggested by the
former which had the fortunate effect of producing a reconciliation. It
was agreed that Vasco Nuñez should marry the daughter of the governor,
then in Spain, and he was accordingly betrothed at once. Pedrarias now
looked upon the exploits of his rival as those of one of his own family,
and no longer thwarted him. He cheerfully aided him in a new expedition
which was planned for transporting timber across the isthmus, building
brigantines on the Pacific, and exploring the country farther to the
south. When Vasco Nuñez found himself floating in large vessels, on the
waves of the vast ocean he had discovered, he felt an honourable pride,
and a thousand visions of discoveries yet to be made crowded on his
fancy. Alas! they were not destined to be realized. A person who had a
private pique against him, insinuated himself into the confidence of
Pedrarias; declared that Vasco Nuñez had schemes of boundless ambition;
that he would soon throw off his connexion with the governor, and above
all, that such was his devotion to the Indian damsel, the daughter of
Careta, that he would never wed her to whom he was betrothed. All the
ancient enmity of Pedrarias was renewed; he determined at once to put an
end to the rivalry of Vasco Nuñez; by fair promises he induced him
unsuspectingly to return; and as soon as he arrived within his power had
him arrested and tried for treason. His condemnation was to be
expected, but deep was the emotion and surprise among the colonists when
they learned that it was to be followed by the immediate death of the
unfortunate soldier. No entreaties, however, could induce the governor
to relent. He had his victim now in his power and he determined he
should not escape.

     "It was a day of gloom and horror at Acla, when Vasco Nuñez and
     his companions were led forth to execution. The populace were
     moved to tears at the unhappy fate of a man, whose gallant
     deeds had excited their admiration, and whose generous
     qualities had won their hearts. Most of them regarded him as
     the victim of a jealous tyrant; and even those who thought him
     guilty, saw something brave and brilliant in the very crime
     imputed to him. Such, however, was the general dread inspired
     by the severe measures of Pedrarias, that no one dared to lift
     up his voice, either in murmur or remonstrance.

     "The public crier walked before Vasco Nuñez, proclaiming, 'This
     is the punishment inflicted by command of the king, and his
     lieutenant Don Pedrarias Davila, on this man, as a traitor and
     an usurper of the territories of the crown.'

     "When Vasco Nuñez heard these words, he exclaimed, indignantly,
     'It is false! never did such a crime enter my mind. I have ever
     served my king with truth and loyalty, and sought to augment
     his dominions.'

     "These words were of no avail in his extremity, but they were
     fully believed by the populace.

     "Thus perished, in his forty-second year, in the prime and
     vigour of his days and the full career of his glory, one of the
     most illustrious and deserving of the Spanish discoverers--a
     victim to the basest and most perfidious envy.

     "How vain are our most confident hopes, our brightest triumphs!
     When Vasco Nuñez, from the mountains of Darien, beheld the
     Southern ocean revealed to his gaze, he considered its unknown
     realms at his disposal. When he had launched his ships upon its
     waters, and his sails were in a manner flapping in the wind, to
     bear him in quest of the wealthy empire of Peru, he scoffed at
     the prediction of the astrologer, and defied the influence of
     the stars. Behold him interrupted at the very moment of his
     departure; betrayed into the hands of his most invidious foe;
     the very enterprise that was to have crowned him with glory
     wrested into a crime; and himself hurried to a bloody and
     ignominious grave, at the foot, as it were, of the mountain
     from whence he had made his discovery! His fate, like that of
     his renowned predecessor Columbus, proves, that it is sometimes
     dangerous even to discern too greatly!"

There yet remain in this interesting volume the history of _Valdivia_
and his companions, and of the bold _Juan Ponce de Leon_. Each contains
scenes and incidents scarcely less interesting than those we have
rapidly noticed; but the termination of the story of Vasco Nuñez affords
us a place to pause, and we are recalled from the agreeable task of
narrating to that of expressing some opinion on the merits of the work
which has so delightfully detained us. We may add that there is also an
appendix, containing a narrative of a visit or pilgrimage, truly
American, made by the author to the little port of Palos, where Columbus
and so many of his followers embarked for America; it is in the happiest
style, and cannot be read without the strongest emotions; we can
scarcely refrain, notwithstanding its length, from presenting it entire
to the reader.

The copious quotations we have made, and the abstract of some of the
more interesting parts of the narrative, will be sufficient to relieve
us in a great degree from the necessity of criticism. Our readers will,
themselves, be able to form a just estimate of the power and skill of
the writer, and of the pleasure to be derived from the story he has
recorded. We venture to say, that by none will that estimate be
otherwise than favourable, either to the talents of the author, or the
interest of the work.

The style of Mr. Irving has been objected to as somewhat elaborate, as
sacrificing strength and force of expression, to harmony of periods and
extreme correctness of language. We cannot say that we have been
inclined to censure him for this. If he assumed a style more than
usually refined, it was in those works of fiction, those short but
agreeable narratives, in which he desired to win the fond attention of
the reader, but in which he never endeavoured to call up violent
emotions, to engage in the wild speculations of a discursive fancy, or
to treat topics requiring logical or historical correctness. For such
works as the Sketch Book, we believe the style adopted by Mr. Irving to
be eminently well fitted, and we do not hesitate to attribute much of
the success of those charming tales to this very circumstance. We
believe so the more readily, because we find him adopting in the Life of
Columbus, and in the volume before us, a different manner, but one
equally well suited to the different nature of the subject he treats.
Without losing the elegance and general purity by which it has been
always characterized, it seems to us to have acquired more freshness,
more vivacity; to flow on more easily with the course of the spirited
narrative; to convey to the reader that exquisite charm in historical
writing--an unconsciousness of any elaboration on the part of the
writer, yet a quick and entire understanding of every sentiment he
desires to convey.

But connected with this, the writing of Mr. Irving possesses another
characteristic, which has never been more strongly and beautifully
exhibited than in the present volume. We mean that lively perception of
all those sentiments and incidents, which excite the finest and the
pleasantest emotions of the human breast. As he leads us from one savage
tribe to another--as he paints successive scenes of heroism,
perseverance, and self-denial--as he wanders among the magnificent
scenes of nature--as he relates with scrupulous fidelity the errors, and
the crimes, even of those whose lives are for the most part marked with
traits to command admiration, and perhaps esteem--every where we find
him the same undeviating, but beautiful moralist, gathering from all
lessons to present, in striking language, to the reason and the heart.
Where his story leads him to some individual, or presents some incident
which raises our smiles, it is recorded with a naive humour, the more
effective from its simplicity; where he finds himself called on to tell
some tale of misfortune or wo--and how often must he do so when the
history of the gentle and peaceful natives of the Antilles is his
subject--the reader is at a loss whether most to admire the beauty of
the picture he paints, or the deep pathos which he imperceptibly

Nor has he shown less judgment in the selection of his subject. To all
persons the discovery of this continent is one which cannot fail to
engage and reward attention--to him who loves to speculate on the
changes and progress of society, to him who loves to trace the paths of
science and knowledge, to him who loves to dwell on bold adventures and
singular accidents, to him who loves carefully to ascertain historical
truth. We scarcely know any topics at the present day, explored and
exhausted as so many fields have been, that afford a richer harvest than
those which Mr. Irving has now selected. We trust that many more works
are yet to be the fruits of his most fortunate visit to the peninsula.
The sources of information so liberally opened to him, and already so
judiciously used--and which have contributed to add new reputation to so
many names honourable to Spain--must yet furnish ample materials to
illustrate other men, to disclose the incidents attending other
adventures; and we trust that three years more may not elapse, before we
again sail with our author over the newly discovered billows of the
Pacific, or explore the plains of Mexico and Peru, or wander with some
of the hardy adventurers who first dared to penetrate the defiles of the

We have already mentioned, in the notice of the Life of Columbus, the
circumstances which led Mr. Irving to the investigation of this period
of Spanish history, and the facilities afforded him in the prosecution
of his labours. The materials for this volume were procured during the
same visit. In addition to the historical collections of Navarrete, Las
Casas, Herrera, and Peter Martyr, he profited by the second volume of
Oviedo's history, of which he was shown a manuscript copy in the
Columbian library of the cathedral of Seville, and by the legal
documents of the law case between Diego Columbus and the crown, which
are deposited in the Archives of the Indies.

ART. VIII.--_The History of Louisiana, from the earliest period._ By
FRANÇOIS-XAVIER MARTIN: 2 vols. 8vo. New-Orleans: Lyman and Beardslee.

It is about a year and a half since a very good translation of the
History of Louisiana by _Barbé Marbois_, was laid before the public.
Another work on the same subject, by _Francis Xavier Martin_, has
recently come to our knowledge. We use this expression, because,
although the title page shows a publication of the book in 1827, we
neither saw it nor heard of it until the close of the last year; and,
even now, we know of no copy but that in our possession. It may be that
the honourable author, (for he is a Judge of the Supreme Court of the
state whose history he has written,) was satisfied with collecting and
preserving his materials by printing them, and cared not for the fame or
profit of an extensive circulation and sale of his work. His philosophy
may make him as indifferent to the one as his fortune does to the other,
or his modesty may be greater than either. We think we shall perform an
acceptable service by introducing the stranger to our readers, who will
not fail to derive from him many things which will reward the time and
trouble given to acquire them.

History has seldom appeared under the sanction of names better entitled
to credit and respect than those we have mentioned. M. Marbois is known
to us by his residence in the United States, as the secretary of the
French legation, and Consul General of France, during the revolutionary
war; and, afterwards, as _Chargé d' Affaires_; in which situations he
was distinguished for his extraordinary capacity in the business of
diplomacy, as well as for the integrity of his principles, and the
frankness and amenity of his manners. By living long among us, he seems
to have acquired not only an affection and respect for the American
people, but an ardent admiration of our political institutions, which
have adhered to him with undiminished strength through the various
fortunes he has since encountered. He has prefixed to his History, an
"Introduction," which is, as it professes to be, "An Essay on the
Constitution and Government of the United States of America;" and
although the venerable author had passed his eightieth year, he had lost
none of the freshness of his attachment to our republic and its
citizens, or of the vigour of his pen in portraying them. No foreigner
has ever understood us so well, and few Americans better.

That part of his history which relates to the cession of Louisiana to
the United States, is particularly entitled to attention from its
curious details, and will be received with implicit belief, as M.
Marbois was the negotiator on the part of France in that extraordinary
transaction, fraught with consequences so momentous. He relates nothing
but what was in his personal knowledge. We will not anticipate our
notice of this event, but we cannot suppress the remark, that the
acquisition of this vast region by the United States, now so prosperous,
so loyal and efficient a portion of our grand confederacy, by which we
were not only saved from a war, but liberty, happiness, and wealth have
been spread over a country, before that time neglected, mismanaged, and
unproductive, and dispensed to an intelligent and industrious people,
who had for a century been struggling with oppression and innumerable
difficulties, changing with their repeated changes of masters, was owing
to the keen sagacity and prompt decision of Napoleon. It is thus that
the destinies of mankind wait upon the fortunes, the caprice, the
foresight, and the blunders of the great, and are determined, for weal
or wo, by causes and accidents in which those who are most affected by
them have no agency. The people of Louisiana, and their fertile
territory, which from their first settlement had been a subject of
barter among the powers of Europe, to make a peace, to round off a
treaty, or answer some policy or interest of a distant sovereign, are
now irrevocably fixed as a member of a great republic, never again to be
a helpless and degraded makeweight in the bargains of foreign princes.

_F. X. Martin_, the author of the work now in our review, has held for
many years the high station of a Judge of the Supreme Court of
Louisiana; respected for the learning and integrity with which he
discharges the duties of his office, and equally so, in all his public
and private relations. He, also, is at once the historian and the
witness of some of the interesting transactions he narrates; and the
veracity of his testimony is unquestionable, as to those matters of
which he speaks from his personal knowledge. Being as independent in his
circumstances as he is in his principles, and having no resentments, of
which we have heard, to gratify, by calumniating any man, there is
nothing to draw him from the line of rectitude, and we presume that no
errors, at least of intention, will be imputed to him.

With this acquaintance with the character of the author, and his means
of information, we may open his book with more than the confidence
usually due to similar productions.

Before we introduce our readers to the materials of which these volumes
are composed, we would say a word, and do it frankly, upon the plan
adopted by the author in presenting them to the world. We speak not of
the language or style of the composition, which is sufficiently clear
and correct to be secure from criticism, especially under the apology of
the writer, that "as he does not write in his vernacular tongue,
elegance of style is beyond his hope, and consequently without the scope
of his ambition." We are not so well satisfied with his reasons for the
wide range he has taken over time and space in a "History of Louisiana."
He has commenced, as every annalist of an American village has done,
with the discoveries of Columbus; he has given us, with considerable
detail, the circumstances which attended the settlements of the English
and French provinces in this hemisphere; and has drawn "the attention of
his readers to transactions on the opposite side of the Atlantic,"
which have no apparent connexion with his subject. The "chronological
order" which he has adopted, is not confined to the affairs of
Louisiana, but comprehends occurrences in every part of the globe, and
sometimes brings together on the same page such a heterogeneous mass, as
to force a smile from us in spite of the official gravity which belongs
to the office of a reviewer. The assemblages of events are often so
unexpected and grotesque, that we should believe a joke was intended, if
they had not been brought together on the summons of a Judge of a
Supreme Court. Assuredly nothing like them was ever seen in a jury-box,
even in the mixed population of Louisiana. A few references will explain
the nature and meaning of our criticism.

The "Discovery of America" being disposed of, the reader of the History
of Louisiana has his recollection recalled to the reigns of Charles
VIII. in France; of Henry VII. of England; and Ferdinand and Isabella,
of course; with notices of various movements in those countries in their
several reigns. The second chapter is got up in the same manner, taking
a zigzag course over our continent, north, south, east, and west, with
occasional excursions to Europe to keep up the variety. This procedure
often produces an assemblage of events, as we have said, on the same
page, rather startling to themselves as well as to us.--Thus on page 48
of the first volume--"On the 20th of December, a ship from England
landed one hundred and twenty men near Cape Cod, who laid the foundation
of a colony, which, in course of time, became greatly conspicuous in the
annals of the northern continent. They called their first town Plymouth.
Philip III. on the 21st of March of the following year, the forty-third
of his age, transmitted the crown of Spain to his son Philip IV. This
year James I. of England granted to Sir William Alexander, all the
country taken by Argal from the French in America. The Iroquois,
apprehending that if the French were suffered to gain ground in
America." So on page 157--"Iberville returned to France in the
fleet--William III. of England died on the 16th of March, in consequence
of a fall from his horse, in the fifty-third year of his age. Mary, his
queen, had died in 1694; neither left issue. Anne, her sister, succeeded
her." Can we avoid to ask what has all this to do with Louisiana? In
page 234--John Law's well known scheme is thus abruptly introduced.
"Another Guinea-man landed three hundred negroes a few days after. John
Law, of Lauriston in North Britain, was a celebrated financier," &c.

The work abounds with such odd combinations, nor have we selected the
most singular, arising from the "chronological order" adopted by the
author, which, while it has advantages in narrations confined to one
object, will not do in a history extended over half of the world. We
have presented to us, in the same incongruous manner, the settlement of
Maryland--of Nova Scotia--sketches of English history under Oliver
Cromwell--an account of the hooping cough in Quebec--and an earthquake
in Canada. The cough was supposed to be the effect of enchantment,--"and
many of the faculty did, or affected to believe it." "It was said a
fiery crown had been observed in the air at Montreal; lamentable cries
heard at Trois Rivieres, in places in which there was not any person;
that, at Quebec, a canoe, all on fire, had been seen on the river, with
a man armed _cap-a-pie_, surrounded by a circle of the same element." On
the subject of the earthquake, the account of which is taken from
Charlevoix, it was indeed a fearful visitation, if the truth be not
exaggerated by terror and superstition.--

     "A dreadful earthquake was felt in Canada, on the fifth of
     February, 1663. The first shock is said by Charlevoix, to have
     lasted half an hour; after the first quarter of an hour, its
     violence gradually abated. At eight o'clock in the evening, a
     like shock was felt; some of the inhabitants said they had
     counted as many as thirty-two shocks, during the night. In the
     intervals between the shocks, the surface of the ground
     undulated as the sea, and the people felt, in their houses, the
     sensations which are experienced in a vessel at anchor. On the
     sixth, at three o'clock in the morning, another most violent
     shock was felt. It is related that at Tadoussac, there was a
     rain of ashes for six hours. During this strange commotion of
     nature, the bells of the churches were kept constantly ringing,
     by the motion of the steeples; the houses were so terribly
     shaken, that the eaves, on each side, alternately touched the
     ground. Several mountains altered their positions; others were
     precipitated into the river, and lakes were afterwards found in
     the places on which they stood before. The commotion was felt
     for nine hundred miles from east to west, and five hundred from
     north to south.

     "This extraordinary phenomenon was considered as the effect of
     the vengeance of God, irritated at the obstinacy of those, who,
     neglecting the admonitions of his ministers, and contemning the
     censures of his church, continued to sell brandy to the
     Indians. The reverend writer, who has been cited, relates it
     was said, ignited appearances had been observed in the air, for
     several days before; globes of fire being seen over the cities
     of Quebec and Montreal, attended with a noise like that of the
     simultaneous discharge of several pieces of heavy artillery;
     that the superior of the nuns, informed her confessor some time
     before, that being at her devotions, she believed 'she saw the
     Lord irritated against Canada, and she involuntarily demanded
     justice from him for all the crimes committed in the country;
     praying the souls might not perish with the bodies: a moment
     after, she felt conscious the divine justice was going to
     strike; the contempt of the church exciting God's wrath. She
     perceived almost instantaneously four devils, at the corners of
     Quebec, shaking the earth with extreme violence, and a person
     of majestic mien alternately slackening and drawing back a
     bridle, by which he held them.' A female Indian, who had been
     baptized, was said to have received intelligence of the
     impending chastisement of heaven. The reverend writer concludes
     his narration by exultingly observing, 'none perished, all were

The fourth chapter still keeps us at a distance from the "promised
land." The discontents and disturbances which agitated Canada, are
minutely narrated, and, in some respects, not without considerable
interest. One of the causes of the commotion, was an arbitrary act of
power of the Count de Frontenac, who "had imprisoned the Abbe de
Fenelon, then a priest of the seminary of St. Sulpice at Montreal, who
afterwards became archbishop of Cambray." Thus were the genius, the
learning, and the virtues of this great and good man, laid prostrate at
the feet of a petty tyrant; and might have been for ever lost to the
world. It is by such abuses of power that men learn and feel the value
of a government of laws, supreme and superior to the influence of office
and the power of the sword. In this chapter we are introduced to the
name of Robert C. Lasalle, afterwards so conspicuous for his courage and
perseverance in the settlement of these regions. Some interesting
details of his life and adventures, which may be called romantic, are
given, for which we refer to the book.

As the character and conduct of the Founder of Pennsylvania has been
lately assailed, with exceeding injustice, by a Pennsylvanian, and a
judge too, it will add something to the testimony already so abundant in
his behalf, to quote the following extract--

     "The year 1680 is remarkable for the grant of Charles the
     Second, to William Penn, of the territory that now constitutes
     the states of Pennsylvania and Delaware. The grantee, who was
     one of the people called Quakers, imitating the example of
     Gulielm Usseling and Roger Williams, disowned a right to any
     part of the country included within his charter, till the
     natives voluntarily yielded it on receiving a fair
     consideration. There exists not any other example of so liberal
     a conduct towards the Indians of North America, on the erection
     of a new colony. The date of Penn's charter is the twentieth of

We follow our author into his fifth chapter, which we find occupied with
a variety of matters, sufficiently interesting in themselves, but having
no relation to the professed subject of our history; and which have been
collected from works of no difficult access to any body. We notice,
however, an occurrence, especially worthy of our attention at this time,
when a project is entertained of introducing a government paper currency
into the United States.--

     "Louis the Fourteenth having approved the emission of card
     money made in Canada, during the preceding year, another
     emission was now prepared in Paris, in which pasteboard was
     used instead of cards. An impression was made on each piece, of
     the coin of the kingdom, of the corresponding value.

     "Pasteboard proving inconvenient, cards were again resorted to.
     Each had the flourish which the intendant usually added to his
     signature. He signed all those of the value of four livres and
     upwards, and those of six livres and above were also signed by
     the governor.

     "Once a year, at a fixed period, the cards were required to be
     brought to the colonial treasury, and exchanged for bills on
     the treasurer-general of the marine, or his deputy at
     Rochefort. Those which appeared too ragged for circulation were
     burnt, and the rest again paid out of the treasury.

     "For a while the cards were thus punctually exchanged once a
     year; but in course of time bills ceased to be given for them.
     Their value, which till then had been equal to gold, now began
     to diminish; the price of all commodities rose proportionably,
     and the colonial government was compelled, in order to meet the
     increased demands on its treasury, to resort to new and
     repeated emissions; and the people found a new source of
     distress in the means adopted for their relief."

This subject is frequently referred to, and always as a source of
distress; as a disastrous measure of policy.--

     "Louisiana suffered a great deal from the want of a circulating
     medium. Card money had caused the disappearance of the gold and
     silver circulating in the colony before its emission, and its
     subsequent depreciation had induced the commissary ordonnateur
     to have recourse to an issue of _ordonances_, a kind of bills
     of credit, which although not a legal tender, from the want of
     a metallic currency, soon became an object of commerce. They
     were followed by treasury notes, which being receivable in the
     discharge of all claims of the treasury, soon got into
     circulation. This cumulation of public securities in the
     market, within a short time threw them all into discredit, and
     gave rise to an _agiotage_, highly injurious to commerce and

     "The province was at this time inundated by a flood of paper
     money. The administration, for several years past, had paid in
     due bills all the supplies they had obtained, and they had been
     suffered to accumulate to an immense amount. A consequent
     depreciation had left them almost without any value. This had
     been occasioned, in a great degree, by a belief that the
     officers who had put these securities afloat, had, at times,
     attended more to their own than to the public interest, and
     that the French government, on the discovery of this, would not
     perhaps be found ready to indemnify the holders against the
     misconduct of its agents. With a view, however, to prepare the
     way for the redemption of the paper, the colonial treasurer was
     directed to receive all that might be presented, and to give in
     its stead certificates, in order that the extent of the evil
     being known, the remedy might be applied."

     "The province laboured under great difficulties, on account of
     a flood of depreciated paper, which, inundating it, annihilated
     its industry, commerce, and agriculture. So sanguine were the
     inhabitants of their appeal to the throne, that they instructed
     their emissary, after having accomplished the principal object
     of his mission, to solicit relief in this respect."

We turn also to Marbois, on this subject, and trust we shall be excused
for giving so much of our time to it, by the interest the people of the
United States now have in it. We have had our own experience of the
fatal consequences of such schemes; let us also listen to the experience
of others, which points to the distress and ruin that attend such
experiments. Speaking of Law's great scheme of finance, this wise and
venerable statesman says--"A foreigner of an eccentric mind, though a
skilful calculator, had engaged the regent in operations the most
disastrous to the finances of the state. John Law, after having
persuaded credulous people that paper money might advantageously take
the place of specie, drew from this false principle the most extravagant
consequences. They were adopted by ignorance and cupidity." This writer,
with the experience of more than half a century in public affairs,
adds--"These chimeras, called by the name of system, do not differ much
from the schemes that are brought forward in the present age, under the
name of credit."

Speaking of the paper money created for Louisiana, M. Marbois tells us--

     "The expenses resulting from want of order had no limits: in no
     condition to provide for them, the heads of the government had
     recourse to paper money, the desperate resource of financiers
     without capacity. The following remarks on this subject are
     from a despatch of M. Rouillé, minister of marine.

     "'The disorder, which has for some time prevailed in the
     finances and trade of Louisiana, principally arises from
     pouring into the province treasury orders and other kinds of
     paper money; all of which soon fell into discredit, and
     occasioned a depreciation of the currency, which has been the
     more injurious to the colony and its trade, as the prices of
     all things, and particularly of manual labour, have increased
     in proportion to the fall in the treasury notes.'

     "It was on the 30th of November, 1744, that this minister thus
     expressed himself with regard to the chimerical systems of
     credit, which have never been more in vogue than in our time."

We pass over the sixth chapter of our book, without any particular
notice of its contents. It is occupied with miscellaneous transactions
in other provinces; with Indian wars; the abdication of James II., and
the accession of William and Mary to the throne of England; which, in
pursuance of the chronological order, we find snugly deposited between
the census of Canada and some affairs in Fort Louis. These things, with
the peace made between the Marquess de Denonville and some Indians, and
some other matters, cover one page.

The seventh chapter of this volume brings us again in sight of
Louisiana; and we thought our author was a little like Louis XIV., who,
it is said, "seemed to have lost sight of Louisiana in the prosecution
of the war," &c. Some interesting details are here given of the early
attempts to plant a French colony in this territory, interrupted by
hostilities with the Indians, and other impediments not unusual to
enterprises of this kind. The northern provinces, however, are not
neglected; and we are specially informed of the determination of the
British cabinet to attack Montreal and Quebec--this was in 1710.

In tracing the history of a country which has attained the strength and
importance of Louisiana, it is gratifying, occasionally, to look back to
the days of its weakness, and particularly so when the advance has been
surprisingly rapid, and may be fairly traced to the freedom of the
government under which it was made. Our author has, from time to time,
exhibited the population, agriculture, production, and trade of this
province, at various periods, and under different circumstances.

     "In 1713, there were in Louisiana two companies of infantry of
     fifty men each, and seventy-five Canadian volunteers in the
     king's pay. The rest of the population consisted of
     twenty-eight families; one half of whom were engaged, not in
     agriculture, but in horticulture: the heads of the others were
     shop and tavern keepers, or employed in mechanical occupations.
     A number of individuals derived their support by ministering to
     the wants of the troops. There were but twenty negroes in the
     colony: adding to these the king's officers and clergy, the
     aggregate amount of the population was three hundred and eighty
     persons. A few female Indians and children were domesticated in
     the houses of the white people, and groups of the males were
     incessantly sauntering or encamped around them.

     "The collection of all these individuals, on one compact spot,
     could have claimed no higher appellation than that of a hamlet;
     yet they were dispersed through a vast extent of country, the
     parts of which were separated by the sea, by lakes, and wide
     rivers. Five forts, or large batteries, had been erected for
     their protection at Mobile, Biloxi, on the Mississippi, and at
     Ship and Dauphine Islands.

     "Lumber, hides, and peltries, constituted the objects of
     exportation, which the colony presented to commerce. A number
     of woodsmen, or _coureurs de bois,_ from Canada, had followed
     the missionaries, who had been sent among the nations of
     Indians, between that province and Louisiana. These men plied
     within a circle, of a radius of several hundred miles, of which
     the father's chapel was the centre, in search of furs,
     peltries, and hides. When they deemed they had gathered a
     sufficient quantity of these articles, they floated down the
     Mississippi, and brought them to Mobile, where they exchanged
     them for European goods, with which they returned. The natives
     nearer to the fort, carried on the same trade. Lumber was
     easily obtained around the settlement: of late, vessels, from
     St. Domingo and Martinique, brought sugar, coffee, molasses,
     and rum, to Louisiana, and took its peltries, hides, and
     lumber, in exchange. The colonists procured some specie from
     the garrison of Pensacola, whom they supplied with vegetables
     and fowls. Those who followed this sort of trade, by furnishing
     also the officers and troops, obtained flour and salt
     provisions from the king's stores, which were abundantly
     supplied from France and Vera Cruz. Trifling but successful
     essays had shown, that indigo, tobacco, and cotton, could be
     cultivated to great advantage: but hands were wanting.
     Experience had shown, that the frequent and heavy mists and
     fogs were unfavourable to the culture of wheat, by causing it
     to rust."

What a change have a few years of good government and undisturbed
industry and enterprise made in this country; for up to the time of its
cession to the United States, its improvement was slow, uncertain, and
by no means remarkable! Who can now recognise in this rich and
prosperous state, the member of a great confederation, of a powerful
republic, known and respected by every nation of the earth, the desolate
wilds, the miserable and scattered habitations, "few and far between,"
with a population half savage and half civilized, of various bloods and
colours, and scarcely able to support a pinched and comfortless
existence, by excessive toil and a constant exposure to hardships and

After the charter of Crouzat, in September 1712, and a subsequent
charter to a new corporation five years after, the settlement of the
colony was better attended to, and measures taken to advance its
prosperity. Unfortunately for humanity, and perhaps for the ultimate
happiness of the province, it was found, or thought, to be necessary, to
introduce the negroes of Africa, for the cultivation of the soil. This
species of labour was resorted to in Louisiana in the year 1719.

     "Experience had shown the great fertility of the land in
     Louisiana, especially on the banks of the Mississippi, and its
     aptitude to the culture of tobacco, indigo, cotton, and rice;
     but the labourers were very few, and many of the new comers had
     fallen victims to the climate. The survivers found it
     impossible to work in the field during the great heats of the
     summer, protracted through a part of the autumn. The necessity
     of obtaining cultivators from Africa, was apparent; the company
     yielding thereto, sent two of its ships to the coast of Africa,
     from whence they brought five hundred negroes, who were landed
     at Pensacola. They brought thirty recruits to the garrison."

Whatever may hereafter be the consequences of this determination to
employ slave-labour, its immediate effects were beneficial to the
planters; and in the next year, it is said that the company represented
to the king that "the planters had been enabled, by the introduction of
a great number of negroes, to clear and cultivate large tracts of land."
It will be observed, that at this time the cultivation of sugar was not
thought of.

The discursive manner of our author frequently furnishes us with
anecdotes of interest, sometimes relating to habits of the Indians, and
sometimes to other persons and subjects. In this class we reckon an
account of a female adventurer who appeared in Louisiana so early as the
year 1721.--

     "There came, among the German new comers, a female adventurer.
     She had been attached to the wardrobe of the wife of the
     Czarowitz Alexius Petrowitz, the only son of Peter the Great.
     She imposed on the credulity of many persons, but particularly
     on that of an officer of the garrison of Mobile, (called by
     Bossu, the Chevalier d'Aubant, and by the king of Prussia,
     Maldeck) who having seen the princess at St. Petersburg,
     imagined he recognised her features in those of her former
     servant, and gave credit to the report which prevailed, that
     she was the Duke of Wolfenbuttle's daughter, whom the Czarowitz
     had married, and who, finding herself treated with great
     cruelty by her husband, caused it to be circulated that she had
     died, while she fled to a distant seat, driven by the blows he
     had inflicted on her--that the Czarowitz had given orders for
     her private burial, and she had travelled incog. into France,
     and had taken passage at L'Orient, in one of the company's
     ships, among the German settlers.

     "Her story gained credit, and the officer married her. After a
     long residence in Louisiana, she followed him to Paris and the
     Island of Bourbon, where he had a commission of major. Having
     become a widow in 1754, she returned to Paris, with a daughter,
     and went thence to Brunswick, when her imposture was
     discovered; charity was bestowed on her, but she was ordered to
     leave the country. She died in 1771, at Paris, in great

     "A similar imposition was practised for a while with
     considerable success, in the southern British provinces, a few
     years before the declaration of their independence. A female,
     driven for her misconduct from the service of a maid of honour
     of Princess Matilda, sister to George the Third, was convicted
     at the Old Bailey, and transported to Maryland. She effected
     her escape before the expiration of her time, and travelled
     through Virginia and both the Carolinas, personating the
     princess, and levying contributions on the credulity of
     planters and merchants; and even some of the king's officers.
     She was at last arrested in Charleston, prosecuted, and

When we read the account of New-Orleans, a century ago, we can hardly
credit that it is the same New-Orleans which we now know.--

     "New-Orleans, (according to his account,) consisted at that
     time of one hundred cabins, placed without much order, a large
     wooden warehouse, two or three dwelling houses, that would not
     have adorned a village, and a miserable storehouse, which had
     been at first occupied as a chapel; a shed being now used for
     this purpose. Its population did not exceed two hundred

In the enormous increase of population and wealth which this highly
favoured city exhibits, a Pennsylvanian may feel pride in observing,
that the industrious Germans, who have never failed to improve and
enrich the soil they inhabit, have had their share. John Randolph once
said on the floor of Congress, that the land on which a slave set his
foot was cursed with barrenness. The reverse of this may be truly
asserted of the German settlers. To their persevering industry, patient
labour, and habitual economy, every difficulty yields, and every soil
becomes fertile. An accident brought them to New-Orleans, with no
intention of remaining; and their usefulness was felt and encouraged.

     "Since the failure of Law, and his departure from France, his
     grant at the Arkansas had been entirely neglected, and the
     greatest part of the settlers, whom he had transported thither
     from Germany, finding themselves abandoned and disappointed,
     came down to New-Orleans, with the hope of obtaining a passage
     to some port of France, from which they might be enabled to
     return home. The colonial government being unable or unwilling
     to grant it, small allotments of land were made to them twenty
     miles above New-Orleans, on both sides of the river, on which
     they settled in cottage farms. The Chevalier d'Arensbourg, a
     Swedish officer, lately arrived, was appointed commandant of
     the new post. This was the beginning of the settlement, known
     as the German coast, or the parishes of St. Charles and St.
     John the Baptist. These laborious men supplied the troops and
     the inhabitants of New-Orleans with garden stuff. Loading their
     pirogues with the produce of their week's work, on Saturday
     evening, they floated down the river, and were ready to spread
     at sun-rise, on the first market that was held on the banks of
     the Mississippi, their supplies of vegetables, fowls, and
     butter. Returning, at the close of the market, they reached
     their homes early in the night, and were ready to resume their
     work at sun-rise; having brought the groceries and other
     articles needed in the course of the week."

A few years later, the Jesuit and Ursuline nuns arrived at New-Orleans,
and began the improvement of a tract of land immediately above the city.
They erected a house and chapel; they planted the front of their land
with the myrtle wax shrub. Soon after, the foundation was laid for a
large nunnery, into which the ladies removed in 1730, and occupied it
until 1824. On every side the work of improvement proceeded gradually,
but effectually. Among other expedients to hasten the progress of
population, "a company ship brought out a number of poor girls, shipped
by the company. They had not been taken, as those whom it had
transported before, in the houses of correction in Paris. It had
supplied each of them with a small box, _cassette_, containing a few
articles of clothing. From this circumstance, and to distinguish them
from those who had preceded them, they were called girls _de la
cassette_. Till they could be disposed of in marriage, they remained
under the care of the nuns."

The fig tree was introduced from Provence, and the orange from
Hispaniola, both now so abundant and so excellent at New-Orleans.

Injustice to the aborigines seems to have marked the march of the white
man in all its stages; nor were the victims of his cupidity slow in
their revenge, or wanting in courage and ingenuity in prosecuting it. We
have an instance of this, which we think interesting enough to be

     "The indiscretion and ill conduct of Chepar, who commanded at
     Fort Rosalie, in the country of the Natchez, induced these
     Indians to become principals, instead of auxiliaries, in the

     "This officer, coveting a tract of land in the possession of
     one of the chiefs, had used menaces to induce him to surrender
     it, and unable to intimidate the sturdy Indian, had resorted to
     violence. The nation, to whom the commandant's conduct had
     rendered him obnoxious, took part with its injured member--and
     revenge was determined on. The suns sat in council to devise
     the means of annoyance, and determined not to confine
     chastisement to the offender; but, having secured the
     co-operation of all the tribes hostile to the French, to effect
     the total overthrow of the settlement, murder all white men in
     it, and reduce the women and children to slavery. Messengers
     were accordingly sent to all the villages of the Natchez and
     the tribes in their alliance, to induce them to get themselves
     ready, and come on a given day to begin the slaughter. For this
     purpose bundles of an equal number of sticks were prepared and
     sent to every village, with directions to take out a stick
     everyday, after that of the new moon, and the attack was to be
     on that on which the last stick was taken out.

     "This matter was kept a profound secret among the chiefs and
     the Indians employed by them, and particular care was taken to
     conceal it from the women. One of the female suns, however,
     soon discovered that a momentous measure, of which she was not
     informed, was on foot. Leading one of her sons to a distant and
     retired spot, in the woods, she upbraided him with his want of
     confidence in his mother, and artfully drew from him the
     details of the intended attack. The bundle of sticks for her
     village had been deposited in the temple, and to the keeper of
     it, the care had been intrusted of taking out a stick daily.
     Having from her rank access to the fane at all times, she
     secretly, and at different moments, detached one or two sticks,
     and then threw them into the sacred fire. Unsatisfied with
     this, she gave notice of the impending danger to an officer of
     the garrison, in whom she placed confidence. But the
     information was either disbelieved or disregarded."

This well concerted plan of revenge was carried into a terrible
execution; and the aggressor who had caused it was among the victims.

A circumstance, purely accidental, and, in itself, altogether
insignificant, was the beginning of an agricultural experiment in
Louisiana, which, long afterwards, was followed by a success, important
not only to that territory, but to these United States.

     "Two hundred recruits arrived from France on the 17th of April,
     for the completion of the quota of troops allotted to the
     province. The king's ships, in which they were embarked,
     touched at the cape, in the Island of Hispaniola, where, with a
     view of trying with what success the sugar cane could be
     cultivated on the banks of the Mississippi, the Jesuits of that
     island were permitted to ship to their brethren in Louisiana, a
     quantity of it. A number of negroes, acquainted with the
     culture and manufacture of sugar, came in the fleet. The canes
     were planted on the land of the fathers immediately above the
     city, in the lower part of the spot now known as the suburb St.
     Mary. Before this time, the front of the plantation had been
     improved in the raising of the myrtle wax shrub; the rest was
     sown with indigo."

In this humble manner was the sugar cane introduced into Louisiana,
which has now become a principal source of its wealth. We will here
advance upon our work in order to trace, in a connected manner, the
various attempts which were made to fix the cultivation of this plant,
with their failures and success, for many years vibrating in
uncertainty. The experiment we have just alluded to was made in 1751;
eight years afterwards, our author tells us:--

     "Although the essay, which the Jesuits had made in 1751, to
     naturalize the sugar cane in Louisiana, had been successful,
     the culture of it, on a large scale, was not attempted till
     this year, when Dubreuil erected a mill for the manufacture of
     sugar, on his plantation, immediately adjoining the lower part
     of New-Orleans--the spot now covered by the suburb Marigny."

In 1769, the project seems to have been given up, as we are then
informed that--"the indigo of Louisiana was greatly inferior to that of
Hispaniola, the planters being quite unskilful and inattentive in the
manufacture of it; that of sugar had been abandoned, but some planters
near New-Orleans raised a few canes for the market."

No explanation is given of the causes of the abandonment of this most
valuable product, which subsequent experience has shown is so admirably
adapted to the soil and climate of Louisiana. It is the more
unaccountable, as a large capital had been embarked in it, for the
purchase of slaves principally. It may be that it did not receive the
protection from jealous rivals, which is indispensable for the success
of every new enterprise of this kind, even under the most favourable
circumstances; at least until it is firmly established; its expenditures
secured or reimbursed; and its capacity brought into full development
and operation.

From the period we have last spoken of, 1769, until 1796, we hear, from
our author, of no effort to resume the cultivation of the sugar cane;
although we may presume it was not absolutely extinguished; for in the
record of the events of this year, (1796) he tells us--"Boré's success,
in his first attempt to manufacture sugar, was very great, and he sold
his crop for ten thousand dollars. His example induced a number of other
planters to plant cane." In the transactions of 1794, we are indeed
informed upon this point; and of the origin of Boré's undertaking this

     "Since the year 1766, the manufacture of sugar had been
     entirely abandoned in Louisiana. A few individuals had,
     however, contrived to plant a few canes in the neighbourhood of
     the city: they found a vent for them in the market. Two
     Spaniards, Mendez and Solis, had lately made larger
     plantations. One of them boiled the juice of the cane into
     syrup, and the other had set up a distillery, in which he made
     indifferent taffia.

     "Etienne Boré, a native of the Illinois, who resided about six
     miles above the city, finding his fortune considerably reduced
     by the failure of the indigo crops for several successive
     years, conceived the idea of retrieving his losses by the
     manufacture of sugar. The attempt was considered by all as a
     visionary one. His wife, (a daughter of Destrehan, the colonial
     treasurer under the government of France, who had been one of
     the first to attempt, and one of the last to abandon, the
     manufacture of sugar) remembering her father's ill success,
     warned him of the risk he ran of adding to instead of repairing
     his losses, and his relations and friends joined their
     remonstrances to hers. He, however, persisted; and, having
     procured a quantity of canes from Mendez and Solis, began to

So that in two years after Boré began to plant, he was able to make a
crop which sold for ten thousand dollars. From this time the culture of
the cane may be considered as established in Louisiana, constantly and
rapidly increasing in its importance, until it has become a principal
product of its soil, in which an immense capital is embarked. We have
before us a copy of a "Letter of Mr. Johnston of Louisiana, to the
secretary of the treasury, in reply to his circular of the 1st July
1830, relative to the culture of the sugar cane." This interesting
document contains a mass of authentic information, which leaves no doubt
of the importance of the culture of the cane, not only to those regions
of the United States which are suitable to it, but to all or most of the
other states; and the inference he justly draws from it is, that it
deserves and still requires all the protection it now receives from the
government. If it should be discontinued or diminished so as to affect
materially the sugar planter, the injury will not stop there, but be
extended to thousands of our citizens, who may not have reflected upon
the direct interest they have in this question. We deem it to be so
important, that we believe our readers, many of whom may not see the
letter of the honourable senator, will not find a page or two
unprofitably given to some extracts from it. In the introduction of his
subject he says:

     "When Louisiana was acquired by the United States, there was a
     duty on brown sugar of two and a half cents a pound, levied for
     revenue. The people of that state, who had already made some
     experiments in the culture of the cane, saw that the duty
     afforded them some protection from foreign competition, and
     secured the benefit of the home market, which was then of
     considerable extent, and rapidly increasing. This induced them,
     within the region then considered adapted to the cane, to turn
     their attention to the production of sugar. They embarked their
     whole fortunes, and for a long time struggled, under very
     discouraging circumstances, against the effects of the climate,
     the vicissitudes of seasons, the deficiency of capital, the
     want of skill, and all the difficulties incident to the
     commencement of such an enterprise. It was for many years a
     doubtful experiment and hazardous undertaking, but they

     "The cane gradually adapted itself to the climate. Different
     kinds of cane were introduced, skill was acquired by
     experience, capital increased, machinery and steam power
     applied, improvements adopted, and expenses diminished.

     "At the close of the war, Congress, for the purpose of
     increasing the revenue, and of protecting the domestic
     industry, increased the rate of duty on sugar half a cent a
     pound, as a part of a general system. This had a most decisive
     effect in bringing this great national interest to its present
     state, and they have now finally triumphed over every obstacle.

     "It was more than twenty years before they could produce 40,000
     hogsheads; and during the greater part of that time very little
     profit was made upon the capital employed.

     "The increase of capital, the introduction of machinery, the
     diversion of labour from other less profitable pursuits, the
     acquisition of skill, and, above all, the confidence of the
     people in the protection of the government, have vastly
     augmented the means of production. It now promises an ample
     supply for the consumption of the country, and a steady but
     moderate profit. They are in a course of experiment, that will
     in a short period establish this great interest upon a scale
     adequate to the wants of the people.

     "Under the faith of the laws, they have embarked their capital
     in the production of one of the great necessaries of life, and
     in support of a national system, which they understood it was
     the object of the government to establish. They have opened a
     new and extensive field of agricultural industry; directed
     labour to more profitable employment; maintained the value of
     slaves; and increased the internal commerce of the country.
     They have contributed their full share to all the duties paid
     on other articles. They came into this Union, charged with _an
     immense public debt_, which was greatly increased by the war,
     in which they suffered in common: they have freely contributed
     their portion to its payment."

He proceeds to show that the value of lands and slaves "is predicated
upon the value of the sugar, and that depends upon the rate of duty
established by the laws." The effects of a reduction of the duty is thus

     "The present price of sugar, at 5-1/2 cents, is sustained by a
     duty of 3 cents a pound. If that duty was removed, foreign
     sugar would be sold 3 cents less, and ours would fall in the
     same proportion. That reduction would bring sugar below the
     actual cost, and therefore it could not be made, even if slaves
     and lands cost nothing. A reduction of 2 cents would bring the
     price to the exact amount of 3-1/2 cents a pound, the precise
     cost of the sugar, independent of the capital, and therefore
     would yield nothing to the cultivator. A reduction of 1 cent
     would bring sugar to 4-1/2 cents, which would leave only 1 cent
     profit to pay for the capital--that is, the lands and slaves.
     That would diminish the present profit one half, and the value
     of the slaves in the same proportion. This reduction of duty
     operates entirely upon the _profit_; and a reduction of
     one-third of the duty operates a reduction of one-half of the
     profit, and thereby one-half of the value of the capital, and
     one-half of the slaves. Capital has been invested in Louisiana
     by the present standard of value. A reduction in that standard
     would produce a corresponding reduction in the value of all
     property. A reduction of one-third of the duty would sink half
     the value of property in the state, and ruin all those who have
     made engagements upon the faith of the laws."

The writer subsequently presents very precise and satisfactory
statements, to show the capital required for this branch of agriculture,
and the prices which are necessary to sustain it; with some calculated
anticipations of its increase, if not crushed by foreign competition.
Should it be asked, what interest have the other states of the Union in
this concern? It may be a very profitable employment of the money and
slaves of the rich planters of Louisiana; but is this a fair reason for
imposing heavy duties on a necessary of life, thus enhancing its cost to
those who consume it? To meet this inquiry, and remove the objection
contained in it; to show that the citizens of the states who consume the
sugar have an immediate participation in the profits of its cultivator,
Mr. Johnston says--

     "It is said that this is a local concern, interesting only to
     Louisiana. The slaves are taken, as beforementioned, from
     cotton and tobacco, and are furnished by the Southern States.

     "The provisions and animals come from the Western States.

     "The clothing from the North.

     "The engines, machinery, &c. come from the different foundries
     in the United States--principally from the West.

     "One-third of the capital comes from the South--and more than
     three-fifths of the whole production goes either in sugar or
     money to the other states, as their portion of the contribution
     in making it. The remaining two-fifths, being the profit on
     the capital, goes back chiefly to Virginia and Maryland, to
     purchase more slaves.

     "There are estimated now, 35,000 slaves: it will require 26,000
     more to supply the consumption of 1835.

     "There are estimated 725 plantations, which, when brought into
     operation, will yield an average of 300 hogsheads, sufficient
     for the consumption of 1836.

     "These have required 725 mills for grinding, as many sets of
     kettles, &c. There are now about 100 steam engines--there will
     be required in addition, upwards of 600 steam engines.

     "These plantations require also a large amount of horses,
     mules, and oxen; carts, wagons, ploughs, tools, iron, &c.

     "The present consumption for the slaves, is 35,000 barrels of

     "Which will be increased in 1835 to--say 60,000     "    "

     "They purchase now about ... 50,000 barrels of corn.

     "Each mill, with steam engine and kettles, &c. will cost

     "There are employed on the sugar plantations (independent of
     the cotton estates) 22,000 horses--value $1,500,000. These are
     to be renewed every seven years, or it will require $200,000 a
     year to supply the market. There were purchased in 1827-8,
     2,500 horses--in 1828-9, 2,800--in 1829-30, 3,000 horses.

     "Of the 100,000 hogsheads of sugar made in Louisiana, 50,000
     hogsheads are transported up the Mississippi in steam-boats,
     for the supply of the Western States, who obtain it in exchange
     for their productions. Here, then, there is an internal trade
     of five millions, created in the Western States.

     "The remainder of the sugar is transported coastwise by our
     vessels, to the North, to restore the balance of trade with
     that quarter, as well as with foreign nations.

     "Thus every interest of agriculture, manufactures, commerce,
     and navigation, connects itself intimately with this object.

     "The sugar is indeed made in Louisiana, but a portion of the
     money on which the establishments are founded, the whole of the
     labour by which it is produced, the chief supply of food, and
     the entire amount of clothing, and the transportation of the
     article, are furnished from the different states."

A prospect is reasonably held out of the reduction of the price of the
article, by continuing the protection, to a point as low as need be
desired, or could be obtained if we were to depend upon a foreign

     "When the estates are paid for, and the general diminution of
     value in other things takes place, with the improvements in
     machinery and other causes, sugar will be profitably made at 4
     cents, and that is about the price at which we purchase it now
     in the islands: at that price we can, after supplying this
     country, enter into the general market of the Baltic,
     Mediterranean, and Black Seas."

On this part of the case a more satisfactory ground is taken; and it is
made manifest, by authentic documents, that since the production of
sugar in Louisiana, with the duties by which it is protected, a
reduction has taken place in the price of the article, of _one-half_.
The results of the tables annexed to the letter are thus given.

     "The protecting duty on sugar, besides opening a new field of
     industry, diverting a large portion of labour from other
     objects, maintaining the value of all the slave property in the
     country, and supplying the people with an article of general
     use and prime necessity, has actually diminished the price
     one-half in twelve years.

     "In paper A, it will be seen that the prices in 1818 ranged
     from $14 to 15, and that in 1829 they had fallen to $7.50.

     "In paper marked B, it will be seen, that the brown of Havana
     has fallen 3 cents in 6 years, from 10 to 7 cents, while the
     sugar of Louisiana has varied from 8-1/2 to 6-1/2. The price
     of sugar has in that time depreciated more than the duty, and
     will produce still greater effect. The general average of
     Havana brown, for six years, is 9-3/4, which now sells at from
     7 to 8. The general average of Louisiana for the same period is
     8-1/4; the present price ranges from 6-1/2 to 7-1/2. The sugar
     of Louisiana now sells in New-Orleans at 5-1/2; freight, &c.
     will bring it to 6-1/2 in the Atlantic ports."

Mr. Johnston has no doubt of the capacity of the sugar region of the
United States to supply all our demands for it, for a long period to

     "Without entering into any exact calculation, I can with
     confidence assure you, that Louisiana alone can produce enough
     for the consumption of the country for twenty-five or thirty
     years, and including Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia
     south of the 32d degree, will supply it for twice that period.

     "It thus appears, that the people of Louisiana, under a
     confidence in the permanency of the policy of the government,
     have embarked their fortunes in the production of an article of
     extensive use; that they are now in the course of successful
     experiment, which promises, in a few years, to supply the
     consumption of the country; that they have opened a new field
     of agricultural industry and enterprise, requiring a vast
     amount of labour and capital; that they have actually reduced
     the price of the article one-half, and have saved the country
     an expense of six or seven millions a-year, and will reduce the
     price still lower, when the experiment is complete."

Having found in our "History of Louisiana," the feeble commencement of
the culture of the sugar cane in that country, we thought it not beside
our purpose, and likely to be agreeable to our readers, to trace it to
its present strong and flourishing condition; to show the causes of its
increase, and its immense value to those who have embarked their
fortunes in it; to those by whom its produce is consumed, and finally to
the revenue of the government. All these matters, doubtless, will be
carefully examined and considered by the public councils whose right and
duty it is to decide upon them.

We return to our history; the colony seems now to have attracted the
attention of the mother country, and liberal assistance was given to
advance its population.

     "The ships landed also sixty poor girls, who were brought over
     at the king's expense. They were the last succour of this kind,
     which the mother country supplied. They were given in marriage
     to such soldiers whose good conduct entitled them to a
     discharge. Land was allotted to each couple, with a cow and
     calf, a cock and five hens; a gun, axe, and hoe. During the
     three first years, rations were allowed them, with a small
     quantity of powder, shot, and grain for seed."

This was in 1751.

An anecdote is recorded, exhibiting at once a feature of aboriginal
justice, and the strength of parental affection in the "poor Indian."

     "In a quarrel between a Choctaw and a Colapissa, the former
     told the latter his countrymen were the dogs of the
     French--meaning their slaves. The Colapissa, having a loaded
     musket in his hands, discharged its contents at the Choctaw,
     and fled to New-Orleans. The relations of the deceased came to
     the Marquis de Vaudreuil to demand his surrender: he had in the
     mean while gone to the German coast. The Marquis, having vainly
     tried to appease them, sent orders to Renaud, the commandant
     of that post, to have the murderer arrested; but he eluded the
     pursuit. His father went to the Choctaws and offered himself a
     willing victim: the relations of the deceased persisted in
     their refusal to accept any compensation in presents. They at
     last consented to allow the old man to atone, by the loss of
     his own life, for the crime of his son. He stretched himself on
     the trunk of an old tree, and a Choctaw severed his head from
     the body, at the first stroke. This instance of paternal
     affection was made the subject of a tragedy by Leblanc de
     Villeneuve, an officer of the troops lately arrived from
     France. This performance is the only dramatic work which the
     republic of letters owes to Louisiana."

In the same year the white men furnished a subject for a tragedy far
more cruel and vindictive than the self-immolation of an Indian father,
and far less just and amiable.

     "During the summer, some soldiers of the garrison of Cat
     Island, rose upon and killed Roux, who commanded there. They
     were exasperated at his avarice and cruelty. He employed them
     in burning coal, of which he made a traffic, and for trifling
     delinquencies had exposed several of them, naked and tied to
     trees in a swamp, during whole nights, to the stings of
     musquetoes. Joining some English traders in the neighbourhood
     of Mobile, they started in the hope of reaching Georgia,
     through the Indian country. A party of the Choctaws, then about
     the fort, was sent after and overtook them. One destroyed
     himself; the rest were brought to New-Orleans, where two were
     broken on the wheel--the other, belonging to the Swiss regiment
     of Karrer, was, according to the law of his nation, followed by
     the officers of the Swiss troops in the service of France,
     sawed in two parts. He was placed alive in a kind of coffin, to
     the middle of which two sergeants applied a whip saw. It was
     not thought prudent to make any allowance for the provocation
     these men had received."

The removal of the Acadians from their country; stripping them of their
lands and goods; permitting them to carry nothing away but their
household furniture and money, of which they had but little; laying
waste their fields and their dwellings, and consuming their fences by
fire, was another awful tragedy performed by civilized man upon the weak
and defenceless, upon the pretences of policy. It was an act of British
inhumanity; the sufferings of these miserable outcasts and wanderers are
described by our author.

     "Thus beggared, these people were, in small numbers and at
     different periods, cast on the sandy shores of the southern
     provinces, among a people of whose language they were ignorant,
     and who knew not theirs, whose manners and education were
     different from their own, whose religion they abhorred, and who
     were rendered odious to them, as the friends and countrymen of
     those who had so cruelly treated them, and whom they considered
     as a no less savage foe, than he who wields the tomahawk and
     the scalping knife.

     "It is due to the descendants of the British colonists, to say,
     that their sires received with humanity, kindness, and
     hospitality, those who so severely smarted under the calamities
     of war. In every province the humane example of the legislature
     of Pennsylvania was followed, and the colonial treasury was
     opened to relieve the sufferers; and private charity was not
     outdone by the public. Yet but a few accepted the proffered
     relief, and sat down on the land that was offered them.

     "The others fled westerly, from what appeared to them a hostile
     shore--wandering till they found themselves out of sight of any
     who spoke the English language. They crossed the mighty spine,
     and wintered among the Indians. The scattered parties, thrown
     off on the coast of every colony from Pennsylvania to Georgia,
     united, and trusting themselves to the western waters, sought
     the land on which the spotless banner waved, and the waves of
     the Mississippi brought them to New-Orleans."

The practice of _shipping off_ individuals who were obnoxious to the
dominant party, seems to have obtained in Louisiana at a very early
period; and, as we shall see, became a favourite process in the
administration of justice. A pretty strong case of this employment of
physical force, without any consultation with the officers of the law,
or any regard to the civil rights of the people, occured in 1759. We
shall give it to our readers.

     "Diaz Anna, a Jew from Jamaica, came to New-Orleans, on a
     trading voyage. We have seen, that by an edict of the month of
     March, 1724, that of Louis the Thirteenth, of the 13th of
     April, 1615, had been extended to Louisiana. The latter edict
     declared, that Jews, as enemies of the Christian name, should
     not be allowed to reside in Louisiana; and if they staid in
     spite of the edict, their bodies and goods should be
     confiscated: Rochemore had the vessel of the Israelite and her
     cargo seized. Kerlerec sent soldiers to drive away the guard
     put on board the vessel, and had her restored to the Jew.
     Imagining he had gone too far to stop there, he had Belot,
     Rochemore's secretary, and Marigny de Mandeville, de Lahoupe,
     Bossu, and some other officers, whom he suspected to have
     joined the ordonnateur's party, arrested, and a few days after
     shipped them for France."

Thus far we have seen this province under the dominion of France, and
gradually ameliorating its condition under her government. We come now
to the period when a new master was to be given to it, or rather, when
it was to be given to a new master. It is thus that kings have used
territories and their people, their industry and their wealth, as
subjects of diplomatic traffic and political accommodation. "On the 3d
of November 1763, a secret treaty was signed between the French and
Spanish kings, by which the former ceded to the latter the part of the
province of Louisiana which lies on the western side of the Mississippi,
with the city of New-Orleans, and the island on which it stands." When
the rumours of this cession reached the colonists, it produced the
deepest distress; they had a dread of passing "under the yoke of Spain."
Official intelligence of the event was not received until October 1764,
when an order came from the king to deliver possession of the ceded
territory to the governor of the Catholic king. "This intelligence
plunged the inhabitants in the greatest consternation;" especially as it
estranged them from their kindred and friends in the eastern part of the
province--transferring them to a foreign potentate. Every effort was
made by meetings and memorials to avert the calamity. The actual
delivery was delayed; and a hope was entertained that the cession might
be rescinded, for two years had elapsed since the direction had been
given to surrender the province to Spain. In the summer of 1766,
intelligence was received that Don Ulloa had arrived at Havana, to take
the possession, for Spain, of Louisiana. Soon after he landed at
New-Orleans, and was received "with dumb respect." He declined
exhibiting his powers, and of course delayed to receive the possession
of the country. In 1768 the council insisted that Don Ulloa should
produce his powers or depart from the province; he chose the latter
alternative, and sailed for Havana, and from thence to Spain. In the
following year a governor of a different temperament was sent from
Spain, attended by a strong military force, with a large supply of arms
and ammunition. On the 24th of July, Don Alexander O'Reilly landed on
the levee. "The inhabitants immediately came to a resolution to choose
three gentlemen to wait on him, and inform him that the people of
Louisiana were determined to abandon the colony, and had no other favour
to ask from him, but that he would allow them two years to remove
themselves and their effects." O'Reilly received the deputies with great
politeness; made professions of his desire to promote the interests of
the colonists, and said every thing he thought would flatter the people.
At this time the Spanish armament had not reached the city; it cast
anchor on the 16th of August. In the afternoon of the 18th, the
Spaniards disembarked; the French flag was lowered, and the Spanish was
seen flying in its place in the middle of the square. We have been thus
particular in narrating these events, because they were the precursors
of a proceeding of military violence, astonishing _even for that day_,
and under circumstances of open disaffection and opposition to the
government; for some of the planters had taken up arms on the arrival of

One of the first acts of O'Reilly's administration was to take a census
of the inhabitants of New-Orleans. The aggregate population was 3190, of
every age, sex, and colour; of these 1902 were free; 1225 slaves, and
sixty domesticated Indians; the number of houses was 468; the whole
province contained but 13,538 inhabitants.

We have seen that the cession of the province had created the utmost
discontent; and the arrival of O'Reilly was considered as a general
calamity. The transfer had been impeded and resisted by all the means in
the power of the colonists. Although Don Ulloa had not ventured to
execute his commission with the force at his command, he had,
nevertheless, "set about building forts and putting troops into them."
On the other side, plans of resistance were contemplated by the people;
and assistance looked for from their English neighbours in West Florida;
and in the fall of 1768 Don Ulloa was, as we have seen, ordered away. By
this brief retrospect, the temper of the colonists, on the arrival of
O'Reilly, will be understood, and will serve as a key to his
proceedings. He resolved to lose nothing by timidity and hesitation. In
the reckless pride and unbridled passions of military despotism, he
disdained to temporize, or endeavour to sooth the irritated feelings of
the people, or to conciliate their confidence, or calm their fears. He
had been accustomed to rely upon no power but that of the sword, and to
respect no authority but a military commission. To him the _law_ was a
subject of scorn, and the civil rights of citizens or subjects an idle
tale. He looked upon his five thousand troops, with their arms and
ammunition, and he saw there the only power be respected, or would
condescend to use to maintain his government. Such principles led or
drove him to a course of desperate violence, having then no parallel in
any country pretending to a government of laws, or any civil rights. We
shall give his proceedings in the language of our historian.

     "Towards the last day of August, the people were alarmed by the
     arrest of Foucault, the commissary-general and ordonnateur, De
     Noyant and Boisblanc, two members of the superior council; La
     Freniere, the attorney-general, and Braud, the king's printer.
     These gentlemen were attending O'Reilly's levé, when he
     requested them to step into an adjacent apartment, where they
     found themselves immediately surrounded by a body of
     grenadiers, with fixed bayonets, the commanding officer of whom
     informed them they were the king's prisoners. The two first
     were conveyed to their respective houses, and a guard was left
     there: the others were imprisoned in the barracks.

     "It had been determined to make an example of twelve
     individuals; two from the army, and an equal number from the
     bar; four planters, and as many merchants. Accordingly, Marquis
     and De Noyant, officers of the troop; La Freniere, the
     attorney-general, and Doucet, (lawyers,) Villere, Boisblanc,
     Mazent, and Petit, (planters,) and John Milhet, Joseph Milhet,
     Caresse and Poupet, (merchants,) had been selected.

     "Within a few days, Marquis, Doucet, Petit, Mazant, the two
     Milhets, Caresse, and Poupet, were arrested and confined.

     "Villere, who was on his plantation at the German coast, had
     been marked as one of the intended victims; but his absence
     from the city rendering his arrest less easy, it had been
     determined to release one of the prisoners on his being
     secured. He had been apprized of the impending danger, and it
     had been recommended to him to provide for his safety by
     seeking the protection of the British flag waving at Manshac.
     When he was deliberating on the step it became him to take, he
     received a letter from Aubry, the commandant of the French
     troops, assuring him he had nothing to apprehend, and advising
     him to return to the city. Averse to flight, as it would imply
     a consciousness of guilt, he yielded to Aubry's recommendation,
     and returned to New-Orleans; but as he passed the gate, the
     officer commanding the guard arrested him. He was immediately
     conveyed on board of a frigate that lay at the levee. On
     hearing of this, his lady, a grand daughter of La Chaise, the
     former commissary-general and ordonnateur, hastened to the
     city. As her boat approached the frigate, it was hailed and
     ordered away. She made herself known, and solicited admission
     to her husband, but was answered she could not see him, as the
     captain was on shore, and had left orders that no communication
     should be allowed with the prisoner. Villere recognised his
     wife's voice, and insisted on being permitted to see her. On
     his being refused, a struggle ensued, in which he fell, pierced
     by the bayonets of his guards. His bloody shirt thrown into the
     boat, announced to the lady that she had ceased to be a wife;
     and a sailor cut the rope that fastened the boat to the

     "O'Reilly's assessors heard and recorded the testimony against
     the prisoners, and called on them for their pleas.

     "The prosecution was grounded on a statute of Alfonso the
     eleventh, which is the first law of the seventh title of the
     first partida, and denounces the punishment of death and
     confiscation of property against those who excite any
     insurrection against the king or state, or take up arms under
     pretence of extending their liberty or rights, and against
     those who give them any assistance.

     "Foucault pleaded he had done nothing, except in his character
     of commissary-general and ordonnateur of the king of France in
     the province, and to him alone he was accountable for the
     motives that had directed his official conduct. The plea was
     sustained; he was not, however, released; and a few days
     afterwards, he was transported to France.

     "Brand offered a similar plea, urging he was the king of
     France's printer in Louisiana. The only accusation against him,
     was that he had printed the petition of the planters and
     merchants to the superior council, soliciting that body to
     require Ulloa to exhibit his powers or depart. He concluded
     that he was bound, by his office, to print whatever the
     ordonnateur sent to his press; and he produced that officer's
     order to print the petition. His plea was sustained and he was

     "The other prisoners declined also the jurisdiction of the
     tribunal before which they were arraigned: their plea was
     overruled. They now denied the facts with which they were
     charged, contended that if they did take place, they did so
     while the flag of France was still waving over the province,
     and the laws of that kingdom retained their empire in it, and
     thus the facts did not constitute an offence against the laws
     of Spain; that the people of Louisiana could not bear the yokes
     of two sovereigns; that O'Reilly could not command the
     obedience, nor even the respect of the colonists, until he made
     known to them his character and powers; and that the Catholic
     king could not count on their allegiance, till he extended to
     them his protection.

     "It had been determined at first, to proceed with the utmost
     rigour of the law against six of the prisoners; but, on the
     death of Villere, it was judged sufficient to do so against
     five only. The jurisprudence of Spain authorizing the
     infliction of a less severe punishment than that denounced by
     the statute, when the charge is not proved by two witnesses to
     the same act, but by one with corroborating
     circumstances.--Accordingly two witnesses were produced against
     De Noyant, La Freniere, Marquis, Joseph Milhet, and Caresse.
     They were convicted; and O'Reilly, by the advice of his
     assessor, condemned them to be hanged, and pronounced the
     confiscation of their estates.

     "The most earnest and pathetic entreaties were employed by
     persons in every rank of society, to prevail on O'Reilly to
     remit or suspend the execution of his sentence till the royal
     clemency could be implored. He was inexorable; and the only
     indulgence that could be obtained, was, that death should be
     inflicted by shooting, instead of hanging. With this
     modification, the sentence was carried into execution on the
     twenty-eighth of September.

     "On the morning of that day, the guards, at every gate and post
     of the city, were doubled, and orders were given not to allow
     any body to enter it. All the troops were under arms, and
     paraded the streets or were placed in battle array along the
     levee and on the public square. Most of the inhabitants fled
     into the country. At three o'clock of the afternoon, the
     victims were led, under a strong guard, to the small square in
     front of the barracks, tied to stakes, and an explosion of
     musketry soon announced to the few inhabitants who remained in
     the city, that their friends were no more.

     "Posterity, the judge of men in power, will doom this act to
     public execration. No necessity demanded, no policy justified
     it. Ulloa's conduct had provoked the measures to which the
     inhabitants had resorted. During nearly two years, he had
     haunted the province as a phantom of dubious authority. The
     efforts of the colonists, to prevent the transfer of their
     natal soil to a foreign prince, originated in their attachment
     to their own, and the Catholic king ought to have beheld in
     their conduct a pledge of their future devotion to himself.
     They had but lately seen their country severed, and a part of
     it added to the dominion of Great Britain; they had bewailed
     their separation from their friends and kindred; and were
     afterwards to be alienated, without their consent, and
     subjected to a foreign yoke. If the indiscretion of a few of
     them needed an apology, the common misfortune afforded it.

     "A few weeks afterwards, the proceedings against the six
     remaining prisoners were brought to a close. One witness only
     deposing against any of them, and circumstances corroborating
     the testimony, Boisblanc was condemned to imprisonment for
     life; Doucet, Mazent, John Milhet, Petit, and Poupet, were
     condemned to imprisonment for various terms of years. All were
     transported to Havana, and cast into the dungeons of the Moro

O'Reilly was not satisfied with this bloody vengeance on the individuals
who had incurred his resentment and offended his pride. The "Superior
council" in a body must be prostrated by his power.

     "A proclamation of O'Reilly, on the twenty-first of November,
     announced to them that the evidence received during the late
     trials, having furnished full proof of the part the superior
     council had in the revolt during the two preceding years, and
     of the influence it had exerted in encouraging the leaders,
     instead of using its best endeavours to keep the people in the
     fidelity and subordination they owed to the sovereign, it had
     become necessary to abolish that tribunal, and to establish, in
     Louisiana, that form of government and mode of administering
     justice prescribed by the laws of Spain, which had long
     maintained the Catholic king's American colonies in perfect
     tranquillity, content, and subordination."

A year after these deeds of military heroism, O'Reilly took passage for
Europe. But what said his royal master, the King of Spain, for such
outrages upon the lives and liberty of his newly acquired subjects? We
are told in one short paragraph--"Charles III. _disapproved_ of
O'Reilly's conduct, and he received on his landing at Cadiz, an order
prohibiting his appearance at court." Well, it is something that his
conduct was _disapproved_ of, and not rewarded with new honours and
powers. Some _sovereigns_ might have done this.

We pass from these distressing and disgraceful scenes, and find nothing
of peculiar interest in our History, until we come to the period of our
revolution. Although in 1778, the people of Louisiana could have had no
prophetic vision to warn them that they would become a member of the
American Republic, they felt and manifested a friendly disposition
toward us, and rendered us efficient aid in the struggle then carrying
on for our independence.

     "During the month of January, Captain Willing made a second
     visit to New-Orleans. Oliver Pollock now acted openly as the
     agent of the Americans, with the countenance of Galvez, who
     now, and at subsequent periods, afforded them an aid of upwards
     of seventy thousand dollars out of the royal treasury. By this
     means, the posts occupied by the militia of Virginia on the
     Mississippi, and the frontier inhabitants of the state of
     Pennsylvania, were supplied with arms and ammunition."

Now that we have become one people, and our Independence has made the
independence of Louisiana, it is gratifying to recall to our
recollection every testimony that may draw us closer together in our
affections, as we are in our interests and common welfare. We take
pleasure also in presenting an instance of American enterprise and
gallantry, which ought not to be forgotten.

     "Colonel Hamilton, who commanded at the British post at
     Detroit, came this year to Vincennes, on the Wabash, with about
     six hundred men, chiefly Indians, with a view to an expedition
     against Kaskaskia, and up the Ohio as far as Fort Pitt, and the
     back settlements of Virginia. Colonel Clark heard, from a
     trader who came down from Vincennes to Kaskaskia, that
     Hamilton, not intending to take the field until spring, had
     sent most of his force to block up the Ohio, or to harass the
     frontier settlers, keeping at Vincennes sixty soldiers only,
     with three pieces of cannon and some swivels. The resolution
     was immediately taken to improve the favourable opportunity for
     averting the impending danger; and Clark accordingly despatched
     a small galley, mounting two four pounders and four swivels, on
     board of which he put a company of soldiers, with orders to
     pursue her way up the Wabash, and anchor a few miles below
     Vincennes, suffering nothing to pass her. He now sat off with
     one hundred and twenty men, the whole force he could command,
     and marched towards Vincennes. They were five days in crossing
     the low lands of the Wabash, in the neighbourhood of Vincennes,
     after having spent sixty in crossing the wilderness, wading for
     several nights up to their breasts in water. Appearing suddenly
     before the town, they surprised and took it. Hamilton for a
     while defended the fort, but was at last compelled to

We now approach a period in the History of Louisiana when her direct
communication and commerce with the United States began; and from this
moment she became an object of great and growing interest to us. The
commencement of this intercourse is of a singular character, and was
conducted with singular address.

     "The foundation was now laid of a commercial intercourse,
     through the Mississippi, between the United States and
     New-Orleans, which has been continued, with but little
     interruption, to this day, and has increased to an immense
     degree; and, to the future extent of which, the imagination can
     hardly contemplate any limit. Hitherto, the boats of the
     western people, venturing on the Mississippi, were arrested by
     the first Spanish officer who met them; and confiscation
     ensued, in every case; all communication between the citizens
     of the United States and the Spaniards being strictly
     prohibited. Now and then, an emigrant, desirous of settling in
     the district of Natchez, by personal entreaty and the
     solicitations of his friends, obtained a tract of land, with
     permission to settle on it with his family, slaves, farming
     utensils, and furniture. He was not allowed to bring any thing
     to sell without paying an enormous duty. An unexpected incident
     changed the face of affairs in this respect.

     "The idea of a regular trade was first conceived by General
     Wilkinson, who had served with distinction as an officer in the
     late war, and whose name is as conspicuous in the annals of the
     west, as any other. He had connected with it a scheme for the
     settlement of several thousand American families in that part
     of the present state of Louisiana, now known as the parishes of
     East and West Feliciana, and that of Washita, and on White
     river, and other streams of the present territory of Arkansas.
     For these services to the Spanish government, he expected to
     obtain the privilege of introducing, yearly, a considerable
     quantity of tobacco into the Mexican market.

     "With a view to the execution of his plan, Wilkinson descended
     the Mississippi, with an adventure of tobacco, flour, butter,
     and bacon. He stopped at Natchez while his boat was floating
     down the stream to New-Orleans, the commandant at the former
     place having been induced to forbear seizing it, from an
     apprehension that such a step would be disapproved by Miro, who
     might be desirous of showing some indulgence to a general
     officer of a nation with whom his was at peace--especially as
     the boat and its owner were proceeding to New-Orleans, where he
     could act towards them as he saw fit.

     "Wilkinson having stopped at a plantation on the river, the
     boat reached the city before him. On its approaching the levee,
     a guard was immediately sent on board, and the revenue officers
     were about taking measures for its seizure, when a merchant,
     who was acquainted with Wilkinson, and had some influence with
     Miro, represented to him that the step Navarro was about to
     take might be attended with unpleasant consequences; that the
     people of Kentucky were already much exasperated at the conduct
     of the Spaniards in seizing all the property of those who
     navigated the Mississippi, and if this system was pursued, they
     would probably, in spite of Congress, take means themselves to
     open the navigation of the river by force. Hints were, at the
     same time, thrown out, that the general was a very popular
     character among those who were capable of inflaming the whole
     of the western people, and that, probably, his sending a boat
     before him, that it might be seized, was a scheme laid by the
     government of the United States, that he might, on his return,
     influence the minds of his countrymen; and, having brought them
     to the point he wished, induce them to choose him for their
     leader, and, spreading over the country, carry fire and
     desolation from one part of Louisiana to the other.

     "On this, Miro expressed his wish to Navarro that the guard
     might be removed. This was done; and Wilkinson's friend was
     permitted to take charge of the boat, and sell the cargo,
     without paying any duty.

     "On his first interview with Miro, Wilkinson, that he might not
     derogate from the character his friend had given him, by
     appearing concerned in so trifling an adventure as a boat-load
     of tobacco, flour, &c. observed that the cargo belonged to
     several of his fellow-citizens in Kentucky, who wished to avail
     themselves of his visit to New-Orleans to make a trial of the
     temper of the colonial government. On his return he could then
     inform the United States government, of the steps taken under
     his eye; so that, in future, proper measures might be adopted.
     He acknowledged with gratitude the attention and respect
     manifested towards himself, and the favour shown to the
     merchant who had been permitted to take care of the boat;
     adding, he did not wish that the intendant should expose
     himself to the anger of the court, by forbearing to seize the
     boat and cargo, if such were his instructions, and he had no
     authority to depart from them when circumstances might require

     "Miro supposed, from this conversation, that Wilkinson's object
     was to produce a rupture rather than to avoid one. He became
     more and more alarmed. For two or three years before,
     particularly since the commissioners of the state of Georgia
     came to Natchez to claim the country, he had been fearful of an
     invasion at every rise of the water; and the rumour of a few
     boats having been seen together on the Ohio, was sufficient to
     excite his apprehensions. At his next interview with Wilkinson,
     having procured further information of the character, number,
     and disposition of the western people, and having revolved, in
     his mind, what measures he could take, consistently with his
     instructions, he concluded that he could do no better than to
     hold out a hope to Wilkinson, in order to secure his influence
     in restraining his countrymen from an invasion of Louisiana,
     till further instructions could be received from Madrid. The
     general sailed in September for Philadelphia."

In 1788, Don Martin Navarro, the intendant, left the province for Spain,
and we cannot deny him the credit of sagacity, in his last communication
to the king.

     "Navarro's last communication to the king was a memorial which
     he had prepared, by order of the minister, on the danger to be
     apprehended by Spain, in her American colonies, from the
     emancipation of the late British provinces on the Atlantic. In
     this document, he dwells much on the ambition of the United
     States, and their thirst for conquest; whose views he states to
     be an extension of territory to the shores of the Pacific
     ocean; and suggests the dismemberment of the western country,
     by means of pensions and the grant of commercial privileges, as
     the most proper means, in the power of Spain, to arrest the
     impending danger. To effect this, was not, in his opinion, very
     difficult. The attempt was therefore strongly recommended, as
     success would greatly augment the power of Spain, and forever
     arrest the progress of the United States to the west.

     "It would not have been difficult for the King of Spain, at
     this period, to have found, in Kentucky, citizens of the United
     States ready to come into his views. The people of that
     district met, this year, in a second convention, and agreed on
     a petition to congress for the redress of their grievances--the
     principal of which was, the occlusion of the Mississippi. Under
     the apprehension that the interference of congress could not be
     obtained, or might be fruitless, several expedients were talked
     of, no one of which was generally approved; the people being
     divided into no less than five parties, all of which had
     different, if not opposite, views.

     "The first was for independence of the United States, and the
     formation of a new republic, unconnected with them, who was to
     enter into a treaty with Spain.

     "Another party was willing that the country should become a
     part of the province of Louisiana, and submit to the admission
     of the laws of Spain.

     "A third desired a war with Spain, and the seizure of

     "A fourth plan was to prevail on congress, by a show of
     preparation for war, to extort from the cabinet of Madrid, what
     it persisted in refusing.

     "The last, as unnatural as the second, was to solicit France to
     procure a retrocession of Louisiana, and extend her protection
     to Kentucky."

We think the Don's scheme, for preventing the evils he anticipated,
altogether chimerical; but our author has more faith in it, and believes
"it would not have been difficult for the King of Spain, at this period,
to find, in Kentucky, citizens of the United States ready to come into
his views." We trust this is a mistake. The occlusion of the Mississippi
was the grievance they deplored. It is, however, worthy of our special
attention, that at the period when these matters were agitated in our
western country, our states were held together by the weak and
inefficient bonds of the old confederation, under which, state
selfishness and state pride, now called _state rights_, predominated
over the great and general interests of the Union; and the weaker
members were neglected, having no superintending, supreme federal power
to give an equal care and protection to every part. Our author
distinctly says, that "it was in the western part of the United States
that the inefficacy of the power of Congress was most complained of."
The present strength and prosperity of the west, are the fruits of our
"more perfect union," and the wisdom and gratitude of the west will
forever make it the friend and support of that Union.

We are now introduced to the Baron de Carondelet, a name which
afterwards became conspicuous in the History of Louisiana, and familiar
to the citizens of the United States. He was appointed governor of the
province, and entered upon his duties in 1792. "The sympathies and
partialities of the people of Louisiana began to manifest themselves
strongly in favour of the French patriots, principally in New-Orleans."
The Baron thought it to be his duty, especially as he was a native of
France, "to restrain excesses against monarchical government." He began
by stopping "the exhibition of certain martial dances and revolutionary
airs" at the theatre. He afterwards thought it necessary to adopt
stronger measures to suppress the growing inclination to popular
doctrines, and betook himself to the _custom of the country_, the
New-Orleans _common law_, or rather the law of its governors, _to ship
off the obnoxious persons_, without any form of trial or condemnation.
He caused six individuals to be arrested and confined in the fort, and
soon afterwards, "shipped them for Havana, where they were detained a
twelve month." This may be a very pretty military mode of getting rid of
disagreeable or troublesome people--the summary arrest--the fort--the
ship and banishment; but we cannot reconcile it to our notions of
liberty and law.

We pass over, as matters well known, the plans of _Genet_ at this
period, and the proceedings of the Baron to defeat them.--The Baron also
followed up, with great perseverance, "his favourite plan for the
separation of the western people from the Union," and he continued to do
so, subsequent to the ratification of the treaty between the United
States and Spain. The report made by _Power_, the Baron's agent, of the
dispositions of the western people, was altogether unpropitious to his
design. He, however, delayed the delivery of the posts, to which the
United States were entitled, under various pretences; still having the
separation in view. His proceedings to effect this object are detailed,
and will be read with interest. It is needless to say, that no ray of
success shone upon his enterprise. Power, the active agent of the
mischief, came very near to be tarred and feathered at Louisville, and
was afterwards arrested by General Wilkinson, at Detroit. The Baron must
have opened his eyes in astonishment at his egregious miscalculation of
the dispositions of the West, when Wilkinson informed him, "that the
people of Kentucky had proposed to him to raise an army of ten thousand
men to take New-Orleans in case of a rupture with Spain."

Our author gives a concise account of the cession of Louisiana by Spain
to France, and again by France to the United States. The negotiator by
whom the latter transfer was conducted, on the part of France, was M.
Marbois, and his work is the most satisfactory authority for the curious
details of that extraordinary proceeding. The general character of the
transaction, and the terms of purchase, are sufficiently known; but M.
Marbois lets us into some of the secrets of the negotiation, and of the
reasons which induced the first consul to part with this valuable
territory as soon as he had acquired it. We will be brief with them.

The cession of Louisiana by France to Spain in 1763, was not only, as we
have seen, a cause of violent discontent to the inhabitants of that
province, but was considered in all the maritime and commercial cities
of France, as impolitic and injurious; and a general wish prevailed to
recover the colony. This did not escape Bonaparte, who did not delay to
renew with the court of Madrid, a negotiation on the subject; having
also in view a diminution of the power of England, which was never out
of his mind. Profiting by the ascendancy he acquired by the victory of
Marengo, he easily persuaded the Prince of Peace to restore Louisiana to
France. This was done by a treaty made in October 1800. It was
stipulated that the surrender should be made six months after. The
treaty of 21st March 1801, renews these dispositions; but Louisiana
continued for some time longer under the dominion of Spain. The
differences between the United States and the French republic were
terminated by a convention at Paris, on 30th of September 1800; and on
the next day the treaty above mentioned with Spain was concluded at St.
Ildephonso. As the war between France and England still continued, the
cession of Louisiana to France was not made public; nor was possession
taken. This difficulty was not removed for some time. In October 1801,
preliminaries of peace were signed at London, followed up by the treaty
of Amiens in March 1802. In the following September General Victor was
appointed governor general of Louisiana; and Laussat the prefect sailed
for New-Orleans in January.

The retrocession of the province to France created much uneasiness and
alarm in the United States. The free navigation of the Mississippi
became daily of more importance, and it was apprehended that the French
would not be found as peaceable neighbours as the Spaniards. Every one
remembers the short and uneasy existence of the insincere peace of
Amiens. A renewal of the war was seen to be inevitable, and the American
cabinet perceived that, in such an event, France would postpone the
occupation of Louisiana. This state of things was justly thought to be
favourable to an arrangement with France on the subject of the deposit
at New-Orleans and the navigation of the river. Mr. Monroe was sent to
that country for this purpose, where Mr. Livingston, our minister, had
been pursuing it for many months; his overtures received little or no
attention. The debates in our senate are not forgotten, on the motion of
Mr. Ross; nor the prospect then in view of our taking by force of arms
what it was believed would never be gained by treaty. In the spring of
1803, war was clearly inevitable between France and England; and
Bonaparte knew that Louisiana, in that event, would be at the mercy of
his enemy. He at once determined to change his policy in regard to that
province, and to part with it, as the only means of saving it from
England. On the 10th of April 1803, he entered upon the execution of his
design, and called two counsellors to him, and addressed them "with that
vehemence and passion which he particularly manifested in political
affairs." He said he knew the full value of Louisiana, and had been
desirous of repairing the fault by which it was lost--that "a few lines
of a treaty have restored it to me, and I have scarcely recovered it
when I must expect to lose it." Looking to the strength it would give to
the United States, he said: "But if it escapes from me, it shall one
day cost dearer to those who oblige me to strip myself of it, than to
those to whom I wish to deliver it." After some remarks upon the naval
strength in the Gulf of Mexico, and the ease with which they might take
Louisiana, he added;--

     "I think of ceding it to the United States. I can scarcely say
     that I cede it to them, for it is not yet in our possession.
     If, however, I leave the least time to our enemies, I shall
     only transmit an empty title to those republicans whose
     friendship I seek. They only ask of me one town in Louisiana,
     but I already consider the colony as entirely lost, and it
     appears to me that in the hands of this growing power, it will
     be more useful to the policy and even to the commerce of
     France, than if I should attempt to keep it."

The counsellors differed in their opinions, diametrically, each giving
his reasons at large. The first consul decided the question immediately;
he promptly declared, that

     "Irresolution and deliberation are no longer in season. I
     renounce Louisiana. It is not only New-Orleans that I will
     cede, it is the whole colony without any reservation. I know
     the price of what I abandon, and I have sufficiently proved the
     importance that I attach to this province, since my first
     diplomatic act with Spain had for its object the recovery of
     it. I renounce it with the greatest regret. To attempt
     obstinately to retain it would be folly. I direct you to
     negotiate this affair with the envoys of the United States. Do
     not even await the arrival of Mr. Monroe: have an interview
     this very day with Mr. Livingston."

We hope and believe that one of the predictions of this luminous mind
will not be fulfilled, although we have lately seen some appearances of
its accomplishment.

     "Perhaps it will also be objected to me, that the Americans may
     be found too powerful for Europe in two or three centuries: but
     my foresight does not embrace such remote fears. Besides, we
     may hereafter expect rivalries among the members of the Union.
     The confederations, that are called perpetual, only last till
     one of the contracting parties finds it to its interest to
     break them, and it is to prevent the danger, to which the
     colossal power of England exposes us, that I would provide a

"The conferences began the same day between Mr. Livingston and M. Barbé
Marbois, to whom the first consul confided the negotiation." Pending the
preliminary discussions, Mr. Monroe arrived at Paris; but even then Mr.
Livingston despaired of success, and said to Mr. Monroe, "I wish that
the resolution offered by Mr. Ross in the senate had been adopted. Only
force can give us New-Orleans; we must employ force; let us first get
possession of the country and negotiate afterwards." Mr. Livingston,
however, was happily mistaken. "The first difficulties," says M.
Marbois, "were smoothed by a circumstance which is rarely met with in
congresses and diplomatic conferences. The plenipotentiaries having been
long acquainted, were disposed to treat each other with confidence." The
negotiation, under such auspices, proceeded rapidly, but not without
some distrust on our part.

     "Mr. Monroe, still affected by the distrust of his colleague,
     did not hear without surprise the first overtures that were
     frankly made by M. de Marbois. Instead of the cession of a
     town and its inconsiderable territory, a vast portion of
     America was in some sort offered to the United States. They
     only asked for the mere right of navigating the Mississippi,
     and their sovereignty was about to be extended over the largest
     rivers of the world. They passed over an interior frontier to
     carry their limits to the great Pacific ocean."

The termination of this important negotiation was as speedy and
satisfactory, as it has been and will be important in its consequences.
M. Marbois truly observes, "the cession of Louisiana was a certain
guarantee of the future greatness of the United States; and opposed an
insurmountable obstacle to any design formed by the English of becoming
predominant in America." In relation to the stipulations in the treaty,
that the inhabitants should be incorporated in the Union, and, in due
time, be admitted as a state, &c. M. Marbois records.

     "The first consul, left to his natural disposition, was always
     inclined to an elevated and generous justice. He himself
     prepared the article which has been just recited. The words
     which he employed on the occasion are recorded in the journal
     of the negotiation, and deserve to be preserved. 'Let the
     Louisianians know that we separate ourselves from them with
     regret; that we stipulate in their favour every thing that they
     can desire, and let them hereafter, happy in their
     independence, recollect that they have been Frenchmen, and that
     France, in ceding them, has secured for them advantages which
     they could not have obtained from a European power, however
     paternal it might have been. Let them retain for us sentiments
     of affection; and may their common origin, descent, language,
     and customs, perpetuate the friendship.'"

The arrangement being completed, M. Marbois says--"the following words
sufficiently acquaint us with the reflections which then influenced the
first consul. This accession of territory, said he, strengthens forever
the power of the United States, and I have just given to England a
maritime rival, that will sooner or later humble her pride."

We return to the History of Judge Martin, who describes the ceremonies
of delivering the colony to the United States. Some citizens of the
United States waved their hats, but "no emotion was manifested by any
other part of the crowd. The colonists did not appear conscious that
they were reaching the _Latium sedes ubi fata quietas ostendunt_."

We pass on to the year 1806, when the celebrated plot of Aaron Burr is
introduced. The president had received information of it, but not at
first with such certainty as warranted any steps to be taken against the
accused. General Wilkinson, then commanding in the west, afterwards made
communications to the president, "involving men distinguished for
integrity and patriotism; men of talents, honoured by the confidence of
the government, in the flagitious plot." The designs of Burr and his
associates were fully developed on his trial, and we need not repeat
them here; but the proceedings of General Wilkinson are not so generally
understood, and it is well that they should be. Nobody can be better
qualified than our historian to give the information, nor to obtain
implicit belief of all he narrates. We shall here see again that the old
practice of _shipping off_ obnoxious individuals was resorted to by a
military commander; as if there was something in the climate of
New-Orleans to excite men in power to this mode of punishment or
revenge. We cannot present these transactions better than in the
language of our author.

     "On Sunday, the fourteenth, Dr. Erick Bollman was arrested by
     order of Wilkinson, and hurried to a secret place of
     confinement, and on the evening of the following day
     application was made on his behalf, for a writ of habeas
     corpus, to Sprigg, one of the territorial judges, who declined
     acting, till he could consult Mathews, who could not then be
     found. On the sixteenth, the writ was obtained from the
     superior court; but Bollman was, in the meanwhile, put on board
     of a vessel and sent down the river. On the same day,
     application was made to Workman, the judge of the county of
     Orleans, for a writ of habeas corpus, in favour of Ogden and
     Swartwout, who had been arrested a few days before, by order of
     Wilkinson, at Fort Adams, and were on board of a bomb ketch of
     the United States lying before the city. Workman immediately
     granted the writ, and called on Claiborne to inquire whether he
     had assented to Wilkinson's proceedings: Claiborne replied he
     had consented to the arrest of Bollman, and his mind was not
     made up as to the propriety of that of Ogden and Swartwout.
     Workman then expatiated on the illegality and evil tendency of
     such measures, beseeching Claiborne not to permit them, but to
     use his own authority, as the constitutional guardian of his
     fellow-citizens, to protect them; but he was answered that the
     executive had no authority to liberate those persons, and it
     was for the judiciary to do it, if they thought fit. Workman
     added, that he had heard that Wilkinson intended to ship off
     his prisoners, and if this was permitted, writs of habeas
     corpus would prove nugatory.

     "From the alarm and terror prevalent in the city, the deputy
     sheriff could procure no boat to take him on board of the
     ketch, on the day the writ issued. This circumstance was made
     known early on the next morning, to Workman, who thereupon
     directed the deputy sheriff to procure a boat by the offer of a
     considerable sum of money, for the payment of which he
     undertook the county would be responsible. The writ was served
     soon afterwards, and returned at five in the evening by
     Commodore Shaw, and the commanding officer of the ketch,
     Lieutenant Jones; Swartwout had been taken from the ketch
     before the service of the writ. Ogden was produced and
     discharged, as his detention was justified on the order of
     Wilkinson only.

     "On the eighteenth of December, Wilkinson returned the writ of
     habeas corpus into the superior court, stating that, as
     commander in chief of the army of the United States, he took on
     himself all responsibility for the arrest of Erick Bollman,
     charged with misprison of treason against the government of the
     United States, and he had adopted measures for his safe
     delivery to the government of the United States: that it was
     after several conversations with the governor and one of the
     judges of the territory, that he had hazarded this step for the
     national safety, menaced to its basis by a lawless band of
     traitors, associated under Aaron Burr, whose accomplices were
     extended from New-York to New-Orleans: that no man held in
     higher reverence the civil authorities of his country, and it
     was to maintain and perpetuate the holy attributes of the
     constitution, against the uplifted arm of violence, that he had
     interposed the force of arms in a moment of the utmost peril,
     to seize upon Bollman, as he should upon all others, _without
     regard to standing or station_, against whom any proof might
     arise of a participation in the lawless combination.

     "This return was, afterwards, amended, by an averment that, at
     the time of the service of the writ, Bollman was not in the
     possession or power of the person to whom it was addressed.

     "On the following day Ogden was arrested a second time by the
     commanding officer of a troop of cavalry of the militia of the
     territory, in the service of the United States, by whom
     Alexander was also taken in custody; on the application of
     Livingston, Workman issued writs of habeas corpus for both

     "Instead of a return, Wilkinson sent a written message to
     Workman, begging him to accept his return to the superior
     court, as applicable to the two traitors, who were the subjects
     of his writs. On this, Livingston procured from the court, a
     rule that Wilkinson make a further and more explicit return to
     the writs, or show cause why an attachment should not issue
     against him.

     "Workman now called again on Claiborne, and repeated his
     observations, and recommended, that Wilkinson should be opposed
     by force of arms. He stated, that the violent measures of that
     officer had produced great discontent, alarm, and agitation, in
     the public mind; and, unless such proceeding were effectually
     opposed, all confidence in government would be at an end. He
     urged Claiborne to revoke the order, by which he had placed the
     Orleans volunteers under Wilkinson's command, and to call out
     and arm the rest of the militia force, as soon as possible. He
     stated it as his opinion, that the army would not oppose the
     civil power, when constitutionally brought forth, or that, if
     they did, the governor might soon have men enough to render the
     opposition ineffectual. He added, that, from the laudable
     conduct of Commodore Shaw and Lieutenant Jones, respecting
     Ogden, he not only did not apprehend any resistance to the
     civil authority from the navy, but thought they might be relied
     on. Similar representations were made to Claiborne by Hall and
     Mathews; but they were unavailing.

     "On the twenty-sixth, Wilkinson made a second return to the
     writ of habeas corpus, stating that the body of neither of the
     prisoners was in his possession or control. On this, Livingston
     moved for process of attachment.

     "Workman now made an official communication to Claiborne. He
     began by observing, that the late extraordinary events, which
     had taken place within the territory, had led to a
     circumstance, which authorized the renewal, in a formal manner,
     of the request he had so frequently urged in conversation, that
     the executive would make use of the constitutional force placed
     under his command, to maintain the laws, and protect his
     fellow-citizens against the unexampled tyranny exercised over

     "He added, it was notorious that the commander in chief of the
     military forces had, by his own authority, arrested several
     citizens for civil offences, and had avowed on record, that he
     had adopted measures to send them out of the territory, openly
     declaring his determination to usurp the functions of the
     judiciary, by making himself the only judge of the guilt of the
     persons he suspected, and asserting in the same manner, and as
     yet without contradiction, that his measures were taken, after
     several consultations with the governor.

     "He proceeded to state, that writs of habeas corpus had been
     issued from the court of the county of New-Orleans: on one of
     them, Ogden had been brought up and discharged, but he had
     been, however, again arrested, by order of the general,
     together with an officer of the court, who had aided
     professionally in procuring his release. The general had, in
     his return to a subsequent writ, issued on his behalf, referred
     the court to a return made by him to a former writ of the
     superior court, and in the further return which he had been
     ordered to make, he had declared that neither of the prisoners
     was in his power, possession, or custody; but he had not
     averred what was requisite, in order to exempt him from the
     penalty of a contempt of court, that these persons were not in
     his power, possession, or custody, at the time when the writs
     were served, and, in consequence of the deficiency, the court
     had been moved for an attachment.

     "The judge remarked, that although a common case would not
     require the step he was taking, yet, he deemed it his duty,
     before any decisive measure was pursued against a man, who had
     all the regular force, and in pursuance of the governor's
     public orders, a great part of that of the territory, at his
     disposal, to ask whether the executive had the ability to
     enforce the decrees of the court of the county, and if he had,
     whether he would deem it expedient to do it, in the present
     instance, or whether the allegation by which he supported these
     violent measures was well founded?

     "Not only the conduct and power of Wilkinson, said the judge,
     but various other circumstances, peculiar to our present
     situation, the alarm excited in the public mind, the
     description and character of a large part of the population of
     the country, might render it dangerous, in the highest degree,
     to adopt the measure usual in ordinary cases, of calling to the
     aid of the sheriff, the _posse comitatus_, unless it were done
     with the assurance of being supported by the governor in an
     efficient manner.

     "The letter concluded by requesting a precise and speedy answer
     to the preceding inquiries, and an assurance that, if certain
     of the governor's support, the judge should forthwith punish,
     as the law directs, the contempt offered to his court: on the
     other hand, should the governor not think it practicable or
     proper to afford his aid, the court and its officers would no
     longer remain exposed to the contempt or insults of a man, whom
     they were unable to punish or resist.

     "The legislature met on the twelfth of January. Two days after,
     General Adair arrived in the city, from Tennessee, and reported
     he had left Burr at Nashville, on the twenty-second of
     December, with two flat boats, destined for New-Orleans. In the
     afternoon of the day of Adair's arrival, the hotel at which he
     had stopped was invested by one hundred and twenty men, under
     Lieutenant Colonel Kingsbury, accompanied by one of Wilkinson's
     aids. Adair was dragged from the dining table, and conducted to
     head quarters, where he was put in confinement. They beat to
     arms through the streets; the battalion of the volunteers of
     Orleans, and a part of the regular troops, paraded through the
     city, and Workman, Kerr, and Bradford, were arrested and
     confined. Wilkinson ordered the latter to be released, and the
     two former were liberated on the following day, on a writ of
     habeas corpus, issued by the district judge of the United
     States. Adair was secreted until an opportunity offered to ship
     him away."

We approach a very interesting portion of our history, in which certain
transactions are detailed, with great precision, for some of which
General Jackson has obtained, and deserved, a brilliant crown of
military glory, and for others has been visited with deep and indignant
reproaches; whether justly or not, the reader will decide by the facts
of the case.

On the 2d of December 1814, General Jackson reached New-Orleans; and on
the next day commenced his operations to put the city in a state of
defence against the attack expected to be made upon it. A large naval
force of the enemy was off the port of Pensacola; and it was understood
that New-Orleans was their object. The force in New-Orleans consisted of
seven hundred men of the United States regiments; one thousand state
militia, and some sailors and marines. Reinforcements from Tennessee and
Kentucky were looked for. It is not to our purpose, and must be
unnecessary, to recapitulate all the interesting occurrences which took
place at this alarming crisis; all evincing the gallantry and patriotism
of our countrymen. In this early stage of the contest, our author, with
great warmth and strong testimony, asserts the unshaken fidelity and
active efficient attachment of the people of New-Orleans to the
government of the United States, and repels with an honest indignation
the charges of disaffection and treason which were on various occasions
made upon them, to justify the tyrannical violence of certain
proceedings against them. He says, "although the population of
New-Orleans was composed of individuals of different nations, it was as
patriotic as that of any city in the Union." We believe him most
sincerely; and who does not? Can any just and candid man doubt it after
a sober perusal of his details, having a particular relation to this
question? To suppose that they had any sympathies with the invading foe;
any treasonable correspondence with them; any desire for their success;
is to calumniate a people as deeply and dearly interested in our
independence, as devotedly attached to our institutions, as any portion
of the republic. We therefore not only excuse, but applaud, the feelings
of resentment with which Judge Martin, himself one of the people of
Louisiana, and honoured by her confidence, meets every assertion and
insinuation of treachery or disaffection cast upon her. He assures us,
that "Claiborne (the governor) was sincerely attached to the government
of his country, and the legislature was prepared to call forth and place
at Jackson's disposal, all the resources of the state." Again he says,
"If some, in the beginning, doubted whether General Jackson's military
experience had been of a kind to fit him for this service, his conduct
very soon dispelled the doubt."

     "The want of an able military chief was sensibly felt, and
     notwithstanding any division of sentiment on any other subject,
     the inclination was universal to support Jackson, and he had
     been hailed on his arrival by all. There were some, indeed, who
     conceived that the crisis demanded a general of some experience
     in ordinary warfare; that one whose military career had begun
     with the current year, and who had never met with any but an
     Indian force, was ill calculated to meet the warlike enemy who
     threatened; but all were willing to make a virtue of necessity,
     and to take their wishes for their opinions, and manifested an
     unbounded confidence in him. All united in demonstrations of
     respect and reliance, and every one was ready to give him his
     support. His immediate and incessant attention to the defence
     of the country, the care he took to visit every vulnerable
     point, his unremitted vigilance, and the strict discipline
     enforced, soon convinced all that he was the man the occasion

The general had, however, imbibed strong prejudices against the
inhabitants of the city, _infused into him by bad advisers who
surrounded him_.

     "Unfortunately he had been surrounded, from the moment of his
     arrival, by persons from the ranks of the opposition to
     Claiborne, Hall, and the state government, and it was soon
     discovered that he had become impressed with the idea, that a
     great part of the population of Louisiana was disaffected, and
     the city full of traitors and spies. It appears such were his
     sentiments as early as the 8th of September; for in a letter of
     Claiborne, which he since published, the governor joins in the
     opinion, and writes to him, 'I think with you, that our country
     is full of spies and traitors.'"

The interest we feel to vindicate the people of Louisiana from the
suspicions that were long entertained of their loyalty, and may not be
yet wholly eradicated, induces us to trouble our readers with further
extracts on this subject.

     "The legislature was in session, since the beginning of the
     preceding month. We have seen that Claiborne, at the opening of
     the session, had offered them his congratulations on the
     alacrity with which the call of the United States for a body of
     militia had been met, which, with the detail of the proceedings
     of that body, is the best refutation of the charges which have
     been urged against them. It will show, that in attachment to
     the Union, in zeal for the defence of the country, in
     liberality in furnishing the means of it, and in ministering to
     the wants of their brave fellow-citizens who came down to
     assist them in repelling the foe, the general assembly of
     Louisiana does not suffer by a comparison of its conduct with
     that of any legislative body in the United States. The
     assertion, that any member of it entertained the silly opinion,
     that a capitulation, if any became necessary, was to be brought
     about or effected by the agency of the houses, any more than by
     that of a court of justice, or the city council of New-Orleans,
     is absolutely groundless."

A proposition was made by the governor to the legislature, to suspend
the writ of habeas corpus, in order that men might be pressed for the
service, particularly naval, of the United States: the legislature knew
it to be a dangerous measure, and thought it unnecessary.

     "Coming from every part of the state, the representatives had
     witnessed the universal alacrity with which Jackson's
     requisitions for a quota of the militia of the state had been
     complied with; they knew their constituents could be depended
     on; they knew that Jackson, Claiborne, and many of the
     military, were incessantly talking of sedition, disaffection,
     and treason; but better acquainted with the people of
     Louisiana, than those who were vociferating against it, they
     were conscious, that no state was more free from sedition,
     disaffection, and treason, than their own; they thought the
     state should not outlaw her citizens, when they were rushing to
     repel the enemy. They dreaded the return of those days, when
     Wilkinson filled New-Orleans with terror and dismay, arresting
     and transporting whom he pleased. They recollected that in 1806
     Jefferson had made application to congress for a suspension of
     the writ of _habeas corpus_, but that the recommendation of the
     president was not deemed sufficient to induce the legislature
     of the Union to suspend it: that of Claiborne, as far as it
     concerned Jackson, was not therefore acted on. The members had
     determined not to adjourn during the invasion, and thought they
     would suspend the writ when they deemed the times required it,
     but not till then."

That the refusal to put an uncontrouled power over the persons of the
citizens, to withdraw from them the protection of the law, did not
proceed from an unwillingness to obtain for the service the force
required, is made manifest by the substitute adopted. "A sum of five
thousand dollars was placed at the disposal of the commodore, to be
expended in bounties; and, to remove the opportunity of seamen being
tempted to decline entering the service of the United States, by the
hope of employment on board of merchant vessels, an embargo was passed."

The general does not seem to have been satisfied with the reasons of the
legislature for denying the power he desired, nor with their substitute
for it.

     "The suspension of the writ of _habeas corpus_, and adjournment
     of the houses, were measures which Jackson anxiously desired.
     There was a great inclination in the members of both houses to
     gratify him, in every instance in which they could do it with
     safety: in these two only, they were of opinion it would be
     unsafe to adopt his views."

General Carroll, with a brigade of Tennessee militia, arrived on the
19th, and the legislature were indefatigable in preparing for the
expected attack.

     "At this period the forces at New-Orleans amounted to between
     six and seven thousand men. Every individual exempted from
     militia duty on account of age, had joined one of the
     companies of veterans, which had been formed for the
     preservation of order. Every class of society was animated with
     the most ardent zeal; the young, the old, women, children, all
     breathed defiance to the enemy, firmly disposed to oppose to
     the utmost the threatened invasion. There were in the city a
     very great number of French subjects, who from their national
     character could not have been compelled to perform military
     duty; these men, however, with hardly any exception,
     volunteered their services. The Chevalier Tousard, the Consul
     of France, who had distinguished himself, and had lost an arm
     in the service of the United States, during the revolutionary
     war, lamenting that the neutrality of his nation did not allow
     him to lead his countrymen in New-Orleans to the field,
     encouraged them to flock to Jackson's standard. The people were
     preparing for battle as cheerfully as if for a party of
     pleasure: the streets resounded with martial airs: the several
     corps of militia were constantly exercising, from morning to
     night: every bosom glowed with the feelings of national honour:
     every thing showed nothing was to be apprehended from
     disaffection, disloyalty, or treason."

On the 21st, the enemy landed with a strong force, and a proud one,
confident of an easy victory. They looked upon all the wealth and
comforts of New-Orleans as already their own. The battle that shortly
after ensued, _sought for and won_ by the Americans, can never be
forgotten. The promptitude, decision, and skill, with which General
Jackson took his measures; the bravery with which they were executed;
and the glorious success which crowned the bold attack upon an enemy
greatly superior in numbers, discipline, and experience, will be ranked
among the most gallant achievements of military history. Our author
assures us that the invading army "had a force of very near five
thousand men; that which opposed him was not above two thousand."
Preparations against the grand attack upon the city continued with
unceasing vigilance and labour. The members of the legislature--_the
suspected legislature_--old and young, joined some of the military
corps; but lest their legislative aid might also be required, they
continued their sessions; when a most extraordinary proceeding occurred.

     "Every day, towards noon, three or four of the members of each
     house, who served among the veterans or on the committees,
     attended in their respective halls to effect an adjournment, in
     order that, if any circumstance rendered the aid of the
     legislature necessary, it might be instantly afforded. On going
     for this purpose to the government house, Skipwith, the speaker
     of the senate, and two of its members, found a sentinel on the
     staircase, who, presenting his bayonet, forbade them to enter
     the senate chamber. They quietly retired, and proceeded to the
     hall of the sessions of the city council, where an adjournment
     took place. The members of the other house, who attended for
     the same purpose, were likewise prevented from entering its
     hall, and acted like those of the senate."

A committee was appointed to wait upon the general, and inquire into the
reasons of these violent measures against the legislature. The general
gave his reasons, which, in short, were, that he had received
information "that the assembly were about to give up the country to the
enemy." The author goes into a full examination of this charge; and the
refutation of it is entirely satisfactory.

The spirit of defence even entered the walls of the prisons.

     "A number of debtors, who had taken the benefit of the acts
     establishing the prison bounds, were anxious to join in the
     defence of the city, but were apprehensive of exposing their
     sureties. On this being represented to the legislature, an act
     was passed, extending the prison bounds, until the first of May
     following, so as to include Jackson's line."

The last effort of the invader was made by the battle of the 8th of
January, and is described in our book with much effect. Long may it be
read and remembered with an unextinguishable glow of pride and
patriotism! The contest was ended; the foe hastily abandoned our shores,
on which they left nothing but memorials of their defeat and shame, in
the melancholy monuments of their slaughtered companions. Our author
concludes his narrative of these eventful days, with an eloquent tribute
to the general, by whose indefatigable activity and fearless gallantry a
rich and populous city was saved.

     "If the vigilance, the activity, and the intrepidity of the
     general had been conspicuous during the whole period of the
     invasion, his prudence, moderation, and self-denial, on the
     departure of the enemy, deserves no less commendation and
     admiration. An opportunity was then presented to him of
     acquiring laurels by a pursuit, which few, elated as he must
     have been by success, could have resisted. But, he nobly
     reflected that those who fled from him were mercenaries--those
     who surrounded his standard, his fellow-citizens, almost
     universally fathers of families;--sound policy, to use his own
     expressions, neither required nor authorized him to expose the
     lives of his companions in arms, in a useless conflict. He
     thought the lives of ten British soldiers would not requite the
     loss of one of his men. He had not saved New-Orleans to
     sacrifice its inhabitants."

On his return to the city, he was greeted with "tears of gratitude"--why
were they not perpetual? His cruel suspicions; his unjust accusations of
treason and disaffection, were forgotten or forgiven, and no sentiment
remained in the hearts of the people of Louisiana, but admiration of his
conduct in the day of trial, and gratitude for his services; why was not
this perpetual? We shall see.

"By a communication of the 13th of January, from Admiral Cochrane,
Jackson was informed that the Admiral had just received a bulletin from
Jamaica, (a copy of which was enclosed) proclaiming that a treaty of
peace had been signed by the respective plenipotentiaries of Great
Britain and the United States, at Ghent, on the 24th of December. The
despatch did not arrive till the 21st, by way of Balize; but the
intelligence had been brought to the city by one of Jackson's aids, who
had returned from the British fleet with a flag of truce." As in
canvassing the subsequent proceedings of the General at New-Orleans, his
advocates have pretended that he had no information of the peace to
which he ought to have trusted, that point must not be overlooked in our
inquiries. What was the evidence at this period, that is, on the 21st of
January? A communication directly addressed to him, by and under the
name of the British Admiral, with every sanction that honour and good
faith could give it. This communication, so vouched, was accompanied by
a copy of a bulletin which the Admiral declared he had just received
from Jamaica, too distant to have been fabricated there for the
occasion; and all this was confirmed by the intelligence brought by one
of the General's aids from the fleet. Is there any degree of military
caution that would have doubted the truth of this information, _in the
manner and for the purposes_ for which the doubts, real or pretended,
were used by the General? We will not say that he should, on such
intelligence, have exposed himself to an attack from the enemy; that he
should have disbanded his army, or thrown by his guards and defence, as
if the intelligence had been authentic from his own government; but,
assuredly there was that in the information he received, on which a
strong reliance might reasonably and safely have been placed; at least
enough to have suspended military operations _against his own
fellow-citizens_. He must have imputed fraud, falsehood, and forgery, to
an officer, who, although an enemy, was entitled to a more just and
respectful consideration. No usage of modern warfare would have
justified such practices, and therefore they ought not to have been
presumed. With no disposition to "set down aught in malice" against the
General, we cannot refrain from saying, that, whatever he may have found
it convenient to believe or disbelieve, to justify the extravagance of
ungovernable passions inflamed by evil counsellors, in his moments of
sober thoughts, if any such happened to him, he could not reject the
testimony before him, of the termination of the war. He certainly, at
least, thought it worthy to be announced to the people, although he
"forewarned them from being thrown into security by hopes that might be
delusive." This was a prudent caution, and sufficient. "On the 22d, the
gladsome tidings were confirmed, and a _Gazette of Charleston_ was
received, announcing the _ratification of the Treaty_ by the Prince
Regent." We assume then, that on the 22d of January, such intelligence
was received of the Peace at New-Orleans, as might, and should have
satisfied the most sceptical military caution, of its truth, at least to
the extent required for our examination into the General's subsequent

It seems that a discontent had arisen, which led to serious
consequences. The _French subjects_ resident at New-Orleans, "had
flocked round Jackson's standard, determined to leave it with the
necessity that called them to it, and not till then." They endured much
privation, toil, and danger; their families also were in a state of
suffering, to whose relief they were anxious to return _after the enemy
had left the state_. A few solicited a discharge; but the General
insisted on their being retained. Some then demanded of the French
consul, certificates of their national character, which were presented
to the General, who countersigned them, and the bearers were permitted
to return home. So many, however, applied for this indulgence, that the
General believed that the consul too easily granted his certificates,
"and considering a compliance with his duty, as evidence of his adhesion
to the enemy, ordered him out of the city."

We now come to a false step, of more importance, made by the General, to
which he was led by that which has overthrown many men placed in
elevated stations. It has been the misfortune and ruin of great men who
were high; and, more frequently so, of high men who were not great;
_weak and evil counsellors_.

     "Yielding to the advice of many around him, who were constantly
     filling his ears with their clamours about the disloyalty,
     disaffection, and treason of the people of Louisiana, and
     particularly the state officers and the people of French
     origin, Jackson, on the last day of February, issued a general
     order, commanding all French subjects, possessed of a
     certificate of their national character, subscribed by the
     consul of France, and countersigned by the commanding general,
     to retire into the interior, to a distance above Baton
     Rouge:--a measure, which was stated to have been rendered
     indispensable by the frequent applications for discharges. The
     names were directed to be taken of all persons of this
     description, remaining in the city, after the expiration of
     three days.

     "Time has shown this to have been a most unfortunate step; and
     those by whose suggestions it was taken, soon found themselves
     unable to avert from the general the consequences to which it
     exposed him. The people against whom it was directed were
     loyal--many of them had bled, all had toiled and suffered in
     the defence of the state. Need, in many instances, improvidence
     in several, had induced the families of these people to part
     with the furniture of their houses to supply those immediate
     wants, which the absence of the head of the family occasioned.
     No exception, no distinction was made. The sympathetic feelings
     of every class of inhabitants were enlisted in favour of these
     men; they lacked the means of sustaining themselves on the way,
     and must have been compelled, on their arrival at Baton Rouge,
     then a very insignificant village, to throw themselves on the
     charity of the inhabitants. Another consideration rendered the
     departure of these men an evil to be dreaded. The apprehension
     of the return of the enemy was represented, as having had much
     weight with Jackson in issuing his order. Their past conduct
     was a sure pledge that, in case of need, their services would
     again be re-offered; there were among them a number of
     experienced artillery-men; a description of soldiers, which was
     not easily to be found among the brave who had come down from
     Kentucky, or Tennessee, or even in the army of the United
     States. These considerations induced several respectable
     citizens to wait on Jackson, for the purpose of endeavouring to
     induce him to reconsider a determination, which was viewed as
     productive of flagrant injustice and injury to those against
     whom it was directed, without any possible advantage, and
     probably very detrimental, to those for whose benefit it was

To quiet and console this distressed and injured people under this
wanton decree of military power; this cruel exile; it was recommended to
them to submit without resistance to the order.

     "They were assured, that the laws of the country would protect
     them, and punish, even in a successful general, a violation of
     the rights of, or a wanton injury to, the meanest individual,
     citizen or alien. They were referred to the case of Wilkinson,
     against whom an independent jury of the Mississippi territory
     had given a verdict in favour of Adair, who had been illegally
     arrested and transported, during the winter of 1806."

It must be recollected, that this order was issued and executed on the
last day of February, six weeks after the Charleston Gazette had
announced at New-Orleans, the ratification of the treaty of peace, as
above stated. During all this period, there had not been an appearance
of the enemy, or a movement by them, or the slightest occurrence or
rumour, to raise a doubt of the truth of this intelligence. Not a doubt
of it was expressed by any body or from any quarter. On the 14th of
February, two weeks after the sentence of banishment upon the French
subjects, "the mail brought northern Gazettes, announcing the arrival of
the treaty at Washington." Was this also a British trick and delusion,
not to be trusted even by a relaxation of the severest military
discipline, or a mitigation of the dangerous predominance of martial
law? Our author says, "the hope that had been entertained that Jackson
would now allow these unfortunate people to stay with their families,
was disappointed."

_Louallier_, a member of the House of Representatives, had been
conspicuous in bringing forth the energies of the state for its defence.
His activity and usefulness were properly appreciated by his
fellow-citizens. An opinion prevailed, that Jackson was unfriendly to
the French citizens, and to the officers of the state government.

     "A report, which now was afloat, that those who surrounded
     Jackson were labouring to induce him to arrest some
     individuals, alluded to in the general orders of the 28th of
     February, roused his indignation, to which (perhaps more
     honestly than prudently) he gave vent in a publication, of
     which the following is a translation, in the _Courier de la
     Louisiane_ of the 3d of March."

The publication is of considerable length, and written with warmth and
ability. Our author, after giving it at large, proceeds--

     "Man bears nothing with more impatience, than the exposure of
     his errors, and the contempt of his authority. Those who had
     provoked Jackson's violent measure against the French subjects,
     availed themselves of the paroxysms of the ire which the
     publication excited: they threw fuel into the fire, and blew it
     into a flame. They persuaded him Louallier had been guilty of
     an offence, punishable with death, and he should have him tried
     by a court martial, as a spy. Yielding to this suggestion, and
     preparatory to such a trial, he ordered the publication of the
     second section of the rules and articles of war, which
     denounces the punishment of death against spies, and directed
     Louallier to be arrested and confined. Eaton is mistaken when
     he asserts that the section had been published _before_. The
     adjutant's letter to Leclerc, the printer of the _Ami des
     Lois_, requesting him to publish it, bears date of the _fourth_
     of March, the day _after_ Louallier's publication made its
     appearance. The section was followed by a notice that 'the city
     of New-Orleans and its environs, being under martial law, and
     several encampments and fortifications within its limits, it
     was deemed necessary to give publicity to the section, _for the
     information of all concerned_.'

     "Great, indeed, must have been Jackson's excitement, when he
     suffered himself to be persuaded, that Louallier could
     successfully be prosecuted as a spy. Eaton informs us,
     Louallier was prosecuted as one _owing allegiance to the United
     States_. The very circumstance of his owing that allegiance,
     prevented his being liable to a prosecution as a spy. He was a
     citizen of the United States: his being a member of the
     legislature, was evidence of this. If he, therefore, committed
     any act, which would constitute an alien a _spy_, he was guilty
     of high treason, and ought to have been delivered to the
     legitimate magistrate, to be prosecuted as a traitor."

Judge Martin goes into a short, but satisfactory argument, to prove that
a citizen cannot be prosecuted as a spy under the articles of war.
Whether, however, the General and his advisers considered Louallier as a
spy, or a traitor, he "was arrested on Sunday the _5th of March_, at
noon, near the Exchange Coffee-house." He applied to a gentleman of the
bar for legal relief. An application for this purpose was made to Judge
Martin, (our author) one of the members of the Supreme Court of the
state. The judge thought he had no jurisdiction over the case, and could
not interfere. _Hall_, the District Judge of the United States, was then
called upon for a writ of habeas corpus, which was granted. The attorney
was directed by the Judge to inform the General of his application for
the writ and the order for issuing it.--This was in courtesy.

     "On receiving Morel's communication, the ebullition of
     Jackson's anger was such, that reason appeared to have lost its
     control. Those who had suggested the harsh measure against the
     French citizens, and the still more harsh one against
     Louallier, imagined the moment was come, when their enmity
     towards Hall might be gratified. We have seen that a number of
     individuals, who had hitherto sustained a fair character, were
     now known as accomplices of the Barrataria pirates.
     Prosecutions had been commenced against some of them, and Hall
     manifested that stern severity of character, which appals
     guilt. The counsel of these men had conceived the idea that he
     did not view their efforts to screen their clients, with the
     liberality and indulgence they deserved. The opportunity now
     offered of humbling this worthy magistrate, was not suffered to
     remain unimproved; and Jackson was assured that Hall, like
     Louallier, was guilty of an offence punishable with death.

     "The general's attention was drawn to the seventh section of
     the rules and articles of war, which denounces the last
     punishment against persons aiding or abetting mutiny; and he
     was pressed to prosecute the judge before a court martial. As a
     preparatory step, with that promptitude of decision, which
     Eaton says is a leading trait in his character, he signed an
     instrument at once, the warrant for the arrest, and the
     _mittimus_ for the imprisonment of Hall. He wrote to Colonel
     Arbuckle, who commanded at the barracks, that having received
     proof that Dominick A. Hall had been _aiding_, _abetting_, _and
     exciting mutiny_ in his camp, he desired that a detachment
     might be ordered forthwith, to arrest and _confine_ him; and
     that a report might be made as soon as he was arrested. 'You
     will,' as it is said in the conclusion of this paper, 'be
     vigilant; as the agents of our enemy are more numerous than we
     expected. You will be guarded against escapes.'

     "The prosecution of the judge was intended to be grounded on
     the seventh section of the articles of war, which is in these
     words:--'Any _officer or soldier_, who shall begin, cause,
     excite, or join in, any mutiny or sedition, in any troop or
     company, in the service of the United States, or in any post,
     detachment, or guard, shall suffer death, or any other
     punishment, as by a court martial shall be inflicted.'

     "Hall was not an officer, in the sense of the act of
     Congress--he was not a soldier, in the ordinary meaning of that
     word; but, according to the jurisprudence of head quarters, the
     proclamation of martial law had transformed every inhabitant of
     New-Orleans into a soldier, and rendered him punishable under
     the articles of war.

     "The judge was accordingly arrested in his own house, at nine
     o'clock, and confined in the same apartment with Louallier, in
     the barracks.

     "As soon as this was reported at head quarters, Major Chotard
     was despatched to demand from Claiborne, the clerk of the
     district court of the United States, the surrender of
     Louallier's petition, on the back of which Hall had written the
     order for issuing the writ of _habeas corpus_. It has been seen
     that there was not any officer of the state government, nor of
     the United States, out of the army, who imagined that a
     proclamation of martial law gave the general any right, nor
     imposed on others any obligation, which did not exist before.
     The clerk accordingly answered that there was a rule of court,
     which forbade him to part with any original paper lodged in his
     office; and he was ignorant of any right, in the commander of
     the army, to interfere with the records of the court. He
     however was, after much solicitation, prevailed on to take the
     document in his pocket, and accompany Chotard to head quarters.

     "In the meanwhile, an express from the department of war had
     arrived, with the intelligence that the President of the United
     States had ratified the treaty, and an exchange of the
     ratifications had taken place at Washington, on the 17th of
     February, the preceding month. By an accident, which was not
     accounted for, a packet had been put into the hands of the
     messenger, instead of the one containing the official
     information of the exchange of the ratifications. But the man
     was bearer of an open order of the postmaster, to all his
     deputies on the road, to expedite him with the utmost celerity,
     as he carried _information of the recent peace_. He declared he
     had handed an official notice of this event to the governor of
     the state of Tennessee.

     "On the arrival of the clerk at head quarters, Jackson asked
     him whether it was his intention to issue the writ: he replied
     it was his bounden duty to do so, and he most assuredly would.
     He was threatened with an arrest, but persisted in his
     asseveration that he would obey the judge's order. He had
     handed Louallier's petition to Jackson, and, before he retired,
     demanded the return of it; this was peremptorily refused, and
     the paper was withheld. It appears the date of the _fifth_ of
     March had been originally on this document, and that being
     Sunday, Hall changed it to that of the following day, the
     _sixth_. The idea had been cherished, that this alteration
     might support an additional article, in the charges against
     Hall. It is not extraordinary, that those who imagined that, as
     Louallier might be tried for a _libel_, in a court martial,
     Hall might for _forgery_. Thus one inconsistency almost
     universally leads to another.

     "Duplessis, the marshal of the United States, had volunteered
     his services, as an aid to Jackson; a little after midnight he
     visited head quarters. The imprisonment of Hall, and the
     accounts from Washington, had brought a great concourse of
     people near the general; who, elated by the success of the
     evening, met the marshal at the door, and announced to him, _he
     had shopped the judge_. Perceiving that Duplessis did not show
     his exultation, he inquired whether he would serve Hall's writ.
     The marshal replied, he had ever done his duty, which obliged
     him to execute all writs directed to him by the court, whose
     ministerial officer he was; and, looking sternly at the person
     who addressed him, added, he would execute the court's writ _on
     any man_. A copy of the proclamation of martial law, that lay
     on the table, was pointed to him, and Jackson said, he _also_
     would do his duty.

     "A large concourse of people had been drawn to the Exchange
     coffee-house, during the night, by the passing events, which
     were not there, as at head quarters, a subject of exultation
     and gratulation. The circumstances were not unlike those of the
     year 1806, which Livingston describes as 'so new in the history
     of our country, that they will not easily gain belief, at a
     distance, and can scarcely be realized by those who beheld
     them. A dictatorial power, assumed by the commander of the
     American army--the military arrest of citizens, charged with a
     civil offence--the violation of the sanctuary of justice--an
     attempt to overawe, by denunciations, those who dared,
     professionally, to assert the authority of the laws--the
     unblushing avowal of the employment of military force, to
     punish a civil offence, and the hardy menace of persevering in
     the same course, were circumstances that must command
     attention, and excite the corresponding sentiments of grief,
     indignation, and contempt.'"

We have made our extract so copiously of this dangerous and extravagant
proceeding, because we wish it to be represented in the language of the
author, and not by any abridgment of ours. General Jackson having
received intelligence of the treaty which he chose to agree that he
relied upon, addressed a despatch to the British commander "to
anticipate the happy return of peace." We again take up our author.

     "Jackson now paused to deliberate, whether these circumstances
     did not require him, by a cessation of all measures of
     violence, to allow his fellow-citizens in New-Orleans, to
     anticipate this happy return of peace, the account of which,
     the first direct intelligence was to bring to him, in an
     official form--the untoward arrival of an orderly sergeant,
     with a message from Arbuckle, to whom the custody of Hall had
     been committed, prevented Jackson coming to that conclusion,
     which his unprejudiced judgment would have suggested. The
     prisoner had requested, that a magistrate might be permitted to
     have access to him, to receive an affidavit, which he wished to
     make, in order to resort to legal measures, for his release.
     Arbuckle desired to know the general's pleasure, on this
     application. Naturally impatient of any thing like control or
     restraint, the idea of a superior power to be employed against
     his decisions, threw Jackson into emotions of rage. Before they
     had sufficiently subsided to allow him to act on the message,
     some of his ordinary advisers came in, to recommend the arrest
     of Hollander, a merchant of some note. What was the offence of
     this man, has never been known; but Jackson's temper of mind
     was favourable to the views of his visiters. He ordered the
     arrest of the merchant, and forbade the access of the
     magistrate to Hall; the idea of allowing his fellow-citizens to
     anticipate the happy return of peace was abandoned, and
     measures were directed to be taken for the trial of Louallier."

The boasted "promptitude and decision" of the General's character,
admirable qualities in their proper places and under proper regulation,
carried him on, deeper and deeper, into the violation of the most sacred
rights of a free citizen, and of the immunities of the officers of the
law in the administration of the laws.

     "Dick, the attorney of the United States, made application to
     Lewis, one of the district judges of the state, who was serving
     as a subaltern officer, in the Orleans rifle company, and whose
     conduct during the invasion, had received Jackson's particular
     commendation. Believing that his duty as a military man, did
     not diminish his obligation, as a judge, to protect his
     fellow-citizens from illegal arrest, Lewis, without hesitation,
     on the first call of Dick, laid down his rifle, and allowed the

     "Information of this having been carried to head quarters,
     Jackson immediately ordered the arrest of Lewis and Dick.

     "Arbuckle, to whom Lewis's writ, in favour of Hall, was
     directed, refused to surrender his prisoner, on the ground he
     was committed by Jackson, under the authority of the United

     "The orders for the arrest of Lewis and Dick were

The effect of such proceedings, without parallel in a free government,
and without apology any where, may be well imagined.

     "The irritation of the public mind manifested itself, in the
     evening, by the destruction of a transparent painting, in
     honour of Jackson, which the proprietor of the Exchange
     coffee-house displayed, in the largest hall."

This brought the military in support of their General.

     "A number of officers had compelled the proprietor of the
     Exchange coffee-house, to exhibit a new transparent painting,
     and to illuminate the hall in a more than usual manner. They
     attended in the evening, and stood near the painting, with the
     apparent intention of indicating a determination, to resist the
     attempt of taking down the painting. It was reported, a number
     of soldiers were in the neighbourhood, ready to march to the
     coffee-house, at the first call. This was not calculated to
     allay the excitement of the public mind. The prostration of the
     legitimate government; the imprisonment of the district judge
     of the United States, the only magistrate, whose interference
     could be successfully invoked, on an illegal arrest, under
     colour of the authority of the United States, the ascendency
     assumed by the military, appeared to have dissolved all the
     bands of social order in New-Orleans."

The good sense, we are told, of some of the most influential characters
in the city, prevented the extremities to which these proceedings were
fast approaching. The injured and the irritated were assured, "that
Jackson's day of reckoning would arrive; that _Hall_, with the authority
(though now without the power) of chastising the encroachments of the
military, possessed the resolution, and would soon have the power to
punish the violators of the law." The court martial, by whom Louallier
was tried, acquitted him.

     "Jackson was greatly disappointed at the conclusion to which
     the court martial had arrived; he, however, did not release
     either of his prisoners, and on the tenth issued the following
     general order:--

     "'The commanding general disapproves of the sentence of the
     court martial, of which Major-general Gaines is president, on
     the several charges and specifications exhibited against Mr.
     Louallier; and is induced by the novelty and importance of the
     matters submitted to the decision of that court, to assign the
     reasons of this disapproval.'"

He gave his reasons at length, which only show how hard it is for
certain tempers to acknowledge a wrong, or return to the right.

     "The court martial consoled themselves, by the reflection, that
     their sentence, though disapproved by Jackson, was in perfect
     conformity with decisions of the President of the United
     States, and of the supreme court of the state of New-York, in
     similar cases."

There is something in the name and character of a _Court_, which assures
us of its respect for justice and the law.

     "The independent stand, taken by the court martial, had left no
     glimpse of hope, at head quarters, that the prosecution of
     Hall, on the charge of mutiny, on which he had been imprisoned,
     could be attempted with any prospect of success--the futility
     of any further proceedings against Louallier was
     evident--Jackson, therefore, put an end to Hall's imprisonment
     on Saturday, the 11th of March. The word _imprisonment_ is
     used, because Eaton assures his readers, that '_Judge Hall was
     not imprisoned_; it was merely an arrest.' Hall had been taken
     from his bed chamber, on the preceding Sunday, at 9 o'clock in
     the evening, by a detachment of about one hundred men, dragged
     through the streets, and confined in the same apartment with
     Louallier, in the barracks. Three days after, it had been
     officially announced to the inhabitants of New-Orleans, that
     Jackson was in possession of persuasive evidence, that a state
     of peace existed, and the militia had been discharged, the door
     of Hall's prison was thrown open, but not for his release. He
     was put under a guard, who led him several miles beyond the
     limits of the city, where they left him, with a prohibition to
     return, 'till the ratification of the treaty was _regularly_
     announced, or the British shall have left the southern coast.'

     "This last, and useless display of usurped power, astonished
     the inhabitants. They thought, that, if the general feared the
     return of the British, the safety of New-Orleans would be
     better insured, by his recall of the militia, than by the
     banishment of the legitimate magistrate. It was the last
     expansion of light, and momentary effulgence, that precedes the
     extinguishment of a taper.

     "At the dawn of light, on Monday, the 13th, an express reached
     head quarters, with the despatch which had accidentally been
     misplaced, in the office of the secretary of war, three weeks
     before. The cannon soon announced the arrival of this important
     document, and Louallier was indebted for his liberation, to the
     precaution, which Eaton says, the President of the United
     States had taken, to direct Jackson to issue a proclamation for
     the pardon of all military offences."

Judge Hall had suffered indignity without being disgraced; he had
submitted to physical force without yielding his spirit to debasement;
or surrendering one of his official or personal rights. His reward
awaited him, and it is eloquently recorded by our historian.

     "Hall's return to the city was greeted by the acclamations of
     the inhabitants. He was the first judge of the United States
     they had received, and they had admired in him the
     distinguishing characteristics of an American magistrate--a
     pure heart, clean hands, and a mind susceptible of no fear, but
     that of God. His firmness had, eight years before, arrested
     Wilkinson in his despotic measures. He was now looked upon to
     show, that if he had been unable to stop Jackson's arbitrary
     steps, he would prevent him from exulting, in the impunity of
     his trespass."

_Dick_, the District Attorney, has a fair claim to a participation in
these honours.

     "He was anxious to lose no time, in calling the attention of
     the district court of the United States, to the violent
     proceedings, during the week that had followed the arrival of
     the first messenger of peace; but Hall insisted on a few days
     being exclusively given to the manifestation of the joyous
     feelings, which the termination of the war excited. He did not
     yield to Dick's wishes till the 21st. The affidavits of the
     clerk of the district court, of the marshal of the United
     States, of the attorney of Louallier, and of the commander at
     the barracks, were then laid before the court."

The case presented to the court, was substantially such as appears in
the foregoing narrative. Hall was as resolute in his court, as Jackson
at the head of an army; the Judge was as fearless in maintaining the
law, as the General had been in trampling upon it. "On motion of the
Attorney of the United States, a rule to show cause, why process of
attachment should not issue against Jackson, was granted."

On the return day, the General, accompanied by one of his aids, appeared
before the court, and presented his answer to the rule. Some legal
questions were discussed and decided on the propriety of admitting the
answer. Finally, the rule was made absolute, that is, the _attachment
was ordered_. The General is still haunted by bad advisers.

     "Jackson's advisers now found he could not be defended on the
     merits, with the slightest hope of success, as the attorney of
     the United States would probably draw from him by
     interrogatories, the admission, that both Louallier and the
     judge were kept in prison, long after persuasive evidence had
     been received at head quarters, of the cessation of the state
     of war. They therefore recommended to him not to answer the
     interrogatories, which would authorize the insinuation that he
     had been condemned unheard.

     "It appears that some of his party, at this period, entertained
     the hope that Hall could be intimidated, and prevented from
     proceeding further. A report was accordingly circulated, that a
     mob would assemble in and about the court-house--that the
     pirates of Barataria, to whom the judge had rendered himself
     obnoxious before the war, by his zeal and strictness, in the
     prosecution that had been instituted against several of their
     ringleaders, would improve this opportunity of humbling him.
     Accordingly, groups of them took their stands, in different
     parts of the hall, and gave a shout when Jackson entered it. It
     is due to him to state, that it did not appear that he had the
     least intimation that a disturbance was intended, and his
     influence was honestly exercised to prevent disorder."

When the General was called, "he addressed a few words to the court,
expressive of his intention not to avail himself of the faculty to
answer interrogatories." The District Attorney then addressed the court,
with firmness, but good temper. In conclusion he said,--

     "That credulity itself could not admit the proposition, that
     persuasive evidence that the war had ceased, and belief that
     necessity required that violent measures should be persisted in
     to prevent the exercise of the judicial power of the legitimate
     tribunal, could exist, at the same time, in the defendant's

The defendant--General Jackson--resorted to a strange equivocation to
extricate himself.

     "The general made a last effort to avert the judgment of the
     court against him, by an asseveration, he had imprisoned
     Dominick A. Hall, and _not the judge:_ his attention was drawn
     to the affidavit of the marshal, in which he swore Jackson had
     told him, 'I have _shopped the judge_.'"

We come, with unaffected gratification, to the final triumph of the law,
in this contest with military power.

     "The court, desirous of manifesting moderation, in the
     punishment of the defendant for the want of it, said that, in
     consideration of the services the general had rendered to his
     country, imprisonment should make no part of the sentence, and
     condemned him to pay a fine of one thousand dollars and costs,

We should indeed regret, if our history terminated these memorable
transactions here. Every reader will be anxious to learn--How did the
impetuous spirit of the General, inflamed by his recent triumphs and
glories in the field, receive the condemnation of the law? What bursts
of passionate violence did he exhibit? What terrible explosion followed
the sentence of the court? Not a symptom or movement of the kind. He
seemed to awaken, as from a tempestuous dream, "the helm of reason
lost," and to fall into the character of a good citizen with dignity and

     "On Jackson's coming out of the court-house, his friends
     procured a hack, in which he entered, and they dragged it to
     the Exchange coffee-house, where he made a speech, in the
     conclusion of which he observed, that, 'during the invasion, he
     had exerted every faculty in support of the constitution and
     laws--on that day, he had been called on to submit to their
     operation, under circumstances, which many persons might have
     deemed sufficient to justify resistance. Considering obedience
     to the laws, even when we think them unjustly applied, as the
     first duty of the citizen, he did not hesitate to comply with
     the sentence they had heard pronounced;' and he entreated the
     people, to remember the example he had given them, of
     respectful submission to the administration of justice."

We heartily wish that the scene had closed here, and the General had
appeared no more on _that stage_. But there was that within him which
forbade a quiet and unresisting resignation to his discomfiture and

     "A few days after, he published, in the _Ami des Lois_, the
     answer he had offered to the district court, preceded by an
     exordium, in which he complained, that the court had refused to
     hear it. He added, that the judge 'had indulged himself, on his
     route to Bayou Sarah, in manifesting apprehensions as to the
     fate of the country, equally disgraceful to himself, and
     injurious to the interest and safety of the state,' and
     concluded--'should Judge Hall deny this statement, the general
     is prepared to prove it, fully and satisfactorily.'

     "The gauntlet did not long remain on the ground, and the
     following piece appeared in the _Louisiana Courier_:

     "'It is stated in the introductory remarks of General Jackson,'
     that 'on the judge's route to Bayou Sarah, he manifested
     apprehensions as to the safety of the country, disgraceful to
     himself, and injurious to the state.' Judge Hall knows full
     well, how easy it is for one, with the influence and patronage
     of General Jackson, to procure certificates and affidavits. He
     knows that men, usurping authority, have their delators and
     spies: and that, in the sunshine of imperial or dictatorial
     power, swarms of miserable creatures are easily generated, from
     the surrounding corruption, and rapidly changed into the shape
     of buzzing informers. Notwithstanding which, Judge Hall
     declares, that on his route to Bayou Sarah, he uttered no
     sentiment disgraceful to himself, or injurious to the state. He
     calls upon General Jackson, to furnish that full and
     satisfactory evidence of his assertion, which he says he is
     enabled to do.' The pledge was never redeemed."

Judge Martin's book is here brought to a conclusion, with some
appropriate and forcible reflections upon the duties and uses of
History, in affording lessons to men, high in authority, to bridle their
passions; to select capable and honest advisers; with other wise and
wholesome admonitions.

We heartily unite with the Judge in his just and patriotic aspirations
in behalf of the Judiciary.

       *       *       *       *       *

     NOTE.--In quoting from our history the anecdote respecting the
     residence and imprisonment of _Fenelon_ in Canada, we do not
     intend to express a belief in its authenticity. It is the first
     time we have heard that the celebrated author of Telemachus had
     ever been in this country; and, as Judge Martin does not inform
     us of the authority on which the story is related, we know not
     what credit it is entitled to.

ART. IX.--_A Full and Accurate Method of Curing Dyspepsia, Discovered
and Practised_ by O. HALSTED. New-York: 1830.

Every era has possessed its false prophet in religion, from the days of
Mahomet to those of Joanna Southcot and Fanny Wright; not that the race
commenced with the former, or has terminated with the latter; the
records of history supply us with examples of "lying augurs," in every
period previously to the career of the Impostor of Mecca, and our daily
experience furnishes us with proofs that the tribe is by no means
extinct. As in religion, so has it been, and still continues, in
philosophy, and the whole circle of science: pretenders to excellence
have started up in every age, and although their efforts in the cause of
imposition have not been so splendid as the exertions of those who have
made religion their tool, they have yet been sufficiently remarkable to
excite the eager attention of mankind, and sufficiently profitable to
reward themselves. Medical science in particular may boast of a numerous
host of these worthies: it would far exceed the limits of this
publication to trace the progress of the charlatan, through the records
of ancient history; for the sake of brevity, a retrospective glance must
not be directed beyond the fifteenth century, when the arch priest of
"modern quackery" made his appearance upon the medical stage. In the
year 1493, Phillippus Aureolus Theophrastus Paracelsus Bombastus de
Hohenheim, was ushered into existence, and at a very early age announced
his discovery, that the recognised principles of medical science were
erroneous, and that in him alone was vested "the art divine, to heal
each lurking ill." Possessing a panacea capable, as he boasted, of
curing all diseases, and even of prolonging life to an indefinite
period, this empiric made war upon the health of mankind, and at last,
after a life of the most infamous debauchery, he died, in the
forty-eighth year of his age, with a bottle of the "Elixir Vitæ" in his
pocket. The mantle of Paracelsus has been left behind, and a rich
inheritance of ignorance, insolence, and vanity, bequeathed to a
multitude of heirs; the value of the legacy, however, would have been
trifling, but for the credulity of mankind, which renders these
worthless possessions of inestimable importance: during the last
century, in particular, these descendants have attained an eminence
truly astonishing. Medicine is admitted to be one of the noblest
sciences, as tending, in its practice, to relieve the most irksome
restraints upon existence; it is acknowledged to be a science founded
upon close observation, and so nearly allied to other sciences, that its
pursuit is impracticable without them; that it requires years of
patient toil to fathom its mysteries, and the undivided efforts of a
mind to comprehend its purposes; and yet we are daily told of the most
extraordinary cures, and of the discovery of sovereign remedies, in all
cases and descriptions of disease, by individuals who have never

    "Toil'd an hour in physic's cause,
    Or giv'n one thought to Nature's laws:"

By men, in short, who are incapable of forming one rational opinion upon
the subject, and unprepared, by previous study or information, to detect
or remove one symptom.

It is an old and apt saying, that "the wilder the tale, the wider the
ear;" and experience proves, that from the nursery to the tomb, no
legend is too marvellous for the faith of the credulous, and that in
many instances, the more incomprehensible the story, the more confirmed
is the belief.

In the numerous newspapers daily published in the United States, a list
of cures are detailed with sufficient precision to satisfy the
sceptical, and sufficient plausibility to convince the ignorant, while a
string of medicines is set forth, of such unrivalled excellence, that no
disease is protected from their action; the panacea of Paracelsus is
rivalled, and every calamity that can afflict the body, from the crown
of the head to the sole of the foot, is at once relieved. "Vegetable
Powders," "Botanical Syrup," "Bilious Pills," "Jaundice Bitters," "Eye
Waters," ointments, &c. &c. are proclaimed as veritable specifics by
these veritable physic-mongers: no disease is too subtle, no train of
symptoms too severe, for them to contend with; they only meet the foe to
conquer, and confer an immortality on suffering humanity and themselves.
Thus they flourish, the quacks of the day, the impostors of the
multitude, and, perhaps, the dupes of themselves! But if Reason, that
plain and simple attribute, in its uncontrouled state, unfettered either
by prejudice or wilfulness, can be brought to bear on the question
between them and mankind, how little will their claims appear! Reason,
in the exertion of a capable authority, is taught to discriminate
fairly, and test candidly, and must therefore refuse the evidence
tendered by folly, or something worse, by which ignorance is bewitched.
Will the man of reflecting mind, and of candid judgment, admit the
claims of these pretenders, and match the speculations of avarice and
ignorance with the conclusions of science? Impossible! Safety consorts
with skill in every path of life; he would not trust himself on the wide
ocean with a man ignorant of navigation; nay, he would not trust a bale
of merchandise with him; and surely he will not abandon his bark of
existence to the command of a charlatan, who knows nothing of the
principles of the art he professes, and is altogether incompetent to
steer clear of the numerous rocks and quicksands in the course of life;
but a man of reflection and judgment is not a very common character; he
is surrounded by hundreds who examine not for themselves; and are easily
deluded, by the fairest promises, to surrender their opinions to
another's guidance: these are the supporters of quackery, and the
encouragers of those needy plunderers, who would render medicine a
farce, that they might practice jugglery the better.

If the system of man resembled a machine, which, once in motion,
continued an unvaried power, and retained an equality of force, merely
requiring, when deranged, the tightening of a screw, the readjustment of
a strap, or the addition of a quantity of oil, little knowledge would be
required in the regulation of its functions; but when we find the
constitutions of men as varied as their countenances, the affections of
the body, numerous and diversified, never preserving identically the
same characters in two cases, or requiring the same exact treatment in
diseases, apparently of the same nature, we discover that something more
than the artifice of the quack is necessary in their government and

It would indeed be a Herculean task to administer the rod of correction
to all the advertizing medical gentry of the day: it could be done, and
with justice to the community; but it would be wearisome. A champion,
however, has recently entered the medical arena, with whom we would fain
contend, not only in the hope of conquest, but in the expectation that
others may take warning by his defeat. With him we will now alone
engage, and thus throw down our gauntlet.

A work has very lately appeared, professing to be a "New Method of
Curing Dyspepsia, discovered and practised by O. Halsted of New-York."
This publication sails in the wake of a tolerably successful practice
amongst the dyspeptics of the day, who have resorted to the temple of
our author "with faith sufficient to promote a cure." So long as this
continued, all interference was of course out of the question, as every
individual possesses an undoubted right to tamper either with his
judgment or his money; but when this aspirer after dyspeptic fame leaves
his concealment, and issues his discoveries and practices to the world,
he invites the battery of opinion, and renders himself at once amenable
to remark and investigation. A few words, however, on the subject of
dyspepsia, may not be amiss, before we take leave to reply to Mr.

This much abused term, is a compound of two Greek words, signifying "bad
concoction," or bad digestion, _alias_ indigestion, and sufficiently
expressive of a condition in which the aliments supplied to the stomach
are not met by a vigorous and sufficient action for the purposes of
health; but this definition, however just, is not comprehensive enough
for the genius of mankind. That genius, which, in former times, has
sanctioned the appellations of nervous disorders, and bilious
complaints, as comprising nearly all others, has now selected the term
of dyspepsia, as the covering for a multitude of real and imaginary
woes; so that when an invalid approaches with a variety of symptoms, and
a host of pains or whimsies, he is at once pronounced to be a Dyspeptic.

The book before us, commences with a short account of the organs engaged
in the process of digestion, copied from a periodical work of the day,
very good as far as it goes, and leaving nothing to be desired on the
score of brevity: our author then pursues his task, by a detail of the
symptoms of what he calls dyspepsia; from what work he procured these,
or from what unhappy wretch he could gain such a list of grievances, as
he describes arising from indigestion, does not appear; if they be in
existence now, the sooner the one is burnt and the other buried, the
better. It is evident that Mr. Halsted is unaware that dyspepsia occurs,
in one of two ways; either as a primary affection, or as a symptom of
other diseases; that he is unacquainted with the share the liver, with
its biliary apparatus, the pancreas, the spleen, the mesentery, the
omentum, &c. take in digestion, and of the symptoms occasioned by an
affection of these organs; it may therefore be adviseable to devote a
few lines to the consideration of these points, as well for the
satisfaction of the public, as for his instruction and the improvement
of his second edition. Dyspepsia, or indigestion in its simple form,
occurs either as a disease of debility, or as a consequence of excess:
the first arises from numerous causes, and seldom exists alone: the
secretion of the gastric juice is not only impaired, for the office of
no organ continues in a state of activity, all alike feeling the result
of that general depression affecting the system at large: the second may
be referred to the stomach itself, as a natural effect from
over-feeding, or indulgence in spirituous liquors. Dyspepsia, occurring
as a symptom in other diseases, appears under numerous characters,
either from the effects of sympathy, or from an extension of the malady
to the stomach itself. It may be readily granted that all the symptoms
described by Mr. Halsted, take place, in consequence of an affection of
the stomach, either primarily or secondarily; but to assert that they
are the results of a bad concoction of the viands we eat and drink, and
to act accordingly, is to misunderstand the meaning of a term, as well
as the treatment of a disorder.

It is stated, in this work, that dyspepsia is Protean in its symptoms,
but single and uniform in its nature; the very reverse is the fact; its
symptoms are of a single character, and of an uniform attack, while its
nature is variable and inconstant. A dyspeptic will complain of a want
of appetite, a degree of squeamishness and irritability, eructations,
heart-burn, pain in the head, stomach, and bowels, with costiveness; his
tongue will be furred, and his pulse a little increased in strength and
quickness. To use the language of Dr. Armstrong, "the most constant
symptoms of dyspepsia, are a furred tongue, flatulence of the stomach,
and fretfulness, or depression of spirits;" he goes on to say, "these
may arise primarily from disorder or disease in the stomach itself, or
they may depend upon an affection of the brain, liver, bowels, or some
other remote or adjacent part." The nature of dyspepsia depends totally
upon its cause, and where so many circumstances may occasion it, it is
difficult to imagine one more variable. The important organs before
alluded to, so necessary to the economy of life, are all liable to the
most severe visitations of disease. Not to be too prolix, take, for the
sake of example, the first on the list, the liver: both in the acute and
chronic forms of inflammation of this viscus, how important a change is
wrought in the digestive functions, how enfeebled does the system become
during its continuance, and how futile would be the attempt to relieve
the malady by merely attacking one of its symptoms! And so, of the other
viscera, all marked when in a morbid state by peculiar characteristics,
not only affecting their own action, but all the parts in their
neighbourhood, the stomach as one of the great centres of the system in
particular; and yet, with all these facts in review, are we presented
with a list of ailments as dependant upon an impropriety in digestion,
which may in all probability (at least the greater part of them) be
traced to a source totally different. A careful discrimination of the
origin of disease is as necessary as any after treatment, which can
never, indeed, be applied with a reasonable chance of success without

Mr. Halsted recommends a change to a more temperate climate, travelling,
regular exercise, particularly on horseback, and above all, moderation
in eating and drinking; asserting, that if these means of recovery be
neglected, things will inevitably go on from bad to worse. Astonishing!
These new precepts, from the pen of such a distinguished practitioner,
cannot be too highly extolled, and should be classed with the
recommendation of old Parr; "keep your head cool by temperance, your
feet warm by exercise; never eat but when you are hungry, nor drink but
when nature requires it." Had the author stopped here, there would have
been no occasion for a rejoinder to his work; for directions so
admirable could only have obtained a ready compliance. In addition,
however, to these usual modes of recovering health and appetite, we are
put in possession of a few others, as purely original as can be
imagined--but of these anon.

Mr. Halsted arranges dyspepsia in three stages; he has the incipient,
the confirmed, and the complicated; in other words, dyspepsia in its
commencement, in its continuance, and in its union with other
affections. The two first may undoubtedly belong to dyspepsia, but the
last, or complicated stage, is the one to which we must object; it is
said, that this occurs when other organs are deranged, and a double set
of symptoms produced; "when the patient will be said to die of liver
complaint, an affection of the lungs, marasmus, dysentery, diarrhoea,
or some anomalous complication of all these affections, conveniently
classed by the Doctor when he renders his account to the sexton, under
the sweeping term, consumption." The medical profession will doubtless
appreciate the value of the connexion which Mr. Halsted is anxious to
establish between the physician and the respectable officer who acts as
the last gentleman-usher to mankind, and duly estimate the candid and
gentlemanly mode of introduction of both parties to the public.

Dyspepsia, Mr. H. continues, is the original fountain from whence all
this mischief, described in his third stage, proceeds; thus, according
to him, a catarrh, pneumonia, and the numerous diseases attacking the
respiratory organs, as "affections of the lungs," are occasioned by
dyspepsia; the liver cannot be affected but by dyspepsia; marasmus
proceeds from dyspepsia; dysentery depends on dyspepsia; and even
diarrhoea must own dyspepsia as its parent. The effects of cold and
damp, of obstructed perspiration, of scrofulous tendencies, and a
thousand other causes, pass for nought; dyspepsia rears its head as the
sole parent of ill, and little doubt can be entertained, that in the
event of a man, a little weakened by sickness, falling and breaking his
leg, this dyspeptic monitor would call the case dyspeptic fracture. Well
may the poor patient who peruses the pages of his work be called "an
unhappy dyspeptic;" and if he be not so already, he cannot read long, if
his attention and conviction go hand in hand, before the discovery of
such an accumulation of horrors, and all referred to his own person,
will render him a fit subject for the author's experiments. Some of
these symptoms are of too extraordinary a character to be passed over
without notice: coldness in the head, ears, and eyes, difficulty of
speech, and a jarring through the chest, numbness and coldness at the
stomach, and sometimes a weight as if a lump of lead were there: if this
be the case--

    "Who breathes, must suffer; and who thinks, must mourn,
    And he alone is bless'd, who ne'er was born."

Then again, our author has been told by a sufferer, that he felt as if a
number of wires passed up from the stomach to the brain, and there
ramifying into small branches, communicated a sort of jarring or
vibrating sensation to each particular nerve. This is a perfect musical
case of a dyspeptic, who has a sort of piano-forte stomach; we might
fancy him exclaiming in the language of Shakspeare,--

    "This music mads me; let it sound no more;
    For though it have help'd madmen to their wits,
    In me, it seems, it will make wise men mad."

Then come "pains between the shoulders and in the small of the back,
cramps, stitches, pains in joints, with universal soreness and
weariness." This is as bad as the plague, a very wilderness of agonies.
Heaven guard us from them! To crown all, the sufferings of Caliban under
the magical touches of Prospero are applied to the wretched dyspeptic,
who has "cramps by night, and side-stitches to pen his breath up; old
cramps (one attack is not sufficient) shall rack him and fill his bones
with aches, making him roar so loud, that beasts shall tremble at his
din;" this is the very climax of bodily suffering--long may we all be
preserved from the Halsted Dyspepsia!

Error in diet, and want of proper exercise, are correctly assigned as
two great causes of this disease; the former as respects the quantity,
quality, time and manner of taking food, and the latter as it affects
persons of a sedentary habit. These causes lead to actual dyspepsia, or
a bad concoction of the food in the stomach, from whence the evils
described arise; and which are sufficient of themselves, without adding
to the list those affections, dependant upon diseases of other organs,
although occupying the stomach as their seat, and all of which our
author has indiscriminately classed under _his sweeping term_,
dyspepsia. A very common error of diet, as respects the time and manner
of taking food, is not treated of with sufficient force, when its
baneful tendency is considered:--the custom that prevails, of dining
within a very short period, sometimes only a few minutes, and returning
immediately to the avocations of the day; the food is sent to the
stomach only half masticated, and the system directly subjected to
exertion, during which, the process of digestion cannot take place. If
we make a hearty meal, and at once proceed to labour of any kind, the
food remains for hours in an unaltered state; whereas, if we give a
short repose to our bodies, by assuming an easy posture, and partially
dismissing the remembrance of past, and the prospect of future cares,
allowing, in fact, the whole business of life a short rest, as far as
may be, the stomach will perform its office with ease and certainty. Mr.
Halsted devotes one section to the consideration "of the particular
condition of the stomach in dyspepsia;" and as he confesses that doctors
differ on this subject, he kindly lends his assistance to relieve their
indecision, by roundly asserting "that it consists mainly, in a debility
or loss of power of action, in the muscular coat of the stomach." That a
feebleness of the system may affect the muscular coat of the stomach,
is far from a novel doctrine; but the idea that dyspepsia _mainly_
depends upon this cause, is certainly as new as it is startling: the
very meaning of the word would dispose us to consider that any want of
action in the stomach, preventing the due concoction, or the breaking
down of aliment for the purposes of nourishment to the frame, would
apply to it, and, strictly speaking, it would; not that the muscular
coat is alone, or the most powerful agent, in reducing the food to pulp
or chyme; it is one of the many forces in the service of nature. It must
be remembered that digestion, however well commenced in the stomach, is
not perfected there; that, in the words of Dr. Mason Good, "it ranges
through a wide spread of organs closely sympathizing with each other,
and each, when disordered, giving rise to dyspepsia." After the
formation of chyme, and the food has passed the pyloric orifice of the
stomach, it undergoes a new process in the duodenum, when it is
converted into chyle, probably by the action of the bile, although this
is a point not absolutely determined by physiological experiment; even
now, digestion is only half finished, the lacteals (a class of absorbing
vessels particularly numerous in the duodenum, and also existing in the
larger intestines) take up this fluid, for the purpose of conveying it
into the thoracic duct, which terminates in the left subclavian vein,
nor is the total process of digestion completed, until, in the language
of the author above quoted, "it has been exposed to the action of the
atmosphere, travelling, for this purpose, through the lungs, when it
becomes completely assimilated with the vital fluids." Hence, although
the meaning of dyspepsia must be restricted, as its derivations demand;
the term, digestion, bears a much more extensive signification than it
generally receives, and any error in its process may be properly
denominated indigestion; however, Mr. Halsted regards the term dyspepsia
as equivalent to indigestion, and we may, for once, adopt the same
phraseology. Now, as digestion is of so complicated a nature, how will
Mr. H. explain his reference to the muscular coat of the stomach as a
chief cause of its derangement? Is he so admirable a pathologist as to
discriminate, when called to a case of dyspepsia, whether, to use his
own words, "it consists in a diminished quantity or vitiated state of
the gastric fluid, in a morbid secretion from the inner coats of the
stomach, or from a peculiar acid generated there; whether chronic
inflammation of the mucous membrane of that organ, or a torpid state of
the liver and a deficient secretion of the bile occasion it: it would
appear that such conditions _may_ exist, and then produce their
different symptoms, requiring a _modified_ treatment;" but it frequently
happens that these cases, slight in themselves, determine principally to
the stomach, and are not apparent to the keenest eye in any other organ
upon the first attack. Besides, it is the practice of Mr. Halsted, when
he discovers that the digestive apparatus is not originally in fault,
but that a chronic inflammation of the stomach, or a torpor of the
liver, prevails, to _modify_ his treatment; this, at all events, is new
doctrine, to treat inflammation and torpor upon _modified_ principles.
If, however, diagnosis is so slight an affair in his hands, let him,
without delay, inform his countrymen at what college he studied, and
what were his plans of improvement.--Pathology is a difficult science,
and needs mentors to point out the best paths for its attainment.

The muscular coat of the stomach has undoubtedly its proper office to
perform, and, failing in its functions, it may, in conjunction with
other causes, lead to dyspepsia; but to fix upon this, in particular, is
to negative the effects of other organs, and to deceive both your
patient and yourself.

One of the most important discoveries in this work appears under the
title of "the state of the abdominal muscles during dyspepsia;" which is
pronounced to be a very characteristic feature of the disease, never yet
noticed by writers on the subject, or particularly attended to by
physicians. It would certainly have been somewhat strange for medical
writers to enlarge upon a symptom of one disease, which absolutely
belongs to another; or for physicians to attend to what they could not
detect; and it is equally singular, that this very characteristic
feature should only have favoured Mr. Halsted and his patients with a
visitation. Whenever the muscles of the abdomen are in a state of
constriction, as described by him, the usual cause is spasm of some part
of the intestinal canal, produced by _colic_, either of an accidental
nature, arising from some acrid ingesta, which irritate the bowels
without producing diarrhoea, attended with griping pains and
distention, and _spasmodic contraction of the abdominal muscles_, with
costiveness; or of a bilious form, closely allied to bilious diarrhoea
and cholera (Gregory.) These are the varieties of colic which have been
confounded with dyspepsia, particularly the first described; the symptom
alluded to has little or nothing to do with the office of the stomach,
but depends chiefly upon acrid substances, which have passed from that
organ, to exercise their pernicious qualities upon the intestines; the
sufferings of Mr. Halsted, so pathetically described, may at once be
referred to a fit of the colic, which a due want of care rendered very

Pass we now to the treatment, premising that a ride in a stage-coach led
to the discovery of its advantages, and taking care, at the same time,
of our abdominal muscles, lest the exertion of laughter should occasion
one of the muscular spasms so much dreaded by our author. The plan is
divided into four compartments; tickling, pickling, ironing, and
throwing up the bowels. The tickling is performed by gentle taps and
slight pushes in the pit of the stomach. (Who could bear it? It would
throw nine patients out of ten into convulsions!) The pickling, by
wrapping up the patient from the chest to the hips with flannel cloths,
wrung out in a mixture of equal parts of hot vinegar and water. (This at
all events tends to _keep_ him.) The ironing, by spreading a coarse dry
towel on the bowels, and passing over them "a bottle filled with boiling
water, or, what is better, a common flat-iron, such as is used in
smoothing linen, _heated as warm as can well be borne_, for fifteen or
twenty minutes." Make an ironing-board of a patient's bowels! This is
worse than all: a man might consent to be tickled and pickled--but to
iron him for twenty minutes--mercy on us! the very thought is sudorific.

The throwing up of the bowels comes the last: fancy Mr. Halsted seated
on the right side of his patient, and facing him; then placing his right
hand upon the lower part of the abdomen, in such a manner, as to effect
a lodgment (we quote his words) as it were, under the bowels, suffering
them to rest directly upon the edge of the extended palm, and then, by a
quick but not violent motion of the hand, in an upward direction, the
bowels are thrown up much in the same manner as in riding on horseback,
a sensation being communicated like that produced by a slight blow. (It
is difficult to imagine who is entitled to the greatest admiration, the
practitioner or the patient.) This treatment, it is said, will generally
effect an increase in the strength of the pulse, a warmth in the
extremities, and a gentle perspiration. So we should imagine: if such a
mode of riding, with one's bowels in another man's hands, will not
produce perspiration, what will? The position of the sufferer, during
the last most remarkable process, may be occasionally altered, the
practitioner taking his station behind him; or he may be placed with his
back against the wall, whilst all these freedoms are taken with his
bowels. Nay, more,--he may be instructed to perform the operation on his
own person.

    "Wer't not for laughing, I should pity him."

This, then, is the Halstedian treatment!

The former rules of quackery, reduced to the administration of sundry
pills or elixirs, must be abandoned in favour of the manipulating and
scouring process of the great medical wizard of the day, who relieves by
a tap, and cures by a flat-iron; and although it may be difficult to
conceive the chain of ideas by which the imagination can connect the
bumpings of a stage-coach with the operations we have described, we may

                         "Your art
    As well may teach an ass to scour the plain,
    And bend obedient to the forming rein,"

as cure dyspepsia; still, we must yield our admiration to the novelty of
invention, and to the ingenuity of application of these stomach and
bowel working wonders.

It unfortunately happens sometimes, that the dyspepsia is connected with
inflamed stomach, in which case the _punching_ practice is death. We
have heard from eminent physicians, that several lives have, within
their knowledge, been endangered by it. Moreover, the real indecency of
the Halstedian process, particularly in the case of women, has greatly
shocked even the medical observers.

Before we dismiss this book from actual review, we will devote a short
space to its probable effect upon the public, and upon the best means of
counteracting its tendency.

Man, like a child, is amused by a novelty, and "tickled by a straw." His
"reason too often stoops not" to inquiry before a ready surrender, and
what is least comprehensible will occasionally receive the readiest
credence: bare assertion is admitted without proof, the rhodomontade of
enthusiasts passes for gospel, and the "leather and prunella" of
impostors are regarded as commodities of sterling value. No wonder,
then, that success attends a certain race, who are willing to prey upon
the infirmity of reason; that the mountebanks of former days are
emulated by the quacks of the present time; that Mr. Halsted has met
with abundance of patients, and a ready sale for his work: a hope of
relief from disease acts as a stimulant to faith, but "Hope is a
cur-tail dog in some affairs."

It is said of Dr. Cameron, one of the most remarkable charlatans of his
day, that when reproached by a physician concerning his deception on the
public, he replied, "Out of twenty persons who pass this house in an
hour, nineteen are fools who come to me, whilst the one wise man applies
to you--which has the better practice? Believe me, doctor, that although
the wise seek the wise in your person, the fools will find me out." How
exactly is this assertion fulfilled in the present day! The wise man,
who values his health as his greatest earthly blessing, scorns to resign
it to the care of one who knows not the value of the trust; who cannot
comprehend the principles upon which it depends, the cause which
deranges it; or discover the particular organ requiring assistance:
common sense interposes a bar to any communication between a wise man
and a charlatan; while the multitude will flock to the snare, or swallow
the bait; first the gulls, and then the victims; the nostrums, injurious
or poisonous as they may be, find ready mouths for their reception; the
dogmas, willing ears; and the system of Mr. Halsted, ready sufferers. Is
it not to be lamented, that a man who claims a caste above this
multitude, will sometimes forget himself so far as to follow their
route, heedless of the lines of Horace?--

    "When in a wood we leave the certain way
    One error fools us, though we various stray."

He madly leaves the track of reason to tread in the steps of folly; but
_he_ may perhaps retrace them, and if an injured, yet a wiser man. Not
so the generality,--they pursue an _ignis fatuus,_ which, dazzling their
perceptions as it lures them on, at last leaves them in the mire (from
which no skill perhaps can extricate them) to curse themselves and their

The exertion of medical science is sufficient for the removal of
diseases capable of cure, and is unaccompanied by the risk of leaving
others in their place: quackery, on the contrary, attempts what it
cannot, from ignorance, perform, and frequently establishes a malady of
more serious character than the one it professed to relieve. The medical
man, aware of the structure of the human form, of the disposition and
arrangement of its several parts in a state of health, is gradually led
to a consideration of their condition in disease: that grand master,
experience, enables him to discriminate between the cause and effect of
morbid action; a long attention to the detail of practice gives him
power over a list of remedies whose properties he has ascertained by
observation; and in addition to all this, his daily thoughts are engaged
in the investigation of sickness in its many forms, and, frequently, his
midnight oil expended, while he peruses the observations, and profits by
the researches of others. Again, the advertising quack is frequently an
unlettered, never a well-informed man, at least on medical topics: his
education, his habits, his purposes, are all foreign to science; the
first has not been devoted to the accomplishment of a particular duty;
the second have not received that polish, or acquired that delicacy so
necessary in the hour of sickness and distress; and the third are
directed solely to the purposes of gain, rather than to the noble aim of
assisting his fellow-creatures; and yet such a character finds support.
To the individual who can depend upon his abilities we may exclaim,
"tibi seris, tibi metis," and so dismiss him to his fate.

After all that has been said of the exertions of the charlatan to abuse
the confidence of mankind, particularly as far as dyspepsia is
concerned, it is due to the medical profession, to state what claims
they may fairly advance, to entitle them to the good opinion of the
public, in the cure of this much talked of affection.

A physician, who understands what he is about, knows very well, when a
case of this nature comes before him, that it may proceed from a variety
of causes; that it may arise in the stomach from a want of digestive
power, from the small intestines by a partial failure in the process of
chymification; that it may depend upon the morbid action of the large
intestines, or exist merely as a symptom of an affection in other
organs. Sedentary habits, or irregularities of diet, are causes which
may be supposed to act locally on the digestive organs themselves; but
the history of a case will generally show that the derangement of the
digestive organs is secondary. When it arises from local irritation, it
can only be produced through the medium of the sensorium; when it is
idiopathic, it frequently originates in causes which affect the nervous
system primarily; such as anxiety, too great exertion of body and mind,
and impure air; in many instances, the nervous irritation which has
induced the disease, being trivial, is only kept up by the reaction of
its effects. Thus says Abernethy, one of the luminaries of modern
medical science.

The first duty of a physician, therefore, is to ascertain from what
source indigestion proceeds, and to frame his treatment accordingly. To
act upon one system of cure, like our friend Mr. Halsted, in a disease
arising from such a variety of circumstances, would be as reasonable as
applying splints to an arm, when the thigh happens to be fractured; but
enough, we would hope, has been said to disabuse the mind of the public
of a predilection for these pretenders. Dyspepsia is a disease that has
existed for ages, and through ages has it readily been cured. In its
simple form there is no mystery about it, and when it becomes
complicated, it requires more than the knowledge of a quack to master
it. Confidence in a medical attendant, and an adherence to his
directions, will surely suffice now, as in former times; and if the
public will restrain a longing after novelty, and abandon those "who
rather talk than act, and rather kill than cure," in short, who work
upon their prejudices by artifice, we shall hear less of dyspepsia,
simply because it exists too frequently but in their own fancies. True,
there is a certain class, with such mental, as well as bodily
infirmities, who, worn down by depraved habits, or suffering under
weakened intellects, will permit the wildest chimeras to haunt them;
hypochondriacs may be met with every day, and these may be fit patients
for the charlatan, or legally subjected to the tickling, pickling, and
ironing of Mr. Halsted: extraordinary maladies may justify extraordinary

The absurd and improper treatment proposed in the work we have noticed,
can afford but little hope to any but the hypochondriacal dyspeptic; he
may fly to any measures, however desperate or ludicrous; for "a mind
diseased no medicine can cure." Let others, however, who cannot plead a
malady of the mind as an excuse for resorting to such practice, be
informed, that in most of the affections arising from, or confounded
with dyspepsia, it is unavailing, and may prove injurious. There are
many diseases which it is impossible that Mr. Halsted can distinguish
from dyspepsia, and to which he would apply his irons and bottles,
towels and vinegar, at the risk of his patient's safety.

His views may be sound if adapted to the animal economy of a horse, but
are certainly unsuitable to the constitution of a man.

We would say, then, to the public, in conclusion; be cautious how you
trust your health and lives with those who neither comprehend the nature
of the one, nor the value of the other--and who would exclaim behind
your backs, with Shakspeare's Autolycus, merely altering the description
of his wares:--

     "Ha! ha! what a fool Honesty is! and Trust, his sworn brother,
     a very simple gentleman! I have sold all my trumpery; not a
     counterfeit stone, not a riband, glass, pomander, brooch,
     table-book, ballad, knife, tape, glove, shoe-tie, bracelet,
     horn-ring, to keep my pack from fasting: they throng who should
     buy first, as if my trinkets had been hallowed, and brought a
     benediction to the buyer; by which means, I saw whose purse was
     best in picture, and, what I saw, to my good use I remembered."

To the gentle pretenders themselves, we have but a few words to say at

                        "Out you impostors,
    Quack-salving cheating mountebanks--your skill
    Is to make sound men sick, and sick men, kill."


1.--_Report of the Committee of Ways and Means of the House of
Representatives of the United States, to which was referred so much of
the President's Message as relates to the Bank of the United States._
April 13th, 1830: pp. 31. 8vo.

2.--_Message of the President of the United States to both Houses of
Congress._ December 8th, 1830.

When the President first presented the question of re-chartering the
Bank of the United States to the national legislature, at the opening of
the session of 1829-30, the measure was viewed very differently by
different men. We do not speak of the vulgar herd of politicians, great
and small, who approve or condemn indiscriminately all measures of the
government, but of that more elevated and independent class, who ask
nothing of any administration than that it shall do its duty; and who
judge of its acts as they seem to be legal, useful, and wise. To some
the president's course appeared to be highly objectionable. The bank
charter had then six years to run, and, consequently, they said, neither
this congress nor the next had any control over the subject. Nor could
it furnish matter of legislation, they added, whilst president Jackson
remained in office, unless he should, by being elected for a second
term, give his sanction to a principle which he had pronounced impolitic
and dangerous. To have brought forward the subject, under these
circumstances, with no very doubtful intimation of his own wishes, was
as unnecessary as it was unusual, and implied a want of confidence in
those who were ultimately to decide the question.

To others, however, this early notice of the subject seemed to be
justified by its importance, and they thought that the public could not
be too soon engaged in discussing the merits of a question which in so
many ways concerned the general welfare. Of this opinion seemed to be
the committee of the house of representatives, to which this part of the
message was referred, and which, after giving the subject a full
consideration, reported in favour of renewing the charter of the present
bank, and against the substitute for it which the president had ventured
to suggest.

The subject being thus fairly before the people, and in fact undergoing
a very thorough investigation in the public journals, it was expected
that the president would be contented with having done his duty on the
occasion, and, if not silenced by the gentle dissuasive of the senate,
or the bold and uncompromising logic of the house, he would merely
regret that truth should be so hoodwinked by prejudice, or that error
should have found so many apologists and supporters in those august
bodies, and that he would leave the question where it properly belonged,
and where he himself had placed it--with "the legislature and the
people." It was, then, with no little surprise, perceived, that the
succeeding annual message, which is at the head of this article, had
brought the same subject to the notice of the legislature, consisting
precisely of the same individuals as before, when nothing was pretended
to have occurred to induce them to change their former opinion, and when
the only reason which had been given, at the preceding session, for
inviting the consideration of what neither required nor admitted
immediate legislation, no longer existed. Public attention had been
fully drawn to the subject. The stockholders of the bank, who are
profiting by the good management of the institution, and who naturally
wish the charter renewed, had taken the alarm, and, trusting to the
omnipotence of truth, had every where invited investigation and
discussion--and all those who hoped to profit by the new national bank,
or who felt themselves bound to second the wishes of the administration,
had opposed the renewal of the charter, through the prints devoted to
the same cause.

When the avowed purpose of the president had been thus completely
answered, by his first communication to congress, it is natural to ask
what could have prompted the second? Were the majorities in both houses
of congress personally hostile to the president, or unfriendly to his
administration; and was it necessary for him to defend himself from
party prejudice by an appeal to the people? That could not be; for it is
notorious that the president's friends, personal or political, are most
numerous in both houses, and this advantage is a daily theme of party
boast and congratulation. Were the chairmen of the respective committees
his political opponents, and did they insidiously endeavour to bring his
party into discredit for the purpose of advancing their own? But they
were among his most zealous adherents--nay, it may be questioned whether
there was a single individual in the United States to whom the president
was more indebted for the vindication of his character before the
people, than to Mr. M'Duffie, who wrote one of the reports;--unless it
might be to Mr. Adams, when secretary of state. Was it then expected,
that the house of representatives, which had disregarded his
recommendation, would now approve his project? It is impossible that the
president or his advisers could have believed they would carry their
complaisance so far. They must have known that the subject would be
referred to the same committee, composed of the same persons, as that of
the preceding year, and who would be likely, if they reported at all,
not only to support their first opinions by further arguments, but to
express their disapprobation of a course so wanting in respect to the
legislature, and so little calculated to promote harmony between the
different branches of the government. As, then, we are compelled to give
the negative to all these suppositions, we must infer that the object of
this extraordinary course has been to influence public opinion. It seems
essential to the views of the present executive of the United States, to
put down the present national bank, and to erect another on its ruins;
and this favourite purpose it hopes to attain by bringing the
president's personal and official influence to bear on the question;
and, under the forms of the constitution, to appeal from his party in
congress, to his party in the nation.

On the dignity or good faith of this course we will not make any
comment; but since the question is thus brought before the people, we
will cheerfully meet it, and inquire how far the measure recommended by
the president, against the opinions of the immediate representatives of
the people, seems calculated to advance the public interest, or to
promote a distinct and peculiar interest. We shall fearlessly, though
temperately, examine the president's propositions, both as to the
existing national bank and its proposed substitute; and we shall look at
the subject with a single eye to the public good, for we have no other
interest in the question than what is common to every citizen of the
United States. We know that there is much good sense in this nation,
and although there is a full share of prejudice too, yet no one need
despair, that the former, if properly addressed, will eventually

That part of the Message which relates to the bank is in these words,--

     "The importance of the principles involved in the inquiry,
     whether it will be proper to re-charter the Bank of the United
     States, requires that I should again call the attention of
     congress to the subject. Nothing has occurred to lessen, in any
     degree, the dangers which many of our citizens apprehended from
     that institution, as at present organized. In the spirit of
     improvement and compromise which distinguishes our country and
     its institutions, it becomes us to inquire whether it be not
     possible to secure the advantages afforded by the present bank
     through the agency of a bank of the United States, so modified
     in its principles and structure as to obviate constitutional
     and other objections.

     "It is thought practicable to organize such a bank, with the
     necessary officers, as a branch of the treasury department,
     based on the public and individual deposits, without power to
     make loans or purchase property, which shall remit the funds of
     the government, and the expenses of which may be paid, if
     thought advisable, by allowing its officers to sell bills of
     exchange to private individuals at a moderate premium. Not
     being a corporate body, having no stockholders, debtors, or
     property, and but few officers, it would not be obnoxious to
     the constitutional objections which are urged against the
     present bank; and having no means to operate on the hopes,
     fears, or interests, of large masses of the community, it would
     be shorn of the influence which makes that bank formidable. The
     states would be strengthened by having in their hands the means
     of furnishing the local paper currency through their own banks;
     while the bank of the United States, though issuing no paper,
     would check the issues of the state banks, by taking their
     notes in deposit, and for exchange, only so long as they
     continue to be redeemed with specie. In times of public
     emergency, the capacities of such an institution might be
     enlarged by legislative provisions.

     "These suggestions are made, not so much as a recommendation,
     as with a view of calling the attention of congress to the
     possible modifications of a system, which cannot continue to
     exist in its present form without occasional collisions with
     the local authorities, and perpetual apprehensions and
     discontent on the part of the states and the people."

When the president's views, as here disclosed, are analyzed, they seem
to involve the following propositions, to each of which we will give a
separate consideration.

1. That the present Bank of the United States is unconstitutional.

2. That it exercises a dangerous influence.

3. That it creates discontent with the people, and collisions with the

4. That such a bank as is proposed in its place, is free from all these

1. On the constitutionality of the bank, we have little to add to the
remarks made on the subject in our last number. The arguments then urged
having received no answer, and being, as we conceive, unanswerable, we
must consider that the more the question is investigated, the more it
will be found that a power which has been recognised by every branch of
the government, and at some time or other, by every party that has
administered the affairs of the nation, will be found to be correct. We
cannot, however, forbear to add one other, because of its peculiar
fitness to the present occasion.

It is known, that the power of the general government to establish a
national bank, mainly turns on that clause of the Constitution of the
United States, which gives congress the power "to make all laws which
shall be _necessary and proper_ for carrying into execution" the powers
specifically granted--one party deducing the constitutionality of the
bank from a liberal interpretation of the word "necessary," and the
other drawing the opposite inference from their interpreting the same
word in a narrower sense; both reasoning justly from their respective
premises, and both agreeing, that on the true meaning of that term, rest
the merits of the controversy.

Whenever a doubt occurs about the meaning of a phrase in a written
instrument, it has always been considered a good rule of interpretation,
to refer to the use of the same phrase in other parts of the same
instrument, for the purpose of discovering the sense attached to it by
those who used it. Applying this rule, we find in the article concerning
the duties and powers of the president, (3d section) that "he shall,
from time to time, give to the congress information of the state of the
Union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall
judge _necessary and_ expedient." It is by virtue of this power thus
granted, and of this alone, that the president has recommended the
creation of a new bank to the legislature. Now, it will not be pretended
that he could have judged this recommendation to be _necessary_, in the
strictest sense of the term, but at most, that it was highly useful and
important. It must then be admitted, either that the narrow
interpretation of the word "necessary," relied on by those who deny the
constitutionality of the bank, is erroneous, or that the president
himself has violated the constitution in the recommendation he has made.
If it be insisted, that he had the constitutional right to recommend a
measure, which both houses of congress had pronounced highly
inexpedient, because he believed it prudent, and politic, and
salutary--the ground on which he himself places it--then the same
liberal interpretation of the term "necessary," which we admit to be the
true one, will make the bank constitutional. We have resorted to this
rule, not so much because it furnishes an argument _ad hominem_ which is
irresistible, as for the higher purpose of throwing light on one of the
most controverted parts of the constitution.

But admitting, for the sake of argument, the constitutionality of the
bank to be one of those difficult and complicated questions about which
men's minds may always be divided, and that there are reasons on either
side, sufficient, if not to convince, to perplex and bewilder, and to
afford pretexts for those who seek some sinister or selfish ends--and of
such character are most constitutional questions--we would ask, if this
is never to have a termination? Are questions of this kind to be always
unsettled, so that no length of time, however sufficient to quiet
private controversies, shall put an end to those which most nearly
concern the tranquillity and permanence of the Union?

On this subject of constitutional questions generally, we would trespass
awhile on the patience of our readers. It involves far higher
considerations than whether this or that individual shall be
president--this party or that shall exert a transient sway over the
destinies of the country. Our remarks are independent of men, or times,
or circumstances; and they are addressed to men of no party--to the
intelligent and patriotic of all parties--to that fund of good sense
which has ever characterized this nation.

As every officer of the government takes an oath to support the
constitution, his conscience is appealed to, and that which he honestly
and truly believes to be the meaning of the obligation he has incurred,
must influence his votes and acts under the constitution. It is
seriously and earnestly maintained by many of our citizens, that every
man's own interpretation of the constitution must be his guide; and no
matter what the public tribunals have determined--no matter for what
length of time, or by what degree of unanimity a particular
interpretation may have prevailed, it is to weigh as nothing with him,
so far as it seems contrary to the conviction of his own mind. But is
this a true understanding of the character of a written constitution,
and of the oath which it enjoins? If so, would not the means devised to
secure its more faithful observance be the most likely to defeat its
provisions; and would it not make such a constitution the most
impracticable and absurd form of government that human folly ever
devised? Let us consider the consequences of this doctrine.

In the first place, let us call to mind the great number of
constitutional questions which have arisen during the short period of
little more than forty years, since the Federal government went into
operation. In General Washington's administration, the most prominent of
those questions were suggested by the establishment of a national
bank--by the carriage tax--the proclamation of neutrality--and the
appropriations to carry the British treaty into effect: in that of Mr.
Adams, the elder, the alien and sedition laws: in Mr. Jefferson's, the
repeal of the Judiciary law--the embargo for an indefinite period--the
purchase of Louisiana: in Mr. Madison's, the United States Bank again,
the power of the federal government over the militia of a state--the
right of that government to construct roads: in Mr. Monroe's, the right
in congress to pass the bankrupt law--to lay a duty on imports for the
encouragement of manufactures--to appropriate money for the relief of
the poor of the district of Columbia: and in Mr. John Quincy Adams's,
the Cherokee treaty--the nullification doctrine--the power of appointing
public officers, together with several of the others previously

To these questions we might add many of minor importance or interest,
and that multitude which have arisen and been decided in the Supreme
Court of the United States. But if the number is already so great, what
will it be a century or two hence? Let it be remembered, too, that each
of these legislative questions may give rise to many others connected
with them, and that each one may be multiplied to infinity in the courts
of justice. Thus, if protecting duties for the encouragement of
manufactures are unconstitutional, the duty claimed on every bale of
imported goods may be called in question.

Whenever, then, any of these constitutional questions can be made, it
would be competent for the party interested, by the doctrines of these
political puritans, to make them. So that in every controversy, public
or private, every conflict of right or interest, as the question of
constitutionality would be completely open to the judge, and in criminal
cases, to the jury, either party may take his chance of success by
urging that interpretation of the constitution which best suits him, and
the same question would, of course, be decided one way in one place, and
another way in another. One man would be convicted for an offence for
which another would go unpunished; and one citizen, or one state, be
subjected to taxes under the constitution, from which others would be
shielded by the same instrument.

Does any one doubt, that if a constitution is left to the unrestricted
interpretation of every one who swears to support it, there would be
this diversity? Let him look at the various commentaries on the same
text in the New Testament. Let him look at the various interpretations
of the same decrees of the Senate by the Edicts of the Pretors in Roman
jurisprudence--to say nothing of those countless decisions of the civil
law, by which, before the time of Justinian, it was buried beneath its
own rubbish. Let him look at the voluminous reports in our own language
on the written, as well as common law--on the infinite number of
questions that have arisen, and are yet arising on a single statute, or
even one of its sections,--let him consider these apposite examples, and
ask whether our constitution is likely to share a different fate? Such,
indeed, is the indefinite nature of language, the ever-varying character
of human concerns, and the subtlety of the human intellect, that it is
utterly impossible to pen a constitution on which numerous questions
would not arise, which no sagacity of man could foresee, and which his
language is too vague to provide for.

Constitutional questions then must arise, and the true point of inquiry
is, whether our constitution meant that they should be finally settled,
or whether they are to remain suspended between heaven and earth, until
they are compelled to make their appearance by the necromancy of legal
subtlety, or occasionally laid in the Red Sea.

But the evil would not stop with the federal government. We know that
each state has also its own constitution, and that if their legislatures
or executives transcend their powers, their acts, by the doctrines we
are considering, are utterly void. They cannot exceed the limits of
their charter, and those limits they have no exclusive right to define.
Who that has attended the deliberations of a state legislature, and
remarked the frequent recurrence of constitutional questions about their
powers, but must see that there is scarcely any law concerning property,
or office, or crime, on which ingenuity may not raise a doubt respecting
either the letter or spirit of the constitution? And the same
uncertainty and want of uniformity which would arise in the federal
government, would arise in a much greater ratio in that of a state; so
that no man could say certainly what were his duties or his rights. If
such a state of things may now ensue, how would it be when the
population of a single state should amount to several millions, and when
the spirit of litigation, united with the extension of legal science,
would give more than Norman acuteness to our constitutional lawyers?
When that era shall arrive, if this quibbling spirit that is now so
rife, shall not receive a timely check, where is the law, whose
authority may not be questioned? Now is the time to arrest it, before
our habits become indurated, and while our national character has that
ductility which the changes our country is ever undergoing, naturally
produces. Whoever is capable of taking a wide survey of human affairs,
and of comparing ages and nations, must perceive that every generation
of the civilized world is becoming more and more metaphysical--that the
understanding is more appealed to, and has greater sway than formerly,
and the imagination less. The age of magic, and witches, and ghosts, has
passed away. That of poetry is on the wane. Speculation has taken the
place of taste. What once passed unheeded, or was perceived only as it
was felt, must now be analyzed, and sifted, and decompounded, until we
have reached its elements, and a reason is required for every thing.
Such is the spirit of the age, and it is eminently favourable to
constitutional doubts and scruples.

We may already perceive the progress of this captious, inquisitive,
hair-splitting spirit, in the brief chronicle of the federal
government. When congress met, immediately after the formation of the
constitution, in laying an impost, they endeavoured so to lay it, as to
give encouragement to those species of industry for which the country
seemed best suited, and their successors continued the same policy for
about thirty years, when it was discovered, (we think by a member from
Maine) that the policy was contrary to the constitution. The discovery
was soon welcomed by many of the politicians of the South, and it has
since been so cordially embraced by them, that the opposite opinion is
now looked upon as downright political heresy.

A bankrupt law was passed during the first Mr. Adams's administration,
by virtue of the express power given to congress on that subject. When
Mr. Jefferson came into power, the law was repealed as inexpedient,
because it was believed to produce as much fraud and mischief in some
ways as it prevented in others. But nobody had then discovered that the
law was unconstitutional. Yet in 1822, that doctrine was broached and
zealously maintained by three or four members from the South, so as to
induce Mr. Lowndes, who was himself opposed to a bankrupt law, to
disavow the doctrines of his associates. That exemplary man, the
character of whose mind was sufficiently inclined to refined
speculation, if it had not been so tempered by candour and sound
practical sense, never lost sight of the end of government, in his view
of the means; and he believed that in interpreting the constitution, we
ought not to look at it through a microscope, for this plain reason, if
for no other, because those who are finally to decide on it look at it
with their ordinary eyes. Accordingly, in the first half of his speech,
he aimed to show that congress had the power to pass the law, and in the
last, that they ought not to exercise it.

Again: Mr. Jefferson gave his sanction to the Cumberland road, to be
made at the national expense, provided the states through which it would
pass gave their express assent to it. The states of Virginia, Maryland,
and Pennsylvania, did pass laws giving such consent. It was not then
considered that congress had not the power of appropriating the money in
the treasury to all purposes of general utility, provided they did not
assume any other power, in the exercise of this; and it is clear that
Mr. Jefferson did not think that the construction of a road, _with the
consent_ of the states through which it passed, was such an exercise of
power. Yet after the road was made, by this growing disposition to
strict construction, it was discovered that congress had no power to
make such appropriations, under the constitution, and if the power could
not be derived from that instrument, the consent of the states
interested could not give it. It is here worthy of remark, that many of
those who maintained that the general government possessed the power of
making roads, independently of the states, concurred in the preceding
position; and thus a majority was obtained who agreed that congress
could use the public money for no purpose, which they had not the
independent power of executing. Each party hoped to derive strength by
this decision. The one, because it advanced a step forward in strict
construction; and the other, looking to the influence of the practical
benefits to be derived from the exercise of the power of making roads
and canals, flattered themselves that many, when they found themselves
not able to attain their object by mere appropriations, would, rather
than forego the promised benefits altogether, support a still more
enlarged construction of the constitution; and the issue seems so far to
have justified their expectations.

We will give one more example. It had been supposed that the
vice-president, as presiding officer of the senate, had, by the force of
the term itself, the power of keeping order and regulating the debate;
yet three or four years ago, it was discovered by that officer, or some
of his friends, that he did not possess that power, in certain cases,
and he accordingly forbore to exercise it.

These remarks are made in no invidious spirit. We do not mean to give
any opinions on these questions. In some of them, indeed, we scarcely
know whether, in this age of nice discrimination, our impressions
deserve to be called opinions. But we merely meant to refer to facts
which are a part of the history of the country. They go to show, that
constitutional doubts and difficulties are continually increasing, not
only from the new positions and aspects of things in the endless
vicissitudes of human affairs, but also by the progress of refinement in
reasoning; because much is now considered unconstitutional that was not
deemed so formerly.

If this doubting, disputatious spirit--this habit of questioning every
thing whenever a quibble can be raised--should continue to advance,
where is the law, which, after fighting its way through both houses of
the legislature, and, perhaps, escaping the veto, may not be eventually
contested and defeated? We know that in many of the states there are
_Bills of Rights_, which are considered to have equal authority with
their constitutions. Some, indeed, regard them as settling the
principles of primordial law, which the constitution itself cannot
countervail. These, then, may also be appealed to for the purpose of
proving the unconstitutionality of a state law; and in the inferences
which ingenuity, or even stupidity, may draw from such broad and
indefinite principles, the clearest right may be disputed, and the most
atrocious crime defended. The right of a community to take the life of
any one of its citizens has been gravely denied, and the argument rests
for its support on the imprescriptible and immutable rights of man. If
the net-work of the laws shall be thus chafed and frittered away, little
fish, as well as big ones, may break through it when and where they

We are aware, that, in the ordinary concerns of life, nature and reason
will often assert their empire. They cannot be altogether cheated out of
their rights by sophisms and quibbling. But the latter will but too
often prevail. They have prevailed, are yet prevailing; and, if a
barrier is to be presented to their further progress, it must be by the
common sense of the nation, frowning into contempt this constitutional
casuistry, which would degrade our legislative halls into schools of
sophists--would employ the best powers of the human mind, not in
clearing up doubts, but in creating them--which considers that the most
obvious and direct meaning of the constitution is always the wrong one,
and that what the convention made the people say by that instrument, can
be understood but by one man in ten thousand, who cannot show he is
right, but by a commentary a hundred times as large as the text. It must
be by going further, and saying that after a question has been fully
discussed and solemnly decided--after it has been recognised by every
department of the government--and acquiesced in by the people, it should
be considered as the best exposition the constitution is capable of, and
as no longer open to controversy: and if the decision was wrong,
according to a maxim of the common law, and which became common law only
because it was common sense, the universality of the error makes it

Let it not be supposed, that if a false or inconvenient construction is
put on the constitution, or its meaning is considered doubtful and
uncertain, the evil may be corrected by an amendment. Supposing it to
take place, may we not, like bad tinkers, in stopping one hole, make
two? We can judge of the probable success of this course, by the various
laws passed to alter, or amend, or repeal, previous emendatory acts. But
if the remedy were effectual when attained, is it attainable? What
probability is there that three-fourths of the states will concur in any
amendment, or that motives of interest--of party sympathy--of delusive
argument--or the mere _nonchalance_ of men about evils which are not
immediately pressing, would not unite more than one-fourth of the
states? Besides, if the constitution were always to be changed whenever
a serious question of its construction arose, and amendments were as
practicable as they are difficult, the time required for the operation
would leave us nothing else to do. A century would scarcely suffice to
settle the questions which may occur in a single year.

There is another mischief, of no insignificant character, which results
from these excessive refinements in interpreting the constitution, and
from the doctrine that no length of time can settle its meaning. They
afford ready pretexts to cunning and timid politicians for screening
their real motives from the people. When they wish to evade
responsibility for their votes, they have nothing more to do than to
plead scruples of conscience, and the sacred obligation of an oath.
Where is the measure which a moderate degree of ingenuity may not
show--we may almost say--has not shown to be against the words, or the
meaning and spirit of the constitution? It is true, if the people
distrust the sincerity of this plea of conscience, or disapprove it,
they may remove their representative. But that remedy may come too late,
and may not always be applied. The people have always shown great
indulgence and forbearance towards this plea: besides, before the time
of re-election comes about, these inconvenient scruples may, in the din
of new contests, be forgotten, or remembered only to be forgiven, and,
by the hocus pocus of party, even metamorphosed into a recommendation.
When, then, it is so easy to take shelter behind the ark of the
constitution, ought we to enlarge the limits of this place of refuge for
cunning and cowardice?

One more argument in favour of a fair, liberal, manly construction of
the constitution. There would be a certain degree of inconvenience
incident to every written constitution, if there were no difficulties in
its interpretation, and its language was always understood in the same
sense by all men. In making that distribution of its various powers
which is deemed most likely to secure a safe and healthy action, the
hands of its functionaries must often be tied up from doing that which
particular circumstances may make highly expedient. Some imperative
claim of humanity, some yet more pressing emergency of state, may call
for powers which the constitution has withheld. Mr. Jefferson considered
the acquisition of Louisiana to be a case of that character. He
questioned the power of acquiring foreign territory under the
constitution. But when he reflected that France could not retain
possession of Louisiana, and that hither the constitution must be
stretched, (his letter to W. C. Nicholas might almost justify a stronger
expression,) or we must submit to having the greatest commercial nation
in Europe--our most active rival in peace, our most powerful enemy in
war--posted on our right and left flank, and, by and by, in our
rear,--he sacrificed his opinions to the safety of the republic. The
present president was no doubt actuated by similar considerations, when
he pursued the Seminoles into the Spanish territory, and made war on the
country in which they had taken refuge--the occasion not appearing to
him to admit of the delay of a formal declaration by congress. Commodore
Porter may be presumed to have acted on the same principle in Cuba. No
one regards these as fit cases for precedents. All agree, that if we
have a constitution, its mandates should be obeyed, and that we must be
content to put up with its partial inconvenience, for the sake of its
general benefits. But surely we ought not to go to the other extreme,
and so fetter the constituted authorities of the nation, by a spirit of
interpretation which will deprive them of all salutary power, except by
usurping it. Let us not lose sight of "the expedient," in discussing
"the right;" but rather, as the common sense of mankind dictates in
ordinary cases of conscience or morality, be liberal in construing the
constitution, when its power is to be used for the good of the people,
and captious and astute only when its exercise may be pernicious.

On these grounds, we earnestly beseech those who are friendly to our
political institutions--who believe that no other than the complex
government we have adopted can unite the adaptation of laws to local
circumstances with the strength and security of a great empire, to
discountenance the pestilent and absurd doctrine that the constitution
is to be on all points forever unsettled. We beseech them to save this
monument of our country's wisdom--this instrument of its safety, its
liberty, and its future greatness, from the peril and reproach to which
it is thus exposed. It is in their power to protect it from an evil
which would convert a government intended to secure domestic peace, into
one of perpetual civil strife, and which would confide the destinies of
the country to sophists, and quibblers, and casuists--or rather to those
political managers who would use them as tools to persuade the people
that a good measure was unconstitutional, that they might pursue a bad
one with impunity.

2. The next objection is, that the bank possesses a "formidable"
influence on the community. It must be admitted, that this complaint of
bank influence is not now brought forward for the first time. It was a
favourite theme of the demagogue, from the time the first Bank of the
United States was established, until its charter expired, when it
appeared that its influence was not equal to its own preservation.

If, indeed, no other corporation had the right to issue notes of
circulation, then the power of enlarging or contracting the common
currency at pleasure would be a very great one--greater than ought to be
put into the hands of any others than persons chosen by the people, or
their representatives, and responsible to them. But as the bank and its
offices are every where surrounded by competitors, some of which have a
yet larger capital than themselves, they have no such exclusive control
over the amount of money in circulation, and their influence, whatever
it may be, can be exerted only as to its quality. It is precisely on
this last influence that the friends of the bank mainly rely for the
public favour.

Let us inquire a little further into the extent of the bank's influence.
The principal functions of this institution, except the services it
renders the government, consist in discounting promissory notes, selling
or buying bills of exchange, and receiving deposits of coin, or of its
own notes, for safe keeping. It has no exclusive privilege of doing
either of these acts, as every state bank may do, and actually does the
same. But by means of its superior capital, and consequently its
superior credit and resources, it can, in some of its operations, either
undersell the other banks, or command a preference in the market;--aye,
there's the rub. The banks in some of the large cities have persuaded
themselves that if this "formidable" rival was out of the way, they
would be able to buy and sell more bills, and upon better terms than at
present. But if this consideration should make them an object of dread
and dislike to the state banks, it should also recommend them to the
favour of the public. Their notes, too, are generally preferred by
travellers, and for distant remittances. But neither does this fact
furnish any ground of dread to the community, whatever it may to their

It thus appears that they have the same advantage over other banks,
which one tradesman or mechanic occasionally has over others of the same
calling. He who does his work best, and sells it cheapest, will always
get the most and best custom; and it would be just as reasonable for his
rivals in business to complain of his making better wares, of being more
accommodating, and of underselling them, as for the other banks to
complain of the Bank of the United States. It is clear, that if the
rival banks are losers, the public is a gainer, unless they can succeed
in persuading the people, that competition, which is so salutary and
beneficial to the public in every other business, should be mischievous
only in this. The argument thus used against the Bank of the United
States, is precisely that which might have been used, and, we presume,
was used, by the owners of the Albany sloops against steam-boats; and
which might be used against canals and rail-roads, by those who would
find employment for their wagons in the former more expensive modes of

But by an influence which is supposed to be so "formidable," is meant,
perhaps, a political and corrupt influence. If there be such a one, it
must be seen and felt; and we would ask in what way does it exert
itself? Does the bank use its money in the elections? If so, its
accounts must show it; and as there are men of all parties who own, or
may own, shares in the stock, let those who suspect this abuse
scrutinize those accounts for the purpose of detecting it. But those who
manage the banks, know very well, and so do those who accuse them, that
nine-tenths, or rather ninety-nine hundredths of the stockholders, would
not have given a five dollar note to get the president elected, or to
get him turned out. Your office-seekers, indeed, might pay pretty
liberally for such service, but they are seldom stockholders. These are,
for the most part, thrifty, cautious men, who choose to vest their money
in some fund which gives them regular returns; and they are content that
they shall be small, provided they be certain. The rest are widows,
guardians of orphan children, trustees of public institutions, and
merchants who have more capital than they can safely and profitably
employ. Now, who of these would allow a president and directors to
squander their money in a matter in which they felt little interest, and
that probably a divided one. No body believes this, and yet it is not
easy to say in what other mode they could exercise a corrupt influence.

But if the stockholders were disposed to spend their money in
electioneering, can they be prevented from acting so foolishly by
putting down the bank? If the charter is not renewed, their money will
be returned to them, and they would then have both the power and the
inducement to use it for political purposes, which they cannot have
while it is supplying a currency to the country, and invigorating its
industry and commerce. But, in truth, it is well known, that those
persons do not make ducks and drakes of their money now, and are not
likely to do it then.

It is true, that in case of an extraordinary demand for money, beyond
the means of supply by the state banks, the Bank of the United States
may sometimes prefer discounting the note of one man to that of
another--the paper of A to that of B; and that some of the directors
might have given the preference to A, because he was a neighbour--others
by his being a friend or relative, and others again by mere party
sympathies. But we believe that none of these things go very far at
bank. The object of its directors being to make money, they prefer the
paper of a rich man they hate, to that of a poor friend. Nor do they
widely differ from the rest of the world in this particular. But
granting that moral and political considerations do influence the bank
in its loans, who does not see that they could have no effect, except
when the supply of money for loan was not equal to the demand, and that
the mischief would be increased by putting down the richest and most
substantial bank in the country?

Upon the whole, this cry against the influence of the bank, resolves
itself into that of wealth and property. These do exert a certain
influence in the community on some occasions, and it is more than
counteracted on others, by the jealousy and ill will it engenders.
Whatever influence wealth may have, it is inseparable from our present
condition, as we presume the United States are not yet prepared for the
Agrarian system, and every man will be permitted to enjoy the fruits of
his own industry, or that of his ancestors; but be it little or much, we
cannot reasonably expect to see it exerted more harmlessly or more
beneficially than in a solid, well managed bank. If, however, in spite
of all these considerations, the power of these institutions be thought
too great, and too liable to abuse, then there is no more effectual way
of weakening it than by diffusion. As most of the state banks are more
or less under the control of the state authorities, who may use the
influence of these banks for political purposes, it must be desirable to
all those who wish the public mind as free and unbiassed as possible, to
see this influence weakened, if not neutralized; and there seems no more
effectual mode of doing this than establishing a rival bank, over which
the state politicians could exercise no sort of authority. Let us, for
example, suppose that a system of banking was adopted for a state, by
which, under the colour of guarding the public against their insolvency,
those institutions were subjected to a _surveillance_ and control which
were calculated to make them feel their dependence on the state
government, and when the plan was matured, to make them obsequious to
its will. Would not every friend to the political purity of the state,
and the independent spirit of its citizens, wish to see a scheme of this
character frustrated? and what means so conducive to this end as the
Bank of the United States, which, in the first place, by bringing so
much capital into the market for loans, lessens the influence of all
banks, and, in the next, may perform its several functions without
regard to the smiles or frowns of any politicians whatever.

This is probably the influence which is really objected to in the Bank
of the United States, that of disenthralling the people from an utter
dependence on the state banks for the various accommodations those
institutions afford--an influence which it appears to us no true friend
to his country should wish to see diminished, however inconvenient it
may be to those who would make banks and every thing else subservient to
their purposes.

3. But the Bank of the United States, it seems, must be brought into
collision with the local authorities, and occasion perpetual
apprehensions and discontent on the part of the states and the people.
We know not upon what facts the president or his advisers have made this
statement. It is in direct contradiction to that made by the committee
of ways and means, who say--

     "It is due to the persons, who for the last ten years, have
     been concerned in the administration of the bank, to state,
     that they have performed the delicate and difficult trust
     committed to them, in such a manner as, at the same time, to
     accomplish the great national ends for which it was
     established, and promote the permanent interest of the
     stockholders, with the least practicable pressure upon the
     local banks. As far as the committee are enabled to form an
     opinion, from careful inquiry, the bank has been liberal and
     indulgent in its dealings with these institutions, and, with
     scarcely an exception, now stands in the most amicable relation
     to them. Some of those institutions have borne the most
     disinterested and unequivocal testimony in favour of the bank.

     "It is but strict justice also to remark, that the direction of
     the mother bank appears to have abstained, with scrupulous
     care, from bringing the power and influence of the bank to bear
     upon political questions, and to have selected, for the
     direction of the various branches, business men in no way
     connected with party politics. The Committee advert to this
     part of the conduct of the directors, not only with a view to
     its commendation, but for the purpose of expressing their
     strong and decided conviction that the usefulness and stability
     of such an institution will materially depend upon a steady and
     undeviating adherence to the policy of excluding party politics
     and political partisans from all participation in its
     management. It is gratifying to conclude this branch of the
     subject by stating, that the affairs of the present bank, under
     the able, efficient, and faithful guidance of its two last
     presidents and their associates, have been brought from a state
     of great embarrassment into a condition of the highest
     prosperity. Having succeeded in restoring the paper of the
     local banks to a sound state, its resources are now such as to
     justify the directors in extending the issue and circulation of
     this paper so as to satisfy the wants of the community, both as
     it regards bank accommodations and a circulating medium."

The committee, coming immediately from the people, are somewhat more
likely to have accurate information on this subject than the president.
We have heard of no recent collisions between any state and the bank;
and those which formerly took place with the states of Ohio and
Maryland, respectively, have been long since settled in the Supreme
Court. The people of Tennessee, too, once objected, through their
representatives, to the location of a branch bank in that state; but a
subsequent legislature, believing that they better understood the
interests or wishes of their constituents, withdrew their opposition,
and the branch bank which was therefore established, is now in
successful operation. The legislature of Mississippi, in like manner,
has, within a few months, repealed a hostile act passed two years ago,
and invited the establishment of a branch. The executive council of
Florida, has recently requested a branch, and we understand that there
are numerous applications for branches from all parts of the Western and
Southern states. Surely the people of these and the neighbouring states
cannot seriously object, that a portion of the moneyed capital which has
been accumulated in the Atlantic states should be brought among them, to
encourage their industry and facilitate their trade--to enable their own
merchants to give them ready money, and a somewhat higher price for
their cotton--to furnish one man with the means of building a
mill--another a manufactory--and a third a steam-boat. We cannot believe
that they are such novices in political economy. If their citizens do
not want the money, they need not borrow it; and if they do, it is
better to find it at home, than to be dependant on New-York,
Philadelphia, or Boston, for it. In the state of Alabama, if we are to
believe the public prints, the United States Bank there has afforded
great and most seasonable aid to the state bank. Nor do we know of a
single state, in which there are any manifestations of popular
discontent with the bank, notwithstanding the pains taken by some of the
friends of the president to excite them.

Perhaps the apprehensions mentioned in the message may refer to the
state banks rather than the people; and the president has presumed,
that, as some of the states are interested in the stock of these
institutions, and as their interests may conflict with those of the Bank
of the United States, the people would be likely to side with their own
institutions. The presumption is far from being unfounded. The
sympathies of the people will always be with the states, rather than the
general government, when the two are in conflict--a fact of which
politicians are sufficiently apt to avail themselves. Thus, when the
present Bank of the United States first went into operation, fears were
entertained by the state banks and their friends, that the United States
Bank and its branches would prove troublesome and dangerous neighbours.
Their strength to oppress, and even crush, a rival, was supposed to be
in proportion to their capital; and, comparing them with things with
which they had no sort of analogy, it was argued, that a state bank, in
the neighbourhood of a branch of the national bank, would be not more
likely to thrive, than a delicate shrub under the shade of a spreading
oak, or to find safety, than a light armed brig under the battery of a
seventy-four. These arguments prevailed for a season in some of the
states; but at length the experiment was made, in spite of these gloomy
predictions, and it was found, as well it might be, that a small
capital, _if prudently managed_, is as independent of the attacks of a
rival, in banking, as in any other business. And why should there be a
difference? A tailor or shoemaker who employs but two or three
journeymen, may do as safe, though not so profitable a business, as he
who employs twenty or thirty--in the same way as a small vessel may
navigate the ocean as safely as a large one, and may be even less likely
to overset in a storm, if it carry less sail in proportion to its

We do not mean to deny, that a bank with a superior capital, if it were
disposed to injure a rival at all hazards, might prove an inconvenient
neighbour, and greatly curtail its business. If it were to put itself to
the trouble of procuring the paper of the other, as soon as it was
issued, and convert it immediately into specie, the loans of that other
might be restricted to the amount of its specie capital. But this could
not be effected without a degree of trouble and expense which would make
it impracticable. What means does such a bank possess of drawing in the
paper of the other bank, except so far as the debtors of the one
institution chance to be the debtors of the other, or it choose to give
a premium for the notes of its rival? It is not likely, that the same
individuals would be the debtors to both banks, to a great extent; and
as to a premium, such sacrifices seldom take place in individual
competition, much less in that of banks. Besides, as soon as the bank
which was thus assailed found that a premium was given for its paper, it
would issue notes for the purpose of obtaining it, and the faster its
notes were bought up and returned for specie, the more would be found in
the market--a new swarm being attracted by the premium as soon as the
first disappeared--until in a few months its hostile rival would share
the fate of those who attempt to break another sort of banks--its own
coffers would be exhausted.

The means then which a bank possesses of narrowing the sphere of
circulation of a rival's paper, are much more limited than is commonly
imagined; and such as they are, it will be cautious of exerting, lest
the same game should be played on itself. A combination of the state
banks, or even a single one of respectable capital, may practise the
same means of annoyance against a Bank of the United States, as that
could put in operation against them. But if both parties were wise, or
rather not utterly foolish, they would each pursue their own business;
and one not otherwise interfere with the other, than by occasionally
exchanging notes, and receiving the difference in specie. This course
might indeed prove a check to extravagant issues by either, but it is
precisely that check which the public is interested in maintaining.

There is a further security against the wanton and bootless mischief
which fear or design has imputed to the Bank of the United States.
Public opinion would cry out against its illiberal course, and would
fully avenge the wrong. Some of their best customers would desert them.
They would lose most of their deposits. Their notes would be
industriously collected and prematurely returned to them, and they would
thus not only lessen their present profits, but furnish their enemies
with arguments against the renewal of their charter. The supposition of
such a course presumes the bank to be utterly regardless of
their own interests, as well as of all sense of fairness and
liberality--considerations which still have some weight with some
men--and it is at variance with all that we have ever heard of the
officers of that institution. As a proof that no fears or jealousies
against the Bank of the United States are entertained by safe and
substantial banks, we may remind our readers, that Mr. Girard, the
greatest banker we have, was one of the most efficient supporters of the
present national bank. No other individual in the United States would be
so much affected as he, if its competition and neighbourhood were
pernicious, and yet no one subscribed so largely to its stock, and no
one, we have reason to believe, deplores more strongly the confusion in
the moneyed concerns of the country, which he thinks would be inevitable
on the destruction of the bank.

It is probable enough, that although these alleged causes of jealousy
and alarm are known to be groundless by the state banks, the proposition
against re-chartering the bank addresses itself to those institutions in
another way. They have been led to believe that the benefits of the
business now done by the bank, and of the government deposits, would be
apportioned among them. But let them not flatter themselves with
profiting by a division of this spoil. That great void in the
circulation which the withdrawal of the capital of the bank would
occasion, would immediately and imperatively call for new banks, which
the states would be sure to establish; and when once they began to meet
the demand, it would not be strange if the supply sometimes exceeded it,
according to the common occurrence of a scarcity being followed by a
glut. In that event, the present state banks might find too late that
they had exchanged one old and liberal rival for two or more new ones,
of a different character, who would be their competitors not only for
the profits of banking, but also for the favour or forbearance of the
state politicians. What the community at large is likely to regret or to
wish after the change, it is not difficult to conjecture.

One of the complaints against the Bank of the United States has been,
that the notes issued by any one of its offices were not payable at
every other indiscriminately; and to this the president must have
referred, when, in his first message, he said that the bank "had failed
in the great end of establishing a uniform and sound currency." As the
same objection is not repeated in the last message, we are left at a
loss to decide whether he has been convinced, by the very lucid and
satisfactory views of Mr. Lowndes and Mr. M'Duffie, that the complaint
was unfounded, or whether he means to comprehend this among the causes
of discontent on the part of the states and the people.

As this subject has received so thorough an investigation in the report
of the committee, and in our last number, it cannot be necessary to say
more on it. It is there shown, as we think conclusively, that the Bank
of the United States has done in this matter all that a bank can
do--more, indeed, than could have been reasonably expected of
it--towards furnishing the community with a sound and uniform currency:
that its notes, at the places where they are issued, are, for all
purposes, worth as much as gold and silver, and for distant payments
something more: that if its notes are sometimes worth, in one place, a
trifle less than specie, it is because they have been worth, at another
place, more than specie, since no one would transfer them to a great
distance from the place of emission, unless he found them more
convenient than specie: that as every bank has a direct interest in
giving its notes as great a credit and as wide a circulation as it can,
this institution will, for its own sake, redeem its notes at par,
wherever issued, when it can safely do so; and that in most cases, it
has actually done this; but that to make this obligatory would not only
be unjust to the bank, but would be highly impolitic, by counteracting
the natural and most efficient corrective of the over issues of banks,
and the overtrading of individuals; and would be moreover impracticable.

To these irrefragable positions we may add, that the public has quite as
much interest as the bank in keeping this matter on its present footing.
One of the greatest benefits which a community derives from banking
institutions, is the substitution for a part of its currency of the
cheap article of paper for the costly one of specie, by which the
capital that would otherwise have been used as money, may be employed
for other useful purposes. But if the Bank of the United States, and
each of its offices, were obliged, as a matter of right, to redeem the
notes of every other, it would require an increase of specie which would
deprive the country of the benefits of this substitution, as well as the
bank of its profits. The same remark applies to their demanding a small
premium for their drafts on each other. For each of the offices to be
prepared not only to redeem its own paper, but to meet the drafts which
others may draw on it, it is obliged to keep on hand an extra supply of
specie; but if the check of the premium were removed, and it was no
longer a matter of discretion, a much larger amount would be necessary,
and nothing but experience could determine whether any thing short of
the whole capital of the bank, or even that, would be sufficient for the
purpose, under extraordinary circumstances, and great fluctuations of
trade. So that upon the whole this complaint against the bank seems to
be pretty much of the same character as these--that rivers do not run
upwards as well as downwards--or that the same season which gives us ice
does not also give us melons and peaches--or that a rail-road or a
canal, which reduces the expense of carriage to one-tenth, does not
reduce it to nothing.

4. Having thus noticed all the objections which the president has made
to the bank, let us now turn our attention to the substitute that he has
proposed. This is a national bank, at the seat of government, which is
to be a branch of the treasury department, and which is, we presume, to
have subordinate offices distributed among the several states. Its
business will be to receive the public revenue from the collectors of
the customs, receivers of the land offices, and postmasters, together
with such deposits as individuals choose to make, and to give drafts,
from time to time, on distant offices, for a premium.

According to this project, the funds of the treasury, instead of being,
as now, deposited in the several banks convenient to the receiving
offices, are to be in the immediate keeping of the new corps of the
treasury to be levied for the purpose, by which means the public is to
lose one of its present checks on the malversation of its agents. It is
known that there are in most banks various officers, each with his
appropriate duty--as--one or more to keep accounts--another to receive
money--another to pay it away--another to be its general depositary--and
that they are all placed under the superintendence of a president, whose
character and station in society give assurance for the faithful
discharge of his duty. That there is, moreover, a board of directors,
who hold their offices only for a year, and who, once a month or
oftener, appoint a committee to examine the affairs of the bank, and
especially to ascertain whether the amount of notes, securities, and
specie, correspond with the accounts of the institution. Yet, with all
these safeguards, it is found, now and then, that men who had previously
been above all suspicion, have not been able to withstand the temptation
to use the money thus placed in their charge, and that, occasionally,
these frauds and peculations are practised a long time without
detection. If this is the case, when there is such strict
accountability, and unremitted vigilance, how would it be when there was
neither, and when those who received the public money, instead of being
compelled to deposit it in a bank, as soon as they received it, and to
check for it when they paid it over, might use it as they pleased,
provided they were always ready to meet the drafts of the government. At
many places they might do this, and yet, in consequence of the large sum
which is always lying idle, or rather unappropriated in the treasury,
they might have the use of the excess, to a considerable amount, as long
as they remained in office. For several years the amount in the treasury
has never been less than five millions, and sometimes considerably more;
and of this, according to the ordinary current of business, one-third or
upwards would commonly be in the city of New-York, if it were not
transferred to Washington; and this money, which is now invigorating
industry and trade, it is proposed to consign either to utter idleness,
or to the exclusive use of the officers of the treasury. In addition to
that aversion to change which is felt by all office-holders, this plan
might furnish them with no ordinary means of effecting their object.

But if for the sake of guarding against such strong temptation to
speculate with the public funds, and against such an encouragement to
corruption, by affording materials for it, the public money were
required, as now, to be deposited in the banks; though that plan would
be free from the objection we have just made, it would be liable to
another quite as great--the very one of influence which the president
has made to the bank of the United States--with this difference,
however, that the influence derived from the government funds is now
exercised by the Bank of the United States, and is a salutary check upon
that exercised by the state banks, but _then_, it would be added to that
patronage which is already thought sufficiently great for every
desirable purpose, and sometimes for purposes not desirable. The large
receipts of public money in our chief importing cities, would be
distributed among those banks which were most in favour with the
government, by which is always meant those that were its most zealous
and efficient supporters; and thus the revenue of the nation, that is,
the use of it, would be set up at auction, to be purchased by the
obsequious devotion of the state banks to the existing administration.
In a division of parties, not more equal than that we often witness in
our country, the vote of a single state may decide that of the Union,
and the vote of its principal city may decide that of the state. All
this is perfectly well known to some of the friends of the scheme, but
it is not so to those who are to pay for it, and who are less familiar
with the workings of the political wires.

There is another part of this notable scheme, (we mean no pun,) which
merits our attention. This new bank and its offices are to sell drafts
on each other for a premium, and as the bank itself is to issue no
paper, the drafts may be paid for in the notes of the state banks, "only
so long as they continue to be redeemed in specie,"--such are the
President's words. But suppose the very common case of a bank paying
specie to-day, and not paying it, and not being able to pay it,
to-morrow, what becomes of the public revenue then? To be placed no
doubt first to the account of "unavailable funds," and then, to the
credit of the treasury. When these new bureaux of finance are
distributed over the Union, and having no paper of their own, must carry
on their operations altogether in gold and silver, and the paper of the
banks in their vicinity, it is impossible that, with the highest degree
of vigilance, prudence, impartiality, and firmness, united, they would
always avoid loss. But does any one believe that this delicate and
important trust would always be exercised with impartiality and
firmness? To believe it, would be to disregard all experience, and to
shut our eyes to what is passing before them every day. When the
officers of the government--themselves dependant more or less directly
on popular favour--were to have the power of discriminating between what
paper they would take and what refuse, how many motives would be for
ever presenting themselves for exercising it improperly? To reject the
paper of a substantial bank, that was hostile to the administration, if
there were any such, and to take that of a tottering one, which was
friendly. Let us suppose, by way of illustration, that some orator, or
political manager, no matter which, being about to set out for congress,
should apply to one of the treasury banks for a draft on Washington for
a few thousand dollars, and should offer in payment of it the paper, not
of a substantial bank, but of one which though poorer, was more
patriotic,--this being the best he could get--is it probable that his
application would be rejected? or that the officer would do more than
inquire whether the bank then paid specie, without troubling his head to
ascertain whether it merely made a show of paying it, and whether it
would not be insolvent in a month. Let it not be said, that if doubts
were entertained of the solidity of the bank, its paper might be
immediately converted into specie; for, in the first place, the bank may
be some hundreds of miles distant; and though it were in the immediate
vicinity, payment of specie would not always be demanded before it was
too late. Besides, the very demand of specie may, like a new weight
breaking down an overloaded packhorse, make it stop payment at once. The
bill now before congress, for allowing the treasury credit for certain
"unavailable funds," received some years since, would form an excellent
precedent for such occurrences, and it is one to which there would be
frequent occasions of appealing. And this mode of managing the public
revenue is proposed to take the place of that which now exists through
the Bank of the United States, by which the government has not lost a
dollar; and it is next to impossible can lose one. Verily, if the nation
were to suffer itself to be gulled by such a scheme as this, they would
deserve to suffer the loss they would be sure to incur.

But pecuniary loss may be but a small part of the price which the nation
would pay for this new treasury bank. It may be made to pay, in
addition, the richest jewel it possesses--its political purity. The
influence which the national executive exercises over the present Bank
of the United States, is moderate, and not more than is salutary. It
annually appoints a part of its directors, and, at stated periods, may,
moreover, exercise its right, of having the government funds transferred
from one part of the Union to the other, in a more or less accommodating
way. But here its influence stops. The law, in pursuance of the charter,
directs that the public money shall be deposited in the Bank of the
United States or its branches, and in these it must be deposited,
whether the president or his secretaries have good will or ill will to
the bank, or whether the bank is willing to give any thing in return for
their favour or not. These public deposits are valuable to the bank;
and, for the benefit, they have paid, and we presume are yet willing to
pay, a fair price. But the compensation is not paid to any officer of
the government; it goes into the national treasury, and it consists of
gold and silver, and not in the base metal of political influence.

We are well aware that many of the state banks are under the management
of high-minded and honourable men, who would not be bidders at this
auction, and who would scorn to purchase a share of the public deposits,
at the price of their independence. But such might not prove to be the
character of the greater number. Besides, in some of these cases, a
majority of the stockholders might not sit idly by, and see the bank
deprived of its share of government favour by the squeamishness of its
officers, and might therefore either coerce them into compliance, or
remove them.

If so much has been said about the influence attached to the office of
the secretary of state, arising from the paltry patronage of printing
the laws of the United States, what should be thought of that privilege
of giving the permanent and uncompensated use of many millions of
dollars to such powerful corporations as the state banks--embracing some
thousands of directors, and some tens, nay, hundreds of thousands of
stockholders and borrowers? We would appeal to that intelligent class of
our citizens, who are quietly pursuing their occupations or professions
at home, by which they secure to themselves independence and
respectability, and who see, in the purity of our political
institutions, their country's present happiness and future greatness, to
take these things into consideration, and say whether they are willing
to give to any administration such powerful means of exercising an
influence of the worst sort over the minds of the people--whether they
will take the money now gained or saved to the nation by means of the
Bank of the United States, to enable a president and his cabinet to buy
golden opinions of that numerous class who have them to sell.

The president lays some stress on the circumstance that his proposed
treasury bank would not be a corporation, as is the Bank of the United
States. But the lawyers tell us that there are two kinds of
corporations--aggregate and sole--and the question is, whether influence
is likely to be less extensive, or less dangerous, when it is
transferred from the corporation aggregate, (the bank) to the
corporation sole, (the executive). In the first case, the influence of
the bank has checks from its charter--from its stockholders--from its
directors--from public opinion--and, lastly, from the legislature. In
the last, the influence would be added to that which is already deemed
by many too great for the public tranquillity or safety. Whatever means
the Bank of the United States possesses, of operating "on the hopes,
fears, or interests of large masses of the community," the state banks
possess, to a far greater extent; and it would always be in the power
of the government to act on these corporations, either by the treasury
bank "checking their issues," as the president proposes; or, in case
that monstrous scheme should be rejected, by means of the public
deposits; so that, in any event, if the charter of the present bank is
not renewed, the influence of the executive will receive a most
formidable increase.

Nor could the proposed national bank answer the same useful purposes to
the commercial world, as the present Bank of the United States. And,
first, as to transmitting values from one part of the Union to another,
by means of bills of exchange. The president informs us the new bank
might sell these at a moderate premium. But its means of doing so would
be evidently far more limited than those of the present bank, since the
latter, in addition to all the means possessed by the treasury bank, has
its own large capital and credit. In the year 1829, the amount of drafts
on each other which the bank and its offices sold, was upwards of
twenty-four millions, and the amount of its transfers of public money,
by means of treasury drafts, amounted to upwards of nine millions;
making, in all, more than thirty-three millions. Now, although the
annual public revenue is about twenty-four millions, yet as the
expenditures of the nation are going on at the same time as its
receipts, the money on hand, at any one time, seldom exceeds six or
seven millions. According to the monthly statement of the bank, for the
1st of January of the present year, the amount of deposits on account of
the treasury of the United States, was, after deducting over drafts,
6,940,628 dollars. But as this sum would be distributed very unequally
over the United States, there would be in some places more money than
the government had occasion for, and in others less, so that it would be
compelled to draw on the former, to meet the public exigencies, without
regard to the state of the exchange market, by reason of which, it would
not only not be able to afford the public that general accommodation
which the Bank of the United States now does, but be sometimes obliged
to sell its drafts for a _discount_, instead of a premium. Thus, suppose
the government has a large sum lying in New-York, (it sometimes has more
than two millions there,) and it has occasion for 200,000 dollars in
Maine, as much in Missouri, &c. Although it might have found a ready
sale in these places for its drafts, for a small amount, at par, or even
at a premium, yet the amount offered exceeding the demands of the
market, the government must either sell its drafts at a discount, or be
at the expense of transmitting the specie. In the mean while, the drafts
which are thus sold at one place at a loss, might be in demand at
another, but that demand the government cannot meet, because it must
give its money another direction. We therefore think that this part of
the scheme cannot be of much utility to the public, or of profit to the

It must be recollected, too, that the Bank of the United States is a
buyer as well as a seller of bills of exchange, to the great advantage
of the commercial community. Its purchases, during the same year, 1829,
amounted to upwards of twenty-nine millions of dollars; and that in this
business, the treasury bank, according to the president's programme,
could not engage.

But besides the want of the accommodation now afforded by the purchase
or sale of inland bills to all parts of the Union, there is a large
further arrear of utility which the treasury bank would owe to the
public. In what way would it make amends for the immense amount of
currency withdrawn from circulation? The notes of the United States Bank
in actual circulation, commonly amount to fourteen or fifteen millions,
exclusive of its drafts, which, to a certain extent, perform the office
of currency. As the new bank is to issue no paper, the chasm must be
filled, either with the paper of the state banks, or not filled at all.
If with the former, whence are they to derive their increased means of
circulation, seeing that nearly all of them have carried their issues to
the extreme verge of safety, and some of them, perhaps, beyond it? It
will, however, be said, that there will be new banks established--the
capital that is vested in the Bank of the United States will not be
annihilated by the termination of that establishment, but will seek
employment in new banks. Let it be so. In that case what becomes of the
increased profits of which many of the state banks have been dreaming,
and the hope of obtaining which has been so artfully appealed to?

But an addition to the state banks would fall far short of filling the
void. Much of the capital of the present bank was obtained from Europe.
We are told in the report of the committee, that foreigners own stock to
the amount of seven millions. Is it probable that these capitalists will
be as ready to venture their money in the state banks, as in one
chartered by the general government? Would they even venture it again in
a national bank, after we had shown so vacillating a policy? We
establish a bank of that description in 1791--we put it down in 1811, as
unconstitutional--we charter another, five years afterwards, 1816, and
discontinue that in 1836. Assuredly, after this experience, they would
prefer a somewhat smaller interest nearer home, rather than risk their
money in a country exhibiting so little stability, and where what had
been long determined to be legal by the highest authorities of the
country, is liable to be revoked on the first revolution of parties.

There are persons who will consider the withdrawal of seven millions
from our circulation, as no source of regret; and who think the money
paid for the use of foreign capital, is so much lost to the country;
for the truths of political economy are not obvious to all. But no one
who is acquainted with the elements of that science, will doubt, that a
nation, not having as much capital as it can advantageously employ, may
be improved and enriched by foreign capital as well as its own; and the
benefit of these seven millions in stimulating the productive industry
of the country--in building ships, and wharves, and mills, and
manufactories, and steam-boats, is precisely the same as if they were
domestic capital, with the single difference of the interest. Ask the
owner of a thriving manufactory of woollens in Cincinnati, or of iron in
Pittsburg, if he had been assisted in his enterprise by a loan of
10,000, or 20,000 dollars from the Bank of the United States--and he
might answer, that, by the use of the money, in a few years, he had,
besides paying the interest, realized the sum borrowed. Ask him further
whether he would gain more by keeping the money longer, or returning it
to the European stockholder, and he would laugh at you, thinking your
question conveyed its own answer, as he had not chosen to return the

The president's project then of a treasury bank, seems to be liable to
all the objections he makes to the present Bank of the United States, in
a tenfold degree, as to influence, by adding so enormously to the
executive patronage. It offers a far inferior substitute for the safety,
and the easy transmission of the revenue; and no substitute at all for
much of the accommodation now afforded to commerce, and the large amount
of active capital it would throw out of circulation.

In making this comparison, we have had no reference to the former
services of the Bank of the United States in restoring the currency of
the country to a sound state, or to its power of so preserving it, if
the country should be again involved in war. We have contented ourselves
with refuting the objections which have been brought forward against
that institution, under the sanction of the chief magistrate of the
country, and with pointing out to the unprejudiced mind the
inconveniences and serious mischiefs attendant on the scheme which has
been proposed in its stead. In our last number, we asserted that the
resumption of specie payments by the state banks, in 1817, was to be
probably attributed to the establishment of the Bank of the United
States, and we stated the facts upon which that opinion was founded. It
was, then, with some surprise, that we saw the position roundly denied
in a quarter (the North American Review) where we have been accustomed
to look for just views on all commercial affairs; and the resumption of
cash payments imputed to the resolution of congress, forbidding the
officers of the government from receiving the notes of any banks which
were not redeemable in specie. The question is not one of primary
importance, yet as it may affect our future policy, and concerns our
present justice, we will add a few remarks on the subject. When we see
that the measure of the government alluded to was not immediately
followed by the desired effect, but that as soon as the Bank of the
United States was about to go into operation, an arrangement was
voluntarily entered into with it by the banks of New-York, Philadelphia,
Baltimore, and Virginia, by which they all agreed to resume cash
payments at the same time, it seems to afford _prima facie_ evidence,
that it is to the Bank of the United States, and not to the legislature,
that the resumption is directly attributable. Whether the state banks
might not, at some subsequent time, have paid specie, and at what time,
must now remain a matter of conjecture; but we think it quite as likely,
that the banks, making extraordinary profits as they were, so long as
they were not compelled to redeem their notes in specie, would have
procured a repeal of the resolution of congress, as that that measure
would have operated coercively on them. In some of the states, the
resumption of specie payments was discountenanced by the state
legislatures; and in Virginia, if we mistake not, after the measure had
been enjoined on the banks by the legislature, it afterwards retraced
its steps, on the ground, that if they ventured to pay specie, the Bank
of the United States, then about to go into operation, would immediately
draw every dollar from their vaults. The banks of that state thus had
the express sanction of its legislature for continuing the suspension;
nor was it until after the meeting of the convention, mentioned in our
last number, that they paid specie.

But in what way, it may be asked, could the Bank of the United States
have compelled the state banks to resume specie payments, if they had
not been so disposed? We answer, by giving the public the option of a
better currency than theirs, and presenting an easy and ready standard
in every part of the Union, by which the depreciation of their notes
would have been manifest. As soon as the paper of the national bank had
been put into circulation, it would command, by its convertibility into
specie, a preference in the market over the paper of the state banks,
and the difference would have been shown by the reduced rate at which
the latter would have passed. The public then having such a standard of
comparison, could no longer be deceived, and every one would have seen
the depreciation, and known the extent of it. What would have been the
natural consequence? The paper of the state banks, thus depreciated in
the market, would have been bought up by their more prudent and
substantial borrowers, and returned to them in discharge of their debts;
and thus they would have had no notes in circulation except what was
represented by the paper of their most straitened and doubtful
customers, nor would any others have continued to borrow of them. Thus,
with a business decreased in amount and impaired in character, they
would have found it impossible to make a profit equal to defraying their
expenses and yielding a dividend to the stockholders.

All this the state banks distinctly foresaw, and not wishing to be
compelled to resume specie payments, by which their profits would be
diminished, they generally opposed the establishment of a national bank.
But when they found that all opposition had been ineffectual, and that
the bank was about to go into operation, and to pay specie, they
immediately saw that they must follow the example, or that their gains
were at an end--that the public, which took their paper, during the war
and immediately after the peace, when there was no other currency, would
not continue to take it, when they had the choice of a better--and thus
the compact which has been mentioned was formed.

It is said, however, that the depreciated paper of the Baltimore banks
would have circulated so long as the government received it at the
custom-house, and that it was only after the government decided to
receive it no longer, that those banks found themselves compelled to pay
specie. But would this measure have been effectual without a national
bank? We have already intimated that we thought not. It would have been
vehemently attacked in congress and out, and all the states, except
perhaps Massachusetts, might have instructed their representatives that
the measure was premature, oppressive, and detrimental to the public
interests. But after the Bank of the United States went into operation,
the question was at an end. The government, whether the resolution of
congress had been passed or not, could not with decency have taken, or
been asked to take, any more than an individual, depreciated paper for
its dues, when there was good paper and specie in circulation; and the
Baltimore banks, as well as all others, must have followed suit, or
given up the game.

For these reasons we must continue to think, that the claim urged by the
friends of the Bank of the United States, that it operated, by its
example, a salutary coercion on the state banks in their return to
specie payments, is as well established as a question of its character
can be, and that the same means by which it proved that remedy for the
mischiefs of an unsound currency--its solid capital--unquestionable
credit--and practical skill in business--would operate, on future
occasions, as a preventive of similar mischiefs.

The same distinguished critic differs from the chairman of the committee
of ways and means, as to the effect of an increase of money in producing
depreciation. The proposition controverted is thus stated by Mr.
M'Duffie in the Report.

     "No proposition is better established than that the value of
     money, whether it consists of specie or paper, is depreciated
     in exact proportion to the increase of its quantity, in any
     given state of the demand for it. If, for example, the banks,
     in 1816, doubled the quantity of the circulating medium by
     their excessive issues, they produced a general degradation of
     the entire mass of the currency, including gold and silver,
     proportioned to the redundancy of the issues, and wholly
     independent of the relative depreciation of bank paper at
     different places as compared with specie. The nominal money
     price of every article was of course one hundred per cent.
     higher than it would have been, but for the duplication of the
     quantity of the circulating medium. Money is nothing more nor
     less than the measure by which the relative value of all
     articles of merchandise is ascertained. If, when the
     circulating medium is fifty millions, an article should cost
     one dollar, it would certainly cost two, if, without any
     increase of the uses of a circulating medium, its quantity
     should be increased to one hundred millions. This rise in the
     price of commodities, or depreciation in the value of money, as
     compared with them, would not be owing to the want of credit in
     the bank bills, of which the currency happened to be composed.
     It would exist, though these bills were of undoubted credit,
     and convertible into specie at the pleasure of the holder, and
     would result simply from the redundancy of their quantity. It
     is important to a just understanding of the subject, that the
     relative depreciation of bank paper at different places, as
     compared with specie, should not be confounded with this
     general depreciation of the entire mass of the circulating
     medium, including specie."

Although the principle appears to us to be laid down somewhat too
broadly by Mr. M'Duffie, as we shall presently state, yet he is
supported in his position, to the letter, by Hume, by Mr. Jefferson, and
virtually by Adam Smith, if we suppose that from any cause the excess of
gold and silver, which causes the depreciation, cannot be exported. They
all agree in this, that the amount of money which can circulate, and
which does in fact circulate in any country, depends upon the number and
value of its exchanges, and that, as its quantity increases, its value
diminishes. But Hume and Smith, concurring in this general principle,
drew very different inferences from it as to the paper currency of
banks. Hume thought that the equilibrium between the money required for
the country and that in circulation, was effected by depreciation; while
Smith considered, that it was maintained by an exportation of the
precious metals in proportion to the increase of paper. And the general
principle thus ably supported by authority, was all, no doubt, that Mr.
M'Duffie meant to assert. There is then probably no real difference
between him and his reviewer in the North American.

We conceive that Mr. M'Duffie, in his application of the principle to
our own situation, twelve or fifteen years since, has not greatly
overrated the depreciation, if we regard the effect of the increase of
money on every species of exchangeable value; but that it was very
different with the different kinds. This difference requires
explanation; but first, of the general principle itself, which, it seems
to us, must be received with some qualification.

The effect of an increase of money is certainly to diminish its value;
but the extent of the diminution is one of those nice problems in
political economy which has never been accurately settled. It has not
yet been adjusted to a formula which will explain all the facts
attending such increase. Although the quantity of money required in a
country mainly depends upon the number and value of its purchases in a
given time, yet with the same amount of these, much less money may be in
circulation at one time than another. There are various expedients and
substitutes for supplying a temporary deficiency of currency, which make
the quantity of money in a commercial country a variable one, capable of
considerable contraction or expansion. The actual money can be more or
less aided by credit. A farmer, a horse-dealer, a shopkeeper, a
mechanic--will all wait with a substantial purchaser for their money,
rather than lose the sale of their commodities; and a sudden rise in the
price of the staples of the country, such as our own often experience,
while it increases the demand for money, proportionally improves the
credit of individuals, and fits it as a substitute for cash. Money too
may be much more active at one time than another; and when there has
been a considerable increase of it, the greater comparative idleness of
a part of it, in the strong boxes or pocket-books of individuals, may
prevent or lessen its depreciation. These circumstances, and others
which might be added, all inappreciable except by approximations,
prevent the value of money from either rising or falling, in exact
proportion to its increase or decrease in quantity.

To this qualification of the general principle, we would add another.
When the money of a country has been considerably increased, and the
excess cannot be exported, as was the case with our paper currency
during the suspension of cash payments, the depreciation is much greater
upon some articles than others. Its effect is least upon those
commodities which find a market abroad, because the price there
regulates the price here. It is by reason of this irregularity that
depreciation is often so disguised as not to be perceptible to all, and
that sometimes it is a matter of dispute whether it exists or not; as
was the case in England in the controversy between the bullionists and
their opponents, concerning the fact of the depreciation of their bank
paper during the suspension of cash payments.

But if the increase of the currency has little effect on the prices of
some articles, it has the greater on those for the estimation of which
there is no such definite standard--as lands, town lots, and houses--and
those domestic products which look exclusively to domestic consumption
for a market, as butchers' meat, game, &c. All these took a prodigious
rise in all parts of the Union, and most men mistaking the effect of a
redundancy of money for a real rise of price consequent on our
increased population and capital, believed that real estate was the
best investment they could make of their money, and purchased it
accordingly--looking for remuneration, not to the rent or immediate
profit, but to that future rise in value which was inferred from the
past. This erroneous opinion brought capitalists into the market for
real estate, and the competition created by their money, and that which
others borrowed from the banks, raised the price extravagantly high. A
natural though singular result of this state of things was, that those
who had sold lands or lots at these factitious prices, could have made
no use of their money that would have been so profitable as not using it
at all; and the policy of hoarding, usually as unwise as it is odious,
would have been, on this occasion, the most rational and gainful that
could have been pursued.

If, then, we take the prices of every species of merchandise among us,
together with that of real estate, we believe it will be found that such
average of prices then, is very near double of what it is now; and
consequently that Mr. M'Duffie's estimate of the late depreciation of
our currency was not extravagant. But granting that it was exaggerated,
he appears to us to have taken juster views than his critic, of its
pernicious effects, as well as of the agency of the bank in arresting
them; and we must think that he is the safer physician, who merely
overrates the danger of a disease, than he, who, though he rightly
judges it not mortal, mistakes both its cause and its remedy.

We think, too, that the report of the committee was correct in
supposing, that the depreciation would not have taken place, if the Bank
of the United States had then been in existence. At any rate it would
have been postponed, and if not prevented altogether, under the
disadvantages of having neither a navy to protect our commerce, nor
manufactures to supply its place, it would have been greatly mitigated.
It is probable that the suspension of cash payments would not have taken
place at all, if the bank had followed the prudent course of the banks
of Boston, and not lent its money to the government; but though it had,
its paper would have been more nearly at par and more uniform than that
of the state banks, which varied in value according to the public
opinion of their prudence and solidity, as well as of the varying
quantity of notes thrown into circulation in different places. It is
possible that the national bank, being conducted with greater skill and
knowledge of banking, would have seen that they could not safely
accommodate the government with any large loan, and that when they were
reduced to the dilemma of either suspending cash payments and having a
depreciated currency, or of maintaining the currency sound, by
withholding assistance to the government, they would have preferred the
latter; and that the government would have been thereby induced to
resort sooner than they did to a system of taxation to support the war.
It is indeed impossible to say, at this time, what would have been the
precise result if we had possessed a national bank, but we think that
this much may be affirmed with confidence, that the depreciation of its
notes would have been far less, would have been uniform, and would have
taken the place of much paper which had no solid foundation for the
short-lived credit it obtained.

It remains for us now to see what will be the extent of the immediate
pecuniary cost to the nation for pulling down the Bank of the United
States, and building up the Treasury Bank on its ruins. This view is
intelligible to all, and there are minds who will give more weight to
this objection than that of increasing executive influence.

We know that it is an important function of every government to regulate
its money, weights, and measures, not from any mystical notions of
sovereignty, but because uniformity in these several standards is of the
greatest utility in saving time and trouble, and in preventing frauds
and disputes, and there is no effectual way of attaining uniformity
except by the legislative power. It is, therefore, that these subjects
were placed under the control of the general government, by the
constitution, and it is in the exercise of the powers thus granted that
it coins money of gold and silver, and determines their relative value.

But as among the inventions of commerce, it is found that such metallic
money can be, to a considerable extent, substituted by paper, and thus a
measure of value which costs nothing, can be made and is made to answer
the same, and even a better purpose, than that which would cost a great
deal, the same reasons which made the regulation of the coin by the
government, necessary and proper, apply to the regulation of its
substitute. The government thus having control over the subject, is
furnished with the ready means of making a great profit by the
substitution; and this it may do in two ways. It may either become a
banker itself, and issue notes of circulation, having currency as money,
in return for the notes of individuals bearing interest, or it may
transfer the right of doing this to such a set of men as it deems worthy
of the trust, and make them pay a fair price for the valuable privilege
thus conferred.

Of these two modes of profiting by the substitution of paper for specie,
the last is by far the best, for the same reason that it is best for the
government to sell its public lands, rather than to cultivate them. It
is incapable of commanding agents who will practise the same economy,
industry, and skill, in the management of the public concerns, as their
own. It must always pay higher than individuals for the same work, and
the various peculations to which it is exposed, besides the costly
apparatus of superintendents, would make banking, carried on by itself,
a bad measure of economy, to say nothing of the objections arising from
its disturbing the distribution of political power, by affording the
means of influence, patronage, and corruption.

But the scheme which the president has been persuaded to recommend,
proposes, that the government should give up the advantages of both
plans: that it should forego both the profit of issuing paper itself,
and that of disposing of it to a corporate body, in which the community
had entire confidence, and which has proved, by its previous unexampled
success, its fitness for the duty--and in lieu of these plans, to let
the valuable privilege evaporate into a sort of electioneering material,
for whomsoever may hold the office of president, or may rule his
cabinet. And what is it which the people of the United States are thus
asked to surrender? Let us estimate it.

According to the bank charter, the government takes stock to the amount
of seven millions of dollars, on which it pays to the bank an interest
of 5 per cent., and it now receives on this stock an interest of 7 per
cent, making a clear profit of 140,000 dollars a year, equal to a gross
capital of 2,800,000 dollars, all of which must be lost on the proposed
plan. But this is not all. The bank keeps the money of the
government--keeps its accounts--keeps its officers out of
temptation--and transfers the money from one part of the Union to
another with promptitude and certainty, without the loss of a single
dollar. We have seen that for some of these operations the treasury bank
would be obliged to pay.

We do not mean to say that these various services of the bank are
gratuitous. On the contrary, it is fairly remunerated for them by the
privileges it enjoys, and by the public deposits; but still they are
valuable services, and in this way the government obtains a fair
equivalent for what it surrenders. Nor let it be supposed that as good a
bargain could be made with the state banks. The general government could
not be interested in their stock, nor could they afford to give as much
for the privileges, because they would be more local. Being connected
only by voluntary compacts, they could not do the business of the
government to the same advantage as a single corporation. They could not
circulate as much paper with the same safety, nor could they sell or buy
bills at as small a profit. The superior advantages which the Bank of
the United States enjoys in capital, in banking skill, and in the
greater credit and wider circulation of its notes, enables it to give a
liberal price for its charter, and the government would be false to the
people to surrender this benefit.

But it would not become the government to attempt to extort, or to be
illiberal, but to act on the principle of justice to the public and the
bank. The legislature should not furnish the bank with either the
temptation or excuse of an Irish middle man, who grinds his sub-tenants
in proportion as his landlord has pressed him. Upon these principles, we
think the government should, by way of bonus, charge the bank a moderate
interest on its deposits, and pay a small commission for the services of
the bank. An adjustment of these several claims, by some general
estimate, might leave to the nation the clear annual gain of perhaps
200,000 dollars, or a gross capital of four millions, instead of giving
it away for the improvement of the machinery of our political

There is yet another mode by which the government might derive a profit
from the bank, and which has this further recommendation, that it would
not be at the expense of the stockholders, and it would be a value saved
to the nation that would be otherwise lost. It is now a favourite object
both with the people and the government to pay off the national debt;
and from the novelty of the phenomenon it will give great eclat to the
administration in which it takes place. It is known that upwards of
thirteen millions of this debt bears an interest of but 3 per cent. This
part of the public funds is held chiefly in Europe by large capitalists,
it being preferred by them, because it could not be redeemed but at par,
unless with the consent of the holders, and it was hardly expected that
the government would choose to redeem it at par rather than pay so low
an interest on it. They thus thought that the owners of the stock had
the means of postponing its redemption in their own hands. For these
reasons this stock has always been something higher in the market than
any other, and it now sells at 93 dollars a share of 100 dollars, which
is about 3-1/4 per cent. At the price at which the commissioners of the
sinking fund are limited, they cannot buy this stock; but when all the
rest of the debt is paid, this must come next, and as soon as the
government offers to purchase, it will rise still higher, perhaps to
par. In that event, the government will have to pay upwards of thirteen
millions of dollars, drawn from the pockets of the poor as well as the
rich, which they might keep for ever, by paying an annual interest of 3
per cent, or 390,000 dollars.

Now the use of this money, has been of immense advantage to this
country, and may continue to be so, considering how inadequately many
parts of it are supplied with real capital. It will build ships--erect
mills and manufactories--salt works and iron works--and help to make
rail roads and canals, by which our free and industrious population will
be able to improve the condition of the country in bettering their own.
This money, too, does not consist of paper which we can create at will,
but of gold and silver, or their equivalents, which we must send out of
the country. Had it not better remain here? Every good economist will
say yes. It will be not difficult, we should presume, for the government
to make an arrangement with the bank to pay this 390,000 dollars, and
release us from our obligations, and to receive a less sum than the
thirteen millions. Their capital may be enlarged, and the rapid growth
of our country will soon require its enlargement. The holders of this
stock will indeed have a right to look to the United States for their
money, but that would make only a nominal difference, and they might be
offered stock of the bank in exchange on advantageous terms. Thus the
money which would be appropriated to the payment of this debt, might be
kept in the country and be vested in banking capital, by which it would
give vigour to commerce, manufactures, and navigation, and, through
them, render benefit to the whole nation.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The American Quarterly Review, No. 17, March 1831" ***

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