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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine—Volume 62, No. 386, December, 1847
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine—Volume 62, No. 386, December, 1847" ***

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  [1] _Essays._ By Ralph Waldo Emerson. _Nature_, an Essay, and
  _Orations_. By the same.

The genius of America seems hitherto disposed to manifest itself
rather in works of reason and reflection than in those displays of
poetic fervour which are usually looked for in a nascent literature.
And a little consideration would lead us, probably, to expect this.
America presents itself upon the scene, enters into the drama of the
world, at a time when the minds of men are generally awakened and
excited to topics of grave and practical importance. It is not a great
poem that mankind now want or look for; they rather demand a great
work, or works, on human society, on the momentous problems which our
social progress, as well as our social difficulties, alike give rise
to. If on a new literature a peculiar mission could be imposed, such
would probably be the task assigned to it.

The energetic and ceaseless industry of the people of America, the
stern and serious character of the founders of New England, the
tendency which democracy must necessarily encourage to reason much and
boldly on the interests of the community,--would all lead us to the
same anticipation; so far as any anticipation can be warranted,
regarding the erratic course and capricious development of literary

The first contribution, we believe, our libraries received from
America, was the half theological, half metaphysical treatise on the
Will by Jonathan Edwards. This follower of Calvin is understood to
have stated the gloomy and repulsive doctrines of his master with an
unrivalled force of logic. Such is the reputation which _Edwards on
the Will_ enjoys, and we are contented to speak from reputation. The
doctrine of necessity, even when intelligently applied to the circle
of human thoughts and passions, is not the most inviting tenet of
philosophy. It is quickly learned, and what little fruit it yields is
soon gathered. But when combined with the theological dogma, wrung
from texts of scripture, of predestination; when the law of necessity
supposed to regulate the temper and affairs of the human being in this
little life, is converted into a divine sentence of condemnation to a
future and eternal fate--it then becomes one of the most odious and
irrational of tenets that ever obscured the reason or clouded the
piety of mankind. We confess, therefore, that we are satisfied with
re-echoing the traditional reputation of Jonathan Edwards, without
earning, by perusal of his work, the right to pronounce upon its

The first contribution, also, which America made to the amount of our
knowledge, was of a scientific character, and, moreover, the most
anti-poetical imaginable. As such, at least, it must be described by
those who are accustomed to think that a peculiar mystery attached to
one phenomenon of nature more than another, is essentially poetic.
Several poets, our Campbell amongst the number, have complained that
the laws of optics have disenchanted the rainbow; but the analysis of
Newton is poetry itself compared to that instance of the daring and
levelling spirit of science which Franklin exhibited, when he proved
the lightning to be plain electricity; took the bolts of Jupiter,
analysed them, bottled them in Leyden jars, and experimented on them
as with the sparks of his own electrical machine.

As the first efforts of American genius were in the paths of grave and
searching inquiry, so, too, at this present moment, if we were called
upon to point out amongst the works of our trans-Atlantic brethren,
our compatriots still in language, the one which, above all others,
displayed the undoubted marks of original genius,--it would be a prose
work, and one of a philosophical character we should single out:--we
should point to the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson.

The Americans are frequently heard to lament the absence of
nationality in their literature. Perhaps no people are the first to
perceive their own character reflected in the writings of one of their
countrymen; this nationality is much more open to the observation of a
foreigner. We are quite sure that no French or German critic could
read the speculations of Emerson, without tracing in them the spirit
of the nation to which this writer belongs. The new democracy of the
New World is apparent, he would say, in the philosophy of one who yet
is no democrat, and, in the ordinary sense of the word, no politician.
For what is the prevailing spirit of his writings? Self-reliance, and
the determination to see in the man of to-day, in his own, and in his
neighbour's mind, the elements of all greatness. Whatever the most
exalted characters of history, whatever the most opulent of
literatures, has displayed or revealed, of action or of thought,--the
germ of all lies within yourself. This is his frequent text. What does
he say of history? "I have no expectation that any man will read
history aright, who thinks that what was done in a remote age, by men
whose names have resounded far, has any deeper sense than what he is
doing to-day." He is, as he describes himself, "an endless seeker of
truth, with no past at his back." He delights to raise the individual
existing mind to the level, if not above the level, of all that has
been thought or enacted. He will not endure the imposing claims of
antiquity, of great nations, or of great, names. "It is remarkable,"
he says, "that involuntarily we always read as superior beings.
Universal history, the poets, the romancers, do not, in their
stateliest pictures, in the sacerdotal, the imperial palaces, in the
triumphs of will or of genius, anywhere make us feel that we intrude,
that this is for our betters, but rather is it true that in their
grandest strokes, there we feel most at home. _All that Shakspeare
says of the king, yonder slip of a boy that reads in the corner, feels
to be true of himself._"

Neither do the names of foreign cities, any more than of ancient
nations, overawe or oppress him. Of travelling, he says, "I have no
churlish objection to the circumnavigation of the globe, for the
purposes of art, of study, and benevolence, so that the man is first
domesticated, or does not go abroad with the hope of finding somewhat
greater than he knows. He who travels to be amused, or to get somewhat
which he does not carry, travels away from himself, and grows old even
in youth among old things. In Thebes, in Palmyra, his will and mind
have become old and dilapidated as they. He carries ruins to ruins.
Travelling is a fool's paradise. We owe to our first journeys the
discovery that place is nothing. At home, I dream that at Naples, at
Rome, I can be intoxicated with beauty, and lose my sadness. I pack my
trunk, embrace my friends, embark on the sea, and at last wake up in
Naples, and there beside me is the stern fact, the sad self,
unrelenting, identical, that I fled from. I seek the Vatican and the
palaces. I affect to be intoxicated with sights and suggestions, but I
am not intoxicated. My giant goes with me wherever I go."

In a still higher strain he writes, "There is one mind common to all
individual men. Every man is an inlet to the same, and to all of the
same. He that is once admitted to the right of reason is made a
freeman of the whole estate. What Plato has thought he may think; what
a saint has felt he may feel; what at any time has befallen any man he
can understand. Who hath access to this universal mind, is a party to
all that is or can be done, for this is the only and sovereign agent."
This passage is taken from the commencement of the Essay on History,
and the essay entitled "Nature," opens with a similar sentiment. He
disclaims the retrospective spirit of our age that would "put the
living generation into masquerade out of the faded wardrobe of the
past." He will not see through the eyes of others. "Why should not we
also," he demands, "enjoy an original relation to the universe? Why
should not we have a poetry and philosophy of insight, and not of
tradition, and a religion by revelation to us, and not the history of
theirs? The sun shines to-day also! Let us demand our own works, and
laws, and worship."

In the Essay on Self-reliance--a title which might over-ride a great
portion of his writings--he says: "Our reading is mendicant and
sycophantic. In history, our imagination makes fools of us, plays us
false. Kingdom and lordship, power and estate, are a gaudier
vocabulary than private John and Edward in a small house and common
day's work: but the things of life are the same to both: the sum total
of both is the same. Why all this deference to Alfred, and
Scanderberg, and Gustavus? Suppose they were virtuous: _did they wear
out virtue?_" And in a more sublime mood he proceeds: "Whenever a mind
is simple, and receives a divine wisdom, then old things pass
away,--means, teachers, texts, temples fall. Whence, then, this
worship of the past? The centuries are conspirators against the sanity
and majesty of the soul.... Man is timid and apologetic. He is no
longer upright. He dares not say 'I think,' 'I am,' but quotes some
saint or sage. He is ashamed before the blade of grass or the blowing
rose. These roses under my window make no reference to former roses,
or to better ones; they are for what they are; they exist with God
to-day. There is no time to them. There is simply the rose,--perfect
in every moment of its existence. But man postpones or remembers; he
does not live in the present, but with reverted eye laments the past,
or, heedless of the riches that surround him, stands on tiptoe to
foresee the future. He cannot be happy and strong until he, too, lives
with nature in the present, above time."

Surely these quotations alone--which we have made with the additional
motive of introducing at once to our readers the happier style and
manner of the American Philosopher--would bear out the French or
German critic in their views of the nationality of this author. The
spirit of the New World, and of a self-confident democracy, could not
be more faithfully translated into the language of a high and abstract
philosophy than it is here. We say that an air blowing from prairie
and forest, and the New Western World, is felt in the tone and spirit
of Emerson's writings; we do not intend to intimate that the opinions
expressed in them are at all times such as might be anticipated from
an American. Far from it. Mr Emerson regards the world from a peculiar
point of view, that of an idealistic philosophy. Moreover, he is one
of those wilful, capricious, though powerful thinkers, whose opinions
it would not be very easy to anticipate, who balk all prediction, who
defy augury.

For instance, a foreigner might naturally expect to find in the
speculations of a New England philosopher, certain sanguine and
enthusiastic views of the future condition of society. He will not
find them here. Our idealist levels the past to the present, but he
levels the future to the present also. If with him all that is old is
new, so also all that is new is old. It is still the one great
universal mind--like the great ocean--ebbing, flowing, in tempest now,
and now in calm. He will not join in the shout that sees a new sun
rising on the world. For ourselves, (albeit little given to the too
sanguine mood) we have more hope here than our author has expressed.
We by no means subscribe to the following sentence. The measure of
truth it expresses--and so well expresses--bears but a small
proportion to the whole truth. "All men plume themselves on the
improvement of society, and no man improves. Society never advances.
It recedes as fast on one side as it gains on the other. It undergoes
continual changes: it is barbarous, it is civilised, it is
christianised, it is rich, it is scientific; but this change is not
amelioration. For every thing that is given, something is taken.
Society acquires new arts and loses old instincts. What a contrast
between the well-clad, reading, writing, thinking American, with a
watch, a pencil, and a bill of exchange in his pocket, and the naked
New Zealander, whose property is a club, a spear, a mat, and an
undivided twentieth of a shed to sleep under. But compare the health
of the two men, and you shall see that his aboriginal strength the
white man has lost. If the traveller tell us truly, strike the savage
with a broad axe, and in a day or two the flesh shall unite and heal
as if you struck the blow into soft pitch, and the same blow shall
send the white to his grave. The civilised man has built a coach, but
has lost the use of his feet. He is supported on crutches, but loses
so much support of muscle. He has got a fine Geneva watch, but he has
lost the skill to tell the hour by the sun. A Greenwich nautical
almanac he has, and so being sure of the information when he wants it,
the man in the street does not know a star in the sky. The solstice he
does not observe; the equinox he knows as little; and the whole bright
calendar of the year is without a dial in his mind. His notebooks
impair his memory; his libraries overload his wit; the insurance
office increases the number of accidents; it may be a question whether
machinery does not encumber; whether we have not lost by refinement
some energy, by a christianity (entrenched in establishments and
forms) some vigour of wild virtue. _For every stoic was a stoic; but
in Christendom where is the Christian?_"

A French critic has designated Emerson the American Montaigne, struck,
we presume by his independence of manner, and a certain egotism which
when accompanied by genius is as attractive, as it is ludicrous
without that accompaniment. An English reader will be occasionally
reminded of the manner of Sir Thomas Brown, author of the "Religio
Medici." Like Sir Thomas, he sometimes startles us by a _curiosity_ of
reflection, fitted to suggest and kindle thought, although to a dry
logician it may seem a mere futility, or the idle play of imagination.
Of course this similarity is to be traced only in single and detached
passages; but we think we could select several quotations from the
American writer which should pass off as choice morsels of Sir Thomas
Brown, with one who was familiar with the strain of thought of the old
Englishman, but whose memory was not of that formidable exactness as
to render vain all attempt at imposition. Take the following for an
instance:--"I hold our actual knowledge very cheap. Hear the rats in
the wall, see the lizard on the fence, the fungus under foot, the
lichen on the log. What do I know sympathetically, morally, of either
of these worlds of life? As long as the Caucasian man--perhaps
longer--these creatures have kept their council beside him, and there
is no record of any word or sign that has passed from the one to the
other.... I am ashamed to see what a shallow village tale our
so-called history is. How many times we must say Rome, and Paris, and
Constantinople. What does Rome know of rat or lizard? What are
Olympiads and Consulates to these neighbouring systems of being?"

Or this:--"Why should we make it a point to disparage that man we are,
and that form of being assigned to us? A good man is contented. I love
and honour Epaminondas, but I do not wish to be Epaminondas. I hold it
more just to love the world of this hour, than the world of his hour.
Nor can you, if I am true, excite me to the least uneasiness by saying
'he acted and thou sittest still.' I see action to be good, when the
need is, and sitting still to be also good. Epaminondas, if he was the
man I take him for, would have sat still with joy and peace, if his
lot had been mine. Heaven is large, and affords space for all modes of
love and fortitude. Why should we be busy-bodies, and superserviceable?
Action and inaction are alike to the true.... Besides, why should we
be cowed by the name of action? 'Tis a trick of the senses,--no more.
We know that the ancestor of every action is a thought. The rich mind
lies in the sun and sleeps, and is Nature. To think is to act."

Or if one were to put down the name of Sir Thomas Brown as the author
of such a sentence as the following, are there many who would detect
the cheat? "I like the silent church, before the service begins,
better than any preaching. How far off, how cool, how chaste the
persons look, begirt each one with a precinct or sanctuary; so let us
always sit. Why should we assume the faults of our friend, or wife, or
father, or child, because they sit around our hearth, or are said to
have the same blood?"

But Emerson is too original a mind to be either a Montaigne or a Sir
Thomas Brown. He lives, too, in quite another age, and moves in a
higher region of philosophy than either of them. The utmost that can
be said is, that he is of the same class of independent, original
thinkers, somewhat wayward and fitful, who present no system, or none
that is distinctly and logically set forth, but cast before us many
isolated truths expressed in vivid, spontaneous eloquence.

This class of writers may be described as one whose members, though
not deficient in the love of _truth_, are still more conspicuous for
their love of _thought_. They crave intellectual excitement; they have
a genuine, inexhaustible ardour of reflection. They are not writers of
systems, for patience would fail them to traverse the more arid parts
of their subject, or those where they have nothing new, nothing of
their _own_, to put forth. The task of sifting and arranging materials
that have passed a thousand times through the hands of others, does
not accord with their temperament. Neither are they fond of retracing
their own steps, and renewing, from the same starting-place, the same
inquiry. They are off to fresh pastures. They care not to be ruffling
the leaves of the old manuscript, revising, qualifying, expunging.
They would rather brave all sorts of contradictions and _go on_,
satisfied that to an ingenuous reader their thoughts will ultimately
wear a true and faithful aspect. They will not be hampered by their
own utterances more than by other men's--"If you would be a man," says
Emerson, "speak what you think to-day in words as hard as
cannon-balls, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words
again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day." These
headstrong sages, full of noble caprice, of lofty humours, often pour
forth in their wild profusion a strange mixture of great truths and
petty conceits--noble principles and paradoxes no better than
conundrums. As we have said, they are lovers pre-eminently of thought.
Full of the chase, they will sometimes run down the most paltry game
with unmitigated ardour. Such writers are not so wise as their best
wisdom, nor so foolish as their folly. When certain of the ancient
sages who were in the habit of guessing boldly at the open riddle of
nature, made, amidst twenty absurd conjectures, one that has proved to
be correct, we do not therefore give them the credit of a scientific
discovery. One of these wise men of antiquity said that the sea was a
great fish; he asserted also that the moon was an opaque body, and
considerably larger than she appears to be. He was right about the
moon; he was wrong about the fish; but as he speculated on both
subjects in the same hap-hazard style, we give him very little more
credit in the one case than the other. Perhaps his theory which
transformed the sea into a fish, was that on which he prided himself
most. Something of the same kind, though very different in degree,
takes place in our judgment upon certain moral speculators. When a man
of exuberant thought utters in the fervour or the fever of his mind
what _comes first_, his fragments of wisdom seem as little to belong
to him as his fragments of folly. The reader picks up, and carries
off, what best pleases him, as if there were no owner there, as if it
were treasure-trove, and he was entitled to it as first finder. He
foregoes the accustomed habit of connecting his writer with the
assemblage of thoughts presented to him, as their sole proprietor for
the time being: "he cries halves," as Charles Lamb has said on some
similar occasion, in whatever he pounces on.

The task of the critic on a writer of this class, becomes more than
usually ungracious and irksome. He meets with a work abounding with
traits of genius, and conspicuous also for its faults and
imperfections. As a reader only, he gives himself up to the pleasure
which the former of these inspire. Why should he disturb that pleasure
by counting up the blemishes and errors? He sees, but passes rapidly
over them; on the nobler passages he dwells, and to them alone he
returns. But, as critic, he cannot resign himself entirely to this
mood; or rather, after having resigned himself to it, after having
enjoyed that only true perusal of a book in which we forget all but
the truth we can extract from it, he must rouse himself to another and
very different act of attention; he must note defects and blemishes,
and caution against errors, and qualify his admiration by a recurrence
to those very portions of the work which he before purposely hurried

We take up such a book as these Essays of Emerson. We are charmed with
many delightful passages of racy eloquence, of original thought, of
profound or of _naive_ reflection. What if there are barren pages?
What if sometimes there is a thick entangled underwood through which
there is no penetrating? We are patient. We can endure the one, and
for the other obstacle, in military phrase, we can _turn_ it. The page
is moveable. We are not bound, like the boa-constrictor, to swallow
all or none. Meanwhile, in all conscience, there is sufficient for one
feast. There is excellence enough to occupy one's utmost attention;
there is beauty to be carried away, and truth to be appropriated. What
more, from a single book, can any one reasonably desire? But if the
task of criticism be imposed upon us, we must, nevertheless, sacrifice
this easy and complacent mood,--this merely receptive disposition; we
must re-examine; we must cavil and object; we must question of
obscurity why it should stand there darkening the road; we must refuse
admittance to mere paradox; we must expose the trifling conceit or
fanciful analogy that would erect itself into high places, and assume
the air of novel and profound truth.

Some portion of this less agreeable duty we will at once perform, that
we may afterwards the more freely and heartily devote ourselves to the
more pleasant task of calling attention to the works of a man of
genius,--for we suspect that Emerson is not known in this country as
he deserves to be. With some who have heard his name coupled with that
of Carlyle, he passes for a sort of echo or double of the English
writer. A more independent and original thinker can nowhere in this
age be found. This praise must, at all events, be awarded him. And
even in America--which has not the reputation of generally
overlooking, or underrating, the merits of her own children--we
understand that the reputation of Emerson is by no means what it ought
to be; and many critics there who are dissatisfied with merely
imitative talent, and demand a man of genius _of their own_, are not
aware that he stands there amongst them.

When we accuse Mr Emerson of obscurity, it is not obscurity of style
that we mean. His style often rises--as our readers have had already
opportunities of judging--into a vivid, terse, and graphic eloquence,
agreeably tinged at times with a poetic colouring; and although he
occasionally adopts certain inversions which are not customary in
modern prose, he never lays himself open to the charge of being
difficult or unintelligible. But there is an obscurity of thought--in
the very matter of his writings--produced first by a vein of mysticism
which runs throughout his works, and, secondly, by a manner he
sometimes has of sweeping together into one paragraph a number of
unsorted ideas, but scantily related to each other--bringing up his
drag-net with all manner of fish in it, and depositing it then and
there before us.

Mysticism is a word often so vaguely and rashly applied, that we feel
bound to explain the sense in which we use it. It is not because Mr
Emerson is an idealist in his philosophy--what we are in the habit in
the present day of describing as the German school of metaphysics,
though he does not appear to have drawn his tenets from the Germans,
and more frequently quotes the name of Plato than that of Kant or
Hegel--it is not for this we pronounce him to be a mystic. Berkeley
was no mystic. In support of this philosophy reasons may be adduced
which appeal to the faculties, and are open to the examination of all
men. We do not pronounce idealism to be mystical, but we pronounce him
to be a mystic who upholds this, or any other philosophy, upon grounds
of conviction not open to all rational men; whose convictions, in
short, rest upon some profound intuition, some deep and peculiar
source of knowledge, to which the great multitude of mankind are utter
strangers. A man shall be an idealist, and welcome; we can discuss the
matter with him, we can follow his reasonings, and if we cannot
sustain ourselves in that nicely-balanced aerial position he has
assumed, poised above the earth on a needle's point of faith, we can
at least apprehend how the more subtle metaphysician has contrived to
accomplish the feat. But the moment a man proclaims himself in the
possession of any truth whatever, by an intuition of which we, and
other men, find no traces in our own mind, then it is that we must, of
force, abandon him to the sole enjoyment of an illumination we do not
share, and which he cannot impart. We call him mystical, and he calls
us blind, or sense-beclouded. We assume that he pretends to see where
there is no vision, and no visual organ; he retorts that it is we, and
the gross vulgar who have lost, or never attained, the high faculty of
vision which he possesses. Whether it is Plato or Swedenborg, Pagan or
Christian, who lays claim to this occult and oracular wisdom, we must
proclaim it a delusion. It is in vain to tell us that these men may be
the _élite_ of humanity, that they are thus signally favoured because
they have more successfully cultivated their minds, both
intellectually and morally, and purified them for the reception of a
closer communion with the divine and all-sustaining and
interpenetrating Intelligence, than is vouchsafed to the rest of
mankind. We, who have nothing but our eyesight and our reason, we of
the multitude who are not thus favoured, can, at all events, learn
nothing _from them_. Whether above or beside human reason, they are
equally remote from intellectual communion. We do not recognise their
reason as reason, nor their truth as truth; and we call them mystics
to express this unapproachable nature of their minds, this hopeless
severance from intercommunion of thought, from even so much of contact
as is requisite for the hostilities of controversy. These wisest of
mankind are in the same predicament as the maddest of mankind; both
believe that they are the only perfectly sane, and that all the rest
of the world have lost their reason. The rest of the world hold the
opposite opinion, and we are not aware that in either case there is
any appeal but to the authority of numbers, to which, of course,
neither the lunatic nor the mystic will submit.

We have frequent intimations in Mr Emerson's writings of this high
intuitive source of truth. Take the following passage in the Essay on

     "And now at last the highest truth on this subject remains
     unsaid, probably, cannot be said; for all that we say is the
     far off remembering of the intuition. The thought by what I
     can now nearest approach to say it, is this. When good is
     near you, when you have life in yourself, it is not by any
     known or appointed way; you shall not discern the
     foot-prints of any other; you shall not see the face of man;
     you shall not hear any name; the way, the thought, the good,
     shall be wholly strange and new; it shall exclude all other
     being. You take the way from man not to man. All persons
     that ever existed are its fugitive ministers. There shall be
     no fear in it. Fear and hope are alike beneath it. It asks
     nothing. There is somewhat low even in hope. _We are then in
     vision_. There is nothing that can be called gratitude,
     nor, properly, joy. The soul is raised over passion. _It
     seeth identity and eternal causation. It is a perceiving
     that Truth and Right are._ Hence it becomes a tranquillity
     out of the knowing that all things go well. Vast spaces of
     nature--the Atlantic Ocean--the South Sea--vast intervals of
     time--years--centuries--are of no account. This, which I
     think and feel, underlay that former state of life and
     circumstances as it does underlie my present, and will
     always all circumstance, and what is called life, and what
     is called death."

Whenever a man begins by telling us that he cannot find language to
express his meaning, we may be pretty sure that he has no intelligible
meaning to express; and Mr Emerson, in the above passage, fully bears
out this general observation. "I cannot," he says in another place, "I
cannot, nor can any man, speak precisely of things so sublime, but it
seems to me, the wit of man, his strength, his grace, his tendency,
his art, is the grace and the presence of God. It is beyond
explanation. When all is said and done, the rapt saint is found the
only logician. Not exhortation, not argument, becomes our lips, but
pæans of joy and praise. But not of adulation: _we are too nearly
related in the deep of the mind to that we honour. It is God in us
which checks the language of petition by a grander thought. In the
bottom of the heart it is said 'I am, and by me, O child! this fair
body and world of thine stands and grows. I am: all things are mine:
and all mine are thine._'"

If we can gather any thing from this language, it must imply that the
individual mind is _conscious_ of being a part, an emanation of the
Divine mind--is conscious of this union or identity--the pretension to
which species of consciousness is, in our apprehension, pure

But we shall not weary our readers by seeking further proofs of this
charge of mysticism; for what can be more wearisome than to have a
number of unintelligible passages brought together from different and
remote parts of an author's works. We pass to that other cause of
obscurity we have hinted at,--the agglomerations of a multitude of
unrelated, or half-related, ideas. Sometimes a whole paragraph, and a
long one too, is made up of separate fragments of thought or fancy,
good or amusing, it may be, in themselves, but connected by the
slightest and most flimsy thread imaginable. Glittering insects and
flies of all sorts, caught and held together in a spider's web,
present as much appearance of unity as some of these paragraphs we
allude to.

For an example, we will turn to the first essay in the series, that on
History. It is, perhaps, the most striking of the whole, and one which
has a more distinct aim and purport than most of them, and yet the
reader is fairly bewildered at times by the incongruous assemblage of
thoughts presented to him. It is the drift of the essay to show, that
the varied and voluminous record of history is still but the
development and expansion of the individual being man, as he existed
yesterday, as he exists to-day. "A man," he says, "is the whole
encyclopædia of facts. The creation of a thousand forests is in one
acorn, and Egypt, Greece, Rome, Gaul, Britain, America, lie folded
already in the first man. Epoch after epoch, camp, kingdom, empire,
republic, democracy, are merely the application of his manifold spirit
to the manifold world." This idea is explained, illustrated,
amplified, and very often in a novel and ingenious manner. To
exemplify the necessity we feel to recognise _ourselves_ in the past,
he says,--"All inquiry into antiquity, all curiosity respecting the
pyramids, the excavated cities, Stonehenge, the Ohio circles, Mexico,
Memphis, is the desire to do away this wild, savage, and preposterous
There or Then, and introduce in its place the Here and the Now. It is
to banish the _Not me_, and supply the _Me_. It is to abolish
difference and restore unity. Belzoni digs and measures in the
mummy-pits and pyramids of Thebes, until he can see the end of the
difference between the monstrous work and himself. When he has
satisfied himself, in general and in detail, that it was made by such
a person as himself, so armed and so motived, and to ends to which he
himself, in given circumstances, should also have worked, the problem
is then solved, his thought lives along the whole line of temples and
sphinxes and catacombs, passes through them all like a creative soul,
with satisfaction, and they live again to the mind, or are _now_."

This is good, but by and by he begins to intercalate all sorts of
vagrant fantasies, as thus:--

"Civil history, _natural history_, the history of art, and the history
of literature,--all must be explained from individual history, or must
remain words. There is nothing but is related to us, nothing that does
not interest us,--kingdom, college, _tree_, _horse_, or iron shoe, the
roots of all things are in man. It is in the soul that architecture
exists. Santa Croce and the dome of St Peter's are lame copies after a
divine model. Strasburg cathedral is a material counterpart of the
soul of Erwin of Steinbach. The true poem is the poet's mind, the true
ship is the ship-builder," and so forth. It would be waste of time and
words to ask how "tree and horse," in the same sense as kingdom and
college, can be said to have "their roots in man;" or whether, when it
is said that "Strasburg cathedral is the material counterpart of the
soul of Erwin of Steinbach," this can possibly mean anything else than
the undoubted fact, that the architect thought and designed before he

This subject of architecture comes sadly in the way of the author, and
of the reader too, whom it succeeds in thoroughly mystifying. "The
Gothic cathedral is a blossoming in stone, subdued by the insatiable
demand of harmony in man. The mountain of granite blooms into an
eternal flower with the lightness and delicate finish, as well as the
aerial proportions and perspective of vegetable beauty. _In like
manner_, all public facts are to be individualised, all private facts
are to be generalised. Then at once history becomes fluid and true,
and biography deep and sublime."

The fables of Pagan mythology next cross his path, and these lead to
another medley of thoughts. "These beautiful fables of the Greeks," he
says, "being proper creations of the imagination, and not of the
fancy, are universal verities." And well they may be, whether of the
fancy or the imagination (and the great distinction here marked out
between the two, we do not profess to comprehend), if each mind, in
every age, is at liberty to interpret them as it pleases, and with the
same unrestrained license that our author takes. But how can he find
here an instance of the _present man_ being written out in history,
when the old history or fable is perpetually to receive new
interpretations, as it is handed down from generation to
generation--interpretations which assuredly were never dreamt of by
the original inventor?

"Apollo kept the flocks of Admetus, said the poets. Every man is a
divinity in disguise, a god playing the fool. It seems as if heaven
had sent its insane angels into our world as to an asylum, and here
they will break out into their native music, and utter at intervals
the words they have heard in heaven; then the mad fit returns, and
they mope and wallow like dogs." Whether witty or wise, such
interpretations have manifestly nothing to do with the fable as it
exists in history, as part of the history of the human mind.

"The transmigration of souls: that too is no fable; I would it were.
But men and women are only half human. Every animal of the barn-yard,
the field and the forest, of the earth and of the waters that are
under the earth, has contrived to get a footing, and to leave the
print of its features and form in some one or other of these upright,
heaven-facing speakers." Very good; only, if poets and wits are to set
themselves to the task, we should like to know what fable there is in
the world, whether the product of imagination or fancy, which might
not be shown to abound in eternal verities.

Travelling on a little farther, we meet with the following paragraph,
some parts of which are to be made intelligible by putting ourselves
in the point of view of the idealistic philosopher; but the whole
together, by reason of the incongruity of its parts, produces no other
effect than that of mere and painful bewilderment,--

     "A man is a bundle of relations, a knot of roots, whose
     flower and fruitage is the world. All his faculties refer to
     natures out of him. All his faculties predict the world he
     is to inhabit, as the fins of the fish foreshow that water
     exists, or the wings of an eagle in the egg presuppose a
     medium like air. Insulate and you destroy him. He cannot
     live without a world. Put Napoleon in an island prison, let
     his faculties find no men to act on, no Alps to climb, no
     stake to play for, and he would beat the air and appear
     stupid. Transport him to large countries, dense population,
     complex interests and antagonist power, and you shall see
     that the man Napoleon, bounded, that is, by such a profile
     and outline, is not the virtual Napoleon. This is but
     Talbot's shadow;

                  "His substance is not here:
        For what you see is but the smallest part,
        And least proportion of humanity;
        But were the whole frame here,
        It is of such a spacious lofty pitch,
        Your roof were not sufficient to contain it.

     Columbus needs a planet to shape his course upon. Newton and
     Laplace need myriads of ages and thick-strewn celestial
     areas. One may say, a gravitating solar system is already
     prophesied in the nature of Newton's mind. Not less does the
     brain of Davy and Gay-Lussac, from childhood exploring
     always the affinities and repulsions of particles,
     anticipate the laws of organisation. Does not the eye of the
     human embryo predict the light? the ear of Handel predict
     the witchcraft of harmonic sound? Do not the constructive
     fingers of Watt, Fulton, Whittemore, and Arkwright, predict
     the fusible, hard, and temperable texture of metals, the
     properties of stone, water, and wood? the lovely attributes
     of the maiden child predict the refinements and decorations
     of civil society? Here, also, we are reminded of the action
     of man on man. A mind might ponder its thoughts for ages,
     and not gain so much self-knowledge as the passion of love
     shall teach it in a day. Who knows himself before he has
     been thrilled with indignation at an outrage, or has heard
     an eloquent tongue, or has shared the throb of thousands in
     a national exultation and alarm? No man can antedate his
     experience, or guess what faculty or feeling a new object
     shall unlock, any more than he can draw to-day the face of a
     person whom he shall see to-morrow for the first time."

And the essay concludes by presenting its leading idea in this
distorted and exaggerated shape:--

     "Thus, in all ways does the soul concentrate and reproduce
     its treasures for each pupil, each new-born man. He, too,
     shall pass through the whole cycle of experience. He shall
     collect into a focus the rays of nature. History no longer
     shall be a dull book. It shall walk incarnate in every just
     and wise man. You shall not tell me by languages and titles
     a catalogue of the volumes you have read. You shall make me
     feel what periods you have lived. A man shall be the Temple
     of Fame. He shall walk as the poets have described that
     goddess, in a robe painted all over with wonderful events
     and experiences;--his own form and features by that exalted
     intelligence shall be that variegated vest. I shall find in
     him the Foreworld; in his childhood the age of gold; the
     apples of knowledge; the Argonautic expedition; the calling
     of Abraham; the building of the temple; the advent of
     Christ; dark ages; the revival of letters; the Reformation;
     the discovery of new lands, the opening of new sciences, and
     new regions in man. He shall be the priest of Pan, and bring
     with him into humble cottages the blessing of the morning
     stars, and all the recorded benefits of heaven and earth."

We regret to say that instances of this painful obscurity, of this
outrageous and fantastical style of writing, it would not be difficult
to multiply, were it either necessary or desirable. We have quoted
sufficient to justify even harsher terms of censure than we have
chosen to deal in; sufficient to warn our readers who may be induced,
from the favourable quotations we have made, and shall continue to
make, to turn to the works of this author, that it is not all gold
they will find there, that the sun does not always shine upon his
page, that a great proportion of his writings may be little suited to
their taste.

That which forms the great and inextinguishable charm of those
writings is the fine moral temper they display, the noble ardour, the
high ethical tone they every where manifest and sustain, and
especially that lofty independence of his intellect, that freedom of
his reason which the man who aspires after true cultivation should
watch over and preserve with the utmost jealousy. Addressing the
Divinity students of Cambridge, U. S., he says,--

     "Let me admonish you, first of all, to go alone; to refuse
     the good models, even those most sacred in the imagination
     of men, and dare to love God without mediator or veil.
     Friends enough you will find, who will hold up to your
     emulation Wesleys and Oberlins, saints and prophets. Thank
     God for these good men, but say, 'I also am a man.'
     Imitation cannot go above its model. The imitator dooms
     himself to hopeless mediocrity. The inventor did it because
     it was natural to him; and so in him it has a charm. In the
     imitator, something else is natural, and he bereaves himself
     of his own beauty, to come short of another man's....

     "Let us not aim at common degrees of merit. Can we not leave
     to such as love it the virtue that glitters for the
     commendation of society, and ourselves pierce the deep
     solitudes of absolute ability and worth? We easily come up
     to the standard of goodness in society. Society's praise can
     be cheaply secured, and almost all men are content with
     those easy merits; but the instant effect of conversing with
     God, will be to put them away. There are sublime merits;
     persons who are not actors, not, speakers, but influences;
     persons too great for fame, for display; who disdain
     eloquence; to whom all we call art and artist seems too
     nearly allied to show and by-ends, to the exaggeration of
     the finite and selfish, and loss of the universal. The
     orators, the poets, the commanders, encroach on us only, as
     fair women do, by our allowance and homage. Slight them by
     preoccupation of mind,--slight them, as you can well afford
     to do, by high and universal aims, and they instantly feel
     that you have right, and that it is in lower places that
     they must shine. They also feel your right; for they, with
     you, are open to the influx of the all-knowing spirit, which
     annihilates before its broad noon the little shades and
     gradations of intelligence in the compositions we call wiser
     and wisest.

     "In such high communion, let us study the grand strokes of
     rectitude: a bold benevolence, an independence of friends,
     so that not the unjust wishes of those who love us shall
     impair our freedom; but we shall resist, for truth's sake,
     the freest flow of kindness, and appeal to sympathies far in
     advance. And, what is the highest form in which we know this
     beautiful element?--a certain solidity of merit that has
     nothing to do with opinion, and which is so essentially and
     manifestly virtue, that it is taken for granted that the
     right, the brave, the generous step will be taken by it, and
     nobody thinks of commending it. You would compliment a
     coxcomb doing a good act, but you would not praise an angel.
     The silence that accepts merit as the most natural thing in
     the world, is the highest applause."

Nothing but the necessity to husband our space prevents us from
quoting other passages of the same noble strain.

There is an Essay _on Love_ which has highly pleased us, and from
which we wish to make some extracts. To a man of genius the old
subjects are always new. The romance and enthusiasm of the passion is
here quite freshly and vividly portrayed, while the great moral end of
that charming exaggeration which every lover makes of the beauty and
excellence of his mistress, is finely pointed out. There is both
poetry and philosophy in the essay--as our readers shall judge for
themselves from the following extracts. We do not always mark the
omissions we make for the sake of economy of space, nor always cite
the passages in the order they appear in the essay.

     "What fastens attention, in the intercourse of life, like
     any passage betraying affection between two parties? Perhaps
     we never saw them before, and never shall meet them again.
     But we see them exchange a glance, or betray a deep emotion,
     and we are no longer strangers. We understand them, and take
     the warmest interest in the development of the romance. _All
     mankind love a lover_. The earliest demonstrations of
     complacency and kindness are nature's most winning pictures.
     It is the dawn of civility and grace in the coarse and
     rustic. The rude village boy teases the girls about the
     school-house door;--but to-day he comes running into the
     entry, and meets one fair child arranging her satchel: he
     holds her books to help her, and instantly it seems to him
     as if she removed herself from him infinitely, and was a
     sacred precinct. Among the throng of girls he runs rudely
     enough, but one alone distances him; and these two little
     neighbours that were so close just now, have learned to
     respect each other's personality."

As is ever the case when men describe what is, or might be an
exquisite happiness, there steals a melancholy over the description;
and our author makes it a primary condition,

     "That we must leave a too close and lingering adherence to
     the actual, to facts, and study the sentiment as it appeared
     in _hope_, and not in _history_. Let any man go back to
     those delicious relations which make the beauty of his life,
     which have given him sincerest instruction and nourishment,
     he will shrink, and shrink. Alas! I know not why, but
     infinite compunctions imbitter in mature life all the
     remembrances of budding sentiment, and cover every beloved
     name. Every thing is beautiful seen from the point of the
     intellect, or as truth. But all is sour, as seen from
     experience. It is strange how painful is the actual
     world,--the painful kingdom of time and space. There dwell
     care, canker, and fear. With thought, with the ideal, is
     immortal hilarity, the rose of joy. Round it all the muses
     sing. But with names and persons and the partial interests
     of to-day and yesterday, is grief.

     "But be our experience in particulars what it may, no man
     ever forgot the visitations of that power to his heart and
     brain which created all things new; which was the dawn in
     him of music, poetry, and art; which made the face of nature
     radiant with purple light, the morning and the night varied
     enchantments; when a single tone of one voice could make the
     heart beat, and the most trivial circumstance associated
     with one form, is put in the amber of memory; _when we
     became all eye when one was present, and all memory when one
     was gone;_ when the youth becomes a watcher of windows, and
     studious of a glove, a veil, a ribbon, or the wheels of a
     carriage; when no place is too solitary, and none too silent
     for him who has richer company and sweeter conversation in
     his new thoughts, than any old friends, though best and
     purest, can give him; when all business seemed an
     impertinence, and all the men and women running to and fro
     in the streets, mere pictures.

     "For, though the celestial rapture falling out of heaven,
     seizes only upon those of tender age, and although a beauty,
     overpowering all analysis or comparison, and putting us
     quite beside ourselves, we can seldom see after thirty
     years, yet the remembrance of these visions outlasts all
     other remembrances, and is a wreath of flowers on the oldest

And on this matter of beauty how ingenious and full of feeling are the
following reflections!--

     "Wonderful is its charm. It seems sufficient to itself. The
     lover cannot paint his maiden to his fancy poor and
     solitary. Like a tree in flower, so much soft, budding,
     informing loveliness, is society for itself, _and she
     teaches his eye why Beauty was ever painted with Loves and
     Graces attending her steps_. Her existence makes the world
     rich. Though she extrudes all other persons from his
     attention as cheap and unworthy, yet she indemnifies him by
     carrying out her own being into somewhat impersonal; so that
     the maiden stands to him for a representation of all select
     things and virtues. _For that reason the lover sees never
     personal resemblances in his mistress to her kindred or to
     others._ His friends find in her a likeness to her mother,
     or her sisters, or to persons not of her blood. _The lover
     sees no resemblance except to summer evenings and diamond
     mornings, to rainbows and the song of birds._

     "Beauty is ever that divine thing the ancients esteemed it.
     It is, they said, the flowering of virtue. Who can analyse
     the nameless charm which glances from one and another face
     and form? We are touched with emotions of tenderness and
     complacency, but we cannot find whereat this dainty emotion,
     this wandering gleam, points. It is destroyed for the
     imagination by any attempt to refer it to organisation. Nor
     does it point to any relations of friendship or love that
     society knows or has, but, as it seems to me, to a quite
     other and unattainable sphere, to relations of transcendent
     delicacy and sweetness, a true faerie land; to what roses
     and violets hint and foreshow. We cannot get at beauty. Its
     nature is like opaline doves'-neck lustres, hovering and
     evanescent. Herein it resembles the most excellent things,
     which all have this rainbow character, defying all attempts
     at appropriation and use. What else did Jean Paul Richter
     signify, when he said to music, 'Away! away! thou speakest
     to me of things which in all my endless life I have found
     not, and shall not find.' The same fact may be observed in
     every work of the plastic arts. The statue is then
     beautiful, when it begins to be incomprehensible, when it is
     passing out of criticism, and can no longer be defined by
     compass and measuring wand, but demands an active
     imagination to go with it, and to say what it is in the act
     of doing. The god or hero of the sculptor is always
     represented in a transition _from_ that which is
     representable to the senses, _to_ that which is not. Then
     first it ceases to be a stone.

     "So must it be with personal beauty which love worships.
     Then first is it charming and itself when it dissatisfies us
     with any end; when it becomes a story without an end; when
     it suggests gleams and visions, and not earthly
     satisfactions; when it seems

                'Too bright and good
         For human nature's daily food;'

     when it makes the beholder feel his unworthiness; when he
     cannot feel his right to it, though he were Cæsar; he cannot
     feel more right to it, than to the firmament and the
     splendours of a sunset."

But this dream of love is but one scene in the play; and our author
concludes his essay by pointing out what is, or should be, the
denouement of the drama.

     "Meantime, as life wears on, it proves a game of permutation
     and combination of all possible positions of the parties to
     extort all the resources of each, and acquaint each with the
     whole strength and weakness of the other. For, it is the
     nature and end of this relation, that they should represent
     the human race to each other.

     "At last they discover that all which at first drew them
     together,--those once sacred features, that magical play of
     charms, was deciduous, had a prospective end, like the
     scaffolding by which the house was built; and the
     purification of the intellect and the heart, from year to
     year, is the real marriage foreseen and prepared from the
     first, and wholly above their consciousness. Looking at
     these aims with which two persons, a man and a woman, so
     variously and correlatively gifted, are shut up in one house
     to spend in the nuptial society forty or fifty years, I do
     not wonder at the emphasis with which the heart prophesies
     this crisis from early infancy,--at the profuse beauty with
     which the instincts deck the nuptial bower, and nature and
     intellect and art emulate each other in the gifts and the
     melody they bring to the epithalamium. Thus are we put in
     training for a love which knows not sex, nor person, nor
     partiality, but which seeketh virtue and wisdom every where,
     to the end of increasing virtue and wisdom."

If there is some of the _ideal_ in this account given of love and
matrimony, there is, nevertheless, a noble truth in it. And surely in
proportion as the sentiment of love is refitted and spiritualised, so
also ought the moral culture, to which it is subservient, to be pure
and elevated.

The longest essay in the collection, and that which approaches nearest
to the more formidable character of a treatise, is that entitled
"Nature." This exhibits, so to speak, the practical point of view of
an idealist. The idealist has denied the substantial, independent
existence of the material world, but he does not deny the existence of
a phenomenal world. The Divine Nature reveals itself in the twofold
form of finite mind and this phenomenal world. Thus, we believe, we
may express the general creed of these philosophers, though it is a
very delicate matter to act as interpreter to this class of thinkers:
they are rarely satisfied with any expressions of their own, and are
not likely to be contented with those of any other person. This
phenomenal world has for its final cause the development and education
of the finite mind. It follows, therefore, that all which a realist
could say of the utility of nature can be advanced also by the
idealist. He has his practical point of view, and can discourse, as Mr
Emerson does here, on the various "uses" of nature which, he says,
"admit of being thrown into the following classes:--commodity, beauty,
language, and discipline."

We have not the least intention of proceeding further with an analysis
of this essay; as we have already intimated, the value of Mr Emerson's
writings appears to us to consist in the beauty and truthfulness of
individual passages, not at all in his system, or any prolonged train
of reasoning he may adopt. It is impossible to read this production
without being delighted and arrested by a number of these individual
passages sparkling with thought or fancy; it would be equally
impossible to gather from it, as a whole, any thing satisfactory or

On the beauty of nature he is always eloquent; he is evidently one who
intensely feels it. "Every day, the sun; and, after sunset, night and
the stars. Ever the winds blow; ever the grass grows." The shows of
heaven and earth are with him a portion of daily life. "In the woods
is perpetual youth." "We talk," he says in another place, "with
accomplished persons who appear to be strangers in nature. The cloud,
the tree, the turf, the bird are not theirs, have nothing of them; the
world is only their lodging and table." No such stranger is our
poet-philosopher. "Crossing a bare common, in twilight, under a
clouded sky, without having in my thoughts any occurrence of special
good fortune, I have enjoyed a perfect exhilaration. Almost I fear to
think how glad I am."

The only quotation we shall make from the Essay on "Nature," shall be
one where he treats of this subject--

     "A nobler want of man is served by nature,--namely, the love
     of beauty. Such is the constitution of all things, or such
     the plastic power of the human eye, that the primary form,
     as the sky, the mountain, the tree, the animal, give us a
     delight _in and for themselves_; a pleasure arising from
     outline, colour, motion, and grouping. And as the eye is the
     best composer, so light is the first of painters. _There is
     no object so foul, that intense light will not make
     beautiful._ And the stimulus it affords to the sense, and a
     sort of infinitude which it hath, like space and time, will
     make all matter gay. But besides this general grace diffused
     over nature, almost all the individual forms are agreeable
     to the eye, as is proved by our endless imitations of some
     of them; as the acorn, the grape, the pine-cone, the
     wheat-ear, the egg, the wings and forms of most birds, the
     lion's claw, the serpent, the butterfly, sea-shells, flames,
     clouds, buds, leaves, and the forms of many trees, as the

     "The influence of the forms and actions in nature is so
     needful to man that, in its lowest functions, it seems to
     lie on the confines of Commodity and Beauty. To the body and
     mind which have been cramped by noxious work or company,
     nature is medicinal and restores their tone. The tradesman,
     the attorney, comes out of the din and craft of the street,
     and sees the sky and the woods, and is a man again. In their
     eternal calm he finds himself. The health of the eye seems
     to demand a horizon. We are never tired so long as we can
     see far enough.

     "But in other hours nature satisfies the soul purely by its
     loveliness, and without any mixture of corporeal benefit. I
     have seen the spectacle of morning from the hill-top over
     against my house, from daybreak to sunrise, with emotions
     which an angel might share. The long slender bars of cloud
     float like fishes in the sea of crimson light. From the
     earth, as a shore, I look out into that silent sea. I seem
     to partake its rapid transformations; the active enchantment
     reaches my dust, and I dilate and conspire with the morning
     wind. How does nature deify us with a few and cheap
     elements! _Give me health and a day, and I will make the
     pomp of emperors ridiculous._ The dawn is my Assyria, the
     sunset and moonrise my Paphos, and unimaginable realms of

Mr Emerson has published a volume of poems, and it has been generally
admitted that he has not succeeded in verse. But there are touches of
charming poetry in his prose. This discrepancy, which is not
unfrequently met with, must result, we presume, from an inaptitude to
employ the forms of verse, so that the style, instead of being
invigorated, and polished, and concentrated by the necessary attention
to line and metre, becomes denaturalised, constrained, crude, and
unequal. We have looked through this volume of poems, but we should
certainly not be adding to the reputation of the author by drawing
attention to it. If we wished to find instances of the poetry of
Emerson, we should still seek for them in his prose essays. Thus he

"In this pleasing contrite wood-life which God allows me, let me
record, day by day, my honest thought, without prospect or retrospect,
and I cannot doubt it will be found symmetrical, though I mean it not
and see it not. _The swallow over my window should interweave that
thread or straw he carries in his bill into my web also._"

"Our moods," he says, "do not believe in each other. To-day I am full
of thoughts; but yesterday I saw a dreary vacuity in this direction in
which now I see so much; and a month hence, I doubt not, I shall
wonder who he was that wrote so many continuous pages. Alas for this
infirm faith, this will not strenuous, this vast ebb of a vast flow!
_I am God in nature--I am a weed by the wall!_"

"A lady," he writes on another occasion, "with whom I was riding in
the forest, said to me that the woods always seemed to her _to wait_,
as if the genii who inhabit them suspended their deeds until the
wayfarer has passed onward. This is precisely the thought which poetry
has celebrated in the dance of the fairies which breaks off on the
approach of human feet." The lady had a true poetic feeling. And the
following thought is illustrated by a very happy image.

"In man, we still trace the rudiments or hints of all that we esteem
badges of servitude in the lower races, yet in him they enhance his
nobleness and grace; as Io in Æschylus, transformed to a cow, offends
the imagination, but how changed when as Isis in Egypt she meets Jove,
a beautiful woman, with nothing of the metamorphosis left but the
lunar horns, as the splendid ornament of her brows!"

In his philosophy, we have seen that Mr Emerson is an idealist,
something, too, of a pantheist. In theology, we have heard him
described as a Unitarian; but although the Unitarians of America
differ move widely from each other, and from the standard of
orthodoxy, than the same denomination of men in this country, we
presume there is no body of Unitarians with whom our philosopher would
fraternise, or who would receive him amongst their ranks. His
Christianity appears rather to be of that description which certain of
the Germans, one section of the Hegelians for instance, have found
reconcilable with their Pantheistic philosophy. It is well for him
that he writes in a tolerant age, that he did not make his appearance
a generation too soon; the pilgrim fathers would certainly have burnt
him at the stake; he would have died the death of Giordano Bruno. And
we believe--if the spirit of his writings be any test of the spirit of
the man--that he would have suffered as a martyr, rather than have
foregone the freedom and the truthfulness of his thought. His essays
are replete with passages such as this:--"God offers to every mind its
choice between truth and repose. Take which you please--you can never
have both. Between these, as a pendulum, man oscillates ever. He in
whom the love of repose predominates, will accept the first creed, the
first philosophy, the first political party he meets,--most likely his
father's. He gets rest, commodity, and reputation; but he shuts the
door of truth. He in whom the love of truth predominates, will keep
himself aloof from all moorings and afloat. He will abstain from
dogmatism, and recognise all the opposite negations, between which, as
walls, his being is swung. He submits to the inconvenience of suspense
and imperfect opinion, but he is a candidate for truth, as the other
is not, and he respects the highest law of his being."

We gather from what little has reached us of his biography, that he
has in fact sacrificed somewhat of the commodity of this life, to this
"higher law of his being." In a work which has just fallen into our
hands, entitled "_The Prose Writers of America, with a Survey of the
Intellectual History, Condition, and Prospects of the Country, by
Rufus Wilmot Griswold_," we find the following scanty account of
Emerson. "He is the son of a Unitarian clergyman of Boston, and in
1821, when about seventeen years of age, was graduated at Harvard
University. Having turned his attention to theology, he was ordained
minister of one of the congregations of his native city, but,
embracing soon after some peculiar views in regard to the forms of
worship, he abandoned his profession, and retiring to the quiet
village of Concord, after the manner of an Arabian prophet, gave
himself up to 'thinking,' preparatory to his appearance as a
revelator." Which meagre narrative, not very happily told, leads us to
infer that the recluse of Concord has lived up to the high spirit of
his own teaching.

It is remarkable that Mr Griswold, in the prefatory essay which he
entitles _The Intellectual History, Condition, and Prospects of the
Country_, although he has introduced a host of writers of all grades,
some of whom will be heard of in England for the first time, never
once mentions the name of Emerson! Yet, up to this moment, America has
not given to the world any thing which, in point of original genius,
is comparable to his writings. That she has a thousand minds better
built up, whose more equal culture, and whose more sober opinions, one
might prefer to have,--this is not the question,--but in that highest
department of reflective genius, where the power is given to impart
new insights into truth, or make old truths look new, he stands
hitherto unrivalled in his country; he has no equal and no second.

Very popular he perhaps never may become; but we figure to ourselves
that, a century hence, he will be recognised as one of those old
favourite writers whom the more thoughtful spirits read, not so much
as teachers, but as noble-minded companions and friends, whose
aberrations have been long ago conceded and forgiven. Men will read
him then, not for his philosophy,--they will not care two straws for
his idealism or his pantheism: they will know that they are there, and
there they will leave them,--but they will read him for those genuine
confessions of one spirit to another, that are often breathed in his
writings; for those lofty sentiments to which all hearts respond; for
those truths which make their way through all systems, and in all


A pretty questiocn this, my dear Eusebius,--and that the question comes
from you, who at no time of your life were a "Beau Nash," is rather
extraordinary. It is after the fashion of most of your movements,
however, and so far should not be thought extraordinary in you. For as
you do not walk in the track that other men's shoes have made, nor
dress your thoughts in other men's draperies; but both walk and think
as few other men do, I ought not to wonder that you turn suddenly
round upon me, eye me from head to foot, and ask me this curious
question, How I came to be a sloven. Now, I can easily imagine your
own slovenly attitude and attire when you wrote me this precious
letter, and how fantastically conceited you fancied yourself standing
before me, ωστε Ζωγραφης--like a painter, as says Hecuba,
when she bad her rags and misery be looked at,--and thought to put me
out of countenance with your own perfections. Perfections, indeed!
Why, your whole wardrobe would not be worth exporting in charity to
the land of Ne'erdo-weels--and I doubt not that the loss of a single
suit, bad as it may be, would leave you in some small respects as bare
as when you came into the world. You have been reading, you tell me,
the "Æsthetics of Dress," as you term them, those very amusing papers
in Maga--from which you mean to cull materials for the history of the
art, and to write a treatise on "The Philosophy of Tailors," wherein
you intend to set forth upon what principles of the "_Fitness_ of
things" it is that nine tailors make a man. It is a whimsical notion
of yours that the game of nine-pins was set up in honour of these nine
worthies--"Knights of the thimble"--signifying how weakly they stand
upon their _pins_, and how they go by the board at the very breath of
a ball. You affect to think that the Templars were but the imitators
of a more honourable cross-legged company--and that their antiquity is
shown prior to the invention of Heraldry, for that the very term, the
_coat_ of arms, must have come from them. You say they can show
_parchments_ with the oldest companies and families, and cut to
shivereens the longest pedigrees, and yet never go beyond their own

What would a parliament be without them? They not only make their man,
but _seat_ him. Indeed, man is no man, till he is made one by these
Novemviri, and hath been invested by them, as of old, with the _toga
virilis_; and now-a-days (we vulgarise every thing even in the
nomenclature) the first advance to manhood is to be "breeched:"--that
first step when, with the dignity of newly assumed and duly authorised
manhood, the dressed youth puts his best foot foremost, on the first
step of the ladder of life, and is not ashamed, while ascending, to
turn his back, and show what stuff he is made of.

It is said, that when a man marries he enters into a bond with society
for his future good behaviour--but of what consequence is this, in
comparison with that previous bottomry bond, to use a mercantile word
suitable to these our mercantile days, that every man has entered into
and given the surety of nine men besides, without which, whatever
bottom he may show in the fight, the greatest hero would be but a
_sans culotte_. Heroes! why, are not tailors the very models after
which men should dress themselves? They have made, in all senses, the
best regiments. And what a large slice of this globe is governed and
commanded by the Board in Threadneedle Street.

Thread and thimble do wonders to make a man--rig him out with the best
materials--no devil's dust, disdaining dishonest "thimble-riggery."

The son of Japetus admired not more his man-invention, than does the
tailor. The fleshly life which he condescends to stuff into his
manufacture, is with him but a secondary consideration; and it must be
confessed he is often not very choice in these his human materials.
Any thing that way will do to adorn the real "man of shreds and
patches." Pegs and lay figures would answer the purpose quite as well
as these, pattern-humanities, if they would but walk. Bad, however, as
they are, as specimens _per se_, they are made so much of by the
adornments, that their painted effigies and portraits, as they are
exhibited in tailors' laboratories, saloons, and establishments,
excite the envy and wonder of a gaping population. They are set forth,
to show what the worst man may be made--to portray vividly the
excellence of the art, and to "give the world assurance of a man,"
even built and fabricated out of next to nothing but his dress. It is
no longer "_Ex pede Herculem_." The boot-maker has been defeated--Hoby
dethroned--you may have a Hercules or an Apollo only according to
cloth measure. Then will the proud artificer hold the mirror up to
Nature to show her how vastly she is improved, even though it be by
the slandered hands of "Nature's journeymen." Then, so various in its
powers is the art, that the real professors will at the shortest
notice turn the shopman into the esquire, and, if need be, the thief
into an archdeacon. They will fit you with any character, fit or
unfit:--will send you most genteelly to the court or to the gallows.
Vain is the conceit of the scoffing world of fashion that affect to
scorn the craft that makes them what they are;--nay, a great deal
better, and to look what they are not. Let them try to set up for
themselves, what sorry figures they would be--perfectly ridiculous, to
be kicked out of Fop's Alley, and whipped by the beadle!! worse clad
than Prince Vortigern in that despicable and invisible slip of a

    "Which from a naked Pict his grandsire

But that can never be to any extent. What man in his senses would
enter upon this stage of the world, rushing in like a wild man of the
woods, a general wonder, and without the introductory aid of his
proper master of the ceremonies; when, too, at a trifling cost, he can
take his ticket of admission, and go boldly certificated by the
sign-manual of a Doudney or a Moses? No man dares to walk entirely out
of rules sartorial, nor utterly to despise the images which it
pleaseth the tailors to set up. Not that their laws are like those of
the Medes and Persians, which alter not--their very principle is
change--and every change is _suitable_. The seasons change not fast
enough for them. Is a man to be married?--even then he is in the
tailor's hands--he must have a new suit--nay, he must wait for it, he
dare not appear without it. Is he to be hanged?--he must have a new
suit; nay, before condemnation he is tried in his best, as if he were
to be judged as much by appearance as evidence. The public, the real
thinking public, take more notice of his appearance than of his
crimes. Every journal is full of accurate detail, not of his doings,
but of his looks and of his dress. The Pictorials present the very cut
of his coat, and pattern on his waistcoat; and what the graver cannot,
they supply in words, so that you may see not only the shape but the
colour. Blue is the favourite colour at the altar of Hymen,--a suit of
black on the platform of the hangman--but that is a compliment to the
clergy--or a malice, that folk may think most who go out of the world
that way are of the cloth--and that is what they call giving the
culprit "the benefit of clergy."

Really man should be defined "a dressing animal."--Were all the powers
of the earth to meet together to consult upon their everlasting
interests, the previous question would be, in what are they to appear;
and the first announcement of the great congress of the gentlemen of
the press would be what they wore,--what they said, would be slurred
over as of less importance. Thus, for example, the Roman historian is
particular when he describes the great ambassador before the senate of
the Carthagenains, making a fold of his robe, as if it alone were
worthy to contain the fate and fortunes of empires, asking them which
they would have, Peace or War--and so letting it fall loose out of his
hand,--just as a modern senator on the opposition side might put his
hands into his breeches pockets, make a show of searching, and taking
them out with nothing in them, might, with all the dignity of
senatorial energy, declare that he could not surmise where the
minister would get his supplies.

It is extraordinary man is ashamed of nothing so much as of his own
natural figure. It is a mean and low thing to appear to have flesh and
blood, excepting in the face and hands,--this remark must, however,
apply only to the male sex. The female is allowed a greater latitude.
Even a Count D'Orsay would be hooted through the streets, should he
dare to appear, on foot or on horseback, without a coat, and with his
shirtsleeves tucked up,--such is the obeisance we make to the
tailoring craft. And if it be a folly, it is one of an old growth, and
is rife among our antipodes as ourselves. Savage and cultivated, civil
and uncivil, all have the propensity. The Chinese exquisites felt the
skirts of the coats of the members of our embassy, and burst out into
immoderate laughter. They quizzed the cut and colour, proud of their
own envelopes; and, to their cost, judged us by our clothes. They have
since felt our arms. Your tailor is an important personage all the
world over, but alas! he is too restricted in his commerce. He is
confined to spots and spaces, that is, individually speaking,--universal
is the race. It is quite curious to consider what free trade may do
for him. The export and the import may quite change the appearances of
all, men, women, and children. When navigation laws shall be done away
with, and "free bottoms shall carry free goods," then, indeed, may it
come to pass that "motley is your only wear." The picturesque will
triumph; wondrous will be the variety; in apparel, China and
Kamschatka shall meet and shuffle together in every public way. Then
"all the world will be a stage," and all the men and women at least
look like players. The drab world will be extinct--it is nearly so
now. Quakers have been long since ashamed of their Sartorian
antipathies, and from growing to be coxcombs in their own particular
line, have pretty generally thrown off the dull garb, and plunged with
eagerness into the emporium of fashion, and come out so as that their
mothers would not know them. The snake throws off his old skin, and
when he comes out shining in his new, looks with a sly leer from under
the hedge, and seemeth to say, "Thanks, friend, thee hast complimented
me by following my example, I am verily proud of thy similitude." Too
many of us have a spice in our veins of the snake's venom,--shift
skins, and turn coats,--but no more of that, Eusebius, it leads to
fearful questioning, and we both eschew politics; and do not let us
call up the evil one, whoever may be among the tailors. Yet let me
remind you of a whimsical accident that happened the other day to a
certain M.P., who, having bought a ready-made paletot, walked boldly
into the streets, forgetting that he was thus ticketed on the back,
"This neat article to be sold cheap." I dare to say, it was warranted
to keep its gloss, and turn as good as new--and that the wearer
_peeled_ well in the house.

You would, I see, implicate me in fopperies. If it is not my humour to
patronise by personal wear, I at least panegyrise all fraternities of
tailors. You may make yourself look ridiculous if you please, and the
change may not ill become your vagary-loving mind; but I do not mean
to doff my old habit, not having faith in novelties, that I should
trust the present easy motion of my limbs to unused ties and
compressions. Dress, with such old ones as we are, Eusebius, should
have the blessings Sancho bestows upon sleep, and "should wrap us warm
like a blanket;" and what reason is there that we should think the
worse of ourselves for showing the dates of our thoughts and ways, and
bearing upon our coats the figures of a somewhat backward age. We may
yet brighten up our countenances, and say out of the book of that
dramatist who knew life so well, and may thus depict ours--even for
some few years to come, my dear good Eusebius,--

    "Though time hath worn us into slovenry,
    But, by the mass, our hearts are in the trim."

They that have taken off and put on their clothes as often as you and
I have done, may well look upon them as old friends, with their
familiar looks, and see in their wear and tear a certain kinship with
ourselves, and all our own elbow rubs that the world hath given us,
and the thread-bare arguments that we have put upon ourselves, from
which we imagined we could raise fine flattering maxims, and
substantial truths, which have more deceived us in the wear than in
the affection with which they retain us and are still retained.

    "When this old cloak was new,"

says the old song,--and how much does it imply--what a world of memory
is involved in its every fold. At the shaking of the skirts out fly
visions of the past,--familiar faces, endearing converse round the
pleasant hearth,--cares that we have wrapped round with them, buried
in them, and now come up but as effigies of thoughts that no longer
trouble, dreams of life's anxieties, from which the mind takes
wholesome food, indulging in the repose of the old envelopment. Would
you exchange this, Eusebius, for any new untried thing, forcing its
intimacy upon you without claim to your friendship, jerking you and
twitting you with impertinent and ill-fitting pressure, with no other
association but of the congregational squattings of the nine
journeymen who made its existence, redolent of misshapen and
snuff-stained thumbs?

I would no more willingly part with the habit that gives me personal
ease, and is familiar with all my movements, than I would with that
metaphorical habit of mind, of thoughts and feeling, that makes the
continuing identity of my being. I say identity, for a man of any
character must identify himself with his clothes: by wear they acquire
somewhat more than a likeness. No man can ride the same horse daily
for five years, but the two animals will in some strange way give out
to each other something of their natures--there is sure to be a
resemblance. So is it with our clothes. There is an old caricature of
Bunbury's,--"The Country Club"--in which this truth is shown. You know
you could put every man's hat upon his head, though they are all hung
on pegs. And this is surely a most characteristic kind of portraiture.
I should as much think of setting up the painted likeness of a
deceased friend or dearer relative as a sign to a pot-house for the
Saracen's head, as I would give his suit of clothes, at least in the
shape in which he left them, to a mumper that should go begging in
them. Would it not be an offence, that the noble air of freedom and of
sentient responsibility they have acquired, should be doomed to
contract in damp and unwholesome decay, the look of degradation and
drooping melancholy of a vicious meanness, retaining, at the same
time, that something of the departed, which, by its presence, seems to
connect him with an abominable deterioration? Let the clothes be
buried with the man, lest your friend's very effigies be seen in low
haunts and vile places. For you can steep them in no dye of a Lethe
that will wash away the remembrances, the likenesses they have
acquired. Would you have the apron of sanctity transferred, by
ill-advised gift, from a defunct archbishop to the boddice of an
indecent figurante? Detestable notions these--that nothing should be
lost, and all turned to use! What use of any thing is better than that
one which keeps feelings, affections, respect, entire! Were I a modern
iconoclast, I would rather burn the petticoats of "our Lady of
Loretto," than transfer them to a still lower puppet-show. I had
rather say for ever with the Mayor of Garratt, "Stand back, you
gentleman without a shirt," than present him with one of my
grandfather's wearing. When a boy, I always used to think it a painful
sight to see cast clothes hung out on poles or lines, and extending
half across a street, blown to and fro with the winds, like ghosts
affecting the show and motion of vitality, undergoing their
purification in an upper aerial purgatory, preparatory to their
metempsychosis, uncertain if they should adopt unto themselves a
bodily being of a higher or a lower order. To hang the coat seemed
very like hanging the man.

Pythagoras was the first man, says history, that wore breeches. When
he hung up the shield of Euphorbus in the temple of Juno, to show that
he had been Euphorbus, did he suspend his breeches also? He probably
did, disliking any meaner transmigration for them; for we are told his
fashion was not followed until some generations had passed. The modern
Pythagorean would send them to the pawnbrokers.

The fine idea of Lucian, that our shadows will be our accusers, might
very properly be transferred to coats and inexpressibles; for, besides
that they might witness of our whereabouts and of our doings, they
might witness of our ingratitude in casting them off,--wearing our old
friends thread-bare, and then throwing them off when they have most
singularly accommodated themselves to all our strange ways,--of
sending them, as the unfeeling do the high-mettled racer to the cart,
to other service to which they are but ill-fitted. The wearer of
another man's coat is guilty of a kind of larceny; he does more than
steal from the person, he in one sense steals the person itself! At
least, he should be held responsible for all that has been done in the
coat, and that on the principle of taxation, as the law comes not on
the tenant gone off, but upon the land. Better that a man should make
a museum of his apparel, than part with it out of the family of which
it so properly forms a part.

A gallery of suspended braces might represent one's ancestors, equally
with the be-wigged portraits that seem to lay their hands upon their
hearts, and say from their frames, "Posterity, I begot you." A
breeches-gallery might with much less expense serve the same purpose;
for if these articles have not fittingly belonged to posterity, it is
notorious that they have most fittingly belonged to something very
like it. Do you not think, Eusebius, that these suspension breeches,
the idea of which is worthy the Shandean philosophy, would be very
expressive of family character, and nicely distinguish unseemly
interpolation; and that a genealogical wardrobe-gallery would become
an object of pride, and most proper appendage to the family seat? It
could no more be doubted to what race and blood apparel would justly
belong, than to what shoulders certain heads must belong--which
illustration reminds me of that saying of Bishop Bonner's to Henry
VIII. who threatened to cut off the head of every Frenchman in his
power, should Francis I. take the life of the bishop? "True, sire,"
said he with a smile, "but I question, if any of their heads would fit
my shoulders as well as that I have on." So would the family-fit be no
bad test of the true character and vitality in the genealogical tree.

I suppose that, by your question--How I came to be a sloven--you would
have me throw off my old habits, and put on new--and perhaps, in your
satirical innuendo, attack more than apparel, which we abuse by
metaphor, when we term ill manners "bad habits!" Did I tell you how
ingeniously our gay and jocund friend and poetical satirist defended
himself in encounter of wit with a bantering opponent? "How do we
know," said he, "but that our vices may be our persecuted virtues."
"Slovenry," Eusebius, is a persecuted virtue. It is a tone and virtue
that unbends, loosens the stiffness of the social body, liberates it
from the strict tie of an awkward formality, and is to the whole of
society what variety is in the dress in an individual--a happy relief,
without which there would be too much monotony. The philosopher who
made his bow to the jewelled and richly dressed man, and thanked him
for the sight, and the trouble he took in putting on and bearing such
a costly suit, should have been thanked, in his turn, for acting the
foil, the contrast, which made the finery so conspicuous. If we were
all dressed up kings and queens--were all the world to wear a lord
mayor's livery, there would be no show to see. It is the intermixture,
the great variety, that makes the exhibition, which is only then
complete when it has a little dash of slovenry. What a sorry picture
it would be that should have all bright colours! the finest carnation
is best set off with a little adjacent umber. You would no more wish
to see people in the streets all dressed alike, than you would wish to
see the streets all alike, and every house like another. Nature
dresses not after this one millinery. In the richest corn field, it is
not every blade, and ear, and stalk, that is equally broad, full, and
straight. Some have a kind of slovenly lying off from others, a grace,
the very purposed gift of Nature, to entice the eye to a more curious
and nice selection, whereby to discover the infinite degrees of
beauty, that all united make the whole perfection. The precision of
the tall and upright stalk is the more strongly marked in its
strength, by the decoration of its neighbour--and how beautifully do a
few clustered together plume off their individual irregularity into a
graceful shape! Has not the tangled hedge its own beauty even when it
"putteth forth disordered twigs?" You would not bear all pruned to one
smooth fashion. The _finery_ of Nature's robes makes but a small part
of her wardrobe; she hath her ordinary wear, and even when she putteth
on her mantle of the richest green, she trims it sparingly--and that
for the most part with a loose lacery of unobtrusive jasmine and
vine-weed. And the nature that bids all the garniture of earth thus
grow variously in richness, in moderation, and in a sweet and humble
disorder, putteth it into man's mind; for he is doomed to dress
himself, so as to follow her law;--and thus it is, that in any given
number of persons you shall see some few endowed with this natural
gift and grace of slovenry. And that careless, modest, unassuming part
in the arabesque ornament of life, you and I, Eusebius, are intended
to perform. One character for the harlequin, another for the clown,
and we must have the lean and slippered pantaloon--and there must be
some one besides, my good friend, to play the fool too, or the stage
will not be well filled, nor the comedy of life well performed, nor
the spectators well pleased.

Take, Eusebius, which part you please,--you will ultimately fall into
your natural character, and however you may shift a little with age,
you will ever have a hankering after "one more last appearance" in
motley. I doubt if the daily moving scene would be perfect without the
beggar's rags. Their loose uncared for freedom, the independence of an
escape beyond the limits of poverty, which, says the satirist, makes
men ridiculous, floating in the wind or drooping in the rain, alike
defying and disregarding the better or the worse of fortune, have
their moral as well as pictorial use and dignity too in the panorama.
The beggar's negligence is the running commentary on the rich man's
anxieties. All is right in its place; you have only to look and admire
the show. The grandest cathedrals, with their ornamented towers or
spires seeking heaven as their own, are not always the worse for a
contiguous poverty of humble dwellings, which they do but seem to take
under their sacred protection; and thus the low elevates still more
the great. You and I may be well content, by the lowness of our
apparel, to magnify the magnificent; only, I confess that when I find
myself standing as a foil to one of our rough-haired, be-whiskered and
bearded fops, I do sometimes feel inclined to throw a nut in his way
to see if he be a monkey or a man. One would not wish to be showman to
the brute. The contempt of the fop is of little moment; and here I
cannot but think Anacharsis was wrong, when he proposed to himself to
leave Greece on account of the derision cast upon him for his dress.

I admire your offering the example of Aristippus, as an inducement to
quit the character of the sloven. You say he accepted a rich robe; but
you must remember that the wiser Plato refused it. Besides, it was in
the philosophy of Aristippus to take either part, and to appear fop or
sloven as his humour pleased him, or convenience led him. "Omnis
Aristippum decuit color," says Horace; and let me suggest that _color_
must have meant, not _color vitæ_, (or if it so be, it is a metaphor
from the thing,) but the colour of his cloth--black, perhaps, turned
brown--seedy. He was certainly one to "cut his coat according to his
cloth." Diogenes in his rags and his tub was a coxcomb--one would not
be like him; he tricked up his poverty, to be observed, and looked at,
and admired, quite as much as any other coxcomb would trick out his
fashion for the eye. When he desired Alexander to step aside, not to
interpose his person between him and the sun, it was but a
self-magnifying vanity, that his filthy rags might be the more
conspicuous and set off in the splendour of a new light, as conceited
religionist sects have done, calling aloud for the finger of scorn to
point at the filthy rags of their own flesh and blood; vilifying their
bodily man, that their unfleshed and spiritual selves might be seen by
that glass through which they bid you look, to rise above and shine in
the new light of their own glorification--an idea which they have
borrowed from those picture-cherubs, who, only heads and wings, seem
altogether to have dropped their bodies and enveloped themselves in a
smoky and cloudy vapour peculiarly their own. And truly, Eusebius, I
am apt to agree with you, when we see these congregated saints of the
New Calendar, and to join in their personal vilification, and to think
that merely heads and wings might offer a more salutary odour of
sanctity than that which you say you have ever found too pungent in
the "Rag Fair" of their New-Paradise Row.

And your Aristippus was not quite to my mind; for though there was a
show of wisdom in his carelessness, it was the very show that was
displeasing, and the easy putting on of other men's tastes and
opinions, as if he himself was as changeable as they. Does not the
confirmed sloven appear to be actuated by a nobler kind of philosophy,
who, with a soul bent, as man's should be, on durability, resisting to
the utmost a common, degrading, and visible mutability, and seeing how
changeable a thing fashion of any kind is, and how unworthy a thing it
is to become to-morrow utterly unlike what he is to-day, and to be
to-day what he was not yesterday, despises these shiftings and
changes,--these fittings on and takings off,--these ever-varying
metamorphoses that so unman him, and rests with a firm disregard of
appearance, which, if unsteady, must be false to the character that is
or should be within him; and if it be not false, is but the greater
shame, and fixes the instability upon his mind? Is it not a kind of
blot upon the fair profession of respect and reverence, to stoop and
put on the livery of a fashion which leads you up to the portraits of
your ancestors, and bids you turn to ridicule their attire, and
perhaps makes you laugh at the father who begat you?--or subject
yourself to a like disgrace, by imagining them to be looking down from
the walls in contempt upon yourself, and that the fading colours blush
for you? I have heard a neighbour tell of a friend of his, who had
done great things, in a worldly sense, for his family, and who,
wishing to stand well in the eyes of his posterity, with an
affectionate reminiscence had his portrait taken in his wedding-suit.
But after this, going to a play, and seeing the counterpart upon the
stage, he bethought him that such might be the case with his
suit,--that it might be sold, and go to the theatrical wardrobe: so,
as he said, to save his posterity the disgrace of casting contempt or
ridicule upon one who had done so much for them, he had the dress
painted out, and left it in his will, that the real wedding-suit
should be buried with him. Indeed, it is recorded of a gentleman about
a century ago, who, having a very goodly show of ancestors, was so
shocked at the unfashionable appearances of his Vandykes, that he had
the fashionable bob-wigs of the day put upon them all.

And this, Eusebius, reminds me to speak of painters, who in nothing
are more at a loss than in what manner to dress their sitters. They
have almost all come to the conviction at last, that a kind of
slovenly undress is the best, and are sure to adopt it, unless by
particular desire, and to commemorate official consequence, the robes
and chain of a lord mayor are required, at an extra charge, or the
solemn look of one who is nobody must be removed from asinine
insignificance by a great quantity of fur, or a red curtain suspended
from a marble column in the open air. Sculptors take a bolder step,
and, with a taste that does credit to their sagacity, give the bust,
without hesitation, a slovenly dignity,--simply throw an old huckaback
towel round the chest and over the shoulder, and trust to the features
of the man and the material of the marble to add weight and
consequence. The historical painter would be worse off still, had he
not by common consent a kind of sovereignty over dress. His greatest
desire is, upon all occasions, entirely to discard it, as much as may
be to paint the nude, as if there were no truth but naked truth. The
trim suit is his aversion; the wardrobe for his lay figures offers but
a curious assemblage of rags.

It would be difficult to learn how to grapple with this Proteus of
dress--mutable fashion. I am told that our dresses, male and female,
were extremely ridiculous in the eyes of the French, when we visited
the continent after the Peace. The Persian visitors were astonished
that we wore our hair in the wrong place--on the head instead of the
chin. There is almost a slovenly simplicity which alone properly
imitates the natural ease and grace of unconfined nature. The farther
we depart from it, we go but back again to the rude, uncultured
barbarian. Sir Joshua somewhere says, that if a tattooed Indian and a
powdered and buttoned man of fashion should meet in the street, he
that laughed first would be the real savage.

I am not, Eusebius, contending against the advice of Polonius,

    "Costly your habit as your purse can buy."

You should, however, remember to whom that advice was given,--to the
courtier Laertes, that "man about town" in Denmark.

Your quotation will not, be assured, fit me, and, I suspect, not
yourself either, with a new suit. We must play our parts, and dress
accordingly. For, as the old courtier adds--

    "The apparel oft proclaims the man."

I would have your courtier, who is but a sort of palace furniture,
dress to suit, and make perfect the millinery and upholstery about
him. You say that the being a good dresser made the fortune of Sir
Walter Raleigh, when he threw his costly paletot before the feet of
Queen Elizabeth. True; but that trick is not to be played twice. You
are more likely to enter the palace like the boy Jones, than through
any such Eusebian gallantry. And what should you or I do there? You
would make but a sorry Aristippus, wearing your court suit, indeed,
"with a difference;" for there is not a tailor that would not
mismeasure you in your unsteady postures; and you would make them
worse by your uncontrolled laugh at your new position.

I am no greater sloven than yourself. You have, in fact, therein the
advantage of me by a greater laxity. You could not make a Mantalini.
But--not to think of that extravagance--let me remind you of a kind of
"well-dressed man" whom I have often heard you say you should like to
trip up and lodge in a gutter. It is one who is always well-dressed,
always the same, whatever the temperature--one whom rain never wets,
suns never make to fade, whom dirt will not splash. In summer he never
looks hot. Dust will not attach to his boots or to his coat. He walks
about, and always alone. He is quite out of the pale and contact of
friendship, as if the invisible creatures so admirably described in
the "Rape of the Lock" were with invisible brushes ever busying
themselves about his male attire. You never see him accost or be
accosted by man or woman. His shadow, if he has one, must smooth the
dust upon which it falls. There is no wear and tear in him, nor in any
thing about him. His voice, if utterance he hath, must be of a poor
monotony, of a preservative tone, and without growth. Whence he comes
or whither he goes, is an undivulged secret. Does he undress? He is so
unchangeable, so ever the same neat, well-dressed, unsoiled, and
unsoilable man. He never was in a chrysalis state. He must have been
beat out of some tailor's brains with a goose, and come into the world
ready dressed, and unborn of woman. However fashion changes, it is all
the same, he is never out of it. Like dissolving views, he slides
unnoticeably from costume to costume, without one article about him
being ever newer or older, and you never can tell where the difference
is. Changes must take place, yet in some charmed invisible manner. He
is like a man made by the magical words of Pancrates the Memphian out
of a broomstick, and set walking about, and as if the Encrates tailor
had forgotten the charm to reduce him again; and so he had walked
about ever since.

While I thus laugh in the glory of slovenliness, I must refrain from
entering upon a wider field,--woman's influences in the full dressed
world.--Let them enjoy their prerogative undisturbed. As we shall not
undergo a feminine metamorphosis, we are not likely to suffer, from
their amiable dress vagaries, unless they should return to some of
their older fashions, in which case, we must alter our very houses to
please them; as was done for Isabel of Bavaria, the luxurious consort
of Charles VI. of France, who, when he kept court at Vincennes, was
compelled to call in the architect, and have all the doors of the
palace made higher, to admit the head-dresses of the Queen and her
ladies. Yet we need not laugh, for, Eusebius, if the trunk hose should
come into vogue again, our doorways must be widened. That would not be
so bad as a return on our side of the question to a tight fit, on
which condition every limb was in misery, that, to think of, will
reconcile you to our loose indifference. What a monstrous contrast of
extremes has been exhibited, from the tight pantaloon, such as we see
it in some old pictures, to the great breeches worn in the beginning
of the reign of Elizabeth! In the "Pedigree of the English gallant,"
an account is given of a man, whom the Judges accused of wearing
breeches contrary to law, (a law was made against them.) His defence
of himself is curious. "He drawed out of his sloops the contents,"
viz., a pair of sheets, two table-cloths, ten napkins, four shirts, a
brush, a glass, and a comb, with night-caps, and other things, saying,
"Your worships may understand, that because I have no safer a
store-house, these pockets do serve me for a room to lay up my goods
in, and though it be a straight prison, yet it is big enough for them,
for I have many things of value yet within it." He was discharged, as
he should have been, with his merchandise, and allowed to trade freely
on his own bottom. Hudibras carried some such a cupboard. Small must
have been the population, when these inexpressibles, great
inexpressibles, gallanted with the ladies' large hoop farthingales. A
few pairs must have occupied no small space. A courtship in those days
must have resembled a siege, where the principal defence lay in the
outworks, and the difficulty of approach was not a little enhanced by
the encumbrances of the advancing party.

Who was the first coxcomb? Was dress, in its origin, a modest or
immodest appendage to the person; or rather when did it first cease to
be merely a protection or concealment? Is love of ornament a natural
virtue, or a superinduced vice? These are curious speculations. There
is an old play I have somewhere read of, which represents our first
parents in Paradise perfectly nude, and so were they exhibited, and in
public, without shame. The subsequent acts introduced them dressed;
and the last act, I believe, in the fashion of the day in which the
play was acted. As all plays were then serious, was this
representation a satire on coxcombry, and intended to exhibit the
progress of personal degradation?

What does a man propose to himself when he goes to his tailor's? Is it
to be clothed or adorned? Is it to hide a defect, that he may not
appear worse than he is, or that he may appear better than he is? To
attract observation or to escape it. Is the pride in dress, or in
undress? Ingenious in self-deceit was the reply of the man reproved
for the badness of his dress, "Oh every body knows me here;" and his
reply when seen in the same suit far from his home, "Oh nobody knows
me here." This was a true amateur; he loved slovenliness for its own
sake. Few believe themselves so ill-made, as that the "dogs will bark
at them." Even Richard III., who owned to his deformity, gets a little
in love with himself, and thinks of adorning his person. "I do mistake
my person all this while." He determines to act the exquisite.

    "I'll be at charges for a looking-glass;
    And entertain a score or two of tailors,
    To study fashions to adorn my body.
    Since I have crept in favour with myself,
    I will maintain it with some little cost."

Or does the satirical and successful Richard merely laugh at your
fop-wooers, and, proud of his own superiority, contemn them, by
imagining their dress on his own person? One would really think, from
the figures one sees, that there are people who dress purposely to
spite the tailors, as there are those who are paid to be walking
placards of recommendation.

The butcher who ran after the fat man, and stopped him crying, "Be so
good, sir, as to say you buy your meat of me," was not more aware of
the benefit of such a personal recommendation, than is our fashionable
tailor. A well-made man, if he is in tolerable fashion, may be
supplied with clothes, as I am credibly informed, for nothing but the
merely notifying the makers. They are the decoy-ducks, excepting that,
though they have fine feathers, they have no bills.

I am told that a fashionable tailor would be quite shy of an ill-made
and vulgar looking customer; and generally charges his dislike in his
bill, that he may lose him. I knew a portrait painter, that professed
to decline, painting ugly people, upon that principle, and
consequently his success was quite astonishing; every one he did paint
was in better humour with himself, and was proud of his certificate of
beauty when he named the artist. Were you and I, Eusebius, to presume
to enter the saloon of a fashionable cutter, and order suits, they
would be purposely so ill-made, that no one should suspect from whence
they came. And we should ever wear them with a hitch of discomfort in
some part or other. So that, were we to try our best at foppery, we
could not now succeed. I have tried it upon various occasions, and
convinced myself that I was not born to it, and certainly neither of
us has acquired a second nature that any tailor would recognise. A
tailor's man, like the poet, must be born with nature's fit, or
nothing else will fit him,--"nascitur non fit." Some wear their limbs
so loosely, that they move them as do those German toys, whose legs
you see children jerk with a string. The best Sartorial artist can
make nothing of them; they are a mockery even upon the manufacture of
"journeymen," they "imitate nature so abominably."

How I came to be a sloven! Well, if I am a sloven, which I hardly know
how to admit, and if I am a little in love with a kind of genteel
slovenry, how came I by it? I did not take to it naturally, as you
did, Eusebius; I caught it. And once caught, however we may upon
occasions throw it off, it returns like an influenza, and becomes a
continual habit. Few, indeed, are there who are not born with a
contrary propensity, inheriting it from their mothers, whose
preparations for the coming offspring were of the finest, the _ventum
textilem_, as Apuleius calls it,--woven wind. Early, indeed, in his
day of existence, is the little infant taught to show off, both his
nude and his finery, and to hear the beauty of both commended. Thus is
vanity engendered in the bud. You were a born genius, and exempt from
the cradle from this visible mark of frailty. It was not so with me; I
was an incipient fop before I could walk. And now I remember,
Eusebius, that I sent you a letter some years ago, that should have
answered, though perhaps imperfectly, your question. It was a "passage
of autobiography," giving you an account of my first entrance at a
public school, and how I was "breeched." How one Mr. Flight, after
much tugging and pulling, by himself and foreman, did contrive to fit
me into a pair of mouse-colour leather inexpressibles,--a good name
for them, too, for I was hardly _pressible_ in or out of them. Do you
not remember my narration of the second time of putting them on, on my
first morning at Winchester College, while the chapel bell was going,
and I not yet fitted in; and how at last I did contrive to get some
portion of me into them, and to fasten one button, and how I ran (but
that word won't express the movement I made) breathless into the
chapel, and on kneeling down, the button gave way to my shame,
discomfort, and disgrace, exposure, ridicule. I might parody what the
cock said to the fox,

    "The master my defeat, and all the school-boys, see."

This was my first disgust at my own personal appearance. I hated my
leathers; but they _stuck_ to me, nevertheless,--my wardrobe contained
nothing but leathers. I was like the dog that had killed his first
lamb, forced to wear the skin, that became more odious every day. Here
was a first distaste to dress. The fit was uncomfortable enough; but,
besides, I was a subject of ridicule.

Time, with its wear and tear, took off the pride of my nether garment,
and affected at length a kind of reconciliation between us. We fitted
each other better, and both entered into a compact of mutual slovenry.
Things won't last for ever, although, in those days, the trade did
affect to manufacture a material they called "everlasting." As the
quotation from an old song will show:

    "And this my old coat, which is threadbare to-day,
    May become _everlasting_ to-morrow."

With new breeches come new manners, new ideas. Foppery takes growth
again, though it is somewhat tender; struggles for life, but somehow
or other acquires strength in the struggle. You contend against it,
you wrestle with it, and, by a kind of enchantment, it becomes the
tailor Antæus, and rises from every defeat a bigger man than ever.
Behold me, let me stand for my picture, _Ætatis 18, Scholæ
Wintoniensis alumnus_. The date is at present unmentionable,--it will
be found one of these days at the back of the canvass; behold me at
the college gates, turning my back, for about my last holidays, upon
those statuesque antique worthies, Sophocles, Euripides, Æschylus. We
have shaken hands finally with the sublime Longinus, preferring for
the time a "sublime and beautiful" of our own, a butterfly of the
first down. On second thoughts, I am not quite fit to stand there yet;
I must describe my preliminary state. My boots, I rather think, my
first boots, had come home the night before; boots then were no more
like boots now, than are loose trousers to Mr. Flight's mouse-coloured
tights. There was nearly the same process of pulling and tugging to
get them on, and when once on, the _revocare gradum_ was next to an
impossibility. The leather, too, was of a more soaky oily kind, I
suppose, and stuck like adhesive plaster, and drew like that medicated
material. My boots were on, over-night, but no tug of war, no steam
power of man or men--for we all tugged, and all steamed--could get
them off. So it was determined I should sleep in them. It was very
well so to determine, but sleep, as the negro said, "hab no massa,"
and would not obey. The bootmaker had advised and disappeared. It was
soon found a just observation, _Ne sutor ultra crepidam_. Sleep would
not be bed ridden, for I was booted, possibly spurred; not even a
classical charm would do,

    "Heus, al quis long â sub nocte, puellæ,
    Brachia nexa tenens ultro te somne repellit,
    Inde veni."

Sleep was only the more obstinate, and preferred better society, or
worse. Sleep has been too much petted by panegyrists, till he has
learnt ill manners, lies down with the clown and the drunkard, for
whom he leaves the presence and courting arms of suffering
beauty,--such were my thoughts in those youthful classical and
romantic days, and the above passage was most likely Latinised,--
"shown up." _Probatum est._

I must hasten on, for I am, though booted, not dressed yet. With a
sickening sensation, at the earliest gray light of a midsummer dawn,
did I put on my clothes--my bran-new, in which I was to go out into
the sunshine of life. First, there was a pair of bright orange-colour
plush breeches; a light buff waistcoat with a sham-red under; a
coat--no--nor jacket nor coat, but a beautiful tailor-creation, a
coatee; colour, green; buttons, shining metal. My boots were of the
kind called tops.

Now I am ready to stand at the college gates for my picture, whip in
hand, though a chaise is waiting for me and two more. My "copartners
in exile" temporary, are waiting for me. They vociferate impatience.
Is the portrait finished? Then complete it at your leisure, _secundum
artem_. I am off. But while I have been standing for this portrait,
the sun has risen; it is intensely hot. Heat of weather, tight boots,
and swelling legs and limbs, are doing their work in and out of me. I
am in a sad perspiration; and so off we go. We had reached the first
mile-stone; then I discover I had left my purse behind me. Out I leap,
run all the way back to "chamber," and away again to the chaise. I
have at this moment a painful remembrance of that short pedestrian
excursion--the heat intense, the orange-yellow plush flushing up into
my face, the glare of buttons, the now-agony of my booted legs and
feet, the difficulty of making the needful speed, and fear of the
practical joke of leaving me behind--altogether these pains and
discomforts put me into a kind of bilious fever, so that, if I did not
loathe myself, I did most thoroughly my clothes. From that day I took
a disgust to yellows, any thing glaring--abhorred my orange-plush:
and I do not believe I had any symptom of foppery about me for three
years after that memorable time. There is, indeed, a miniature
portrait of me extant, taken about that period: it has a dash of
powder in the hair, a rather smirking look; and there is a blue coat,
metal buttons, the yellow waistcoat and red under; but I suspect these
are not out of my wardrobe. They are from Mr Carmine's recipe-book of
portrait costume, and may be found in page 6, lettered, "For very
young gentlemen." I am pretty sure the dress, at least as it looks
there, was not mine; for I remember well a remonstrance from my parent
about that time, thus--"My son, you are too great a sloven."

I never quite recovered this; but there did come days of philandering,
when I mended a little, and occasionally appeared thus. Behold me
entering the ball-room--coat, blue, metal buttons; waistcoat, white
dimity; nethers, black tights; pinkish silk stockings, highly-polished
shoes, with small silver buckles; hair slightly powdered, and a slip
of a tail that could flirt with either shoulder. You will see that
there is a little of the sentimental cast in this: it was a doubtful
dress, capable, by a very small change, of making the wearer a Hamlet
or a Romeo for the night, as he might determine beforehand. I
continued thus for a while respectable, and might have remained so to
this day, but for an unfortunate taste which I acquired, and which
threw me into irredeemable slovenry, in which I have remained ever
since. In my idleness, which soon became, as Shakespeare so aptly
calls it, "shapeless," I dabbled with paints, oils, and colours; and
as with growing improvement I enlarged the dimensions of my operations
from inch to the foot, and from foot to the yard, I was soon above my
elbows in the unclean "materièl." There were no tube colours in those
days; we had bladders. They were always bursting; and thus they
bedaubed the hands, and the hands bedaubed the clothes; and amateurs
were then Picts, up to their very eyes. Young as I was, I of course
fancied myself a genius, and painted so large, and so largely, that a
common-sized palette impeded my work. I enlarged that, and increased
the quantity of my colours. I now mention a frequent disaster, that,
being frequent, was quite enough to make a sloven of any one. Take the
following scene:--A room such as could be spared me, not too large, in
tolerable confusion; daubs in all states of disorder on the walls,
against the walls, loose and strained, in all directions; large slabs
for grinding colours--oils, turpentine, varnishes, &c. &c., all in
that proper disorganisation to enable any youth of a tolerably
slovenly person to set up for a genius. Now--it has taken me an hour
to set my palette--look at it--here is a goodly row of colours mixed
and intermixed after the recipe of Lionardo da Vinci, who would have
added more, if paper, as he said, had not failed him. Here, however,
are quite enough--and more than enough--_satis superque_--I look at
the palette with extreme satisfaction--my canvass is on the
easel--imagination begins to work--alas! too soon--I am not quite
ready; I must put in a cup, that diluent oil--in another, turpentine;
it is done. I am a little weary, and sit, down for a moment to rest,
looking full on my canvass, and giving loose to my fancy--I rise,
where is my palette--alas! I have sat upon it. I have had misfortunes
in etching with aqua fortis--have been the "biter bit"--but here I was
the painter painted. I do not know why the arts should be called
Fine--"The Fine Arts"--unless it be in derision of the slovenliness
which they occasion. Many a time have I sat upon my colours: a
poetical friend once wrote me an ode upon it, and begged me to learn
it by rote, as a kind of _memoria technica_, or charm of preservation.
This I declined, not being good-humoured enough to admire any poetry
not my own. But I remember upon one such occasion working off my
vexation in a sonnet. And I recommend the recipe; you may successfully
salve over many a sore distraction by soothing verse. There is a great
charm in rhyme, or at least in searching for it, and versifying either
altogether saves swearing, or enables you to throw it off very
genteelly, and with a grace. I addressed the Fine Arts, whose epithet
_Fine_ I take to be given with a superstition of dread, as the old
poets did the Furies, calling them Eumenides, thinking they should not
fare the worse for giving them a good name; and as later times called
the Fairies "the good people," lest they should punish poor innocents,
and pinch o'nights. Read, Eusebius, my remonstrance to these
personified, deified, and worshipped Fine Arts.


    O, ye Fine Arts--why were ye once so Fine,
    So dingy now, and working sore disaster;
    As that my best of pigments look like plaster,
    Compared with those of "Raphael the divine,"
    That grow by time still brighter like old wine,
    And seem to renovate a dead old master.
    Better had I been born to wield a mallet,
    A hod, a plough--than sables, hogs and fitches;
    If ye must mock and mark your fool your valet,
    With motley livery on my coats and breeches;
    Making me sit upon my well-set palette,
    With merry jeers the whilst I hear you titter,
    And compliment me on my only sitter.

Look, Eusebius, as I dare to say you have often done, into the smudge
of a colour-maker's shop, and imagine a personification of it in a
young amateur aspirant. What a ludicrously serious Harlequin he is
made! At last, in despair of acquirement of cleanliness, I plunged, as
it were, into the very mud and smudge of paint, and did not hesitate
to wipe a brush upon my sleeves.

Thus, I acquired a bad habit--and as I often had the fit to paint when
my better dress was on, I now and then seized an unlucky moment of
desire, and the better soon came to be the worse. By degrees I fell
into a despair of mending; and so I became a confirmed sloven.

One who fastens his knapsack on his back, that is to hold his
temporary all, including materials for art, and pedestrianises over a
roughish country, may acquire an exquisite taste; but he will not be
personally an exquisite. He will be characteristic in look, of the
picturesque which he hunts after. He will be very unlike the man I
have described to you, whom dust would not soil, or rain wet, or sun
burn. The geologist who walks forth, armed to tomahawk the mountains,
and bag their bones, will, in a month or so, acquire a strange and
stony look; and be, on his first return, and sitting in civil society,
little better than the "Man Mountain" himself. Our pursuits are in us
and about us, soil our dress and chisel our features. We look in the
glass, easily reconcile ourselves to any metamorphosis, and think no
one has a right to quarrel with that, which we think, in our
self-satisfaction, makes up our beloved identity. No man can be every
thing--not all "Admirable Crichtons"--it is the diversity and the
difference that makes the pleasing motley in the masquerade of the
world. Though you might dance more like the brutes, it does not at all
follow but that you may fiddle like Orpheus. Johnson defended Kit
Smart, the sloven, (mockery of a name,) having himself no great
predilection for clean linen. Dionysius was more happy in the "inky
cloak" of the slovenly schoolmaster, than in the golden mantle which
his father took from the statue of Jupiter.

Let us both be content to remain as we are. For be assured, Eusebius,
that if we make the attempt to change our habits, either of person or
of mind, and put on the more trim, and of more fashionable cut, we
shall but amuse the spectators by becoming ridiculous; and in making
up the characters that are to figure on the stage of the drama of
life, insignificant though we be, there will be found wanting two good


In the year 1843, a fancy fair was held at Paris, for the benefit of
the sufferers by an earthquake in the island of Guadaloupe. The
patronage of the Queen of the French, added to the strong sympathy
awakened by the catastrophe, filled the bazaar with a gay throng,
delighted to combine amusement with charity, and to chaffer for
baubles with aristocratic saleswomen. Amidst the multitude of tasteful
trifles, exposed for sale was a contribution from Queen Marie
Amélie--fifty books, printed at the royal press and elegantly bound.
They were fifty copies of a volume containing three charming tales,
and soon it was whispered that no others had been printed, and that
the author was a lady of rank, distinguished for grace and wit, but
whose literary talents were previously unknown, save to a limited
circle of discreet and admiring friends. At the queen's request, and
at the voice of pity, pleading for the unfortunates of Point-à-Pitre,
she had sanctioned the printing of fifty copies; these taken, the
types had been broken up. Such rumours were more than sufficient to
stimulate curiosity, and raise the value of the volume. Every body
knows that an author's title often sells a stupid book; should any
doubt it, we refer them to our friends Puff and Co.; how much greater
the attraction when the book is a clever one, written by a countess,
printed by a sovereign's command, and at a royal press. The market
rose instantly. Sixty francs, eighty francs, five napoleons, were
freely given; how much higher competition raised the price, we cannot
say; but we are credibly informed the improvement did not stop there.

The editor of the _Revue des Deux Mondes_ was not the last to hear the
history of the volume. He procured a copy, and esteeming it unjust to
reserve for a few what was meant for mankind, by limiting the produce
of so graceful a pen to the narrow circulation of fifty copies--he
laid violent hands upon one of the tales, and reprinted it in his
excellent and widely-circulated periodical. Although literally a day
after the fair, it was not the less acceptable and successful. The
tale, whose title is "Resignation," was attributed by many to the
amiable Duchess of Orleans, then in the first year of her widowhood.
The real authoress is the Countess d'Arbouville, wife of the
lieutenant-general of that name, granddaughter of Madame d'Houdetot,
and niece by marriage of Monsieur de Barante. Inheriting much of the
wit of her celebrated ancestress, and no small share of the literary
aptitude of her accomplished uncle, this lady, without aiming at the
reputation of a woman of letters, writes tales of very remarkable
merit. Whilst her husband, as governor of Constantine, wields the
sabre in defence of Algeria, the Countess, secluded in her boudoir,
beguiles her leisure and delights her friends by the exercise of her
pen. Last spring, it became known that she had completed the matter of
a second volume. Thereupon, she was so besieged by petitioners for the
favour of a perusal, that in self-defence, and out of regard to the
integrity of her manuscript, she was compelled to print fifty copies
for private circulation. Through the kindness of a Parisian friend one
of these has reached us. It contains two tales. The first, "Le Medecin
du Village," is a simple and touching story, highly attractive by its
purity of style and exquisite feeling. The circumstances under which
it was printed forbid criticism; otherwise we might cavil at its
introduction as unartistical, and at one of the incidents--the
restoration of an idiot boy of fifteen to unclouded reason--as
unprecedented and out of nature. But one dwells not on these blemishes
whilst reading the old doctor's affecting tale, which does equal
honour to the heart and mind of the authoress. We would gladly place
it before our readers in an English dress, but the indefatigable
Monsieur Buloz, ever watchful of the interests of his review, has
already pounced upon it. It had scarcely been printed, when he
transferred it to the pages of the _Revue des Deux Mondes_. We are
obliged, therefore, to content ourselves with the second tale, no way
inferior to its fellow, but whose greater length compels us to
abridge. This we would fain avoid, for even without such curtailment
it is impossible to render in another language the full charm of the
original, a charm residing in delicacy of style and touch rather than
in description or incident. We will do our best, however, and should
the attempt meet the eye and disapproval of Madame d'Arbouville, we
wish it may stimulate her to print her next work by thousands instead
of tens, that all conversant with the French tongue may have
opportunities of reading and appreciating the productions of so
pleasing a writer.

The tale in question is entitled--


It was the hour of sunrise. Not the gorgeous sunrise of Spain or
Italy, when the horizon's ruddy blaze suddenly revives all that
breathes, when golden rays mingle with the deep azure of a southern
sky, and nature bursts into vitality and vigour, as if light gave
life. The sun rose upon the chilly shores of Holland. The clouds
opened to give exit to a pale light, without heat or brilliancy.
Nature passed insensibly from sleep to waking, but continued torpid
when ceasing to slumber. No cry or joyous song, no flight of birds, or
bleating of flocks, hail the advent of a new day. On the summit of the
dykes, the reed-hedges bend before the breeze, and the sea-sand,
whirled over the slight obstacle, falls upon the meadows, covering
their verdure with a moving veil. A river, yellow with the slime of
its banks, flows peaceably and patiently towards the expectant ocean.
Seen from afar, its waters and its shore appear of one colour,
resembling a sandy plain; save where a ray of light, breaking upon the
surface, reveals by silvery flashes the passage of the stream.
Ponderous boats descend it, drawn by teams of horses, whose large feet
sink into the sand as they advance leisurely and without distress to
the goal of their journey. Behind them strides a peasant, whip on
shoulder; he hurries not his cattle, he looks neither at the stream
that flows, nor the beasts that draw, nor the boat that follows; he
plods steadily onwards, trusting to perseverance to attain his end.

Such is a corner of the picture presented to the traveller in Holland,
the country charged, it would seem, more than any other, to enforce
God's command to the waters, _Thou shalt go no farther!_ This silent
repose of creatures and things, this mild light, these neutral tints
and vast motionless plains, are not without a certain poetry of their
own. Wherever space and silence are united, poetry finds place; she
loves all things more or less, whether smiling landscape or dreary
desert; light of wing, a trifle will detain and support her--a blade
of grass often suffices. And Holland, which Butler has called a large
ship always at anchor, has its beauties for the thoughtful observer.
Gradually one learns to admire this land at war with ocean and
struggling daily for existence; those cities which compel the waters
to flow at their ramparts' foot, to follow the given track, and abide
in the allotted bed; then those days of revolt, when the waves would
fain reconquer their independence, when they overflow and inundate,
and destroy, and at last, constrained by the hand of man, subside and
again obey.

As the sun rose, a small boat glided rapidly down the stream. It had a
single occupant, a tall young man, lithe, skilful, and strong, who,
although apparently in haste, kept near the shore, following the
windings of the bank, and avoiding the centre of the current, which
would have accelerated his progress. At that early hour the fields
were deserted; the birds alone had risen earlier than the boatman,
whose large hat of gray felt lay beside him, whilst his brown locks,
tossed backward by the wind, disclosed regular features, a broad open
forehead, and eyes somewhat thoughtful, like those of the men of the
north. His costume denoted a student from a German university. One
gathered from his extreme youth, that his life had hitherto passed on
academic benches, and that it was still a new and lively pleasure to
him to feel the freshness of morning bathe his brow, the breeze play
with his hair, the stream bear along his bark. He hastened, for there
are times when we count the hours ill; when we outstrip and tax them
with delay. Then, if we cannot hurry the pace of time, we prefer at
least to wait at the appointed spot. It calms impatience, and
resembles a commencement of happiness.

When the skiff had rounded a promontory of the bank, its speed
increased, as if the eye directing it had gained sight of the goal. At
a short distance the landscape changed its character. A meadow sloped
down to the stream, fringed by a thick hedge of willows, half uprooted
and inclined over the water. The boat reached the shadow of the trees,
and stopping there, rocked gently on the river, secured by a chain
cast round a branch. The young man stood up and looked anxiously
through the foliage; then he sang, in a low tone, the burthen of a
ballad, a love-plaint, the national poetry of all countries. His
voice, at first subdued, not to break too suddenly the surrounding
silence, gradually rose as the song drew to a close. The clear mellow
notes escaped from the bower of drooping leaves, and expired without
echo or reply upon the surface of the pasture. Then he sat down and
contemplated the peaceful picture presented to his view. The gray sky
had that melancholy look so depressing to the joyless and hopeless;
the cold dull water rolled noiselessly onward; to the left, the plain
extended afar without variety of surface. A few windmills reared their
gaunt arms, waiting for the wind; and the wind, too weak to stir them,
passed on and left them motionless. To the right, at the extremity of
the little meadow, stood a square house of red bricks and regular
construction, isolated, silent, and melancholy. The thick greenish
glass of the windows refused to reflect the sunbeams; the roof
supported gilded vanes of fantastical form; the garden was laid out in
formal parterres. A few tulips, drooping their heavy heads, and
dahlias, propped with white sticks, were the sole flowers growing
there, and these were hemmed in and stifled by hedges of box. Trees,
stunted and shabby, and with dust-covered leaves, were cut into walls
and into various eccentric shapes. At the corners of the formal
alleys, whose complicated windings were limited to a narrow space,
stood a few plaster figures. One of these alleys led to the
willow-hedge. There nature resumed her rights; the willows grew free
and unrestrained, stretching out from the land and drooping into the
water; their inclined trunks forming flying-bridges, supported but at
one end. The bank was high enough for a certain space to intervene
between the stream and the horizontal stems. A few branches, longer
than the rest, swept the surface of the river, and were kept in
constant motion by its current.

Beneath this dome of verdure the boat was moored, and there the young
man mused, gazing at the sky--melancholy as his heart--and at the
stream, in its course uncertain as his destiny. A few willow leaves
fluttered against his brow, one of his hands hung in the water, a
gentle breeze stirred his hair; nameless flowerets, blooming in the
shelter of the trees, gave out a faint perfume, detectible at
intervals, at the wind's caprice. A bird, hidden in the foliage, piped
an amorous note, and the student, cradled in his skiff, awaited his
love. Ungrateful that he was! he called time a laggard, and bid him
speed; he was insensible to the charm of the present hour. Ah! if he
grows old, how well will he understand that fortune then lavished on
him the richest treasures of life--hope and youth!

Suddenly the student started, stood up, and, with outstretched neck,
and eyes riveted on the trees, he listened, scarce daring to breathe.
The foliage opened, and the face of a young girl was revealed to his
gaze. "Christine!" he exclaimed.

Christine stepped upon the trunk of the lowest tree, and seated
herself with address on this pliant bench, which her weight, slight as
it was, caused to yield and rock. One of her arms, extended through
the branches that drooped towards the water, reached that of her
lover, who tenderly pressed her hand. Then she drew herself up again,
and the tree, less loaded, seemed to obey her will by imitating her
movement. The young man sat in his boat, with eyes uplifted towards
the willow on which she he loved reposed.

Christine Van Amberg had none of the distinguishing features of the
country of her birth. Hair black as the raven's wing formed a frame to
a face full of energy and expression. Her large eyes were dark and
penetrating; her eyebrows, strongly marked and almost straight, would
perhaps have imparted too decided a character to her young head, if a
charming expression of candour and naïveté had not given her the
countenance of a child, rather than of a woman. Christine was fifteen
years of age. A slender silver circlet bound her brow and jet-black
tresses--a holiday ornament, according to her country's custom: but
her greatest festival was the sight of her lover. She wore a simple
muslin dress of a pale blue colour; a black silk mantle, intended to
envelope her figure, was placed upon her hair, and fell back upon her
shoulders, as if the better to screen her from the gaze of the
curious. Seated on a tree trunk, surrounded by branches and beside the
water, like Shakspere's Ophelia, Christine was charming. But although
young, beautiful, and beloved, deep melancholy was the characteristic
of her features. Her companion, too, gazed mournfully at her, with
eyes to which the tears seemed about to start.

"Herbert," said the young girl, stooping towards her lover, "Herbert,
be not so sad! we are both too young to despair of life. Herbert!
better times will come."

"Christine! they have refused me your hand, expelled me your
dwelling,--they would separate us entirely: they will succeed,
to-morrow perhaps!..."

"Never!" exclaimed the young girl, with a glance like the lightning's
flash. But, like that flash, the expression of energy was momentary,
and gave way to one of calm melancholy.

"If you would, Christine, if you would!.... how easy were it to fly
together, to unite our destinies on a foreign shore, and to live for
each other, happy and forgotten!... I will lead you to those glorious
lands where the sun shines as you see it in your dreams,--to the
summit of lofty mountains whence the eye discovers a boundless
horizon,--to noble forests with their thousand tints of green, where
the fresh breeze shall quicken your cheek, and sweep from your memory
these fogs, this humid clime, these monotonous plains. Our days shall
pass happily in a country worthy of our loves."

As Herbert spoke, the young girl grew animated; she seemed to see what
he described, her eager eye sought the horizon as though she would
overleap it, her lips parted as to inhale the mountain breeze. Then
she passed her hand hastily across her eyes, and sighed deeply. "No!"
she exclaimed, "no, I must remain here!... Herbert, it is my country:
why does it make me suffer? I remember another sky, another land,--but
no, it is a dream! I was born here, and have scarcely passed the
boundary of this meadow. My mother sang too often beside my cradle the
ballads and boleros of her native Seville; she told me too much of
Spain, and I love that unknown land as one pines after an absent

The young girl glanced at the river, over which a dense fog was
spreading. A few rain-drops pattered amongst the leaves; she crossed
her mantle on her breast, and her whole frame shivered with sudden

"Leave me, Christine, you suffer! return home, and, since you reject
my roof and hearth, abide with those who can shelter and warm you."

A sweet smile played upon Christine's lips. "My beloved," she said,
"near you I prefer the chilling rain, this rough branch, and the
biting wind, to my seat in the house, far from you, beside the blazing
chimney. Ah! with what joy and confidence would I start on foot for
the farthest corner of the earth, your arm my sole support, your love
my only wealth. But ..."

"What retains you, Christine? your father's affection, your sisters'
tenderness, your happy home?"

The young girl grew pale. "Herbert, it is cruel to speak thus. Well
do I know that my father loves me not, that my sisters are often
unkind to me, that my home is unhappy; I know it, indeed I know it,
and I will follow you ... if my mother consents!"

Herbert looked at his mistress with astonishment. "Child!" he
exclaimed, "such consent will never leave your mother's lips. There
are cases where strength and resolution must be found in one's own
heart. Your mother will never say yes."

"Perhaps!" replied Christine, slowly and gravely. "My mother loves me;
I resemble her in most things, and her heart understands mine. She
knows that Scripture says a woman shall leave her father and mother to
follow her husband; she is aware of our attachment, and, since our
door has been closed against you, I have not shed a tear that she has
not detected and replied to by another. You misjudge my mother,
Herbert! Something tells me she has suffered, and knows that a little
happiness is essential to life as the air we breathe. Nor would it
surprise me, if one day, when embracing me, as she does each night
when we are alone, she were to whisper: Begone, my poor child!"

"I cannot think it, Christine. She will bid you obey, be comforted,

"Forget! Herbert, my mother forgets nothing. To forget is the resource
of cowardly hearts. No,--none will bid me forget."

And once more a gloomy fire flashed in Christine's eyes, like the
rapid passage of a flame which illumines and instantly expires. It was
a revelation of the future rather than the expression of the present.
An ardent soul dwelt within her, but had not yet cast off all the
encumbrances of childhood. It struggled to make its way, and at times,
succeeding for a moment, a word or cry revealed its presence.

"No--I shall not forget," added Christine; "I love you, and you love
me, who am so little loved! You find me neither foolish, nor
fantastical, nor capricious; you understand my reveries and the
thousand strange thoughts that invade my heart. I am very young,
Herbert; and yet, here, with my hand in yours, I answer for the
future. I shall always love you!... and see, I do not weep. I have
faith in the happiness of our love; how? when? I know not,--it is the
secret of my Creator, who would not have sent me upon earth only to
suffer. Happiness will come when He deems right, but come it will!
Yes,--I am young, full of life, I have need of air and space; I shall
not live enclosed and smothered here. The world is large, and I will
know it; my heart is full of love, and will love for ever. No tears,
dearest! obstacles shall be overcome, they must give way, for I will
be happy!"

"But why delay, Christine? My love! my wife! an opportunity lost may
never be regained. A minute often decides the fate of a lifetime.
Perhaps, at this very moment, happiness is near us! A leap into my
boat, a few strokes of the oar, and we are united for ever!...
Perhaps, if you again return to land, we are for ever separated.
Christine, come! The wind rises: beneath my feet is a sail that will
quickly swell and bear us away rapidly as the wings of yon bird."

Tears flowed fast over Christine's burning cheeks. She shuddered,
looked at her lover, at the horizon, thought of liberty; she
hesitated, and a violent struggle agitated her soul. At last, hiding
her face amongst the leafage of the willow, she clasped her arms round
its stem, as if to withhold herself from entering the boat, and in a
stifled voice muttered the words,--"My mother!" A few seconds
afterwards, she, raised her pallid countenance.

"If I fled," said she gently, "to whom would my mother speak of her
dear country? Who would weep with her when she weeps, if I were gone?
She has other children, but they are gay and happy, and do not
resemble her. Only my mother and myself are sad in our house. My
mother would die of my absence. I must receive her farewell blessing
or remain by her side, chilled like her by this inclement climate,
imprisoned in yonder walls, ill-treated by those who love me not.
Herbert, I will not fly, I will wait!" And she made a movement to
regain the strand.

"One instant,--yet one second,--Christine! I know not what chilling
presentiment oppresses my heart. Dearest,--if we were to meet no more!
If this little corner of earth were our last trysting-place--these
melancholy willows the witnesses of of our eternal separation! Is
it--can it be--the last happy hour of my life that has just slipped

He covered his face with his hands, to conceal his tears. Christine's
heart beat violently--but she had courage.

Letting herself drop from the tree, she stood upon the bank, separated
from the boat, which could not come nearer to shore.

"Adieu, Herbert!" said she, "one day I will be your wife, faithful and
loving. It shall be, for I will have it so. Let us both pray God to
hasten that happy day. Adieu, I love you! Adieu, and till our next
meeting, for I love you!"

The barrier of reeds and willows opened before the young girl. A few
small branches crackled beneath her tread; there was a slight noise in
the grass and bushes, as when a bird takes flight; then all was

Herbert wept.


The clock in the red brick house struck eight, and the family of Van
Amberg the merchant were mustered in the breakfast-room. Christine was
the only absentee. Near the fire stood the head of the family--Karl
Van Amberg--and beside him his brother, who, older than himself,
yielded the prerogative of seniority, and left him master of the
community. Madame Van Amberg was working near a window, and her two
elder daughters, fair-haired, white-skinned Dutchwomen, prepared the

Karl Van Amberg, the dreaded chief of this family, was of lofty
stature; his gait was stiff; his physiognomy passionless. His face,
whose features at first appeared insignificant, denoted a domineering
temper. His manners were cold. He spoke little; never to praise, but
often in terms of dry and imperious censure. His glance preceded his
words and rendered them nearly superfluous, so energetically could
that small sunken gray eye make itself understood. With the sole aid
of his own patience and ambition, Karl Van Amberg had made a large
fortune. His ships covered the seas. Never loved, always respected,
his credit was every where excellent. Absolute monarch in his own
house, none dreamed of opposing his will. All were mute and awed in
his presence. At this moment, he was leaning against the
chimney-piece. His black garments were very plain, but not devoid of a
certain austere elegance.

William Van Amberg, Karl's brother, was quite of an opposite
character. He would have passed his life in poverty, subsisting on the
scanty income left him by his parents, had not Karl desired wealth. He
placed his modest fortune in his brother's hands, saying, "Act as for
yourself!" Attached to his native nook of land, he lived in peace,
smoking and smiling, and learning from time to time that he was a
richer man by a few hundred thousand francs. One day, he was told that
he possessed a million; in reply, he merely wrote, "Thanks, Karl; it
will be for your children." Then he forgot his riches, and changed
nothing in his manner of life, even adhering in his dress to the
coarse materials and graceless fashion of a peasant dreading the
vicinity of cities. His youthful studies had consisted of a course of
theology. His father, a fervent Catholic, destined him for the church,
but it came to pass, as a consequence of his indecision of character,
that William neither took orders nor married, but lived quietly in his
brother's family. The habitual perusal of religious books sometimes
gave his language a mystical tone, contrasting with the rustic
simplicity of his exterior. This was his only peculiarity; otherwise
he had nothing remarkable but his warm heart and strong good sense. He
was the primitive type of his family: his brother was an example of
the change caused by newly acquired wealth.

Madame Van Amberg, seated at the window, sewed in silence. Her
countenance had the remains of great beauty, but she was weak and
suffering. A single glance sufficed to fix her birth-place far from
Holland. Her black hair and olive tint betrayed a southern origin.
Silently submissive to her husband, his iron character had pressed
heavily upon this delicate creature. She had never murmured; now she
was dying, but without complaint. Her look was one of deep melancholy.
Christine, her third daughter, resembled her. Of dark complexion, like
her mother, she contrasted strongly with her rosy-cheeked sisters. M.
Van Amberg did not love Christine. Rough and cold, even to those he
secretly cherished, he was severe and cruel to those he disliked. He
had never been known to kiss Christine. Her mother's were the only
caresses she knew, and even those were stealthily and tearfully
bestowed. The two poor women hid themselves to love each other.

At intervals, Madame Van Amberg coughed painfully. The damp climate of
Holland was slowly conducting to her grave the daughter of Spain's
ardent land. Her large melancholy eyes mechanically sought the
monotonous horizon, which had bounded her view for twenty years. Fog
and rain surrounded the house. She gazed, shivered as if seized with
deadly cold, then resumed her work.

Eight o'clock had just struck, and the two young Dutchwomen, who,
although rich heiresses, waited upon their father, had just placed the
tea and smoked beef upon the table, when Karl Van Amberg turned
abruptly to his wife.

"Where is your daughter, Madam?"

He spoke of Christine, whom the restless gaze of Madame Van Amberg
vainly sought through the fog veiling the garden. At her husband's
question, the lady rose, opened the door, and, leaning on the
banister, twice uttered her daughter's name. There was no reply; she
grew pale and again looked out anxiously through the fog.

"Go in, Madame," was the surly injunction of Gothon, the old servant
woman, who knelt on the hall flags, which she had flooded with soap and
water, and was now vigorously scrubbing; "Go in, madame; the damp
increases your cough, and Mademoiselle Christine is far enough away!
The bird flew before daybreak."

Madame Van Amberg cast a mournful glance across the meadow, where
nothing moved, and into the parlour, where her stern husband awaited
her; then she went in and sat down at the table, around which the
remainder of the family had already placed themselves. No one spoke.
All could read displeasure upon M. Van Amberg's countenance, and none
dared attempt to change the course of his ideas. His wife kept her
eyes fixed upon the window, hoping her daughter's return. Her lips
scarcely tasted the milk that filled her cup; visible anguish
increased the paleness of her sweet, sad countenance.

"Annunciata, my dear, take some tea," said her brother-in-law. "The
day is chill and damp, and you seem to suffer."

Annunciata smiled sadly at William. For sole answer she raised to her
lips the tea he offered her, but the effort was too painful, and she
replaced the cup upon the table. M. Van Amberg looked at nobody; he
ate, his eyes fixed upon his plate.

"Sister," resumed William, "it is a duty to care for one's health, and
you, who fulfil all your duties, should not neglect that one."

A slight flush tinged the brow of Annunciata. Her eyes encountered
those of her husband, which he slowly turned towards her. Trembling,
almost weeping, she ceased her attempts to eat. And the silence was
again unbroken, as at the commencement of the meal. At last steps were
heard in the passage, the old servant grumbled something which did not
reach the parlour, then the door opened, and Christine entered; her
muslin dress damp with fog, her graceful curls disordered by the wind,
her black mantle glittering with a thousand little rain-drops. She was
crimson with embarrassment and fear. Her empty chair was beside her
mother; she sat down, and hung her head; none offered aught to the
truant child, and the silence continued. Yielding to maternal anxiety,
Madame Van Amberg took a handkerchief and wiped the moisture from
Christine's forehead and hair; then she took her hands to warm them in
her own. For the second time M. Van Amberg looked at his wife. She let
Christine's hands fall, and remained downcast and motionless as her
daughter. M. Van Amberg rose from table. A tear glistened on the
mother's eyes on seeing that her daughter had not eaten. But she said
nothing, and returning to the window, resumed her sewing. Christine
remained at table, preserving her frightened and abashed attitude. The
two eldest girls hastened to remove the breakfast things.

"Do you not see what Wilhelmina and Maria are about? Can you not help

At her father's voice, Christine hastily rose, seized the cups and
teapot, and hurried to and fro from parlour to pantry.

"Gently! You will break something!" cried M. Van Amberg. "Begin in
time, to finish without hurry."

Christine stood still in the middle of the room. Her two sisters
smiled as they passed her, and one of them muttered--for nobody spoke
loud in M. Van Amberg's presence,--"Christine will hardly learn
housekeeping by looking at the stars and watching the river flow!"

"Now then, Mademoiselle, you are spoiling every thing here!" said the
old servant, who had just come in; "go and change that wet gown, which
ruins all my furniture."

Christine remained where she was, not daring to stir without the
master's order.

"Go," said M. Van Amberg.

The young girl darted from the room and up the stairs, reached her
chamber, threw herself upon the bed and burst into tears. Below,
Madame Van Amberg continued to sew, her head bent over her work. When
the cloth was removed, Wilhelmina and Maria placed a large jug of
beer, glasses, long pipes, and a store of tobacco upon the mahogany
table, and pushed forward two arm-chairs, in which Karl and William
installed themselves.

"Retire to your apartment, Madam," said M. Van Amberg, in the
imperious tone habitual to him when he addressed his wife; "I have to
discuss matters which do not concern you. Do not leave the house; will
call you bye and bye; I wish to speak with you."

Annunciata bowed in token of obedience, and left the room. Wilhelmina
and Maria approached their father, who silently kissed their pretty
cheeks. The two brothers lit their pipes, and remained alone. William
was the first to speak.

"Brother Karl!" said he, resting his arms upon the table, and looking
M. Van Amberg in the face, "before proceeding to business, and at risk
of offending you, I must relieve my heart. Here, all fear you, and
counsel, the salutary support of man, is denied you."

"Speak, William," coldly replied M. Van Amberg.

"Karl, you treat Annunciata very harshly. God commands you to protect
her, and you allow her to suffer, perhaps to die before your eyes,
without caring for her fate. The strong should sustain the weak. In
our native land, we owe kindness to the stranger who cometh from afar.
The husband owes protection to her he has chosen for his wife. For all
these reasons, brother, I say you treat Annunciata ill."

"Does she complain?" said M. Van Amberg, filling his glass.

"No, brother; only the strong resist and complain. A tree falls with a
crash, the reed bends noiselessly to the ground. No, she does not
complain, save by silence and suffering, by constant and passive
obedience, like that of a soul-less automaton. You have deprived her
of life, the poor woman! One day she will cease to move and breathe;
she has long ceased to live!"

"Brother, there are words that should not be inconsiderately spoken,
judgments that should not be hastily passed, for fear of injustice."

"Do I not know your whole life, Karl, as well as my own, and can I not
therefore speak confidently, as one well informed?"

M. Van Amberg inhaled the smoke of his pipe, threw himself back in his
arm-chair, and made no reply.

"I know you as I know myself," resumed William gently, "although our
hearts were made to love and not to resemble each other. When you
found our father's humble dwelling too small, I said nothing; you were
ambitious; when a man is born with that misfortune or blessing, he
must do like the birds, who have wings to soar; he must strive to
rise. You departed; I pressed your hand, and reproached you not; it is
right that each man should be happy his own way. You gained much gold,
and gave me more than I needed. You returned married, and I did not
approve your marriage. It is wiser to seek a companion in the land
where one's days are to end; it is something to love the same places
and things, and then it is only generous to leave one's wife a family,
friends, well-known objects to gaze upon. It is counting greatly on
one's self to take sole charge of her happiness. Happiness sometimes
consists of so many things! Often an imperceptible atom serves as base
to its vast structure: for my part, I do not like presumptuous
experiments on the hearts of others. In short, you married a
foreigner, who perishes with cold in this country, and sighs, amidst
our fogs, for the sun of Spain. You committed a still greater
fault--Forgive me, brother; I speak plainly, in order not to return to
this subject.

"I am attending to you, William; you are my elder brother."

"Thanks for your patience, Karl. No longer young, you married a very
young woman. Your affairs took you to Spain. There you met a needy
Spanish noble, to whom you rendered a weighty service. You were always
generous, and increasing wealth did not close your hand. This noble
had a daughter, a child of fifteen. In spite of your apparent
coldness, you were smitten by her beauty, and you asked her of her
father. Only one thing struck you; that she was poor and would be
enriched by the marriage. A refusal of your offer would have been
ingratitude to a benefactor. They gave you Annunciata, and you took
her, brother, without looking whether joy was in her eyes, without
asking the child whether she willingly followed you, without
interrogating her heart. In that country the heart is precocious in
its awakening ... perhaps she left behind her some youthful dream ...
some early love.... Forgive me, Karl; the subject is difficult to

"Change it, William," said M. Van Amberg coldly.

"Be it so. You returned hither, and when your business again took you
forth upon the ocean, you left Annunciata to my care. She lived many
years with me in this house. Karl, her youth was joyless and sad.
Isolated and silent, she wore out her days without pleasure or
variety. Your two eldest daughters, now the life of our dwelling, were
then in the cradle. They were no society to their mother; I was a very
grave companion for that young and beautiful creature. I have little
reading and knowledge, no imagination; I like my quiet arm-chair, my
old books, and my pipe. I at first allowed myself to believe--because
I loved to believe it--that Annunciata resembled me,--that
tranquillity and a comfortable dwelling would suffice for her
happiness, as they sufficed for mine. But at last I understood--what
you, brother, I fear have never comprehended--that she was never
intended for a Dutch housewife. In the first place, the climate
tortured her. She constantly asked me if finer summers would not
come,--if the winters were always so rigorous,--the fogs so frequent.
I told her no, that the year was a bad one; but I told her a
falsehood, for the winters were always the same. At first she tried to
sing her Sevillian romances and boleros, but soon her song died away
and she wept, for it reminded her too much of her own native land.
Silent and motionless she sat, desiring, as I have read in the
Bible,--'The wings of the dove to fly away and be at rest.' Brother,
it was a melancholy sight. You know not how slowly the winter evenings
passed in this parlour. It was dark at four, and she worked by
lamp-light till bed-time. I endeavoured to converse, but she knew
nothing of the things I knew, and I was ignorant of those that
interested her. I saw at last that the greatest kindness was to leave
her to herself. She worked or was idle, wept or was calm, and I
averted my eyes to give her the only consolation in my power,--a
little liberty. But it was very sad, brother!"

There was a moment's silence, broken by M. Van Amberg. "Madame Van
Amberg was in her own dwelling," said he, severely, "with her
children, and under the protection of a devoted friend. Her husband
toiled in foreign parts to increase the fortune of the family; she
remained at home to keep house and educate her daughters; all that is
very natural." And he filled his pipe.

"True," replied William; "but still she was unhappy. Was it a crime?
God will decide. Leave her to his justice, Karl, and let us be
merciful! During your long absence, chance conducted hither some
Spaniards whom Annunciata had known in her childhood, and amongst them
the son of an old friend of her father's. Oh! with what mingled joy
and agitation did the dear child welcome her countrymen! What tears
she shed in the midst of her joy ... for she had forgotten how to be
happy, and every emotion made her weep. How eagerly she heard and
spoke her native tongue! She fancied herself again in Spain; for a
while she was almost happy. You returned, brother, and you were cruel;
one day, without explaining your motives, you shut your door upon the
strangers. Tell me, why would you not allow fellow-countrymen,
friends, a companion of her childhood, to speak to your wife of her
family and native land? Why require complete isolation, and a total
rupture with old friends? She obeyed without a murmur, but she
suffered more than you thought. I watched her closely; I, her old
friend. Since that fresh proof of your rigour, she is sadder than
before. A third time she became a mother; it was in vain; her
unhappiness continued. Brother, your hand has been too heavy on this
feeble creature."

M. Van Amberg rose, and slowly paced the room. "Have you finished,
William?" said he; "this conversation is painful, let it end here; do
not abuse the license I give you."

"No; I have yet more to say. You are a cold and severe husband, but
that is not all; you are also an unjust father. Christine, your third
daughter, is denied her share of your affection, and by this
partiality you further wound the heart of Annunciata. Christine
resembles her; she is what I can fancy her mother at fifteen--a lively
and charming Spaniard; she has all her mother's tastes; like her she
lives with difficulty in our climate, and although born in it, by a
caprice of nature she suffers from it as Annunciata suffered. Brother,
the child is not easy to manage; independent, impassioned, violent in
all her impressions, she has a love of movement and liberty which ill
agrees with our regular habits, but she has also a good heart, and by
appealing to it you might perhaps have tamed her wild spirit. For
Christine you are neither more nor less than a pitiless judge. Her
childhood was one long grief. And thus, far from losing her wild
restlessness, she loves more than ever to be abroad and at liberty;
she goes out at daybreak; she looks upon the house as a cage whose
bars hurt her, and you vainly endeavour to restrain her. Brother, if
you would have obedience, show affection. It is a power that succeeds
when all others fail. Why prevent her marrying the man she loves?
Herbert the student is not rich, nor is his alliance brilliant; but
they love each other!"

M. Van Amberg, who had continued his walk, now stopped short, and
coldly replied to his brother's accusations; "Christine is only
fifteen, and I do my duty by curbing the foolish passion that
prematurely disturbs her reason. As to what you call my partiality,
you have explained it yourself by the defects of her character. You,
who reproach others as pitiless judges, beware yourself of judging too
severely. Every man acts according to his internal perceptions, and
all things are not good to be spoken. Empty your glass, William, and
if you have finished your pipe, do not begin another. The business I
had to discuss with you will keep till another day; it is late, and I
am tired. It is not always wise to rake up the memories of the past. I
wish to be alone a while. Leave me, and tell Madame Van Amberg to come
to me in a quarter of an hour."

"Why not say, 'Tell Annunciata?' Why, for so long a time, has that
strange sweet name never passed your lips?"

"Tell Madame Van Amberg I would speak with her, and leave me,
brother," replied Karl sternly.

William felt he had pushed Karl Van Amberg's patience to its utmost
limit; he got up and left the room. At the foot of the stairs he
hesitated a moment, then ascended, and sought Annunciata in
Christine's chamber. It was a narrow cell, shining with cleanliness,
and containing a few flowers in glasses, a wooden crucifix, with
chaplets of beads hanging on it, and a snow-white bed; a guitar (it
was her mother's) was suspended on the wall. From the window was seen
the meadow, the river, and the willows. Christine sat on the foot of
the bed, still weeping; her mother was beside her, offering her bread
and milk, with which Christine's tears mingled. Annunciata kissed her
daughter's eyes, and then furtively wiped her own. On entering,
William stood for a few moments at the door, mournfully contemplating
this touching picture.

"My brother, my good brother," cried Annunciata, "speak to my child!
She has forgotten prayer and obedience; her heart is no longer
submissive, and her tears avail nothing, for she murmurs and menaces.
Ask her, brother, by whom it was told her that life is joy? that we
live only to be happy? Talk to her of duty, and give her strength to
accomplish it!"

"Your husband inquires for you, sister. Go, I will remain with

"I go, my brother," replied Annunciata. Approaching the little mirror
above the chimney-piece, she washed the tear-stains from her eyes,
pressed her hand upon her heart to check its throbbings, and when her
countenance had resumed its expression of calm composure, she
descended the stairs. Gothon was seated on the lower steps.

"You spoil her, madame," said she roughly to her mistress; "foolish
ears need sharp words. You spoil her."

Gothon had been in the house before Annunciata, and had been greatly
displeased by the arrival of her master's foreign lady, whose
authority she never acknowledged. But she had served the Van Ambergs'
mother, and therefore it was without fear of dismissal that she
oppressed, after her own fashion, her timid and gentle mistress.

Annunciata entered the parlour and remained standing near the door as
if waiting an order. Her husband's countenance was graver and more
gloomy than ever.

"Can no one hear us, madam? Are you sure we are alone?"

"Quite alone, sir," replied the astonished Annunciata.

M. Van Amberg recommenced his walk. For some moments he said nothing.
His wife, her hand resting on the back of an arm-chair, silently
awaited his pleasure. At last he again spoke.

"You bring up your daughter Christine badly; I left her to your care
and guidance, and you do not watch over her. Do you know where she
goes and what she does?"

"From her childhood, sir," replied Annunciata gently, pausing between
each phrase, "Christine has loved to live in the open air. She is
delicate, and requires sun and liberty to strengthen her. Till now you
have allowed her to live thus; I saw no harm in letting her follow her
natural bent. If you disapprove, sir, she will obey your orders."

"You bring up your daughter badly," coldly repeated M. Van Amberg.
"She will dishonour the name she bears."

"Sir!!" exclaimed Annunciata, her cheeks suffused with the deepest
crimson; her eyes emitting a momentary but vivid flash.

"Look to it, madam, I will have my name respected, that you know! You
also know I am informed of whatever passes in my house. Your daughter
secretly meets a man to whom I refused her hand; this morning, at six
o'clock, they were together on the river bank!"

"My daughter! my daughter!"--cried Annunciata in disconsolate tones.
"Oh! it is impossible! She is innocent! she shall remain so! I will
place myself between her and evil, I will save my child! I will take
her in my arms, and close her ears to dangerous words. My daughter, I
will say, remain innocent, remain honoured, if you would not see me

With unmoved eye M. Van Amberg beheld the mother's emotion. Beneath
his frozen gaze, Annunciata felt embarrassed by her own agitation;
she made an effort to calm herself; then, with clasped hands, and eyes
filled with tears, which she would not allow to flow, she resumed, in
a constrained voice:

"Is this beyond doubt, sir?"

"It is," replied M. Van Amberg: "I never accuse without certainty."

There was a moment's silence. M. Van Amberg again spoke.

"You will lock Christine in her room, and bring me the key. She will
have time to reflect, and I trust reflexion will be of service to her;
in a prolonged seclusion she will lose that love of motion and liberty
which leads her into harm; the silence of complete solitude will allay
the tumult of her thoughts. None shall enter her room, save Gothon,
who shall take her her meals, and return me the key. This is what I
have decided upon as proper."

Madame Van Amberg's lips opened several times to speak, but her
courage failed her. At last she advanced a pace or two.

"But I, sir, I," said she in a stifled voice, "_I_ am to see my

"I said no one," replied M. Van Amberg.

"But she will despair, if none sustain her. I will be severe with her;
you may be assured I will! Let me see her, if only once a-day. She may
fall ill of grief, and who will know it? Gothon dislikes her. For
pity's sake, let me see Christine! For a minute only, a single

M. Van Amberg once more stood still, and fixed upon his wife a look
that made her stagger. "Not another word!" he said. "I allow no
discussion, madam. No one shall see Christine; do you hear?"

"I will obey," replied Annunciata.

"Convey my orders to your daughter. At dinner bring me the key of her
room. Go."

Madame Van Amberg found Christine alone, seated on her bed, and
exhausted by long weeping. Her beautiful face, at times so energetic,
wore an expression of profound and touching dejection. Her long hair
fell in disorder on her shoulders, her figure was bent, as if weighed
down by grief; her rosary had fallen from her half-open hand; she had
tried to obey her mother and to pray, but had been able only to weep.
Her black mantle, still damp with rain, lay upon a table, a few willow
sprays peeping from its silken folds. Christine eyed them with mingled
love and melancholy. She thought it a century since she saw the sun
rise on the river, on the old trees, and on Herbert's skiff. Her
mother slowly approached her.

"My child," said she, "where were you at daybreak this morning?"

Christine raised her eyes to her mother's face, looked at her, but did
not answer. Annunciata repeated her question without change of word or
tone. Then Christine let herself slide from the bed to the ground, and
kneeled before her mother.

"I was seated," said she, "upon the trunk of a willow that overhangs
the stream. I was near Herbert's boat."

"Christine!" exclaimed Madame Van Amberg, "can it be true? Oh, my
child, could you so infringe the commands laid upon you! Could you
thus forget my lessons and advice! Christine, you thought not of me
when you committed that fault!"

"Herbert said to me, 'Come, you shall be my wife, I will love you
eternally, you shall be free and happy; all is ready for our marriage
and our flight; come!' I replied, 'I will not leave my mother!'
Mother, you have been my safeguard; if it be a crime to follow
Herbert, it is the thought of you alone that prevented my committing
it. I would not leave my mother!"

A beam of joy illumined Annunciata's countenance. Murmuring a
thanksgiving to God, she raised her kneeling child and seated her by
her side.

"Speak to me, Christine," she said, "open your heart, and tell me all
your thoughts. Together we will regret your faults, and seek hope for
the future. Speak, my daughter; conceal nothing."

Christine laid her head upon her mother's shoulder, put one of her
little hands in hers, sighed deeply, as though her heart were too
oppressed for words, and spoke at last with effort and fatigue.

"Mother," she said, "I have nothing to confess that you do not
already know. I love Herbert. He is but a poor student, intrusted to
my father's care, but he has a noble heart--like mine, somewhat sad.
He knows much, and he is gentle to those who know nothing. Poor, he is
proud as a king: he loves, and he tells it only to her who knows it.
My mother, I love Herbert! He asked my hand of my father, whose reply
was a smile of scorn. Then he was kept from me, and I tried to exist
without seeing him. I could not do it. I made many _neuvaines_ on the
rosary you gave me. I had seen you weep and pray, mother, and I said
to myself--Now that I weep as she does, I must also pray like her. But
it happened once, as day broke, that I saw a small boat descend the
stream, then go up again, and again descend; from time to time a white
sail fluttered in the air as one flutters a kerchief to a departing
friend. My thoughts, then as now, were on Herbert; I ran across the
meadow--I reached the stream.--Mother, it was he! hoping and waiting
my coming. Long and mournfully we bewailed our separation; fervently
we vowed to love each other till death. This morning Herbert,
discouraged and weary of waiting a change in our position, urged me to
fly with him. I might have fled, mother, but I thought of you and
remained. I have told you all; if I have done wrong, forgive me,
dearest mother!"

With deep emotion Madame Van Amberg listened to her daughter, and
remained buried in reflection, when Christina paused. She felt that
the young girl's suffering heart needed gentle lessons, affectionate
advice; and, instead of these, she was the bearer of a sentence whose
severity must aggravate the evil--she was compelled to deny her sick
child the remedies that might have saved her.

"You love him very dearly then," said she at last, fixing a long
melancholy look on her daughter's countenance.

"Oh, mother!" exclaimed Christine, "I love him with all my soul! My
life is passed in expecting, seeing, remembering him! I could never
make you comprehend how entirely my heart is his. Often I dream of
dying for him, not to save his life, that were too easy and natural,
but uselessly, at his command."

"Hush! Christine, hush! you frighten me," cried Annunciata, placing
both hands upon her daughter's mouth. By a quick movement Christine
disengaged herself from her mother's arms.

"Ah!" she exclaimed, "you know not what it is to love as I do! My
father could never let himself be loved thus!"

"Be silent, my child! be silent!" repeated Annunciata energetically.
"Oh, my daughter! how to instil into your heart thoughts of peace and
duty! Almighty Father! bless my weak words, that they may touch her
soul! Christine, hear me!"

Annunciata took her daughter's hands, and compelled her to stand
before her. "My child," she said, "you know nothing of life; you walk
at random, and are about to wander from the right path. All young
hearts have been troubled as yours is now. The noble ones have
struggled and triumphed; the others have fallen! Life is no easy and
pleasant passage; its trials are many and painful--its struggles
severe; believe me, for us women there is no true happiness without
the bounds of duty. And when happiness is not our destiny, many great
things still remain to us. Honour, the esteem of others, are not mere
empty words. Hear me, beloved child! That God, whom from your infancy
I have taught you to love, do you not fear offending him? Seek Him,
and you will find better consolation than I can offer. Christine, we
love in God those from whom we are severed on earth. He, who in his
infinite wisdom imposed so many fetters on the heart of woman, foresaw
the sacrifices they would entail, and surely he has kept treasures of
love for hearts that break in obedience to duty."

Annunciata rapidly wiped the tears inundating her fine countenance;
then clasping, Christine's arm--

"On your knees, my child! on our knees both of us before the Christ I
gave you! 'Tis nearly dark, and yet we still discern Him--his arms
seeming to open for us. Bless and save and console my child, oh
merciful God! Appease her heart; make it humble and obedient!"

Her prayer at an end, she rose, and throwing her arms round Christine,
who had passively allowed herself to be placed on her knees and lifted
up again, she embraced her tenderly, pressed her to her heart, and
bathed her hair with tears. "My daughter," she murmured between her
kisses, "my daughter, speak to me! Utter one word that I may take with
me as a hope! My child, will you not speak to your mother?"

"Mother, I love Herbert!" was Christine's reply.

Annunciata looked despairingly at her child, at the crucifix upon the
wall, at the darkening sky seen through the open window. The
dinner-bell rang. Madame Van Amberg made a strong effort to collect
and express her ideas.

"M. Van Amberg," said she in broken voice, "orders you to remain in
your room. I am to take him the key. You are to see no one. The hour
is come, and he expects me."

"A prisoner!" cried Christine; "A prisoner,--alone, all day! Death
rather than that!"

"He will have it so," repeated Annunciata, mournfully; "I must obey.
He will have it so." And she approached the door, casting upon
Christine a look of such ineffable love and grief, that the young
girl, fascinated by the gaze, let her depart without opposition. The
key turned in the lock, and Annunciata, supporting herself by the
banister, slowly descended. She found M. Van Amberg alone in the

"You have been a long time up stairs," said he. "Have you convinced
yourself that your daughter saw the student Herbert this morning?"

"She did," murmured Annunciata.

"You have told her my orders?"

"I have done so."

"Where is the key?" She gave it him.

"Now to dinner," said M. Van Amberg, walking into the dining-room.
Annunciata endeavoured to follow him, but her strength failed her, and
she sank upon a chair.

M. Van Amberg sat down alone to his dinner.


"A prisoner!" repeated Christine in her solitude; "apart from all!
shut up! Yon meadow was too wide a range; the house too spacious a
prison. I must have a narrower cell, with more visible walls--a
straiter captivity! They deprive me of the little air I breathed--the
scanty liberty I found means to enjoy!"

She opened the window to its full extent; leaned upon the sill, and
looked at the sky. It was very dark; heavy clouds hid the stars; no
light fell upon the earth; different shades of obscurity alone marked
the outlines of objects. The willows, so beautiful when Herbert and
the sun were there, were now a black and motionless mass; dead silence
reigned around. In view of nature thus lifeless and lightless, hopes
of happiness could hardly enter the heart. Christine was in a fever:
she felt oppressed and crushed by unkindly influences, by the
indifference of friends, by a tyrant's will, even by the cold and
mournful night. The young girl's heart beat quickly and rebelliously.

"Be it so!" she exclaimed aloud; "let them have their way! They may
render me unhappy; I will not complain. They sanctify my love by
persecution. Happy, I should perhaps have been ashamed to love so
much. But they rob me of air and liberty; I suffer; I weep. Ah! I feel
proud that my heart still throbs with joy in the midst of so many
evils. My sufferings will hallow my love, will compel the respect of
those who scoffed and slighted it. Herbert! dear Herbert! where are
you at this moment? Do you joyfully anticipate to-morrow's dawn: are
you busy with your boat, preparing it for its early cruise? Or do you
sleep, dreaming of the old willows in the meadow, hearing the waters
murmur through their branches, and the voice of Christine promising
her return? But no; it cannot be; our hearts are too united for their
feelings thus to differ! You are sad, my love, and you know not why; I
am sad with knowledge of our misfortune--'tis the sole difference
separation can establish between us. When shall we meet again,
Herbert? Alas! I know not, but meet we assuredly shall. If God lets me
live, he will let me love you."

Christine shut the window and threw herself on her bed without
undressing. It was cold; she wrapped herself in her mantle, and
gradually her head sank upon her breast. Her hands, at first pressed
against each other, opened and fell by her sides. She dropped asleep,
like an infant, in the midst of her tears.

The first sun-rays, feeble though they were, awoke Christine, who
sprang hastily from her couch. "Herbert waits for me!" she exclaimed.
At her age memory is better for joy than for sorrow. For her the dawn
of day was still a rendezvous of love. The next moment she awoke to
the consciousness of her captivity. She went to the window, leaned out
as on the previous evening, and looked mournfully around. In a corner
of the heavens was a glow of light, intercepted by billows of cloud.
The pale foliage of the willows shivered in the breeze, which ruffled
the leaves without bending the branches; the long fine grass of the
meadow was seen through a veil of fog, as yet undispelled by the sun.
The sounds of awakening nature had not yet begun, when a white sail
stood out upon the surface of the stream, gliding lightly along like
the open wing of a graceful bird. It passed to and fro in front of the
meadow; was lowered before the trees, and then again displayed,
bending the boat's gunwale to the water's surface, hovering
continually around a point of the bank, as though confined within the
circle of an invisible fascination. At long intervals the wind brought
a faint and scarce perceptible sound, like the last notes of a song;
then the little bark again manœuvred, and its sail flapped in the
air. The pale tints of dawn gave way to the warmer sunbeams;
passengers appeared upon the bank; trading boats ascended the river;
the windows of the red brick house opened as if to inhale the morning
air. The boat lowered its sail, and floated slowly away at the will of
the current. Christine looked after it and wept.

Twice during that day, Gothon opened the door of the young girl's
chamber, and brought her a frugal meal. Twice did Gothon depart
without uttering a word. The whole day passed in silence and solitude.
Christine knew not how to get rid of the weary hours. She knelt before
the crucifix, her alabaster rosary in her hand, her head raised
towards the cross, and prayed. But her prayer was for Herbert, to see
him again; she never dreamed of praying to forget him. Then she took
down the guitar, passed round her neck the faded blue riband, tied on
it at Seville, and which her mother would never allow to be changed.
She struck a few chords of the songs she best loved; but her voice was
choked, and her tears flowed more abundantly when she tried to sing.
She collected the little sprays of willow, and placed them in a book
to dry and preserve them. But the day was very long; and the poor
child fluttered in her prison like a caged bird, with an anguish that
each moment increased. Her head burned, her bosom throbbed. At last
night came. Seated near the open window, the cold calmed her a little.
They brought her no light, and time passed more slowly than ever. She
went to bed, but, deprived of her accustomed exercise, tormented by a
thousand anxieties, she could not sleep; she got up, walked about in
the darkness, and again lay down; slumber still avoided her. This time
her eyes, red with tears and watchfulness, beheld the sunrise without
illusion; she did not for a moment forget her captivity, but looked
mournfully out at the little sail which, faithful to its rendezvous,
came each morning with the sun. Again, none but Gothon disturbed her
solitude. During another long day, Christine, alternately desponding
and excited, walked, wept, lamented, and prayed. Night came again.
Nothing broke the silence; the lights in the red house were
extinguished one after the other. Profound darkness covered the earth.
Christine remained at her window, insensible to cold. Suddenly she
started: she heard her name pronounced in low tones at the foot of the
wall. She listened.

"Christine, my daughter!" repeated the voice.

"Mother," exclaimed Christine, "you out in this dreadful weather! I
conjure you to go in!"

"I have been two days in bed, my child; I have been unwell; to-night
I am better; I felt it impossible to remain longer without seeing you,
who are my life, my strength, my health! Oh! you were right not to
leave me; it would have killed me. How are you, dear Christine? Have
you all you require? How do you live, deprived of my caresses?"

"Dearest mother, for heaven's sake, go in! The night is damp and cold;
it will be your death!"

"Your voice warms me; it is far from you that I feel chill and faint.
Dearest child, my heart sends you a thousand kisses."

"I receive them on my knees, mother, my arms extended towards you.
But, when shall I see you again?"

"When you submit, and promise to obey; when you no longer seek him you
are forbidden to see, and whom you must forget. My daughter, it is
your duty."

"Oh mother, I thought your heart could better understand what it never
felt. I thought you respected the true sentiments of the soul, and
that your lips knew not how to utter the word 'forget.' If I forgot, I
should be a mere silly child, capricious, unruly, unworthy your
tenderness. If my malady is without remedy, I am a steadfast woman,
suffering and self-sacrificing. Good God! How is it you do not
understand that?"

"I understand," murmured Annunciata, but in so low a tone, that she
was sure her daughter could not hear her.

"Mother," resumed Christine, "go to my father! summon up that courage
which fails you when you alone are concerned; speak boldly to him,
tell him what I have told you; demand my liberty, my happiness."

"I!" exclaimed Annunciata in terror, "I brave M. Van Amberg, and
oppose his will!"

"Not oppose, but supplicate! compel his heart to understand what mine
experiences; force him to see and hear and feel that my life may
cease, but not my love. Who can do it, if you cannot? I am a captive.
My sisters know not love, my uncle William has never known it. It
needs a woman's voice to express a woman's feelings."

"Christine, you know not what you ask. The effort is above my

"I ask a proof of my mother's love; I am sure she will give it me."

"I shall die in so doing. M. Van Amberg can kill me by a word."

Christine started and trembled. "Do not go then, dearest mother.
Forgive my egotism; I thought only of myself. If my father has such
terrible power, avoid his anger. I will wait, and entreat none but

There was a brief pause. "Christine," said Madame Van Amberg, "since I
am your only hope, your sole reliance, and you have called me to your
aid, I will speak to him. Our fate is in the hands of heaven."

Annunciata interrupted herself by a cry of terror; a hand rudely
grasped her arm; M. Van Amberg, without uttering a word, dragged her
to the house door, compelled her to enter, took out the key, and made
her pass before him into the parlour. A lamp burned dimly upon the
table, its oil nearly exhausted; at times it emitted a bright flash,
and then suddenly became nearly extinguished. The corners of the room
were in darkness, the doors and windows closed, perfect silence
reigned; the only object on which a strong light fell, was the
countenance of M. Van Amberg. It was calm, cold, motionless. His great
height, the piercing look of his pale gray eyes, the austere
regularity of his features, combined to give him the aspect of an
implacable judge.

"You would speak with me, madam," said he to Annunciata, "I am here,

On entering the parlour, Annunciata let herself fall into a chair. Her
clothes streamed with water; her hair, heavy with rain, fell upon her
shoulders, her extreme paleness gave her the appearance of a corpse
rather than of a living creature. Terror obliterated memory, even of
what had just occurred, her mind was confused, she felt only that she
suffered horribly. Her husband's voice and words restored the chain of
her ideas; the poor woman thought of her child, made a violent effort,
rallied her strength, and rose to her feet.

"Now then," she murmured, "since it must be so!"

M. Van Amberg waited in silence, his arms crossed upon his breast, his
eyes fixed upon his wife; he stood like a statue, assisting neither by
word nor gesture the poor creature who trembled before him. Annunciata
looked long at him before speaking; she hoped that at sight of her
tears and sufferings, M. Van Amberg would remember he had loved her.
She threw her whole soul into her eyes, but not a muscle of her
husband's countenance moved. He waited for her to break silence.

"I need your indulgence," she at last said; "it costs me a fearful
effort to address you. In general I do but answer; I am unaccustomed
to speak first, and I am afraid. I dread your anger; have compassion
on a trembling woman, who would fain be silent, and who must speak.
Christine's happiness is in your hands. The poor child implores me to
soften your rigour.... Did I refuse, not a creature upon earth would
intercede for her. This is why I venture to petition you, sir."

M. Van Amberg continued silent. Annunciata wiped the tears from her
cheeks, and resumed with more courage.

"The poor child is much to be pitied; she has inherited the faults you
blame in me. Believe me, sir, I have laboured hard to check them in
the bud. I have striven, exhorted, punished, have spared neither
advice nor prayers, but all in vain. God has not been pleased to spare
me this new grief. Her nature is unchangeable; she is to blame, but
she is also much to be pitied. Christine loves with all her soul.
Women die of such love as hers, and when they do not die, they suffer
frightfully. For pity's sake, sir, let her marry him she loves!"

Annunciata covered her face with her hands, and awaited in an agony of
anxiety her husband's reply.

"Your daughter," said M. Van Amberg, "is still a child; she has
inherited, as you say, a character that needs restraint. I will not
yield to the first caprice that traverses her silly head. Herbert is
only two-and-twenty; we know nothing of his character. Your daughter
requires a protector, and a judicious guide. Herbert has neither
family, fortune, nor position. He shall never be the husband of a
woman who bears the name of Mademoiselle Van Amberg!"

"Sir!" cried Annunciata, clasping her hands and breathless with
emotion, "Sir! the best guidance for a woman's life is a union with
the man she loves! It is her best safeguard, it strengthens her
against the cares of the world. I entreat you, Karl!" exclaimed Madame
Van Amberg, falling upon her knees, "have compassion on my daughter!
Do not render duty a torture; do not exact from her too much courage!
We are weak creatures: we have need both of love and virtue. Place her
not in the terrible necessity of choosing between them. Pity, Karl,

"Madam," cried M. Van Amberg, and this time his frame was agitated by
a slight nervous trembling, "Madam, you are very bold to speak to me
thus! You! you! to dare to hold such language to me! Silence! and
teach your daughter not to hesitate in her choice between good and
evil. Do that, instead of weeping uselessly at my feet."

"Yes, it is bold of me, sir, thus to address you; but I have found
courage in suffering. I am ill,--in pain,--my life is worthless, save
as a sacrifice--let my child take it, I will speak for her! Her fate
is in your hands, do not crush her by a cruel decision! An absolute
judge and master should be guarded in word and deed, for a reckoning
will be asked of him! Be merciful to my child!"

M. Van Amberg approached his wife, took her arm, placed his other hand
on her mouth, and said:--

"Silence! I command you; no such scenes in my house, no noise and
whimpering. Your daughters sleep within a few yards of you, do not
disturb their repose. Your servants are above, do not awaken them.
Silence! You had no business to speak; I was wrong to listen to you.
Never dare again to discuss my orders; it is I whom your children must
obey, I whom you must obey yourself. Retire to your apartment, and
to-morrow let me find you what you yesterday were."

M. Van Amberg had regained his usual calmness. He walked slowly from
the room.

"Oh, my daughter!" exclaimed Annunciata, despairingly, "nothing have I
been able to do for you! Merciful Father! what will become of me,
placed between him and her, both inflexible in their resolves!"

The lamp which feebly illuminated this scene of sorrow, now suddenly
went out and left the unhappy mother in profound darkness. The rain
beat against the windows,--the wind howled,--the house clock struck

Christine had seen M. Van Amberg seize Annunciata's arm, and lead her
away with him; afterwards, she had distinguished, through the slight
partitions of the house, a faint echo as of mingled sobs, entreaties,
and reproaches. She understood that her fate was deciding,--that her
poor mother had devoted herself for her, and was face to face with the
stern ruler whose look alone she usually dared not brave. Christine
passed the night in terrible anxiety, abandoning herself alternately
to discouragement and to joyful hopes. At her age it is not easy to
despair. Fear, however, predominated over every other emotion, and she
would have given years of existence to learn what had passed. But the
day went by like the previous one. She saw none but Gothon. Her she
ventured to question, but the old servant had orders not to answer.

Another day elapsed. Christine's solitude was still unbroken, no
friendly voice reached her ear, no kind hand lifted the veil shrouding
her future. The poor girl was exhausted, she had not even the energy
of grief. She wept without complaint, almost without a murmur. Night
came, and she fell asleep, exhausted by her sorrow. She had scarcely
slept an hour when she was awakened by the opening of the door, and
Gothon, lamp in hand, approached her bed. "Get up, Mademoiselle," said
the servant, "and follow me."

Christine dressed herself as in a dream, and hastily followed Gothon,
who conducted her to her mother's room, opened the door and drew back
to let her pass. A sad spectacle met the young girl's eyes.
Annunciata, pale and almost inanimate, lay in the agonies of death.
Her presentiment had not deceived her; suffering and agitation had
snapped the slender strings that bound her to the earth. The light of
the lamp fell full upon her features, whose gentle beauty pain was
impotent to deface. Resignation and courage were upon her countenance,
over which came a gleam of joy when Christine appeared. Wilhelmina and
Maria knelt and wept at the foot of their mother's bed. William stood
a little apart, holding a prayer-book, but his eyes had left the page
to look at Annunciata, and two large tears trembled on their lids. M.
Van Amberg, seated beside his wife's pillow, had his face shaded by
his hand, so that none could see its expression.

With a piercing cry, Christine rushed to Madame Van Amberg, who
received her in her arms. "Mother!" she cried, her cheek against
Annunciata's, "it is I who have killed you! For love of me you have
exceeded your strength."

"No, my beloved child, no," replied Annunciata, kissing her daughter
between each word, "I die of an old and incurable malady. But I die
happy, since I once more clasp you in my arms."

"And they did not let me nurse you!" cried Christine, indignantly
raising her head; "they concealed your illness! They let me weep for
other sorrows than yours, my mother!"

"Dearest child," replied Annunciata gently, "this crisis has been very
sudden; two hours ago they knew not my danger, and I wished to fulfil
my religious duties before seeing you. I wished to think only of God.
Now I can abandon myself to the embraces of my children." And she
clasped her weeping daughters to her heart. "Dear children," said she,
"God is full of mercy to the dying, and sanctifies a mother's
benediction. I bless you, my daughters; remember and pray for me."

The three young girls bowed their heads upon their mother's hand, and
replied by tears alone to this solemn farewell.

"My good brother," resumed Annunciata to William, "My good brother,
we have long lived together, and to me you have ever been a devoted
friend, indulgent and gentle. I thank you, brother!"

William averted his head to conceal his tears, but a deep sob escaped
him, and he turned his venerable face towards Annunciata.

"Do not thank me, sister," he said, "I have done little for you. I
loved you, that is certain, but I could not enliven your solitude. My
sister, you will still live for the happiness of us all."

Annunciata gently shook her head. Her glance sought her husband as if
she would fain have addressed her last words to him. But they expired
on her lips. She looked at him timidly, sadly, and then closed her
eyes, to check the starting tears. She grew visibly weaker, and as
death approached, a painful anxiety took possession of her. Resigned,
she was not calm. It was ordained her soul should suffer and be
troubled to the end. The destiny of one of her daughters disturbed her
last moments; she dared not pronounce the name of Christine, she dared
not ask compassion for her; a thousand conflicting doubts and fears
agitated her poor heart. She died as she had lived, repressing her
tears, concealing her thoughts. From time to time she turned to her
husband, but his head continued sunk upon his hand; not one look of
encouragement could she obtain. At last came the spasm that was to
break this frail existence. "Adieu! Adieu!" she murmured in
unintelligible accents. Her eyes no longer obeyed her, and none could
tell whom they sought. William approached his brother, and placed his
hand upon his shoulder. "Karl!" he whispered in tones audible but to
him he addressed, "she is dying! Have you nothing to say to a poor
creature who has so long lived with you and suffered by you? Living,
you loved her not; do not let her die thus! Fear you not, Karl, lest
this woman, oppressed and slighted by you, should expire with a leaven
of resentment in her heart? Crave her pardon before she departs."

For an instant all was silent. M. Van Amberg stirred not. Annunciata,
her head thrown back, seemed to have already ceased to exist. On a
sudden, she moved, raised herself with difficulty, leaned over towards
M. Van Amberg, and groped for his hand as though she had been blind.
When she found it, she bowed her face upon it, kissed it twice, and
expired in that last kiss.

"On your knees!" cried William, "on your knees, she is in heaven! let
us implore her intercession!" And all knelt down.

Of all the prayers addressed to God by man during his life of trial,
not one is more solemn than that which escapes the desolate heart,
when a beloved soul flies from earth to heaven, to stand, for the
first time, in the presence of its Creator.

M. Van Amberg rose from his knees.

"Leave the room!" said he to his brother and daughters, "I would be
alone with my wife."

Alone, beside the bed of his dead wife, Karl Van Amberg gazed upon the
pale countenance, to which death had restored all the beauty of youth.
A tear, left there by human suffering, a tear which none other was to
follow, glittered upon the clay-cold cheek; one arm still hung out of
bed, as when it held his hand; the head was in the position in which
it had kissed his fingers. He gazed at her, and the icy envelope that
bound his heart was at last broken. "Annunciata!" he exclaimed,

For fifteen years that name had not passed his lips. Throwing himself
on his wife's corpse, he clasped her in his arms and kissed her

"Annunciata!" he cried, "can you not feel this kiss of peace and love!
Annunciata, we have both suffered terribly! God did not grant us
happiness. I loved you from the first day that I saw you, a joyous
child in Spain, till this sad moment that I press you dead upon my
heart. Oh Annunciata, how great have been our sufferings!"

Karl Van Amberg wept.

"Repose in peace, poor woman!" he murmured, "may you find in heaven
the repose denied you upon earth!" And with trembling hand he closed
Annunciata's eyes. Then he knelt down beside her.

"Almighty God!" he said, "I have been severe. Be thou merciful!"


When, at break of day, M. Van Amberg left the chamber of death, his
face had resumed its habitual expression; his inflexible soul, for a
moment bowed, had regained its usual level. To Annunciata had been
given the last word of love, the last tear of that heart of adamant.
To the eyes of all he reappeared as the stern master and father, the
man on whose brow no sorrow left a trace. His daughters bowed
themselves upon his passage, William spoke not to him, order and
regularity returned to the house. Annunciata was buried without pomp
or procession. She left, to revisit it no more, the melancholy abode
where her suffering soul had worn out its mortal envelope; she ceased
to live, as a sound ceases to be heard, as a cloud passes, as a flower
fades; nothing stopped or altered because she went. If any mourned
her, they mourned in silence; if they thought of her, they proclaimed
not their thoughts; her name was no more heard; only the interior of
the little red house was rather more silent, and M. Van Amberg's
countenance appeared to all more rigid than before. During the day,
Christine's profound grief obeyed the iron will that weighed on each
member of the family. The poor child was silent, worked, sat at table,
lived on as if her heart had not been crushed; but at night, when she
was alone in the little room where her mother had so often wept with
her, she gave free course to grief; she invoked her mother, spoke to
her, extended her arms to her, and would fain have left the earth to
be with her in heaven. "Take me to you, dear mother!" she would
exclaim. "Deprived of you, apart from him, I cannot live! Since I saw
you die, I no longer fear death."

Since the death of Annunciata, Christine was allowed her liberty, M.
Van Amberg doubtless thinking, and with reason, that she would make no
use of it during her first grief. Or, perhaps, with his wife's corpse
scarcely cold, he hesitated to recur to the severity that had caused
her so many tears. Whatever his motive, Christine was free, at least
to all appearance. The three sisters, in deep mourning, never passed
the threshold; they sat all day at work near the low window of the
parlour, supped with their uncle and father, then retired to bed.
During the long hours of their silent work, Christine often thought of
her lover. She dared not attempt to see him; she would have expected
to hear her mother's voice murmur in her ear,--"My daughter, it is too
soon to be happy! Mourn me yet a little, alone and without

One morning, after a night of tears, Christine fell into a tardy
slumber, broken by dreams. Now it was her mother, who took her in her
arms, and flew with her towards heaven. "I will not let you live,"
said Annunciata, "for life is sorrow. I have prayed of God to let you
die young, that you may not weep as I have wept!"

The next instant she beheld herself clothed in white, and crowned with
flowers. Herbert was there, love sparkling in his eyes. "Come, my
betrothed!" he said, "life is joy! My love shall guard you from all
evil; come, we will be happy!"

She started up, awakened by a sudden noise in her chamber. The window
was open, and on the floor lay a pebble with a letter attached. Her
first impulse was to fly to the window; a bush stirred in the
direction of the river, but she saw no one. She snatched up the
letter, she guessed it was Herbert's writing. It seems as if one never
saw for the first time the writing of him one loves; the heart
recognises as if the eyes had already seen it. Christine was alone, a
beam of the rising sun tinted the summits of the willows, and hope and
love revived in the young girl's heart, as she read what follows:

"Christine, I can write but a few lines; a long letter, difficult to
conceal, might never reach you. Hear me with your heart, and guess
what I am unable to write. As you know, dearest, my family intrusted
me to your father and gave him all authority over me. He can employ me
at his will, and according to the convenience of his commercial
establishments. Christine, I have just received orders to embark in
one of his ships, sailing for Batavia."

A cry escaped Christine's lips, and her eyes, suffused with tears,
devoured the subsequent lines.

"Your father places the immensity of ocean between us; he separates us
for ever. We are to meet no more! Christine, has your heart, since I
last saw you, learned to comprehend those words? No, my adored
Christine, we must live or die together! Your poor mother is no more;
your presence is no longer essential to the happiness of any one. Your
family is pitiless and without affection for you. Your future is gloom
and unhappiness. Come, then, let us fly together. In the Helder are
numerous ships; they will bear us far from the scene of our
sufferings. All is foreseen and arranged. Christine, my life depends
on your decision. For ever separated!... subscribe to that barbarous
decree, and I terminate an existence which henceforward would be all
bitterness! And you, Christine! will you love another, or live without
love? Oh! come, I have suffered so much without you! I summon you, I
await you, Christine! my bride! At midnight--on the river-bank--I will
be there! and a world of happiness is before us. Come, dear Christine,

As Christine read, her tears fell fast on Herbert's letter. She
experienced a moment of agonising indecision. She loved passionately,
but she was young and innocent, and love had not yet imparted to her
pure soul the audacity that braves all things. The wise counsels heard
in her father's house, uncle William's pious exhortations, the holy
prayers she had learned from her infancy upwards, resounded in her
ears; the Christ upon her wooden crucifix seemed to look at her; the
beads of her rosary were still warm with the pressure of her fingers.

"Oh! my dream! my dream!" she exclaimed: "Herbert who calls his bride!
my mother claiming her daughter! With him, life and love! With her,
death and heaven!..." And Christine sobbed aloud. For an instant she
tried calmly to contemplate an existence in that melancholy house,
weeping for Herbert, growing old without him, without love, within
those gloomy walls, where no heart sympathised with hers. The picture
was too terrible; she felt that such a future was unendurable. She
wept bitterly, kissed her rosary, her prayer book, as if bidding adieu
to all that had witnessed the innocence of her early years. Then her
heart beat violently. The fire of her glance dried her tears. She
looked out at the river, at the white sail which seemed to remind her
of her vows of love; she gave one last sob, as if breaking irrevocably
the links between her past and future. The image of her mother was no
longer before her. Christine, abandoned to herself, followed the
impulse of her passionate nature; she wept, trembled, hesitated, and
at last exclaimed,--

"At midnight, I will be there!"

Then she wiped her tears, and remained quite still for a few moments,
to calm her violent agitation. A vast future unrolled itself before
her; liberty would be hers; a new world was revealed to her eyes; a
new life began for her.

At last night came. A lamp replaced the fading day-light. The window
was deserted for the table. William and Karl Van Amberg came in. The
former took a book; his brother busied himself with commercial
calculations. The lamp gave a dull light; all was silent, sad, and
monotonous in the apartment. The clock slowly told the succeeding
hours. When its hammer struck ten, there was a movement round the
table; books were shut, work was folded. Karl Van Amberg rose; his two
eldest daughters approached him, and he kissed their foreheads in
silence. Christine no longer a captive, but still in disgrace, bowed
herself before her father. Uncle William, grown drowsy over his book,
put up his spectacles, muttering a "good-night." The family left the
parlour, and the three sisters ascended the wooden staircase. At her
chamber door, Christine felt a tightness at her heart. She turned and
looked after her sisters. "Good-night, Wilhelmina! good-night, Maria!"

The sisters turned their heads. By the faint light of their tapers
Christine saw them smile and kiss their hands to her. Then they
entered their rooms without speaking. Christine found herself alone.
She opened her window; the night was calm; at intervals clouds flitted
across the moon, veiling its brightness. Christine made no
preparations for departure; she only took her mother's rosary, and the
blue ribbon so long attached to the guitar; then she wrapped herself
in her black mantle and sat down by the window. Her heart beat quick,
but no distinct thought agitated her mind. She trembled without
terror; her eyes were tearful, but she felt no regret. For her, the
hour was rather solemn than sad; the struggle was over, and she was
irrevocably decided.

At last midnight came; each stroke of the clock thrilled Christine's
heart; for an instant she stood still, summoning strength and courage;
then, turning towards the interior of the room,--

"Adieu, my mother!" she whispered. Many living creatures dwelt under
that roof. It seemed to Christine as if she left her only who was no
longer there. "Adieu, my mother!" she repeated.

Then she stepped out of the window: a trellis, twined with creepers,
covered the wall. With light foot and steady hand, Christine
descended, aiding herself by the branches, and pausing when they
cracked under her tread or grasp. The stillness was so complete that
the slightest sound assumed importance. Christine's heart beat
violently; at last she reached the ground, raised her head, and looked
at the house. Her father's window was still lighted. Again she
shuddered with apprehension; then, feeling more courage for a minute's
daring than for half an hour's precautions, she darted across the
meadow and arrived breathless at the clump of willows. Before plunging
into it, she again looked round. All was quiet and deserted; she
breathed more freely and disappeared amongst the branches. Leaning
upon the old tree, the witness of her former rendezvous, she
whispered, so softly that none but a lover could hear, "Herbert, are
you there?"

A cautious oar skimmed the water; a well known voice replied. The boat
approached the willow; the young student stood up and held out his
arms to Christine, who leaped lightly into the skiff. In an instant,
they were out of the willow-shaded inlet; in another, the sail--the
signal of their loves--was hoisted to the breeze; the bark sped
swiftly over the water, and Herbert, scarce daring to believe his
happiness, was seated at Christine's feet. His hand sought hers; he
heard her weep, and he wept for sympathy. Both were silent, agitated,
uneasy, and happy.

But the night was fine, the moon shed its softest light, the ripple of
the stream had a harmony of its own, the light breeze cooled their
cheeks, the sail bent over them like the wing of an invisible being;
they were young, they loved, it was impossible that joy should not
revive in their hearts.

"Thanks, Christine, thanks!" exclaimed Herbert, "thanks a thousand
times for so much devotedness, for such confidence and love! Oh how
beautiful will life now appear! We are united for ever!"

"For ever!" repeated Christine, her tears flowing afresh. For the
first time she felt that great happiness, like great grief, expresses
itself by tears. Her hand in Herbert's, her eyes raised to heaven, she
gazed upon bright stars and fleecy clouds, sole and silent witnesses
of her happiness. Presently she was roused from this sweet reverie.

"See there, Herbert!" she exclaimed; "the sail droops along the mast,
the wind has fallen, we do not advance."

Herbert took the oars, and the boat cut rapidly through the water.
Wrapped in her mantle, Christine sat opposite, and smiled upon him.
Onwards flew the boat, a track of foam in its wake. Day-light was
still distant; all things favoured the fugitives. Again Christine
broke silence.

"Herbert, dear Herbert, do you hear nothing?"

Herbert ceased to row, and listened. "I hear nothing," he said, "save
the plash of the river against its banks." He resumed the oars; again
the boat moved rapidly forward. Christine was pale; half risen from
her seat, her head turned back, she strove to see, but the darkness
was too great.

"Be tranquil, best beloved," said Herbert with a smile. "Fear creates
sounds. All is still."

"Herbert," cried Christine, this time starting up in the boat, "I am
not mistaken! I hear oars behind us ... pause not to listen ... row,
for Heaven's love, row!"

Her terror was so great, she seemed so sure of what she said, that
Herbert obeyed in silence, and a sensation of alarm chilled his heart.
Christine seated herself at his feet.

"We are pursued!" she said; "the noise of your own oars alone
prevented your hearing. A boat follows us."

"If it be so," Herbert cried, "what matter! That boat does not bear
Christine, is not guided by a man who defends his life, his happiness,
his love. My arm will weary his, his bark will not overtake mine." And
Herbert redoubled his efforts. The veins of his arms swelled to
bursting; his forehead was covered with sweat-drops. The skiff clove
the waters as though impelled by wings. Christine remained crouched at
the young man's feet, pressing herself against him, as to seek refuge.

Other oars, wielded by stalwart arms, now struck the water not far
from Herbert's boat. The young student heard the sound; he bent over
his oars and made desperate efforts. But he felt his strength failing;
as he rowed he looked with agony at Christine; no one spoke, only the
noise of the two boats interrupted the silence. Around, all was calm
and serene as when the fugitives set out. But the soul of the young
girl had passed from life to death; her eyes, gleaming with a wild
fire, followed with increasing terror each movement of Herbert's; she
saw by the suffering expression of his countenance, that little hope
of escape remained. Still he rowed with the energy of despair; but the
fatal bark drew nearer, its shadow was seen upon the water, it
followed hard in the foamy track of Herbert's boat. Christine stood up
and looked back; just then the moon shone out, casting its light full
upon the pale, passionless features of M. Van Amberg. Christine
uttered a piercing cry.

"My father!" she cried, "Herbert, 'tis my father!"

Herbert also had recognised his pursuer. The youth had lived too long
in Karl Van Amberg's house, not to have experienced the strange kind
of fascination which that man exercised over all around him. Darkness
had passed away to reveal to the fugitives the father, master, and

"Stop, Herbert!" cried Christine, "we are lost, escape is impossible!
Do you not see my father?"

"Let me row!" replied Herbert, disengaging himself from Christine, who
had seized his arm. He gave so violent a pull with the oars, that the
little boat bounded out of the water and seemed to gain a little on
its pursuer.

"Herbert," cried Christine, "I tell you we are lost! 'Tis my father,
and resistance is useless! God will not work a miracle in our favour!
Herbert, I will not return to my father's house! Let us die together,
dear Herbert!"

And Christine, threw herself into her lover's arms. The oars fell from
the young man's hands; with a cry of anguish he pressed Christine
convulsively on his heart. For a single instant he thought of obeying
her, and of plunging with her into the dark tide beneath; but Herbert
had a noble heart, and he repelled the temptation of despair. The next
moment a violent shock made the boat quiver, and M. Van Amberg stepped
into it. Instinctively, Herbert clasped Christine more tightly, and
retreated; as if his strength could withhold her from her father; as
if, in that little boat, he could retreat far enough not to be
overtaken. With a vigorous arm, M. Van Amberg seized Christine, whose
slender form bent like a reed over his shoulder.

"Have mercy on her!" cried the despairing Herbert; "I alone am guilty!
Punish her not, and I promise to depart, to renounce her! Pity, sir,
pity for Christine!"

He spoke to a deaf and silent statue. Wresting Christine's hand from
the student's grasp, M. Van Amberg stepped back into his boat and
pushed Herbert's violently with his foot. Yielding to the impulse, the
boats separated; one was pulled swiftly up the river, whilst the
other, abandoned to itself, was swept by the current in a contrary
direction. Erect on the prow of his bark, his head thrown back, his
arms folded on his breast, M. Van Amberg fixed a terrible look upon
Herbert and then disappeared in the darkness. All was over. The father
had taken his daughter, and no human power could henceforward tear her
from his arms.

Within eight days from this fatal night, the gates of a convent closed
upon Christine Van Amberg.


On the frontier of Belgium, on the summit of a hill, stands a large
white building of irregular architecture, a confused mass of walls,
roofs, angles, and platforms. At the foot of the hill is a village,
whose inhabitants behold with a feeling of respect the edifice
towering above their humble dwellings. For there is seen the belfry of
a church, and thence is heard unceasingly the sound of pious bells,
proclaiming afar that on the mountain's summit a few devout souls pray
to God for all men. The building is a convent; the poor and the sick
well know the path leading to the hospitable threshold of the Sisters
of the Visitation.

To this convent was Christine sent. To this austere dwelling, the
abode of silence and self-denial, was she, the young, the beautiful,
the loving, pitilessly consigned. It was as though a gravestone had
suddenly closed over her head. With her, the superior of the convent
received the following letter:

"MADAME LA SUPERIEURE,--I send you your niece, Christine Van Amberg,
and beg you to oblige me by keeping her with you. I intend her to
embrace a religious life; employ the influence of your wise counsels
to predispose her to it. Her misconduct compels me to exclude her my
house; she requires restraint and watching, such as are only to be
found in a convent. Be pleased, dear and respected kinswoman, to
receive her under your roof; the best wish that can be formed for her
is that she may make up her mind to remain there for ever. Should she
inquire concerning a young man named Herbert, you may inform her that
he has sailed to Batavia, whence he will proceed to our most remote

"I am with respect, _Madame la Supérieure_, your kinsman and friend,

                                               "KARL VAN AMBERG."

       *       *       *       *       *

Five years had elapsed since the date of this letter, when one day the
convent-gate opened to admit a stranger, who craved to speak with the
superior. The stranger was an old man; a staff sustained his feeble
steps. Whilst waiting in the parlour, he looked about him with
surprise and emotion, and several times he passed his hand across his
eyes as if to brush away a tear. "Poor, poor child!" he muttered. When
the superior appeared behind the grating, he advanced quickly towards

"I am William Van Amberg," he said, "the brother of Karl Van Amberg. I
come, madam, to fetch Christine, his daughter and my niece."

"You come very late!" replied the superior; "sister Martha-Mary is on
the eve of pronouncing her vows."

"Martha-Mary!--I do not know the name!"--said William Van Amberg; "I
seek Christine--my niece Christine."

"Christine Van Amberg, now sister Martha-Mary, is about to take the

"Christine a nun! Oh, impossible! Madam, they have broken the child's
heart; from despair only would she take the veil; they have been
cruel, they have tortured her; but I bring her liberty and the
certainty of happiness,--permission to marry him she loves. Let me
speak to her, and she will quickly follow."

"Speak to her then; and let her depart if such be her will."

"Thanks, madam,--a thousand thanks! Send me my child, send me my
Christine--with joy and impatience I await her."

The superior retired. Left alone, William again contemplated the
melancholy abode in which he found himself, and the more he gazed, the
sadder his heart became. He would fain have taken Christine in his
arms, as he did when she was little, and have fled with her from those
chilly walls and dismal gratings.

"Poor child!" he repeated, "what a retreat for the bright years of
your youth!... How you must have suffered! But console thyself,
dearest child, I am here to rescue thee!"

He remembered Christine as a wild young girl, delighting in liberty,
air, and motion; then as an impassioned woman, full of love and
independence. And a smile crossed the old man's lips as he thought of
her burst of joy, when he should say to her,--"You are free, and
Herbert waits to lead you to the altar!" His heart beat as it had
never beaten in the best days of his youth; he counted the minutes and
kept his eyes fixed upon the little door through which Christine was
to come. He could not fold her in his arms, the grating prevented it,
but at least he should see and hear her. Suddenly all his blood rushed
to his heart, for the hinges creaked and the door opened. A novice,
clothed in white, slowly advanced; he looked at her, started back,
hesitated, and exclaimed: "Oh God! is that Christine?"

William had cherished in his heart the memory of a bright-eyed,
sunburnt girl, alert and lively, quick and decided in her movements,
running more often than she walked, like the graceful roe that loves
the mountain steeps. He beheld a tall young woman, white and
colourless as the robes that shrouded her; her hair concealed under a
thick linen band, her slender form scarcely to be distinguished
beneath the heavy folds of her woollen vestments. Her movements were
slow, her black eyes veiled by an indescribable languor; a profound
calm was the characteristic of her whole being--a calm so great, that
it resembled absence of life. One might have thought her eyes looked
without seeing, that her lips could not open to speak, that her ears
listened without hearing. Sister Martha-Mary was beautiful, but her
beauty was not of the earth--it was the beauty of infinite repose,--of
a calm that nothing could disturb.

The old man was touched to the bottom of his soul; the words expired
on his lips, and he extended his hands towards Christine. On beholding
her uncle, Martha-Mary endeavoured to smile, but moved not, and said

"Oh my child!" cried William at last, "how you must suffer here!"

Martha-Mary gently shook her head, and the tranquil look she fixed
upon her uncle, protested against his supposition.

"Is it possible that five years have thus changed my Christine! My
heart recognises you, my child, not my eyes! They have compelled you
to great austerities, severe privations?"


"A cruel bondage has weighed heavily upon you?


"You have been ill then?"


"Your poor heart has suffered too much, and has broken. You have shed
many tears?"

"I remember them no longer."

"Christine, Christine, do you live? or has the shade of Annunciata
risen from the grave? Oh my child! in seeing, you, I seem to see her
corpse, extended on the bed of death!"

Martha-Mary raised her large eyes to heaven; she joined her hands, and
murmured, "My mother!"

"Christine, speak to me! weep with me! you frighten me by your calm
and silence.... Ah! in my trouble and emotion, I have as yet explained
nothing.... Listen: my brother Karl, by the failure of a partner,
suddenly found his whole fortune compromised. To avoid total ruin he
was obliged to embark immediately for the colonies. He set sail
expecting to return in a few years; but his affairs prolong his
absence, and his return is indefinitely postponed. His two eldest
daughters are with him. To me, who am too old to follow him, too old
to remain alone, he has given Christine. I would not accept the
precious charge, my child, without the possibility of rendering you
happy. I implored permission to marry you to Herbert. You are no
longer a rich heiress: your father gone, you need protection, and that
of an old man cannot long avail you. In short, your father has agreed
to all I asked; he sends you, as a farewell gift, your liberty and his
consent to your marriage.... Christine! you are free, and Herbert
awaits his bride!"

The long drapery of the novice was slightly agitated, as if the limbs
it covered trembled; she remained some seconds without speaking, and
then replied, "It is too late! I am the affianced of the Lord!"

William uttered a cry of grief, and looked with alarm at the pale calm
girl, who stood immoveable before him.

"Christine!" he cried, "You no longer love Herbert?"

"I am the affianced of the Lord!" repeated the novice, her hands
crossed upon her breast, her eyes raised to heaven.

"Oh my God! my God!" cried William, weeping bitterly, "my brother has
killed his child! Her soul has been sad even unto death! Poor victim
of our severity, tell me, Christine, tell me, what has passed within
you, since your abode here?"

"I saw others pray, and I prayed also. There was a great stillness,
and I was silent; none wept, and I dried my tears; a something, at
first cold, then soothing, enveloped my soul. The voice of God made
itself heard to me, and I listened; I loved the Lord, and gave myself
to him."

Then, as if fatigued with speaking so much, Martha-Mary relapsed into
silence, and into that absorbing meditation which rendered her
insensible to surrounding things. Just then a bell tolled. The novice
started, and her eyes sparkled.

"God calls me!" she said, "I go to pray!"

"Christine! my daughter, will you leave me thus?"

"Hear you not the bell? It is the hour of prayer."

"But, Christine, dearest child, I came to take you hence."

"I shall never leave these walls!" said Martha-Mary, gliding slowly
away. As she opened the parlour door, she turned towards William; her
eyes fixed upon him with a sad and sweet expression; her lips moved,
as if to send him a kiss; then she disappeared. William made no
attempt to detain her; his head was pressed against the grating, and
big tears chased each other down his cheeks. How long he remained thus
plunged in mournful reflection, he noted not. He was roused by the
voice of the superior, who seated herself, wrapped in her black robes,
on the other side of the grating.

"I foresaw your grief," she said. "Our sister Martha-Mary refuses to
follow you."

With a despairing look, William answered the nun.

"Alas! alas!" he said, "the child I so dearly loved met me without
joy, and left me without regret."

"Listen, my son," resumed the superior; "listen to me.--Five years
ago, there came to this convent a young girl overwhelmed with grief
and sunk in terrible despair; her entrance here was to her a descent
into the tomb. During one entire year, none saw her but with tears on
her face. Only God knows how many tears the eyes must shed, before a
broken spirit regains calm and resignation; man cannot count them.
This young girl suffered much; in vain we implored pardon for her, in
vain we summoned her family to her relief. She might say, as is
written in the psalm,--'_I am weary with my groaning: mine eye is
consumed because of grief._' What could we do, save pray for her,
since none would receive her back!..."

"Alas!" cried William, "your letters never reached us. My brother was
beyond sea; and I, having then no hope of changing his determination,--
I had quitted his empty and melancholy house."

"Man abandoned her," continued the superior, "but God looked upon his
servant, and comforted her soul. If He does not see fit to restore
strength to her body, exhausted by suffering--His will be done!
Perhaps it would now be wise and generous to leave her to that love of
God which she has attained after so many tears; perhaps it would be
prudent to spare her fresh shocks."

"No! no!" interrupted William, "I cannot give up, even to God, this
last relic of my family, the sole prop of my old age. I will try every
means to bring back her heart to its early sentiments. Give me
Christine for a few days only! Let me conduct her to the place of her
birth, to the scenes where she loved. She is deaf to my entreaties,
but she will obey an order from you; bid her return for a while
beneath her father's roof! Should she still wish it, after this last
attempt, I will restore her hither."

"Take her with you, my son," replied the superior, "I will bid her
follow. If God has indeed spoken to her soul, no worldly voice will
move her. If it be otherwise, may she return no more to the cloister,
but be blessed wherever she goes! Adieu, my son; the peace of the Lord
be with you!"

Hope revived in the heart of William Van Amberg; it seemed to him as
if--the convent threshold once passed--Christine would revert to her
former character, her youth and love. He believed he was about to
remove his beloved child for ever from these gloomy walls, and with
painful impatience he awaited her coming. Soon a light step was heard
in the corridor; William threw open the door, Christine was there, and
no grating now separated her from her uncle.

"My beloved Christine!" exclaimed William, "at last, then, you are
restored to me; at last I can press you to my heart! Come, we will
return to our own country, and revisit the house where we all dwelt

Sister Martha-Mary was still paler than at her first interview with
William. If any expression was discernible upon that calm countenance,
it was one of sadness. She allowed herself to be taken by the hand and
conducted to the convent gate; but when the gate was opened, and,
passing into the open air, she encountered the broad daylight and the
fresh breeze, she tottered and leaned for support against the wall.
Just then the sun rent the clouds, and threw its golden beams on plain
and mountain; the air was clear and transparent, and the flat and
monotonous horizon acquired beauty from the burst of light.

"See, my daughter!" said William, "see how lovely the earth looks! How
soft is the air we breathe! How good it is to be free, and to move
towards that immense horizon!"

"Oh, my dear uncle!" replied the novice, "how beautiful are the
heavens! See how the sun shines above our heads! It is in heaven that
his glory should be admired! His rays are already dim and feeble when
they touch the earth!"

William led Christine to a carriage; they got in, and the horses set
off. Long did the gaze of the novice remain fixed on her convent's
walls; when these were hidden from her by the windings of the road,
she closed her eyes and seemed to sleep. During the journey, William
endeavoured in vain to make her converse; she had forgotten how to
express her thoughts. When compelled to reply, fatigue overwhelmed
her; her whole existence was concentrated in her soul, and detached
entirely from the external world. At intervals, she would say to
herself: "How long the morning is! Nothing marks the hours; I have not
heard a single bell to-day!"

At last they reached the red house, and the carriage drove into the
court, where the grass grow between the stones. Gothon came out to
receive them, and Martha-Mary, leaning on her uncle's arm, entered the
parlour where the family of Van Amberg had so often assembled. The
room was deserted and cold; no books or work gave it the look of
habitation; abandoned by its last occupants, it awaited new ones.
Christine slowly traversed this well-known apartment, and sat down
upon a chair near the window. It was there her mother had sat for
twenty years; there had her childhood passed at the knees of

William opened the window, showed her the meadow, the willows, and the
river. Christine looked at them in silence, her head resting on her
hand, her eyes fixed on the horizon. For a long while William stood
beside her, then he placed his hand on her shoulder and pronounced her
name. She rose and followed him. They ascended the stairs, traversed
the gallery, and William opened a door. "Your mother's room," said he
to Christine. The novice entered and stood still in the middle of the
chamber; tears flowed from her eyes, she clasped her hands and prayed.

"My daughter," said William, "_she_ ardently desired your happiness."

"She has obtained it!" replied the novice.

The old man felt a profound sadness come over him. It was like
pressing to his heart a corpse to which his love restored neither
breath nor warmth. Martha-Mary approached her mother's bed, knelt
down, and kissed the pillow that had supported the dying head of

"Mother!" she murmured, "soon we shall meet again."

William shuddered. He took Christine's hand, and led her to the room
she had formerly occupied. The little white-curtained bed was still
there, the guitar hung against the wall, Christine's favourite volumes
filled the shelves of her modest bookcase; through the open window
were seen the willows and the river. Martha-Mary noticed none of these
things: the wooden crucifix was still upon the wall; she rapidly
approached it, knelt, bowed her head upon the feet of Christ, closed
her eyes and breathed deeply, like one finding repose after long
fatigue. Like the exile returning to his native land, like the
storm-tossed mariner regaining the port, she remained with her brow
resting upon her Saviour's feet.

Standing by her side, William looked on in tearful silence. Farther
off, Gothon wiped her eyes with her apron. Several hours elapsed. The
house-clock struck, the birds sang in the garden; the wind rustled
among the trees; in the lofty pigeon-house the doves cooed; the cock
crowed in the poultry-yard. None of these loved and familiar sounds
could divert Martha-Mary from her devout meditation. Sick at heart,
her uncle descended to the parlour. He remained there long, plunged in
gloomy reflections. Suddenly hasty steps were heard; a young man
rushed into the room and into William's arms.

"Christine! Christine!" cried Herbert; "where is Christine? Is it not
a dream? M. Van Amberg gives me Christine!... Once more in my native
land, and Christine mine!"

"Karl Van Amberg gives, but God refuses her to you!" replied William,
mournfully. Then he told Herbert what had passed at the convent, and
since their arrival at the house: he gave a thousand details,--he
repeated them a thousand times, but without convincing Herbert of the
melancholy truth.

"It is impossible!" cried the young man; "if Christine is alive, if
Christine is here, to the first word uttered by her lover, Christine
will reply."

"God grant it!" exclaimed William, "my last hope is in you."

Herbert sprang up the stairs, his heart too full of love to have room
for fear. Christine free, was for him Christine ready to become his
wife. He hastily opened her chamber door; but then he paused, as if
petrified, upon the threshold. The day was closing in, and its fading
light fell upon Martha-Mary, whose form stood out like a white shadow
from the gloom of the room. She was still on her knees, her head
resting on the feet of Christ, her fragile person lost in the
multiplied folds of her conventual robes. She heard not the opening of
the door, and Herbert stood gazing at her, till a flood of tears burst
from his eyes. William took his hand and silently pressed it.

"I am frightened!" said Herbert, in a low tone. "That is not my
Christine! A phantom risen from the earth, or an angel descended from
Heaven, has taken her place!"

"No, she is no longer Christine!" replied William, sadly.

For a few moments more Herbert stood in mournful contemplation. Then
he exclaimed:--"Christine, dear Christine!"

At the sound of his voice the novice started, rose to her feet, and
pronounced his name. As in former days, when her lover called
"Christine!" Martha-Mary had replied, "Herbert!"

The young man's heart beat violently; he stood beside the novice, he
took her hands. "It is I, it is Herbert!" he said, kneeling down
before her.

The novice fixed her large black eyes upon him with a long inquiring
gaze; a slight flush passed across her brow; then she became pale as
before, and said gently to Herbert:--"I thought not to see you again
upon earth."

"Dear Christine! tears and suffering have long been our portion; but
happy days at last dawn upon us! My love! my bride! we will never part

Martha-Mary extricated her hands from those of Herbert, and retreated
towards the image of Christ.

"I am the bride of the Lord" she said in trembling accents. "He
expects me."

Herbert uttered a cry of grief.

"Christine! dear Christine! remember our oft-repeated pledges, our
loves, our tears, our hopes. You left me vowing to love me always.
Christine, if you would not have me die of despair, remember the

Martha-Mary's eyes continued riveted on the crucifix; her hands,
convulsively clasped, were extended towards it.

"Gracious Lord!" she prayed, "speak to his heart as you have spoken to
mine! It is a noble heart, worthy to love you. Stronger than I,
Herbert may survive, even after much weeping! Console him, oh Lord!"

"Christine! my first and only love! sole hope and joy of my life! do
you thus abandon me? That heart, once entirely mine, is it closed to
me for ever?"

Her gaze upon the crucifix, her hands still joined, the novice, as if
able to speak only to her God, gently replied:--"Lord! he suffers as I
suffered! shed upon him the balm wherewith you healed my wounds!
Leaving him life, take his soul as you have taken mine. Give him that
ineffable peace which descends upon those thou lovest!"

"Oh Christine! my beloved!" cried Herbert, once more taking her hand,
"do but look at me! turn your eyes upon me and behold my tears!
Dearest treasure of my heart! you seem to slumber! Awake! Have you
forgotten our tender meetings? the willows bending over the stream,
the boat in which we sailed a whole night, dreaming the joy of eternal
union? See! the moon rises as it rose that night. We were near each
other as now; but then they tore us asunder, and now we are free to be
together! Christine, have you ceased to love? Is all forgotten?"

William took her other hand. "Dear child," he said, "we entreat you
not to leave us! To you we look for happiness; remain with us,

One hand in the hands of Herbert, the other in those of William, the
novice slowly and solemnly replied:

"The corpse that reposes in the tomb does not lift the stone to
re-enter the world. The soul that has seen Heaven, does not leave it
to return to earth. The creature to whom God has said, 'Be thou the
spouse of Christ,' does not quit Christ to unite herself to a man; and
she who is about to die should turn her affections from mortal

"Herbert!" cried William, "be silent! Not another word! I can scarcely
feel the throbbing of her pulse! She is paler even than when I first
saw her behind the convent grating. We give her pain. Enough, Herbert,
enough! Better yield her to God upon earth, than send her to him in

The old man placed the almost inanimate head of Martha-Mary upon his
shoulder, and pressed her to his heart as a mother embraces her child.
"Recover yourself, my daughter," he said; "I will restore you to the
house of God."

Martha-Mary turned her sad and gentle gaze upon her uncle, and her
hand feebly pressed his. Then addressing herself to Herbert:

"You, Herbert," she said, in a scarcely audible voice, "you, who will
live, do not abandon him!"

"Christine!" cried Herbert, on his knees before his betrothed.
"Christine! do we part for ever?"

The novice raised her eyes to heaven.

"Not for ever!" she replied.

Some days afterwards the convent gates opened to receive sister
Martha-Mary. They closed upon her for the last time. With feeble and
unsteady step the novice traversed the cloisters to prostrate herself
on the altar-steps. The superior came to her.

"Oh my mother!" exclaimed Christine, the fountain of whose tears was
opened, and who wept as in the days of her childhood, "I have seen him
and left him! To thee I return, oh Lord! faithful to my vows, I await
the crown that shall consecrate me thy spouse. Thy voice alone shall
henceforward reach my ears; I come to sing thy praises, to pray and
serve thee until the end of my life!--Holy mother, prepare the robe of
serge, the white crown, the silver cross; I am ready!"

"My daughter," replied the superior, "you are very ill, much exhausted
by so many shocks; will you not delay the ceremony of profession?"

"No, holy mother! no; delay it not! I would die the bride of the
Lord!... And I have little time!" replied sister Martha-Mary.


The Massacre of Glencoe is an event which neither can nor ought to be
forgotten. It was one of the earliest fruits of the so-called glorious
Revolution Settlement, and exhibits in their foulest perfidy the true
characters of its authors.

After the battle of Killiecrankie the cause of the Scottish royalists
declined, rather from the want of a competent leader than from any
disinclination on the part of the people to vindicate the right of
King James. No person of adequate talents or authority was found to
supply the place of the great and gallant Lord Dundee, of whom it was
truly written,--

    "Te moriente, novos accepit Scotia cives,
    Accepitque novos, te moriente, deos."

General Cannon, who succeeded in command, was not only deficient in
military skill, but did not possess the confidence, nor understand the
character of the Highland chiefs, who, with their clansmen,
constituted by far the most important section of the army. Accordingly
no enterprise of any importance was attempted, and the disastrous
issue of the battle of the Boyne led to a negotiation which terminated
in the entire disbanding of the royal forces. By this treaty, which
was expressly sanctioned by William of Orange, a full and unreserved
indemnity and pardon was granted to all of the Highlanders who had
taken arms, with a proviso that they should first subscribe the oath
of allegiance to William and Mary, before the 1st of January 1692, in
presence of the Lords of the Scottish Council, "or of the sheriffs or
their deputies of the respective shires wherein they lived." The
letter of William addressed to the Privy Council, and ordering
proclamation to be made to the above effect, contained also the
following significant passage:--"That ye communicate our pleasure to
the Governor of Inverlochy and other commanders that they be exact and
diligent in their several posts; but that they show no more zeal
against the Highlanders after their submission, _than they have ever
done formerly when these were in open rebellion_."

This enigmatical sentence, which in reality was intended, as the
sequel will show, to be interpreted in the most cruel manner, appears
to have caused some perplexity in the Council, as that body deemed it
necessary to apply for more distinct and specific instructions, which,
however, were not then issued. It had been especially stipulated by
the chiefs as an indispensable preliminary to their treaty, that they
should have leave to communicate with King James, then residing at St
Germains, for the purpose of obtaining his permission and warrant
previous to submitting themselves to the existing government. That
article had been sanctioned by William before the proclamation was
issued, and a special messenger was despatched to France for that

In the mean time, troops were gradually and cautiously advanced to the
confines of the Highlands, and, in some instances, actually quartered
on the inhabitants. The condition of the country was perfectly
tranquil. No disturbances whatever occurred in the north or west of
Scotland; Lochiel and the other chiefs were awaiting the communication
from St. Germains, and held themselves bound in honour to remain
inactive; whilst the remainder of the royalist forces (for whom
separate terms had been made) were left unmolested at Dunkeld.

But rumours, which are too clearly traceable to the emissaries of the
new government, asserting the preparation made for an immediate
landing of King James at the head of a large body of the French, were
industriously circulated, and by many were implicitly believed. The
infamous policy which dictated such a course is now apparent. The term
of the amnesty or truce granted by the proclamation expired with the
year 1691, and all who had not taken the oath of allegiance before
that term were to be proceeded against with the utmost severity. The
proclamation was issued upon the 29th of August, consequently, only
four months were allowed for the complete submission of the Highlands.

Not one of the chiefs subscribed until the mandate from King James
arrived. That document, which is dated from St Germains on the 12th of
December 1691, reached Dunkeld eleven days afterwards, and,
consequently, but a very short time before the indemnity expired. The
bearer, Major Menzies, was so fatigued that he could proceed no
farther on his journey, but forwarded the mandate by an express to the
commander of the royal forces, who was then at Glengarry. It was
therefore impossible that the document could be circulated through the
Highlands within the prescribed period. Lochiel, says Drummond of
Balhaldy, did not receive his copy till about thirty hours before the
time was out, and appeared before the sheriff at Inverara, where he
took the oaths upon the very day on which the indemnity expired.

That a general massacre throughout the Highlands was contemplated by
the Whig government, is a fact established by overwhelming evidence.
In the course of the subsequent investigations before the Scots
Parliament, letters were produced from Sir John Dalrymple, then Master
of Stair, one of the secretaries of state in attendance upon the
court, which too clearly indicate the intentions of William. In one of
these, dated 1st December 1691,--_a month_, be it observed, before the
amnesty expired--and addressed to Lieutenant-Colonel Hamilton, there
are the following words:--"The winter is the only season in which we
are sure the Highlanders cannot escape us, _nor carry their wives,
bairns_, and cattle to the mountains." And in another letter, written
only two days afterwards, he says,--"It is the only time that they
cannot escape you, for human constitution cannot endure to be long out
of houses. _This is the proper season to maule them in the cold long
nights._" And in January thereafter, he informed Sir Thomas Livingston
that the design was "to destroy entirely the country of Lochaber,
Lochiel's lands, Keppoch's, Glengarry's, Appin, and Glencoe. I assure
you," he continues, "your power shall be full enough, _and I hope the
soldiers will not trouble the Government with prisoners_."

Lochiel was more fortunate than others of his friends and neighbours.
According to Drummond,--"Major Menzies, who, upon his arrival, had
observed the whole forces of the kingdom ready to invade the
Highlands, as he wrote to General Buchan, foreseeing the unhappy
consequences, not only begged that general to send expresses to all
parts with orders immediately to submit, but also wrote to Sir Thomas
Livingston, praying him to supplicate the Council for a prorogation of
the time, in regard that he was so excessively fatigued, that he was
obliged to stop some days to repose a little; and that though he
should send expresses, yet it was impossible they could reach the
distant parts in such time as to allow the several persons concerned
the benefit of the indemnity within the space limited; besides, that
some persons having put the Highlanders in a bad temper, he was
confident to persuade them to submit, if a further time were allowed.
Sir Thomas presented this letter to the Council on the 5th of January
1692, but they refused to give any answer, and ordered him to transmit
the same to court."

The reply of William of Orange was a letter, countersigned by
Dalrymple, in which, upon the recital that "several of the chieftains
and many of their clans have not taken the benefit of our gracious
indemnity," he gave orders for a general massacre. "To that end, we
have given Sir Thomas Livingston orders to employ our troops (which we
have already conveniently posted,) to cut off these obstinate rebels
_by all manner of hostility_; and we do require you to give him your
assistance and concurrence in all other things that may conduce to
that service; and because these rebels, to avoid our forces, may draw
themselves, _their families_, goods, or cattle, to lurk or be
concealed among their neighbours: therefore, we require and authorise
you to emit a proclamation to be published at the market-crosses of
these or the adjacent shires where the rebels reside, discharging upon
the highest penalties the law allows, any reset, correspondence, or
intercommuning with these rebels." This monstrous mandate, which was
in fact the death-warrant of many thousand innocent people, no
distinction being made of age or sex, would, in all human probability,
have been put into execution, but for the remonstrance of one
high-minded nobleman. Lord Carmarthen, afterwards Duke of Leeds,
accidentally became aware of the purposed massacre, and personally
remonstrated with the monarch against a measure which he denounced as
at once cruel and impolitic. After much discussion, William,
influenced rather by an apprehension that so savage and sweeping an
act might prove fatal to his new authority, than by any compunction or
impulse of humanity, agreed to recall the general order, and to limit
himself, in the first instance, to a single deed of butchery, by way
of testing the temper of the nation. Some difficulty seems to have
arisen in the selection of the fittest victim. Both Keppoch and
Glencoe were named, but the personal rancour of Secretary Dalrymple
decided the doom of the latter. The Secretary wrote thus:--"Argyle
tells me that Glencoe hath not taken the oath, at which I rejoice. It
is a great work of charity to be exact in rooting out that damnable
set." The final instructions regarding Glencoe, which were issued on
16th January 1692, are as follows:--

     "WILLIAM R.--As for M'Ian of Glencoe and that tribe, if they
     can be well distinguished from the rest of the Highlanders,
     it will be proper for public justice to extirpate that set
     of thieves."

                                                          "W. R."

This letter is remarkable as being signed and countersigned by William
alone, contrary to the usual practice. The secretary was no doubt
desirous to screen himself from after responsibility, and was further
aware that the royal signature would ensure a rigorous execution of
the sentence.

Macdonald, or as he was more commonly designed, M'Ian of Glencoe, was
the head of a considerable sept or branch of the great Clan-Coila, and
was lineally descended from the ancient Lords of the Isles, and from
the royal family of Scotland, the common ancestor of the Macdonalds
having espoused a daughter of Robert II. He was, according to a
contemporary testimony, "a person of great integrity, honour, good
nature, and courage, and his loyalty to his old master, King James,
was such, that he continued in arms from Dundee's first appearing in
the Highlands, till the fatal treaty that brought on his ruin." In
common with the other chiefs, he had omitted taking the benefit of the
indemnity until he received the sanction of King James; but the copy
of that document which was forwarded to him, unfortunately arrived too
late. The weather was so excessively stormy at the time that there was
no possibility of penetrating from Glencoe to Inverara, the place
where the sheriff resided, before the expiry of the stated period; and
M'Ian accordingly adopted the only practicable mode of signifying his
submission, by making his way with great difficulty to Fort-William,
then called Inverlochy, and tendering his signature to the military
governor there. That officer was not authorised to receive it, but at
the earnest entreaty of the chief, he gave him a certificate of his
appearance and tender, and on New-year's day, 1692, M'Ian reached
Inverara, where he produced that paper as evidence of his intentions,
and prevailed upon the sheriff, Sir James Campbell of Ardkinglass, to
administer the oaths required. After that ceremony, which was
immediately intimated to the Privy Council, had been performed, the
unfortunate gentleman returned home, in the full conviction that he
had thereby made peace with government for himself and for his clan.
But his doom was already sealed.

A company of the Earl of Argyle's regiment had been previously
quartered in Glencoe. These men, though Campbells, and hereditarily
obnoxious to the Macdonalds, Camerons, and other of the loyal clans,
were yet countrymen, and were kindly and hospitably received. Their
captain, Robert Campbell of Glenlyon, was connected with the family of
Glencoe through the marriage of a niece, and was resident under the
roof of the chief. And yet this was the very troop selected for the
horrid service.

Special instructions were sent to the major of the regiment, one
Duncanson, then quartered at Ballachulish, a morose, brutal, and
savage man, who accordingly wrote to Campbell of Glenlyon in the
following terms:--

                             "_Ballacholis, 12 February, 1692._

     "SIR,--You are hereby ordered to fall upon the rebels, the
     M'Donalds of Glencoe, and putt all to the sword under
     seventy. You are to have special care that the old fox and
     his sons doe upon no account escape your hands. You are to
     secure all the avenues that no man escape. This you are to
     put in execution att five o'clock in the morning precisely,
     and by that time or very shortly after it I'll strive to be
     att you with a stronger party. If I doe not come to you at
     five, you are not to tarry for me but to fall on. This is by
     the king's speciall command, for the good and safety of the
     country, that these miscreants be cutt off root and branch.
     See that this be putt in execution without feud or favour,
     else you may expect to be treated as not true to the king's
     government, nor a man fitt to carry a commission in the
     king's service. Expecting you will not faill in the
     fulfilling hereof as you love yourself, I subscrive these
     with my hand.

                                               "ROBERT DUNCANSON.

    "For their Majesty's service. To Captain
          Robert Campbell of Glenlyon."

This order was too literally obeyed. At the appointed hour, when the
whole inhabitants of the glen were asleep, the work of murder began.
M'Ian was one of the first who fell. Drummond's narrative fills up the
remainder of the dreadful story.

"They then served all within the family in the same manner, without
distinction of age or person. In a word, for the horror of that
execrable butchery must give pain to the reader, they left none alive
but a young child, who being frighted with the noise of the guns, and
the dismal shrieks and cries of its dying parents, whom they were
a-murdering, got hold of Captain Campbell's knees and wrapt itself
within his cloak; by which, chancing to move compassion, the captain
inclined to have saved it, but one Drummond, an officer, arriving
about the break of day with more troops, commanded it to be shot by a
file of musqueteers. Nothing could be more shocking and horrible than
the prospect of these houses bestrewed with mangled bodies of the
dead, covered with blood, and resounding with the groans of wretches
in the last agonies of life.

"Two sons of Glencoe's were the only persons that escaped in that
quarter of the country; for, growing jealous of some ill designs from
the behaviour of the soldiers, they stole from their beds a few
minutes before the tragedy began, and chancing to overhear two of them
discoursing plainly of the matter, they endeavoured to have advertised
their father, but finding that impracticable, they ran to the other
end of the country and alarmed the inhabitants. There was another
accident that contributed much to their safety; for the night was so
excessively stormy and tempestuous, that four hundred soldiers, who
were appointed to murder these people, were stopped in their march
from Inverlochy, and could not get up till they had time to save
themselves. To cover the deformity of so dreadful a sight, the
soldiers burned all the houses to the ground, after having rifled
them, carried away nine hundred cows, two hundred horses, numberless
herds of sheep and goats, and every thing else that belonged to these
miserable people. Lamentable was the case of the women and children
that escaped the butchery. The mountains were covered with a deep
snow, the rivers impassable, storm and tempest filled the air, and
added to the horrors and darkness of the night, and there were no
houses to shelter them within many miles."[2]


Such was the awful massacre of Glencoe, an event which has left an
indelible and execrable stain upon the memory of William of Orange.
The records of Indian warfare can hardly afford a parallel instance of
atrocity; and this deed, coupled with his deliberate treachery in the
Darien business, whereby Scotland was for a time absolutely ruined, is
sufficient to account for the little estimation in which the name of
the "great Whig deliverer" is still regarded in the valleys of the

    Do not lift him from the bracken,
      Leave him lying where he fell--
    Better bier ye cannot fashion:
      None beseems him half so well,
    As the bare and broken heather,
      And the hard and trampled sod,
    Whence his angry soul ascended
      To the judgment seat of God!
    Winding-sheet we cannot give him--
      Seek no mantle for the dead,
    Save the cold and spotless covering,
      Showered from heaven upon his head.
    Leave his broadsword, as we found it,
      Bent and broken with the blow,
    That, before he died, avenged him
      On the foremost of the foe.
    Leave the blood upon his bosom--
      Wash not off that sacred stain:
    Let it stiffen on the tartan,
      Let his wounds unclosed remain,
    Till the day when he shall show them
      At the throne of God on high,
    When the murderer and the murdered
      Meet before their Judge's eye!

    Nay--ye should not weep, my children!
      Leave it to the faint and weak;
    Sobs are but a woman's weapon--
      Tears befit a maiden's cheek.
    Weep not, children of Macdonald!
      Weep not thou, his orphan heir--
    Not in shame, but stainless honour,
      Lies thy slaughtered father there.
    Weep not--but when years are over,
      And thine arm is strong and sure,
    And thy foot is swift and steady
      On the mountain and the muir--
    Let thy heart be hard as iron,
      And thy wrath as fierce as fire,
    Till the hour when vengeance cometh
      For the race that slew thy sire!
    Till in deep and dark Glenlyon
      Rise a louder shriek of wo,
    Than at midnight, from their eyrie,
      Scared the eagles of Glencoe.
    Louder than the screams that mingled
      With the howling of the blast,
    When the murderer's steel was clashing,
      And the fires were rising fast.
    When thy noble father bounded
      To the rescue of his men,
    And the slogan of our kindred
      Pealed throughout the startled glen.
    When the herd of frantic women
      Stumbled through the midnight snow,
    With their fathers' houses blazing,
      And their dearest dead below!
    Oh, the horror of the tempest,
      As the flashing drift was blown,
    Crimsoned with the conflagration,
      And the roofs went thundering down!
    Oh, the prayers--the prayers and curses
      That together winged their flight
    From the maddened hearts of many
      Through that long and woful night!
    Till the fires began to dwindle,
      And the shots grew faint and few,
    And we heard the foeman's challenge,
      Only in a far halloo.
    Till the silence once more settled
      O'er the gorges of the glen,
    Broken only by the Cona
      Plunging through its naked den.
    Slowly from the mountain summit
      Was the drifting veil withdrawn,
    And the ghastly valley glimmered
      In the gray December dawn.
    Better had the morning never
      Dawned upon our dark despair!
    Black amidst the common whiteness
      Rose the spectral ruins there:
    But the sight of these was nothing,
      More than wrings the wild dove's breast,
    When she searches for her offspring
      Round the relics of her nest.
    For, in many a spot, the tartan
      Peered above the wintry heap,
    Marking where a dead Macdonald
      Lay within his frozen sleep.
    Tremblingly we scooped the covering
      From each kindred victim's head,
    And the living lips were burning
      On the cold ones of the dead.
    And I left them with their dearest--
      Dearest charge had every one--
    Left the maiden with her lover,
      Left the mother with her son.
    I alone of all was mateless,
      Far more wretched I than they,
    For the snow would not discover
      Where my lord and husband lay.
    But I wandered up the valley,
      Till I found him lying low,
    With the gash upon his bosom
      And the frown upon his brow--
    Till I found him lying murdered,
      Where he wooed me long ago!

    Woman's weakness shall not shame me!
      Why should I have tears to shed?
    Could I rain them down like water,
      O my hero, on thy head--
    Could the cry of lamentation
      Wake thee from thy silent sleep,
    Could it set thy heart a throbbing,
      It were mine to wail and weep!
    But I will not waste my sorrow,
      Lest the Campbell women say,
    That the daughters of Clanranald
      Are as weak and frail as they.
    I had wept thee, hadst thou fallen,
      Like our fathers, on thy shield,
    When a host of English foemen
      Camped upon a Scottish field--
    I had mourned thee, hadst thou perished
      With the foremost of his name,
    When the valiant and the noble
      Died around the dauntless Græme!
    But I will not wrong thee, husband,
      With my unavailing cries,
    Whilst thy cold and mangled body,
      Stricken by the traitor, lies;
    Whilst he counts the gold and glory
      That this hideous night has won,
    And his heart is big with triumph
      At the murder he has done.
    Other eyes than mine shall glisten,
      Other hearts be rent in twain,
    Ere the heathbells on thy hillock
      Wither in the autumn rain.
    Then I'll seek thee where thou sleepest,
      And I'll veil my weary head,
    Praying for a place beside thee,
      Dearer than my bridal bed.
    And I'll give thee tears, my husband,
      If the tears remain to me,
    When the widows of the foemen,
      Cry the coronach for thee!

                                       W. E. A.


  [3] _Die Pyrenäen._ VON EUGEN BARON VAERST. Zwei Bände: Breslau, 1847.

Baron Vaerst's animated account of his Pyrenean wanderings and
observations, forms one of the pleasantest books of its class we for
some time have met with. As the issue of a German pen, one so
agreeable was scarcely to be expected. Whatever be thought of the
present condition of German literature--and our opinion of it is far
from favourable--all must admit that the department of voyages and
travels has of late been execrably provided. Since Tschudi's Peru, now
eighteen months old, nothing of mark--scarcely any thing worth a
passing notice--has been produced by German travellers. There have
appeared a few books of eastern travel, others of stale description
and oft-repeated criticism from Italy. Prince Waldemar's physician
gave us a dull narrative of his journey to and through India, where he
was so injudicious as to get shot just as his observations became of
interest. It was time something better should turn up. Germans, hardy
and adventurous travelers and shrewd observers, are but moderately
successful in describing what they see. Of course, there are brilliant
exceptions. Tschudi is one of the most recent, Vaerst, allowing for
the comparative staleness of his subject, really does not come far
behind him as a lively and expert writer. Most German tourists either
drivel or dogmatise; are awfully wise, and ponderous, and somniferous,
or mere trivial verbose gossips, writing against time and paper, with
a torrent of words and a drought of ideas, like Kohl, the substance of
any four of whose volumes might, with perfect ease and great
advantage, be compressed into one. The best travels, now-a-days, are
written by Englishmen, and our large and daily-increasing store of
admirable books of that class does honour to the country. The French
are vastly amusing, but they are too fond of romancing, and do so
artfully and unscrupulously mix up what they invent at home with what
they see abroad, that they mislead and impose upon the simple and
unwary. Without taking for example such an extreme case as Alexander
Dumas--notorious as a hardened delinquent, writing travels in
countries whose frontier he has never crossed, and chuckling when the
same is imputed to him--we find abundance of more modest offenders,
serving up their actual experiences with a humorous sauce, in whose
composition and distribution they display much skill and wit. For
instance,--one might suppose the vast number of books about Syria,
Egypt, Turkey, and so forth, that have appeared within the last few
years in England, France, and Germany, would have left little of
interest to tell about those oriental regions, and that whatever was
at present written would be a mere _rechauffé_, without spice or
flavour,--an unpalatable dishing-up of yesterday's baked-meats. In his
"Anti-Liban, Scènes de la Vie Orientale," M. Gerard de Nerval
practically demonstrates the fallacy of such an opinion, and shows how
talent and humour will give fresh zest to a subject already handled by
a host of artists. Of course, we do not accept all his romantic scenes
and _contes dialoguées_ as literal facts,--they are the gilding of the
pill, the seductive embellishments of a hackneyed subject; but an
attentive reader will sift character and information from them. And
after all, when a whole library of gravity has been written about a
country, it is surely, allowable, in an age when fun is so rampant
that even history is strained into burlesque, to write of it gaily,
and place a setting of amusement round facts that would otherwise
hardly obtain perusal. And we do not smile the less at M. de Nerval's
facetious stories about Javanese slaves, Greek captains and Druse
festivals, at his proposals of marriage to Scheiks' daughters,
recounted by him with commendable assurance, and at the smart French
repartees he puts into the mouths of solemn Egyptian pachas, because
we trace without difficulty the operation of his lively imagination
and decorative pen. On the other hand, there are French books of
travel as dull and sententious as those of any Teuton who ever
twaddled. As a specimen, we refer our readers to the long-winded
periods and inflated emptiness of that wearisome personage, Monsieur
X. Marmier.

Less convenient of access, the Pyrenees are far less visited than the
Alps. It is on that account, perhaps, that they are more written
about. People now can go to Switzerland without rushing madly into
print--indeed it would be ridiculous to write a descriptive tour in a
country thoroughly well known to nine out of ten of the probable
readers. But it seems very difficult for any one versed in
orthography, and able to hold a pen, to approach the Pyrenees without
flying to the ink-bottle. And it is astounding to behold the
confidence with which, on the strength of a week or two at Pau, a few
pints of water imbibed at Barèges, or a distant view of the Maladetta,
they discourse of three hundred miles of mountain, containing infinite
variety of scenery, and richer perhaps than any other mountain range
in the world in associations historical, poetical, and romantic. On no
such slender experience does Baron Vaerst found his claims as
chronicler of this most splendid of natural partition-walls. "Thrice,"
he tells us, "and under very various circumstances, have I visited the
Pyrenees, passing over and through them in all directions, both on the
French and Spanish side; so that from the Garonne to the Ebro I am
well acquainted with the country, to which an old predilection
repeatedly drew me. It is now twenty years since I undertook my first
journey, at the close of a long residence in France. At leisure, and
with all possible convenience I saw the different Pyrenean
watering-places, remaining six months amongst them. I was a sturdy
pedestrian and good climber, and I passed nearly the whole summer in
wandering over the mountains, accompanied by able guides, bending my
stops whithersoever accident or the humour of the moment impelled me,
and pausing in those spots that especially pleased me. The snug and
secret valleys of the Pyrenees are world-renowned. I know no region
which oftener suggests the thought,--Here it is good to dwell--here
let us build our house!"

Ten years later the Baron re-visited his well-beloved vales and
mountains; this time in the suite and confidence of the pretender to
the Spanish crown. Thence he forwarded occasional details of the civil
war to various English, French, and German newspapers, and had the
reputation with many of being a secret agent of the northern powers,
intrusted with a sort of half-official mission, and authorised on
behalf of his employers to prepare the recognition of Don Carlos as
king of Spain, which was to follow--so it was then believed--immediately
on the capture of Saragossa, Bilboa, or any other important fortress.
The favour shown him by the pretender accredited the report, which in
some respects was disagreeable to the Baron, whilst in others he found
it useful, as giving him facilities for seeing and getting knowledge
of the country. In all security and with due military escort, he took
his rambles, accompanied by Viscount de Barrés, a French officer in
the Carlist service, who had been Zumalacarregui's aide-de-camp, and
who conducted him over the early battle-fields of the civil war, in
the valleys of Echalar and Bastan; to the sea-coast, to the sources of
the Ebro, and over the high mountains of Guipuzcoa. Barrés spoke
Spanish and Basque; he was familiar with the country and its usages,
and able to give his companion an immense store of valuable
information, the essence of which is concentrated in the book before

"My first journey in the Pyrenees was made on foot; the second
entirely on horseback. Although the Carlist army in the Basque
provinces was then thirty thousand strong, not a single carriage or
cart followed it; even the royal baggage was carried on mules.
Finally, just one year ago, I started on my third Pyrenean expedition,
this time in a comfortable travelling carriage. I undertook the
journey not for amusement, but in obedience to medical injunctions.
Lame and ill, I could neither ride nor walk, and was unable closely to
approach my beloved mountains. I hovered around them, like a shy lover
round his mistress, going as near as the carriage-roads would take me.
How often, in the golden radiance of the sun, in its glorious rising
and setting, in the soft moon-light, and through the driving storm,
have I gazed with absorbing admiration at those mountain peaks, and
forgotten myself, my sufferings, and the world!"

Cheerless and discouraging were the circumstances under which, in the
autumn of 1844, Baron Vaerst started upon his third journey
southwards. He was sick, dispirited, and in pain, the weather was
abominable, and he felt uneasy lest the Breslau theatre, whose manager
he for some years had been, should suffer from his absence. A strong
love of sunshine and the south, however, consoled him in some measure
for these disagreeables, and good news of the progress of his
theatrical speculation contributed to raise his spirits. His plans
were very vague. He would go south, and chance should fix him. At the
"Roman Emperor," at Frankfort, he fell in with the hereditary prince
of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt and Baron Rheinbaben. They agreed to travel
together to Marseilles, and thence take ship for Madeira. Baron Vaerst
had set his mind upon wintering in the Canaries. He had been reading
Leopold Von Buch's fascinating description of their beauties, and had
decided that the valley of Lavanda alone would repay the voyage. In
imagination he already inhaled the perfumed air, spiced with odours of
orange and pomegranate; already he sauntered beneath bowers of vines
and through almond groves peopled with myriads of canary-birds. His
friends took the contagion of his enthusiasm, and Funchal was the goal
of all their desires. From Frankfort their second day's journey
brought them to Mannheim. Here a gross attempt at imposition awaited
them. "Having not a moment to lose, in order to catch the Mühlhausen
railway, we called out somewhat impatiently from the steamer's deck
for four horses to convey us to the station. A man made his appearance
with two, and insisted upon harnessing one to each of our heavy
travelling carriages, maintaining that he would drive us as fast as
any body else could with four. Of course we accepted his offer, but on
our way we were stopped by another coachman, who demanded payment for
a second pair of horses, ordered, although not used, by us, and which
he alleged were provided. We saw no signs of them, and refused
payment. The man screamed and stormed, called heaven to witness our
injustice, and appealed to the passers by to protect him against it.
At last the spectators took our part, and it turned out that the
fellow was owner of the two horses we used, which were all he
possessed. The second pair existed but in his imagination. I had
travelled over all Europe, and was accustomed to all kinds of
cheating,--which I do not, like Herr Nicolai in his Italian tour,
allow to disturb my good humour,--but I confess that such a
magnificent piece of impudence was entirely new to me, and as such I
deem it worthy of record."

After descending the Saone from Chalons to Lyons, cooped by hail and
rain in the narrow cabin of the steamer, with a couple of hundred very
miscellaneous companions, the three Germans posted forward to
Marseilles, but were pulled up at Avignon by lack of post-horses, all
engaged for the Prince of Joinville and Duke of Aumale, then on their
way to Naples to celebrate the marriage of the latter with the
Princess of Salerno. So they had time to examine the city which a
partial chronicler has styled noble by antiquity, agreeable by
situation, stately by its castle and battlements, smiling by the
fertility of its fields, loveable for the gentle manners of its
inhabitants, beautiful by its wide streets, wonderful for the
architecture of its bridge, rich through its commerce, and renowned
all the world over! This pompous description, always an exaggeration,
is now little better than a series of untruths. The walls are in
ruins, the streets narrow, angular, and uneven, the old castle of the
Popes looks more like a prison than a palace, commerce there is none,
and the murder of Marshal Brune, in 1814, by a furious mob, belies the
gentleness of the population. In Avignon, seven Popes reigned for
seven times ten years; it had seven hospitals, seven fraternities of
penitents, seven convents of monks and as many of nuns, seven
parishes, and seven cemeteries.

At Marseilles disappointment awaited the pilgrims. They had planned to
proceed to Lisbon, and thence by an English packet to Madeira; but
they were now informed that no steam-boats went either from Cadiz or
the Portuguese capital to the Canaries, and that the sailing vessels
were of an uncomfortable and inferior description. By these, at that
season of the year, they did not deem it advisable to proceed; so the
trip to Madeira seemed unlikely to be accomplished. They consoled
themselves as well as they could by inspecting all worthy of visit in
the pleasant capital of Provence, and by enjoying the luxurious
_table-d'hôte_ dinners of the Hotel de l'Orient. At this excellent
inn, as chance would have it, Prince Albert of Prussia, travelling
incognito, a short time previously had for some days put up. The arms
upon the carriage of Prince Schwarzburg included an imperial eagle,
borne by the counts and princes of his house since the time of
Günther, emperor of Germany and count of Schwarzburg. The prince
travelled under the assumed name of Baron Leutenberg, but the
double-headed eagle on his shield convinced the hotel keeper he was
some imperial prince, and on learning this from the _valet de place_,
he and his friends thought it advisable to come to an understanding
about prices, the more so as they occupied the same rooms inhabited
some time previously by Queen Christina of Spain, whose bill, in three
weeks, amounted to eight-and-twenty thousand francs. The apartments
were sumptuously fitted up, with mirrors that would have done honour
to a palace, and in the centre of the hotel was a large court, after
the Spanish fashion, enclosed on all sides with high arcades. In the
centre of this _patio_ a fountain threw up its waters, and around were
planted evergreen bushes and creepers. In the burning climate of
Marseilles, one of the most shadeless, and often--for two or three
months of the year--one of the hottest places in Europe, such a cool
and still retreat is especially delightful.

During Baron Vaerst's stay at Marseilles, the fine French war-steamer,
Montezuma, arrived from Africa, bringing the hero of Isly, Marshal
Bugeaud, and a numerous suite. The evening of his arrival, the
conqueror of the infidel visited the theatre, where Katinka
Heinefetter sang in the "_Favorite_." To give greater brilliancy to
his triumphal progress through France, Bugeaud had brought over a
number of Bedouin chiefs, who now accompanied him to the playhouse.
Amongst them were the Aga of Constantine, Scheik El Garoubi, several
learned Arabs proceeding to Paris to study Arabian manuscripts in the
Royal Library, and, most remarkable of all, the son of the famous El
Arrack, a stanch ally of France, who, after a victory over a hostile
tribe, forwarded to the Marshal five hundred pair of salted ears,
shorn from the heads of his prisoners. These Arabs, in their rich
oriental garb, studded with gold and precious stones, and scenting the
air with musk for a hundred yards around, interested the public far
more than the opera. With characteristic gravity and indifference they
listened to the music, and to the noise and exclamations of the
restless southern audience. But the curtain rose on the ballet, and
the first _entrechat_ electrified them. They rose from their seats,
leaned over the front of the box, and were as excited and alive to
what went on as any vivacious passionate Provençal of them all. The
next day, crowds assembled before the hotel, upon whose balcony the
Bedouins complaisantly took their station, and sat and smoked their
pipes in view of the people.

Future writers of travels would do well to take example from Baron
Vaerst in the choice and arrangement of their materials. He sustains
attention by a judicious alternation of lively and serious matter.
After detailing his progress through a district, or observations in a
town, he usually devotes a chapter to a brief but lucid historical
sketch of the place or province. For the filling of his volumes he
does not rely solely on what he sees and orally gathers, but has
studied numerous works relating to the history, traditions, and
prospects of the interesting country he writes of, and makes good use
of the knowledge thus acquired. A list of his authorities is prefixed
to his book, and if some few of them are of no great value, the
majority are trustworthy and of high standing. Caution, however, is
necessary in our reception of the Baron's own opinions and inferences.
He protests his wish to tell truth, to show no favour to friends, and
render ample justice to enemies. But he is a rabid Carlist, a
supporter of erroneous doctrines on more than one point relating to
Spain, and at times his predilections clash with the desire to be
impartial, by which we doubt not he is really animated.

Marseilles, the most flourishing of French seaports, is also one of
the gayest and most agreeable of French provincial towns. Its
inhabitants, active and industrious, have been noted from time
immemorial as a hot-headed and turbulent race. Amongst them the
peaceful pursuits of agriculture never found encouragement; they were
always rough seamen and adventurous traders, bold, enterprising, and
warlike. Both in ancient and modern times, they, like all commercial
tribes, have ever shown an ardent love of freedom and independence. If
they exhibited royalist tendencies, in 1814 and 1815, it was far less
from love to the Bourbons than from hatred to Napoleon. The emperor's
continental system had totally ruined the trade of Marseilles, and in
his downfall the Marseillese foresaw a recommencement of their
prosperity. During the blockade a paltry coasting trade was all they
retained. At the present day, Marseilles, evidently intended by nature
to be the greatest of French trading towns, has far outstripped its
former rivals, Nantes, Bordeaux, and Havre. The port is the rendezvous
of all the nations of the earth, a perpetual scene of bustle and
excitement, resembling a great fair, or an Italian carnival. All
varieties of oriental garb, Greek and Armenian, Egyptian and Turkish,
are there to be seen; parrots and other exotic birds chatter and
scream, apes and monkeys grimace in the rigging of the ships, and huge
heaps of stockfish, spread or packed upon the quay, emit an unbearable
stench. The water in the harbour is thick and filthy, but the natives
proclaim this quality an advantage, as tending to preserve the
shipping. The greatest faults to be found with Marseilles, are the
want of cleanliness and abominable smells occasioned by want of proper
sewerage. Otherwise, as a residence, few in France are more desirable.
The streets are well paved, and consequently dry rapidly after rain:
the climate is glorious, and although the immediate environs are
barren and sandy, and the roads out of the town ankle-deep in dust,
shade and verdure may be found within the compass of a moderate drive.
Baron Vaerst stands up as a champion of Provence, which he maintains,
with truth, has received less than justice at the hands of those who
have written of it as a naked and melancholy desert, a patch of Africa
transported to the northern shore of the Mediterranean. In the very
barrenness of portions of it he finds a certain charm. "Even the
environs of Marseilles," he says, "almost treeless and fountainless
though they be, have a striking and majestic aspect. The clear deep
blue of the heavens, the blinding sun, reflected in a blaze of fire
from glittering waves to white chalk hillocks, half-hidden amongst
which Marseilles coquettishly peeps forth; the scanty vegetation, of
strange and exotic aspect to the wanderer from the north; the elegant
country-houses, with their solitary pine trees, whose dark green
crowns contrast with the pale foliage of the olive, compose a
beautiful and characteristic picture. The chief colours are white and
gold; green, more pleasant to the eye, shows itself but here and
there, and at times entirely disappears. Those who speak of Provence
as one broad barren tract, can know little beyond the naked cliffs of
Toulon; are strangers assuredly to the Hesperides-gardens of Hyères,
to Nice with its palm trees and never-varying climate, and above all
to Grasse. I do not mean the Grasse between Perpignan and Carcassone,
but Grasse near Draguignan. The appearance and perfume of this garden
defies description. In Grasse the best French pomatums are
manufactured, and thence are forwarded to all parts of the world. Vast
fields of roses, mignionette, pinks, violets, and hyacinths, swarming
with bees, and hovered over by thousands upon thousands of bright-hued
butterflies, and plantations of orange trees, covered at once with
fruit and blossom, enchant the eye, and fill the air for leagues
around with a balmy and exquisite fragrance. But even as the most
venomous snakes dwell by preference under the stateliest palms, so is
the whole of Provence too often swept by the terrible mistral. This
pestilential wind, called by Strabo the black death, withers tree and
flower, tears roofs from houses, raises clouds of dust and pebbles,
and penetrates to the very marrow of man and beast. To me it was so
painful, that it poisoned all my enjoyment of the beauty of the
country. I can easily imagine that under the influence of so rough and
rude a scourge, men may acquire the like qualities, and may justify
the truth of Arago's reproach, that "the manners of the people of
Toulon are brutal as the mistral which ravages their vineyards."

Upon inquiry it appeared that an English steamer would leave Lisbon
for Madeira on the 1st of December. But the only possible way to reach
Lisbon in time was by means of a Spanish boat, then lying in the
harbour of Marseilles, and the Baron had little taste for that mode of
conveyance. Only a few days previously, the boiler of the Secundo
Gaditano, belonging to the same company, had burst far out at sea,
when several persons were dangerously hurt, and the vessel was
compelled to return to Marseilles, instead of prosecuting its voyage
to Barcelona. Its successor, the Primer Gaditano, had good English
engines, and seemed well appointed, and at last the three travellers
engaged berths. The vessel was warranted to sail on the 23d November;
but in spite of this promise, and of passengers' remonstrances, the
faithless consignees detained her till the morning of the 27th. Of
course there was no chance of getting to Lisbon in time for the
packet, but there was a possibility of meeting it at Cadiz, where it
was expected to touch; and the Baron and his companions, having paid
for their places, took their chance. To their surprise and annoyance,
when the overladen boat groaned and puffed its way out of the harbour,
its prow was turned, not towards Spain, but towards Toulon and Italy.
This strange circumstance was soon explained by one of those
extraordinary laws peculiar to Spanish legislators, intended, we
presume, to encourage the shipping interest of Spain, but which, to
any but its framers, certainly appears wonderfully ill adapted to the
end proposed. Spanish vessels, arriving from foreign ports, at a
certain distance from the Spanish frontier, pay much lighter dues than
those whose point of departure is nearer home. Marseilles is within
the high duty limit, and accordingly the Gaditano wasted a day in
sailing to the little port of Ciotat, to have her papers countersigned
there, and obtain the benefit of the low rate. A pretty specimen of
what are commonly called _cosas de España_. "This," exclaims M.
Vaerst, with righteous indignation, "is what Spaniards call
encouraging their trade and shipping. A compilation of the various
contradictory commercial edicts and regulations propounded in Spain
during the last few centuries, would add an instructive chapter to the
history of the misgovernment of that unhappy country." And he cites a
few glaring examples of blind and stupid legislation. If one sovereign
gave wise decrees, and did not himself revoke and nullify them, his
successor was sure to repair the omission. Thus we find Ferdinand the
Catholic forbidding the importation of raw silk from Italy, in order
to encourage the native silk-grower. Fifty years later, under Charles
the Fifth, a law was published prohibiting the export of silk goods,
and allowing the import of the raw material. By such absurd
enactments, directly opposed to the true interests of the country,
the rapid decline of Spanish prosperity was prepared and
precipitated. Many of the acts of Ferdinand and Isabella were directed
to the encouragement of commerce. They improved roads, cut canals,
built bridges, quays, and light-houses. Under the judicious rule,
Spain grew in wealth and strength; her merchant fleets covered the
seas, her navy was the first in Europe, her enterprising mariners
discovered and conquered a new world. Now, how are the mighty fallen!
Impoverished and indebted, without a fleet, almost without colonies,
her commerce in the dust, her people, in misery, her rulers ignorant
and corrupt, not a vestige of her former splendour remains: And
foreign fishermen, intruding unopposed into Spanish waters, cast their
nets in full view of that Cantabrian coast, whose hardy inhabitants
were the first to chase the whale in his distant ocean haunts. A more
melancholy picture it were difficult to find, and it is the more
painful to contemplate, when we remember that no natural causes can be
assigned for such a decline, which must be attributed to the influence
of evil governors, worse counsellors, and a crafty and bigotted

Although the weather was fine, and wind favourable, most of the
passengers by the Primer Gaditano were grievously sick. Two Spanish
prebendaries especially distinguished themselves by extremity of
suffering, and at one of them the Baron, albeit an excellent seaman,
feared to look, lest he should vomit for sympathy. The unfortunate
_clerigo_ had tucked the corner of a napkin under his huge black
shovel-hat, and the cloth hung down over his shoulder and breast,
contrasting with the cadaverous yellow of his complexion. He was the
very incarnation of sea-sickness. At night, although the weather was
cool, the berths were hot, and most of the passengers lay upon sofas
in the cabin, where, when the wind rose, the state of affairs was
neither comfortable nor savoury. The Spaniards would fain have smoked,
but, fortunately for their companions, the prohibition affixed to the
cabin-wall was rigidly enforced by the captain. The dinner was hardly
of a nature to soothe squeamish stomachs. It was cooked Spanish
fashion, with a liberal allowance of rancid oil and garlic-flavoured
sausage. At last, on the evening of the second day, the steamer ran
into the harbour of Barcelona. It was only half-past six o'clock, but
the lazy quarantine and custom-house officials deemed it too late to
perform their duty, and not till the next morning were the Baron and
his friends allowed to land and take up their quarters in the Locanda
de las Cuatro Naciones, which a Spanish colonel had assured them, with
more patriotism than veracity, was equal to the first Parisian hotels.
Although the best in Barcelona, it by no means justified such a
comparison, but still it was excellent when contrasted with the
majority of Spanish inns; and, moreover, it looked out upon the
Rambla, a magnificent promenade, answering to the Boulevards of Paris
and the Linden of Berlin. The edibles, too, were capital; the game and
poultry and roasted pig's feet delicious, the dates fresh, the
American preserves of exquisite flavour, the red Catalan wines
objectionable only from their strength. And all these good things were
supplied in an abundance astonishing to men accustomed to the scanty
delicacies and make-believe desserts of most German table-d'hôtes,
where dainties appear only when the guests have properly gorged
themselves with bouilli and gherkins. Such sumptuous fare consoled the
invalid Baron in some measure for insufficiency of furniture and
absence of bed-curtains; and after dinner he strolled out upon the
Rambla, which he found thronged with cloaked Dons, yellow-jacketed
soldiers, and those pretty Catalan women, whose eyes, according to M.
de Balzac, are composed of velvet and fire, and who paced to and fro,
shrouded in the elegant mantilla, and going through the various
divisions of the fan-exercise. The theatre in the evening, and a visit
to the strong fortress of Moujuich, consumed the short stay the
travellers were allowed to make in Barcelona, and they returned on
board the steamer, which sailed for Valencia. They had got as far as
Tarragona, when the engines suddenly stopped. All attempts to set
them going were in vain; they were completely out of order, and the
unlucky Primer Gaditano lay tossing at the mercy of the waves, in
imminent danger of going ashore, until an English ship hove in sight
and towed her back to Barcelona. Here the Baron and his companions,
heartily sick of Spanish steamers and captains, finally abandoned
their Madeiran project, and resolved to cross the Pyrenees and winter
at Pau. Notwithstanding the many alarming reports of ferocious
highwaymen and recent robberies--reports of which every traveller in
Spain is sure to hear an abundance--the German consul assured them
they might proceed with perfect safety by the route of Gerona and
Figueras. The diligences on that road had not been attacked for a
whole year, and a terrible brigand, guilty of one hundred and
seventeen murders, and known by the nickname of Pardon, because he
never pardoned or spared any one who fell into his hands, had recently
been captured. Having received a dangerous wound, he had betaken
himself, with vast assurance, and under an assumed name, to a public
hospital, and whilst there, an accomplice betrayed him. Baron Vaerst
gives some curious statistical details concerning the number of
murders annually occurring in Spain, with a list of the most
remarkable persons slain in cold blood since the commencement of the
civil war, and various particulars of the different styles of thieving
practised in Spain. Some of his notions concerning the addictions and
habits of highwaymen are rather poetical than practical. "It is
strange," he says, "but not the less a fact, that brigands always
abound most in beautiful countries. They require a bright sky,
romantic cliffs, picturesque valleys, smiling plains, umbrageous
palm-trees, and fragrant orange groves, and an olive-cheeked mistress,
fanciful and fascinating, with raven-locks, and bright-glancing eyes.
Thus we find them most numerous in the fair regions of Italy; and in
that Spanish land so richly endowed by nature, that after all its wars
and revolutions it still shows more signs of wealth than of
desolation. Frederick the Great is said to have once asked which was
the richest country in the world. Some guessed Peru, others Chili, but
lie replied that Spain was the richest, since its rulers had for three
centuries done their utmost to ruin it, and had not yet succeeded." It
might have occurred to the worthy Baron, and we wonder it did not,
that the very wars and revolutions he speaks of, added to gross
misgovernment and absurd prohibitory tariffs (affording encouragement
to the smuggler, who is the father of the highwayman) have much more
to do with the multiplication of robberies, than the picturesque
scenery and orange trees; more even than gazelle-eyed she-banditti,
his idea of whom is evidently derived from the green-room of the
Breslau theatre. From an old campaigner, who served under Marshal
VORWAERTS, came up at La Belle Alliance to decide the fight, and has
since rolled about the world in various capacities and occupations
likely to quench romance, such fanciful notions were hardly to be
expected. But the Baron takes a strong interest in the predatory
portion of Spain's population, and has collected amusing stories of
notable outlaws, amongst others of the celebrated NAVARRO, whose
memory still lives amongst the people, perpetuated by hundreds of
popular songs, and by numerous _sainetes_ played at half the theatres
in Spain. He was quite the gentleman, possessed considerable talents
and some education, despised the vulgar luxury and ostentation of his
subordinates, and rode the best horses in Andalusia. He would walk at
noon-day into the country-house of some rich proprietor, order the
poultry-yard to be stripped to supply dinner for his followers, and
the fattest fowl of the flock to be stuffed for himself, not with
truffles, but with gold quadruples. If he found the stuffing not
sufficiently rich, he demanded a second bird, and left the house only
when his appetite was fully satisfied, and his pocket well filled. He
once stopped a jeweller on his way from a fair, took from him a sum of
four thousand francs, and then inquired if he had no jewels about him.
The man at once admitted that he had, and that he had sewn them into
his clothes, not, however, to preserve them from gallant cavaliers of
the road, but from the vile _rateros_--an inferior class of thieves,
operating on a small scale, who prowl in quest of isolated and
defenceless travellers. He produced his treasure, and then, without
waiting orders, took from off his mules a richly wrought silver
service, at which Navarro was greatly pleased, and swore that in
future he and his soldiers (he assumed at all times the style of a
military chief) would in future dine off the elegant workmanship of
the Castilian Cellini. Finally, having stripped him of every thing
else, the robbers made the unlucky jeweller give them wine from his
_bota_. It was very bad. "You are a miser," cried Navarro angrily,
"and do not deserve your riches. With treasures of gold and silver in
your coffers, you drink wretched country wine, like the meanest
peasant!" "Alas! noble sir," replied the man of metal, "I am very
poor, and live hardly and sparingly; I have eight children, no money,
but some credit, and nothing of what you found on me belongs to me."
"Sergeant," cried Navarro, "a glass of our best Malaga to the
gentleman." The order was obeyed, and whilst his men finished the
bottle, the captain again addressed the goldsmith. "See here," he
said, showing him a list of the concealed jewels, "my last courier
brought me this. Had you kept back a single stone, it would have fared
ill with you. But I take nothing from honest men and skilful artists.
Pack up your things, take this pass, give your wife and children a
kiss for Navarro, and if you are robbed upon the road, come and tell
me." Without wishing to calumniate the philanthropical M. Navarro in
particular, or his fraternity in general, we will remark, that such
stories as these may be picked up by the score in Spain by any one
curious of their collection. As, in Italy, industrious rogues, with
aid of file and verdigris, manufacture modern antiques for the benefit
of English greenhorns, so, in Spain, a regular fabrication of
robber-tales takes place; the same, when properly constructed and
polished, being put into speedy circulation in diligences and
coffee-houses, on the public promenades, and at the _table-d'hôtes_,
for the delectation of foreign ramblers, and especially of the French,
who gulp down the most astounding narratives with a facility of
swallow beautiful to contemplate. For the Frenchman, cynic and
unbeliever though he be, entertains extravagant ideas on the subject
of Spain. It is rare that he has been in the country, unless his
residence be within a very few leagues of its frontier, and he
pictures to himself an infinity of perils and horrors, to be found
neither in Spain nor any where else, save in his imagination. "Since
the war of Independence," says Baron Vaerst, "the French nourish
strong prejudices against the Spaniards; and old soldiers, especially,
who fought in that war, are apt to consider a large majority of the
nation as habitual murderers and poisoners. For certainly at that
time, murder and poison were proclaimed from every pulpit as means
approved by Heaven for the extermination of the arch-foe. The exiled
Spaniards whom, one finds scattered over France, especially over its
southern provinces, are more apt to confirm than to contradict such
stories. Discontented with their own country, they represent its
condition as worse even than it really is, and, like most unfortunate
persons, add blacker shades to what is already black enough." In
Spain, the land of idlers, not a town but has its gossip-market, an
imitation more or less humble of that celebrated Gate of the Sun,
where the newsmongers of the Spanish capital daily meet to repeat and
improve the latest lie, much to their own pastime, and greatly to the
consolation and advantage of the credulous correspondents of leading
London journals. In provincial towns, whither palace-chronicles and
metropolitan gossip come but in an abridged form, the report of a
diligence stopped or a horseman fired at affords all agreeable
variety, and is eagerly caught, magnified, and multiplied by the old
women in cloaks and breeches, who hold their morning and evening
confabulations in the sunshine of the Alameda, or beneath the
_plaza's_ snug arcades. Of course, the itinerant _gavacho_, the
Parisian tourist on the look out for the picaresque and picturesque
wherewith to swell future feuilletons, gets the full benefit of such
reports, expanded and embellished into romantic feats and instances of
generosity, worthy of a Chafandin or a José Maria. The tourist, in his
turn, superadds a coat of varnish to give glitter to the painting,
which is subsequently retailed in daily shreds to the thirty thousand
_abonnès_ of the _Presse_ or _Débats_. In his capacity of an old
soldier, who has run real dangers, and despises the terrors (mostly
imaginary) of gaping blunderbusses and double-edged knives, Baron
Vaerst does not condescend to make himself the hero of an encounter or
escape, although his last journey in the Peninsula led him through
districts of evil repute and small security. In Arragon, where there
had been no political disturbances for some short time before his
visit, "the roads were so much the more dangerous, and could be
considered safe only for muleteers, who have generally a pretty good
understanding with the knights of the highway. I met several thousand
mules going from France to Huesca, where a great cattle fair was held;
this made the road lively. Muleteers, suspicious-visaged gentry, many
of them doubtless smugglers or robbers, were there in numbers. The
country people fear the robbers too much to betray or prosecute them;
the authorities are feeble and inefficient; the rich proprietors pay
black mail as protection against serious damage. And if robbers are
captured, they at once become objects of general sympathy. There are
places where the jailer lets them out for a few days on parole, and
sends them to work unguarded in town or country, distinguished only by
an iron ring upon the ankle. The true gentleman-highwayman, however,
keeps his word of honour, even as he is gallant to the fair sex: he
leaves the plundered traveller the long knife, without which the
Spaniard rarely travels, and which is necessary, as he naively
expresses it, to cut his tobacco. He leaves him also his cigarette,
and often as much cash as will procure a night's lodging. If, favoured
by fortune, he rises to be leader of a band of smugglers, be comes to
a friendly understanding with the authorities, and agrees to pay a
price--usually, it is said, a quadruple or sixteen dollars--for the
unimpeded passage of each laden mule. For this premium the contraband
goods are often escorted to their destination by soldiers. When the
smuggler is unsuccessful, and finds himself with nothing but his
tromblon and knife, he turns robber, the ultimate resource of this
original class of men." There is here some exaggeration, especially as
regards the military escort of the smuggled lace and cottons; but
there is also much truth in this broadly pencilled sketch of how they
manage matters in the Peninsula.

On his way from Barcelona, Baron Vaerst met his brother-baron, De
Meer, then captain-general of Catalonia, who swayed the province with
an iron rule that made him alike dreaded and detested. Such severity
was necessary, for the Catalans are a troublesome and mutinous race,
and Barcelona especially is the headquarters of sedition and
discontent. Baron de Meer had a strong garrison at his orders, the
city lies under the guns of Monjuich, and the breadth of the long
handsome streets and open squares facilitate the suppression of
insurrection. Nevertheless, it had been thought advisable to fortify
and garrison several of the large buildings, and, in spite of the
opposition of the magistrates and inhabitants, to break through
various streets, so as to form long avenues, that might be swept in
case of need by artillery. These extreme measures were imperatively
called for by the numerous outbreaks in Catalonia, a province which
gives more trouble to the government than all the rest of Spain.
Barcelona has had a bad reputation for some hundred years past. It is
a resort of Italian carbonari, German republicans, and discontented
restless spirits from various countries; also the headquarters of
sundry revolutionary committees, and of the secret society known as
the _Vengeurs d'Alibaud_, to which that helpless and imbecile Bourbon,
Don Francisco de Paula, was said, a short time since, to be
affiliated. Alibaud himself lived in Barcelona, and only left it to go
to Paris and make his attempt on the life of the King of the French.
In one month (January 1845) sixty-two persons died a violent death in
Barcelona, of whom fifty-one were murdered and five executed, whilst
six committed suicide. As regards popular commotions and revolts, so
frequent of late years, Baron Vaerst, who has difficulty in admitting
that any thing can go on well under a "so-called liberal system,"
maintains that the Barcelonese have strong cause and excuse for
rebellion in the injury done to their manufactures by the close
alliance between Spain and England. He apparently imagines the Spanish
tariff to be highly favourable to English fabrics, and sighs over the
misfortunes of the hardly-used manufacturers, whose smoking chimneys
he complacently contemplated from the lofty battlements of Monjuich.
In short, he indulges in a good deal of argument and assertion, which
sound well, but, being based on false premises, are worth exactly
nothing. When he talks of the Catalonian manufactures as important and
flourishing, he is evidently ignorant that they are chiefly supplied
with foreign goods, smuggled in and stamped with the mark of the
Barcelona factories! This fact is notorious, and susceptible of easy
proof. The amount of raw cotton imported into Spain would make, as the
returns show, but a very small part of the goods issued from Spanish
manufactories. Were the contraband system exchanged for legitimate
commerce, at moderate duties, a few cotton-spinners, _alias_
smugglers, might suffer in pocket, but the increased trade of
Catalonia would employ far more hands than would be thrown out of work
by putting down a few badly managed spinning-jennies. The bigoted and
brutal Catalan populace, beyond comparison the worst race in the
Peninsula, cannot comprehend this fact; and the cunning few who do
comprehend it find their interest in suppressing the truth. The
French, too, who well know that in a fair market English cottons would
beat their's out of the field, take care, by means of such emissaries
as Mr Lesseps, to keep up the cheat. So, whenever there is a talk of
reducing the present absurd tariff of Spain, the Barcelonese fly to
arms, throw up barricades, bluster about English influence, and,
whilst thinking to defend their own interests, serve as blind
instruments to a disreputable foreign potentate. The Spaniards are a
very jealous and a very suspicious people, and have been ill-treated
and imposed upon until they have acquired the habit of seeking selfish
motives for the actions of all men. Such over-wariness defeats its
object. A section--by no means a majority--of the Spanish nation look
upon England as having only her own interests in view when she seeks a
commercial treaty with Spain, arranged on fair and reasonable bases.
Nothing can be more erroneous and delusive. England would gain very
little by such a treaty; the great advantage would be derived by
Spain, who now receives duty on one-eighth of the British goods
annually imported. We need not say how the other seven-eighths enter.
Spain has seven hundred and ten leagues of coast and frontier.
Gibraltar and Portugal are convenient depôts, and there are one
hundred and twenty thousand professional smugglers in Spain, the
flower of the population, fine, active, stalwart fellows, imbued with
hearty contempt for revenue officers, and whom we would back, after a
month's organisation, against the entire Spanish army, now amounting,
we believe, under the benign system of Christina, Narvaez, and
Company, to something like a hundred and eighty thousand men. In
short, it is notorious that Spain is inundated with English and French
goods. "In this state of things," says an able and enlightened
writer,[4] "I put the following dilemma to Spanish manufacturers:--Your
manufactures are either prosperous, or the contrary. In the former
case, conceding that the contraband trade knows no other limits to its
criminal traffic than those of the possible consumption, the
competition from which you suffer is as great as it can be. What does
it signify to you, then, whether the goods enter through the
custom-house, on payment of a protective duty, or are introduced by
smugglers at a certain rate of commission? And if your manufactures
are not prosperous, what need you care whether foreign goods enter by
the legal road or by illicit trade?" It were impossible to state the
case more clearly and conclusively. The smugglers charge fixed
per-centages, according to the nature of the goods and the place they
are to be conveyed to. These rates are as easily ascertained as a
premium at Lloyd's or the price of rentes on the Paris Bourse. Let the
duties of foreign manufactures be regulated by them, and smuggling,
one of the prominent causes of the demoralisation and misery of Spain,
is at once knocked upon the head. At the same cost, or even at a
slight advance, every importer will prefer having his goods through
the legitimate channel, instead of receiving them crushed into small
packages, and often more or less damaged by their clandestine transit.
And the money now paid to the smuggling insurers would flow, under the
new order of things, into the Spanish treasury, a change devoutly to
be desired by Spanish creditors of all classes and denominations.

  [4] Marliani, _Histoire Politique de l'Espagne Moderne_, ii. 440.

Between Barcelona and Gerona the Baron was much amused by the
energetic proceedings of a _zagal_, or Spanish postilion, who jumped
up and down from his seat, with the horses at full gallop, to the
great peril of his neck, and sang never-ending songs in praise of
Queen Christina and of the joyous life of a smuggler, only
interrupting his melody to shout an oft-repeated _tiro! tiro!_ (pull!
pull!) and to swear Saracenic oaths at his steaming mules. "By the
holy bones of Mahomet!"[5] he would exclaim, "I will make thee dance,
lazy _Valerosa_! (the valorous;) rebaptize thee with a cudgel, and
then hang thee. Holy St Anthony of Padua never had a lazier jackass!"
"And then he ran himself breathless by the side of poor Valerosa, and
screamed himself hoarse, and flogged and flattered; and the oddest
thing was, that the beasts seemed to understand him, and showed fear
or joy as he blamed or praised them. Each mule had a name of its own,
pricked up its long ears when addressed by it, and testified, by more
rapid movements, that it well knew what laziness would entail.
Manuela, Luna, Justa, Generala, Valerosa, Casilda, and Pilar, the
zagal loved them all, and preferred caressing to punishing them. If
horses are generally bad in France, it is assuredly in great measure
because no nation in the world are more unfeeling to their beasts,
especially to horses, than the French. A large proportion of the
cart-horses are blind from cuts of the whip in the eyes; the
postilions cannot harness their cattle without giving them violent
kicks in the side; and one sees the poor brutes tremble at the
approach of their tyrants. Abuse, oaths, and blows are the order of
the day. The Arab makes much of his noble steed, and even the rude
Cossack looks to his horse's comfort before providing for his own."

  [5] _El santo zancarron_, (literally, the holy dry bone,) an
  expression handed down from the Moors, and very dangerous to be used
  for some time after their expulsion, when an oath "by Mahomet"
  sufficed to make the utterer suspected by the Inquisition of addiction
  to the forbidden faith. It was to escape all suspicion of such
  addiction that the Spaniards became great consumers of pig's flesh,
  still a standard dish, in one form or other, at every Spanish dinner.
  Probably it was the excellent quality of Spanish pork, as much as the
  fear of the Inquisition, that perpetuated this custom.

The town of Gerona, well fortified, and possessing a strong citadel,
is celebrated for its noble defence against the French, related, in
interesting detail, by Toreno, in his "History of the War of
Independence." Its brave governor, Don Mariano Alvarez, having few
provisions, and a large garrison, economised the former, and was
prodigal of the latter. In repeated sorties he inflicted severe loss
on the besiegers. One officer, ordered on a very perilous expedition,
inquired, with some anxiety, what point he was to fall back upon.
"Upon the churchyard," was the consolatory reply of Alvarez. When
things came to the pass that five reals were paid for a mouse, and
thirty for a cat, and somebody talked of capitulating, Alvarez swore
he would have the offender slaughtered and salted, and would do the
same by all who hinted at surrender. After nine months' continual
fighting, all provisions being exhausted, the fortress was given up.
The garrison had dwindled from fifteen thousand to four thousand men,
and only a small portion of these were capable of bearing arms. The
protracted and glorious defence was to be attributed--so some of the
Spaniards thought--to the especial protection of the holy St Narcissa.
That respectable lady is the patroness of Gerona, where her ashes
repose; during the siege, a cocked and feathered hat was put upon her
statue, and she received the title of _generalissima_. Figueras, the
last town of any note before reaching the French frontier, is also a
fortified place. Taken by the French in the Peninsular war, it was
recaptured by the Spaniards, who entered in the night through a
subterraneous passage. Its citadel of San Fernando is one of the
strongest in Spain, and can accommodate fifteen thousand men. The town
itself is insignificant, and only celebrated for the scale and
solidity of its fortifications, which remain as a monument of former
Spanish grandeur. But they lack completion, and are ill situated,
which caused some connoisseur in the art to say that the mason should
have been decorated, and the engineer flogged.

Pau, the favourite resort of English sojourners in southern France,
was selected by the Baron and his companions for their winter-quarters;
and although, upon their arrival there, the severe cold and heavy snow
induced them to doubt the truth of the praises they had heard of its
mild and beautiful climate, they soon became convinced the encomium
was well merited. The meadows remained green the whole winter through,
and once only, in the month of March, came a fall of snow, which
disappeared, however, in forty-eight hours. From their windows, they
commanded a magnificent view southwards, bounded in the distance by
the lofty summits of the Pyrenees, supreme amongst which rises the
snow-covered dome of the _Pic du Midi_,--"a magnificent amphitheatre,
whose aspect is most sublime at night, in the full moon-light. Morning
and evening, at the rising and setting of the sun, the snowy points of
the _Pic_ resemble great spires of flame, blazing through the gloom.
With incredible suddenness darkness covers the lowlands, whilst the
tall peaks, clothed in ice, still remain illuminated, gleaming far and
wide above the broad panorama of mountains, like isolated lighthouses
on the shores of the mighty ocean." Many of the Pyrenean mountains are
known as the _Pic du Midi_; there is a _Pic du Midi d'Ossau_, another
of _Bigorre_, a third of _Valentine_, &c.; but the _Pic du Midi de
Pau_ is the highest, and rises fifteen hundred and thirty-one toises
(nearly ten thousand English feet) above the level of the sea. In like
manner many rivers bear the name of _Gave_, a Celtic word, equivalent
to mountain stream; but the Gave de Pau is the greatest and most
celebrated of the family. The Pic du Midi, from certain peculiarities
of position, was long thought the highest of the Pyrenees, till it was
ascertained that the Monperdu, the Vignemale, and the Maladetta, are
in certain parts more than a thousand feet higher.

Concerning the English residents at Pau, M. Vaerst says little or
nothing, except that he and his companions, although unprovided with
introductions, received visits and invitations from them, attentions
for which they probably had their titles to thank. The Baron seems to
have taken more pleasure in the society of the friendly French
prefect, M. Azevedo, with whom he had strenuous discussions on the
everlasting subject of the Rhine frontier. The Frenchman, like many of
his countrymen, insisted that the far-famed German stream is the
natural boundary of France, a proposition which M. Vaerst could by no
means allow to pass unrefuted. Indeed, the excellent Baron seems
particularly sensitive on this subject, for in various parts of his
book we find him in hot dispute with presumptuous Gauls who hinted a
wish to see the tricolor once more waving on the banks of that river,
which Mr Becker has so confidently affirmed they shall never again
possess. The Baron considers a hankering after the Rhine to be
ineradicably fixed, in every Frenchman's breast, and now and then
shows a little uneasiness with regard to the strife and bloodshed
which this unreasonable longing may sooner or later engender. We do
not learn how he fared in his discussions at Pau and elsewhere, but in
his book he advances eloquent and learned arguments against French
encroachment. In the very midst of them he is unfortunately
interrupted by a severe attack of illness, against which he bears up
with much philosophy and fortitude. "If pain purifies and improves, as
I have often been told, I ought assuredly to be one of the best and
purest of men. But although I have never yet lost courage under
physical or any other suffering, and have ever remained cheerful as in
the joyous days of my youth, I have yet no wish to continue thus the
darling of the gods, who, as it is said, chastise those they best
love." His patience, proof against pain, gave way at last, under a
less acute but more teasing infliction, and he breaks out into a
humorous anathema of the well-meaning tormentors who pestered him with
prescriptions. Every body who came within ten paces of him had some
sovereign panacea and unfailing remedy to recommend. He began by
taking a note of all these good counsels, with no intention to follow
them, but out of malicious curiosity to see how far the persecution
would extend. At the end of a week he abandoned the practice, finding
it too troublesome. In that short time, he had been strongly enjoined
to consult twenty different physicians, and to make trial of fourteen
mineral baths. One kind friend insisted on bringing him a mesmeriser,
another a shepherd, a third an old woman, all of whom had already
wrought marvellous cures. One recommended swan's down, another a cat's
skin, another talismanic rings and a necklace of wild chestnuts. He
was enjoined to sew nutmegs in his clothes, to wear a certain sort of
red ribbon round his throat, to cram himself with sourkraut. And each
of his advisers thought him disgustingly obstinate because he turned a
deaf ear to their advice, and discredited the virtues of their
medicaments, preferring those of his doctor. "I should long since have
been a _millionaire_," he says, "if every good counsel had brought me
in a louis-d'or. And truly I uphold the old Spanish proverb against
advice-givers: _Da me dinero, y no consejos_--Give me money, and not

Chained to the chimney corner by the unsatisfactory state of his
health, the Baron devoted himself to study and literary occupation,
pored over Froissart, acquired the old French, and revelled in the
gallant pages of Queen Margaret of Navarre. At Pau, indeed, his third
Pyrenean expedition concludes, but not so his book, for which he finds
abundant materials in the reminiscences of his two previous journeys.
His account of the Basques is especially interesting, containing much
that could only have been gleaned by long residence in the country,
and great familiarity with the usages of that singular people. Few in
number, these dwellers amongst the western Pyrenees are formidable by
their courage and energy; and from the remotest periods of their
history, have made themselves respected and even feared. Hannibal
treated them with consideration, and was known to alter his proposed
line of march to avoid the fierce attacks of this handful of
mountaineers. The Roman proconsuls sought their alliance. Cæsar,
against whom, and under Pompey's banners, they arrayed themselves, was
unable to subdue them. After the fall of Rome, the men of the Pyrenees
were attacked in turn by Vandals, Goths, and Franks; their houses were
destroyed, their lands laid waste, but they themselves, unattainable
in their mountains, continued free. A deluge of barbarians overflowed
Gaul and Spain; conquerors and conquered amalgamated, and divided the
territory amongst them; still the Pyreneans continued unmixed in race,
and undisturbed in their fastnesses. The vanquished Goth retreated
before the warlike and encroaching Saracen, and the crescent standard
fluttered amongst the mountains of northern Spain. It found no firm
footing, and soon its bearers retraced their bloody path, strewing it
with the bones of their best and bravest, and pursued by the
victorious warriors of Charles Martel. But of all the historical
fights that have taken place in the Pyrenees, there is not one whose
tradition has been so well preserved as the great defeat of
Charlemagne. The fame of Roland still resounds in popular melody, and
echoes amongst the wild ravines and perilous passes, whose names, in
numerous instances, connect them with his exploits.

The Basques are brave, intelligent, and proud,--simple but
high-minded. They have ever shown a strong repugnance to foreign
influence and habits; and have clung to old customs and to their
singular language. It is curious to behold half a million of
men--whose narrow territory is formed of a corner of France and
another of Spain, closely hemmed in, and daily traversed, by hosts of
Frenchmen and Spaniards--preserving a language which, from its
difficulty and want of resemblance to any other known tongue, very few
foreigners ever acquire. They have their own musical instruments--not
the most harmonious in the world; their own music, of peculiar
originality and wildness; their own dances and games, dress and
national colours, all more or less different from those of the rest of
Spain. There is no doubt of their being first-rate fighting men, but
the habit of contending with superior numbers has given them peculiar
notions on the subject of military success and glory. They attach no
shame to a retreat or even to a flight; but those antagonists who
suppose that because they run away they are beaten, sooner or later
find themselves egregiously mistaken. Flight is a part of their
tactics; to fatigue the enemy, and inflict heavy loss at little to
themselves, is upon all occasions their aim. They care nothing for the
empty honour of sleeping on the bloody battle-field over which they
have all day fought. They could hardly be made to understand the merit
of such a proceeding; they take much greater credit when they thin the
enemy's ranks without suffering themselves. And if they often run
away, they are ever ready to return to the fray. They are born with a
natural aptitude for the only species of fighting for which their
mountainous land is adapted. We have been greatly amused and
interested, when rambling in their country, by watching a favourite
game frequently played upon Sundays and other holidays. The boys of
two villages meet at an appointed spot and engage in a regular
skirmish; turf and clods of earth, often stones, being substituted for
bullets. The spirit and skill with which the lads carry on the
mock-encounter, the wild yells called forth by each fluctuation of the
fight, the fierceness of their juvenile faces, when, after a
well-directed volley, one side rushes forward to the charge, armed
with the thick bamboo-like stems of the Indian corn, their white teeth
firmly set, and a barbarous Basque oath upon their lips, strongly
recall the more earnest and bloody encounters in which their fathers
have so often distinguished themselves. These contests, which
sometimes become rather serious from the passionate character of the
Basques, and often terminate in a few broken heads, are encouraged by
the elder people, and compose the sole military education of a race,
who do not fight the worse because they are unacquainted with the
drill-sergeant, and with the very rudiments of scientific warfare. The
tenacity with which these mountaineers adhere to the usages of their
ancestors, even when they are unfitted to the century, and
disadvantageous to themselves, is very remarkable. The Basque is said
to be so stubborn, that he knocks a nail into the wall with his head;
but the Arragonese is said to surpass the Basque, inasmuch as he puts
the head of the nail against the wall, and tries to drive it in by
striking his skull against the point. When, in the ninth century, the
French Kings conquered for a short time a part of the Basque
provinces, they prudently abstained from interference with the
privileges and customs of the inhabitants, and when the whole of Spain
was finally united into one kingdom under Ferdinand the Catholic, the
Basques retained their republican forms. Every Basque is more or less
noble. The genealogical pride, proverbially attributed to Spaniards,
is out-heroded by that of these mountaineers, amongst whom a
charcoal-burner or a muleteer will hold himself as good and ancient a
gentleman as the best duke in the land. "In the valley of the Bastan,"
says the Baron, "all the peasants' houses are decorated with coats of
arms, hewn in stone, and generally placed over the house door; the
owner of the smallest cottage is rarely without a parchment patent of
nobility. A peasant of that valley once told me his family dated from
the time of Queen Maricastana. _El tiempo de la reyna Maricastana_, is
a proverb implying, 'from time immemorial.'" Certainly there is no
country where such equality exists amongst all classes; an equality,
however, rather pleasing than disagreeable in its results. The
demeanour of the less fortunate of the people towards those whom
wealth and education place above them, is as remote from insolence and
brutality, as it is from cringing servility. The poorest peasant,
tilling his patch of maize, answers the question of the rich
proprietor, who drives his carriage past his cottage, with the same
frank courtesy and manly assurance, with which he would acknowledge
the greeting or interrogatory of a fellow-labourer.

Baron Vaerst indulges in some curious speculations as to the origin of
this flourishing and unmixed race of mountaineers. "Some say they are
an aboriginal tribe, and that their language was spoken by Adam(!);
others set them down as an old Phœnician colony, whilst others
again vaguely guess them to be the descendants of a wandering horde
from the north or east. The language is like no other, and those who
speak it know nothing of its history. Except before God, these people
have never bent the knee in homage, and have never paid taxes, but
only a voluntary tribute, collected amongst themselves.

"Proud of the independence they have so well defended, they for the
most part, in order to preserve their nationality, have married
amongst themselves. The Basque tongue has one thing in common with
those of Spaniard Gascony, namely, the indiscriminate use of the B.
and the V. They say indifferently Biscaya or Viscaya, Balmaseda or
Valmaseda. The story is a well-known one, of the Spaniard who
maintained French to be a miserable language, because in speaking it
no distinction was made between a widow and an ox,--_veuve_ and
_bœuf_ receiving from him pretty nearly the same pronunciation. I
have still a letter from the well-known Echeverria, addressed to me as
Baron Baerst. Scaliger, when speaking of the Gascons and of their
custom of confounding the _v_ and _b_, says; _felicitas populi quibus
bibere est vivere_." Many troubadours have written and sung in the
Gascon dialect; the memory of one of the most ancient of them is
preserved in popular legends on account of his tragical fate. Beloved
by an illustrious lady, the wife of Baron Castel Roussillon, he was
enticed into an ambuscade and murdered by the jealous husband, who
then tore out his heart, and had it dressed for the Countess's dinner.
The meal concluded, he produced the severed head of her lover, told
her what she had eaten, and inquired if the flavour was good. "_Si bon
et si savoureux_," she replied, "_que jamais autre manger ne m'en
ôtera le gout_." And she threw herself headlong from her balcony. The
nobles of the land, the King of Arragon at their head, held the
conduct of the husband so unworthy that they threw him into prison,
confiscated his estates, and united in one grave the mortal remains of
the unfortunate lovers.

Whilst the Basques and Bearnese enjoyed a long series of tranquil and
happy years, Roussillon was a prey to bloody wars and to the ravages
of ruthless conquerors. Goths and Saracens, Normans, Arragonese, and
French, fought for centuries about its possession. This state of
perpetual warfare naturally had great influence on the character of
the people, who continued wild and savage much longer than their
neighbours. The passes of the Pyrenees were a constant motive for
fresh hostilities, and pretext for lawless aggression. The rich
committed every sort of crime, without being made personally
answerable. One of the old laws of Roussillon, significant of the
state of the country, fixes the rate of payment at which crimes might
be committed. Five _sous_ were the fine for inflicting a wound; if a
bone was broken, it was ten times as dear; a box on the ear cost five
_sous_, the tearing out of an eye a hundred; a common murder three
hundred _sous_, that of a monk four hundred, and of a priest nine
hundred. Other luxuries in proportion. From which curious statement, a
priest in those days appears to have been worth three laymen, and a
gouged eye to have been estimated at twice the value of a broken
bone. Flesh-wounds and punches on the head were decidedly cheap and
within the reach of persons of very moderate means. For the delightful
state of comfort and prosperity, indicated by this tariff of
mutilation and manslaughter, the men of Roussillon had to thank their
last Count, who, in the year 1173, bequeathed his dominions to
Alphonso II. of Arragon. Thence eternal strife with the French, who
did not choose to see the key to their country in the hands of a
Spanish prince; and Roussillon, the bone of contention, was also the
battle ground. Nearly five centuries elapsed before the treaty of the
Pyrenees put an end to these dissensions.

The sea, the Ebro, and the Pyrenees, form the natural boundaries and
bulwarks of the Spanish Basque provinces. Favoured by these defences,
the three provinces were the natural and safe refuge of the Iberians,
when hunted by various conquerors from the plains of southern and
middle Spain. Of Navarre, only the mountainous portion afforded
similar safety; the levels, and especially the rich banks of the Ebro,
were occupied by the victors. Biscay, Alava, and Guipuzcoa were never
under the dominion of the Moors, who obtained quiet possession of
Navarre as far as Pampeluna, but only held it about twelve years. Each
of the three provinces has its own constitution and rights, peculiar
to itself, some of the privileges and laws being of a very original
character. In Alava, the general procurator, or chief of the
provincial government, swears every year upon an old knife--the
_Machete Vitoriano_--to uphold the privileges of the province. "I
desire," he says, "that my throat may be cut with this knife if I fail
to maintain and defend the _fueros_ of the land." The Biscayan coasts
breed excellent sailors; as already mentioned, they were the first to
undertake the distant fisheries of the whale and cod. They are
probably better calculated for enterprising merchant-seamen than for
men-of-war's men, the inveterate independence and stiff-neckedness of
the race being obnoxious to regular military discipline. "_Quisiera
mucho mas ser leonero que tener carga de Biscaynos_,"[6] was a saying
of Gonsalvo de Cordova. The naval squadrons of Biscay, however, are to
be read of in history. It seems strange enough to Englishmen, to whom
these petty provinces are known but as obscure nooks of the Peninsula,
to read in Baron Vaerst's pages that "the fleet of Guipuzcoa, united
with that of Biscay, completely annihilated, in a bloody naval action,
fought on the 29th August 1350, the English fleet of King Edward the
Third, and thereby procured Spain an advantageous treaty of commerce
with England." There is small probability, we presume, of Lord
Auckland's sending half-a-dozen frigates to revenge this old insult by
fetching the present Spanish fleet into an English port, and there
retaining them until the wise men of Madrid reduce their suicidal
duties on foreign manufactures. We have stated our firm conviction
that England would gain little by such reduction. Little, that is to
say, in the way in which Messieurs Louis-Philippe and Guizot and their
organs are pleased to assume that she expects to be benefited.
"England," says a writer, already quoted, "has never asked any thing
for which she did not offer a generous reciprocity. If the Spanish
government, blind to its true interests, has constantly refused, in
consequence of chimerical fears and false views, to renounce a
prohibitive system, rendered illusory by smuggling, itself alone has
suffered. For England it is a mere question of morality. The
contraband trade compensates her for the ignorance of Spanish
rulers.... But the government of a commercial country must grieve to
see commercial transactions resting on the basis of smuggling--on a
violation of law and of public morality. England, where every thing
reposes on credit and good faith, submits with strong repugnance to
stipulations so organised that smuggling is the rule, and legal
traffic the exception."[7]

  [6] "I would much rather be a keeper of lions than have charge of

  [7] Marliani, ii. 317.


It has been frequently observed, that the chief events of the English
history, during the last three centuries, have turned on religion.

Until the Reformation, our history scarcely deserved the name. The
government an iron despotism, the people serfs, the barons tyrants,
and the religion Popery, England possessed neither equal law, nor
popular knowledge, nor security of property. And she suffered the
natural evils of a condition of moral disorder; all her nobler
qualities only aggravated the national misfortune, her bravery only
wasted her blood in foreign fields. Her fidelity to her lords only
strewed the soil with corpses; her devotional spirit only bound her to
the observances of a pedantic superstition. While every kingdom of the
Continent was advancing in the march of power, or knowledge, or the
arts; while Germany in her mail gathered round her the chivalry of
Europe; while Italy began that glittering pageant of the arts which
has left such brilliant remnants behind, even in her dilapidated
archives and tottering palaces; while Portugal was spreading her sails
for the subjugation of the ocean, and Spain was sending Columbus to
the west for a prouder conquest than was ever won by consul or
emperor,--England remained like a barbarian gazer on this passing pomp
of kings.

The Reformation changed all,--gave her a new sense of existence, a new
knowledge of her own faculties, new views of her destination; and
brought her, like the wanderers in the parable, from the highways and
hedges, to that marriage feast of power and fame, from which so many
of the original guests were to be rejected.

The change was remarkable, even from its rapidity. It had none of the
slow growth by which the infancy of nations ascends into manhood. She
assumed the vigour of a leading member of the European commonwealth
with the life of a generation. Actually expelled from the Continent in
the middle of the sixteenth century, she held the balance of European
power in its hand before its close. But the effect of the Reformation
in England was of a superior order to its effect on the Continent. We
shall not say that it lived and died in Germany with Luther; or in
France with Calvin; but there can be no doubt, that its purer and
loftier portion perished with those great reformers. The schools of
the prophets remained; but when the Elijah had been swept upwards on
the chariot and horses of fire, they uttered the prophetic voice more
feebly, and their harps no longer resounded through Israel. But, in
England, the double portion of the spirit had been given; the
Reformation had become _national_; and there is scarcely a national
act, from that period, which has not held some connexion with
Protestantism; been modified by its influence, or required by its
necessities, originated in its principles, or governed by its power.

And it is not the less remarkable, that this continued operation has
existed in England alone.

The gift of the Reformation was, like the gift of Christianity, a
universal offer. It came, as the rising of the sun comes, to all
Europe at once. The preaching of Luther and his contemporaries was
heard in every country of the civilised world, and by a large portion
of that world is retained, in all its substantial doctrines, to the
present hour. Within the lapse of a few years, it had made a progress
scarcely less rapid and triumphant than the career of the apostolic
mission; but in a period incomparably more intellectual, and among
nations more active, intelligent, and vigorous, than the dwellers
among the languor of Asia Minor, the dissolute populace of ancient
Italy, or the rugged barbarians of Thrace and Arabia.

Before the close of the century in which it was born, the Reformation
had founded churches far beyond the German frontier, in the most
active portion of France, in the British Isles, in the north of
Europe; it had even forced its way through the sullen prejudices and
fierce persecutions of Spain; by a still more singular success, it had
given a temporary impulse to Italy itself; made converts in the
natural land of the monk, built churches under the shadow of the
convent; and redeemed at least one generation from the profligate
supineness of their fathers. But this gush of the living breeze into
the cloister was soon overpowered by the habitual heaviness of the
atmosphere of cells and censers. The light, which had shot in through
the chinks of the dungeon, was soon shut out, and all within was dark
as ever. The multitude, at first exulting in their freedom, no sooner
found that they must march through the wilderness, than they longed
for the fatness and the flesh of Egypt, and returned to their house of
bondage. The name of Protestantism still existed on the Continent, but
its power was no more. Statesmen, in their political projects, passed
it by; philosophers, in their calculations of human progress, left it
out of their elements. The popular feelings were no longer roused or
abused at its command. The teacher remained, but the gift of miracles
was gone.

But, in England, it was a political creator. The manners, the
feelings, the laws in a great degree, and the political movements
almost wholly, were impressed with this one image and superscription.
Since her first emergence from feudalism, when, like the traveller
struggling through defiles and forests to the brow of the mountains
which shows him the plain and the ocean before him, she saw the first
boundless sweep of national power and moral renown before her,
Protestantism, in all the casualties of its course, in its purity, or
its profanation, in the vindication of its rights, or in the
sufferance of its wrongs, in the national zeal for its advance, or in
the national zeal for its retrenchment and spoil, has been the great
object of contemplation and interest to every leader of the councils
of England. It has been the voice which has never died in the
statesman's ear, the shape which has met him at every step, the star
which, whether clouded or serene, has never set in his horizon. The
whole line of British sovereignty seemed scarcely more than royal
administrators of the concerns of Religion.

Even the striking variety of royal character, during this long and
stirring period, made but slight difference in their general connexion
with the public belief. The brutish self-will of Henry, the savage
bloodthirstiness of Mary, the proud supremacy of Elizabeth, the
chivalry of Charles, the republicanism of Cromwell, the languid
decline of the Stuarts, the energy of William, and the law-loving
quietude of the Brunswicks, all bore the impress of the same

During the last three hundred years, the world had been singularly
active, and England perhaps its most active portion; but what relics
of its political questions are left to posterity? The passions and the
power of the great parties even of the last century have sunk into
their graves. Even their names, which were supposed to have made an
imperishable fixture in the political strifes of the country, and
under which it was presumed that ministers and opposition would be
marshalled for ever, have gone like the rest, and the difficulty would
now be, to give a name to the political principles of any party in the
state. But the religious questions of our ancestry are still not
merely existing, but absorbing all others at this moment; instead of
clearing up, they are darkening by time; instead of giving way to the
thousand questions which year by year press on public deliberation,
they still exalt their frowning front above them all. Ireland and Rome
are as powerful objects of anxiety as in the days of Pius V. and
Elizabeth; and Protestantism is forced to be as vigilant as in the
days when the Bible was first read at Paul's Cross, or the Long
Parliament drove the bishops out of the pale of the constitution.

In this language we are claiming no peculiar merit for the character
of England; we are not arrogating for her any religious superiority;
we are not pronouncing on her especial sensitiveness to conscience; we
are simply giving facts; and those urge us to one conclusion alone,
that by the determinate and original dispensation of Providence, our
country has been selected as the especial arena for great religious
inquiries, and the establishment of great religious principles.

On this subject we speak with the utmost sincerity. There is nothing
in historical experience to forbid the idea, that peculiar nations may
have been appointed to separate purposes, and that they may be even
divinely placed under the discipline most suitable to those purposes.
If to ancient Greece was almost exclusively given the intellectual
advancement of the world; if to ancient Rome was as exclusively given
the preparative discipline for its government; there can be no doubt
that to Judea was assigned the guardianship of religion.

The process may be diversified in later times; but the principle may
remain. The rapidity with which the derelictions of duty in Judah were
followed by punishments _declaredly_ divine, finds a memorable
counterpart in the annals of England, even down to the present hour.
But we shall limit ourselves to the evidence in Ireland; and on this
point we shall be as brief as possible.

In the latter part of the seventeenth century, Popery, hitherto kept
down, became suddenly triumphant in Ireland, and began its habitual
system of severity to the heretic. Confiscation and exile swept away
the rights of Protestantism. The result was the national punishment by
the scourge of civil war, a renewal of conquest, the expatriation of
the Romish army, and the decay of all the sources of national

Another era came. Under the government of Protestantism the country
had recovered, privileges were successively awarded, and it enjoyed
the peace and gradual opulence which belong to English government. But
a parliamentary faction at length allied itself with Popery;
parliament was subdued by clamour, or seduced by popularity, and the
Popish population obtained the elective franchise. The elections
instantly became scenes of national iniquity. Perjury was scarcely
less than a profession, and that notoriously ruinous system of
"sub-letting," which has covered Ireland with pauperism, became
general, for the sole object of multiplying votes. This was followed
by the foundation of Maynooth, a college expressly formed for the
training of a Popish priesthood, whose tenets, every man who voted for
this foundation, had sworn to be "superstitious and idolatrous." But
when did faction care what it swore? The cup was now full. The
priesthood of Maynooth had scarcely begun to learn their trade, when
vengeance fell upon both Popery and the Parliament. Instead of the
promise of popular gratitude, which had been so ostentatiously given
by the Popish associations, and so ostentatiously echoed by
parliamentary Liberalism, the first act of the Popish peasantry was to
take up arms; a rebellion of the most treacherous and bloody nature
broke out, in which the murder of Protestants was perpetrated in cold
blood, and with the most horrid atrocity. Ireland was convulsed and
impoverished, the rebellion was extinguished and punished by the
sword, and at the cost of ten thousand peasant lives. The next blow
was on the feeble and factious Parliament. The Irish Legislature was
extinguished at a blow; and its fall was as ignominious as it was
judicial. Its national pride and acknowledged talent gave way without
a struggle, and with scarcely a remonstrance. It had already lost the
respect of the nation. The _mind_ of Ireland disdained the
deliberations which had suffered the dictation of a mob. Parliament,
existing without national honour, perished without national sympathy.
Its own principle was retaliated on itself. The Papist sold it, the
Borough-monger sold it, the Protestant sold it, not for the baser
bribe of the populace, but for the prospect of peace; it was given
over to execution, with the calm acquiescence of a sense of justice,
and tossed on the funeral pile amid a population which danced round
the blaze.

Popery now talks of its restoration. It is impossible. The very idea
is absurd. As well might the ashes of the dead be gathered and
reshaped into the living man. As well might the vapours of the swamp
be purified by filling it with the firedamp. Every hour, since that
time, has made the country still more unfit for legislation, more
furious and inflammable. As well might the nakedness of the people be
covered by rags, reeking with the pestilence.

We rejoice to escape from the subject. It can be no gratification to
us to trace the progress of disease through the political frame which
it first enfeebles, and then makes a source of contagion. We have no
love for the history of an hospital, or those frightful displays of a
"surgeons' hall," where every skeleton is connected with public crime,
and where science is demonstrated from the remnants of the scaffold.
But it is notorious that the morals even of the Irish peasant have
been degraded in the exact proportion of his rise in political power.

Every favour of the English parliament, from the beginning of the
century until the fatal year 1829, only furnished him with an
additional weapon, to be used with a more seditious violence. In that
year, the British Legislature was thrown open to him, and he entered
it in a barbarian triumph.

From that moment, England and Ireland were sufferers alike. In
England, Irish faction was an insolent mercenary, which openly and
alternately hired its services to both sides alike. In Ireland it was
a ferocious rebel, which, as the notorious preparative for broader
hostilities, exercised its arms in midnight murder.

At length the final endowment of Maynooth came; and an establishment,
solely for the Romish priesthood, without any admixture of laity, and
allowing the means of an increase in the number of those pupils of
Rome, and propagators of Romish doctrines, from about five hundred to
double the number, was fixed on the empire for ever, taken wholly out
of the further deliberation of the Legislature, and conferred, to
three times the amount of its former grant, on a religion which
professes the worship of a _Creature_, the Virgin Mary; which bows
down to _images_; which assigns thrones in heaven to dead men,
promoted by itself to nominal saintship; which offers weekly
absolution for all crimes; which apportions the judgments of the
eternal tribunal in a purgatory, and releases the supposed criminal on
payment of money for masses; and which offers the most solemn
_adoration_ to a composition of flour and water, manufactured by a
baker, distributed by the hands of a priest, and which it actually
declares to be the Eternal God, whom "the heaven and the heaven of
heavens cannot contain."

These are doctrines utterly abhorrent to the feelings of all sincere
Protestants; and unquestionably the encouragement of their teachers,
and the virtual propagation of a belief which they pronounce desperate
defiances of the truth, startled many wise and religious men with fear
of the consequences. We leave the connexion of this most unhappy act
with the subsequent events to the various contemplation of our

The subject is too solemn for the mingling of human conjectures with
its awful reality. But whether in the shape of retribution or warning,
the singular force of the blow which has fallen on both--the Irish
criminal and the English abettor of the crime--may well humble us
before the Power which holds the prosperity of nations in its hand.
Yet even now, while the two countries are still lying struck down by
the same irresistible flash, and while the cloud which discharged it
is still overhanging the horizon--while the only voice which ought to
issue from the national lips would be the supplication for help and
the hope of forgiveness, they are meditating an act more hazardous and
daring than ever.

We disclaim all exclusiveness in the exercise of the common rights of
man; we denounce all bigotry as a folly, and abhor all persecution as
a crime; but we cannot venture an acquiescence in an attempt which we
consider as an abandonment of the first dictates of Christianity; we
cannot be silent when the intention is avowed to bring into a
Christian legislature a sect which pronounces Christianity to be
utterly a falsehood, its founder to be an impostor, (we shudder at the
words,) and our whole hope of immortality, dependent on his sacrifice
and merits, to be wicked and blasphemous delusion. And this attempt,
from no additional discovery of the truth of Judaism or the failings
of Christianity, but simply from a sense of political convenience, (a
most short-sighted sense, as we conceive;) a feeling of liberalism, (a
most childish and uncalled for feeling, as we are perfectly
convinced;) and the establishment of the general principle that, in
the political system or government of nations, religion has no
business whatever to interfere, to be regarded, or to be protected in
any shape whatever, (an assumption which we believe to be contrary to
all the experience of mankind.) Our remarks, of course, are not made
with reference to the individual, of whom we know nothing but the
name; we speak only of the principle.

But before we inquire into its good or ill, we shall give a glance at
the past condition of the European Jews, and the privileges to which
they have been admitted by the generosity of the British legislature.

With Charlemagne the political history of modern Europe begins, and
with it we shall begin our sketch of the Jews. The soldiership of
Charlemagne made him comparatively regardless of ecclesiastical
jealousies, and at the same time made him require the services of
agents, negotiators, and traffickers of all kinds. In all the wildest
barbarism of the past ages, the sons of Israel had continued to
sustain their connexion throughout Europe, and the emperor felt all
their importance to his polity. But war always impoverishes, and the
Jews were the only masters of European wealth. Thus they were
essential in all points to the great warrior, who had spent thirty
years of his life in the camp; to the great monarch, who ruled
three-fourths of Europe; and to the great statesman, who legislated
for Christendom, but who could not write his own name. Charlemagne,
therefore, protected the Jews, as he did all whom he made useful to
himself; and as disregard of opportunities has been at no time their
failing, it is probable that the chief currency of Europe passed
through Jewish hands.

The successors of the emperor retained his habits, without inheriting
his abilities, and the Jews still stood high in the favour of the

It is probable, too, that they profited enormously; for where they had
no laws but their own, and no penalties to dread but those in the hand
of the sovereign, the possession of the royal ear, and the
replenishing of the royal purse, gave them chances which must have
proved highly productive to the Rabbinical exchequer.

But their prosperity was soon to have its winter. Enormous wealth was
hazardous in baronial times. The descendants of the Gaulish, the
German, and the Norman conquerors--bold soldiers, but bad financiers;
fond of magnificence, but narrow in rental; valorous in war, but
pauperised in peace--saw with lordly indignation the crouching
Israelite able to purchase principalities, while they were often
obliged to levy the daily meal of their retainers on the high road.

The result was, a general robbery of the Jews. But as there is no
robbery so sweeping as that which is performed under cover of law, the
unfortunate Jews were charged with the most improbable crimes against
popes and princes. They sometimes escaped the dungeon and the sword by
large bribes to the judge and the king; but confiscation was too
gainful to cease while there was a Jew to be drained. And at length,
within the last years of the twelfth century, all the Jews of France
were exiled by a stroke of the pen; their whole property was seized,
and all their debts were decreed to be irrecoverable!

Still they were too useful to be entirely dispensed with; and the
following Jewish generation, which had forgotten the sufferings of
their fathers, once more sought admission into France. They there grew
opulent again, were there fleeced again, and there were alternately
fattened and fleeced, until a general rage against their existence
seemed to seize all Europe. Then, with an injustice which scandalises
the name of Europe, and with a cruelty which still more scandalises
the name of Popery, they were persecuted, plundered, and hunted into
the gentler and honester regions of the Mahometan and the idolator.

The history of the Jews in England commenced about the middle of the
eighth century, and was a similar succession of persecutions of the
purse. Their persons were generally spared, for the piety of the Saxon
monarchs was less provoked than their poverty. The Jews were a
never-failing spring; and the Egberts and Ethelberts drank of it in
all the emergencies of their dynasty, without ever cooling their royal
thirst. Still the Jews clung to a land where they had probably become
masters of the whole current coin; and though they complained
furiously of the royal pressure, they bore it for the sake of the
inordinate rent which they levied on peasant and priest, on baron
bold, and perhaps on the monarch himself.

But William the Norman came, and the days of the Israelite brightened.
William knew the value of having the synagogue for his bank; and
though a descendant of those heroic pirates who had exhibited robbery
on the largest scale in history, and plundered every sea-coast of
Europe every year of their lives, he yet felt all the necessity of
paying his fellow-freebooters, and regarded the Jews, next to his
men-at-arms, as the main prop of his throne.

But it is a curious feature in the annals of Jewish wealth, that it
has never lasted long; three generations, at the most, are sure to see
its end. The gourd of Jonah is its emblem to this hour; the surprising
growth of a night followed by the equally surprising decay of a

The Jews were desperately mulcted by Stephen, a usurper, who felt that
he had but little time to lose, and, of course, plundered accordingly.
But these were glorious times for what is called "change of property;"
the brave earls of the Norman had already run through their estates.
Money was not to be found. The times were turbulent, and the barons
were forced to build castles for themselves and their cattle. They
kept retainers to rob and fight, and led the life of gallant captains
of banditti. Italy, the native land of romance and robbery, (its
principal talents to this hour,) never exhibited more elaborate
specimens of both, than England did in the days of Stephen. But the
royal and baronial necessities were not to be fully supplied by the
high road, and the unfortunate Jew was made the paymaster of all.

At last the Romish priesthood attacked them. This was fatal. Isaac
evaded the fighting baron and the fleecing king by his habitual
adroitness, and by those small sacrifices which he well knew how to
compensate. But the monks, friars, and bishops were a body with which
all his acuteness was unable to contend. What the Jew gained was
obviously lost to the monk; and the counter was forced to yield to the
cloister. The thirteenth century is still recorded among the
Israelites as a kind of secondary overthrow of their nation, and
Edward I. as their English Titus. The act of royal and ecclesiastical
atrocity banished nearly twenty thousand Jews to seek existence in
some less savage region than the "land of chivalry."

From this period they are nearly lost sight of in our English records,
until the reign of Charles II. The York and Lancastrian wars certainly
offered but slight temptation to the man of traffic; he must have also
remembered the penalty of his former sojourn in England, and he wisely
left the Plantagenets, at last, to fight it out by themselves. The
reign of Cromwell gave them some hope. It is astonishing how the
English spirit of that one man raised the character of England
throughout Europe. The world had never seen such a brewer before;
whatever he did, or wherever he went, he carried with him the
homeliness, the heartiness, and the strength of his trade. He kept the
insolence of France in order, soundly punished the pride of Spain, and
frightened the Teutonic ferocity of Germany into quiet. If he had
lived a thousand years, so long would he have kept the Stuarts in
banishment. His game was harder at home, but he played his cards with
equal success. He crushed at once the king and the parliament; he
crushed the Presbyterians, who had crushed the church; he bridled the
Independents, who had bridled the Presbyterians; he tamed the army,
who had conquered the constitution; and, highest triumph of all, he
tamed Ireland. The _difficulty_ of the Wellingtons, the Peels, and the
Greys,--the grand problem of Whig and Tory, was no problem to him; he
suffered resistance neither moral nor physical; he would have hanged
the orators and the gatherers of the "rent," on the same tree. His
remedy was simple. He led his battalions at once into Ireland; stormed
the rebel garrisons, hanged the rebel leaders; sent the rebel priests
in droves to the West Indies; and in six months he made Ireland a
place in which it was _possible_ for an honest man to live; and this
was while Ireland was still shouting for joy at Protestant
massacre--while she was in the full riot of 1641--while legates, and
prelates, and Jesuits were crowding the soil, and while tens of
thousands of Protestants were weltering in bloody graves. The bold
brewer of Huntingdon settled the country at once, and Ireland was
obedient for a century to come.

It is not certain whether Cromwell had made overtures to the Jews, or
the Jews to him; but the shortness of his reign precluded any actual
measures in their favour. However, it is evident that they had
received some impression that they would be protected; for immediately
on the Restoration, and apparently without any further permission,
they began to flock into England, where they have since remained under
the general protection of the law.

The original condition of the Jew in England, was that of a man under
the direct protection of the king,--a perilous protection, which gave
his majesty the right of the liege lord over his bondsman, the right
over property, and even over person. But the Jew was not long
permitted to hold land. Of this right they were deprived in the reign
of the third Henry, though they were suffered to retain the freehold
of houses in towns. Successive acts deprived them even of this poor
privilege, and no Jew was suffered to dispose of his house without the
leave of the king. But, by a curious anomaly, they were again allowed
to purchase houses and lands, provided they were held of the king, and
even take farms for ten years. Though it seems probable that those
alternations of favour and severity were but so many applications of
the legal torture to the purses of the Jews.

On the Continent, the condition of the Jews was always opulent, and
always comfortless. But, in general, they escaped with the simple
penalty of popular contempt. There is money to be made in every
country by parsimony, and a steady determination to do nothing but
make money. The Jews thus escaped into the wild regions of the Goth
and Vandal, and got rich among the Poles and the Russians. They were
sometimes dreadfully fleeced; but the men of frost and snow were not
men of massacre, and the Jews got rich again. Even now, with all the
competition of all the beggars of Germany, they are the masters of all
the shop-dealing and inn-keeping, and money-changing, and all the
countless kinds of ingenuity that the smallest of traffics can
practise upon a people who divide the farthing into a dozen fractions.

The Jew lives, fattens, and plays the financier in Morocco, as he
plays the slop-seller, the quack, and the furrier in the north. He is
the banker of his Highness Abderrhaman, and supplies Abd-el-Kader with
sequins, Naples' soap, horses, and intelligence. The Jews in Turkey
always lived in tremendous insecurity; but there too, they grew rich,
they shared the favour of the sultans, (and the certainty of being
occasionally plundered,) along with the Armenians, a sort of Epicene
religionists, or link between the Christian and the Jew; the
profession of both being money in every shape, from the hawking of
pipes, and the selling of slippers, up to the court bankers; the last
being notoriously a perilous distinction, for on the first necessity
of the seraglio, the banker's confiscation was reckoned among the ways
and means of the state. The banker's stock of bullion was "sent for,"
and his head generally accompanied it. His will was drawn up already
by the Grand Cadi of Constantinople, and the Emperor of the Faithful
was regularly declared "his heir."

The Jew in Algiers was, like the Jew every where, rich and wretched;
reaping all the coin of the country, and stripped of it at every
caprice of the government. The French invasion threw all the Algerine
Hebrews into rapture for a while; but they have continued wringing
their hands, and hanging their heads, ever since. The Frenchman is as
keen as the Jew in saying, though the Jew altogether distances in gain
a man who would spend his last _sou_ on a ball, a theatre, or a
billiard-table. The Jew eschews all games of chance; the opera costs a
franc in Algiers, when they have one; and the Jew would not spend a
franc upon the music of the spheres. He laments hourly the Algerian
revolution, gnashes his teeth at the name of Charles X., cautiously
anathematises Louis Philippe, (whom he regards as the rival of his
reputation,) and when out of the hearing of a French sentinel, vents
the reverse of a panegyric on the green excellences of his royal
highness the Duc d'Aumale. The burden of his political song, is "the
Turks were fine fellows; they cut off our heads, but then they spent
money. The French do not cut off our heads, but then they spend no
money!" The Jew evidently preferred the chance of losing his head to
the certainty of making nothing out of the shabbiness of his new
masters. Thus Algiers no longer offers a harvest for the Israelite.

But the Jew had his reign of terror,--and Spain was the scene.
Throughout the world,--for where was the Jew not to be found?--he was
simply an object of personal scorn and of public plunder; and, fully
acknowledging the popular crime in both, it must equally be
acknowledged that his life naturally deprived him of public sympathy.
The Jew was a being who took no share in advancing the good of the
country; he promoted no national object, he assisted in no national
advancement, he promoted none of the fine arts, he encouraged neither
the painter, nor the poet, nor the student; he speeded neither the
plough, nor the ship, nor the pen. He made money, and that was the
sole object of his existence. And he made that money in the most
obnoxious way,--by enormous interest ground out of enormous distress.
Thus voluntarily depriving himself of all the defences which society
throws round the promoters of its purposes; without any claims on the
respect, the gratitude, or even on the self-interest of mankind;
often, doubtless, a desperate extortioner, and always keen on the
scent of gain, the Jew, in the best of times, was only endured, in
hard times was hated; and when national necessity rose to severe
pressure, was the first to be rifled of his hoards, in the midst of a
race of rapine, which seemed to take the shape of justice, and of
revenge, which seemed a vindication of human nature. There were
doubtless, in the lapse of ages, instances of Jewish scholarship, and
perhaps instances of Jewish generosity. But the character of the race
was coldness, craft, and avarice. The European Jew was the counterpart
of the ancient Ishmaelite, "his hand against every man," but without
the free spirit, the bold courage, or the wild hospitality of the
Ishmaelite. He was seen by mankind at once in the contradictory
character of the reckless robber and the crouching slave: suffered in
society only for his unwilling uses; and endured, like the jackal or
the hyena, for its swallowing the refuse rejected by all the nobler
feeders on the common of mankind.

But the bloody bigotry of Spain taught them that in "the lowest depth"
there was a still lower depth. Spain, which, with the climate of
Mauritania, appears to inherit all the fury of the Moor, in the first
cessation from her war of eight hundred years, began a general
persecution of all who would not acknowledge the Virgin Mary for a
God, and St Dominic, for her prophet. The Inquisition, the prime
instrument of Rome, was let loose against the unfortunate Jews; many
of them apostatised under the terror of the sword. Some of the
apostates more honourably repented of their cowardice, and returned to
their ancient faith. On the relapsed the Inquisition fell with the
fury of a wild beast. But even the fury of a wild beast is satiated by
being gorged. The Inquisition had the insatiable love of human misery
which belongs to the Demon. The wretched people were slain and
burned--the rack and the pile were in constant action. At length,
after a long period of agony, the sweeping decree was issued in 1492,
which banished the whole race from the kingdom. Their number was
calculated at half a million! With some pretence of humanity, in
allowing them to sell their scanty furniture, they were robbed of
every thing. Naked and ruined, branded and bruised, they were driven
away as if by a whirlwind, and their wrecks long covered the shores of
Africa and Europe.

The present condition of the Jewish people in England is more
favourable than, perhaps, in any other country, or in any other age of
the world, since their national ruin. The principles of Protestantism
_abhor_ persecution; and although Protestant persecutors have existed,
their crime has been always in open contradiction to their principle,
always has been disavowed by Protestants, and always has fallen into
disuse with the progress of Protestantism. But the right of
persecution having been always avowed by Rome, being still in the
statutes of Rome, and being still claimed as one of the national
privileges of infallibility, the Jews are still under ban in Rome, and
in every country where power is retained by Rome.

In England the Jews are protected by the Toleration Act of William and
Mary. They may hold real estates, may be high sheriffs, and, in fact,
may hold every privilege of British subjects, but admission to
corporate offices and parliament. From those they are excluded by the
9th George IV., the oath being, "On the faith of a Christian," and the
true objection being, not the desire of depressing the Jew, but the
fear of injuring the Christian. Because those corporate offices are
generally magistracies, which, implying the decision of causes on the
oath of parties, as Christians, it might be hazardous to put the power
of deciding into hands which disregarded Christian oaths altogether.
But, as a sufficient answer to the charge of invidiousness, two Jews
have, within these few years, been elected sheriffs of London.

On the Continent, the progress of the eighteenth century produced a
general amelioration in the state of the Jews. Some part of this
fortunate change was due to themselves; they had begun to enter into
general commerce, and take some national interest in public and
municipal affairs. A larger part was due to the increased intelligence
of the age.

The emperor Joseph, the great "reformer" of every thing, right or
wrong, gave them the general protection of the Christian laws.
Frederick the Great, always boasting of liberality, and actually
indifferent to all religion, gave them the benefit of his neglect.
But, as war was his employment, he resolved that they should have no
exception from his belligerency. After several bitter disputes with
their Rabbis on the subject of Jewish soldiership, he contrived to
raise a regiment of cavalry among them, which, in his sarcastic sport,
he called Israelousky! But to make the Israelites warriors against
their will was beyond the skill even of Frederick.

He first intended to make them lancers, but they entirely disapproved
of the weapon; he then tried them with the sabre, but they had no
taste for the sword; and, finally, he was forced to disband them. We
shall not pledge ourselves for the exactness of this detail, but the
story was long the amusement of Germany.

In France, Napoleon, shortly after his accession to the throne, and
while preparing for the conquest of the Continent, called the chief
Jews together, and formed what he entitled a Sanhedrin. As it is
impossible to give his subtle and unscrupulous mind credit for any
religious motive, his purpose was, probably, to use their influence in
his designs on the North, where they were numerous, and, by their
close mixture with the lower population, influential. Twelve questions
were proposed to them, nominally to ascertain the general
compatibility of Jewish opinions with French law.

But war suddenly absorbed the imperial attention; battles were more
congenial to his taste than theology, councils than Sanhedrins, and
conquest by the sword than successes by conspiracy. He dissolved the
Sanhedrin, and left the Jews to the general protection of the French

In England, the exclusion of the Jews from Parliament depends on the
Abjuration Act, George I. and III., and on the 9th George IV.; the
latter act being intended to relieve the necessity of taking the
sacrament, on appointment to places under government, a custom
originally introduced to prevent disguised Papists from becoming
members of the Protestant government, or holding offices under it,--it
being supposed that the taking of the sacrament was the _only_ test
which the Papist was not permitted to evade; but it was a custom which
frequently gave room for irreverence, and which thus produced public
offence. For this test, a simple declaration was substituted, in which
the person appointed pledged himself to the various requisitions "on
the faith of a _Christian_," a form which of course excluded the Jew.
By the combination of the two statutes, the Jew is still distinctly,
and, as we think, with most sufficient reason, excluded from a
Christian legislature.

In this country, Parliament, in the shape of its three estates, rules
every thing. In making any man a member of Parliament, we, in a
certain degree, make him our master--we give him the power of sharing,
at least, in the making of those laws which are our masters; and
although the individual may be but little, yet he _may_, if he have
talent, or the industry or skill to form a party, or the skill to
direct one, do infinite evil to any interest which he determines to
destroy. Opening the doors of Parliament to the Jew, is actually
opening the doors of power, and of a power which, if he have a
conscientious adherence to his own belief, he _must_ use against ours.
The question, then, is not of mere municipal regulation, but of the
very life of our religion. Religion is the highest concern of human
existence, and the source not only of our immortal hopes, but of
freedom and Protestantism in their purest form; and to possess it in
its freedom, to preserve, it with its rights, and to transmit it
unmutilated to posterity, has been the great struggle of ages, and has
been well worth the struggle. It is unnecessary to detail here the
especial doctrines of Christianity; but the Jew rejects them all,
charges them all with falsehood, and affirms, that it would be our
duty to both God and man, to cast them all under our feet. Therefore,
we cannot expect any _assistance_ from the Jew in defending our
religion, or our religious rights, or the national support of that

But in the legislature there is already a powerful party openly
hostile to Protestantism, with many individuals who may be willing to
aid that party, though not of their belief. On which side would the
Parliamentary Jew vote? There can be no doubt that, if at all
conscientious, he would vote for the extinction of Protestantism. Can
we then be justified to ourselves, or our country, in giving the
additional strength of a new, opulent, and influential party to the
antagonists of Protestantism?

It is true, that any _direct_ attempt to destroy our religion in
England is not likely to occur, at least for a considerable time; but
are there not a multitude of minor ways, of insidious approaches, of
dangerous artifices, and malignant tamperings, which, without open
violence, would have all the effect of active hostility? And in these,
would the Jew be for or against us?

But there is a still more solemn consideration. God punishes those who
abuse his gifts, or neglect his trusts. Protestantism is both a gift
and a trust, and of the most invaluable order. Must there not be a
public and personal crime in disregarding the interests of both; and
disregarding them for a thing so worldly, contingent, and paltry, as
political convenience? The Jew outside the legislature, however he may
hate our religion, is powerless to injure it; but once inside the
legislature, he may conspire to its ruin. If we put a weapon into the
hand of an enemy, whom but ourselves can we blame for the
consequences. If we do an act which cannot be undone, what sympathy
shall our wailings deserve, when we feel that we have actually
recruited for a hostile faction.

But having disposed of the cant of Liberalism, let, us now turn to the
more dangerous cant of Security. "What reason is there to apprehend
public evil from a single Jew, or from half a dozen at most in
Parliament?" We remember that exactly the same language was used for
the admission of the Papists. "What harm can be done by letting in one
or two Papists? they can never amount to above half-a-dozen, let them
do what they will at the hustings." Yet their votes and partisans now
amount to at least fifty; they carry every object which they determine
to carry; and they have crumbled down cabinets like the discharge from
a battery.

In the instance of the Jew, the answer is clear. They have the means
among them of coming to the hustings with irresistible force. On this
topic we say no more; but every body knows the nature of a popular
election under the Reform Bill.

But then we are to "trust to character;" the individual in question is
unambitious, or immersed in his own affairs, or afraid of the sound of
his own voice, or is a parliament phantom. He may be all this, or
quite the contrary, for any contrary knowledge of ours; but once in
Parliament, with his whole sharp and craving community at his heels,
he _must_ make an effort--or he will be soon driven back to his
counting-house. Or if he were at once as fixed and silent as a rock,
who shall answer for his successors? In no instance of party violence
is the first man the true representative. He comes full dressed into
the levee, bows as he enters the presence, and offers his petition
with the air pleasing to the souls of lords in waiting. His successor
comes; the _sans culotte_ roars at the head of his rabble in the
streets, and storms the palace, stairs. The Jew in parliament will be
no longer the emblem of sly submissiveness that traverses Houndsditch.
History tells us well the fierceness of his day of authority; the
daring zealotry, the bitterness of his national anger, and the mortal
venom of his personal vindictiveness. If those outbursts have seldom
occurred in our days, the loss of political position may be justly
taken for the cause; with every thing to risk and nothing to gain, we
can easily account for quietude. But, give him that position, make him
the leader, the treasurer, or the recruiting officer of a party,--give
him the hope of seizing place,--make his voice the key-note of
doubtful debate,--make his party the prop of a tottering ministry, or
the champions of an aspiring opposition,--give him the power of
carrying fifty votes, or half the number, across the House, the
utterers of the words of life or death to a cabinet standing in the
Dock,--and what measure of revenge or spoliation, of insolent triumph
or irremediable evil, might they not demand, and might they, not

We solemnly declare, that much as we deprecate Papist influence, we
think that all its hostility is not to be dreaded the hundredth part
so much as political power in Jewish hands. _There_ would be no lazy
braggadocio, no loose riot of success, none of the vulgar intoxication
that goes to sleep after the victory,--we should have the steady,
sullen, cool antagonism, whose subtlety never slumbers.

But there are other and important considerations. The British empire
extends over a variety of creeds. If the Christian legislature admits
one sect known as the open antagonist of Christianity, why not admit
the neutrals? Why not the Mahometan? Why not the Hindoo? Are they half
as much opposed to Christianity as the Jew? We have conquered a
Chinese island,--why not have a parliamentary believer in the god Foh,
and in his prophet Confutzee? Ceylon is ours,--why reject the votary
of Boodh? We have the Cape, and we shall soon have the land of the
Caffre,--why not admit the worshipper of the Serpent, or the man who
trembles before the mystery of the Fetish? The Dyak of Borneo, and the
Malay of Singapore are already basking under the beams of the British
crown; neither will trouble us with controversies,--why not compile
them all into one imperial representation? They are fully as honest as
the Jew, not much more ignorant, and much less likely to quarrel with

In the largeness of this subject we are forced to pass by a multitude
of pressing considerations; but there is one, to which we cannot avoid
making some slight reference--the actual state of the Jewish religion.
Many, who have not attended to this subject, evidently feel all
interest in the Jew, as the "descendant of the original receivers of
the law, a mistaken and stiff-necked generation, perhaps, but still
clinging to the law of Sinai." On this subject we speak with perfect
reverence, but also with perfect truth, when we say, that it is
scarcely possible to discover the religion of Sinai in the Jewish
ritual of the present day; their religion is Rabbinism, precisely the
same, (except for its additional excesses and inventions) that it was
when the most sacred of all authorities pronounced to the Sadducee,
and the Pharisee, and the nation, that they had made the law of Moses
of "none effect by their traditions." The "oral law," wholly
traditionary, is now the law of all the Jews, (the Karaites, a small
sect, excepted.) Their liturgy is wholly formed from the oral law, and
some of its comments, among an abundance of trivialities, are
dangerous. The "deniers of the law are _cut off_ for ever, and perish
through their wickedness, and have no part in the world to come."
Among those thus condemned for ever are the Christians and Mahometans.
But some of the passages in the Talmud show the personal peril into
which the oral law may condemn the recusants of any kind.

"It is lawful," says the Rabbi Eleazar, "to split open the nostrils of
an unlearned man on the day of atonement, which falls on the Sabbath.
And his disciples said, Rabbi, say rather that it is lawful to
slaughter him. The Rabbi replied, _That_ would require a benediction,
but now no benediction is needful."

But we must leave the subject to be treated by others who have more
time; assuring the reader that Rabbinism is a compilation very much in
the following style:--

"Rabbi Judah said, Every thing that God created in the world he
created male and female. And thus he did with Leviathan the piercing
serpent, and Leviathan the crooked serpent, he created them male and
female. But if they had been united, they would have desolated the
entire world. What then did the Holy One? He took away the strength of
the male Leviathan, and slew the female, and _salted her_ for the
righteous for the time to come."

And of this kind is the Scriptural(!) knowledge of the modern Jew. We
really do not speak of these things in levity, but in deference for
the truth, and to show how distinct the follower of Rabbinism is from
the follower of Moses.

We now close the subject, disavowing all hostility to the Jew, but
distinctly expressing our conviction, that his admission into a
Christian parliament is wholly inconsistent with common right, common
duty, or common sense. How can we offer the homage of either heart or
lip to our Lord Christ, when we give the highest boon within our power
to a sect who pronounce him all impostor? How can we respect his
religion, when we regard it as a matter of total indifference whether
we support its friends or encourage its enemies? or how can we deserve
to retain the inestimable privileges, alike spiritual and temporal,
which we have received from Christianity, when we negligently, or for
some personal object, lay them at the mercy of the unbeliever?

What ought England to do at this moment? It ought to teem with
petitions. Its clergy ought to meet, and give their most solemn pledge
to resist this most fatal innovation. Its bishops ought each to take
the lead in those meetings, and, instead of waiting to make a useless
speech in the House of Lords, come forth and do their duty like men.



The maritime glory of ancient Athens has scarcely been regarded by
Englishmen with the attention and sympathy which our own national
interest and pride in the rule of the waves might be expected to

Our boast of trusting to our wooden walls is a literal translation of
the Athenian statesman's maxim, which inspired his country's
successful resistance to her Persian invader. Athens, like England,
made herself, by her fleets, felt and feared in every region of the
then known world. Like England, she won herself, beyond sea, an empire
far disproportioned to the scanty extent of her domestic territory;
and she held that empire, and defied all the assaults of combined
enemies by land, so long as, and no longer than, she maintained her
ascendency on the ocean.

In the palmy days of Athens every Athenian was a seaman. A state,
indeed, whose members, of an age fit for service, at no time exceeded
thirty thousand, and whose territorial extent did not equal half
Sussex, could only have acquired such a naval dominion as Athens once
held, by devoting, and zealously training, all its sons to service in
its fleets.[8] The resident aliens, and some of the slaves, were also
compelled to row in the Athenian galleys; foreign mariners were
sometimes hired; but the staple of the crews consisted of free
citizens of Athens, members of the sovereign republic, which they
served with hearts and hands in the cause of her aggrandisement;
zealously executing the decrees Which they themselves had voted, and
each of them (as Herodotus remarked) feeling that what he wrought he
wrought for himself, and striving to do the work thoroughly.[9]

  [8] See _Thucyd._ i. 143, and _Xenoph. de Repub. Ath._ i. 19.

  [9] See the remarkable passage in Herodotus (_Terpsichore_, 78) where
  he describes the change in the spirit of the Athenians after they had
  got rid of the yoke of the Pisistratidæ, and felt the full vigour of
  the free institutions which Cleisthenes had perfected for them.

We look back with just national pride on the energy which our country
displayed, and the resources which she called into action during the
fearful struggles of the last war. We dwell with honest complacency on
the narrative that tells us how, when, after the rupture of the peace
of Amiens, our Great Enemy menaced invasion, England, besides her
preparations by land, put forth her might "on the element she calls
her own. She covered the ocean with five hundred and seventy ships of
war of various descriptions. Divisions of her fleet blocked up every
French port in the Channel; and the army destined to invade our shores
might see the British flag flying in every direction on the horizon,
waiting for their issuing from the harbour, as birds of prey may be
seen hovering in the air above the animal which they design to pounce
upon:"[10] while, at the same time, along Indian seas, and by the
shores of continents of whose existence the Ancients dreamed not, our
squadrons commanded every coast that could supply an enemy's ship to
chase, or an enemy's colony to capture. Yet, if we take into
consideration the comparative populations and territories of the two
states, we shall find instances in Greek history of Athens making
exertions to secure her independence, and naval supremacy, which
surpass even those which are the just boast of Britain. We may pass
over the day of Salamis, when all Athens was on ship-board; nor need
we, for this purpose, do more than glance at her armaments at the
fatal siege of Syracuse, and in the other death-struggles of the
Peloponnesian war. There is an original inscription still preserved in
the Louvre, which attests the energies of Athens at another crisis of
her career, not, indeed, more intense or exciting than those which we
have alluded to, but more interesting to Englishmen, from the variety
of the, scenes of operation, on which Athens then, like England in
modern wars, at once sought conquests abroad, and repelled enemies at
home. At the period we now advert to (B. C. 457) an Athenian armament
of two hundred galleys was engaged in a bold though unsuccessful
expedition against Egypt. The Athenian crews had landed, had won a
battle; they had then re-embarked and sailed up the Nile, and were
busily besieging the Persian garrison in Memphis. As the complement of
a trireme galley was at least two hundred men, we cannot estimate the
forces then employed by Athens against Egypt at less than forty
thousand men. At the same time she kept squadrons on the coasts of
Phœnicia and Cyprus, and yet maintained a home-fleet that enabled
her to defeat her Peloponesian enemies at Cecryphalea and Ægina,
capturing in the last engagement seventy galleys. This last fact may
give us some idea of the strength of the Athenian home-fleet that
gained the victory: and by adopting the same ratio of multiplying
whatever number of galleys we suppose to have been employed, by two
hundred, so as to gain the aggregate number of the crews, we may form
some estimate of the forces which this little Greek state then kept on
foot. Between sixty and seventy thousand men must have served in her
fleets during that year. Her tenacity of purpose was equal to her
boldness of enterprise. Sooner than yield or withdraw from any of
their expeditions, the Athenians at this very time, when Corinth sent
an army to attack their garrison at Megara, did not recall a single
crew or a single soldier from Ægina or from abroad; but the lads and
old men, who had been left to guard the city, fought and won a battle
against these new assailants. The inscription which we have referred
to, is graven on a votive tablet to the memory of the dead, erected in
that year by the Erechthean tribe, one of the ten into which the
Athenians were divided. It shows, as Thirlwall has remarked,[11] "that
the Athenians were conscious of the greatness of their own efforts;"
and in it this little civic community of the ancient world still
"records to us with emphatic simplicity, that its slain fell in
Cyprus, in Egypt, in Phœnicia, at Haliæ, in Ægina, and in Megara,
_in the same year_."

  [10] Scott's _Life of Napoleon_.

  [11] _History of Greece_, vol. iii. p. 26, n.

Of course, in order to man and keep afoot such armaments as these,
Athens employed large numbers of her subject-allies, of hired
mariners, and also of slaves. But, as has been marked before, her own
citizens formed the staple of her forces. In the periods, indeed, of
her deepest distress, towards the close of the Peloponnesian war, when
her dreadful defeats in Sicily must have diminished the serviceable
part of her free population, and swept off the flower of her youth,
"as if the spring-time were taken out of the year," she was compelled
to fill her fleets with a far larger proportion of slaves and hired
foreigners. And then her enemies, by the offer of higher pay, could
half unman the Athenian ships, and improve their own complements on
the very eve of decisive operations.[12]

  [12] Plutarch in _Vitâ Lysandri_.

Themistocles was the great founder of the Athenian navy. He first
taught Athens to disregard the land, and to look on the sea as her
national element of empire. His enemies said of him that he took the
spear out of his countrymen's grasp, and replaced it with the oar.[13]
But the contemporary historian explicitly attests[14] that the
salvation of Greece from Persia arose from the Athenians having become
a sea-faring people: and it was Themistocles who made them so.

  [13] Plutarch in _Vitâ_.

  [14] Herodotus _Polyhymnia_, 144.

He persuaded his fellow-countrymen to devote the produce of their
silver mines to building a fleet, instead of dividing it among
themselves. This fleet, well exercised in contests with Ægina, was the
nucleus of the navy of Athens, that taught the Greeks how to fight and
conquer at Artemisium and Salamis. These victories, and the equally
successful sea-fights in which Cimon afterwards led the Greeks
against the remnants of the Persian navy on the Asiatic coasts, raised
the zeal of the Athenians for their sea service to the highest pitch.
And when they had acquired the supremacy over the Greek islanders and
cities of the coasts of the Ægean, they gained and sedulously employed
fresh resources for augmenting the number of their galleys, and
improving their own skill as mariners. For no nation was ever more
thoroughly aware than the Athenians of the importance of assiduous
training and perfect discipline in naval warfare. Their great orator,
Pericles, mainly encouraged them to resist the combined powers of
Lacedæmon and her allies, by reminding them of their long practice in
seamanship compared with that of their enemies, who were more
numerous, and might be equally brave, but never could equal their
skill. He truly told them that seamanship is an art not to be acquired
off-hand by landsmen, or to be picked up as a mere minor
accomplishment, but that it requires long practice, uninterrupted by
other occupations. "Athens had devoted herself to this since the
invasion of the Medes; she had not, indeed, perfected herself; but the
reward of her superior training was the rule of the sea--a mighty
dominion, for it gave her the rule of much fair land beyond its waves,
safe from the idle ravages with which the Lacedæmonians might harass
Attica, but never could subdue Athens."[15]

  [15] See the speech of Pericles at the end of the first book of
  Thucydides, and also the great speech in the second book.

An ancient Athenian trireme would make a poor figure beside a modern
line-of-battle ship, the most majestic product of human skill and
daring. Still, as we have seen, the number of men employed on board a
naval armament in the old times far exceeded the united complements of
a modern fleet. The slaughter in action was far greater, and, from the
nature of the conflict, more depended upon discipline and seamanship,
comparatively with mere animal courage, than is the case even in the
sea-fights of the present time. The ancients contended in long light
galleys, the prows of which were armed with sharp strong beaks, for
the purpose of staying in an adversary's timbers, and more effectually
running her down. Inexperienced crews sought only to grapple with an
enemy, and to decide the affair by boarding. But the more
highly-disciplined mariners avoided this unscientific mode of closing,
in which numbers and brute force were sure to prevail, and sought by
skill and speed, by manœuvring round their antagonists, by
wheeling, halting, backing, and charging exactly at the right moment,
to avoid the shocks intended for themselves, and to run an opponent
down by taking her amidships or on the quarter, or to dash away and
shatter part of her oars.

If we can picture to ourselves two hostile squadrons of modern
steam-boats, without artillery, seeking to destroy each other
principally by running down, we shall gain an idea in many respects
analogous to the idea of a sea-fight of antiquity. But we must
remember that the motive power of the old war-galleys, when
contending, came entirely from oars, sails not being used in action:
so that the efficiency of the manœuvres depended on the skill and
nerve of the whole crew, and not merely on the excellence of machinery
and the dexterity of one or two officers. Of the two hundred men who
made the usual complement of a Greek trireme, at least four-fifths
pulled at the oar; the proportion of mariners being continually
diminished in the best navies, as they trusted more and more to
swiftness and tactics, and less to hand-to-hand fighting. They pulled
in three tiers, ranged one above another, the lowest having, of
course, the shortest oars and lightest work; better men being required
for the middle tier, and the most powerful and skilled rowers being
alone fit to work the long oars of the upper rank.

The probable mode of arranging the tiers of oars, so that the higher
should sufficiently overstretch the lower, so as not to interfere in
stroke with them, is excellently explained by Mitford in an appendix
to the eighth chapter of his second volume. Adopting the views of
General Melville, and illustrating them by a description of
war-galleys actually in use among the islanders of the Pacific,
Mitford says:--"Along the waist of the galley, from a little above the
water's edge, a gallery projected at an angle of about forty-five
degrees. In this the upper rowers were disposed, checkered with the
lower. Space for them being thus gained, partly by elevation, partly
by lateral projection, those of the highest tier were not too much
above the water to work their oars with effect."

The system, too, of rowing with outriggers, which has lately been
adopted in the boat-races on the Tyne, and thence in those of the
Thames and Cam, suggests another mode by which sufficient sweep and
space might have been gained for the oars of the upper tier, to keep
them from clashing with those below them.

A galley thus manned, and built exclusively for speed, (for the
war-ships seldom or never pushed across the open sea, but coasted
along from point to point, landing their crews for meals and sleep,)
must have moved with immense velocity and power. The boat-races at
Cambridge, in which six or seven-and-twenty eight-oared boats may be
seen contending close together, can give some faint idea of the speed
with which a squadron of the old triremes must have rushed through the
sea, and of the noise and wave which must have been raised in the
water, by the displacing transit of such large and rapid bodies, and
by the simultaneous lashing of so many thousand oars. One can
understand the alarm with which their charge must have been watched by
unpractised antagonists, and the shrinking back frequently caused,
φοβω ῥοθιου και νεων δεινοτητος.[16] Steady
bravery and alertness were therefore, essential qualities in the whole
crew. For, if but a few of the oarsmen got frightened, and
consequently pulled out of time, or if they failed to back water, to
ease off, or to give all the way they could, exactly at the word of
command, the calculated speed, or curve, or check, on the faith of
which a manœuvre was attempted by the captain and steerer, would not
be supplied; the manœuvre would fail; and the galley, instead of
taking an antagonist at advantage, would herself lie at the mercy of
some other of the enemy's ships that might be near enough to seize the
moment of her confusion. Accordingly, besides assiduously training
their men to the use of the oar in rough as well as smooth water, the
Athenian admirals inculcated as a seaman's prime duties order and
silence in action, (Εν τω εργω κοσμον και σιγην
περι πλειστου ἡγεισθε.)[17] To be steady and patient in
the presence of the enemy until the signal for engaging was given; to
listen attentively for the word of command as passed on by the boatswains
(κελευϛαι) to the various banks of oars; to, obey each command
instantly, unhesitatingly, and quietly; to keep time, to back
promptly, and, in charging, to throw the utmost amount of physical
power into each stroke of the oar, were the qualities that
distinguished the able Athenian seaman. Impatience, clamour, clumsy
and uneven rowing, slowness and confusion in catching and obeying
signals, and flurried unsteadiness in the heat of battle, betrayed the
inexperience of the crews with which the Peloponnesians manned their
fleets in the early years of their great war with Athens; though
probably each Dorian among them was constitutionally as brave as any
Athenian, and might have excelled him in an encounter with spear and
shield on land.

  [16] Thucyd., iv. 10.

  [17] Speech of Phormio to his crews before the second battle in the
  Gulf.--Thucyd. ii. 89.

However skilfully the triremes might be manœuvred, it was
impossible to prevent their sometimes getting foul of their
adversaries. And, for the hand-to-hand fighting which this involved, a
small body of fully armed soldiers (Επιβαται, or Marines,
according to our modern term) served on board each galley. There were
also a few bowmen or slingers for galling the enemy as opportunity
offered. And although the oarsmen must, of course, have been
unencumbered with armour, each seems to have been furnished with some
light weapons, a cutlass probably and javelin, to play his part with
in the exigencies which continually occurred during an action at sea.
For we must bear in mind that, when we read of the ancient galleys
running each other down in action, we are not to suppose that the
struck galley was instantly sunk by the shock. On the contrary, almost
every account in the classics of a sea-fight proves that this was
seldom or never the case. From the peculiarly light build of the
triremes, and probably also from the effect of the lateral galleries
in which the upper rowers were disposed, one of these vessels would be
a long time before it foundered, even after receiving such a shock as
to water-log it, and to leave it shattered and perfectly unmanageable.
While the wreck thus kept above water, the crew clung to it in the
hope of being rescued by successful friends. Sometimes, even after
thus being run down, the crew would make a desperate effort, and carry
their apparently triumphant opponent by boarding. A memorable instance
of this is recorded by Herodotus as having occurred at the battle of
Salamis, where a Samothracian galley in the Persian service was
charged and run down by an Æginetan; "but the Samothracians, being
javelin-men, sent a shower of darts at the marines who assailed them
from the ship which had run them down, cleared her deck, and boarded
and took possession of her."[18]

  [18] Herod., _Urania_, 90.

A mere successful charge, therefore, against an enemy's galley did not
necessarily determine the fate of her crew; a flight or two of
javelins and arrows were probably thrown in, especially if any
resistance was shown, and then the victorious vessel generally moved
of in search of fresh opponents until the event of the day was finally
decided. The conquerors then had the easy task of rowing up and down
among the half-swamped prizes, killing or taking off the men as
prisoners, and towing the wrecks away in triumph, to be patched up or
not for service, according to the extent of their respective damages.

The ascendancy is obvious, which skill and discipline must have
exercised in such contests over equal courage and superior numbers.
Often as this was displayed, the first victory of Phormio in the
Corinthian gulf in the third year of the Peloponnesian war, as
narrated by Thucydides, is one of the most splendid instances of it
that history supplies. The Corinthians and other confederates of
Sparta had prepared an armament of forty-seven galleys and a large
number of transports on the Achaian side of the gulf, for the purpose
of effecting a descent on the opposite coast of Acarnania, a country
then in alliance with Athens. Phormio, the Athenian admiral who
commanded in those seas, had only twenty galleys, with which he
watched their movements from Chalcis and the river Evenus on the
Ætolian coast. The Peloponnesians, notwithstanding their superiority
in numbers, sought to avoid an action, and endeavoured to push across
the gulf in the night. But the Athenians were too vigilant, and came
up with them in the middle of the passage just about day-break. The
gulf is of considerable width in the part where the rival fleets
encountered, though immediately to the eastward it narrows into a mere
strait between the two opposite capes, each of which the Greeks called
the Promontory of Rhion. Thus intercepted, and forced to fight, the
Peloponnesian commanders drew up their fleet in a way which they hoped
would neutralise the superior skill and swiftness of the Athenian
galleys. The great object in a sea-fight was to charge an opponent
amidships, or on the stern, or on some defenceless part. Of course, as
long as the enemy kept their line with the bows opposed to all their
assailants, this was impossible. The favourite manœuvre then was
cutting the line, (Διεκπλους.) The assailing galley dashed
rapidly between two of her adversaries; and then, smartly wheeling
round, sought to charge one of them in rear, or on the quarter while
turning. To prevent this, various tactics were adopted. Sometimes, for
instance, the assailed fleet was drawn up in two or more lines of
squadrons placed checker-wise behind each other. On the present
occasion, the Peloponnesians formed in a circle, placing the
transports and a picked squadron of five of their best war-ships in
the middle, and with the rest of their galleys ranged outside, with
their sterns toward the centre, so as to present all round a front of
armed beaks to the enemy, and make a flank or rear attack impossible.
But as our Nelson dealt with Villeneuve, so Phormio dealt with them. A
novel mode of defence was overpowered by a novel mode of attack. The
Athenian admiral formed his line-of-battle ahead, and rowed round
them, continually threatening to charge, and cooping them into a
narrower and narrower space, but having strictly enjoined his captains
not to begin the engagement till he gave the signal. For he reckoned
on the Peloponnesian galleys soon getting unsteady in their stations,
and running foul of each other, so as to give, a favourable
opportunity for charging them. And he also waited for the springing up
of the east wind, which commonly blew out of the straits about
sunrise; feeling sure that the enemy would never keep their array
perfect in rough water. Even as he had anticipated, so fared it with
the Peloponnesians. The wind came down upon them, and caught them
(το πνευμα κατηει.) Their ships, already closely packed, fell
foul of each other. The crews had to fend off, and mutual abuse and
shouting confused the fleet, and drowned the officers' commands. The
unpractised rowers also, as the water grew rougher, when they gave a
stroke, could not clear their oars from the waves; (τας κωπας
αδυνατοι οντες εν κλυδωνιω αναφερειν,) a
difficulty which any one will appreciate, who learned to row on a river,
and who remembers how many crabs he caught, when he afterwards first
tried to pull a sea-oar in a fresh breeze. The helmsmen thus had no
sufficient steerage-way on their ships; and any attempt at manœuvring
became hopeless. When they were completely disordered, Phormio gave
the signal to his captains, and the Athenian galleys, dashing forward,
gained an easy victory, capturing twelve ships, one of which they
dedicated to Poseidon.

This battle is the subject of the following lines, which are intended
to be taken as composed by one of the Athenians who served on board
Phormio's galley. The metre is the splendid measure invented by Mr
Mitchell for the rendering of the Aristophanic Tetrameter Anapest.


    Twas when our galleys lay along the winding bay,
      Where Evenus with ocean is blended,
    To watch the Dorian host, that 'gainst Acarnania's coast
      At the mandate of Sparta descended.

    In long and threatening line, at the margin of the brine,
      Stretched the squadrons of proud Lacedæmon;
    Our prows were but a score, yet we cooped them to the shore,
      Oh they shrank from the clash with our seamen!

    Not in the good daylight, not in fair and open fight,
      Came over the boasting invaders;
    But like thieves they sought to glide, to their booty o'er the tide,
      With darkness and silence for aiders.

    All voiceless was the deep; the winds had sunk to sleep;
      The veil of the night earth was wearing;
    But the stars had pined away; and the streaks of eastern gray
      Told the morn was her chariot preparing.

    A plash of distant oars as from th' Achaian shores
      On our sentinel's ear faintly sounded;
    Our watch was keen, and true, we were Phormio's chosen crew;
      To his oar at the signal each bounded.

    The warning cry speeds fast, "the foe, they come at last;"
      Oh little they deem what will meet them;
    Right soon equipped are we, and we push at once to sea,
      On the mid-wave to baffle and beat them.

    Now through the glimmering haze we strain our eager gaze;--
      A dark mass on the dark water rises;--
    'Tis a galley;--'tis their fleet--how our joyous bosoms beat,
      As the dawning revealed us our prizes!

    Two score and seven prows were the squadrons of our foes,
      There was sea-room and space for the meeting;
    Yet they moved not to attack, but in troubled ring hung back
      From the strife, whence was now no retreating.

    Swift, swift, we glanced around them, and in closer circle bound them:
      Still threat'ning the charge, still delaying:
    For Phormio curbed our zeal, till the roughened main should feel
      The breath of the east o'er it playing.

    Blow, blow, thou Morning wind--why lingerest thou behind?
      On high while the Day-god is soaring?
    Come forth, and bid the Deep from the level slumber leap,
      Its billows in majesty pouring.

    Let the landsmen dread their swell--the mariner loves well
      The laugh and the toss of the ocean;
    Long time the gale and we have been comrades o'er the sea;
      'Tis our helpmate in battle's commotion.

    The shudder of the seas tells the coming of the breeze;
      The ripples are glittering brightly;
    Soon the purple billows grow, and their crests of foam they show,
      As the freshening blast curls them lightly.

    Swell higher, lusty gale--the Dorian crews are pale,
      Their oars in the vexed surges drooping;
    While our circling galleys halt, and veer round for the assault,
      For the death-stroke each mariner stooping.

    With heads bent forward low, with oars thrown back in row,
      Trembling over the edge of the water,
    With breathless gaze we watch from our captain's lip to catch
      The word for the charge and the slaughter.

    'Tis given--the oars dip--with a light half-stroke the ship
      Glides off--the waves hiss in twain riven--
    The trumpet clamours high; and our short sharp battle-cry,
      As we strain every nerve, rings to heaven.

    The oar tingles as we grasp it, like a limb of those who clasp it:
      Lithe and light through the white froth it flashes;
    And pulsating with life, savage, active for the strife,
      At her quarry the war-galley dashes.

    On, mariners, pull on--one glancing thought alone
      Of the homes and the loves that we cherish;
    For we know, from rush like this, as our prow may strike or miss,
      Ourselves or the foemen must perish.

    But our helmsman's skill is tried our armèd beak to guide,
      Where their quarter lies helpless before us;
    And the thrilling, jarring crash, and the music of the smash
      Tell our rowers that fortune smiles o'er us.

    Look round upon the wreck,--mark the haughty Dorians' deck,
      How they reel in their armour along it:
    While our bow-men ply each string; and each javelin's on the wing,
      Wafting death mid the braggarts that throng it.

    Look where our gallant prow struck deep the deadly blow,
      Shattered oars, mangled oars-men are lying:
    The rent and started side sucks in the swamping tide,
      And the surge drowns the groans of the dying.

    The reddening ocean-flood drinks deep their hated blood,--
      It shall stream yet in richer libations:
    We'll repeat the lesson stern--Lacedæmon well shall learn
      That the sea mocks her rule o'er the nations.

    "Steady, steady now, my men--back her gently off again--
      Give your helmsman free scope and dominion"--
    We recoil for fresh attack, as a hawk may hover back,
      Ere it swoop in the pride of its pinion.

    Another charge,--another blow,--another crippled foe,--
      'Tis Athenè herself that is guiding.
    As, huddled in a flock, deer shrink back from the shock
      Of the hunters that round them are riding,

    So, disordered and dismayed, with ranks all disarrayed,
      Their fleet crowds together in ruin;
    While our galleys dashing in, with a loud and joyous din,
      Their mission of death are pursuing.

    See, again their oars are out--again a feeble shout
      Rises up from their admiral-galley;
    They come forth--'tis not to fight--they only push for flight--
      One has burst through our line in the sally.

    She's their best--she must not 'scape--cut her off from Rhion's cape--
      Let not Dorians for speed triumph o'er us--
    Our nearest consort views her,--the [19]Paralus pursues her--
      Pull on--none must strike her before us.

    "Quick, quicker on the feather--come forward well together--
      Carry Phormio first in his glory"--
    Each nerved him as he spoke, and we dash with stouter stroke
      Through the waves carcase-cumbered and gory.

    Oh! swiftly goes the prize as ahead of both she flies;
        Oh! blithe was the contest that tried us,
    When we saw our comrades true, their country's favoured crew,
      In rivalry rowing beside us.

    Their Sacred Bark apace bounds forward in the race,
      Like a proud steed let loose from the bridle;
    And we knew by the red streak on her bent and battered beak,
      In the fray that she had not been idle.

    On the prey each galley gains, and more and more each strains
      In the emulous chase to the leading;
    As two hounds pursue the hare, and each strives for amplest share
      Of the conquest to which they are speeding.

    Vainly struggles the spent foe. At her stern we feel our prow--
      'Gainst its point ill her helmsman is shielded:
    And the Paralus's sway breaks her starboard oars away.
      Clear her deck!--No--they crouch--they have yielded.

    Tow her, then, along in triumph--haul her up on yonder shore--
    There she long shall crown the headland, never stemming billow more:
    To the gracious God of Ocean votive offering shall she stand,
    Telling of the deeds of Phormio and his bold Athenian band.
    Sagest of his country's seamen, bravest captain of the brave;--
    Every coast shall hear his glory, far as Athens rules the wave.
    Choral lay shall long record him. Long our battle-cry shall be,
    Cheering on our charging squadrons, "PHORMIO AND VICTORY."

  [19] The Paralus was the name of one of the two sacred galleys, which
  the Athenians employed for the conveyance of despatches, and state
  missions; and which were always equipped and manned with the greatest
  care. It is not specified in Thucydides that the Paralus was one of
  Phormio's galleys; but from the brilliant exploits of his squadron in
  this and a subsequent battle, we may fairly suppose it to have been
  composed of the _Elite_ of the Athenian navy.


It is no matter of congratulation to us, that the remarks which we
hazarded in July last, regarding the depressed and declining state of
the internal trade of the country, and the miserable prospects which
were in store for us in consequence of the mischievous operation of
our restrictive monetary laws, have since been tested by experience,
and have been fulfilled to the utmost letter. We then stated, that
Great Britain was upon the very verge of a crisis more dangerous than
any to which she had hitherto been exposed--that the evil was clearly
traceable to the senseless machinery of the Banking Acts, introduced
by Sir Robert Peel, and adopted by his Whig successors--and we warned
the latter, that "if, during the recess, and before a new parliament
shall meet, the present lamentable state of matters is to continue, no
British ministry ever exposed themselves to such a frightful load of
responsibility." Our sentiments with regard to the monetary laws were
neither singular nor unsupported. They were in unison with those of an
overwhelming majority of the press, of the heads of mercantile houses,
and more especially of the bankers, who in vain had pointed out to Sir
Robert Peel the imminent danger of his persevering with egotistic
obstinacy in his foolish and pragmatical scheme. But our forebodings
as to the future, and further depreciation of property down to the
present miserable point, were, we are quite aware, considered by many
as too gloomy to be by possibility realised. That month, however,
which may hereafter be memorable in our history as the Black October,
has, we hope, dispelled the delusion even of the few who still
regarded Sir Robert Peel as the infallible minister of finance. His
great juggle is now exposed; his currency engine has gone to
pieces--but not before it has fulfilled its predestined task of
crushing and annihilating credit.

It was, we are now free to acknowledge, a vain expectation to hope
that any remedial measure could be carried in the last Parliament.
That body was rapidly going down to its corporate grave, with little
glory, and with no regret. It, too, was an engine, working, most
unfortunately for us all, according to the will of one man, whose
thoughts and ways were as secret and noiseless as the pestilence. It
was pledged to support agriculture, which it abandoned; to foster
native industry, which it gave up to foreign competition; to lighten
the burdens of the people, which it augmented; to maintain the balance
of power, which it permitted to be shifted and destroyed. Whether he
was in office or not, that parliament was the plaything of Peel. At
each successive move, he was the Mephistophiles who drew the string.
He contrived to adjust parties with such infinite address, that what
in reality was the weaker section became apparently the stronger one,
and "government influence" was lavishly used to tempt the frailer
brethren from their old profession. True, he lost office in
consequence, but he did not on that account surrender one iota of
power. The new ministry felt that they were in his hands, and that his
fiat might determine at any moment the period of their political
existence. There have been statesmen, even of the Whig school, who
would not willingly have submitted to so poor and degrading a bondage.
There have been those who would not have consented to hold office even
for an hour, on the condition of their adopting implicitly the
measures and the schemes of their antagonist; but we live in altered
times, and free will is no longer a doctrine of the Whigs.
Accordingly, the same lessons of financial wisdom, the same doctrines
of political economy, which flowed from the lips of the converted Sir
Robert Peel, were now pompously enunciated, though far worse
expressed, by Sir Charles Wood, whom the malignant star of Britain has
converted into a Chancellor of the Exchequer. The cries of the
country, the warnings of the press, the representations of the
merchants and bankers, were passed over with an assurance of general
prosperity, and Parliament was dissolved at the moment when the active
interference of the legislature was most imperatively required.

At the elections the currency was made a prominent but not a vital
question. This we regret exceedingly, for there never was a time when
men of strong understanding, concentrated experience, and practical
knowledge, were more needed in the House of Commons; and although
there have been some accessions which we regard with hope, still we
could have wished that more men of decided mercantile ability had been
returned. The new Parliament has very great, important, and difficult
functions to perform. It has to pronounce upon the fate of a monetary
system which dear-bought and late experience has proved to be
radically bad; and it must provide a substitute on which the nation
may in future more confidently rely. It has further to decide, whether
we are to persevere in a mercantile policy, which, so far as it has
gone, appears most baneful to home production, and to the prosperity
of our native artisans: and it will be forced in some measure to
recast and remodel the system of our national taxation. All these are
matters of infinite and pressing importance: they must be handled
boldly, but not rashly, and discussed with temper and forbearance.
Party strife must be forgotten when the great interests of the nation
are so strangely and fearfully involved. We have arrived, through
experiment-making and quackery, at such a point, that the best man, be
his general politics what they may, must lead us on. But we must have
no more experiments, lest a worse thing should happen to befall us. In
our present position it would be madness to look for aid either from
the flashy declaimer and rhetorician, or from the off-hand fabricator
of systems, which are based upon no solid or intelligible foundation.
What we want is solidity, prudence, and, above all, principle.

It will not do merely to extricate the nation from its immediate
dilemma, for which task we observe there is already a sufficient
number of volunteers; but we must absolutely see our way before us, a
little more clearly than our political guides have hitherto been in
the habit of permitting. We cannot suffer them to remain as solitary
sentinels on the peaks of an imaginary Pisgah. The promised land,
which they have discerned in the distance, has turned out, when we
reached it, to be a mere mirage of the desert--a phantom which has
disappeared, and left us in the arid sand. We are, as far as
ever--nay, even farther--from our inheritance; and assuredly it would
be a desirable thing for us if we could discover the true road by
which we are to walk in future. We have deserted, unnecessarily and
foolishly, as experience has shown us, the beaten track which we had
hitherto pursued: if we cannot regain it, let us at least be diligent
in our endeavours to find, but wary in our selection of a new one. It
is in this temper that we venture to make a few observations upon our
present position and prospects.

First, then, let us see how the Banking Act of 1844 has worked. All
the world knows that by that preposterous measure, the free
circulation of the paper money of the Bank of England was limited to
£14,000,000 beyond the amount of bullion which was stored in the
coffers of that establishment--that no loophole or device for
expansion was given--and that the Scottish, Irish, and provincial
banks were put into similar fetters, and compelled to provide and
retain gold for every pound note which they might issue beyond the
amount of their average circulation as taken at that period. We were
told by the individual who was then kind enough to act as our
Lycurgus, that this restriction was necessary for the safety of the
trading community--that, in other words, it was intended to prevent
the customer from being defrauded by his banker, and to keep the
circulation of the country within proper bounds. Also, that it was
intended to discourage undue and unwholesome speculation, which,
according to the modern theory, is at the root of every evil. We
believed him--that is, some of us did--and the measure was passed into
a law.

Subsequent experience has shown us, that this very measure has become
an engine of destruction to the trading community--that it has not
defended the customer from loss by the failure of his banker--and that
it has not discouraged speculation, whether that be unwholesome or
not. It has certainly kept the circulation of the country within such
bounds, that money is at a minimum rate of eight and a half per cent;
and the measure is itself suspended and virtually abrogated by the
Whig ministry, who, with an inconsistency and stupidity which appear
absolutely miraculous, pin their faith, in the very document which
removed it, to the soundness and integrity of its principle!

Now, it is here proper to remark, that the principle to which the
ministry have so needlessly committed themselves is not, strictly
speaking, that of the convertibility of paper into gold at a fixed
rate, _but that of permanent restriction of the issues_. The bullion
principle may or may not be justly assailable upon other grounds, but
it does not necessarily enter as an ingredient into the question of
the present difficulty, and we are anxious, therefore, to keep it
separate. The great alteration which the Act of 1844 effected in the
monetary system of England, was the positive limitation of the
unrepresented paper issues of the government to fourteen millions, and
the contraction of the currency of the provincial banks. It thus left
the directors of the Bank of England no option or power to move to the
assistance of the public in time of emergency, and besides restricting
them, it made the provincial banks in England wholly dependent upon
the leading establishment in London. The Acts of 1845 which were
applicable to Scotland and Ireland, were in many respects a much
greater innovation. The amount of paper circulation in these countries
was calculated on the average of the preceding year, and the issue
restricted accordingly. It was provided that every note which might be
put out beyond that amount, should be represented by bullion, and we
shall immediately show that this measure has proved in its operation
most injurious to the interests of the English public, by causing a
large drain of bullion to countries where it is neither asked for, nor
employed as a circulating medium at all. We, therefore, drop for the
present the convertibility question, and Sir Robert's reiterated
disquisitions as to the nature and character of a pound; and shall
apply ourselves solely to the point of restriction, which we hold to
be the leading cause of the present monetary distress.

A vast change has taken place in our social condition since the year
1844. This alteration has been produced by both natural and artificial
causes. In the first place, we have had a famine and a failure of the
potato crop, which has borne very heavily upon the population of the
British islands, and has caused a large export of bullion for the
necessary supply of food. In the second place, we have had a
multiplicity of gigantic works going on at home, which, while they
have afforded high wages to an important section of the community, and
so tended in a great measure to ward off and counteract the more
disastrous effects of the famine, have nevertheless undeniably caused
an unusual absorption of capital, which must remain unproductive until
those works are completed. In the third place, we have altered
altogether our relation to the foreigner, and have admitted him to
competition with our own producers in the home market, without
securing that reciprocity without which free trade is a phantom and a
delusion. The first and the third of these causes have led to a steady
drain of bullion from the country; and although the famine may now be
considered as over, and that drain stopped for the present, the other
still continues and must continue in full operation, and the adverse
rate of exchange as against Britain can only be overcome by a general
decline of prices, in consequence of which men of every class, but
especially the manufacturer and the artisan, must be serious and
permanent losers. But the railway system on the whole has effected the
most important change upon our position, and it is now indisputably
necessary to find out in what way it has acted upon the money market.

In 1844, the restriction year, the railway system was, so to speak,
in its infancy. No doubt many works had been constructed and much
surplus capital embarked, but the tide of enterprise or of
speculation, if you so choose to term it, had not at that time set in
nearly so vigorously as it did afterwards in the new channel. Still
there were distinct indications of what was to come. Notice had been
given of a multiplicity of works that were to be undertaken, involving
in the aggregate an enormous expenditure of capital; and Parliament
had pointedly constituted itself the censor and approver of these
projects. It was not a period of private unguided speculation. Parties
were not left as in former years to throw their capital rashly and
without guarantee into American mining and canal adventures, for the
purposes of foreign improvement and the employment of an alien
population. Each railway bill was first considered by a ministerial
body expressly constituted for that function: it then underwent the
scrutiny of committees of both Houses of Parliament; and finally, when
transformed into an act by receiving the royal assent, it bore within
its preamble an express acknowledgment that it was a work of great
advantage and benefit to the country at large. Nay more, by a notable
act, authorising the government, whenever a railway should exhibit a
certain amount of remunerative traffic, to purchase it at a statutory
rate for the profit of the nation, the ministry were as deeply pledged
as they could be to the maintenance, of the system; and if there has
been in fact any excess in the number of works undertaken, the private
promoters of these are far less chargeable with the blame than the
ministry, who, with their eyes open, and the amount of pledged capital
declared, yet suffered the system to go so far without interposing a
decided and unsurmountable barrier to its progress.

Be that as it may--and we shall have a few words to say upon the point
hereafter--it is impossible to suppose that Sir Robert Peel, or any
other competent minister, can have failed to form the conclusion that
altered circumstances must per force hereafter effect a vast change on
the surface of our monetary transactions. Indeed Sir Robert now takes
full credit for such prescience. He tells us that he foresaw what was
about to happen, and that he framed his banking measures with a direct
view to that result. A more humiliating confession, in our opinion,
was never uttered by any man laying claim to the character of a
statesman. It is in fact tantamount to an acknowledgment that he was
then legislating for the prospective benefit of the moneyed interest
exclusively, and not for that of the nation. For we hold it to be
perfectly clear, upon every principle of honour and justice, that
government, having allowed these railway bills to pass, and so far
sanctioned their commencement, were bound to interpose no artificial
impediment to their completion. Nay more--they were bound, before
introducing any act for the future regulation of the currency, to take
into consideration the changes which so vast an expenditure of capital
at home was likely to cause in the adjustment of the different
national interests, and the facilities which ought to be granted to
each in the development of their several industry. But the Banking
Acts of which we complain were framed upon a totally different

Sir Robert Peel, in 1844, was, as it were, standing upon an elevation
from which he could look backward upon the past condition of the
country, and forward to the new state of things which was now certain
to occur, and which he did not intend to prevent. On the one hand, he
saw that, for a certain average of years, not distinguished by any
great enterprise, nor shaken by any great convulsion, a certain
quantity of currency had sufficed for the wants of the nation. This
currency consisted of two things, gold and paper, for we drop the
smaller change. The gold was principally, if not altogether, confined
to England, where it circulated from hand to hand; and, issuing from
the fountain of the Mint at a fixed rate of price, it was accessible
to all parties, and always exchangeable for paper. Being exportable at
fluctuating values abroad, the amount of gold at any time in the
country could not be accurately ascertained, but it was acknowledged
as the nominal basis of the circulation.

In Scotland and Ireland the system was different. Both of these were
poorer countries than England, and had been unable either to dispense
with the smaller one-pound note circulation, or to provide gold, the
most expensive and cumbrous representative of property. The currency
of these countries, therefore, was paper, based directly upon
property; and, in Scotland at least, secured by an admirably-devised
system of interchange amongst the native banks, which effectually
prevented the possibility of any over-issue. In consequence the
circulation was extremely regular and steady, save at the two great
terms of the year, being settling days, when a large expansion of the
currency was required, to be, however, again withdrawn on the
succeeding week.

On the other hand lay the more dubious prospect for the future.
Parliament had already recognised the railway system, and numerous
projects were waiting for the imperial sanction. These necessarily and
avowedly involved an enormous expenditure of capital, and the active
and lucrative employment for several years to come of a large class of
persons throughout the three kingdoms. The railway system might indeed
be said to have created a new class, whose necessary share in the
currency would fall to be calculated in any future monetary measure.
Add to this, that the population of the empire was rapidly and
steadily increasing.

It was in this position, and with these prospects, that Sir Robert
Peel fabricated his restrictive acts, which have since wrought a total
change on the financial dispositions of the country. We do not think,
and nothing has been brought forward to prove, that there was any call
whatever for a change at that particular juncture. Certain it is, that
the change was generally unpalatable, but was yet peremptorily forced
on and effected in spite of the ominous looks of those whose
experience entitled them to a hearing. And no wonder that the veterans
of commerce should have received these measures with disapprobation.
For, according to all rules of reasoning, an increased trade, an
increased demand, a new population, and a new channel of industry,
were so many additions to our former state which required additional
facilities. The same amount of currency which had sufficed in former
years to carry on our domestic arrangements, could not surely be
expected to exercise a double function, and to meet the demand
occasioned by the novel element of accretion. The money that, in
prosperous times, barely answered the calls of manufacture and
commerce, could not be converted from those streams to flow into
another, without occasioning, at the same time, the greatest pinching
and inconvenience. Yet, strange to say, Sir Robert Peel, instead of
basing his calculations upon the future imperative demand, legislated
as if no new element at all had appeared in our social position. And
he further committed, what we maintain to be a great and inexcusable
error, even had the railways not then been in actual progress, by
utterly destroying all possible expansion of the currency, so as to
bar us from the power of obviating any temporary difficulty or
accident to which commerce is constantly exposed.

Thirty-two millions, therefore, of paper, whereof fourteen was
apportioned to the Bank of England, was the bountiful allowance
counted out for the daily augmenting wants of the first commercial
nation of the world. All paper issue beyond that had to be represented
by unfructifying bullion, stored up in bank vaults and cellars, as far
away from profitable employment as if it had been buried beneath the
ruins of Nineveh, with some tutelary demon as its guard. And it is a
fact, which we do not remember to have seen stated elsewhere, but
which, nevertheless, is notorious to all commercial people, that a
vast deal of gold is constantly forced into the Bank to represent and
occupy the place of paper which is absent from the country. In the
Continent and in America, Bank of England notes are an extremely
common tender, and are often actually at a premium; and each of these
so circulating withdraws, under Peel's system, an equivalent amount of
gold from the national use.

We do not mean to assert, for the point is immaterial to our
argument, that this thirty-two millions, _plus_ the gold, might not at
one time have sufficed for the country, and it may be that it shall
again suffice. When we speak of expansion, we also give credit to the
counter-state of contraction; and our experience of Scottish banking
has gone far to prove, that a low rate of circulation is by no means
incompatible with a healthy state of trade. But then, experience
equally teaches us, that the low rate must be left to adjust itself.
Expansion is not, as is commonly supposed, an inevitable sign of
prosperity. On the contrary, it is too commonly a token of want of
commercial confidence, and all indisposition to receive that far
larger but uncalculated species of currency, by means of which the
great transactions of the country are carried on, and to which the
whole coinage and bank paper of the realm bears a mere fractional
proportion--we mean the commercial bills of exchange. The ordinary
currency of the country, the bank paper and all the gold which could
possibly be imported, even were it all thrown into circulation, would
be utterly insufficient to supply the place of that commercial paper
which has for its basis nothing more than mutual confidence and
credit; but then that paper must be realisable as it becomes due, and
it is for that purpose that a large proportion of the ordinary
currency is required.

Whenever a want of confidence is generated in the country, the
merchant and manufacturer are immediately compelled to have recourse
to the bank in order to have their bills discounted. The facility of
these discounts, of course, depends upon the amount of money in
circulation, and also very much upon the rapidity of its return in the
shape of deposits or otherwise. A banker cannot, any more than a
private person, discount without having money, and where no money is
procurable, the ultimate result must be a stoppage. And so it is, as
we know full well from the experience of the last two months, during
which we have witnessed the unparalleled spectacle of houses
suspending payment, and exhibiting at the same time a large excess of
assets beyond all their liabilities. Want of confidence, therefore,
however brought about, is the great evil against which, in this
country, we ought especially to guard, since it seems almost apparent
that, when it occurs, human ingenuity is not equal to provide a

Let us, however, look a little more closely into the present posture
of affairs, and endeavour to ascertain whether the want of confidence
which at present undoubtedly exists is the result of external and
uncontrollable causes, or whether it is not in some way connected
with, and occasioned by these restriction acts, which are just now
affording so plentiful a harvest to the cautious and wary capitalist.

The monetary embarrassment may be said to have commenced with the
famine of last year. That event not only caused an extra expenditure
of public money at home, in the shape of subsidies to Ireland, but it
occasioned a considerable drain of bullion to America. It so happened,
that at that time America was in need of coin for her expenses in the
Mexican war, and required less manufactures than we were usually in
the habit of exporting. At least such was the statement commonly
current in the commercial circles at the time; but we cannot, whilst
calmly and dispassionately reviewing events, conceal our conviction,
that the Americans were playing a deeper and more profitable game. A
drain of gold from England must always, under our present laws, prove
an enormous advantage to the foreigner, because, by retaining bullion
for a time, and refusing manufactures in exchange, he can bring down
prices in Britain in proportion to the scarcity of money. It was
therefore clearly not the interest of the Transatlantic dealer to take
commodities in exchange for his corn, until the depression had reached
its lowest point. Be that as it may, the balance being decidedly
against us, was liquidated in gold,--a mode of payment which this
country can never refuse, since it has recognised the bullion
principle, and laid down a fixed or inflexible standard. As the result
of this, ten millions disappeared from the general circulation--that
is, the bank, in order to maintain its full issues, was compelled to
find gold from some other source, and the exchanges being palpably
against us, by reason of the famine, and from another cause to which
we shall afterwards allude, this could only be done by an increase of
the rates of interest, in other words, by turning the screw, which had
this immediate effect of causing a fall or depreciation of property.
Consequently the funds began to decline, but after a little, some
temporary relief was afforded by the appearance of a new and
unexpected customer in the stock-exchange.

The Russian system of banking is rather remarkable. That country,
which has lately become one of the greatest gold producers of the
world, employs for its own internal use a paper circulation, but the
basis upon which that circulation rests, is commonly reported to be a
sum of from thirty to forty millions in gold, lodged in the hands and
at the disposal of the Emperor. This large amount of bullion had
hitherto remained unemployed, but Nicholas, observing that the French
funds had, like our own, very much declined, and that bullion was the
great _desideratum_ in both countries, determined, with much apparent
generosity, to step forward to their rescue. No one save the Czar had
any control over the keys which could open this hidden hoard, and with
a discernment which does credit to his abilities, he set at liberty
"the imprisoned angels," and in return for his unprofitable gold,
purchased at most advantageous rates, a deep interest in the national
securities of England and of France. The immediate result of that
measure is a large accretion of revenue to the Emperor, who is now one
of our chief creditors, for whom the manufacturer is bound to toil:
the ultimate tendency is yet in the womb of time, but no thinking man
will contemplate without alarm the power, which so gigantic and
ambitious a state as Russia has thereby gained within the very
fortress of our strength.

If we continue in a blind and obstinate adherence to the system of the
bullionist party, we shall give the Russian government such
opportunities of enriching itself at our expense, as no foreign
potentate has ever possessed before. It is quite well known that large
purchases of national stock have already been made with the gold of
the Muscovite; and therein the autocrat has acted wisely for
himself--far more wisely than our enlightened rulers have thought
proper to act for us--for he has put out the money to usury, and the
basis of the Russian circulation, instead of being profitless gold, is
now composed of British and French securities, bought in when the
market was at its lowest ebb, and yielding a large return. If our
monetary laws should still remain unaltered, and trade should
notwithstanding revive, it will be the interest of the Russian, so
soon as the funds have reached their culminating point, to sell out
largely, and by forcing the gold from the Bank of England, create an
artificial scarcity of the precious metal, which, followed as it must
be by an immediate contraction of our paper currency, would cause a
second panic, and a second prostration of the funds. By buying cheap
and selling high--the favourite maxim of the free-traders--he would
thus realise an exorbitant profit, and be enabled, should he choose
it, to replace the bullion basis of the Russian circulation. But this,
as a matter of course, he would not do. The low state of the funds
would again offer an irresistible temptation. Fresh purchases of
stock, this time made with our own money, would revive public
confidence in Britain, and so things would go on, alternately rising
and falling without any obvious external cause, but in reality
according to the will of a huge foreign fundholder, who, with each
successive movement, must be the gainer, whilst we deny ourselves the
means of securing the equilibrium of our own monetary transactions at
home. Under our present system, the sale or purchase of national
securities to the extent of a few millions, has a wonderful effect
upon the market. Add the further elements of gold exportation and
paper contraction, or the reverse, and the effect becomes prodigious.
The purchases already made on the Emperor's account, are reported to
have been most heavy, and the process, at the moment when we write, is
being again repeated.

This is, in reality, a subject of the gravest nature, and it should
not be passed over by the legislature without remark. The Whigs, in
all probability, hail such successive importation of Russian bullion,
as so many pledges of returning prosperity, not seeing nor
understanding the frightful price which we may hereafter be called
upon to pay, nor the perils of that artificial fluctuation to which we
may be exposed. We have put ourselves, as the experience of the last
few months has shown, at the mercy of gold, and consequently at the
mercy of any foreign power who can supply us with that coveted
commodity; and so we must remain, if the plain sense of the nation
does not rouse itself to sweep away the formula of our currency

Our advantage from the Russian transaction was only temporary. Again
the bullion decreased, and again the screw was tightened. Money was
the universal demand, but money became scarcer every day, and the
rates of interest increased. Hopeful people, notwithstanding, still
adhered to the belief that the pressure was only temporary. The
corn-law abolitionist pointed to the luxuriant harvest which was
waving plentifully on the fields, and forgetting, with characteristic
selfishness, the dogmas which he had so lately enunciated, prophesied
a return of manufacturing prosperity from the well-being of that
class, which, two years ago, he would ruthlessly have consigned to
ruin. But when the plentiful harvest was gathered in, and all fear of
another famine, and further bullion drain on that account, was
removed, it appeared, to the disappointment of every one, that matters
were not likely to mend. The screw was still revolving in the wrong
way--prices went down, like the mercury in the barometer before a
storm--the man who was rich even in April found himself worse than
nothing in October--bills became stationary--the banks were besieged
until they closed their doors in despair--and then came the Gazette,
with its daily record of disaster.

In truth, we do not envy the situation of ministers during that
period; and yet, we hardly know how to pity them. They alone, while
the nation was writhing, around them, maintained an attitude of calm
complacency. At first, Sir Charles Wood, the most singular optimist of
his day, received the different deputations of pallid merchants with
assurances that every thing was right. "There is not the slightest
occasion for alarm," was the language of this sapient Solon. "Money
never was more plentiful in the country--accommodation will readily be
granted to every one who has property to show for it--the
currency-machine is working remarkably well,"--and the Cabinet went
placidly to sleep.

But the cries of distress from without became so loud, and the storm
of indignation so vehement, that the ministry were at last compelled
to exhibit some symptoms of action and vitality. Cabinet councils were
summoned--new deputations received--the tale of sorrow was again
heard, and this then with decreased disdain. But the perplexity of our
rulers was such, or their dissension so great, that they could not
devise a plan, whereby even temporary ease might be afforded; and as
there is safety in a multitude of councillors, they eagerly inquired
into the remedy which each successive sufferer could suggest. These of
course were varied and conflicting, but in one point all were
agreed--that the restriction act should be suspended. Even then,
nothing would force conviction upon the impotent Whigs. They clung to
restriction as if it had been the palladium of British credit, nor
would they relax their hold of it until they were threatened with
force. The crisis was so imminent, that the London bankers were
compelled to exhibit the power which they undoubtedly possessed, and
to threaten its immediate enforcement. The deposits which they held
were immeasurably greater in amount than the quantity of bullion which
the Bank of England could give out; and the Lombard Street deputation
accordingly intimated that, if government would not suspend the
operation of the Act of 1844, they would exercise their statutory
right of demanding payment in specie, and expose the whole fallacy of
our monetary laws by rendering the Bank insolvent. That threat had
more effect than any amount of argument. At the eleventh hour the
Whigs yielded, not to remorse, but to necessity, and the Act was
accordingly suspended, clogged, however, with a condition, which,
instead of relieving the pressure, was infallibly calculated to
increase it. The Bank of England alone--for both Peel and the Whigs
contend for the monopoly of that establishment--was permitted to
over-issue, but with a recommendation, which was in fact an order,
that the minimum rate of interest on short bills should be eight per
cent, a rate which no merchant or manufacturer can afford to pay.
Surely the Bank of England might have been left in this crisis to use
its own discretion. But there was another object in view. As the
revenue had palpably fallen under the operation of the tariffs, which
constitute the measure of free trade already dealt to us, the Whigs
were desirous, even _in extremis_, to make a profit out of the
national misery, and it was intimated that the additional gain was not
to be appropriated by the Bank, who undertook the risk, but to be
handed over hereafter to the government, who undertook the
responsibility of suspending the operation of the Act. Under such
circumstances, it is clear that real accommodation was almost as
difficult to be obtained as before. The suspension, for which Ministry
are entitled to no credit whatever, did little actual good, owing to
this preposterous condition, beyond relieving the public mind from the
apprehension of the frightful nightmare. In fact, the Bank of England
did not avail itself of the liberty so granted. It merely raised the
rate of discount, and therefore no indemnity is required. The only
wise thing which the Cabinet has done, was the summoning together of
Parliament at an early day, for assuredly there is need of wiser heads
than those possessed either by Lord John Russell or by Chancellor Wood
to help us out of the present dilemma.

But where, all this while, is the money? That is the question which
every one is asking, and to which very few will venture to give a
distinct reply. It is, however, a question which ought to be answered,
and we think that there is no great mystery in the matter. The greater
part of the money is still in the country, but it is not passing from
hand to hand with its usual rapidity, nor in its ordinary equitable
proportion. The portion of it which the banks do hold, is, of course,
profitless in itself, but yet so far useful that it serves as a basis
for paper; the portion which the public hold is fearfully checked in
its circulation. This anomaly proceeds from the following causes: We
have been forced to make that amount of money, which in ordinary times
of unshaken credit was barely necessary to liquidate or balance the
ordinary transactions of the community, embrace also the new
operations rendered indispensable by the introduction and development
of the railway system. We have called forth and created a new source
of industry within ourselves, but we have omitted to provide the means
by which that kind of industry can be maintained, without trenching
upon and abstracting from the supply applicable, as formerly, to our
other wants. This is not a question (and herein lies the fallacy of
those who are waging such determined war against the railways) of
absorption of capital, but of want of the circulating medium. We have
been trying, under Peel's guidance, to make that amount of money which
barely served eight persons before, suffice now for the extended wants
of twelve; and we are perplexed at any scarcity, totally forgetting
that we have advanced in the close of the year 1847, to a widely
different position from that which we occupied at the commencement of
1844. Gold has become scarcer, altogether independent of the
exportation, because there are more persons who require money; and
when gold cannot be had, Sir Robert Peel forbids us to trade in paper.
There is a minimum supply of money representing that portion of
produce which is passing to consumption, without which no country can
hope to prosper, and we have already passed that minimum. Hence, the
sovereign, though it remains by statute of a fixed value, is of no use
as a standard at all, because you cannot measure property by it. You
cannot buy coin, except with coin, at any thing like a parity of
exchange; and therefore, if the sovereign does not nominally rise, the
same effect is produced by the depreciation of property, which, and
not bullion or notes, constitutes the real capital of the country. It
is a frightful consideration, but nevertheless it is true, that the
whole property of this vast country, estimated at something like five
thousand millions, is, to all intents and purposes, paralysed for the
want of some few millions of extra circulation to supply the extra
work we have engaged in, and the extra population we have employed.
And it is still more startling to think, that for the want of that
circulation, the value of this property is merely nominal and
relative, and has been, and is, declining at the rate of many millions
a day. In fact, we have at this moment no standard of property, and
with such a prodigious decline it may very soon become a serious
question, how the revenue of the country is to be raised.

In ordinary times the circulation is extremely rapid. Coin and notes
shift from hand to hand without delay, and alternate between the
public and the banks; and instances of hoarding are rare. This is well
known to be the case both in manufactures and commerce, the business
of which is transacted in towns where savings' banks afford the
labourer a ready means of depositing his earnings, and so contributing
to the passage of the currency. But the railway workman, who is now an
important personage in the state, possesses no such facilities. He is
essentially a wandering character, shifting his ground and place of
abode to accommodate himself to the scene of his labour, and he either
does not understand, or he will not avail himself of, the ordinary
channels of deposit. Many of this class have undoubtedly saved money
out of their ample and remunerative wages, but these savings are just
so many hoards which in the aggregate have an injurious effect upon so
contracted a currency as ours. So far from the immense expenditure of
capital upon the railways being a necessary drain upon the currency,
it would in truth, if the wages of labour were rapidly exchanged for
produce, have greatly facilitated the circulation; but the wages being
hoarded, and the gold and notes kept out for an absolutely indefinite
time, a new element of confusion has been introduced. It is not merely
difficult but absolutely impossible to calculate how much of the
circulating medium has been in this way withdrawn. We are inclined,
from the testimony of persons engaged in the construction of railways,
and intimately acquainted with the habits of the workmen, to place it
at a large figure. And when we recollect that the wages of nearly
600,000 men so employed have been for more than three years greatly
higher than those of the common agriculturist, we might be justified
in making an assumption which assuredly would startle the reader. The
hoarding of small sums, when that practice becomes general, has a most
extraordinary effect upon the currency, as every one who looks at the
amount of surplus wages invested in the savings' banks must
acknowledge: and as we cannot _force_ any portion of our population to
deposit, we are bound to take care that their ignorance, or erroneous
ideas of security, shall not be allowed to operate banefully upon so
important a matter as the circulation. The money thus hoarded is not
lost, but it is temporarily suspended, and its hoarding becomes an
evil of no common magnitude, which pleads strongly for an augmented

The Scottish and Irish banking acts of 1845, which were introduced,
and in spite of all national remonstrance, forcibly carried through by
Sir Robert Peel, ostensibly for the sake of uniformity, have very much
deranged the currency of England, by locking up a large portion of the
coin. We need not repeat here, for the fact is notorious, that
sovereigns, except to a merely fractional extent, are not current in
Scotland, and are received with absolute distrust. Nobody wants them;
and the note of a joint-stock bank is at all times a more acceptable
tender. But the acts which forced the banks to retain an amount of
bullion for all paper issued beyond their average circulation, were
based upon a false principle, which, three years ago, when the first
aggressive step was taken, we urged upon the consideration of
government, but unfortunately without success. The average circulation
of the banks over the year was not a fair calculation. Twice a-year,
as we have already remarked, all of the banks in Scotland required to
augment their issues in order to meet the term payments, and
notwithstanding Sir Robert Peel's enactments, the same necessity
exists. This will be better understood by comparing the amount of
notes delivered and received by the Bank of Scotland in exchange with
other banks on the term-days, with the like exchange during other
periods of the same months.

                    Notes         Notes
  1840.           Delivered.    Received.

  May  1,          £51,000      £43,000
      19, (Term)   132,000      173,000
      26,           38,000       33,000
  Nov. 3,           38,000       32,000
      13, (Term)    99,000      138,000
      27,           66,000       42,000

There is also, we ought to remark, a considerable rise of the issue
during the weeks which immediately precede and follow these terms. Now
the same fluctuation occurs in every one of our banks, which about
term-time are called upon to furnish accommodation to an extent of
nearly three times their ordinary issue. No allowance was made in the
act of 1845 for this inevitable expansion, and consequently the
Scottish banker is forced to do one of two things. Either he must
permanently hold during the whole year a much larger amount of gold
than is necessary to satisfy the legal requirement for his ordinary
over issue, or he must provide gold from London twice a-year, in
boxes, which arrive sealed at his place of business, to be returned
within a fortnight with the seals unbroken! Such is part of the absurd
and ridiculous machinery, which it has been the study of Sir Robert
Peel during half a lifetime to elaborate; and the practical result is,
that nearly the whole of the gold required to balance the transactions
of Scotland for the term weeks, is withdrawn from the ordinary
circulation. Indeed, gold to the extent of _the whole_ term payments
would be required, save for the proviso in the act which allows the
circulation to be calculated at the end of every week; but, as we have
said already, the rise is gradual, not being limited to the term days,
and for two weeks at least, the circulation, that is, the amount of
the notes issued, is much larger than the ordinary average of the
year. It thus follows that the bullion to represent the term issues,
must either lie in the coffers of the Scottish banks, or in the hands
of their correspondents in London, ready to be sent down whenever the
appointed seasons shall arrive!

Here then is another drain, or rather suspension of a large proportion
of our circulating medium, which has been most unnecessary. The
Scottish public suffers from the want of accommodation; the Scottish
banker suffers from the enormous expense which this juggle entails
upon him; and the Englishman suffers by the gold which was formerly
_his_ currency, being kept in pawn at the period when he requires it
most. Besides, it is well worthy of remark, and known to every banker
here, that the circulation of Scotland during the year when the
average was taken, had been reduced to its very lowest possible ebb.
The frugality of the country, the extension of the branch banks, the
efficient mode of interchange, and, above all, the interest allowed
upon all deposits, were the causes which had led to this; and it seems
now to be universally admitted by all writers on currency, that a more
admirable and perfect system could not have been invented by the
ingenuity of man. All this, however, has been overturned by Sir Robert
Peel, to the great injury of Scotland, and the positive detriment of
England; and had he succeeded in pushing his bullion theories further,
and replaced the one pound note circulation in this country by the
sovereign, a double amount of calamity would have been inflicted at
the present moment. We entreat the attention of the English
currency-reformers to this; for they may rely upon it, that the
abolition and total repeal of the Scottish and Irish banking acts of
1845, without any new legislative enactment at all, would be an
inestimable boon, not only to these countries, but to England, which
is now compelled to furnish gold, which is neither used nor required,
and so to cripple and impede materially her own circulation.

The hoarding, therefore, by the railway labourer, and the reserves
nominally kept for the use of Scotland and Ireland, will account for
the disappearance of a large proportion of the coinage from the
circle. These are only primary causes of the scarcity, yet they are
material elements in inducing that want of confidence, which, as we
have already said, is the mighty evil that is now oppressing and
bearing us to the ground. Whenever want of confidence is manifested,
the circulation must farther contract. Joint-stock and private
bankers, for their own security, maintain a large reserve of Bank of
England paper and bullion, and there are always terrified persons
enough to occasion a partial run for gold. We do not charge the
bankers with impolicy in thus abetting the general contraction.
Situated as they are, it becomes a matter of necessity to look to
their own interests in preference to the accommodation of the public;
but it is right that the public should be made aware of the mischief
which is caused thereby. The results are surely patent to the
apprehension of all. In proportion as circulation contracts, interest
rises; and the wary capitalist, foreseeing the advent of the dark
hour, realises while he can, in the knowledge that his money
hereafter, when things are at the worst, will enable him to drive the
most exorbitant and usurious bargains. This is the class of men for
whom Peel has uniformly legislated, and it is they who, under our
present miserable monetary system, must ultimately absorb the hard-won
earnings of thousands of their fellow-creatures. They are not enemies
of speculation--on the contrary, they fatten upon it. They strive for
a time to stimulate industry to its utmost, and then use every
exertion to depreciate the industrial result. Hard times are their
harvest, and prosperous years their seed-time; and never, so long as
they can hold it, will they relax their pressure of the screw.

The sacrifices of good solid property which have been made during the
last few months, and which were occasioned solely by the baneful
contraction of the currency, have been positively enormous. It is
common to hear the capitalists remark with a sneer, that such is the
inevitable result of over-trade and over-speculation. It needs no
prophet to tell us, that the man who has not a farthing in the world
can neither buy nor sell; and we admit that, in the present monetary
convulsion, as in every other, much ripe fruit has fallen to the
ground. But we deny that present prices have been the result of
over-speculation. We maintain that, sooner or later, the country must
have been brought to this unhappy condition, simply by the operation
of these currency restriction laws; and if we are insane enough to
allow them to continue, we shall inevitably be plunged into the same
abyss, even though temporary measures should effect a temporary rally.
It is calculated, and with great appearance of probability, that the
depreciation which has already taken place, is larger than the whole
amount of our national debt!

It is necessary that we should grapple boldly with the proposition,
that over-speculation in our home works, that is, the expenditure upon
the railways in progress, is the cause of our present embarrassment.
In order to do this, we must have recourse to statistics, and we shall
now lay before our readers tables exhibiting the state of our revenue
and population, for two periods of five years each.

  | Year.  |Population. | Taxation.  | Year.|Population. | Taxation.  |
  | 1811   | 18,547,720 |£64,342,741 | 1841 | 26,895,518 |£47,650,809 |
  | 1812   | 18,812,294 | 63,179,164 | 1842 | 27,181,955 | 45,978,391 |
  | 1813   | 19,076,868 | 67,189,287 | 1843 | 27,468,392 | 50,894,129 |
  | 1814   | 19,331,441 | 70,103,344 | 1844 | 27,754,829 | 53,069,245 |
  | 1815   | 19,606,015 | 71,372,515 | 1845 | 28,041,266 | 51,496,534 |
  |        +------------+------------+      +------------+------------+
  | Total, | 95,374,338 |336,187,051 |      |137,341,960 |249,069,108 |
  |        +------------+------------+      +------------+------------+
  |Average,| 19,074,867 | 67,237,410 |      | 27,468,392 | 49,917,821 |

But, in addition to the taxes which were levied during the years
1811-15, there were loans contracted as follows:

   Year.  |   Loan.      |Year. |  Loan.
   1811   | £19,143,953  | 1841 |_Nil._
   1812   |  24,790,697  | 1842 | ...
   1813   |  39,649,282  | 1843 | ...
   1814   |  34,563,603  | 1844 | ...
   1815   |  20,241,807  | 1845 | ...
          |              |      |
   Total, |£138,389,342  |      | ...
          |              |      |
  Average,|  27,277,868  |      |

We thus arrive at the following results. About thirty years ago, with
a population of nineteen millions, we were able to raise an annual sum
of ninety-four and a half millions of pounds, whereof more than
one-half was expended abroad in subsidies and the maintenance of an
army, and little or none of it was returned in the shape of capital to
this country.

At present, with a population of twenty-seven millions and a half, we
are said to be unable to lay out thirty-five millions annually in the
construction of our railways, in addition, to a taxation of fifty
millions,--in other words, we cannot raise eighty-five millions a-year
without approaching to the verge of bankruptcy!

This, if true, is a very humiliating position, and shows symptoms of a
decadence so marked, that we question whether any parallel case can be
extracted from history. A population augmented by one-third, say the
economists, cannot afford to expend a sum less by ten millions than
that which was raised without inconvenience towards the end of the
great continental war; and this sum, far from being swallowed up
abroad, is usefully employed at home, and is daily assuming the shape
of realised capital, yielding a profitable return!

It would follow, then, as a matter of necessity, that we must be
infinitely poorer now than we were thirty years ago. Let us see how
that matter stands. The net rental of the real property, _in England
alone_, as we find from the assessment tables for the poor-rates, had
risen from £51,898,423 in 1815, to £62,540,030, in 1841, and may be
estimated at the present moment as augmented by fully one-fourth all
over the united kingdom. The personal property, according to Mr
Porter, whose accuracy will be unquestioned by free-traders, was
estimated at twelve hundred millions in 1814, at two thousand millions
in 1841, and has since continued to augment, so that we may fairly
assume, that within thirty years, that species of property has been

Here, then, are grounds for a panic such as that which is now shaking
the empire! Here are reasons for leaving the inchoate railways
unfinished, dismissing the workmen, and closing our accounts in terror
of a national bankruptcy! Really, with such facts before us, we cannot
avoid coming to the conclusion that men who use such language as has
been too commonly prevalent of late, are either shamefully ignorant,
or have a motive for promulgating error.

The expenditure from 1811 to 1815 was, as we have already seen, wholly
profitless, and yet it in no way whatever deranged the economy of the
country. The vast outlay of capital, which took place at subsequent
speculative periods, was a thorough drain upon the country, because it
was consumed abroad without return, and gave no employment or stimulus
to the home producer. But the railways are investments of a very
different description. They do not affect the currency farther than we
have noted above, and the remedy for that is simple. By their means
the pressure of the famine has been lightened to the poorer classes,
and they are not only remunerative to their owners, but of immense
benefit to the districts through which they pass. Of three thousand
one hundred miles of railway now open, the gross receipts may be
taken, in round numbers, as at nine millions annually. Passengers are
carried at one half the cost of the old conveyances--so are goods, and
time is prodigiously economised. There is, therefore, a positive
saving of other nine millions to the inhabitants of the country; and
the completion of the works now in progress, will add immensely to,
and more than double this. The cheapening of fuel, the transport of
manure, and of building materials, and the opening up of mineral
fields, hitherto unused and unprofitable, are vast boons to
agriculture and trade, and there can be no doubt that the country is
deeply interested in their progress.

If it be asked whether the public are able to spare the capital
requisite for the completion of those lines without danger or
embarrassment to other branches of industry, we think the calculations
which we have already given will afford a satisfactory reply. There is
no want of capital in Britain, and railway companies will always be
able to obtain it at a certain rate of interest. But a currency
contracted like ours, and totally incapable of expansion, must
inevitably, upon the occurrence of any external accident, derange
every branch of our social economy; and as interest rises, so, as a
matter of course, will the value of realised property be depreciated.
Money is at present the scarcest thing in the market: the capitalist
may demand his own price of usance for it; and were this state of
things to continue, the results would be far more ruinous than any one
has yet anticipated. People are prepared to suffer almost any
sacrifice for the maintenance of that credit which is the idol of the
Englishman; but the sacrifice must be temporary, not prolonged, else a
stoppage becomes inevitable. Neither the merchant nor the
manufacturer, nor any other class of men, can afford to conduct their
operations at a remunerative rate, while money is exorbitantly high;
and all questions even of convertibility shrink into absolute
insignificance before the fact, that were money to continue long at
eight per cent., the mills and manufactories throughout the country
must be shut up, and the public works discontinued. In other words, we
would be plunged into a state of anarchy, the ultimate issue of which
it would be very difficult to conceive.

No doubt, the railways have had their share in absorbing capital, but
what we maintain is, that the capital is abundant and could not have
been better employed. The mania of 1845,--for most assuredly
enterprise at that time had assumed that extravagant form--was checked
by the intervention of Parliament, and a host of crude and unnecessary
schemes were at once consigned to oblivion. Should it be said that
Parliament did not exercise with sufficient energy its undoubted
controlling power, then we shall merely ask who the gentlemen were
that, down to the end of the above year, lent their countenance to
railway extension? On the 13th of November 1845, we find Sir Robert
Peel near Tamworth, with electro-silver plated spade, and mahogany
barrow, wheeling away the first sod raised on the line of the Trent
Valley railway, and expatiating broadly upon the advantage of "a more
direct and immediate communication between the metropolis on the one
hand, and Dublin and a great part of Ireland on the other; between the
metropolis and the west of Scotland; between the metropolis and that
great commercial and manufacturing district of which Liverpool and
Manchester are the capitals." Not a word of warning or reproach, or of
indication of coming scarcity of money, fell then from the lips of the
great author of the Restriction Acts,--measures which were still lying
in abeyance to awake for the benefit of the capitalist, and the
depression of every other class, long before the sod, so
ostentatiously turned over, could be replaced by the permanent rail.
What wonder, then, if Parliament, with such examples before their
eyes, and such notable testimony in favour of the development of the
railway system, should have been slow in foreseeing the danger of too
hasty an internal development?

It is also self-evident that during the last few months the frequent
and heavy railway calls have added much to our pecuniary
embarrassment. In some instances these calls have been by far too
recklessly urged; in others it is difficult to see what other course
could have been adopted. For whilst, on the one hand, the extreme
dearness of money, the utter stoppage of credit, and the impossibility
of disposing of property at any thing like its real value, were
elements which the directors were bound to consider before using their
statutory power; yet, on the other, they were not entitled to overlook
the influence which a discontinuance of these works would exercise
over the value of the capital already expended, and the great amount
of individual and aggregate suffering which would result from the
arbitrary dismissal of their labourers. It was the duty of government,
while it was yet time, to have stepped in with some precautionary
measure. They might have compelled the directors to summon a general
meeting of the shareholders previous to the announcement of a call,
and have allowed the latter a _veto_ if their interests should have
required it; but although proposals to that effect were laid before
the Chancellor of the Exchequer, nothing whatever was done, and the
increasing panic was heightened by the prospect of peremptory demands.

So much for the railways; by far the most useful class of works which
the country has ever undertaken--useful, because, however they may
appear to suffer by temporary depreciation, they will, we firmly
believe, in the long run, prove amply remunerative; because, in a year
of famine, they have given ample employment and adequate wages to a
class of men who must otherwise have suffered unexampled deprivation;
and because they have opened, and are opening up new elements of
wealth, economising time, and facilitating our trade and our commerce.
If, under the influence of monetary laws, for which their undertakers
were in no wise responsible, they have tended in some degree to
increase the common difficulty, let us recollect that the same power
which sanctioned them is answerable for the restrictive measures. We
have already shown that this new class of works required an increase
of the internal currency which was not vouchsafed to it, and the
authors of the Banking Act of 1844 are the parties chargeable with
that neglect.

In short, to use the words of one of the Rothschilds, who surely is a
competent judge, the prosperity of Britain depends, to a great degree,
upon the amount of its circulating medium. It is our interest to have
money plentiful and to keep it so; and we ought to interpose as few
checks as possible to the fair operation of credit. With plenty of
money we may command the markets of the world; with a restricted and
contracting issue like the present we are comparatively powerless. The
great fault of Sir Robert Peel and his coadjutors is, that they seek
to confine credit within absolutely intolerable bounds. We may ask,
with perfect propriety, whether the colossal fortunes, either of the
right honourable Baronet or of his adviser Mr Jones Loyd, could, by
any possibility, have been erected without this important element of
credit, which they have now combined to prostrate? We apprehend not;
and yet in a certain, though not very creditable sense of the phrase,
both gentlemen have been true to their order. The new capitalist has
the smallest possible degree of sympathy for those who are struggling

But a fettered currency is not the only evil for which the country
demands a remedy. Far more perilous influences have been at
work--influences which must be thoroughly probed and exposed at
whatever cost of mortification to the dupes, or loss of credit to the
schemer. We are willing, even in this age of free trade, when new
principles are applauded to the echo and adopted with unseemly
precipitation, to incur the odium of maintaining that protection to
native industry is the foundation of the prosperity of Great Britain,
and that in departing from it we have adopted a wrong course, which,
if wise, we shall speedily abandon. Fortunately there is yet time;
for the measures to which we allude have been so rapidly productive of
their effects, that very little demonstration is required to open the
eyes of all men to their baneful nature. Glad indeed shall we be if
experience can work conviction.

To prevent all misconception, we beg leave to premise, that we do not
enter now into any discussion upon the subject of the repeal of the
corn-laws. Our sentiments with regard to that measure have been stated
in another place; and although we have seen no cause to alter them,
they are unnecessary for our present argument. We have always
maintained that the success or failure of that measure in so far as
the interest of our agricultural population, no unimportant section of
the community, was concerned, could not be immediately tested--that
its effects would necessarily be slow, but not on that account the
less insidious. Agriculture cannot decline in one day like commerce,
and even were it otherwise, extraneous circumstances have since
occurred to delay the period of trial. The operation of the tariffs
introduced by Sir Robert Peel, with the full sanction of the
free-trade party are far more open to comment, and, as we shall
presently show, all classes have an interest in the national wager. It
is, therefore, the nearer and more engrossing topic of free trade, as
affecting commerce and the legitimate wages of the workman, with which
we now propose to deal.

Burthened as he is with taxes, poor-rates, and every species of local
impost, it would naturally be supposed, that the British manufacturer
could hardly be able to compete with the foreigner even in an alien
market. But we unquestionably possess great counterbalancing
advantages in the abundance of our coal and iron, the skill and energy
of our people, and above all, in our accumulated riches. These, if
properly managed, are sufficient to enable us to maintain our old
supremacy undiminished.

The whole manufactured produce of Great Britain may be estimated in
round numbers, and on an average at two hundred millions yearly,
whereof three-fourths are consumed at home, and about fifty-one
millions or one-fourth of the whole are destined for exportation. The
home market, therefore, being by far the most important, is the first
province of the manufacturer: the foreign and lesser market, however,
is to a certain extent the index of the nation's wealth, because we
have a direct interest to see that our exports are larger than our
imports, in other words, that we are not annually paying away a
greater value than we receive. The home market is certain, or at all
events we can render it so if we choose, and the field is constantly
increasing. The foreign market, on the contrary, is fluctuating, and
over it we have little control. Without an entire change in our
colonial system, which, to say the least, would be attended with much
difficulty and danger, we must continue to compete with the foreigner
abroad on no other vantage ground than that of offering an article
equal to or better than his at a smaller price and profit.

It has always been the policy of England, to enlarge this latter field
as much as possible, and unquestionably the policy is sound. We give
and take with foreign nations as freely as may be, sending out
articles which we have produced, and bringing home cargoes for our own
consumption. The balance of the two operations must be taken as the
estimate of our increasing wealth.

We have paid in manufactures for the specie which constitutes great
part of our currency, and which is no product of our own, certainly
not less than forty millions. When any portion of that coinage is
withdrawn from the country we become so much the poorer, because we
are forced to replace the deficit by another exchange of manufactures
and that at a diminished price.

The doctrines of the free-trade party may shortly be stated as
follows: Sweep away, they say, all restrictions, and do every thing
you can to encourage imports, that is, to swell the amount of
consumption of foreign produce at home. The inevitable result of this
policy will be an increased demand from abroad for the staple
commodities which we produce, and an enlarged field for our
operations. Therefore reduce the duties levied at the custom-house as
much as possible, and let the revenue be raised either directly by
income tax, or in some other mode which may not interfere with the
progress of trade.

Sir Robert Peel, who has adopted these doctrines, has acted upon them
to a certain extent, and the history of his financial proceedings
since he last assumed the reins of office is curious and
characteristic of the man. He commenced by laying on an income tax,
which we were assured was not to last beyond the period of three
years, and he promised the public not only to relieve them from the
load at the expiry of that time, but to exhibit the national revenue
in a more flourishing condition than ever. Proposals so confidently
made were cheerfully and even gratefully accepted, for no one could
have supposed that there lurked a deception concealed beneath so
plausible a scheme.

To the amazement of many, the adoption of an income tax was shortly
followed by a reduction of revenue duties, an experiment which has
since been repeated. The effect of those reductions was as
follows:--the ordinary revenue of the country, at the time when Sir
Robert Peel came into power, was within a fraction of forty-eight
millions. Ten millions and a half were derived from certain articles,
which were subsequently dealt with on free trade principles. These
articles under the reduced duty now yield only six millions, whilst
the other sources, that have not been tampered with, contribute, as is
shown by late returns, forty-one and a half, instead of thirty-seven
and a half millions to the revenue. The gain therefore to the country
on those items which were left under the operation of our former
system was four millions,--the loss upon the articles reduced by Peel
was four millions and a half, whereof the greater part has gone into
the pocket of the foreigner; and, as Lord George Bentinck well
remarked, it is material, with such facts before us, to consider "what
would have been the situation of the country if Sir Robert Peel had
tried his experimentary hand upon the whole of what are called the
ordinary sources of revenue to the country?" There must then have been
a huge mistake somewhere. If Sir Robert really believed that in three
years he would be enabled to dispense with the income tax, he must
have calculated that the reduction of the duties would have the effect
of increasing the consumption of imports to such a degree that the
revenue would be largely augmented--a result which, we are sorry to
say, has by no means arrived. On the contrary, the revenue has fallen
off, and the income tax, far from being removed, will, in all human
probability, be extended.

The avowed object of these reductions, which have curtailed our
revenue, and saddled us permanently with a war tax, was to increase
the amount of our exportations in exchange. If this effect has not
been produced, or if there is no likelihood of its being produced
within a reasonable period of time, then we are entitled to conclude,
from the arguments of the free-traders themselves, that the experiment
has been a total failure. We must never lose sight of the fact, that
the sure test of free-trade, for which object we have sacrificed our
revenue, is _augmented export_. Let us see how far this branch of the
scheme has succeeded. We shall take the exports and imports for the
years 1845 and 1846, which will afford a sufficient indication of the
manner in which the new tariff is likely to work.

             Exports 1845,   L.53,298,026
             Ditto   1846,     51,279,735
                    Decrease  L.2,018,291
  Duties on Imports, 1845,   L.21,860,353
            Ditto    1846,     22,498,827
                       Increase L.638,474

Thus, while the exports are decreasing, the imports are augmenting; we
are selling less and buying more, and the foreigner is reaping the

We are fortunately enabled, from the last official tables, issued
after the greater part of this article was sent to press, to show what
the results of free trade have been since 1846. Several of our
friends, who hold ultra liberal commercial opinions, are, as we full
well know, slow to conviction, and will be apt to maintain that our
experience of the new system up to that period, has not been large
enough to justify our condemnation of its failure. Let us then see
what testimony 1847 can bear in favour of free trade.

These tables, according to the _Economist_, a free trade organ of
undoubted ability, "continue to show an enormous comparative
importation and consumption of all the chief articles which contribute
to the daily sustenance of the people, and a marked falling off of
those which form the basis of our manufacturing industry, and
consequently of our future trade." In other words, whilst we are
buying, and buying largely, our articles of provision and immediate
consumpt from the foreigner, the supply of the raw material which we
can reproduce in the shape of manufactures is falling off. The
foreigner has the benefit of underselling us in the home market, and
we are losing the power of competition in the markets abroad. The
increase of our consumption is most remarkable, and the agriculturist
will probably derive but little comfort from the following comparative
statements, which show the amount of certain articles of import during
nine months of the last three years.


  |                                    |   1845.   |   1846.   |   1847.   |
  |                                    +-----------+           |           |
  | Live animals,                      |    19,593 |    85,542 |   172,355 |
  | Provisions, beef, pork, &c. cwts.  |   109,550 |   206,455 |   403,877 |
  | Butter, cwts.                      |   189,056 |   177,165 |   243,140 |
  | Cheese, do.                        |   183,891 |   216,191 |   243,601 |
  | Grain of all kinds, qrs.           | 1,336,739 | 2,635,218 | 7,905,419 |
  | Flour and Meal, cwts.              |   394,908 | 2,631,341 | 7,900,880 |

These, we think, are somewhat startling figures. All this has to be
paid for by native industry, doubly taxed at present, in order to get
back that gold which Sir Robert Peel has practically declared to be
the life-blood of the community, and which cannot, under our monetary
system, be expended abroad, without depressing credit and prostrating
enterprise at home. Let us now see what kind of provision we have laid
in for future manufactures--what amount of raw material we have on
hand, which, when converted into goods, shall enable us to liquidate
this heavy balance, and provide for the future payment of a constantly
increasing supply of articles of daily consumpt. We were to be fed by
the foreigner, and to work for him, he finding us both the food and
materials. Such, we understood, were the terms of the contract, which
the free-traders wished the nations of the world to accept. It has
been acted upon in so far as regards the food for which we have paid;
not so as to the means of payment.


  |                    |    1845.   |    1846.   |    1847.   |
  |                    +------------+------------+------------+
  | Flax, cwt.,        |  1,048,390 |    744,861 |    732,034 |
  | Hemp,              |    624,866 |    588,034 |    465,220 |
  | Silk, raw, lbs.,   |  2,865,605 |  3,429,260 |  3,051,015 |
  | Do., thrown,       |    311,413 |    293,402 |    200,719 |
  | Do., waste, cwt.,  |     11,238 |      6,173 |      7,279 |
  | Cotton wool,       |  5,495,799 |  3,866,089 |  3,423,061 |
  | Sheep's wool, lbs.,| 57,308,477 | 51,058,209 | 43,348,336 |

The above table affords us the means of estimating our immediate
manufacturing prospects, and we need hardly say that these are any
thing but cheering. In no one particular have the prophecies of the
free traders been fulfilled. They were wrong in their revenue
calculations with respect to the tariff; wrong in their anticipations
regarding the import of raw materials; and deplorably wrong in their
promises of increased exportation. We hope that Sir Robert Peel will
shortly favour the House of Commons, and the country with his
explanation of the following mercantile phenomena. It will be listened
to with more curiosity than his arguments upon the nature of a pound.


      1845.           1846.            1847.
  £41,732,143.     £40,008,874.     £39,975,207.

The general decrease is apparent, but it is necessary to go a little
more minutely to work, and inquire into the respective items. It is
only by doing so that we can fully understand the true operation of
free trade, and the manner in which it is calculated to undermine and
ultimately to overthrow the strongholds of our domestic industry. We
entreat the earnest attention of our readers to the great decline,
which is exhibited in the following staples of export.

  |                      |    1845.    |    1846.    |    1847.    |
  |                      |             |             |             |
  | Cotton Manufactures, | £14,761,236 | £13,632,880 | £13,682,095 |
  | Ditto Yarn,          |   5,379,400 |   6,112,918 |   4,601,180 |
  | Linen Manufactures,  |   2,353,879 |   2,110,666 |   2,273,427 |
  | Ditto Yarn,          |     807,418 |     639,245 |     504,727 |
  | Wool,                |     456,170 |     228,645 |     214,756 |
  | Woollen Yarn,        |     835,370 |     685,712 |     778,725 |
  | Woollen Manufactures,|   6,224,981 |   5,146,699 |   5,616,536 |
  |                      |             +-------------+             |
  |                      | £30,818,454 | £28,556,765 | £27,671,445 |

The decline upon these staple commodities of export is so obvious as
to need no remark. There is also a falling off, as between 1845 and
1847, in the following exported articles:--Butter, candles, coals,
earthenware, glass, leather, copper and brass, lead, tin-plates, soap,
and refined sugar. The rise, on the contrary, is upon cheese, fish,
hardwares, machinery, iron and steel, unwrought tin, salt, and silk
manufactures; of which two items certainly important.

  |                |    1845.   |    1846.   |    1847.   |
  +----------------+------------+            |            |
  | Machinery,     |   £644,839 |   £897,442 |   £942,533 |
  | Iron and steel,|  2,854,048 |  8,374,335 |  4,096,367 |
  |                | £3,498,887 | £4,271,777 | £5,038,900 |

This shows the pace at which manufactures are advancing abroad, and
explains but too clearly the reason of the decrease in our staple
exports. The product of British industry is declining; and we can only
partially redeem the deficit by sending abroad the sinews of our
national prosperity. We are in the condition of the artisan whose
expenditure exceeds his wages, and who is driven to part with his
tools. We are fitting up foreign mills with our choicest machinery,
furnishing our opponents with weapons, and yet the free traders tell
us that on such terms we can afford to cope with, and to vanquish

The truth is, so long as we proclaim ourselves the gold-bankers of the
world, and make perpetual boast of the hoards which we have from time
to time accumulated, we shall never be safe against a money drain
from England. We cannot force foreigners to take our British
manufactures; the demand, as we said before, is precarious, and we
cannot go on making calicoes and cottons for ever at a loss. In
exchange for extended imports, two things may be taken, goods or
specie, and with the prospect of lower prices to come, the foreigner
will always choose the latter. Hence, in a great measure, arose the
drain of bullion, which was sent to America. We were at that time in
want not only of corn, but of cotton, and a supply of the latter
material was indispensably necessary to keep the factories open. In
ordinary times, no doubt, the American would have taken goods in
exchange, but in the then posture of affairs, he saw the subsequent
advantage which he must derive by carrying away her bullion from
England, without decreasing her stock, for, as a natural consequence,
that stock must sorely depreciate in value. And it is not until we can
get rid of our ready manufactured stores, at whatever sacrifice, that
we shall again recover that precious basis of our currency, which we
cling to with the most doting affection, and for the sake of which we
are content every few years to undergo a national convulsion.

Such being the state of our exports under the operation of free trade,
let us now look a little to the other side of the balance sheet. The
duties levied at the custom-houses constitute, as every one knows, the
largest portion of our revenue, and therefore cannot be made the
subject of experiment, without extreme risk of defalcation. We have
already shown that, although, upon the whole, our imports have risen,
the gain has exclusively proceeded from that portion of imports upon
which the duty has not been reduced, and that wherever we have lost
any thing, it has been through the attempt to approximate to free
trade. The experiment, however, has already been made upon a large
scale; it has cost us many millions, and the odious income tax remains
as a tangible proof of its failure. It was, according to Sir Robert
Peel, the sure method of commanding reciprocity from the foreigner,
and of extending our exports largely. Neither result has followed; we
are as far from reciprocity as ever, and the exports have seriously

It is necessary also that we should remark what kind of articles have
been selected for the late experiment, because some, although not all,
of our import duties are framed with a view to protection as well as
for revenue purposes. For example, no one will dispute that we have a
great interest in procuring such raw materials as cotton and silk for
our manufactures as cheap as possible, because we cannot produce those
articles at home, and our success depends upon their reproduction in
the shape of fabrics. Here then there is no question of competition,
apart from colonial interests, and we do right to throw no obstacle in
the way of their introduction. But the admission of manufactured
articles, either of silk or of cotton, at so low a rate of duty as to
encourage the foreigner to compete with us in the home market, is a
totally different matter. It is a blow to native industry of the worst
and most insidious description, and cannot be justified even on the
ground that the cheapness thereby induced is a recompense to the
agricultural portion of the community for the sweeping measures which
abrogated not only the grain duties, but those which were formerly
imposed upon all kinds of foreign provisions. The agriculturists of
Britain, from the landlord to the peasant, desire no such recompense.
They do not wish that in addition to the hardships which they
themselves have sustained, other classes of the community should be
doomed to suffer; they do not wish that the wages of the manufacturing
operative should be reduced in order that French silks and velvets and
millinery may be brought in to inundate the market; and they will be
no parties to any scheme for the depression of our national labour. It
may suit Sir Robert Peel and the Whigs to hold up cheapness as the
great desideratum of commercial legislation, but our creed, is
otherwise: we protest against the tariff of 1846, as injurious to the
revenue, as hostile to home industry, and as an engine of destruction
to the already over-taxed and over-burdened artisan. Let us extract
from the tariffs of the last two years some instances of this
unnatural policy:--

    Duty levied on           1845.         1846.
                           L.  S. D.     L. S. D.
  Cotton manufactures,
    per L.100 value,       10  0   0      Free
  Gauze of thread,         15  0   0     10  0  0
  French lawns, per
    piece,                  0  5   0      0  2  6
  Other lawns, per L.100
    value,                 15  0   0     10  0  0
  Linen manufactures,
    plain,                 15  0   0       Free
  Woollen manufactures,
    plain,                 15  0   0       Free
      Ditto, made up,      20  0   0     10  0  0
  Silk manufactures,       25  0   0     15  0  0
  Brocaded ditto,          30  0   0     15  0  0
  Silk dresses,            40  0   0     15  0  0
  Clocks,                  20  0   0     10  0  0
  Copper manufactures,     15  0   0     10  0  0
  Boots, per dozen,         1  8   0      0 14  0
  Shoes, per ditto,         0 14   0      0  7  0
  Paper, printed or
    stained, per yard,      0  1   0      0  0  2
  Lace thread,             12 10   0     10  0  0
  Platting of straw, per
    lb.,                    0  7   6      0  5  0

and so on, _ad infinitum_.

What is this, we ask, but a direct invitation to the foreigner to step
in and undersell us in our market? We are told, and we believe it to
be true, that the revenue has been augmented in several of the above
instances by the reduction of the duty; if so, the announcement should
be received with any thing but feelings of exultation. There is the
bread taken from the mouths of very many thousands of our industrial
classes, in order that we may indulge to our heart's content in
foreign finery and gewgaws! Not one article of reduction in the above
list, but has been made at the expense of the life-blood of our
fellow-subjects: not one duty removed without a permanent addition to
the workhouse. We shall give but one instance to show how such
alterations work even in the smallest cases.

The manufacture of straw-plait is, and has been for many years, one of
the principal branches of industry practised in the Orkney islands.
During the long winter nights in that stormy region, when almost every
other occupation is suspended, the women are occupied with this work,
from which they have hitherto derived a small but a certain profit.
Sir Robert Peel, sitting at his ease in Whitehall, esteems straw-plait
an article of no consideration; and in revising his tariff, with a
view to temporary popularity, he strikes off one-third of the existing
import duty, being half-a-crown per pound, and the peasantry of
Normandy and Baden come in to supplant the unfortunate Orcadians! The
youngest of us must recollect the distress which has frequently
prevailed amongst the silk-weavers of Spitalfields, even under a
protecting tariff, and the attempts which have repeatedly been made by
Royalty itself, and by good Queen Adelaide in particular, to set the
fashion and revive the taste for home manufactures. Was this attempt a
wrong one? It would seem so, for the soul of Sir Robert Peel is set
upon French brocades. The millinery of Paris is in the ascendant, and
there is no longer any need for searching female smugglers at the
custom-house. We are invited to wear French cravats, waistcoats, hats,
handkerchiefs, boots, and gloves, all procurable at a cheaper rate
than they can possibly be manufactured at home, and very few of us
have sufficient patriotism to decline the advantage. Our ladies have
their dresses sent ready-made from the capital of France, or if they
still adhere to the native milliner, or the _artiste_ who is a
naturalised French-woman, the materials, fresh from Lyons or
Marseilles, are invariably purchased at these huge emporiums in Regent
Street and Bond Street, which you may search in vain for a specimen of
British industry. The walls of our houses are covered with French
fancy papers, brought down to a nominal price, with which the home
producer cannot compete. Or molu clocks, and ornaments of French,
German, and Bohemian glass are on every chimney-piece and table. Some
articles of foreign cutlery are sold in Birmingham and Sheffield for
about one-half of the price at which they can be manufactured in those
towns; and the woollen productions of Saxony are competing with the
staple of Yorkshire. These are the blessings of what is called free
trade, though free trade, in the full sense of the word, is a manifest
delusion and impossibility. We, the inhabitants of the highest-taxed
country of the world, have essayed the adventure of opening our ports
to the products of other nations--if not altogether, at least in such
a degree as to invite and stimulate competition; we have done so
without asking reciprocity, and without finding it, in the mere vague
hope that our exports might be doubled in return; and the result is,
that our own labourers and artisans are swamped in the home market,
and that our exports are lamentably decreased.

And, in the mean time, what is to become of our people, whom free
trade is reducing to pauperism? The political economist, whose heart
is as hard as the machinery he drives, will scarcely pause for a
moment to answer so trivial a question. His _ultimatum_ is, the
factory, the workhouse, or emigration. But unfortunately the factory
doors are not wide enough to admit all comers. Even now the mills of
Lanarkshire and of Lancashire are on short time, and we cannot predict
the quarter from which an augmented demand is to arise. Apart
altogether from humanity, the workhouse is an expensive establishment
for those who must maintain it, and the blessing of the Almighty will
not rest with the nation which has so little regard for its poor.
There remains then only emigration, whereof we have already some
specimen. Whilst we are writing, the subjoined paragraph is going the
round of the public press:--

     following paragraph, from the Paris _Moniteur_, is not
     without some significance at the present time:--

     'The steamer Finisterre landed, a few days ago, at Morlaix,
     thirty-eight Scotchwomen, who are to be employed in the
     spinning-mill of Landernau, which is to commence operations
     at the close of the month. The Morlaisien is to convey a
     similar number at her next trip. These women, who are
     intended to form the nucleus of the Flax-Spinning Company of
     Finisterre, will be lodged and fed together in a building
     constructed for that special purpose. Most of them are
     young, very neatly dressed, and all wear bonnets after the
     English fashion. Their countenances exhibited the
     satisfaction they experienced at having arrived in a country
     where they were certain to find employment and means of

Alas! it is but too true. Let free trade continue to progress, and it
is only amidst aliens, and far from their native soil, that the
children of our poor can hope to find a refuge. What a tale of
shattered hopes, of breaking hearts, and of domestic misery may be
read in these few simple, sentences! Can Britain hope to be prosperous
whilst such is the condition of her daughters?

From the position so imprudently occupied we must perforce recede, but
we hope that the reasons for, and manner of doing so, will be
distinctly marked in Parliament by some clear and unequivocal

We have tried free trade, and it has failed. The specious promises of
Sir Robert Peel have proved utterly delusive, and his disciples cannot
point to one instance in which his anticipations have been realised.
The question at present is, are we to try the experiment further? If
we are to do so, it must be at the cost of a prolonged period of
misery, with very little prospect and no certainty of an ultimate
escape. The revenue has fallen off: _that_ at least is certain and
beyond cavil, and we presume that a sweeping property and income tax
is the only remedy which Lord John Russell or his Chancellor of the
Exchequer will propose. The imports of daily consumpt have
prodigiously increased, in consequence of our altered tariffs, and
must be paid for; whilst, on the other hand, the exports, which are
the means of payment, are decreasing in a corresponding ratio. And
should we be told that this decrease is merely temporary, and that a
large demand for our manufactures must infallibly arise from abroad,
we shall merely ask our opponents in what way that demand is to be
supplied? The table of the imports of raw material which we have given
above, speaks volumes as to the state of our industry. Cotton, wool,
flax, hemp--all the products which kept the mills, not of one
district, but of all the districts of this mighty empire, in motion,
have, since the introduction of free trade, arrived in alarmingly
diminished quantities, and extended export is an impossibility,
because we have not got the material to keep our home machinery in

These are not speculations, but facts: and it is very much to be
hoped that honest men of the free trade party will lay them earnestly
to heart, and endeavour to retrieve the error into which they have
been led by an over-sanguine estimate of our own powers, and a far too
generous view of the commercial policy which influences the other
nations of the world. The decline of our commerce is also inseparably
connected with our mischievous currency laws. That an immediate reform
of the latter is absolutely necessary, is quite clear from the
monetary history of the last few months. We must adopt some system
which shall maintain legitimate credit, and allow property at all
times to command its commercial representative emblem at a fair rate,
without subjecting the person who requires it to a worse than
Israelitish rate of usury. Which of us is there in the country, one
class alone excepted, who has not felt the pressure of the times? Is
it a light matter, either to the landowner or the manufacturer or the
merchant, that money should be driven up to its present exorbitant
rate, and so maintained simply that the capitalist may step in, and
reap an undue profit from the artificial and not the real necessities
of the others? This is the motive which lies at the bottom of all the
views of the bullionists. They know very well that perfect
convertibility is a dream, but they try to keep up the semblance of it
so far as they can, and the absurd and complicated machinery of the
Bank of England was constructed for no other purpose. The public have
been gulled by specious declamation about security, and when the
crisis arrives, they find that they have got no security at all.

This state of things cannot be allowed to continue. If our exports are
ever to revive--nay, if they are merely to continue at their present
ebb without further declension--money must be made procurable at
something like an easy rate. We cannot, and we will not permit the
resources of the whole nation to fall a sacrifice to the insatiable
avarice of the capitalist. We must not starve our population to allow
him an exorbitant bargain. In the opinion of many we have already
weathered the worst of the storm, and may prepare for a new career,
though necessarily on a contracted scale. Certainly, if any thing
could give us confidence, it is the knowledge of the fact that the
mischievous monetary law is in abeyance, and we hardly think that,
with the sight of the recent wreck which it has caused before our
eyes, there is any chance of its remaining longer on the statute-book
unrepealed. The very lowness of the ebb to which prices have been
brought is a sort of guarantee of their revival; and although we have
much to do, and perchance not a little to suffer, before we can regain
the position which we once occupied, there is, at all events, some
prospect of an advance. That, however, can only be gradual, and must
depend upon our abandonment of theories, our renunciation of false
guides, and our return to honest, humane, and intelligible principles.
In the event of any temporary prosperity, it will be well to recollect
that we owe the amendment neither to Sir Robert Peel nor to the Whigs.
The former brought us into our difficulties; the latter did their best
to keep us there, and yielded at the last moment with undeniably bad
grace when matters were at the verge of desperation, and when no man
could trust his neighbour. Warned by experience, it will be the duty
of parliament, if it is wise, to apply itself diligently to the task,
not of rash reform, but of wise remodelment. On many matters of the
utmost financial importance there is little difference of opinion
between the leaders of the country party and the representatives of
large manufacturing constituencies. Peel and his few supporters,
backed by the present ministry, stand isolated in their adherence to
positions--it would be absurd to call them principles--which have been
tried and found wanting in the balance. Except these, and unhappy Mr
Jones Loyd, who stands forth in the midst of the group as the great
hierophant of Mammon, there are few hardy enough to raise their voices
in defence of arbitrary Bank restriction. It is clear to every
thinking man, that extended operations require an extended currency;
and that, as we cannot force gold into the country--for, after all,
the supply of that commodity is by no means limitless--except at a
ruinous loss, we must adopt the principle already sufficiently
recognised and tested, and make good the deficiency with paper. This
might be done either by the resumption of a one pound note circulation
in England, or by an issue of national paper to the amount of our
ordinary taxation; or, better still, by setting banking free, and
permitting the joint-stock companies to issue notes in proportion to
the amount of national securities lodged by them in the hands of
government Commissioners. At any rate, we do hope that so far as
Scotland and Ireland are concerned, they may be allowed once more to
resume the control of their own monetary matters, and be relieved from
those golden chains which are not only cumbersome to them, but, as we
have shown, are seriously detrimental to England, by locking up in
time of need a large portion of her established currency. With regard
to the public works now in progress, we deprecate rash interference.
It is not likely, nor is it at all desirable that for some time to
come, any new schemes of magnitude will be proposed: let us then apply
ourselves seriously to finish what we have begun, and without calling
new labour into existence, let us husband our employment for the old.
A new element of danger and distress has been introduced by the
dismissal of many thousands of the workmen from unfinished lines,
owing to the tightness of the money market, and the impossibility of
procuring loans. This must be looked to immediately. These men have a
right to their employment, for they have been called forth from their
other avocations by the sanction of Parliament, and neither good faith
nor public policy will admit of their abandonment at present. Above
all, let us look to the tariff, and, dismissing from our minds the
delusions of free trade and the dreams of future reciprocity, let us
stand forth manfully in defence of the rights of labour, and of that
native industry which is the true source of our country's greatness
and renown. It will not do for the rich to go flaunting in foreign
manufacture and apparel, while the operative is starving at home with
the doors of the factories closed. We must not fill our palaces and
our homes with articles of continental manufacture, whilst British
skill is left to languish unpatronised and unemployed. If we must have
those things, let us pay for them at a rate which will leave to our
own workmen the ordinary chances of competition, and we have no fear
whatever of the result. If we make a national profit by the depression
of industry at home, we are buying it with the tears, and the misery,
and the curses of thousands of the poor; if, on the contrary, we make
no profit by the sacrifice, we are wantonly betraying ourselves. Let
us then be wise in time. We have tried the effects of quack
experiments upon our monetary and commercial systems, and both of them
have given way. Let us have no more such; but let men of all parties,
who are true and honest in their opinions, unite together in putting
an end to the disorders in our social economy. The new Parliament ere
these pages can issue from the press will be convened, and the
prosperity of the country rests in a great measure in their hands. We
shall await the issue of their deliberations upon these momentous
matters with much anxiety, some apprehension, but withal a large
admixture of hope. For although parties at first sight appear to be
more than commonly disorganised, the late discussions which have
arisen in consequence of our unfortunate embarrassments have effected
a mighty change in the sentiments and language of many. Men who were
formerly held to represent opinions of conflicting tendency, have been
forced into juxtaposition, and have discovered that their differences
were far more nominal than otherwise; and we cannot but hope that all
such will work together cordially and conscientiously, and apart from
faction, in placing both our systems, monetary and commercial, upon a
firm and permanent basis. Be this as it may, we are at least assured
that the members of the country party, undismayed by defeat or by
desertion, will be, as ever, at their posts, and will justify, by
their maintenance and advocacy of sound national principles, the
confidence which has been unhesitatingly accorded to them by an
important section, of the people.


  Adventures on West Coast of South America, by John Coulter,
        review of, 323.

  Agrippa, 413.

  Albani Villa, the, 626.

  Alfred, fleets of, 88.

  Alison, Dr on the Famine of 1846-7, review of, 634.

  Almagro, one of Pizarro's companions, 5
    death of, 19.

  Altenburg, foundation of abbey of, 351.

  Alvarado, Pedro de, 18.

  Alvarez, Mariano, defence of Gerona by, 718.

  Amelia, the Princess, 442.

  America, Maga in, 422.

  American Copyright, letter on, 534.

  American Library, the, 574.

  American Literature, general features of, 643.

  Anabaptists, sketches of the, 355.

  Andersen, Hans Christian, review of works of, 387.

  Anglo Saxons, early fleets of the, 89.

  Antipodes, navigation of the, 515.

  Antomarchi, physician to Napoleon, 191.

  Arbouville, Countess d', Tale by, 671.

  Art in the Early Christian Ages, 446.

  Atahuallpa, Inca of Peru, 12, 14
    his seizure, 15
    his death, 16, 17.

  Athenian Navy, Pæans of the, No. I.--Phormio's victory in the
        Athenian Gulf, with some introductory remarks on the Athenian
        Sea Service, 736.

  Athens, state of, during the era of Solon, 143.

  Australia, interest of, 517.

  Australia, research and adventure in, 602.

  Avignon, city of, 709.

  Avon, loch, 157, 158, 160.

  Banking Act, Peel's, on, 113.

  Barcelona, city of, 716.

  Basque provinces and their population, the, 721.

  Beethoven, 419.

  Benalcazar, conquest of Quito by, 18.

  Ben Nevis and Ben Muich Dhui, 149.

  Bertrand, Count, at St Helena, 185.

  Borghese villa, the, 622.

  Borneo, island of, 528.

  Braemar, scenery of, 153.

  Brae Riach, Mount, 156, 157, 163.

  Bruce, Travels of, 515.

  Buckingham, Katherine Duchess of, 441.

  Buckingham Bay, attack on the Fly, at, 521.

  Burnet, Bishop, and his family, 443.

  Byways of History, 347.

  Cadet, Annetta, sketches of, 293.

  Cæsar, 235.

  Cagliostro, the vision of, 408
    Tiberius, 411
    Agrippa, 413
    Milton, 415
    Mirabeau, 417
    Beethoven, 419.

  Cairngorm, scenery of, 155, 156.

  Cairn Toul, Mount, 163.

  Campbell, Captain, of Glenlyon, 703.

  Candia, Pedro de, 6.

  Canvass for Painting, on, 307.

  Capri, capture of Island of, from the British, 182.

  Capricorn Islands, the, 519.

  Captivity of Napoleon at St Helena, Montholon's narrative of,
        reviewed, 178.

  Caroline, Queen of George II., character of, 437, 438.

  Carteret, Lady, 441.

  Catalans, character of the, 716.

  Cennino Cennini, Mrs Merrifield's translation of, 309.

  Centralisation, effects of, on Edinburgh, 75.

  Charles V. interview of, with Pizarro, 9.

  Charlotte, the Princess, Napoleon on the death of, 181.

  Chien d' Alcibiade, Le, 102.

  Children, Crusade of the, 285.

  China, British voyages to, 516.

  Christian Art, early character, &c. of, 446.

  Cipriani, Napoleon's Maître d' hôtel, 182.

  Clach Dhian, the, 160.

  Clayton, Mrs, review of Memoirs of, 431.

  Cochrane, Lord, gallant exploit of, 84.

  Colouring of Rubens, on the, 564.

  Common Sense, Philosophy of, 239.

  Conquest of Peru, sketches of the, 1.

  Constantinople, Napoleon's views on, 189.

  Copyright between Great Britain and America, on, 534.

  Coral Island, description of a, 518.

  Coulter's Cruise, 323.

  Cromwell, administration of Ireland by, 730.

  Crossing the Desert, 21
    continuation of, 334.

  Crusade of the Children, the, 285.

  Currency question, on the, 113, 744.

  Cuzco, capture of, by Pizarro, 18.

  Dalhousie Dinner, song for the, 493.

  Danish Fleets, the Early, 88, 89.

  Dee, Linn of, 153.

  Dee, sources of the, 162, 164.

  Delta, poems by, viz., a Requiem, 358
    Song for the Dalhousie Dinner, 493
    A November's Morning Reverie, 618.

  Demasis, anecdote of, in connexion with Napoleon, 188.

  Derrie, Glen, scenery of, 155.

  Desert, crossing the, 21
    continuation of, 334.

  Dog of Alcibiades, the, 102.

  Dreepdaily Burghs, how I stood for the, Chap. I. 259
    Chap. II. 264
    Chap. III. 269
    Chap. IV. 275
    Chap. V. 279.

  Drummer of Nicklashausen, the, 353.

  Duncanson, Major, 703.

  Early Christian Art, 446.

  Eastlake's Materials for a history of Oil Painting, review of, 301.

  Edinburgh, effects of centralisation on, 75.

  Edwards, Jonathan, 643.

  Emerald Studs, the, a reminiscence of the Circuit--Chap. I. 214
    Chap. II. 218
    Chap. III. 223
    Chap. IV. 227
    Chap. V. 231.

  Emerson, R. Waldo, 643.

  Emperor's New Clothes, the, 406.

  England, History of the Navy of, 82.

  England, Effects of the Reformation in, 724.

  English Kennel at Rome, the, 485.

  English Voyagers, recent achievements of, 515.

  Epimenides, Legend of, 144.

  Evenings at Sea: Introduction, 96
    Evening the first, the Miner, 97
    No. II. Henry Meynell, 547.

  Famine of 1846-47, Alison on, reviewed, 634.

  Figueras, town of, 719.

  First Patient, the, 317.

  Fitton, Lieutenant, gallant exploits of, 85.

  Fly surveying ship, Narrative of the, reviewed, 515.

  Fouché, anecdote of, 315.

  France, History of the Jew in, 728.

  Franklin, Benjamin, 644.

  Free Trade, on, in connexion with the commercial depression, 759.

  Fuller, S. M., Papers on Literature and Art by, reviewed, 575, 580.

  Gambling, anecdotes of, 315.

  Gamo, capture of the, by Lord Cochrane, 84.

  Garchary Burn, the, 164.

  Gautier, M.--Theophile, a tale, by, 197.

  Gaza, three months at, 334.

  George II., Times of, 431.

  German Travels, character of, 707.

  Gerona, town of, and its siege, 718.

  Giacomo da Valencia; or, the Student of Bologna: Chap. I. 359.
    Chap. II. 361.
    Chap. III. 366.
    Conclusion, 369.

  Glencoe, the Widow of, 700.

  Glen Derri, 155.

  Glen Lui, scenery of, 154.

  Gogol: the Portrait, a tale by, translated, Chap. I. 457
    Chap. II. 475.

  Gourgaud, General, 181.

  Greece, Grote's History of, reviewed, 129.

  Greek Fire, the, 92.

  Grote's History of Greece, review of, 129.

  Hamilton's (Sir William) edition of Reid's Works, review of, 239.

  Hawthorne's Mosses from an Old Manse, review of, 587.

  Henry IV. of France, 371.

  Henry Meynell, 547.

  Highland Destitution, 630.

  Histoire Hollandaise, Une, 672.

  History, Byways of, 347.

  Homer, on the Authenticity of, 137.

  Hounds and Horses at Rome--the English Kennel, 485
    the Steeple-chase, 487
    Roman Dogs, 489.

  How I came to be a Sloven, 658.

  How I stood for the Dreepdaily Burghs, Chap. I. 259
    Chap. II. 264
    Chap. III. 269
    Chap. IV. 275
    Chap. V. 279.

  Iliad, authenticity of the, 138.

  Improvisatore, Hans Andersen's, reviewed, 398.

  India, Probable effects of the Railway on, 517.

  Infernal, the, a fire-ship, 93.

  James's Life of Henry IV., review of, 371.

  Java, sketches of, 524.
    Conquest of by the English, and its restoration, 527.

  Jew, sketch of the history of the, 728.

  Juancho the Bull-fighter, 197.

  Judaism in the Legislature, 724.

  Judgment of Paris, Rubens', 571.

  Jukes, J. B., his Narrative of the Voyage of the Fly reviewed, 515.

  Kinkel's History of Early Christian Art, review of, 446.

  Lander, Richard, 516.

  Larig Water, 164.

  Law of Wreck, the, 93.

  Legislature, Judaism in the, 724.

  Leichhardt's researches in Australia, review of, 602.

  Le Premier Pas, 312.

  Letter from a Railway Witness in London, 68.

  Letters on the Truths contained in Popular Superstitions.
        No. VII.--Objects to be gained by the artificial induction
        of trance, 166.

  Life of Jean Paul Frederick Richter, review of, 33.

  Lima, boundary of, 17.

  London, Letter from a Railway Witness in, 68.

  Lowe, Sir Hudson, 180.

  Lui Water, 154.

  Luque, Father, one of Pizarro's comrades, 5.

  Maga in America, 422.

  Magus Muir, 614.

  Manco, Inca of Peru, 17.

  Mar Forest, the, 154.

  Marie Louise, Letter from Gourgaud to, 181.

  Marseilles, town of, 711.

  Masorcha Club at Buenos Ayres, a tale of the, Chap. I. 47
    Chap. II. 48
    Chap. III. 50
    Chap. IV. 55
    Chap. V. 62.

  Massacre of Glencoe, the, 700.

  Materials for a History of Oil Painting, Eastlake's, review of, 301.

  Mayenne, Theodore de, work by, on Painting, 304.

  Memoirs of Viscountess Sundon, review of, 431.

  Merrifield, Mrs, translation of Cennino Cennini, by, 309.

  Mexico, Conquest of, by Spain, 1.

  Meynell, Henry, a tale, 547.

  Miltiades, investigation of history of, 145.

  Milton, 415.

  Miner, the, a tale, 97.

  Mirabeau, 417.

  Mitford's Greece, character of, 129.

  Montholon's Napoleon at St Helena, review of, 178.

  Mosses from an Old Manse, review of, 587.

  Muich Dhui, ascent and scenery of, 153.

  Munzer, the anabaptist, 385.

  My Friend the Dutchman, 494.

  Napoleon at St Helena, Montholon's History of, reviewed, 178.

  Napoleon, Death scene of, 194;
    his character, 195.

  Navarro the Bandit, 714.

  Navigation of the Antipodes, the, 515.

  Navy, Nicolas' History of the, reviewed, 82.

  Navy of Athens, Pæans of the, No. I. 736.

  Nevis, Ben, ascent and scenery of, 149.

  New Guinea, 332.

  New Ireland, character of inhabitants of, 331.

  Ney, Marshal, Napoleon's statement regarding the last acts of, 187.

  Nicolas' History of the Navy, review of, 82.

  November Morning's Reverie, a, by Delta, 618.

  Oil Painting, Eastlake's History of, reviewed, 301.

  O'Meara, connexion of, with Napoleon, 180.

  Only a Fiddler, Andersen's, reviewed, 403.

  O. T., Andersen's, reviewed, 405.

  Our Currency, our Trade, and our Tariff, 744.

  Pacific, Islands of the, 327.

  Pæans of the Athenian Navy, No. I.;
    Phormio's Victory in the Corinthian Gulf, 736.

  Park, Mungo, 515.

  Pau, Sketches of, 719.

  Pauperism, management of, 630.

  Peel, Sir Robert, and the Currency, 113, 744.

  Peru, Sketches of conquest of, 1.

  Phormio, Naval Victory of, in the Corinthian Gulf, 736.

  Pizarro, Conqueror of Peru, Sketches of, 1.

  Pizarro, Pedro, brother of the conqueror, 3.

  Poe's Sketches and Tales, review of, 582.

  Poetry--Cæsar, 235;
    a Requiem, by Delta, 358;
    Song for the Dalhousie Dinner, 493;
    Magus Muir, 614;
    a November Morning's Reverie, 618;
    the Widow of Glencoe, 700;
    Pæans of the Athenian Navy, No. 1, 741.

  Pomfret, Lady, 441.

  Popular Superstitions, Letters on the Truths contained in, Letter VII.;
    objects to be gained by the Artificial Induction of Trance, 166.

  Portrait, the, a tale abridged from the Russian of Gogol, by T. B. Shaw;
    Chap. I. 457
    Chap. II. 475.

  Premier Pas, Le, 312.

  Prescott's History of the Conquest of Peru, review of, 1.

  Protestantism, Effects of, in England, 724.

  Puna, Conquest of island of, by Pizarro, 11.

  Pyrenees, the, 707.

  Raffles, Sir Stamford, 526.

  Railway, Probable Effects of, on India, 517.

  Railway Witness, Letters from a, in London, 68.

  Railways, the, in connexion with the financial depression, 777.

  Reformation, Effects of the, in England, 724.

  Reid and the Philosophy of Common Sense, 239.

  Requiem, for the music of Mozart, by Delta, 358.

  Research and Adventure in Australia, 602.

  Richard Cœur de Lion, fleet of, 90, 91.

  Richter, Jean Paul, Life of, 33.

  Roman Dogs, 489.

  Rome, Hounds and Horses at: the English Kennel, 485
    the Steeple Chase, 487
    Roman Dogs, 489.

  Rome, Taxidermy in, 292.

  Rome, Valedictory Visits at, 622
    the Villa Borghese, _ib._
    the Villa Albani, 626.

  Roussillon, province of, 722.

  Rubens--was he a Colourist?, 564.

  Ruiz, Bartholomew, one of Pizarro's comrades, 6.

  St Helena, Napoleon at, 178.

  Sea, Evenings at--See _Evenings_.

  Sharp, Archbishop, murder of, 615.

  Shaw, T. B., translation by, of the Portrait, a tale;
    Chap. I. 457
    Chap. II. 475.

  Sieyes, Anecdotes of, 190, 191.

  Sims' Wigwam, &c., review of, 575.

  Sinnett's Byways of History, review of, 347.

  Sir Robert Peel and the Currency, 113.

  Smuggling in Spain, 717.

  Solon, era of, in Greece, 143.

  Song for the Dalhousie Dinner, 493.

  Solo, Hernando de, 12.

  Sourabaya, city of, 525.

  South America, Adventures on coast of, 323.

  South America, Spanish conquest in, 1.

  Spain, conquests of, in South America, 1.

  Spain, sketches of, 707.

  Spain, History of the Jew in, 730.

  Speedy, capture of the Gamo by the, 84.

  Stair, Master of, and the Massacre of Glencoe, 700-1.

  Steeple chase at Rome, the, 487.

  Stone of Shelter, the, 158, 160.

  Story of my Life, Andersen's, review of, 393.

  Student of Bologna, the; Chap. I. 359
    Chap. II. 361
    Chap. III. 365
    Conclusion, 369.

  Suffolk, Lady, 439, 440.

  Sumatra, island of, 528.

  Tacamez, defeat of Pizarro at, 7.

  Tale of the Masorcha Club at Buenos Ayres, a;
    Chap. I. 47
    Chap. II. 48
    Chap. III. 50
    Chap. IV. 55
    Chap. V. 62.

  Tariff, the new, in connexion with the commercial depression, 759.

  Tales from Denmark, Andersen's, reviewed, 406.

  Taxidermy in Rome, 292.

  Tettenborn, General, rise of, 312.

  Theophilus, work on Varnishes, &c. by, 303.

  Thirlwall's Greece, character of, 129
    on the siege of Troy, Homer, &c. 137, 138.

  Thompson's Memoirs of Viscountess Sundon, review of, 431.

  Three Months at Gaza, 334.

  Tiberius, 411.

  Times of George II., the, 431.

  Torres Straits, surveying voyage through, 518.

  Tournachou, M., tale from, 317.

  Trance, objects to be gained by artificial induction of, 166.

  Travels, modern, general character of, 707.

  Troy, authenticity of the siege of, 136, 137.

  Turkey, Napoleon's views on, 189.

  Unpublished French novel, an, 671.

  Units: Tens: Hundreds: Thousands:
    Chap. I. 593
    Chap. II. _ib._
    Chap. III. 595
    Chap. IV. 596
    Chap. V. 599
    Chap. VI. 601.

  Vaerst, Baron, Die Pyrenaën, review of, 707.

  Valbezene, M., 102.

  Valedictory Visits at Rome, 622
    the Villa Borghese, _ib._
    the Villa Albani, 626.

  Van Eyck, Eastlake on the invention of, 302.

  Views and Reviews of American Literature, review of, 575.

  Villa Borghese, the, 622; Albani, 626.

  Vision of Cagliostro, the, 408;
    Tiberius, 411;
    Agrippa, 413;
    Milton, 415;
    Mirabeau, 417;
    Beethoven, 419.

  Voltaire, residence of, in England, 444.

  W. E. A., Magus Muir, by, 614;
    Widow of Glencoe, 700.

  Waleska, Madame, anecdote of, 191.

  Widow of Glencoe, the, 700.

  William the Conqueror, landing of, 90.

  William III. and the Massacre of Glencoe, 700.

  Wolfian theory of the Iliad, the, 140.

  Works of Hans Christian Andersen, the, 387.

  Wreck, law of, 93.

                  END OF VOL. LXII.

     _Printed by William Blackwood & Sons, Edinburgh._

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

Archaic spelling and variations in spelling and hyphenation have been
retained except in obvious cases of typographical error.

Anchors to footnotes 1 and 2 have been supplied by the transcriber.

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